The NSW government will spend $100 million over four years to equip police with new technology, under measures announced in Tuesday’s budget.
Under the ‘Policing for Tomorrow Fund’, frontline cops will receive tablet computers to access data in the field and mobile fingerprint scanners that would allow instant identification of offenders. TruNarc testing machines will also enable them to scan for multiple narcotics using a simple handheld machine.
The budget also includes $3.65 million for the continued rollout of body-worn video cameras for frontline police officers.
Minister for police, Troy Grant, said in statement that the fund would allow police to prioritise new innovations in crime-fighting equipment based on operational needs.
“The fund will allow the NSW Police Force to put in bids for major technological advances,” he said. “Body-worn video cameras have been hugely successful for police and will better protect the community and officers when responding to crime,” he said.
This was one of several technology-related announcements made in today’s NSW budget.
The government has also established a $25 million ‘Jobs of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund, providing 25,000 scholarships for students undertaking qualifications for technology and growth jobs.
Students will each receive $1000 under the program and will be paid in two parts – $500 at the beginning and $500 after successfully completing a course.
NSW is the nation’s hub for business technology, one of four identified global high growth sectors that will benefit from $49 million allocated in 2015-16 to grow jobs across the state.
NSW premier, Mike Baird said three quarters of the fastest growing occupations in Australia require skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – collectively known as STEM skills.
“Employers are demanding workers with high level STEM skills and we will invest $25 million to encourage more vocational education and training students to enroll in, and complete, courses in these areas to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow,” he said.
Meanwhile, $39.7 million will be spent this year to design and implement a new frontline technology system for child protection caseworkers and $240 million for information technology works across schools.
Late last week, the government said it would also allocate $362 for ServiceNSW to improve digital transactions and rollout a further 27 one-stop shops around the state.
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