Skip to content

The Service
Information Services Policies...
Mobile Devices, Phones and Blackberrys

Please note that as this policy is periodically reviewed and updated, if you print it from the website, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed for more than a 24 hour period following printing.


This policy applies to all staff working for Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service and is effective immediately. It describes the rules concerning the use of mobile telephones and Blackberries (Mobile Devices) supplied to employees in circumstances where:

  • A business case exists for the post holder to be issued with a Mobile Device
  • The Mobile Device is issued to an employee who is a lone worker

It also covers the use of Mobile Devices attached to all HFRS vehicles.


All Mobile Devices, additional equipment, and their contents remain the property of HFRS and may be subject to regular audit and monitoring.


Employees shall take all appropriate steps to protect the Mobile Device from loss, theft or damage. These steps include, but are not limited to:-

  1. The Mobile Device shall not be left unattended in public view in a vehicle,
  2. The Mobile Device shall not be left unattended in a public place.  
  3. The keypad shall be locked at all times when the Mobile Device is not in use.
  4. All BlackBerrys shall be password protected in accordance with HFRS Policy.  

Loss, Theft or Damage

Loss, theft or damage to any Mobile Device shall be reported by the employee in whose possession it was to the Information Services Admin team as soon as is practical but not longer than two days. Please complete service form FM/4/9/7.

In the event of avoidable damage, an employee may be required to pay towards the cost of replacement of the Mobile Device.  

Use of a Mobile Device Whilst Driving

  • HFRS personnel shall comply with Service Delivery Bulletin 36/09
  • Where an accident occurs whilst an employee is using a Mobile Device and results in an investigation by the Police or the Health & Safety Executive, HFRS will release all call records to the investigating body if asked to do so.

HFRS supports the government’s “Dying to take the call?” initiative.


Personal Use of a Mobile Device

HFRS recognises that some employees may choose to have the HFRS mobile device for their personal usage and shall adhere to the following-

  1. Employees shall declare all personal use of the Mobile Device. They are advised to prefix any personal numbers with an asterisk so that they can be more easily flagged by the billing company.
  2. On a quarterly basis employees who have made personal calls are required to complete a Private Telephone Calls (T.36) form and return it with appropriate remittance to Finance

Acceptable Use

A Mobile Device supplied by HFRS shall not be used to make or send  telephone calls, text messages, ring tones or photographs which are:-

  1. Illegal, obscene or libellous (defamatory)
  2. Offensive, threatening or annoying
  3. Infringe another person’s copyright
  4. Transmit unsolicited commercial or advertising material.
  5. Transmit any spam, chain or junk messages.

The use of a Mobile Device supplied by HFRS to access, store, copy or distribute items which are inappropriate, offensive, libellous or in some other way illegal or which may jeopardise security in any way, is prohibited.

Employees should be aware that emails and text messages are admissible in court and therefore content could be released into the public domain.

Use of Mobile Devices Abroad

During personal leave users shall not use or take HFRS mobile devices out of the country without the prior written consent of the appropriate Line Manager.

In all circumstances whilst working abroad on HFRS business a phone card or alternative communications method shall be used rather than a HFRS mobile device.

In circumstances when using a mobile device abroad on HFRS business is the only option, users can make a 15minute telephone call home at an appropriate time and once it has been agreed by the line manager.


Mobile Phones attached to HFRS Vehicles (Appliances)

The Manager responsible for the vehicle is responsible for the Mobile Phone and shall:-

  1. Keep a log recording at all times the person who is using the vehicle or mobile phone if not the same .
  2. Must report to Information Services Admin team any loss, theft or damage to the Mobile Phone as soon as is practical but within two working days.
  3. Ensure that payment for any personal use is made by the individual responsible for that use.
  4. Monitor and return the quarterly bill to Information Services Admin team.

Mobile Phones Issued to Lone Workers

There are a limited number of Mobile Phones set aside for the use of lone workers.

Line Managers shall:

  1. Keep a log recording at all times to whom the phone has been issued, when and the reason why it has been issued.
  2. Record the date and time when the phone is returned.

The Manager responsible for the phone shall:

  1. Ensure the phone is returned.  
  2. Report to Information Services Admin team any loss, theft or damage to the phone as soon as is practical but within two working days.
  3. Ensure that payment for any personal use is made by the employee responsible for that use.
  4. Monitor and return the quarterly bill to Information Services Admin team.

Monitoring Bills/Chasing non-returned Bills

The Information Services Admin team shall monitor all itemised usage of all mobile devices. Any discrepancies will be bought to the attention of users line managers and further action may be taken.

If hard copies of the itemised bill and billing sheet are not returned before the designated return date the Information Services Admin team will, in the first instance contact the user reminding them to submit a return. If no bill is received within a further two weeks contact will be made with the users line manager.


Use of BlackBerrys

  1. These remain the property of HFRS
  2. They shall not be connected to a laptop or desktop for any other purpose than re-charging the device.
  3. It is the users responsibility that sensitive information shall not be held on a BlackBerry for longer than is necessary.
  4. All spam, chain and other junk emails are subject to HFRS email and spam policy.
  5. The downloading of any software on to a BlackBerry is prohibited.
  6. Employees shall report any suspected virus to Information Services Service Desk  immediately.
  7. Internet access via a BlackBerry is subject to HFRS policy on Internet Access.

Smart phones

To ensure that the Service complies with the UK Governments Protective Marking Scheme it was agreed at the Information & Physical Asset Security Forum (IPAS) meeting on the 3/11/10 that no smart phones will be synchronised into HFRS Exchange.  This is to ensure that work related emails and documents are not sent or received to personal mobile devices without prior consideration given to the information they contain.

Storage and Transmission of Photographs

Photographs of incident scenes are likely to be classed as personal data and will be subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. They shall be treated in accordance with the Data Protection principles and in particular shall not be:

  1. Stored on a Mobile Device for longer than necessary.
  2. Transmitted to a Third Party.
  3. Uploaded to the Internet or social network sites.

This page printed on 20 Dec 2014 at 21:31

For reference, the url of this document is:

© Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service 2014