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The CIO of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces, Ian Bell, is to join the Police ICT Company as its CEO.
Bell, who is also the vice-chair of the National Police Technology Council, as well as programme director for the national enabling programmes which aim to provide police forces with the tools needed for the future, will join the Police ICT Company on a two-year secondment.
The Police ICT Company was set up in 2012 by the Association of Police Authorities and the Home Office, but did not become fully operational until 2015. Its aim is to drive the improvement of national IT systems for the police.
Bell said he was “delighted” to lead the company “for and on behalf of UK police forces, together with its national partners”.
“It’s a great start to 2018, knowing that I will play a key role in enabling the company to become a crucial and critical friend to our police forces, driving innovative new technology that will lead to positive change, including greater efficiencies, within police ICT.”
Bell will join the Police ICT Company at the beginning of February, taking over from interim CEO Robert Leach, who has been in the role since former CEO Marin Wyke left in April 2017.
The company began advertising for a replacement CEO in July last year, offering up to £180,000 for the right candidate.
Katy Bourne, Sussex police and crime commissioner, as well as chair of the Police ICT Company, said that having worked with Bell on the national enabling programmes, she knows he is “very well placed to lead the company and drive forward the significant role it plays in helping police forces make better use of ICT”.
“His extensive experience also extends to him being a board member of the company and more than qualifies him for this timely appointment. I look forward to him starting and discussing with him his vision for the company,” she said.
In October 2017, the Police ICT Company published a series of national strategic ICT principles on behalf of the National Police Technology Council.
The document contains 26 principles based around architecture, technology, data and applications, and highlights the need for ensuring new systems and technology bought by any organisation allows for interoperability and follows the “cloud-first” principle whenever possible.