Police get another £30m for mobile data devices

The government is giving the police another £30m to fund the deployment of mobile data devices to officers on the beat.

A further 25 police forces...

The government is giving the police another £30m to fund the deployment of mobile data devices to officers on the beat.

A further 25 police forces are to benefit from the cash, with devices designed to reduce red tape and improve efficiency in the fight against crime.

The devices are said to save officers up to 30 minutes per shift, as they are able to send and receive information while on the beat, meaning less time in the station and more on the streets.

Policing minister Vernon Coaker said, "The successes of mobile information devices show how our investment in new technology is making crime fighting more effective and saving officers' time.

"They are just one element of a range of improvements we are delivering to cut unnecessary bureaucracy, exploit new technologies and enable police officers to spend more time on front-line policing in communities across the country."

The programme is managed by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) on behalf of the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

Chief Constable Peter Neyroud, chief executive of the NPIA, said, "This is great news for the police service. Phase one forces have shown how mobile computers are critical to a modern police officer.

"Officers who have access to databases, such as the Police National Computer, command and control and intelligence systems while out on patrol, are spending less time returning to the station and more time on the frontline, therefore, increasing visibility and reassuring the public."

The new funding is in addition to £50m provided by the government earlier this year to deliver 10,000 devices by the end of September 2008 for phase one of the programme.

The target was exceeded and there are now more than 13,000 handheld computers being used by frontline officers. With the help of the extra cash, the total figure will eventually rise to 30,000.

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