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‘It allows officers to be more visible to the public’ - Norwich police sergeant describes how new technology is helping crime fight

PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:54 07 October 2017

Sgt Mark Shepherd, East Safer Neighbourhood Team, showing all the kit that the police wear out on the streets. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sgt Mark Shepherd, East Safer Neighbourhood Team, showing all the kit that the police wear out on the streets. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

It has been claimed they will help revolutionise the way frontline police officers work by freeing up their time and enabling them to spend longer out on the streets.

Sgt Mark Shepherd, East Safer Neighbourhood Team, showing all the kit that the police wear out on the streets which includes the body-worn video cameras. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Sgt Mark Shepherd, East Safer Neighbourhood Team, showing all the kit that the police wear out on the streets which includes the body-worn video cameras. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The hand-held tablets allow officers to remotely update crime systems, review live incidents and carry out stop and search procedures on the go rather than having to return to stations.

And with the technology about to be rolled out to officers in Norfolk and Suffolk, Norwich officer Sergeant Mark Shepherd said the new technology is already making a difference.

Sgt Shepherd, who has been one of those trialling the new Samsung tablet, said: “It allows officers to be more visible to the public for increasing patrol times instead of having officers having to come back to the station to complete the paperwork.

“We can be out there giving that public reassurance and community engagement which is so key to policing when policing is under such tough measures and cuts.”

Sgt Mark Shepherd, East Safer Neighbourhood Team, showing all the kit that the police wear out on the streets, which includes carrying a tablet. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Sgt Mark Shepherd, East Safer Neighbourhood Team, showing all the kit that the police wear out on the streets, which includes carrying a tablet. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies have budgeted £1.2m to equip the officers with the devices but it is expected that the efficiencies brought by their deployment will save the constabulary money in the long-term.

The rollout of tablets is being delivered alongside the distribution of body-worn video cameras to officers in both counties which started in May this year.

It is hoped body worn video will help protect officers safer, cut complaints against police and place irrefutable evidence before the courts.

Sgt Shepherd, who has had body worn video for a couple of weeks, said he has already seen a difference on the street.

He said: “Once people see themselves on camera their attitude changes and they are more reasonable to the officers.”

Sgt Shepherd was confident the technology would be particularly effective in bringing domestic abusers to justice.

He said: “It’s a real benefit for gaining evidence first hand, ideally in domestic violence cases when the victim is not always willing to assist the police. The video footage here can show the devastation of the domestic incident, how the victim is at the time and that can then be played to the court to make their own mind up and assist CPS in charging decisions.”

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