The Metropolitan Police and Securicor Information Systems are hoping a command and control software solution can rescue the reputation of the troubled National Strategy for Police Information Systems (NSPIS).
The software, being developed by the Met, Cheshire Constabulary and Securicor in a £10m project, will play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of officers attending incidents.
"There have been significant delays with NSPIS projects, but this one is going very well and it will be delivered in 2001," said Met chief inspector Ian James.
NSPIS was designed to bring about "joined-up policing" between forces in England and Wales, but has been beset by delays and in-fighting since its launch in 1994.
Because of the delays with the NSPIS programme a lot of police forces are considering going down a bespoke road, but, said James, "all forces need to look at the future and the bigger policy picture".
James believes that the software will be available for other police forces to purchase next summer.
The product will give operators information about an incident and its location before an officer is deployed.
"Information found in the critical registers database can alert officers to the possible presence of weapons, persons of interest, and any previous visits that officers have made to that address," said James.
"We have built a gateway from the command and control software that can go to legacy databases," he added. This gateway could link to applications in other forces.