Swindon, Wiltshire following the latest round of government spending cuts the police are expected to find most savings through greater efficiency in the back office and redesign front line operations to make them cheaper. Using digital pen technology can help in the battle to fight crime, cut costs and improve front line efficiency.
Digital pen technology is more than just writing with an ordinary ink pen. Whilst the pen contains ink, looks like a normal pen albeit slightly thicker, writes on paper and is used in the same way as a normal ink pen, it is also a piece of high tech equipment. “Alongside an ink cartridge the digital pen also contains a camera that takes and stores images as the pen writes. This allows completed interview forms, scene of crime notes and police signatures to be captured electronically” explains Juniper Innovations, a Wiltshire based company in England that work with digital pen technology.
A pen can be linked directly with a computer via a docking station, or connect to a mobile phone. This allows all the captured images to be sent to secure databases, in almost real time, link to backend office systems and even immediately email colleagues. For the police this means recording and transferring urgent interview or crime scene information from the field, linking it automatically to case histories and files and distributing urgent copies of notes. As Juniper Innovations explains “using tick boxes for example on forms is one way to ensure consistency and overcomes difficulties in reading someone else’s handwriting. Plus advanced handwriting recognition software exists at the secure backend servers that can interpret handwriting and allow the interpretation it to be modified later.”
As the technology is a pen, it means it is versatile and can be used by anyone that has to perform writing and data capture tasks. For the police this means a very low amount of training and officers do not have to be computer experts so can be up and running with the technology quickly. Plus for those that want to link their pen with a smart phone, digital pen software on the phone enables pictures and even GPS data to be linked and sent with completed form or note details. So for example crime scene pictures and location details can be captured.
On top of all this, playback functionality on the secure backend software shows how letters, words and numbers were formed as a handwriting style, so everything including signatures can be submitted as court evidence.
Juniper Innovations suggest pricing is also worth looking at since a digital pen costs far less than a personal digital assistant or other rugged data capture device. Plus the technology infrastructure can be light on police forces too as the backend software is managed on secure servers. Since training requirements are minimal and can happen at any time, deployment can be quick. As Juniper Innovations comment “the return on investment can be measured and compared with a police force’s current technology to understand the immediate cost savings. With budgets being cut this is one piece of equipment that can help reduce technology costs and improve front line efficiency.”
Juniper Innovations provide innovation, investment and support models to organisations for tracking and authentication products. In addition Juniper Innovations also provide free tracking and authentication hints and tips on their blog site http://juniperinnovations.co.uk/tag/police-blog
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