Headlines: August 11th, 2000

Police forces have now joined health services, councils and schools with a beacon scheme to set the pace of change and encourage the rest to innovate and modernise.An assessment panel which included representatives of the Association of Police Authorities and the Audit Commission considered projects from 31 forces which could enhance operational policing or improve service delivery to the public and achieve efficiency. The panel selected eleven police force projects to receive Beacon funding. Seven forces have been awarded Beacon status and the remaining four are likely to receive it shortly.

The Beacons now become learning zones where success can be put on display and from which managers can be seconded to other forces to spread good practice. They will receive up to 6000 pounds to disseminate details of their projects to encourage the spread of innovation and efficiency across the Service.

Five of the selected projects involve information systems for improving effectiveness and efficiency. The tasks involved include: performance management, missing persons procedures, drugs seizures, analysing forensic data and interactive public consultation. The other projects are concerned with supply alarms for vulnerable people and providing a nurse for the Custody Suites to deal with sick or injured prisoners and officers.