Home Office seeks to update Holmes 2 crime system

Holmes 2 to be replaced with Holmes 3

The Home Office Large Major Enquiry System, used by every UK police force to support major crime investigations, is the subject of an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice in which the Home Office is looking for a “replacement solution (“Holmes 3”) to be delivered to the UK Police Service.”

According to the notice, the new provider will be required to provide support and maintenance services for the current Holmes 2 system while it develops a new solution, presenting “a good opportunity to seek innovation from the market to achieve value for money and rationalise business processes by moving to a nationally available model for service delivery, consistent with the Government ICT Strategy.

In 1986, UK police forces started to employ the original Holmes system in all major incidents including serial murders, multi-million pound fraud cases and major disasters. In 1996, Unisys was awarded the contract for Holmes 2, which was fully accredited and formally handed over by the Police IT Organisation to UK police forces in 2001.

Whilst Holmes was an effective administrative support system for investigating crimes, the progress of technology revealed some major weaknesses, particularly in the areas of investigation support and linking separate incidents. Police forces said they need a solution that assisted them in exchanging information and making better use of their information.

It is possible that “Holmes 3” may become the responsibility of the new police ICT company, dubbed ‘Newco’.


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