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    Northamptonshire Police to spend more time out on the beat, less time at the station


    Vodafone has provided Northamptonshire Police with a mobile data solution that now means up to 900 officers can spend less time at the station and more time in the community. Northamptonshire Police is providing frontline officers with BlackBerry smartphones, giving them on-the-spot access to internal computer systems and records. 

    Initial trials of the solution show that officers increased time on the beat by as much as 10 per cent, with BlackBerry smartphones being used more than 20 times a day.  This equates to one hour of a ten-hour shift they would otherwise have needed to spend at the station.

    The BlackBerry smartphones give officers direct access to internal police computer systems such as the Police National Computer (PNC) as well as vital information including duty sheets, policy forms and witness statements that can be used to enter information on an incident, at the scene. The internal systems have been adapted for easy access via the smartphones and built-in cameras are also being used to capture images at the scene.

    Paul Hill, Mobile Data Project Officer at Northamptonshire Police, explains: "It's not just that officers have to return to a police station to complete paperwork. When they're there, there's competition for resources – a desktop computer or laptop isn't always available."

    An additional function that will allow officers to enter live intelligence that can be accessed by anyone involved at the scene of an incident, is also due to be deployed later this year.

    The solution has been made possible through the Mobile Information Programme set-up by the UK National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) in an initiative to provide frontline technology to five forces in the East Midlands, including Northamptonshire.  

    Hill continues: "This mobile technology implementation gives us valuable insights into the potential policing of the future.  Along with Vodafone's vast experience in delivering mobile data services to the police, we now have a solution that is not only invaluable for policing today, but also ensures we can move forward with a detailed understanding of the role of technology in modern policing."