New laser road collisions

A NEW 3D laser scanner used to investigate road collisions could clear the roads more quickly in Cambridgeshire following an incident.

The technology saves times by making a 3D image of the scene, rather than officers having to physically measure the scene.

It can record up to 120,000 details per second, whilst rotating 360 degrees.

Cambridgeshire is one of 27 forces to receive the technology, along with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, as part of a £3m investment from the Department for Transport.

PC Steve Edwards, Collision Investigation Unit, said: “The scanner allows us to build a much more detailed picture of events from evidence at the scene and turn it into a 3D model.

“At the scene of a collision police are required to provide specific details of road conditions, speed limits and distance between vehicles.

“It can sometimes take hours to survey the scene, take measurements and collect evidence. By using this scanner we hope it will speed up the time it takes to investigate a collision and allow us to re-open the road more quickly.

“The scanner takes approximately four-and-a-half minutes for a 360 degree scan and usually police take four scans of each site.”

PC Edwards added it could also be used to collect evidence at other crime scenes.

The equipment, which cost £146,000, has been jointly funded by the Department for Transport (DfT), the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) and approved by Cambridgeshire Police Authority.

Cambridgeshire Police Authority has approved an £18,500 contribution, which covers an upgrade to computers within the force which will host the software, training eight officers from the collision investigation unit and the licence fee.