Feeds

Jacqui promotes police handhelds

Wants more IT collaboration

High performance access to file storage

Home secretary Jacqui Smith has told Parliament that she wants police forces to introduce handheld devices quickly and to increase collaboration on IT.

In a debate on the Queen's Speech on 4 December 2008, Smith said that police forces have already introduced 10,000 handheld devices and will bring in a further 20,000 over the next 18 months.

Responding to Labour MP and home affairs select committee chair Keith Vaz, who said every officer should have a handheld device and they should be nationally compatible, Smith said: "If he looks at the speed with which we have funded and developed the ability of police forces throughout the country to have handheld devices, he will see that I share his ambition to roll out this important system quickly."

She added that that National Policing Improvement Agency is working on the compatibility of handheld devices and information databases.

"Just as police forces must look to their neighbourhoods, so they must also look to each other to collaborate where needed to tackle crime at all levels and to ensure the best use of resources," she said. "We will legislate to strengthen the provisions for collaboration, whether in the back office or on the front line of operations."

She dismissed reports that the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill announced in the Queen's Speech will include the power for police officers to demand proof of identity from anyone at any location, if they had ever been out of the country.

Conservative civil liberties campaigner David Davis MP asked whether she intended to require people to carry identity documents within the country. Smith replied: "I am extremely happy to scotch the rumours, as he puts it, because the intention is to enable identity checks only at the border. I am sure that we will have future opportunities to make that even clearer than we have up to this point."

Smith's shadow, Dominic Grieve, welcomed this, but renewed the Conservative Party's opposition to government plans which he said were turning Britain into a "surveillance society".

"The home secretary is introducing ID cards – at a cost that we believe, on an independent assessment, could rise as high as £19bn at the worst of economic times – that will be incapable of stopping terrorists, illegal immigration or benefit fraud," Grieve said.

"We are developing a database state and hoarding an increasing volume of data on our citizens, but the prime minister readily admits that he cannot promise that every single item of information will always be safe, which, on the current record of the last year, is a gross understatement."

He welcomed the ommission from the Queen's Speech of a bill expected to allow the government to collect and store communications data centrally, and the European Court of Human Rights' ruling against the retention of DNA on people who are arrested but not charged or are found innocent.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.