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Half a million additional frontline police hours

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Police

13 February 2013 Media Statement

Half a million additional frontline police hours

Police Minister Anne Tolley says the introduction of smartphones and tablets for frontline officers across New Zealand will deliver around 520,000 additional frontline Police hours every year, with more Police work and less paperwork, to further prevent and tackle crime.

6,500 frontline officers will be issued with a smartphone by mid-2014, with 3,900 staff also receiving tablets, so they can access, input and share important information immediately, without having to travel back to their station to access databases or write reports.

Each Police district will begin the initial three-month rollout to 6,086 staff in April. Police are planning to widen the rollout to 6,500 officers by mid-2014.

“This is an exciting day for the New Zealand Police and the communities served by our officers,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Our Police will be able to provide a better, more efficient and more visible service for the public, while keeping one step ahead of criminals.

“Having access to this new technology means around 520,000 additional frontline hours will now be devoted to crime prevention and keeping the public safe.

“An 11-month trial last year involving over 100 officers in four Police districts showed that these mobile devices allow each officer to spend, on average, an extra 30 minutes per shift on the frontline. When rolled out across the country to 6,086 officers that will equate to 520,000 additional frontline police hours – equivalent to about 345 additional frontline staff.

“The new technology allows officers to quickly feed in and access information, view offenders’ photographs and details, and perform a wide range of tasks without a return to the station - a giant leap forward from the Police radio.

“Having prompt access to up to date information on people, places and vehicles will also reduce safety risks for officers and the public, with staff better able to make decisions on the ground.”

The initial capital expenditure for the devices is $4.3 million, with operating costs of $159 million over the next 12 years. All devices are password protected and can be tracked and remotely locked or wiped if they are lost or stolen.

“The Police are completely focused on having the right people in the right places at the right time to prevent crime, and these mobile devices will be fantastic tools to help achieve even better results,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Thanks to great policing, we’ve seen consecutive annual falls in the crime rate, which is at its lowest for over 30 years.

“But we are determined to do more, and to achieve the Better Public Service targets of a reduction in the total recorded crime rate by 15 per cent, the recorded violent crime rate by 20 per cent and the youth crime rate by 5 per cent.

“This new technology, along with the 600 additional frontline officers delivered by the National-led Government, and a 70 per cent increase in Police foot patrols, will mean more Police are out on the streets for longer, to keep our communities safe.”

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