Victoria Police delay crime database swap

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Victoria Police delay crime database swap

Avoiding a potential cost blowout.

Victoria Police will delay the replacement of its crime reporting database for six months after under-estimating the technical complexity and cost of the project.

The agency said the delay was not a result of its technology choice - an off-the-shelf records management system by Canadian vendor Niche Technology.

Rather, Police had conducted "a detailed analysis" that indicated the business case developed for the implementation of the LINK system was outdated.

"Based on the current approach and utilising existing resources, integrating the 20-plus systems that need to be joined with LINK will be a more technically challenging and costly process than was envisioned in the original business case," executive director of infrastructure and IT Michael Vanderheide said.

"The project will therefore be suspended for around six months while independent experts work through these complexities to determine the most cost effective way forward.

"We are committed to finding a solution that allows us to move forward without needing to invest significant funds."

Vanderheide said the agency had a "responsibility" to the community and to officers to get the project right the first time around.

"It is far better that we identify these issues now, and address them, before we introduce the system and train our members in its use," he said.

LINK will eventually replace the law enforcement assistance program (LEAP), which remains in use while the new system is sorted out.

"The current LEAP system remains adequate and we will work to address these issues as quickly as possible," Vanderheide said.

The LINK project was introduced partially to address security and inappropriate access issues associated with the current database.

In 2007-08 there were 26 confirmed LEAP breaches, down from 47 the previous year. In the past, members of the agency had checked LEAP "for curiosity, training purposes or personal convenience, such as checking their personal vehicle registration details", according to Police.

"We understand that the community demands the collection, storage, access and use of information on Victoria Police systems be tightly controlled and that all privacy guidelines are stringently met," the agency said last year.

"We have significantly tightened our processes regarding LEAP in recent years and conduct regular and thorough audits to identify misuse and make members accountable.

"Only those members who require LEAP as part of their core duties are now authorised to access the system.

"We believe the new LINK system and further training for police on the appropriate access of law enforcement data will continue to contribute to a drop in the number of breaches."

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