Western Australia Police (WA Police) are improving their mobile communications services with access to a next-generation network that reaches regional and rural areas.
The WA Police Force is responsible for policing the world’s largest single jurisdiction covering 2.5 million square kilometres across the massive state of Western Australia.
Superintendent Lance Martin, programme director with WA Police, says this improved mobile communications service is helping officers access information in real-time, while supporting field operations.
This mobile service supports bring-your-own device (BYOD), “ruggedised” PDAs and other devices that are being used by officers in the field.
Previously, officers in regional areas had to call the closest station for information involving routine checks, according to Superintendent Martin.
“We were originally recording 800 enquiries per day from officers seeking car registrations, checking addresses and other factors concerning criminal history.“
More recently, using mobile communications, WA Police are recording 360 devices that log in on a single day into the improved system. More than 26,000 enquiries are being recorded daily as a result of using mobile communications.
Officers can download data directly, instead of using a radio to access information. These downloads enable police to sidestep time-management and information-access concerns.
“The benefit of using mobile communications is very clear,” notes Superintendent Martin.
WA Police’s mobile communications service incorporates access to a shared data plan. This plan is supported by a broadband communications network that is being provided by Australian telco carrier, Telstra.
Once officers log into this mobile service, they can access data relating to vehicles, name and firearm records, mug shots and criminal histories in seconds.
This access enables police to take action on the spot, including issuing fines, identifying “persons of interest” or apprehending criminals.
Police out on patrol need to routinely run checks on car registrations, track criminal history, or hand out traffic fines, among other duties.
Mobile communications enable officers to query many more vehicles and people, at the same time, identifying and tackling offenders more readily.
This mobile service enables officers to log onto police applications, as well as electronic mapping systems. They can also download street maps and floor plans.
Among its apps, police can request a list of persons of interest within a 150 metre radius of their location. This access enables officers to prioritise incidents, and helps them to manage risk more effectively.
Officer safety is being enhanced by the ability of police communication centres to track police vehicles using GPS. They can then send vehicles nearest to an incident, improving response times.
WA Police are one of eight police jurisdictions in Australia. This department’s structure brings together three sprawling regions, together with 14 districts and 157 police stations.
Superintendent Lance Martin is speaking at the 2nd Annual FutureGov Forum WA (Tuesday 5th February 2013, Perth). Details at http://www.futuregov.asia/events/futuregov-forum-wa-2013/
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