Ann Coffey


Stockport Express Column August 2019

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In the 21st century, a good IT system is essential for every police force to record and share information and intelligence.

On the 9th July Greater Manchester Police launched their new IT system called iOPS, 19 months late, it has taken nearly 5 years to design by Capita. It has cost millions of pounds.

The new system which GMP is the first police force to use is a month later still posing problems for officers.

Police officers report that as soon as one glitch is fixed another one appears. Every day new problems emerge. They say that information is deleted or duplicated, that they could not log new cases on the system because they were unable to input a name. The result is that investigation of cases is not being progressed. And they say that they are having to look for information on children on child protection plans on the old IT system whose data is now a month out of date. Police officers have been so concerned about the risk to the public and frustrated their concerns are not being heard that they have publicly expressed their lack of confidence in the new system. To have so many officers feel compelled to criticise their force publicly this over an issue is very unusual.

The Chief Constable acknowledges that there are difficulties but says that the system ‘is not a disaster.’

This needs to be sorted out. To have these serious problem still occurring a month after the introduction of the new system increases risk to the public and that is not acceptable.

I really don’t know why police forces don’t have the same IT systems. A question I’ve asked on many occasions and to which I’ve never had a satisfactory response. That would make it much easier for information to be shared across police force areas and avoid the current IT problems that GMP are experiencing.