HC Deb 22 February 1980 vol 979 cc568-9W
Mr. Whitehead

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department which regional police forces have their own computer systems that are separate from shared local authority computers; what kind of information is held on these computers; and which regional police forces have plans for the introduction of their own computer systems.

Mr. Whitelaw

Most police forces in England and Wales use computers, either dedicated to their own use, or shared with local authorities. The Home Office has records only of major applications for operational purposes. Such uses fall into the following broad categories:

Category "A" Command and Control: the recording of requests for police assistance; the keeping of information about police resources; the despatch and monitoring of these resources; facilities to switch messages within the force; related management information; the provision of analyses of data derived from command and control applications.

Category "B" Criminal information: computerisation of records hitherto kept on paper relating to crime, criminals and criminal activities. Minor applications, such as computerisation of records of duty rosters or lost or stolen property, may be associated with either category "A" or "B". According to Home Office records, the following forces have their own computers for the following operational tasks:

Category "A" Bedfordshire, Dorset, Metropolitan Police, Staffordshire, Suffolk, West Midlands.

Category "B" Metropolitan Police, Suffolk, Thames Valley. The following forces are understood to have placed contracts, or are negotiating with potential suppliers, for computers or enhancements to existing computers:

Category "A" Merseyside, Metropolitan Police, Northumbria, South Wales, West Yorkshire.

Category "B" Dorset, Northumbria, South Yorkshire. The following forces are understood to be considering the feasibility of, have completed feasibility studies or are drafting requirements for, dedicated computers or the enhancement of existing computers: Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, Durham, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Humberside, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Merseyside, Sussex, Warwickshire, West Mercia, West Midlands.