Awarded to Sarax Limited

Start date: Tuesday 14 December 2021
Value: £212,650
Company size: SME
British Transport Police

British Transport Police - Safer Streets Mobile Safety Platform

16 Incomplete applications

12 SME, 4 large

20 Completed applications

12 SME, 8 large

Important dates

Monday 20 September 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 27 September 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 4 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The design and development of a mobile platform i.e app that will provide safer journeys on public transport, offering a simplistic and engaging user experience which must be easy to access and use.
Latest start date
Monday 1 November 2021
Expected contract length
Project Delivery by March 2022. 1+1 optional year's service, maintenance, updating and licencing.
Organisation the work is for
British Transport Police
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The British Transport Police (BTP) is looking to engage with an established digital supplier with signification experience in design and development of an application/mobile travel safety platform to provide a modern and user-friendly tool for safer journeys on the transport network, which will enhance our digital contact services.
Sexual Offences and Violence against women and girls (VAWG) are high on the political and social agenda and are a priority for the UK Government, National Police Chief’s Council and BTP alike.
BTP have bid for funding under the ‘Safer Streets 3’ initiative through the Home Office, which has been specifically introduced to tackle this issue.
Following extensive consultation with key stakeholders including the Rail Industry, charity sector and academia as a part of the Sexual Offences and VAWG Strategy, the need for enhanced methods of reporting these offences was identified. It was determined that a safer travel App/platform needed to be developed.
The objectives would be to encourage reporting of incidents, provide access to guidance, support and signpost users to charities and other agencies, whilst offering reassurance to users and their families using geo-location services. The app/platform would also need to feed information back to users by way of surveys/campaign launches.
Problem to be solved
Less than 10% of victims/survivors of sexual offences and VAWG are reported to the police. Several blockers have been identified including knowledge around how and when to report, lack of trust and confidence in the Justice System and emotional barriers.
Challenges with the current technical infrastructure do not allow all methods of reporting, this technological solution must bridge that gap and provide a seamless link into BTP’s existing text reporting service and the Single Online Home crime reporting service.
We require an App/mobile platform that will provide an accessible, convenient, and modern tool to assist in the overall safe journey experience, whilst providing guidance and support and an outlet for reporting.
The App/mobile platform will be required to sit on multiple devices using responsive techniques, it must be compatible with IOS and Android, and include geo-technology capabilities.
The solution should seek to adopt user experience best practice, with reference to user journeys/user cases/story boards and wireframes in support of the development of the proposed design.
This is a unique, but very challenging opportunity, due to some very tight timescales. The product must be designed, tested and delivered by the end of March 2022.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users will be predominantly passengers travelling and staff working on the UK Rail Network, who could access a mobile app that provides information, guidance, and tools for safe travel
It is expected that the users will be able to report crime, upload images or media and access support services, advice, and guidance.
The users will be also able to locate friends and loved ones if required as they travel through the system and beyond.
Early market engagement
There has been limited engagement with the market, however, BTP have engaged with Home office Police forces to try to assist our understanding of what the market can provide.
Any work that’s already been done
Extensive user requirement research has been conducted by way of surveys, academic research and workshops.
BTP have explored the internal Force system requirements and processes and are satisfied that this App can be seamlessly integrated to directly feed the existing text service and single online home crime reporting system.
Existing team
Project continues to be driven by DCI White and DI Mellor in collaboration with Commercial, Technology and Digital Policing teams
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the project team are currently working remotely with meetings taking place via Microsoft Teams. Any supplier resources must also be able to work remotely.
BTP Force Headquarters 25 Camden Road, London, NW1 9LN /Supplier premises
Working arrangements
Engagement with the Supplier will be provided by the Sexual Offences Management Group with dedicated departmental single points of contact.
It is expected that regular updates on the development of the application and functionality and the delivery of a minimum viable product (MPV) and that the team is meeting the agreed output of the project.
It is expected that regular progress throughout the project will be reported, with risks and issues to be raised and logged as they occur.
The work would be undertaken in conjunction with our Technology and Digital teams and be generally undertaken offsite.
Security clearance
BTP vetting processes up to Non-Police Personnel Level 3 (NPPV3) for contractors will be required and suppliers will need to liaise with the BTP Vetting team to arrange this

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
No element of the work undertaken will be sub-contracted out to a third-party unless this is clearly stated and agreed within the proposal provided or subsequently agreed with BTP.

Payment will be upon the proposed timeframe and deliverable stages as below
1: Create/design/develop and build MPV app by end December 2021
2: Integrate the App into existing BTP systems by end January 2022
3: Beta test and run a pilot by end February 2022
4: Launch live App by the end of March 2022

Retention of 10% of the overall value to be paid on satisfactory completion of the project.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Demonstrate recent extensive and proven experience of designing, building, and delivering an App compatible with IOS and Android, including geo-locating technology.
  • Demonstrate recent experience with examples in developing and maintaining Apps within ever changing environments.
  • With recent examples show how you have previously demonstrated GDPR compliance and necessary Governmental Service Standards around the storage and usage of data.
  • Demonstrate with an example showing experience of integration with other 3rd party suppliers.
  • Demonstrate recent experience of delivering a similar requirement at pace and to tight deadlines.
  • Demonstrate how you would achieve the high-end deliverables listed within the timeframes.
  • Demonstrate where you have evidence of complying with WCAG v2.1 Standards for web content access guidelines
  • Recent experience = within the last 2 years, Max 3 pages - ariel 12 pt.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Knowledge and experience of BTP systems and awareness of the unique challenges of policing the Rail Network.
  • Having an existing standard App set-up in place that can be tailored to BTP’s specific requirements

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Describe how you understand and will meet the requirement including how the solution will meet user needs. (15)
  • Describe the approach and methodology – showing a strong understanding of agile and core principles and how these are applied to successfully deliver this project. (10)
  • Describe with a recent example your understanding of developing similar user -friendly apps, and how this will be delivered in line with the timelines. (10)
  • Fully evidence comprehensive and detailed pricing to fit with the deliverables and methodology for resourcing , materials, ability to mobilise quickly and how it provides value for money. (10)
  • Detail Project plan (based on our estimated timelines) showing details and activity. (10)
  • Provide evidence of Relevant skills and experience of the team who will be undertaking the work and how they will work together (5)
  • How you will identify risks and dependencies and offer approaches to manage them (5)
Cultural fit criteria
  • User outcome focused (1)
  • Work professionally as a team with our organisation (1)
  • Transparent and clear decision-making process (1)
  • Collaborative style of working (1)
  • Accessibility of solution is a priority (1)
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Within the essential criteria you have a limit of 3 pages and 12 pt font. In DOS stage 1 we can only provide answers via the platform and are limited to 100 words answers. Can you confirm if you are expecting other documentation alongside the DOS responses? If so how is that to be submitted?
Please disregard “Max 3 pages - arial 12 pt” and respond as per usual DOS stage 1.
2. Within the information for bidders, you say that you have bid for funding – has funding been awarded? What is your approximate budget for this project? (a range would be great)
Funding has not yet been awarded, but we have alternatives sources of funding available and are confident of our ability to fund this project. We anticipate a budget between £360- £450k ex vat
3. Your brief notes a requirement for a “App/mobile platform.” Do you require a native mobile app (e.g. iOS, Android) or is a Progressive Web App (PWA) acceptable to meet your goals? For more info on PWAs see
We require a mobile digital solution that will extend our existing public contact services via our website. Due to security requirements, it is unlikely that a standalone ‘native’ app would fulfil this requirement, however we are open to proposals for alternative web-based solutions that could be securely integrated into our existing systems.
4. Is there any incumbent supplier for this project or a supplier who has worked on similar projects for the same team? Thank you.
No, there is no other supplier in place.
5. If we can offer a ‘best of class’ capability in one specific aspect of the requirement (in this case geo-location) would our application be considered as part of a potential consortium, to be drawn together by the Authority?
BTP would not be drawing together or manage a consortium for this requirement. Suppliers are welcome to join up with other DOS suppliers and submit a response. BTO will evaluate one response from the lead DOS supplier.
6. What type of people/users were involved in the user research? Who was involved in the workshops, etc. and will the successful bidder get access to all of that collateral?
Research has been conducted by/with the National Police Chiefs Council, Rail Delivery Group, TfL, various academics and 3rd party sectors including charities. Access could be granted where GDPR currently allows.
7. Are there any restrictions to some of the development being done by colleagues off-shore (not a third party sub-contractor)?
This would depend upon whether any BTP data would be transferred to that 3rd party, we would need to review the proposal and engage with our internal InfoSec/Information Mgt teams
8. Point 8 of the Essential Criteria asks about “Recent experience”. Previous points have also asked about recent experience. Is there anything in particular you are interested in understanding in point 8 which has not been previously covered?
This point refers to the points where a question asks for ‘recent experience’ or similar, this would mean within the last 2 years. Please disregard “Max 3 pages – arial 12pt”
9. Please could you confirm whether the following requirement is a must have, or a nice to have, due to security and anonymity challenges with live tracking. ‘The users will be also able to locate friends and loved ones if required as they travel through the system and beyond.’
This is a ‘must have’
10. Please could you confirm whether there is a requirement for offline functionality?
11. Can we please get an indication of budget, even just an estimate range?
We anticipate a budget between £360- £450k ex vat.
12. Once you have shortlisted suppliers, what is the timeline for the next stage (written proposal & presentation)?
We aim to complete the shortlisting by 8th October and will then invite next stage presentations over the following 2 weeks
13. Is it possible for a team partially located outside of the UK to get the required clearance for this project?
This would depend upon whether any BTP data would be transferred to that 3rd party, we would need to review the proposal and engage with our internal InfoSec/Information Mgt teams.
14. Please could you confirm whether the budget of approx £360- £450k ex vat is for both project delivery and licensing, and whether there is a licensing budget per year (1+1)?
Budget is for the design, development and license for the first year
15. Within the budget allocated for this project, is there anything outside of maintenance, Updating and delivery that we need to be aware of?
16. 16. Is the application meant to operate in an offline mode given that not all physical areas provide mobile signal functionality?
Under the heading of who the users are, etc. The reference is made “to access support services, advice and guidance”
o Are these specific content that BTP has today or will have available for release?
o Is there sample content, support services information available today?
A. Yes. Sample content available on our website –
17. 17. Who is required to maintain the application given that in the agile real world changes may be required?
A. Content to be maintained by BTP, maintenance by the supplier
18. Who is required to add new functionality that maybe required to be added after the V1 release
o How is this to be managed financially regarding budget after an agreed functionality for a V1 release?
Supplier expected to add new functionality after V1 release.
Engagement with commercial and procurement to determine threshold for contract variation and budget support from Technology.
19. Is this application required to be used in what geographical areas of the country being the United Kingdom or England only?
The whole of the UK – England, Scotland and Wales
20. Is the supplier required to make this available as a SaaS or on premise manage solution for back end integration to the BTP existing systems e.g. “integrated to directly feed the existing text services and single crime reporting system”
Preference will be for a SaaS solution with full stack (front end and back end)managed fully by the supplier off-premises with means of connecting to third-party services currently hosted on-premises but may move off-premises in the future.
21. Is the supplier required to make this available as a SaaS or on premise manage solution for back end integration to the BTP existing systems e.g. “integrated to directly feed the existing text services and single crime reporting system”
Pt2 Answer: Consideration will be given if it is required to integrate with BTP services running on-premises using industry standards
22. 21. Are api’s or web services available for connectivity into these BTP system available with documentation
o Are development systems available for testing these integrations?
Links to identified services will require engagement with third-party providers who will provide details on their api’s or access to web services.
Space on-premises to support development and testing will need to be assessed prior to commitment and allocation.
23. We believe the services will be hosted in-house in BTP infrastructure. Is this right assumption?
The preference will be for cloud hosted (SaaS) solution in compliance with BTP Information management and security standards.
If an on-premise solution is required then consideration will be undertaken with the expectation that the solution provided is compliant with industry standards for hardware, hosting and data storage and management
24. Will BTP be providing the google/apple play store services to make the application available to users to install on the devices?
The application is expected to be provided as a responsive web app rather than via google/apple play store services
25. Your requirements speak little of the Admin-side experience and requirements. You mention the internal Force system and the existing text service and single online home crime reporting system. Are you able to share any information about what these are built on so we can understand how they would be integrated with?
BTP use a number of third-party services such as Control Works/Niche maintained and managed by Capita. Details can be provided in support of the integration of the application with existing third-party services
26. Does BTP envisage the the app to have case management capability i.e. workflow, collaboration and decisioning, managing the end to end lifecycle of a case from reporting to resolution or mainly to enhance digital contact/reporting and basic signposting of information?
BTP are currently using the workflow automation capabilities provided by Freshservice for several departments. The use of workflow, collaboration and decision making should be considered for contact handling if this option is taken up.
27. You say that “Challenges with the current technical infrastructure do not allow all methods of reporting” what are those challenges and what methods, apart from text and images, do you want to support?
Currently the use of the text service is restricted to when users have a mobile phone connection. We want the new service to take advantage of the increased free wi-fi across the network and allow for much wider connectivity.
28. Can you explain in a little more detail how you want the ‘locate friends and loved ones’ feature to work. What do you want users to achieve? How do you want them to use the information?
A. We want users to be able to set up geo-location services to share their location with selected friends/family that will provide them with notifications concerning the user’s location as they travel across the network
29. Is there a legacy app that will be replaced/integrated?
30. Are there any design guidelines (brand) that we need to be aware off?
No, but there is an expectation for the supplier to work with BTP campaigns team re design
31. Will continuous design support be required after release?
32. Can you please provide some high-level technical design information on the text service and single online home crime reporting system? What is the interface they provide? How do external services connect and interact with them?
Information is contractually sensitive to branded suppliers Capita and Met / Single Online Home so not something we could provide until supplier is appointed, and security cleared.