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.