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In 2006, a powerful new computer system, known as the Impact Nominal Index (INI), was created by the IMPACT Programme led by the Home Office, to share information to track and trace individuals wanted as part of criminal investigations. The system was developed by Enline plc in partnership with Cable and Wireless’ Web Technology Group.
The Impact Nominal Index (INI) is the first system to be delivered by the Impact programme. Its primary objective was to create a national police intelligence system following the Bichard Report into the failings of the Soham murder investigation. Through the INI, police nationwide can now cross-check whether other Forces around the country hold information about someone they are investigating, using this new database tool.
Richard Mardling, Strategic Business Director for Enline explains, “The IMPACT Nominal Index is a perfect example of how serious the issue of managing user identities can be. This new system allows nationwide access to very sensitive data, so the effective management and control of the digital identities/access is crucial”.
The IMPACT Programme exists to deliver improvements in the management and sharing of police operational information. The INI comprises an index of people whose details appear on local Force IT systems. Because this information is held on local systems rather than national systems, it would not previously have been visible outside the Force holding the record. For example, where the police suspect a person of being involved in a crime, but lack the evidence to prosecute, the person’s details may be held on the Force intelligence system. This will be invisible to any other Force, so if the person moved to another Force area, the local Force would not be aware of any previous suspicions or reported incidents.
Now all the local Force has to do is enter the name and personal details of a person they are investigating and the INI will tell them which other Forces hold any information on the person.
The investigating officer can then call for the record from the Force holding it. INI works using information which every Force in England and Wales sends to the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) - a list of names and dates of birth of people they hold on local Force records for use in CRB vetting checks. The INI accesses this information and makes it available to police Forces in a form they can use in their enquiries. The system allows officers to establish, in seconds, whether any police Force anywhere else in the country holds relevant information on someone they are investigating.
Hazel Blears said, “The ability to share information across police Force boundaries is the key to effective policing at the national level.
“The INI is the first step in our plans to provide a national information sharing capability which will prevent criminals from escaping detection simply by crossing Force boundaries. This will increase public protection and help create safer communities.”