Feeds

15,000 London coppers to receive new crime-fighting tool: an iPad

£200m program to include 'predictive' tech à la Minority Report

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

London's Metropolitan Police are about to be equipped with a new crime-fighting tool: Apple's iPad mini.

"We want the officers out there fighting crime on the streets rather than sitting in a police station tapping on a keyboard, not solving anything," the force's head flack Richard Thwaite told the Financial Times (registration required). "Even if they are in Starbucks keying in details, then at least they are out there, visible and accessible and reassuring to the public."

This reassurance will begin with a trial program of 600 of the crime-fighting fondleslabs being handed out to officers in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the first part of what the Met announced on Friday to be a £200m ($327m) program that will over the next three years provide over 15,000 coppers with Apple tablets.

The iPads will be loaded with apps developed by the force, and will give the boys in blue the ability to record crimes and statements by witnesses, along with providing location-based information on gang members and recent crime victims, plus directions to the the nearest hospital emergency room – although one might hope that policemen might know that bit of info already.

"Officers will even have an app to order new uniforms," the FT reports.

The Met expects that the technology investment will result in a savings of 30 per cent on their existing IT expenditures, but the FT points out that similar programs have been far less than successful. "The National Audit Office found in 2012 that a Home Office scheme to equip officers with more than 40,000 mobile devices," they write, "had produced savings of just £600,000 out of a projected £125m."

Rather than hanging out in Starbucks and reassuring the public, reports concluded, officers were actually spending more time in the office after being equipped with those mobile phones, not less.

Thwaite, however, is bullish on the program, telling the FT that not only will the tablets provide the force with crime stats gathered throughout London – not just in the plods' working boroughs, as is currently the case – but that those stats will also be used to provide "predictive" maps of future crimes, a program not unlike the "Precrime" squad in the 2002 film Minority Report.

Before you pooh-pooh such capabilities, know that a similar program tested in Los Angeles found that property crimes in the area under test dropped by 12 per cent in one year, while in nearby neighborhoods where more traditional policing remained the order of the day, it rose by 0.5 per cent.

Whether such crime-fighting tools will lower London's crime rate remains to be seen, but The Reg predicts one result of the addition of iPads to the Met's arsenal: an epidemic of Flappy Bird addiction among the constabulary. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins
More USB ports than your laptop? You'd better believe it...
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.