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Fedster

Mobile revolution in Scotland to bring savings equivalent to 'hundreds of officers'

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Fedster

Force announces £21m rejuvenation of 'creaking' systems.

Coming full circle: The world-leading mobile data solution for policing, which was born in Scotland, and has since expanded in wider UK, is now coming home

Coming full circle: The world-leading mobile data solution for policing, which was born in Scotland, and has since expanded in wider UK, is now coming home

Date - 23rd January 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
1 Comment1 Comment}

 

A national force’s decision to give the green light to new mobile technology is set to make ‘double-your-money’ efficiency savings equivalent to 400 frontline officers.

Police Scotland today trumpeted leading its force in to a “more digitally focussed future” as it announced splashing out £21 million on the three-year rollout of phones to enable officers to reach the parts of the country that have, to date, remained inaccessible to them.

The Scottish Police Authority has awarded the UK’s biggest 4G network operator EE, part of BT Group, the main contract to supply cutting-edge mobile services to the force.

The contract is part of a broader deal between the force and EE to deliver its national mobile working solution, a key strand of the Serving a Changing Scotland (2026) Strategy.

Motorola Solutions will provide its Pronto Digital Notebook policing application software to the force’s 10,000 officers across Scotland with the device handsets coming from Samsung and Blackberry.

The news comes as shot-in-the-arm for the force which admitted back in August that officers and staff were operating “inefficiently” with either no or out-of-date phones.

Civilian deputy chief officer David Page told the SPA that new phones could generate around £49 million of efficiency savings over a five-year period through time saved by staff – equating to an additional capacity of 400 officers.

It was further revealed that money from proposed speed awareness courses and other projects had been diverted to buy new mobile phones.

Mr Page said at the time: “Our communities will see our officers in their space much more frequently, our officers won’t be travelling back to their bases, will be given better information to do their job.

“It’s a huge enabler for officers to become much more productive and much more visible in their communities. The investment in the national network is what we need to do to stop our systems from creaking and going out of date, but also to allow them to support mobility.”

He suggested an initial plan of 600 devices by the end of the financial year, with the full 10,000 to follow.

Today Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham, in announcing operational use of the devices will begin this year, said: “This contract signifies the commitment Police Scotland and the SPA have in leading the force into a more digitally focussed future. 

“The use of mobile devices will revolutionise the way officers and staff access systems, currently only available from desktop and laptop computers within police stations, enabling them to work on crime prevention and community-based policing to keep people safe, whether in the public, private or virtual space.”

Officers will also be able to directly access local and national police databases such as the Police Command and Control system, the Scottish Criminal History System and the Police National Computer.

The devices will firstly be assigned incrementally to response and community policing officers, and officers within roads policing and the specialist services’ division.

Pronto was originally developed in collaboration with officers and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Office in the early 2000s as part of a project with the University of Glasgow.

The latest version of Pronto, which has become a leading digital policing application, is now being used by 20 police forces and more than 40,000 officers across England, Wales and the Channel Islands. An earlier version is also currently in use in parts of Central Scotland.

Overall, Pronto has allowed forces to save between one and two hours of administration and travel time per officer, per shift.

It has also enabled significant cost savings, with an unnamed UK force saying it has saved up to £7 million through this modernisation of its processes.

This deployment by Police Scotland will also help reduce “yo-yo policing,” where officers are continually moving back and forth between the front line and the police station to complete administrative tasks.

David Wallace, BT Enterprise’s public sector director in Scotland and chair of the BT Scotland board, said “Today’s deal will enable thousands of police officers across Scotland to access the information they need, at the touch of a button . . . freeing up police officers’ time so they can focus on policing in communities.

“We’re excited to be at the forefront of creating new possibilities through this partnership.”

Motorola Solutions country manager Phil Jefferson added: “We’re extremely proud to see that we have now come full circle. This world-leading mobile data solution for policing, which was born in Scotland, and has since expanded in wider UK, is now coming home.”

Meanwhile in England and Wales, the long-awaited replacement for the aging Airwave radio system has finally began its first testing phase.

New Emergency Service Network handsets, which run off the 4G mobile network provided by EE, are being trialled by technology company, Telent, after receiving a multi-million pound contract from the Home Office.

It will put 100 of the devices through their paces from a variety of locations before feeding back on signal coverage.

The reports will inform how coverage can be further improved before the programme, which was meant to begin operating in 2017, moves onto the next stage of delivery. In September, the Home Office announced it may not be fully rolled-out until at least the end of 2022.

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Jimbo26

Seen this all before. In fact my force has introduced technology that has made doing the same thing even more time consuming than the paper equivalent it was replacing. You really couldn't make it up.

I think the problems with the police and technology is twofold.

1. We tend to use officers to implement and roll it out, not IT experts.

2. The officers that do the above are generally officers that have spent a career avoiding frontline work, so have little practical experience of what the IT should be able to deliver.

Edited by Jimbo26
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Radman

Our efficient 'paperless' system has added hours of work onto a standard file - part of me suspects it is an artificial way of lowering crime by making the file building process as complicated as possible.

That being said though the EPNB's are very good and worth their weight in gold, love mine.

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Zulu 22

You wonder who thinks these things up.  I would love to know how they came to their figures of savings equivalent of 400 officers, perhaps from a slick salesman or a civvy who has to justify his/her salary and pension.

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CountyCop

All I will say is I love the Pronto Niche combination it has literally saved hours of work for me. The best inovation that I have ever seen in the police in recent years.

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ParochialYokal

That being said though the EPNB's are very good and worth their weight in gold, love mine.

 

It would be interesting to know more about EPNBs in a practical sense.

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Inbtsiyp
All I will say is I love the Pronto Niche combination it has literally saved hours of work for me. The best inovation that I have ever seen in the police in recent years.



What does it do that saves so much time?

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Mazza
Seen this all before. In fact my force has introduced technology that has made doing the same thing even more time consuming than the paper equivalent it was replacing. You really couldn't make it up.


We aren’t replacing paper systems, with the exception of the notebook and the details of that are yet to emerge. The devices are going to allow us to access the systems we already have but from a mobile device.

Our efficient 'paperless' system has added hours of work onto a standard file - part of me suspects it is an artificial way of lowering crime by making the file building process as complicated as possible.
That being said though the EPNB's are very good and worth their weight in gold, love mine.


It’s not going to be a replacement for crime reporting, my understanding is we will still do all that at a normal desktop. There won’t be any more new systems, it’s to allow us to access systems remotely instead of solely at a desktop.

I too would be interested to hear about electronic notebooks, I’ve heard the older Prontos that are in use in the central belt are fantastic.

You wonder who thinks these things up.  I would love to know how they came to their figures of savings equivalent of 400 officers, perhaps from a slick salesman or a civvy who has to justify his/her salary and pension.


No, we all were offered a survey about how much time we spend on a daily basis travelling to get to a computer just to do work. Which you can then multiply as appropriate to get 400 officers.

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Cathedral Bobby

 

9 hours ago, Fedster said:

national force’s decision to give the green light to new mobile technology is set to make ‘double-your-money’ efficiency savings equivalent to 400 frontline officers.

Sorry to be pessimistic but if it proves successful and works as promised, well there's 400 police officer cuts salaries to be saved. 

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SimonT

I haven't taken a hand written statement since I got mine. I take it on the phone and it's already on the case file at scene. I submit intel literally as I get it. Photos go in my phone and on the file and done. 

Crime recording at scene, one officer takes a statement, the other crime records and writes it up. And done. 

I take more notes and what's more, I can read them. Thinking about recording someone's drivers licence details, there's a camera for that. 

Not sure someone is someone, look up yirur photo on intel system. Done. 

It's not perfect but it's the best thing we have had. I'm not sure about the saving X officers,. But it makes my work easier and more efficient. 

Edited by SimonT
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Radman
6 hours ago, SimonT said:

I haven't taken a hand written statement since I got mine. I take it on the phone and it's already on the case file at scene. I submit intel literally as I get it. Photos go in my phone and on the file and done. 

Crime recording at scene, one officer takes a statement, the other crime records and writes it up. And done. 

I take more notes and what's more, I can read them. Thinking about recording someone's drivers licence details, there's a camera for that. 

Not sure someone is someone, look up yirur photo on intel system. Done. 

It's not perfect but it's the best thing we have had. I'm not sure about the saving X officers,. But it makes my work easier and more efficient. 

That's what I like about my EPNB phone, you can write statements up on the move, intel report, photograph items etc.

I even at times write up my MG05's whilst out on hotspot patrols and email it to my account so I can just import it into the crime file when I get back to the office.

My Samsung Galaxy device has been a well worthy addition - I still conduct contemp interviews on occasion for low level stuff (even with the changes) so much easier with the device than lugging MG15's about.

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CountyCop
On 23/01/2019 at 21:32, Inbtsiyp said:

 

 


What does it do that saves so much time?

 

 

Much quicker to record crimes, if you have NICHE you can record and upload statements, exhibits, photos and other paper work straight to your crime report.

It links into our misper and CAD system so when you do a PNB entry you are always linked to that incident. You can record electronic signatures as well which can be exhibited as a statement too. I use my PNB a lot more as it’s quicker for me to write more detailed notes which I can read.

Overall on average I can deal with bigger jobs in half the time it has taken me to deal with them before.

Its genuinlley a system which has cut out a lot of bureaucracy. The only physical paper work I now carry are traffic tickets. Which is also good for your general kit as I only now take out my work phone, personal mobile and wallet. No need to clog up my stab vest with other paper work. We just need traffic tickets on there and we will be laughing.

Of course you will get people who refuse to engage but it is the first time in my service that I have actually seen officers as a majority challenge those moaners. I think that says it all about Pronto.

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grumeister

I gave up using the epnb in my force. It turned into a bit of a nightmare. Everytime you logged into the call list it put an entry on note book. Considering it tkmes out after so long you wpuld easily have 20 entries of just you logging in. Coupled with losimg information if you had no reception, the drain on the battery and it was just generally slow.

The amount of times i wrote an entry, clicked save to find i had no receptiom and lost everything.

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TheMoo

I think the key here is - it's not whether or not it's done, it's whether or not it's done WELL.

In the case of the grumeister, it clearly hasn't been done particularly well, as it is introducing it's own operational constraints and isn't making the job easier. 

CountyCop and Radman are seemingly having better experiences - I don't know if they're using a different system, or if it has been implemented differently.

The end-user should be the priority consideration when developing new software, especially for a role like this (where it is intended to replace well-established methods).

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CountyCop
On 25/01/2019 at 14:50, grumeister said:

I gave up using the epnb in my force. It turned into a bit of a nightmare. Everytime you logged into the call list it put an entry on note book. Considering it tkmes out after so long you wpuld easily have 20 entries of just you logging in. Coupled with losimg information if you had no reception, the drain on the battery and it was just generally slow.

The amount of times i wrote an entry, clicked save to find i had no receptiom and lost everything.

Was this a version of pronto? As ours does not do this and what hand set are you using?

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