London’s Metropolitan Police is increasing the use of cloud technologies to improve collaboration between the citizens it protects and the agencies it works with to ensure justice. CIO for the Metropolitan Police Angus McCallum (left), speaking at the Box World Tour event in London explained how cloud services would lead to a “digital police” service.
McCallum joined the Metropolitan Police in January 2016 following a protracted search for a new CIO at the UK’s largest police force following the departure of Richard Thwaite. Like Thwaite, McCallum joined the Met following a long career in business, he was Global CIO of energy company BG Group before joining the police, a business he had been with since 1999.
McCallum and his IT organisation provide IT to 50,000 employees. “Inequality is growing, one-third of children in London live below the poverty line and the murder rate is rising,” the CIO said, adding that the suicide rate is also on the increase and this places an increased burden on the force.
Since joining the Met McCallum has been increasing the use of collaboration and cloud tools to improve the speed and service the police delivers to the national capital. The CIO said enabling the public to upload images of crime scenes “gives us that speed”. The force is using the Box technology platform to store and share evidence such as CCTV footage and 999 call recordings with the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS), giving the agencies the Met has to work with links to evidence rather than physical assets. This has led to a reduction in journeys and duplication.
“We are looking at Office 365 and we are going to see a huge move to the cloud,” McCallum said of the modernisation he is leading at Scotland Yard. “The key thing for me was to move away from a capital model,” he said of the benefit of moving policing to the cloud. A full roll out of Box begins at the Met on June 4. The CIO said adoption of cloud technologies by other government bodies has helped the CIO and the Met with adoption.
The adoption of Box was not an easy case for McCallum to solve, the CIO admitted that the force needed a number of pilots over an eight to nine month period, but the CIO has a “licence to disrupt”.
“You have to go at speed, but set the expectations so there is not white noise. There is no model of adoption some times the old guys like it and the young don’t,” the Met CIO said.