blog If you’ve spent any time at all reporting on the IT systems of Australia’s police agencies, you’ll quickly realise that they are in a very sorry state — so bad that the Victorian Police have linked IT failures to actual deaths and choose to use their home PCs instead of the office systems, and the Australian Federal Police recently suffered abject failure in a $145 million project to upgrade its case management platform.
Now police unions nationally have called for an even bigger mega-IT system to be developed to allow them to collaborate more effectively. The ABC reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“Police unions meeting in Adelaide have demanded a $100 million investment in IT systems to crack down on terrorism … Police Federation of Australia CEO Mark Burgess said it was crucial that a new case management system be rolled out nationally.”
Your writer has a number of large questions about this kind of initiative … such as who would be responsible for the system, who would build it, what guidelines would be put around accessing it, what is the legality of bulk-transferring data from state police systems into this huge data pool and so on. I don’t quite think the police unions have thought this one through just yet. And just as worrying is this questionable statement:
“The federation has also called for a broadband internet spectrum so officers can transfer intelligence at high-speed and security upgrades to police stations across the country.”
I have no idea what this means. Is this referring to law enforcement authorities’ ongoing demands for dedicated wireless spectrum for emergency communications? Because the way the Police Federation is talking, it sounds more like a national 4G mobile network that would allow police stations to distribute patches for their PCs. Weird.