Infrastructure > Devices

West Yorkshire Police goes on beat with biometrics

David Bicknell Published 12 February 2018

Force has added fingerprint scanning to its Pronto mobile application suite and will now roll it out to 250 frontline police officers


West Yorkshire Police has gone live with real-time, automated, mobile biometrics technology and plans to roll it out to 250 frontline police officers.

The technology, from Motorola Solutions, runs with the Pronto mobile information solutions suite.  West Yorkshire is the first police force to implement the biometrics solution, which will allow officers to check fingerprints against a national fingerprint database records in less than a minute.

It does this through handheld scanners that attach to an officer’s phone, which then accesses a new Biometric Services Gateway system.

The West Yorkshire Police force is the country’s fourth largest, serving approximately 2.2m people in rural areas and large metropolitan districts such as Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield.

Until recently, identifying or collecting data from individuals involved the use of costly outdated devices and paper-based processes.

The new system, developed through a partnership between West Yorkshire Police and the Home Office, uses the force’s existing mobile devices and allows access to the live database from the field to get results in real time. This improves workflow and removes the need for officers to travel between the field and office or station to process information. As officers are better able to obtain the right information about suspects quickly, accuracy is also said to be significantly improved.

“Almost instantly after deployment we found how valuable rapid biometric identification can be,” said Ian Williams, Chief Inspector, Digital Policing lead for West Yorkshire Police. “We have already been able to identify a seriously injured individual, enabling medical staff to quickly offer accurate treatment and contact the family. In another case, we’ve identified a disqualified driver, summonsed him to court and seized his vehicle on the scene – all without the need to travel to the station and practically disable an Armed Response Vehicle for hours.”

“Biometrics is an exciting addition to the Pronto offering and demonstrates the type of advancements that will see the complete digital transformation of public safety agencies. West Yorkshire Police is at the forefront of this shift, along with the other 17 forces using Pronto to work more effectively and collaboratively,” said Phil Jefferson, vice president for Western Europe and North Africa, and country manager UK and Ireland at, Motorola Solutions.


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