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Police: CPS REPORT INEFFICIENCES

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Yesterday HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate published its annual report.  Amongst its findings on summary justice was the following statement;-"The defendant’s failure to attend was the biggest single reason why first hearings were ineffective".  There is no mention that the closure of hundreds of magistrates` courts in recent years could possibly be a valid reason for this decline in defendants` reluctance to travel to a court where most will be aware that they are liable to be found guilty. It is no over simplification to assume that the financial position of many such defendants is partly to blame. When the 100+ courts were being closed representations were made that increased travelling costs and time to reach those courts remaining open would be an impediment to what government has always promulgated as "local justice" especially for lower income groups. In addition it is difficult to argue that the inefficiencies of the CPS are unconnected to severe budget cuts. The cost cutting of the CPS as per the Commons library...

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Police: PUBLIC INCOMPETENCE/PERSONAL TRAGEDY

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I make no apologies for this post being somewhat off topic.  It has rarely happened previously and will probably be a long time happening again but as a child brought up in a slum tenement whose parents graduated to a council estate in the 1950s I am angry. 

The meaning of the word "honour" as understood in this country is of diminishing use. More often or not it is employed antonymically by those involved to describe the killing of a south Asian or middle eastern spouse or relative by a close family member. Except for those of the most absurd politically correct persuasion who seem to use the argument of acceptance of certain cultural difference, the above is regarded as a crime of heinous barbarity.  Duelling as a mark of a man`s honour lost its favour over 200 years ago. In public service honour in England, at least by public servants, would be seen as an admission of responsibility for failure and resignation from said public position would or should have followed.  A clear example in recent history was the...

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Police: IMAGE ANALYSTS & FALSE DECLARATIONS ON s.172 FORMS

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

Perverting the course of justice by persuading somebody other than the driver to take penalty points is now an offence well known to the British public including, it is estimated, over a quarter of million who have done exactly that. The fall out from the Huhne and Pryce case with Constance Briscoe QC found guilty of intending to pervert the course of justice spotlights a ramification of reliance upon visual imagery to secure convictions as opposed to the old fashioned method of police patrol cars stopping suspected errant drivers. 

When I was appointed nobody had heard of image analysts outside of John le Carre novels or opinions of planetary geologists on the...

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Police: NEW JUSTICE SECRETARIES AND KNIFE CRIME

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

Sooner or later every Justice Secretary promises that those possessing knives or similar in a public place will face the full wrath of the law. It seems that however much the incumbent huffs and puffs those who undertake the sentencing of such offenders take a different view.  Let`s wait and see but IMHO time will really tell.


Police: SINGLE JUSTICE PROCEDURE (OFFICIAL)

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I have long shared my opinion on these pages that in the long term (over two parliaments) a Conservative government and probably a Labour one also would be happy to remove independent Justices of the Peace from the courtroom so that paid civil service employees ie District Judges would preside over magistrates` courts perhaps with J.P.s as wingers and perhaps not.  With magistrate numbers down to about 13,000.......from a peak of more than twice that number just over a decade ago and increasing numbers of lawyers being appointed District Judge the process is well underway. J.P.s with the encouragement of their Association and officialdom seem to have approved of their sitting alone in an office accompanied by a legal advisor to preside over simple summary non imprisonable cases. The official version was published recently and is copied below. 

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Inside HMCTS



Police: DEATH OF THE MAGISTRATE`S BLOGGER

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Richard Bristow J.P. died earlier this month only a short time after he was retired by the MOJ from his position as a magistrate.  I write of him today because he was the originator of the Magistrate`s Blog about fifteen years ago.  His observations provided a runyonesque view of the world from the lay bench in West London. Indeed he was, unknowingly, an inspiration for me when I began this blog at its original site in 2009. Rest in peace.


Police: MAGISTRATES` ROTA DIGITALISATION

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I retired before magistrates` rota system was digitalised.  My informal soundings seem to indicate that there is much to be improved.  The latest information below is copied directly from  the Judicial Internet published today.


Having used the new system to run the October 2016 to March 2017 rota, the team have analysed the results and user feedback from regional retrospective workshops and from an embedded feedback function inside the online system itself, to develop improvements to the design and function of the Rota service. Changes underwent comprehensive testing before being released, ready for the next round of bi-annual rota scheduling.

Improvements delivered since December 2016

The next rotas (from April to September 2017) have now also been successfully prepared and published and the 76 LJA criminal court rotas and 49 DFC family court rotas have demonstrated some significant improvements:
Eligibility rules inside the system have been refined to ensure that magistrates are automatically scheduled in the...

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Police: THE MET SEEKS DIRECT ENTRY DETECTIVES

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Over the last twenty years or so we have become accustomed to the downgrading of specialised jobs in the name of efficiency ie cost saving.  There used to be two classes of nurses; state registered and state enrolled.  The latter classification of lower qualified personnel was established in the 1940s and existed for half a century before being discontinued.  Since then nursing has become a graduate profession and auxiliary nurses supposedly undertake the basic and menial tasks which their betters have abandoned. These graduate nurses are pressing for increased responsibility for patient care with not all the medical profession in agreement that that is beneficial to patients. Teaching assistants were introduced about fifteen years ago ostensibly to do what it said on the tin; assist qualified teachers in the classroom.  However since then these so called assistants have increased their classroom duties to such an extent that some would assert that they are in fact taking over functions of their qualified seniors.  This...

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Police: ADDING TO THE GREAT REPEAL BILL

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Many supposedly astute commentators have opined that the election result indicates a wish by the great British public to water down the concept of a "hard Brexit".  My perhaps simplistic thinking processes tell me this interpretation is stretching logical thinking.  To ascribe a national determination on a nuanced topic such as Brexit to such a generalised process as voting in a national election seems sheer tosh. Nevertheless  although we have given notice of our leaving one way or t`other in two years it seems the current government is determined to play by the rules and obey every directive from Brussels until day zero.  Latest examples of this obedience are  orders on the gathering of information from technology companies. Two reports offer opinions. My general point is that with a proposed  Great Repeal Bill in the offing it seems beyond reason to incorporate any more EU directives in our law.


Police: ANOTHER LORD CHANCELLOR

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


So......we have another Lord Chancellor; the fifth since 2010.  Is it any wonder the system is in turmoil?




Latest The Justice Of The Peace Stories

CPS REPORT INEFFICIENCES
PUBLIC INCOMPETENCE/PERSONAL TRAGEDY
IMAGE ANALYSTS & FALSE DECLARATIONS ON s.172 FORMS
NEW JUSTICE SECRETARIES AND KNIFE CRIME
SINGLE JUSTICE PROCEDURE (OFFICIAL)

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