The police force that thinks it would be unfair to name escaped prisoners … unfair on the prisoners, that is

1blackpool-story

A great FOI story here from the Blackpool Gazette, which asked Lancashire Police for details of any prisoners who had absconded from their local jail.

It was more than just a speculative fishing trip – not that there’s anything wrong with those by the way – by the Gazette, as a quick search of Google News shows.

Highlights from the FOI included the fact 12 men had successfully escaped from the prison, and that one had managed to evade a return capture for 17 years.

Offences those who had escaped had committed included assault, firearms offences, drug dealing dealing and robbery. So serious then.

With this interest from the Blackpool Gazette, how did Lancashire Police ensure it made the most of the chance to galvanise public support behind getting these men back behind bars?

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A mugs gallery with a difference: What police in the UK could learn from Chicago cops

The Chicago Tribune Mugs Gallery

Meet Kimberley Miniea. She lives in Chicago and she’s been arrested for pandering. I had to search what pandering was – according to various American websites it is similar to pimping.

Kimberley is one of more than 200 images in a Chicago Tribune picture gallery which features a regular selection of people who have been arrested for offences. They are the mugshots from the local police stations.

One of the websites I work with, the Liverpool Echo site, has seen huge numbers of visitors to its online Caught on Camera campaign, which involves the publication of CCTV stills from crimes or mugshots of people wanted by the police.

The key difference between what the Echo does and what the Tribune is doing in America is that those people appearing in the Tribune’s picture gallery aren’t being actively sought by police. Likewise, they haven’t been convicted.

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