silicon.com reports today on an interesting new method of catching criminals by my local police force – Staffordshire Police.
Several Mobile Devices have been trialled, howevere officers have chosen tough GPRS-enabled laptops to access police systems. This helps to reduce the length of time spent filling out forms back at HQ. By connecting to a closed Orange GPRS network with a Citrix client, the officers use their Panasonic Toughbooks to access the Police National Computer and do vehicle checks etc.
I especially love the comment by Ian De Soyza, project manager at Staffordshire Police, who was asked about the other devices tested in the trial – and why smaller devices (like PDA’s) weren’t used…..
“We did try the iPaq-type PDA devices and were handing them back. The battery life is not brilliant and they are temperamental. They also needed a keyboard. If you are chasing a car at 90mph at three in the morning, then trying to use a stylus is a challenge.”
He also said that all officers on shift will be equipped with mobile access by the end of the year and all 2,000 officers will have access by the end of 2004. Will they try the MS Smartphone though ? Well, we’ll need a Citrix client first..