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19 July 2012 | Adam Leach
A new purchasing organisation will pool the IT purchasing power of UK forces to drive more effective deals and free officers up to do their duties, according to the Home Office.
The Police ICT Company (Pitco), launched on Monday, will provide the procurement, implementation and management of IT solutions for the 43 forces of England and Wales, using the combined buying power to drive cheaper, more effective contracts. The company will also provide strategic advice and guidance to the forces.
Launching the company, Nick Herbert, minister for policing and criminal justice, said: “While some police IT is good, such as the new Police National Database, much of it is not… We need a new, more collaborative approach and greater accountability, utilising expertise in IT procurement and freeing police officers to focus on fighting crime.”
The company is currently under the joint ownership of the Home Office and the Association of Police Authorities. But Pitco will be owned by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, once that is established. Chairman of the Association of Police Authorities, councillor Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “Better use of technology is vital when fighting criminal networks that have a sophisticated national and international reach.”