Govt still treading water on national police system

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Govt still treading water on national police system

Unions demand action.

The federal government continues to evade calls from state and federal police unions to start work on a national case management system that would deliver separate police forces a national view of all investigations and criminal incidents.

It was estimated five years ago that such a system would cost in the vicinity of $50 million to build. Another $60 million at least would be needed to pair it with a national criminal intelligence system, according to 2010 estimates.

Numerous reviews and inquiries have backed the idea in the years since.

The Police Federation of Australia and its state and territory union counterparts convened a joint press conference in Adelaide yesterday to repeat their calls for the IT infrastructure.

They argued the system should be paid for by a new regime of seizing unexplained wealth.

PFA president Mark Burgess told iTnews all stakeholders agreed on the need for the case management system, but no government has yet been willing to start the process of making it a reality.

“Let’s not wait another ten years to get this thing up and running,” he said.

One of the many challenges to the scheme, he accepted, would be amending the respective privacy acts of all the states and territories involved, in order for information to be seen and stored across borders.

“Of course it will be hard,” he said. “But nothing really beneficial is ever easy.”

Justice Minister Michael Keenan yesterday pointed out that $9.8 million drawn out of law enforcement’s confiscated assets fund had already been earmarked for a national criminal intelligence system project.

But he refused be drawn on the feasibility of a national case management system.

“There are complex legislative, governance, and information sharing issues that will have to be agreed by states and Commonwealth before any national case management system can be progressed,” he said in a statement.

The PFA also called on the government to speed up its intelligence sharing upgrade, which in the long term will see the replacement of the Australian Crime Commission’s 30-year-old Australian criminal intelligence database (ACID) and the network that supports it.

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