Met Police embrace digital transformation to ensure data security

Working in law enforcement usually involves interacting with the public, stopping crimes, and keeping people safe

During a typical day, however, many officers spend a significant amount of time filling out paperwork, sifting through data, and finding out how to access information. While the fundamentals of police work haven’t changed much over the years, technology has evolved, and police departments in the UK and elsewhere are looking to leverage the advantages new technology provides.

In particular, police forces are looking toward the cloud, which combines easy access with simplified data management and security. Police forces need to ensure data is easy to access and is reliably available. Furthermore, having the right suppliers is essential, as faulty hardware can lead to leaked data and unacceptable performance.

Transforming the Met

The Metropolitan Police Service of London is the largest police force in the UK. They work throughout the Greater London area, meaning the force cover 8.6 million residence. As part of the drive toward Digital Policing, the Met is now using services provided by the Redwood City, California-based Box, which provides a platform for cloud content management and file sharing. With official clients for all major computer and mobile platforms, Box will be fairly easy to integrate with existing resources. In total, the Met will reserve 50,000 seats for the new platform, which provides some overhead for future growth.

Tom Addis, Senior Vice President, General Manager Global Field Operations believes The Met are  “leading the way for fellow public services with its digital policing strategy, and Box is at the heart of that transformation.”

As the largest police force in the UK, it is of paramount importance for the Met and their officers to share, access and collaborate on files securely and efficiently. We’re very excited to help power the Met’s incredible work protecting the city and people of London.

Police work requires certain tools not necessary is other areas. The Met will use Box to provide centralized storage for CCTV footage, letting authorized personnel access video regardless of their location. This new paradigm will cut back on time spent traveling to gather physical copies of video, and it can even improve security, as there will be no need to worry about lost USB drive or DVDs.

“By choosing Box, we’re transforming how we access content across the force” says Met CIO Angus McCallum. He sees the partnership as a way for the force to become “more effective and efficient, which is absolutely critical when working on the frontline of law enforcement.”

The availability of centralized, cloud content management will present ample opportunities for improving overall efficiency. Providing a more unified interface will make it easier to train new police officers and allow them to analyze data while away from the office. Furthermore, the Met can benefit by offloading expensive IT tasks to Box, including backup management and operating system maintenance. Box’s clients include IBM, General Electric, and other large corporations, and their history of security is strong. Being able to trust that data stored in Box’s cloud is safe can help alleviate concerns about data security and protect information from unauthorized access.

People rarely think about technology when thinking about police work, but much of modern law enforcement is about utilizing technology to provide better public safety and protect residents. The move the cloud content management aims to create a streamlined approach to accessing and managing data, and the Met is following in the footsteps of companies and government entities that have benefited from the transition.