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Met wins 'Project of the Year' award

News   •   Nov 16, 2016 12:06 GMT

[Image: victim interview suite]

The Met's Digital Interviewing Project has won a national 'Project of the Year' award.

The Association for Project Management awarded the Met with the 'Project of the Year' trophy at a ceremony at the London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane on Monday, 7 November.

The Digital Interviewing Project was set up in 2011 with the initial aim to replace the most unreliable recording devices in victim interview suites.

Over the course of the following five years, many additions to the scope of the project were made, so much so that state-of-the art audio and visual recording equipment is now in place in all 246 victims and suspect interviewing rooms across 70 Met buildings.

All of the rooms have been refurbished too - including, for the first time, furniture appropriate for children. Nine new victim interview suites were also built and designed to be wheelchair friendly.

The £10m project brought together staff and officers from many parts of the Met, including Digital Policing, Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, Met Detention, Property Services and Procurement. Each member of the project team's input was vital to achieving a high quality outcome.

Additionally, the MPS worked in close partnership with a large number of IT and building suppliers, without whose involvement the project could not have achieved its goals.

For the first time, every suspect interview room now has video recording facilities, which will enable the best evidence to be secured. And by the end of the year, mobile interview equipment will be rolled out to enable high quality interviews to be carried out with victims and suspects away from a police station.

The project has also made significant progress towards a digital criminal justice system, an ambition highlighted in the HMIC report, Delivering Justice in a Digital Age, in April.

Digital Interviewing Project Manager Detective Inspector Neil Cochlin said:

"It's an incredible achievement to be recognised nationally for our hard work, especially when we were up against some big companies. It was a real 'team Met' effort - everyone involved in the project did so above their day jobs; there wasn't anyone assigned specifically to this piece of work.

"We needed to provide better victim care and improve the service we were giving to the public, at a time when people are most vulnerable. Interviewing is a core part of our business. Without obtaining high quality evidence from victims and suspects, we wouldn't be able to put cases before the courts."

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, Senior Responsible Officer for the digital interviewing project said: "This was real teamwork, with people coming together from different disciplines across the organisation. While the project has been awarded for the way in which it delivered on its objectives, the real success is that we can now offer a better service to victims across London."