Technology…and…the police…

two words not normally used in the same sentence…

The beeb have written an article that has a go at some fun predictions for the future of law enforcement…

“This will use many different technologies, from electronic notebooks which allow officers to check a suspects criminal record while they are at a crime scene, to sensor networks which help them to covertly track people and vehicles,” he told the BBC.



well… no. The US of A police have had this ‘high tech’ for about 30-years…

As to the surveillance… we need huge amounts of evidence to put people under surveillance these days…

The police have no real idea about tech… like most government depts they fall foul of the ‘Emperors new clothes’ syndrome…people with impressive sounding kit arrive and, of course they buy it…

Unfortunately, another little truth takes over:when sitting on top of the first US sub-orbital flight, Alan Shepherd reflected on the knowledge that every component of the rocket that may kill him any second, was built by the lowest bidder….

Take a look at the equipment we have now:

cuffs that can be broken…

batons that snap or collapse at the first hit…

radios that don’t work (embarrassingly…) inside buildings…

uniform that is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter…

cars that don’t have cages…

computer systems that don’t talk to each other…

having to remember 10-15 passwords on a rotating basis…

Shockingly bad IT…

Nothing will change… because the people in charge are techno-fools…


29 responses to “Technology…and…the police…

  1. Brief Encounter

    The first shall be last and the last shall be first. I am first but probably not last.

  2. Brief Encounter

    My Professor on my MA course wrote a book about the Bosnian crisis. It was called Triumph of a Lack of Will and there gentlemen is the nub of it.

  3. The best bit is when your being told the IT is being updated etc etc and no consultation takes place with users as to what they want as the ‘experts’ at HQ who won’t have to use the systems day in day out , know best.

    ICIS at GMP is a prime example. The new risk assessment/custody summary has pretty much rendered a useless pos into a nightmare useless POS.

    but hey wtfdik

  4. I remember when I was researching policing before applying, 20 years ago. Police Review had a big article about mobile data terminals and how every officer would have one. It would be able to do this, that and everything in between. Twenty years later and has every frontline officer got a MDT? Nope! We have tried some, binned some, payed millions to do so and still no further on. 2 years ago we were show Blackberry Playbooks – we would all be getting one. Do everything you need on the street. Hmmmm, been here before, a few times, I thought…

  5. Further to that, an IT Consultant friend once bid for a police contract. He pulled out part way through however as he said it was painfully clear the SMT had absolutely no idea what they wanted and just couldn’t make decisions or take expert advice. He felt it wasn’t worth the hassle.

  6. Yesterday Mrs May wanted less stop and searchs on ethnic groups. Today she announced a ban on khat! So which is it she really wants? Is there an app for that?

  7. If you want to see the future of Policing in the UK then just watch ‘Demolition Man’, a sort of comedy/action film starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. Ignore the elements of the film about Sly and Wes and concentrate on the Police interactions following a number of incidents. I know it’s a fictional film (and American) but consider how much of it coming true in this country today. Very worrying, and I’m so glad I can now stand outside and look in!

    • I said this along time ago. What sticks in my mind is when Snipes kicks the sh1t out of several police officers who are unable to deal with him. Whilst their colleagues are watching on CCTV one of them comments “we’re police officers. We’re not trained to deal with this violence”.
      I fear that one day this will be the case. By then I will be long gone from the job.

      • Lol… mini tunes… unarmed police getting shot and killed by armed crims.. senior officers that have no clue and just push the party line…
        That’s not the future mate…it’s the now…

      • Brief Encounter

        Well I think they are right and in any public order situation the time might come when the force required cannot be provided by the police who then call on the army. To that end I would like to see a standing militia drawn from national service conscripts. I would copy Israel and impose a policy that those who have served in the military will go to the top of the housing list. Liberty only exists because the state protects its individuals for those who the refuse to meet the call to arms, they can lose their liberty.

  8. 10 miserable years to go

    All the job consists of now is senior officers feathering their own nests and sucking up to each other to get the next rank. None of them have the balls to say “hang on a minute, this isn’t right” or “no that’s not a good idea” for fear of upsetting the slimy tosser thats going to sign off their next annual appraisal. The result of this is that officers on the street get sh!t kit, sh!t computers and sh!t procedures all endorsed by an equally sh!t senior management.

  9. It’s not just that the kit it sh#t its the massive amount we pay it as we’ll. we seem to pay completely over the top prices for stuff that just doesn’t work.
    Why don’t we have ONE computer system nationally we can log into and do everything, crime reports, intel, custody etc. just enter the info click which or how many of these systems the report goes into and all done.
    National cars made for purpose. We have 32 forces all use card so why not get together and buy in bulk. I know people don’t like the idea of police in BMWs but fact is having seen the deal forces get and more importantly the SAVINGS made on repair bills and maintanance we can get good deals. Unfourtunatly SMT don’t care about that and now we get cars that the piblic assume are far cheaper but in reality arnt but that are not fit for purpose.
    I recently dealt with a man on hook day from the USA who sells protective gear ie body armour etc. he looked at mine ( and its the newest my force give out) and was amazed how far behind we are. He was able to show me a website with thinner lighter versions sold all over US, South America and Africa that was as he put it 3 or 4 generation ahead.
    The PDAs that only a certain few got cost millions but you could find cheaper and better in the high street for far less and apps that would be more use.
    It’s easy for successive Hom Secs to say we getting proper I.T but truth is its just a political speech that they could care less if they keep or not.
    Bring on Bill Bratton maybe when he sees the poor kit we have compared to his former forces he might ( I still have hope) have the balls to speak out. This current crop haven’t got a a ball between them

  10. If you ask any cop with under 5yrs service to show you their appointments..
    I guarantee they’ll reach for their diary/blackberry.

    No amount of tech will replace what has already been lost.

    • Brief Encounter

      Hah! Yes, we presented them when we heard the Duty Officer’s feet coming down to the parade room. Occasionally he might notice that two people were holding the same whistle chain or that a piece of cistern chain had been utilised. Our diaries were filled with court appearances and the ARDs oh happy days. The pay was crap but we were happy.


    For me this is the last straw.
    Another officer about to be thrown to the wolves.
    The fact that 3 guns were found in the car and he was a career criminal aren’t justification for believing that you might be shot at???????????
    Might as well give us wands and fairy dust.

    Specialist skills, Let Winsor et al Gofuckthemselves.

  12. AFOs should down arms at this. I wouldn’t want to do it any more. Risk going to jail? F*** that. It’s the same for RPU officers who pursue. I wouldn’t.Not anymore.

    • ^ This. Another ‘let’s have an inquiry, and another, until we get the result we want.

      Likewise L2 tickets, I let mine lapse a couple of years ago.

      I’m not AFO/RPU and never will be as long as the default position is to hang officers out to dry with the bare minimum of support and fully accept any and every adverse finding, no matter how wrong you might think it might be, without question and without even considering an appeal/review.

      Contrary to Winsor’s assertion that we had a ‘clocking in/clocking out culture’, I can say that I never used to but I’m steadily turning that way due to what’s being done to the police. Go to work, do the bare minimum and go home. Why risk everything by willingly putting yourself on offer, when this is how you’re repaid?

      Theresa May, 2010: “…I know what an amazing job you do. Every single day, you do extraordinary things. When others would step aside – it’s you who step in. When people are running away from danger, you are running towards it…. Each one of you has taken an incredibly brave decision to put yourself in harm’s way to protect the public. I said it was time we gave you the respect you deserve…. And if you come with me, I will make this promise: I will always back you, I will always support you, I will always fight for you. That’s the deal I am offering today.”

      What a sick joke.

      Well Theresa, today, your lack of backing, support and fight for us is, as we’ve come to expect, deafening.

      • Brief Encounter

        I agree. We as a community need to support those who protect us. There must of course be checks and balances to ensure that officers maintain the highest of standards but they should be protected by a presumption which is in their favour. Presumptions of course can be overcome where there is evidence. No we can’t arm officers, expose them to life threatening situations with split second decisions and then prosecute them if their decision was in all the circumstances reasonable. After all we don’t prosecute surgeons who make decisions which prove fatal. The time has come for us the community to stand up and say this.

  13. Brief Encounter

    Thanks PE. I feel quite strongly about this. There was a Constables Protection Act in 1700 and something. Now we need a Constables Protection Society.

  14. Brief Encounter

    Shij since you are leaving soon is this an idea which you would be interested in supporting?

  15. One Time Special

    So, another public enquiry finds, on the balance of probabilities I supposem that the AFO had no rational grounds for his belief. Now the CPS has to think again. Meanwhile you guys and gals have to work in this ridiculous situation. Folks like me meanwhile, who support you 100% will have to spend further time explaining to those who should know already that a civil finding against the AFO has didilley-squat to do with a convicting him or her of anything and that it is quite easy to be “guilty” civilly and completely innocent criminally

    • One Time Special

      Additionally I am quite happy to spend time doing this, I spent a lot of time when serving explaining to my day job colleagues who had fallen foul of the traffic officers that Yes you could be stopped for a document check without committing a moving traffic offence, that it had been so since Noah went in his Ark , adding that it was all in the Highway Code. If I had a ten pence piece for every time I had this conversation I would be rich now.

  16. Don’t forget the ladies and gents that quote Maritime Law when stopped and go “the Road Traffic Act is a statute NOT a law.”

    Was invited here by a former Gadget pal. I tried to have a flutter with Betfred about what’s inevitably going to happen next…but the best odds were 1/10.

    I appear to have inherited Feral from Gadget. Nasty, weird creature.

  17. To bastardise a phrase from my previous life in IT, “YESTERDAY’S TECHNOLOGY….. TOMORROW”. Police IT systems.

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