Police computer system updated to improve data sharing

Investigators using the UK police forces' computer system for processing the large volumes of data related to major investigations can now easily find and...

Investigators using the UK police forces' computer system for processing the large volumes of data related to major investigations can now easily find and share information across investigations.

The Home Office Large Major Enquiry System 2 (Holmes2), which has been used for 10 years, has been upgraded by Unisys, which has supported the system throughout its life. It is managed by the UK National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

The system has been upgraded to share information across forces and investigations. Information will be tagged to make it easier for investigators to find information stored in multiple databases.

Forbes Gallagher, account director for the Home Office at Unysis, said before the enhancements searches were more manual, with users having to search specific databases for information. "It was not possible to search different databases in single searches," he added.

Testing of the new system showed a 40% improvement in response times when users search across different investigations.

"Our officers rely on Holmes2 to collate and analyse information quickly and effectively, and the new cross-force capabilities will allow us all to take a more joined-up approach to policing, which can only be a positive step towards tackling crime," said Jon Stoddart, chief constable Durham Constabulary.

"Developing a secure, reliable system, which our police officers trust and can use on a day-to-day basis, has been a major achievement."

There are 4,300 Holmes2 users across UK police forces. It links to about 9,500 desktop systems.

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