DVLA and Home Office upgrade technology for police roadside checks

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The technology will allow police instant access to a driver’s photo in the case of motoring offences. It is currently being used by 18 police forces with plans to roll out to a further 10 forces across the UK in the coming weeks.

It was first piloted in August 2019 and since then has saved the police over 14,000 hours for road patrol officers.

Julie Lennard, the Chief Executive of the DVLA: “The ability to support quicker and more robust roadside checks for motoring offences through the better use of technology is something we were pleased to help deliver.

“As a digital organisation we are always looking at ways to bring technological developments into the public domain – providing improvements that can directly benefit citizens.”

When a person is stopped on the road, the police officer will search the Police National Computer (PNC) to obtain the driving licence number.

With this number, the correct image of the driver will be brought up, allowing the police officer to ensure that it is a match.

Steve Thompson, the Director of the National Law Enforcement Data Programme (NLEDP), commented on the partnership.

He said: “The Home Office, policing and DVLA are showcasing new functionality demonstrating how we can provide access to integrated information by working across suppliers, departments and police forces.

“The service is delivering tangible operational benefits to policing and to the public and in future, the Law Enforcement Data Service (LEDS), will provide an enhanced suite of products and capabilities to support modern policing.”


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It is currently used in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and a number of regions across England.

The Roads Minister Baroness Vere also praised the technological efforts of the two departments.

She said: “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 has meant that as of June 2021, roadside checks are now up to 66 percent faster, meaning motorists can get back on the road quicker.


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