London police service begins to use Microsoft’s cloud platform after widespread issue of cameras to beat officers
The Metropolitan Police Service has followed up its recent issue of body worn video (BWV) cameras to officers with confirmation that it is storing the footage on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.
The force has begun to use the platform after the company opened a number of data centres in the UK, following concerns over data stored in the US following the breakdown of the Safe Harbor Agreement with the EU last year.
“The Met has selected Microsoft Azure as we believe their UK data residency and transparency around secure data management offers both the public and the police service reassurance that this technology is being used effectively to support the prosecution of offenders, the safeguarding of private information and build confidence in policing,” said Superintendent Adrian Hutchinson, who has led the scheme for the Met Police.
All neighbourhood and response officers in the capital were equipped with BWV from supplier Axon last month. The cameras are roughly the size of a cigarette packet and attach to the shoulder area of a protective vest.
The move, which cost nearly £10 million, has made the Met the biggest user of the technology in the world among police forces.
More guilty pleas
The Met has said that a pilot showed the cameras help to resolve cases quicker, and have been particularly successful in domestic abuse incidents. The force added there had been a rise in guilty pleas from offenders who know their actions have been recorded.
“With the roll out of BWV, the Metropolitan Police Service 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. The technology will also show our officers at their best, dealing with difficult and dangerous situations every day,” Hutchinson said.
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, according to Microsoft.
Image from Axon