Police in Edinburgh issued with new Samsung Note 9 to tackle crime

High-tech help hailed for 'revolutionising' police work

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 6:00 am
About 300 police officers already have the devices

POLICE have unveiled a new high-tech tool in the fight against crime across the Capital.

Hundreds of frontline officers have been issued with Samsung Note 9 mobile devices to take down statements and issue appeals.

Senior officers hailed the new technology for keeping officers on the beat by allowing them to fill-out paperwork on the move instead of returning to the station.

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Chief Superintendent Sean Scott, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh, said: “The introduction of mobile devices is a great benefit for our officers and the communities that they serve. The addition of mobile devices means officers can spend more time engaging with members of the public and dealing with incidents.

“Police officers will be seen operating their mobile device in public areas and at incidents. It is important to understand they are not using their personal telephone and that they are working - but be reassured officers will always be available to help or provide advice if needed.”

Chief Inspector Alan Carson hailed the new technology as “revolutionary” in freeing up officers to spend more time on the beat.

Witness and victim statements can be inputted on to a central database without the need to return to the station.

“The benefits are vast"

Licence plate checks mean officers can instantly confirm whether a motorbike or cycle is stolen, rather than having to seize the vehicle.

And photos of crime scenes, including housebreakings, can be uploaded including footprints which might be washed away before forensics can be deployed.

Future uses of the devices is understood to include fingerprint identification software to make the identifying of suspects quicker.

The devices also allow officers to contact victims directly once a crime report in made and link to Google maps to help get to the scene quickly.

“The benefits are vast - they really are across the board and the public have the most to gain,” said CI Carson.

The system had its first major success last week when two suspected thieves were arrested after their photos were distributed to officers on the streets of the Capital.

Portable handheld printers also mean officers can issue fixed penalty notices to drivers and warrants to yobs.

“When people see an officer working away on a mobile phone, they could be forgiven for thinking they’re texting or on Facebook when in fact they’re doing paperwork writing up reports,” added CI Carson.

The roll-out in Edinburgh began last month with about 300 officers now equipped with the devices, starting with those on the beat.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I am pleased that Scottish Government capital investment was able to support the introduction of this technology and I’m delighted to see its roll-out in the Lothian and Borders area. Being able to access information at their fingertips means officers can react promptly to a range of issues, so they can spend more time working at the heart of communities, providing reassurance to members of the public.”