A mobility programme using Apple iPhones and iPads has changed the way New Zealand Police officers work, and the force is partly attributing a sharp drop in crime to the rollout of the devices.
According to figures published by NZ Police, using the devices within the Policing Excellence programme [PDF] has contributed to a 13 per cent reduction in crime for the year to May 31.
The force has also seen a 27 per cent drop in prosecutions, mainly through the use of alternative resolutions.
Using iPhones and iPads for showing maps, rostering information, job and safety alerts as well as accessing data on the roadside without having to return to the station has boosted productivity and lowered response times, allowing officers to make better decisions, the Police force said.
Around thirty minutes worth of productivity per officer and shift is gained, the force estimated. That time can be put back into prevention-focused policing.
Furthermore, the devices reduce demand on the Police radio communications, as information previously obtained via that method is now available on iPhones and iPads.
NZ Police has equipped 6,259 officers this year with iPhones, with 3,702 of them also receiving iPads for more complex data entry tasks. Officers use two apps, the Police National Intelligence Application for data on individuals and Mobile Responder with maps and locations of fellow staffers, along with email and calendaring programs.
The total cost of the mobility programme was said in February this year to be NZ$159 million (A$135 million) over a twelve-year period.
New South Wales Police announced a mobility trial in March this year, featuring devices from Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry, with the aim of reducing the amount of time spent at the station at the end of shifts, completing data entry tasks.