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, August 24, 2009

Just One Crime

Apparently 1000 of London's CCTV cameras solved only one crime last year.

This statistic amazes me. CCTV is pretty much a requisite of any prosecution in Blandmore whatsoever, regardless of the offence. You need only mention to the crown prosecutor to whom you are "selling" your case that the CCTV in a shop/street/dwelling was down/out/non-existent, to see a great sigh appear on their face and a big red pen cross out your hope of a conviction.

The court system in this country is adversarial, which means both sides argue their case to a normal bunch of people and take an approach of "Who's right? YOU decide!" You would think, under this system, that the credibility, articulation and motivation of a witness would be crucial, and that if they were essentially compelling and had no real reason to lie, their evidence would carry as much weight as forensics or CCTV - both of which can be misleading or hold partial truths.

But the world of the court-room has changed and it is now a commonly held fact that if it wasn't caught on camera, IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. Which is why more and more police officers are walking around with cameras in their coats to prove just how often they get shoved about and spat on. They have only themselves to blame if their camera fails to record one such incident and cannot really expect anyone to be brought to justice.

In another few years, I wonder how we'll ever detect any crime at all.

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


Blogger Paul said...

1 in 1000! what bollocks!

If there was no CCTV these people would have gotten away totally.

What if the shopping centre in Bootle hadn't had the CCV footage that was so essential in solving the Bulger case.

CCTV paranoia drives me mad. When will people realise that Big Brother in this case is benevolent? I for one would welcome it in every street in the UK.

24 August, 2009 19:18

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well you know what they say... 'If it's not written down, then it didn't happen'.
Soon it will be 'If it wasn't on film then it didn't happen'.
I mean they don't write down that the judge goes to the toilet do they?...and that happens!

24 August, 2009 19:40

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i kept telling everyone this would happen but nobody listened and i just got fired instead.

(if there are any posts after this one in this thread with anonymous on it, it isn't me - the troll has taken to impersonating me).

24 August, 2009 21:55

Anonymous schwartz jack twat said...

I really think you are protesting TOO much , such unrequited love just won't do.

24 August, 2009 23:06

Anonymous Anonymous said...

according to stats 1/3 of mops be tagged as bad guys, and as they be the jury,they see things a wee bit different, it is " if it can happen to them then it can happen to me, and as I do not want a state provided rest from the daily grind then they must go free"
And we know the flicks be always faked.

25 August, 2009 01:48

Blogger DOT said...

I have served on a jury a couple of times and, without breaking the code, can say CCTV is not the ultimate witness.

Unless you see a defendant pull out a six inch blade and plunge it in the victim, what you see is as open to interpretation as anything else.

A camera edits in that it focuses on a particular scene; it does not provide the wider context. Moreover, if it is being manipulated by an operator, what you see is what he or she wants you to see.

Anonymous is wrong about the juries I have served on - my experience is mop start off with the usual collection of prejudices when they first discuss the case, but these are rapidly dropped as they rise to their responsibility of coming to what they collectively believe to be a fair assessment of the evidence presented.

25 August, 2009 09:31

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amused me that the BBC website carried this story right next to this one:

TBH CCTV is pretty useless when it comes to identifying suspects. We are forever getting CCTV still circulated for identification. I am yet to recognise one... However it does seem that the only way we can prove a case these days is with CCTV.

25 August, 2009 11:04

Blogger Paul said...

It is no replacement fr coppers on the ground. What it does do is link that person with the event as long as an uninterrupted evidential chain can be maintained.

If they are not caught on the day then yes as evidence it often sucks but not always.

As a tool for our bobbies to say "you did x just now" it is absolutely invaluable. As far as the ability for the courts to prove and more importantly actually punish for the crime, well that another matter.

25 August, 2009 11:28

Anonymous Paul UK said...

Not only with CCTV is this happening, soon it will be happening with DNA. I remember reading an article in "Stars and Stripes" The American armed forces newspaper that thanks to TV shows like CSI that most juries in America expect to see DNA evidence in a case, even when DNA is irrelevent to determining guilt or innocence. Police forces in the States are spending fortunes on unneccacary DNA tests

25 August, 2009 13:31

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it an offence to impersonate a police officer? As amusing as it is, above, that's not the real Metcountymounty having a rant. Still, it's better than the usual verbal/psychological abuse MCM has been subjected to, on here.

Someone recently used my official codename, Lone Ranger, on the Coppersblog post, "I SPIT IN YOUR FACE", to put forward the view that violent teenagers should be given a taste of their own medicine. In other words, beaten up. That is not a view I hold, as the "mother" of the Child Protection System. But how can I prove who it is, "Spitting in my face", and using my name to advocate violence on an unofficial blog?

A coincidence that my official codename was used? Maybe, but the use of it condoning violence against teenagers is a defamatory abuse against myself. One that the Coppersblog "Team" didn't clarify, by publishing my own comment, signed the REAL "Lone Ranger", which stated that I do not condone violence against kids, even if they do spit in cops faces.

What is it with people these days?
There seems to be a lot of negative energies and attitudes flying around, making life rather unpleasant.

LR - 003

26 August, 2009 03:39

Blogger Hogday said...

The offenders got between 6 and 15 months bird. Wow! What level of sustained violence would they have to use to get 3 years, I wonder?

26 August, 2009 11:05

Anonymous TheBinarySurfer said...

Sorry, i was giving Pinkstone my vaseline tip so i hope i haven't been missed here. Anyone else in need?

26 August, 2009 13:26

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm always a bit mystified about the criticism of CCTV. its not just in place to "solve" crime. It's used as a safety aid for officers and MOPs, as a method of directing traffic, monitoring the development of public order incidents, and even weather prediction. However, back to crime fighting...the reason that most crimes are not detected by CCTV is as the quality is usually poor, this is more of an argument to invest in better quality CCTV than to get rid of it. CCTV undoubtedly saves lives and it is a simple fact that the reason most incidents involving CCTV do not end in a detection is because the CCTV allows officers to be directed to developing incidents before they develop into crimes.

26 August, 2009 14:59

Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

I think the CCTV cameras should be out in the North Sea like the giant wind turbine farms.

Now for some light relief...

She's a right old bobby dazzler

26 August, 2009 19:55

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once you start giving them out everybody wants one. Such is the nature of light sentencing, JHL.

26 August, 2009 20:36

Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

anon: I'm surprised none of the tabloids came up with the headline. May be they will catch up tommorrow.

26 August, 2009 21:12

Anonymous youngJP said...

CCTV does help especially when it comes to sentencing and not just in the finding of guilt or innocence.

Had a case recently of a nasty s47 assault, young lad was punched in the head and knocked to the ground unconscious. The Bench viewed the CCTV, read the pre-sentence report but decided to commit the defendant to the Crown Court for sentence as we felt he deserved a greater punishment than we could pass.

Out of interest I called the Crown Court last week and the defendant was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. Without the CCTV the true viciousness of the assault would not have been clear to either us or to the Crown Court judge.

CCTV isn't everything, but it helps!

26 August, 2009 22:14

Blogger Crowns said...

What about when the crime is caught on CCTV, but the footage isnt clear enough....

26 August, 2009 22:34

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get this same, no prosecution reply, when they find I haven't tape recorded my interactions.

28 August, 2009 15:39

Anonymous Joe said...

My friend got hit by a car that didnt look (she changed her testimony 3 times - eventually making it out that he "was driving too fast and lost control hitting her on the wrong side of the road directly in a front on collision" (i saw the police report) this was not what she said origionaly plus it was physicaly impossable (there was no damage on the front of his bike - the colision was in the wrong place etc) AND she admited she didnt see him to the POLICE officer at the scene.

Sadly there was no witnesses (other than my friend who nearly died) or CCTV to convict her. Sadly common sence was not used - nor a simple diagram or photo of the scene to show how her series of events was impossable... I am glad my friend did not die, but if he had an expert would have taken a photo and she would be convicted. Anyway - CCTV is a good thing, if it doesnt catch criminals it prevents it- even if it doesnt identify people it can be used to find out what happened.

21 November, 2009 13:59

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