Military justice to undergo digital overhaul

Posted on 14 March, 2022 by Advance 

The Service Police - comprising the Royal Air Force Police, Royal Military Police and Royal Navy Police - in partnership with the Service Prosecuting Authority and Military Court Service, have signed a five-year, £8 million agreement with NEC Software Solutions for their Connect product to deliver an integrated IT system.

Image By Willy Barton / copyright Shutterstock

This move is in addition to the Armed Forces Act, which is delivering a series of improvements to the Service Justice System (SJS), ensuring personnel have a clear, fair and effective route to justice wherever they are operating.

Configuration and deployment of the new software will commence immediately, with operational capability expected in early 2023.

The upgrade will:

Create a single digital data source for the Service Police, Service Prosecution and Military Courts, improving information flows from the start of an investigation through to prosecution, hearing and sentencing.

Significantly reduce workload burdens, reduce delays in data transfer and mitigate against errors, confusion, or ambiguity, adopting an ‘input once and use multiple times’ approach.

Provide real-time statistical and data analytics of criminal patterns, trends, themes and identification of areas of concern, both inside and outside the military.

Enable creation of dedicated witness and victim management processes, to further improve the standard of care and service to victims.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty said: "We have one of the fairest and most stringent justice systems in the world and it’s important we equip those in the Service Justice System with the latest technology and digital tools to streamline investigations and better support victims.

"By upgrading the IT platform throughout the military justice network, we will align better with civilian forces to collectively tackle criminal activity."

The new computer system will cover policing investigation management, Service Police intelligence, case preparation, prosecution, court management and custody.

This will create single data source, enhance electronic ways of working, enabling collaboration across not just the SJS but also alongside external policing and law enforcement agencies This will happen through secure network interfacing by providing connectivity to Home Office applications such as the Police National Computer.

Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General Swift said: "This is a positive step forward to a more collaborative, smoother and more compassionate justice system for our Armed Forces people, Service families and veterans around the world.

"Having a long-term contract for a modern digital system will also compliment the wider reforms taking place across the Service Justice System."

NEC Software Solutions Connect system is currently used by 16 UK police forces and demonstrates how policing is adapting to a digital environment, streamlining of processes and efficiencies of service. It offers future proofing for growth and development.

The new system will satisfy a significant number of the recommendations put to different elements of the SJS from recent reviews in relation to greater collaboration, improving recording accuracy and reducing delays.

The software is replacing the extant Service Police REDCAP, Coppers and Tribase Intel systems.

NEC Connect manages Victim Code of Practice and Witness Charter in line with statutory guidance. It will improve witness care through a number of new ways, including:

Adding a Victim to NEC Connect will automatically identify where they are repeat victim of crime, ensuring the officer in charge manages their safeguarding appropriately

Overdue updates being automatically escalated to a supervisory unit

Victim vulnerability mandated at the point of first recording

Sensitive information held in NEC Connect can be restricted to protect the vulnerable