British Police Force Told to Text as a Cost Cutting Measure

Paul Lilly

When it comes to routine matters, British police have been ordered to fire off a text message rather than communicate using their radios, UK's Daily Mail reports . It's the latest movie in what the UK newspaper calls "unprecedented cutbacks."

Meanwhile, Airwave Solutions, the company which operates the emergency services communication system, is enjoying "massive" profits, with a profit margin higher than Vodafone. Pre tax profit was up 26 percent for the past 12 months.

"It was imperative to have a secure communications system. But it has come at a very high price. The advice we're being given from the top is to send texts as much as possible because it's going to cost a lot less money," laments Clive Chamberlain, chairman of the Dorset Police Federation.

According to Chamberlain, it costs as much as "£2 (about US$3.21) a second whenever we go over the limit. We are being told that texting more has the potential to save tens of thousands of pounds because it costs only £4 (about US$6.43) to send 1,000 texts."

Neither the Dorset Police or Airwaves would discuss pricing details, though Airwaves did say the per second charge was "misleading and inaccurate."

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