The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has a signed a deal to use Vodafone's 4G network to provide high-speed connectivity for devices used by officers on the beat.
The 4G services will be used to reduce paper work and increase the time officers spend on the street. The move is part of the MPS’s £200m Total Technology strategy unveiled last year.
A trial with 500 officers using iPad Minis took place last summer running on Vodafone 4G services, and will be extended across the entire MPS if the rollout is approved by the corporate governance teams within the Met.
The use of iPads allows officers to enter data and take witness statements and digital signatures at the scene of crimes and incidents, rather than requiring people to attend a station at a later date.
Vodafone is also providing security services to ensure that data captured and stored on the iPad Minis remains confidential.
Superintendent Adrian Hutchinson, head of mobility planning for the MPS, said that the agreement will have major benefits for officers and the public.
“We want officers out on the beat, not stuck in the station filling out paperwork or sat at a computer,” he said.
“Working with Vodafone UK to deliver phase one of the project, we’ve already had a great response from officers who have used the devices, and we are confident that the project will help them to be more visible to the public and ultimately deliver a better service to Londoners."
The use of 4G services, which offer faster speeds than 3G, is growing in several business areas, including among SMEs, owing to the flexibility and mobility benefits of being able to send and receive data more quickly.
The MPS Total Technology strategy covers areas of the Met's use of IT that can be improved, such as body-worn cameras and the use of big data analytics to improve crime detection and prevention.
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