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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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"Soft" Justice

What is "Soft" Justice? People are always going on about it.

Today, "Soft" Justice is on-the-spot fines. (It should be noted, under certain circumstances, these are also Way Harsh and Unfair.) Tickets can be given out for public order, low value shopliftings, criminal damage, wasting police time, and a few other minor offences that no one's ever heard of. They can't be given out for offences where there's a personal victim (eg assault, sex offence etc). Yet. I've blogged on them before so it should be clear I am in favour of these tickets (mainly because they only involve the creation of a crime report - no statement, custody procedure or court file).
It appears it is Soft to give out a ticket because it doesn't involve a court appearance. What do people imagine happens during a court appearance for one of these minor offences, especially for people who are well used to the judicial system?

I always think it helps to imagine the process as being like Crufts. A series of crazy people who can't get a proper job parade their evidence around the courtroom all washed and fluffed up. After a bizarre show, the judges deliberate and pick their winner. Everyone watching wonders if the judge was looking at the same thing they were.

In any event, there's no use moaning about police over-using these tickets, because if the court system had its way, the police wouldn't be allowed to send anyone to court for anything.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright of PC Bloggs.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Vic said...

From what I know, no matter how many tickets the antagonist gets, they don't get a criminal record. With many crimes, being caught is an occupational hazard rather than a deterrent and ofter (in the case of shoplifting) the ticket is worth far less than the goods they stole. If ever there was incentive to crime, this is it.

05 September, 2007 17:32

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for no custody record Met policy is you can't issue them on the street hence CUSTODY NUMBER and a PND. Figures, figures figures.....

Or am I just cynical????

05 September, 2007 21:21

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Depends what you call a record. It's recorded. Whether the details provided are correct... (shrug)

As for Court, the music's all wrong.

Got an interesting one recently. Caught shoplifting. Address verified. Got a jolly well good telling off and released. Week later she got a letter from Boots with a bill 5 times cost of the goods, and a threat of 8% per day interest from Boots legal department.

No fluffy tail or pink ribbon required. Cool.

05 September, 2007 22:07

 
Blogger PC South West said...

I am told it is merely a detection exercise as non payers are not chased up.
The government don't give a stuff if they pay or not, or that justice is done.
As long as we get a tick in the box for solving a crime, that's fine.

05 September, 2007 22:47

 
Blogger alanorei said...

To: British National Party Member.

Thanks for inserting the article about Johnny Broderick, and blogging it - I had neglected to copy it into my files.

This TIME article describes Broderick's career. It also indicates that his age at death was actually 72, not 82, as in my source. Other than that, the details match closely.

http://www.time.com/time/
magazine/article/
0,9171,842400-1,00.html

Broderick said at the end of his career that "Times have changed."

He was right. It seems that the criminals' lawyers have it almost all their own way now, all too often.

Times changed in NY for the policeman on the beat, too. By the late 1960s, when Broderick died, they were much more at risk from street gangs. Mike Disanza spent 22 years with NYPD and wrote of his first night on patrol in Harlem in 1966.

"It was not a good place for a cop...As I walked, I could hear low whistling voices coming out of the shadows on all sides: 'We see you, rookie.' 'You're new round here, boy.' 'Don't you look good in your nice new uniform, boy.' 'We're gonna get you, rookie.'

"Smaassh. A brick flew through the darkness and hit a parked car just in front of me.

"'Somebody call a cop...' the words died in my mouth as I remembered with a sinking heart that
I was a cop..."

He is unable to apprehend the brick thrower but later comes upon a knife fight with a crowd gathered around. He says to the crowd, "Excuse me, let me through please, excuse me."

The crowd laughs at him and forms a human blockade around the knife fighters. He makes no progress against them but then a patrol car arrives and screeches to a halt beside the curb - somebody had called the police. Disanza continues:

"Cops leapt out and charged into the crowd. They didn't mess around. Pushing people aside, they cuffed anyone who resisted. Within minutes, the crowd had dispersed, troublemakers were arrested and relative peace was restored."

Disanza concludes:

"Over the years, stabbings, murders, riots, muggings and all sorts of crime formed part of my daily life, but I never said 'excuse me' again."

This suggests that police have got to be allowed to police. Perhaps the first group of miscreants to be "cuffed" ought to be the smart lawyers - for aiding and abetting felons etc.

The alternative will be that 21st century Britain totally degenerates into 20th century Harlem. The degeneration seems well advanced in many areas already.

You can read more about Mike Disanza here.

http://www.acopforchrist.com/

06 September, 2007 00:29

 
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Just started reading a copy of your book I've been sent - like it very much - great comedy etc review on the site soon.

06 September, 2007 20:04

 
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