Helping the police to stay on the beat
“The most significant change to the way we police neighbourhoods, since the introduction of the police radios in the 1950s” – that’s how one senior police officer described the introduction into Leicestershire Constabulary of mobile technology devices, developed in collaboration with a research team from Loughborough University. Debbie Hughes meets the team behind this important development.
Police officers know their time is better spent out on the beat or dealing with victims, but the reality is that the paper work has to be done. Leicestershire Constabulary wanted to address this issue, which was later supported by a Government initiative. But while the Force had an idea about how it could ensure officers stayed out and about, instead of having to keep heading back to the station after each call to finalise paperwork, it was unsure exactly how to achieve such a significant cultural change.
They approached the Department of Information Science at Loughborough University, where extensive research has been undertaken into work place communication, and Drs Tom Jackson and Louise Cooke were tasked with finding a sustainable, working solution for the Constabulary.
The resulting project has now been fully rolled out across the Force, with every relevant police vehicle – from patrol cars and detective vehicles to the tactical firearm unit and armed response vehicles – featuring the new system. This has enabled the Force to be more productive and efficient by increasing the time officers can spend working in communities.