This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Monday, November 06, 2006

Black and White Justice.

Oh dear. Click the link for a bit of an error by this country's great Criminal Justice System.

Thank goodness for CCTV!

I can only imagine that this error was caused by the Self-classification system for ethnic groups. This basically means that when an officer stops somebody, he/she is not supposed to inflict on that person his own perception of what their skin colour is, but to ask them to self-define. After all, it is racist to say that someone looks Asian when they might consider themselves to be White-Irish.

The felon initially stopped by police in the above story (who was white), probably identified himself as Black, which was then recorded as fact somewhere in the paperwork. Under the recommendations of the Stephen Lawrence enquiry, police officers have to accept the self-classification no matter how strongly they suspect the person to be ARSING AROUND.

The Enquiry made stopping and searching people a hairy business for white middle class police officers. Whereas before we could just stop people who matched the description given for an offender, for example a theft committed by "a young white male", we now have to ensure that the person we are stopping really is white by asking him.

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Old Man said...

According to the report :

A Surrey Police spokesman said:

"...The officer was not in court because the nature of the offence did not require him to be."

Who on earth made that decision? Crown Prosecution Service, the Magistrates, or the Police?

Is it a standing instruction, or something decided on a cease by case basis?

06 November, 2006 09:40

 
Blogger PC Dogberry said...

Interesting stuff.

I have to say it....political correctness has gone mad! It's been coming for years, the slow onset of forbidden words etc. Now were told not to use the word "yobs" (although The Met have said it can be used by officers, but in certain circumstances but not in official written documents). The reason? It'll more than likely upset yobs. Well, in that case perhaps we should stop locking them up, maybe we should not speak to them at all. There's even a chance that simply being on the same street in uniform might upset these boys.
Lets all just stay in the nick with a nice pot of tea and some cake....we wouldn't want to be seen to be upsetting anyone now, would we?

06 November, 2006 10:48

 
Blogger ExtraSpecialCopper said...

What about michael jackson

06 November, 2006 11:21

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now Dogberry, you know perfectly well that not so long ago we all used to stay in the nick with a nice pot of tea and some cake, but that was when you a proper organizational structure viz. Divisions and sub divisions, proper layers of supervision, bags of constables walking beats, and a generally compliant British public. The criminal classes and the remainder of society knew their respective places, (and many were handily located in geographically specific areas e.g. norf a da woatah and sarf a da woatah (in lunnun vat is) and it was all underlined by the various players in the criminal justice system, so that when PC 'so and so' said 'chummy' had admitted stealing the old lady's purse, chummy's courtroom protestations (had he dared make any, as he and the officer would have had a little chat prior like) would have been 'pooh-poohed'. YES! Pooh-poohed. and he'd have been sent down, or fined, or even sent down to be searched if he claimed not to have any money. There was a court inspector who ensured that the right police witnesses were there, and woe betide you if you weren't (plus it was a nice little earner on a late turn or RD or even an ARD!) and the natural order was maintained. But then it all started to get a bit too complicated, and now even Prezz Bliar has no idea who's who in the country. The poor old Governor of the Bank of England can't take proper decisons because it has all got so confusing. And then lawyers weren't satisfied and something called civil rights came along which was guaranteed to make more money for this parasitic profession and...and then something called the CPS and PACE and the consequent growth in sheer stupid bureacracy, plus ...........well, you can fill in the rest yourselves.

Did anyone read the article by Felix Dennis in yesterdays Telegraph? No? Well paste this into your browser:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/11/05/do0502.xml

Says it all, and this from one of the infamous 'OZ' defendants (1971).

Be lucky!

06 November, 2006 12:40

 
Anonymous rosco said...

I think you are forgetting that the officer submitting the form also has to supply their own view of the subject's ethnicity on the HORT/1: in this case they wouldn't have tallied so the CPS should have spotted that at least from the paperwork.

06 November, 2006 12:44

 
Anonymous pressofficer said...

OK, I'll ID myself - sod it, I'm not a frequent commenter and I stand by things I say anyway.

I am said 'Surrey Police spokesman'. As usual, the comment I gave was vastly cut by the paper.

To answer old man's question, the officer was not summoned to court by CPS until the final appeal hearing, which is when the mistaken identity was noticed.

Furthermore, the defendent did not turn up at the first two court hearings and was convicted in his absence. Had he turned up when required (or made legal representations back then), his 'year of hell clearing his name' wouldn't have happened.

To answer your second question, officers are seldom summoned to court for Fixed Penalty Notice offences.

I do enjoy reading your blog, PC Bloggs. Please keep up the good work...

06 November, 2006 14:49

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was recently at court, with other Police Officers, but all the officers involved had not been called.

When we asked the CPS why this was, the reply was that this was down to the defence to choose which Police Officer they wanted as witnesses. So they called the ones who knew least about the case! Surely there's something wrong there.

06 November, 2006 16:51

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

Maybe the problem is that half the time the prosecutor doesn't read the file until the day of the court by which time it is too late!

06 November, 2006 18:07

 
Anonymous pressofficer said...

I think that's the sound of a nail being hit on the hit, PC Bloggs.

07 November, 2006 00:10

 
Anonymous Old Man said...

'pressofficer'
aka
'Surrey Police spokesman'

This case was of a disputed Fixed Penalty Notice; the defendant had clearly disputed that Notice, and so ALL prosecution witnesses should have been made available to the Court at the first hearing.

That did not happen.
That was wrong and disrespectful to the Magistrates (who, rather incompetently, seem not to have known otherwise).

When the defendant attended Court, the Magistrates gave more weight to prosecution written statements than to the in-person defence denials.

Without me saying whether the Magistrates’ decision was right or wrong (the Appeal Judge's decision must be the indicator of that) it is a very basic part of common law that at trial best evidence must always be available.
In this case, it was not.

To delay the issuing officer's attendance at court until the "final appeal hearing" (when the mistaken identity was "noticed") smacks of either total and absolute disrespect for due process, or total and absolute incompetence.

[For exactly whose disrespect and whose incompetence, please see my original post]

If neither disrespect nor incompetence applies, then the only other conclusions can be:
Corruption or Racial Harassment.


But let's see what the Judge has to say when the report he demanded (within three weeks) arrives with him.

07 November, 2006 10:55

 
Blogger Honest Uncle said...

Old Man

Rush to judgement?

Not really.

"...let's see what the Judge has to say when the report he demanded (within three weeks) arrives with him."

Honest Uncle

07 November, 2006 11:20

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To:
Anonymous @ 06 November, 2006 12:40

You naughty person.

(You are hitting more nails on their heads than is PC Bloggs herself.)

07 November, 2006 11:24

 
Anonymous wozza said...

and they pay civil servants to come up with this tripe ? You wonder where all the extra taxes we pay Gordon Brown are going

08 November, 2006 06:15

 
Anonymous pressofficer said...

Old Man said:
"When the defendant attended Court, the Magistrates gave more weight to prosecution written statements than to the in-person defence denials."

Read the story, know the case. The defendant didn't attend the earlier court hearings and was convicted in absence. There were no 'in-person defence denials'.

Not defending the CPS choice not to call officers to court (but would you want tens of officers a day in each force taken off active duty to attend all minor hearings?), but maybe if the guy had actually turned up to court the mistake would have been realised much sooner.

Wozza, yes they do pay us to 'come up with this tripe'. Maybe I should start a blog so you can see the amount of times where direct press involvement actually catches criminals (you'd be surprised how successful a good media appeal can be).

On the other hand you'd probably be equally as annoyed as I am with the amount of stats-based nonsense we also have to deal with.

08 November, 2006 19:43

 
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