Thursday, 15 July 2021 - 11:39am |
National News

Technology list and panel advice show Police technology policies are working

3 min read

New Zealand Police has released a list of the technology capabilities it uses across different aspects of the organisation as another step in its strengthened approach to technology and increased transparency in that space.

The New Zealand Police Technology Capability List includes a wide range of technologies from equipment used by the Police Dive Squad, to speed cameras, and 3D Photogrammetry.

“Technology is essential to our business, it enables us to police more effectively and efficiently, and supports innovation in our work. It will play an important role in policing in the future,” Deputy Chief Executive Insights and Deployment Mark Evans says.

“Policing by consent is at the core of all we do, and we want to reassure our communities that we have their best interests at heart. We are using technology to support our mission to prevent crime and harm through exceptional policing.”

This first list contains the most significant public facing technology capabilities used by NZ Police, as well as some other capabilities that provide administrative support. It will be updated on an ongoing basis to capture new capabilities as we continue to review what we use.

Last year, Police released a policy around the use of emergent technology, signed up to the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand, and set up an independent expert panel to externally peer review the use of emergent technologies.

It also commissioned specialist consultants Taylor Fry to conduct a stocktake of algorithms in use or development by New Zealand Police, and to provide advice on best practice to assure safe and ethical development and use of algorithms moving forward. The report found Police’s base use of algorithms is sound. However, in specific areas improvements or further consideration is needed.

One consideration highlighted was the need for a Te Ao Māori lens. Work is also well underway on a new principles-based framework to guide the future development of emergent technologies, and this includes the consideration of Te Ao Māori.

This report was referred to the expert panel and is the first piece of advice provided to Police. The advice has identified aspects that require further attention.

“This is what we expect from the panel, to be able to critique and provide guidance, and this demonstrates it is working well,” Mr Evans says.

In response to the road policing algorithm, Police acknowledge the concerns raised by the panel and the Taylor Fry report. This algorithm was only under development and it is no longer being progressed.

Police has considered and accepted all, bar one, of the recommendations in the Taylor Fry Report where the panel provided further advice on that matter. Police has accepted all the Expert Panel’s advice.

“The advice and guidance that has been provided to Police will enable us to take the next steps to strengthen our governance processes and adopt best practice guidelines to ensure the safe and ethical use of algorithms.” Mr Evans says.

“Most New Zealanders would expect an organisation the size and function of Police to be using algorithm technology to keep our communities safe. It allows us to do our jobs effectively and channel resources to the right places.”

The technology capability list, Taylor Fry report on ‘Safe and Ethical use of Algorithms’, the Expert Panel Advice, and Taylor Fry response are all available on the NZ Police website here.


Issued by Police Media Centre