Cambridgeshire Police to swap 4,000 BlackBerry handsets with 8,000 of Windows Phone handsets

According to a report, the Cambridgeshire Police will be replacing 4,000 units of its BlackBerry handsets with 8,000 units of Windows Phone handsets. Devices include the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet “for frontline staff,” the Nokia Lumia 930 “for executives,” and the Nokia Lumia 635 for “more staff members.”

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Speaking to ComputerworldUK, head of ITC at Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Ian Bell, said, “I do see [Windows Phone] as a viable proposition now. That is why we have been slow to progress our mobility roll-out from a smartphone handset perspective in the same way we have rolled out slates and laptops.

“The security hasn’t been right [with Windows Phone in the past], but it absolutely is now. Mobile device management providers have worked their socks off to be ready for 8.1 Phone release, and with the new encryption and new application VPN, it makes this platform become viable from a public sector perspective, while it probably never had been in the past.

“It is enterprise-ready as far as we are concerned.”

BlackBerry handsets such as the 8700 and 9210 worked well in the past, but are currently “crumbling.”

Bell said, “We have chosen to move away from Blackberry, primarily for the user experience – we want our cops to have flexibility in their working life. From an enterprise device management perspective Blackberry Enterprise Server works great, but the devices are crumbling around us.

He added: “As more and more cops retire and new ones come through, their interaction isn’t about email and calendars in the same way we have done with Blackberry.”

Speaking about how “universal apps” will help front line offers, Bell said, “Certainly from an efficiency perspective we want our cops to be able to interact with these apps as quickly and as seamlessly as possible and to get the pertinent information in front of them that they need there and then.

“We want to define the requirements to change from the state where we are very transactional to a transformed digitised organisation. These apps will absolutely allow us to do that.”

Do you think switching from BlackBerry to Windows Phone will help create a safer Cambridgeshire? Let us know what you think through a comment on our Phones LTD Facebook page.

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