Innovation and changeDigital TransformationMet Police bids to transform its digital capabilities

Met Police bids to transform its digital capabilities

The Met Police have enlisted the support of tech giant Microsoft in a bid to transform the force’s digital capabilities and reduce crime in London

Microsoft 365 will be rolled out to all Metropolitan Police Service employees as it aims to reduce crime in London while reducing costs.

Microsoft is supporting the Met Police’s drive to become a data-driven organisation, accelerating the police service’s digital transformation, creating a modern working environment across the force and enabling a digitally-supported approach to policing.

Angus McCallum, Chief Information Officer, Met Police said: “Technology gives us the most incredible opportunity to identify more offenders, intervene before crimes are committed, locate fugitives or missing persons, as well as proving associations and motivations. But importantly, technology gives our evidence greater integrity and gives us greater legitimacy.

“Our work with Microsoft will enable us to seize the opportunities enabled by digital technology to achieve the best outcomes in the pursuit of justice and the support of victims.”

New digital investigation processes

Microsoft is also working with the Met to develop innovative new digital investigation processes using Azure cloud storage capabilities, automation, scalable compute and advanced data techniques. As a result, officers will be able to speed up the investigation process, while giving senior management clearer oversight of investigation costs.

Microsoft said its E5 security platform and Advanced Threat Protection will protect all sensitive information and is able to detect potential cyber threats.

Cindy Rose, Chief Executive of Microsoft UK said: “Data is at its most valuable when it is harnessed to tackle the most important societal issues facing citizens. 

“The combination of Microsoft 365, Azure, digital forensics and analytics will put London’s police officers on the front foot when it comes to what matters most to citizens – reducing levels of crime and keeping everyone in London safer.”

Improved collaboration and communications

The move will enable the Met Police officers and staff to spend more time with communities, less time on manual tasks and be better equipped with the information they need to protect the most vulnerable members of society.

Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s communications platform which allows chat and file storage, is also included in the deal to improve collaboration and communications across the workforce.

The Met will use Microsoft Azure to host and deliver critical applications to help support the Mayor’s commitment to keeping Londoners safe, and respond to threats in the capital. More than 45,000 users have also been migrated to Office 365.

According to the Office for National Statistics, total recorded crime in London was up 3% in 2018 compared with the previous year, with the total number of crimes recorded by police forces across England and Wales at 5.8 million, 7% more than in 2017.

The Met’s own statistics for the financial year ending in March suggested a 25% drop in homicides to 122 from 163 in the previous period, as well as a decrease in stabbings.

Driving data into the DNA of policing

Earlier in March, UK Police Forces got analytical tools for solving crime after Analyser and Investigator solutions from Chorus Intelligence were made accessible to police forces via Microsoft’s cloud platform.

Contrary to popular opinion, putting more police officers on the streets will not reduce crime. However, building data into the DNA of policing will help a leaner police solve more crime.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has consistently said that more officers are needed to reduce the rate of this crime. But if you consider that a lot of drivers for knife crime find basis in criminal gangs or county lines operations, and that these are rarely random attacks by law abiding citizens, you might consider that putting officers on every street corner in London won’t actually provide any means to tackle this. In actual fact, putting more officers on the streets can increase tensions.

Instead, if you can link criminal activity to gangs through data then you have a sense of how to find out how members are involved, where they live, where they go to school. You can’t do that by putting police officers on the street. We need a data driven approach.

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