Welsh police to develop mobile app for witness statements

Two Welsh police forces are to develop a mobile application that will allow officers to record and send witness statements while on the beat

Two Welsh police forces are to develop a mobile application that will allow officers to record and send witness statements to a shared system while on the beat.

The app will work on mobile and tablet devices and will enable officers to record audio and visual statements without having to return to base. 

According to the BBC, the Gwent and South Wales police app will cost £837,000 and will be funded by the Home Office through a police innovation fund. Four other Welsh police forces have together received £1.2m from the fund.

The shared system will enable the two forces to share information, as well as allowing the public to monitor the progress of criminal reports and anti-social behaviour incidents.

The police innovation fund is paying out £50m in grants to forces across the UK. To qualify for a grant, forces had to demonstrate projects that could transform policing through innovation and collaboration.

Other police proposals

  • A joint bid for £431,000 by Nottinghamshire and Lancashire Police to reduce the processing time for a DNA profile from four or five days to two hours.
  • Eight forces – Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire, the Met, Hampshire, Durham, City of London, Merseyside and North Wales – will share more than £4m to spend on body-worn camera technology.
  • The Metropolitan Police successfully bid for £113,000 to help develop a new spray that will be able to quickly identify body fluids at crime scenes.

Forces have been awarded grants for new approaches to tackle anti-social behaviour and rural crime; a project to help young runaways; and work to improve the way the police interact with people with mental health problems.

North Wales and Dyfed-Powys forces were recently awarded grants of £44,538 and £95,500, respectively.

North Wales plans to spend its grant on body-mounted video cameras, while Dyfed-Powys will fund an information exchange system.

Other schemes include investment in forensic techniques and joint working between the police and the fire service.

Before this grant scheme, in November 2013, the government announced £20m of funding for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), which have submitted proposals to improve policing by collaborating or investing in digital technologies.

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