WA equips frontline cops with smart mobile tech

The WA Government will deploy 3,500 mobile smart devices to police officers, providing $34.6 million to fund the tech rollout.

The mobile devices will offer a range of practical services for frontline cops, allowing them to complete administrative tasks – such as identity checks and the recording of statements – on site without needing to return to the office.

The handheld computer devices will come equipped with a “suite of applications that will ensure access to crucial policing functions in the field”, the Government said in a statement.

"These smart devices will streamline police work and free up officers to spend more time in the community,” Police Minister Michelle Roberts said. As a result, WA police will have "faster access to more accurate information to make decisions... [improving] officer safety and public safety outcomes."

The smart device rollout comes on top a raft of upgrades and improvements for WA's police force, including a $15.4 million commitment by the McGowan Government to kit out frontline officers in personal body armour, as well as $1.9 million for number plate recognition technology.

WA is playing catch-up with its police tech deployments, being among the last states in Australia to adopt in-the-field smart devices for its officers.

Just last month, Axon Public Safety Australia secured an $18 million contract with WA Police to outfit its frontline officers with body cameras.

Axon will deliver 4,200 onboard cameras, which includes an accompanying data storage service, to WA Police over a five-year period.

The body camera rollout is expected to be completed by June 2021.

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