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Police: COURTS` INCREASED WORKING HOURS

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
There has been much comment within legal circles of the forthcoming "pilot schemes" to increase working hours of crown and magistrates` courts.  Yesterday the Sheffield Star in its report on the project gave the fairest and most comprehensive account of the proposal I have read in the general news media. It`s certainly worth a few minutes reading time.

My weekly inspection of HMCTS` own blog on this topic shows that specific questions in relation to magistrates` involvement in this pilot posted on July 25th by "May" have as yet received no comment from HMCTS.  I`ll look again next week.  The original post is copied below:-

May posted on

Have you secured sufficient numbers of magistrates to the proposed rota for extended hours? Similarly have you DJs in place. If to my first question the answer is "no" will you attempt to use DJs more often? Have you sufficient of them for your proposed needs? Do you have a division of sittings in mind for JPs and DJs?


Police: Mental Health Expert

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

Today, I was invited to do something because I’ve been identified as “an expert in emergency mental health care.” I did wonder whether this was one of those mistakes made by someone who wasn’t reading closely enough, as when a medical recruitment company recently invited me apply for “vacant consultant psychiatrists’ positions in Birmingham, Manchester or London”. Apparently my CV had impressed them – my LinkedIn page, actually. It was obviously somehow beyond-impressive as it managed to distract their attention away from my utter lack of a medical degree or any professional registration as a medical practitioner. In fairness, I do have a first-aid certificate … but actually, even that’s expired if I’m being completely honest because I’m not currently in an operational role. I’m an associate member of the College of Paramedics, if that helps, but in fairness they don’t let me anywhere near the drugs or the cannulas. So nothing makes me an expert in emergency mental health care … I’m a...

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Police: WITNESSES & DEFENDANTS MUST NOT BE VEILED IN COURT

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
 

On 6th October 2010 I posted as follows:-

 “The Judicial Studies Board has recently published in 45 pages “Fairness in Courts and Tribunals: A summary of the Equal Treatment Bench Book”.
Considering this guidance is aimed at judges and magistrates [and others involved in the courts system] much of it is like feeding a grown man….oops……a grown person of either or indeterminate sex…….with a spoon. However where perhaps guidance might be very useful; on the subject of face covering the message is vague. Perhaps that is at it should be. Judges and magistrates must be able to use their discretion. Society expects that discretion to be exercised wisely. The consequences are grave if that facility is found wanting. The relevant paragraphs re the veil are copied below."


For those Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab, it is an important element of their religious and cultural identity. To force a choice between that identity and the woman’s involvement in the...

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Police: Big Ben Is About To Fall Silent For Four Years - Here's Why

Written by RSS Poster Old Plod

The chimes of the world’s most iconic clock are to be silenced for the next four years while major conservation works are carried out.
Big Ben’s famous bongs will sound for the last time at noon on Monday, August 21, before they are paused until 2021 - ending more than 150 years of almost continuous timekeeping.
The Elizabeth Tower, home to the Great Clock and Big Ben, is undergoing a complex programme of renovation aimed at preserving the landmark for future generations.
A man with arguably one of the best job titles in the world, Keeper of the Great Clock Steve Jaggs said: “Big Ben falling silent is a significant milestone in this crucial conservation project.
“As Keeper of the Great Clock I have the great honour of ensuring this beautiful piece of Victorian engineering is in top condition on a daily basis.
“This essential programme of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home – the Elizabeth Tower.
“Members of the public are...

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Police: WHISTLEBLOWERS//WE OWE IT TO EACH OTHER

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I would opine that I`m not the only citizen who`s been disrespected by police in this country. Simple examples; being accused at police car pound when collecting it of damaging my own literally brand new car when I accused police of doing it. Being ordered on threat of arrest to stop sounding horn at a wayward pedestrian in slow moving traffic, threatened with arrest for disobeying a police officer whilst being stationary when seating my young child in safety seat outside nursery on double yellow line and other incidents in the past. When such arrogant and thoughtless actions and worse are used by police to intimidate the public especially ethnic minorities relationships will be fraught.  It is current thinking that body worn cameras for police will be to the benefit of both them and the public they are presumed to serve although at this late stage there is still some controversy on that. As an example of the unimaginable myopia and sheer stupidity of some very senior people it has been shown that...

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Police: NHS Reforms Are Working, Waiting Times Are Down

Written by RSS Poster RetiredAndAngry

I am NOT having a go at the NHS.  I am a staunch supporter of the NHS, half of my family have, or do, work for the NHS.

Back in February of this year I was finally referred by my GP to see a Hospital Consultant.  End of March I saw the Consultant Surgeon. Having ordered fresh X-Rays he decided that there was no option he could offer me apart from surgery, and that it was urgent.  So he put me on his Urgent List, surgery within 6 weeks.  Nothing Life-Threatening, but seriously affecting my quality of life.

Within days I was given dates for a 5 hour pre-op assessment and my operation, end of May.  No complaints there because he was taking my pre-booked holiday into account.

The day before my op I was contacted by the hospital enquiring about my general well-being and any factors that might affect my suitability for surgery the next day. During the waiting period I had contracted a chest infection, seen my GP and been presribed antibiotics (and taken them).  Sharp intake of breath and the...

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Police: The Coroner’s Courtroom

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop
  1. For the first time in my career, I gave so-called 'expert' evidence to a Coroner's Court around a mental health incident. It all centred on the response to a vulnerable man in his own home and I will blog more specifically on that once the court has published its documents. Suffice to say here, I become quite concerned by the difficulty 999 crews seemed to face justifying their actions and inactions; as well as the extent to which other organisations tried to focus on those difficulties.

So leaving those specifics for later, here is a checklist for how to approach these issues so that as a paramedics or police officers you can't be the one accused of doing too little or failing in your legal duties towards vulnerable people. This is what I want you to know, having read hundreds of pages of documents and given over 5hrs of evidence overall, just in case you end up there connected to an operational incident.

PRIMARY  ASSESSMENT

Imagine you enter a private premises and realise you are answering a mental health...

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Police: LANGUAGE IS JUST ANOTHER WORD

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Once again the appalling state of court interpreter services is making headlines. The MOJ might laud those services in its annual reports but every failure causes misery, depression, wasted time and costs for all involved.  As usual as with so many other deficiencies emerging within our justice system and the courts in particular this can all be traced to the cost cutting begun by an over eager to please Kenneth Clarke in 2010. One of my earliest comments on interpreter services was  24th August 2013. I copy below an appropriate section.

"This is the same Capita which took over court interpreter services last January just weeks after buying out the minuscule company Applied Language Solutions  which was awarded a contract from Her Majesty`s Courts and Tribunal Service.  This process and who paid whom for how much and in what circumstances has to my knowledge been kept firmly under wraps.  Capita and those senior people at HMCTS and the Justice Ministry responsible for the award of the contract were  castigated by...

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Police: MUSINGS ON THURSDAY

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Occasionally a few stories/press releases/incidents occur which, given some imagination, can paint a picture of an organisation far better that a detailed investigation.

Next week the administration department at Telford Magistrates` Court, the only court in Shropshire now operating,  is being moved to Stafford; not earth shattering news except for all the inconvenience for those involved but for a comment from the MOJ.......
"It said a small number of court staff will be relocated elsewhere within the business". That single word indicates so much that is wrong within the MOJ.

The press room at Westminster Magistrates` Court is being closed on the grounds that it`s outlived its usefulness notwithstanding that that court hears some of the most important matters to come before a magistrates` court and is "home" to the Chief Magistrate.  Despite protestations from HMCTS along with many others I fear this is a further indication of government initiating restrictions on the reporting of courts` procedures.  It might be the very...

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Police: We need parents and the public to help us beat guns and knives

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Over the last few weeks a number of violent incidents and unusual events have taken place within the force area.

There have been a number of serious stabbings of which 10 have resulted in deaths since May. For the first time in seventeen years, WMP discharged a firearm, injuring a man. In the early hours of Tuesday morning officers in an unmarked car were shot at. I am aware these events will concern local people and I want to set out West Midlands Police’s approach to these serious matters and how the public can help us.

Where people have been killed or seriously injured our thoughts are always on caring and supporting their loved ones and bringing those responsible to justice. While I cannot comment in detail upon the current investigations, West Midlands Police has a very good record of catching and convicting people who commit these violent acts.

If you engage in knife and gun crime you can expect to be caught and serve a very long sentence.

In the cases of the recent knife crime...

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