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back to article North Lincs pilots victimisation index

An electronic system to help people who are vulnerable to antisocial behaviour is being trialled in North Lincolnshire. The Victims and Vulnerable Persons Index (VVPI) was launched on 26 October as an early warning system about people at risk of systematic attack or abuse by neighbourhood gangs. The VVPI has been developed in …

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Seems to me that ...

Back in the Paleolithic, this would have been reversed.

And that's what has made us human.

Stand up on your own two feet, people. Be your individual self. In fact, INSIST on it! It's the only way ... madness lies in the other direction.

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Anonymous Coward

A title, a title, a title, a title, a title, a title, a title, a title, a title.

Back in the Palaeolithic Era, male geeks might find procreating a little difficult. Still sure of your argument?

But to be a little less childish about it, if you think society is that bad, why not secede and see how many days you last as an army of one.

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Anonymous Coward

While I symphatise with the sentiment...

... it's all too easy to read "might makes right" into your comment. And that's not what society ought to be about. AIUI this system is about identifying the weak, not about what to do once you've pinpointed them.

While I fully agree that in order to /help/ people one shouldn't try and coddle them to death, instead helping them to learn to stand up for themselves whenever possible, that isn't what this is about. This is about figuring out who are the weak in need of help.

It brings up a question, though: What do you do with your hard-won information pinpointing vulnerable people in need of help and then it turns out there isn't anything you can actually do to help them?

And then there are questions like: What happens with false positives? What happens if false negatives are pointed out? What is the theoretical basis for all this and how has the methodology been tested? That sort of thing. I see nothing about that in the article, meaning the software is more or less treated like a silver bullet. Well, we all know that'll surely work, don't we?

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@John Dee

"Back in the Palaeolithic Era, male geeks might find procreating a little difficult."

Oh, I dunno. Us tool users seem to have come out on top, over the long haul.

"Still sure of your argument?"

Yep.

"But to be a little less childish about it, if you think society is that bad, why not secede and see how many days you last as an army of one."

Been there, done that. I subsistence-level farmed my place up in Mendocino County for around four years. I'd still be up there, but Bigger Blue made me an offer that I couldn't refuse ...

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@AC 10:27

"it's all too easy to read "might makes right" into your comment."

Yep.

"And that's not what society ought to be about.

"Ought to be" and "is" are two different things. Open your eyes. Look around you.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't be a fool (Re: @AC 10:27)

Yes, well, in a word, no. We'd still be banging rocks together if we let things be just because things be like this. We're a social species and us helping each other is where our success started. That includes passing knowledge and skills onto each other.

And that brings us back to that you're protesting something that wasn't in the article at all.

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first read

of the title and i thought there was some issue with pilots in north links and that they were being abused and it was being monitored. it's too early for this..

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Bollocks!

Just another excuse to collect more info for the Gov in databases and make money on selling IT kit! I bet some director of the firm selling this kit is involved in the Gov quango that set this iffy deal up?

All these lists and data didn't save all those poor little kids like Baby P and Victoria Climbye, who were on the 'at-risk' registers since birth, being given back to their murdering parents so they could see out their last few weeks living in sheer terror of every dawn!

In order to get on the list you have to have been identified, so that still means someone has to spot the at-risk people, that comes down to our wonderful friends in the social services depts again! Social, who seem to think that sending at-risk individuals with physical and mentals scars, back to the people who abused them in the first place is a great idea!

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@The Fuzzy Wotnot

Whilst I agree with your point about it being another excuse for more databases, I had to down-vote you because of your subsequent comments.

Many (if not most) Social Services Departments are overworked, underpaid and demoralised because of comments like yours and criticisms in the media. They are staggering under a ridiculous caseload with insufficient staff numbers and get hammered every time something goes wrong when they have to make a decision between keeping families together ("Social Services Rip Child from Parent's Arms") and protecting a child ("Why Was This Innocent Child Left With These Terrible People?")

I think the money that will end up being spent on another database would be better used to support the Social Workers who are trying to do a thankless job for people who don't understand.

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Point taken

While I admit that I was agitated and may have been a tad over enthusiastic with my comments, due to an unpleasant episode my own family had dealing with an over-zealous member of the social service. My point is exactly that, an underworked, underpaid service cannot handle the work they have already and now they are expected to take on even more work.

Social services have been set up to fail again, before this crackpot scheme, which I still maintain is designed to line the pockets of some IT kit vendor, has even left the drawing board.

They're having trouble making the current system function, so let's introduce another task to distract them from their core task and cause another serious issue of misjudgment and bring the service in disrepute once more.

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On the other hand

It could be argued that recognising potential problems earlier could save work for overburdened services, freeing up capacity. Without knowing more I'd guess that this won't happen here however, as even if it did it would be the proverbial drop in the ocean.

Either way, antisocial behaviour problems do not necessarily always have a social work connection. Surely it's only where children/"vulnerable adults" are involved that this would be the case, otherwise it's a private/criminal concern?

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Current systems dont function

You have managed to hit the nail on the head but miss the point!

The current systems dont work - like in a bank with a different system for every product it offers that arent tied together - you end up with a completely fractured view of needs. That is what all the serious crime reviews say over and over again.

What is needed is a way to link them together- in a way that doesnt endanger the civil liberties of the majority. That is the challenge not stopping people linking them together at all!

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Not what I expected..

I thought I'd see an article ranking victimised pilots - (by Lincolnshire air traffic controllers?). Too early for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Tomorrow's forecast...

Warm and sunny. Pollen levels low with a slight risk of ASBO.

Woohooo! Only two more points until you are officially a victim...

*sigh*

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Missing the real issue?

It sounds a good idea, but doesn't it just amount to telling people that they may be vulnerable to abuse when they likely already know that?

I'm sure such people will be grateful for a "personal support plan" but I'm sure they'd be much happier in a society where they are not vulnerable people. Perhaps the police could also use the data to flag how badly they are failing in their role of policing and how badly the government is failing society?

I'm not sure what these personal support plans will be but I hope they don't put the onus on the victims; have you considered moving to somewhere nicer, where they don't have violent and abusive gangs roaming the streets terrorising people?

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed

But especially this part:

"Perhaps the police could also use the data to flag how badly they are failing in their role of policing and how badly the government is failing society?"

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WTF?

Pilots being victimised

Am I the only one who thought that on seeing the headline?

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What a waste of money!

Pilkington made13 emergency calls to the Police in the year of her death. The culprits were known to Police, local council and social services but nobody was ever arrested. They don't need software - they just need to actually investigate emergency calls instead of ignoring them.

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Cost Savings

Of course, the next big headline will be of a family tragedy due to the fact that they failed to meet the thresholds on the VVPI and so were denied help. I hope the system has a little tick box somewhere to assert "common sense applied" with the facility to override the electronic decision.

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FAIL

You can't use a computer systems to replace good policing

As above.

If fewer hours were spent by officers entering data in to countless databases and more time spent of the streets then they would know where the potentially vulnerable people live and where the problem youths target.

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Anonymous Coward

Not a word about privacy

while this is yet another platform gathering heaps and heaps of sensitive information together.

Yes, it's probably very nicely done. And kudos for managing to extract some useful information out of all that data. And by the by a solid "fsck you" to "the system" for building lots of agencies manned by halfwit do-gooders such that you need an electronic system to sort out the mess--if your agencies can't cope you might as well shut them down and build something better and perhaps staff them with somewhat more competent do-gooders. But the fact remains that we now have one more place added to the many we already have where leaking information might do serious damage. In fact it's concentrated all together for damage maximisation, both in gathered data and in targeting the weakest. Yet not a word about privacy.

Figures, really.

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Unhappy

Better idea

How about the police and social services do their f**king jobs? I'm not a stop-arresting-drivers-and-catch-real-criminals Daily-Mail-reader, but even a cursory look at some of this stuff shows that far too many coppers either don't know how to do their jobs properly, or simply don't care. And disgracefully there's no comeback to them either.

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This is bollocks

Just another database. Another reason for the poor old plod to stay in the plod house and spend more time playing on the computer.

This is nothing more than an abrogation of their responsibilities.

GET OFF YOUR FAT ARSES! GET OUT OF THE STATION AND MEET THE LOCAL PEOPLE!

Get out into the community which you're supposed to be protecting. Meet the people out there and get to know them. ONCE _YOU'VE_ GAINED THEIR TRUST they'll tell you who needs help and who needs watching. And you won't need a frecking computer system to do it for you.

But this presupposes that the current batch of plods actually care about the community they... (I was going to say 'serve' but that's definitely not right.) work in.

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Doomed!

"Stephen Foston, senior safer neighbourhood officer at North Lincolnshire Safer Neighbourhoods, a partnership involving the local council, police and fire services and the NHS"

Another one for the bonfire of the quangos.

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Pint

Dixon of Dock Green had the answer

He would take the pain in the a*se by the ear and have a little 'chat'. He knew all his 'clients' as he walked around his beat.

It is amazing what you can see if you walk, years ago I had a work area in downtown Toronto and used my feet for transportation between accounts, and I learned so much about the underbelly of T.O. is was scary.

It makes you susceptible to begging but I only 'sponsored' one guy, Joe, as he always said: "No bullshit, I don't want a coffee or a bus fare, I WANT BOOZE!"

Plod should walk or bicycle - keeps them in shape, too.

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Anonymous Coward

what he siad

"Plod should walk or bicycle - keeps them in shape, too."

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Anonymous Coward

Bunch of NIMBYs

How many of the people posting on this website know what it is like to have bricks thrown their windows in the middle of the night, night after night? The fact is that the Pilkington case involved over three years of calls to the police and other agencies - they didnt connect them together. So what should we do? just say do better next time? They have been told this over and over again.

Maybe you would feel different if it was your window.

What about the freedoms of Baby P and Victoria Climibie - they never got a chance to exercise any of their freedoms and neither do thousands of families across the country who are too frightened to step out of their houses.

If we can set up systems that are built properly - like on-line banking systems - that help protect the freedoms of these people, they should be welcomed.

Stopping big brother is about having appropriate legal safeguards and prosecuting those that break the law - that is how society treads the grey area between the black and white world most of the people blogging on this release belong.

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