Anorak News | Copycat Crimes

Copycat Crimes

by | 19th, November 2006


Didn’t think so.

One of the many things that’s keeping police technology in the 1960s is our insistence on photocopying everything. At the cutting edge of police technology is the self-carbonating form; yet it doesn’t seem to matter how many copies of the form that self-carbonate, you always need to photocopy the top one and attach it to a computer printout “for filing”. It makes me wonder how on earth they managed before photocopiers (I hope for the sake of my own credibility that photocopiers existed in the 1960s).

Our utterly bureaucratic systems mean that we are placing lots of faith in the digital pen. The digital pen means that our writing will transfer directly to a computer memory; from there we will be able to…print it out. On paper. For filing. Similarly insane is the proposed use of scanners. After writing a statement, an officer will scan it and it enter the memory of a computer; from there it will be printed out…you get the idea.

Much new technology is aimed at keeping officers at the front line. It could be that a PDA will enable officers to check various IT systems without returning to the station, but what use is a PDA if you spend all day in the police station dealing with a prisoner where you just know there isn’t any evidence?

The things that prevent me doing my job aren’t technological: I’ve never really thought about getting a digital pen or a scanner. My problems are with the systems I have to deal with: spending hours getting a decision about a charge, investigating crimes which the victim wants to forget about and satisfying the demands of all the different support units. Simon Caulkin seems to understand the problem and what’s more he writes for a paper which is widely believed to be left of centre.

It seems we’re getting support from all sides. Keep up the comments.

Posted: 19th, November 2006 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink