Feeds

Jacqui promotes police handhelds

Wants more IT collaboration

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
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
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.