South Yorkshire Police has completed the rollout of 3,000 BlackBerry devices from Research in Motion (RIM) to its officers as part of an ongoing project to improve frontline policing.
The force has been using BlackBerry phone since 2009 and on Tuesday confirmed it had completed the rollout to all staff in frontline roles as part of this project, including police constables, inspectors and sergeants.
South Yorkshire Police told V3 the cost of each device was totalled at £488, based on £200 for each device and then £288 as part of a £12 per month contract over a two-year-period. This works out at around £1.5m over the two-year period for the 3,000 devices.
As part of the project the force has also developed a number of specific applications to help officers log crime information and access data from police database systems.
Temporary inspector Simon Davies said this was all part of the force's ongoing efforts at helping staff work more efficiently on the frontline.
"The introduction of BlackBerry smartphones for the Force has been a success, as it enables officers to access data and information at the point of need, improving response times, reducing Airwave usage and making better use of public resources," he said.
The use of the RIM devices by the public sector remains a foothold for the Canadian company, which is otherwise suffering a rapid decline in fortunes as corporate and consumer customers ditch its devices in favour of iPhone and Android phones.
Despite this the firm is pinning its hopes on its BlackBerry 10 operating system to help turn its fortunes around, although these are unlikely to hit the market until 2013, by which time all its rivals will have introduced new devices, including both Apple and Nokia.
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