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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
A certain D. Trump persuaded me that rather than taking a trip on a Mississippi river boat my holiday spending power would be more welcome at points in an easterly direction.  The desert awaits so all being well this page will be updated in a couple of weeks.


Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Many times here I have castigated the refusal of our overlords to consider compulsory rehab for addicts so that the court system is finally avoided for those 70% who are repeatedly offending in order to finance their habit be it narcotics or alcohol or both.However I doubt we`ll see that initiative for many a long decade. A perfect example was in front of Kirklees Magistrates this week. Whilst he is deserving of pity the public must be protected.  I cannot believe that the costs of re hab would exceed the costs of prison including a reduction in future offending and all that that would save.  Indeed with new prisons on the horizon existing establishments could be converted to such hostels and these being mainly in cities family ties would have a real possibility of being restored between addict and parents/partners/children.


Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

Almost seven years ago after Labour was thrown out of government the decision to impose identity cards for all was rescinded by Mrs T. May the new Home Secretary. Libertarians and perhaps many others not so single minded about retaining their privacy in an increasingly big brother state were extremely pleased at that announcement. Identity Cards for all, a policy so fervently espoused by successive Labour Home Secretaries, are now history or so we hope but the problem of privacy for the citizen didn`t begin in this century.

In late December 2008 I was sitting on a case...

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Police: Medicalising and Criminalising

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

So, we’re still discussing the fallout of Sir Tom Winsor’s comments almost one week after they were made.  A few of us have blogged our thoughts on this and many of you have commented on those posts and social medica more generally.  We all share a view that there is a problem, but I’m not sure we share what it is, never mind a shared sense of what we should do about it.  Some people have spent the week arguing that we are criminalising mental health and mental illness by relying upon the police to the extent that we do, but what I think has been interesting this week is the number of representations that we’ve got this the wrong way ’round: we’re not criminalising illness, we’re medicalising human behaviours.

Look at the literature on this stuff and you’ll see both positions well represented.  The US academic Professor Linda Teplin did a lot of work in the 90s arguing about criminalisation; another US professor, Allan Horwitz wrote a book called ‘creating mental illness’ which argued we...

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Police: BE A J.P. IN WIGAN

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
There is a shortage of magistrates in Wigan.  The local paper has published the following statement from Liz Truss to encourage applicants.  I wonder how much is still applicable to today`s situation. 

The Lord Chancellor Liz Truss said: “The involvement of lay people - recruited from a cross-section of our society - is a central principle in the administration of justice. It helps safeguard our citizens, with crucial decisions affecting an individual’s liberty being decided not by officials of the state - but by an independent bench of trained magistrates drawn from the local...

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Police: Drones flying into prisons to be examined by new Police team

Written by RSS Poster Old Plod

The Prison Service and police are to pool intelligence to stop drones flying drugs and mobile phones to prison inmates in England and Wales.
They will forensically examine captured drones to try to find out who was flying them.
The invention of easy-to-fly, remote-controlled aircraft has caused a huge security headache for prisons.
But critics have called the plan a "red herring" to distract people from "chaos and crisis" in prisons.
The national initiative will see police and prison officers share information about the quadcopters and methods used.
Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah said: "We are absolutely determined to tackle the illegal flow of drugs and mobile phones into our prisons and turn them into places of safety and reform.
"The threat posed by drones is clear but our dedicated staff are committed to winning the fight against those who are attempting to thwart progress by wreaking havoc in establishments all over the country.
"My message to those who ...

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Police: Missing The Point

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

Yesterday, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Tom Winsor said something extremely important in his annual review, known as the “State of Policing” report.  The main headline from the document was his argument that the police are now filling gaps in mental health services and that this represents a drain on resources which are being diverted from other policing responsibilities. It was his clear view that “the provision of mental healthcare has reached such a state of severity that police are often being used to fill the gaps.” He makes the point that the police “have often been used as the service of last resort. In some areas, particular where people with mental health problems need urgent help, the police are increasingly being used as the service of first resort.” He goes on, “We are still finding cases of mentally ill people – who have not committed any crime – spending the night in a police cell. This is because they are too vulnerable to be left alone but there is no bed for them in a...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Yesterday I posted on the apparent lack of local knowledge shown by the Appeal Court in a case of dangerous driving. Today in the Telegraph the opposite appears to be the case with a crown court judge who has placed a spurious exaggerated defence of a twice convicted drunk driver ahead of the public interest.  Such cases happen daily but only a few can be reported to a wider audience.  Of course the results of all criminal cases are available in a statistical form.  This allows the general nature of our courts system to be commented upon but it bears no reality for those involved either practically or intellectually. 

In magistrates` courts arguments, as in today`s case, are often based upon exceptional circumstances in an attempt for totters to retain their driving licenses with 12 penalty points or more  having accrued.  Generally the arguments are similar to those in this much more serious example.  Perhaps there are judges who really are detached from the public perception of their decisions.  Perhaps judges should...

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Police: Carol celebrates the big ‘four-oh’ by taking on the London Marathon

Written by RSS Poster Crimestoppers

Sheffield mum Carol Speight is aiming to celebrate turning 40 years old by running Sunday’s London Marathon for the first time. We asked her some quick questions about why she’s choosing the Marathon as her challenge – and why Crimestoppers…

Carol in here Crimestoppers vest

Carol rarely stops fundraising!

Q. So, why the London Marathon?

I’ve lost four stone in recent years, purely from running and eating more healthily.

It’s a long way from my previous life, so I’m well outside my comfort zone!

Q. And why Crimestoppers as your fundraising cause?

I’ve known many people who have been victims of crime – been burgled or had personal possessions stolen, so helping to raise funds for Crimestoppers seemed perfect to me.

Q. How have your colleagues reacted to you taking on the Marathon?

Staff at Matalan, where I work, probably think that I run around far too much! But it’s worth it!

Carol out training for the big day on Sunday

Carol out training for the big day on Sunday

Q. What’s been your main motivation through all the hard...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Lesson one for new magistrates:- do not talk to the media.  It`s that simple. Of course there are so called rules which define the limits of expressing opinions to same but those who`ve been around for a while understand that unless you were in Kingston or Barry or similar situations and your court was being closed and you vented a portion of your spleen to the local journal the chances were that you would be brought before the headmaster and duly chastised.  So often it is the retired J.P. who makes known his/her opinion on a legal topic in the press, TV or social media. Thus it is that the former Chairman of the Bench in Bradford has castigated the Appeal Court for second guessing an original sentence passed by  HHJ Roger Thomas QC the Honorary Recorder of Bradford.The offender`s sentence was reduced from 6 months to 4 months custody.

Ms Carroll is a wise and experienced individual.  There are many more of her ilk active and retired.  More of them should speak up when the situation...

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Crime and Justice - UK Crime News (5431)
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