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Police: Sadness tempered with pride

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

The last few weeks have seen many reasons to feel pride in the force. Some incredibly sad, some exciting.

PCSO Holly Burke’s tragic death has touched a great many of us because of its sudden nature and the fact it happened during a police operation. It has been hugely tough for colleagues and those involved in the case. I was pleased to see a significant turn out at her funeral from colleagues.

No less loved was PC Rakesh Sond who also sadly died. Again colleagues attending to show their love and support. Sad times often unify us.

Chief Constable David Thompson

Last week we saw the launch of the National Sikh Police Association here in the West Midlands. The new national association has been born out of our own Sikh Police Association who have used the great work they have done here to stimulate work across the country and now a new staff network. It was an inspiring day. Staff networks are vital for our force. They not only advocate for under-represented groups but they also invest huge time in bridging the links...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
The government departments which have the greatest influence over the manner of the work that Justices of the Peace undertake are, surprise surprise, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. In May 2006 a previous Home Secretary John Reid admitted that when he was the incumbent the department was "not fit for purpose".  His honesty then has been borne out many times since.  The current prime minister oversaw so many failings when she was Reid`s successor it should have been a red light to her colleagues when she was placed in Downing Street purely as the least objectionable of a rum lot. But the lemmings in the Tory Party allowed themselves to be led towards the inevitable cliff where her and their incompetence are likely to bring at the best,  years of political and economic problems and street violence and a Marxist government at worst. 

Faced with the problem of the Isis teenager from East London telling the media she has no regrets over her actions and expecting public sympathy the current Home...

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Police: A 10 Point Plan for Policing

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

I’m sitting on a train bound for Cardiff where, later today, I will have the privilege of spending a bit of time in the company officers and staff from South Wales Police. I’ll be talking to them about the day I fell seriously ill and the reasons why I think it happened. I’ll be telling them about the long, long road to recovery.

I love policing with all my heart and soul – I always have and I always will. It’s a heck of a job though – placing the kinds of demands on people (body, mind and soul) that most of the rest of us would struggle to imagine, much less endure. Police officers go where most wouldn’t and they do what most couldn’t. I love them for it.

But as I look round me in policing at the moment, I see more good people operating under substantially more strain than at any previous point in my lifetime. Crime is rising – certainly crime of the most serious kinds. Levels of recorded knife crime are now the highest they have been since the end of World War II. Demand is rising too, not least as a...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I have long been in favour of the decriminalisation of drugs which are currently prohibited; heroin, cocaine and marijuana and the derivatives manufactured to get round current regulations which are sometimes more lethal than the originals on which they are based.  In the case of marijuana many jurisdictions have already legalised the drug in particular form.  The swinging sixties so called was an era of "weed" or "joint" or "squiff" the active ingredient of which is  tetrahydrocannabinol. However, already more than 70 different cannabinoids have been identified so far. These compounds have a chemical structure that is much related to THC, but their biological effects are quite different.  The current popular derivative among users is commonly called "skunk" which is a vastly different product and has more serious side effects than its ancestor of half a century ago.  Users of this and other prohibited substances have no knowledge of what they are taking and almost every day news media contain tragic stories of the...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
It seems a judge, not just a HH but a High Court judge  has been caught sleeping on the job. Unlike JPs who fail similarly she was allowed to remain in post. For an entertaining recent history of such failings read my post of 14th August 2015.


Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

It is perhaps not widely known that when a defendant is fined at court after conviction the fine is payable immediately and sometimes, just sometimes, it is paid immediately. There are those, however, who appear to treat the whole court and legal process as an interruption to their feckless relentless life of contempt for any kind of authority. Reading regularly in various publications of the amount of unpaid fines, £500 million, a £billion or even more........who knows the exact figure at any time.........reminded me of an experience shortly before my retirement. 

Joe faced fine and various court costs of £190.00 and when told the sum was due on the spot protested he had no money. When he was asked that knowing he was coming to court to plead guilty had he not realised he would be fined he moved his head inconsequentially. After another ineffectual exchange he was told to turn his pockets out. He refused. The jailers were told to take him to the cells and have his pockets emptied. Shouting obscenities...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I have posted more than a few times on ASBOs and the like. Use the search box for posts.  Essentially they are civil orders breaching of which is a criminal offence.  I would term them displacement orders insofar as eg Drink Banning Orders can order the miscreant to do his/her boozing in another county or another town.  There have even been cases where the order has been nationwide.  They are IMHO a complete waste of time and an abrogation of our society to deter and if necessary punish people for their criminality.  But and it`s a big "but" they are simple and cheap to operate. And for the last nine years it appears that our criminal justice system is like the original motto of Tesco; pile it high and pile it cheap. The ASBO, CRASBO and DBO`s latest incarnation is the Knife Crime Prevention Order.  For actual details access this link. Stop and search operations were drastically curtailed by Theresa May as Home Secretary because it was asserted that they unfairly targeted young black men...

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Police: The death of Kingsley Burrell

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

I think it appropriate to share my view on this case.

Mr Burrell’s death takes place in a context. This shapes how we view any story and it is different for all of us, as are the emotions that this case generates.

Chief Constable David Thompson

Chief Constable David Thompson

I make no challenge on the validity of anyone’s views of the context of this story as this is based on their values, views and life experience.

It is for this reason my reflections begin with some facts.

Mr Burrell should not have died.

Both the NHS and West Midlands Police owed him a duty of care. He was very unwell.

Mr Burrell was not detained by the police on the day of his death for policing matters. Officers went to Mary Seacole House on the 30th March 2011, the NHS premises where he was held under the Mental Health Act, at the request of NHS staff because they could not control him, as well as concerns about threats to NHS staff and self-harm. The officers placed him under restraint and then took him with NHS staff to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment and he...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I have voted Tory since 1979. The late seventies showed that the trade unions and the Labour Party had brought ruin to the country and the Tories under Margaret Thatcher had shown that their own moribund attitudes were for the past. The three day week and reading by candlelight were their nadir. In 1997 John Major with his determination to integrate the £ sterling with a "basket of European currencies" was so out of tune with the voters that they and I voted in a democratic social democratic party under the Labour label. We all had a clear choice.  We are now told by those who make their living commenting on the political situation that there could be an election at any time. And what is our choice?  A government led by a totally incompetent and personally unsuitable person who was appointed to her post because she was the second or third choice who aroused the fewest objections of a parliamentary party with the combined political IQ of a toad. She is bringing us closer to national ruin in so many aspects of our daily lives...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
One would have thought that suggesting there was a bomb and assaulting a security officer in the vicinity of the threat at Heathrow, would have been enough for an intending passenger to be arrested on suspicion and eventually charged with appropriate offence(s). In the case of the son of a world famous singer he was, unlike many who have committed similar offences, cautioned by police.  This was a disgraceful dereliction of duty by the police.  The officers involved and any superiors who agreed the caution should be charged with misconduct.  

How can police who often are under great pressures hope to command public respect with their becoming judge and jury and coming to such an inadequate conclusion?

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