Prime Minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown has asked the police to come up with a wish list of gadgets they can use to combat crime. In a speech to the annual conference of chief police officers in Manchester yesterday, Brown suggested technology might help them strike a balance between the demands of volume crime and the need to …
From a police point of view...
I work as special constable with the Metropolitan Police but also work in IT full time. They need some kind of PDA device as they use in many US Police depts that would save me carrying 5kg worth of notepads and paperwork with me while out on patrol. It would also help if they could cut down the 6 hours of paperwork needed when you arrest someone... that's mostly so you can prove the drug dealer is having his human rights respected... just after he beat the stuffing out of a 90 year old....
Spends money here...
But won't spend money on, let me see - giving our troops decent boots that don't melt in the middle east?
Building prisons - even though they have seen the current "crisis" coming for the past 5 years?
You are not fit to be a police officer
"It would also help if they could cut down the 6 hours of paperwork needed when you arrest someone... that's mostly so you can prove the drug dealer is having his human rights respected... just after he beat the stuffing out of a 90 year old."
If you think your judge and jury, you are seriously unfit to be a police officer.
..or perhaps this technology might help to supply the much needed evidence that is often strangely missing such as when Brazilian men supposedly "leap" underground barriers whilst ostensibly wearing "bulky jackets" - or firm up the wonderful intelligence that let to the shooting of (yet) another innocent man in the Forest Gate raid?
it seems to me that the issue with too much reliance on technology is that the people who we entrust with its operation aren't always the most capable or honest, are they? Giving coppers all the PDAs or whatever else they want is irrelevant if they keep shooting the wrong people!
ah but thats the post Sept 11th/July 7th "paradigm of prevention" isn't it? paradox more like - it doesn't matter whether a crime has occurred or is likely to occur, any action is permissible if something "could" happen no matter how unlikely that eventuality is, and when the cops make their mistakes, all we get are insincere excuses as to how brave they were (to shoot an unarmed and unsuspecting innocent man in the head several times)
oh I know the answer! just lock everyone who "could" commit a crime up in extended protective detention (suitably reviewed by a tame magistrate) and there won't be any crimes committed anymore, in fact the cops could clear a few up by fitting some of these detainees up, well they're in for "terrorism" or whatever else could be thougt up, might as well make sure that they don't go without some sort of charge (and thus can be kept in detention even longer!)
Or Noo Labour could make some new crimes up, such as "breathing" "walking" "speaking" - esp as expressing any opinion (other than Blair/Brown approved) without earshot of Parliament is now illegal.
You'll excuse me if I'm rather cynical about giving the Police yet more dangerous kit and greater powers, since they haven't yet proven that they can use what they've already got responsibly.
I think they should demand...
National intelligence system
After Soham etc, the ensuing enquiry recommended a national intelligence system, and the government were going to press ahead. But now its been scrapped, despite the demonstrable benefits from the Scottish Intelligence Database.
From a civilian's point of view...
It would be essential, if we the public are to pay for police equipment, for there to be greater transparency in its use. Recordings made via helmet-mounted cameras should be immediately available to the public, and owned by the public, rather than by police organisations.
There are no sensible justifications to withhold such data. Making recordings publicly available in real time would be a step towards assuring folk of the socially responsible motivation for employing such technology.
It could also lead to some pretty interesting Web 2.8 Mash-Ups ;-)
In response to the previous poster...why would a drug dealer beat up a 90 year old? All the drug dealers I was aware of at university were quite happy earning money off drug-addled losers. After which, incidentally, they went off to join large US investment banks. I believe they still have a clientele of drug-addled losers, but different products.
Seriously, if you are genuinely from the police services, you really do need a camera stuck on your bonce. Permanently. Your propensity towards exaggeration and hyperbole is incredible. Have you ever successfully stood in the witness stand and NOT had your testimony torn to shreds by the defence barrister?
> Brown wanted to do what he could to help protect people's "fundamental right to be safe and secure"
By taking away the right to be Presumed Innocent, the right to Freedom of Expression, the right to Protest, the right to Go About Your Lawful Business Without Let or Hinderance, the right to...
Dear Mr. Brown,
For Christmas the coppers of Old England Town would like a pair of spring-loaded crime-busting boots; a group of groovy teenagers, their dog and a mystery-solving van; a searchlight that projects a bat symbol on to clouds and a time-travelling police box.
""It would also help if they could cut down the 6 hours of paperwork needed when you arrest someone... that's mostly so you can prove the drug dealer is having his human rights respected... just after he beat the stuffing out of a 90 year old."
If you think your judge and jury, you are seriously unfit to be a police officer."
I thnk the point the chap was trying to make is that instead of being out on the beat being a crime prevention device, said chap is stuck behind a desk for hours on end filling in paper work to show that the rights of the arrested individual are not being passed over. If there was a device that would allow said officer to quickly fill in a form which shows the alledged criminal's human rights are being kept intact then that would be a bonus.
And also no, police officers are neither judge nor jury, infact most judges and jury are not, most cases go before the CPS who decides "ok, they found drugs on the person, and a baseball bat with the 90 year olds blood on it in his car with his fingerprints on it, and they have a signed confession, ahh well not enough evidence to prosecute, lets drop the case"
I see a market opportunity...
for lenscap makers.
"Been forced to wear a helmet camera by your many, many, many superiors? Hindered in your ability to execute Brazilians? Second-guessing whether to pull up black men in Porsches? Try new CopBopCamCap!!! Cover bloody tracks and underage tricks with this thimble-sized wonder!!! CopBopCamCap...giving you the freedom to pursue your interest in terrorism. Err, terrorists."
Nah just kidding...coppers today, salt of the earth. Good people who understandably can't influence their superiors. Just following orders. Zey are just following ze orders, ja?
I know the UK doesn't have a Bill of Rights, but I thought you had some sort of freedom of speech. Or does that only apply if you agree with the majority opinion? Or with the government (which doesn't have to be the majority opinion).
Let's see, among the "gadgets" I'd pay for is a raise in police salaries. Police and firefighters don't get paid enough. Charleston, SC is a case in point.
" And also no, police officers are neither judge nor jury, infact most judges and jury are not, most cases go before the CPS who decides "ok, they found drugs on the person, and a baseball bat with the 90 year olds blood on it in his car with his fingerprints on it, and they have a signed confession, ahh well not enough evidence to prosecute, lets drop the case" "
Well, if we're just making up whatever we wish and presenting it as the truth, let me continue the story
"... because as it turns out, the coppers put the 90 year old's blood on the bat, planted the drugs on the defendant, and beat the stuffing out of the guy until he signed a false confession, all because last year one of the coppers' girlfriends left him and went off with the guy, and now they've fitted him up for revenge."
And that's why we have rights. Because otherwise we are slaves living under the arbitrary dictatorship of any and every petty official. Those rights are vital guarantors of our freedom and the integrity of our democracy, and anyone who thinks that we shouldn't have them and that the police should just have absolute powers to order everyone around is a "useful idiot" to those who would wish to own us body and soul.
Incidentally, those same rights protect coppers as much as they protect civilians. Whenever you hear some wannabe-fascist whining about how unfair it is that they aren't king of the world and that they have to respect other people's rights, just remind them how little they'd like having their own rights taken away.
Does anyone else see a problem....
"After Soham etc, the ensuing enquiry recommended a national intelligence system, and the government were going to press ahead"
Is it me or is there something deeply ironic in the terms Governement & Intelligence being used in an article about the Vigilante, I mean Police Force?
How about, just a far left field idea, we pay coppers more money and instead of employing any scrot who fancies beating and oppressing people he doesn't like the look of, we employ intelligent and above all honest/ethical people.
No.. thought that was a non starter. Let's just improve things by giving them all machine guns and carte blanche to break the law and kill whoever they want. Oh?? What's that?? We did that already???
Can we have jail sentence for misuse of laws?
"I thnk the point the chap was trying to make is that instead of being out on the beat being a crime prevention device, said chap is stuck behind a desk for hours on end filling in paper work to show that the rights of the arrested individual are not being passed over. If there was a device that would allow said officer to quickly fill in a form which shows the alledged criminal's human rights are being kept intact then that would be a bonus."
Except it bollocks, they don't fill in any such 'human rights' form.
I'm sick to death of hearing how anti-terrorism laws are being used to arrest ordinary people. When that old pensioner was arrested for shouting 'nonsense' during a Tony Blair lie, erm, speech, the police officer knew damn well that he was not a terrorist. He knew he was misusing the anti-terror laws.
Yet there was no come back for the misuse of the anti-terror laws.
Remove the new anti-terror 'SUS' law and put the controls back in place.
Apply an equal and opposite penalty for knowingly misusing these powers.
So if the penalty for making a comment that is deemed to 'inciting terrorism' is 7 years, the penalty for making a malicious false claim of 'inciting terrorism' should be 7 years.
Last time I was in a position to have an intelligent chat with a beat copper - which was a long time ago, I grant you - he told me that he had to buy his own mobile phone because the station wouldn't provide him with one.
It appears that beat coppers find a mobile invaluable because they can leave a card and then the public can actually talk to them while they are on the street.
Generally it's the simple bits of kit that are most useful.
"Well, if we're just making up whatever we wish and presenting it as the truth, let me continue the story"
Seriously, watch one of them fly on the wall cop shows, the one with the traffic cops are good. Camera man on the scene filming it as it happens, you see the cops burst in with their big sticks, raid the place and find drugs. Or they pull someone over and find drugs on them, or they... lots of stuff.
Then you get the bloke at the end sayin "charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence", lack of evidence? They have a camera man with them, showing the coppers finding drugs, a camera for heavens sake, with a professional camera man filming it IN HIGH DEFENITION. No wonder moral among cops is low, they are getting persecuted by the people for the governments actions - news flash, vote Labour and your going to lose a lot more civil liberties, and a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for Scottish MP's to rule over England.
"Except it bollocks, they don't fill in any such 'human rights' form."
And you would know that because? I'm down in the South West, they already have coppers with cameras on their heads patrolling Plymouth, its no big deal, its just another CCTV except mobile and will help in a coppers case.
TV laws are as bad as TV dinners
"Seriously, watch one of them fly on the wall cop shows"
No, I blame TV. They go out with the best coppers available, they take the best most compelling clips and make an *unrepresentative* TV show.
So far, so good, it's just TV.
But then people in power watch the show and take their world view from it. People like TB don't have normal interaction with the police, they get their world view from these TV shows! The laws they make reflect that, they assume all police are superdudes and all suspects are evil drug dealers and all these criminals are getting off scot free.
They (and you) can't understand why when you go into someones house and remove him from his kids for suspected drink driving, why the whole estate hates you. Why their respect for the law is diminished by your over the top enforcement. Why your choices do more damage than the *suspected* crime you're investigating.
"Then you get the bloke at the end sayin "charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence", lack of evidence? They have a camera man with them, showing the coppers finding drugs, a camera for heavens sake, with a professional camera man filming it IN HIGH DEFENITION."
Yet he's let off, so apparently the evidence isn't as strong as the TV *SHOW* leads you to believe. But then it's just a TV show and is only giving one side edited to make it look good.
"No wonder moral among cops is low"
Moral among ordinary people is lower. The sooner we get rid of this lot and back to a proper legal balance the better. It will be better for the coppers too, when the balance is put back in.
Some places have no gadgets AND no crime. How?
i live in Vilnius where there is very very little street crime, and none of the police have helmet cameras or PDAs or tasers or even cool looking cars.
In fact the police are hardly respected at all, and certainly don't spend much time on respecting human rights, or even reading the police code. They famously locked up a BBC investigative journalist for reporting the dealer he just bought heroin from. They didn't lock up the dealer (mafia payoff no doubt).
So how can I walk around the streets at night and not worry here? Why do I let my girlfriend walk back on her own from her friend's house in the dark? How is it possible? I thought technology was the only solution!!
Scottish Intelligence ?
Surrrly ye gat ta be kiddin, hey, jimmeh!
Making crime not pay... it's a question of integrated services, respect and punishement
Strange ways of laws and life.
In eastern culture, most crime is violently repressed. Algeria, the cops sport AK74's. Saudi, nick somthing, lose a hand... and you can only repeat offend and get caught once...
Saddam Hussein : A part from the genocidal maniac, how many other countries could Jews,Christians, Persians and Arabs get along without cutting each others throats? Probably because the Governement cut the troublemakers throat first. It tends to be dissuasive (and has the advantage of not overpopulating the prisons).
How was crime dropped in New York? A cop on every street corner. OK, they had to massively employ, but it worked. Today you may only get 4 bales of crap beat out of you rather than killed in the subway.
From what I see, the problems are (and are similar here in France):
- Not enough coppers on the beat
- Red tape supplied on 1000 metre drums by the home office
- Once a perp gets caught, 2 hours later he is back on the street waving 2 fingers at the station. Why bother nicking him in the first place?
- If he does go in front of a beak, then there is a large chance that they are let off. Again, why bother?
- If the beak does sentence, the prisons are probably the best school of crime around...
So, a simple 4 point plan is needed
1) Get the police out on the streets doing a preventive job. An incident number after a crime is not what I call "showing the force", especially if you are that now-stuffingless 90 year old...
Doing that means getting *efficient* procedures online. Nick someone, fingerprint, maybe dna, name, rank number and get CPS involved like within the hour for petty crime (point 2) or a judge for any mainline stuff (point 3)
2) Kickstart CPS with a bleeding great boot. They are supposed to prevent crime, not push paper. Analyse the crime, and then punish, taking in account of age, previous criminal record. Make CPS a sort of small clams / traffic court with a judge. Give community service sentences and 1 month Community service as a minimum sentence if proven guilty. Get them repairing the British rail network replacing track, use them as slave labour, painting handrails, somthing useful. If they skip, then on to point 3.
3) Kickstart the justice system. If a perpetrator of a crime is not processable by CPS either by magnitude or repetition, then the judge must take a firmer view, but respecting innocence until proven guilty.
A case shoud not be dismissed by lack of time or not bothered to sit on the trial, and if they are guilty, then punishment must be handed out.
4) Kickstart the prison service. Prisons are probably as I mentionned the best school of crime around. No hotel prisons. It's not supposed to be nice, but different grades for different crimes (like a simple open one for housing the yoofs on community service. No, they should not go home in the evening, it's part of the punishment), but do not take hope away. Get people to fit back in to society, and help them do that, not just kick them out the door after a few years.
Give them values and make them want to do somthing.
OK, it will not work for all, but in the list, 1) gets the coppers motivated to do their jobs if they can do it better, faster, and know that when a perp is handed off up the chain, everyone will do their jobs respecting the jobs of the people down the line, and showing victims and the public the necessity of showing law and order being applied fairly and equally.
2) gets a swift hearing for purse snatching and red-handed granny bashers. Open and shut case first offenders, and gets the buggers out doing somthing simple, probably boring, but useful, even for unqualified "labour".
3) Makes sure that any repeat offenders get heard, processed and if guilty, sentenced according the the gravity of the crime. No tolerance or get out of jail free unless you are innocent. No dropping of cases because you cant be bothered (and ignore again the victim and spit on the time spent by the police getting the guy in front of the beak)
4) If the guilty have to be locked up, make sure that prison has a positive action of "not wanting to go back", and knowing that if you slip up, you *will* go back, and also make sure that prison is also used for re-education, fixing whatever made them screw up in the first place.
Crime must not pay, and it must be seen not to pay. Today, it seems that it does pay, and that there is no prevention... And fitting the police with PDA's and machine guns is good publicity, but it's not getting their mission done, and it's not in any way getting the rest of the legal chain (CPS, courts, prisons, help associations) running smoothly.
Again, if the government spent less on the Global War on Suspected Terrorists and concentrated that cash on what was really needed....
Na, ain't going to happen is it?
Perhaps the answer is...
Can we have more coppers please that are actually out on the beat and not off long term sick or in the office?
Technology is fine but you need feet on the street, that is what will stop crime rather than just using fancy kit to help in processing the few offenders that are caught.