It’s no surprise that in the recent National Rural Crime Survey nearly two-thirds of respondents thought that the police weren’t doing a good job and felt less safe as a result. Government soundbites say the police “must do more with less”. The “less” refers to less funding, but the truth is it actually means fewer police officers. More than 12,000 front-line officers in fact, with at least another 15,000 to go over the next two years. That’s on top of 35,000 departing civilian staff, whose work needs to be covered by officers.
The knock-on effect is that police have to put much smaller numbers of officers where the demand is greatest, just to cope with crime and disorder in the cities, towns and sprawling estates. The glaring consequence of this, of course, is that it makes rural areas ripe for the picking.
We’ve recently seen a spate of criminal gangs brazenly ripping out cash machines from walls in quiet rural towns at 4am. After all, the odds of...
The wheels of the MoJ have turned and have ground out a quite predictable result.. The 'consultation' on closing courts (which is MoJ code for announcing what you are going to do anyway|) has earmarked one of my local courthouses for closure. The courthouse in question is Feltham, and I can find no rational case to oppose the closure. Feltham is an old court, converted many years ago from a music-hall. The first time that I walked in to the magistrates' entrance I saw a lovely Victorian/Edwardian tiled room that was formerly the box office. My initial reaction was to ask for two stalls seats and a Raspberry Mivvi, Unfortunately, the rest of the courthouse is entirely unfit for purpose, for reasons that I shall not trouble you with. The bulk of Feltham's business will probably be shunted off to Hammersmith (a DJ-heavy outfit by the London side of the floyover)
I do not have much longer to serve as a JP, but when I go, I shall not miss shabby but charming old buildings like Feltham Mags.
There can`t be many magistrates who haven`t listened to a defendant before them for drunk driving or drunk in charge using as his/her defence the proposition that the road or area where the alleged offence took place was in fact private property and therefore the offence of drink driving is not committed. Such arguments can succeed if the evidence is there to support it which shows that the public are specifically excluded from the land in question or there by invitation of the owner. This argument succeeded in a particularly sad case of a child killed by a farm worker who was well over the drink drive limit whilst driving a tractor in the early morning after drinking the night previously. The terms of this anomalous situation might be where the boundaries exist of the castle which is the Englishman`s home. In the light of the numerous exceptions to the privacy of that castle and what lies within it I doubt there will be much resistance to the tweaking of the legal situation so that another event like the tragic one at Swithens Farm will not go unpunished.
Waste crime puts communities at risk, harms the environment and is estimated to take £1 billion each year from legitimate businesses and the HM Treasury. Peter Rutherford works for the Environment Agency in their National Enforcement Service. His blog talks about the damage illegal waste does to communities and businesses.
It may be a shock to hear but around 41% of active illegal waste sites have been found to be less than 50 metres from places such as homes, schools, hospitals, and areas of outstanding natural beauty. The dust, odour and noise from these sites can have a negative impact on people’s lives as well as their local environment.
Illegal waste operators also create uncertainty for the legitimate waste industry and can hold back investment in infrastructure that would help improve the environment.
Taking action against waste crime
The Environment Agency is taking tough action against the culprits of waste crime with our partners in the police and other enforcement agencies. The action we take depends...
A West Midlands PChad fallen foul of his management and was due to appear on a Discipline Board for an offence of Gross Misconduct. He deserved to be there, of that there is no doubt, and ultimately he was found Guilty and summarily sacked, no problem with that.
What attracted the ire of the Twitterati was the fact that West Midlands Police has taken the decision to ‘sell’ tickets for the ‘event’. Actually they were free, but how can allocating tickets through a 3rd party Events Company ever be right for a Disciplinary Hearing??
Chief Inspector Darren Walsh, from the force’s Public Protection Department, said: