Police officers across Norfolk and Suffolk are set to be equipped with Samsung tablets and Nokia phones, saving them precious time when dealing with incidents and meaning they can spend more time in the public eye.
Over the next three months 1,500 uniformed officers will be issued with the devices, the latest in 21st-century technology. The tablets will enable officers to work remotely, update crime systems, review live incidents, update victims and liaise with partner agencies while out and about. Tasks that would normally mean officers travelling back to the station to access a computer can now be done immediately. Thanks to newly-developed applications, officers will also be able to take statements and submit a number of other forms via the devices, a move that will help reduce the amount of paperwork required at the end of each shift. The rollout is alongside the distribution of body-worn video cameras for officers which started in May this year.
Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies have budgeted £1.2m to equip the officers but it is expected that efficiencies brought about by their use will save money in the long-term. Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett, project lead for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, said: “Following a three-month trial last year, it was clear that the devices offered officers what they needed – quick access to accurate information without the need to travel back to the station. “We will continue to take advantage of new technologies to aid crime investigation and I’m sure the people of Norfolk/Suffolk will notice a benefit as our officers embrace the new ways of working. “This is very much an ‘invest-to-save’ project – and I expect that the resource commitment we have made will bring us cost benefits in the long-term.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “This is a crucial investment for Norfolk Constabulary. These devices will free up officers’ time, enabling them to direct more attention to their operational roles. For the force as a whole, it means that resources will be more readily available and police visibility will be increased.
“For our police to be as efficient and effective as possible, it’s vital they have the right tools. To tackle the crime affecting our communities in the 21st century, we need to make the best use of the 21st century technology available to us.”
Pictured from left: Sgt Tom Mann, PC Keith Bristo (Norfolk Police Federation), PCC Lorne Green, and Chief Supt Mike Fawcett.