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.

  • Happy to see Windows Phone gaining traction on businesses! This is definitely a good thing. Keep up MS!!
  • U see one day windows phone will be at top
  • Trainr app helps me perform my workouts in much easier way than any other app i have used till now..It has a pretty good UI, that seems much smoother to work on..the stats and the timer help setup time for every excercise we want to work on..The explanation about every excercise helps to do it perfectly, without any mistakes.  The different categories in the workouts helps to choose the required one, without getting bored of the same everyday. A great app to perform my workouts n my training well.. I would better prefer it to work without internet and to make the app more stabilized yet offline. Allowing offline n online work is better, when it comes in the absence of internet.  After all, the app is just awesome, but every app should be kept up-to-date with newer features and some improvements further.. WPCentral really got a gem on the opening day alone..!
  • It makes sense from the cost cutting prespective. You get a smartphone and a blunt weapon in one! Imagine the savings the police will have on the batons?!
  • Forget the batons, keep them in your shirt pockets and use them to fend off bullets.. :P
  • Hahaha oh...
  • lol. Windows phone much more than a phone!
  • Indeed it you
  • I like that type of news, another win for WP.
    UK and rest of Europe are actually showing degree of support to WP ecosystem.
    This is pathetic. Show some respect.
  • can't wait for the selfies with the nokias
  • It's what you have to do when arrested these days. :-)
  • "... Put your hands behind your back, you have the right to remain silent but first let me take a selfie"
  • with the Microsoft Oys God i hate this name!
  • & yet nokia has become an llc wtf
  • Awesome
  • WP8.1 is going to make a great impact that's sure...waiting for official rollout...coming days are of wps..:dancing:
  • Lol :D
  • Yeah I hope that impact is also felt here in the Middle east where Samsung and iPhone continue to dominate the market.
  • Microsoft ftw !
  • I wonder if the phones themselves would be modified. I'd be the only cop playing Spartan assault
  • Definetly. It'll have a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it'll have cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It won't have catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas.
  • I see what you did there
  • Well I would suggest them to connect them with company apps and restrict all applications on there as seen on the WP8.1 presentation on build
  • Yes that what I'm also expecting them to do. As a matter of fact they may have native apps for the Police force. Kind of reminds me of Hawaii Five-0
  • First take over the enterprise division, then the world.
  • <Insert devious laugh here>
  • High praise indeed! 
  • Good news
  • It's because a Brazilian police was saved by a 520 from a bullet . They're making bulletproof Lumias! O.O
    Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • ^THIS!!!
    Was thinking the same although it might have not been the exact reason LOL!
  • Hell yeah :P
  • Lol that's why
  • They were using blackberry's? That's criminal.
  • Good for MS and good for us.  But I bet there are a lot of them that are going to be absolutely furious that they didn't get their fruitcake or gyndroid phone.
  • Gyndroid? That's a new one to me. (Believe me when I say, as an Android user for my phone, I have been called a lot of things) Anyways, it's pretty cool that Windows Phone is gaining traction in the business/government sector, especially since that says a lot about overall security of it, and that it is a viable replacement for BlackBerry. Hopefully it can keep on gaining consumer market share as well. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • This is great, but I would like to see more US involvement in WP.
  • I second that. There needs to be a way to may people wake up from this insane addiction to iPhone and Samsung
  • Windows phone 8.1 for the win !
  • I wouldn't have authorities use WP before being absolutely sure that MS will not leak information to foreign spy industry, NSA. At the moment it is rather obvious that they do.
  • Well - the UK is so deep up the ass of the US that they dont mind
  • The US spying on the UK is like a guy spying on his mistress.
  • Great news!
    Glad to see WP getting some importance in UK...
  • This is what should have been happening with WP from the start if not for Microsoft's incompetence and slow pace of updates.
  • I hope the cops don't call Cortana instead of calling their backup over radio :P Also, Nokia phones will save field officers from getting hit by bullets :D FTW
  • It's Cambridge, not East London ;-)
  • Phone of Cop
  • It seems faster :P now Cortana can pull up a shield for protection.
  • Off topic, anyone had problems with Cortana today? Live tile was dead for some time and my commute alarm for traffic didn't work in the morning. Now everything looks fine again, but I wonder if it has something to do with turning off the phone and lasting to recover service? Will start leaving my phone always turned on to check this. Loving the service.
  • Yes, I had to turn of my phone for a Conference. (lame imo) it did took a while for Cortana to boot up again. But It Shouldn't be doing that I think.
  • Thanks for the reply! This service is great and I don't wan't that off phone! See, Cortana started last week from nowhere to warn me about my commute optimal times. Everything was configured before that, calendar, interests, etc. Cloud reached my phone or something. Cheers!
  • Al-Qaida too should also use Windows Phone ;) maybe market share will rise quickly ;)
  • They don't have uniforms and motorcycles tho :P
  • No, they should stick with something that allows other governments to spy on them with. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Bell ? Lol :)
  • Nice to see... and a cool name :)
    But I'm pretty sure he's head of ICT and not ITC?
  • Been waiting for somehting like this to happen. Am just having to deploy fruit based products in my orr. so not happy but at least WP8.1 is going to start changing the face of the game.
  • Sorry to bring this up... Is dia any information about the blackberry app? Because we were told to be expecting the app this summer..thanks
  • You sort of have to feel a little bad for Blackberry, they really don't seem able to catch a break. lol
  • They can report their own positions on WAZE
  • Cortana, call for backup! Now! :)
  • Great news . I'm so happy for Windows Phone.  Hope they become number one one day in the not too distant future..
  • Great News!!!
  • It only seems Europe is interested in the change over.
  • Excellent news,at least it will increase the sales of WP.... Now our expectations becoming higher and higher to MS
  • From the picture accompanying this story, are we to assume that Daniel Rubino is, like, wanted in the UK or something? Why else would his mug shot be on the phone?
  • Now that governments and businesses are roping in Windows Phones by the numbers, probably MS should concentrate on improving the most used business application - email. The email app is pretty barebones. No rich text formatting, no bullet lists or numbering and editing forwardedmails. They can at least take a cue from BlackBerry with respect to improving the mail app.
  • " Book'em, Cortana. "
  • This is good, somehow...
  • PTPP VPN support please.
  • GREAT NEWS!!! I'm Happy
  • I hope our company will change our old BBs as well.