Over 500 police officers in Gloucestershire Constabulary are now using new mobile devices to promote a more effective and efficient way of working.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 devices, which were introduced across the force area in July 2015, have enabled officers to remain on the beat rather than travel back to police stations to complete paperwork and tasks on computers.
The project, involving over £2 million of investment, means that around 80% to 90% of work that officers were previously completing in an office will eventually be carried out within the community on the touch screen devices. This includes taking statements, issuing vehicle tickets, monitoring emails, arranging calendar appointments, updating incident logs and filling in stop and search forms. Many of the applications have proved vital, such as Google translator when liaising with members of the public who have little or no English. Several more useful programmes will be introduced onto the devices in the coming months.
Over 20 large retail outlets have agreed to actively promote officers to use their public facilities. The outlets, including Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores across Gloucestershire, are highly supportive of officers using their cafes and restaurants to carry out work on the mobile devices. Each officer is provided with a card to display which emphasises that they are mobile working.Gloucestershire Constabulary are currently in talks with smaller businesses to ensure this process can be implemented in the most rural of areas.
Although most front line officers are currently utilising the technology, which is highly security protected, it is hopeful that in the near future the devices will be provided to those in the force’s Public Protection Bureau and Criminal Investigation Department.
Chief Inspector Neil Smith of Local Policing said: “I think it’s one of the greatest practices we’ve ever introduced and will allow our officers to give the very best service to our communities.
“The public will be seeing officers, PCSOs and Special Constables on these devices. One strong message we want to communicate to anyone who sees an officer sat in a café and working on a mobile phone, is that they’re not browsing social media or shopping online, they’re contacting victims, updating jobs and doing it whilst being visible and accessible.
“There is still a lot of work to do with this project, but within the last four months, the benefits are greatly outweighing the costs – for the organisation, victims of crime and our communities. I think this has been and will be the biggest change for the good in every single aspect of policing.”