‘Computer Says No!’ – Police officers still failed by Mayor’s new iOPs system

Police officers and the victims of crime across Greater Manchester continue to be let down by a new computer system backed by £29 million in public money from Greater Manchester’s Labour Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Burnham.

A report by accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers into police performance was finally published last Friday after being hidden for many months by Mayor Andy Burnham. Pressure from the Liberal Democrat Leader of Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, helped bring the findings to light. It includes a damning litany of the inadequacies of the iOPs (Integrated Operational Policing System) system.

Councillor Sykes said: “Police officers have complained to me about the inadequacies of iOPs from the time it was first introduced in June 2019. The PwC report candidly records the frustration of police officers in trying to use the Police Works element of the iOPs system in the course of their day-to-day duties. It seems to be a system that is specifically designed to help criminals because it stops police officers doing their work!

Howard Sykes at the former Crompton Baths site

“It has crashed repeatedly, hidden data out of sight, and takes ages to load. Due to its failings, offenders have escaped prosecution and the victims of crime have been failed. Not for nothing has it been called i-Oops and i-Flops,” added Councillor Sykes.

“For the last two years, I have raised my concerns with Mayor Burnham in emails and in face-to-face meetings so I am glad that the new Chief Constable Stephen Watson has in his plan for police improvements recognised the criticality of getting this right and now – for future Police performance in the fight against crime and public safety depend upon it.”

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