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Welsh forces using Vodafone's 4G network to bring policing 'into 21st century'

Wednesday, February 17th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Two Welsh police forces are replacing officers’ traditional pocket notebooks with 4G-ready mobile phones.

South Wales Police and Gwent Police will start using a new app called I-Patrol, which allows users to access police databases, identify individuals and collect evidence.

Using the app on Vodafone’s 4G network will allow officers to instantly record, share and access details of crimes while on the beat, the forces said.

The change is hoped to result in a 10% improvement in the amount of time spent by police out on the streets. With 5,000 officers and staff over the two forces, that’s about 436,000 additional hours a year.

Other advanced features, including camera technology with direct links to police systems, will also help deliver a range of investigative project benefits and provide more compelling evidence for the courts.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis from South Wales Police said: “In situations where every second counts, it is vitally important that the technology and services we use are both responsive and reliable, if we are to continue to meet the challenges of 21st century policing.

“Technology is constantly changing and, despite the current financial challenges, we are committed to making best use of innovation to fight crime and keep our communities safe.

“Our officers now have more information at their fingertips than has ever been previously possible, and they can access and update this quickly, wherever they may be. We are confident that all our communities will benefit.”

'Enabling officers'

Assistant Chief Constable Julian Williams from Gwent Police said the technology would bring policing into the 21st century.

“Key information will be available to officers whether they are out on patrol or at the scene of a crime.

“This will undoubtedly allow them to carry out their duties more efficiently and effectively.”

Mick Wayman, head of public sector for Vodafone UK, said: “Our continued massive investment in our network means we are well placed to provide the infrastructure required to keep police officers across southern Wales better connected.

“We’re excited to see the impact this technology has in terms of enabling officers on the frontline to provide a more efficient and more effective service to their communities.”

Vodafone UK has spent around £2bn on its network and services across the UK in the last two years, including the introduction of its 4G service to more than 750 cities and towns and thousands of smaller communities.

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