Plods Plod the Perilous Wikipedia Path

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Content Copyright © 2009 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.
Also posted on: Nigel Stanley

This weeks Police Review, which is essential reading for
those involved in the depressing work of policing this country, carries an
interesting story on page 4 concerning that font of all knowledge Wikipedia

Apparently the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is advising
the plod to search Wikipedia to verify their evidence prior to attending court.
A former officer from the Met and advisor to the Home Office recounts being
shown printouts from Wikipedia which were going to form part of officer’s evidence
to the court. Of course the printouts contained inaccuracies and I guess the
officer faced the potential embarrassment of relying on dubious facts from

As we all get lazier and increasingly rely on data sources
such as Wikipedia to produce “facts” there is a real danger that factual inaccuracies
will creep into our day to day lives. This is a perilous path that needs to be
trodden with care.