Monday, November 2, 2009

Crime - don't tell me about it

A recent reader survey question was, “Should the Woodstock Police Department publish all arrests and crimes on its webpages?”

Yes 25 (33%)
No 51 (67%)

Many thanks to the 76 readers who responded.

The Woodstock Independent publishes Police Reports each week, but only a portion of them. The Northwest Herald publishes a small number of Woodstock crimes but only about once a month.

How do citizens protect themselves, if they don’t know what is going on in their community?


Phil Guspott said...

A major problem with crime blotters is they have a tendency to imply or impose guilt upon the accused party in the proverbial "court of public opinion," in essence comprimising the spirit of "innocent until proven guilty." While obviously some higher-profile alleged criminal acts will be deemed worthy of actual reporting by news agencies, I'm not sure it is necessary to ennumerate each and every proported criminal incident.

Instead, I would suggest a "conviction blotter" in lieu of parading our innocent until proven guilty neighbors infront of the public and humiliating them when no convicition exists. Or, at the very least a section that follows-up to each and every incident in the police blotter that reports whether or not the accused was found guilty. I believe in treating all humans with fairness and dignity and I think the idea of a police blotter alone compromises both of these, if not legally, then surely ethically.

Gus said...

A "Conviction Blotter" is an excellent idea!

Another Lawyer said...

I agree with the conviction blotter idea, but the readers have spoken, "Don't tell us about crime!" They could not have been clearer.