Is technology the answer to further policing cuts?

Chancellor George Osborne announced further cuts are to be made to the Police Force between now and 2020. Traka, the key and asset management specialist, suggests that investing in technology is one way to relieve some of the pressure the funding restrictions will cause.

During the July budget, the Chancellor warned that further cuts in policing would range from 25 percent to 40 percent. It’s been suggested that 22,000 police jobs could be lost between now and 2020 as a result.

The previous cuts, labelled ‘Policing in Austerity’, resulted in many forces turning to technology to help reduce time spent on administration. The introduction of mobile devices in England and Wales in 2007 meant that ancillary processes were significantly reduced, allowing officers to spend more time ‘on the beat’.

Over a period of three months, 33 hours were saved due to officers not having to return to stations to complete administrative tasks. One force has claimed to have saved one million pounds in the space of five years and has managed to increase front line policing due to the mobile devices.

Traka Intelligent Locker Solutions better facilitate the management of those devices and has proven to save money and protect the initial investment. This is implemented through controlled access to devices when they are necessary and asset accountability through our unique RFID tagging technology, resulting in fewer losses and damages.

Through correct asset management, administration times can be further reduced and front line policing can be increased; placing officers back in the hub of the community, protecting the public and not behind desks.

The use of traditional processes such as a sign-in and sign-out book, which are completed manually, can result in human error or unauthorised permissions to restricted mobile devices. Such methods also prevent the device from being tracked to decipher any damages or loss.

Implementing access control through new automated door systems or placement of individual tracking devices on mobile equipment, can be costly to implement, especially at a time where there is increasing pressure to reduce expenditure.

Traka reduces this high expense and error prone process, by utilising existing staff members credential cards to access the key cabinet, in which user permissions data is stored, allowing automated dispenses and an audit trail of usage to be maintained.

Diane Morris, Customer Account Manager, Emergency & Custodial Services for Traka said: “We’ve been working closely with forces to help them make the necessary cuts, and although it won’t solve all of the challenges, we do believe that technology does alleviate some of the pressures.

“With speculation that there will be 22,000 less officers on the beat, it’s more important than ever to implement technology that takes away administrative burdens.”