Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police (TVP) is the largest non-metropolitan police force in England and Wales. It covers Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire with a population of 2.1million, and polices more miles of motorway than any other force in Britain.

TSO and partners System Simulation Limited, have worked closely with TVP to implement a Digital Asset Management system to manage TVP’s digital still images and with the ability to manage video and audio evidence in the future.

The challenge

  • In 2005-6, TVP used around 40,000 CD-ROMs for archiving digital images – a costly method for storing image and video evidence and non-evidential assets
  • There was a potential risk that the CD-ROMs could deteriorate over time
  • Images were also stored within standalone databases and other systems across the force, making control and management of these assets difficult
  • With no central archive or search facility, image and video evidence could not be easily shared and retrieved throughout the force 
  • The process for retrieving and printing images could take up to five days
  • The volume of evidential assets was anticipated to reach 500,000 in 2009, with growth predicted to continue
  • Wider use of digital cameras and other devices across the force, and amongst the general public, has increased the volume of image evidence
  • Any central system to address these issues would require rigorous and custom security features

TSO and System Simulation Limited were chosen to deliver a solution to address the challenges TVP faced.

The solution – the Overt Digital Imaging Management System (ODIMS)

The solution is based on System Simulation Limited’s Index+ system, and has been customised to meet TVP’s detailed requirement for a secure, flexible solution, able to cater for the diverse needs for evidential asset management across their business areas.It delivers:

Core functionality:

  • Single sign-on for users across the force
  • Force-wide image capture
  • Secure central storage of assets
  • Secure upload process for transfer of images
  • Access to view via Blackberry mobile phones
  • Permission management system allowing customisation of user access levels
  • Automatic indexing for bulk uploads
  • Intuitive metadata assignment tool, with the ability to set mandatory metadata requirements
  • Force-wide advanced search and metadata querying functionality
  • Automated creation of working copy renditions from the master image


  • Security features such as; Invisible watermarking, protecting image use
  • Automated audit system capturing and reporting on asset access and use
  • Efficient print ordering and management functionality
  • Robust back-up and disaster recovery systems and processes
  • Capability to integrate with other force systems
  • Access for key stakeholders external to the force such as Crown Prosecution Service
  • Scalable solution enabling continual development
  • 24/7 helpdesk support service


The benefits

TSO and System Simulation Limited have worked very closely with TVP to provide a new detailed solution, designed to provide significant improvements to the way TVP is able to manage digital assets. These are just some of the benefits delivered by ODIMS:

  • The user-friendly online interface for image upload minimises training and ensures quick take-up and use of the system across the organisation
  • Access to and retrieval of images is quicker and easier, saving precious time
  • The metadata functionality makes it easy to identify and cross-reference images, and has improved the general housekeeping of images
  • The Imaging Unit has been able to save time through a reduced requirement for enhancements to images, and a reduction in telephone enquiries and requests for images
  • Better and quicker access to images allows linkage between cases, helping to solve crimes across departments
  • The automated audit trail enables quick identification and reporting on access and use of images, ensuring security and protection of sensitive assets
  • The need for CD-ROMs and physical storage has been drastically reduced and cost savings made in terms of CD purchase, CD burners and time
  • The process for court album ordering and printing has been improved, saving print costs and valuable time
  • The quality of evidential images used across the force has been improved
  • The flexible system allows TVP to continually enhance and develop the system as their business and technology needs evolve
  • ODIMS can be used to develop partnerships that reduce crime and disorder by allowing access to images by other forces and outside agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • The high level of security applied to the system protects the integrity of the data and provides peace of mind
  • The system complies with legislative requirements, including Data Protection Act (DPA) and Management of Police Information (MOPI)

The results

  • TVP has uploaded 200,000 images from 12,000 operational jobs since October 2011 when the system went live, with currently 750 images being added, on average, every day
  • Various business units are now using the system, including Scenes of Crime, Collision Investigation Unit, Chiltern Air Support, Tactical Support, Force Crime Reduction Design Advisors and more
  • A reduction in the time taken to produce photograph albums
  • Financial savings for the Force in respect of CDs, CD Burners and storage
  • Efficiency savings across a whole array of departments who now have instant access to images to view, arrange into albums, order and/or download
  • A programme of additional enhancements is underway
  • Feedback from users of the system has been overwhelmingly positive

A framework agreement is in place allowing other UK Police Forces the opportunity to easily procure the ODIMS system.

To discuss ODIMS in more detail, or to arrange a demonstration, please contact:

Peter Camilleri
Tel: 0771 8695273