Independent Advisory Group on Emerging Technologies in Policing minutes: August 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 24 August 2022.

Attendees and apologies

In person

  • Professor Elizabeth Aston – Edinburgh Napier University (Chair) 
  • Professor Burkhard Schafer – Edinburgh University 
  • Craig Naylor– HMICS 
  • Diego Quiroz - Scottish Biometrics Commissioner 
  • Scott Ross – SPA (representing Barry Sillers) 


  • Professor Angela Daly - Dundee University 
  • Georgie Henley - techUK 
  • Andrew Hendry – Police Scotland 
  • Jenny Brotchie - ICO 
  • Stephen Ferguson – COPFS 
  • Bill Stevenson – Equality and Human Rights Commission 
  • Professor Bill Buchanan – Edinburgh Napier University  
  • Andrew Alexander – Law Society of Scotland (representing Ken Dalling) 

Scottish Government Secretariat (SG) 

  • Ryan Paterson (VQ) 
  • Elaine Hamilton 
  • Louise Robertson 

Items and actions

Welcome from the Chair  

Liz Aston (LA) welcomed those in the room and online to the meeting. It was noted that Craig Naylor (CN) will be taking over from Elaine Galbraith on behalf of HMICS and Diego Quiroz (DQ) has re-joined the group on behalf of the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner (SBC). The minutes from the 21 June 2022 are now published online.  

Recommendations discussion  

The Chair has reordered the recommendations to the order that will be used in the final report. The structure is as follows - 

  • executive summary  
  • background  
  • research evidence  
  • legal frameworks  
  • ethical implications and best practice consultation  
  • consultation and public engagement 
  • technological innovation and scientific standards  
  • oversight, scrutiny and review 

The Chair suggested that the document that has been circulated could be sent back with tracked changes with any comments. The group then discussed each section above and how the Worksteam recommendations/conclusions could assist in the final report being written by the Chair.  

The following action points were noted - 

  • Borchard Schafer (BS) will share new AI Act tech comparison with the Chair  
  • Chair encouraged all members to look at the workstream recommendation summary document and suggest where recommendations are already being progressed. (e.g. green book) and suggest where things could go further
  • Chair will look at the first six recommendations with a view to streamlining as there is some overlap. Some mention of existing practices should also be included 
  • Chair asked if DQ could provide information on the point about datasets and Ryan Paterson (RP) will contact research team to clarify 
  • LA asked if colleagues could provide detailed comments on the document within the next seven days, by 2 September 2022. There is no need to duplicate comments that have already been supplied
  • Angela Daly (AD) would appreciate input from DQ to discuss certain recommendations further  
  • BS will submit further comments on unacceptable technology risks 
  • LA suggested that once all comments have been received all who wish to (from workstream 1 and the whole advisory group) could attend a further meeting to particularly discuss any controversial issues. Can AD/(RP) be copied in to facilitate this  
  • Jenny Brotchie (JB) noted that there should be links to the Data Protection Impact Assessment. Chair will action this
  • Chair and workstream lead will merge and clarify the areas that relate to workstream 1 
  • once any further feedback has been received. Chair and Scott Ross can then have a discussion around this, possibly involving other bodies such as His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland and SBC 

Timescales towards completion and review     

Chair clarified there is an action for everyone to share their detailed comments on the recommendations. There was agreement that recommendations should be included in each chapter with a shortened version added to the executive summary and full recommendations chapter. CN noted that it may be worth separating out long term strategic recommendations from short term issues which are more concerned with good practice. Chair will discuss this further with CN.

Chair noted timescales. Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans received the interim report on 24 June 2022 and he has accepted the November deadline.

There will be a virtual meeting of the group on 27 September 2022. There will also be an in person meeting on the 27 October 2022. Chair proposes that she will share an early partial draft in advance of the 27 September 2022. Then a final version would be shared in advance of the 27 October 2022 meeting. This will be in the region of fifty to eighty pages. It was agreed that Chair would supply the final version of the report two weeks in advance of the 27 October 2022 to allow members to read and comment in advance of the meeting. The final changes to the final report would be made between the 1st and 4th of November. Then allowing a week for final approval of the report before the report was taken forward to publication.  

Action point: All members to book out time in their diaries in advance of the 27 October 2022 meeting to review the final report and then again week beginning 7 November 2022 to consider the final version for publication. RP will check publication timelines with APS Group.

Chair thanked attendees and closed the meeting.

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