Mobile operator EE has won a £21 million contract to supply coverage to Police Scotland over a three-year period. The company will be joined by Motorola Solutions, which will supply its Pronto mobile working solution to the force for the same period of time.

According to a statement, operational use of the services is expected to begin in 2019. Handsets – which will be supplied by Samsung and Blackberry – will be assigned “incrementally” to response and community policing officers, as well as those within roads policing and Police Scotland’s specialist services division.

Speaking of the development, assistant chief constable Malcolm Graham said: “This signifies the commitment Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority have in leading the force into a more digitally-focused future.

“The use of mobile devices will revolutionise the way officers and staff access systems, currently only available from desktop and laptop computers within police stations. This will enable them to work on crime prevention and community-based policing to keep people safe, whether in the public, private or virtual space.”

BT’s public sector director in Scotland David Wallace said “Delivered via our EE 4G mobile network – the biggest in the UK –, this deal will enable thousands of police officers across Scotland to access the information they need, at the touch of a button.”

Motorola’s Pronto application is designed to replace police officers’ traditional paper-based notebooks. It allows them to directly fill in reports, as well as accessing databases such as the Police Command and Control system, and the Police National Computer.

Speaking of the contract, Motorola Solutions country manager, UK and Ireland, and vice president, Western Europe and North Africa, Phil Jefferson said: “This world-leading mobile data solution for Policing, which was born in Scotland and has since expanded in wider UK, is coming home. We are delighted to extend our longstanding partnership with Police Scotland and the criminal justice system in Scotland.”

Pronto was originally developed as part of a project with the University of Glasgow in the early 2000s. Motorola estimates that the application has already enabled forces in other parts of the country to save between one and two hours of administration and travel time per officer, per shift.

For more on mobile working in the emergency services, click below:

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Author: Philip Mason