£100m networking deal to transform MPS effectiveness

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has agreed a £100 million networking and IT contract that will support faster responses to emergency 999 calls and enable the speedier deployment of officers.

Apr 20, 2017
By Paul Jacques

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has agreed a £100 million networking and IT contract that will support faster responses to emergency 999 calls and enable the speedier deployment of officers.

The deal with BT covers high-speed fixed and wireless networks as well as cloud and IT services under the MPS’ technology transformation programme.

BT says its “networking and IT expertise” will help the MPS boost its effectiveness in fighting crime across the capital by enabling frontline police officers to work more quickly and efficiently.

As part of the deal, a new high-speed wide area network will be built connecting around 500 of the force’s sites across the capital, as well as upgrading local area networks.

“We will support the world’s largest rollout of body-worn video cameras by deploying extra capacity to support the upload of data from the 22,000 devices, and will also be implementing a corporate wi-fi solution across the MPS estate, supporting the mobilisation of frontline officers and over 20,000 civilian staff in 170-plus offices – allowing them to work more flexibly,” said BT.

BT, which is a “longstanding” provider of networking for the force, says it will also “transform” the way that 999 emergency and 101 non-emergency calls are routed and answered in the MPS call centres.

This upgrade programme is designed to make call handling more efficient, with the aim of delivering faster response times to members of the public.

“We will also overhaul some of the force’s back-office IT systems, including its WorkForce Management system, which it relies upon for staff scheduling and rostering. These changes will enable the force to better manage its staff and deploy officers where and when they are needed most,” said BT.

Furthermore, it will deploy the latest cloud-based technology, which will allow the force to scale up and down its consumption of services depending on its changing requirements, helping to reduce its costs.

This includes the management of a secure cloud-based voice system, which will support around 20,000 IP (internet protocol)-enabled phones across all 500 sites.

The new cloud-based model will be key to the day-to-day running of the force, which relies on a “robust and reliable network” capable of transmitting voice and data with the appropriate levels of security.

Colm O’Neill, managing director of BT Business and Public Sector, explained: “We’ve built a longstanding relationship with the MPS and are working with them to help them find better, smarter and more productive ways of working.

“Our systems will greatly enhance the way the force organises itself and responds to crimes across the capital, while reducing its IT and infrastructure costs. Moving to a cloud-based infrastructure, for example, will allow the Met to get even more services for less money, helping it to invest in future policing priorities.”

The MPS’ technology transformation programme sees the force overhauling its use of IT while transforming the way it works. It also supports its ‘One Met Model’, which will underpin the future structure of the MPS to help it become more efficient and deliver an improved service to London.

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