New mobile phone technology to increase police officer visibility in local communities

Delivery of a £21million Mobile Working Project means that officers will be able to access a wide range of police systems while out on duty without the requirement to return to a police station and log on to a computer.

Police officers in the North East will start using mobile devices as part of their operational duties which will increase their visibility within local communities. The £21million Mobile Working Project means that officers will be able to access a wide range of police systems while out on duty without the requirement to return to a police station and log on to a computer.

This means that officers will be able to spend more time working within the community, dealing with incidents, engaging with members of the public, supporting victims and focussing on crime prevention.

Previously, when officers dealt with a crime, they would have to return to base to record details of an incident on the appropriate systems and complete paperwork.

The new mobile devices will mean that every Community Policing Team officer, and those with a front line operational role, will be able to connect to police systems whilst working remotely.

The mobiles will provide apps enabling officers carry out checks and file crime reports. Officers will also be able to type statements directly to the device through the use of its digital notebook function Pronto which will obtain an electronic signature from victims and witnesses.

Divisional Commander for North East Division, Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson said

The introduction of mobile working is a huge milestone in the modernisation of policing which will positively support the community based policing approach here in the North East of Scotland.

It is exciting to see this transformation which will not only significantly contribute to the future of policing but also assist in delivering better outcomes for communities. Given the importance we place on partnership working it also positions us well to further collaborate and integrate with partners in the use of digital technology in the years to come.

Inspector Jon Millar, who has led the project for North East Division said

Officers will have access to core operating systems from a mobile device whilst in the community, allowing them to respond to ongoing policing matters without having to return to offices to access and update relevant information. This will not only reduce the bureaucratic burden on an officer, but will allow quicker access to relevant information allowing an improved response within our communities.

Giving officers mobile devices will make them more visible in the communities they serve, enabling them to work on crime prevention and community-based policing whether in the public, private or virtual space. Members of the public will see police officers operating their mobile device in public areas. If you see this, it is important to understand that officers are not using their personal telephone and that they are working.

David Wallace, BT’s public sector director in Scotland and chair of the BT board in Scotland, said

We’re pleased to be leading this project, bringing in our EE mobile network – the largest 4G network in the UK – and our unrivalled resources to help Police Scotland transform the way they work.

By helping our customers take advantage of BT’s investments in innovations and networking, including our launch of 5G in Scotland, we’ll see opportunities we couldn’t imagine ten years ago come into our lives.

The Pronto mobile app

Norman Dixon, Motorola Solutions’ Account Director for Scotland said

The Pronto mobile application replaces the paper notebook and modernises police workflows by giving them access to databases and tools on their mobile device on the beat. It is a world-leading mobile solution for policing. It was developed here in Scotland in partnership with the police service, so it is fantastic to see that it will become available to 10,000 Police Scotland officers.

We look forward to working with Police Scotland and are proud to be part of this major milestone in mobile police technology.

The £21million Mobile Working Project which was part funded by the Scottish Government’s capital budget allocation will see approximately 10,000 of Police Scotland’s uniformed officers issued with mobile devices by spring 2020.

The devices will be further enhanced over time with the addition of future policing applications, including national systems as they become available.

Last year, Police Scotland produced a business case for a major investment in digital, data and ICT over 10 years to modernise the service. The proposed investment would also generate savings and public service improvements for the wider criminal justice system.

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