Highland and Islands Police officers are being given access to new mobile technology to help increase their visibility within local communities.
The new mobile devices being brought forward as part of a £21million Mobile Working Project will enable officers to access a wide range of police systems whilst on operational duties without the need to return to their base.
The scheme, which is part funded by the Scottish Government’s capital budget, will see approximately 10,000 uniformed officers issued with a mobile device by spring 2020.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf said: “I am pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to help Police Scotland invest in new mobile technology, which is enabling officers to work in the heart of Scotland’s communities, providing reassurance and increasing their visibility.
“This technology is enabling officers to become even more agile and responsive, ensuring the service is better-equipped to meet the modern-day demands upon it.
Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent George Macdonald, Highland and Islands divisional commander, said: “Given the geography of the area, officers do incur significant travel time between calls and their stations, the mobile device will allow officers to be more visible in the community, spend more time on patrol and hopefully be more accessible within the areas they serve.
“Members of the public will see police officers operating their mobile device in public areas. It is important they understand they are not using their personal telephone and that they are working, but be reassured they will always be available to offer help, advice or assistance if needed.”
The devices will enable officers to spend more time within the community dealing with ongoing incidents, engaging with members of the public and supporting victims with their focus remaining on crime prevention.
They were first introduced in Tayside in June before making their way up north to officers in the North east last month.
The mobiles will provide apps enabling officers carry out checks and file crime reports whilst being able to type statements directly to the device through the use of a digital notebook function Pronto which will obtain an electronic signature from victims and witnesses.