Thursday, 13 September 2012
Essex Police: Incompetent or just plain lazy
For a number of years now I have been asked by them to provide CCTV footage to assist in their investigations. And for years I have burnt off CD's with the required information, of which at least 3 out of every 5 discs burnt to disc from the system are never collected.
Now burning off discs from images saved on the system is a relatively simple enough task but it does take time to do it and so, my time and effort is a wasted exercise initiated by ESSEX POLICE.
Now, when you think about it, no POLICE force would look kindly upon any person or group, who time after time, made a nuisance of themselves or wasted their time by phoning or contacting them on issues which were deemed to be time wasting. In fact I would go as far as to say, that after a couple of time wasting calls or contacts the person wasting POLICE time would be arrested and charged for doing it!
So why shouldn't the POLICE OFFICER who phones me, not be treated in the same manner they would treat me, if I were guilty of that offence?
The most recent example of this was a phone call from an ESSEX POLICE Detective Sgt 'L' based in Rayleigh. She called me on 31st August 2012, concerning a break in to a games shop in the market.
I had reviewed the CCTV but had no discs available to burn off, so suggested that if she wanted a copy that someone come down with a blank disc and I would do it for them. I also explained that the two scrotes responsible for the break-in had originally turned up at the back of midnight to suss the place out and that during that visit there was probably at least two good facial images. I further informed her that on their return to carry out the actual break-in at 2 AM they were on site for over an hour and that there was a couple of good facial shots during that time too!
She asked when I would have new disc to burn on to, and I told her Monday, she replied that they could wait until then. I suggested that she wait until the Tuesday as there was no guarantee what time the office ancillary items would be delivered by the courier. I also informed her that I would be off from the Monday night, but that she would still be able to collect on the Tuesday, by visiting the office.
So, off I went on Monday afternoon 3rd of September, returning to the office on 10th September, and guess what, go to the top of the class if you guessed that the disc is still sitting on my desk 10 days later! And this, after me informing her that someone in the POLICE force might well recognise the criminals if their images were emailed around the district to other stations, So just how much of a screw up are ESSEX POLICE? You hand it to them on a plate and there is no hope of them actually following through, as I said this is not the first time, but it will be the last time. I will not now be burning off CCTV footage for them unless they turn up with a Request for Disclosure of Personal Data Under Section 29 (3) of the Data Protection Act 1998 and there has to be an officer on site waiting for the disc to be burnt off.
On another incident recently a PCSO phoned me and said they wanted footage of another incident that had taken place, I asked why they needed it and she said in case there is an insurance claim, WTF! So I asked why, are ESSEX POLICE now taking on the liability for insurance cover for the property? In the end a Sgt phoned me and when I explained my requirements he threatened to come to the site and seize it by way of trying to bully me into just burning it off for him. So, not only do they appear incompetent and lazy, but if you do not give the item without complying with the rules, i.e. without the aforementioned 'request for Disclosure' which is a legal requirement, even for ESSEX POLICE to comply with, they try and bully you into submission..
On another incident today, after reporting that some of the local worthies had hidden a video recorder under a stall, after having been refused to have it bought from them by the local Cash Converters (pawn shop), two PCSO's from ESSEX POLICE arrived, caught up with them in one of the car parks and one of the PCSO's was eating her sandwich while questioning the 'suspects'! I know they have to eat, but in the street dealing with people. Maybe next time they'll pull out a fold down table and chair and invite the person being questioned to join them in a snack lunch!
So, I'll ask again JUST HOW INCOMPETENT and LAZY are ESSEX POLICE?