Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Police Systems: Trivial

Do the police want our help, are there systems and/or the people they employ just absolutely crap?

Let me tell you a wee story about a trivial occurrence.

A week or so ago I’d gone on one of my regular trips to Ikea and on the way I saw a van parked entirely on the pavement blocking it totally to the extent that a mother with a child in a buggy had to step onto a busy road to get past.  I’m sure this happens everywhere every day and I’ve never before  been bothered to anything about it.  But when I passed the van a couple of hours later still in the same place I decided to phone the police.

I stopped in a safe and legal place – honestly, constable, phoned and got through to Lothian & Borders Police Central switchboard.

Voice 1: “Do you have the van registration number?”

Me: “No, but I can tell you exactly where the van is.”

Voice 1: “We need the registration number.  All I can do is put you through to PoliceAssist”.

Me: “I want to report a van that is park very illegally. [OK, I know, it’s either legal or not]

Voice 2: (at PoliceAssist): Do you have the registration number?

Me: “No, but I can tell you exactly where the van is.”

Voice 2: “I’m sorry but we need the registration number.”

Me: “But I can tell you where it is.”

Voice 2: “We need the registration number because the first thing we would do is to contact the registered owner.”

Me: (in utter frustration) But I can tell you exactly where it is.  But if the police aren’t interested in using this information then that’s their decision.  I can’t do any more.”

Voice 2: “Where is the van parked?”

I won’t bother you with any more direct quotes but, after all this, I was able to pass on the information.

I know it wasn’t crime of the century and that, in all probability, my info wasn’t followed up but why did I have to go through that rigmarole?

In the “old days” a policeman would have scribbled down some notes and within a few minutes a PC (police constable, you fool) would have been there.  The old days were much simpler before systems were invented.

5 comments:

  1. And in those days the Constable would probably have known the miscreant (no, not 'perp', they hadn't been invented!) by name. Times change.

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  2. What was the van's registration?

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  3. Probably, I should go to the pub and find out if anyone has access to the DVLC database.

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  4. No one can think any more. It's all proceed by numbers.

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  5. I had the same run around when my car was broken into some time ago!

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