Speech recognition in law enforcement: 5 ways speech recognition helps the UK police force cut down on reporting and paperwork

By Daryl Green, Senior Business Development Manager and Employee Director, Voice Technologies

Posted on September 25, 2021

A police officer’s role is a demanding one: to be the face of the police force supporting local communities, building relationships and combating crime. What most of the community don’t realise is just how much of a police officer’s time is spent on paperwork.

There have long been calls for police officers to spend less time on documentation and more time on the beat where they are visible, available, preventing crime and reassuring the public. But detailed and accurate reporting is essential for successful convictions so, faced with cuts in police numbers and pressure on budgets, new ways of working and embracing new technology are essential to balance workload demands with finite resources.

Speech recognition is one technology that’s already starting to make a difference for police officers in the UK.

1. Saving time for police offers when creating reports

Speech recognition software, combined with handheld digital dictation devices, allows police officers to create reports using their voice which is, on average, three times faster than typing. The user can simply open the speech recognition software, select the relevant report or case and begin speaking using verbal prompts to send their recording for transcription once they’ve completed it.

2. Increases accuracy of police reports when using speech recognition

Speech recognition software, such as Dragon Professional Anywhere, is typically 99% accurate out-of-the-box. What’s more, it relies on algorithms, so it becomes more accurate the more often it’s used. Users can increase its accuracy even further by correcting mistakes as they occur so the longer you use the software, the more precise it becomes.

3. Customisation features for police reporting

Today’s voice recognition software allows you to add specific and frequently used words and phrases to the software’s vocabulary so that they’re recognised when spoken and added to police reports. It can also analyse documents and reports for commonly used terminology used in police force and law enforcement agencies.

4. Fast learning curve of speech recognition software

All speech recognition and transcription software call for some work upfront but with voice-first tech such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri becoming increasingly familiar in our personal lives, and speech recognition software being designed to be intuitive, the learning curve is short. A good supplier will guide you through the process of setting up the software to recognise speech patterns, pronunciation and specific words. They’ll also provide full training to ensure users are confident with the equipment and software before it goes live in a law enforcement setting.

5. Police reports filed on the move

Speech recognition and transcription software can be used with mobile phones, microphones or dedicated recording devices, or with a headset and computer. Police officers can create reports quickly, while on the move if necessary, spending less time on transcription, and filing or retrieving documents. Reports can be shared instantly with other departments.

Voice Technologies deployed digital dictation technology in Lancashire Constabulary. Read the case study here.

Voice Technologies is working with law enforcement teams, guiding them through the process by selecting equipment and software that’s appropriate to their requirements, installing, training and deploying as well as providing ongoing support so that users get the most out of their speech recognition system.

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