New police database will "make Hull a safer place", says Diana Johnson MP

Mon, 08/22/2005 - 06:00

A new computer system that allows police forces to share information on Britain's most dangerous sex offenders, helping to stop re-offending and protect the public, has 'gone live' this week.

The Violent and Sex Offenders Register (ViSOR) was built by the Police Information Technology Organisation in partnership with police and probation professionals.

Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North, said:

"Although overall crime has fallen in recent years, the fear of violent crime is a very real in Hull. ViSOR will help to tackle not only this fear of crime, but play a vital role in tackling incidents of crime."

"Our Labour Government has increased spending on fighting crime. This new tool will assist our local police in their work and make Hull a safer place."

Home Office Minister Fiona Mactaggart said:

"ViSOR provides online, for the first time, complete and up-to-date information on the country's most dangerous offenders. It will help to reduce re-offending, protect the public and save police time."

"Hours of police officers' time - that would have been spent retrieving information on offenders from around the country - is already being saved. ViSOR is a big step forward for public protection. The introduction of ViSOR means that, for example, intelligence entered by a probation officer in the north of the country will become immediately searchable by a police officer in the south."

"The database includes a photographic library of the offender over time, including distinguishing marks and tattoos, which will make it harder for an individual to change appearance and re-emerge undetected in another part of the country. Its search and retrieval capabilities will also make it a powerful tool in solving major crimes such as abductions, assaults and murders."

"ViSOR will cut bureaucracy for police and probation officers and is a valuable addition to the resources available to all those who work in public protection."

Terry Grange, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said:

"VISOR was asked for by the police and probation officers managing sex offenders; it was created for them and primarily by them with the expertise of PITO and police IT professionals. It provides the police service in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland an ability to gather, use and pass information and intelligence which did not exist previously."

"It is a major advance in our ability to manage dangerous people and the combined efforts of police and probation will be greatly enhanced by it. As the chair of the project I am immensely proud of what we have all achieved."