Real-Time Transcription of American Police Radios

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Crime is a global problem which, due to the diversity of its causes, needs a local solution. In the US crime is never far from the political agenda and has played a prominent role in the majority of presidential election campaigns in the modern era. This is perhaps unsurprising in a region where over 500k violent crimes are reported annually (2021).

Whilst the problem of crime is generally accepted, the solution is not always so clear. In the US, private companies are turning to technology to help combat crime and to reduce the burden it puts on society.

The Client, a large US-based technology firm, has created an app product that gives customers access to alerts about the nature and location of crime in US cities.

Data Annotation




London, UK

Company Size


nypd car in the streets


In order to deliver this service, the client needs a large and highly trained global workforce to listen in real time to American police radio scanners, accurately transcribing and classifying the activity so it can be reported to end users.

The challenge for the client had been finding a large workforce able to understand poor-quality police radio audio spoken in colloquial American English, with a high degree of accuracy.

Because of the serious nature of the task, a very high standard of quality is demanded of operators on the project. Subsequently, the average project onboarding pass rate for the employees, particularly from vendors from regions where English is not the first language, was extremely poor.


Aya Data put forward its specialized English language transcription team in Ghana to transcribe and classify the audio as per the demands of the client. The team members are exclusively C1/C2 level English speakers and were able to pass the onboarding tests with a much higher degree of success than had been expected of other vendors (a factor of 18x).

New members were continually onboarded onto the team and continued to provide audio transcription and classification services on live data.


Aya Data’s team of transcription specialists handled the live transcription of over 500k police calls and activities, on a project lasting almost 18 months.

Aya’s performance in word error rate KPIs consistently exceeded that of all other vendors, and the high quality of Aya’s transcription directly influenced the successful deployment of the product.

Get in touch with us to uncover how our transcription solutions can amplify communication and situational awareness to suit your needs.