Crash cops get plumbed into national computer

Police tech to tear up red tape

Police tech to tear up red tape

Police will be able to use handheld devices to file their reports from crash scenes from next year.

The Crash system will allow police officers at the scene of car accidents to file reports directly to the Police National Computer using PDAs and smartphones, as well as automatically copying information to the Department for Transport (DfT).

Multiple officers will be able to enter details on the same report simultaneously under the new system, which will also support the upload of digital drawings of crash sites.

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The system will be introduced in three police forces in early 2010 before being rolled out to the rest of the country later that year.

The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) said the service will cut down on paperwork by replacing the traditional collision reporting forms, improve the accuracy and speed at which crash data is gathered, and allow police to better pinpoint accident blackspots.

Forces nationwide are due to have 30,000 mobile devices by March 2010 and CIO of the NPIA, Richard Earland, recently told silicon.com that the extra handheld devices are set to transform frontline policing within three years.

Earland said in a statement yesterday: "By allowing officers attending road traffic accidents to build up information with such unprecedented accuracy and speed, the service will contribute substantially to the ultimate objective of making our roads safer for all users."

The NPIA and the DfT have selected IPL to develop software for collision data recording and sharing.