Headlines: January 12th, 1999

The Home Secretary has warned the police that it is vital their computer and communication systems operate through New Year’s Eve 1999.A failure of systems could severely hamper police ability to cope with incidents arising out of celebrations taking place over the Millennium.

Writing in this week’s issue of Police News magazine Mr Straw said: “All the problems policing a typical New Year’s Eve are likely to be multiplied several times.

“As well as this, the Millennium Bug is likely to affect some computers, telecommunications systems, and other electronic equipment.

“I know the service has been working hard to ensure that they do. But computer projects are notorious for taking longer than planned, and forces must complete this vital work in good time. Chief Officers should also be speaking to their colleagues in the fire and ambulance services and to local emergency planners about liaison and co-ordination.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers have set up a committee to ensure all police systems are compliant with the Millennium Bug and to oversee preparations for policing the celebrations.