Pronto: Lothian & Borders Police

Together with Lothian & Borders Police, Pronto has resolved issues with collecting evidence on the front line, leading to cost savings and more reliable police data.

Key Challenges:

The process used by police for collecting evidence on the front line has changed very little in 200 years, with officers often still writing in pocket notebooks.
As part of a review of their process strategy, Lothian & Borders Police decided that they needed to improve the efficiency and reliability of front line data collection, addressing some core issues:

• Police officers spending too much time doing paperwork, checking, correcting and re-keying information into a number of disparate IT systems and paper forms
• Fixed-penalty notice procedure involves 13 stages and takes up to three weeks
• Police staff spend far too much time rekeying and reformatting information
• Police officers need to capture quality intelligence at the front end
• Information needs to be easily accessible and visible for management information
• Mobile information needs to be secure, reliable and auditable
• Police officers need an intuitive system that supports them in their role


Working closely with Lothian & Borders Police, Airwave developed Pronto to meet the force's complex requirements. The aim was to ensure accurate and validated information is captured once at the front end. Captured digitally on an officer’s electronic notebook, this accurate information is then available to be reused in multiple business processes with no rekeying or paper forms, reducing inefficiencies throughout the end to end process. All officers in Lothian & Borders have been trained and issued with the electronic notebook and integrated processes to take the force paperless.

The operational and financial benefits have been impressive:

• Quality of front-end data increased dramatically
• Administration time saving of at least one hour per officer per shift
• Removal of the need for supervision and re-keying of information allowed re-deployment of resources where most needed
• Ability to take photographs increased volume and accuracy of gathered evidence
• The percentage of traffic tickets returned to officers because of inaccuracies reduced from up to 20% to 0%
• Date and time stamped entries increased transparency and accuracy of data
• Collected data permissible in court and shareable across forces and partners
• Real time management information for all activities, notebook entries and completed processes available across the organisation
• The volume of intelligence reports submitted by operational officers increased
• The public's and officers' perception was of a more professional service being provided

However, the project encompassed much more than simply providing technology. Airwave maintained a close working relationship with the force throughout the rollout, to ensure they received the full operational benefits of the system.

“It has been a great benefit to have a long-term relationship to develop the system, to make it fit with the operational requirement. We have been hugely successful in making it work for the Lothian and Borders area…There are discussions to be had with partners like the Crown Prosecution Service but, without the confidence in our partner, that would be so much more difficult.”
Assistant Chief Constable, Bill Skelly-Lothian and Borders and Police


The introduction of Pronto has turned front line data collection on its head. The Lothian and Borders force are already making annual savings in excess of £600,000. They have been able to reduce the burden of administration and put more money into front line services. With auto-population of forms and in-built version control, the resulting collected information is not only accurate, it is also secure.

Since its first trial, the system has been rolled out across other forces all over Great Britain, playing a key role not only in operational efficiency, but in crime-fighting efforts as a whole.

"Airwave delivered in every area. Their knowledge of internal processes and operational working practices, gleaned through the previous trial, proved to be invaluable to the success of the project. An atmosphere of trust and understanding existed with all issues being discussed in a positive manner and quick resolutions being implemented." Inspector Tom Muir - Lothian & Borders Police, Project Manager.