Police officers across Lancashire are to be given smartphones, as a pilot project of mobile technology to help “modernise policing” is rolled out across the force.
More than 2,000 police officers will be given Samsung Galaxy Note 4 devices, which are hoped to “revolutionise” the way they work and help them access police IT files and systems while on the go.
Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, has funded the investment from an earmarked reserves budget, which was set aside to improve services.
Leaders say the scheme, part of a £10.1m overhaul of IT infrastructure across the force, will mean officers will be out on the beat for longer.
The devices will come loaded with special policing apps allowing officers to read live crime reports, take witness statements electronically and access the police national computer to run checks.
They will also be able to post directly onto the constabulary’s 70 or more social media accounts to make instant appeals for help, or to engage directly with the public.
The Commissioner said: “This investment was planned to ensure we provide our officers with the latest technology to improve the speed in which they access information.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates added: “This is one of the biggest changes to the constabulary in years and demonstrates our commitment to make use of modern enterprise technology to ensure that officers and staff have more time to spend in their communities.” He said the smartphones would let officers work “more efficiently”.