A joint bid by the Humberside and South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioners has secured £1.8m of further Government funding to expand their collaboration on providing mobile technology to police officers and PCSO’s.
The latest successful bid to the Home Office’s Police Innovation Fund follows an earlier joint award of £1m announced in February this year. The Government have also agreed to provide further funding in 2015-16, dependent on progress in the current financial year.
Following successful trials across both forces, frontline police officers and PCSO’s are now being supplied with mobile wireless tablet devices. The new technology allows them to access secure police systems and complete paperwork in a variety of locations, including the homes of victims of crime, speeding up and improving the service. The trials showed officers were able to spend up to two hours extra per shift on patrol when they had mobile technology available to them, instead of returning to a police station.
In making his decision, Mike Penning MP - Minister for Policing commented: “This bid displayed a high level of ambition… excellent evidence of collaboration and innovation.”
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove said: “The public constantly tell us they want to see officers out on patrol in their communities but there will always be administrative duties they need to carry out. At present our officers are constantly pulled back into police stations as our IT is static and outdated. The average person in the street has more information on the Smartphone in their pocket than a police officer carries. Not only will the new technology bring us into the 21st Century but more importantly will increase the visibility of our officers at a time of reducing staff numbers. The previous successful bid and this one represent a huge amount of great work on the part of Humberside and South Yorkshire Police’s shared Information Services and Information Technology Departments. I am delighted the Government has recognised our innovative approach with continued funding.”
Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Increasing police visibility is one of my top priorities. I have already pledged to increase the feeling of a police presence on the streets of South Yorkshire. I wish to improve neighbourhood policing and am committed to this by using a number of initiatives including the special constabulary, marked police vehicles and signage of police buildings.
“This welcome Government funding will allow more officers to spend valuable time in their local communities. The public want a greater police presence on their streets and this technology provides the opportunity. Officers can now carry out their administrative duties quickly, in a timely manner without constantly returning to the police station.”