The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has picked Northgate Public Services (NPS) to provide the technology for its Met Integrated Policing Solution (MiPS) project, which it says, will “significantly transform the way officers prevent crime and support victims.”
The MiPS contract is intended to deliver “a single integrated, unified, operational policing system that managed information end-to-end business policing processes in relation to investigation, detention (custody), intelligence and case management”.
The deal with Northgate is for an initial five year term, plus optional extensions for up to a further five years. The ten year price for CONNECT, its implementation, and technical support throughout is £44million. Northgate is understood to have edged Capita and Niche to the deal.
The contract will see the Metropolitan Police using NPS’ CONNECT technology to improve how information is shared and managed, giving officers instant access to key information on investigations, suspects and victims anytime and on any device.
“Putting real time intelligence into the hands of officers dealing with incidents, will provide valuable support when they most need it and support effective deployment of resources,” the MPS and Northgate said.
Explaining the reasons behind the procurement, back in April 2016, the MPS said it has seven core IT systems for recording police-related information.
They include the Crime Record Information Systems (CRIS); the Criminal Intelligence system CrimInt; Merlin, a database run by the Metropolitan Police that stores information on children who have become known to the police for any reason; Airspace, which supports the case management of anti-social behaviour; NSPIS, which is used within the MPS to log a detainee’s time in police custody; the Case Overview and Prosecutions Application (COPA); and the Emerald Warrant Management System (EWMS)
The Met said then, “They range from how we manage intelligence and investigations through to arresting someone and prosecuting them. However these core systems are not integrated, resulting in officers having to re-key information to ensure that all systems are updated. This also means we have to search the databases individually, which is time consuming and keeps officers and staff away from other duties.
“In addition the data within the seven systems contains a lot of useful intelligence but because this information is not linked, it’s difficult to search and get a comprehensive picture of a person, vehicle, location or anything else that could be useful in the prevention or detection of a crime.”
“It will mean we can create just one record for every victim, witness, suspect or offender we encounter. Each record will contain all MPS intelligence and known incidents involving that person and can be used again and again throughout the criminal justice process,” the MPS said.
“The benefits to having one system will mean our intelligence will be better and more up-to-date, enabling our investigations to be more thorough and improving officer safety. There will be savings to be made as maintenance costs will pertain only to one system as opposed to seven.”
The Metropolitan Police said at the time that it was its intention to buy a product that has been tested and used by other police forces so, it said, “we will not be building from scratch. Once implemented, our existing systems will be decommissioned.”
CONNECT will hold all the MPS information that drives policing activity across London and will cover intelligence, investigations, custody and prosecution.
Ian Blackhurst, executive director safety and health at Northgate Public Services said, “The Met is focused on modernising its services and making the streets of London safer. Integrating our CONNECT technology will enable officers to instantly prioritise resource by using accurate information on cases and evidence giving them the confidence to make informed decisions on the frontline.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Duncan Ball, leading the project for the MPS, said, “I am very pleased a contract has been signed with Northgate Public Services to deliver an integrated IT system for the Met. The technology will transform and improve the way information is shared and managed and greatly support investigations and our work in keeping the public safe and bringing offenders to justice.”
The original, anticipated ‘go-live’ for the system at the time of procurement, was expected to be Spring of this year, with full rollout across the MPS by mid-2019.
It is understood that the first module of CONNECT will be delivered across the Met in Spring 2019 and conclude at the end of 2020. It is also understood there will be four modules in total – custody, prosecution, intelligence and investigation – delivered six months apart, to allow for training and for officers to get ready to use the new technology.