Inside the human computer that is a cop-shed.
Getting police reports is a pain. I’ve had two receipts in my wallet for like four months now and I’ve basically just given up on carrying valid ID. I don’t do well with printed anything (mailing a letter can take me up to a year), but the process is difficult in and of itself. In the best case it requires two trips to the cop-shed, in an average case three, or in my case, an infinite loop. Mercifully, this policy is set to change.
The current procedure is thus:
- Give the report, orally. I lost my ID, whatever. A cop writes this down
- Give a written letter requesting a copy. I end up going home to do this. Actually my parents house, as the probability of me having pen and paper in the same space is about 1/10. If something involves a stamp the probability is like -5/10.
- Sometimes they’ll ask you to come back if the Officer In Charge isn’t there. This isn’t kosher, but it’s happened to me
- Come back with a receipt to collect a copy. This can also depend on the right person being there.
This obviously entails multiple opportunities to fuck up. Someone isn’t there, go back a step. You lost the receipt, start over. They lost your letter, start over. Et cetera. The thing is that going to a cop-shed yourself can end up taking at least half a day with travel or whatever and this adds up. To really sort things out you’d need to take a small vacation in jail to, you know, wake up on the spot and get things done.
This really is the height of absurdity, because you’re jumping through all these hoops to get a copy of what you just said. If there was a photocopy machine they could just walk over and copy it, but there isn’t. If they had a computer they could just print it out. Instead it’s written in these giant (and rather awesome) books in different colored pen. One person handwrites it and another person typewriters you a copy. It’s madness. Anyways, by the grace of lady reason, the policy is set to change:
Inspector General of Police (IGP) N.K. Illangakone has taken steps to minimise the difficulties faced by the public especially at police stations when they seek to take copies of certain documents filed by the police.
A number of complaints have been made that the police delays giving copies of complaints lodged by the public due to a person loses their National Identity Card, vehicle registration papers, passport, licence or when a minor road accident occurs.
Currently the Police Headquarters is printing a separate record book with carbon copies and a copy will be given to the complainant at the same time when the complaint is lodged, with regard to the incidents mentioned above. (Daily Mirror)
Jahmazing. My dream is where you can Skype or email the cops and not go to the cop shed at all, but going one time is still far preferable to going like three or four (or seven) times, often without a result. They’re just issuing a new book and not digitizing stuff, but I actually think the old paper based system kinda works and it’s better not to shock the system too much at once.
I’m going to give it a week and start over to get the reports I need. I lost my National ID and my Drivers License is faded, so it will be nice to have some ID besides an expired media card and a stupid grin.