Met Police awards £90m command and control integration contract

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has appointed Lockheed Martin as systems integrator of its new command and control system

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has appointed Lockheed Martin as systems integrator of its new command and control system.

Under a £90m contract, Lockheed Martin will lead the project, overseeing suppliers Capita and KPMG, which will implement the integration of new technologies into the system.

This will be the first major refresh of the Met's command and control system for 30 years. The new system is due to go live in October 2015.

Richard Thwaite, interim director of digital policing, said: "The changes we are making in the way the MPS uses technology are extremely challenging, but they present fantastic opportunities to deliver more for our officers and the people of London.”

MPS wants Londoners to be able to interact with the force across multiple channels, including phone, text, online and social media, 24 hours a day.

The first steps towards the updated system were made last year, when technology company Northrop Grumman was chosen to provide the core application.

The CommandPoint application is a key component of the system and will improve operational efficiency within the Met, which handles 12,000 emergency and 15,000 non-emergency calls a day.

Earlier this year, the MPS released its ‘Total Technology’ IT strategy, of which the command and control system is part. The three to four-year plan is focused on how to transform the force's use of technology by addressing an agile way of working with IT.

The Met's IT strategy stated: “The revolution in consumer technologies and the move towards open government are driving police services to deliver to the citizen in new and innovative ways.”

The public now expect more flexible ways to interact with the Met. Each year, more than five million 999 and 101 calls are made and 700,000 crimes reported to the MPS, and the report said officers need new technologies to support call handling, investigations, intelligence services and offender management.

At the time of the strategy's release, Thwaite, then CIO, told Computer Weekly the Met was facing difficulties with IT because of budget restrictions and outdated equipment.

He said the main challenge in delivering the strategy was getting the organisation to think through the implications of the technology.

“Fundamentally, the tech is pretty old,” Thwaite said. “It’s had a long life and we were at the stage where it needed a lot doing in terms of applications and infrastructure – it needed a complete refresh.”

Another major technology challenge is the myriad databases used by the Met. Thwaite said that in a domestic violence case, for example, the victim’s name would have to be input into 12 different systems, while the offender's name would be entered 10 times.

“Can you imagine all the opportunities for mistakes?” he said. “We are replacing myriad databases with a single database to deliver all information in a transparent way.”

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