Amazon Alexa is set to be the next driving force to help fight crime across the UK as police forces put the Echo device on trial.
Lancashire Police will be the first UK police force to use Amazon Echo to fight against crime, revealing that its plans include allowing victims to use the device to report incidents without having the need to call the police. In doing so, the police force aims to reduce pressure across call centres and police forces.
The initiative also aims to give the public the ability to receive daily crime updates through the device by asking Alexa about the information, by simply calling ‘Alexa’ and asking for the information they would like. Additionally, the device can be used distribute missing people information and numbers of police officers on patrol in an area.
Rob Flanagan, Lancashire Police, told the Sun: “If we can reduce demand to our call centres via use of voice recognition technology and give the community the information they need without them needing to ring us, that’s massive. I’d like to use this for crime reporting. We’ll definitely be there by the end of 2018.”
The Lancashire Police force is expected to use the device to tell people about incidents in the area, as well as reporting incidents themselves. Additionally, the smart speaker is expected to offer use internally within the force by reporting real-time crime logs and internal briefings.
Although the technology could be an easy stepping stone to connect the police force with residents much more easily, the technology does come with some potential legal issues. For example, the storage of voice recording data is held at Amazon’s US data centres, meaning that a huge amount of sensitive data is being held in a singular place outside of the UK.
In the last year, a number of companies including Ocado now use the voice assistant to better their services as well as a vast amount of smart devices integrating Alexa to better services including TVs, speakers and cars.
Amazon already announced at its re:invent conference Alexa will be used for business and the UK Police force taking on this technology is just another expansion of this and what the future holds for forces.