Police ANPR: Ring of steel for MATTER, sieves of steel for rural cops

MATTER, each issue of which consists of a single long feature article on science and technology, has run some great stories since its launch last autumn (as well as trying to find new ways to make journalism pay).

In my humble and biased opinion, I think it has just published another one: ‘Ring of steel’ by James Bridle, which I co-edited and is based partly on my Freedom of Information-based research into how the police use automatic numberplate recognition. It’s available from MATTER. Continue reading “Police ANPR: Ring of steel for MATTER, sieves of steel for rural cops”

Why you should vote in the police commissioner elections

Thursday 15 November 2012 sees the first police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales outside London. Turnout is likely to be low, and some have said they will not vote in protest at the lack of information, the quality of candidates or the politicisation of policing. These are excuses, not reasons. Continue reading “Why you should vote in the police commissioner elections”

Profiles of the Thames Valley police commissioner candidates

Added 12 November: Why you should vote in the police commissioner elections

A version of this article appeared in Chipping Norton News, November 2012

On Thursday 15 November, Chippy will get its first chance to vote for a police and crime commissioner, who for the next four years will have the ability to hire or fire the chief constable of Thames Valley Police. It is the largest non-metropolitan force in the country, covering nearly 2.3m people in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, and spending £371m this financial year. Our commissioner will be paid £85,000 annually, to be accountable for how crime is tackled in the three counties and to make the police accountable to the people they serve. Continue reading “Profiles of the Thames Valley police commissioner candidates”

Roadside cameras suffer from large gaps in coverage, police admit

Automatic number plate recognition cameras stay secret after freedom of information tribunal told of patchy picture

I first applied for the location of police ANPR cameras under Freedom of Information (FOI) three years ago. This article, below and on page 14 of today’s Guardian, is the result of, in effect, a successful failure for FOI. In June, the Information Tribunal reversed its 2011 decision that Devon and Cornwall Police should release its camera locations. However, the evidence the force provided to this year’s tribunal, both written and verbal, sheds new light on the functioning of these systems. Continue reading “Roadside cameras suffer from large gaps in coverage, police admit”

CI Colin Paine, the tweeting policeman of West Oxfordshire

A version of this article appeared in Chipping Norton News, March 2012

Chipping Norton’s neighbourhood and community support police officers are opening an account on Twitter.


Continue reading “CI Colin Paine, the tweeting policeman of West Oxfordshire”