The traditional police station may be replaced by supersites, shopfronts, mobile stations and even self-service kiosks and online portals in Victoria, Australia.
Victorian police officers of the future would not be stuck inside a station but be out on the road for most of their shifts.
A Victoria Police blue paper says the traditional model of delivering police services needs to shift from one based on an historical geographic footprint to one that is mobile, technologically advanced and more responsive to changing demand.
"The location of current police stations often reflects a bygone era of horse-drawn transport, rather than a service delivery model that matches demand," the report says. It suggests replacing many of the smaller traditional police stations with larger consolidated supersites.
They would form a central hub for police services in each division, supporting other service points for local communities such as shopfronts at shopping centres and mobile police stations.
It even suggests having self-service kiosks for non-urgent issues. Victorians could report crimes through online self-service portals, including providing pictures and video.
They would also have access to a dedicated telephone line for non-emergencies to make reports. They could then track the progress of their reports via a secure online system, the blue paper says, while the system could use social media to send out real-time alerts and requests for help to solve crimes.
Multiple hubs may be needed in rural areas and the supersites should be co-located with other public services.
Front-line officers should not need to return to the supersite during their shifts, the report says. By 2025 an operational police officer would spend 80 per cent of his/her time in the community rather than in a police complex, up from 54 per cent currently.
Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said the force needs to be more mobile rather than sitting in police stations.