MP Philip Davies has been at it again. If you have the time have a look at some of the questions he has been asking, especially of that waste of taxpayers money, the Equal Opportunities Commission. We seem to have one MP in Parliament who is down to earth and sees the justice system and political correctness for the sham it is.
These are his views on the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill currently going through Parliament. This is yet another piece of legislation that will ensure that even fewer persistent offenders will be sent to prison. The result being that even more prolific offenders will be roaming our streets looking for even more victims. Unfortunately, his views will simply ensure that Mr Davies career is a short lived one. You don't get anywhere in Parliament without toeing the party line.
This link is to the Daily Mail. I do not usually read the tripe in that rag but I have been able to verify, in this case, the facts are largely true. This highlights the complete ineffectiveness of the justice system in protecting the public from criminals. Persistent offenders with hundreds of convictions are routinely bailed and given non custodial sentences. The whole focus is on the offender and saving money. Victims and public protection are at the bottom of the list.
I am currently compiling an article regarding my thoughts on the current justice system. This will be an honest personal view and will not reflect the political claptrap infested in senior police management from Government. Watch this space.
There was a lot of fuss when Smiley Culture decided to kill himself rather than face justice. Allegations that the Met Police had murdered him. Allegations of racism, along the lines that the police couldn't accept a black man could be a successful businessman rather than a drug dealer.
The press and certain sections of the Croydon community have been very quiet following the conviction of three of Smiley's accomplices for conspiracy to supply drugs. The convictions mean that the jury accepted that Smiley Culture was the architect of this conspiracy involving the importation of cocaine to this country. Smiley paid for five British drug mules to travel to Barbados and collect 30 kg of cocaine. They were arrested at Barbados airport. Smiley was due to travel on the same plane back to Britain as the mules. One of the mules told police he had paid for four previous similar trips.
So let's drop all the Smiley is innocent claptrap and let's instead start denouncing drug dealers and criminals in the community and encouraging young people to get an education and lead law abiding, useful lives.
But the other 649 are still taking their sleeping tablets.
Tory MP for Shipley, Philip Davies has been asking a lot of questions regarding sentencing of persistent offenders. Despite what I and other bloggers have been saying for ages, he has been shocked by some of the answers he has received. Only a third of persistent offenders with 15 or more convictions are being sentenced to imprisonment on further conviction.
He also asked questions about those charged with assaulting police and was also shocked to find a man with 462 convictions and cautions, 31 for assault on police was not jailed for a further charge of assault on police. A similar offender had 241 previous convictions, 36 for assault on police, and he wasn't jailed either. A female offender with 78 convictions, 31 for assault on police, was not jailed.
The prisons are bursting at the seams. We don't effectively deal with persistent offenders and so they carry on offending until they do something so serious (murder, rape, GBH etc.) that we have to jail them for a long time. Community punishments are almost completely ineffective and are treated as a joke by persistent offenders. The 'Justice' Minister, Kenneth Clarke, has made it clear that we will be having more not less community punishments as we cannot afford to lock up any more offenders.
Readers of this blog will know that I do not adhere to a policy of just locking people up and throwing away the key. Everyone deserves a chance and fines and community punishments can be effective for some low level offending. Community punishments need to be far more effective with deterrent and rehabilitative elements. Offenders who continue to offend need to go to jail. Jails likewise should have punitive and rehabilitative elements. People with more than 15 convictions should automatically receive the maximum penalty for that offence unless there are exceptional grounds to reduce.
The Government says we cannot afford this investment. If you don't want crime increasing again. if you don't want to live in a society where there is no respect for anyone. If you don't want more riots a la last August, we cannot afford not to invest.
'Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.' That was the thought of English jurist, judge and politician William Blackstone. It is quite right that the Crown have to prove a case beyond all reasonable doubt. One of the problems in our society is that reasonable has now stretched to any outlandish tale that despite its unlikelihood might possibly be feasible.
What this means is that hundreds of guilty people are walking away free and victims are not getting the justice they deserve. Why is it that the public when they are victims can see that offenders tales are pure bunkum but when you put them on a jury they become gullible putty in the hands of defence lawyers?
Here are brief examples of recent cases in my area where the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have decided that there is insufficient evidence to have any realistic chance of a successful prosecution.
1. A van containing two men stops and the passenger gets out and threatens a pedestrian with a knife. The offender steals the pedestrians wallet and telephone and then gets back in the van, which drives away. A witness sees the offence and takes the vans registration number. The police trace the van an hour later and arrest the driver. There is no sign of the passenger. In interview the driver states that his passenger asked him to stop so he could speak to a friend. He stated he had no idea that the passenger had robbed anyone. He refused to name the passenger. CPS decided there is insufficient evidence to prosecute.
2. A 16 year old youth gets off a bus. Nearby are a group of about 8 young men. The youth attempts to walk past the group but they surround him. He is punched to the ground and repeatedly kicked causing cuts and bruising. The victim knows one of the group by name, a 20 year old man who has 15 previous convictions, including violence. The victim cannot state that the named suspect was one whose fist or boot assaulted him. The suspect is arrested. He admits being one of the group. He states that he did not assault the youth nor did he see any of the group assault the youth. He will not name any of the group of suspects. Insufficient evidence to prosecute.
3. A car is stolen and then later abandoned. It is forensically examined and a thumb print of a suspect is found on the rear view mirror. The suspect is arrested. He initially makes no comment and then following disclosure of the thumb print he states that he was given a lift in the car by a friend. He states he had no idea that the car was stolen. He did not drive the vehicle. He may have touched the rear view mirror as he had some dirt in his eye. He refused to name the driver. Insufficient evidence to charge.
Police officers reading this will not be at all surprised and will have hundreds of similar stories to tell.
The police and the rest of the criminal justice system are vilified for failing to detect these crimes, failing victims and justice. We need to review the law to ensure that more offenders face justice for their crimes. Is it not time that we consider changing the law so that an inference of guilt should be made against those that refuse to support justice by failing to name suspects or offenders?
The opinions and views expressed here are mine, and mine alone. They do not necessarily reflect the policies and views of the Utopian Police Force nor the City of Utopia.
The stories I tell here are all true but my purpose is not technical accuracy. My purpose is to illustrate the nature of policing in an educational and entertaining way.
I have tried to respect the privacy of the citizens of the city and to relate specific facts without identifying individuals. I believe I succeed in this but if you do recognize yourself and believe others will too, please contact me and I shall rectify it.