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Police time freed up by new roadside tech

DVLA and Home Office have developed technology that allow police officers to instantly confirm a driver’s identity at the roadside

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Police officers can get instant access to a driver’s photo in the case of motoring offences thanks to new technology from the DVLA and Home Office.

Without the technology it can take up to 16 minutes for officers to confirm a motorist’s identity, as the officer needs to validate information provided by the driver.

The technology, which was first piloted in 2019, is expected to save thousands of police hours and free up time for patrolling, supporting investigations and community work.

With the new technology the police will search the Police National Computer (PNC) to obtain the driving licence number, and use this number to receive the driving licence photograph and complete the check.

When the scheme was piloted in August 2019, it was found to save Road Police Unit Officers over 14,000 hours and make roadside checks 66% quicker.

Police support have accessed over 86,000 driver licence images to confirm the identity of motorists at the roadside. The DVLA have confirmed the use of DVLA data in these instances is confined to roads policing.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “This government is constantly striving to be at the forefront of technological advances and this particular development will not only free up valuable police time but also make sure innocent drivers can get back on their journeys quicker.”

The technology is currently used by 18 police forces around the country with plans to roll it out to a further 10 in the coming weeks.
A full list of police forces using this technology can be found on the government website.