A ?367m plan to develop a national police database that will link up police information across England and Wales has been finalised by the Home Office.

The IMPACT Programme's plans pave the way for a new technology-based system designed to connect information held locally and nationally by police systems, as well as on the Police National Computer.

The programme is now in a strong position to deliver a new range of resources to the Police Service which will meet Sir Michael Bichard?s recommendations following his inquiry into the Soham murders and to more widely transform the police?s ability to protect communities.

The programme will provide investigating officers, for the first time, with a single point of enquiry and access to operational information held by forces anywhere in the country.

The programme will also:

  • further roll out and develop the IMPACT Nominal Index (INI);
  • standardise national data format and provide direct access to information through IMPACT CRISP (Cross Regional Information Sharing Project);
  • provide common standards for police information management through the Code of Practice on the Management of Police Information and its associated guidance; and
  • set up a Police National Database, linking information held on both local and national systems including replacing the Police National Computer, by 2010

The specification for the IMPACT Police National Database has been developed through detailed consultation with the police service, and will help police access the information they need to better target repeat offenders and make our communities safer.

In order to develop the new system, the programme will be joined by the Criminal Justice Information Technology (CJIT) organisation as technical delivery partner for the Police National Database.

This will strengthen the programme's technical capabilities, adding expertise and opportunities to build on systems and infrastructure developed by CJIT, in particular the Criminal Justice System shared services network - CJS Exchange.

The Police Information Technology Organisation will continue as technical delivery partner for the further development of the interim IMPACT systems - the IMPACT Nominal Index (INI) and the IMPACT Cross-Regional Information Sharing Project (CRISP) data warehousing facilities - and will transfer the Police National Computer onto new hardware to enable it to continue effective operation until the Police National Database is in place.

Police Minister Hazel Blears said:

"This is a really important and positive step forward in delivering our commitments in response to Sir Michael Bichard?s recommendations following the Soham murders and working with the police service to deliver more effective information management and information sharing.

"The IMPACT Programme is already delivering new capabilities, and the development of a police national database will transform the way in which police share intelligence and other information.

"The Programme will target offenders operating across force boundaries and help police more effectively prevent and detect crime, and bring more offenders to justice, contributing to our aims of building safer communities and greater public confidence."

Notes to Editors
  • A Written Ministerial Statement was laid in the House of Commons today (Wednesday 19th April 2006).
  • The IMPACT Programme exists to deliver improvements in the management and sharing of police operational information. It was set up to implement Bichard Inquiry recommendations 1, 2 and 4 and has since taken over responsibility for implementing recommendations 8-11, as well as to satisfy a growing demand from the Police Service.
  • The IMPACT Nominal Index (INI) was the first system to be delivered by the programme in December 2005, and is an index of people whose details are held on police records. 
  • The IMPACT Programme is also responsible for supporting forces in the implementation if the Management of Police Information (MoPI) Code of Practice, which came in to effect in November 2005, and its guidance published in April 2006 (press notice 056/2006), which sets national standards for consistent management of police-held information.
  • For more information about the IMPACT Programme, please contact the Home Office News Desk on 020 7035 3535.
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