The Home Office has finalised its £367m plan for a national police database that will bring together information from across England and Wales, police minister Hazel Blears has announced.
The announcement, in a written parliamentary statement, comes after MPs’ criticised the Home Office’s decision to defer the roll-out of a national police intelligence system to 2010 - 16 years after it was first proposed. The need for a new data system was described as “a matter of urgency" by Sir Michael Bichard in his 2004 report into the Soham murders.
The plans drawn up under the Impact programme include a new system to connect information held on local and national police systems, as well as on the Police National Computer.
The plans also include developing the Impact Nominal Index (INI), standardising a national data format and providing common standards for police information management through the Code of Practice on the Management of Police Information and its associated guidance.
The Criminal Justice Information Technology organisation is to join the Impact programme as technical delivery partner for the Police National Database.
The Police Information Technology Organisation will continue as technical delivery partner for the further development of INI and the Impact Cross-Regional Information Sharing Project data warehousing facilities. It will also transfer the Police National Computer onto new hardware to enable it to continue until the Police National Database is in place.
The announcement confirmed that the database would be set up by 2010.
Ms Blears said, “This is a really important and positive step forward in delivering our commitments in response to Sir Michael Bichard's recommendations following the Soham murders and working with the police service to deliver more effective information management and information sharing.