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back to article Country plods still not carrying mobile data devices

Police forces across England and Wales have wildly differing attitudes to the use of mobile-data gadgets. Almost 45,000 "hand-held IT devices" are in use by plods up and down the land, but seven forces have issued none at all. The league table of gadgets issued by forces was released yesterday in answer to a written …

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FAIL

Living and trying to run a WAN in cornwall..

and given the sad state of connectivity in general I can see why.

Even broadband is a sick joke and mobile comms are even worse!

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Peelian FAIL

"increasing visibility and reassuring the public"

ORLY? And what did Robert Peel have to say about that?

"The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it."

It's like he actually predicted the existence of these PR obsessed weasels.

Crib notes: it doesn't matter if you're SEEN to be doing your job. What matters is DOING your job.

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Anonymous Coward

Am I missing something?

Shouldn't they be too busy chasing burglars over fences to worry about their handheld IT systems and slim printers?

Concentrate on the job in hand, don't worry about updating your latest i-rozzer app

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Silver badge
WTF?

More technology equates to more vulnerability

Multi-channel centrally controlled communication systems are vulnerable to jamming.

Canadian provinces are really, really big - Ontario, if folded at the US border, will hit Florida - and our provincial Plods rely on repeaters connected to central control through satellite links in the remoter parts.

Unfortunately, for Plod, the satellite terminal/car radio link is susceptible to jamming and when Plod can't communicate with their base, they tend to let people they stop to carry on their way, making the exercise somewhat futile. (Canada has a Constitution and a Bill of Rights which gives us many rights Blighty doesn't have!)

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nothing new

Same old, same old. We think of countries in Asia has being backwards, or slow, we like to think of ourselves as being forward thinking, progressive. We delude ourselves.

But then the majority of our population doesn't understand technology, isn't technology literate and poke fun at those that are in IT, engineering, sciences. In the UK it's ok, even cool to be crap at Mathematics.

Look at India, they use electronic voting with finger print readers in their national elections. The UK? Still using paper ballot forms. And we all though India was backwards didn't we?

Oh boy, has this country got issues!

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Anonymous Coward

Problem with India is..

their literacy - more than 40% of their population cannot read or write.

Also, are you really that fond of having a database of all of citizens' fingerprints? Cause I'm not.

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Devon & Cornwall

Devon & Cornwall barely has any mobile phone coverage anyway. No point giving plod mobile devices that won't can't connect.

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Old-fashoined

Copper networking is so yesterday. The future is in fibre networking.

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Maybe it works better in some places

Perhaps some of those rural areas would rather have a policeman with local knowledge doing actual police work, rather than an iPlod looking up everything on databases.

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Neatly done

I can see Apple releasing an iPlod PIM especially for thicko coppers any day now.

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Happy

Why bother...

they haven't got the intelligence to use them

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z55mLS-qWnc

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Welcome

Hamish Macbeth

Forget the "coverage" issue - what is the crime rate in rural areas?

I'm absolutely for effiiciency, but when the officer only has to "write up" half a dozen offences a week (which probably includes tickling a trout from the river out of season) then does it make sense to "invest" in technology ?

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Anonymous Coward

Thoughts

Firstly I'm interested that a Labour MP asked such a question. How come they weren't asking such questions when they were in power? And aren't they the ones who massively increased the amount of paperwork police officers have to do? To answer my second question I do know it was really the civil service who did that, but the government didn't stop them.

However I'm not so sure I agree with him as to their being a good idea. How much would it cost to give every plod some sort of "mobile data device", to train them in their use, to implement the infrastructure to support them, to run that network and finally to support that network.

Anybody who supports a fleet of such devices will tell you that the data costs alone can be crippling. Purchase and setup costs won't exactly be negligable. Training people to use these devices is essential, the number of bricked blackberries that get brought into our helpdesk is beyond belief. Which brings us nicely to support costs. How many helpdesk staff do you need to run a fleet of little black notebooks and biros?

Sure this could, in theory at least, increase the amount of time spent on the beat for each individual officer. However it would require a massive investment in infrastructure, training and staffing which would have to be funded from somewhere. And where is any force going to get that money? Reducing the number of officers perhaps?

Does the honourable member have any links with any of the mobile networks?

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Stop

Devon & Cornwall?

About nine or ten years ago (i.e. when I had a car), I once got stopped by them at about 2 a.m. - one of my rear lights had gone. One of them was busy checking up on me while the other talked. The mobile device he had was clearly able to check my registration number against the details at DVLA. Fortunately they let me go on my way[1] after checking up on me.

So either Devon&Cornwall have renounced technology, or (far more likely) this story is not all it claims to be.

[1] To Tesco - it was December and I couldn't face the shopping crowds at any normal time of day.

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