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Motorola Solutions is to offer a cloud-based digital evidence management service (DEMS) to UK police forces after a successful roll-out of the technology in the US, combining new software capabilities with body-mounted mobile video recording devices, hosted in Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) new UK region.
According to the supplier – which also owns Airwave, the current operator of the UK’s emergency services radio communications network – CommandCentral Vault will provide a complete DEMS offering for public safety organisations, streamlining the evidence management process by automating the process of uploading, editing and tagging video content and supporting the automatic correlation of metadata, saving time and resources.
Critically, Motorola claimed, the service may also help make UK police officers more accountable to the general public. Its statistics suggest that where used, body-worn cameras have already reduced assault-on-police incidents by 36% in one year, and an 88% reduction in the number of complaints made against serving officers.
However, in light of recent incidents in the US in which the existence and management of body-mounted camera footage has been a critical factor in a number of racist incidents, Tom Guthrie, Motorola vice-president of smart public safety solutions, made much of a number of features of Motorola’s mobility equipment (notably its Si500 video camera, which is essentially an Android mobile device) as a means to overcome such fears.
“When the video files are completed they are encrypted and digitally signed so that we can show they have not been tampered with,” he told Computer Weekly. “And the devices are always on, they are constantly capturing and buffering, so you can play back to see what was happening immediately before an incident.”
Once the video evidence is captured, CommandCentral Vault is designed to preserve and enhance the so-called chain-of-custody process as the evidence moves and is securely shared around the judicial system. It includes a number of features that will enable custodians to have greater control over some aspects of the data.
Read more about police IT
- Use of technology in the country’s police forces remains poor, according to chief inspector of constabulary Thomas Windsor, who is calling for a decision-making mechanism procuring, establishing and running police IT.
- The new Emergency Services Network could be delayed until September 2020, which could lead to the country being without the service for six months as a post-March 2020 extension of the current contract may not be possible.
This could include ensuring only case-relevant content is selected, blurring sensitive content – such as car registration numbers or faces that may not have been involved in an incident – or giving members of the public appropriate access to footage if making a freedom of information request.
Motorola said the launch of a cloud-based DEMS system could go some way to alleviating cost pressures at cash-strapped police forces, and freeing up IT managers to address the immediate needs of the force, as opposed to managing vast amounts of video data, said Guthrie.
Max Peterson, EMEA head of public sector at AWS, said: “With CommandCentral Vault running in the new AWS UK region, Motorola Solutions is able to meet data localisation requirements and deliver digital evidence in a much more flexible and cost-effective way, helping public safety customers to succeed in their missions.
“AWS is committed to securely enabling innovation through our services, features, and broad ecosystem of AWS Partner Network partners, and we are delighted to work with Motorola Solutions to adopt the AWS cloud,” he added.