Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Please report crime

Burned Traject controlle A2In Holland the government always tries to fix thinks by starting a media campaign AKA propaganda. Their latest idea is to start a campaign with TV and radio commercials to stimulate people to report crimes. Because in The Netherlands only 29% of the crime victims report to the police and that number gets lower every year. The campaign is part of the safety and security program of the government.

But why should people bother to report crimes to the Dutch police? They solve less than 15% of reported crimes. That is not the only reason; it is also very difficult to report a crime. First of all, you have to wait, wait and wait. It for sure is going to take you hours. But besides that, they often refuse to help you and say you have to make an appointment and come back another day! That is, if they deem it important enough, otherwise they just refuse to take the report. And when they finally take your report, they say it's in part your own fault and then they start pointing out how you could have prevented it. It’s that insurance companies force you to report many cases otherwise the number would probably be even lower.

Not surprisingly, many Dutch people are not very satisfied with the results the Dutch police produce. That could also be seen in the on-line edition of Dutch biggest newspaper, the Telegraaf. Below the press report about the plans they included some reactions of readers, something I didn't saw them do ever before. In the letters to the paper the people write that they are angry and that reporting crimes has no use. The police are just writing tickets to meet their ticket quotas one reader writes.

And they are right, the police still finds plenty of time to write speeding tickets. They seem to be really good in that. Not that you notice them doing it. They do it sneaky. They photograph you and you receive a financial settlement by post. Pay it and the problem is gone.

Last December the Dutch government introduced an automated full time car surveillance system called “Traject controlle”. The system makes two (or more) photographs of your car and stores it together with the time on a computer. The computer has special software that reads the license plate information. The computer then calculates your average speed between the two photographs. When you’re average speed is too high, you receive the speeding tax ticket by mail. Pay it and the problem is gone.

But some people don’t take it any more. Dutch MSM is now reporting (Telegraaf, NU.nl) about sabotage of the new "Traject controlle" installation. This is what happened to two cases of the system:

This computer looks broken


The door does not close anymore


It is completely trashed


But what about the other cassing?


But what strange, all this stuff is just for takes. Doesn't the police know what happened with their system? They cannot even protect their own stuff...

More pictures here: Flitservice

Sources: Telegraaf, Telegraaf(2), Flitservice, Nu

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