De mogelijkheden van de digitale revolutie voor de Nederlandse Politie
The bigger picture Since society lives in a global information hub and policing is allways a part of society, it is inevitable to contextualize a few global developments. Local developments can then be placed into perspective of global changes; the term ‘glocal’ applies. It covers the technological changes and the impact it has on society, as we know it. Information availability is not territorial, but global to an increasing public; criminals and terrorists included. It is increasingly available for the public and people step into the information age; the Internet drives that. The Internet is the cause of this massive change, is a threat at the same time and the Internet provides the cure. It’s necessary to redefine the rules and shape new paradigms pro-actively.
The Internet Society The internet society describes the new digital society in general and elaborates on the development of crimes and the changes for the police organisation. The Internet has already ‘happened’ to society most of us realise that. The paradigm shift is a fact. Now society must understand this shift and adapt the new kind of society. For the last decades, corporate and administrative leaders led their business based on their traditional knowledge and powers. Now information availability is phenomenal and it marks the Internet as the ultimate power distributor. ‘Living in a bubble’ wasn’t a problem for the police organisation in 1999. Only 10 years later it became a serious challenge for police organisations, who must redefine their business to be able to create a sustainable environment in which they can protect and serve their citizens the best.
The Intelligence Flip Most of the times the data quality is poor, the information processes are isolated, systems and functionality are not designed for building an intelligent organisation and laws prohibit intergovernmental collaboration. The global trend is the availability of information anywhere and anytime. From ancient history police is using and depending on information to turn into beneficial intelligence and knowledge. What happens to the intelligence function in the global information era? In what way must the organizing principles be reset to keep a sustainable business? Can the police take the risk of having no strategic intelligence at all? How does it question the current models of unreality. Senior management must make decisions about tomorrow, today!
Policing in digital society Over the past decades police organisations in general have evolved from a semi military organisation servicing administrative and juridical tasks to a more society-oriented organisation, in which people in the cities, suburbs, quarters and communities where the main focus for police work. Late 20th century, the police developed itself as co-creator of social security. Police action alone can never free neighbourhoods from crime and violence. Nor by itself can it reduce fear. Only when law enforcement is viewed as an integral part of a fully accountable government structure, it will we be able to systematically create strong communities resistant to disorder and crime. Can the use of technology and the availability of information support these goals?
Modern Police organisation Managing relationships and leveraging information in new ways can be seen as important trends of modern time caused by the development of the Internet. Both are meaningful in societal security because open and transparent relationships, communities, the exchange of information contributes a lot to security. Police organisation though are build upon past beliefs, hierarchies, command and control principles and are ‘closed unless’ instead of ‘open until’. The light speed of societal - and technological changes create a hugh stepping stone for any organisation. Policing in the future must be community based, intelligence led and supported by cutting edge technology. The grand question though is how to benefit from this available technology.
In security we trust In many terms, but also in terms of security the Internet can be compared with a normal ‘in real life’ city. In cities there are slums, there are rich neighbourhoods, libraries, museums, art galleries, restaurants, normal buildings, places for entertainment and shops. There are also places that you don’t want to go: dark allies, dangerous suburbs and isolated streets and locations. Society is now breaking down barriers and the Internet supports this process of liberalisation. This took decades of discussions, debates or decision-making and results in a continuously increased open society. Society opens up but police organisations seem to fall behind. Slowed down by carrying the burden of a closed culture and many privacy - and information security laws prohibiting cultivating an open communicative organisation.
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