Met Chief Sir Ian Blair could be among 31,000 officers to receive the new electronic tracking device.
Every single Metropolitan police officer will be ‘microchipped’ so top brass can monitor their movements on a Big Brother style tracking scheme, it can be revealed today.
The new electronic tracking device – called the Automated Personal Location System (APLS) – means that officers will never be out of range of supervising officers.
According to service providers Telent, the new technology ‘will enable operators in the Service’s operations centres to identify the location of each police officer’ at any time they are on duty – whether overground or underground.
Although police chiefs say the new technology is about ‘improving officer safety’ and reacting to incidents more quickly, many rank and file believe it is just a Big Brother style system to keep tabs on them…
Some officers are concerned that the system – which will be able to pinpoint any of the 31,000 officers in the Met to within a few feet of their location – will put a complete end to community policing and leave officers purely at the beck and call of control room staff rather than reacting to members of the public on the ground.
Pete Smyth, chairman of the Met Police Federation, said: “This could be very good for officers’ safety but it could also involve an element of Big Brother.
Other officers, however, were more scathing… the new system – set to be implemented within the next few weeks…
One officer, working in Peckham, south London, said: “They are keeping the exact workings of the system very hush-hush at the moment – although it will be similar to the way criminals are electronically tagged. There will not be any choice about wearing one.”
Comments from the Daily Mail website:
Police today, every member of the public tomorrow.
– Jimpy, Lincs.
Watch out. We’ll be next!
– Badger, Dorset, England