LOTHIANS and Scottish Borders Police are to be given more time in the community thanks to a technology update.

By using the Samsung Note 9, Community and Response officers won't have to return to their stations to complete paperwork, and can stay with the public, supporting victims of crime and focussing on crime prevention.

On the new devices, officers across the Borders will be able to file their reports without leaving the community they serve, meaning more officers on the beat.

Electronic signatures can also be taken from victims and witnesses for any given statements.

Chief Superintendent, John McKenzie, Divisional Commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders, said: “The introduction of Mobile Working brings many benefits to our officers and to the communities we serve.

“Officers are now able to spend more time on patrol which will increase their visibility.

“Mobile Working also brings increased efficiency because officers no longer have to return to police stations to complete administrative tasks or file crime reports.

“Members of the public will see police officers operating their mobile device in public areas and at incidents. It is important to understand they are not using their personal telephone and that they are working - but be reassured officers will always be available to help or provide advice if needed.”

The Samsung devices were first tested by teams in Tayside earlier this year and then introduced in the North East after a successful trial.

Susan Deacon, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) said: "This is a really important and much needed step forward. The introduction of mobile working will bring real benefits to the police and the public and will make the police service more responsive, visible and efficient.

"Continued investment in technology is vital to ensure that policing in Scotland keeps pace with changing needs and demands.‎ Communities across Scotland will be better protected as a result of these changes."

The devices will be updated over time, with new applications and national systems becoming available in the future.

As well as operating with the new equipment, the Note 9s will run on a 4G system.

Sean O’Brien, BT’s Client Director for Police Scotland said: “We’re pleased to be leading this project, bringing in our EE mobile network – the largest 4G network in the UK – and our unrivalled resources to help Police Scotland transform the way they work.

“By helping our customers take advantage of BT’s investments in innovations and networking, including our 5G network which went live in May in Scotland, we’ll see opportunities we couldn’t imagine ten years ago come into our lives.”

However, EE's 5G network is only available in cities, in Scotland only Edinburgh has access to the new network.

In 2018, Police Scotland put forward a business case for major investment in digital, data and ICT over 10 years in order to modernise the service. The proposed investment would also generate savings and public service improvements for the wider criminal justice system.