The Home Office has taken a step towards establishing a new international platform for police and border officers with a two-year, £8 million contract for development services with Sopra Steria.
The company will support the work on the International Law Enforcement Alerts Platform (I-LEAP).
The programme has been established following the UK’s post-Brexit disconnection from the EU Schengen Information System. The UK Government had been eager for its law enforcement agencies to retain access, but the EU took the position that it was legally impossible to allow a third country into the system.
The business case for I-LEAP was approved by the Home Office finance and investment committee in November of last year.
The department’s description of the programme says the initial focus in the platform’s deployment will be enhancing the UK’s connectivity with the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) through a real time connection to its people data.
Connections to other INTERPOL databases will follow in due course, and in the long term I-LEAP will be used to exchange alerts withy key international partners.
Need for agreements
The document adds that the programme is dependent on other law enforcement programmes under the Home Office and in partner organisations reaching bilateral agreements with other countries.
It says the benefits from bilateral alert sharing agreements should begin to show by 2023 with a plan to add one per year.