National police database launches today

A NATIONAL database allowing police forces across the country to share crucial intelligence information has gone live today (Wednesday).

The new Police National Database (PND) will give immediate access to key information held within other forces across the country, providing a greater itelligence picture in order to identify criminal behaviour patters and take action more quickly.

The PND has been set up following a recommendation made by Lord Michael Bichard during his inquest into the deaths of 10-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002.

the girls were killed by school caretaker Ian Huntley, who it later emerged had been arrested on a number of occasions for a string of sexual assaults.

Lord Bichard’s primary recommendation was that a national IT system be developed to support the sharing of police intelligence. The PND replaces a basic interim system brought in shortly after he published his report in 2004.

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“This is a huge step forward for policing,” said Hertfordshire Constabulary’s temporary assistant chief constable Chris Miller. “The ability to share information is not new, however what the PND will do is enable police forces and other law enforcement agencies to share this information more efficiently, improving our operational effectiveness and providing even greater protection for the public.

“We know that criminals do not respect police force boundaries. PND will make those boundaries disappear by enabling us to search and directly access information.”

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The PND differs from the established Police National Computer in that it contains detailed intelligence, not just relating to criminal names but also to unconvicted persons of interest. Intelligence relating to vehicles and other objects will also be available in the future.

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