Motorola lands AU$50m deal with Victorian government to upgrade police force

Motorola Solutions Australia has been chosen to deliver more than 10,000 iPhones and iPads to police and protective services officers across Victoria over the next five years.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

The Victorian government has announced that Motorola Solutions has been selected to equip its police and protective services officers with mobile technology, network services, and applications to increase situational awareness, safety, and productivity.

The five-year deal, worth more than AU$50 million, is part of the state government's AU$227 million commitment to upgrading Victoria's police force.

From the middle of this year, Motorola Solutions will begin rolling out more than 10,000 iPhones and iPads to police and protective services officers, who will use the technology to undertake tasks such as capturing evidence, carrying out identity checks, and reporting crime or other events such as traffic incidents.

One of the applications Motorola Solutions will roll out is mPol, developed by Collingwood-based mobile application developer Gridstone, which Motorola Solutions acquired in November last year.

Already used by Queensland police, mPol provides real-time access to information about the individuals involved and the type of incident a police officer is responding to.

"Many public safety and enterprise businesses today are looking to improve the way they manage their daily workflows through the use of mobile applications that can simplify their most complex work challenges," said Motorola Solutions vice president and managing director Steve Crutchfield.

"We will provide Victoria Police with a mobility managed service that is highly secure, reliable, and helps to free up more time for front-line police to work in their communities where they are needed most."

As part of the package, Motorola Solutions will also lead a consortium of service providers to deliver the contract, includingOptus, which will provide the carrier network solution to enable police and protective services officers to stay connected to critical information; and CompNow, which will supply the Apple mobile devices, logistics, and device repair services.

The rollout will extend to the more than 3,100 new police officers to be recruited, on top of normal recruitment levels, and deployed over the next five years.

The Victorian government said the technology boost will enable police and protective services officers to spend more time "proactively policing in the field and less time being station bound, filling out paperwork".

"We're helping Victoria Police build a smarter, more modern force. We're investing in technology, recruiting more officers, and making sure our police can spend more time doing what they do best -- protecting Victorians," Minister for Police Lisa Neville said in a statement.

In a 2014 report [PDF], Victoria Police acknowledged that it was struggling to meet the demands of the public, and that inadequate investment in technology had "left Victoria Police in the 20th century".

Two years later, the state government pledged to invest AU$227 million, following a recommendation by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

It was the murder of 11-year-old Luke Batty by his father in 2014 that exposed the need for better coordination in sharing information within Victoria Police.

The state government has since tasked data analytics company SAS Institute Australia with developing software that connects disparate police databases such as Leap and Interpose, so that greater intelligence can be drawn from them.

Once the disparate databases are connected, the police force will be able to use the system to link people, events, vehicles, properties, and activities, as well as ingest "open-source social media" to pair up with police information, and better identify and predict local crime trends and hotspots.

The system is expected to cut the time it takes for Victoria Police's 600-plus crime analysts to connect the dots down from hours to minutes.

Digital solutions provider Civica has also inked a AU$103.6 million deal with the Victorian Department of Justice to build a custom infringements enforcement and warrants management system with ongoing support for eight years.

Replacing a legacy system, the VIEW system will allow the Victorian government to manage the collection of fines, civil judgement debts, and victim compensation orders.

This includes improved verification, processing, and monitoring of infringement notices, as well as an "enhanced" experience for both citizens receiving and staff assigning infringement notices and fines.

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