Like all aspects of society, policing has developed hugely over the years and one of the biggest and most significant areas of change is in terms of technology.

Gone are the days when police officers walked the beat with only a pocket notebook and a wooden baton.

Today, our Community Policing Teams have a raft of technology to help them investigate crime and protect the public.

One example is that over the past few weeks officers and staff have been provided with upgraded laptops and screens which are much lighter, quicker, more reliable and user friendly.

This allows our teams to work remotely, allowing them to spend more time away from their desk and to help make sure they are visible in our communities - something which is being driven by our Police and Crime Commissioner.

And it's not just laptops that are helping our officers day-to-day.

Mobile phones, drones, radios and body worn cameras with new software to enable a quicker and easier download, are all helping officers and staff on the frontline.

Det Sgt Dean Garvin said: "Investments like this help us be more productive and offer greater flexibility, and - most importantly - help us deliver a better service to the people we serve and protect.

"To my mind, the best example of this has been the born worn cameras. I have been involved in a number of serious cases that have progressed as a result of this level of tech, from officers being horrifically assaulted to children that are being neglected, where body worn footage has been used to help make decisions with our partners about how best to safeguard those young people in need of help.

"The pace of change and complexity in criminality has become almost over-whelming - kit like this helps even the fight."

PC Paul Bezzant, Community Coordinator with Swindon South CPT, added: "Mobile phones and laptops allow myself and officers to have access to a wealth of police data and intelligence that routinely assists us in all aspects of our policing.

"This access is readily available and allows officers to pursue their investigations or to formulate patrol strategies for the communities that we police. This facilitates officers being on the ground and amongst their communities providing an increased visible presence.

"Body Worn Cameras are an invaluable tool to secure evidence from our interactions both with victims and suspects, providing little ambiguity in cases when they progress to court.  This technology also allows our response to incidents to be open and transparent should allegations ever be made against them." 

One piece of new technology which has helped transform frontline policing is drones.

Our Force Unmanned Aerial Support Group is called out on a daily basis to support our Community Policing Teams.

Drone manager Mark Talliss said: "The drones assist with a huge variety of events and operations.

"Not only can we provide support for investigations, including preservation of evidence or safety back-up for officers and staff, but having an "eye in the sky" can be vital for policing of events such as football matches or the recent Honda march in Swindon.

"Another area that drone support can be invaluable, is in a search for a missing person - having that oversight of large areas, particularly rural areas, searching quickly and efficiently, can potentially save someone's life and reduce the amount of time officers have to be out searching."

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