Police database fingers suspects

Fledgling system pools intelligence

British police have fingered some suspected scoundrels and nonces with a shared police database system, the Home Office said at the official launch of the system today.

The IMPACT Nominal Index, which resulted from Sir Michael Bichard's investigation into failure of police to prevent the murders of Soham schoolgirls Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, has been running in pilot since December.

A government statement said they had found leads in the search of an armed robber. A man suspected of assaulting a 15-year-old girl in one region was found in another region's database to have been linked to an identical case.

They also found a man who had been acquitted of assaulting his girlfriend's eight-year-old daughter had been linked to similar cases in five other regions.

The system is said to make it less likely that criminals will escape detection by merely moving across police force boundaries.

The system is being trialled by child abuse investigators in 43 police forces before being implemented more widely. ®

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