As the benefits of a programme to equip frontline police officers with mobile devices do not extend beyond a basic level for most forces, then value for money has not yet been achieved from the GBP80 million of expenditure. While in many forces mobile devices enable officers to spend more time out of their stations, cash savings have been limited and only one in five forces have used the devices effectively to improve their business and operational processes. The business case for the Mobile Information Programme, funded by the Home Office and managed by the National Policing Improvement Agency under the direction of a programme board, focused upon the swift delivery of mobile devices and, by December 2010, around 41,000 had been rolled out, considerably ahead of schedule. Although, in reality, the Agency cannot mandate forces and has little control over each force's investment decision, not enough consideration was given to how forces would use the mobile technology, how much local spending was required or how realistic were the announced deadlines. While the Programme did not explicitly set out to deliver cashable savings, these should have followed from objectives to reduce bureaucracy, increase efficiency and contribute to better policing. Of the 32 forces responding to an NAO survey, only ten claimed some form of cashable savings and these are relatively minor. However, some forces are predicting greater savings in the future, for example, by reducing control room costs. 22 forces responding to the survey cited drawbacks.
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