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National Missing Persons Bureau

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information technology equipment and resources are available to the police National Missing Persons Bureau. (167147)

The Police National Missing Persons Bureau (PNMPB) currently use a Metropolitan Police Service system called Merlin to record and search records of missing persons. They also have access to PNC (Police National Computer) to carry out checks on missing/wanted persons and utilise open source facilities such as the internet and electoral roll for various searches. The PNMPB has responsibility for the website and, therefore, has the requisite software to host this site.

In April 2008, the PNMPB will transfer to the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). From this time, accessibility to technology and resources will be significantly enhanced. The NPIA is implementing Hermes as the database for the PNMPB. Hermes is a purpose-built database developed and implemented in to the Missing People charity through the Invest to Save Initiative in 2004-05. The shared technology between the bureau and the charity will facilitate effective transfer of data between the two organisations and collaborative efforts on research and analysis projects.

The PNMPB, under the NPIA, will also have access to, and be able to search, the PNC. In addition, the bureau will be able to triangulate reports of missing persons with serious offences and the activities of sexual and dangerous offenders by having direct access to ViSOR (Violent and Sex Offender Register), INI (IMPACT Nominal Index) and SCAS (Serious Crime Analysis Section) data. They will also be able to access the child homicide database CATCHEM (Central Analytical Team Collating Homicide Expertise and Management), the National Injuries Database, and liaise with the National DNA Database custodian—the NPIA.