In the financial year 2005/6 Surrey Police began scoping to replace its ageing criminal intelligence system with a new, fully integrated system, linking together all recorded information and intelligence within the Force.
At the time, no national system or preferred “off-the-shelf” product existed and those which were available offered limited flexibility to meet the demands of individual forces. Surrey Police and Surrey Police Authority therefore decided to develop a new system.
The procurement process for this new system began in 2008, with a contract eventually awarded in May 2009. The new system is known as Siren (Surrey Integrated Reporting Enterprise Network).
In the years following the award of the contract, Surrey Police – overseen by Surrey Police Authority – has been working with the supplier to develop the system.
In November 2012, Chief Constable Lynne Owens reiterated her view to the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner Kevin Hurley that the on-going programme to replace Surrey’s Criminal Intelligence System may no longer represent the best long-term option for the Force and the public.
The Commissioner requested an independent report and sought further operational advice from the Chief Constable to consider whether Surrey Police should continue with the Siren project, or bring it to an end and instead look to examine the costs and feasibility of switching to the systems now being implemented by a number of other forces in the region.
The Commissioner has determined that the benefits of collaborative working with other regional forces are potentially so great that Surrey Police should withdraw from the Siren project and immediately begin to work up a fully costed proposal for an alternative solution.
The Commissioner believes this is in the best interests of both Surrey Police operationally and the Surrey Public from a value for money perspective. The decision will now be scrutinised by the Police and Crime Panel and Grant Thornton (the Audit Commission’s appointed external auditors).
Kevin Hurley said:
“My decision to withdraw from the Siren project has not been taken lightly, but I believe that this course of action will ultimately be in the best interests of both Surrey Police and the Surrey public.
“It is right and proper that it will be fully reviewed by the Police and Crime Panel and by Grant Thornton, the Audit Commission’s appointed external auditors.
“I hope you can appreciate that a full inquiry into a project of this scale is likely to take some time and that it would not be proper for me to comment further at this stage.”
Deputy Chief Constable Craig Denholm said: “We welcome the decision by the Police and Crime Commissioner.”
“In September 2012, Surrey Police advised the Surrey Police Authority of its concern that the programme no longer represented the best long-term option for the Force and the public. The Chief Constable re-iterated this position to the PCC on his election in November 2012.”
“The management of information is critical in delivering effective policing. Given operational collaboration with other forces in the region, and as the national policing environment has now changed, we must also adapt our plans or risk losing out on the wider benefits.”
“The current crime management system remains operational and the decision to withdraw from the Siren project will not impact on day-to-day policing which continues as normal.”
Update – 11th April 2013
Further to the press release issued on Monday 8th – Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner makes decision on future of Surrey’s Criminal Intelligence System – the Commissioner is now in a position to publish the costs incurred on the Siren project.
A total of £14.8m was spent by Surrey Police on the project, from its inception in 2005/06 to 31st March 2013. This includes staff costs, training, software, ICT equipment and consultancy