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Police (Computers)

Volume 21: debated on Tuesday 6 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations have taken place involving his Department about the compatibility of police computers involved in criminal investigations; and whether he is satisfied that compatibility presents no obstacle to the effective use of computers in investigations involving more than one police force.

There are standing arrangements under which the Home Office and chief officers of police discuss these matters regularly. Technical compatibility is not essential to deal with investigations that involve more than one police force. The important consideration is compatibility of procedures and methods of handling data. This is the feature of an experiment, being conducted with the assistance of the Essex police force, to examine the extent to which computers can aid the investigation of major crimes or series of crimes.