Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley has said that the force wants to roll out 30,000 mobile and tablet devices to officers this year so that they can have at hand all the information they need to make decisions when out on the streets.
It has recently been reported that the Met will face a £500m reduction in its annual budget of £3bn – the use of smartphones would reduce back-office costs of staff inputting data and generating reports for officers as they would be able to do this themselves.
The force also wants to develop apps that could help officers. According to Rowley, “it would be much easier for an officer to have an app that went through the process of the details they need to collect, the enquiries they need to make, and the advice they need to give, along with electronically being able to pass on crime prevention advice.”
“Officers are already using their own smartphone devices to circumvent the fact that the kit (radio system) we provide them with isn’t good enough. We would like our officers to have mobile smart devices, probably supplied by the organisation, that give them access to real-time information,” said Rowley, although he added that “Whether we can pull that off, frankly I don’t know yet.”
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