Mobile roll-out will mean more police officers on Scottish streets: Humza Yousaf

The rollout of £12 million of mobile devices in Scotland will put more police officers on the streets, according to justice secretary Humza Yousaf.

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf
Justice secretary Humza Yousaf

The move was announced today at the headquarters of Glasgow's city centre police division.

Officers across Scotland will be equipped with smartphone-like devices to replace their notebooks.

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Speaking at the launch, Mr Yousaf said: "What the outcome is, is police officers will be spending more time in the community as opposed to spending time in police stations having to type up incidents, having to type up statements and being behind a desk."

The justice secretary said the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland approached him early in his term in Cabinet asking for capital investment in the force for the roll-out.

He said: "Of course, myself and the Cabinet secretary for finance had that discussion and I'm pleased we were able to provide £12 million for the roll-out.

"I'm pleased that we were able to provide the finance and pleased that this will be rolled out across the country."

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He said: "I would hope that it would certainly play a part in that but there will be a whole range of factors.

"What this means is that ultimately more police officers will spend time on the beat.

"Hopefully that will mean safer communities for all."

Chief Inspector Martin Gallagher, who is the deputy lead for mobile working in Police Scotland, said he hopes to see an improvement in community relations as more officers spend time on the streets.

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He said: "I think that's undoubtedly going to be the case. Officers will be able to engage with people more, because they will have time to do that."

The devices will have a biometric fingerprint scanner, which can only be accessed by the officer to whom it is assigned, as well as the ability to "kill" the device remotely if it is lost or stolen.

Officers in Glasgow have been on the beat with the devices in the past week, with a phased introduction taking place in coming weeks.