Essentially a mid-sized cross between a smartphone and a tablet, with a larger than normal screen, the Samsung devices will be pre-loaded with applications to enable officers to record crimes without having to return to the police station.
West Yorkshire Police said this would reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks and increase the amount of time police spend on the beat.
A nationwide audit of police forces in the UK conducted two years ago found that mobile devices enabled officers to spend, on average, 18 minutes longer on the street per shift.
West Yorkshire Police believes each extra minute on the street per officer, per day, equated to a million pounds worth of additional policing per annum.
It hopes to enable up to 7,000 police staff to use the devices in the future, said assistant chief constable Andy Battle.
“This initiative will exploit technology to maximise the capability and effectiveness of policing at the frontline,” he said.
“As a result of this project, there will be an increase in the amount of time they are able to spend on the streets, dealing with crime and public safety. The device includes an e-notebook which will enable us to record information and make intelligence submissions via secure mobile police apps.
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“Officers will be able to enter electronic witness statements and complete missing person forms without having to put pen to paper back at base. Similarly, the device will allow users to view and update incidents while on the beat, increasing our visibility, responsiveness and presence on the streets.”
The investment will be provided through a transformation fund as part of the 2014/2015 budget agreement driven by West Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson.
West Yorkshire Police joins its southern counterparts, Surrey Police, in deploying Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 devices.
Surrey Police is currently phasing out Motorola PDAs running Windows Mobile in favour of the Android devices, and hopes to have 1,000 devices in the field by early 2015.
The force has overcome security concerns that dog the Android operating system through a mobile device management solution provided by communications and networking partner Airwave, which includes data encryption, device tracking, and remote wiping should the device be lost or stolen.