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No cuts made on UK police national database

Cop agency says budget slash only applied to an interim index

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The National Police Improvement Agency has branded reports of a £3.1m cut in the Police National Database as "inaccurate".

The agency said that the figure was actually related to the removal of "a contingency" which it put in place to extend the life of the Impact Nominal Index. The index is an interim database that holds information about a person of interest to the police.

Nick Gargan, chief executive of the NPIA, said: "There are no cuts being made to the PND. Public protection is our first priority and the PND will provide the police service with a powerful new tool to fight crime and protect the vulnerable in our society."

Police forces will be charged to use the PND, which allows police forces to share information about suspects. The initiative is a response to the Bichard inquiry into failings that allowed Soham murderer Ian Huntley to work as a school caretaker.

A spokesperson for the NPIA said: "The decision to charge forces for the PND was taken by the tri-partite NPIA board last December following extensive consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities.

"It was taken in response to a tight budget settlement, and will help protect other critical national services that we provide that are essential to frontline policing."

Forces will begin paying a proportion of the annual service charge for the PND in 2011-12 when the database is rolled out nationally. The remainder of the charges will be met by the NPIA.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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