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Digital Policing for Global Events: The Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022

The Mercury Platform, developed and operated by Informed Solutions for the National Police Coordination Centre showcases the value of integrated digital policing platforms to coordinate mutual aid requests that enable the effective policing of internationally significant events – this time The 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC) is overseen by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). It retains oversight of national capacity and capability of specialist policing roles in relation to the Strategic Policing Requirements using the Mercury digital platform to manage and coordinate over 5,000 mutual aid requests every year for all police regions and forces across the UK, supporting the police to meet demand during large scale events, special operations, and in times of national crisis.

As part of its remit, NPoCC supported West Midlands Police’s management of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) which took place in Birmingham, the UK’s second biggest city, between 28 July and 8 August 2022.  To ensure a safe event and accommodate over 1.3 million visitors from 72 countries, the Mercury Platform managed the coordination of mutual aid requests nationally, as well as West Midland’s own resourcing. Mercury also enabled the real-time provision of accurate and fully secure operational and event management information to policing partners and event organisers.

NPoCC was able to build on and reuse capabilities that were implemented by Informed Solutions for COP26 (the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow) to ensure the successful planning, coordination, and complete logistical management of police resources before and during the games. As the strategic digital partner for NPoCC, Informed Solutions provided live service support to ensure service stability and 100 per cent availability in the run-up-to and throughout the Commonwealth Games.

The Mercury Platform provided full logistical, resource planning, and event policing capability for:

  • 4,700 police officers, each on duty for an average five days during CWG, totalling over 22,000 police day deployments
  • Over 1,500 mutual aid requests between collaborating police forces during CWG
  • Full logistics management including accommodation and travel to 45 CWG management locations
  • Successful global event coordination between 46 police forces.

In a joint comment discussing the performance of the Mercury Platform at this year’s Commonwealth Games Matt Lawler, Head of NPoCC, and David Lawton, Technical Director, Informed Solutions said:

“The Mercury system is a fantastic example of how the intelligent application of technology can enable collaborative working at a national scale in mission-critical environments. Through our work together on the Mercury digital platform, we are now able to transform and adapt to changes in the modern policing environment around nationally and internationally significant events by improving data sharing and integration, enhancing data interoperability, and joining-up analytical forecasting.”

“The smooth running of this summer’s event in Birmingham is a testament to the versatility of the Mercury platform and its ability to adapt to policing needs at major global events in multiple contexts. We look forward to continuously improving the Mercury platform in partnership together and helping to ensure the safety of globally significant events across the UK for years to come.”

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