Crime-Mapping; the end of the local patrol- a police officer's perspective, the stuff of my police procedural crime novels

I write police procedurals, or so I've been told.  But I don't really think of them as that. To me they are detective novels set against the atmospheric backdrop of the sea on the South Coast of England - marine mysteries they have been called, and the UK's answer to Wallender. I also write thrillers, which again are set on and around the sea.  So, writing police procedurals do I need to know how the police in the UK operate?

The answer is yes. I need to  know a certain amount about police procedure, but if I described exactly how the police operate in my crime novels it would be so long and tedious, and with too many characters, that it would be deadly dull. So where do I get my information?

From the horse's mouth i.e. police officers, and from newspapers and web sites.  One of my favourite web sites is Inspector Gadget written by a serving police inspector.  It attracts a huge number of comments from police officers and others involved in the criminal justice system, giving great insight into the workings of the police and providing helpful background research as well as interesting news items, one of which popped up in my RRS feeder today.

This latest one is about new on line crime maps, which have been launched for England and Wales. While you and I might think this a great idea, especially if we are researching to buy a property in an area, it seems not.  Here's why courtesy of Inspector Gadget.

"New online crime maps for England and Wales have been launched, allowing users to see which offences have been reported in their local streets.

Home Secretary Theresa May said people had lost confidence in national crime figures, and the maps would give real facts and make police more accountable.

I predict a rapid withdrawal of the few police officers and PCSO’s that still exist, from the areas where no crimes are shown, to the areas where a large amount of crime is shown. Yet again, the criminal underclass who report each other for spurious or vengeful petty nonsense on a daily basis will receive all the public services, while the silent majority who pay for it all will get none.

If you never saw the police patrol your area before, you will definitely never see us now. If our SMT ( Senior Management Team) are to be ‘held accountable for crime’ you can bet that we will all be sent to the towns."

The inside stuff, eh?


inspectorgadget said…
Thanks for the link! I'm sure that one day we will and have the chance to discuss it all over an ice cream of a stick of rock!
Pauline Rowson said…
Yes, that would be good. Went on the crime map yesterday, couldn't resist it any longer. I think it's going to turn into rather compulsive viewing, probably for all the wrong reasons.

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