Mobile device puts officers back on beat

Over 250 Lothian and Borders officers are making use of an electronic replacement for the traditional police notebook, enabling officers to capture information at the scene of an incident.

Jan 25, 2007
By David Howell
Andy Marsh

Over 250 Lothian and Borders officers are making use of an electronic replacement for the traditional police notebook, enabling officers to capture information at the scene of an incident.

Anite, the specialist provider of IT solutions to the public sector, and Kelvin Connect Ltd, a software company specialising in mobile data management solutions, have launched the mobile report and notebook organiser. The Police Report and Notebook Organiser, PRONTO will enable a ten per cent increase in operational police time.

PRONTO replaces the traditional police notebook with an electronic equivalent that allows officers to record information, complete forms and issue notices on a range of incidents simply by writing on the screen of the mobile device.

Such incidents include stop and searches, vehicle defects, traffic accidents, missing person reports and domestic call-outs. Officers can also record witness statements and issue fixed penalty fines for driving offences including speeding, driving whilst using a mobile phone, failure to wear a seatbelt and careless driving.

All information can be securely transferred to the force’s database over a wireless link or via a docking station and the original handwriting is automatically preserved for use in court.

At Lothian and Borders Police, the reduction in the administrative burden placed on operational officers has generated a saving of at least one hour, per officer, per shift, equivalent to a ten per cent increase in operational visibility.

PRONTO has also been responsible for improving the quality of data obtained by removing the potential inconsistencies inherent in transcribing from paper records. The percentage of traffic tickets returned because of inaccuracies has also reduced from 20 per cent to zero and the volume of intelligence reports submitted has increased.

Inspector Norman Dixon, Lothian and Borders, said: “We’re seeing officers of all ages and experience levels taking to PRONTO very rapidly. It has reduced system administrative tasks for operational police officers and from the outset we have increased police visibility by one hour, per officer, per shift, per day. Anecdotal evidence suggests that we are now achieving far more than that.”

Lee Hendricks, managing director of Anite’s Secure Information Solutions, said: “The public wants to see a more visible and effective police force but officers are having to spend too much time completing paperwork and re-keying information into a number of disparate IT systems.

“PRONTO has been specifically designed for UK policing to reduce the burden of administrative effort required to complete each incident process and help put officers back on the beat to protect the public.”

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