Police departments across Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia are forging ahead with initiatives to implement mobile practices and systems in 2013-14.
Newly released annual reports have revealed that Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia Police are set to undertake major mobility programs, including the implementation of a Mobile Data Strategy in Queensland, the search for a permanent frontline mobile system in WA and a $12.9 million police modernisation program in Victoria.
NSW is yet to release its annual report but has already started trialling mobile technology and is planning to overhaul its Firearm Registry’s information technology systems.
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has flagged the implementation of its Mobile Data Strategy for 2013-14. According to the report, the strategy will “focus on leveraging mobile technologies and mobile information to improve QPS’ productivity, officer safety and crime prevention and detection”.
Under the strategy a new app has been developed that allows police to search for names, addresses and vehicle registration details on the Queensland Police, CRIMTRAC and Department of Transport systems. In July, the agency indicated that a trial of the app would begin in October and that it had purchased 400 iPad minis in preparation for the trial.
However it seems more work is needed to bring the QPS in line with other states in terms of technology use. A Police and Community Safety Review released in August 2013 expressed concern about how far Queensland Police were behind other jurisdictions in terms of ICT.
It criticised QPS for “an apparent inability to leverage from the advances made in other jurisdictions in a timely manner,” and recommended that the agency overhaul its current ICT portfolio and appoint a Chief Information Officer with significant experience in the ICT industry. The agency has yet to appoint a CIO.
WA Police trialled the use of mobile devices at the Hillary’s Police Station from July to September 2012. The trial gave officers remote access to their entire WA police desktop.
The agency’s annual report notes that the trial was generally successful: “Despite an actual reduction in tasking during the trial period, time spent on the road increased, response and processing times were improved and there were increases in arrests, summonses and field reports”.
In 2013-14 the agency will conduct further investigations into mobile technology, “with the objective being the development of a permanent solution for frontline mobile technology”.
It also aims “to allow for the progression to a more mobile, responsive policing service”.
Victoria Police’s 2012-13 annual report provides an update on the agency’s major Policing Information Process and Practice (PIPP) Reform Program. PIPP was designed in September 2011 to “set a clear vision for Victoria Police’s operational system and information requirements to support modern policing up to 2013”. A business case for the program was developed in 2012-13 with implementation set to begin in 2013-14, according to the annual report.
The program received funding of $12.9 million over four years in the 2013-14 budget. Of this, $5.2 million has been allocated for 2013-14.
The agency’s 2012-13 annual report states that PIPP aims to ensure that police can access information anywhere at any time and free them from administrative office tasks. It says the program “has the potential to deliver huge benefits to the frontline” by offering mobile police information.
The report names two projects under the program, both of which are expected to commence implementation in 2013-14.
The Transform Project, aims to create a single point of access for information which will not only consolidate disconnected systems but “expand mobile technology in the field”.
The Sustain Project will focus on the maintenance of the agency’s investigation management systems, Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) and Interpose, for five years, while Victoria Police seeks a long term replacement. The LEAP system has been in place since 1993 and has already suffered one failed replacement attempt in 2011, which cost around $30 million, according to a report by the State Services Authority.
Following the completion of the two projects, Victoria Police aims to begin developing business cases for further “initiatives that will bring about significant change”.
In 2012-13, the agency also improved its mobility environment by making employee emails, calendars and contacts available on iPhones and iPads.
New South Wales
NSW Police recently launched the trial of an app for officers to issue digital traffic infringements. The four month trial, which began in September 2013, is using an app called ‘Mobile Notices’ which has been issued on iPad Minis.
Additionally, the NSW Government is reviewing an overhaul of its Firearm Registry’s information technology systems. After consultation with the public, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher said there is a clear need for the systems “to be modernised and updated to include the latest technology”.
The review will also examine the creation of a new ‘Smartcard’ firearms license regime that “better secures personal information and streamlines the process for acquiring firearms”. $5 million has already been earmarked for the project.
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