Police to have Blackberry access to investigation management system

Unisys and Dexterra are to provide mobile access to the National Policing Improvement Agency's central Holmes 2 investigation system.

Unisys runs the Holmes 2 system, which is sold to individual police forces under an enabling contract. The new upgrade gives 59 police forces across the UK the option to access the system on their Blackberrys or Windows-Mobile based PDAs.

Police across forces are already spending £80 million on mobile devices that will also allow officers to take fingerprints, check a central database of criminals, and file reports while they are still at crime scenes.

The Dexterra Concert application development platform will provide the police with 11 applications for a range of tasks, including managing case progress, storing exhibit information, and searching and linking information from different cases. Each police force will be able to procure the combination of applications it chooses.

A month ago, the police announced it had made large modifications to the system. The changes mean forces can more easily share information, and a new tagging system enables clearer labelling and better searches for specific details.

After the changes, police piloting the system found a 40 percent improvement in response times when searching for information. In order to see the information input by another force, however, cross-force agreements have to be in place.

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