Suffolk and Norfolk Police forces take tablets to improve efficiency

Chief Supt Mike Fawcett (left) and PCC Tim Passmore with some of the mobile technology
Chief Supt Mike Fawcett (left) and PCC Tim Passmore with some of the mobile technology

Suffolk and Norfolk Police are equipping their frontline officers with new 21st century mobile technology.

Over the next three months, 1,500 uniformed officers will get a Samsung tablet and Nokia phone to ‘revolutionise’ the way in which they deal with incidents and the service they provide to the public.

Tablets will enable officers to update crime systems, review live incidents, update victims and liaise with partner agencies on-the-go. Tasks that would normally require returning to the station for a computer can now be done immediately.

Newly developed applications, officers will also allow them to take statements and submit a number of other forms via the devices, reducing paperwork at the end of each shift.

The rollout will be delivered alongside the distribution of body-worn video cameras which began in May. Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies have budgeted £1.2m to equip the officers with the devices but it is expected the efficiencies will save money in the long-term.

Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett, Project Lead for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “Following a three month trial last year, it was clear that the devices offered officers what they needed – quick access to accurate information without the need to travel back to the station.

“This is very much an ‘invest-to-save’ project – and I expect that the resource commitment we have made will bring us cost benefits in the long-term.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Anything that makes life on the streets more efficient for our police officers has my full support. This is an excellent example of joint investment between Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies and there is no doubt that this improved access to information will help transform operational policing in the county.”