Feeds

Call centre surveillance trained on police

Assisted 'death by KPI'?

High performance access to file storage

Software used to monitor the phone conversations of staff working in call centres will be used to tap police calls with the public and hold force operators to performance targets.

Nice Systems, an Israeli intelligence software firm, is tendering with three British police forces for the sale of a system that will automatically pick out calls for closer inspection.

It will automatically detect heightened emotions in conversations between operators and the public by spotting fluctuations in their voice. The same software picks out keywords, is used by banks to spot fraudsters, and can identify callers by their voice biometrics.

Adam Smith, a marketing manager at Nice, said the software would pick out "problem and exceptional" conversations for further analysis against performance indicators.

"We've got three or four constabularies who are actively tendering for this type of technology, and all of them are looking at it," he said.

Yet there is a growing sense in the police service that performance indicators have become such a burden that it is suffering a slow but sure "death by KPI", according to an anonymous quote gathered by Peter Maddison, head of performance management for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and chief constable of Northamptonshire Police.

"Targets aren't guiding us, they're driving everything we do - you can't reduce everything to numbers," said another service member.

In March, an Audit Commission report found: "Centrally imposed targets and the associated performance monitoring and intervention are perceived to stifle innovation."

It dragged everyone down by dwelling on the "failures of the worst performers". An ODPM consultation last year found that too much scrutiny of individual performance fostered "compliance rather than innovation".

Smith said police operators would get used to the new regime because it gave them evidence when facing complaints: "Normally when we put this in place, [call centre staff] see it as big brother, but once it's been in for some time they see it as a backup."

He reckoned the software could reduce the administrative burden that performance monitoring puts on police sergeants, and help them produce communications for evidence.

As in call centres, the software will track how many calls police operators take, how quickly and how well. It would support the "citizen focus" of the force, said Smith. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.