In an effort to cut down on the time officers spend behind a desk, 30,000 smartphones are being bought for London’s Metropolitan Police. However, Chief Constable Simon Parr, from the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) believes that these devices will likely end up as ‘expensive paperweights’, The Telegraph is reporting.
Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says that the idea of handing over devices such as iPads, iPhones and BlackBerrys to the officers is aimed at increasing the amount of time officers spend out on the streets. The devices, which are likely to cost the Met around £10m, will allow police officers to process forms and reports on the go, without having to return to the station. But Chief Constable Parr disagrees with the plan and says that these devices will end up as nothing more than paperweights.
“If you want to replace pen and paper you need something that works at 3am in the rain … otherwise they will end up as paperweights, to be blunt,” Chief Constable Parr said, addressing the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee.
“Nobody takes their gloves off to use their phone at 3am in the middle of the night – that’s human nature,” he added.
John Biggs, chairman of the committee, said: “Everyone agrees that the police need to spend more time out on the streets, tackling crime and reassuring communities, and less time in the office doing the dull but essential back office jobs.
“That’s why it’s so important that the Met gets the best deal when it invests in technology, like smartphones and tablet computers that allow officers to access information on the go.”
So far, the Met has not disclosed what type of smartphones and tablets they exactly plan to purchase for the officers.