Jul 02, 2013 (09:07 AM EDT)
Scotland, Accenture To Overhaul National Police IT Platform

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

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Police Scotland, the new national police force of Scotland, is partnering with IT services firm Accenture to develop the new information and communications technology (ICT) platform the organization says it is going to need.

Created in April, Police Scotland is the second largest police force in the U.K. after London's Metropolitan Police, with over 24,000 staff, of whom 17,500 are uniformed, frontline officers. It polices a territory comprising 28,168 square miles.

Accenture will develop a central police IT platform called i6 that will support Scotland's new standardized national policing processes and daily policing operations and investigations. The system will be designed to expand, including future mobile functionality for officers as well as "increased online public access," according to a press release.

"Together with Accenture, we can now start on our journey to have truly national policing processes supported by a modern IT solution," said Police Scotland's deputy chief constable Neil Richardson in the news release.

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The new IT system is slated to replace over 120 legacy systems, both IT and paper based, inherited from the eight regional forces that previously supplied law enforcement services to the country. The system is scheduled to be fully functional by late 2015.

"The introduction of efficient and effective ICT will increase the ability of our officers to fight crime and be more visible in our communities," said Richardson. Accenture also will provide user training and implementation support, on-going system maintenance and technology support services. "Through new standardized business processes and the innovative use of technology, this new system will give Police Scotland the high levels of data integration and information sharing required for their officers to work swiftly and effectively while enabling operational savings," said James Slessor, head of Accenture's U.K. police services work.

The cost of i6 has raised some concern in Scotland, however. The new services originally had been estimated to cost £46 million ($70 million) over a decade, but the government now says total cost might be closer to £60 million ($91 million), once payment for redundant back office staff is factored in.

Accenture's contract with Police Scotland is for 10 years, including a possible two-year extension to a maximum of 12 years. The supplier secured the contract after a two-year competitive tendering process, according to both parties.