Reasonable Man

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Everything posted by Reasonable Man

  1. Public Vs Police Attitudes

    For the very same reason I hate traffic - that and the fact the most traffic 'offenders' are basically honest working people going about their lawful activities. Stems from pre-CPS days when the police would run the Magistrates Courts and I would take my turn at running the 'MCA' stuff - licensing applications and the guilty pleas including those pleading guilty by post. Typical morning would include ABH - guilty plea. Solicitor of defendant (legal aid) tells how his client didn't really mean to break his girlfriend's nose. He was depressed because didn't have a job. But he just started one and they were back together (no evidence of this) severe punishment would hamper his return to normal society. So the beak gives him a stern talking to, last chance etc. and fines him £25. (I know that he beats his girlfriend up every week usually when he is high on drugs). Shoplifter - serial shoplifter - Solicitor tells all about how he only stole because he was hungry (that would be the Mars Bar then, what about the 4 cans of Special Brew and the batteries?), had no place to live, but just got a flat and was on the straight an narrow - £10 fine, pay at 50p a week and 'don't do it again'. Yob in for public order - shouting and swearing, threatened the officer, fought on arrest. Solicitor says how he only got drunk because his girfriend dumped him but now their back together and he is really sorry. Conditional Discharge. Travelling salesman doing 85 on dual carriageway in light traffic. Guilty by post as couldn't afford a day off work, nor pay for a solicitor - £50 fine 3 points. Lorry driver got his truck weighed and was overloaded on one axle. Overall weight within limit. Again can't afford a solicitor but turns up with his boss to argue that the load was livestock and so moved around so they couldn't help it that more decided to stand at the front/back. Guilty - driver fined £50 his boss fined £100 for cause/permit. Of course 'we' know the first 3 and we know that they will be back, with the same sob stories. And their equivalents from a few months back were also in court to explain why they hadn't been paying their £1's and 50p's a month. I knew, because they were spending £20 every Sat night in the pub. So the first three shake their solicitors' hands and leave with a smile on their face, while the motorists shake their heads and leave feeling disillusioned. So I stayed away from traffic unless it was really dangerous stuff - boy racers racing around the town, drink drivers, and once a pick up that was so overloaded the tyres were rubbing on the wheel arches! but I called a traffic car up for help with that one, and they were delighted. The point being on the Police v Public attitudes is that the 'criminals' opinions of the police doesn't change through the experience of court whereas the motorists were probably 'pro' before their police contact.Reasonable Man2009-05-04 10:26:44
  2. The best Joke ever ??????

    See http://jokegurus.com/category/anecdotes/internet-wisdom/ for some excellent examples of dumb lawyers and witnesses. A couple of my favourites: Lawyer: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?” Witness: “No.” Lawyer: “Did you check for blood pressure?” Witness: “No.” Lawyer: “Did you check for breathing?” Witness: “No.” Lawyer: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?” Witness: “No.” Lawyer: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?” Witness: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.” Lawyer: “But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?” Witness: “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.” --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawyer: “Now sir, I’m sure you are an intelligent and honest man–” Witness: “Thank you. If I weren’t under oath, I’d return the compliment.” --------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawyer: “Did he pick the dog up by the ears?” Witness: “No.” Lawyer: “What was he doing with the dog’s ears?” Witness: “Picking them up in the air.” Lawyer: “Where was the dog at this time?” Witness: “Attached to the ears.”
  3. Public Vs Police Attitudes

    I think this is sort of thing that the public don't always understand. To the public it is 'the police' who are dealing with their case not a particular officer. Not everyone appreciates that every officer at the station is probably carrying a workload of 15-20 jobs and we don't all jointly deal with every investigation. Hopefully the officer in SB's case explained this before they went on leave and not after. My sister (adult) was out walking her dog and saw a man masturbating, not 'at' her but towards two teenage girls. She phoned the police on her mobile and the man saw her and started to walk towards her. She stayed on the mobile explaining what was happening and he started runnning towards her so she ran and was being chased in an isolated area. Units arrived and the man was arrested. She made a statement and the officer dealing said he would try to trace the two girls and keep her informed. Two months later she asked me to find out what was happening. I checked the crime report and there was nothing on there since she made her statement. I found out that the offender was on bail for other offences at the time of this incident and he had been dealt with for those and was in prison but had not been dealt with for this one, not even a TIC. I emailed the OIC asking him to update my sister as per the Victims' Charter (didn't let him know it was a relation of mine just said Mrs X has phoned in to ask...). No reply to me from the OIC and no update to my sister. This was two years ago, the crime report has been filed and she has never been told of the outcome. She was delighted at the initial response and the first visit to her to take the statement but feels let down as nothing was actually done after that.
  4. St Georges day

    SB - this may have been because of a breach of planning regulations rather than offence at the type of flag. There was uproar in my local paper a couple of years back when it was reported that flags poles need planning permission and people were writing in saying they wouldn't be taking theirs down. Also if H&S was involved surely not a dangerous ladder. If the person had to have their feet more than 600mm (2 feet) above ground level they would have needed scaffolding with hand rails and kick boards.
  5. Air-brained scheme

    The only good thing about this scheme is the WPC (am I allowed to call them that?) with the magaphone. Now I wouldn't mind being woken up by her! Typical 'Sun' / Daily Mail paper talk though. [elderly resident] said: ”"I don’t want police officers coming into my house and bellowing at me with a megaphone telling me to lock my windows and doors." As though even the the dumbest cop would stick his/her megaphone in the ear a sleeping OAP and blast out, 'YOUR FRONT DOOR'S OPEN'. But the paper prints it and before long someone tells someone that the police are doing this because 'I read it in the paper' so it must be true!!! And in 18 years of patrol work I never found a house door left open.
  6. Counting Rules

    It was what was introduced in 1986 to tie one hand behind our backs in the fight against crime - a couple of years before the CPS were introduced to tie the other one. I remember being told by an old Detective Sgt that when questioned in the box about whether you had complied with Judges Rules I was to say, 'To the best of my recollection but they are guidance only so I am not compelled to.' A friendly magistrate would stop the solicitor from pursuing that line of questioning. It never worked with PACE!!
  7. Counting Rules

    BS3, I didn't think I was making an assumption, I was just trying to understand how any officer would not know that the HOCR exist. You started this post with 'Can't believe what I learned at work today. Apparently ACPO and the Home Office and ACPOS and the Scottish Government have agreed rules on how crimes should be recorded and 'counted'.' Whilst the NCRS is a fairly new addition the HOCRs have been around for decades. The NCRS was created not because of the Government trying to manipulate figures but by Chief Constables fed up of being criticised for their figures when they knew that other forces were not complying with the existing Rules. I remember 20+ years ago, before the days of FCRs, having to negotiate/argue with the 'CID Admin Supervisor' as to how many of the offences I had charged someone with could be crimed. Didn't realise that you were in a Scottish force so perhaps that makes a difference but to me your opening thread was a bit like me saying. 'Guess what I learned in work today. I arrested someone and couldn't charge them within 24hrs and the Custody Sgt released them, unbelievable! Apparently the government have some rules called PACE that insists on this. How many guilty people are being let out because of this soft approach?'
  8. Public Vs Police Attitudes

    I think that sometimes we forget that the majority of the public still appreciate and respect us. Yes we live in a society where people know more about their rights, a younger generation that is taught to challenge and with a litigious element but for my sanity I try to put a positive spin on that - we should use this to sharpen our own minds, make sure that what we say and do is legal and ethical. A hunt saboteur (remember when hunting was lawful?) taught me to be better informed. He politely asked me searching questions about the legality of my actions and it became obvious that he knew more about the law around his activities than I did. So I decided I would never find myself in that position again, if I could help it. I also remind myself every now and then that of the 50,000 people who live in the town where I work the idiots who we spend a disproportionate amount of time running around after number less than 100 so 99.8% of the people are reasonable. The sad thing is that most people have respect for the police until they have an encounter with one of us. Ignoring the motorists who get annoyed because they should not done for speeding/no seat belt/using a mobile phone but everyone else should it's the people who ask for our help that I feel for. Often this comes down to expectations and I find that it is often benficial to establish this at an early stage. You do find the victim who has had his car aerial snapped off expecting a team of forensic scientists and the DCI around within 5 minutes of reporting it, then a team of 20 detectives working around the clock until the offender gets sent down for 5 years. Most people are reasonable and I usually ask them what the expect and then let them know what we are able to deliver. They may be a little disappointed when they realise that real life is not like 'The Bill' - we can't get the whole shift working on one job and solve it in an hour - but come the end of the case they realise that I have done what I promised and all I could.
  9. Counting Rules

    Apologies if anyone thought I was disparaging to any role, we are all necessary cogs in a big machine - even the HQ ESSOs. In my experience though the 'Rodent noir' as we affectionally call our Road Traffic Policing colleagues make more arrests for crime than the CID. Having done so though it is still expected for an element of crime recording, evidence gathering, statements etc for a quality handover package - and even complete the job in straightforward cases. Penbwich, all the specialist roles are just that - specialist - to get there everyone has to have had a few years of the basics before moving on - hence my surprise that BS3's initial comment about just learning about it, unless s/he is a probationer and so just learning about crime recording.
  10. Counting Rules

    But the NCRS to tighten the application of the rules means at least there is common recording across forces and not individual interpretation that meant that a force with an ethical recording policy gets a higher crime rate than their neighbouring force with a more selective policy. Take a different set of circumstances - you and your two neighbours park your cars in the street and a yob comes along and runs his key down the side of all 3 cars. Is that one crime or three crimes? (HOCR say 3) Slightly different case - the yob walks up your driveway and keys your car, goes into your garden and knocks the head off your gnome and smashes a hole in your fence - 1 crime or 3? (it's 1) Or there are cars for sale on a garage forecourt and the yob smashes the windscreen of three of them - one crime or three? (again 1 - one victim). There could always be an allegation of under (or over) recording and you could get to a ridiculous situation where an offender carries a knife to commit a burglary (aggravated burglary), he breaks a window (criminal damage) to climb in, is in the process of stealing the silver (theft) when he gets disturbed, pulls the knife and threatens the owner (affray)then pushes him over (common assault). The owner gets up and the offender punches him breaking his nose (ABH). Owner grabs hold of offender who stabs him (GBH Sec 18, attempted murder?). At least 7 crimes committed in this incident - apart from the ones leading up to it (offensive weapon/carrying a knife/going equipped). With your logic this should be that many crimes (and that many charges?) In reality he would be charged with the most serious assault and probably the aggravated burglary but only one offence would be recorded - the most serious assault. If you know what offences are likely to be charged then you can concentrate on gathering evidence to prove the points of those offences rather than perhaps wasting time covering other matters that will not be dealt with.
  11. Counting Rules

    BS it is about the date thay they are reported and the victim offender relationship. I am just trying to indicate to you that the HOCR do not allow you to record it as one crime and then change it to four if they are detected. As much as I prefer to be doing police work I do, unfortunately, have to know a bit about HOCR, NCRS and NIRS in my job. I do not doubt that some individuals will try it on in the way you describe but heaven help a force that gets caught by the auditors doing this. However, and there's always a 'however'. If having investigated and you showed that Person A stole the card and used it in the supermarket ATM then gave it to Person B who used it at the three bank ATMs you would get another crime of theft. If 'B' only used it at one of the banks - person C at the second and person D at the third then you would be allowed to record three further offences as there would be four different victim/offender relationships. Then there's the 'finished incident' rule that can change things further!
  12. Counting Rules

    Perhaps our forces deal with things completely differently but I arrest a suspect, book them into custody, phone the Crime Bureau and say, 'I want to record a crime of X.' they take the details and sometime will say, 'By the MO you have given that's offence Y and not offence X.' (sometimes you argue and sometime you don't). I then gather (more) evidence, interview and make a decision as to what offence I want to charge, discuss it with the gatekeeper/CPS and charge. Whilst I do not care what the stats say I cannot be oblivious to what is being recorded is at variance to my police law training. Perhaps you never record a crime, never interview prisoners and never prepare charges but if not and it appears the you are not an ESSO staff then what do you do?
  13. What the public should do when meeting police

    NeeNaw, of course I agree that you don't turn up in the Saloon in Tombstone when the bar stools are flying and start with 'excuse me sirs...' I was looking at this thread from the point of regular everyday speaking to people in or out of their cars. I would say though don't let your attitude get clouded by the fact that a lot of your time you are dealing with drunken unreasonable people who require the firm approach. I may have been lucky but I have been sent to reports of people with weapons. I stay a safe distance back, often the other side of the car from them and always start with, 'Excuse me sir/ma'am/miss but it has been reported that you have been seen with a knife (cosh/AK47). Do you have any weapons on you?' In nearly all cases I get a reasonable (if not truthful) answer and about half the time I get an admission and so get them to put the weapon on the floor and move away. If I get a 'no' I explain that I will have to search them and usually do that safely with compliance. When they don't want to act reasonably that's when 'Billy Baton' or 'Peter Pava' come out (not yet got 'Terry Taser') to assist.
  14. Counting Rules

    Remember, "A Constable is a citizen, locally appointed, with authority under the Crown. His primary duties are the protection of life and property, the prevention and detection of crime and the prosecution of offenders against the peace." How can you prevent and detect crime and prosecute offenders if you do not record crime or charge offenders? I know that some places more than others have become production lines of policing where some officers arrest, others interview, others do the paperwork but I have always believed in seeing my job through to the end. That way you understand the bigger picture and so learn to do a better job all around. In my experience those officers who put importance on making arrests tend to make most on nights so they cannot see the job through but have them locked up for the night for someone else to deal with in the morning. Weak grounds for arrest, little or no evidence gathered at the time, poor statements, if any.
  15. G20 Protests

    Not had time to read 45 pages of posts so apologies if I am repeating something but it is not only the PSD that you need to worry about. Defence solicitors are researching social networking sites to identify officers so they can attack their character or integrity in court. At least with a Reg 7 notice you have time to consult a 'friend' (real Fed Rep type) and prepare a response, but stood in the box doing a goldfish impression in front of the man with the wig and Father Christmas outfit is not a comfortable place to be. Reasonable Man2009-05-01 21:10:12
  16. St Georges day

    Well said Battenburg. We should be proud to be British, and if it offends these minority groups, too bad, they can stuff it. If they come to live in OUR country, they follow OUR rules, if they don't like it, go back where you came from. If we are proud to be British then we should fly the Union Flag not the Cross of St George - that shows proud to be English.
  17. Counting Rules

    I agree with grumpyoldman in respect of the no difference between detected and undetected crime (certainly in Engalnd and Wales). If bluescorpio3 is a police officer then I cannot believe that s/he has only just found this out. Counting Rules (HOCR) have been around for years but abused by forces to their own ends leading to a skewing of figures across the country. 5/6 years ago the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced and incorporated into the HOCR to ensure not only standardisation of the application of the rules but also a victim centered approach to crime recording - to stop the 'I'm not going to crime this because there is no proof it happened' approach that some officers and forces used to keep levels of recorded crime down. The NCRS says that a crime must be recorded if the facts as reported amount to a crime and there is no credible evidence to the contrary. Of course resourceful officers work hard to work around the rules in order to hit the targets. Each Force has a Force Crime Registrar who is responsible for ensuring NCRS compliance and the HMIC will scrutinise crime reporting as part of its inspection. The biggest frustration with the HOCR is that it does not exactly match either charging standards nor legislation in some cases and this leads to arguments between those parts of a force responsible for each bit. A classic example is that violence against the person offences must be recorded over property offences and there is a 'one crime per victim' rule. I had a case where there was a burglary and the victim came home to find the offender who assaulted him - minor assault but just enough for a common assault. Legislation says there was a burglary and an assault, charging standards said enough to charge for the burglary but CPS said not to charge the assault as it was minor, the victim wasn't too fussed, and the offender would plead to the burglary but not the assault. HOWEVER NCRS says record an offence of Common Assault and not one of burglary. OIC wanted to record the burglary because that was what was being charged, CID and the Insp wanted the burglary recorded because it was good for the figures but the common assault was recorded (it gets detected because a charge resulted even though it was not for the offence recorded). Reasonable Man2009-05-01 20:52:33
  18. Claiming it back

    Our Fed sends a reminder out every year with a letter to send to the Tax office. You can claim up to 6 years previously and the Fed should tell you the amounts you will have paid for each of those years. Don't expect to have a fortnight in the Bahamas on the back of it though. HMRC will probably adjust your tax code so you won't really notice it.
  19. G20 Protests

    Why is that public bodies and, it seems especially the police, are seen as a single organism? A person who has their own mind and makes their own choices does something that another individual or the public in general thinks is wrong and because that individual is a police officer it is 'The Police' that are bad. Not a person who happens to be an officer. Like the story where the officer took the photo of the girl in a toilet and she said. 'I will never trust the police again.' Why why why? If it was a plumber who did that would she never trust plumbers again? Politicians, Social Workers and the Health Service, to an extent suffer similar prejudice (politicians on this site at times). How many officers were deployed at G20? How many protesters, and other members of the public were there? There must have been thousands of 'contacts' between officers and individual members of the public but because of the very few 'bad contacts' to some that means that 140,000 officers from Berwick to Lands End and Merthyr are bad.
  20. 16 days to go...

    tombo - maybe I have become the cynical pessimist that I said I never would be. And this has probably been shaped by spending a couple of years in a post where I had to focus on such shoddy work, not helped by the attitude of some supervisors whose response was always 'don't critcise my team'. I will eat my words if the vast majority of victims are satisfied but in my experience too many will be talked into the non-bureaucratic outcome by the officer who doesn't like the bureaucracy leaving the victim feeling somewhat let down.
  21. 16 days to go...

    Well it is - see http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/operational-policing/crime-disorder/index.html/penalty-notice-introduction11 for the list of offences. Hence my comment about there could be a whole new thread on why this was allowed - speaking as one (15 years ago) who could not get CPS to agree to charge someone because I could only show that 23 hours of time had been wasted and they really wanted about 50!! Tombo - it will be abused because a minority of officers seem to want to take the easy (for them) way rather than the right way. See my first example above PNDs for Criminal Damage should only be issued if the value of the damage is less than £500 but in this case the officer didn't bother to wait to see what the value of the damage was and it over £2,000. Similarly the Reprimand and Final Warning Scheme for juveniles was introduced to replace the previously abused cautioning for juveniles - in that case cautions should have been part of the escalation to court with 2 or 3 cautions at the most before charge/summons. Some recidivists had 12 or more cautions - they really helped divert the young darlings from a life of crime. Back to the replacement system - in simple terms this is supposed to be 1st offence Reprimand, 2nd offence Final Warning, 3rd and subsequent offences to court. Again officers try, and sometimes manage to get more than one Reprimand or Final Warning issued. Some of these get picked up and are cancelled, so in effect the youth has no penalty or intervention at all. In too many cases this happens because to get to court takes investigation, statements, other evidence gathered, and sometimes persuasion of the CPS and although the same standard of evidence should exist for any other detection of an offence in practice the amount of paperwork is greatly reduced. So as I say, in my experience a minority of officers take these routes outside of the guidance to save themselves work. Unfortunately most victims do not know the ins and outs of the Criminal Justice System and so when an authority figure tells them that the best way to deal with their case is X then they often believe them. So whilst a Local Resolution scheme will be for the lower end of the offending scale there will be officers who apply there 'discretion' and 'common sense' and talk victims into such resolution when any ethical officer would be seeking to get the offender to court. Unfortunately, as we saw recently, it is the improper actions of the few that make the headlines and tars the many with the same brush.
  22. 16 days to go...

    Well done BJock you saw the point of my example so I must be on the same planet as you - a PND should not have been issued in this case. But why the cut and paste? I am well aware of the definition and the authority needed for proceedings. Another discussion should be around why WPT was allowed to be a PND offence at all. My whole point was PNDs were introduced as a way of reducing the burden of paperwork on the police and the work of the courts, by delivering swift and simple justice. In my experience in too many cases officers see the main benefit of saving them the time and effort that should be spent on some cases. This current practice will be similarly abused - it is intended for dealing with low-level minor offences - how long before the complaints come in about local resolution being used for burglaries or assaults that should be going to court?
  23. Officer arrested

    I too was wondering where the 'Innocent until stitched up by PSD/the IPCC because he's a police officer,' members were. If he had used one of the guns to pistol whip a demonstrator then the usual suspects would be on here defending him.
  24. What the public should do when meeting police

    Wasn't sure which bits of Nee Naw's post was tongue in cheek and which were serious. Either way don't agree with the bit about the officer might not be polite. There is no good reason for the first approach not to be polite, I was told to start to speak to everyone the way you would like a copper to speak to your own mother. Of course that may change but then it will be down to the other person. Its always stood me in good stead. The 'stay in the car' if stopped advice reminds of a stop I made one night when before I could get out of my car the young man driving and his passenger had got out and were stood on the nearside of the car, hands on the roof and feet back and spread. Turned out they were from California and that's what was expected out there. If you didn't get out you were likely to get a gun in your ear until you did.
  25. 16 days to go...

    It's all very well talking about 'common sense' and allowing us to get on and do our job but you have to remember that it was (and is) the abuse of the freedom of discretion and powers that led to the legislation that restricts that discretion. Unfortunately too many officers look for the easy way out rather than the best. I remember before the days of PACE and prisoners being locked up for days because the DI or DS 'knew' he was guilty, not always for the serious stuff and the known criminals (I was always up for a bit of 'noble cause corruption') but also for the minor stuff. I am waiting for PNDs to be taken away, or their use reduced. A couple of examples - 1. Victim reports having his vehicle damaged and knows who has done it. Officer (eventually) gets to see the offender and talks him to taking a PND. By the time the OIC gets to see the victim again he gets presented with the bill for repair of over £2,000 and a victim hopeful of compensation. Of course no compensation with a fixer and another (dis)satisfied customer. Victim makes a complaint and the officer's Sgt tries to make the best of a bad job by withdrawing the PND and having the offender reported. CPS then say it cannot go to court as a method of disposal was agreed at the time and so it could not go to court - and the notice couldn't be re-issued either. So our customer satisfaction went even higher. (Waiting for the pilloring of the CPS but all they were doing was applying the law that the lazy OIC should have known in the first place). 2. Motorcyclist out for a ride in the country and his bike breaks down. He can't fix it (and had no stand) so leans it over in the hedge and goes off to arrange recovery. PC Enthusiastic comes along and thinks there has been a RTC and looks around for the body of the motor cyclist. Claims he spent an hour before the rider turns up with his mate and a van for recovery. What does the officer do? Yes, issues him a PND for wasting police time!!!!! Now these are just two examples in a small area and I believe there are thousands of PNDs issued across the country contrary to guidance and downright illegally just to make life quicker and easier for the OIC - nothing to do with the needs of the victim. How long before the complaints from victims who wanted their day in court but have been talked into agreeing to an 'apology'? Reasonable Man2009-04-28 22:12:16