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Posted on September 25, 2021

Olympus digital voice recording hardware and dictation management software (ODMS) ensure process efficiency and record encryption for Lancashire Constabulary’s Firearm and Negotiator teams

Challenge

To replace unsecure audio recorders with an encrypted, user-friendly digital system.

Solution

A combination of dictation management software and hardware for improved record accuracy and data encryption.

Results

  • Enhanced voice recording management and security ensures only the Police can listen back to recordings
  • Clear, accurate dictations ensure no key information is lost
  • User-friendly digital voice recording devices means no steep learning curve.
“The devices are being used operationally, the quality of audio and battery life is excellent! …even the technophobes are impressed, easy to use and a great product.”
Detective Inspector Rachel Higson, Lancashire Constabulary

Background

Lancashire Constabulary covers an area of 1,189 square miles. The county has a population of nearly 1.5 million with a rich diversity of communities, all with specific policing needs.

Lancashire’s armed response unit and their negotiators are required to document and audio record specific interactions whilst deployed to an incident, either in person or by phone. Officers complained their hand-held audio recorders suffered from poor battery life and interference, resulting in low quality and inaudible recordings.

Voice recordings were manually transferred onto the Constabulary’s server via a number of available workstations. The recorders were not encrypted or PIN coded, making them insecure. Positive steps were required to identify an encrypted, user-friendly solution to comply with information security and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Following a consultation process, which included an onsite demo to show how our proposed solution for voice recording and dictation management could work, Voice Technologies was selected as the supplier.

Encrypted voice recorders for data safety paired with better sound quality

Voice Technologies recommended Olympus DS-9000 portable digital voice recorders, with best-in-class file encryption, for officers to use with a telephone pick up or lapel microphone to ensure all audio is captured.

The microphones reduce unwanted noises such as breath and wind vibrations ensuring improved sound quality.

To accompany the DS-9000 recorders, Voice Technologies also recommended Olympus Dictation Management System (ODMS) software. With ODMS installed, every recorder has an encryption key programmed into it. The software automatically pulls the encrypted dictations onto one of a limited number of designated workstations once a device is docked.

Admin staff then use ODMS to decrypt the dictation and save it to a secure location on the Constabulary’s main server. This process is much smoother and safer, taking place within the Constabulary’s infrastructure.

The new hardware and software was introduced without any disruption to existing IT systems. Voice Technologies’ project team guided the Constabulary’s IT department through the installation process and provided training so that users were confident in the new system from day one.

A team of 50 use the voice recording and dictation management system, regularly commenting on how the quality of recordings and the ease of use of the new devices helped improve accuracy and speed up the reporting process.