Bedfordshire Police will invest in new mobile devices in a bid to increase productivity and the time officers can spend on the front line, it has been revealed.
Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins, approved the controversial move to improve efficiency and save money in the longterm by providing officers with tablet computers to enable them to complete paperwork and witness statements on the move without the need for returning to the police station.
The first stage of the investment plan will see a pilot scheme launched this month with three different devices being trialled in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.
The mobile devices would allow officers to carry out their work at their current location and would provide access to real time information as well as emails, the intranet and all the programmes available at their desktop.
Mr Martins said: “This is the latest element of our plan to save £7.5million but avoiding cuts to the front line. We are still facing a challenging financial future but police officers and staff cannot work any harder than they currently are. With this in mind, the intention is to better equip officers so that they can work smarter and more successfully than before, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. It’s all about investing to save.
“With increased data at their fingertips, the evidence-gathering process will become much easier and officers will be able to make better informed judgements in the field. The public would much rather have officers on patrol in their communities than filling in paperwork in the office and mobile devices will help increase visibility and make people feel safer.
“The technology will be trialled initially to determine product suitability but the long-term plan is to roll out mobile technology more widely to improve detection rates.”