Met Police unveils £200m ‘Total Technology' strategy

By Sooraj Shah
10 Feb 2014 View Comments
A Met police car

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), which has been criticised in the past for poorly managing its ICT, has unveiled a new Total Technology strategy, aimed at transforming crime fighting in London.

The strategy, which runs until 2017, will incorporate a £200m investment over three years, and MPS claims that it will enable ongoing IT costs to be cut by 30 per cent.

Further reading

The Met Police has been heavily criticised over the past year about its use of IT, with reports suggesting that crime in London is higher than it should be because Met Police IT technology systems are out of date and ineffective.

Officers were said to be using desktop PCs that take more than half an hour to boot, while an expert panel suggested that 30,000 new mobile devices that were to be distributed could end up as "costly paperweights".

But MPS has suggested that the new strategy will help it to cut crime, increase confidence and reduce costs.

It says it will replace dozens of IT systems with fewer core systems that will "support the criminal justice process from incident through to court". It hopes that a reduction in paperwork and better access to information and integration will allow for better policing decisions and more criminals being convicted.

A new mobility project, involving 15,000 front-line police officers receiving tablets, is also included in the strategy. MPS estimates that this will deliver the equivalent of an "additional" 900 officers in time saved.

MPS said more agile contracts will allow it to change with the needs of policing and will cut £60m a year from the IT budget. It calls this "the end to spending 80 per cent of the IT budget on maintenance".

Richard Thwaite, CIO for MPS, said that the wholesale changes in the way the Met uses technology are "extremely challenging".

"But [the new technologies] present fantastic opportunities both to deliver more and save money," he said.

"Our new agile ways of working will allow for shorter delivery lead times, while more flexible contracts with a tougher governance approach will ensure the technology we buy is ‘roadworthy' and stays fit for purpose in the years ahead," he added.

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