POLICE Scotland’s vital new IT system is facing a further setback due to the technology for the programme being withdrawn from the market place.

Training on the new system has been postponed while a replacement product is put in place, however the force has claimed it does not expect any delays in the overall roll out of the system.

The i6 project, which will see a single technical system operate across the country, has been described by Police Scotland as the "largest and most significant transformational change ever undertaken by the service", replacing 135 existing IT and paper-based systems and providing officers with a state-of-the art crime fighting tool.

However, it has faced a number of setbacks including a dispute between the force and the contractor, Accenture, resulting in a series of key targets being missed.

Earlier this year, the national roll out date was put back by nine months to September next year – three and a half years after the launch of the single force.

A post on Police Scotland’s intranet site under the heading “IT training postponed”, revealed that the technical product has been “unexpectedly withdrawn” by the supplier.

The statement says: “The withdrawal of the product, which is not specific to i6, is impacting on organisations worldwide.

"The technology evaluation exercise involving this ICT product supplier and Accenture is already underway to assess the most appropriate way to replace the technology."

The post adds: "Our current assessment is that we remain on track to begin roll out of i6 in December. We do not anticipate any overall delay in the delivery of the programme.”

The Scottish Conservatives warned that the further setback is "the last thing" the force needs.

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: "This new IT system has been beset by problems and setbacks, and this seems to be yet another thorn in its side.

"There have already been a number of budget implications, and taxpayers will be concerned at this latest problem."

The force has previously admitted that current systems, which were used by the previous eight forces that merged to create Police Scotland, are "complex, inefficient and not designed to fully support the needs of a modern national police force".

It has been claimed the replacement will free up officers to spend more time fighting crime, while they will be able to make enquiries more efficiently as they will not have to search multiple systems for information.

Chief Superintendent Hamish Macpherson, the programme manager for i6, said a replacement product for the withdrawn technology has already been identified and is being put in place at the force.

He said: “Training which had been scheduled to start for officers in the coming weeks has been postponed after the unexpected withdrawal from market of a product which helps to run i6.

"We do not expect any impact on the overall delivery of the programme, a like for like replacement product has been offered and the training will simply be rescheduled."