Motorola Solutions begins rolling out mobility service to Victoria Police

Transit safety police and protective services officers in Melbourne are the first to receive iPhones and iPads loaded with the mPol application.

Motorola Solutions has announced it has begun deploying its mobility solutions to police officers in Victoria, after securing a five-year AU$50 million-plus managed service contract with the state government to upgrade its police force.

Starting with 59 transit safety police and protective services officers in the Werribee area of Melbourne's outer western suburbs, more than 10,000 Victorian police officers will receive iPhones and iPads to undertake tasks such as capturing evidence, carrying out identity checks, and reporting crime or other events such as traffic incidents.

The mobile devices will be preloaded with the app mPol -- developed by Collingwood-based Gridstone, which Motorola Solutions acquired in November last year -- which provides real-time access to information about the individuals involved and the type of incident a police officer is responding to.

Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp said the technology will enable police to spend more time "proactively policing in the field and less time station-bound doing administration work".

In the initial phase of the rollout, officers will have access to operational information including the ability to perform person checks, with functionality increasing over time to also include electronic patrol duty returns, computer aided dispatch, and access to national resources, the state government said.

"Frontline officers will gain access to data when and where they need it most, helping them to manage their essential daily tasks with increased efficiency and safety," Motorola Solutions vice president and managing director Steve Crutchfield said in a statement.

"The mobile application delivers critical information to officers for improved decision-making. For example, it can alert officers about potentially dangerous suspects."

The app is already being used by Queensland Police.

In April, Motorola Solutions said that, as part of the package, it will also lead a consortium of service providers to deliver the contract, including Optus, 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 2,700 new police officers to be recruited over the next four years.

The contract will run for a minimum of five years with the potential to extend to 11 years, Motorola said.

In August, the Victorian government announced it was introducing new legislation into parliament to ensure police officers can legally use body-worn cameras to capture footage in the line of duty.

The Justice Legislation (Body-worn Cameras and Other Matters) Bill 2017, passed by the House on June 23, is the first tranche of legislation that will give police "the powers, resources, and tools" they need to keep communities safe, including body-worn cameras when they are rolled out to frontline police in 2018.

The Victorian government said it will also introduce an exception to the Surveillance Devices Act 1999 so that the use of footage captured by body-worn cameras does not immediately constitute an offence should a private conversation be inadvertently recorded by police.

The cameras will not only capture potential evidence, but will also hold police to account, the state government said in August.

Further legislation is set to be introduced that will support the use of body-worn cameras for recording statements in family violence matters and allow those statements to be tendered in court by victims as evidence.

The Victorian government in February 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, which was acquired by Partners Group for over £1 billion earlier this year, had 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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