Online Proofreading Test – Answers

There were 30 errors in the test – the corrections you should have made are highlighted in the corrected version below. Give yourself a point for each correct change that you made and add them up to give yourself a score out of 30.

To what extent have police forces developed throughout the twentieth century?
Many changes have occurred to police forces throughout the twentieth century. Rapid technological developments have affected the way the police work, providing them with new and increasingly more complex equipment. Whereas the nineteenth century police officer had neither a radio nor a walkie-talkie, relying heavily on a whistle to alert colleagues to the scene of a crime, two-way radios had been introduced in the 1920s. This meant that officers could now communicate with the police station and respond rapidly. The walkie-talkie, in use from the 1950s, also gave immediate access to fellow officers. Therefore officers’ decisions could now be made quickly and directly, following a clear chain of command and relying on fast backup. The once familiar sight of ‘bobbies’ patrolling the streets on foot or on bike has largely changed through the use of police cars. These enable fewer officers to patrol larger areas, and to respond quickly to situations. Helicopters and light aircraft are used by all police forces, primarily for tracking suspects involved in more serious crimes. Computers and the internet are also used for recording and investigating crimes and suspect details. The increasing use of electronic monitoring, such as CCTV cameras, ‘phone tapping’ and ‘electronic tagging’ have arguably reduced the need for so many officers ‘on the beat’. Nowadays a few police specialists can monitor, prevent and follow up crimes instantly and effectively. Records of missing people, fingerprints and vehicle details can also be accessed and shared by all police forces, through the centralised National Computer Record. The development of forensic testing, such as fingerprinting, blood sampling and more recently DNA testing, has likewise aided crime investigations by testing human characteristics on suspects. However, these developments have also aided criminals in evading identification and capture (see Section 5.2 New crimes / New opportunities for old crimes).


  • ‘technology developments’ could be changed to either ‘technological developments’ or ‘developments in technology’
  • ‘Internet’ is often capitalised, but ‘internet’ is also now acceptable
  • ‘averting’ was the wrong word to use in this context – you could use either ‘evading’ or ‘avoiding’ to give the correct meaning