Mobile technology rolls out across Humberside Police

Humberside Police has begun rolling out laptops to its frontline police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs).

Oct 15, 2014
By Paul Jacques

Humberside Police has begun rolling out laptops to its frontline police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs).

It is part of a £1.8 million investment in mobile technology funded through a joint bid to the Government’s Police Innovation Fund by the Humberside and South Yorkshire police and crime commissioners (PCCs) (see PP419).

It is hoped the use of this new technology will mean officers spend tens of thousands more hours on the beat every year.

The laptops will enable officers and PCSOs to check and update police systems while away from the police station, cutting down on travel time and dramatically increasing their time in communities. It means an officer deployed to a crime such as a burglary could update police logs and carry out administrative tasks related to the crime while they are with the victim in their own home.

PCSOs will be able to log information and concerns from the public during community surgeries, submit intelligence, carry out daily administration tasks and stay in touch with the community via Facebook and Twitter on the move.

The force says all of this “means officers and PCSOs spending less time in stations and more protecting communities, targeting criminals and making a difference to people’s lives”.

Humberside Police Assistant Chief Officer Phil Goatley said: “We recognise the public wants to see more officers out and about, tackling and preventing crime in our communities – this technology will allow us to really focus on increasing visibility and spending more time with victims.

“The time we can save and the value we can add to our service with this new technology will play a key role in us providing 21st century policing at a time of austerity. We will be a smaller, more efficient force in future and if we are to continue to improve our services, we have to make the most of the staff we have.”

The mobile data programme is part of Humberside Police’s new operating model, designed to modernise the force, maximise its resources and provide cost savings. It is due to go live in April next year.

“Our new structure and shift pattern will mean that even though we will be smaller, every 24 hours there will be 100 more response officers on shift than there is now,” added Mr Goatley.

“These are officers in police cars responding to urgent calls and emergencies. They will book on at our five operational bases with their mobile technology at various times during the day and night. They will then go out into the surrounding rural and urban areas and stay there, not having to keep returning to base, providing continuous coverage.”

He said information entering force systems faster will also speed up the criminal justice system, getting victims of crime the resolution they deserve quicker. This new way of working will increase officer time ‘on the beat’. Trials showed each individual officer was out of the station and visible for up to two additional hours per week.

Humberside PCC Matthew Grove said: “The public constantly tell us they want to see officers out on patrol in their communities but there will always be administrative duties they need to carry out.

“At present our officers are constantly pulled back into police stations as our IT is static and outdated. The average person in the street has more information on the smartphone in their pocket than a police officer carries. Not only will the new technology bring us into the 21st century, but more importantly will increase the visibility of our officers at a time of reducing staff numbers.”

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