SMART mobile technology will help police officers in Warwickshire fight crime on the move.
Officers across the Warwickshire and West Mercia forces will be equipped with smartphones and laptops as part of a £4.2million project, allowing them to respond to incidents faster, quickly access intelligence, and record crime.
The technology has already been tested by Rugby officers, saving them an average of an hour a day by letting them do their paperwork on the move instead of at the police station.
The rollout of smartphones has already started, with laptops will follow in the summer. The cost will be shared between the two forces with the Warwickshire force’s share from existing budgets.
Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said police IT technology had not kept up with advances in mobile communications.
He said: “The current situation where officers are forced to return to police stations to complete administrative tasks is inefficient and reduces the amount of time they can be out in their communities.
“This new investment, together with the enhanced technologies which will be employed when our state-of-the-art Operations Communications Centre opens at Neville House in Warwick, will provide a better service for the public.”
Warwickshire Police chief constable Martin Jelley said officers had spearheaded the project.
He added: “The thinking and planning behind this initiative has been led by officers, who know the day-to-day realities of policing on the frontline.
“We know from a body of evidence that changing to mobile technology and more flexible ways of working can improve the health, wellbeing and morale of staff – it’s another important reason for driving through these changes.”
* WARWICKSHIRE Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime according the police watchdog.
A report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) shows an improvement on last year’s assessment, which concluded the force required improvement.
Improvements have been made with digital investigations, tackling serious and organised crime, and responses to missing children and vulnerable victims.
Inspectors also found the force was well-prepared to respond to national threats.
But the report also highlighted shortfalls, including inconsistent standards of investigations and understanding the needs of different communities.
Mr Seccombe said: “HMIC’s findings reflect the hard work and commitment to serving local communities and protecting the vulnerable that is demonstrated by staff on a daily basis. There can be no complacency, however, and there are still areas where further improvements can be made.
“The investments I am making in new technology and mobile working will further help to ensure we deliver a better service to communities and victims of crime.”
Visit www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/peel-assessments/peel-2016/warwickshire/effectiveness to read the full report.