Feeds

Met plod will use 1980s software to police Olympics

Aging special ops tech CUTS THEM OFF from central command...

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Metropolitan Police Service will use software from the 1980s to coordinate the command and communications of its policing operations during the London Olympic Games.

The software, known as MetOps, is installed in the force's special operations room (SOR), the central control room providing communications support during more than 500 major incidents and events each year, according to a report (PDF) by the Met into the riots of August 2011.

MetOps, a messaging and recording system, was not designed for dynamic incident management, and means commanders have no simple way to view the latest situation during an evolving incident, the report says.

The age of MetOps system means that it is not linked directly to the software used in the force's central communications centre, known as the computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. "This can result in the central communications centre being unaware of what is being dealt with within SOR, and conversely SOR being unaware of what is being dealt with through the CAD system," says the report.

The system's limitations contributed to a number of issues during the August 2011 riots, the report found, including the inability to monitor key incidents; slow communication with commanders on the ground; the lack of capability to hand over command to the oncoming team; and the inability to log key decisions and rationales for future review.

"These significant limitations coupled with the sheer scale of task around the flow of information, communication and coordination of resources posed an immense challenge for those within SOR, particularly on Monday 8th August," the document says.

The process of replacing MetOps is under way and the force has also proposed some temporary solutions, including a new GIS system which is being trialled to assist with the coordination of resources. The Met is also considering adopting software currently used with live crime investigations for SOR.

The Met's report also highlights the use of CCTV during disturbances. While the document says CCTV proved to be a critical to the investigation of offences committed during the riots, it also says that there were significant challenges because of the sheer volume of footage, an estimated 200,000 hours, that had to be examined.

The police's response to social media is also examined in the report, which notes that a digital communications steering group has been set up by the Met in response to its struggle to monitor social media in real time during the riots. The group wants to use social media to help the police understand what is going on in the community.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.