POLICE in Barnstaple are leading the way with new technology, which will allow officers to give evidence without attending court.
Devon and Cornwall Police are introducing Live Links, which will allow them to give evidence at any court in the country without leaving the station.
And Barnstaple’s custody department will be one of the first to have the new technology installed, which will save valuable police time and money.
Barnstaple will be the second station to use the technology after the initiative launches on September 17, when a police officer and civilian witness will give their evidence via the new video link for a trail in Blackpool.
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, chair of the Devon and Cornwall Criminal Justice Board, said: “The Live Links initiative in Devon and Cornwall is being run by the local Criminal Justice Board in partnership with the police, magistrates’ courts, Crown Prosecution Service and youth offending teams.
“I am delighted that we are able to work in partnership with these agencies and use innovative technology designed to improve our services to the public and increase police efficiency.”
Tony Hogg, Devon and Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner, said: “Devon and Cornwall is the first area in the South West to run Live Links.
“The scheme provides officers with the opportunity to give their best evidence and return to duty more quickly, saving the Force time and money.”
Devon and Cornwall is one of 13 areas across England and Wales to launch the scheme, which is designed to free up officer time for to carry out frontline duties, rather than travelling to and from court.
The courts, Crown Prosecution Service and defence solicitors will make a decision about whether Live Links is appropriate when setting the trial date at court. If deemed inappropriate, police officers will attend court in the usual way.