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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Assaulted... oh well

I used to further arrest people who kicked, bit or hit me during their arrest for another matter. Now, unless I think I have an injury that may cause some time off work or future problems, I tend not to bother. And where that statement is true, the reason for arresting the offender is not because I think there will be any kind of justice, but in order to get it recorded properly in case I am unable to work and need to claim for compensation or treatment.

The Scottish Federation has highlighted the sentences usually handed out for people who assault police officers. These tend to constitute a few quid fine which may or may not be paid. The last time I received compensation for being assaulted (yes, there has been more than once), it was about £60. I got £5 a month for twelve months. Which made me feel a lot better and deterred the offender from assaulting another officer for a good few weeks.

'An assault on a police officer is an assault on society,' any police federation member will state, as seen in this case where PC Stuart Dixon's attacker walked free from court. And most of us recall the case of PC Gemma Maggs, scarred by a violent thug who received a few hours' community service and less compensation to pay than someone sentenced the same day for graffiti - despite it being his second assault on a police officer.

The trouble is, it is normal to plead guilty to assault police, because it's nearly always witnessed by police officers or on CCTV (for example in a town centre). And when a guilty plea is entered, the defence can include mitigation which the Crown rarely bother to argue with: 'The officer was winding him up', 'He didn't realise it was a police officer', 'She's very sorry and has nightmares about her behaviour', 'She's since entered a drug treatment programme. Etc. It's easier to accept a guilty plea than go through the palaver and expense of a trial simply to confirm the facts of a case that has already been proven. This isn't just the case with assault police, it's the case with all offences, and as charging standards slip and slip to pursue offences that are easier and easier to prove, the plea-bargaining drops even further down until people who have stabbed and beaten others are being sentenced for Common Assault. Or those who have driven drunk, without insurance, injuring someone and fleeing the police in a crazed pursuit across town, are sentenced as though they merely had a pint extra and drove home safely.

The Federation rep in the above article suggests a mandatory nine month sentence for all assaults on police. Whilst this might be unrealistic in cases where it's a push or shove and the officer is uninjured, is it too much to expect that someone who thumps a police officer should spend at least a few days behind bars? I think most of us would rather see our attacker jailed for a month than asked to cough up a paltry amount of compensation that may or may not be paid. As would most members of the public who get assaulted when not on-duty as a police officer.

Most of the young thugs who have lashed out at me have never actually been to prison for any of their half dozen or dozen convictions. A sudden remand in prison for the weeks pending sentence might even filter through to their dense minds, the next time they are poised with fist clenched at the words "You are under arrest".


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20 Comments:

Blogger My Thoughts My Country said...

Total respect to you.

I do not know how you and the rest of the UK police put up with it.

I have seen the abuse you take, verbal and physical.

There have been a few occasions where i felt the need to help police officers out where there is a danger of them being started on, but their back up is usually there in time.

You may believe me or not, but if i ever see a police officer on his, or her, own in trouble i will be there to help.
Why you may ask, well because my father was a police officer for over 25 years and i have a huge amount of respect for the police.

It's a shame you can't attach those new tazers to the genitals of the scum who assult you and fire a few off.

That will make them think twice about assulting a police officer

14 January, 2010 17:22

 
Blogger Ex-RUC said...

I fondly remember the Resident Magistrate in my part of NI who warned in court, and did carry out that threat, that any assault on police would carry a minimum immediate 1 month custodial. Ah, happy days!

14 January, 2010 20:22

 
Blogger Akheloios said...

I'm of the opinion that any assault should be penalised heavily, but that cuts both ways. Police are an easy target for the lunatics who go after you, but Police have been shown to be very heavy handed at times.

Until the advent of mobile phones/cameras and CCTV, how many police got away scot free assaulting some poor bugger on the street?

14 January, 2010 22:05

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Akheloios, please point me in the direction of all these cases of police officers convicted of assaulting some poor bugger on the street. It just doesn't happen that often.

14 January, 2010 23:58

 
Blogger Busy said...

I'm owed £100 from someone who who punched me giving me a black eye six years ago. £80 from a bloke who tried to throttle me five years ago and thirty quid from a lass who spat at me last year. To date I've recieved nothing. Not a penny.
Never mind eh?

15 January, 2010 09:30

 
Blogger Busy said...

Actually. I lie. The bloke who punched me only had to pay me £50. I remember now as he left court he declared it "worth every penny"
So that showed him.

15 January, 2010 09:32

 
Blogger consenting MOP said...

I'm a poor bugger who has been assaulted by a police officer in the street. That thing where they jab a digit behind the ear. Hurts like hell. Ive had a police horse bit me too, can I have my £60 now?

15 January, 2010 12:08

 
Blogger jerym said...

consenting MOP
My advice is to stay away from the police

15 January, 2010 14:13

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually would Fran have been assaulted if she had been double crewed?
Then again the Home Secretary has never been in that position has he.

15 January, 2010 14:46

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bender the Robot says:

We are in a situation where Police are not believed in court and assaults- some unprovoked and vicious- against them that are treated so leniently that the message sent to thugs is 'do what you want to an officer- nothing will happen to you'...

I dont think we are a special case though- morons like the ones linked are just as happy to assault you.

Lets face it- who actually cares?

15 January, 2010 19:00

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first arrest for assaulting me, the JP said, "you assaulted one of my officers" 3 months imp. But that was 1964.

15 January, 2010 20:12

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consenting MOP - the old "mandibular angle" (digit behind ear as you rightly describe) is a pain-compliance technique and it is virtually impossible to use it on someone who isn't resisting/non-compliant, as the whole point of it is to move them on. It causes no injury and is a valid technique. What I'm trying to say is, if a police officer just wanted to batter an innocent passer-by, they wouldn't shove a digit behind your ear. So you must have been doing SOMETHING.

15 January, 2010 22:37

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bender the Robot.....Quite clearly the Home Office do not care, because if they did, they would not have allowed such a situation to have become common place. Government have not cared about the good officers who get hurt for many a long decade. And what sort of message does that send out to society? A society they expect to be kept under control, by officers.
Government have lost the plot, in more ways than one.

16 January, 2010 00:36

 
Blogger consenting MOP said...

yes Anonymous/
I was doing something I'll admit to that. I was very drunk and flipped a PC's hat off to see if she had a sense of humour. She didnt.
Over the years Ive come to look back at that amazon copper with fondness. One of the best Ive ever met.[ Although I wasnt doing cartwheels with joy at the time]
the police horse was just a vicious bastard. I was only asking Its rider for directions. hopefully its dog food by now.

16 January, 2010 08:54

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consenting MOP - so I guess we have a slightly different definition of "assault"!

The horse was probably doing a pre-emptive strike...

16 January, 2010 10:17

 
Blogger consenting MOP said...

yes assault. I know what it means. It means having a huge PC look around to see if any one is looking, then inflicting pain. Not self defence, revenge pure and simple. But as I said, looking back I think she was great.

16 January, 2010 10:56

 
Blogger jerym said...

cosenting MOP
you sound a right pain in the arse

16 January, 2010 20:00

 
Anonymous firegirl said...

...and I thought police officers had it easier when assaulted! I am a teacher in a secondary school. Verbal abuse is an almost daily occurrence and I have been physically assaulted a couple of times. These incidents are rarely dealt with properly by senior managers but excuses are made up for the pupils or the whole thing is swept under the carpet. Reporting serious incidents to the police is not exactly encouraged, after all "they are only children". I would not be surprised that these "children" grow up to be the thugs who assault police officers and get away with it!

16 January, 2010 20:30

 
Blogger AJ said...

The nature of the job means that the police are expected to put themselves in danger on a regular basis by confonting the more violent elements of society. As such I believe that they deserve to be given the protection of the law, which means that any asault on a police officer should be treated seriously, even if no serious injury results. After all the difference between a bruise and and a life threatening injury can sometimes be just a matter of luck.

Regardless who is the victim of an assault I do not believe that impaired judgement due to drink or drugs should every be seen as mitigation. I am sure that most, if not all aggressive drunks know that drinking makes them agressive, which means there agressiveness is entirely a matter of choice.

19 January, 2010 12:48

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bender the robot says:

hewmons are a wonderful, warm, friendly sort of being, with an interesting history and a diverse culture- as long as they have full bellies, warm showers, are not under stress and keep their instincts under control.

However, if you remove the above they turn into the most dangerous creature this world has ever seen.

Including the dinosaurs...

Its kinda like training a dog... if the dog bites you and you dont chase it around the house shouting and whacking it with a newspaper, the dog with think its ok to bite you again - should the same situation present itself...

if however, you do chase it etc- it connects your response with its behavior- and ... will not do it again.

Sure, some dogs are just mean and will bite you no matter how well you feed or pet it... they just need sending to the dogs home...

humans and dogs are not so different.

19 January, 2010 13:37

 

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