Police force merger will improve data sharing
Information fusion centres to benefit Scottish policing
Media Coverage: Publication: Scotsman.com
By SCOTT REID, published on Saturday 7 April 2012 00:00
Controversial plans to merge Scotland’s police forces should lead to higher levels of public engagement and create a data and information “fusion centre” that is likely to be replicated in other countries, according to business analytics specialist SAS.
Mark Gibson, sales and marketing director for the firm’s public security arm, said agencies would be better prepared to respond to major issues and manage big events through the sharing of data and intelligence.
US-headquartered SAS has a strong presence in Scotland after snapping up East Kilbride-based software firm Memex in 2010. It had a long-standing Glasgow operation prior to the deal and has also opened an Edinburgh satellite office. Gibson conceded that Scottish Government plans to bring together the country’s eight forces faced criticism, but said Scotland had an “opportunity to do something ahead of the game”. He said: “What we will see are more streamlined command chains and an opportunity to bring in specialist resource where it is needed. Scotland has a chance to be at the cutting edge, taking the best of the technology and business processes that are out there.
“This is an opportunity to create a fusion centre, where different agencies can come together and share information. It will enable the forces to better engage with the public.”