Cardiff University working with police on using tech to fight crime

Experts from Cardiff University are working with the National Counter Terrorism Command and UK police forces to ensure policing is kept up-to-date with the latest tech.

A dedicated facility, called the Open Source Communications, Analytics and Research (OSCAR) Development Centre, has been been set up to aid this cooperative work.

It’ll allow academics and police practitioners to come together so they research how social media and other technological trends can be harnessed by the police to fight crime.

The centre is being financed through the the £10m Police Knowledge Fund, which was launched by the Home Office, the College of Policing and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) earlier this year.

Professor Martin Innes, who is a world-leading authority on policing and social control, said: “We know that new technologies like social media are transforming the ways people relate, communicate and interact with other, and we are increasingly aware that such developments present both challenges and opportunities for policing.

“The work of the Open Source Communications Analysis Research (OSCAR) Centre will seek to develop new insights into how police can harness these new sources of information across their investigative, intelligence and engagement functions, ranging from counter-terrorism to community policing.

“With our partners, this is about designing new and innovative policing responses to ensure that we are not trying to tackle 21st Century problems with 20th Century policing models.”

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said: “I am delighted to be supporting this successful funding bid for the new Centre. Social media and other open sources of communication play an increasingly important role in understanding local needs and threats in order to deliver community policing.

“This successful bid builds on pioneering work between South Wales Police and Cardiff University that we’ve been developing for several years and recognises the importance of how new technology can support approaches to policing that are based on evidence and what works.”

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