Ground-breaking crime scene investigation technology Pronto Forensics could cut police processing time from hours to just minutes.

The 200-strong CSI unit at West Yorkshire Police will now be using Airwave’s mobile solution to cut evidence entry into the criminal justice system to mere minutes.

According to the force, using the tech has alleviated much of the administrative pressure felt by police across the UK, while also strengthening chain of evidence.

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Pronto automates many steps in the forensic ‘bag and tag’ procedure, which means officers can process more crime scenes per shift.

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A third of UK forces have now adopted the technology.

Chief Inspector Ian Williams, digital policing lead for West Yorkshire Police, said: “In many cases the very important work done by CSI teams is not as glamorous as TV shows would have some believe.

“From simple break and entries to complex homicides, almost a quarter of an investigator’s time can be spent simply documenting items.

“Now, evidence is making its way into the criminal justice system in minutes, not hours.

“Additionally, Pronto fosters regional collaboration. Specialist teams such as forensics, firearms and dog squads are often shared across forces.

“Collaborative systems like Pronto break down digital barriers by allowing for greater sharing of information and resources, which helps speed up the entire justice process.”

West Yorkshire Police covers both rural areas and large metropolitan districts such as Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield.

It is the fourth largest police service in the country, serving approximately 2.2 million people.

A new agreement builds on West Yorkshire Police’s existing use of the Pronto service, which saw officers take more than 4,000 witness statements via handheld devices in April alone.

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The CSI unit, which operates across West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Humberside, has implemented the Pronto Forensics suite.

The innovative partnership was recently recognised at the Public Sector Paperless awards where West Yorkshire Police won the Process and Workflow – Project of the Year category for its use of digital technology to support all frontline policing.

The awards acknowledge, celebrate and reward exceptional progress towards the goal to becoming a paperless environment.

Phil Jefferson, vice president, sales and service UK and Ireland at Motorola Solutions, said: “A third of the UK’s police forces have embraced Pronto to work more collaboratively and effectively.

“The time saved not only means officers can spend more time in the field and with the public, but also there are hard cost savings to be made with operational efficiency.

“This is incredibly important during a time of budget scrutiny and the public’s demand for greater visibility.”