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Police: DON`T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
It is becoming increasingly irrefutable that the disastrous cuts in police numbers instigated when she was home secretary by arguably the worst prime minister in modern times are resulting in a crime wave of horrendous proportions where daily killings in London are common place and drug dealers are extending their empires to every town and village in the country.  In the light of such activity one would have thought that police up and down the country would maximise their limited resources for public protection and prevention of breaches of the peace. One would have thought wrongly at least in the case of the thin blue line attempting to patrol the county of Leicester`s many streets and byways. This is the constabulary which in 2015 announced with the bravado of a  teenage Lothario who had made his first conquest that in future investigations of alleged burglary it would investigate only those addresses with even numbers. Not satisfied with the derision that that decision heaped upon those officers at the sharp end those...

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Police: WHAT IS DIVERSITY?

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I`m a collector or perhaps hoarder is a more accurate description the result being that I never have enough space to put away all my bits and pieces. It was whilst I was searching this morning for some documents from the 1990s that I stumbled across the learning log supplied when I attended the weekend induction course to the magistracy. The third entry written on December 31st at the end of my first year on the bench describes my thoughts and I copy it word for word below.

“Legally two cases stand out. The first at the beginning of the year; a case of two black defendants being accused of causing harassment, alarm and distress to two police officers with three other officers as witnesses. We decided there was no case to answer. This was my first trial. It was a rude awakening to how the police can operate against “short tempered” innocent blacks and how the rules governing the threat to use CS gas were disregarded. I wonder if the defendants considered that a white, middle class middle aged bench believed their story to the exclusion...

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Police: MORE FROM THE MOUTHPIECES AT THE MOJ

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Still not fully recovered from the wee germ but it so happens there have been some recent  government press releases which might be of interest. Results of fully-video hearings pilot published.    Still this regime will not be deflected from the path of instant distance justice whatever the cost in human emotion. Pilots will inevitably be deemed as successful and the English language is tortured to death to excuse any unwanted results. Judicial Diversity Statistics 2018 will show that the magistracy is the most diverse of all judicial levels but IMHO we are being hanged on this term when quality and suitability should be the only criteria.  Judicial office holders must be respected for their ability to do the job not fulfil a quota. Jail time to double for assaulting an emergency worker  It would seem that in order for the increased penalties to be available such matters will have to go to crown court as the lower courts` powers are limited to six months custody for a single offence.  According to the release, "Attacking...

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Police: FORGIVE THE GAP

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Recovering from a viral infection. Normal service will, I hope, be resumed ASAP


Police: J.P.s OUTSPOKEN BUT A WASTE OF TIME

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
It has been my opinion for over a decade that the concept of local justice is local in name only and that the function of Justices of the Peace will be but a historical footnote by the middle of the next decade. Magistrates are not well organised as a lobby group.  The Magistrates Association has faded from prominence and influence to be replaced by national bench chairmen in a so called forum under the complete control of the executive.  To add to the situation and to seek more control the MOJ in June advertised for a National Leadership Magistrate.  No announcement has yet been made if that position has been filled. Full details can be found on my post of 14th June. With all that in mind I was impressed to read in the Guardian that Kent magistrates have made their own direct protest at the changes anticipated which are just around the corner. Their arguments are cogent but I fear they are fighting a losing battle.  The MOJ will not make substantive changes in its intentions to further remove from our courts the essentials of a level playing field where the guilty are punished and with an equality of arms the innocent are  set free.


Police: TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
It`s not often that a news event slots into so many aspects of my life and my hobby as a blogger.  I was retired from the magistracy having reached the biblical three scores years and ten, I have recently had to renew my driving license and in a previous life I was an eyecare professional.  The news event is that police are to be given powers to immediately revoke the driving license of somebody who fails a police initiated roadside "eye test".  A first impression might be that this is a worthwhile new activity for police to be involved in but I question that.  The current requirement to ascertain if an applicant for a driving license can see properly is for him/her to read a number plate on a vehicle at 20M in normal daylight conditions.   Other requirements do not require anything other than a driver`s declaration.  Professional organisations associated with eyecare, its practice and its practitioners have for many decades pleaded with government to insist that license applicants be subjected to a comprehensive eye examination and...

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Police: A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I have remarked previously that when Justices of the Peace step out of what the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office  considers the appropriate judicial approach a heavier hand is applied than seems to be the case for the rest of the judiciary.  Perhaps it expects more from those who volunteer their services, perhaps they are easier to replace and so individually have less value than their seniors, perhaps being unable to alter their lifestyle by the implicit threat for the most dire offences they are sanctioned more often, perhaps as a corollary professional judges are less likely to lose their position owing to the JCIO being mindful that removal would affect a judge`s income and be likely to hinder future employment prospects.  With those thoughts in mind I read of the case of HH Judge Karen Holt who accessed case files in a matter where her daughter was a witness. It is impossible to believe that had a magistrate done something remotely similar s/he would not have been removed from the magistracy. But one must remember that the...

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Police: LIVE TV WILL ALLOW JUSTICE TO BE SEEN AND HEARD TO BE DONE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
For anybody interested in the law and the legal system last week`s ITV programme on the Court of Appeal was possibly the most interesting and entertaining programme on the subject for many a year.  For a very long time I have been an advocate of live streaming of court proceedings with, of course, the caveat that we don`t lose sight of "justice" for all parties by the nature of the editing and directing which would be inevitable.  Indeed a five minute delay when broadcasting live would be essential.  However I sense that there is much opposition to the very idea of "court TV".  Opposing opinion strikes me as very similar to that existing when the live televising of parliament was mooted in 1968.  The question to arise is not if to have TV coverage of courts but which level of court should be the first to be broadcast.  An argument that a dedicated TV channel be devoted to the topic might find favour with current media outlets being amongst the obvious contenders for such a franchise. With the Supreme...

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Police: LOCAL JUSTICE BY THE FISHER FOLK JPs OF HUMBERSIDE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
The MOJ in its confusion about what constitutes local justice insists that that concept still exists when reality indicates the contrary.  National guidelines on sentences and magistrates` licensed to sit at any court in England and Wales..........when I was appointed I was restricted to my local court(s) show that in practice a national system of courts is in operation.  An interesting article in Grimsby Live purports to show that the region`s courts are more "jail happy" than the national average.  Of course this is a big boost for those who repeatedly claim that the lower court should no longer have custodial sentencing powers. Perhaps the good burghers of Humberside have their own sense of priorities in dealing with offenders whilst still being guided by the Sentencing Guidelines but refusing to be constrained by them.   In that event do doubt the Justices Clerk for the region will be told by his/her bosses to sort out those fisher folk and their old ideas of justice and retribution and allow the tenets of the metropolitan nanny state to operate unfettered.  


Police: THE MYOPIA OF THE MAGISTRATES ASSOCIATION

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace





Latest The Justice Of The Peace Stories

DON`T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD
WHAT IS DIVERSITY?
MORE FROM THE MOUTHPIECES AT THE MOJ
FORGIVE THE GAP
J.P.s OUTSPOKEN BUT A WASTE OF TIME

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