Justices of the Peace are notoriously reticent about criticising their own bench and its officers or the magistracy in general. Even in a closed environment eg the retiring room I had often thought that some colleagues were afraid to speak their minds in case critical comments reached hostile ears. I had and have some sympathy with this reluctance to be able to speak freely and frankly without fear or favour. Certainly bench meetings are circumscribed by the agenda, bench chairmen rarely deviating from official policies and the presence of senior civil servants; namely the regional justices` clerk. With recent upheavals and the possibility of more to come in the operation of magistrates` courts and the consequences for witnesses and defendants I invite ex colleagues to submit such information and comments to which they would be fearful to have their names attached and they will be published here with anonymity assured the content of course not being abusive or libellous.
I have just read Peter Kirkham’s most excellent post, and rather than paraphrase or précis it, I recommend that you read it here.
All I can say in response is that the government have not made me feel any safer at all. We’re going to keep both of our new Aircraft Carriers. Oh goody. The Typhoons are staying with us for another 25 years. Great. We’re getting a shed load of Stealth Fighters, fantastic.
The government has pledged BILLIONS of ££££ for these things, and that is good.
What bothers me is that the current threat is from Terrorists and it is NOW, not in 10 years or so when the increased funding for the military etc will begin to respond its benefits.
If we are unfortunate enough to have a Paris style attack in London in the next few months, who will face it?
Will a Trident submarine surface in the Pool of London and flatten the terrorists? A squadron of Typhoons fly over the capital and demonstrate their skills at Air Strikes? No.
It will be the Police who are the first resort. POSSIBLY...
The so called "treatment" of complainants and to a lesser extent witnesses as "victims" within the context of court proceedings especially those in the crown court has been an increasingly vocal feature of victim orientated organisations and charities many of which have been founded in the last thirty years. The Leveson Inquiry and the ramifications of the revelations surrounding Savile have accelerated the pressure from those organisations for changes to pre trial and trial procedures themselves. One such organisation The Criminal Justice Alliance put forward its own programme of reform earlier this month. In essence it proposes that a truly victim centric system of justice be imposed upon the current "elaborate, ritualised and – in many respects – archaic system". Whilst there are few who would deny that there are some aspects of the whole process which lend themselves to reform the concept of a victim orientated justice system is contrary to the historical...
Firstly, reading about Sir Bernard's intention to double the number of Met firearms officers to 3000, I was reminded of Concorde.
When the fleet was mothballed, engineers removed the oil and coolant with the deliberate intention of preventing the planes from ever being restored to airworthiness. Of course, there is now a substantial will to do that, but it can't happen because of the short-term attitude taken when these beautiful aircraft were retired.
I'm repeating a point made in an earlier blog post, but here it is: we might now have 2000 authorised firearms officers (AFOs) in the Metropolitan Police, but we had more than 3000 until five minutes after the Olympics ended.
The Met, under pressure to make cuts, dimissed them:
"Guys, thanks for policing the Olympics. Bye!"
Until that moment there were well over a thousand AFOs working on boroughs, who were called up from time-to-time, but generally worked in standard borough policing, rather than armed protection roles.
Here’s a diary of last week, when our team travelled more than 800 miles around England, Scotland and Wales with a digital ad van, showing the faces of some of Britain’s Most Wanted suspects on a giant screen and appealing for information on their current whereabouts.
We kicked off our campaign today in London. Despite very grey skies the rain held off in the morning as we gathered in Old Palace Yard at the House of Lords to send the van on its way. We were very grateful for the support we received from London law enforcement on the day – our Director of Operations, Roger Critchell, was joined by City of London DCI Pete Digby as well as the Metropolitan Police’s Detective Chief Inspector Paul Johnson and Detective Superintendent Craig Turner.
Unfortunately the heavens opened in the afternoon, but that didn’t stop our van from touring all the key hot spots in the capital – including Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus.
The sun came out for us today in Slough. Our van arrived at...
I had thought that there would be little to mention for a while at least on the criminal courts charge. I was wrong. Another judge in the crown court has made public comment. This just reinforces my post last week about the Lord Chief Justice. There are about 650 judges (excluding recorders) sitting in our crown courts. I presume they have some sort of representative body. Where was it when the Ministry of Justice issued its intention to initiate this charge? Was a decision taken that it would have been unconstitutional to make any reservations known? Were there any reservations at that time? This whole mess brings the judiciary into disrepute. It does nothing to uphold confidence in government when we learn today that British built anti submarine planes scrapped before they were commissioned in 2010 are to be replaced by American made aircraft for the very same purpose and that French and Canadian such aircraft last week had to be flown north of northern Scotland searching for a Russian submarine.
This Christmas, Action Fraud, the City of London Police and Get Safe Online are joining forces to launch a national campaign warning people that online crime is most definitely coming to town.
This is in light of figures from last Christmas which show that individuals and businesses reported losing £16,426,989 to online fraudsters through online shopping and auction fraud . This is a 42% increase in total financial loss compared with the 2013 festive period where £9,522,491 was lost by victims.
Last year’s report shows that the most common time for victims to initially make contact with the fraudster was on 28 November- Black Friday (221 victims) and 1 December - Cyber Monday (205 victims), as people head online to try and bag the best festive bargains out there. This serves as a warning to consumers to be extra vigilant on these key Christmas shopping days as online fraudsters are watching and waiting to capitalise on the...
I woke recently to find a story in my social media news-stream that caught my attention – such things happen quite a lot, to be honest, but the BLOG has now been going for so long that I don’t find time to highlight and deconstruct each one – there are well over five hundred posts to keep you occupied on the long winter nights and a story that raises issues I haven’t already covered is becoming harder to find. Enter this story from Staffordshire which was publicly highlighted by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew ELLIS in September where a man was detained in police custody for 64hrs, involving 22 officers and an estimated £20,000 in policing costs. For the want of an appropriate, timely and accessible mental health bed.
The police were called to a situation in which a 47yr old man in distress had pulled his trousers down to urinate in the street. He was described in the article as ‘having absconded from a London hospital’ – I will treat this to mean he was a legally detained under the Mental Health...
Well, that’s not strictly true, but he has been expunged from the record.
After Friday’s blog and the shitstorm it invoked about the apparent lack of transparency surronding a certain man and his Indepent Review, I dug a little deeper and went into the Zhome ZofficecDisclosure Log to make sure the original request hadn’t ‘disappeared’.
Well it hasn’t.
But Tom Winsor and White & Case have disappeared.
The original response to Freedom of Information Request dated 20th May 2011 said this
You asked specifically for: ‘…how much Tom Winsor has either been paid or will be paid to carry out his review on remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff in England and Wales? In relation to this review, can you please also inform me the amount of money paid or being paid to Sir Edward Crew and Professor Richard Disney for their work in participating with Tom Winsor?’
The Home Office response to this request said this
I am able to disclose the following information: The law firm White...