NZ Police pours millions into iPhones and iPads

The police department will be spending a total of NZ$163.3 million on rolling out smartphones and tablets, which will give officers an additional 520,000 hours to work in the frontline.

The New Zealand Police will invest a lump sum of NZ$4.3 million and NZ$159 million over 10 years into rolling out Apple iPhones and iPads to its officers.

The decision came about through an 11-month long pilot of new technologies that could assist the police force. The initial three-month rollout process will see 6,086 police officers equipped with the smartphones and tablets.

"Using mobile technology means officers will be able to check offenders' details (like photographs and bail conditions) where and when they need to, rather than having to drive to a station to access information or use the police radio," New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said in a statement. "This means more time to focus on stopping crime and protecting communities, and less time each day on administration duties at their desks."

The move is expected to deliver 520,000 additional frontline hours to the police force. The New Zealand Police said that it expects time savings of 30 minutes per officer per shift, which will be reinvested into preventative policing activities.

Vodafone will be the telco provider for the new mobile devices, according to the National Business Review, but long-time New Zealand police partner Gen-i will continue to supply telco services to the department's operational management and administrative staff.

The mobile device rollout is part of the New Zealand government's Better Public Services strategy.

"This new technology, along with the 600 additional frontline officers delivered by the national-led government and a 70 per cent increase in police foot patrols, will mean more police are out on the streets for longer to keep our communities safe," New Zealand Police Minister Anne Tolley said in a statement.

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