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Writer

Screenplay Research

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I'm working on a drama screenplay - hope it's ok to ask these questions here - if anyone can help with these, it'll be greatly appreciated.

 

So, I've read about the Police National Computer - does this only have information on criminals or might it have information on anyone who was a witness or victim too? Who can access this computer & is this available at every police station. Basically, I want character A to look up character's B's name, thinking that they're a criminal but character B actually turns out to be the parent of a victim.

 

Am I right in thinking a Special Constable role is unpaid? Could it potentially lead to a Police Constable role (more chance than straight up trainee Police Constable application)?

 

That's it for now.

 

By the way, in case there's any doubt - I'm definitely working on this project and not planning on breaking any laws with this info!!

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 I can't think of any reason why PNC would hold details of a victims parents. Even if both were criminals it wouldn't necessarily link them unless they were criminal associates & their misdeeds whilst acting together had been recorded on PNC. Local crime recording/ intelligence systems may hold this information if a non criminal parent had acted as appropriate adult for the victim as a child or vulnerable person. There are a number of other ways peoples details come onto police systems without them being criminals, for example a domestic arguement or missing person where assessments need made to establish risk. Even if people have not been linked by computer systems then good old common sense can prevail & for example if they've been living at the same address together since one of them was a child & have the same surname then it is possible they're related. The old cop sitting in the corner who's worked the area forever is normally an invaluable source of information.

 

 Information on PNC is available to all, however not all can log into it so an officer may need to find someone who can or call the details over the radio to the control room. Anything done on PNC is strictly audited & officers are regularly asked to justify why they have carried out checks to ensure it was for a policing purpose. So checking out if your neighbour has convictions or entering the number plate of the attractive person you saw to obtain their address is a no no & could lead to criminal conviction. It's a good idea to keep a note of why you have requested a check so you remember when asked about it weeks later having carried out many more in between.

 

 In relation to Specials you are correct, they do not get paid however recruitment of regulars nowadays prefers people with a background in the policing family so being a special, PCSO or civilian staff is generally considered a good stepping stone.

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Your scenario would see an officer prosecuted and out of a job. If your character A looked up a name then it could never identify that a person had been a victim or the parent of a victim. PNC is available to all officers through an authorised and "logged on" user. As has been said, all transactions are traceable.

The scenario you have suggested would be, basically, an impossibility.

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Ok, thanks both. Not the PNC then.

 

As the case would already have gone to court, the parent(s) of the allegedly murdered child's details must be on some systems maybe further along the chain with the courts (?) and perhaps on,  "Local crime recording/ intelligence systems may hold this information if a non criminal parent had acted as appropriate adult for the victim as a child or vulnerable person."  But, it would be impossible for a police officer to find out, whilst trying to see if a person had a criminal record that they were, in fact, actually the parent of a child victim. And, if the police officer found out this information for their own ends, they'd definitely be prosecuted or can I read between the lines there?

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If the 'case' had gone to court then would this not be in the public domain .....reports in the press etc?

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BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT RELEASING ANY OPERATIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PNC

 

I don't think I released/ revealed anything that isn't already in the public domain already, however if admin feel I have stepped over the mark anywhere then please delete.

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No one had 'stepped over the mark' it was a timely warning just in case it was breached.

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I think you could vague this up enough to be dramatically credible just by having a shot of someone looking at a screen and doing a well rehearsed dramatic 'Well, who'd a thought' look into the middle distance before hurriedly logging-off as a colleague entered the room. If you want a shot of the screen just put 'Anyshire Police Records System' on it. 

 

Suspension of Disbelief and all that ......

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Except that it would never turn up B as a relative. It would have zero credibility.

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PNC is just one source of information for us. Character A could check Intel systems for character B and see the type of information you mention.

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In the situation you describe, the parents of the murdered child would indeed be on many systems. Most murders are put onto Holmes, and they'd be on there for a start, though access to that is pretty restricted for most people. 

 

Probably the best way is using a search engine:

 

5. The Integrated Information Platform (IIP) is a search engine built on top of the Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW). It provides 7,000 officers and staff with a relatively simple and easy to use interface that is sometimes described as ‘Google for cops’. Users can simultaneously search not only Information Reports in Crimint Plus but also CRIS crime reports, Custody reports, Merlin child protection records, Stop and Searches and incidents in CAD. IIP is searched about 15,000 times every day and 30,000 records are viewed. In addition to the formal business cases, the contribution of IIP and Crimint Plus to operational effectiveness can be most readily seen in exempt appendix 2.

 

I copied that from a quick Google search so it's in the public domain, nothing confidential about it.

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