South Wales Police and Gwent Police are to replace the traditional pocket notebook with smartphones connected by Vodafone UK’s 4G mobile technology. This new development will enable police officers, community support officers (CSOs) and those working in specialist departments to instantly record, share and access details of crimes while on the beat, using a creative new mobile phone application called I-Patrol. Developed in-house by South Wales Police and Gwent Police, this innovative app aims to improve service quality, by reducing the need for officers to return to the station, keeping them visible and accessible within communities.
Over 5000 officers and staff across the two forces will be using the new app on Vodafone’s 4G network by March this year, and it is anticipated the change could result in a 10 percent improvement in the amount of time spent by police out on the streets – equating to an additional 436,000 hours per year.
Officers from both forces can now access local and national police databases, regardless of their location, helping them to identify individuals and check intelligence far more efficiently than was previously possible. It’s also anticipated that other advanced features, which include leading quality camera technology with direct links to police systems accessed over Vodafone’s 4G network while officers are out on the beat, will also help deliver a range of investigative project benefits and provide far more compelling evidence for the courts.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis from South Wales Police said, “In situations where every second counts, it is vitally important that the technology and services we use are both responsive and reliable, if we are to continue to meet the challenges of 21st century policing. Technology is constantly changing and, despite the current financial challenges, we are committed to making best use of innovation to fight crime and keep our communities safe. Our officers now have more information at their fingertips than has ever been previously possible, and they can access and update this quickly, wherever they may be. We are confident that all our communities will benefit.”
Assistant Chief Constable Julian Williams from Gwent Police said, “Key information will be available to officers whether they are out on patrol or at the scene of a crime. This will undoubtedly allow them to carry out their duties more efficiently and effectively. This development has been made possible for us in Gwent thanks to the support and funding provided by our Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Ian Johnston.”
Mick Wayman, Head of Public Sector for Vodafone UK, said, “It’s great to see the South Wales Police and Gwent Police using mobile technology in this way and the projected benefits of rolling this out across the two forces speak for themselves. Our continued massive investment in our network means we are well placed to provide the infrastructure required to keep police officers across southern Wales better connected. We’re excited to see the impact this technology has in terms of enabling officers on the frontline to provide a more efficient and more effective service to their communities.”
Vodafone UK has spent around £2bn on its network and services across the UK in the last two years, including the introduction of its 4G service to more than 750 cities and towns, as well as to thousands of smaller communities, while also making network improvements across its UK 3G network. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme has brought 3G coverage for the first time to remote communities across the UK.