Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers


Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

I would assume that most readers here will be familiar with the phrases; "now you see it now you don`t", "what aboutery" in relation to arguments, "tactical deception" and others similar. Whilst individually they might refer to different scenarios they have a common thread which is to deflect and/or to deceive an opposing party into believing that an action physical, verbal,  or military will be opposite to that expected by the onlooker,  debater or enemy. The Ministry of Justice with its public relations and advertising spending hidden from public view is a master of those aforesaid tactics. 

In the last couple of months media have been bombarded with stories of how throttling is to be made a crime, secret justice in the magistrates courts and that rape complainants [often wrongly written and spoken of as "victims"] will be offered opportunity to give evidence at a distance and /or to a court cleared of the public: all this whilst as a result of the deliberate policies during the last decade of slashing the MOJ...

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Ambulance: COVID Trends

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I have been following the COVID trend since the epidemic began.  To me, the best indicator of COVID in our area has been the hospitalizations.  Cases numbers can change based on the number of tests and who is being tested, the same with positivity percent.  Deaths, can be a good indicator, but they lag the onset of serious COVID cases by several weeks,  Hospitalizations, provided they haven’t changed the criteria for who is admitted to the hospital with COVID should be a reliable indicator of not just who is getting sick, but of the severity of the epidemic.    

Back in March and April, COVID cases at our hospital shot up precipitously as the disease burned like wildfire through our area nursing homes, reaching its zenith the last week of April, and then by the end of May fell fairly precipitously.  In those early days, nearly all the hospitalizations were people from nursing homes, elderly from assisted living, people in prisons, and group homes.  The first spike lasted until June, and then nearly disappeared entirely by the end...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

It is of no great surprise when visual media covering visits of female  royalty or lesser supposed personalities or leaders to middle eastern countries publish images of said visitors dressed in such a manner that we are told they are paying respect to the mores of those host countries.  These outward manifestations of "respect" would often include the wearing of head coverings of a form associated with the Muslim religion and or trousers when that form of dress would be unusual in a western setting.  Most observers would not in any way offer criticism.  For mere mortals visiting such countries following local modesty rules is more than just out of politeness or respect it is an absolute necessity to avoid falling foul of local gendarmerie and a possible jail sentence or forced deportation. For visitors to this country or immigrants the British and especially Londoners are and have always been tolerant to  seeing people attired in all manner of national costumes from the lavish colours of the silk...

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Ambulance: Dead

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

As I approach the house with my medic pack over my shoulder and my monitor and isolation bag in my hands, two boys, maybe fifteen or sixteen, stand on the sidewalk out front of the building, and look at me expectantly.  “He’s not alive?  Is he?  Is he still alive?” the shorter one asks.

I keep walking, up the stairs and through the front door, headed for the third floor.  The fire department is there waiting for me.  They let me through.  The apartment, empty of furniture, looks under haphazard renovation.

The man who looks to be in his sixties, dressed in a blue winter jacket and a red knit hat, is on the floor.  He has rigor mortis with lividity.  With the freezing temperatures outside and no heat in the apartment it is hard to tell how long he has been dead. The boys outside apparently found him while they were doing whatever it is kids when they trespass. The building owner says the man is homeless.  He last saw him a week ago down on the corner by the ranch house restaurant. He was sick.   I don’t see any paraphernalia, but that...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

Being retired from any job allows time for some introspection.  As a retired magistrate who has enjoyed sharing his opinions since 2009 this freedom has offered me opportunities to muse on matters of national importance and occasionally to comment [criticise?] on real time happenings at magistrates courts.  Today`s effort is one of those times.

I was active when dedicated domestic violence courses became compulsory for any JP who sat or wished to sit in those courts. I recollect at the time that the providers were heavily dependent on statistics from USA and very much dedicated to male on female violations. I would imagine that such courses have been modified since then.  However a recent case at Grays Magistrates Court caught my eye. As bad a case it is possible to be heard outside the crown court. Indeed from the report it seems it was undercharged resulting in a suspended custodial sentence for the offender.  Readers can access the matter here and it is refreshing to note the detail often omitted...

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Ambulance: Drug Use for Grownups

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

he lastI just finished reading Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear, an audacious and provocative book by Dr. Carl Hart, a professor of psychology and a “preeminent expert on the effects of recreational drugs on the human mind,”  in which he describes his recreational drug use, including heroin and methamphetamine.  His argument is that drugs should be regulated just like alcohol and in some states, now marijuana.  In America, he argues, we have the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness, as given us in the Declaration of Independence.  This, he says, should include the right to get responsibly high if it brings us happiness.  I am not saying “Right on!” to this argument but I’ll concede he does make some good points.  The reason people are dying of overdoses today is they are using in the shadows (driven there by law and stigma) and the drug supply in America is lethal due to poor mixing of fentanyl and the unknown additives added by dealers to fill out and or enhance their product. ...

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Ambulance: Pandemics

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

COVID is on the retreat in Connecticut and much of the nation and world.  Whether it is the effect of vaccinating those most at risk, the cumulative effective of masking and social distancing or the virus is just getting tired (hopefully not just resting before a new variant-fueled surge), cases are in rapid decline.  The COVID ACT-Now map, which in January was solid dark red, indicating uncontrolled outbreak, is now more orange than red, and I predict in a day or two Connecticut will also turn from red to yellow, indicating the level has gone from active outbreak to at risk of outbreak.  (Never mind, I just checked it again and it has officially turned orange).

Our hospital is down to less than 10 COVID patients in the hospital and I have gone two days without having to notify EMS of any COVID positives they transported.  When I work the street, I still gown up, but the patients with SATs in the 70s are nowhere to be found. 

Our Governor has announced he is loosening a number of restrictions, with more to follow.  I sure hope this is...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

 I sat on an inner city bench for seventeen years until enforced retirement allowed me to retain use of the J.P. suffix and automatically relegated me to the "supplemental list" where a very few magisterial functions were still within my authority. The most significant of those  is the authority to countersign  passport applications as  countersignatories must either work in (*or be retired from) a recognised profession and Justice of the Peace is a recognised profession. Those on the supplemental list or retired magistrates cannot:-

 Sit in a magistrates’ court to adjudicate on cases

Sign summonses or warrants, including search warrants

Be a member of any committee or any other body as a magistrate

Take part in the election of chairman or deputy chairman of any bench

Attend any formal or business meeting of their former bench

Countersign an application for a shotgun or firearms licence

Sign off statutory declarations

There is, however, a price to be paid for those who wish to retain the kudos of having those...

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Police: Chief’s blog: why Connect is critical

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

One of the areas we have talked about in the “This Work Matters” strategy is Precision Policing. We want to develop this concept to blend evidence based policing, our data capability with our need to be efficient in using resources and ensure communities are policed fairly. This requires us to be smart in understanding problems, setting objectives and ensuring resources are used well.

I mention this as I was thinking about this as I reached the final leg of my Connect Learning Journey this week and looked at the new Proactive Management Plans (PMP). Connect is critical to Precision Policing.

Yes – I have a Connect training journey of 19 lessons and around 8 hours! Connect is a huge change for WMP and everyone needs to understand it. This is critical for leaders. Some of you may have heard me say we need digital leaders not analogue managers. Leaders have core roles in Connect, but also need to understand how to exploit it to improve our policing and help all staff with new ways of...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

There is no doubt that many previously ignored facets of life in the European Union previously taken for granted are now being compared to life in a supposedly independent UK. Extremists on both sides of the Brexit argument are still raising their voices metaphorically and in real time to offer their opinions many of which are bereft of sensible argument but complete with invective and ever more strident haranguing of the perceived opposition. One aspect central to our collective lives continues to underperform using Covid 19 as a convenient excuse; our criminal justice system. In the week ending 20 September 2020, there were 509,347 cases outstanding in the magistrates' courts   and  at the end of Q3 2020 there were 50,918 outstanding cases at the Crown Court, an increase of 44% on Q3 2019 (35,478 cases). This is the highest level of outstanding cases seen since the end of 2015 and continues the consistent increases seen since Q1 2019.  I have yet to read anywhere of any significant member...

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