Leicestershire police use technology to reduce anti-social behaviour

Leicestershire police claim to have cut anti-social behaviour by half after rolling-out techology that allows the force to map crime hot-spots.

Leicestershire...

Leicestershire police claim to have cut anti-social behaviour by half after rolling-out techology that allows the force to map crime hot-spots.

Leicestershire constabulary is using GPS transmitters in all police vehicles and hand-held radios to track their location, and plans to issue officers with Blackberrys and PDAs next year, to allow them to receive information on the move.

Superintendent Jez Cottrill from the Leicestershire constabulary, who is in charge of the pilot area for the 'iR3' system, said the initiative could also increase the time police officers spend in 'priority locations' by six times and reduce fuel costs by one-sixth.

"Most residents will say they never see a police officer," he said. "Our target is to have 80% of officers out in the neighbourhood. This scheme offers massive operational savings."

Leicestershire police say patrols to "crime hotspots" have nearly tripled in the pilot area.

South Wales police signed a contract in December for iR3. Rob Watts from Northgate Public Security, the company installing the system, said: "This solution has been designed to address the difficult challenges that police face in achieving a 15% increase in efficiency."

Northgate has received interest in the system from organisations and other parts of the public sector. Over the next few years, utility companies and government-run transportation could implement the iR3 system, said Watts.

Watts said iR3 would provide a "150% return on investment" over a five-year period.

A computer system that tracks the position of all law enforcement personal raises security concerns. Watts said that it is "all delivered through the secure police network so there is no concern over system security".

"The biggest challenge is acceptance from the officers that this is a good thing," he added.

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