Thames Valley Police has delved into their archives to show the advancements in police technology since the time before computers and radios were in use. 

As the force continues preparations for the upcoming global Artificial Intelligence (AI) summit at Bletchley Park, it has released a number of images to show police advancements.

The AI Summit is taking place at Bletchley Park, acknowledging its position at the forefront of growth in computing through its code breaking during World War II. 

Advancement in technology helps police help identify criminals across the globe, detect and respond to criminal activity and help in crime prevention through such technology as Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR), CCTV and digital forensics. 

Before police radios, which can help identify the closest officer to an incident, communication relied heavily on face-to-face interaction, and telephone and police boxes.

Policing was often conducted by beat officers who walked specific routes, known as beats, through their assigned neighbourhoods.  

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Police boxes and pillars were fitted with white beacons on top of them, which developing technology enabled them to be switched on from the police station to alert the patrolling police officers they were required and would phone the station from the box.

In the 1950s and 1960s, radios were steadily introduced, but initially, only certain vehicles had radios fitted.

General use of radios in vehicles started around 1952, and as policing evolved, more radios were fitted to vehicles. 

In the late 20th century into the 21st century, the provision of radios improved massively, and officers are now all deployed with personal radios.

There have been many innovations which has brought policing into the 21st century, one of these being the use of Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR).

ANPR cameras are not only installed in public places around the Thames Valley and across the United Kingdom, but also in many of our marked and unmarked police cars. 

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This allows officers patrolling in vehicles to know in an instant if there is intelligence on a vehicle that may have been used in crime, being driven uninsured or have any other warning flag.

These cameras are linked to the police national database, and if there is an information marker on a vehicle, this immediately flags to officers, and they can be stopped anywhere in the country. 

Before the advent of ANPR, in the 1960s, this was done manually by police officers via ‘vehicles seen at night’ forms.

Patrolling police officers were expected to record details of vehicles seen either in suspicious circumstances or in isolated locations and these forms were handed in at the end of a shift. 

All officers are now supplied with Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras, which can capture interactions between police and the public.

BWV is a crucial tool in the capturing of evidence, particularly first witness accounts of incidents. 

Along with the advent of a wide network of CCTV across the country, investigations rely heavily on this technology, and there are very few areas that are not covered. 

Other technological advancements include digital forensics, which is a new and evolving branch of forensic science that focuses on identifying, acquiring, processing, analysing and reporting on data stored electronically. 

It helps officers investigate cases of cybercrime, fraud, data breaches and online offending behaviour. 

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: "As technological advances continue, who knows what the future will hold for policing. It will certainly continue to evolve as police seek to win the battle against the criminals. 

"Certainly, the officers that pounded the beat in the pre-computer and radio days of the 1950s would surely never have been able to imagine how policing has evolved. 

"Likewise, officers and staff who work for Thames Valley Police right now can expect the continued technological advances to change the face of policing in the years to come."