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News - 2 June 2012
Police BlackBerry plan makes 'woeful' savings of £600,000
A scheme to provide thousands of police officers with BlackBerrys and handheld computers will make savings of just £600,000 instead of a hoped-for £125million, MPs have claimed.
The Public Accounts Committee says the project has been “haphazard” with some forces ending up with more hi-tech devices than officers. Although using mobile computers to issue fines and take statements was meant to cut red tape and put police back out on the beat, in some areas officers actually ended up spending more time in stations, it is claimed.
Margaret Hodge, chairman of the committee, said: “Not enough attention has been paid to outcomes. The Programme was supposed to contribute £125 million to cashable savings by the police service. So far has it managed a woeful £600,000 – less than one per cent of the public money spent on the scheme.”
Under the Mobile Information Programme, which ran between 2008 and 2010, the National Policing Improvement Agency was given £71m so that police forces could buy 41,000 mobile devices for officers in England and Wales. A further £9m was spent on managing the contracts and the outcome of the scheme, while forces themselves put in a further £23m.
For the full story from The Telegraph, click here.
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