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Force CCTV portal cuts down officer time requesting evidence footage

Portal is part of digital evidence management system which is linked to the CPS

Lancashire have created a new Constabulary Community Portal linked to its digital evidence management system to speed up the acquisition of CCTV evidence from public and privately owned cameras.

The constabulary launched a social media and local press campaign to encourage those operating domestic, commercial (including office, premises, pubs, restaurants, retail outlets) and public space (councils) CCTV to register their cameras with its new Portal.

The portal is part of the NICE Investigate Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) which was procured by the force to manage its body worn video footage and share digital evidence with the CPS.

Project Manager at James Harvard (a partner agency of Lancashire Constabulary, responsible for the roll out of the force’s BWV and digital evidence management project), Andrew Wilson said : “We have also collaborated with local membership organisations such as Chambers of Commerce and National Pubwatch to get the message out as widely as possible.”

In addition to CCTV, the portal can also be used to share other forms of digital evidence and the constabulary has taken advantage of this capability and collaborated with North West Ambulance Service  enabling officers to request and receive emergency 999 call recordings and patient report forms.

“This has removed the need for officers to drive to the ambulance service’s operating centre in Preston to collect a CD,” comments Wilson. “Every time evidence is requested and submitted via the Portal it represents one less journey an officer is required to make.”

The force says it has taken an incremental approach to rolling out its DEMS system and looking to the near future, will be integrating its CONNECT records management system with NICE Investigate, as well as broadening the scope of digital evidence including custody CCTV, the force's own drone and dashcam footage.

“We have just launched a new public appeals process for public dashcam footage, which has successfully replaced a cumbersome and protracted process,” observes Wilson.

“It’s the strategic direction of the force that all digital evidence should be managed within NICE investigate,” concludes Wilson.

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