Police forces are now able to check whether another force holds information on an individual they are investigating.
The new database tool has been implemented by the Home Office following the Bichard Report into the failings of the Soham murder investigation.
The Impact Nominal Index (INI) represents the first stage of the Impact programme to create a national police intelligence system following Bichard.
The INI is an index of people who appear on local force IT systems who would not previously have been visible to an outside force. This includes information on people who may not have been prosecuted by a local force.
The system is therefore an addition to the police national computer system, which holds conviction details of individuals.
The INI allows police to enter the name and personal details of a person they are investigating, and the INI then tells them what other forces hold information on that person.
Investigating officers can then contact the force in question to get the additional information.
Ultimately, the full Impact intelligence system being rolled out will hold all this extra information in one place.
The INI was jointly developed by Cable & Wireless and Enline.