Independent advisory group on emerging technologies in policing: purpose and remit

Purpose and remit of the independent advisory group on emerging technologies in policing.


To report to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice on whether the current legal or ethical frameworks need to be updated in order to ensure Police Scotland’s use of emerging technologies in relation to operational policing is compatible with human rights and other applicable legislation and best practice; and to provide specific recommendations or concrete products (such as a code of practice) to address any identified issues. 


  • to consider what potential impact emerging technologies or analytical techniques -either currently available or in development, but not presently deployed - could have on Police Scotland’s detection and prevention of crime, and whether there may be associated impacts on an individual’s human rights 
  • to draw on a wide range of evidence from Scotland and other jurisdictions in order to ensure that, as far as possible, the recommendations are forward and outward looking and future proofed
  • to determine whether the current legislative framework used by Police Scotland to exercise their powers is sufficiently robust to allow for the proportionate and justifiable deployment of such technologies or techniques. The group will consider this within the context of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 which focuses on public safety and wellbeing as well as the prevention of crime
  • to determine whether the range of ethical frameworks used by Police Scotland and other policing and public sector bodies are sufficiently robust to allow for the proportionate and justifiable deployment of such technologies or techniques
  • to explore whether there is suitable institutional oversight functions to oversee the introduction of new technologies and consider in what circumstances policing bodies should seek to bring in independent bodies regarding the use of new technology
  • to ensure that the Group’s focus, and any associated recommendations, take cognisance of the existing and planned landscape of advisory and regulatory bodies, including but not limited to the Investigatory Powers Commission and the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group
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