Queensland Police Service (QPS) is continuing to deploy mobile technology, as the agency fast becomes the most innovative in the jurisdiction.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey today announced the introduction of “congestion-busting robotic technology on the state’s roads… specifically designed to capture crash scene data,” in a media statement. This latest IT enabled technology adds to a host of mobile projects underway in QPS.
QPS has invested around $500,000 in Operation Cold Snap which will see 12 robotic crash scene recovery units introduced to reduce the time taken to “clear the scene and cut congestion.” According to the media release, the new technology will collect evidence in under two hours with just one officer assisting. Previously, it took over three hours with two officers.
A general trend is emerging within QPS whereby mobile and automated technology is being deployed to reduce the non-core policing overheads on frontline staff and thus improve police response times.
QPS’ 2012-13 Annual Report earmarked a mobile data strategy as a future initiative which will “focus on leveraging mobile technologies and mobile information to improve QPS’ productivity, officer safety and crime prevention and detection.” The strategy is not in the public domain. However, tender documents indicate that the QPS “has set a clear strategy…to deliver a mobile workforce.”
Since then, a flood of mobile initiatives have emerged within the agency including mobile offices, iPads and applications.
- Whether QPS’s current technology can service current and future business needs
- The ability of the market to provide a suitable mobile solution.
Brisbane G20 Mobile roll-out
In April 2014, QPS secured funding to roll-out 1,250 iPads to frontline staff for the G20 meeting in Brisbane in November 2014. In 2013, the agency successfully trialled 500 Apple devices.
Dempsey said in a media release in April 2014, “these devices can save up to 30 minutes per officer per shift in desk time, which will add up to many thousands of desk hours per week.”
The target is to have 5,400 devices rolled-out to officers over three years, according to The Australian.
The mobile devices use the QLiTE application developed in-house. The QLiTE app allows mobile access to QPS’ records, CrimTrac and the Department of Transport’s database. In a media release, Acting Superintendent David Johnson said "These devices make policing quicker, more effective and safer. It is revolutionary technology that will help us make the streets safer for Queenslanders.”
Johnson also told The Australian, “What we want to do is a vendor provides the devices and we just configure the application on the device and they will handle the devices, they will own the devices, they will just rent them to us with a plan.”
Johnson said that they have already seen a reduction in administrative duties that he believes will equate to a cost reduction of 10 per cent or $73 million in increased productivity over four years.
Mobile police offices
In March 2014, QPS announced the establishment of a mobile police office. The Mobile Police Community Office (MPCO) will be deployed in particular hotspot locations identified by QPS predictive analytics / intelligence. According to a press release, “It will…benefit the QPS by increasing its mobility thereby increasing access to the community and information sources, particularly in high priority areas.”
iPads for City CCTV
In March 2014, QPS announced that would use iPads to stream live feeds of Brisbane’s entertainment hotspots via the City’s CCTV network. 10 iPads were deployed to QPS officers with access to 82 City Safe cameras as part of an AU$970,000 digital upgrade and expansion of Brisbane City Council's City Safe CCTV.
Online forms solution
In addition to mobility projects, QPS is also seeking to automate its services. In February 2014, it approached the market for an online forms solution to “eliminate manual data handling, improve efficiency and increase frontline visibility, mobility and effectiveness,” according to the RFI. The online forms solution needs to be able to be delivered across a number of mobile platforms.