INCREASING the use of technology in policing is something Dyfed Powys Police is exploring, the force’s Commissioner has confirmed.

Dafydd Llywelyn told members of the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel at its meeting in Ceredigion this week, that he was looking closely at the work of other forces around the UK.

Mr Llywelyn, who sits on the National Digital Policing Board, said he is in the fortunate position of watching the development of technology that he introduced in his former role as the force’s principal crime and intelligence analyst – before he was elected as Commissioner in 2016 – and hopes that the use of technology will develop to aid effective policing.

He was responding to a question from panel member Cllr Keith Evans, who wanted reassurance that the force is closely assessing the risks involved in using technology, such as facial recognition equipment.

“We don’t use facial recognition in Dyfed Powys at the moment, but that’s not to say that we won’t explore that in the future,” said Mr Llywelyn. “Technology is increasingly being used by police forces – it includes body worn cameras, CCTV, and mobile data terminals that the police have. We are learning from advancements.”

He added: “There’s a test case involving South Wales Police at the moment, and it’s about balancing effective policing with the right to a private life. I think there should be a caveat in terms of the risk – in Dyfed Powys there is an independent assessment of procedures and we’ve had a clean bill of health every year.”

Cllr Keith Evans responded to his comments, saying: “What’s important to us is that this work is considered carefully. Technology will feature more prominently in the work of the police and it’s about striking the right balance.”

The Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel is made up of representatives from the four counties of the force area.

It is the Panel’s duty to hold Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn to account.

The Panel meets at least four times a year, and can put questions to the Commissioner on behalf of members of the public.

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