Sara Murray’s venture is one of four to be selected by Ministry of Justice, representing major boost for Britain’s SME community
It’s safe to say we have a bit of a soft spot for start-ups here at Elite Business. It will come as little surprise to learn therefore that we get a little bit shirty about the big guns dominating proceedings when many of our SMEs are just as, if not more, well-positioned to jump into the breach and deliver the goods.
Now, we know that the government is consistently banging the drum for our innovative start-ups and ambitious small business owners. But it is very rare indeed that we see one entrusted with assisting a comprehensive project emanating from the upper echelons of the establishment. Well, we are proud to report that such an occurrence has come to fruition today, and it is one of our former cover stars who is proudly picking up the torch for the SME community.
As part of if its efforts to keep a closer eye on the movement of offenders, the Ministry of Justice has awarded buddi – headed by Sara Murray – a contract, along with three other companies, to deliver the high-tech equipment required for its new satellite tracking programme. Murray’s Nottingham-based venture – which is responsible for the tracking and alarm device giving the firm its name – is to be joined by outsourcing giant Capita to develop the technology, with Spanish telecommunications specialist Telefónica and aerospace body Astrium also selected as preferred bidders.
Buddi, along with its fellow contractors, will replace current suppliers G4S (you may remember them) and Serco, who are to continue with their existing contracts for a transitional period to ensure operational continuity. It is envisaged that, by letting the service out nationally in this way, the supervision of offenders will be a more cost-efficient process in the long-term. Once produced, the new technology should mean suspects can easily be identified as having been at the scene of a crime or quickly eliminated from inquiries, hopefully delivering swifter justice and saving valuable police time and money.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Today’s announcement is the start of a revolution in how we supervise offenders. We are now going to be able to track offenders wherever they go, 24 hours a day. And we will be able to stop them going to places we don’t want them going to go - like paedophiles hanging around outside schools. All of this is going to be done with world class British technology designed and built by the kind of business we want government to work with more.”
Naturally, we can’t help but be encouraged by this news – and are delighted for Murray and her team – but the government needs to put its faith in our SMEs on a more consistent basis before we can truly be convinced that it is walking the walk, as opposed to just talking the talk.