Safety situation in the world today is getting more and more complicated. The authorities that protect us are equipped with face recognition systems while significant amount of our personal data is logged and all our movements are monitored. All this results in people being afraid and asking us why we actually need Intelligent Police Cars.
Well, firstly let us describe what an Intelligent Police Car is. To give simple and direct description, it is a police vehicle equipped with at least a video recording system, GPS, direct access to various police databases, collaboration system with the command centre and with ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) system. It may of course offer many more functionalities, as system for fine or accident management, internal knowledge base, automatically generated daily reports, etc. In general, these systems should serve police officers to be more efficient; to convert their administrative work to their real work and to have less paper work and be in the field more.
There are two main areas of benefits. The first of them is time. When police officers don’t need to contact the command centre whenever they engage with people, but they get all necessary information directly on spot, they save our time. When they don’t need to write long protocols during an accident, but just scan our IDs and electronically fill out a prefilled form, instead of writing all information down, they save our time. When there are less regular police controls on the streets, they save our time. When the police come faster to a place where they are needed, they save our time.
The second area of the benefits is safety. Let us start, for example, with the ANPR technology that automatically controls license plates. Using this, police are much more efficient with finding stolen vehicles. In a small country like Slovakia the rate of clarified cases of stolen cars has risen about 30% by introducing such a system. Checking the validity of mandatory insurance with ANPR may also be a big benefit. Nobody wants to crash an uninsured car. If police are able to reduce the number of them, it is great. And what about the video recording, is it really necessary? Well, there are already studies showing that the behavior of citizens and police officers positively changes when they are recorded by camera. I would be really delighted, if this wasn’t true, and people would respect each other and be polite without any cameras. However, it seems, this technology is helping us and therefore makes sense using it.
This is for sure not the full list of Intelligent Police Car benefits. However, the main principle is, that any new technology introduced by the police must primarily serve the citizens. Intelligent Police Cars save our time and make us safer.