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.
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Friday, 29 January 2016
Rarely if ever has there been such a disassociation and repudiation of one cabinet minister`s actions by his successor of the same party. It is beyond belief that he occupies a front bench position in the House of Commons. It is little wonder that politics and politicians are held in contempt by the general public when such failure is rewarded.
Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Monday, 25 January 2016
There`s an ancient proverb that says more or less that if one offers the devil a finger he`ll take the whole hand. Apply the metaphor to the police and there is a neat congruity. Domestic violence protection orders are such an example. On the basis that the "victim" must always be protected from somebody these iniquitous actions can be applied by a police officer of superintendent rank or above. In practice no superintendent is going to attend such an alleged incident in person; s/he will rely upon a report from a constable or even a PCSO. The consequences for those arrested and subjected to such an order can be life changing. For further information government guidance is available here and as an example in practice Sussex Police have published this. The College of Policing has its own text on the topic.
In the Sexual Offences Act 2003 can be found the following:-(as amended by the
Friday, 22 January 2016
The second matter reminded me of a case over which I presided when the male in a relationship dragged his heavily pregnant partner by her hair to the top of the stairs in the house they shared and pushed her down those stairs. We were astonished at the undercharging by the CPS and had no doubt that he deserved and received our maximum sentence of six months immediate custody. With the cases reported above only those in court know the full extent of mitigation offered but on the surface it does appear that the crown court judge might have been feeling particularly benevolent that day. The case in the lower court does IMHO raise more awkward questions. Did the CPS under charge? Did the bench feel apprehensive about immediate custody owing to "advice" from the legal advisor? If a man can strike two or three times the back of a woman`s head with presumably a reinforced work shoe and that woman is near to giving birth and still not receive immediate custody just where are we going with crime and punishment?
Thursday, 21 January 2016
Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Fictional television shows about police and policing have been a staple part of the home visual entertainment diet since T.V. became the country`s prime means of information and communication. From “Dixon of Dock Green” over half a century ago through “Z Cars” in the 1960s via “The Bill” and “Prime Suspect” our fascination with the genre is unending. Combine that fascination with the techniques of fly on the wall reporting and we have "Forced Marriage Cops". It follows other similar see it as it happens reportage of police involving motorway patrols, city crime cars, police in helicopters, police in boats, police, police, police. One common thread in all these is the supposed control by the programme makers of the final edit. Whether or not payments are made to whom or for what amounts of cash I am not privy but constabularies and their police authorities have sanctioned this warts and all approach and so must believe it is to their advantage that the public has a supposedly unexpurgated picture of what their police forces must put up with in the course of their often dangerous and unpleasant duties. So what happens when some of the uniformed participants act in such a manner that critics, some in their armchairs some more knowledgeable, believe that their officers behaved unprofessionally? Perhaps those who make cheap programmes involving out takes might find the cutting room floors of the involved production companies a source of rich material. Whether such images would reach our screens is another matter.