Darwin SNT among first to trial the Met's latest technology

Officers from the Darwin Safer Neighbourhood Team in Bromley are among the first within the Metropolitan Police Service to use Operational Personal Digital Assistants (PDA).

The PDA is a handheld device, specifically designed to support front line officers in the performance of operational duties, which enables officers to electronically record, reference and retrieve information whilst out on Patrol.

The PDA will allow users access to the following applications:

Police National Computer (PNC) for name, vehicle and driving license checks

Voters database to help verify details and assist in locating individual
National Mobile Phone Register to trace stolen mobile phones

Daily briefings with up to date information about what is going on in the local area including priorities
STOPS database allowing officers to directly log stop and search activities

Fixed Penalty Notices allowing officers to log details of traffic offences directly onto the system

Collision/Accident reports allowing officers to log traffic accident reports

Having on the spot access to better quality information has a number of operational benefits, it reduces paperwork and the time this takes the officer to complete, as well as repetition - the data is transmitted, so doesn't need re entering onto a computer at the police station. It also gives officers on foot patrol quick and easy access to essential information without waiting for details to be relayed over the radio. Quick and accurate information will improve officer safety and better decision making.

Cost savings are also expected through reduced paper copies and officers and staff can make better use of their time with reduced bureaucracy.

So far 90 units have been issued to Bromley officers, with more due to role out later this year.

PC Mark Cockbain from the Darwin Safer Neighbourhood Team said: "This is great news for Bromley Police and the communities we serve. The new PDAs will mean that Bromley officers out on patrol will have essential information at their fingertips, enabling them to do their job more efficiently. It will allow officers to spend more time in the community rather then completing reports in police stations - therefore increasing visibility and reassuring the public".

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