Wiltshire

Hand-held computers keep Wiltshire Police out on patrol

Officer using the Personal Digital Assistant
Image caption The PDA has a plug-in keyboard for report writing

Hand-held computers are the latest tool being used by police to fight crime in Wiltshire in a £1m investment.

The force is the first in the UK to give the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) to all operational officers.

The device allows officers to file crime reports while still keeping a presence out in the community and not getting tied down with paperwork.

It can also be used to share photographs of suspects and missing people.

The device has a plug-in keyboard for report-writing back at the officer's vehicle.

Pc Jack Newman said: "It's one of the best bits of equipment we've ever invested in for the reason it gets us out of the police station and that's where I want to be.

"I don't want to be sat in the police station, I want to be out catching criminals, I want to be out locking people up."

The Police Federation in Wiltshire said the computers had been largely welcomed by officers.

The force's Assistant Chief Constable Patrick Geenty said: "Our aim is to get officers out on patrol for 80% of the time.

"That's what I think PDAs and other bits of technology we've got will allow us to do."

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