A MULTI million pound plan to cut the time police officers spend behind their desks is almost in place - two years after it was first announced.

In 2015 North Yorkshire Police revealed it would invest £10m in new technology that would would allow officers to spend more time on the beat and less time in the station.

The investment in Operational Mobile Working (OMW) tablet-style computers will allow officers to complete paperwork on the move and was set to be up and running by the end of 2016.

Loading article content

Speaking the previous year, Chief Constable Dave Jones said the move would make the force “the cutting edge of any police service by the end of 2016”.

However, in December 2016 it was revealed the project had been delayed by nine months due to changes introduced by the Government to public services networks (PSNP).

This meant work had to start again on creating operating systems which could be used on the streets.

Now, a handful of OMWs are currently being tested in York and Scarborough, before the scheme is finally rolled out across the force.

A police spokesman said the testing had been “ongoing” throughout last year, with more than 40 officers feeding back information to the project team.

Equipment training for more officers started last month, and while the spokesman said the delays due to PSNP had been resolved, “technical issues can never be ruled out during complex technical projects”.

He added: “Due to the scale of the project and size of the organisation, this will continue for the next six months or so until all officers due to receive the technology are trained accordingly.

“During this time different mobile working functionality will be released allowing officers and PCSOs to do more and more work on the streets and not back at the station.”

Concerns about mobile signal in more rural areas of the region have also been addressed, but it is unclear whether issues about coverage have been resolved.

The spokesman said around 2,000 signal tests have been carried out across the force area, with the information used to inform the project’s development.

Another element of the investment is the MAUDS system - Mobile Assets Utilisation and Deployment - which uses satellite technology to record locations of resources on a virtual map, and the force confirmed that system is now live in all North Yorkshire Police vehicles