Hampshire Constabulary has chosen to roll out a pilot document and records management project based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.

The project is designed to increase staff efficiency when managing and sharing documents, both within the operational environment and in support business areas. It is also being used to help the Constabulary comply with the Management of Police Information (MoPI) Code of Practice. These developments are hoped to provide police staff and officers with accurate, relevant and accessible information where and when it is needed, in accordance with the broad range of standards in practice associated with records management.

The MoPI guidelines were established in July 2005 to ensure consistency between police forces in the way information is managed and the effective use of information within and between individual police forces and other agencies. MoPI guidelines call for information to be relevant and accessible and require all operational information to be recorded, reviewed, shared and deleted on a consistent basis across the entire Police Service to enable more effective decision making by police staff and officers.

Hampshire Constabulary implemented systems to manage the information associated with operational policing in April 2005 that needs to be developed to account for historical and paper-based records, currently occupying vast volumes of storage around the two counties of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

As the next step in the integration of information facilities to support their commitment to comply with the MoPI Code of Practice, the Constabulary hopes that the system will complement existing records management capability in the long term. It will support the sharing of police information on a national basis, allowing police officers and support staff to search multiple repositories from one single portal.

Chief Inspector Chris Jones, head of Information Management for Hampshire Constabulary said: “Getting to grips with the sheer volume of information we have and automating information management processes is a key goal for us, not just from the compliance perspective, but also to help our staff and officers search and manage information more effectively.

“Ultimately, the more quality information we can make available to Hampshire officers and staff, the better their ability to make informed decisions, both in support of policing out on the beat and during complex investigations.”

Hampshire Constabulary has evaluated a number of methods for automating its record management processes, but it was essential that the police officers and police support staff would adopt the chosen system. Jones said the familiarity of the Microsoft interface would be an advantage in terms of user adoption.