BANNED drivers using false details to evade conviction will soon become a thing of the past— thanks to the new BlackBerry smartphones being issued to all frontline police in South Yorkshire.
A special mobile application that officers can access on their BlackBerry smartphones has been developed by South Yorkshire Police and a partner supplier Airpoint.
All uniformed officers in Rotherham are now using the BlackBerry smartphones.
The device allows officers to access police records in order to identify a person or vehicle, when out on patrol.
In one case motor cycle cop Pc Sam Clifford used his BlackBerry smartphone to carry out a check on a male he had just stopped driving.
The details given by the suspected male fetched up a record, however the photo that appeared as part of the record was not of the suspect.
The driver was then challenged and he admitted giving his brother’s details.
He was in fact disqualified and was arrested for having no insurance and for obstructing a Pc by giving false details.
The driver fully admitted the offence and has been charged.
Pc Clifford said: “If it wasn’t for the photo I would have probably let him go.
“It’s a ploy used by many banned drivers, giving false details.
“But with the new BlackBerry device and having photographic evidence, means it is now very difficult to get away with it.”
Previously officers would have had to carry out the police checks using their airwave radios, which would only provide a verbal description of the suspect and not a photograph.
The new BlackBerry smartphones have put an end to this, providing more accurate and instant information.
Sgt Simon Davies, project manager at South Yorkshire Police. said: “It's great news that the device is already benefiting frontline officers.
“We also plan to add forms to the BlackBerry, which will have a vast impact on the efficiency of policing.
“For example a 'Stop and Search' form, which an officer completes when a member of the public is searched, currently takes an average of five weeks to enter into the database, but this will become a matter of minutes.”
If the device is lost or stolen it is automatically locked and password protected. Once reported missing police will remotely “kill” the device to prevent abuse or breach of data.