The first of Victoria Police’s new mobile devices will hit the streets today as part of a state-wide roll-out of more than 10,000 devices across the state over the next five years.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville joined Victoria Police members at North Melbourne train station to meet with police and see first-hand how transit police are using the devices across the public transport network to easily access information to detect and report about criminal activity.
Almost 60 iPad minis and iPhones have been handed out to Protective Services Officers (PSOs) and Transit Police Officers based in the Wyndham area to give them faster access to the information they need.
This is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s investment of more than $227 million to modernise and upgrade Victoria Police technology, with $81.2 million delivered for the Mobile Technology Project.
The new devices will improve responsiveness, accountability and efficiency by ensuring information is captured and shared quickly by Victoria Police officers. The capability of the devices will evolve over time to include capturing evidence, identity checks and reporting crime.
Today marks the start of a state-wide deployment of the devices with 8,500 to be in the field by the end of 2019 with additional devices to be deployed to support new recruits and organisational needs.
The Labor Government’s investment in police technology is designed to create a more modern and efficient police force and to ensure officers have a greater presence in the community by spending more time proactively policing and less time being station-bound.
The technology revolution also involves the roll out of Automatic Number Plate Recognition across the Highway Patrol fleet, a new intelligence system and body-worn cameras.
Legislation was also recently passed in Parliament to give PSOs new powers to target anti-social behaviour and crime by ensuring they can respond to incidents in and around the train station they are patrolling.
The new laws will give PSOs a range of additional powers including the power to arrest a person who has breached their parole, conduct searches for illicit drugs, and request names and addresses from people who witness a crime.
This forms part of the Government’s historic $2 billion Community Safety Statement, which promises to expand PSOs’ community safety role and deploy an additional 100 PSOs on the streets.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“These iPads and iPhones will equip our officers with the right resources and technology they need to access information and protect the community.”
“This will ensure our PSOs have even faster access to the best information and intelligence available, especially when they’re out patrolling a train platform and are away from a computer.”