But Temporary Chief Inspector Rob Bryan, who has been deputising in the role for a year, reassured residents that if you spot his team on the devices it's not because they're trying out the latest app or video-calling their pals.
He told residents in a newsletter: "If you see a response officer sat up in their car tapping on a tablet, they are not playing Angry Birds or 'face-timing' their mates. They are putting on a crime report or a missing person report. If you see a Safer Neighbourhood officer in a coffee shop or library typing away, they are inputting new intelligence or updating a report and not sending an email to Auntie Nora in Australia."
Chief Inspector Bryan said that providing officers with the tablets will "really revolutionise the way we work".
He said: "Right now, every time an officer creates a report (in their pocket book) they have to trot back to the nick to type it into one of our many computer systems. The new devices allow officers to access our systems and upload their reports directly without the need to return to base. We anticipate officers being much more visible as a result and having more time to deal with your calls."
He joked: "If you see “half the Met” in the café in the Manor on a Sunday morning…well they really are having their breakfast. We do need to eat too!"
Hillingdon officers will get their devices in October. The scheme is being rolled out more generally across the Met area.
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