Police forces in the South West of England are going live with a £1.1m data sharing system across the region.
The five forces – Devon and Cornwall, Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Police – are to pool their intelligence resources into a single application that staff can access at all times.
The move will act as a pilot for a national roll-out and is estimated to save £380,000 across the region.
The central repository for all RIPA (Regulation of the Investigatory Powers Act) is intended to reduce paperwork, duplication of effort and reduce the number of staff supporting 24-hour activity.
“Apart from the obvious cost savings and corporate benefits the introduction of an integrated system brings, the collaboration will dramatically improve the operational potential to target cross-border criminals, particularly in drug trafficking and organised crime," said Paul Burgan, detective superintendent from Devon and Cornwall Police.
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"This joined up way of working not only improves our internal processes, but will improve our ability to target organised crime, improve our cross-border links, and ultimately improve our service delivery to the public,” he added.
Mike Glanville, assistant chief constable from Dorset Police, said: “Operating in separate forces, the big challenge across the region has always been how we can work closely together, particularly in the area of organised crime.”
Of the five forces, four originally had standalone databases from Charter Systems. The four existing Oracle databases have been migrated onto a shared central database. Some forces will have restricted access to certain data.