The government will invest nearly £1bn in new mobile digital technology to boost the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP).
In its policy paper the government said: “This critical national infrastructure will free up officers’ time, save the taxpayer around £1m a day when fully operational, and connect all emergency services on the same broadband network for the first time.”
The aim of the ESMCP is to provide an enhanced commercial 4G mobile network for the use of ambulance, fire and police services across the UK.
The government said the enhanced mobile network will enable officers to “access key police databases and take mobile fingerprints and electronic witness statements, all while on the move”.
£73m of the funding is said to come from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) with the aim of ensuring that fire and rescue services could also benefit from the latest technology.
The announcement came alongside further help to encourage more collaboration across the UK’s police forces and other public and emergency services.
The EMSCP’s contracts could be worth up to £1.2bn over their lifetime.