12/2/2009 11:42:00 AM
BlackBerrys help police in fight against crime
Northamptonshire police officers’ time on the beat has increased by 10% after being issued with BlackBerry smartphones.
The deal with Vodafone allows up to 900 officers to spend less time on paperwork and more time on the streets fighting crime.
Initial trials showed officers were using their BlackBerrys more than 20 times per day, saving them around one hour of form filling at the police station per 10 hour shift.
Officers using BlackBerrys can access internal police computer systems such as the Police National Computer (PNC) and log incidents at the scene.
Northamptonshire Police have adapted their internal systems to give easy access to incident forms via officers’ smartphones. The devices are also being used to take pictures at incidents.
Paul Hill, mobile data project officer at Northamptonshire Police, said: ‘It’s not just that officers have to return to a police station to complete paperwork; there’s competition for resources – a computer or laptop isn’t always available.’
Plans to extend mobile policing through the Mobile Information Programme set up by the UK National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) are also in place.