Wel­come to hi-tech polic­ing

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Views -

On a cold windy night as a young po­lice con­sta­ble I was walk­ing my beat be­hind Vic­to­ria Sta­tion in Lon­don when I was flagged down by a mem­ber of the pub­lic who had seen some­thing sus­pi­cious near some rail­way tracks.

I scram­bled down the rail­way em­bank­ment through the bram­bles, slip­ping and slid­ing on the mud, to find a stash of prop­erty which ap­peared as though it may have been from a bur­glary.

There was a lot of it and far too much to move on my own. I tried call­ing up on my ra­dio for in­for­ma­tion about any bur­glar­ies that had oc­curred re­cently to see if we could match the prop­erty be­fore I made a de­ci­sion about how to re­cover it all and hav­ing it fin­ger­printed.

It was a mis­er­able night, and the old ra­dios in those days weren’t as good as the ones we have to­day, and ra­dio re­cep­tion was poor so off I scram­bled back up the em­bank­ment, through the bram­bles, and headed off to the near­est pub­lic tele­phone box to call the po­lice sta­tion.

Af­ter much search­ing through pa­per­work and re­ports, and tele­phone calls to and from sta­tion to vic­tims, the sergeant even­tu­ally iden­ti­fied the prop­erty. But it took a few hours.

To­day things would have been very dif­fer­ent. The tech­nol­ogy avail­able to of­fi­cers means that they have the abil­ity to take pho­tographs, or videos, at crime scenes and have them in­stantly re­viewed back at the sta­tion.

When a uni­form of­fi­cer takes a vic­tim ac­count, pho­tographs of a crime scene or even a video, de­tec­tives back at the sta­tion can al­ready be work­ing on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, re­view­ing the notes and the crime scene, even di­rect­ing of­fi­cers to some­thing they have no­ticed which they think may be rel­e­vant.

When the of­fi­cer has taken the ac­count of a vic­tim or wit­ness and it is on their mo­bile de­vice, the de­tec­tive re­view­ing it can al­ready be plan­ning the next steps and putting things in place to safe­guard ev­ery­one con­cerned.

This re­ally has made a dif­fer­ence to in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Just the other day one of­fi­cer was send­ing pho­tographs back of a crime scene and by re­view­ing it in real time, the sergeant at the sta­tion was able to es­tab­lish what re­sources were needed and which spe­cial­ists would need to be sent.

So what once took hours for me to com­plete, could now be dealt with in min­utes.

Cam­bridgeshire Con­stab­u­lary has very much em­braced tech­nol­ogy and in­cor­po­rated it into day to day polic­ing mean­ing the fo­cus on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is a multi-faceted one even if there is just a sin­gle of­fi­cer at the scene.scene

You may only see one of­fi­cer, but there may well be oth­ers in the back­ground in­ves­ti­gat­ing from a dis­tance.

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