Police armed with more smartphones


All police officers in the UK will be equipped with a smartphone to use when on the beat by next year.

During an event at the Houses of Parliament, Gary Cairns, from the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), said that the rollout of the devices will finish by March 2010, with 30 forces already providing them for their officers.

Deputy Chief Constable of Hampshire, and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead for the Mobile Information Programme, Ian Readhead, said in a statement: "Mobile computers are absolutely critical to a modern police officer. Having information in the right place at the right time, which is up to date and accurate is vital to help officers with their work with the public."

This announcement is part of an ongoing strategy by the NPIA to equip its forces with modern communications devices. It has so far received 80 million of funding from the government.

The scheme started in back in 2007 when the Prime Minister announced funding for 10,000 such devices to be given to officers across the UK.

This funding has continued to increase as reports from the NPIA have shown smartphones as "bureaucracy busting," saving up to 30 minutes per shift by sending and receiving information when out of the station.

Officers can also access important databases such as the National Police Database without having to go back to the office.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.