Police accused of “lying” and “creating ghost units” on the satnav app

Police accused of “lying” and “creating ghost units” on the satnav app

Police accused of “lying” and “creating ghost units” on the satnav app

A police force was accused of misleading drivers after traffic officers admitted they reported their location on a satellite navigation app even when on the move.

Surrey police said the tactic “works perfectly” by encouraging drivers to slow down.

The Waze app allows users to report driving conditions such as traffic jams, accidents and police sightings.

This helps other drivers to take alternative routes or to avoid being caught running.

Police locations are generally flagged for stationary officers, such as those operating speed cameras, but Surrey traffic police teams have posted on Twitter that they use the feature while driving.

The tweet said, “We certainly don’t drop police markers on Waze at random spots on our patrol, no, never.”

It featured a winking emoji to indicate that the opposite is true, before adding, “An easy way to slow drivers on our roads – thanks @waze.”

This has led to many angry comments, accusing the force of “creating ghost drives”, “putting false information” on the app, “lying” and altering computer records “to deceive other users”.

The police Twitter account said its location notices are “technically not fake” as the officers “are present at that very specific time.”

He added: “Nowhere on Waze does it say that the patrol must be stopped.”

Ru Roberts, Waze’s UK Country Manager, said: “The police reporting function is intended to notify drivers of the police presence in general and promote road safety, as users tend to drive more carefully and obey traffic laws when I know of the police nearby.

“Warnings on Waze are verified by drivers, for example, you may be asked to confirm if a traffic jam or construction site is” Still there? “This applies to police alerts, which means that if users do not verify the police presence on the road, the warning will be removed from the Waze map. “

Regarding the removal of the markers, the force wrote that they have tested their tactic and that it “works for about 10-20 minutes”, adding: “Every little one helps”.

In response to someone claiming they “never see” traffic officers despite having driven “thousands of miles on the highway in recent months,” the police Twitter account wrote: “We are not responsible for significant budget cuts for police over the years that have decimated traffic units throughout the country ”.

AA chairman Edmund King said the “real problem” with the Surrey police use of Waze is “the huge reduction in cops in cars.”

Data from the Home Office shows that the number of full-time equivalent traffic police officers in England and Wales has decreased by 22% over the past seven years, from 5,237 in March 2015 to 4,102 in March 2022.

Mr. King added: “We know that speed camera signs and interactive smiley face signs affect driver behavior and slow down some drivers.

“Using police markers on Waze to indicate police presence is just the modern equivalent of a speed camera sign.

“With five deaths a day on our roads, it’s hard to argue with police tactics that potentially slow drivers down and save lives.

“Law-abiding drivers have nothing to worry about.

“Eventually we would like to see more policemen in cars to reduce wider crime, but in the meantime the police must do what they can to make the streets safer.”

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