The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has said that its Police National Database (PND), which was implemented 12 months ago, has transformed the way UK law enforcement agencies share data.
It added that police can now access all relevant intelligence on criminal groups far more quickly than before the PND was built, when law enforcement data was more fragmented and held only in local information repositories.
Detective Inspector Mark Colquhoun of West Mercia's Force Intelligence Bureau said: "One of the key benefits of PND is the immediacy of the information held within the system. By substantially reducing the delay in accessing other forces' data, PND enables us to respond more quickly, which means lower risk to the public and the earlier apprehension of offenders."
NPIA chief executive Nick Gargan added: "The scale of use shows just how important the Police National Database has become as a crime fighting tool in only a short period of time. It now provides police with a faster and automated system for sharing vital information."
The PND was delivered jointly by the NPIA and the police service itself, and IT services company Logica.
Gary Bullard, president of Logica in the UK, said: "The Police National Database has made a real difference to police forces' ability to access intelligence information held across the UK.
"With more than 700,000 searches so far, the database has been proven to assist police in protecting society. Working alongside our partners and the NPIA, we are continuously improving the PND to ensure it provides a simple yet secure route for forces to search and share information vital to their investigations."