Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.
Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.
Friday, 23 September 2016
Further to my post of 13th September it seems that the world has really gone crazy. As if one Chief Constable`s lunatic suggestion isn`t enough the Police and Crime Commissioner in Leicestershire is considering jumping on to the equality and diversity bandwagon. Soon it will truly be Sharia law enforcement.
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
This seems to be a perfect example of offering a woman a sentencing option which would not be offered to a male offender.
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
The Chief Officers` Council; formally ACPO, in its collective wisdom has tried to persuade its overseers that cases of alleged misconduct against its members be kept secret. What arrogance! From Watergate to Whitehall it has been demonstrated that the cover up when revealed (as it usually is eventually) has greater ramifications that the misdeed itself. Those whom we pay and entrust to lead the enforcement of the law should be the most open of all to scrutiny when that trust appears, rightly or wrongly, to have been misplaced.
Monday, 19 September 2016
Truly in this regard the real target of police is in their virtual world where image supersedes reality.
Thursday, 15 September 2016
Today it is announced that on the spot fines for the offence of using a mobile phone whilst driving will rise from the current £100 to £150 and penalty points for car and van drivers will increase from three to four. With the numbers of police patrols both on foot and in car much reduced in our cities it is unlikely that more offenders will be stopped in what is the first step towards punishment.
The only way to curb this menace is to disqualify from driving for three months for first offence .
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
I find it disturbing that such thinking processes led to this police chief`s absurd posturing.
Tuesday, 6 September 2016
So it is not often that a transport company and/or the Justice Ministry is open and clear about its policies towards fare dodgers. The following is copied from a recent report of proceedings at Exeter Magistrates` Court:-
The maximum penalty for rail fare evasion with intent to avoid paying for a ticket is a £1,000 fine or three months’ imprisonment. The maximum penalty for failing to produce a ticket is a £500 fine.
However, statistics from the Ministry of Justice show the fines imposed by Exeter magistrates recently are well above the average for courts in England and Wales.
Last year 23,894 people were prosecuted for travelling by railway without paying the correct fare, failing to show a ticket or failing to give their name and address – a fall of 21 per cent on the previous year. Of those prosecuted, 18,680 were found guilty.
While 11 people were given a custodial sentence, the vast majority of defendants were fined. The average fine across England and Wales was £290 in 2015 – up from £91 a decade earlier.
A spokesman for train operator Great Western Railway said sentencing was a matter for the courts but added that the firm always attempts to deal with matters without court action.
He said: “Should individuals not respond to us the matter is referred to the criminal court process. Where a penalty fare is issued the passenger is written to and offered the opportunity to pay or to appeal the fine; a subsequent reminder is sent and then it is largely taken out of our hands and into the court process.
“To be consistent for all those travelling the rules are the same regardless of the fare amount and are set out in National Conditions of Carriage. It is the court’s decision and we would respect that decision.”
The GWR spokesman added: “Fare evasion costs the rail industry about £240 million a year. To make sure that customers who pay for rail travel are not unfairly subsidising those who choose to avoid paying, passengers are required to purchase a ticket prior to boarding a service from station ticket offices or from the available ticket vending machines.”
Where a passenger is unable to purchase a ticket prior to boarding – for example if a ticket office is closed and the ticket machine is broken – they are obliged to purchase a ticket at the next available opportunity."