Smart technology mobilises officers

Derbyshire Constabulary is to adopt new smartphone-based policing applications to strengthen the capabilities of its officers by improving visibility and efficiency.

Nov 30, 2016
By Paul Jacques

Derbyshire Constabulary is to adopt new smartphone-based policing applications to strengthen the capabilities of its officers by improving visibility and efficiency.

The force will equip 1,500 police officers with the latest technology that it says will transform paper-based tasks into efficient digital processes.

“This is the next generation of the familiar police paper notebook,” said Derbyshire Constabulary Assistant Chief Constable Chris Haward.

“Instead of travelling to and from the police station to enter information into systems from paper notebooks, the officers can send and receive information directly from the front line.

“Our aim is to help our officers become more flexible than ever before, reducing the number of hours they spend in the office and making sure their time is being used in the most valuable way.”

Airwave, which was acquired by Motorola Solutions earlier this year, is working with O2 on the programme, which is part of an ongoing drive to deliver flexible mobile working across the public sector

The smartphones will give officers access to Airwave’s Pronto suite of mobile applications, built around common policing processes.

The applications will save valuable time by synchronising any information captured on the front line with back-office systems, dramatically reducing the form-filling process and allowing officers to process information anywhere and at any time.

Airwave said a trial of the smartphone technology with a similar mid-sized force showed that the electronic processing of 60,000 witness statements saved an average of 27 minutes and £42 per statement.

Further time and cost savings are also achieved through the reduced error rate, because Pronto applications contain purpose-built electronic forms with mandatory fields, which ensure data is entered in the correct format first time every time.

Phil Jefferson, Motorola Solutions’ sales vice-president in UK and Ireland, said: “We’re delighted that Derbyshire Constabulary has chosen Airwave and Pronto to be part of their mobility strategy. More than a third of UK police forces are now reaping the rewards of the Pronto application suite, which is taking a central role in unlocking the potential of technology in modern policing.”

Steve Norris, managing partner of O2’s Criminal Justice and Emergency Services Practice, added: “Derbyshire Constabulary is forward thinking and this partnership is an excellent example of how collaboration and connectivity can enable true flexibility and efficiency cost savings through streamlined work processes. The new smartphones and applications will have a positive impact not only on the force, but the community too.”

Earlier this year, Airwave and O2 worked with Sussex Police to deliver a similar suite of “tried and tested” communications services, designed to help it collaborate effectively with its partner force, Surrey Police, to improve overall productivity.

The service package includes a number of components focused on making collaboration and information sharing much easier, meaning officers’ time is prioritised in the most valuable way.

The services, which include the Pronto application suite from Airwave, will enable remote working and access to the Sussex Police Records Management System (Niche) as well as national policing systems and other police services. This means officers across different locations and forces can attend a scene and share data in real-time rather than having to drive back to an office location to share and upload information.

Loaded onto smart devices used by police forces, the Pronto suite of applications saves police officers valuable time by synchronising any information captured on the front line with back-office systems.

For example, an officer stopping a motorist suspected of speeding can quickly select the appropriate electronic form. If the suspect is subsequently accused of driving without a licence or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, all of the data entered for the first speeding-related form can be i

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