The Police IT Organisation (Pito) is to start a £21m upgrade of its national computer system.
The money will be spent on a mainframe upgrade and support contract which has been awarded to Siemens Business Services.
The four-year deal covers the upgrade and support of the Police National Computer (PNC), located at its main site in Hendon, and a contingency computer in the Midlands.
John Ladley, Pito's operational services director, said: "This contract will enable the PNC to maintain the high quality of service required by UK police forces in light of growing demand, and provide the basis for doing so in a more flexible manner as part of our infrastructure modernisation programme."
He added that the PNC needed significantly increased capacity to provide for growing demand and the higher levels of connectivity expected to result from implementation of the new Airwave digital radio infrastructure.
The two mainframes will be upgraded from the existing Fujitsu Siemens S150 models to S170 machines as part of the contract.
The first S170 is currently being tested for software compatibility and will go live in September. The second S170 for the back-up site will be tested in September and is due to go live in October.
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