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Policing agencies unveil new data sharing platform


Mark Say Managing Editor

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A group of law enforcement organisations have begun to use a new national digital platform to support data sharing in policing.

The Police Digital Service (PDS) has highlighted the role of Xchange in enabling the integration of the IDENT1 national automated fingerprint system with forensic data from the Forensic Capability Network (FCN) and Home Office Biometrics under the Transforming Forensics (TF) programme.

It said Xchange securely connects forces and agencies to enable them to share data and services and provide easy access to digital forensics tools. This should help to speed up turnaround times for the analysis of forensics.

This will enable the UK International Crime Bureau (UKICB) – the first service to go live on the platform – to retrieve fingerprints quickly and efficiently as part of its role as the national contact for the international exchange of biometrics under the Prum Provision. This facilitates the movement of anonymised biometric and vehicle registration data in law enforcement.

The integration of IDENT1 was developed by TF as part of an end-to-end national digital fingerprint capability, and it led on developing the technical solution, while HOB provided access to IDENT1 and supported the technical integration.

FCN managed the development of business processes and defined how the service will be managed, and PDS, with its supplier CACI, developed the capability for technical enhancement and ongoing support. CACI will manage the operational service.

Benefit in fighting crime

Kathryn Clarke, head of UKICB, said: “The facility to directly export master fingerprint records from the national collection following a biometric match has vastly improved efficiency, effectiveness and information management.

“This will provide real benefit in the fight against international and national criminality and the aim of greater protection for the public.”

Carolyn Pratley, programme director for HOB, commented: “The TF Xchange product has enabled the NCA to step up to the role of National Contact Point for Step 2 of Prüm biometric exchanges in readiness for HOB’s imminent rollout of connections to additional EU Member States.  This will help the UK to maximise the benefits of participation in Prüm exchange”.

Ian Bell, CEO of the PDS, said: “This is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through working in partnership at a national level to enable UK law enforcement to respond quicker and more effectively to the challenges posed by the complexities of modern, borderless criminal activity.”

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