Police Scotland’s £21m mobile phone rollout begins
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

Police Scotland has begun the process of issuing approximately 10,000 of its uniformed officers with mobile devices. Officers in Dundee, Perth, Kinross and Angus will be among the first to start using them.

Officers will be able to use the devices to access a range of police systems while out on duty, removing the need to return to the police station in many cases, and allowing them to spend more time working within the community. This is enabled through Motorola Solutions’ Pronto application, which also enables them to fill in reports and removes the need for traditional paper notebooks.

The £21m Mobile Working Project is part funded by Scottish Government’s capital budget allocation and the rollout is due to be completed by spring 2020. Once issued, the devices will be enhanced over time with the addition of future policing applications, including national systems as they become available. EE won the contract for the project back in January and the handsets will be supplied by Samsung and Blackberry.

Deputy chief constable Will Kerr said: "The introduction of mobile technology is a major milestone which will positively change the operational policing approach in Scotland.

“Until now, our officers have been using paper notebooks to record information and crimes and have then been wasting time travelling back to their stations to type that into a computer.

“Giving them mobile phones will make them more visible in the communities they serve, enabling them to work on crime prevention and community-based policing to keep people safe, whether in the public, private or virtual space.

“It’s the start of our work to equip officers with the tools they need to do their jobs and to transform Police Scotland into an organisation capable of delivering 21st century policing, but there’s much more that we still need to do.”

Divisional commander for Tayside, chief superintendent Andrew Todd, said: "Tayside Division is the first division to receive mobile technology. My officers will now be able to spend more time on patrol, increasing their visibility, engagement and accessibility within the communities they serve.

“Members of the public will see police officers operating their mobile device in public areas. It is important they understand they are not using their personal telephone and that they are working but be reassured they will always be available to help or provide advice if needed.”

David Wallace, BT’s public sector director in Scotland and chair of the BT board in Scotland, said: “We’re pleased to be leading this project, bringing in our EE mobile network – the largest 4G network in the UK – and our unrivalled resources to help Police Scotland transform the way they work…”

Norman Dixon, Motorola Solutions' account director for Scotland said: “The Pronto mobile application replaces the paper notebook and modernises police workflows by giving them access to databases and tools on their mobile device on the beat. It is a world-leading mobile solution for policing. It was developed here in Scotland in partnership with the police service, so it is fantastic to see that it will become available to 10,000 Police Scotland officers.

“We look forward to working with Police Scotland and are proud to be part of this major milestone in mobile police technology.”

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