The UK government have been looking in to ways to decrease the threats they perceive to the general populace posed by online sites and other web services. Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced that he would crack down on encrypted web services in the event he gets re-elected.
However, a new proposal from Home Secretary Theresa May may use the internet to help people in times of need – a reporting system, or website, has been proposed for bringing police attention to non serious crimes, in the event something needs to be flagged which isn’t an immediate emergency.
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May’s proposal could save police services time and allow more front line work to be carried out by officers as opposed to taking calls, but some believe the non personal nature of the web service might raise some ‘technological barriers’ between law enforcement and the public.
“The growth in the internet has transformed other services – from shopping to banking – and it is right to give victims and witnesses greater choice over how they report issues to the police.”
– Theresa May, UK Home Secretary
The proposal was outlined at a recent policing conference, and it was revealed that the service was already being trialed in the Surrey and Sussex police force areas. May said that estimates on using the system country wide might save police 180,000 office hours and 3.7 million pounds per year.
The new system may be a response to falling police budgets in the UK – 300 million pounds in funding is to be slashed from UK forces from the amount last year, although it’s worth mentioning that the total following the slashing of funds will still sit at 8.2 billion pounds. Whilst the police will not be bankrupted by the cuts, any money saving methods will certainly help after the budget is tightened.
It’s not yet been mentioned in what way the final version of the site works or when it will appear across the country. Indeed, how much volume of crimes which will be reported through the service is also a totally unknown figure. given that the general public isn’t 100% online or internet savvy, it may well mean that some get left out following the launch of the service.
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That being said, those of us who do know and love the internet will be able to let the police know what the problem is – but there is a certain issue of anonymity, it’s not been said whether one can send information through the service without either having to register their details, or whether the origin point of complaints is tracked via IP addresses or other methods.
Of course, it is currently a proposal being tested on a small scale – we’ll have to wait for any conformation of when the system will go live.
Via: The Telegraph
Via: Computer Weekly