New software systems for PSNI

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has signed a £9 million contract with a Canadian software company for a new computer system which will deliver significant benefits to operational police.

Mar 9, 2006
By David Howell
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lauren Poultney with Chief Inspector Jayne Forrest and OK9 Wellbeing dog Buddy with their Leadership award.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has signed a £9 million contract with a Canadian software company for a new computer system which will deliver significant benefits to operational police.

The Niche Records Management System (RMS) will deliver a range of improvements including better use of police officers’ time, provision of rapid access to up-to-date data, support for ‘information-led’ policing, intuitive easy-to-use screens and reports and improved links with other criminal justice agencies.

The PSNI believe the system will reduce the amount of time that officers spend completing paperwork and free them up for operational duties. It will mean that once a form is completed electronically, it will only need to be updated rather than re-created at its various stages in the criminal justice process.

Assistant Chief Constable Roy Toner, who signed the contract at a ceremony at police headquarters in Belfast today, said: “This contract for Niche RMS will fundamentally change the way we do our business. The new system is one of the most advanced of its type in the world and will help officers deliver swifter justice and thus improve our service to the community. We are implementing a world class software solution to support our operational policing needs. We believe that this will mean a significantly improved service to the public and offer the potential to free up staff time to focus on our core business – fighting crime.”

Niche Technology is based in Winnipeg, Canada, and provides computer software for law enforcement agencies. Vice President Tom Ellison, who attended the Belfast contract ceremony, said: “Niche works with large, progressive police services around the world to support their use of computer technology in the fight against crime and the delivery of operational policing to local communities. The PSNI will be joining the global community of Niche customers, which includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Queensland Police in Australia as well as five other police forces in the UK.

“Niche RMS is a single, fully integrated system which replaces a large number of discrete systems currently used to manage operational information. Frontline police officers will have immediate and broad access to all the information they need to provide the best possible policing service to the people of Northern Ireland. This information will be available regardless of where the officer is, on the street, out in the country, at a crime scene or in a police station.”

The implementation of the new system is one key step in a five-year programme of work costing £65m which is seeking to move the PSNI to the forefront of law enforcement technology in line with the recommendations of the Patten Report.

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