Merseyside to pilot biometric bail system

Merseyside Police is developing a new biometric bail system to replace its current paper-based process.

May 20, 2015
By Paul Jacques

Merseyside Police is developing a new biometric bail system to replace its current paper-based process.

The project was awarded £269,512 from the Home Office Police Innovation Fund in a joint bid with HM Courts and Tribunals Service and will use biometric technology and a digital records system to create a paperless bail system in police stations. If successful, it could be extended to other areas, such as the monitoring of registered sex offenders and those subject to football banning orders.

Instead of attending a police station to sign a register in person, suspects will be able to answer bail using their thumbprints, which will be registered when their bail is imposed. They can then register their attendance in a digital kiosk at a time and location designated by their bail conditions.

A photograph will also be taken to record any change of appearance.

The force says the current system is too resource-intensive and difficult to vet adequately.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Pilling said the rollout of the paperless bail system would not only allow them to save money and strengthen the partnerships with partner agencies, but also ensure they keep communities safe and feeling safe.

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