NPCC appoints first-ever lead for AI

The first-ever policing lead for artificial intelligence (AI) has been appointed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Mar 28, 2024
By Paul Jacques
T/Chief Constable Alex Murray

T/Chief Constable Alex Murray, who also leads West Mercia Police, took up the ground-breaking role in early March and believes AI will make policing more efficient.

“AI is here, and it is developing fast,” he said.

“The police is at the forefront of protecting communities by bringing justice and preventing crime in the first place. Our remit is huge, from tackling online child abuse, organised crime through to preventing burglary and reassuring the public. In all these areas AI can make us more effective – it can be a tool for good.

“In addition, it can allow policing, which is ultimately paid for by the public, to be more efficient and productive.”

Mr Murray added: “I understand there are many fears and misconceptions around AI and my role is to make sure policing, our partners and our communities are well informed and kept up to date about the systems and digital technologies we are investing in.

“Trust and confidence are central to successful policing so it’s important we are open and transparent about what we are piloting and testing and as well as being honest about how AI works.  Policing has a covenant for the use of AI that places transparency and fairness at the heart of AI development.

“We will continue to work closely with partners, including the Office of the Police Chief Scientific Adviser, and take advice from academia, industry and remain receptive and open to criticism.

“Policing is in a challenging period and AI presents opportunities for forces to test new ideas, be creative and seek innovative solutions to help boost productivity and be more effective in tackling crime.

“The police can choose to ignore developments and be left behind or embrace innovation and better protect the public. UK Policing is choosing to lead in this area.”

During his long-running career in the West Midlands, London and West Mercia, Mr Murray has developed initiatives to tackle violent crime, and worked in neighbourhood policing as well as counter terrorism.

He has always been an advocate for data-driven policing and evidence-based practice and wants to ensure the benefits of AI are maximised, while ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place.

Related News

Select Vacancies

Constables on Promotion to Sergeant

Greater Manchester Police

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional