More police forces to benefit from mobile tech

Citizens are likely to see more police officers using mobile technology to cut red tape as the government has embarked on the second phase of the mobile information roll out.

As a result of the 30 funding (5 million in addition to the 25 million detailed in a previous green paper), the initiative will be extended to benefit a further 25 forces and two agencies across England, Scotland and Wales.

By equipping more Bobbies with mobile devices, officers are likely to save up to half an hour per shift simply by being able to receive and transmit information while out and about this equates to more time visibly policing rather than being stuck behind a desk doing paperwork.

"The successes of mobile information devices show how our investment in new technology is making crime fighting more effective and saving officers' time," said Policing Minister Vernon Coaker in a statement.

"They are just one element of a range of improvements we are delivering to cut unnecessary bureaucracy, exploit new technologies and enable police officers to spend more time on front line policing in communities across the country."

The ultimate aim is the distribution of 30,000 handheld computers by March 2010.

"This is great news for the police service. Phase one forces have shown how mobile computers are critical to a modern police officer. Officers who have access to databases, such as the Police National Computer, command and control and intelligence systems while out on patrol, are spending less time returning to the station and more time on the frontline - therefore increasing visibility and reassuring the public," said Chief Constable Peter Neyroud, chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), which manages the programme for the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

"Phase two of the initiative will build on this success and enable more officers to take advantage of the benefits of mobile devices."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.