Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly being adopted by industry, government organisations, and the wider public, as society continues to recognise and leverage its transformative potential. However, it is by now well established that the use of AI also carries several risks, particularly in the absence of appropriate checks and balances surrounding its adoption and use.

Ethical use of AI by police

The need for industry and government to use AI ethically and responsibly is increasingly being emphasised, and discussions around what constitutes appropriate use is part of a growing public discourse. As rapid developments in AI continue to far outpace current legislation and regulation, a set of guiding principles can help to navigate some of the complexities and concerns that surround police’s safe, ethical and reliable use of AI. On behalf of Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand, ANZPAA has officially launched the Australia New Zealand Police Artificial Intelligence Principles (The Principles).

The Principles guide the ethical and responsible use of AI by Australian and New Zealand Police and promote cross-jurisdictional consistency. They have been developed in recognition of both the opportunities and challenges that AI presents for policing in collaboration with jurisdictional subject matter experts in AI and emergent technology from across Australia and New Zealand. They align to good practice and reflect key themes drawn from local and international examples relating to the use of AI for law enforcement.

Nine AI Principles for policing

9 principles

The Principles are key to building greater public trust and confidence and signify a commitment to community safety and harm minimisation through the adoption and deployment of the best available tools. Through their commitment to the Principles, police organisations promote accountability and transparency regarding the use of AI and enhance community awareness and understanding of these efforts.

Responsibility & accountability

ANZPAA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tracey Green said, “AI provides the ability for police and governments to leverage technology to enhance administrative processes, optimise resource allocation and improve service delivery. However, navigating this complex and emerging environment requires careful consideration which the AI Principles help to address.” “While AI can serve as a valuable tool, it should not entirely replace human judgment and oversight. It is crucial to establish mechanisms for human intervention, particularly in high-stakes situations, to maintain responsibility and accountability. Balancing the benefits of AI adoption with the expectations of the community remains a critical challenge for police,” said Dr Green.

ANZPAA will review the AI Principles on an ongoing basis to ensure they keep pace with rapid developments in the technological and social landscape. This supports police’s commitment to using AI ethically and responsibly as capabilities and regulation continue to evolve. Through their commitment to the Principles, Police Commissioners across Australia and New Zealand are united in their pursuit of a responsible approach to AI innovation.

Download Available

The AI Principles are intended for police in Australia and New Zealand and can be accessed below.

Members only access

All Australia and New Zealand police members/employees are entitled to access this publication through ANZPAA's secure member site. You must provide your official police jurisdictional email address to subscribe.