Leicestershire Police saves £4.2m by using mobile technology

A total of £4.2m has been saved by Leicestershire Police after it began using technology like portable laptops since 2008, the force says.

The "mobile data terminal" has allowed officers to perform a range of jobs in their patrol cars, including accessing briefings and completing paperwork.

Because officers do not need to return to the station as much they spend about 30% more time with the public.

The force said it still needs to save £28m by 2014/15.

PC Lee Glover said the in-car computer provided them with a "full desktop suite of software and information".

'Not replacing officers'

"We can do our emails and all the stuff we have to do on the service, on the desktop from the vehicle so that gives us increased visibility and accessibility to the public by being out there," he said.

Supt Jez Cottrill, of Leicestershire Police, introduced the smart system.

"It enables us to quickly select the most suitable and most local recent resource to go to an incident... and they can do most of the work with the victim rather coming back to the station," he said.

"Prior to introducing this technology, on occasions, some cars where coming back about 36 times in a 24-hour period to the station just to do their work."

However, Supt Cottrill said the use of gear like the laptops would not replace officers on its frontline services.

"The technology adds and improves our ability to reduce crime and detect offences, but it will never replace the amount of police vehicles or police officers that we've got," he said.

"What it's done is make the job bearable with the amount of officers we've got at the moment, and give the public reassurance that we will still turn up when they ring 999 or need the police."

Supt Cottrill added that as a result of the new technology, Leicestershire Police has reduced their vehicle fleet by 40.

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