Home Secretary sees latest innovations aimed at keeping officers safe

Cutting-edge technology designed to offer better protection to police officers has been been showcased to the Home Secretary during a visit to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in Salisbury.

Aug 5, 2020
By Tony Thompson

Priti Patel was given access to a range of innovative projects currently underway, including female body armour designs, upgrades to police vehicles, virtual training concepts, knife crime detection and corrosive substance detection to help prevent chemical attacks.

She also heard how Dstl forensic scientists provided evidence that has helped with 152 terrorism convictions between 2016 and 2019.

Gary Aitkenhead, Dstl’s chief executive, said: “It has been a great opportunity to show The Home Secretary the science that’s already saving lives of both those serving in our police forces as well as UK civilians.

“We have gained a real insight into the many challenges the Home Office and its policing and security are facing. The exciting part is that many of the programmes we are already working on as part of defence can help address these challenges, particularly around improving current uniforms and protection for police officers.

“Dstl is about the future and we are proud to share the incredible research currently being undertaken by our scientists.”

Ms Patel said: “This Government is committed to giving police the resources they need and empowering them to use technologies to fight crime and keep the public safe. I am exceptionally impressed to see how Dstl is contributing to this priority through science and technology, which is directly benefiting crime reduction and providing better protection for our dedicated police officers.

“This research and development is absolutely crucial to keeping our country and citizens safe and it is exciting to see the work come to fruition. The Government is committed to empowering the police to use new technologies like biometrics, to protect the public and link in how Dstl are contributing to that.”

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