Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Powerpoint approach to policing


I noticed some signs on the London Underground which suggest that the British Transport Police are looking out for our safety, these feature a helicopter, which to be honest doesn't appear to me be be the optimal way to deliver plod to the depths of the Piccadilly Line.

Whilst musing on the amount of signage produced by our brave boys in blue I've discovered that I'm more than a little annoyed at the number of big bold signs in almost all public spaces advising, no, commanding me to "leave NOTHING" in my car. This makes stopping at the gym on the way to the bottle bank quite a noisy (and frankly, embarrassing) proposition.

I'm guessing that rather than spending our taxes on employing coppers to catch car thieves it's a good deal more cost effective to put up signs advising us on cunning ways to disappoint the ungodly. In fairness having spent separate chunks of my life both catching criminals and designing posters, I'm quite sympathetic, designing posters is much less risky, much warmer and allows one to employ those creative skills which are rarely exercised in the process of arresting a villain.

I particularly dislike the signs announcing that "Thieves operate in this area", It's all changed since my day, back in the seventies there were no dedicated zones, thieves pretty much operated anywhere they felt like it, the upside was that so did we of the thin blue line. Somehow it seems that if you know where to put the signs up why wouldn't you use that information to catch the thieves ?

What about putting up signs, maybe held by police officers, announcing, "Policemen operate in this area"?

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