back to article Gov: We want cheap police tablets and by God we'll get them

The Minister for Policing and Justice is leaning on reseller-cum-integrator SCC to slash the cost of fondleslabs for cops by reducing the number of sub-contractors it works with under the pan-government Sprint ii framework. The 43 forces in England and Wales were mandated in March 2011 to use Sprint ii to procure commodity …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    give them google nexus 7s?

    obviously then charge them 1K per tablet as that is par for the course!

    1. greensun

      Re: give them google nexus 7s?

      Just 1K ?

      You 'avin a laugh ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Police used to get better results when they were still analogue and used their two legs to get round. As always, someone really believes technology is the answer to all ills, sadly it will change nothing just as the issue of the blackberry changed nothing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The way the legal system works (or doesn't) right now means plod has to fill in a huge amount of forms if they arrest someone. The technology is trying to make this easier and so they can transmit the information back to the computer and get rid of the part where they sit at a desk in a station filling it all in on a computer.

      Every government says they'll get rid of red tape and such forms but never do, I guess the information gathered is too important to someone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Every government says they'll get rid of red tape and such forms but never do, I guess the information gathered is too important to someone.

        The problem is that the police used to be trusted. But then it became too obvious to ignore that lots of black people were being arrested / stopped / 'sussed' while whites weren't. It became so prevalent that mainstream BBC comedy could make jokes about it.

        The paperwork provides the statistical evidence that keeps the police in check.

        1. greensun

          That video was funny and topical when I first saw it 30 years ago.

          But now it demonstrates nothing other than (y)our age.

        2. Davey1000

          Racism or Not Racism?

          I knew someone who used to be a police constable when he was young. He worked in Brixton and he knew his patch. He reminisced that he could spot the druggies very easily and yes they were West Indians. At the time white people weren't "in" to smoking ganja as it was very much a West Indian thing. "Hey man its part of my culture" was the usual excuse when they were found to have a pocketful of weed and they would accuse him of being racist for not stopping whites who didn't have a pocketful of weed! The fact of the matter is that smoking dope is illegal in the UK but somehow the West Indians deemed this to be state sponsored attack on them personally. A policeman's lot is not a happy one, happy one, a policeman's lot is not a happy one!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    "We want cheap tablets"

    Even if it takes us thousands of pounds to find them; they can't hide and we'll find them!

    Sad thing is that all fun put aside this is often the way it goes.. When the government gets something "cheap" its often a good idea to look at the investment (time, effort, money) it took to get there.

    1. greensun

      Re: "We want cheap tablets"


      They can buy standard ruggedized android tablets, with standard software for a reasonable price.

      Or they can be ripped off by a reseller, knock 18 million quid off the bill, and STILL get ripped off.

      Which path do you think they are taking ?

  4. Andus McCoatover


    Just got used to calling my new, much loved Samsung Galaxy 8.9 a "Fondleslab", now I've gotta rename it agin.....

  5. Dave Bell

    They cannot win

    Assuming this is something police officers carry while working...

    It needs to be rugged.

    It needs a good battery life.

    And it will be used by people who aren't in the habit of figuring out the latest shiny by themselves: setting up training costs time and money.

    The results are always going to look expensive and out of date.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's NOT the HW costs, stupid

    It's the HUGE cost added on by the delivery / SI partner as we have seen time after time with the NHS.

    Where else but the UK could a £400 PC come in at £3,750?

    Gotta keep those shareholders fat in profit!

    1. Is it me?

      Re: it's NOT the HW costs, stupid

      Ah that old chestnut again, no IT supplier sells a £400 PC for £3750, that's the whole life cost including software and support.

      BTW. The problem with cheap, is that you get what you pay for, and a standard ruggedised slab won't cut it, just think about what that device would need to stand up to for a beat officer. It has to be rugged enough to survive fights, chases and so on, so you actually need a military spec slab, fully encrypted and supported. They won't be cheap, look for a whole life cost of around £3000. A police portable is far more likely to go into 'combat' than a military one is.

      1. Davey1000

        Re: it's NOT the HW costs, stupid

        A good many years ago I had the brainwave of using a cameraphone to translate road signs and suchlike when in foreign countries such as China or Arabia. The snag of course is computing power and battery life. Instead why not send the images to an Engine similar to Google, get the Engine to do the processing then send the data back? By doing this one does not have to be walking around carrying a miniaturised mainframe. Could not the police do the same? One other point is that no GCEs are required to become a police officer and without wishing to be rude some of them are not the brightest light on the block. For example a Motor Patrol Constable couldn't even tell whether my car was front wheel drive or rear wheel drive even though there were no wheel trims fitted. If the MPC couldn't suss that one out what chance is there of working a tablet? The mind boggles as how some people get their jobs.

  7. s. pam

    Here's the winning solution

    Please award the contract for this work to G4S as they've done such a good job with security for the London2012 SCAMlympics we're all very confident that they will do a fantastic job.

  8. Mark C 2

    Dear Home Secretary...

    Please consolidate the 43 police forces into somewhere in the region of, say, 10. We are a small country and do not need 43, or 33, or even 23 Police Forces.

    Signed: A Mystified Tax Payer

  9. Davey1000

    Old Analogue Policing

    An old colleague (now sadly deceased) told me about the gold wristwatch that his aunt bought him for his 21st birthday. He was wearing the watch at the Cup Final at Wembley. During the first half his wrist kept feeling itchy and he assumed that perhaps he was allergic to the new watch. When Reg looked to see if it was nearly half time the watch was gone! The police were called and a large black police car arrived; it would have been an old Wolseley and it had a chrome bell on the front. A detective wearing a trilby hat and a pinstripe suit listened to the tale then said "Get in son". They zoomed across London to some old tenement flats and the detective said "Wait here son". Shortly afterwards there was a great commotion that sounded as if someone was being roughed-up. The detective then re-appeared and said "Here's your watch son". Absolutely amazing as the stolen property was recovered within the hour! It wasn't any old watch either, it was Reg's watch engraved with a memorable inscription on the rear. Now all this was done without any computers, tablets or other high-tech gizmos, it was done by studying form. IMHO that detective deserved a gong but the powers that be decided that the old Scotland Yard was inefficient and pulled it down. Inefficient? I don't think so as the villains used to crap their trousers with fear. The present day police couldn't do what that detective did even with all the computers in England. Allegedly the Japanese Police still study "form" and for some reason the crime rate in Japan is much lower than it is in the UK. Studying form is now of no interest unfortunately. I know this because I heard a car pull up near my secluded property then drive away with tyres squealing and engine revving a few minutes later. Later when I tried to drive my car the brake pedal went to the floor. The brake hose nearest to the filler cap had been cut by someone trying to steal petrol. The metal fuel line had also been gnawed-at but the thief failed to get any petrol. It just so happened that a prolific petrol thief who had been evicted from the village where he lived had been rehoused in B&B not very far away. My informant stated "He's always revving the engine and squealing his tyres, then he moans that he's got no petrol". The police were not interested, "Did you see him do it?" they said. Using this modern day philosophy the theft of Reg's watch would have never been investigated which is why crime FIGURES are falling.

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