Innovation and changeCloud ComputingLondon’s police fight crime with the Cloud

London’s police fight crime with the Cloud

Police officers across London have stepped up the fight against crime by using Microsoft’s Azure cloud service to store and review millions of hours of footage filmed on officers’ body cameras

Police officers across London have stepped up the fight against crime by using Microsoft’s Azure cloud service to store and review millions of hours of footage filmed on officers’ body cameras.

Around 22,000 police men and women from 32 boroughs in the capital have been given wearable video cameras so they can automatically record criminal acts, helping with prosecutions.

Microsoft has now revealed that the footage will be uploaded to its Azure cloud service, where officers can study it and use it in court against those accused of wrongdoing.

The technology can also be used to protect the officers themselves. A pilot scheme saw a 93% reduction in the number of complaints made against police who were wearing the cameras, which are known as Body-Worn Video (BWV) and have been developed by Microsoft partner Axon.

“With the rollout of BWV, the Metropolitan Police Service is now a world leader in the use of technology as part of our daily commitment to not only help us fight crime but to help the Met become more accountable,” Superintendent Adrian Hutchinson, from the Metropolitan Police Service, said. The technology will also show our officers at their best, dealing with difficult and dangerous situations every day.”

Last month, all neighbourhood and response officers in the capital were given BWV, which are roughly the size of a cigarette packet and attach to the shoulder area of a vest. Costing nearly £10m, the move made the Met the biggest user of the technology of any police force in the world.

The Met has said that the cameras help to resolve cases quicker, and have been particularly successful in domestic abuse incidents. The force added there had been a rise in guilty pleas from offenders who know their actions have been recorded.

Officers can use BWV to record their entire shift, and the footage will be automatically uploaded to Azure when the device is docked at a police station.

The evidence will be stored in the cloud within the UK after Microsoft opened multiple data centres in the region in September.

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