HL Deb 20 March 1997 vol 579 cc108-9WA
Lord Marlesford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they have sanctioned the design and establishment of different integrated central registers of inmates detained in prison in the different parts of the United Kingdom, and whether they are satisfied that there will be full on-line access to each system from each system and through the police national computer.

Baroness Blatch

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Marlesford from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Richard Tilt, dated 20 March 1997.

The Inmates Information System installed in Prison Service establishments and headquarters in England and Wales supports a wide variety of functions of which prisoner location is only one aspect. The original design of the system started some 10 years ago and aimed to deal with the detailed procedures used in England and Wales. As such, it was built to take account of the particular conditions there, such as the numbers of establishments and inmate transactions, both much greater than those for other United Kingdom services.

Police forces currently have access to location data through a central prisoner location service. Consideration is being given to the extension of on-line access to these data from other criminal justice system agencies, including police forces, with a view to making operationally useful and relevant data more widely available. The practicability of this will be enhanced by proposals for replacement of the current system through the Private Finance Initiative.