§ Mr. Corbyn
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to which constabularies have obtained or are planning to obtain small computers dedicated to major incidents; and whether they can be linked to any other police computer system.
§ Mr. Hurd
Following the Department's guidance to chief officers in July 1983 about the use of computers in major investigations, a number of forces have obtained, or plan to obtain, microcomputers for use exclusively in such investigations. Complete and up-to-date information is not held centrally about the computer facilities available in each force.
Microcomputers of the same type may be linked to one another to enhance the capacity of a major investigation system but they cannot be linked directly to other police computer systems. But work is in hand to make it possible, from 1985, to transfer data, stored by the indexing method recommended by the Home Office, to the police national computer when the capacity of a force microcomputer is exceeded or when databases from two or more separate investigations need to be merged.