Video conferencing saves police time

A new police investigation centre near Ipswich will free up officers time thanks to its high-tech facilities, BBC News reports.

Suffolk Police will launch one of two new centres this week which will eventually communicate with one another via video conferencing facilities.

It is widely anticipated that officers will gain more freedom by holding meetings and conducting identity parades across other county centres in this way too.

Senior officers calculate that the unique approach will save 51,000 hours of police officer time and more than £1 million.

Chief Inspector Roger Wiltshire, head of custody for six Norfolk and Suffolk Police Investigation Centres (PICs) explained that most of the custody buildings in the region are very old and desperately needed to be modernised.

“What this has allowed us to do is start with a clean sheet of paper and the results are very impressive,” he said. Adding that he believes “good facilities facilitate good investigations”.

According to Norfolk Police, the PICs host state-of-the art CCTV facilities and smart, clean cells with a consistent standard across the board.

The new PIC Suffolk building in Martlesham has 30 detention cells – measuring 2.4 x 3m each – forensic facilities and a visiting room. Any new arrests made will now take place there rather than the traditional police station.

The other Suffolk PIC, in Bury St Edmunds, is due to open in July.

The centres have been funded by a private finance agreement between Suffolk and Norfolk police. In Norfolk, there are already centres in Aylsham, Wymondham and Kings Lynn.