WA police to receive $90m in tech upgrades


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The Western Australia Police Force will receive an upgrade to its digital infrastructure along with thousands of new iPhones for its officers.

The state government has struck a $39 million deal with NEC Australia to upgrade digital infrastructure at police stations, and an $8 million deal with Telstra to supply officers with almost 4000 devices. All up, the state government is investing more than $90 million in police technology, including body-worn cameras and automatic number plate recognition technology.

The digital infrastructure upgrade will double the bandwidth — the maximum data transfer rate of a network — to police stations and other sites around WA, and will directly support frontline operations, according to Police Minister Michelle Roberts.

Over the next year, 200 police sites will be enabled with high bandwidth, while a GovNext-ICT hosted Cisco IP Telephony Service will be deployed to all WA Police Force locations. The new network will feature end to end encryption to protect sensitive police communications and increase resilience against cyber security attacks.

Roberts says the upgrades will form the “backbone” of the police force’s digital transformation.

“To combat 21st century crime, we need a 21st century police force, and this is one of a suite of initiatives the McGowan government is funding to ensure our police can do their jobs better and keep us safe,” she says.

Meanwhile, 60 iPhone 11s have recently been issued to officers, with a further 3,000 to be delivered by Christmas.

The phones are equipped with police-specific functions, and will allow officers to perform identity checks, search the police database, capture evidence, and report crimes. For officer safety, they are also fitted with a duress function, which alerts the State Operations Command Centre of their whereabouts.

Apps that will allow officers to take statements in the field, and digitally write and post traffic infringements are in development.

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