It’s been a few weeks since I wrote a policing post on the blog. I’ve been busy trying to get Hannah 2 completed and these posts take a bit of time to pull together and it’s time I have been directing on the manuscript. But, this topic was something that came up as I was filling in some gaps I’d left blank to go back and check and I thought it would make a readable blog post. (There will be exciting news on both Hannah 2 and Shallow Waters next Tuesday, so do come back then!)
Anyway, one of the things I was going back to fill in was when a uniform officer was using their call sign to shout the control room. I knew the call sign, but I didn’t know if it was public knowledge, so I researched it on the internet. I found a Freedom of Information request from someone asking for these call signs and the response was that in the interest of security they couldn’t release them. So I had my answer. The call signs used in Hannah 2 are completely made up.
It’s what I do when using policing techniques in my writing, because it’s all so natural to me, having worked it, I have to check the internet, ask the question as though I don’t know, to see if the information is in the public domain. A lot of it I know is already out there because I’ve read it in crime novels or I’ve seen it in TV programmes, but there are things I check – like the call signs.
So, if you’re simply interested in policing and what and how and why, or you’re writing crime, here are some great sites that may be of interest or useful to you.
HOLMES 2 – the computer system you have read about or seen on TV that police use to hold all the information, cross-check it all and allocate ‘actions’. This website, though it looks very basic, if you go into it, there are some fantastic PDF’s that you can print out and keep that tell you a lot you need to know about the running of a Major Incident Room. A brilliant website.
College of Policing – Now, the college isn’t just about teaching police, they are about helping and supporting police, in what they do. It is mainly a police focused site as it has a library on it only accessible to officers and staff, but there is a page Here with some research papers available that may be of interest.
NCA (National Crime Agency) – The UK law enforcement’s agency to cut serious and organised crime. They have national and international reach and the website has a great deal of information relating to many topics covering human trafficking, drugs, firearms and cyber crime, to name but a few.
CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) – For all your legal, court charging questions.
This last one is simply the best. Ask The Police. Really. That’s what the site is called and it’s brilliant. It covers everything and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can submit your question. In fact, you won’t need these blog posts anymore!
I hope you enjoy these and don’t get too lost down the rabbit hole of the internet! Which one are you heading to first?