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The Paper Chase (2)

January 31, 2007
Clearly some of you need to get out a lot more, as you have asked to find out more about the sort of paperwork that we are forced to do, either by statutory requirement or the whim of a senior officer. Don’t blame me if you nod off half way through. I’ll try and keep it as brief as possible.

Crime Recording.

Crime Report – four page booklet.

Suspect report – where a named or identifiable suspect is discovered. One page.

Additional property report – when so much stuff has been nicked/damaged that one sheet just won’t do.

Investigation report – this is when the paper really starts to get chased. Every crime report has to have an investigation report. This is a double sided A4 sheet that acts as a record of every line of inquiry or any useful information in relation to the crime report. That’s the theory anyway. Some officers are better at it than others. The way our crime recording system works is that every time something happens to a crime, an investigation report should be completed and faxed off to be stored as an image on our document management system. This means that, in theory, a double sided piece of paper is used every time an officer knocks on a door and gets no answer.

The idea of the document management system is to make our crime recording process a paperless system. What it actually does is increase the consumption of paper by approximately 500%. When the original report is completed, it gets sent to the Crime Desk for filing. This means that the investigating officer has to print off a copy of the report from the document management system. With protracted investigations, or where reports are transferred to other officers, this report can be printed off several times. Go figure!

Detection report – every now and then, someone detects a crime, either by charging a suspect or cautioning them or by some other means. PC Bloggs has produced a post giving more information on this topic. Go there for a break and then come back for more! The thing about the detection report is that all the information that is written on the form has probably been input into the custody computer system, so you would think that the custody system would tell the crime system that the crime had been detected, wouldn’t you? No – that would be far too simple and would mean that less paper would be used. I’ll tell you more about the custody system later.

Vulnerable victims report – Imagine if you will a domestic incident, where one member of a family makes an allegation that another member of the family has done something to hurt or upset them. This makes the person reporting a vulnerable victim and creates the need for this report. The VVR (I just made that abbreviation up – it’s actually given a different name in out force) asks the same information as the crime report, plus a few extra bits. There isn’t an option for leaving a box blank and saying “refer to crime report”, so the data has to be entered twice. There is also a VVR Investigation log, which works in exactly the same way as the crime investigation log, so two forms have to be filled out containing basically the same information. The reason is that the VVR shouldn’t be scanned to the document management system, so in order to make sure that someone can follow the investigation, two logs have to be done. Of course, they are two completely different forms, so it isn’t possible to use one and photocopy it for the other report!

On the subject of investigation reports, for certain offences a specific report template must be filled out. So if we record a burglary, theft of/from vehicle, theft of mobile phone or other crime that is currently flavour of the month, a separate report has to be completed. If an officer is ever tasked with taking a report of robbery, the sound of heart sinking can be heard over the Airwaves. This is because the Robbery Booklet needs to be completed. This is an umpteen page booklet, that contains similar information to the crime report, but the data has to be entered separately. Once the booklet is completed, a Robbery investigation report also has to be submitted.

And so it goes on.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    January 31, 2007 11:30

    Wow, I thought I had to fill in a lot of forms, but it’s nothing like that. All our crime recording is done on the computer – to record a crime we enter it on the computer, to update a crime we do it on the computer, when we charge someone it automatically updates the crime report. Perhaps my force isn’t so bad afterall…

  2. eshop600 permalink
    August 8, 2007 20:28

    Are you allowed to post this kind of info?

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