Northern Irish police pick Civica for £10m criminal justice data-sharing system

IT firm chosen for potential 10-year-plus engagement to build and roll out platform for sharing information between police, prisons, public prosecutors, and forensic teams 

Credit: Paul Faith/PA Archive/PA Images

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has chosen Civica to build a system allowing data to be shared between different branches of the criminal-justice system.

The system, which is due to go live in November 2019, will permit police, forensic investigators, prisons, and the Northern Irish Public Prosecution Service to share data with one another. The Criminal Justice Data Sharing (CJDS) platform will draw information from a range of sources, including the UK’s Police National Computer, PSNI’s case-management records, and Northern Ireland’s existing Causeway database of criminal records. 

The Police National Computer will also be able to share data from the CJDS system with other criminal-justice entities in the UK and across Europe. 

Civica has already designed the platform, and will be constructing and deploying it in the coming months. Once it goes live, the outsourcing firm will also provide ongoing support and maintenance. 

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A contract-award notice published in June – which declined to name Civica as the winning bidder, citing “security reasons” – revealed that the contract could be worth more than £10m, and last upwards of 10 years. Once the company has completed an initial “development and implementation period” and the system has gone live, PSNI will sign Civica to an initial five-year support contract – with the option of two 24-month and one 12-month extension.

Jeff McNamara, head of information and communications services for PSNI said: “Our new Criminal Justice Data Sharing platform will streamline our processes and systems and drive more efficiency.  This is crucial at a time when budgets are continuously stretched, demands are becoming more complex and public expectations are changing. Implemented with Civica Digital, the new system will ultimately allow our officers to spend more time policing with the community delivering more effective, collaborative outcomes and continue to help build a safe, confident, and peaceful Northern Ireland.”

PSNI received eight bids for the CJDS project, the contract award notice said.

Mark Owens, managing director at Civica Digital Ireland, said: “Our thorough understanding of the technology required to deliver this truly digital service means we have designed a very detailed solution from the ground up to address all issues of functionality, efficiency and security.  We were able to demonstrate this understanding throughout the procurement process and now look forward to working with PSNI to deliver the CJDS platform.”

Sam Trendall

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