Attempts to update an antiquated IT system at Guernsey Police HQ have been hampered by the 200-year-old building.
The Head of Law Enforcement, Ruari Hardy, was joined by the States Chief Information Officer, Colin Vaudin, during a Scrutiny meeting with Home Affairs, during which they were asked for updates on Law Enforcement’s IT infrastructure.
In 2018 Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue undertook an inspection of Guernsey’s police and border agency; it found major weaknesses in their infrastructure, describing it as "among the worst we have seen".
“Throughout the inspection, interviewees told us about many problems with their ICT, the collective effect of which is profoundly damaging to BLE’s morale, efficiency and effectiveness."
Pictured: The President of the Scrutiny Management Committee, Deputy Yvonne Burford, asked for an update during a meeting on Monday.
Mr Hardy conceded Bailiwick Law Enforcement still faces problems when using and updating its ICT infrastructure.
“The infrastructure we have at police HQ is not very good – upgrading the networks in old buildings is difficult,” he said.
He emphasised the need for improvement.
“It’s a golden thread across the services we deliver,” he said. “However, we inherited a system that hadn’t been invested in, in many years.”
Pictured: Mr Hardy said BLE has difficulty “plugging into big UK networks and developments."
Guernsey Police took over the former hospital building in the 1980s, combining all of its departments on one single site. Its granite structure makes it difficult for updates to IT provision.
“From an engineering point of view, we can only do so much,” said Mr Vaudin.
“We’re investing £500,000 in updating ICT systems, the must have's. The real frustration I have is that problems with back-office systems mean the front-line officers see less.”
He cited asbestos structures and granite as being barriers to providing BLE with the ICT infrastructure it needs.
“Could we do more? Absolutely,” he said.
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