Police-by-Text: London’s Khan to Have Crime Victims Send Evidence over the Internet: Report

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan makes a statement to media at New Scotland Yard on September 25, 2020 in London, England. A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a police officer at the Croydon Custody Centre in south London. He was shot …
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan will implement a police-by-text system in which victims of crimes send evidence to the police via the internet rather than officers coming to investigate in person.

The scheme, which was backed by Scotland Yard, would see victims send in evidence such as CCTV and doorbell camera footage, as well as from phones and dashcams.

Police officials claimed that the scheme would save tens of thousands of police manpower hours and would also help officers abide by social distancing restrictions, despite coronavirus restrictions having been promised to be lifted by next month.

A leaked report seen by the Mail on Sunday showed that Sadiq Khan’s administration has agreed to implement the system, which was developed by Axon Enterprise, an American-based weapons and technology firm.

The programme, dubbed ‘Axon Citizen’, has already been trialled in North London, as well as by the Cumbria police.

Scotland Yard said that the £847,000 scheme would save some 27,000 staff days per year and enable police chiefs at the Met to focus more on the violent street crime epidemic in the British capital and the “12,000 cases of domestic abuse reported every month”.

Some have warned, however, that the shift to digital policing will negatively impact older citizens who may not have the same tech-savvy to navigate the online platform as their younger counterparts.

Caroline Abrahams, of the elderly charity Age UK, said: “The majority of older people are not online so would be unable to engage with the police in this way.”

Others have expressed support for the plans, including the Police and Crime Commissioner in Gloucestershire, Chris Nelson, who said: “It sounds exciting. You might have footage which you need to get into the police system so it can build the intelligence picture and I would hope this should mean more contact with victims.”

During Mr Khan’s tenure in office, there has been a massive spike in crime in the British capital, with over 100 homicides recorded in each of his years in office.

Knife crime, alone, has risen by over 50 per cent until the year leading up to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, according to data held by the House of Commons library.

While real crime has spiralled out of control, the leftist mayor has focussed on more woke policing strategies, such as the introduction of the Online Hate Crime Hub to police speech on the internet in 2016.

In 2019, it was reported that the £1.7 million unit, ironically dubbed the “Twitter Squad”, had investigated 1,612 cases during a two year period, yet secured merely six convictions.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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