A Coffee with... Carl Lewis

 
 

A coffee with... Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis shares his enthusiasm for LIMA’s newest innovative solution, the Detainee Management Video Solution and tells us a bit about how he came to develop it.

 
 

Carl Lewis.jpg

I came to LIMA three years ago.  I was attracted because after my experience of working as a small cog in the massive Vodafone wheel, I wanted to be able to make more of an impact within my next position. I’m happy to say that’s what I’ve achieved with DMVS.

My background was as the development lead at Vodafone for the Police National Network.  My role was to develop new products for my team of 8 sales people to sell.  Within that remit I was responsible for developing the ground breaking 101 non-emergency telephone line and the Digital Justice System which brought video into courtrooms for the first time.  Both of these projects involved deep understanding of the technology, investigations of legal restrictions, detailed iterative testing and a thorough understanding of the commercial impact in order to be able to sell the concept and the final solution.


A passion for innovation

The innovation part of my role was compelling and I was keen to take what I had learned on these projects and apply them for greater benefit.  The implications of partner ecosystems with different vendor technologies having to work together was often a source of significant frustration for technical and non-technical decision makers alike.  At the same time, austerity was suddenly being felt across the sector with budgets being slashed and police forces being asked to make ever better use of the resources they already had. 

I had seen the impact of video in courtrooms with the cost savings alone by negating the need for people, time, vehicles and security for the transportation of defendants to and from court.  I was keen to explore the possibility of a similar system within police stations which is where the Detainee Management Video Solution (DMVS) came from.  The solution needed to be open source so that it would work in any environment, scalable from the Isle of Man force to the Met Police, ruggedized to withstand stringent physical tests had to be written for our use case, and of course commercially viable.

The process of development, testing and patenting has taken a long time, but the implementation of our first sites at Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police Forces has been a great success and I’m looking forward to engaging with more Forces around the country later this year.


What are your passions outside of work?

If I feel strongly about something, I support it. I’ve taken part in a few campaigns, I enjoy fundraising for charities that are close to my heart and I am definitely someone who takes part in community events.

 

What is the best gig you’ve ever been to?

Definitely Glastonbury 1994. I saw Manic Street Preachers, Beastie Boys, Oasis, Pulp and Johnny Cash all on the same line-up. I still have a big love for Manic Street Preachers, so that was definitely a gig I’ll never forget. It was a great weekend and one of the hottest Glastonbury festivals to date, no mud in sight.