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ACTIVE Mobility programme - Limerick Gardaí to Pilot New Garda Mobile Apps (13/12/17)

50 Limerick Gardaí to Pilot New Garda Mobile Apps

50 members of An Garda Síochána in Limerick will from December 2017 use Garda apps that will allow them to access their email on the move, check a vehicle’s history and tax status, and allow them to work more efficiently with local business and community groups. 

The pilot is part of the Garda ACTIVE Mobility Strategy, which is a key element of An Garda Síochána’s Modernisation and Renewal Programme 2016-2021.

The 50 Gardaí, comprised mainly of Garda members and Sergeants, will use the apps under a pilot to run in Limerick city and county for six months. After the six months, the pilot will be evaluated to see what worked and what didn’t, and the potential for the apps and additional services to be expanded to more Garda personnel. All Garda members involved in the pilot will provide feedback at least once a month during the pilot.

Under the pilot, the 50 Gardaí will use what is termed as a Mobile Data Station – this is effectively a smartphone with a number of dedicated Garda apps. 

With the Mobile Data Station, they will be able to do the following over the course of the pilot:

-              Check their email and calendar without returning to the station

-              Vehicle Look-Up app – this means a vehicle’s history and tax status can be automatically viewed by entering its number into the app. This may expand to include look-ups on insurance status, NCT compliance, and driver details. It may also lead to fixed charge notices being issued at roadside via the mobile device.

-              Have Community and on the Beat Look-ups for a range of local stakeholders The Garda ACTIVE Mobility Strategy will deliver a range of mobility services to the organisation over the next three to five years.

ACTIVE is shorthand for the type of impact the programme hopes to make to policing:

-              Accessible

-              Community Based

-              Transparent

-              Innovative

-              Visible

-              Effective

The aim of ACTIVE is to give Garda members instant and secure access to a wide-range of Garda information and services regardless of their location. This should enhance their ability to act in a situation based on real-time information and increase the time they spend on patrol rather than in the station dealing with paperwork. 

Chief Superintendent, Limerick Division, David Sheehan commented: “Mobile technology is changing how people work. It is reducing the need to be stuck behind a desk in order to get your job done. The public and our members expect us to use mobile technology to enhance our delivery of policing. We agree. Mobile technology presents a huge opportunity for An Garda Síochána. It has the potential to give our people the data they need, when they need it to conduct searches, make arrests and prevent crime. It has the potential to increase the number of hours members spend on patrol and enhances how we interact with communities. The public in Limerick will be able to see for themselves how the technology works over the next six months if they are stopped at a checkpoint and asked if the tax for their vehicle is up-to-date.”

Mobility is a major priority for An Garda Síochána as part of our major programme to modernise the delivery of policing,” said Joseph Nugent, Chief Administrative Officer, An Garda Síochána. 

The start of the pilot today is the culmination of significant research conducted by An Garda Síochána with other police services in the UK, Europe and the US. We have been working with a group of Garda members in the development of these apps and their feedback has been crucial. From this, we have developed a roadmap for mobility that will see us introduce and test apps and solutions over the coming years that meet the needs of operational Gardaí and the communities they serve,” said Tim Willoughby, Head of Digital Services and Innovation, An Garda Síochána. 

All Garda apps and data will reside within a secure container on the phone separate from non-Garda apps and data. Garda members will be able to use the device for personal use but must sign-up to the pilot participation policy, which details what the device can and cannot be used for on an operational and personal basis.

The ACTIVE Mobility programme is delivering Mobility as part of the Modernisation and Renewal Programme. The initial pilot in Limerick is delivering a mobile device, called the Mobile Data Station, into the hands of front line Garda. ACTIVE stands for Accessible, Community Based, Transparent, Innovative, Visible and Effective.

The attached video was developed as a visionary aid for An Garda Síochána to understand the potential direction that mobility could take the organisation. In the Limerick Pilot initial deliverables from the video are the Mobile Data Station with a number of Apps and new Smart Cars.

Video is available here

The idea of the Mobile Data Station is that Mobile Devices provide the same access as if the Garda is at the Station. Effectively the station is wherever the Garda is. The Mobile Data Station has all of the security, the connectivity, and information systems that the member needs to do their work.

The Mobile Data Station will allow the Garda Member to be more visible in the community, bringing the station right into the heart of the community and presents the opportunity for Garda members and staff to be more efficient and effective by having mobile access to relevant core policing applications, a wide-range of real-time information and the ability to input and update information ‘On-the-Go’. It also allows for greater quality of data input, accountability, transparency and governance.