Thursday, 05th December 2019
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Police collar the cloud

Unisys helps UK police forces in their plans to move to a “cloud-first” strategy – enabling greater collaboration, data sharing and faster response times for incident management.

Unisys Corporation has announced the renewal of contracts with each of the 43 UK police forces and associated law enforcement agencies for the latest version of the Home Office Large Major Enquiry System (HOLMES2).


UK police forces use HOLMES2 to investigate homicides and organised and other serious crimes, as well as to manage disaster response during terrorist incidents or natural disasters. The application provides a real-time view of live operations to facilitate efficient decision-making and the effective management of police resources. It is supported by advanced functionality for tasking, alerting, reporting, messaging, analytics and document and records management.

HOLMES2 is currently delivered as a cloud service to 42 of the 43 UK police forces, with the final force going live early in 2020. The cloud delivery model means the information management system supports greater collaboration and cross-border data sharing to enable faster response times for incident management.

Delivering HOLMES2 from the cloud means it can be rapidly configured so multiple police forces share resources to support the lead force with mutual aid and immediately begin managing information relating to new law enforcement incidents. This enables faster mobilisation of forces, providing a ready-to-use platform for collaboration on major incidents and investigations, including public appeals.

For example, HOLMES2 can facilitate a casualty bureau to act as a single-point-of-contact for managing information about people believed to be involved in an incident or disaster. Within minutes of the terrorist bombing in Manchester in May 2017, for example, Unisys was able to deliver a new cloud-based casualty bureau to support police forces with missing persons, the identification of individuals and logging of evidence. Within two hours of the attack 27 forces were active on the casualty bureau to support one another with mutual aid.

HOLMES2 also features new functionality for the UK Police Major Incident Public Reporting Site – mipp.police.uk – to improve online engagement with UK citizens by giving them the ability to digitally submit information directly to the police via their PCs, tablets or smartphones. This includes videos and photographs relating to incidents or investigations. Images submitted via the portal have already helped identify numerous suspects in recent investigations.

All submitted data is instantly searchable and available to the relevant police forces to enable communication across forces and with the public on developments relating to incidents, missing persons, survivors, evacuees and casualties.

The portal is now a key tool for gathering information from both the public and police forces and new features include an improved user experience, making it easier to submit information to national investigations, and support for multiple languages to accommodate investigations that have specific language requirements.

In addition, police forces using the portal can now create dedicated campaigns to focus on specific groups, such as those living within a certain radius of an incident or crime scene, giving them the ability to tag their submissions of information or evidence.

This special access helps investigations as the public can classify the information they submit, expediting the availability of data and reducing back office resourcing. This feature also improves the speed and quality of data so forces can focus resources on specific elements of an incident or investigation.

Sri Iyer, Public Sector lead for Unisys in the UK, said: “Cloud technology is critical for UK policing to more quickly address the rapidly changing nature of crime, while cutting costs across its operations. We’re extremely proud to support UK police forces with our cloud services to expedite investigations and provide much greater levels of digital engagement with the public via the mipp.police.uk portal. Unisys continues to play a critical role in helping police forces deliver improvements in operational efficiency, detection and conviction rates, and to build public confidence.”

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