The Pursuit of Happyness
The dissatisfaction for some reason seems to be aimed at the wondrous inventions of NCRS and Ethical Crime Recording, Neighbourhood Policing and the Drive against ASB.
It isn't possible to sum up in one post just how positive and excellent all these new policies are, but I'll give you an example of how things have changed since their introduction. Bear with me, things to do with NCRS are never short:
Let's imagine that two people call the police in Blandmore. One, a petrol station manager, has just seen a beige jeep fill up with fuel and drive off without paying. The other is Kyra Wilkins. She calls the police most days to complain that brother Donald is harassing her by text, that her kids are out of control in the garden and she wants them arrested, or that she saw her ex-partner down the leisure centre and he glared at her in a racist way.
Police response Pre-NCRS/Neighbourhood: Police deploy to the petrol station. They might catch the jeep as it makes off, they might not. Either way, they seize CCTV, take a quick statment and track down the offender pretty soon through intelligence/computer checks. It turns out the jeep has made off without paying for fuel 5 times before. It is also out committing all kinds of burglary, isn't insured and failed to stop after knocking down a cyclist a month ago. It takes them a while to get to Kyra Wilkins, but eventually they do and listen to her woes, before telling her to change her number, sort her kids out and perhaps just ignore her ex.
Police response Post-NCRS/Neighbourhood: As we now have a racist/domestic/child protection incident on our hands, Kyra Wilkins is graded for one-hour response. Three crime reports for harassment, criminal damage and racially aggravated public order have already been created and the relevant parties entered as suspects. If these suspects are not charged, Blandshire Constabulary will see a severe dip in detected crime. Police therefore spend 2-3 hours taking statements from Kyra and the rest of the week arresting the offenders. All the incidents are too trivial even for the CPS, and all prosecutions are dropped. If any do make it to court, they are binned there by frustrated magistrates.
Meanwhile... the theft of fuel is downgraded for slow-time enquiries by the Crime Desk:
- A pack is sent to the petrol station by a civilian investigator, arriving two weeks later, to be filled in by the witness.
- It goes into an in-tray and is completed within a couple of weeks. The CCTV may or may not have been erased by that time. The statement may or may not contain evidential points of law vital for a successful prosecution.
- Now one month since the offence, the civilian investigator receives the pack discovers that the jeep is involved in lots of other crimes.
- The offences are collated, whilst the jeep continues to burgle, steal and mow people down.
- 6-8 weeks since the offence, the civilian investigator has identified a suspect, although can't be sure without going to the address - which he/she is not allowed to do in case the suspect is there.
- The package is allocated to a police officer.
- Following arrest, the jeep is never recovered having been burnt out a week ago, and the evidence of the petrol thefts is so lousy that the whole thing is dropped.
As you can see, both Kyra Wilkins and the petrol station manager are happy in the Twenty-First Century. Kyra, because she got to see a police officer pretty quickly. The petrol station manager because he didn't have to sit with the police for an hour doing paperwork.
All the people burgled/run over/robbed by the jeep driver...? Well, they'll never know how easily the police could have caught the offender, so they're happy too.
Coming soon: proof of what the government KNEW about NCRS before it happened, and what they did about it.
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in all good bookstores and online.