back to article Met seeks new £200m command-and-control system

The Metropolitan police is seeking a deal to implement a new command-and-control system. The nine-year deal, worth up to £200m, will include software integration, testing, transition and technical support relating to command and control. The Met will be undertaking two procurement exercises, according to a notice in the …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    I've bid on a couple of these thingies over the last couple decades ...

    ... on the left side of the Mississippi ...

    Reality is that the deal is done before it is available for public bid.

    Graft might be an ugly thing, but it's reality. I have no answers.

  2. Gerrit Hoekstra
    Thumb Down

    Senseless waste of tax-payers' money

    This will once again be an extremely bespoke, closed-standards, closed interfaces, closed source system, that will only benefit the suppliers and be riddled with 'teething problems' for years to come while the suppliers arm-wrestle more money from HM Gov. to fix these problems and we gawk on in amazement at what poor value for money we got. Why will this system not be used as a template to rationalise all the other UK Police Forces' bespoke C&C systems? Now imagine further that each of the other 40-odd Police Forces also would like to spend this sort of money on their bespoke C&C system...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Senseless waste of tax-payers' money

      Would have been a lot cheaper and quicker to negotiate to use the Ibotel system referred to elsewhere on Reg.

      Think of all the boxes they could tick - supplier diversity, proven system, outsourced to India, works over existing mobile networks etc etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Senseless waste of tax-payers' money

      You have no idea. There is only one bespoke C&C system in use by a UK police force to my knowledge, that being at Humberside.

      Closed standards? You could probably get some Tetra standards from the Tetra forum.

      Closed interfaces / closed source? After ten years' of development by a private company, yes, surprise surprise.

      Bespoke? Sometimes, depending on the police force in question. So what?

      There are only three suppliers of these systems in the UK: APD, Sungard and someone else I forget.

      All the Scottish forces committed to moving to one supplier a few years ago if I remember correctly.

      These systems have to handle telephony, Tetra digital radio, digital voice recording, proably interface with GPS vehicle tracking and mapping systems, have clustered servers and each workstation has a touchscreen, which means a custom GUI. So they are pretty specialised.

      Furthermore there are control rooms in which all three emergency services operate, such as Wiltshire and the Isle of Man. In that case, the system has to be set up for the ambulance service and the fire brigade as well.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it be operational before the olympics?

    As surely that's a key event where something like this would be beneficial..

    If not, who is getting the sack for dragging their heels over this?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £200m seems an aweful lot for...

    ...a system consisting of:

    Shoot someone! Ideally foreigners or someone holding a gun.

    I suppose the £200m includes legal fees for clearing the officers names at the inquest...

    Anonymous for some reason.

  5. adam payne

    £200 million going on £600 million with at least another £40 million to fix the system when it's deemed to be unfit for purpose.

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  7. Colin Millar

    Too bad.........

    ..... it won't have any actual resources to C & C.

    Before overruns this amount would pay for about 500 actual coppers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too bad.........

      Well, the system cost itself is £200m over nine years, not an overrun (yet). But that cost is enough to pay about 1,900 police officer years (new SI unit alert), including overtime, equipment, payroll costs, overheads and all support staff based on NAO data. The marginal cost (salary) per copper would lead to the sort of number you've quoted, but unless they're going to patrol naked, without equipment, base station, supervision and administration it's not going to be 500.

      So that £200m is more like 211 police officers employed over the life of the deal. I wonder if the benefits of the system they're planning to buy over what they currently use will be greater than an additional 200 odd plods doing various policing work?

  8. Is it me?

    Nothing like a good misinformed rant.

    First off, £200m for a command and control system is a hell of a lot of money. As pointed out there are very few bespoke C & C systems, and Steria and Capita Sungard PS are pretty good at delivering them to all the emergency services.

    You should also never believe the headline number in an OJEC, for 10 years, actually the win price will be around £120m. As to it being a waste of money, well technology has moved on a lot since the last C & C was done at the met, and a lot of the integration will be belt and braces, the new systems integrate a lot of stuff that just didn't exist a few years ago, the old system really will be life expired.

    Still we shouldn't underestimate the Mets ability to ignore reality, and do different and expensive, no matter what the Home Office tells them. Hopefully the London Ambulance Service system will still be fresh in their minds.

    Home Office wants caring and sharing between Police forces, not something the Met has ever been good at.

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