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Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has confirmed a multi-million pound investment in mobile technology, allowing police officers to be more visible in communities across West Mercia.

A trial in Evesham saw officers issued with smartphones and laptops, enabling them to work on the move and preventing them from having to return to the police station frequently to do admin work. It resulted in, on average, an extra hour per officer, per shift, being spent out and about in the community. Following the success of the trial, the Commissioner has now approved the £4.2 million investment to roll the technology out to the rest of the force.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “This investment supports my promise to reform and modernise West Mercia Police, which needs to catch up and then keep up with technology. I vowed to back the force with the investment and resources it needs to become more responsive to changing demands and that’s exactly what I’m delivering.”

“This technology is not anything extraordinary, but it will have an extraordinary impact. An extra hour of community policing per officer, per shift will go a long way to improving police visibility, which I know is a key priority for our communities. It will also give our officers the tools they need to do their difficult jobs better. Having spoken to many of them, I know this is something they are all very much looking forward to getting.”

Anthony Bangham, Chief Constable of West Mercia Police, said: “We’re investing in fit-for-purpose technology – which is backed by a sustainable approach to future investment in IT – to bring both forces right up-to-date.

“The mobile phones and laptops have been put through their paces with two policing teams at Evesham and Rugby and the feedback has been excellent: it’s not so much about having a new bit of kit, but how it changes our way of working. The officers from our pilot studies reported, for example, that they are more visible in their local communities, can submit better evidence for court, and feel more motivated and empowered.  We know that being more visible to people in their local neighbourhoods is essential to improving public confidence and satisfaction in policing.”

Issued on: Wednesday 1 March