Pen and paper go digital

Dorset Police is currently evaluating a new digital pen which can deliver scene of
crime reports to headquarters with 45 seconds of the report being completed.

Aug 11, 2005
By David Howell

Dorset Police is currently evaluating a new digital pen which can deliver scene of

crime reports to headquarters with 45 seconds of the report being completed.

The pen is able to complete forms in the normal way, but also convert each stroke of the pen into computer readable code that can then be easily transmitted. In the Dorset trial, reports could be delivered to headquarters in under a minute of the report being completed.

A joint research and evaluation exercise is currently taking place between the force and technology company Magicomm. The trial is to test the effectiveness of their digital pen technology in reducing form completion time and allowing the capture and transmission of crime scene reports. The pen technology is also being tested with stop and search reports and MG11 forms as well as surveillance logs.

The pilot study has highlighted several significant gains with the digital pen system including a reduction of 40 minutes per CSI per shift. Information that is gathered at the scene can be available to any officer within minutes rather than days. Each report is stored on a server and can be retrieved within seconds and is an exact copy of the original. Errors have also been reduced with the system as the reports themselves come directly from the crime scene itself.

The Police Standards Unit that led the scheme is now supporting the extension of Dorset Police’s pilot to cover all its crime scene investigators as well as to South Wales Police who will be using the pens with their stop and search forms. Lincolnshire Police will also be testing the system with arrest and MG11 forms. The results of the trial are expected to be reported in September of this year.

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