Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers


Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
The recent tragic events at London Bridge and Streatham have led to the imminent enaction of increasing the time  those convicted of terrorist related offending must spend in custody prior to being released on license. Undoubtedly there will also be increased limitations on their freedoms when they enter that period of surveillance. Such limitations outside formal judicial sentencing on an individual offender are not just confined to those whose fanaticism seeks to kill us.  

When I was appointed in the 1990s apart from a very few exceptions the work before the bench was based mainly on hearing cases brought by the Crown Prosecution Service. Football banning orders introduced in 1989 were an early concept of civil orders punished  if breached by six months custody.  That simplicity began to change in 1998 with the introduction of laws based on a new concept: alleged offenders being considered under civil legislation based on their anti social behaviour. Those found guilty were issued with a civil order...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
One again with unfailing regularity the question of the decriminalisation of TV license evasion is a subject for much of the media. This saga will have only one end; the law will be changed when the bargaining over the renewal of the BBC charter is concluded. Early comments here were on 9th March 2014 around the time of a previous government review of the subject although when I was blogging at another host [2009-2013 and now bankrupt and unavailable] that topic received more comments than any other. Last December I commented on the current situation. Questions are now being asked in the House of Lords and in particular that of yesterday querying whether transferring to the civil court would remove the threat of custody for non payment of an imposed fine. 

With the feeble opposition across from the government benches it is now the case that for whatever the cabinet wants to legislate it will be almost a foregone conclusion that it will be enacted.  TV license evasion will be decriminalised; it is just a matter of when, not if. 

Police: Liberty Protection Safeguards

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

On the 01st October 2020, we anticipate the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 will take effect, bringing certain changes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005.  Some of the terminology the emergency services may  hear and occasionally wrestle with will change, and the wording of section 4B of the MCA, which governs urgent deprivations of liberty for life-sustaining treatment, will be made more wordy!  Calls to #Team999 occasionally do involve patients who are subject to (the current) ‘deprivation of liberty safeguards’, known as DoLS in the current framework, but from October, these orders be replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards, following literally years of discussions and debate about the DoLS frameworks introduced just over a decade ago.  It’s never quite worked as hoped and the 2014 Cheshire West case brought thousands more people with the grasp of DoLS and there have been problems and debates ever since.

Liberty Protection Safeguards are the end result of a Law Commission report and the Government’s own...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
"This blog by its very purpose has touched on political points only when matters of the application of justice and associated considerations have been applicable."  I wrote that previous sentence on 25th May 2016 a month before the Referendum. I am not inhibited from its repetition. There are two words which underlie our current political situation and which are bedevilling so many countries near and distant: nationalism.....identification with one's own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations and populism.....a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups. They are like peaches and cream or salt and pepper: foods which appeal to our basic tastes.  

The foundation of any democracy is not just the commonly held view of "law `n order". It is a populace`s consideration that that concept applies to all people in equal measure whatever their standing...

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Police: Communicating Clearly

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

I’m not sure how many inquiries and thematic reviews in to public services have ended up focussing on clear communication and information exchange – this has certainly been said during investigations and inquests where the police became involved in mental health incidents. There more than are a few situations where clarity of communication between organisations tends to be problematic and I want to focus on a few of them, by way of making the same point: that we need to be both clear and precise with each other about what we’re asking and saying as we work in partnership to put those of us affected by our mental health at the centre of decision making.

  • Threat / risk assessment – if we’re saying that someone is facing a level of risk and we need to support each other in managing it, what is that risk and how likely is it to be realised?
  • Legal context – what is the legal situation within which the request sits? For example, is the patient you’re asking us to return, subject to a legal framework which allows for...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

There was a time when the term "supervisory body" was self explanatory:-  a board of management of which non managerial workers are members, having supervisory powers over some aspects of management decision-making. There was a time when there was confidence in the functioning of such bodies and the decisions that emanated from them.  That time has, in my humble opinion, long passed its sell by date. The appeals systems in the criminal courts has failed all too often whether by default or design. Its slow coach approach has led to too many convictions being overturned only after inordinate delay but of course in such cases the general public couldn`t give a hoot.  That was until the whole sorry story of Hillsborough was revealed after three decades of procrastination by all the supervisory bodies involved. The rape scandals in Rochdale and other towns would never have continued as they did if the so called supervisory bodies locally and nationally had done the job their members were paid to...

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Police: Assisting on Voluntary Basis

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

This post comes at the direct request of a mental health professional, touching on matters I’ve written about before but which keep coming up, somewhat resistantly – it follows an incident where officers local to them came to an Emergency Department with a person in handcuffs for NHS assessment around their mental health and where the liaison staff had questions about the legal situation. During discussion, it was suggested the police should consider the application of s136 MHA, but the officers (who no doubt have a perspective to offer that may not be identical) chose not to follow this suggestion. And to be completely fair, they may have had their reasons – many people don’t realise, for example, that the use of handcuffs by the police is not JUST something that is done following an arrest; or even during a detention under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Police officers can and do use handcuffs to restrain people in a number of situations, relying on a number of legislative authorities to do so. For example,...

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Police: A new decade and new strategy

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

I want to start 2020 by saying thank you for the great work over the seasonal period. We came back after what is a generally a busy period in good shape. This is very much my reflection of 2019. We are all pulling together! 2020 is a big year so let me make a few points:

We are reliable: Call handling times are good. There is a good use of webchat. We are much more reliable on attendance to calls. Great work.

We are cutting crime: Homicides have reduced. Burglary and vehicle crime are falling as are firearms discharges. Robbery is static. There are promising signs on violence. Positive outcome rates in these key crimes are good. Great work.

We have challenges: There is a big pressure to reduce outstanding domestic abuse offenders. This area of demand is still going up. We want to bring more people to justice for rape. Everyone needs to support PPU colleagues who work so hard. We need to make a bigger dent in violence.

We are recruiting: We are recruiting around 24 police officers a week. That’s not just to replace...

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Police: New CPS Guidance

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

One of the last things I did at the College of Policing was attend a meeting in London with the Crown Prosecution Service who had begun to review their guidance on the ‘prosecution of mentally disordered offenders’. The CPS issue prosecution guidance on a large number of topics, all publicly available on their website and they’d decided mental health guidance needed revising. First things first: the title of the old guidance sounded date and pejorative by modern standards so I’m glad to find that new guidance gets rid of the term ‘mentally disordered offenders’. Apart from anything else, as Professor Jill PEAY points out in her (wonderful) book “Mental Health and Crime” from 2010, it’s not a straight-forward enterprise to determine a mentally ‘disordered’ offender from a mentally ‘ordered’ one.

So in October 2019, the CPS issued two new documents –

If you’re involved in criminal investigation in the police, you’ll need to read both of these.


In light of the number of discussions I had over...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
The Home Office and the Ministry of Justice are at it again. Like every government for the last twenty years crime and punishment makes its pitch for a few headlines to show that in addition to the two competitors; education and the NHS, this government is going to keep you safe by punishing the bad guys. From Tony Blair making his pitch in 1993 to today`s announcement  on tougher sentences and monitoring  of terrorists the tone doesn`t change and it`s unlikely that results will prove the benefits promised.  In essence legislation will be enacted so that convicted terrorists would not be eligible for parole and those convicted of preparing acts of terrorism or directing a terrorist organisation will spend at least 14 years behind bars. The Home Secretary has told us that there would be increased police and that a probation service ruined by failing Grayling as Justice Secretary under Cameron would be given the resources to manage offenders after they are released. This is an assurance that a probation...

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Shijuro (nearer Go-juro though...)is not georgedixon's Blog (10)
Shijuro (nearer Go-juro though…) is not georgedixon's relatively honest Blog (10)
Shijuro (nearer Go-juro though…) is not georgedixon's relatively honest Blog (10)
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