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Delayed national information system gets phased launch this year

The new joined up national police data system is set for a phased launch at the end of the year, if a protocol on its use can be agreed.

The new Law Enforcement Data Service (LEDS), is set to replace the existing Police National Computer (PNC) and incorporate Police National Database (PND) information on one secure platform.

The Home Office has been leading the project which is estimated to cost £469m.

Sharing critical data between forces had been a central recommendation of the 2004 Bichard inquiry into the murder of two children in Soham. The Laming Review of 2003 had also called for better information sharing including a common language between child protection agencies.

An additional development is for the system to include a new National Register of Missing Persons (NRMP), which will help track missing children and could also potentially help find people with dementia.

The College of Policing revealed it is now writing the Code of Practice for forces using the system, which sets out 10 clear principles to ensure  ethical, fair, diligent and impartial use. Other organisations that may have access to LEDS will only do so on condition that they adopt the requirements of the code and the supporting guidance.

The College is also developing guidance on the Code of Practice to support officers and staff to understand their roles and responsibilities around using the new system.

Forces, other agencies, child protection experts, data protection professionals and the public now have three months to give their assessment of the code in a three-month consultation.

David Tucker, crime lead for the College of Policing, said: “In this increasingly digital world it is vital that police forces and other law enforcement agencies have access to accurate and up to date data to help them fight crime and protect the public.

“To support the Home Office launch of LEDS the College of Policing has developed a draft Code of Practice, which provides a clear framework to balance the rights of individuals with support for law enforcement.”

“During this three-month public consultation we are really keen to hear the views and suggestions of officers, police staff and the public on both the Code of Practice itself, which is directed towards the head of each organisation, and the Guidance Document, which aims to support officers and staff in implementing the code locally and understanding their responsibilities.”

To read the consultation on the LEDS Code of Practice and Guidance Document go HERE

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