Greater Manchester Police Integrated Operational Policing System inspection
In 2019, HMICFRS were commissioned by the Mayor’s Office of Greater Manchester Combined Authority to inspect the implementation of their new integrated ICT system, at the request of the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) chief constable.
Earlier in the year, GMP simultaneously replaced three ICT systems, critical to how the force functions. The first was the command and control system, which logs calls from members of the public and tracks the deployment of officers. The second and third were record management systems, containing intelligence, criminal investigations, custody records and files for court cases.
The force decided to replace these old systems with one integrated system, called iOPS. iOPS contains two elements, one to replace the command and control system called ControlWorks, and one to replace the records management systems called PoliceWorks.
At the time of launching iOPS, the force implemented a governance structure and prepared contingencies in case any anticipated issues arose. It also put in place a team of specialists to react to problems as they happened. Despite this, problems were worse than anticipated, creating backlogs and causing staff to lose confidence in the new system.
Recognising this impact of the backlogs the force faced, GMP’s chief constable asked the Mayor’s Office to commission HMICFRS to review the recovery plan put in place by GMP to resolve the difficulties and backlogs created by the implementation of iOPS.
The commission’s terms of reference were set and agreed with HMICFRS under Section 54(2BA) of the Police Act 1996, which allows local policing authorities to request an inspection of this nature.
The commission asked HMICFRS to examine these questions:
- Is the force ‘sighted on’ (fully aware of) the volume and type of backlogs that have occurred?
- Does the force understand the threat and risk in the backlogs and is it prioritising accordingly?
- Does the force have a plan to reduce the backlogs and return GMP to its pre- iOPS ‘state’?
- Is the force effectively engaging with external partners and keeping them informed?
- Does the force have a robust plan to support its officers and staff and build their confidence in iOPS?
- Does the force have an effective plan in place to prevent further backlogs occurring?
During the inspection, conducted between October and November 2019, we:
- collated and analysed all relevant documents, plans and data;
- held interviews and focus groups with key individuals, staff, partners, union and staff association representatives; and
- carried out unannounced ‘reality’ testing at police stations and in departments to understand staff perspectives.