Moving forward through mobile (28 June 2018)

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Mobile hand held devices are helping to increase the time that frontline officers and staff spend on the streets of West Yorkshire.

Latest figures reveal that 150,000 updates are being added into the devices per month across the organisation, equating to a total of 10,000 hours of usage.

Launched in October 2014, they replaced the old pocket note books, providing instant access to Force systems at any time or place.

They contain 'Apps' allowing the user to record crime without ever having to return to the station.

A series of social media messages and videos are currently being published to highlight the ways in which they are changing the face of policing in the county.

West Yorkshire Police, Digital Policing Lead, Chief Inspector Ian Williams says that it is making a significant difference to visibility:

"The level of usage we are seeing from officers and staff is really representative of the value that the devices hold and what they bring to the public.

"We now have in the region of 5000 operational officers and staff equipped with the mobile devices, who are fully trained in their use.

"Their presence is really helping to meet the ever changing demands we experience through new and emerging crime types.

"Among the numerous apps developed since 2014, is access to an e-notebook, recording information and intelligence submissions.

"Officers and staff can also enter electronic witness statements and a number of other processes such as missing person forms, without ever having to put pen to paper back at base.

"A real advantage of the device is that the data collected can be shared at the click of button among colleagues anywhere within the Force.

"For example, we can immediately respond to a missing person enquiry, taking details from the scene and distributing an image within seconds to those on patrol.

"Other examples include intelligence and statements that can be acted upon immediately by colleagues dealing with prisoners or investigating crimes.

"Similarly, it allows users to view and update incidents whilst on the beat, increasing our visibility and responsiveness.

"Time after time, we have seen the benefits that these devices have brought to the way we work.

"If you see officers and staff out and about typing into their mobile devices, they are doing so to remain visible and give you the best service they possibly can.

"They are essentially taking what they could only have previously achieved in a station and building it into our engagement with our communities.

"In the majority of situations, we can deal with all the requirements there and then, without having to go away and come back to you later on.

"It means we are more victim focused, with the capability to act quicker and more efficiently than ever before."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I made funding available for these mobile devices as a priority back in 2014 as part of a transformation programme and it's good to see the real difference they are making.

"It's essential that West Yorkshire Police are well placed to tackle all crime types and keep our communities safe, especially with the rise of complex and demanding cases that the digital era has enabled.

"As Government cuts continue to impact it is imperative that we continue to look towards new ways of working to enable the best outcomes for our communities. The mobile devices have ensured that officers and staff have more time to spend in our neighbourhoods, offering greater visibility and a more proactive and efficient service in tune with modern ways of working.

"I would also like to publically thank the team behind the roll out and support of the devices, especially Chief Inspector Ian Williams, for his passion and dedication in making the initiative such a success and helping to change working practises positively."

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© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019