Government inspectors have condemned over 90% of West Midlands Police Force's cells,sources have claimed.
4,500 of the force's cell phones have been scheduled for immediate replacement as they are "totally inadequate for the needs of a 21st century police force trying to compete with 21st Century criminal minds", the inspectors report states.
"The vast majority of the West Midlands' force's mobile phone inventory can best be described as 'bricks'", the report continues, "and it is imperative that the authority institutes a comprehensive replacement programme immediately.
This measure must be taken not only on the grounds of efficiency, but just as importantly in the name of health and safety.
The cell phones currently in use are of excessive weight and girth and there are strong grounds to believe that they are the main factor in the increasing numbers of officers who are being absent from work due to Repetitive Strain Injury.
The medical problem is so acute that many officers refer to the underpass leading to the force's training centre in Birmingham as the 'Carpal Tunnel' ".