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Police forces are switching away from traditional interview recording methods in favour of more streamlined Digital Interview Recording (DIR), which can be centrally managed and used more efficiently as cases progress. Other organisations, as well as police forces, may also benefit from the same new approach.
Reliance has worked successfully with forces including Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Staffordshire and others, to roll-out the new generation of DIR technology. This is improving the way that PACE-compliant interviewing is handled and evidence processed, for example making it much easier for CPS lawyers and relevant agencies to access interviews. It’s a software-based approach that ensures that interview recording is managed correctly. Very little training is required to use it and the recorded evidence is stored centrally on a secure server.
The advantage of Reliance’s DIR solution over previous methods is that it offers consistency, with a common-sense user interface that’s easy for those conducting interviews to use correctly. The new DIR interviewing technology is not just relevant to police forces; other organisations, including the Information Commissioners Office and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, have also begun using it. In fact any organisation that needs to ability to conduct interviews with potential suspects or witnesses may benefit from the new technology.
Reliance has established a track record of successful projects in the sector thanks to its capability as a provider of both security systems and IT based solutions. At the heart of the solution is a streaming server which acts as the central hub into which all interviews are directed. These recordings come from fixed and portable equipment and will cover a wide variety of interview types including PACE, ABE and Voluntary Attendance.
Critically, the solutions facilitate a fundamental change to the existing Criminal Justice process – CPS lawyers and other relevant agencies are able to access specific interviews over a secure web-based portal, saving thousands of hours per annum in costly administration. It’s important for suppliers to understand not just the technology but the criminal justice requirements governing this type of system and the complexities of working with multiple agencies.
Whether it be suspect, witness or child protection interviews we have a thorough knowledge of what organisations need to achieve and the constraints that they are operating under. It’s a well proven process from pilot phase to full roll-out. And once a force has switched over to the new system it has the benefits of greater adaptability. It is better placed to meet changing requirements in the future because everything can be controlled centrally.