21-23 Aug 2024
ICC, Sydney

From flying police to robot dogs – disrupting law enforcement

May 10, 2018

Around the world, new technologies are increasingly being adopted in the fight against crime.

From flying bikes and robots, to highly sophisticated Artificial Intelligence surveillance solutions promising to catch criminals in real-time and predict crime before it happens. Here’s a look at few of the most advanced trends from Australia and around the world.


Robots, flying police and driverless cars

In Australia, the Victorian Police are about to add two brand new robots to their bomb squad. The larger TEODOR will be responsible for bomb disposal and can be used to deploy tools such as drills, grinders and x-ray equipment. The smaller TELEMAX is designed to access public transport and can also carry bomb disposal equipment. They will be joining the older Dragon Runner (DR20), who has been in operation since last year.

Not long ago, the Dubai police unveiled their newest recruit, a 5ft 5in tall, 100kg robot that moves around on wheels. This “ Robocop ”, who speaks 6 languages, can read a number of facial expressions, will patrol the city looking for criminals and collecting evidence. It even features a touchscreen to report crime. It’s hotly pursued by a robotic smart dog , revealed just last month at UAE Innovation exhibition. In fact, the UAE city, which opened world’s first smart police station in 2017, is somewhat leading the charge, with flying motorbikes and driverless patrol cars also on the way.

Predicting and preventing crime before it happens

China has the world’s the largest CCTV network of some 170 million cameras, and plans to install another 400 million by 2020, many of which are equipped with powerful AI and facial recognition capabilities. Indeed, it took them just 7 minutes to track down this BBC reporter recently. The chinese police also have just begun wearing sunglasses equipped with facial recognition technology to help them quickly identify wanted criminals.

As Dubai reinvents itself as a hub of tech innovation, the Government is planning to make it the world’s safest (as well as smartest and happiest ) city. The Oyoon (Eyes) Project , being implemented as part of the Dubai 2021 smart city plan, will see more than 10,000 cameras fitted with facial recognition software and microphones. Using data analytics and artificial intelligence, it will create an integrated security system capable of both preventing potential crime and responding to emergencies in record time – potentially before they have even been reported.

Closer to home, the New South Wales have just purchased cutting-edge ArcGIS technology from Esri which, uses facial recognition, data analysis, deep learning and location-based analytics to detect patterns and predict behaviour. According to the Daily Telegraph , the system is “so secret police will confirm only that they are ‘evaluating’ its uses.” It has already been successfully implemented by a number of police forces globally, and has been used by US and and UK law enforcement a number of times prevent crime and terrorist attacks.

100% crime-free?

These developments have the potential to revolutionise crime-fighting but they do also raise some uneasy moral questions. Should a government seek to prevent crimes before they occur, just because they have the technology to do so? Equally, what would 100% crime-free look like?

Clearly these are concepts that could vary wildly between nation states and, as technology advances, we will certainly have to consider what freedoms we are willing to give up in exchange for our safety. An omniscient, omnipresent and prescient police force may be alluring, but it has the potential to be at once reassuring AND terrifying.

‘Strategic Security Imperatives for Australia’ and ‘How to build a security plan for the future rather than the past’ – will be some of the many topics discussed at this year’s  ASIAL Security Conference. Visit the Conference page for more information.

  • Bring your security needs into focus
  • Register
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now