Management > Identity

Met Police hunts provider to oversee new forensics model

David Bicknell Published 07 March 2014

New operating plan will offer three distinct levels of service


The Metropolitan Police wants to appoint a managed service provider (MSP) to provide front line technology, a forensic informatics solution, digital and lab based forensic analysis and related services.

The move, which is driven by budget savings as well as a drive to equip frontline police officers with the tools to tackle crime more efficiently, is the subject of a pre-tender for a twelve-month contract issued this week for a service that is due to go live in September 2015.

The pre-tender says that the force's Forensic Services Department has reviewed the delivery of digital forensics services and is now looking to "embed a new operating model."

The new operating model is intended to provide three levels of service to enable a move away from the traditional lab-based examination model and towards the provision of quick-time frontline services, significantly reducing timescales and increasing investigative freedom for front-line officers.

Level 1 will offer "frontline self service" where forensic analysis will be carried out by police officers using custody-suite based kiosks.

Level 2 will be a "frontline supported service", with forensic analysis carried out by police officers with support from digital forensic technicians. Level 3 will be a "central hub" where more complex, lab-based forensic analysis will be carried out by digital forensic experts.

The pre-tender says the Met expects the majority of submissions would initially be handled at Level 1, where officers can conduct straightforward extractions of data from devices themselves. Level 2 will handle submissions where limited additional assistance is required either with the initial extraction or with the interpretation of results. Level 3 will be the escalation point for all submissions which cannot be processed at levels 1 and 2.

The MSP is being lined up to implement the new operating model, taking responsibility as a tier one supplier for the supply chain of both the provision of technology and external lab-based forensic services that would be provided by a range of other (tier 2) suppliers.

The Metropolitan Police plans to run a market engagement day on 21st March where it will set out its new model to gain marketplace views on how the solution could be delivered. The primary objective of the engagement day, the Met says, is to ascertain the potential interest in the one-supplier managed service solution.

Should the Metropolitan Police decide to go forward with a MSP solution, an OJEU tender process is likely to commence in July/August this year. A contract is expected to be awarded with technical solutions beginning implementation from May 2015 onwards.

Late last year, a £10m-£12m National Crime Agency tender for digital forensic services set out to find a single bidder, with consortia expected to form a single legal entity to bid for the processing, analysis and interpretation services that were in scope.


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