Below is a copy of the email I just sent to Cambridgeshire Constabulary, the PCC (Graham Bright, about whom I have been less than complimentary) and to Cambridgeshire Constabulary complaints department. How do you think this'll go down?
With bewildering advances in technology allowing people to commit quite new crimes, in new ways, I don't find it quaint or endearing that Cambridgeshire Constabulary want me to do the equivalent of shout in a tin can on the end of a bit of string to report an incident...
Firstly, I would like to draw your attention to what I believe may be evidence of the use of a mobile device while driving, in Cambridge, in a tweet. This can be seen here:
For convenience I have also included a scree-grab.
Obviously it is illegal to use a mobile device while driving, even if the vehicle isn't moving at the time. The tone and content of the tweet show a certain aggressive tone, which for me makes this seem really rather sinister. The perspective from which the image is taken appears to be the drivers seat.
Could you please investigate this, and respond with an appropriate incident number and a rough idea what (if anything) you plan to do.
Secondly, I have to comment on how silly your procedures for reporting such things are. I initially tweeted a link to @cambscops, which I would hope ought to bring this to the attention of police staff to make a decision on whether it should be pursued. I was directed to phone 101, which would of course necessitate reading a long URL down the phone, a procedure likely to result in errors and a waste of time. After waiting around 5 minutes to get through first time, I was then cut off, and the second call took 14 minutes to get hold of someone, who took a long time to find an email address to make the report to. Said address (firstname.lastname@example.org) could very easily be shared on your website to facilitate rapid, easy communication but it is not.
Bluntly, if I report something I think is illegal to the Police by any means, at all, it is surely beholden on the police to take that report and do something with it, rather than respond that it is being reported in the wrong way? It appears that you are trying to minimise the number of incidents that are reported by making it needlessly hard to report.
I have copied in Cambridgeshire PCC, Cambridgeshire Constabulary Complaints department.