Law Enforcement and Justice, Part Two: The Impact of Technology on 21st Century Policing

July 30th, 2014On Point


Remember the outrageous gadgets in the 007 movies that never failed to wow an audience?  For me, the thrill of bond flicks is watching the world’s favorite secret agent take out “bad guys”, with “Q’s” futuristic gadgets.

The evolution of technology and globalization has seen some of these “improbable” innovations become a reality. From sophisticated surveillance and tracking equipment to biometric scanners, technology that was once a figment of the imagination actually exists today. Also, with criminals transforming their operations, it is imperative for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to always stay one step ahead. Responding to the challenges of 21st century policing requires law enforcement officers to have a clear sense of direction, resilience, and the ability to inspire and motivate teams through change; and this change can be facilitated by technological innovation.

Technology in Law Enforcement: A Step in the Right Direction

Although police officers are leveraging technology to solve cases, the truth is some of them are still dependent on archaic or legacy systems, which prevent quick access to critical information and often delay investigations. Precious investigation-hours are being wasted sifting through the data deluge and juggling multiple investigations, instead of focusing on the core business of solving cases. Critical intelligence is overlooked and information is presented in a manner that hinders the decision making process. The consequences are serious and sometimes life-threatening. The fallout of criminal investigative failures, whether to victims, the public, or officers, leaves citizens dissatisfied, increases criminal activity and affects officers’ morale and safety.

Getting the right technological facilitation in law enforcement requires partners who understand the law enforcement environment, recognize the challenges of 21st century policing, and have access to appropriate innovation including 3rd party and open source.

Intelligence-Led Policing

Law enforcement organizations need a flexible framework system that supports investigations and helps manage complex incidents and which can be configured to their individual criminal justice systems. Imagine having the tools that can mine intelligence, join the dots, and automate the various processes involved in the investigative lifecycle, right from the beginning till the end?  This will enable investigators and analysts to gather, retrieve, classify and share information from multiple sources to build a complete picture, leading to improved targeting of crime and criminals. Armed with the analytical, mapping and association/link analysis tools, they can also enhance their skills in predictive policing.

Access to the right tools and technology also means collaboration across jurisdictions and geographies is made easy. Officers can share information with other agencies involved in enforcement quickly and securely, irrespective of their location.

U-LEAF is based on this very concept. After closely examining the business models of a number of police solutions and identifying the demands of modern policing, Unisys designed U-LEAF, a flexible framework that aids investigations and helps manage complex incidents, making intelligence-led policing a reality. Configured to meet the current and future needs of a wide range of police applications, U-LEAF is the result of the collaborative effort between our subject matter experts and law enforcement professionals.

And Finally…

Despite having arrived late to the ‘technology’ party, today’s law enforcement bodies are fast catching up. Agencies are switching to modern investigative systems that help and expedite the investigative process.  Rather than constantly making enquiries for every small piece of information, officers are investing in tools that provide them with critical information right at their fingertips, giving them the confidence and competence to maximize the outcomes of their investigations.

Learn more about Unisys Public Safety and Justice solutions.


Tags-   Law enforcement