Hi-tech 3D scanners to assist crash probes

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POLICE are set to gain from two new hi-tech scanners aimed at getting roads re-opened after crashes.

Cleveland and Durham have been given £157,000 from the Government for two laser scanners that provide a 3D image of the whole crash site, rather than investigators painstakingly surveying multiple sections of a scene.

The digital image of the site can then be viewed remotely on a computer screen, allowing investigators to take measurements of where vehicles are in relation to each other and examine other important evidence.

The roll-out of devices is part of a Government-led initiative known as ‘CLEAR’, which is aimed at reducing delays caused by incidents in order to keep traffic moving.

Cleveland Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said: “On behalf of the police service we welcome enormously this important funding opportunity that has been made possible by Government through the Department for Transport.

“The provision of the latest, leading-edge 3D laser scanning technology to assist in the expeditious and detailed scanning of collision scenes will make a very important contribution to properly investigating fatal and life changing collisions whilst always being mindful of the level of economic and other disruption that closures of the strategic road network inevitably cause.

“Police forces acquiring this equipment will be in a better position to manage such critical events in a more efficient way and present the most accurate and detailed evidence from the laser scanning devices to criminal, civil and coroners’ courts. 

“The equipment will be deployed across England and will make a real difference to improving the capability of collision investigators, reducing delays for all road users and re-opening motorways and other strategic roads at the earliest opportunity.”

The Department for Transport has awarded 27 police forces across England a total of £2.7m, which will, together with police and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) contributions, enable them to purchase 37 scanners.