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Two forces pilot digital driving licence photo upload from the DVLA


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Two month trial reduced roadside identifications by more than 10 minutes developers claim.


Date - 5th December 2019
By - Gary Mason

Surrey and Sussex Police have been taking part in a trial to identify motorists who have been stopped but are not carrying their driving licences via licence photos which are sent to them remotely by the DVLA.

Using Pronto digital notebooks the officers are able to request an image be uploaded from the DVLA after checking the driver’s details through the PNC.

If the person they have stopped is not carrying a driving licence in their name the officer can press a ‘fetch image’ button on the digital notebook and within 4-5 seconds the DVLA sends them an image.

The trial lasted for 12 weeks. Before the pilot was introduced the forces involved said it took on average of 16 minutes to identify a person beside the roadside via the ususal channels if they were not carrying their licence. During the pilot that time was reduced to five minutes using the images suppled from the DVLA database.

More than 1,400 images were accessed during the trial that began in August.

Surrey and Sussex are now looking to expand the trial and Motorola, the company behind Pronto who developed the application, says the Home Office are looking to see if other forces who use the Pronto notebook system would be interested in trialling it as well.

According to the developers, the hardest part of the system is not the technology but the paperwork involved. Each force intending to use the system will have to have their own separate data protection and data sharing agreement with the DVLA.

Also about 15-16 per cent of drivers still hold old paper licences so will not have a photo available for checking.

Motorola, who have contracts with 20 UK forces for the digital notebook, have also developed a body worn video (BWV) application for the device which it says eliminates some of the manual steps officers need to carry out when using BWV.

This includes automatically tagging and uploading the footage into the force’s data management system. Currently this new feature is set up to work with Edisix BWV cameras and Motorola’s CommandCentral Vault platform which is not yet used by any forces in the UK.  

The GPS-enabled cameras capture location data and automatically sync with recorded details on the Pronto device.   

View On Police Oracle

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