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London Met gives up on its plans for an iPad-equipped police force

The decision to pull the plug came after the Met spent a total of £6 million on the futuristic iPad scheme
iSilly: Wacky, Fun & Random
April 12, 2016

Scotland Yard's ambitious plan to equip the London Met police force with iPad minis has been abandoned, but not after the Met spent around £6 million on the fruitless scheme, a recent report explains.

The plans have now backfired in spectacular fasion.

News of Scotland Yard's ambitious plans first hit the Web a couple of years ago, when the London-based Metropolitan police force purchased 600 iPad minis from Apple as part of the scheme. The plan, ultimately, was to equip between 15,000 and 20,000 officers with iPad minis in a bid to replace paper, increase efficiency, and, in the long run, save money. Yet the plans have now backfired in spectacular fasion as the scheme, it seems, has been abandoned.

The Inquirer has the report, and cites information pulled from a Freedom of Information (FoI) request. The request shows that some £6 million has been spent on the London Met's iPad mini scheme, which saw just 641 devices purchased and deployed during the trial period.

The Met spent £1.2m on hardware during that time, including the iPads and supporting servers and accessories, £4.1m on custom software development, which included the databases to support mobile operations, £600,000 on business and management activities and £100,000 on licences. The costs also include the replacement of 12 tablets during the trial period.

After all that, however, a spokesperson for the Met confirmed that despite this significant investment, “the trial did not result in the Met deciding to roll out iPads across its entire force.”

Moreover, the spokesperson added that the Met “cannot speculate about the mobile technology it will end up using, nor is there any strict deadline as to when it will make such a decision.” But if each “trial” costs the London Met £6 million, the process of coming to such a decision could prove costly – especially during the current period of austerity for Britain.

So, there you have it. The next time you're on London streets, don't expect the local bobby to be touting an iPad mini. Perhaps the Met might consider rolling out Apple Watches next? We'll keep you posted.