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Police facing ‘complex’ new pressures

York Regional Police (YRP) continues to explore and implement sophisticated new approaches to policing, including the use of facial recognition technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven policing, as the volume and severity of crime grows.

Hate crime, car theft, human trafficking, drug trafficking, digital fraud and arms dealing are among the crimes adding to “complexities” YRP is facing as York’s population continues to grow, the Region reports.

According to YRP’s Future of Policing report by Chief Jim MacSween, property crime now makes up 59 per cent of crime in York Region and hate crimes across the country have more than doubled in the past decade. But the complexity of crime is having the biggest impact on policing and skills that previously didn’t exist are needed.

AI will have the largest impact on policing and legal professions in the next five years, YRP says. Benefits of AI include automation of reports, predictive modelling, data-informed decision making, real-time crime mapping and gunshot detection. YRP will pilot the first use case of facial recognition this year but says traditional approaches to policing remain critical, according to the report.

YRP estimates it will need more than 300 additional civilian and uniformed staff between 2025 and 2026, a request that will be formally tabled and considered as part of the 2025 budget process in October.

 

Photo: According to YRP’s Future of Policing report by Chief Jim MacSween, property crime now makes up 59 per cent of crime in York Region.

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