Alan Stanley Robertson Naylor Edinburgh Napier University Edinburgh August 2008. Thesis submitted to Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh in accordance with The Regulations for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

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Edinburgh Napier University,


A critique of the implementation of crime and intelligence computing in three British Police forces


Alan Stanley Robertson Naylor

Edinburgh Napier University


August 2008.

Thesis submitted to Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh

in accordance with The Regulations

for the award of the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy


The copyright of this thesis belongs to the author under the terms of the United Kingdom Copyright Acts as qualified by Regulations issued by Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh. Due acknowledgement must always be made of the use of any material contained in or derived from this thesis.


The study will examine the introduction of the computerisation of crime and intelligence recording in three police forces in the United Kingdom in the decade 1976-1986. The thesis will critique the roles and actions of the main players in this decade, The Home Office in London England, three provincial police forces, Kent County Constabulary, Humberside Police and Lothian and Borders Police, and the computer supply industry.

The study will consider the concept of ‘crime’ from a jurisprudential viewpoint and will consider the legal imposition on chief officers of police to collect, store and distribute certain crime based data. The study will also examine and analyse in detail three computer projects in different police forces. The use of new, complex and expensive computer programs is highlighted with the introduction of free text searching of large data sources and the need for large scale mainframe computers to handle the analysis and storage of that data. The limited success of two police projects will question the requirement for central government control of publicly funded new technology.

The study will examine strategic planning in the process, as well as the rush to be the first police force to embrace the new technology. Further the study will review central government control over public spending, in the first police force based computerisation projects.

In conclusion, the thesis will suggest that new police systems should be scaled to local needs and guided by expert central advice. Additionally, chief police officers should be encouraged to use new technology in a strategic manner, sharing outcomes in open fora. Possible new research problems are listed and evaluated.

List of Contents Page

Title 1

Abstract 3

Contents 4

Appendices 9

List of Legislation 10

List of Cases 11

Acknowledgements 12

Introduction 14

Chapter One A definition of Crime and the start of crime recording 23

1.0 Introduction

1.1 The police in society

1.2 The Start of Crime and Intelligence recording

1.2.1 A definition of Crime

1.2.2 A definition of crime from an epistemological Viewpoint

1.2.3 The non existence of a British legal system

1.2.4 Sources of Primary Legislation

1.2.5 The Declaratory Power

1.2.6 A definition of crime from the United States of America

1.3.1 The Start of Crime Recording in Europe

1.3.2 The early crime recording model in France

1.3.3 The philosophy of crime, criminality and liberty

Chapter Two The Role of the Police in Scotland 56

    1. Crime Recording in Scotland before local

Government reorganisation 1975

2.2 An explanation of Beat Complaints

2.3 The mechanics of crime recording

2.4 Criminal Intelligence Recording

2.5.1 Legal Obligation to record Crime

2.5.2 Legal response

2.5.3 Administrative Arrangements

      1. Influences on Chief Constables to standardise data


2.5.5 Legal Influences on the police

2.5.6 Influence of the Courts

2.5.7 Influences furth of Scotland Advisory

2.5.8 Influences furth of Scotland Administrative

2.5.9 Influences furth of Scotland Operational

2.5.10 Wider definition of Solved Crime

2.6.1 Is all crime recorded?

2.6.2 Police use of data

      1. Origins of the war against crime

2.6.4 A validation for the war

2.7.1 Other Agencies recording crime

2.7.2 RSPCA

2.7.3 SEPA

2.7.4 More statistical collections

2.7.5 Non Civil police statistics

2.7.6 Further statistics from other police forces

2.7.7 Other crime investigating agencies in Scotland

2.8.1 The specificity of crime and intelligence recording

2.8.2 Texts relating to the recording of crime

    1. Alternative views on the control of statistics in the

criminal justice field

2.10.1 The miscellany of papers, letters and manuscripts

2.10.2 Academic considerations of manuscripts

2.11 Conclusions

ChapterThree The Risk Factors involved in the Projects 98

3.1.1 The Home Office Risk

3.1.2 A high level review of computing circa 1976

3.2.1 Risk to three police forces

3.3.1 Risk to the computer Industry

3.4.1 Conclusions from Chapters One and Two

Chapter Four Research Methodology 108

      1. Introduction

      2. Background to the research

      1. Overall approach to the study

      1. Different methods used in this study

4.3.2 Interview Stage

4.3.3 New Analytical Tools

4.3.4 The policing approach to systems management

4.3.5 Lothian and Borders Police semi structured interviews

4.4 Literature Review

4.5.1 Introduction to Case studies

4.5.2 Case Study theory

4.6 The Analysis of the study

4.7 The ethical issues in the study

4.8 Limitations of the study methods

4.8.1 Research Philosophy and methodologies

4.8.2 Introduction

4.8.3 Positivism

4.8.4 Empirical Realism

4.8.5 Critical realism

4.8.6 Interpretivism

4.8.7 Objectivism

4.8.8 Constructionism

4.8.9 Action research
Chapter Five

5.0 Introduction 163

    1. Interviews and Triangulation

5.2.1 Survey Results from Chief Officers

5.2.2 Survey Analysis

5.3.1 Second Questionnaire Analysis

5.4 Summary of Chapter Four

Chapter Six Introduction to the Case Studies 171

6.1.2 The Feasibility Study

6.1.3 The Operational requirement

      1. The Detailed Operational Requirement

      2. The Computer Contract

6.2 Applying theory to the case studies

6.3 The Home Office Initiative 1976

6.3.2 The Structure of the Home Office

6.3.3 The Scottish Police Input

6.3.4 View from the Under Secretary of State

6.3.5 Police Influences on F7 Division Home Office

6.3.6 F7 Division Strategy

6.3.7 F7 Division Constraints

6.3.8 The Home Office first initiative

6.3.9 Command and Control systems

      1. Home Office involvement in Command and Control


      1. Analysis of the Home Office initiative

Chapter Seven Introduction to the Projects 191

7.2 The Case studies

      1. Proposals from Kent County Constabulary and

Humberside Police to computerise some functions

      1. The Home Office letter

      2. Kent County Constabulary computer plan

      3. Computing in Kent County Constabulary 1976

      4. Perceived limitations of these systems

      5. Long term strategic view of these proposals

      6. Critical Decisions in police computing

      7. The Home Office perspective

7.4 The Project starts

7.4.2 The vision takes shape

7.5 The Joint Project Proposals

7.5.2 Initial reaction from the forces

7.5.3 Description of the forces

7.6.1 The Initial meeting 9th May 1979

7.6.2 Analysis of the meeting

7.6.3 Administrative arrangements to progress the Joint Project

      1. Details of the Joint meeting

      2. Technical address to the meeting

      3. The forces’ proposals

      4. Centralised Input of crime reports

      5. Details of the applications

      6. Team Report Criminal Information Systems

      7. Team Report Crime Recording System

      8. Team Report Police National Computer Interface

      9. Conclusion of the Joint Meeting

      10. Record of the Joint Meeting

7.7 The Edinburgh Meeting 28 June 1979

7.7.2 Home Office Thoughts

7.7.3 The Joint Project Decision
Chapter Eight The Lothian and Borders Police Sole Project 232

8.1 Reasons for the new system

8.2.1 The Feasibility Study

8.3.1 Computer Procurement commences

8.3.2 The Operational requirement dated July 1979

      1. Project management

8.3.4 Distribution of documentation to the computer industry

8.3.5 Operational Requirement detail

8.3.6 The functionality

8.3.7 The system detail

8.3.8 Crime Recording

      1. Data Capture Proposals

8.3.10 New techniques involving the public

8.3.11 Property Data

8.3.12 The Scottish Law Commission Report on lost property

8.3.13 Criminal Intelligence

      1. Software

8.4.2 The inverted file concept

8.5.1 Negotiation with contractors

8.6.1 The Detailed Operational Requirement

      1. The Home Office concerns about Lothian and

Borders Police Project

      1. Evaluation of the proposals

      1. The Implementation Process

      2. The Pursuit for a suitable search engine

      3. The Search Engine is named STATUS

      4. Implementation of STATUS

      5. Additional use of the new search engine

8.8 Major Policy agreement

      1. The practical use of the new system

8.10 Longevity of the STATUS system
Chapter Nine The Kent County Constabulary and Humberside

Police Joint Project 289

      1. Introduction 4 July 1979

      2. The development of an Operational Requirement

      3. Performance requirement from the new system

      4. Lack of progress note dated 2 February 1981

from the Home Office

      1. Police reaction to the criticism

      2. The Operational Requirement is issued to the computer


      1. The selection of a short list

      2. The problem of free text searching

      3. The problem of addresses in searching for criminals

      4. The imposition of a Kent solution to the addresses problem

      5. Background to the Kent decision

      6. Background to the theory of addresses from Chicago

9.3.1 Joint Project slow progress

9.3.2 The Home Office solution to Project management

9.3.3 Police staffing

9.3.4 A new Project Director 25 May 1982

9.3.5 Changes to the Operational Requirement

9.3.6 Support from CCTA

      1. Detailed Operational Requirement issued to 2

computer suppliers

      1. Invitation to Tender issued October 1982

      2. The contract is awared to Software Sciences/

Burroughs May 1983

      1. Other forces implementing crime recording systems


      1. Project progress

9.4 Computer Training for police staff

      1. Implementation Plans 28 February 1983

      2. Testing of the system May 1985

      3. Another new Home Office Project Director 23 May 1985

      4. Yet another new Home Office Project Director July 1985

      5. Progress meetings 1986 – lack of a credible system

      6. Meeting with contractors 24 June 1986

      7. ‘This unfortunate Project’ by the Under Secretary of

State 31 July1986

      1. Brief Analysis of the case studies

Chapter Ten Conclusion and verification of the thesis 318

    1. Introduction

    2. Objective One

    3. Objective Two

    4. Objective Three

    5. Objective Four

    6. Conclusion

    7. Future Research Projects arising from this study

      1. Universal Crime data Collection

      2. Research Methodology in HOLMES Computing

      3. Use of new Crime reporting technology

10.8 Recommendations for the future

Bibliography 334


Appendix One List of questions set to police forces 1978 and 1990

Appendix Two Forces contemplating computer projects 1978

Appendix Three Forces not contemplating computer projects 1978

Appendix Four Forces visited by Lothian and Borders Police 1978/1979

Appendix Five Other agencies investigating crime

Appendix Six Crimes recorded by crime type 1971-2003

Appendix Seven All recorded offences 1930-2003

Appendix Eight List of Crimes and Offences in Scotland 2007

List of Legislation

Police (Scotland) Act 1964

Local Government (Scotland) Act 1974

Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975

Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976

Local Government (Scotland) Act 1995

Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

Police (Scotland) Act 1996

Police Act 1996

Criminal Law Act 1997

The Scotland Act 1998

Human Rights Act 1998

The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000;

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Money Laundering Regulations 2003

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

See also Appendix Five
List of Cases

Case 80/86 Public Prosecutor v Kolpinghuis Nijmegen.

Regina v. The Chief Constable of Sussex ex parte International

Trader’s Ferry Limited (1998) 3 WLR 1260; (1999) 1 All ER 186,HL.

Smith V HMA 1952 JC 66

Khaliq v HMA 1984 JC 23


In any work of this kind, which stretches over a number of years of part time study and covers a variety of academic disciplines, there are inevitably many people who have influenced my thinking. My formative crime research years were helped enormously by my police colleagues, in Edinburgh and later in the Home Office, London. My computer skills were honed with help from practitioners – my original pure science degree from Edinburgh University in the mid 1960s, and Norman Nunn Price, the co author of STATUS (the first effective free text computer programme) and from academics especially Professor John Kerridge, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh. I am grateful for the assistance of David Gwillam, sometime of Edinburgh Napier University and St Andrew’s University, Scotland and Professor Alison McCleery, Napier University pointed toward different interpretations of geographical information. My sincere thanks are due to both Duncan Spiers, MA(Oxon).,Advocate., Lecturer in Law, and Dr Lois Farquharson, BA, MSc, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management, both of Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh who took my efforts to task and guided my thinking in relation to law and project management. Dr Christopher Timpson, Fellow, Brasenose College, Oxford deserves a particular mention for his time spent discussing philosophy with me.

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