New ‘app’ set to speed up Stop & Search process
West Midlands Police stop and searches are set to become quicker
and more efficient after the force launched a new 'app' for
The mobile app − the first of its kind in UK policing − has been
launched today (30 Aug) and allows officers to record details of
street encounters on their smart phones without the need to call
contact centre staff.
GPS also automatically records the location of each search − and
it's reckoned the app will cut demand on force contact staff by
almost 1,000 calls a month.
Project lead, Temporary Inspector Dave Whordley, said the
development will reduce delays and cut the length of time needed to
carry out a street stop.
He added: "Officers will be able to input details directly via
their phones and instantly receive a unique reference number. It
means doing away with having to wait on the phone for contact
centre staff to record details of the search.
"It's been developed as part of our WMP2020 Mobility project
which has already seen the rollout of more than 3,700 hand held
devices to frontline officers.
"This app is the first of many which will be rolled out to help
cut bureaucracy and help officers spend more time investigating
crime and on the beat."
West Midlands Police has one of the highest stop and search
recording accuracy rates in the country with a recent HMIC
inspection finding that 93 per cent of all encounters had been
And Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who leads on WMP's
Mobility project, expects the new technology to further improve
He added: "We've listened to operational officers about what
apps will allow them to do their job more efficiently and
effectively and allow them to remain out in the community where
they should be, rather than having to keep returning to the
"We are reviewing a wide range of requests for apps and
products, with a view to delivering some new apps to benefit
frontline officers in the near future."
Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Ashley Bertie said:
"This new app will mean that officers are able to record important
information on the move.
"We have ensured that stop and search is intelligence-led and
have increased the number of arrests that it has produced, at the
same time as reducing its overall usage.
"This has improved public confidence and will be boosted further
by this new app.
"This is an important development that will continue to ensure
that West Midlands Police remains at the forefront of reforming
stop and search."