Katy Bourne, local Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Sussex, has welcomed a new company which has been set up to help police forces to improve their information technology and get better value for money from contracts.
The Police ICT Company is currently jointly owned by the Association of Police Authorities and the Home Office but will be handed over to police and crime commissioners following elections in November.
The company has been created to get better value for money for forces by offering access to better services and deals.
It is part of a programme of reforms led by Conservatives in government to get better value for money and to ensure that resources can be diverted to the front line.
Local Conservative candidate Katy Bourne said:
Computers and IT are vital tools for fighting crime in the twenty-first century and I want Sussex to have the best. But in the past we have spent far too much on software and programmes.
This new company will allow Police and Crime Commissioners to work together to get the best deal. This will save money and allow resources to be directed to the front-line. It will also free up senior officers’ time and mean more innovation so that officers can spend more time on the beat.
Nick Herbert, Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, said:
While some police IT is good, such as the new Police National Database, much of it is not. There are 2,000 systems between the 43 forces of England and Wales, and individual forces have not always driven the most effective deals.
We need a new, more collaborative approach and greater accountability, utilising expertise in IT procurement and freeing police officers to focus on fighting crime.
By harnessing the purchasing power of police forces, the new company will be able to drive down costs, save taxpayers money, and help to improve police and potentially wider criminal justice IT systems in future.