Lancashire cuts crime with WinScribe

Lancashire is expecting to keep more of its officers on the front line now that is has adopted WinScribe – a digital dictation system that enables officers to cut the time they spend on paperwork. According to the Home Office, 41 per cent officers’ time is spent preparing files and paper work.

Sep 7, 2006
By David Howell
NFRN national president Narinder Randhawa

Lancashire is expecting to keep more of its officers on the front line now that is has adopted WinScribe – a digital dictation system that enables officers to cut the time they spend on paperwork. According to the Home Office, 41 per cent officers’ time is spent preparing files and paper work.

Officers at Lancashire can now remotely access the digital dictation system at headquarters, dispensing with the need to return to the station to file and fax crime reports.

WinScribe Voice Forms was implemented as part of a review into crime reporting procedures. Lancashire identified that faxing handwritten forms to crime input clerks was leading to inefficiencies in the audit trail and required two members of staff just to track incoming faxes.

In order to make the process more efficient and auditable, Lancashire looked at a number of companies. WinScribe came out on top due to the flexible nature of the solution and the ability to easily track work and better allocate resources.

Richard Allan, police national computer and crime recording manager at Lancashire said: “Before implementing Voice Forms we had staff working round the clock, transcribing reports and managing the influx of faxes. Using the new tool, up to 30 officers can dictate into the system concurrently with 15 staff transcribing at any one time.”

A police officer can now dial into the Voice Forms system, enter a number that corresponds with the crime type and answer a series of prompted questions, of which there are 30 in total. The report is then stored in a typing queue for digital transcription by the first available operator – making entry of data into Lancashire’s new crime recording database faster and more efficient.

“To improve operator resource allocation, we can view at the touch of a button how many reports we have on the system and what stage they are at, allowing us to even out workloads,” added Allen.

“Working with WinScribe we have been able to reduce the amount of forms officers need to complete enabling them to spend more time on the beat.”

Due to the success of the system, Lancashire Constabulary anticipates rolling it out into other areas of the force including the Police National Computer and other intelligence areas.

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