Law enforcement agencies in Warwickshire today went live with an interface between systems that will form the cornerstone of the £1.2bn national programme to link up criminal justice IT.
The Custody and Case Preparation (CCP) applications, which are expected to be rolled out across the country over the next two years, will provide a secure electronic method for police and prosecution teams to share case files.
The system will also enable courts to update the Police National Computer (PNC) automatically, improving the accuracy of the data it holds.
"We will now be able to ensure that information is delivered more quickly to our partners, particularly the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts," said John Burbeck, chief constable of Warwickshire Police.
Launching the £69m system in Rugby, Home Office minister Hazel Blears said the system would help to reduce the administration burden on police officers.
"A good, user-friendly IT solution means officers spend less time filling out forms and more time patrolling in our communities and tackling crime," she said.
CCP forms a vital part of the government's £1.2bn criminal justice IT improvement programme. A further 10 case programmes and four custody programmes should be up and running by March 2004.
The case preparation application guides prosecutors through procedures and updates the PNC when results are known.
The custody system helps officers collect necessary arrest information, and ensures that procedures comply with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984.
CCP has been developed in conjunction with the Police Information Technology Organisation.
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