The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has claimed a renegotiation of its contract with network provider Cable & Wireless will deliver £1m in savings.
Cable & Wireless provides the secure national communications network, the PNN3, to the police service.
The original £75m contract with Cable & Wireless was set up to last for five years in 2006, with the potential to run for a further two years. This renegotiation will last for two years and take effect this month.
The contract extension will see exactly the same service provided to the NPIA, at a lower cost.
The PNN3 is a service that enables the secure transmission of data between all police forces in the UK, as well as criminal justice and police-related agencies.
Since 2006, the PNN3 has provided a common communications platform. It ensures that all forces and agencies are working to the same levels of security, so police data is not compromised.
Services provided to forces through the PNN3 include:
• Police National Computer – a national information system that holds details of people, vehicles, crimes and property, which can be electronically accessed by the police and other criminal justice agencies.
• The National DNA Database, which holds DNA samples of people arrested for a recordable offence.
• A UK-wide system called Visor, used to store and share information and intelligence on individuals who have been identified as posing a risk of serious harm to the public.
• A mobile data solution for UK police forces, providing interfaces with national and local systems through handheld devices such as a BlackBerry or PDA.
• Police National Database – a national system that allows UK police forces to collaborate more efficiently, sharing and directly accessing local information on a national basis.
• Ident1 – the National Fingerprint Database, which provides the police service in England, Scotland and Wales with the ability to perform a search on a fingerprint identification system, as well as searches on palm prints and marks.
Central management of the contract by the NPIA has removed the need for individual forces to procure networks.
All UK police forces have access to the PNN3, as do more than 100 other criminal justice organisations.