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London’s Metropolitan Police Service is to receive a digital forensics managed service from cohort company MASS in an £8m, seven-year deal.
The contract will see the Met work with MASS to give officers access to technology and research, enabling them to interpret electronic data related to criminal investigations.
The seven-year deal, which includes the option of a three-year extension, also allows other police forces and agencies to join the partnership should they wish to do so.
It is part of a strategic partnership model developed by the Met’s digital, cyber and communications unit over the past three years. The service will create managed digital forensic kiosks across the police force where officers can carry out examinations of seized devices.
Previously, digital forensics was carried out in-house, but was constrained by a centralised system in which devices were sent to a central laboratory.
This will change under the managed service, which comprises three levels. The first will give officers fast access to devices’ content, being able to respond more quickly, and the second level will see digital forensics teams provide the “full range of digital forensics activities”, such as processing more complex cases and up-skilling police staff.
The third level of the service will manage access to national databases, develop advanced techniques that cannot be outsourced, and oversee forensic submissions to external service providers.
The Met Police’s head of digital forensics, Mark Stokes, said this a ground-breaking contract that will ensure the Met “maintains a dynamic and operationally effective service over the next seven years in a rapidly changing and developing area of forensic science”.
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He added: “The partnership is also key in delivering the complex research and development requirements in this challenging and fast-moving area of digital forensics. It is only with a partnership such as this, that has the reach into the wide and varied capabilities of the private sector, can we maintain the required level of technical innovation.
“This is a very exciting time for digital forensics and we are looking forward to the partnership delivering real transformation in the delivery of digital forensics.”
As a managed service provider, MASS will also select suppliers to contribute to the service’s development going forward. ...................................................................................................................................