The government reckons a digital pathfinders programme across the police service is driving increased digitisation in reporting and dealing with crime.
Policing minister Damian Green told the College of Policing this week that 30 police forces have already signed up to be digital pathfinders.
Green said: "The next phase of police reform - and probably the most radical yet - is about transforming how policing is delivered at the front line. At the heart of this is how officers use technology and the importance of the role it will play."
He said the government was aiming for all forces to be genuinely digital by 2016, which the College of Policing supports.
Green said officers needed to be able to routinely access information out on the street to cut crime without wasting time going back to the station. At the same time the public needed to be able to access the police in a way and at a time that suited them.
He said: "Why should we still expect people to come into the police station to report a crime and give evidence when they might be able to do it online?
"The Sussex force already allows the public to report crime and incidents online. And Avon and Somerset allows the public to track the progress of their crime online."
Green said digitisation should not mean making a paper form into a pdf and emailing it across to someone else in the criminal justice system. Or worse, he said, recording digital evidence and then copying it onto three CDs, and sending one of them across to someone else in the justice system by post.
"If this is still happening in your force, it shouldn’t be," Green said.
Green added, "And how can data analytics, facial recognition and predictive policing make your work more productive? I know that Kent Police has already trialled predictive policing and that the Met are working with Plantar to test this technology in Southwark and Waltham Forest."