Police in the United Kingdom have reportedly started employing a creative (but not truly new) tactic to ensure they get a cell phone off a suspect before he or she has a chance to turn it off or lock it. Once they are ready to arrest the person, they’ll watch until they see the suspect use their phone, at which point they’ll simply swoop in snatch the phone out of the person’s hands. Since the phone will be already be on and in use, it will be readily accessible for the officer to review. They’ll then go ahead and make the arrest immediately afterwards. Talk about an awkward drive back to the police station.
Today, the BBC reported on a recent fraud case in which Scotland Yard agents staged a pre-arrest mugging in order to make sure a suspect’s iPhone was seized in unlocked mode. Investigating a credit card forger, police waited for the suspect to make a call, then snatched the phone directly out of his hand before arresting him. The result was an unlocked phone — an open book for investigators, provided they didn’t let it slip into sleep mode.
This is an interesting brain teaser that can have a few ready solutions. But take a moment to think about the scenario and ask yourself what you could do if you had to immobilize a one-armed person. Once you cuff the arm the person does have, what can you do with the other end of the handcuffs? One idea would be if the person is wearing a belt (or has pants with belt loops), the other end of handcuffs can cuffed around the belt at a point a few belt loops away from their hand. Of course, that only works if the pants are tight enough where you’re not worried about the suspect easily removing them, and would probably require a certain level of vigilance to ensure the cuffs stay on. An alternative would be to cuff their arm to one of their ankles.
Police in northern India will begin to use chili-powder-loaded slingshots to combat protesters. Officers in Haryana state near New Delhi will use the slingshots as a “non-lethal way” to diffuse violent crowds. According to police inspector general of Hisar district, Anil Kumar Rao, who devised the idea, this is a better option than using even plastic bullets, as the latter can still result in severe injuries.
This comes as police in the northern Indian city of Lucknow last year used pepper-spraying drones for the first time as a tool for crowd control.
Well, the Dutch are the first to come up with a far simpler, low-tech solution to knocking out unwanted drones – using a trained eagle.
These eagles are trained to see the drones as prey. Using their hunting instinct, they intercept the device mid-air and carry it to a safe landing place. They’re rewarded with a piece of meat after each successful capture. The Dutch police began testing the use of the birds last year, and this week announced the results from the trial period. The eagles successfully brought down the drones 80 percent of the time.
Canadian police have taken to using cameras with a telephoto lens to catch distracted drivers, from as far as 1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) away. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have said they use the cameras all around British Columbia at strategic locations. The reason for using the cameras is so police can observe from a safe distance and at the same time remain covert to catch drivers in the act of not paying attention to their driving (e.g. as a result of texting on their phone, putting on their make-up, etc.).
Getting ticketed in B.C. for distracted driving is no joke – fines went up last year to $543 for a first offense and $888 for a second one.
The short answer is – no. At best, you can get some clues on whether they *might* be high on drugs of some kind, but it’s far from definitive and would simply be an indication to run some more tests. For example, cocaine, marijuana, and amphetamines cause the pupils to dilate, while opiates such as heroin constrict the pupils. Hit the jump for photos of drug users’ eyes while they were high on cocaine, marijuana, and ketamine, respectively.
A University of Wisconsin-Stout student was pulled over for speeding near the college campus by a Menomonie police officer late last year. The student explained to the officer he was in rush to give a presentation, and that he had first stopped by a friend’s place for help because he didn’t know how to tie his necktie, but his friend wasn’t home. At that point, the officer promptly offered his assistance. Hit the jump for the officer’s dash cam video.
With the latest states to approve marijuana for recreational use, it creates a problem for law enforcement when it comes to some drug-sniffing dogs. Traditional drug sniffing dogs can detect four drug-related odors – cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. However, they are unable to signal to the handler which drug they are hitting on nor can they tell the amount of drugs present. As a result, police departments in states where marijuana will soon become legal for recreational use may have to think about moving towards three odor dogs and possibly even retiring their current dogs. Why? Someone in possession of both marijuana and cocaine (or evidence of other crimes such as a knife or a gun) might be able to beat the charge if they can successfully claim the dog hit on the marijuana scent only (albeit as a practical matter this might be a difficult defense to amount in the court of law). Or, what if the person has marijuana only (think lawsuit for police harassment). On the other hand, it’s not easy to retrain a four-odor dog to stop responding to marijuana, or to put such a dog through expensive and time-consuming testing to demonstrate it is no longer interested in finding weed. In the same way, switching to new dogs is expensive, as drug-sniffing dogs can cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 each. Listen to the podcast below for more about the issue.
It was 1845. A Brit named John Tawell murdered his mistress Sarah Hart before escaping via train to London. Using the newly installed telegraph at Slough train station, police sent a message to Paddington Station in London:
“A murder has just been committed at Salt Hill and the suspected murderer was seen to take a first class ticket to London by the train that left Slough at 7.42pm. He is in the garb of a Kwaker [sic] with a brown great coat on which reaches his feet. He is in the last compartment of the second first-class carriage.”
As a result, a plainclothes police officer was able to meet the train in time and followed Tawell home, where he was arrested the following day. Tawell initially attempted to lie his way out of it, saying he hadn’t been in Slough the day before. However, the same officer had been on Tawell’s bus from Paddington to his home, and Tawell had mistaken the officer for a conductor, even giving him money for the bus ride. Tawell was ultimately convicted and executed later that year.
According to the visually stimulating though oddly named website HeyJackass!, there have been 795 homicides in Chicago for 2016, though this number may cross 800 due to “due to late passings and reclassified death investigations.”
DNAInfo has additional statistics/infographics presented in a similarly visual format, though their numbers are currently slightly lower with 741 reported homicides for 2016.