MERSEYSIDE Police are planning to invest heavily in modern technology to keep more bobbies on the beat.

Regional Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy conceded: "There is a pressing need to improve police technology.

"We are currently undertaking a comprehensive review of all out buildings to identify how we can make sensible savings and invest more resources into modern facilities and technology that will improve the effectiveness of the Force's response.

"Police and Crime Commissioners are already investing in technology to keep officers on the streets - not in offices completing paperwork."

Jane Kennedy was responding to a report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary reviewing crime prevention across England and Wales.

The report emphasised the good work police forces had done in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. But it was critical of police forces failing to "embrace and exploit the capacities of modern technology."

Ms Kennedy, a former Merseyside MP and Government Minister, said: "Here on Merseyside we have significantly invested in the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system with significant results; secured funding for an increased number of body-worn cameras and introduced a system of sharing case files electronically with courts to save time and deliver quicker justice for victims.

"There is much more than can be done though. The Chief Constable and I are keen to explore further opportunities to improve the technology used by our officers and staff to make the Force even more effective and efficient."

She went on: "As the coalition Government's austerity programme continues to bite, it is more important than ever that police forces and community safety partners examine where costs can be shared to make vital savings, share best practice and work even closer together to ensure a consistently high level of service."

The HMIC report found that Merseyside Police had a "positive level of partnership engagement" and that its Integratred Offender Management scheme, which monitors offenders most likely to cause most harm to communities, was "well managed and incorporated effective partnership work."

Ms Kennedy observed: "Protecting and supporting victims is at the heart of all my policing and crime priorities.

"This report highlights that the Force had clear policies and procedures to consistently identify vulnerable and repeat victims of crime and ant-social behaviour."

Her comments will be studied by Home secretary Theresa May.