This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

For the record: secure access is NOT expensive

Although any intelligent and police savvy reader would know this anyway, I have just had it confirmed (via a FoI inquiry) that all members of Thames Valley Police chief officer team have been issued with secure laptops / computers.

As their reply says "Thames Valley Police can confirm that all Chief Officers have remote and secure access to emails and other appropriate Thames Valley systems." 

The cost per person is about £20 a year for "secure access". (Plus £582 for the laptop itself.)

You may like to recall that the interview with the Oxford Mail published on 13/5/13 said:
Yesterday he [PCC Anthony Stansfeld] said he needed to have the base at Hungerford to access the force’s computer system and store secure documents and that it would be “very expensive” to set up a secure computer at his home.
Later that week, Mr Stansfeld did not use that same reason (in bold above) as part of his explanation for why he needed the second base in Hungerford. Instead he said that he needed a place to download and print off confidential items. (His oral statement to the Police & Crime Panel on Friday 17 May is now online - I recommend that you read it.) Here is a quote from it:

Now, cross check this with the statement I received from his Office in response to another FoI inquiry shown below:
The PCC attends meetings at which confidential material is considered at various locations (e.g. Kidlington, London, etc).  Accordingly, he must take confidential material between and outside both of his offices (i.e. Kidlington and Hungerford) to discharge his functions effectively.
I have added the bold emphasis. As Mr Stansfeld is taking confidential material outside the perimeter of Hungerford police station (as I thought he would be, of course...) then it makes no difference where he prints off said material. He could almost go into his local branch of Tescos and print off the documents there. 

Now, of course, I do not know what advice Mr Stansfeld has been given in the past about how to handle confidential material. (Mr Stansfeld has cited his past experience in the Aerospace industry and was a police authority member for several years. His understanding of such matters should therefore, I imagine, be quite sophisticated.)

But the facts of the matter are now this: secure access is not expensive and printing documents off at home (carefully, of course, so as to avoid stray councillors, pets or children running off with such material..) is as secure (if not more so) than printing them off in a police station.

So with these two reasons out of the way... why is Mr Stansfeld still holding onto his base in Hungerford police station? Perhaps the independent auditor will be able to find out why...

No comments:

Post a Comment