MPS reaches for the cloud with video storage

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is to use a cloud-based service to store and review millions of hours of footage filmed on officers’ body-worn video cameras.

Dec 14, 2016
By Paul Jacques

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is to use a cloud-based service to store and review millions of hours of footage filmed on officers’ body-worn video cameras.

In October, the MPS began what is believed to be the largest rollout of BWV cameras by police anywhere in the world, with devices being issued to more than 22,000 frontline officers.

Now video footage will be uploaded to Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, where officers can study it and flag it for use as evidence at court or other proceedings.

Over the coming months, BWV cameras are being issued to all 32 boroughs and a number of frontline specialist roles, including overt firearms officers.

The cameras have already shown that they can help bring about speedier justice for victims.

This has proved particularly successful in domestic abuse cases, where there has been an increase in earlier guilty pleas from offenders who know their actions have been recorded.

A pilot scheme saw a 93 per cent reduction in the number of complaints made against police who were wearing the cameras, which have been developed by Microsoft partner Axon.

“With the rollout of BWV, the MPS is now a world leader in the use of technology as part of our daily commitment to not only help us fight crime, but to help the Met become more accountable,” said Superintendent Adrian Hutchinson.

“The technology will also show our officers at their best, dealing with difficult and dangerous situations every day.”

Officers can use BWV to record their entire shift, and the footage will be automatically uploaded to Azure when the device is docked at a police station.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the technology was a “huge step forward in bringing our capital’s police force into the 21st century and encouraging trust and confidence in community policing”.

MPS Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says their experience of using BWV shows that people are more likely to plead guilty when they know the incidents have been captured on a camera, adding: “That then speeds up justice, puts offenders behind bars more quickly and, most importantly, protects potential victims.”

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