BlackBerrys

PCSO stuff ONLY: Burning issues, high profile questions or cases that have been highlighted in national or local news, let's talk about them IN HERE! A link to the item would be great where possible.

Moderator: national-PCSOs

User avatar
DANGEROUS TIGER
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:18 am
Location: THE JUNGLE

BlackBerrys

Post by DANGEROUS TIGER » Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:16 pm

How many PCSOs among us have now been issued with blackBerrys?

I think they are great to carry around, and have instant mobile access to the internet, emails, etc. Much more sensible that relying on access an office computer.
LIVE WELL, DIE WELL

JEA
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by JEA » Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:07 pm

Should be getting ours by September which is apparently the deadline for government funding. So you can bet, working or not, we'll get them by September.

They should come with:
internet
e-mail
3G mobile phone calls (video calls)
PNC
electronic stop forms that automatically do PNC and intel checks
multi-media and normal text messaging
Microsoft Office apps (word, excell, powerpoint etc) with access to force's networked hard drives and form templates
NICHE
STORM (software that the control room uses for logging incidents)
camera/video
mapping software
GPS (linked to mapping software and capability for the device/us to be tracked remotely)
force intra-net and.....
SOLITAIRE!!! :sltee:

Looks like I'll never have to go back to the station to do admin again! :slcup:

There was a negative news story about these not too long ago, saying how dangerous it was to carry these in case they fell in to the wrong hands. They failed to understand that no sensitive data will be stored on the actual device. I presume the user may be able to manually save documents, pics and text's to the device's memory but things like PNC, NICHE and all the other stuff won't be. It will be accessed remotely and the device will need to have permission to access it each time it tries, which can be removed at any time for individual devices if they are lost. My understanding is they can be remotely stunned (temp ban from network) or killed (permanently disabled) like Airwaves if they are lost.

Edit:

The only slightly worrying bit is how to charge them. The one's we're getting don't have battery that just clips on the back like Airwaves, they have an internal battery like a mobile phone. The rumour is that we're going to be encouraged to take them home to charge them. I suppose they can't have hundreds of chargers cluttering up the station, or us wasting the first couple of hours of a shift waiting for them to charge. I do feel it's a bit cheeky though considering the price of electricity at the moment. Also, are they going to be accountable items like Airwaves handsets? What happens if I get burgled, will I be held to account, will I get a prof standards investigation for loosing it? If my toddler daughter destroys it, who replaces it? Will I be charged or will the force insure it? Taking it home seems like an ill thought out idea, but then again we're talking about the police force, they don't do "ill thought out" do they? :slzip:
Last edited by JEA on Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
DANGEROUS TIGER
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:18 am
Location: THE JUNGLE

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by DANGEROUS TIGER » Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:21 pm

They can be killed off, yes.

You have five cracks at your password, and if it is still wrong, will mean you will personally have to take it to a specialized branch of Orange network, where it will take a long time to be corrected again! Trouble is the key pads are very small, and it is very easy to sensitise the incorrect one. :slwo:

It is still a great piece of kit though
LIVE WELL, DIE WELL

User avatar
abdi1234
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 344
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:39 pm
Location: London

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by abdi1234 » Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:27 pm

As police officers on our borough wedon't want them. We will be shortly trialling them on our borough for the Met. However their functions are extremley limited (not intergratted with our software), don't cut down on forms, add extra weight and represent a serious officer safety concerns while doing pnc checks.

Give me a pen and notebook anyday. This is coming from a gadget man. One day the government will realise is we need an intergrated software package getting rid of all the individual standalone poo. That will get more people on the street. These PDAs are just a gimic and more government spin over substance.

JEA
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by JEA » Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:40 pm

abdi1234 wrote: One day the government will realise is we need an intergrated software package getting rid of all the individual standalone poo.
I agree, as a software engineer I was horrified at the state my force IT system is in. The amount of time I spend duplicating info on different systems is staggering and it must be worse for constables. When I check someone over the net I want PNC, intel, bail and warrents done at the same time. At the moment they're all separate systems.
NICHE??!! I can't believe anyone actually got paid to make that. It looks like the same people that designed the back end of the database also designed the user interface! I could have done a better job!

However, the mobile devices are good theory in my opinion. Less time traveling back and forth to the station to do admin has to be a good thing.

Why do you think there'll be an officer safety issue?

User avatar
Sgt87
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:25 pm

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by Sgt87 » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:15 pm

abdi1234 wrote:As police officers on our borough wedon't want them. We will be shortly trialling them on our borough for the Met. However their functions are extremley limited (not intergratted with our software), don't cut down on forms, add extra weight and represent a serious officer safety concerns while doing pnc checks.
This is a popular line churned out by lazy officers who want everything done for them. I apologise if you do not fit into that description, but I manage to use MDT PNC to carry out all of my checks on people who I stop and I quite often work on my own in some very unpleasant boroughs.

User avatar
Arthur ASCII
Elite Legion
Elite Legion
Posts: 1919
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:24 am
Location: Northampton

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by Arthur ASCII » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:26 pm

I too am an "IT man" (over a decade as a senior consultant in Information Systems with the LSC Group, working with the MoD on major defence projects). I've been involved with the Mobile Data Terminal workshops here in Northampton, and have been a Blackberry user for some time now.
Here's my take on things...

Mobile data terminals are NOT a replacement for PNC etc, merely an alternative. Obviously, if one has detained a suspect, one doesn't want to take one's eyes off them whilst doing a PNC check! - use your Airwaves. The beauty of the Mobile Data Terminal is that results are integrated. PNC a vehicle and you can highlight the registered keeper, get their info, find out who else lives at the address, get info on markers, warrants etc, all by a few simple clicks. It's brilliant!

Don't worry about the keypad. I've got fingers like bananas, but I have no trouble using my Blackberry. Here in Northampton, we'll be able to take them home, so we can sort out our email even when we're off duty (sad I know, but there's nothing worse than starting a shift with 30-odd emails to address, and I'd rather spend a few minutes of slack time off duty sorting out the dross).

You'll wonder how you ever managed without your MDT in a few months :slcup:

mj12cz
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 2009
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:10 pm
Location: lincs

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by mj12cz » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:41 pm

You are kidding, Lincs police cannot afford to buy us a computer for our office, sadly we are in the dark ages.

Its about time the home office work up and started to help the under funded forces, rather that throwing money around the other police forces...
"Its a mother beautiful bridge and its going to be there"

Save the cheer leader, save the world.....

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
George Orwell

JEA
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by JEA » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:43 pm

mj12cz wrote:You are kidding, Lincs police cannot afford to buy us a computer for our office, sadly we are in the dark ages.

Its about time the home office work up and started to help the under funded forces, rather that throwing money around the other police forces...
I may be wrong, just what I heard on the grape vine, but I thought the government were paying for them, as long as they're in service by a certain deadline.

User avatar
Sgt87
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:25 pm

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by Sgt87 » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:53 pm

Arthur ASCII wrote:Mobile data terminals are NOT a replacement for PNC etc, merely an alternative. Obviously, if one has detained a suspect, one doesn't want to take one's eyes off them whilst doing a PNC check! - use your Airwaves. The beauty of the Mobile Data Terminal is that results are integrated. PNC a vehicle and you can highlight the registered keeper, get their info, find out who else lives at the address, get info on markers, warrants etc, all by a few simple clicks. It's brilliant!
We'll have to agree to disagree here. The whole point of MDT is to reduce air transmissions and free operators up to do other control room tasks. It doesn't matter which way you do your checks, you are going to be distracted whilst carrying them out. Clearly if you have got someone under arrest then MDT might not be an option, but if you work in pairs there is no reason why you cannot do the checks yourselves, but it is down to risk assessment.... afterall you would probably have had your head down writing details in your PNB in order to transmit them to the operator.

Due to a number of mistakes by operators I do all of my own checks thereby making me responsible for picking out the warning signals, w/m markers and other info. I've been caught out too many times with information accidentally not being passed on or being told that a person is N/T when I know they've got a record going back years.

User avatar
abdi1234
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 344
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:39 pm
Location: London

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by abdi1234 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:00 am

Sgt87 wrote:This is a popular line churned out by lazy officers who want everything done for them. I apologise if you do not fit into that description, but I manage to use MDT PNC to carry out all of my checks on people who I stop and I quite often work on my own in some very unpleasant boroughs.

Its also a popular line by hard working proactive officers.

You should know that MDT has a 10th of the PNC data thus insufficient for the proactive officer in many occasions. MDT is usually fine for cars but is lacking for name checks. MDT prevents you from trip up tests and certain officer safety / critical information.

Then there is the officer safety concerns with one officer learning in a car while you have multiple people stopped. It is also the same for the PDA, I would far rather have better control of the people I am dealing with, better PNC access and be able to shout up if I am trouble quickly if I am on a support channel (as they will quickly put my location on the main channel by calling across to the operator in the next hub). All this silent comms that has come in means you are having less and less idea where and what your colleagues are.

If it does go wrong at least you have the address in reason field while using the radio which the operator has access to. That is not the case for MDT or PDAs.

I say if it aint broke why fix it.

In London this failed Metcall project will be gone as soon as our commissioner leaves and boroughs will be back to CAD rooms.

Maybe I would feel different about PDAs if I could put reports on through them or transfer data but at present you can't. It is yet more pointless wasteful duplication. I'm sure like my county transfer colleagues it will will be left in the locker after the trials.

Give us headcams if you want to fork out extra money on technology. Then you would also save money on the pleas at court.

One day hopefully we will have competent senior police officers making these decisions rather than headline grabbing political police officers who have no understanding with what we deal with.

User avatar
Sgt87
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:25 pm

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by Sgt87 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:04 am

You say that it only has a 10th of the information, but from memory (because I'm not in front of the screen) it is only missing arrest summons and disposals.

If I have a slightly iffy stop then I get more officers along so that the playing field is tilted firmly to my advantage. I still maintain that you can carry out the checks yourself and not be in danger, but perhaps we have different perceptions and working practices.

User avatar
jonny121
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:11 pm
Examiner: XIII
Location: Bucks

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by jonny121 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:32 pm

DT - I think your the only one I know in my force that seems to like their Blackberry! Everyone I work with hates theirs (including myself) or have had numerous problems!

I have received my PNC training for my Blackberry but it's soooooo slow and PNC xpress isn't as up to date as the PNC on the LAN. I have tested it and it's quicker to do it on the radio or just phone up IRB/PNC myself.

I don't have particuallarly big hands but I find the buttons rather small and annoying.

The GPS is good for finding your location but absolutely rubbish for navigation, was taking so long to find a satellite it locked itself for security reasons. I suppose checking emails is good whilst on the move but it doesn't open larger attachments properly as the handset can't handle it.


Much as love gadgets I rather have my old force mobile back.........
PCSO Nov 2007 - Feb 2010
PC Feb 2010...

pcsosteve
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:18 pm

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by pcsosteve » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:23 pm

Had our blackberrys since january. Great piece of kit. Unfortunately mine is broken :(

User avatar
Big-Si
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 456
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:16 am
Contact:

Re: BlackBerrys

Post by Big-Si » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:13 pm

mj12cz wrote:You are kidding, Lincs police cannot afford to buy us a computer for our office, sadly we are in the dark ages.

Its about time the home office work up and started to help the under funded forces, rather that throwing money around the other police forces...
Still on steam power in the sticks matey :slbell:
Ex PCSO

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic