Christchurch police have been brought into the 21st century with iPhones and iPads, which will give officers access to information at their fingertips.
IPhones will be issued to 700 officers and 400 iPads will be issued to frontline staff over the next two weeks as part of a national Mobility Project aimed at getting more police back on the street.
Instead of frontline officers having to wait in a queue and clogging up the police radio, they will be able to check offenders' details, including photographs and bail conditions, driver's licences, outstanding arrest warrants, fines and it will allow officers to complete and assign themselves to jobs.
Sergeant Kelvin Giddens said by using this technology it's expected that each police officer will save 30 minutes each shift they work which will be reinvested into preventative policing activities.
"More time will be spent in the field rather than sitting behind a desk doing paperwork. They will be better equipped with the right tools so they will be able to do their jobs better.
Even being able to make a phone call is a big step forward for us. In the past we have had to rely on officers using their own phones and free minutes to make calls. Rather than relying on a single point through the police radio to check details, officers will be able to do that themselves. There will be no time barrier. There are so many benefits," he said.
Frontline officers will have access to two main iPad applications, a mobile responder, which will enable officers to assign themselves to and complete jobs and an intelligence system, which will allow officers to check offenders' details and do on the spot checks.
Christchurch police officers will join more than 6000 officers around the country who are already using iPhones and iPads. The $4.3 million mobility project rollout was based on an 11 month trial that involved over 100 frontline officers in Lower Hutt, Napier, Counties Manukau West and the West Coast, last year.
Sergeant Giddens said officers organising and carrying out search warrants will have access to maps and satellite views so they can see the layout of the land.
"Long term, this technology will increase productivity. There will be more of a focus on stopping crime and protecting the community," he said.
Over the next 12 years, police will spend $159 million in operating expenditure to fund the technology rollout and over the same period the move is expected to provide police with productivity benefits of $304.8 million.