All of Nottinghamshire’s Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are being provided with laptops to help them spend longer on the streets keeping people safe.
A research study, funded by Safer Streets in South Nottinghamshire and designed and led by Chief Inspector Rob Lawton, found that laptops halved the amount of time PCSOs spent at police stations each day and cut travel time by a third.
As part of the trial, £20,000 of Safer Streets funding allowed Nottinghamshire Police to trial laptops for its PCSOs in Rushcliffe, Broxtowe and Gedling. The study concluded that the devices allowed them to complete enquiries and search databases while out in the community and saved valuable officer time. In fact, it was established that nearly 64,000 officer hours a year could be saved – the annual equivalent of over £1.3million in officer time.
Due to the success of the trial, Nottinghamshire Police further invested in the devices which are now being rolled out to all PCSOs across the force, ensuring that this collaboration will provide a greater high-visibility presence which better serves communities.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry made a commitment earlier this year to keep Police Community Support Officers on the streets at a time where other Police and Crime Commissioners had made the tough decision to remove funding for the role.
Commissioner Henry said: “After committing to keep all 150 PCSOs within this year’s budget, this project will allow us to use these officers even more efficiently and effectively, keeping them out on the street for longer tackling crime and antisocial behaviour.
“The addition of these new laptops which will allow more time for visible policing, and less time working in police stations.
“Safer Streets is all about innovation and making people safer in public spaces, and this is yet another success story to come from it.”
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire secured £3million of funding for a range of public space safety initiatives across Nottinghamshire through the latest round of the Home Office’s Safer Streets scheme. As well as the research study for laptops for PCSOs, it has also funded interventions including new CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras, improved street lighting, Safer Streets warden patrols and free security devices for burglary victims, among others.
Chief Inspector Lawton, who at the time of the research study was Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Rushcliffe, said: “Having worked in Neighbourhood Policing for several years I know how hard our PCSOs work and the benefit they provide to communities.
“Because PCSOs were not routinely issued with laptops in Nottinghamshire, like their Police Officer counterparts, I wanted to support them and so created this research project.
“I am really pleased with the results which justified a rollout to all our PCSOs – this is a significant improvement both for our force and for the communities we serve. I would like to thank everyone involved in the project.”
Susannah Rutter, who has been a PCSO in Nottinghamshire for 16 years, is one of the officers who will benefit from a new laptop.
She said: “I’m really excited. It’s going to make my job a lot easier because the moment I receive details from people I can start recording things and get the process moving.
“Everything will be at my fingertips and it’s something I’ve wanted for years. It saves a lot of time having your own laptop and enables us to stay out on the streets helping people in need.
“We have engagement stands in the Old Market Square and the laptops will make a big difference there too, showing people that we are taking them seriously and they can feel confident when reporting things to us.”
Posted on Monday 30th October 2023