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back to article Police watchdog urges use of data recorders

Data recorders should be fitted to all police vehicles, says a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The IPCC has made the recommendation as one of several in a study on serious and fatal injuries from police road traffic incidents, published on 19 September 2007. Data recorders capture the speed at …

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Anonymous Coward

innocence: :fear

Looks good to me.

If the police are innocent, they have nothing to fear.

If they object to surveillance, maybe they have something to hide.

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Not just for police vehicles in the US

In the States, many public vehicles, not just those owned by State Police departments, are fitted with data recorders. A discreet camera and twenty seconds worth of data from the car are buffered and kept in the event of a collision.

This provides invaluable information, especially in the case of vehicles that seem to get more than their fair share of damage. It can help secure a conviction, but also provides evidence for insurance claims in non-criminal circumstances.

They are cheaper than the rather more sophisticated video-gathering equipment that is installed in UK police cars. It is unclear yet whether they can earn their cost back, but it is noted that the driving standards of car users who are not aware of the system in the car are questionable from some of the published footage.

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Anonymous Coward

Fit guided missiles instead

To blow the crap out of the twocing little shitbags before they cause any harm.

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Still wiggle room

So they couldn't recover 100% of the data for incidents.

Anyone else think that they will become less effective as they get more widely deployed.

Not that the police would EVER intentionally destroy evidence that could incriminate themselves.

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Silver badge

More Excuses

For gods sake, let's not give the police any more excuses not to go after criminals. Obviously, any injuries/deaths that occur as part of police chases are to be regretted, but if we make things harder for the police, they simply won't pursue any longer. What would that do. People need to consider the following

1. In a police chase, actions are taken in split seconds and the situation changing rapidly. Sitting in a office chair and analysing the polices actions is a little unfair.

2. If the police are likely to be judged in this way, every chase will become 'too dangerous'.

3. Any car thief etc. will know that the more dangerous etc. they are, the more likely the police are to back off, thus encouraging this behaviour.

The real answer is to do everything you can to stop them and then give them real sentences to discourage anyone else from doing the same. Also, the police have to show concern for the lives of the thiefs during these pursuits. That's a mistake to start with. If knocking them off the road into a tree is the quickest way of stopping them, fair enough.

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Anonymous Coward

In general, I approve ...

In a week where the police fearlessly decided not to take themselves the wrong way on a motorway in pursuit of a suspect car, leading to several people dead when lots of blue lights etc might have warned the oncoming vehicle to get out of the way, my faith in police decision-making is severely reduced. Anything that gets them to remember that work for the community, not alongside it, is good in my books. Personally, I have no problems with the police going at high speed when they have all the warning lights flashing - South Yorkshire police have a habit of travelling at well over the speed limit (I've nearly been hit by a police Volvo with the turbo wastegate popping at much more than 90mph) with no flashing lights at all. Let's have a new rule - if the lights aren't flashing, it is just a car, and fully subject to all rules of the road. Data-logging might enforce that, if nothing else.

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Silver badge

Control

Anything that helps to control the controllers gets my vote. Not all police officers are dickheads but there are enough of them that think they have the god given right to get away with murder ( sometimes literally) just because they are cops.

Obviously, as someone else has already said, split second decisions are sometimes required. However, where an action could result in the deaths or injury of innocent members of the public there is usually enough time for a little sensible thinking, it's not as if chasing offenders in cars is dependent on split second reactions. I am sure our cops in the UK do the same as in the states where they maintain a running commentary during a chase so that other officers can respond and attempt to cut off any getaway. Collateral damage is not acceptable in civilian situations in Britain.

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