A digital technology pilot put in place in three counties, enabling police officers to use laptops and PDAs to take witness statements and other notes and send them back to the station – as opposed to writing them down and going back to the station to record them – saves approximately 780 hours of police time, the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), has said.
The agency’s three-month Digital Evidence Pilot was run in Hampshire, Surrey and Avon & Somerset and it was found that officers could save 15 minutes for every statement they recorded and the time taken to send the data back to the station was less than a minute. It can also be used for interviews and warrant applications.
For other police forces that want to use this technology, the NPIA has published standards approved by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service.
According to Andrew Goodman, NPIA head of Isis: “The pilot has proved that there are significant benefits to be gained for frontline officers. Enabling them to type police notes and witness statements without having to return to the police station, makes the whole process more efficient and cost effective at the touch of a button.”
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