techUK are launching an initiative to promote software interoperability and data sharing across police systems. Today many police systems are built and bought as standalone systems, with police having to cut & paste data to move it between them. Regardless of how “all encompassing” a solution becomes, there will always be a requirement to seamlessly move data to & from other systems, often not core police systems.
As we move more & more towards a cloud IT world, with greater amounts of data available, there are numerous examples springing up in other industries of ecosystems of applications that each do their own thing well, but can share data with other applications designed for different use cases. In the policing world this could be something as simple as a case management system able to share data with a visualisation and analysis system. It could equally be a command & control system able to talk to the record management system to directly query and record a crime reference number.
techUK have setup a working group to allow the IT industry to help facilitate this for Police. We are holding an initial meeting at techUK’s office in London at 9:30am on the 17th May, to help shape how this working group will work going forwards. Ian Bell (CEO of the Police ICT Company) will be in attendance and is supportive of this initiative. We would like as many of our members, especially software suppliers, to join us at this initial meeting to discuss ideas for how to take this forward. Following on from this meeting we will look for volunteers to join the working group, with a view to shaping the future of interoperability for police IT.
The initial idea is that we would define 3 tiers of membership or accreditation:
- Supplier registers an intent with techUK to provide a documented set of bi-directional interfaces for their software, by a specific date.
- Supplier certifies that they now provide a documented set of bi-directional interfaces, freely available for anyone who wants to deposit and retrieve data from their system
- A (police) client working with a different software supplier certifies that the software interworks in practice to share data
This is only the starting point and some work will be done to define how this will work in future. We’re keen to explore ways that minimise the efforts required for suppliers and that don’t dictate cumbersome standards become debated at length by committee, but instead allow an ecosystem of willing participants to enable easy movement of data between systems
Please join us at 9:30am on the 17th May to become part of this exciting future for Police IT.