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Holmes update aims to let police join forces

Lindsay Clark

The Police IT Organisation (Pito), the body that oversees the national police computing strategy, has begun work to replace the Holmes 2 serious crime investigation system.

Pito is putting together the business case for Holmes 2020, which will replace Holmes 2. Changes under consideration include incorporating serious or serial crimes, fraud, road traffic incident management and the ability to store multimedia evidence from CCTV or mobile phones for use in court.

Jon Stoddart, Holmes 2020 executive lead, said, "The police service faces a significant challenge in handling mass fatality incidents and major investigations. It is vital that the IT applications that support these operations reflect the business processes, rules and procedures involved to ensure a sophisticated approach to the management of large-scale incidents."

Pito and the Home Office will pay for some of the development of Holmes 2020, but police forces will pay for most of the system on delivery, a Pito spokeswoman said.

Vanessa Baxter, Holmes 2 project manager at Pito, said, "The Holmes 2020 project presents the service with the ideal opportunity to explore alternative methods of purchase and supply to ensure local and national consistency of product versions and user practices.

"This will help Holmes 2020 to build on the operational success of Holmes 2 with greater cohesion between forces using the system."

Pito is due to be absorbed into the new National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA), which is currently running as a "shadow" organisation. The NPIA will have some mandatory powers over forces once its statutory powers are created by parliament in 2007.

The Pito spokeswoman said Holmes 2020 procurement would be handed over to the NPIA in due course.


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