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Touch screen computer to keep bobbies on the beat

The roll out of touch screen computers across West Yorkshire Police should enable officers to spend more time on the beat, the force’s federation has said.

Some 4,000 electronic devices are to be handed out to frontline officers and staff to enable them to record crime without having to return to the station.

Nick Smart, federation chairman, said the body was “broadly very supportive of the scheme”.

He said: “Most police officers these days are very IT proficient. The device is relatively easy to use, secure and allows officers to complete tasks whilst remaining within the local community and reducing the need to return to the station.”

Mr Smart said the environment at the force was “tough” to work in, with officers facing 25 per cent budget cuts and the loss of more than 10 per cent of officers – and even more to follow.

He added: “So with this advent of technology it will hopefully make the best use of our police officers resources and give them an opportunity to complete admin functions more efficiently, whilst keeping officers visible within our communities and providing that re assurance the public want.”

Officers in some parts of West Yorkshire have already got the new devices, with police in Leeds expected to receive them in the coming months.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle said he hoped 7,000 officers and staff would eventually get the devices, allowing them to have “more time spent in our communities”.

Hundreds of touch-screen computers have separately already been handed out by the force, for use by officers in cars.

Mr Battle 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.

“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 whilst on the beat, increasing our visibility, responsiveness and presence on the streets.”

Date posted: October 24, 2014

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