back to article Sussex bobbies get undisclosed tablets in networked-copper trials

Sussex Police is to issue neighbourhood officers with tablet devices on a trial basis from 2 July, as part of a mobile policing project. A spokesman for the force, which has to cut its budget by £50m and officers by 400 by 2015, told Guardian Government Computing that 10 devices would be issued to officers in its Lewes …


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  1. LarsG
    Thumb Down

    Do they ever learn?

    The use of Blackberrys In other Forces failed to make any impact and failed to make the beat bobby more efficient in his work. It became a vanity project that failed in the execution.

    Now another force, not having learnt the lesson wants to spend extra on tablets, the outcome will of course be the same. It actually reduced efficiency before and it will again.

    Chief Constables always think that technology is the be all and end all, yet I'd rather have a policeman who turns up. Now he will be weighed down by a flaming tablet. That will certainly slow him down in sprint to catch a fleet of foot offender. Another half kilo hanging from his belt.

    I can only conclude that watching a film on a Blackberry, while sitting in a lay by waiting for a speeder caused complaints about the quality of the screen. Now of course they are demanding retina screens for better viewing. In the older days they used to catch criminals pretty regularly and even turned up to crime scenes. Now they tend to take their time, turn up days later or ask that you come in to report the crime.

    Now I know the reason why, they are all playing on their mobile phones or new tablets and the fact that what they have to carry is so heavy they only swan around in cars.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they ever learn?

      Nothing at all to do with budget cuts, reducing staff levels, having to divert a disproportionate amount of manpower to city centre order at the weekend and officers being tied up as witnesses in the Justice System then?

    2. Ru

      Re: "what they have to carry is so heavy they only swan around in cars"

      The phrase "chandelier o' gear" springs effortlessly to mind. Next up, some sort of restraint-projecting device so no law enforcement officer need break a sweat again...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "sitting in a lay by waiting for a speeder"

      They don't really do that very much any more, unless there is a specially-arranged police operation for a particular purpose.

      Day-to-day this is now handed over to the "safety partnerships".

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they ever learn?

      Seven down votes already, must be the plods sitting in their cars down voting you cos they don't like the truth and taking a break from the porn sites.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We are not disclosing the make of the devices at this stage for reasons of commercial confidentiality."

    So, it'll be iPads then?

    1. Steve Todd


      If they've got to carry this kit around with them, and given that they already have a BBM infrastructure, chances are it will be the Playbook, or some other 7" tab.

  3. keithpeter

    iPads at Birmingham New St

    At Birmingham New Street railway station (underneath a building site at present) they have people outside the main ticket barrier with iPads and a little lectern/newspaper stand thingy. You can ask them about trains, delays, platforms &c. Their iPads have the timetabling system on as some kind of web page (its the full timetable with realtime changes). Works really well, they just toddle about at peak times,

    Not relevant to the article, but that has never stopped me before.

  4. James 51

    The playbook built with security in mind from the beginning, it's low weight and acceptable battery life plus being less deseriable and significantly cheaper than most other tablets means that it would be a logical choice.

    Of course you need the infrastructure to support them (which includes training), the tablets alone won't make a big differece

  5. Christoph Silver badge

    How soon before the tablets start to go missing? It's a very obvious target, if a plod is busy interviewing people there will be a queue of kids wanting to prove how cool they are by nicking his tablet while he's not looking.

    And I wonder how well the tablets will survive Lewes Bonfire?

    1. Tim #3

      Indeed, you'd also think their spokesman would be stressing how well secured and encrypted they are. They are, aren't they?

  6. Crisp

    Coppers with iPads

    Maybe if they all have an iPad with a 3G connection to keep them occupied, our friendly neighbourhood police officers will be too busy with facebook and 4chan to harass the general public.

  7. Khaptain Silver badge

    "It is about changing the way we work to make the officer on the front line able to react quickly and effectively and they can get back to doing their jobs out and about in the public eye," the spokesman said.

    It's neither iPads nor Xooms. the "tablets" are actually Viagra.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have seen Sussex officers with Blackberries, so playbooks. Very useful for and you can use the playbook as a tray when they get delivered.

    On a more serious note, while playbooks are not the most expensive tablet, I wonder how much Sussex have spent getting their apps to run on them? And I wonder for how many months desk bound inspectors and upwards have been 'trialling' them? A little bird told me they have had them for more than a year.

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      Krispy Kreme in the UK?

      Are we getting Taco Bell too?

  9. Harry

    Re "undisclosed tablets"

    So, these are to be used by the drug squad ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Re "undisclosed tablets"

      Drugs are bad, mmkay?

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