• Officers can now read data from a driving licence within a few seconds by simply holding it in front of their smartphone camera
  • PoliceBox’s AI-powered OCR technology reads the data and imports it into the relevant fields of any associated task automatically
  • Feature will be demonstrated at the Police ICT Summit 2020, 21st-22nd January 2020

Middlesbrough, UK:  16th January 2020: PoliceBox, the mobile working platform that enables frontline officers to complete their tasks from within one, intuitive app, has introduced a new capability which will improve data quality by eliminating the need for officers to manually enter important data types such as driving licence details into their mobile device. With its new AI-powered OCR (Optical Character Recognition) functionality, officers can now scan and import data from state-issued documents to instigate a database search within a few seconds, typically saving two minutes of officer time while helping to keep officers safe since they can maintain focus on the individual in front of them instead of looking down at their device.

Simon Hall, CEO of PoliceBox explains the benefits of adding AI-powered OCR capability to PoliceBox, “When officers need to verify the ID of an individual, they typically either radio in to the station and verbally recite the information to someone who has access to the necessary databases, or if they have a police app on their smartphone, they still need to read and type the data into the device themselves. These processes are slow and prone to error and can also add an unnecessary and avoidable risk to the officer. It is important for officers to keep their focus on the events taking place around them, so anything which enables them to focus 100% of their attention on the individual in front of them is a positive step to keeping our officers, and our streets, safe.”

The new OCR technology in PoliceBox leverages Artificial Intelligence to do more than simply read and import text, but to understand the type of data it is importing (e.g. name, address, driving licence number etc.). This ensures the data is imported into the correct sections of any of the Police databases that have been connected to PoliceBox so that searches can be carried out immediately.

The OCR Smart Datatype is being introduced as a “Service Enhancer,” which means it can be added to any level of PoliceBox subscription (Starter, Basic, Professional, Premium).  The OCR Smart Datatype is initially launching with the capability to read driving licences, however this will shortly extend to Passports, Identity Cards, Vehicle Number Plates, Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) etc.

As a modern cloud-based platform, PoliceBox is updated with new features on a regular basis. This ensures officers do not have to wait long to take advantage of new features. The new OCR capability is the latest of a raft of new enhancements that have been added during the last six months, such as the ability to conduct image-based searches which allows PoliceBox to recognise fingerprint, facial and other biometric data and to import data from mobile fingerprint scanners, including those by CrossMatch, Integrated Biometrics and Grabba. Other recent additions include:

  • Sketching and image annotation e.g. use finger or stylus to draw sketches or annotate photos taken at a scene of an incident to highlight evidence
  • View historical tasks by date or by type, improving the ability to search through past incidents e.g. see all recent witness statements together, speeding fines etc.
  • View inbound tasks either list or map view, enabling officers to prioritise their tasks more efficiently based on their location.

Simon Hall, CEO of PoliceBox will be onsite at the Police ICT Summit in Manchester, 21st-22nd January 2020, where he will be able to demonstrate the OCR capability of PoliceBox with delegates in real-time. In line with the conference theme of “Delivering change at pace” he will also be available to discuss his views on why forces need to adopt policing platforms rather than specific products in order to bring policing back to the forefront of technological innovation and really achieve “change at pace.”