Victoria Police has started
handing out new mobile devices to provide Police Officers faster access to the
information they need. Almost 60 iPad minis and iPhones have been handed out to
Protective Services Officers (PSOs) and Transit Police Officers based in the
Wyndham area. Minister for Police, Ms. 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.
By the end of 2019, around 8,500 devices will be present in
the field, with additional devices to be deployed to support new recruits and
organisational needs. More than 10,000 devices will be rolled out across the
state over the next five years.
This is part of the State Government’s investment of more
than AU$227 million to modernise and upgrade Victoria Police technology, with AU$81.2
million delivered for the Mobile Technology Project.
The new devices are expected to 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.
The investment in police technology aims 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. Other technology initiatives include the roll out of Automatic
Number Plate Recognition across the Highway Patrol fleet, a new intelligence
system and body-worn cameras.
Recently, legislation was 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.
Ms. Neville, said, “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.”