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Police: THIS JUDGE IS A BULLY

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I have opined in the past that Justices of the Peace seem to be more harshly treated for alleged transgressions than members of the professional judiciary. The recent case of a judge threatening to jail a 14 year old child if she cried in court whilst her mother was giving evidence is a case in point. HH has been criticised by the Court of Appeal. 

Such flagrant bullying of a minor should not be concluded with just a rap across the legal knuckles. He should be charged with misconduct. If it were a magistrate making those remarks s/he would be on the scrapheap in short order. Whether it is right that part time unpaid lay J.P.s should be dealt with on a different basis from full or part time professional judiciary is another matter to be debated at another time. 


Police: MAGISTRATES` MINIMUM AGE ON TWITTER POLL

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I have recently had a dispute on Twitter on the worthiness of young magistrates cf their older counterparts. Whilst a fresh pair of eyes looking at a situation cannot be criticised, as a reason for having a minimum age of 18 it does not hold water. Barely out of school and with, according to latest science, a still not fully developed brain, it is unlikely that at such an age justice can be dispensed with maturity, wisdom and unfettered by personal considerations.  This argument can of course be developed for many more words. The representative of diversity protagonists seem to be virtually unassailable these days  but for those interested I have tweeted a poll on Twitter @bloggingJP on this topic. Whether you agree with me or not make your opinion public anonymously.  


Police: MAGISTRACY BEING KILLED OFF

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I am increasingly convinced that the selection process for magistrates is flawed. During my time on the bench it was common knowledge that there were perhaps 5%-10% of colleagues who were not intellectually or otherwise of a standard comparable with the job. Sanctions were rarely applied. Already this month four magistrates have been before the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office.  Of these two have been removed from the magistracy owing to their failure to commit to the minimum number of sittings required and a third for drug possession. The fourth behaved in what only can be described in a crassly ignorant manner not befitting her position and was fortunate IMHO for not suffering the same fate as the other three. 

Altogether this year twelve Justices of the Peace have been removed from the magistracy the majority for failing to sit the minimum meagre requirement of a half day every fortnight; a schedule which does not allow the skills or knowledge necessary to be embodied in a lay magistrate sitting as a...

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Police: COURT ESCAPES

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
During my time as an active JP I was not personally in a court from which a defendant had escaped although there were a couple of such episodes in an adjoining courtroom.  In my very early days there usually was a uniformed police officer in the remand court and others in the vicinity as witnesses to one case or another.  That level of security tailed off in the late nineties. Some docks were secure particularly in the remand courts but others presented no barrier to a determined miscreant who might have decided to abscond or do harm to those present. Recently two violent offenders breached what little there was of court security at Worcester Crown Court and Grimsby Crown Court respectively. I am a blogger and not a research statistician. There are no easily obtained statistics on the numbers of individuals who have attempted or actually achieved an escape from court.  The nearest document of significance is listed below.  It is not dated nor does it offer the aforementioned numbers; I would opine that that is deliberate...

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Police: SHAME ON HIM!

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
It is extremely risky and perhaps foolhardy to describe the actions of others in life and death situations when sitting safely at a keyboard.  I will take my chances. When people sign up for the armed forces or the fire or police service they know that they are likely to be in some physical danger at some time(s) in their career.  Those who are promoted to leadership roles must have indicated to their superiors that in addition to perhaps exhibiting rare skills of management or expertise that they have not forgotten the basics of the job; ie to run towards the danger whilst the rest of us run from it.  It seems that the acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police at the time of the Westminster terrorist attack had forgotten these basics.  SHAME ON HIM! 


Police: ‘Mental Health Related’

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

For some while, it has been suggested that the police service need to define what they mean by an incident being ‘mental health related’. You know those claims you’ve heard may times about how X percent of police demand or police time is connected to mental health related jobs? … well, it’s always been true that we’ve never been entirely consistent or sure of what we’re counting.

When I first ventured the 20% figure on this BLOG many years ago, I knew what I was counting: I’d been keeping tallies as a response inspector of things going on whilst I was at work and would often take a snapshot of –

  • Detainees in custody flagged as having a mental health condition, or a warning marker for suicide or self-harm.
  • What percentage of people who are currently reported missing are absent from mental health care or whilst suspected to be at risk of their mental state?
  • Of all the 999 and 101 calls that land in a snapshot period (usually one or two hours), what percentage were in some what ‘mental...

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Police: Even More on ABD

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

Today the College of Paramedics produced their position statement on Acute Behavioural Disturbance and it adds weigh to those tomes I’ve previously pushed as authorities or resources on the subject. ABD continues to be a subject of debate, arising recently in another post I did during a pre-inquest hearing in Bournemouth in to the death of Mr Douglas Oak who was 35yrs old. In that matter, Dorset Police called for support from South West Ambulance Service after believing Mr Oak was suffering from ABD and the subsequent issues with ambulance attendance have led to a comparatively rare direction from the Coroner who is inquiring in to Mr Oak’s death at a young age.

Bearing in mind a full inquest is yet to occur and not scheduled to take place until 2019, the Coroner gave the ambulance service two weeks to produce more material on ABD and their policy or response to it, and suggested that unless she was satisfied she may issue a preventing future deaths report prior to the full inquest occurring. I’m not sure I’ve ever known...

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Police: LADY WINDEMERE AND LORD DARLINGTON HAD IT CORRECT

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
It seems that it is not only in the UK where police patrols on motorways are far less common than a decade ago; after having just returned from travelling on autoroutes in Normandy and Brittany the French police appear to be equally absent. Although road casualties in France are far higher than here I felt that the French hare brained, must get there quicker than you attitude has diminished. Indeed I felt confident crossing a road by a zebra crossing that traffic would stop.......and it did. Which brings me to yesterday`s announcement from the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire that he is giving additional discretionary powers to the county`s PCSOs.  Many years ago I posted on creeping practices across many professions of hailing the extra help that "assistants" would give to principals.  The argument went that the employment of such people at relatively low wages would free up time for their senior professionals and would thus be cost effective.  Such briefings always emphasised that the role...

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Police: The Good Life: Policing and Virtue Ethics.

Written by RSS Poster Catemoore's Blog

virtue ethicsThis Summer saw the first Policing Governance Summit from CoPaCC and Policing Insight. I am not one for the Conference circuit but I was honoured to be asked to present at this one as it was an opportunity to be heard by a range of PCCs and OPCC staff. I have reproduced my speech in full here, in the hope to continue the conversation. The book I refer to is Policing and Public Management: Governance, Vices and Virtues. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Policing-Public-Management-Governance-Virtues/dp/1138044180/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538072091&sr=1-1&keywords=Policing+and+Public+Management Whilst it is an academic offering, I found it engaging and inspiring enough to recommend it to everyone with an interest in future Policing. Professors Kevin Morrell and Ben Bradshaw have taken modern examples of UK Policing and managed to discuss them around a Virtue Ethics approach – no easy task, but a wonderful springboard for my mind – perhaps for yours too?

I should add, the thoughts around HMIC, tick box...

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Police: The Thankless Task

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

Have you ever been given a piece of work to do or faced some decision in your life where no matter what you do, you’ll be criticised? More than that: the vast majority of people will look at your decision and either criticise or comment that things could have been done differently?!

I’ve spent many hours this year, especially over the Summer, in various meetings associated with the Mental Health Act review. In particular, I was recently in the Advisory Group to the Review, chaired by Professor Sir Simon Wessely, past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Regious Professor of Psychological Medicine at King’s College, London. Whilst there, whilst listening to various people talking about the sensitive and important issues which may feature in the report the Professor must submit to the Prime Minister, two things ocurred to me:

  • Because of my general effort to blog a bit less often during 2018 than I did in 2017, I have managed to say precisely nothing on here about the review – and I should correct that as...

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