Published: September, 2007
Bedfordshire Police is currently rolling out 1100 BlackBerry smartphones to front-line officers in a move to increase efficiency. Dawn Davison-Read talks to Insp. Jim Hitch, Project Manager, Bedfordshire Police and Graham Baker, Senior Strategic Account Manager, Research in Motion, to identify how the use of these mobile handsets are helping to keep officers out on the beat…
Some three years ago, Bedfordshire Police embarked on a pilot using BlackBerry handsets to provide senior managers within the force access to emails whilst out of the office. The success of the pilot, led to a further trial in November last year where operational officers in Luton were also provided with BlackBerrys. However, this wasn’t for email access alone.
In fact, as explained by Inspector Jim Hitch, Project Manager, Bedfordshire Police, the trial, which ran until April of this year, was to ascertain if the use of the BlackBerry’s could further aid the efficiency of the force’s front-line officers. “By front-line, we mean operational officers out on the beat. It rapidly became clear that the provision of a tool, such as the BlackBerry wireless solution, would allow them to become more self-sufficient when away from the station and also increase officer presence on the streets.”