Smartphone roll out a revolution for policing
Policing in the Northumbria Police area has changed forever after officers have been allocated smartphones which allow them to record reports of crime whilst on patrol.
Last year Northumbria Police announced it had invested an estimated £1.8 million in mobile technology ensuring that officers were equipped to deal with the challenges of modern day policing.
Each police officer in the Force has now been equipped with a state-of-the-art mobile device called a ‘phablet’ which allows officers to record crimes ‘at scene’.
Previously there would have been a requirement for officers to return to a police station to perform this task. This is in addition to other functionality that the devices already have.
The phablets enable officers to be more visible and accessible within our communities and this particular enhancement will also mean victims will be able to receive a crime number instantaneously.
Superintendent John Bent said: “We know the public highly value their ‘bobby on the beat’ and this type of investment further demonstrates our commitment to true Neighbourhood Policing.
“Policing in this country has changed dramatically in recent years but we know that above anything else people want their local police force to be around when they really need them.
“This investment ensures that our officers have the best access to mobile technology allowing them to keep pace with the policing demands of the 21st century.
“It allows officers to be visible and accessible in our communities without the need to return to their stations to update historically bureaucratic systems. Further functionality is presently being developed for the phablets and will be rolled out in due course.
“If you do see an officer using a mobile device you should know that this is for a policing purpose and be reassured that such technology is helping to achieve our policing priorities.”
He added: “We are proud to be leading the way in our use of technology and we will continue to embrace new ways of working that enable us to be outstanding in the service we provide.”
The phablets are only part of Northumbria Police’s investment in technology and Superintendent Bent says the use of hi-tech equipment in custody is another example of 21st century policing.
He added: “We were one of the forces in the country to introduce Electronic Custody Recording which has resulted in significant efficiencies.
“Like the phablet devices, the new custody technology has enabled officers to spend less time booking in detainees and more time policing their beats.
“Work is also on-going to develop and enhance electronic interfaces with our communities which will provide more choice in terms access to our services and wherever possible such technology with be collaborative in nature with our key stakeholders ensuring value for money.”