by Hamish Barwick

Australian Federal Police trial in-car tablets

Jul 25, 20133 mins
Computers and PeripheralsGovernmentTablets

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has plans to replace its in-car computing system with tablets under a project called Interactive Constable on Patrol System (ICOPS).

Speaking at the Technology in Government Summit in Canberra, AFP CTO Scott MacLeod told delegates that its current system is at the end-of-life and officers in the field find the computers time consuming to use.

As part of the ICOPS project, officers would be provided a mobile law enforcement solution that is simple to use, easily implementable, device and operating system agnostic.

MacLeod showed a video of the ICOPS system being trialled on an iPad. It has 10 icons including vehicle check, tracking, licence check and police forms. The system also has a Twitter feed where citizens can tweet information to the AFP.

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  • According to MacLeod, there is the potential for the system to be linked with the ACT’s animal registry system, motor vehicle and firearms registration.

    “Police could use this to see that the suspect has a Harley Davidson, two Rottweilers and a gun. If you are going to jump a fence and go up to the back door it would be really good to know that sort of information first,” he said.

    While ICOPS is still at the trial stage, MacLeod said there is a strong business case to take it beyond a pilot.

    Future enhancements may include a link to the AFP’s number plate recognition system and automated forms.

    According to MacLeod, automated forms would save officers about an hour of administration work per shift.

    “We now have video streaming. We’ve worked with Telstra so we can now load CCTV footage from Canberra into the geospatial app and have that information available to officers on their tablet,” he said. This footage would be used to see how a crime, such as fighting outside a pub, started.

    MacLeod added that by using tablets, AFP officers can record evidence using the video function and get suspects to virtually sign consent forms on a tablet. The video feed will be sent back to the operations centre.

    “When we go into court, all these areas like the consent form are done and the challenges are less likely to emerge.”

    Hamish Barwick travelled to Canberra as a guest of Association Communications Events

    Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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