They’re saving time in offices and homes around the world – but now iPads or tablets could be joining handcuffs, radios and batons in the standard kit issued to police.
Senior officers are considering whether equipping officers with mobile devices could make it quicker and easier for police to write up notes, file reports and check paperwork without spending hours at their desks.
It could cost up to £1.5 million to hand out the kit to officers and purchase the necessary software, so the Home Affairs department is trying to work out whether the efficiency savings and improved reporting techniques would justify the spending.
“The notebook and pen is very much out-of-date,” said Home Affairs Minister Kristina Moore.
“There is a bid currently for money to introduce a mobile technology element to policing, which would enhance what the police do, keeping them out on the street as a visible presence, rather than being called back into the office to complete the necessary paperwork that’s part of the job.
“If you consider the time that it takes to handwrite statements and then to duplicate those statements – we could automatically put that into a handheld device and send that back to the office automatically. It’s a no-brainer.”
Her comments came during a hearing the Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel, in which she described the project as an “invest-to-save” opportunity.
In the same hearing, Deputy Moore confirmed that the project to build a new police station off Green Street roundabout was progressing on time, and on budget. She said that a “topping out” ceremony was due to be held on 7 January, and that it was anticipated that the police would move into the new site in March 2017.
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