Lancashire Constabulary launches Alexa skill
New voice-activated app will provide community updates and circulate missing and wanted persons information
Credit: Lancashire Constabulary
Lancashire Constabulary has developed an Amazon Alexa skill to deliver hourly updates to citizens across the county.
The skill, which is available for free from the Amazon store, provides regular briefings about what is happening in users’ neighbourhoods, which is then transmitted via the Alexa smart speaker. The skill can also send to users’ smartphones and tablets pictures of missing persons and people wanted in connection with an offence.
The constabulary claims to be the first police force in the UK to use smart-speaker technology to engage with citizens. The idea of creating an Alexa skill was thought up by the force’s innovations manager PC Rob Flanagan, who worked with Amazon developers to bring the concept to life.
- Do Aylesbury Vale and Alexa have the ‘skill’ for better services?
- ‘Alexa, what is the GDP?’ How the ONS is planning for a technological future
- Car tax, Alexa, and Elf - DVLA boss Oliver Morley reflects on 2017
“As a police force, we are always looking at ways to engage with our communities. Alexa works alongside traditional policing methods to inform the public about the important issues in their neighbourhoods,” he said.
Flanagan added: “We want to be at the forefront of this new technology to make it easier for the public to access the information they want to know.”
Alongside the rollout of new technology, the constabulary is also investing in its traditional policing capabilities, and plans to add about 200 new front-line officers over the course of the 2018/19 year.
“As the technology takes off, we will look at different ways we can use Alexa to support our policing priorities,” Flanagan added. “It is still very much in its infancy, but we are looking forward to exploring the ways in which we can use this technology in the communities we serve.”
Government officials reported to have suggested that those applying for the right to remain in the UK could simply borrow a friend’s Android device
As an ever-greater volume of increasingly sophisticated devices watch us all, PublicTechnology talks to regulator Tony Porter about his office’s role in ensuring surveillance is always...
Cybersecurity agency issues report looking forward to coming dangers and back at year in which DDoS and ransomware hogged the headlines
Theresa May uses speech in Macclesfield to announce plans to work with technology sector and NHS to improve diagnoses
BT argues that the digital age requires a certain level of trust in technology. But how can we establish this and still make the most of digital transformation?
BT's Mike Pannell argues that organisations should get rid of data they no longer need
BT's Mike Pannell on why any organisation that holds personal data should have a compliance strategy in place
Sean Luke, BT's CIO for the Universities Sector, on the strange parallels between GDPR readiness and grief