Vodafone mobilises NZ Police with smart technology

Vodafone has signed a ten-year deal to supply a comprehensive package of mobile communications to New Zealand Police.

Mar 28, 2013
By Paul Jacques
Graeme Biggar

Vodafone has signed a ten-year deal to supply a comprehensive package of mobile communications to New Zealand Police.

From next month, Vodafone New Zealand will deliver customised mobile services and smartphones to New Zealand Police, enabling more than 6,000 frontline response, investigation and community police officers to securely access information about suspects, vehicles and locations while on the move. Almost 4,000 of these officers who need to undertake more complex data entry as part of their job will also be provided with a tablet device.

The move to equip the police force with new mobile technologies is part of New Zealand’s Better Public Services programme and will not only help save time, but will also lessen the workload of on-duty officers.

Use of the devices will mean frontline staff gain 30 minutes productivity per shift, which equates to approximately 520,000 hours each year – the equivalent of around 345 frontline officers. The expected time-savings of 30 minutes per officer per shift will be reinvested into preventative policing activities.

The initial cost of the rollout is NZ$4.3 million. Over the next ten years, New Zealand Police will spend NZ$159 million in operating expenditure to fund the technology rollout. During the same period, the move is expected to provide New Zealand Police with productivity benefits of NZ$304.8 million.
These benefits were identified by New Zealand Police during an 11-month trial involving more than 100 frontline officers in four police districts.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said the decision for police to roll out smartphones and tablets to frontline staff will fundamentally change the way these officers do their jobs.

“We believe greater use of modern technology is the way of the future; it’s common sense and will ensure officers can remain on the frontline rather than returning to stations to complete paperwork,” he said.

Commissioner Marshall said officers would now have access to better and more timely information about people, vehicles and locations when they are out in communities.

“They will have mobile access to job-critical information where and when they need it,” he said.

“This will mean improved decision-making when dealing with offenders, victims and law-abiding citizens, but it will also help with their own safety and situational awareness.

“We are taking this seriously – districts are held to account in ensuring freed-up time is reinvested into tactics focused on prevention to reduce crime and prosecutions.

“Our long-term vision is for frontline officers to be empowered, informed, tech-savvy, visible and safe in the community preventing crime, not in stations filling in forms.

“The use of mobile devices goes a long way toward achieving this vision.”

Vodafone New Zealand CEO Russell Stanners said: “We are pleased to be partnering with New Zealand Police to help them realise their mobility goals. Vodafone invests over $100 million a year in our network in New Zealand and this year’s investment programme, focused on delivering speeds up to twice as fast through 42Mb/s technology, means our customers – including the police – can do what they need to do, faster with the latest technology. This will deliver an outcome that directly benefits the security and safety of New Zealand communities.”

Vodafone recently entered into a strategic five-year partnership with defence, aerospace and security company BAE Systems to provide a range of advanced communications security products and services, initially focused on smartphones and tablets. It is part of BAE Systems’ continued commitment to grow its cyber and security arm, BAE Systems Detica, in areas such as the communications technology market.

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