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CONNECT - crime recording system and case papers


Jamie1983
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The MET have just begun using a new system called CONNECT for case papers, soon to use it for crime reporting also. Has anyone else in another force used it? Any issues, usability etc. We've already had massive problems with cases disappearing or being sent to the CPS blank when the officers have spent hours working on them. Someone whispered a few forces have used it and got rid of it due to usability issues. 

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Is it any good? Ours has genuinely been a disaster having to revert to the old system and emailing the cps directly as clock's were running out. It lags, it's not intuitive, it deletes randomly, locks you out for 12 hours and you can't copy and paste without it not recognising certain characters. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve not tried it yet, apart from logging in to see if my account is active. I don’t use most of the core systems in my day job. 

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Connect is alright..once you get used to it. Various forces seem to use differing grades of the same system depending on what they’re willing to pay for. Others don’t recognise that it’s not really any good for the management of missing persons and RTC investigations.

South Yorks allegedly have one of the best implementations of connect in the country, and it does work, but takes time to get it into this state.

The biggest drawback is that only one person can be in a record at a time. This is by far the most ridiculous thing about a system used across a massive organisation.

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None of this sounds good at all, I am shocked though that it wasn’t just called MetAthena

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Had it 5 years, started using it "Properly" about 4 years ago.  It's dog-eggs.

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I am so glad to be retired and all this poor management and decision making.  Like dog eggs sounds just about right.

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What a lot don’t realise is the only comparable private sector businesses which need such vast computer systems, are the likes of Amazon and Tesco (other retail options are available) and they can afford their own teams to run them. Even then these don’t have to be necessarily bespoke as loads of businesses use payment and customer storage programmes. There is a vast market for software developers. Not the case really for bespoke public sector areas.

Public Sector IT like what is needed for the NHS and Police are massive pieces of work containing bespoke information. It takes a lot of skill to create this sort thing, a lot of space to store it all and is expensive to run and upkeep. Hence why PNC still looks like it’s being run on a 1988 BBC computer.

A national police computer system is almost guaranteed to fail due to the complexities in running and creating such a programme .

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10 hours ago, POM0272 said:

A national police computer system is almost guaranteed to fail due to the complexities in running and creating such a programme .

There's an off the shelf product used worldwide, but we're not allowed to buy it.  It is and end-to-end product starting at the call and ending in a full CPS file.  It's stupidly expensive to set up, but cheaper to run.

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12 hours ago, Beaker said:

There's an off the shelf product used worldwide, but we're not allowed to buy it.  It is and end-to-end product starting at the call and ending in a full CPS file.  It's stupidly expensive to set up, but cheaper to run.

Might be the case. I say might…

Are all forces on the same operating system? Updated to the same year? Ours was on Windows 2000 or so something equally antiquated until about 2015. All forces would need the same upgrade times both hardware, software etc. which will then cause further issues with internal systems which you’ll need to have for things like payroll, intranets, surveys, HR, logistics etc. Do all forces have the same security software? 

It really isn’t as simple or cheap as it might seem. Hence why it’s so difficult.

Add to this the security issue of one system for all Forces, if it goes down or gets hacked - which is a real risk and the security is only as good as when it keeps up with hackers intent - all goes down. I know we go to paper now and “we make it work”. But something like this could become a monster of problems with cyber security. And would surely be a target for cyber terrorism.

I’m no expert in computer software, systems and hardware. I was once on a project years ago looking to save money and reduce the amount spent on “systems” - it’s a bloody minefield and to be honest the computer people were confusing me with bull about how it all works. Bring back floppy disks, interview tapes and paper files, that’s what I say.

Maybe one system is what will be done when we go to Police England in about 20 years time. I’m guessing that’s what Police Scotland have done.

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31 minutes ago, POM0272 said:

Are all forces on the same operating system? Updated to the same year? Ours was on Windows 2000 or so something equally antiquated until about 2015. All forces would need the same upgrade times both hardware, software etc. which will then cause further issues with internal systems which you’ll need to have for things like payroll, intranets, surveys, HR, logistics etc. Do all forces have the same security software?

Most forces don't like discussing what systems they use it seems.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/windows_7_and_xp_instances_294

"To confirm or deny whether Avon and Somerset Constabulary uses a certain operating system would identify vulnerable computer systems and provide actual knowledge, or not, that this software is used within individual force areas"

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/windows_7_and_xp_instances_298

"To confirm or deny whether Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary uses a certain operating system would identify vulnerable computer systems and provide actual knowledge, or not, that this software is used within individual force areas."

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/windows_7_and_xp_instances_325

"To confirm or deny whether Merseyside Police uses a certain operating system would identify vulnerable computer systems and provide actual knowledge, or not, that this software is used within individual force areas."

 

It's interesting that the wording of these refusals is identical, even across multiple different forces. If lots of different FOI/disclosure officers from each force were all independently considering this FOI request, you would probably expect to see slight differences in the wording because each person speaks and writes a bit differently. You would maybe expect them to raise the same type of concerns but phrased in different ways, or possibly even some forces might consider it in the public interest to release the information where others might not. The identical wording used by the forces above suggests to me they are relying on centralized guidance for information they can release, instead of doing their own balance/public interest test.

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It’s a standard response. I’ve dealt with FOI requests many moons ago.

I also use the cannot confirm or deny when asked certain questions on the street from people digging for information.

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17 hours ago, Beaker said:

There's an off the shelf product used worldwide, but we're not allowed to buy it.  It is and end-to-end product starting at the call and ending in a full CPS file.  It's stupidly expensive to set up, but cheaper to run.

What is it? Sounds like Niche but I don’t know who the ‘we’ is who are not allowed to buy it  

I know Niche is ‘worldwide’ in that it is used in N America, Australia and over half the U.K. forces. 
It has a two way interface with CPS and Libra. 

It’s not stupidly expensive - or 28 and counting U.K. forces would not have bought it. 

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