back to article UK cops to be kitted out with smartphones

Smartphones look set to become the law of the land in Blighty, because it has been announced that most British police forces will be equipped with them by March 2010. According to the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), which supports the police smartphone rollout, officers spend 30 minutes less per shift in police …


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  1. dervheid

    So, the phones...

    will be smarter than the coppers.

    B fucking rilliant!

  2. Scott Broukell

    And just how secure will these phones be ?

    arf arf arf .......

  3. Anonymous Coward

    One word


    Because it had to be said.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A great idea.........

    Blackberry would be the ideal platform for this kind of project as it has built in encryption facilities and a decent physical keyboard. However protective hardened phone cases would be required due to the nature of the job, and perhaps extended batteries as some shifts can last up to 12 hours (or even more!)

    Whilst it's a step in the right direction to be able to retrieve information from the various databases (which would lessen the load on busy radio control room resources, and free up the airwaves for more urgent matters), if certain 'on the spot' forms such as stop and search could be converted into electronic form (with perhaps a wireless printer if required), that would save even more time (and trees!)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So now time not spent in station = efficient time?

    For all we know the new regime could result in hours spent arsing about on a smartphone with a crappy interface in the front of a panda, rather than half an hour at a desk with a keyboard.

  6. Paul Dx
    Black Helicopters

    Fit somebody up like a kipper

    ... there's an app for that

  7. bikerboi87

    North Wales Police

    North Wales Police have been using Blackberry's for years now

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SMART phones?

    for COPS?

    Well dip me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians

  9. Ian Ferguson


    If I'm ever arrested, I'll be sure to try and lift one of these from the officer. Police records and access galore!

    "@plodstation plz relese @peregr1n he didn't do nuffin actually arest woz a mistake"

  10. Anonymous Coward

    I don't believe it

    So what your saying is that a technological device was successfully implemented/rolled out and it actually achieved a benefical target, in this case keeping more plod on the streets!

    Has someone moved me to another country? We're talking about an IT success story with measured benefits/targets in the Public Sector, why hasn't it been plastered across every news rag across the country?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Waste of money??

    If every copper actually did the job they were paid for, instead of eating donuts then we wouldnt need smartphones full of confidential data floating about. How long till we hear of bent coppers looking up address data for Mr Drug Dealer at £500 a pop???

  12. Neil Stansbury


    "So officer, you saw the offender clearly"?

    Cop: "Err no your honour, I was looking down filling in all New Labour's rEdTape on my SnozzBerry when the incident occured".

    YouTube if you want to. But it's no substitute for knocking on doors....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    30 of ?

    "Bedfordshire Police – one of 30 forces which already boast smartphone-equipped coppers "

    I think if 30 forces already have smart phones, doesn't that cover "most of the land" yet?

    I'm not sure how many there are, but sitll 30 isn't exactly none.

    Okay I count around 55 , including stuff like Transport and Miltary police.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    It's not smartphones they need...'s being smart in the first place. Something many recent cop-related stories show to be somewhat lacking in the modern "yor nikked" force!

    Anonymous, well because....

  15. Tanuki

    Coverage? What coverage?

    I look forward to The Fuzz trying that round here: no doubt they'll be wandering about waving their smartphone at various angles trying to get something other than "112 EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY" on the display.

    Meantime us local-vigilantes and FarmWatch types will be hunting the real criminals using our [ licensed ] VHF two-way radios and HF links to the MoD-types who conveniently live down the road.

    If PC Plod wants to borrow my PRC320 to call for help...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right, check radio, baton and BlackBerry

    As someone who knows our local plod, are issuing BlackBerry Pearls to all probational, neighbourhood (including the PCSOs) and reactive officers. They even have special holders so that it can be attached to their stabvests & have even seen officers checking their e-mails on them, although they tend to use them as mobiles.

    The big question is how technologically knowledgeable are the officers, the answer is... I guesse that for yourselves.

    AC, because someone would know many collar number.

  17. Alan Firminger

    Eye am a Camera

    Someone should think of the effect of the built in cameras. I suggest this will be beneficial. The interesting case in court will be when there is a description of scene and no picture - So why not ?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Right, check radio, baton and BlackBerry

    Let's hope there are mandatory training packages available for the officers to attend before they receive the equipment.

    It is no different to the training received prior to receiving the radio, baton and CS.

  19. CaNsA
    Thumb Up

    This is old....

    The fuzz in Liverpool already have Blackberry's. Even the PCSO's have them......

    Its good if you know a PCSO and you are trying to track down an ex who has skipped on council tax payments :D

  20. Lionel Baden


    i suspect they will get the phones that they could get breifings over the phone and put in reports etc etc

    but in reality after spending thausands of pounds on development of databases and software

    they get used to make phonecalls and nothing else

    guess its like video phone'ing everybody wants to do it but just not in this reality !

  21. Futumsh

    Out on the street doesn't mean they're working

    I used to work for a company that was trying to roll out a mobile data solution for the police. I used to believe our own publicity that it was going to help the police be a whole load more effective. Then, one day I was standing in the City of London and watched how it took 15 police officers to arrest one guy for a misdemeanor and then stand around for 25 minutes chin wagging.

    They may not be in the station but it doesn't mean they're working.

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    iplod already used

    By El Reg as a description of the national High Tech Crimes unit.

    But this is more in keeping with the name.

    It's good to know the boys and girls in blue will have yet another blunt instrument with which (purely in self defense) they can club a suspect (or member of the general public as we civillians like to think of ourselves).

    Still a few more squids to some lucky outfits.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Jammer dodgers

    Of course, any wrongdoer could flip and switch on his/her cellphone jammer and the Force is inactivated. Of course, that's assuming they don't get a cap in their ass while reaching for the switch...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least a use for this jammer..

    Imagine carrying this in your pocket:

    You'll be surrounded by confused cops (there is, incidentally, also a jammer for GPS signals so they may get lost as well). Not to mention the more powerful jammers you can stick in the car.

    Ah, the future is bright - but it ain't gonna be because of Orange :-)

  25. fifi

    want to know if he has a record?

    ...there's an app for that.

  26. Thomas Bottrill


    I thought that Airwave was supposed to be able to do all this. Their website specifically mentions access to the PNC.

  27. Jolyon Ralph

    while on the subject of email addresses for police

    .. i was working with police in the mid 90s and one of them very seriously wanted to register '' to use for his official email address. We checked, but sadly at the time domains cost way too much money and he didn't go ahead.


  28. kain preacher

    Missing some thing

    Here in the states all most every police dept has computers in their cars that can access data bases. Need to run the guys name, go to the patrol car and you can see if he has warrants or what not. Police on foot would just call it in and get response back. So why do the cops in the UK need to go back to the station house other than to book some one ??

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