England

Thames Valley and Hampshire police £39m call system delayed by year

Police call handler Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police developed the software with Microsoft

A "cutting edge" computer system to be used to deploy police officers to emergencies has been delayed by more than a year and gone £12m over budget.

The joint initiative by Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary has now been put back three times since its original launch date in January 2018.

The forces say the system is "not performing to the standard we expect or require" and have allocated another £7m to the project.

It is now expected in spring next year.

The Contact Management Platform (CMP), developed by Microsoft, will be the first used by UK police forces when it goes live.

The system will replace more than 20 systems across both forces and give call handlers instant information on screen about a caller, recent crimes in an area and other data.

It will also recommend the most appropriate police resources to deploy, but "rigorous testing" has delayed the system three times.

Image caption Thames Valley Police PCC, Anthony Stansfeld, agreed to an extra £4m of funding to cover this delay.

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld, who agreed an extra £4m of funding, said he was "supportive of the rigorous approach Thames Valley Police is taking" to the "essential" testing and the roll out of the CMP.

Mr Stansfeld added that it would also allow the force to improve more systems than originally planned.

In a joint statement Thames Valley Chief Constable Francis Habgood, and Hampshire Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, said: "We are all keen to reap the benefits of CMP but we cannot compromise the safety of the public, officers and staff by rushing this."

Both added they "remain confident in the reliability of our current systems".

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