Police Scotland to invest millions in drones and cyber hubs

Police are to buy new drones and invest in cyber hubs as part of an investment in technology.

Police Scotland are to invest in drones and cyber hubs. Picture: John Devlin
Police Scotland are to invest in drones and cyber hubs. Picture: John Devlin

The unmanned aerial vehicles will be used as alternatives to the force helicopter in rural and remote areas, mainly in the search for missing people.

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Extra cyber hubs will be set up where specialist teams will help tackle rising demand for digital and cyber-related crime investigations and work on prevention.

The £3.6 million investment in cyber-hubs will mean that facilities will be set up in the north and west of the country to add to an existing hub in Edinburgh.

As data from mobile devices becomes increasingly valuable in investigations, around 40 cyber kiosks will be set up across Scotland where local officers can assess whether mobile devices need further specialist forensic analysis.

The moves are part of a three-year implementation plan for the Policing 2026: Serving a Changing Scotland strategy.

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.

“Since we consulted on this strategy earlier in the year, we’ve been working hard to pull a broad range of projects together so we can prioritise the work we need to do.

“This three year plan sets out what those priorities are and how we will go about the first stages of the 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.”

Other elements of the plan include piloting a range of mobile devices for operational use, enabling officers to access core systems and applications away from base, and a public consultation on the use of body worn video.

The plan will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority at its meeting on December 19.