More than 2,000 front line police officers across Lancashire are now equipped with Samsung Galaxy Note 4 devices which are revolutionising the way in which officers work, helping them to access police IT files and systems while on the go.
The force wide rollout follows a pilot project which saw 40 officers pioneer mobile technology to help modernise policing in Lancashire.
Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, has funded the investment from an earmarked reserves budget which was set aside to improve services and ensure that officers are better equipped. As a result of the scheme, uniform officers are now out on the beat for longer as they can access files they need on the Samsung without having to return to base.
The mobile devices are just part of a £10.1m overhaul of IT infrastructure across the force designed to meet national requirements, improve security and streamline the number of platforms the force currently uses.
They run on EE’s 4G network and are loaded with special policing apps allowing officers to read live crime reports, take witness statements electronically and access the police national computer to run checks. They are also able to post directly onto the Constabulary’s 70+ social media accounts to make instant appeals for help or to engage directly with the public on local policing issues.
The Commissioner said: “This investment was planned to ensure we provide our officers with the latest technology to improve the speed in which they access information.
“The Samsung works just as any other mobile telephone, but with the additional apps and folders needed to make them more effective in the job and to ultimately give them officers more time on the streets of Lancashire.
“These mobiles will also improve the way people can get in touch with their local policing team too. Being more mobile means residents will see officers and PCSOs doing their work in the community, where members of the public can interact with them.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates added: “This is one of the biggest changes to the Constabulary in years and demonstrates our commitment to make use of modern enterprise technology to ensure that officers and staff have more time to spend in their communities.
“Officers will be able to offer greater visibility and ultimately a better service to victims of crime, particularly as they will now able to contact their officer direct via email, text or mobile.
“These smartphones are not just another piece of kit; rather they will enable officers to work differently and ultimately more efficiently. We are always looking for ways to work smarter and create efficiency savings that will ultimately benefit the communities we serve long into the future.”
Lancashire’s decision to move to smartphones for police officers follows a hugely successful pilot trial in Blackpool and Lancaster.
Training on the devices has been underway since September and concludes today, Friday 4th December.
Picture – Project lead Insp Dave Hannan with PCC Grunshaw.