Posts Tagged ‘policereports’

More backward than Mississippi?

Monday, September 29th, 2008

When I worked as a crime reporter in South Carolina, I was used to reading through ALL police incident reports. Some information was redacted (such as witness names in sensitive investigations) but not much. The default was always on openness as it was the public who paid for the police and in whose name they worked.

South Carolina is not renowned as a progressive state but residents could at least claim they were more enlightened than the residents of Mississippi – a real backwater! I read in the papers that the Mississippi Legislature earlier this year approved changes in the state’s Open Records Law to provide citizens with more access to crime reports. The idea is that citizens not only should have access to their government, but that opening law enforcement incident reports is a matter of public safety as well as being a crime-fighting tool.

Try telling that to ANY police force in the UK where all criminal incidents reports are strictly off limits to the public.