A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers said, "There is clearly a need to join these [IT systems] up with other criminal justice systems." Work is under way to achieve integration, he said.
The National Strategy for Police Information Systems was designed to bring about "joined-up policing" in England and Wales, but has been beset by delays and in-fighting since its launch in 1994. Earlier this year the roll-out of the Airwave police radio project came under fire from the Police Federation as a result of safety concerns.
A senior police officer involved in integrating IT across the criminal justice network said that the work was not moving as quickly as anticipated, although significant progress was being made. He pointed to the planned portal on the Government's citizen Web site, www.ukonline.gov.uk, where details of minor crimes can be reported online.
Speaking at the Police Federation's annual conference in Blackpool last week, chairman Fred Broughton urged government to do more to resolve the situation. "It is time to put an end to inertia at the top, " he said.
He also called on the next prime minister to give someone individual responsibility for developing an effective IT system throughout the criminal justice system.