London police are going to abandon their notebooks in favour of iPads

For more than 100 years, UK police have been using pen and paper to take crime reports from members of the public.

That may be about to come to an end.

London’s Metropolitan Police force wants to extend its trial of using iPads to fight crime. The capital’s police have been testing out tablets while out on the beat. The iPads come with a specially designed app and were introduced in two south-west London boroughs last year.

The Met now wants to continue the trials and roll out the tech to additional areas of the city, Vodafone says in a press release. The mobile network provides the 4G connectivity for the devices.

Vodafone says the iPads help to reduce paperwork and let officers look-up data/public details and file information to the police force’s system instantaneously. So if a suspect is caught, officers can find out if they have come into contact with the law in the past far quicker than before. The devices also mean officers can get people’s witness statements and signatures on the move, so people don’t have to attend stations. Taking photos/recording crime scenes is easier too.

Officers have responded positively to the iPads. The first phase of the project involved more than 500 officers on the frontline. To kit out the entire Met it would cost around £200 million, GetWestLondon reports.

The Met’s “Total Technology” scheme aims to use modern technology to help officers cut crime. Other measures include body-worn cameras and reporting crimes on mobile phones.

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