New police database should provide springboard for joint IT initiatives

The new Police National Database (PND) should act as a catalyst for
more joint IT initiatives between police forces, according to Nick
Gargan, interim chief executive of the National Policing Improvement
Agency (NPIA).

Sep 23, 2010
By Paul Jacques

The new Police National Database (PND) should act as a catalyst for more joint IT initiatives between police forces, according to Nick Gargan, interim chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

He told the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales conference last week that in the wake of proposed budget cuts, he believes significant savings can be realised from IT rationalisation and that forces will have to collaborate more in this area in future.

Deputy Chief Constable Gargan said that a more unified approach to IT would also make practical sense. He explained that in the past there had not been the confidence to move into a more joined-up way of doing business – he hoped the PND will be an example of how that can be changed and how money can be saved.

“The database is now here and is an example of a good IT programme – it can be updated in near real-time, will have around 12,000 users in the first instance and will provide a comprehensive national intelligence picture.”

The new database – which will replace the IMPACT Nominal Index – was created as a result of issues arising from the Soham murder investigation eight years ago. It will initially run alongside the Police National Computer (PNC) and is due to be rolled out to the first five early-adopter forces next month.

Implementation of the PND started on May 7 when it went live with ‘Data Take-On’, the data store to house information currently held locally by forces. Since then, up to six million records a day have been loaded onto the system, providing a consolidated pool of police information and intelligence.

The system will allow officers access to information across the country, including data held by national organisations such as the Child Online Exploitation and Protection (CEOP) Centre. Users can search full data records of all UK forces, covering people, objects, locations and events (POLE).

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