Police in Lewis and Harris are to be issued with new technology which allows them to record details of incidents without having to return to base.

Training in the use of the new hand-held mobile devices begins on Monday (September 2nd) and the island force is expected to be using the new system operationally by mid-September.

It’s part of the Highlands and Islands roll-out of a system which has been trialled in Tayside and the North-East. Officers will be able to access a wide range of police systems while out on duty, without the requirement to return to a police station and log on to a computer.

This means that officers will be able to spend more time working within the community, dealing with incidents, supporting victims and focussing on crime prevention.

The mobiles will have apps enabling officers carry out checks and file crime reports. Officers will also be able to type statements directly to the device and to get an electronic signature from victims and witnesses. Mini-printers will also allow the issue of penalty notices.

Chief Superintendent George Macdonald, Highland and Islands divisional commander, said: "The introduction of mobile technology is a major milestone which will positively enhance the operational policing approach in the Highland and Islands.

"Given the geography of the area, officers do incur significant travel time between calls and their stations, the mobile device will allow officers to be more visible in the community, spend more time on patrol and hopefully be more accessible within the areas they serve.

"Members of the public will see police officers operating their mobile device in public areas. It is important they understand they are not using their personal telephone and that they are working, but be reassured they will always be available to offer help, advice or assistance if needed."