This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Goodbye Paperwork...

... Hello, handheld computers.

We are saved.

Thank GOODNESS for Police Minister Tony McNulty, who has made some sterling comments today regarding the new handheld computers that will cut, CUT, 99 minutes of paperwork from each of my shifts. I am thrilled to know that the 99 minutes I used to spend writing out witness statements or pocketbook entries can now be spent typing them instead. I am also delighted to see that, following a £423m journey, Mr McNulty has finally landed safely on Mars.

Until this important moment, police have been completing all work on small scraps of paper shoved into their pockets. In fact, very few of us even knew what a computer was until Gordon Brown told us we were getting them last year.

On the downside, this announcement does seem to suggest that Labour are delivering on their promises for the police. Oh dear.

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in all good bookstores and online.


Blogger uniform said...

This is yet more proof that the Home Office have not got the slightest clue about not-in-the-station police work.

I am sure that in the leafy rural low crime areas, one fingered fat handed Bobbies creating word documents will be a real boon for community lead initiatives like, making leaflets for a local meeting, ooh no printer? Back to the nick; put the kettle on while I’m here. 99 minutes latter.

On the other hand, can you imagine the scene in inner city, code blued to death, chavland

Bobby one (driving to emergency call) "where's the lap top?"

Bobby two "dunno, did you pick it up?

Booby one "look it’s in the foot well"

With breathalyser kit and the world’s supply of cheap police biros, now smashed beyond recognition.

Bobby two "drive slowly, I can't log on"

Bobby one "hurry up log on, we need to save 99 minutes"

OK script over.

And what precisely are we going to do with these 99 minutes? Particularly if the above scenario ended in a double hander prisoner, you have to deal because of shift numbers and you’re stuck in the CPS direct, remand file required, 8 hours interviewing world.

this is not cynicism , I'll bet a pound to a pinch your station one job wonder will grab this bit of kit ,leaving street hounds without it , 10,000 laptops will not stop large scale ,booze induced chave wars ,or a night time burglar on your patch .


Gordon, Jacqui, please, go away.

26 May, 2008 10:00

Anonymous bigb said...

we've got these PDA's in our force and they are not liked. the PDA has to 'recognise' your handwriting and then converts it into type-text.
at the end of the shift you have to connect it to a computer back at the station where you then have to look at the tiny screen and compare your handwriting to the text the PDA has interpereted for you. you then make all the changes (every third word or so).
i haven't been issued one yet - something to do with needing to first make them totally idiot proof i guess - but the statements i have received on them don't always read that well.
can't wait to get one and try and take a monster statement on it myself - and don't get me started on the officer safety aspect (at least when you drop a pen/paper in a rammie they don't smash).
like jello biaffra said - that's progress

26 May, 2008 11:13

Blogger Emma said...

I am currently involved as a witness on a case at the moment and the DC who came to see me to take my statement was telling me about a case he had been dealing with which involved someone falling off a trawler in Holland.

The dutch police too 2 days to come to the conclusion they were taking it no further after taking 36 witness statements all the coronors reports etc.,

The british police decided to reopen the case when he got back here and what took 2 days there, took nearly three months and 12 different officers.

Fingers crossed it comes off for you all..

26 May, 2008 14:14

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do they come with suitcases and rucksacks, or do you hang them off your belt. [braces supplied].

26 May, 2008 17:10

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happens when you attend court as a prosecution witness/arresting officer and are required to produce your "notes taken at the time"? Perhaps you are required to also complete your PNB as well? Is there anyone in this Government who has the intelligence of more than one cornflake? As someone who still has problems coming to terms with electricity I am so glad I'm out of it, though I do feel for the poor buggers still there.

26 May, 2008 19:57

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We trailed something similar. Management now think we should be completing crime reports and intel reports etc without returning to the station. But we are on foot; are we supposed to just stand on the street tapping reports out? it's hard enough to get on with paperwork in the office because of interruptions from phone calls and members of public knocking at the door. so how are we supposed to write up a statement on the street, when mrs miggins is trying to tell you about her neighbour dispute.

26 May, 2008 20:06

Blogger Busy said...

Can't wait until I get to type a five page statement on a jumped up Blackberry with my sausage fingers!

26 May, 2008 21:48

Blogger blueknight said...

I thought the same thing about disclosure. I was called to Court for a domestic assault and my only dealing was taking the witness statement, photographing a bruise and writing the crime report. The (CPS?) wanted me in Court to produce the crime report I had written. If what is typed on the blackberry can be stored somewhere and is retrievable, that should be fine, but .....

26 May, 2008 23:53

Blogger Izzard said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 May, 2008 00:45

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the proposed system is as reliable as existing computer systems,then stand by to additionally make a back up paper copy in the likely event that the computer entry bombs out.
In fact, make four copies, because we can't possibly do without our accustomed enforced mind-numbing bureaucracy.

27 May, 2008 06:24

Anonymous TheBinarySurfer said...

Nice to see an entirely transparent attempt by the government to fix something that isn't the real problem.

Finger on the pulse of policing? This government couldn't collectively find their own arse, let alone that.

27 May, 2008 11:31

Anonymous nikkiscot said...

Having spoken to quite a few friends in a force who have been trialling the new style pda notebooks, there does seem to be one positive in regards to courts - you only have to print off that certain details, and if asked to produce your pnb they can then not look at any further details or notes barr the one you are giving evidence on.
In regards to the question it fits in a pouch on your belt along with a printer so you can print off fpn's there and then with all the details automatically converted.

Although to be honest i am really sceptical about it all! even though i have heard there have been no 'failures' so far i prefer the good old pencil and paper which works in any weather and cant accidently be deleted at a touch of a button!

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