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Police has £25m mobile phone budget

Now here’s a contract worth winning. The British government is to spend £25 million on giving the coppers mobile phones.

In terms of publicity alone Apple and OpenMoku should be fighting it out to give the iconic police force their handsets and Orange, Vodafone etc. would be well advised to start chasing after this one.

It’s all a bid to cut red tape and give more officers access to information instantly when on patrol, saving on communication time.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found a PC quicker when it comes to accessing the internet. Quicker and easier still when it comes to finding what you want on a screen. Since the bobbies have access to a control room and people able to check the police database what benefit is there? Also, what are the police searching for online if it’s not a suspect?

According to Tech Radar:

The government has already spent a wad of cash on deploying 10,000 of said devices to 27 forces, but the new cash injection should swell that number to around 30,000 2010.

Albeit the blog is in the same situation as me as the police force still hasn’t found its stolen bike.

At first glance it seems a well thought through move so will probably make political sense but I’m not so sure it is. Would I rather have this or 750 more police (and that’s at a very high £33k salary each) on the streets / in control rooms with access to a police radio and the internet and the police database then I’d choose the latter.

9 replies on “Police has £25m mobile phone budget”

The Police have PDA thingys now, I've seen them! Why on earth do they need a mobile phones when they have Walkie-Talkies too?

That is what I like to call “A waste of money”; there is absolutely no need for spending that much, when I think they are equipped communication-wise, more than well!

Samantha.

Why not give them a reeeeeeeally big credit limit with Texperts.

Then give Texperts access to the Police database.

Sorted.

The article doesn't say mobile phones – it says 'mobile devices'. This is likely to be part of the national Airwave roll-out which replaces old-style radios with (as Terrence says below) Tetra-based mobile devices with speech and data. You may have seen them or previous trials of other technologies (some forces use Blackberry, for example) in use around the UK as each force manages deployments coordinating with the NPIA, the Home Office funded organisation who's remit includes Police IT.

I think you'd be surprised how limited and poor the previous radio solutions were – this upgrade is long overdue. It is, for example, the first time all forces and other agencies have a single platform they can communicate with – a failing that has been noted a multiple occasions at major incidents where several forces need to work together. It also has a solution which can be deployed rapidly into areas without any coverage, such as Tube tunnels*. Eventually the other emergency services should also be using this system for even better collaboration.

* Cue Dan Lane's silly giggling and muttering 'leaky feeder'.

Good points.
I'll admit defeat.

Although I think twenty-five million is an absurd amount to be spending. Plus, the Police would have to pay tax on all of it; if the Government changed the rules so that publicly funded services such as Healthcare, Policing and Schools didn't have to pay VAT on their spending, I think we would all be surprised at how much more you could get for the money.

Samantha.

This seems like a very one sided ill informed point of view. You want more officers on the street, to allow these officers to carry out their checks on the numerous systems that the police require to conduct their investigation and allow them to do their job you suggest having a control room with staff using pcs. Now basic maths there suggests more officers on the street, more checks and enquiries, more staff off the street in control rooms. When any new system is rolled out there is always going to be a large intial cost, but to allow for the progression and modernization in an business, industry, service, etc…. investments have to be made.

“TETRA mobiles already have GPRS access and can access Intranets and Internets”

Again this goes down to software and models of mobile available. The basic function of this device is to allow better communication for officers to their colleagues and control rooms. The PDA is there to be the officers notepad, to allow them to reduce paperwork and reduce time spent infront of a pc (which has already been pointed out are in offices and not in the street where you want officers to be), so they can enter and access information on the move (using police systems, they dont access the internet for ebay shopping or whatever else you may be suggesting). This reduces duplication of forms and paperwork which currently is the case, as the PDA can be docked with a pc when officers do eventually get back to the office and generates all the relevant forms, reducing time spent behind a desk!!!

Now I would love to go into depth and provide you with facts and figures as i've not even touched the surface, however as you have clearly not completed any research why should I bother. I'm not here to slate people or carry out personal attacks, but throw away remarks and uninformed postings are a joke!!!!

This seems like a very one sided ill informed point of view. You want more officers on the street, to allow these officers to carry out their checks on the numerous systems that the police require to conduct their investigation and allow them to do their job you suggest having a control room with staff using pcs. Now basic maths there suggests more officers on the street, more checks and enquiries, more staff off the street in control rooms. When any new system is rolled out there is always going to be a large intial cost, but to allow for the progression and modernization in an business, industry, service, etc…. investments have to be made.

“TETRA mobiles already have GPRS access and can access Intranets and Internets”

Again this goes down to software and models of mobile available. The basic function of this device is to allow better communication for officers to their colleagues and control rooms. The PDA is there to be the officers notepad, to allow them to reduce paperwork and reduce time spent infront of a pc (which has already been pointed out are in offices and not in the street where you want officers to be), so they can enter and access information on the move (using police systems, they dont access the internet for ebay shopping or whatever else you may be suggesting). This reduces duplication of forms and paperwork which currently is the case, as the PDA can be docked with a pc when officers do eventually get back to the office and generates all the relevant forms, reducing time spent behind a desk!!!

Now I would love to go into depth and provide you with facts and figures as i've not even touched the surface, however as you have clearly not completed any research why should I bother. I'm not here to slate people or carry out personal attacks, but throw away remarks and uninformed postings are a joke!!!!

This seems like a very one sided ill informed point of view. You want more officers on the street, to allow these officers to carry out their checks on the numerous systems that the police require to conduct their investigation and allow them to do their job you suggest having a control room with staff using pcs. Now basic maths there suggests more officers on the street, more checks and enquiries, more staff off the street in control rooms. When any new system is rolled out there is always going to be a large intial cost, but to allow for the progression and modernization in an business, industry, service, etc…. investments have to be made.

“TETRA mobiles already have GPRS access and can access Intranets and Internets”

Again this goes down to software and models of mobile available. The basic function of this device is to allow better communication for officers to their colleagues and control rooms. The PDA is there to be the officers notepad, to allow them to reduce paperwork and reduce time spent infront of a pc (which has already been pointed out are in offices and not in the street where you want officers to be), so they can enter and access information on the move (using police systems, they dont access the internet for ebay shopping or whatever else you may be suggesting). This reduces duplication of forms and paperwork which currently is the case, as the PDA can be docked with a pc when officers do eventually get back to the office and generates all the relevant forms, reducing time spent behind a desk!!!

Now I would love to go into depth and provide you with facts and figures as i've not even touched the surface, however as you have clearly not completed any research why should I bother. I'm not here to slate people or carry out personal attacks, but throw away remarks and uninformed postings are a joke!!!!

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