LONDON'S Metropolitan Police Service plans (MPS) to increase its investment in information technology over the next three years and put more cameras on more coppers.
A statement on the Met's website introduces the Total Technology Strategy 2014 and its three year £200m budget.
That money will go towards digital policing and will be used to improve crime detection and prevention and cut costs. "We are going to use technology to stop crime, arrest offenders or help victims. We need to keep police officers out of police stations and reduce bureaucracy," said Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. "Digital policing will help us to do this."
Cash will go for things like on-copper cameras, tablet computers to help police spend more time out of the station, new and better money-saving computer systems, and what sounds like a 999 text message service. This last change is tipped to shave one million calls off the five million total that the emergency services number recieves every year.
1,000 body cameras are mentioned that will go into service across the borough to assist evidence collection and be used in training firearms officers.
"By taking tough decisions on the budget and the Met Police estate, we are freeing up savings to reinvest in frontline policing and technology, so we can get more officers out on the beat and keep them mobile," said deputy mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh in a statement.
"The public expect the police to have accurate information on the go, and cops deserve the best kit to help them cut crime and serve the public. This strategy heralds a once in a generation opportunity to modernise the Met and ensure it is fully equipped for the demands of twenty-first century policing."
A trial of the technology will start in Hammersmith and Fulham this spring and then, if it all works, the kit will be rolled out further.
"Such wholesale changes in the way we use technology are extremely challenging but they present fantastic opportunities both to deliver more and save money," said Met chief information officer Richard Thwaite.
"Our new agile ways of working will allow for shorter delivery lead times, whilst 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." µ