The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has explained the thinking behind its publication of a tender late last week for an integrated policing system.
The solution, which is valued at between £80m and £150m, will be for 10 years with the contract process being overseen by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).
In a statement to Government Computing, the MPS confirmed that it had begun a procurement process to install a fully integrated and mobile IT system that “puts all core Met databases into one application.”
The project, it confirmed, is being called the Met Integrated Policing Solution (MiPS).
Explaining the reasons behind the procurement, 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, “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.”
The Met’s statement said the single database will hold all MPS information that drives policing activity across London and will cover everything needed for intelligence, investigation, custody and prosecution.
“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 MPS said 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.”
The anticipated ‘go-live’ for the system will be spring 2018, with full rollout across the MPS by mid 2019.
The force’s statement concluded, “It is a lengthy process to make sure that we buy the right system and that it meets the needs of the Met. We are bound by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, therefore suppliers will have to express an interest via the EU Supply Bluelight Portal if they wish to bid for this tender. As we will be spending over £80m of public money on this we need to get it right.”