The Police Service of Scotland is eyeing more aerial operations as it prepares to incorporate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and cyber hubs into its arsenal.
The national police force for Scotland has announced it plans to invest £3.6m in new cyber hubs and purchase new UAVs as part of a three-year implementation plan for the Policing 2026: Serving a Changing Scotland strategy.
The force has stated that the UAVs will be used as alternatives to helicopters in rural and remote areas, primarily in the search for missing people, while a £3.6m investment in cyber hubs will mean that state-of-the-art facilities will be set up in the north and west of the country to add to an existing hub in Edinburgh.
Deputy chief constable, Iain Livingstone, said: “Our Serving a Changing Scotland strategy was developed to address the challenges we now face and to enable the police service to become operationally and financially sustainable.
“This three-year plan sets out what those priorities are and how we will go about the first stages of this transformation. It sets out how we will give our officers and staff the tools, resources and support they need to continue to keep people safe and to respond appropriately to the millions of calls for help we receive every year.
“Fundamental to all of this is the wellbeing and development of everyone working in Police Scotland, regardless of rank or role. This will allow all of us to play our part in making these changes happen and take pride in the future of policing in Scotland.”
Data from mobile devices is increasingly valuable in investigations, and around 40 cyber kiosks will be provided across Scotland for local officers to triage mobile devices quickly to determine if further specialist forensic analysis is needed.
These projects are just some of those which will be delivered over next three years in the first phase of the implementation of Police Scotland’s work to change the way it delivers services, following a public consultation on the strategy earlier this year.
The plan will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority at its meeting on 19 December.