Innovative System Supporting Forces During Coronavirus

Wednesday 1st April 2020,

The innovative Telephone Witness Statement system implemented by West Yorkshire Police, is being shared nationwide to help other police forces cope with their demand and further reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

The Force will be assisting in introducing the technology to 20 other police forces up and down the country, allowing victims and witnesses to deliver a statement over the

Telephone Witness Statements

phone at this time of national crisis and restrictions on people’s movements.

Recently rolled out across the whole of West Yorkshire, it means that you do not have to attend a police station or receive a visit from an officer to make a written statement.

Chief Constable, John Robins QPM said this is one of a number of innovative initiatives that is putting West Yorkshire Police at the forefront of digital policing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

“The use of our Telephone Witness Statement digital process means that we are still able to provide a service to victims and witnesses, even in the current pandemic. 

“We have recently extended its use and immediately rolled it out across all of West Yorkshire as restrictions on movement were brought in place.

“Given that many other police forces across the country use the same IT systems as us, we also decided to make our digital developments available to them free of charge.

“We are all in this together and if we can help stop the spread of the virus, but keep doing our jobs, then we must do all we can.

“This way of taking statements effectively reinforces the social distancing approach and acts to protect both the public and those on the front line of policing. It is available across a range of different offences and incidents.

“Having already undertaken a pilot locally here in West Yorkshire, we know just how useful it will be for others elsewhere in the country.

“During the initial phase, between the end of January 2020 and mid-March, there were 273 telephone statements taken in just Leeds and Bradford.

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen a strong uptake in its use, with the figure rising to almost 900 individual statements in the last two weeks.

“The public feedback has been very positive. This is another digital policing advance from West Yorkshire Police that will undoubtedly play a key role in our resilience and in our response to COVID-19.

“I hope in taking this step to support the wider police service, during this time of national emergency, that it will go some way to easing the pressures on the frontline, whilst keeping everyone as safe as they possibly can be.”

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