Police Minister Anne Tolley says the initial rollout of smartphones and tablets to frontline officers has been completed across the twelve Police districts, with the smart devices set to deliver huge gains in tackling and preventing crime.
6,259 frontline Police have been issued with smartphones, and 3,702 have been provided with tablets, which are enabling officers to input and access important information, and view offenders’ photographs and details, without returning to the station.
Trials have shown that this allows officers to spend an extra 30 minutes per shift out in communities, which translates to 543,000 additional frontline Police hours per year, or the equivalent of 354 extra frontline staff, devoted to crime prevention.
“The rollout of smart devices right across the country means that our Police are spending more time on the streets where we need them, and less time doing paperwork back in stations,” says Mrs Tolley.
“Everywhere I go, officers are quick to say what a big difference the smartphones and tablets are making to Policing.
“Our Police are more visible, making prompt and better-informed decisions while out in their communities, and able to devote more time to preventing crime before it happens.
“We now have more Police on our streets, with a 70 per cent increase in foot patrols last year, and the lowest crime rate in over 30 years.
“Crime has fallen in each of the last three years, down a total of 16.7 per cent, and recorded crimes are at a 24-year low. This new technology will allow Police to build on these fantastic results.
“The smartphones and tablets are also now an extremely important tool for supporting Police deal with public safety, and were widely used in last week’s Wellington storm to assist Police in making operational and staff deployment decisions.”
The initial capital expenditure for the devices is $4.3 million, with operating costs of $159 million. All devices are password protected and can be tracked and remotely locked or wiped if they are lost or stolen.