No more lying to Birmingham City Council, then…

…As apparently they’ve just decided to take delivery of a new VRA (Voice Risk Analysis) system for their Benefits helpline, in an effort to reduce fraud (often indicative of lying, just how polygraphs work) by detecting stress in a caller’s voice. Rats.

In the first three months of a pilot scheme in Harrow, north London, that began in May, 173 housing benefit and council fraudsters were exposed, saving the council £110,000.

VRA is used only in conjunction with questioning by call operators who have been trained to detect deception, says a spokesman for the Capita Group, which owns the technology. It works by measuring “micro-changes” to the frequency of the human voice and relaying to the operator, in real time, the level of risk that the speaker is being deceptive.

I’ll reserve judgement on the efficacity of this scheme – however, I’ll be amazed if the helpline staff can even hear callers, given the shocking condition of some of Birmingham’s antique telephone lines!

Remember: lying: baaad. Birmingham City Council knows all… They’ll be installing those fancy mirror-style TVs in your homes next so they can broadcast inspiring promotional content to you!

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