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App-y news for Sussex Police officers
Officers are very app-y with their new tablet computers, according to police.
A batch of BlackBerry tablets have been handed to officers in Lewes as part of a trial by Sussex Police.
The aim is to improve efficiency while cutting costs, with the force needing tomake £50 million worth of savings in the next five years.
Sussex Police said it had already developed almost 30 apps for the new devices and they are already having an impact on the daily lives of the PCs who are using them.
Chief Inspector James Asser described howthe stop and search app had modernised the traditional approach.
The tablet, for example, maps where each stop and search takes place.
Another app developed by the force is the command and control system, which is used to assign officers to duties.
Officers can use the device to see where they are going but also research the location to see any other records of incidents in the area.
And the witness statement app means officers can get an electronic signature from witnesses, recognised by the courts, and can then email the statement if needed.
The idea of rolling out tablets had been subject to criticism, with some concerned the force could be saddled with a bill worth millions for the devices.
Officers in Lewes with the tablet have access to emails, custom police apps and outside internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
A force spokeswoman said the internet was for “legitimate purposes”
only, adding that there were “policies and procedures in place to monitor for any improper use”.
The trial will run for three months and may then be expanded to other areas of the force.