Bay police officers go hi tech

By Amy McGillivray

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Western Bay police now have little need to go back to the office.

The 128 iPhones handed out to Katikati, Te Puke, Mount Maunganui and Tauranga police officers this week allow them to file their paperwork on the go and 72 will also recieve iPads.

Constable Caine McGregor said the devices would allow him to spend less time in the office and more time on the street preventing crime.

Acting Western Bay of Plenty police area commander Karl Wright-St Clair told the Bay of Plenty Times the devices would mean a more mobile, visible front-line presence as officers could use their devices to complete critical tasks while out in their communities.

"This is all about freeing up staff time so they can spend more time in the community, focus on proactive crime prevention activities, and provide a better service to victims," he said.

"These devices allow officers to be more efficient and effective at their jobs because they have fast access to information and other useful policing tools."

Mr Wright-St Clair said the iPads were given to staff who had more complex data entry needs.

Western Bay police received their smart devices as part of the Police National Mobility Project.

Nationally, 6500 smartphones and 3900 iPads will be rolled out during the year.

It was estimated the devices would save 30 minutes per officer per shift, meaning more than half a million more front-line police hours every year the equivalent of 345 extra officers.

Throughout the Bay of Plenty district the devices were estimated to free up 41,526 police hours every year about 30 extra police officers.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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