Essex Police has awarded outsourcer Northgate Information Solutions an IT services framework contract that is worth up to £400 million.

The contract covers the implementation of a crime, intelligence and defendant management system (custody and case preparation) for several local police authorities. It is a framework agreement open to all police authorities across the UK.

Forces initially expected to take advantage of the deal are Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, City of London Police and Kent Police. These are expected to generate around £32 million-worth of business for Northgate.

A contract award notice states that this figure could be pushed up to £400 million if others join in. "The implementation of this software will assist in improving performance and the level of service that forces are able to provide to the public," says the notice.

The forces signing up are expected to take up maintenance agreements with Northgate of around 10 years-plus.

In other police IT news, Tim Godwin, former deputy commissioner at London's Metropolitan Police, began work this month within public sector operations at IT services firm Accenture. Godwin will help drive Accenture's police consultancy business.