There is a shortage of magistrates in Wigan. The local paper has published the following statement from Liz Truss to encourage applicants. I wonder how much is still applicable to today`s situation.
The Lord Chancellor Liz Truss said: “The involvement of lay people - recruited from a cross-section of our society - is a central principle in the administration of justice. It helps safeguard our citizens, with crucial decisions affecting an individual’s liberty being decided not by officials of the state - but by an independent bench of trained magistrates drawn from the local...
The Prison Service and police are to pool intelligence to stop drones flying drugs and mobile phones to prison inmates in England and Wales.
They will forensically examine captured drones to try to find out who was flying them. The invention of easy-to-fly, remote-controlled aircraft has caused a huge security headache for prisons. But critics have called the plan a "red herring" to distract people from "chaos and crisis" in prisons.
The national initiative will see police and prison officers share information about the quadcopters and methods used. Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah said: "We are absolutely determined to tackle the illegal flow of drugs and mobile phones into our prisons and turn them into places of safety and reform. "The threat posed by drones is clear but our dedicated staff are committed to winning the fight against those who are attempting to thwart progress by wreaking havoc in establishments all over the country. "My message to those who ...
Yesterday, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Tom Winsor said something extremely important in his annual review, known as the “State of Policing” report. The main headline from the document was his argument that the police are now filling gaps in mental health services and that this represents a drain on resources which are being diverted from other policing responsibilities. It was his clear view that “the provision of mental healthcare has reached such a state of severity that police are often being used to fill the gaps.” He makes the point that the police “have often been used as the service of last resort. In some areas, particular where people with mental health problems need urgent help, the police are increasingly being used as the service of first resort.” He goes on, “We are still finding cases of mentally ill people – who have not committed any crime – spending the night in a police cell. This is because they are too vulnerable to be left alone but there is no bed for them in a...
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has joined a call by UK fire chiefs to raise awareness of the dangers of everyday activities near water, after statistics show that nearly 50% of people who accidently drown in the UK never intended to enter the water.
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention campaign - Be Water Aware - is running from 24 - 30 April and is being supported by fire and rescue services throughout the UK.
Latest statistics show that the total number of UK water related fatalities in 2015 was 644. Of these, 321 were accidental drownings. These people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water.
TWFRS is advising people to be water aware and to change their behaviour around open water, to minimise their risk of becoming one of these statistics.
As part of the drowning prevention campaign and following a number of river related incidents attended by emergency services in Tyne and Wear, a pilot scheme has been...
Yesterday I posted on the apparent lack of local knowledge shown by the Appeal Court in a case of dangerous driving. Today in the Telegraph the opposite appears to be the case with a crown court judge who has placed a spurious exaggerated defence of a twice convicted drunk driver ahead of the public interest. Such cases happen daily but only a few can be reported to a wider audience. Of course the results of all criminal cases are available in a statistical form. This allows the general nature of our courts system to be commented upon but it bears no reality for those involved either practically or intellectually.
In magistrates` courts arguments, as in today`s case, are often based upon exceptional circumstances in an attempt for totters to retain their driving licenses with 12 penalty points or more having accrued. Generally the arguments are similar to those in this much more serious example. Perhaps there are judges who really are detached from the public perception of their decisions. Perhaps judges should...
Sheffield mum Carol Speight is aiming to celebrate turning 40 years old by running Sunday’s London Marathon for the first time. We asked her some quick questions about why she’s choosing the Marathon as her challenge – and why Crimestoppers…
Carol rarely stops fundraising!
Q. So, why the London Marathon?
I’ve lost four stone in recent years, purely from running and eating more healthily.
It’s a long way from my previous life, so I’m well outside my comfort zone!
Q. And why Crimestoppers as your fundraising cause?
I’ve known many people who have been victims of crime – been burgled or had personal possessions stolen, so helping to raise funds for Crimestoppers seemed perfect to me.
Q. How have your colleagues reacted to you taking on the Marathon?
Staff at Matalan, where I work, probably think that I run around far too much! But it’s worth it!
Carol out training for the big day on Sunday
Q. What’s been your main motivation through all the hard...
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is carrying out a community engagement initiative in Washington tomorrow (Friday, 21 April) after a former children's play centre was destroyed in a blaze yesterday. (Wednesday, 19 April)
At the height of the fire in the former Junglerama building in Victoria Road, Concord, more than 30 firefighters were in attendance. All crews finally left the scene almost six hours after the alarm was raised just after 4.10pm.
The fire was extinguished using four main water jets and two Aerial Ladder Platforms.
To engage with the community of Washington, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is carrying out a co-ordinated 'hot strike' in the area, in a bid to increase fire safety awareness and tackle anti-social behaviour.
Prevention and Education teams including community advocates, service volunteers and Prince's Trust team members, together with on-duty crews and Fire Safety teams will carry out targeted home safety...
Lesson one for new magistrates:- do not talk to the media. It`s that simple. Of course there are so called rules which define the limits of expressing opinions to same but those who`ve been around for a while understand that unless you were in Kingston or Barry or similar situations and your court was being closed and you vented a portion of your spleen to the local journal the chances were that you would be brought before the headmaster and duly chastised. So often it is the retired J.P. who makes known his/her opinion on a legal topic in the press, TV or social media. Thus it is that the former Chairman of the Bench in Bradford has castigated the Appeal Court for second guessing an original sentence passed by HHJ Roger Thomas QC the Honorary Recorder of Bradford.The offender`s sentence was reduced from 6 months to 4 months custody. Ms Carroll is a wise and experienced individual. There are many more of her ilk active and retired. More of them should speak up when the situation...
32-year-old David Smith from Poole works for Barclays Bank, and also volunteers as a Special Constable with the police. He’s managed to shed a remarkable seven stone in recent years, and has chosen to run this Sunday’s London Marathon, fundraising for Crimestoppers. Here he answers a couple of quick questions for us…
Dave in his Crimestoppers running vest
Q. What made you decide to take on the famously gruelling London Marathon?
It was three years ago that I found I couldn’t buy clothes in the high street, and I used to get tired out just from walking around.
I thought ‘enough is enough’.
Q. How do your friends and relatives feel about your challenge?
Family and friends have been very supportive, especially with preparing for the big day in London. Some think I’m being a bit crazy and are quite shocked, but it’s worth it.
I’m grateful for their support whilst fundraising – and would also like to thank Barclays for matching my fundraising effort pound-for-pound.