This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. 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 (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Out-of-court Review

I am thrilled to read that Jack Straw is going to review the use of out-of-court disposals.

The Justice Secretary quite agrees that it needs looking into that people are being cautioned, ticketed or warned for over half of all violent crime. Never mind the fact that it was this government who implemented Speedy Summary Somethingorother Justice earlier this year, along with a vast range of out-of-court disposals introduced over the last five years with the aim being to unclog our weary court system.

I seem to remember that a few people pointed out that maybe criminals should go to court when they commit crimes, and that they might not pay their fines or listen to warnings, and that the victims might not feel justice had been done. But now Jack Straw has pointed this out it turns out he was actually the first person to realise it.

I'm ambivalent about cautions themselves though. In order to caution someone in Blandmore you have to show:
  • the offender admits the crime
  • the crime is of a certain standard appropriate to caution
  • the offender has no cautions in the last few years for that type of offence.
Occasionally a victim wants an offender "done" in court when it was a low-level misdemeanour and they have never been in trouble before. Most people would say that everyone deserves at least one chance, and so the police sometimes issue cautions without the victim's support.

But the most common use of the caution is when the victim has made a complaint and then refuses to follow it through by attending court or providing a written statement. They might have very good reasons why they don't support proceedings. Or not. Either way, it is rare to consider it worth prosecuting someone if the victim will not attend court, as it seems like adding insult to injury that they have first been subject to a crime and then forced to go to court against their will. Hence if the offender admits the crime, a caution may be offered. Which is how you end up with cautions being issued for GBH, sexual assault and rape.

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coppersblog back!

09 November, 2009 21:05

OpenID inspectorgadget said...

Ruralshire Constabulary caution less offenders than Blandshire Police. So there! Or is it more? which do they want this week? well.... whatever it is, we do it so there!

09 November, 2009 22:24

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched the program and was pretty pissed off at the CPS having the gall to lay the blame on the Police.

Half the time its the fucking CPS saying caution as the offender has no previous and they want to save the cost / work involved in a trial.

Also as for that CPS lawyer spouting off the crap about what the offender would get for a Sec.18(5 years) and a Sec.47 (3 months) what an absolute load of shite!.

I was stabbed making an arrest by a recidavist and it got dropped to a Sec.20 by CPS as they thought they could not PROVE he INTENTIONALY plunged a sharp metal object into my body repeatedly!!!. I didnt run into his knife repeatedly did I?. He got 2 years (did 9 months).

I've also been punched unconcious making an arrest and needed stitches (a good sec.47). What did the offender get?. A 12 month DTTO (drug treatment and testing order!!). So as long as he stayed off drugs (which are fucking illegal anyway) he would not be punished!.

I am sick and tired of having to appologise to victims about the CPS. The will not run anything that is not a dead cert and even then they will roll over and plea bargin to a lesser offence in order to get an early guilty plea.

They really are spineless bastards

10 November, 2009 10:55

Blogger Busy said...

Oh good. Another review of Policing. That'll fix everything.

10 November, 2009 13:21

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11 November, 2009 01:27

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a news article about Jack Straw's intention to make some inquests secret, that got my alarm bells ringing. How bloody Orwellian. What has gone wrong there with him? When one thinks about it, the concept is quite Stalinist and sinister. Very handy for the government though, if they want to sweep scandal under the rug, and a very convenient method of covering up any untimely deaths of people who oppose them and the Stalinist regime they are bringing in by stealth. God help us all.

If some people had had their way the inquest into Princess Diana's and Dodi Fayed's deaths would have been held in secret. The lie would have remained unchallenged, that it was "just an accident". Bollox.

If secret inquests into some deaths become the norm, no controversial public figure or whistle blower will be safe from abuses of power. Mark my words and be VERY aware that what this government are doing is dangerous.

I read in the newspaper the other day, that an off duty copper actually followed a mother and her kids home, after he heard her giving them a telling off for bad behaviour in a supermarket. He reported her to Social Services for doing her DUTY as a mother teaching her kids that bad behaviour is not acceptable. The local council sent her a letter telling her that she had been placed on their records, because she had told off her own kids.

For God's sake Jack Straw, what the HELL is going on here? Good mothers are persecuted for trying to control kids and raise them to behave properly. And the parents that fail to raise well behaved kids, because they are afraid to discipline them, due to a real fear of the state accusing them of child abuse, are then BLAMED for the bad behaviour of those kids.

It is the government who have undermined parents and their authority over their own children. It is government, past and present who are responsible for this "broken society". And Gordon Brown, Ed Balls and the NuLabour mob, nor Dave Cameron are not the men to fix it.

11 November, 2009 03:17

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11 November, 2009 04:30

Anonymous A.J. Wimble said...

To me the whole system of summary justice that bypasses the court system looks dangerous. The police are there (quite rightly) to catch criminals and keep the peace, while courts are there to safeguard justice. Take the courts out of the picture and even if justice is done, it is not seen to be done which can be just as important.

11 November, 2009 13:28

Blogger PCDC-Copper Bottom said...

A.J. I agree...

however, thee and me are not in charge...

its a money thing again...

we cant keep up with the amount of work needed for court with the officers we have... CPS are in a similar situation- we need twice the amount of officers...

like the USA...

12 November, 2009 11:54

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