Logica have worked alongside The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) to develop a new database which allows Police departments across England and Wales to share intelligence relating to crime.
Lord Bichard is the original mastermind behind the new innovation and his efforts to create The Police National Databse (PND) have come as a direct result of the Soham murders which Ian Huntley conducted in 2002.
Huntley had 8 separate allegations against him between 1995 and 1999 in connection with sexual offences. However because these allegations were unproven they were only recorded on a local database in Humberside. This information could have saved the lives of victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002.
The £75.6m project will hold the details of over 15 million individuals and will be available to no less than 43 police forces across England and Wales. The hope is that the new system will help investigators trace criminals and their associates.
Jennie Cronin, Impact programme director at The NPIA commented, “To share intelligence carries some risks, but choosing not to share poses a far greater risk to public protection and it is not one the service should be prepared to live with any longer.”
Information will not include witness data or victim details. The focus will be on domestic violence, criminal intelligence and custody areas. However one concern which has been expressed is the idea that data on 6 million innocents will be held. Advocates of the new database retort by arguing that it is the nature of police work which makes it essential to hold the records of innocent people.
The other concern expressed by MPs is the sheer scale of the database and the number of people who will have access to it. In total around 12,000 authorised officers will have access with secure access controls acting to ensure that only role relevant information can be searched.
NPIA chief executive Nick Gargan stated “The PND pulls together all local knowledge and allows investigators to see the full intelligence picture. ” As a result they can act far more quickly and effectively when it comes to protecting the public.”
“Until now this information had to be shared manually, a fallible and sometimes bureaucratic process dependent on the right staff being able to access and share the relevant files, which could take up to two weeks.”