Home Office creates private police ICT company

The Home Office has created a private firm to manage police IT after the the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) was abolished

The Home Office has created a private-sector company to manage police IT.

The Association of Police Authorities and the Home Office will jointly own the company until it is handed over to police and crime commissioners following elections in November.

The formation of the body follows the dissolution of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), with proposals to replace its ICT functions with a private company.

Nick Herbert, minister for policing and criminal justice, said: “While some police IT is good, such as the new Police National Database, much of it is not. There are 2,000 systems between the 43 forces of England and Wales, and individual forces have not always driven the most effective deals. 

“We need a new, more collaborative approach and greater accountability, utilising expertise in IT procurement and freeing police officers to focus on fighting crime."

Chairman of the Association of Police Authorities, Mark Burns-Williamson, said the body would work closely with the Home Office to ensure proper scrutiny of the new company so the taxpayer gets value for money.

Burns-Williamson said: “When the new system is handed over to police and crime commissioners, we want it to be fit for purpose and efficient in delivering IT tasks.”

The company will inherit some of the existing national services and support functions from the NPIA, including ICT strategy, ICT contract management, procurement and service management and the management and implementation of ICT projects and programmes.

The police service currently spends £106m each year with one telecommunications provider. The company could help its customers consolidate large-scale payments of this kind, said the Home Office.

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