by Charlotte Jee

Police ICT Company appoints TalkTalk CIO as chief executive

Jun 24, 2015

The Police ICT Company (PICT) has appointed former TalkTalk Chief Information Officer Martin Wyke as its first ever chief executive, to lead efforts to cut total police ICT spending nationally by at least 10%.

The company started operating in March. It was launched by Home Secretary Theresa May in July 2012 with a remit to tackle the “tremendous waste” within the £1 billion spent by the 43 police forces on technology every year.

The company has estimated it could save at least £150 million per year and improve policing by encouraging collaboration, integration between systems and helping forces to drive better deals with suppliers.

Wyke joined the Police ICT Company last week after a two-month recruitment process. He has three decades of experience in IT, including CIO roles at Virgin Media, Littlewoods and Debenhams.

In his most recent role, at TalkTalk, he was responsible for all IT, technology projects and customer-facing platforms.

PICT is chaired by Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston, who said Wyke’s knowledge of the commercial sector, experience and skills in technology “ideally place him to lead the company’s growth”.

The company said it is working to appoint an “expert senior management team” to support Wyke. In April, Nick Alston said: “We’re targeting staff of about eight, some of them on secondment from police IT departments.”

However, he added that there are more than 4,000 working in police IT departments up and down the country.

PICT is also yet to confirm how it is being funded. In April Alston said it was waiting to hear if a bid for a £1.2 million grant from the Police Innovation Fund had been successful, having so far relied on a grant of just £183,600 from the fund awarded in January 2014.

The company is currently preparing to take over responsibility for running a number of national IT solutions from the Home Office, it said.