back to article Ello ello ello: Bungling Met cops blew £100m on failing tech wheezes

The Met Police has admitted to having spent more than £100m on 37 technology projects that have been either stopped or need to be "corrected" as part of its "project cull" strategy. Of 147 live technology projects at the Met, 20 projects worth £24m have been stopped and 17 more, worth £83m, have been identified as needing " …

  1. PaulAb

    long arm of the law

    This is a new project, All coppers will be genetically modified with longer arms, - no resaon, just burns someone elses money

    Another project is the 'Lets-bend-Hogan-Howe-over-and-place-this-brush-up-his..........' This project is not expected to achieve anything other than to stop continuous verbal diahorrea. But it is cheap.

  2. Warm Braw Silver badge

    "I don’t suppose I’m much different to anyone else but I guarantee if someone said to me if your IT procurement is shit you would be held liable you’d change your behaviour", Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe did not assert.

  3. Bloakey1

    <snip>

    "Covert Policing Management Platform"

    <snip>

    I have an image here of an aluminium frame staked to the ground with burlap and camouflage material covering it. The ground around it would smell of urine as the poor coves therein would have to empty the wee bottle now and again. Thankfully the wet ground and bushes coated with urine mitigate the effect of the matches and cigarette butts flying out of the "platform" at regular intervals.

  4. Bronek Kozicki

    I bet they all were

    ... managed according to PRINCE2 or some similar project mis-management methodology. Because we all know waterfalls are the only way to do it properly.

    Not.

    1. Dan Wilkie

      Re: I bet they all were

      Jeez, what's with all these Agile shills popping out of the woodwork lately?

      1. Bronek Kozicki

        Re: I bet they all were

        I did not sat "agile", I dislike the term. I just mean, if you plan your project for end result only (like all waterfall methodologies do), you need to have:

        1) a guarantee that end result is, and will stay, the thing that users actually want

        2) a way to learn precisely what that thing that users want actually is

        As experience thought me, these two are dying breed. And may not actually exist in any organization which is subject to political pressure. In absence of which, a different approach is more likely to succeed, and that approach usually involves iterative development with steady delivery of (actually wanted) features.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: I bet they all were

      I gather that someone mentioned use of Scrum and Jira … words that inspire deep fear, loathing and disgust at all levels of Capita and Steria, where 'target' is just another meaning for 'failed to hit'.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Met's Digital Recording of All Suspect Interviews for use at a later date with biometrics project.

    FTFY

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been there...

    ...though not in an IT context.

    I had to do some work for the Met for a while not so long ago, and it had to use a variety of IT systems and try to figure out how to interpret the way the information was held. It was a mess and desperately needed fixing. But the telling thing was that the immediate managers knew it, their managers knew it, etc, etc, but the top level decider (not Hogan-Howe in this instance) just didn't want to change anything. So the 'fixed and unwavering state system' culture within the Met has as much to do with their problems with IT, as does their implementation. They need to learn that change isn't always bad, especially if it can streamline a process and make it more accurate, and easier for users to use.

    AC for obvious reasons.

  7. Chris G Silver badge

    £100M

    Equals the pay for nearly 600 bobbies for 5 years; I wonder if instead of spunking money on never completing IT? schemes, an extra 500 plods could have done a better job with manual typewriters?

    Is there a Commissioner somewhere with a finger in an IT pie up to the elbow?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: £100M

      Although it is tempting to assume backhanders are to blame, I would not bother searching for that until I had spent a few seconds looking for gross professional incompetence.

    2. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: £100M

      This is the problem isn't it. The Government slash police forces budgets saying that efficiency savings can be made and plainly they can. So what do those in charge of said forces do in revenge? They cut front line services and try to make the government look bad. It's sickening. It's our money they're pissing down the drain and leaving us with inadequate police resources to boot. These empire builders should be put out to pasture, not before being held accountable directly for waste on projects like this.

  8. Awil Onmearse
    Thumb Up

    Whoda thunk it?

    Pigs being a great source of pork?

  9. Christian Berger

    The same everywhere

    I mean most larger organisations have such projects which never go anywhere. Often they were ill-fated from the start. There's just this weird idea that somehow companies don't have to have the level of transparency we expect from governmental departments which keeps us from learning about those mistakes.

  10. James Anderson

    Change of perception needed

    So (made up numbers real stats probably a lot worse) 50% of IT projects fail in some way, 20% fail completely.

    It has been so since Admiral Grace stuck a cockroach in her diary.

    Why is everybody pretending that every project will come to fruition and achieve all its goals perfectly within budget if only we fill in enough Prince 2 forms.

    Instead we should accept reality, stop criticising any public body that cancels a project and instead praise them for having a go. After all you are not going to get any successful projects if they are not started for fear of failure, and, they will probably cost less if you drop the "best practice" management methodologies.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Change of perception needed

      1) Starting with a factory acceptance test, and guarantying payment only after something passes said test should weed out all the suppliers expecting to piss away £24M before anyone asks them what they have achieved.

      2) No source code, no money. I had hoped that after over three decades Microsoft's customers would understand the phrase 'lock in', but so far I have been disappointed.

  11. Hans 1
    Windows

    >The Met refused to provide a cost breakdown for those projects, citing commercial confidentiality.

    Did not know the Met was a commercial entity.

    If you deal with the gvt, the agreed contract should be made available under the Freedom of Information Act, we^H^Hyou¹ are paying for it, are you not?

    ¹ I have moved from the UK for good, at least, I hope.

  12. Huns n Hoses

    Oh come on, it's only money

    Spending or even dealing responsibly with money one has to either earn oneself or be held accountable for would imply a sense of it's value. No such thing is happening here, uk.gov truly is the realm where the stuff grows on trees.

    Ditto for NHS IT spending, just add a few zeroes to the cost.

    A cynic? Me? Only in the sense that I'm effing paying for this year upon year.

  13. Stevie

    Bah!

    Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the London Assembly Liberal Democrats who put the question to the Mayor, told The Register the Met has a poor track record with technology, which has held back officers' ability to tackle crime.

    Hang on, I thought not being able to break into people's iPhones at whim was what held back officers' ability to tackle crime.

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