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Police roll out new technology to fight crime

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister

13 February 2013 Media Statement
Police roll out new technology to fight crime

Police officers will soon be spending more time out in New Zealand communities and less time in the office, when a nation-wide rollout of new mobile technology begins, Prime Minister John Key announced today.

“From April, 6,086 frontline officers will start using smartphones and tablets to access vital information that will help them prevent crime, catch criminals and protect New Zealanders,” says Mr Key.

“Using mobile technology means officers will be able to check offenders’ details, like photographs and bail conditions, where and when they need to, rather than having to drive to a station to access information, or using the Police radio.

“This means more time to focus on stopping crime and protecting communities, and less time each day on administration duties at their desks.”

Mr Key says Police will invest up to $4.3 million of capital expenditure and $159 million of operating expenditure from 2012/13 to 2023/24. The initial three-month phase will see 6,086 officers using the new technology, rising to 6,500 by mid-2014.

An 11-month Police pilot indicated officers would be able to save about 30 minutes each eight-hour shift by using the new technology – about 520,000 hours per year based on the initial rollout to 6,086 officers.

“Put another way, that’s equivalent to about 345 extra frontline Police being more active and visible in our communities,” says Mr Key.

“The feedback from the officers who took part in the trial has been enthusiastic – they have been able to check on the spot if people are giving false information, for example. For rural officers who police a large area, it means they’re able to save a lot of time checking emails and information on their smartphones, rather than having to travel great distances back to their stations.

Mr Key says the introduction of mobile technology is part of the National-led Government’s Better Public Services strategy to make taxpayer-funded services, like Police, become more innovative, efficient and focused on what New Zealanders really want and expect.

‘We all want to see fewer crimes committed, and Police are a lynchpin in meeting our target of reducing the crime rate by 15 per cent by 2017. They’re on track to do this – recorded crime fell by 6 per cent to the year ending June 2012, bringing the crime rate to its lowest in over 30 years.

“Investing in better technology frees up officers’ time to focus on more effective policing by putting crime prevention, and the needs of victims, at the forefront of their duties.

“When I launched the Better Public Services targets last March, I said I wanted government agencies to be looking at how they could better deliver services without ramping up their costs.

“I wanted to give agencies, like Police, the flexibility, encouragement and mandate to make real change.

“The mobile technology initiative Police officers are rolling out has the potential to do just that,” says Mr Key.


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