The National Policing Improvement Agency has signed a three-year framework contract with Cable & Wireless for the provision of a full mobile offering including hardware and software.
The agency, which is managing the £75 million rollout of mobile devices to police forces across the country, said the framework offered an “off-the-shelf managed solution” of systems and handheld devices to the 27 forces that have won funding. It will enable forces them to take up the offering without having to organise their own procurement processes.
Cable & Wireless already has a framework agreement available to all police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to provide managed voice, data, video, internet and hosting services.
The government last month announced it had increased the funding available from £50 million to £75 million, arguing that officers on the beat could use special PDAs or phones to cut time spent back at the station filing paperwork, as well as giving them access to central databases of criminals while they are out on the street. Some 30,000 devices are expected to be in use by 2010.
The 27 forces to receive funding are the Nottinghamshire Police, Leicestershire Constabulary, Lincolnshire Police, Derbyshire Police and Northamptonshire Police, Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, all eight Scottish forces, British Transport Police, Staffordshire Police, Cheshire Constabulary, Essex Police, Lancashire Constabulary, Hertfordshire Police, Thames Valley Police, North Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Police, Humberside Police, Kent Police and the Metropolitan Police.
They were awarded the funding after demonstrating how they would manage staff training, the rollout and procurement. But chief inspector of constabulary, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, said in his Review of Policing in February that it was important a single IT supplier was used in order to make systems and data better integrated.