System will help police to pool intelligence

Police Minister Hazel Blears last week launched a new system, Impact Nominal Index (INI), to pool police intelligence.

Police Minister Hazel Blears last week launched a new system, Impact Nominal Index (INI), to pool police intelligence.

The INI is the first system to be delivered by the Impact Programme, set up to implement recommendations in Sir Michael Bichard's report following the murders of Soham schoolgirls Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.

The system allows officers to rapidly establish whether a police force elsewhere in the country holds information about someone they are investigating. In the past this information would not have been visible outside the force holding the record.

Last month the prime minister was criticised in the House of Commons for “three-year” delays to the Impact programme - concerns echoed by the IT suppliers' trade association, Intellect.

The Impact programme was pushed through by the Police IT Organisation (Pito), which is to be disbanded and its functions incorporated into the new National Police Improvement Agency.

The move follows an independent Home Office review last year, which said the relationship between Pito and the forces it served had irretrievably broken down.

"The structure and organisation of police IT in general lacks clear definition of purpose, results in confused lines of responsibility and is almost certainly poor value for money," the Home Office said said.

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