Criminal Record

Crime MapSay what you like about pen-pushers and bureaucracy, you have to admit that public services have really grasped the advantages of the information age.

Just this week I was able to renew my road tax online, but only after the system reminded me that my MOT was out of date. It just ‘knew’ I was illegal.

I dropped my car off at my local, friendly garage and Dave the owner explained how they too have to log in to the system whenever they carry out an MOT.

And it actually times them as each test is expected to take a minimum of 45 minutes and a maximum of two hours. Try to be too quick and you must be cutting corners, but take too long and the system starts to think that something fishy is going on.

The men from the ministry also check up with visits to garages. They sit in their car outside and use their laptops to see which cars are supposed to be in their for their MOT and heaven help you if it turns out that the car isn’t there.

It’s all intended to clamp down on the cowboy garage owners who would dish out a certificate without even looking at the road-worthiness of the car, but it can militate against common sense.

For example, if it turns out that you need a new tyre before an MOT can be signed off, a garage would give you the certificate if it knew were to be trusted to do just that.

Now you have to get the tyre fitted and take it back to the garage which is then expected to log in to the system again for a partial re-test to check that the tyre company has done its job properly.

I hadn’t meant to write about the MOT system when I started this post as you can probably tell from the title and image above.

It’s a crime map that the police make available through a neat little app on my iPad showing what the bad guys are up to around where I live.

It is also available online but isn’t quite as pretty as the iPad version with its coloured map pins. (You’ll have to enlarge the image to see them properly.) So for example, the dark blue pins indicate anti-social behaviour, orange is violent crime, pink is vehicle crime and green is drugs.

What I’m supposed to do with this information I’m not quite sure, other than revel in the warm feeling that my immediate neighbours appear to enjoy a crime free life.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Stalker-Pudding 19th August 2012

    Revealing the exact location of Parrots Mansion may be none too clever as some shady characters visit this blog – e.g. infamous cat burglar Roger “The Dodger” Green and underworld godfather Bob “Knuckles” Brague. I’ll see you later in “Lowes Arms” on Hyde Road to discuss household security. I will allow you to buy me a pint.

    Reply
  • Mr Parrot 19th August 2012

    Unfortunately the Lowes Arms is defunct, a victim of the declining pub trade. The Cow and Calf is a better bet and it’s nearer.

    Reply
  • Roger Green 20th August 2012

    I was GOING to ay that I wasn’t sure I could continue coming to this blog, with its obvious criminal element. But now that I’ve been dubbed a cat burglar, I guess there IS honor among thieves…

    Reply
  • Mr Parrot 20th August 2012

    We’re thick as thieves, Roger, thick as thieves!

    Reply

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