The Metropolitan Police has approved plans to allow officers issued with work mobile phones to make personal calls on them for just £50 per year.
The national average annual mobile phone bill is about £450 but senior Scotland Yard officers said the plan would “radically reduce levels of bureaucracy”. The scheme would rely on the “integrity of individuals concerned”, who would be expected not to rack up costly calls. A “dip-in sample” of phone usage would ensure the “integrity was being upheld”.
It was reported this month that the Metropolitan Police planned to equip almost all of its 32,000 serving officers with iPhones and BlackBerrys so they could spend more time on streets.
The plan, reportedly costing £10m, was said to be an attempt to enable officers to process forms without having to return to police stations.
But Chief Constable Simon Parr, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said if Scotland Yard hoped to replace pen and paper with smart phones, they would need to work at 3am in the pouring rain. “Otherwise they will end up as paperweights,” he added.