Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Blunkett Whispers...

A bit of a side issue today, although vaguely related to Blunkett. As you may be aware the media have been announcing Blunkett's new plans for policing reform. As an example see here at BBC News or here at the Observer.

BBC News states quite clearly "People could be given the mobile phone number of their local bobby under an overhaul of policing in England and Wales unveiled by David Blunkett."

Now this sounds like a bloody stupid idea, possibly one of Blunkett's worst yet. The potential for abuse is enourmous, in distracting the local officer by calling them or sending them on a wild goose chase while your mate burgles somewhere.

So I downloaded the three consultation documents and did a search for "mobile". In the two smaller documents - nothing. In the bigger document a few instances of mobile criminals, and mobile communities, and one instance of Police doing their beaurocratic paperwork with mobile technology to save returning to the station. So I checked the press release. Instances of "mobile" are strangley absent there too.

So I repeated the search with the word "phone". A few things relating to the new non-emergency number "311", otherwise nothing.

So, where does this story come from. It certainly doesn't seem to come from Blunkett (for which we must be grateful since the idea is totally daft). It seems to be entirely an invention of the media. They appear to have managed to confuse the new "311" non-emergency number with the mobile numbers of officers on the beat.

Inspires great confidence in the media doesn't it?


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