The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

High-Tech Policing

I have just driven back from Tescos, and on the way I passed through a large Police checkpoint. There was the van with the Automatic Number Plate Recognition, a lift truck to remove any really dodgy vehicles, three traffic cars, six motorbikes and a couple of vans. Officers were busily interviewing the first crop of drivers whose vehicles showed no tax or insurance on the database. Lots of other crime gets picked up by these checks, and I am quite happy with that.

I was struck by the contrast between the hundreds of thousands of poundsworth of high technology kit that was deployed and my humble courthouse, where we are not provided with a computer link to the DVLA, so if a defendant turns up without bringing his driving licence we have to adjourn the case for three weeks while we send off for a paper printout of the driver's record.