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Logica snaffles police database deal

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Public sector specialist Logica has won a seven-year £75.6m contract to build and maintain the Police National Database.

The database is being created as a result of the Bichard Report into the Soham murders. Ian Huntley was convicted of the murders in 2003 and Bichard found he had previously "come to the attention of the police". Bichard called for better intelligence sharing between police and social services in order to improve vetting procedures. Humberside Police claimed data protection legislation stopped them acting effectively, an allegation Bichard rejected.

Logica will bring together five areas of policing - custody, crime, intelligence, child abuse and domestic abuse. The initial phase will roll out in 2010, aimed at safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, counter terrorism and assisting major investigations.

Chief executive of the NPIA Chief Constable Peter Neyroud said the project would allow access to information for forces who were currently unable to look at each others' databases. The national database would make copies of information and intelligence available to all forces.

The scale of the PND has been scaled back - it was originally going to link to court systems as well. Legal issues over data sharing, as well as technical problems have already caused delays.

Efforts by the prison and probation service to create a unified prisoner management system were described last month as "a masterclass in sloppy managment". The project has given up trying to unite all 220 databases and is three years late. The National Audit Office said the failure could have been avoided if even basic management methods had been followed. ®

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