Everybody likes to win whatever the competition. The anodyne statement that "It`s the taking part that counts" is often just an excuse for losers. Organisations of all sizes and complexities will always seek to demonstrate that their performance in one way or another is the best or is improving at such a rate that confidence in its ability to do whatever it`s supposed to do is or has improved. Business, academia, trades, professions etc etc all provide statistics and/or analyses to indicate their success or to provide reasons (excuses) for a poor or unfulfilled performance. Nowhere IMHO is this approach more seriously undertaken than at the MOJ. It might be my imagination or incompetence but I have the clear impression that there are now fewer statistics published on dealings at magistrates` courts than in years gone by. For sure there are tables on courts` efficiencies and timeliness but I have today found it impossible to source numbers of defendants and convictions on charges of...
Dear reader I am typing this slowly as I know it’s a dry, boring subject that most of us don’t bother with, but unfortunately for you, I do. You may want to make yourself a cup of strong coffee before you read any further.
I have been looking at the strength of the various Police Forces post 2010. The Home Office and HMIC like to quote these numbers as “officers per 100,000 head of population”. I took a small liberty with this and I used “Constables per 100,000 head of population” as I don’t really care how many top-floor oiks there are, it’s the ground floor that interfaces with the public in the important ways.
Having aquired all the relevant data from official government statistics I laid it out and, unsurprisingly, EVERY single Force now has fewer Constables per 100,000 head of population, but the spread is not fair and even. Some have lost a far bigger percentage than others.
The luckiest Forces have only lost about 2% of their Constables (Surrey) , but others have lost as many as 30%...
With increasing concern at the plans of HMCTS to impose extended hours for court sittings Twitter has been a useful pointer. On Inside HMCTS Blog there is published a series of questions and observations to the organisation including by a couple of crown court judges. Surprisingly there is not a single word referring to or written by magistrates except an unanswered series of questions I noticed yesterday. I copy that part below and will do similar when a reply is published. 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?
Put the world to rights; that phrase is often used to describe conversations in the pub where Joe Everyman gives his opinion on what he would do to change the world between downing his pint and opening another packet of crisps. It is a derogatory way that the elite of this country describe the opinions of the plebs. There are, however, some situations where the elite have failed us, are failing us and will continue to fail us. Nowhere is this disdain for acting for the common good more apparent than in the panoply of our justice system. I have posted, perhaps too often, on the failure of government to divert addicts from the criminal justice system to the health services. The active removal of legal safeguards for defendants in our courts by the withdrawal of legal aid for those most in need is nothing short of a disgrace. The removal similarly of that benefit to parents in the family courts as demonstrated by the tragic matter of baby Charlie whose parents were able to seek justice whatever the outcome only...
It seems to this distant observer that a form of mob rule is gradually taking over certain areas or our lives. On a political level Big Chief Corbyn and his indian braves have asserted that one way to achieve power is by having a 1,000,000 protesters on the streets. This should not be a surprise. That he is an avowed Marxist who has made no secret of his intentions is clear from this speech in 2012. As is their historical profile those of similar philosophy have been involved (allegedly) when local groups have had and are having real concerns about decisions affecting their lives made by socially and politically distant often state connected organisations. The issues surrounding the Grenfell fire, genuine and perhaps criminal, are being used to undermine the fabric of the state and it is not unlikely that a few years down the line results of inquiries and prosecutions whatever the results will be used as stick to beat all authorities however involved. Actions of police are under the...
Actually, I don’t think it is time for a Royal Commission on policing in this country. I don’t think it’s time for anything that has the potential to be drawn out, bureaucratic and enormously expensive.
But I do think there is an urgent need for a proper, grown up, joined up, honest, objective and constructive conversation about policing in this country.
Take a glance at the current headlines:
Crime is up
The latest ONS crime figures point to an increase in overall crime of more than 175,000 offences. Of particular concern has to be the 18% increase in violent crime and the 14% increase in sexual offences.
And behind each number, there is a person – amongst them some of the most vulnerable people in society.
A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about knife crime. Last week we are talking about acid attacks. Both weeks we’ve been talking about mopeds. This week it may well be something else.
And we ask and expect the police to deal with it all.
Meet Monty our new 8 weeks old 'Cockapoo'. Different from the family of dogs we have had over the years and he will receive pure pet training. A great little character and thanks to the breeder Sarah Benson from Gainsborough for her help and advice.
Or it was at least, and it gives me absolutely no pleasure to write these words.
When I joined the Met a million years ago in 1972 the old sweats took delight in telling me that I was now part of the finest Police Force in the world, they were referring to the Met of course, but a case could have been made for almost any UK Police Force. British Policing was a model for so many others across the world. You only had to spend a handful of days at Hendon to trip over any number of foreign students studying something there, if only how to drive and skid.
I wasn’t originally going to write this post, and if you inhabit the world of Twitter you will have seen much of it already in separate tweets, twats, whatever.
I have had much to say about “the cuts” over the years, and I take none of it back, but today it finally hit me how deep the Crisis In Policing truly is. However, I’m not going to mention money at all in this pcost, but there will be a few numbers. Grim numbers. I’m not even going to rant, this...
You may have noticed the Care Quality Commission published a report this week on the State of Mental Health Care. Or maybe you were getting on with your life or your job, but I’ve given it as much time as I have spare and was very interested in what I read. The CQC run an ongoing programme of inspections across the mental health trusts of England (there is a separate inspectorate for Wales) and they are also the statutory regulator for the use of the Mental Health Act 1983. This week’s report seems, to me at least, to be a overview of the individual reports they produced in their last inspection round, peppered with a sprinkling of MHA insights. I hope I understood it correctly.
As ever these days, with so many reports to read and keep an eye on, I tend to sometimes use my iPad just to search for terms within the report that will be relevant to my work. Things as obvious as ‘police’ often through up little nuggets and so it proved with the CQC report.
Page 38, worth quoting a block of the text, if you have a...