Police facing ‘complexity’ in tackling tech-savvy criminals
Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor said wrongdoers were using sophisticated tactics.
Criminals are adopting increasingly sophisticated tactics, fuelled by their exploitation of modern technology, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary has said.
Sir Tom Winsor told MPs the “complexity and volume” of demand is the biggest challenge for forces.
He flagged up the “increasing sophistication” of criminals, who use “modern methods of communication” and other instruments of technology to do harm.
Sir Tom’s remarks come after he criticised technology companies over their record on stopping their platforms being used for crime.
Publishing his annual state of policing report last week, the chief inspector warned the wide availability of “impenetrable” end-to-end encryption services has made life easier for terrorists, paedophiles and organised criminals.
Appearing at the Commons Home Affairs committee on Tuesday, Sir Tom also said police could use artificial intelligence to process and understand “vast volumes” of data.
Earlier, Policing Minister Nick Hurd acknowledged that the police system has been “very stretched” in recent years, saying the Government had responded by boosting resources.
A recent spike in violent crime has prompted fresh scrutiny of police budgets and officer numbers.
I don’t think we could have been clearer in terms of setting out our stall and sending a signal of change in response to clear evidence of change in terms of the demand that the police are now having to manage Nick Hurd
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has pledged to prioritise police funding in next year’s spending review.
Mr Hurd said: “We have taken steps to put more resources into the system, £460 million more this year.
“I don’t think we could have been clearer in terms of setting out our stall and sending a signal of change in response to clear evidence of change in terms of the demand that the police are now having to manage.”
He said that increasing police officer and staff numbers is not an “explicit objective” for the Home Office, but added that he was “pleased” to see some forces launching recruitment campaigns.