The Asia-Pacific region will see the largest growth in smart city initiatives over the next 10 years and public safety technologies are central to this development, according to wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS).

The company revealed the results of a public safety survey conducted in May 2015, which found that making municipalities safer for people to live and work in is the primary concern of those involved in smart city planning.

Forty-four per cent of those surveyed mentioned that they expect their countries to invest more than $US100 million in public safety initiatives over the next two years. Of those investments, 24 per cent are expected to be allocated toward surveillance technology, with 19 per cent earmarked for Big Data analytics, and another 19 per cent for mobile and network technology.

Public and community safety ranked as respondents' top priority, followed by transportation and urban infrastructure, and the advancement of Internet or IT capabilities.

In addition, crime investigation, transportation and traffic services, and cyber security were the top three public safety issues that respondents felt their countries had struggled with. A lack of alignment between government agencies was selected as the top factor that was holding back the implementation of public safety projects. Hitachi Data Systems Asia-Pacific social innovation business unit senior director, Tony Field, said the survey results highlight that many Asia-Pacific countries are looking to implement technology solutions that can have a meaningful, measurable impact on public safety.

"While a willingness to invest in such solutions is apparent among respondents, the main barrier appears to be a failure to adopt an aligned and integrated approach to safety initiatives, which would allow cities to create a single holistic view of crime in their cities," he added.

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