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Three questions with Sir George Hamilton 

David Bratton  | 12 October 2022  |  3 minute read

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Recently, Mark43 created a new Board of Advisors made up of leading voices in the field of law enforcement and  information technology. We sat down with each of them and asked them three questions about their new roles with us. Next up: Sir George Hamilton.

Sir George Hamilton, QPM was the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland from 2014 to 2019. Previously, he served as assistant chief constable of the service with responsibility for Local Policing and Service Improvement. He retired from policing in June 2019 after 34 years having served in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland. Since stepping down as Chief Constable, Sir George has also been appointed to a number of commercial and charitable boards and provides strategic advice to organizations and governments in various countries. He was knighted in 2019 by the late Queen Elizabeth for service to policing and communities. 

What do you see as some of the most urgent issues at the intersection of public safety and technology? I see public safety as the outcome and technology as the enabler. Technology is the facilitator to help achieve the outcome of improved public safety. It enables better, more accessible use of data. Public safety organizations have large amounts of data they don’t always exploit because of the volume and the lack of analytical ability to process the data. Better use of data is important for 3 reasons:  

  1. Effective use of data provides transparency to the community. Increased transparency builds legitimacy and trust by answering questions, and the ‘demything’ of things. Data bridges the gap between what the public is interested in and what is in the public interest. There are things that can be done around the use of portals and public interfaces to enhance information exchange between the citizen and the police. If the technology is agile enough you can create, as Mark43 has done, valuable information sharing and utilize  data that the police hold to build confidence and trust in policing.
  1. Data enables officers and staff to do their job easier and better when technology does the work of managing and categorizing the data This includes flagging victims for referral to appropriate partner agencies, or ensuring that information that protects and safeguards people is actually captured, appropriately shared and acted upon. This is really important as policing globally faces challenges of increasing and changing demand and is stretched into areas such as responding to people with mental health issues and many other forms of vulnerability. 
  1. New technology enables faster and more reliable reporting of data to accountability and oversight entities. In the U.S. that can be  mayors and elected officials, in the U.K. and Northern Ireland it is oversight bodies such as police and crime commissioners or policing boards. The provision of timely and well-organized information enables more effective scrutiny, accountability and assurance. It is critical to  promote confidence and legitimacy around policing.   

Technology is the facilitator to help achieve the outcome of improved public safety. It enables better, more accessible use of data. 

Why did you decide to join the Mark43 Advisory Board? What sets Mark43 apart from other public safety technology partners? I was first introduced to Mark43 during my tenure as Chief Constable in Northern Ireland. Hard working officers and staff were expressing frustration about the technology available  as it was several generations behind the technology they were using in every other aspect of their lives outside of the workplace. I was struck by Mark43’s ability to make this technology easier for the end user and to exploit all of the agility that cloud-native technology brings. There was also ongoing customer care and responsiveness to changes and developments in requirements. I was also attracted to the culture of Mark43. There was this real passion for public safety that the founders and the board were completely committed to. It is an organization I am happy to be associated with because it has a public safety and a public service ethos at its heart.  

Why do you think people decide to join the public safety profession in the first place? People choosing a career in public safety are not primarily motivated by the financials, because it is a public service. One of the reasons I’m excited by the Mark43 technology is that it allows well-motivated people to do their job easier and better, and that is the least that leaders should be doing to encourage and retain a well trained and highly motivated workforce. By making sure they are properly equipped with the right tools, we can empower them to fulfill that personal and organizational mission of public service. 

Mark43 works in partnership with more than 120 public safety agencies across the globe, providing them with new technologies that enable officers to spend more time in the field with the community. Interested in learning more? Fill out this form to receive a personalized demo.

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