Cambridgeshire police force replacing BlackBerry devices with Windows Phone 8.1

One of the UK's police forces is planning to replace thousands of BlackBerry smartphones with 8,000 Windows Phones. Cambridgeshire Constabulary is expected to roll out hardware including the Nokia Lumia 1520, Lumia 930 and Lumia 635 later this year. According to Ian Bell, head of ITC at the police force, Windows Phone 8.1 itself was a major factor in the decision to move across to Microsoft's mobile platform.

Bell notes that the force has been waiting for Windows Phone's enterprise offerings to mature.

"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."

Also, Windows Phones will be rolled out across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police forces since they agreed to support a government initiative to incorporate modern technology. Bell talks about the reasoning behind ditching BlackBerry, stating that the devices "are crumbling" around staff and new recruits coming through the forces aren't all about email and calendars, but more about the overall user experience offered by other modern smartphones.

The police forces also have hardware already in place running Microsoft operating systems, making it a more viable option to switch to Windows Phone for further integration.

Source: TechWorld; thanks for the tips everyone!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.