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School of Mathematics

School of Mathematics

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Knowledge Exchange and Industry Seminar with Police Scotland

The School’s Knowledge Exchange and Industry Seminars are a new initiative to explore the intersection between mathematics and its uses within industry in greater depth. 

Our latest seminar took place in May, bringing together academics, students and experts from Police Scotland to exchange ideas and explore potential avenues for collaboration. 

Police Scotland presented several case studies that showcased how mathematics could be applied in various policing scenarios. One case study focused on the use of mathematical modelling and algorithms to predict crime hotspots and allocate police resources efficiently. This approach not only improves response times but also aids in proactive policing strategies to prevent crime. The seminar facilitated fruitful discussions between academics and Police Scotland representatives, discussing potential research collaborations, joint projects, and the sharing of data and expertise.  

One key outcome from this seminar is the founding of a Seed Impact Acceleration Account project. The project will start on August 1st with the main objective of developing a strong and long-term partnership between Police Scotland and the Operational Research research group in the School. As a first step towards this goal, by utilising the data on past incidents, the team aims to develop an optimal data-driven resourcing system for Police Scotland by interfacing a comprehensive simulation model with an optimization model. 

Longer-term, it is hoped that the applications of mathematics will improve and optimise decision making for a more effective and efficient strategy for Police Scotland. 

Harry Schone, Data Science Coordinator in the Chief Data Office for Police Scotland said:

Policing is full of optimisation problems, given the tension between our limited resources and the large number of potential allocations of that supply. Being able to present an issue that we have been iteratively grappling with for some time – optimal officer allocation in rural areas – to a group of experts, was extremely valuable. We were able to break the problem down into relevant variables, understand some of the co-dependencies, and work through the data required to solve our issue. Now that funding has been secured for this project, we look forward to learning more and collaborating closely to improve the service we are able to offer the public.

It is exciting to see the seminars serve as a catalyst for knowledge exchange between academia and industry, and we look forward to developing more seminars in the next academic year. 

If you are interested in participating in a Knowledge Exchange and Industry Seminar, please contact Maria Tovar Gallardo at 



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