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back to article Kiwi cops to buy 6,500 iPhones, 3,900 iPads

New Zealand Police will acquire 6,500 smartphones and 3,900 fondleslabs to improve the force's efficiency. The force says using the devices will mean each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day, which when will add up 520,000 hours of time savings or the equivalent of putting an extra 345 officers on the street. The Police's …

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Bronze badge

based on the example

They're really touting the benefits of a national ID database rather than the conduit. We should totally get ourselves one of those.

/sarcasm

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Anonymous Coward

Fantastic

With every cop in New Zealand packing an iPad they will be too busy playing with it to see you speeding past.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: based on the example

dvla has a database of all licensed drivers

police have databases of all arrests

justice have database of all convicts

no national ID needed in this example

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Bronze badge

Re: based on the example

Try telling that to Jackboot Smith and Teresa May.

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Silver badge

Re: based on the example

Anyone who drives a car is already in the dvla database, complete with photo.

Same applies in New Zealand (and their version of the DVLA)

If you give a name and address which don't pop up a photo, then you're either driving without a license or impersonating someone who doesn't have one. Either way you're in deep shit.

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Holmes

"each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

...and then spends 45 minutes a day on Angry Birds.

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Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

at lease that means he's not stuffing his face with doughnuts.

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Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

And 30 minutes on FaceBook, 20 minutes sending some Tweets to other officers and 15 minutes finding the closet donut shop during the day.

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Silver badge

@Lance 3 re. " ... the closet donut shop ...."

There's a joke in there somewhere.

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Trollface

Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

15 minutes to find a doughnut shop? Just use the maps ap... oh wait.

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Happy

Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

"Just use the maps ap...oh wait."

I don't know. Every time Apple are mentioned, someone has to make an unnecessary and gratuitous side-swipe at the maps fiasco.

I thoroughly approve. Have an upvote.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

Should have used Android tablets - oh security and privacy is important - ok back to Apple then.

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Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

#AboutToArrestTheGuyWatchingThisFeed

Sorry, I have no idea how Twitter actually works >.>

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

>>And 30 minutes on FaceBook, 20 minutes sending some Tweets to other officers and 15 minutes finding the closet donut shop during the day.

Because cops don't already have personal smartphones on which they do such things?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

If you lock the device down properly (which you can), you can't play Angry Birds.

Just sayin'...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

> Should have used Android tablets - oh security and privacy is important - ok back to Apple then.

Apple. So safe and secure.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/02/ios-6-1-brings-back-bug-that-gives-anyone-access-to-your-contacts-photos/

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Anonymous Coward

If you lock the device down

Then IT gets all these outraged called from the shiny seated desk drivers who are unable to get Facebook, iTunes or even their music on the devices. The people who actually do the work use whatever tools they are provided with and actually do a really good job considering.

Just like the armed forces and Health Service in fact.

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Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

Do you think they only go once a day?

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Silver badge

Re: "each cop gains 30 minutes of time a day"

Beats them sitting by the side of the road ticketing people going 1-2km/h over the limit (This happens regularly in several locations. They have quotas to meet and often the only way to get 'em is to nail people who are within speedometer tolerances - note that speeding is an infringement in NZ, not a criminal offence unless it's _way_ over the limit or coupled with careless/dangerous/reckless driving)

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Anonymous Coward

Fashion victims

So I wonder how much they've lost in productivity, by not implementing tablets into the field 10 years ago?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fashion victims

The original tablets (basically a Windows PC with touch screen) were too bulky and wouldn't last a day on the battery.

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Holmes

Pies, pies and pies

Round here in the land of the long white cloud pies are top of the menu, though decent doughnuts can be found at the right bakery.

Remember always blow on the pie - safer communities together

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Gimp

Re: Pies, pies and pies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbye_pork_pie

The scene where the cop "arrests" his wife LOL

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0

Re: Pies, pies and pies

Steak and cheese are marvellous if memory serves.

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Thumb Up

Re: Pies, pies and pies

Was hoping a fellow NZ'er would pipe up with that reference :-)

Not to mention bakeries and pies are pretty much ubiquitous; donuts simply aren't a common snack food item here.

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Silver badge

Seems sensible to have quick lookup

The fact they're using tablets and phones is somewhat irrelevant. The technology to do this has existed for quite some time - US cop cars have had uplinked consoles to find out information for quite some time. UK cop cars have ANPR scanners built into them (well, some of them). Some forces have been using mobile finger printing PDAs for about 8 years.

No, the key is that access to data, and the ability to report data back quickly. Its all well and good being able to talk down a radio, but that means you need someone on the other end to be relaying information back and forth - like a really slow network switch.

There are some concerns with them using 'consumer' tech though - iPhones are easy to steal and relatively insecure. As are iPads. Wonder how they'll overcome these issues.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Seems sensible to have quick lookup

Since now they write everything on bits of paper, it's hardly less secure :)

Seems an appropriate use of the technology to me, rather than using it because it's cool.

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Coat

Re: Seems sensible to have quick lookup

More that the resale value of a stolen iPad is higher than a paper pad.

And while the "Find my iPad" app appears to work reasonably well, it's reliant on the Apple maps...

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Silver badge
WTF?

Some math...

"acquire 6,500 smartphones and 3,900 fondleslabs ... every cop gains 30 minutes a day ... equivalent to 345 extra cops on the street, ... add up 520,000 hours of time savings ... Costs over ten years are put at $NZ159m"

(1) Typical workday: (work hours per day, per cop) = (saved hours per cop) / (equivalent number of cops) = 520 kh / 345 = 1507 h --- Wow, they do live in a different time zone, I never saw any cop working more than, say, 1253 hours a day.

(2) Yearly cost per saved cop: 159 m$NZ / (10 y * 345 cops) = 46 087 $NZ --- assuming the devices / batteries last for 10 years and no better devices come along.

(3) Number of cops on the NZ streets. Every cop saves 30 minutes a day and I just assume that the numbers in (1) are a little off and cops instead work some 8 hours: (345 cops * 8h / day) = (30 min / day) * (cops on the NZ streets); (cops on the NZ streets) = 5520 --- so it looks like there are some spare phones (6500 ordered) and the slabs must go into a different holster on the same belt (only for the select 71% of top cops on the street that get both).

... it's Friday already, but the poor NZ cops still have 1498 hours to go before the weekend :(.

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Silver badge
Stop

Re: Some math...

I'm not sure about your math, but 5520 x 0.5 hours per day = 2760 hours saved. 2760 hours per day divided by 345 would mean that these "extra" officers were working 8 hours/day, which is about spot on.

NZ$304m productivity savings over 10 years = 304m / 10 / 345 = average cost of employing an officer NZ$88k, which sounds about right (they don't get paid that, but it includes taxes, pensions and the cost of space at police stations).

NZ$159 includes hardware, software and support. Replacing all of the devices every year would only cost about NZ$80m, so you could afford to employ roughly 80 support staff/programmers per year inside of that budget.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple Lock-In

Apple seem to be really pushing governments around the world to go for iOS devices at the moment. I suspect they are giving them deep discounts to try and get themselves entrenched.

I hope for their sake that the apps they develop for these fondleslabs are easy to port to other OSes, or they are going to find themselves locked in and their discounts vanishing. But most government IT people aren't that bright, so I doubt it.

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Silver badge

Re: Apple Lock-In

You realize that's how Apple became the choice for "creative" people right? They gave schools big discounts in order to hook the children early. This goes all the way back to the era of that new fangled desktop publishing. Most schools in the U.S. had some TRS 80's for Oregon Trail and some Mac II's for teaching creative students... Lo and behold, 25 years later and if you're not using a Mac you're not creative.

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Silver badge

Re: Apple Lock-In

It's a 10 year contract. Smartphones and tablets may look as silly in a decade as a guy carrying a flip phone and PDA would today, so being locked in to Apple (or anyone) on smartphones and tablets in 2023 might be worth as much as Palm's vendor lock-in is worth in 2013. Apple probably doesn't care about trying to lock them in after the contract so much as having other police departments who have been thinking along these lines to call up Apple because they know they're already involved in project(s) with other police departments.

There really isn't much choice if you want a long term contract (whether a ten year contract is a good idea or not is another matter) If you wanted to go Android, who would you call? There are a bunch of little fish who may or may not still be in the Android (or even mobile) market in a decade, and there's Samsung. But will Samsung stick with Android or fork it or start using Bada? There's Microsoft, of course, but they're a tiny fish in the smartphone pond. Maybe Google would be willing to work a deal based on Nexus, but might just tell anyone who calls them to talk to one of the Android OEMs.

One of the things you're going to want in this sort of big contract is be able to run multiple vintages of hardware that are all at the same OS level. You probably don't want the hassle of supporting a bunch of different rev levels that have different bugs/features and don't run apps quite the same way. That's easy with iOS, updates are given for everyone at the same time, until your hardware gets so old it is no longer supported by the latest and greatest. Apple clearly won't be giving them the same hardware for a decade, and likely wouldn't plan to replace all phones or tablets at the same time every few years, but stagger the hardware refreshes like most businesses do with PCs.

Unless you go with Nexus, you won't be able to get everything on the same version of Android unless you do hardware refreshes all at once, because it is up to the OEMs to provide the updates, and they often don't seem too interested in pushing them out for old hardware. They'd rather sell you something new and shiny if you want to get the latest version of Android.

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Unhappy

Re: Apple Lock-In

until your hardware gets so old it is no longer supported by the latest and greatest

Which doesn't take long at all - the iPhone 3G (July 2008) didn't take iOS 4.3 (March 2011).

That's less than three years - so the "same OS level" argument is clearly tosh as it's not going to be possible.

Conversely, it is possible to have every Android device (including those not yet made) running the same OS level (although not the same images), as you're able to "roll your own" images. Which could both be a good idea (easy to prevent installation of any non-approved apps) and a bad idea as it means doing the work to roll their own.

However, locking yourself into a single supplier "for all time" is a fairly standard idiocy of Government and large organisations.

The real question is "What's the exit strategy?" How do they transition to another supplier of hardware and software in ten years time?

I'm practically certain this hasn't even been considered and they may well be locked into Apple forever - although the other end is more likely.

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PJI
FAIL

Re: Apple Lock-In

Well well. It's how UNIX got going: BSD was the improved version of the basic UNIX, given away for the cost of the tape, to universities in USA and now, here we are with UNIX, Linux etc...

Do you think teaching institutions pay full price for Microsoft products? Even I get MS Office free through a scheme MS has set up with the bank that employs me - well, free for Windows, a very low price for OS X.

How else do you think MS PCs got such a foothold in schools and business?

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Joke

Put the ipads on traffic duty

Lay a load of them across the carriage way, they will make great speed bumps! Also known as "Sleeping Policemen"!

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Big Brother

how does this help again?

isn't that why they insist you carry your driver licence so they can check it from the squad car and if so why the need for the slab?

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Unhappy

Cart before horse

They want iPads/iPhones. Therefore they think up BS excuses - sorry, business cases - to get them. Therefore 'forward-thinking' politicos / head police types waste shedloads of taxpayer cash for timewasting gimmicks..

These things are still consumer focused toys. While there are some tools to partially lock them down, they're still not very secure and difficult to centrally set up and manage.. Also I wonder if the IT dept staffing needed to cope with the endless 'waaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!! i can't get a signal, the application has stopped working - fix it NOW!' ' calls. Support for mobile-data worker toys is a soul-destroying time-consuming helldesk nightmare.

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We did that with BlackBerries and PDAs.....

The UK did something similar under a mobile Information initiative funded by HMG. A subsequent commons committee found that it wasn't very good value for money or so I believe?

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