New chapter in police notebook history

An increasing number of officers are being given access to a mobile suite of applications as digitisation of the police notebook gathers pace.

Jan 27, 2016
By Chris Allen

An increasing number of officers are being given access to a mobile suite of applications as digitisation of the police notebook gathers pace. The tuServ system, created by Microsoft affiliated software developers Black Marble, is designed to save many hours of police time by allowing officers to access a wide range of databases and digitally input notes while on the beat.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary was the first force to adopt tuServ in 2014 and it has now been rolled out across Bedfordshire Police, with Hertfordshire Constabulary also in the process of going online.

Bedfordshire’s project lead Superintendent Mark Upex said it means “this tri-force alliance will be even better aligned”, not least because of a feature called ‘Around Me’, which means officers can see at a glance incidents that are going on around them within a chosen radius of one to 30 miles, including those in the neighbouring forces.

It is understood a further four forces are looking to adopt tuServ.

The platform – which can be used on smartphones, tablet computers or laptops – enables easy access to a wide range of police data systems from remote locations, including the Police National Computer, crime intelligence, stop and search and custody information.

An electronic notebook app means officers can capture text, signatures, images, video and audio. It will also allow real-time sharing of captured information across the force, saving time and money.

Other notable features include an events dashboard, a system noting current incidents and an officer’s location, a briefing and tasking app and a ticketing app.

Linda Hogg, marketing manager at Black Marble, said: “On an operational level, it’s about delivering more fluid and efficient policing with accurate, connected data; tuServ is fast becoming an integral part of the drive to digitise and modernise policing. The system provides significant benefits, including quicker response time, improved agility in the field and better decision-making on the front line.”

The application can help officers plan their day around appointments, see police information attached to locations and access virtually all data on the force command and control system. It also helps assist quick decision-making – such as whether a supervisor should attend a scene – and means many jobs can be done on the move rather than returning to the station.

Bedfordshire police and crime commissioner Olly Martins said new technology such as tuServ enables the force to become more efficient during times of ever-shrinking budgets, adding: “This means officers will spend more time where the public want them most – in the community protecting people and fighting crime.”

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