Connecting the public to the police

I was very annoyed to see a large camper van left illegally on double
yellow lines in Cooper Park last Saturday afternoon for at least two
hours during the inaugural Children's Festival. I took two photos,
about 30 minutes apart, to serve as evidence as there was not a traffic
warden or police officer in sight. 

Returning home, I was further disappointed to find no easy way of
reporting this offence and submitting the pictures to the relevant
authorities. I did, however, discover that a tech startup in Canada has
already developed an app to enable Joe Bloggs to identify and flag-up
motorists breaking important traffic rules.

Yet another example of where we are woefully behind the curve in
empowering our citizens to help police this country and ensure there is
more respect for democratically-agreed laws. I understand that the 101
non-emergency number is available, but many people (especially the
young) tend to be much more comfortable with computer technology, which
can enable better screening of information and submission of
photographic evidence.

There are obvious efficiencies the Scottish Government can make in
order to meet their challenging spending reduction targets by
encouraging and enabling people to be more involved in looking after
their communities. We can do so much better. 

I wrote this originally as a letter to my SNP MSP three weeks ago
and the tragic case of two young motorists dying near Bannockburn in
Scotland has impressed on me the urgency of making these ideas more
widely known.  Their plight was reported to the police but for three
days the details were left incorrectly recorded and nothing was done
to help the couple. We clearly need to make improvements and harnessing
the power of the Internet and modern computing should be a priority for Police Scotland.Double yellow park 1