Police officers forced to work on paper after computer system malfunctions

Failed upgrade has left system used to input and access information out of service

Chris Baynes
Wednesday 05 February 2020 15:57
The headquarters of Greater Manchester Police, where officers have forced to work on paper
The headquarters of Greater Manchester Police, where officers have forced to work on paper

A computer malfunction at the headquarters of one of Britain’s largest police forces has forced officers to switch to working on paper.

The problem arose during a “pre-planned upgrade” to Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) new computer system, brought in six months ago.

Officers have been recording reports of crime and other data using pen and paper since the problem emerged on Tuesday.

The glitch is affecting a part of the system, known as PoliceWorks, that is used by frontline officers to input data and search for information.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, GMP said: “There was a planned upgrade to GMP’s computer system PoliceWorks yesterday which unfortunately on implementation identified some data inputting system errors.

“However, we have robust contingency plans in place that are being successfully executed across the force to minimise this disruption.”

The force said officers “remain able to view all information in the system and contingency plans are in place for the capture of all data while the situation is being resolved”.

“Part of this plan includes officers using paper to record data, and although this does create a slight delay we are managing that risk,” GMP added.

The force said there had been no impact to its response to calls from members of the public and it was working “closely” with its suppliers and “reviewing all options” to return to normal functionality as soon as possible.

It added: “We have proactively liaised with partners and have procedures in place to manage high-risk incidents, incidents regarding vulnerable people and the management of key intelligence.”

Additional reporting by Press Association