Anyone who has been paying attention to the news lately has no doubt heard the stories of what an unsafe place the internet has become. From online predators to viruses to identity thieves, all this bad news can be enough to scare even the most devoted online researcher away from his or her keyboard.
It is heartening, therefore, to discover that the internet can also be used to enhance our feelings of safety to security, thanks to the widespread online availability of many arrest records.
Most of us are familiar with the police blotter sections of our local newspapers, which detail the arrests made by the local police force in the week just past. Many of us are unaware, however, that there are many online equivalents of these printed police blotters, covering not only a single town but entire regions of the country.
The arrest records detailed on these web pages can provide important information to individuals in the areas affected, and provide warnings about the different kinds of crime that have been occurring in the neighborhood.
For instance, if the arrest records show a rash of vandalism against neighborhood cars, this information can serve as a warning to keep the car in the garage, or at least park it closer to the house. If there has been a rash of break-ins and robberies, it may be time to invest in a new deadbolt lock.
Records of past arrests can also provide valuable information, and these arrest records are often used by business owners and human resources managers in making personnel decisions.
Before many companies hire employees, they put them through an extensive background check, which includes not only arrest records but court records and prison records as well.
Many companies feel that these background checks are a valuable tool for keeping their workforce, and their property, safe and secure.
Even after employees are hired, companies may check arrest records in order to determine if there are problems with any current staff members. Many companies have policies in place which require employees to notify their employers of any arrests or interactions with the police within a reasonable time period.
Many employees in such a situation, however, are too embarrassed, too scared, or both, to follow through with this requirement. By checking arrest records employers may be able to catch any incidents and take the appropriate actions. While some arrests may be completely unrelated to an individual’s employment, in other cases that arrest could be very relevant.
For instance, a company courier who has just been arrested for driving under the influence probably should not continue to have access to company vehicles.
It is easy to see how the availability of arrest records has had an impact on the lives of individuals and businesses alike. It is good to see that the internet can be a force for good and an excellent early warning system for parents and others.
The wealth of legal information, including arrest records, continues to make the internet more and more useful for the average person.