Public Sector Roundup: BlackBerrys for Thames police

Thames Valley Police get 1,100 BlackBerrys

Police on the Thames Valley force are set to receive BlackBerry smartphones to help them on the beat. Officers will be able to remotely access the Police National Computer, conduct vehicle checks, look up names of suspects and access a variety of applications.

"Being able to access police computer systems via BlackBerry smartphones means less time spent travelling between stations. Officers no longer need to go back to the station every time they need to access information from a computer, or pick up briefing information for a shift. Officers will also be better informed with up-to-the-minute information which will significantly improve their service to local communities," said Keith Gough, mobile information project manager at Thames Valley Police.

Lancashire extends Thus contract

Network vendor Thus has won a contract extension from Lancashire County Council, which is looking to upgrade its Ethernet services to connect its over 50 sites. The network will carry both voice and data traffic.

The pair also signed a contract to equip field employees with mobile broadband.

Dave Dickens, assistant director of ICT, at Lancashire County Council said, "The contracts we have signed with Thus give us a corporate network that will not only improve delivery of our internal systems, but also create a platform to meet the needs of an effective remote workforce."

NHS should use teleconferencing to cut carbon emissions

A report by the Sustainable Development Commission has called on the NHS to use more IT to cut carbon emissions.

The body said the NHS could cut its massive emissions output by using tech such as teleconferencing.

One of these is the increased use of teleconferencing to cut emissions caused by patients, visitors and staff travelling, which amount to an estimated 930,000 tonnes of carbon annually, or 18 per cent of total NHS missions.