Police IT systems must interact better, says Home Office report

Police forces facing funding cuts must improve the way their IT systems work together if they are to continue to cut crime, according to a Home Office report.

Police forces facing funding cuts must improve the way their IT systems work together if they are to continue to cut crime, according to a Home Office report.

The Review of Policing Interim Report, commissioned by then Home Secretary John Reid, said that a key challenge lay in ensuring better compatibility and inter-working between the IT systems used by different forces.

Now facing slower funding growth over the forthcoming period of the Comprehensive Spending Review, polices forces have to work more productively to maintain service levels to the public, the report said.

"It remains frustrating how much 'double-keying' still goes on in forces, whose multiple systems still do not interact effectively within one force area, let alone between different forces," said chief inspector of constabulary, Ronnie Flanagan, who headed the report.

The report said that too many IT systems were developed on a force-only basis and that agreeing a minimum set of functionalities that all new systems should be built with was one way forward.

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