Greater Manchester Police has issued a statement tonight admitting its troubled IT system iOPS is being affected by an 'intermittent problem'.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said the issue has arisen following a 'pre-planned upgrade'.

He said the problem has resulted in 'reduced functionality but has not prevented access to iOPS or critical information.'

Describing the current situation for police officers tonight, several sources told the Manchester Evening News that iOPS was 'completely down' and that they are 'back to working on paper'.

It is understood the issue relates to an upgrade to the 'Police Works' element of the IT system.

One said: "Everybody below inspector level - that's around 90 per cent of the work force - relies on this system to know what's going on, and they can't see anything."

However, ACC Bailey said the problem has 'not prevented access to iOPS or critical information' or impacted the ability to respond to emergency calls.

Greater Manchester Police switched to the £29m Integrated Police Operating System (iOPS) six months ago in a move intended to transform technology within the force.

Police said the problem has not affected their ability to respond to emergency calls

But it has been beset by problems from the start, with frontline officers complaining of issues including lost information, continual crashes, safeguarding concerns, lack of training and the length of time taken to enter data.

At the time GMP insisted the issues were down to the scale of the IT change it was undertaking and were to be expected.

However, scrutiny of the rollout continues after the force was unable to tell the government exactly what crime occurred in Greater Manchester in the second half of last year due to problems with iOPS.

The Office for National Statistics released its crime data for the latest quarter available, July to September, but Greater Manchester's numbers were missing.

A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies, Fire and Rescue Services about iOPS, compiled following a targeted visit in November, is due to be published imminently.

Tonight, Greater Manchester Police issued a public statement on the latest problems with iOPS pro-actively.

Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Nick Bailey said: "Greater Manchester Police is currently working with suppliers to resolve an intermittent problem which is affecting our computer system - iOPS.

“The issue arose following a pre-planned upgrade and has resulted in reduced functionality but has not prevented access to iOPS or critical information.

Greater Manchester Police have issued a statement tonight

“This has not impacted the recording of calls from the public or our response to those calls.

“As for all systems, GMP has tried and tested plans in place to minimise disruptions of this kind – including a team of super-users and contingencies which are being successfully executed force wide.

“GMP’s priority has always been protecting Greater Manchester and, most importantly, that remains unchanged and unaffected by the ongoing problem.

“Our suppliers will work tirelessly until full functionality is restored. We will be providing regular updates to partner agencies to maintain collaborative working.”