Crime-spotting software specialist set to expand

A supplier of police investigation and anti-fraud software is increasing staff numbers as it steps up its export efforts.

Altia Solutions is also rebranding a few months after completing the acquisition of ABM Intelligence, which specialises in secure software for highly sensitive matters such as confidential informants, undercover personnel and witness protection.

Ian Watson, chief executive of the combined Altia-ABM Group, said that there was a huge opportunity to cross-sell both product lines in overseas territories. Every police force in the UK uses Altia software, with about 70 per cent thought to have an ABM product.

Mr Watson said: “UK police forces and intelligence are seen as the gold standard. Having the City of London and major metropolitan forces gives us a great reputation. If we are trusted in the UK, then it means people abroad trust us.”

Staff numbers are expected to grow by about 20 per cent to 50 in the next few months, with recruitment of extra software developers as well as sales and support staff. That will underpin plans to increase sales of both products lines into more overseas territories.

Commonwealth countries are part of the focus as the legal framework is often very similar to the UK. Mr Watson said that there had been one significant tender win in Canada recently and there were other bids for work there. A number of contracts are also being pitched for in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa and the Americas. The company is also looking into the possibility of setting up offices in Canada and Australia.

Mr Watson said: “ABM was very UK-centric, as it was based around UK legislation. Since we took over ABM and gave them resources we have been winning tenders all over the world.”

Mr Watson said that the combined business would have a turnover of about £5 million this year.

The Glasgow-based Altia makes software that transforms disparate bank statements into an identical format, making it easier for investigators to spot money laundering. It also has statistical programmes that can manipulate the data to give indications on the probability of a crime having been committed.