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Police officers are to be given tracking devices so that bosses can monitor their whereabouts.
Norfolk Police said they would introduce the technology later this year to help cut response times and improve the safety of staff.
The county’s Police Federation, a union which represents officers, said it supported the move – but warned it should not be used in a “Big Brother spying context”.
Norfolk Police Authority said the force appeared to be “leading the way” in adopting the Automatic Person Location System (APLS), which is fitted to officers’ radios.
Superintendent Stuart Gunn, of Norfolk Police, said: “Knowing the exact locations of our officers will allow us to send the nearest, most appropriate officer to emergency calls, providing a more effective deployment.
“If an officer is in a difficult or vulnerable situation the controller can identify the next nearest and quickest available officer and send them to their aid.”
He added: “The proposal is not to spy on officers. Why would we want to spy on officers when we’ve already got officers supervising them?”
Dave Benfield, general secretary of Norfolk Police Federation, said: “If it was used in the Big Brother spying context we would have some problems with that.
“It shouldn’t be assumed that an officer is doing something wrong if, for example, they have remained in one location for an unusually long period of time. There may be perfectly legitimate explanation for that.
“But if it’s used professionally and ethically to provide a better response to calls made by members of the public then we wouldn’t object. That’s something everyone in the Norfolk Constabulary wants.”
Stephen Bett, chairman of Norfolk Police Authority, said: “There may be some metropolitan forces but I don’t know of any other shire forces who are using it. I think we are certainly leading the way.”
Tracking systems are also being fitted to police vehicles as part of the scheme, costing more than £250,000.