This text is about some of the ways in which the police have made use of information technology (IT). The interest is in why some information systems "succeed" in contributing to performance and gaining the acceptance of users, while other systems "fail" to do so. Technology has to fit to the context of its use and it is necessary to understand the "social" character of technical innovation. The context of policing is complex and can be analyzed at several different, thought intersecting levels - the external environment; the organization as a whole; departments, sections or interests within the organizations; and particular work groups and networks. When the police embark on major changes - including technical changes - they are caught up in a web of contradictions and conflicts in both their internal and external relations. IT has its uses but does not provide an "instant fix" for policing problems.