GMP to digitise interview recordings

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has agreed a £3 million managed service contract for digital interview recording.

May 30, 2013
By Paul Jacques

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has agreed a £3 million managed service contract for digital interview recording.

The five-year deal will help reduce the large quantity of physical tape recordings built up by the force and will result in considerable cost and efficiency savings.

The agreement with IT-enabled business services provider Steria forms part of a wider framework, potentially worth up to £13 million, from which forces around the country can buy directly.

GMP says the contract will transform the way that interviews are processed.

Historically, forces have used compact cassettes to record interviews. GMP has around one million tape recordings currently in storage. These recordings require constant management and administration, draining valuable resources which could be better utilised elsewhere.

Under the new agreement, GMP will have equipment installed in custody, voluntary attendance and witness interview rooms, enabling the digital recording of all evidence provided by witnesses and suspects. Portable and handheld recorders will also be provided to support the recording of statements outside of GMP premises.

The digital recordings will be stored in a central repository, allowing officers to access content from wherever they are based in the region. This will significantly reduce time wasted by officers who currently have to travel to hear recordings taken elsewhere.

Legal representatives and other authorised parties will also have access to recordings via a secure portal, reducing costs further by removing the need to issue interviews on physical media.

GMP Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle said the agreement will ensure officers can continue to follow best practice in gathering evidence through interviews.

“The agreement will remove our dependence on obsolete tape technology and provide us with higher quality, more reliable interview recording technology, adhering to Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and Achieving Best Evidence guidance,” said Chief Supt Doyle. “This will maintain and improve the quality of evidence provided to courts while costs are saved through the replacement of physical media.”

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