The former head of the Police Federation has called for the Home Office to mandate the integration of police IT systems by 2015 In an interim report on police bureaucracy for the Home Office, Jan Berry says that although forces are at different stages in their development of IT, there is an operational need for them to have …
EDS, Accidenture, etc - please bid NOW
..because if ever an IT project needed to be derailed if it couldn't be canned, it's this one. Not because I've anything against the police per se; but until Paw Broon's Politburo is replaced with a saner government, this would just be Skynet in everything but name.
More Cops on the streets....
and that's a good thing?
It'll never happen
As someone who used to work for a company providing infrastructure to the 52 (that's right 52!) separate police forces across the UK I can tell you that this will never happen.
Just look back to the proposed amalgamation of police forces a couple of years ago. The various police PR machines and the Association of Chief Police Officers cranked in to action faster than you could say "Stop thief" to paint a picture of inefficiency and claimed that every small town in the UK would become a wild west of rape, murder and drug dealing.
This had nothing to do with how effectively the police could do their job and everything to do with the fact that ACPO realised that their jobs would be under threat and that they wouldn't be free to run their own private police forces like a parochial vigilante club.
The only thing that the various police forces hate more than crims is each other. It's sickening to see the petty rivalry that takes place between forces. Everyone is implementing their own programmes and replicating massive amounts of resources. When they run out of cash they know that they can just stoke up fears about terrorism and drug crime and the Fascist Home Secretary (whoever that may be at the time) will hand out more.
Sure this does mean that some forces come up with some quite innovative IT projects but this is only useful if there was the remotest chance that the most successful ones actually stood a chance of being implemented on a national scale. Instead, the usual approach is that every other police force childishly rejects it because they don't want to be seen to be using a solution invented by some competing force, preferring instead to push on with their own pet project. The level of waste is sickening.
Having said that, given the fact that the police have been let off the leash and are now have legislation in their back pocket that allows them to arrest you for just about anything, it's not a bad thing that they can't find their arse with an atlas.
Paris cos she knows what to do with cuffs and a police uniform
Point of Order.
That's EDS an HP company.
The battleground of OSS
This is something I wish it were possible to get entusiastic about because the thruth is there is a HUGE oppertunity for the open source and open standards community to provide the best solution.
Open standards are particularly attractive because it would mean that each force could keep whatever weird and wonderful way of doing things and still be able, through agreed export formats, to communicate and share information with every other force.
But it'll never happen. In the public sector there just isn't the expertise. Its too easy to go with the Microsoft option. Ironically this then becomes more of a millstone because being a public body the hardware on the desktop is kept alive as long as it possibly can be even while m$ pushes out patch after patch to bloat the os and slow it down.
Add to that the version of office being used is either out of support or the new version that is crippled by the now out of date by 5 years machines its installed on.
Lightweight, free, customisable software that will run quickly on legacy hardware is exactly what the doctor ordered.
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