Police mobile data project will put more officers on the beat

North Wales Police force has unveiled a £3.5m mobile data project involving 1,000 personal digital assistants and 200 wireless...

North Wales Police force has unveiled a £3.5m mobile data project involving 1,000 personal digital assistants and 200 wireless LAN mobile data units, backed by mobile-specific command and control systems.

The force claimed the project will enable officers to increase the proportion of time they spend outside the police station by more than 15% - equivalent to increasing police numbers by more than 150 officers.

The move follows a recent speech by home secretary David Blunkett in which he warned that the burden of administration was keeping officers off the beat. He urged police authorities to look at increasing the use of technology as a possible solution.

Using computers fitted in their car boots, connected via a high-speed modem to the force's command and control and records management data via the wireless Lan, North Wales Police officers will be able to remotely access many of the key applications used in the control room, such as the national and local police databases and global satellite positioning technology.

The system, which is based on software being developed by the force's IT partner Intergraph Public Safety, will replace 42 standalone IT systems.

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