Police One

How UK Police Agencies Can Use AI in 2024


  • UK agencies enjoy ample funding and have increased the number of police officers but struggle with investigator shortages and declining public trust.
  • With the investigator shortage, UK agencies need a way to maximize the capabilities of the staff they currently have on the force. 
  • AI solutions can aid agencies in solving complex cases faster and increasing public trust and transparency with expedited review and release of files to the public. 

Police agencies in the United Kingdom are facing many unique challenges. 

While the US has seen a recruitment challenge and tightening budgets, UK agencies have plenty of funding and have run successful campaigns to increase their officers. 

However, they are experiencing a shortfall in investigators to prospective complex crimes. At the same time, they face declining public sentiment in their efficacy to do their jobs. In this blog, we’ll discuss how artificial intelligence has enabled US law enforcement agencies to overcome these challenges and how UK agencies can explore the use of AI. 

Empowering Investigations through AI

A report by the Institute For Government found growing concern about the national shortage of detectives. In 2021, there was a shortfall of nearly 7,000 level 2 investigators who mostly deal with complex investigations, a rise of nearly 40% from 2020. While a lack of suitably qualified detectives is one issue, the other that’s been sighted is the inability of forces to properly manage and investigate serious crimes such as burglaries, robberies, and theft. 

As such, there’s a serious imbalance between the increasing demand for digital forensic examinations and maintaining force capacity. While AI cannot act as another human, it can supercharge the staff that UK police agencies currently have to conduct investigations despite their staffing shortfall. 

Veritone just launched an investigative solution called iDEMS, which stands for intelligent digital evidence management system. This new solution offers a secure cloud repository for agencies to store digital evidence and run AI models against it to automate redaction, translate and transcribe files, and find specific bits of information within the files pertinent to an investigation. 

This rapidly accelerates the evidence review process and helps investigators find the needle in the haystack, leading to better resource allocation, closed cases, and more caught bad guys. But solutions like Veritone Redact connecting in a single place can also help UK agencies overcome their transparency challenges. 

Increasing Transparency with the Public 

Trust and transparency are concerns police agencies worldwide struggle with, especially in the US. For instance, Thames Valley Police conducted a survey and found only 60% of people trusted their force. However, this is not only a local problem; trust in the police across the UK is also in decline. 

The share of respondents to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) stating that their local police agency is doing a good or excellent job fell by 5% from 2019/20 to 2022/23. This decline is also evident in minority groups. According to a survey from the Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime, which focuses on the London area specifically, Black respondents who believe that the police treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are fell from 64% to 46% between 2021 and 2022. 

Part of the approach seen by US agencies is adopting AI solutions to rapidly release footage of officer-involved incidents faster to the public through automated redaction.  UK agencies could apply a similar approach to ensure the public has more transparency about what happened in certain incidents. 

The Use of AI in the UK

Many of the world’s governmental bodies are trying to figure out how to legislate and regulate AI. While the EU and some parts of the US have taken more direct legal action, the UK released its approach to using AI in February. Adopting a cross-sector and outcome-based framework for regulating AI, the UK approached it with five core principles: 

  • Safety, security, and robustness
  • Appropriate transparency and explainability
  • Fairness 
  • Accountability and governance
  • Contestability and redress 

These principles align with Veritone’s AI for Good principles, which stress transparency, trust, security and compliance, and empowerment. We believe that the power of AI should be used to enable humans to do more than they can today. Part of this mission means empowering men and women to keep communities safe worldwide. Contact us to find out how your agency can start applying AI today. 

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Further Reading:

Oregon PD Cuts Video Redaction Time by 66% with Veritone Redact

Escondido Police Department 2X their Redaction Efficiency with AI 

San Luis Obispo PD Achieves RIPA Compliance with Veritone Contact and Professional Services Offering