An hour per day no more: Police notebooks become a thing of the past

A Glasgow University spin-out company has developed an electronic replacement notebook for police officers, cutting an hour per shift per day normally spent on paperwork and making a potential saving of £800k to the police force.

Kelvin Connect Ltd, innovative developers of mobile data management solutions based on hand-help computers (PDAs), has developed the electronic replacement to notebooks allowing police officers in the Lothian & Borders force to use pocket computers to capture all relevant information while on patrol.

Capturing information on the PDAs at the scene of incidents allows officers, once back at the station, to create reports at the click of a button, saving each officer at least an hour per shift on paperwork. During the trial, which will last 4 months and will involve 300 officers, the amount of time saved will be equivalent to 30 new officers being added to the force with a saving of £800,000.

Lothian & Borders Police aim to roll the system out to 300 officers by August 2006, including all Road Policing Officers in the force and officers based in the west of Edinburgh. Other police forces are watching the roll out with interest.

Inspector Norman Dixon, Lothian & Borders Police said:

'The use of the PDAs reduces operational officers' administration time allowing for increased police visibility and effectiveness. This means that we can provide, to the public, a more efficient and professional police service with existing officer numbers. Kelvin Connect's knowledge of internal police processes and operational working practices proved to be invaluable to the success of the project.'

Meurig Sage, Managing Director of Kelvin Connect (who spun-out the company from a Computing Science project at Glasgow University) added:

'Lothian & Borders Police is an organisation with complex information processing requirements driven by highly mobile professional teams. Our innovative software system supports rapid development of mobile information systems to support such workforces. This can drastically reduce paperwork and administration time and make the organisation more efficient.'

Justice Minister, Cathy Jamieson said:

'We want to see more valuable police time spent on visible, frontline policing not on paperwork. The roll out of the PDA system from today is a major step forward in harnessing new technology to make policing more efficient."

'It provides significant benefits to individual officers, as well as the force, wider criminal justice system, and above all to the general public. Most importantly, PDAs will substantially reduce the time which an officer has to spend on paperwork in the office. This will increase the amount of time which an individual officer can spend out in the community by at least one hour, per shift, per day.'

Media Relations Office (media@gla.ac.uk)


For more details contact the University?s Media Relations Office on 0141 330-3535, or Meurig Sage at Kelvin Connect Ltd, 0141 585 6423 msage@kelvinconnect.com

Alternatively contact Inspector Norman Dixon, Lothian & Borders Polices, norrie.dixon@lbp.pnn.police.uk

Kelvin Connect Ltd is a spin-out company from the Computing Science Department of the University of Glasgow. The original research was carried out under the name Paraglide and was funded under Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRC) Healthcare Informatics Initiative.

The Paraglide Project was established to investigate the use of mobile palmtop computers to support anaesthetists in the capture of pre and post-operative data for decision support and clinical audit. Current computerised support for these tasks suffer from several important problems, including inadequate data models, clumsy user interfaces and poor integration with other clinical computer systems.

Kelvin Connect offers a range of data capture solutions including:

*the rapid development of advanced hand-held information systems using a proven toolset of application-building utilities

*technical consultancy on all aspects of mobile systems development, including devices, communications technologies, and information standards

*systems integration consultancy to maximise the potential of new technologies to support mobile workforces.

For more details see: Kelvin Connect Ltd website

First published: 12 April 2006

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