New devices mean South Yorkshire officers can spend more time on the streets

South Yorkshire police are issuing over 600 tablets for their officers so they that they can spend more time in the community and less in the office.. Chief Sup Int Jason Harwin with one of the devices
South Yorkshire police are issuing over 600 tablets for their officers so they that they can spend more time in the community and less in the office.. Chief Sup Int Jason Harwin with one of the devices

Computers for police to keep them on patrol will create an extra 150,000 hours of visible policing in South Yorkshire each year, it has been claimed.

Police chiefs in South Yorkshire have invested £300,000 in the tablet computer technology and received a £1 million Home Office grant towards the project.

Chief Supt Jason Harwin with one of the new devices

Chief Supt Jason Harwin with one of the new devices

The cash has paid for 330 devices in South Yorkshire, security software, hardware, training and vehicle fitting.

Bosses have handed out the computers in a bid to keep officers on the streets for longer.

Instead of returning to their police stations to check police databases and write up reports, they can now work while out in communities.

With police officer numbers falling because of Government funding cuts, police chiefs want to ensure those who remain are seen by as many people as possible.

It is estimated the computers will increase police visibility in South Yorkshire by 150,000 hours a year.

They can be used to submit prosecution files, check emails and databases.

The Reverend Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, visited Woodseats Police Station to speak to officers using the new technology.

He said: “While the Government continues to slice away at the policing grant, we are constantly looking for new innovative ways in policing our communities and to do it in collaboration with other forces – to do more for less.

“With the ever-increasing demands on officers and declining resources, these mobile devices allow officers to update police systems whilst working in their neighbourhoods.

“The 150,000 hours visibility they provide equates to an additional 74 full-time officers policing the streets.”

Launching the scheme, Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin said: “With the cuts we are facing in South Yorkshire Police, we will have fewer people than before, so it is even more important that the people we have left have the technology that they need to do the same job.”