SOME 3,000 police officers in West Yorkshire are now on the beat – armed with computers.
And chiefs claim the state-of-the-art handheld BlackBerry computers means the entire force is starting to feel the benefit of mobile technology.
The mini computers are helping to increase the time spent out on patrol by an extra 30 minutes per shift as they allow officers to send and access vital information when they are out on patrol.
And they have already helped directly in the pursuit of criminals across West Yorkshire.
Paul Whiteley, Director of Information Services for the Force is happy with progress so far.
“They are already proving their worth and are an important tool in the fight against crime.
“An officer was on patrol when he saw a suspect wanted for a robbery in the area. The officer stopped the suspect and checked on his BlackBerry and found out what had been stolen. The person detained was wearing the coat he had stolen and also had a stolen mobile phone in his possession.
“I’m sure there are other examples out there of how BlackBerrys are making a real difference to officers on the ground”.