back to article UK.gov ploughs cash into creaky police technology

The British government has sunk £100m into efforts to link up cops’ IT systems, boost resource-sharing and develop digital forensics. The UK's police forces have been battling to improve outdated systems for years. Multiple annual reports into the state of policing have concluded that cops lag far behind in their use of tech, …

  1. K Silver badge
    Devil

    £100m funding ....

    May just cover the consultants "entertainment" and "refreshments" expenses... But the bit that really made me laugh, was

    " also cash for a .. hub where people can report low-level incidents"

    Given how please respond to these anyway, this can be solved with a simple online form that POST's output to /dev//null .. then returns a random meaningless "CRIME" number (probably a UUID) which can be given to insurance companies.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: £100m funding ....

      Beat me to it!

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: £100m funding ....

      @K "/dev/null'

      Hahah, yeah,... one park I walk my dogs at has signs all over it saying the use of motor bikes etc is prohibited (the scrotes vandalise the place, tearing off gates so they can get their bikes in, but that puts the deer there at risk if they get out,... plus it's not far from a busy 'A' road, so we don't want deer on the road.), so a couple of months ago I hear them tearing it up, see them, report them to 101, and got the distinct feeling I was being told 'yes dear', and that absolutely nothing was going to happen. Maybe a PCSO would swerve by if they were passing in a couple of weeks, that level of response. Thing is, the scrotes are often on stolen bikes, so if the Police responded, they might reunite the owner with their bike, rather than a smoldering pile of molten aluminium and plastic.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK police?

    Guess from what you've written that once again it's not UK but English only. You're pretty bad at being accurate on this - wish you were better.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: UK police?

      England-n-Walez I suspect.

      Westminster refuse to devolve policing, and the wonderful BritNat 'Welsh' Labour government in Cardiff are happy with that.

  3. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

    Yes, *UK* Police

    Once the Thin Blue Line in the rest of the UK realises how easy this will make the lives of their English compatriots, they will be falling over themselves to adopt it. Well, the men and women who join up in a desire to make the country a nice, safe for the rest of us to live in possibly not so much, but certainly those holding the purse-strings.

    No need to talk to the public any more, just direct them to the online reporting system. So no need to have all those police stations cluttering up the cityscapes, sell them off and put the criminals under house arrest since we've got no cells. And if we can do it for the less-serious crims, then we can extend it to the slightly worse ones. And when that doesn't go too wrong*, we can expand the scope a little further. Then we can sell off all the prisons as well. And build a few new golf courses and country clubs.

    *Care in the community is the prime example of this - when it works, it's a good thing. Unfortunately not everybody is able to behave in the manner necessary to live in a relatively uncontrolled environment.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Yes, *UK* Police

      Then we can sell off all the prisons as well.

      I thought they already had? G4S?

      But they will never get rid of prisons - without prisons how can you lock citizens up for years for trivial reasons? (Wandering around naked springs to mind)

      But to be positive, we'll need some to incarcerate all our MPs and their friends after Brexit.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Single hub

    I share the feelings above regarding a single hub for reporting low level incidents.

    The analogue equivalent would be running a tap into a sink with no plug in it.

    Also as already mentioned the amount is piffling at best, considering all that they wish to achieve, a quick look at other UK gov' unifying IT efforts will tell you the end result will be an order of magnitude greater.

    And it still won't work!

  5. Eponymous Cowherd

    Microsoft

    Hampshire Constabulary went to Microsoft for their new command and control system.

    Calling it an almighty clusterfuck is being kind. The primary task for the system is to assign resources (cops) to tasks (robbers, etc), but its so slow that it's completely unusable.

    1. Walter Bishop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Microsoft

      > Calling it an almighty clusterfuck is being kind. The primary task for the system is to assign resources (cops) to tasks (robbers, etc), but its so slow that it's completely unusable.

      Maybe the crooks should be given access to the system. After all and lately that's the only way of getting a police responce to 'low-level' crimes. On the other hand, they will offer a call from the Victim Support Unit. How about shutting the Victim Support Unit and spending the money on police salaries.

    2. Courtjezter

      Re: Microsoft

      Go on then I will bite.

      When precisely did they make this move to the Microsoft system?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Technology is expensive

    We could afford a lot more technology (money in our pockets) if you get rid of the police entirely - we're working on it, at current rates we should have the police force down to about 10,000 in another twenty years - those 10,000 would all be managers, running the technology.

    That's our plan,

    Jacob Rees-Mogg and partners.

  7. Rakkor

    I've used the Met Police's hub to report traffic incidents on three occasions in the past year (https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/rti/report-a-road-traffic-incident/) and think that this is a fantastic way to report issues to the police that otherwise would have been difficult and time consuming. These included a white van jumping the lights and almost t-boning me and two close passes that scared the life out of me during my commute, it helps having a camera. If in this case, by reporting the idiots, their driving can be moderated then I feel it's money well spent.

  8. nuked
    Big Brother

    When is "pre-crime" due to be unveiled? Problem solved.

  9. N2 Silver badge

    £100 M funding

    How the tils at 'The Ivy' will be ringing & yes, thats just enough to cover expenses, not the real cost of the potential Crapita MOAFU's to follow

    (Mother Of All Fuck Ups)

  10. Beavis-101

    So a few years back I worked on a police vetting system! It still relied on sending out emails to different regions, and then processing their replies! Really bad design, due to their use of old and out of date technology. Most of the problems seemed to be due to their inflexible management.

    1. Courtjezter

      The is an element of that. In terms of we always done it this way so why should we change, classic old school public sector mentality. But you also have the fact that the forces have some legacy systems that are critical to the day to day operations which haven't been upgraded in years due to right finances and the thinking that if it isn't broken why do we need to fix it.

      Because why would we need to replace that legacy system that has never gone down and does what we need it to, even though it is still running on green screens especially when we can buy drones or go-pros for all officers.

      I am simplifying but that is the kind of decision making that happens due to people in charge who know a lot about policing but nothing about the underpinning technology.

  11. JaitcH
    WTF?

    Here We Go Again, Britain Re-Invents The Wheel

    Instead of wasting money re-inventing the wheel, the UK should buy a tried-and-tested system, based on a similar legal system, such as Canada. The US systems have too much bling that doesn't work properly (think the P25 neutered by a Mattel doll).

    And hiring US-based companies is not the answer - except for off-the-shelf 'solutions'.

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