Cumbria Constabulary police to replace notebooks with smartphones

Police are putting aside their traditional notebooks and will be using smartphones instead as part of a scheme that could save more than £3m over the next three years.

Cumbria Constabulary has teamed up with telecoms firm EE and is equipping all its frontline officers as well as some staff with Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphones. The move comes as part of a technology plan to assist with policing duties and enable officers to cut down on administration. The smartphones feature bespoke apps to help the force go paper-free and buy them more time in the community.

Chief superintendent Steve Johnson said: “Cumbria Constabulary polices one of the largest geographical areas in England and Wales, which covers difficult terrain. As a result, call and data coverage and communication quality are important factors in mobilising the workforce in order to increase the amount of time officers are able to spend in the community, keeping people safe and dealing with crime.”

The cost will be based on one of EE's bundled tariffs for business and public sector customers, which offer between 50 terabytes and 1 petabyte of data across multiple devices on a single plan.

Around £1.8m is being invested into Cumbria Constabulary's mobile and digital working initiative, with support from Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes, as well as the Home Office Innovation Fund. The scheme involves switching from paper notebooks to digital services in order to save time and money, and it is estimated £3.3m will be made in efficiency savings over the next three years.

EE's Ettienne Brandt said: “Organisations in the public sector and emergency services are increasingly being called on to do more, and connected devices such as tablets and smartphones running on our 4G network can provide a real boost to productivity.

“Cumbria Constabulary's innovative use of 4G smartphones and EE 4G to replace the traditional police notepad is not only saving the force money, but it is also helping them spend more time making a difference to the community.”

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