Handheld computers ‘critical’ to policing

Hampshire Constabulary Deputy Chief Constable Simon Cole believes that the latest mobile data devises are critical to a modern police officer.

Jan 15, 2009
By Paul Jacques
Dr Brian Plastow

Hampshire Constabulary Deputy Chief Constable Simon Cole believes that the latest mobile data devises are critical to a modern police officer.

“Patrolling officers with access to databases, such as the Police National Computer, command and control and intelligence systems will spend less time returning to the station and more time on the frontline, increasing visibility and reassuring the public,” he said.

Hampshire Constabulary is among a further 25 police forces and two agencies – ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) – to benefit from state-of-the art, handheld computers in a bid to reduce red tape and improve efficiency in the fight against crime.

It will use its portion of the latest £30 million funding – which is focused on supporting the forces that were unfunded in phase one – to issue handheld computers to some of its frontline officers as a pilot scheme until autumn 2009.

More handheld computers will then be issued until March 2010, when funding ceases. At this point, further deployment will depend on additional funding being available.

The new funding, the second phase of a programme managed by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), is in addition to £50 million provided by the Government earlier this year to deliver 10,000 devices by the end of September 2008. The target was exceeded and there are now over 13,000 handheld computers being used by frontline officers.

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