Features: January 13th, 2012

Loss of sensitive data is a threat to any organisation. High profile data losses constantly provide news headlines, whether the loss was accidental or the result of deliberate theft. Outsourcing records management is one route to data protection and this feature describes how the City of London Police chose outsourcing as the best route to follow.

The safe storage and management of sensitive information is a high priority for the City of London Police. Not only do they employ approximately 850 police officers and 406 civilian support staff, but there are some 450 international banks based in their catchment ‘Square Mile’ area of the city.

The correct management of sensitive information should also be an operational concern for all public sector organisations, especially as the Information Commissioners Office now has increased powers to impose fines of up to £500,000 for the mismanagement of data.

As a result of lack of storage space at their headquarters, the City of London Police outsources its records management. Outsourcing is particularly necessary due to the length of time crime records are required to be retained. Content dependent, crime files must be kept for a minimum of seven years, with the most serious crime records requiring storage for 100 years. The outsourcing solution also ensures information is kept safe under the tightest security conditions, but also that this information is being managed in a way that complies with all current legislation.

Catherine Coulthard, Force Records and Museum Manager at the City of London Police, explains: “As you might imagine, we have a high volume of records to store. This ranges from crime files to personnel documents – all of which contain sensitive information. We have thousands of boxes of records stored and must have quick and easy access to these on a daily basis. Some of our team prefer the online ordering system, whilst others will phone or email.

Wincanton Records Management (WRM) was appointed in 2009 to provide outsourced records management support. Whatever method we use to access our records we get prompt delivery and have access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. WRM’s customer service is excellent – the team updates us regularly on the status of our records and is always on hand to offer advice. All their staff are fully CRB checked so that we know exactly who has access to all our information.”

WRM operates nine sites throughout the UK. Their facilities are equipped with some of the highest standards of security and fire protection in Europe including early smoke detection (ESDA), in-aisle and in-racking sprinkler systems, secure vaults with gas suppressions and temperature and humidity controlled environments, round-the-clock security, laser beam monitored perimeter fencing, highly sophisticated intruder alarms, dual-door airlock entry, electronic access pass entry and digital motion CCTV including night time visibility.

For more information on the City of London Police click here.

For further information on Wincanton Records Management’s secure document storage solutions call 0870 90 88 000 or
click here.