Traditionally UK police offers rely on a trusty pocket notebook, but thanks to a partnership with EE all frontline officers and certain other members of staff at Cumbria Constabulary have been outfitted with 4G-capable Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s instead.
The large screen and S Pen stylus ensure they’re just as easy to take notes on as a notebook, but with 4G and special policing apps and services included they also both cut down on administration and assist in tackling crime in ways a sheet of paper never could.
Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson said: “Cumbria Constabulary polices one of the largest geographical areas in England and Wales, which covers difficult terrain. As a result, call and data coverage and communication quality are important factors in mobilising the workforce in order to increase the amount of time officers are able to spend in the community, keeping people safe and dealing with crime.
“EE is providing excellent coverage for calls and data in Cumbria and its 4G coverage offers faster speeds and greater quality. The increased mobilisation of our officers involves the completion of documents outside police stations. The EE data super-bundle provides value for money for Cumbria Constabulary, as all officers and staff are able to utilise the data with no wastage and no extra monthly costs.”
The phones are set up on EE’s Super Bundle tariffs, which offer shared business and public sector data bundles ranging from 50 terabytes to 1 petabyte, so users have all the data they need at a great value price.
In fact it’s expected that this move could help Cumbria Constabulary save a lot of money. The Constabulary has invested around £1.8 million into mobile and digital working and this should save the equivalent of £3.3 million over three years, while helping to keep officers on the street and communities safe.
There are still areas which can’t get 4G of course and improved coverage will further aid the Constabulary’s productivity and that of anyone else relying on mobile data, but the good news is that EE is improving its coverage and speeds rapidly.
The network is investing £1.5 billion over the next three years, with a keen focus on rural areas. Cities will see a lot of benefit too though, with double speed 4G set to hit 90% of the UK population by 2017 and even faster 4G+ (LTE-A) set to arrive in 20 of the UK’s busiest cities by then too.
Cumbria Constabulary may be the first part of the UK police force to make use of 4G in this way, but it surely won’t be the last, especially as coverage and speeds continue to increase, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing officers scribble things down on a phablet rather than in a notebook.