The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) is spending £76.6m to build the Police National Database, linking police services in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and government agencies.
The Police National Database will be developed as part of the Impact Programme, which was established in response to the Bichard Inquiry's recommendation for the creation of intelligence sharing systems as "a national priority".
Chief Constable Peter Neyroud, chief executive of the NPIA, said, "Currently, police forces are unable to search or access intelligence or other information that is held on another force's local systems. The Police National Database will enable this by making available nationally copies of locally held information on suspects and criminals." He said the system will improve the ability of the police service to share operational information and help the police to stay one step ahead of the criminal population.
The first phase, which is due to go live in 2010, will focus on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, countering terrorism and assisting major crime investigations. This will involve linking data from five operational areas of policing - custody, crime, intelligence, child abuse and domestic abuse - into one central system. It will provide forces with immediate access to up-to-date information from across the service, overcoming artificial geographical and jurisdictional boundaries. Ultimately the Police National Database will assist forces to improve their operational effectiveness.
Logica will be the prime contractor, working alongside Northgate Information Solutions and SunGard Public Sector. Cable & Wireless will hosting and communications services.