Strathclyde Police goes undercover

Strathclyde has gone live with ABM’s Covert Operations Management system after successfully using the company’s Informant Management solution for the past two years. The new product will be used in every area of operational policing to manage covert operations and standardise processes across the force.

Oct 5, 2006
By David Howell

Strathclyde has gone live with ABM’s Covert Operations Management system after successfully using the company’s Informant Management solution for the past two years. The new product will be used in every area of operational policing to manage covert operations and standardise processes across the force.

The new electronic system will ensure that Strathclyde comply with legislation more easily and will enable the speedy authorisation and approval of covert operations requests, as well as aiding the long term management of all covert operations. This will divert officers away from administrative tasks, allowing them to spend more time preventing and solving crime.

“Upon examination, we concluded that a paper-based system was not providing the best value for the force,” says William Wilson, detective inspector and project manager for the RIPA/RIPSA Compliance Project.

“The time was right to embrace technology to ensure standardisation and compliance across the force and best manage covert operations activity. We felt that ABM was well suited to meet our needs, as the company is an existing supplier and also provides the technology behind the Scottish Intelligence Database.

“We presented the ABM team with a demanding agenda in terms of product enhancement and deadline delivery and they met our challenges head on. In consultation with our law enforcement partners, we will continue working with ABM to make further enhancements to the system.”

The implementation of ABM’s Covert Operations solution took only seven months to implement from start to finish and will be used across all offices by employees involved in surveillance, creating a force-wide overview.

In the near future, Strathclyde plans to integrate the Covert Operations and Informant Management solutions. The system will then be able to centrally notify supervisors of cross-over between operations to warn of any potential compromise and enable them to monitor all activities across the force.

The force is also currently in negotiations with ABM regarding the telecoms authorities application, which they hope to implement at a later stage to deliver complete management of requests for communications data.

“Complying with regulation is important for police forces, but can take up valuable time,” says Alastair Luff, managing director of ABM. “By managing covert operations electronically, Strathclyde can guarantee best practice across the entire force and can rest assured that covert operation application requests are being made in the correct format and processed as quickly as possible.”

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