In this presentation Police Scotland share their 2023 Digital Strategy.
This brings together Police Scotland’s ambition and demand of Digital, Technology and Data nationally, and showcases the successful delivery to date since the last strategy was published in 2018.
This demonstrates the ethically focused approach and sets out the capabilities required by a 21st Century National Police Service as well as the powering of transformation activity which enables improvement in service delivery.
In essence this is made up of two main focus areas: Digital Transformation, how the organization is increasingly becoming more digital in the same way all enterprises are, and Cyber Policing, a digital capability unique to policing.
Police Scotland describe their transformation journey as moving from Doing Digital to Being Digital.
“‘Being Digital’ seeks to embed digital at the centre of the organisation and the way it operates – To enable effective and efficient ways of working through innovative capabilities that support our people and partners in delivery of critical services to the public.”
This is being implemented across a number of main work streams:
- Legacy applications – Police Scotland invested in replacing aging, legacy infrastructure resulting in a significant reduction in the level of technical debt and associated risk, consolidating core operational systems by creating national applications to support standardised ways of working, such as national crime and case management.
- Digital Contact Centre – They introduced a new digital contact platform that will protect and strengthen critical 999 and non-emergency 101 services for the future. This has built a foundation which will enable them to develop further ways for the public to engage, making it easy, convenient, and safe to contact the police.
- Virtual Workplace – Enabled a shift to remote working with most officers and police staff now equipped with mobile devices and laptops (over 15,000 devices deployed). Desktop video conferencing and collaboration tools were rolled out nationally, reducing travel and increasing productive hours.
- Networking – Introduced a single national network to underpin enabling technologies which made it possible to deliver a rapid and comprehensive technology response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
- Cyber Security – Protected its network and associated data assets through investment in cyber security and resilience, defending Police Scotland from digitally enabled threats and contributing to Scotland’s drive to be a cyber resilient country.
The last point highlights that Police Scotland deal with dual aspects of cyber security, both in general terms of protecting their own IT assets in the same way every enterprise does, as well as adopting and pioneering practices that are unique to policing, given their role of identifying, intercepting and prosecuting cyber crime.
Across Scotland and the rest of the UK, Cyber is the fastest growing crime type. It gives rise to new and evolving crime whilst also enabling traditional crimes such as fraud to be committed in a different and more challenging way in both the physical and virtual space.
The exponential rise in demand for Cyber Policing services, combined with the prolific and borderless nature of cybercrime, requires a different approach, which includes:
- Cybercrime Investigations and Digital Forensics – As they describe here Police Scotland’s Cybercrime Investigations and Digital Forensics departments have national coverage and provides expertise and specialist support to Local Policing and other departments. This includes technical assistance in the examination and analysis of digital devices.
- Digital Courts – They collaborated with the Scottish Courts and other criminal justice partners to introduce remote court hearings and sentencing for criminal cases in the High Court, enabled via video link to accused persons remanded in custody, and commenced delivery of the new Digital Evidence Sharing Capability (DESC), which contributes to modernisation of the criminal justice system, and equipped armed police officers with body worn video cameras to better protect the public and police officers and provide best evidence at court.
Police Scotland also undertake the critical activity of informing the public, developing and sharing educational resources that better equip end users to protect themselves online, as this tweet demonstrates, providing a detailed guide for students explaining the types of scams and frauds they may encounter.
Students, protect yourself from common frauds & scams this semester🔐@PoliceScotland are helping #students increase their awareness & prepare for common frauds they may experience throughout their studies.
— CyberScotland (@CyberResScot) September 8, 2023