Google helping the police in Essen

In December 2015 the police in Essen questioned a speaker of Arabic who they suspecting of stealing a jacket and some drinks from a supermarket. As they could not understand Arabic, they consulted Google Translate, RP Online reports. As the paper points out, this appears to be an infringement of the right to a fair hearing (Anspruch auf rechtliches Gehör). The police say they used the program to establish the man’s identity. It looks as if there will be no conseqences, since the man was given an interpreter the next day and at following hearings. The public prosecutor’s office in Düsseldorf confirmed what had happened, but did not answer the question as to whether the police often use Google Translate.

(via law blog: Google übersetzt für die Polizei)

Berlin police @PolizeiBerlin_E now competing with @SolihullPolice

Berlin police tweet at @PolizeiBerlin and @PolizeiBerlin_E (Einsatz). They used the hashtag #pickpocket to clear up some cases. Presumably there are more speakers of English than German in Berlin nowadays. Aufklärungsgezwitscher in B.Z.

Thanks to Trevor.

Also check out Solihull Police best tweets. E.g.

Not a scam: If you’ve committed a burglary in the Solihull area within the last week – come to our police station & claim a FREE iPad.

I was proceeding in a northerly direction/Polizeisprech

In an article headed Cops Talk Funny, Val Van Brocklin points out some of the curious turns of phrase used by U.S. police in court. British police do this too, though not always using the same terms.

# He indicated… He said
# I have been employed by… I worked for
# I exited the patrol vehicle… I got out of the car
# I observed… I saw
# I ascertained the location of the residence… I found the house
# I proceeded to the vicinity of… I went to
# I approached the entrance… I went to the door
# The subject approached me… She came up to me
# I apprehended the perpetrator… I arrested the man
# I obtained an item that purported to be an envelope from the individual… I got the envelope from her
# I observed the subject fleeing on foot from the location… I saw him running away

She actually seems to believe that police could be trained not to speak like this.

(Via Boing Boing)