Hi-tech police to spend longer on the beat

NEARLY £2 million has been awarded to Herts Police by the Government for them to invest in mobile technology to support officers on the beat. The hand-held computers known as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are already used by 1,000 officers who took p

NEARLY £2 million has been awarded to Herts Police by the Government for them to invest in mobile technology to support officers on the beat.

The hand-held computers known as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are already used by 1,000 officers who took part in a national trial involving five police forces, and the grant will allow the numbers of the devices to double.

The £1.9 million awarded will also fund ongoing work to improve the information available to officers through the PDAs and 300 car-borne devices.

It is hoped that with increasing amounts of information available at the officers' fingertips, it will reduce the need for them to return to the police station and will therefore enable them to stay out on patrol for longer.


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The force secured the grant after successfully bidding for a share of £50 million allocated by the Home Office to the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

Deputy Chief Constable, Simon Parr, said: "This is excellent news for Herts and an acknowledgement of the work we have carried out recently as one of five pilot forces taking part in a national trial involving officers using hand-held PDAs."

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He added: "Ultimately, the aim is to provide officers with access to incident logs, crime reports, the Police National Computer and intelligence, along with a raft of other useful facilities including satellite navigation. This will enable our processes to become more efficient and there will be less need for officers to return to a police station to carry out checks, increasing the time they can spend out on patrol. We intend to change the way this force does business, increasing our responsiveness and our visibility."

Chair of Herts Police Authority, Yasmin Batiwala, said: "This grant will enable the constabulary to step up its work on cutting bureaucracy for officers and staff on the frontline of policing and make them even more visible and accessible to the people of Herts.

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