Police visibility is to increase in communities across West Mercia, as a £4m investment in technology from PCC John Campion is rolled out to frontline officers.
The force has started the process of distributing new mobile technology to its officers. The use of smartphones and laptops was piloted recently and enabled, on average, one hour per officer, per shift, of additional time in communities, instead of the office. The equipment also helps give officers quicker access to intelligence and the ability to log a crime while on the move.
The rollout has now started and smart phones will be in use by around 2000 frontline officers and staff across West Mercia by mid July. Laptops will be fully distributed in the Autumn.
PCC John Campion said “I promised to deliver better police visibility and reassurance for our communities. This investment shows one way I am delivering on this promise, ensuring our officers have the tools to provide the best possible service.”
“This technology isn’t anything revolutionary, but it is already proving its worth for our police force and the communities they serve. It means our officers are spending less time going to and from the office, and spending more time with communities and victims of crime. It’s important that we catch up and then keep up with technology, to continue to keep West Mercia safe.”
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 our force right up-to-date.
“The mobile phones and laptops have been put through their paces 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: Friday 16th June 2017