Being a Police Officer these days means much more than just being on the beat. Most forces have Facebook and Twitter pages and more and more technology is being introduced in the field, such as electronic notebooks and body cameras. So how technologically savvy do you have to be to join the police? What is the need for all this tech? What incidents are on the rise due to technology?
Electronic notebooks have been trialled and rolled out in forces in the UK since 2004. Replacing the previously used Police Report and Notebook Organiser (Pronto), the use of electronic notebooks on duty has cut man hours and costs as well as provide essential data on cases. This can then be analysed to improve processes. For example, this technology highlighted how much time police officers wasted in hospitals, which has led to the NHS to fast track police cases.
Body cameras and microphones are currently being trialled in the Metropolitan Police and have caused somewhat of a controversy. Although the cameras currently boast many benefits, such as helping to capture independent evidence and bringing down complaints regarding police conduct, the cameras are not without their faults; usually worn on the chest, the cameras can be easily obscured by officers aiming a weapon, thus affecting the evidence being recorded.
The above tech seems to be going in the right direction to provide long term, practical support and assistance to police officers. But what about the latest technological crazes making police work harder than ever?
With the rise in the use of drones for personal and professional use (soon even Amazon will be delivering parcels using drones!), a rise in reports of nuisance and illegal activity is being experienced by forces up and down the country, including photographing individuals and flying novelty objects (such as witches and animals!) over busy junctions!
The highly popular hoverboards are convenient and fun toys, however, police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service have warned that they are classed as vehicles and therefore it is illegal to operate them on pavements, as summarised by the Crown Prosecution Service:
“You can only ride an unregistered self-balancing scooter on land which is private property and with the landowner’s permission.”
But, with Trading Standards seizing hoverboards over safety fears, resulting in Amazon and other retailers recalling the hoverboards just before Christmas, it is unlikely this will be a long term problem.
All of this does confirm two things; officers in our police forces require a growing knowledge of a wide range of issues, and that the job is more fun and challenging than ever!
Fancy joining the police? Why not check out CUC’s Policing degree, where you can gain an academic and professional qualification.