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419
17th Nov 2004, 22:32
Todays Daily mail had a write up about child convicts in Victorian times.

Charles Evans, 14. Stole 2 pairs of boots. 3 days hard labour, and whipped.

Sarah Coker, 13. Larceny. 1 month hard labour, and 4 years in reformatory.

Sidney Fry, 15. Stole a coat. 2 months hard labour, and 3 years in reformatory.

Etc....... I bet not many of them were constant re-offenders.

My local paper today, also had a write up.

Mark Winters, 42. Drunk driving (nearly 4 times over the limit), no insurance, driving whilst disqualified, and failing to stop after an accident.
"Given one last chance by Magistrates". Will not go to jail, despite having 71 previous convictions, including a 5 year ban and time in jail for drink driving.

What planet are these magistrates from?. I suppose he will have to kill someone before he gets sent away.

419

Paracab
17th Nov 2004, 22:49
Occasionally you hear of a 'joyrider' who is under 17 years old being 'banned' from driving, often the ban expires before they reach the age at which they are entitled to drive.

I have never understood that because it doesn't make any sense.

Can any legal prooners help to explain the logic behind that one ?

Can't help but think that is that sort of ban does nothing to stop re-offending.

Onan the Clumsy
17th Nov 2004, 23:00
I bet not many of them were constant re-offenders I wouldn't be surprised if in fact they were. Punishment is only a deterrent if you think you are going to get caught.

However, I am can express an accord with the thoughts underlying your last two paragraphs.

Blacksheep
18th Nov 2004, 07:29
Of course there were re-offenders. Their descendants can be found all over Australia.

eal401
18th Nov 2004, 08:28
What planet are these magistrates from?. I suppose he will have to kill someone before he gets sent away.
No planet in this solar system. With luck, the one killed will be one of their loved ones, maybe then they'll be stirred into action.

ontrackfor
18th Nov 2004, 08:45
I too am confused where the magistrates hail from. Nowhere I know of.

At the end of the day, it is up to parliment to make the legislative changes nessicary to keep judgments within the bounds of reason.
On the other hand, given the attention span of people, M.P.s shouldn't have to worry about getting up off their benches for this one. And so the problem gets worse.

Standard Noise
18th Nov 2004, 09:32
Magistrates seem to hide behind the excuse of "It's the longest sentence this court is allowed to give out......"
It beats me therefore, why so many magistrates are hell bent on giving serial offenders virtually no punishment at all. If they exercised a bit more judgement/wit/common sense or whatever you want to call it, they would give maximum sentences AND lobby their superiors for more powers.

Mind you, I thought magistrates could refer cases to a higher court if they were convinced that justice would be better served where the offender stood a better chance of being given a sentence more befitting the crime.

I think the govt, police, legal system and judiciary all must shoulder some of the blame for their leniency driving us toward a more criminal society where the problem is now so bad, that to have all cases committed to a crown court would lead to a crash in the system. By using magistrates courts to keep up conviction rates even if they are handing out feeble punishments, the govt of the day gets to trot out nice statistics to keep us sheep happy. And as we all know, statistics tell us bugger all.

Maybe time for SN to find out how he may sneak onto the bench and start redressing the balance!:E
I'm sure all you right minded, criminal hating prooners out there would give me glowing character references in my bid to even up the score.:ok:

MadsDad
18th Nov 2004, 10:21
ontrackfor

I too am confused where the magistrates hail from. Nowhere I know of.

The simple answer is that they apply to become a magistrate, just like applying for a job. (A friend of mine used to sit on the local selection commitee).

So the answer is anywhere really - anyone who wants to apply can (although there are some disqualification grounds such as having criminal record, or being a serving police officer) but after that it's down to the selection commitee. One thing is though the majority of applicants tend to be older, middle-class (the rewards aren't great, no pay, and these people can afford the time necessary).

Unwell_Raptor
18th Nov 2004, 11:12
I am one of several serving magistrates who are Pruners. I have been doing the job for nearly twenty years. There are far too many complex questions above for me even to attempt to deal with them, but let me assure you of one thing:- magistrates do not make the law, they only apply it. The 28,500 JPs currently sitting are all ordinary citizens who have their own private opinions, but the judicial oath that we take means that we promise to 'do right by all manner of people, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will'.

Members of my Bench, which is in outer London, are more or less evenly divided between male and female, and our ethnic profile is pretty close to that of the Borough we serve. Although we have members from all strata of society we are predominantly middle class professional and managerial types. That is not policy, it just reflects the profile of the people who volunteer. There is active encouragement for the widest possible range of people to offer themselves.

We have no professional pilots but we had a supertanker captain until he recently retired, and we have an ATCO. We have company directors, teachers, a physiotherapist, a drinks salesman, a banker, nurses, a car trader, a train driver, a fireman and a caterer, among others.

If anyone is seriously interested, have a look at the website at http://www.magistrates-association.org.uk/ which explains the appointment process and the duties.

Magistrates handle more than 95% of all criminal cases, and we are trained to reach our decisions in a structured way, taking advice on the law when necessary from our legally qualified clerk. We certainly don't just rummage around in the box marked 'sentences' until we find one with the defendant's name on it.

One poster compains : "Magistrates seem to hide behind the excuse of "It's the longest sentence this court is allowed to give out......"

Well, what would you have us do? Make it up as we go along?

If any Pruner wants to come along and see what we do, PM me and I will fix it. It isn't as simple as it looks, I promise.

Onan the Clumsy
18th Nov 2004, 12:10
I'd be very interested to see it from the inside, though my current location would provide a certain hinderence to the arrangements.

I was involved in an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon case recently and had to attend a Grand Jury hearing. They are all normal people who serve for I think it was three months, for very little pay. They basically decide whether the case will go to court (a True Bill) ornnot (a No Bill).

I shall avoid explaining the reason I was asked to attend, just suffice it to say that from now on you'd all better be nice when you respond to my posts ;)

airship
18th Nov 2004, 14:11
419, I didn't realise that one needed a license or insurance to drive in Lagos. Perhaps they were just using Mr. Winters as an example during these more enlightened times in Nigeria coupled to the fight against corruption etc.? :rolleyes: ;)

Seriously though, magistrates these days must often find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Back in Victorian times, one imagines that the value as such of a younger person was not debated very much. Either one had connections or else one was thrown in with all the other detritus. I can quite easily imagine that the magistrate who sent down 13 year old Sarah for 4 years of reformatory realised what probably awaited her. Who knows, perhaps the magistrate even profited from whatever reformatory entailed.

These days, a magistrate knows pretty well what awaits someone they sentence. They may hope that the receiving institution will be able to help to reconstruct the offender, that the offender will come out of it able to manage a more normal existence. But I think that those magistrates with a conscience have probably come to the same conclusion I have. Which is that wherever the offender doesn't represent a clear and immediate danger to another person, that person deserves every chance not to be put inside.

And as far as short sentences go, 30 days might as well be 30 months. Who has an employer willing to keep the job open? Who has sufficient savings to cover the rent/mortgage and other loan repayments? Even after 30 days, I imagine a lot of people will have found their previous lives completely destroyed. So when a magistrate appears to have been soft, I like to think that he has on the contrary been extremely vigilant. Something has to be done in order that society is protected from the truly dangerous but that everyone else has a chance to make it back...

My 2 piddling cents worth... :*

Blacksheep
18th Nov 2004, 15:58
We have a Public Persecutor in our family. She usually works Crown Court these days but does the occasional drunk driving in the Magistrates Court. She tells me that drunk driving is often very complicated and not as cut and dried as it seems - in order to get a conviction they have to be especially careful with the charge itself and the way the evidence is presented. I know that it looks easy to us laymen, but I bow to her own professional expertise in her own specialist area. It would be interesting to learn from the court record exactly what were the circumstances behind Mr. Winters's "one last chance" but perhaps some technical error crept into the police evidence that resulted in this outcome?

419
19th Nov 2004, 17:04
Now, this is what you call justice. (From the Atlanta Journal)

The charges against Marsh include 122 counts of burial service fraud, 439 counts of theft, 179 counts of abuse of a corpse and 47 counts of making false statements. The total prison sentence for the 787 felonies could amount to more than 8,000 years .

Still, I bet he gets 95% remission for good behaviour, and they let him out after only 400 years!

bjcc
19th Nov 2004, 17:42
Blacksheep,

I think you have misunderstood, Mr Winters was found guilty. The magistrates when sentencing him decided to give him one last chance and chose not to send him to prison. That has nothing whatsoever to do with Police evidence.

Drink Drive's are very straight foreward. In the days before the Crown Prosecution Service, I used to deal with my own not guilty drink drives, no problem. Having seen the farce of the CPS dealing with a guilty plea drunk once, I then I am not suprised they find drink drive 'complicated'.

Standard Noise

To lay the blame for sentencing at the door of anyone except for magistrates/judges is wrong. The Goverment pass law, they don't apply it. The Police arrest and bring a person before a court, they have no input into sentencing. The magistrate or Judge make thioer decision based on many things as Unwell_Raptor says. Police are often as frustrated as anyone else that those sentences appear lax.

Unwell_Raptor
19th Nov 2004, 19:19
"The prison sentence for the 787 felonies could amount to more than 8,000 years"

That reminds me of the judge in the Deep South of the USA who sentenced a man of 55 to 99 years.

"Judge" he cried: "There's no way I could serve that sentence"

"Just do the best you can" came the reply.

Standard Noise
19th Nov 2004, 21:07
bjcc - I think you misunderstood me, while sentencing is indeed down to the judge/magistrate, it is the govt, in all it's guises, which lays down the law and sentencing tariffs. So if many sentences are too lenient, and magistrates powers not strong enough in our ever changing world, then it is up to the govt to change this as it is within their power.

As for the Police, they need to be more fair in the execution of their duty and I would suggest that a zero tolerance policy toward ALL crime would be a good place to start, rather than what appears to be a policy of picking and choosing which cases to persue depending on the chances of securing a conviction. Most householders/car owners want more than just a crime number for the insurance, they want the police service (and lets remember that this is a service, one which we as taxpayers, pay for!) and the legal system to actually do something about crime and criminals.

The CPS, although not responsible for the cases brought to them, appear, to lay people, to be also persuing only cases where they believe they will gain an easy conviction or cases which are nice and politically correct.

Maybe if magistrates started handing out maximum sentences (regardless of the poor lambs having come from broken homes and having 3 kids by their 16 yo girlfriend), it may deter more people from a life of crime. I pay my taxes in good faith, I'd just like to think they are not being wasted.:mad:

bjcc
19th Nov 2004, 22:01
Standard Noise

I can see where you are coming from, but it is not a goverment function to decide sentences in individual cases. Irrespective of the what the max penelty there has to be scope to give a lesser sentence, for instance for pleading guilty and not wasting the taxpayers money you mention.

There also has to be a difference between degrees of an offence. For instance an assault that happens as the rsult of 2 people being drunk and stupid on a friday eveing is different to an unprovoked assault on say an old person. I am sure you wouldn't regard both of those as deserving the same maximum sentence.

Zero tolerance is a good idea, in theory, but given the time needed to deal with an offence, within a few hours you would have no police left on the streets. Therefore to some extent they have to pick and choose, or use discression.

As for householders wanting more than a crime reference number, well again yes and no, in my experience its about 50-50. Some only want the number, and realise that come hell or high water you are never going to catch the person that broke in, even if you threw every officer in the country at it. Some do want something done, but again there has to be a line drawn somewhere. There are also a number that didn't want police arresting anyone because thier insurance company might wonder why they were claiming for things that were not nicked.

Sadly its a fact of life, like many offences, if no one saw (or will admit to seeing) the suspect, or he can't be identified by some other method, then thats it...

The public have a duty to prevent crime, and if they wont come forward and do that, then it matters not how many police there are, you wont detect crime. At the end of the day it is those same people who don't come forward that suffer when thier own homes are broken into.


The CPS will tell you that they have limited resouces and therefore can't prosecute everyone. Thats the price you pay for having a solicitor appear at court with everything. Before they came along, certainly in the Met Police, the arresting officer appeared in court and prosecuted unless it was complicated. That was cheaper and because the officer had invested time and effort into it, he usualy did his best to secure a result. I once watched a CPS solicitor give the brief facts for a drunk that pleaded guilty...it went on for about 10 minutes. The old system the facts would have been given before the prisoners bum had hit the dock bench.

Blacksheep
20th Nov 2004, 02:34
Ah them 'Good Old Days' again, bjcc. More than half of the convictions based on police prosecution in the Magistrates Court were being overturned upon appeal, for technical reasons. Thats one of the main reasons the CPS was brought into being, to make convictions stick.

bjcc
20th Nov 2004, 09:32
Blacksheep,

I'm sorry, but in 19 years I saw one appeal, and the conviction was upheld...whats more having been at 3 stations, known 100's of police officers I can't recall anyone being involved in an appeal which resulted in a conviction being overturned, let alone the 50% you claim. Thats not to say that appeals are not sometimes successful, but by no means are 50%. Quite what you mean by 'technical' reasons I have no idea, perhaps you can expand on that.

You have your figures totaly wrong! However, it would be interesting to see where you get your theory from. Numbers such as you claim would be headline news.....???????

I think you will find the CPS was introduced for other reasons, and it has to be said that it is not a total success!

Blacksheep
23rd Nov 2004, 06:42
I said half and you turned that into 50%. In simplifying a complex web of data I mis-stated the case and ought perhaps, to have said "almost half." The statistics given on the website of the UK Court Service show that around 28% of appeals against conviction and more than 70% of appeals against sentence were upheld. With easier access to legal aid (24 hour Duty Solicitor coverage) the number of appeals are up and the number of failures to obtain a conviction due to legal loopholes on evidence was rising. Bringing in trained lawyers was intended to improve the quality of the charges. The introduction of the CPS has not, as you say, been completely successful. Recent changes to the CPS procedures are meant to improve coordination between the CPS and the Police to ensure that the evidence presented properly supports the charge.

As to technicalities, what do you call it when the police fail to turn up at court (several times in a row despite plenty of notice) and the court dismisses the charges without hearing the case? I know of no less than five occasions this has happened in Luton and Bedford so far this month. Three cases where the arresting officer was on leave and two where they were away on training courses. For three months? Come off it... This technicality at least, will disappear under the latest procedures. I don't know about 'forgetting' to obtain a search warrant or losing evidence (aka the disappearing drugs syndrome) for example, though.

Mr Chips
23rd Nov 2004, 12:57
Sorry Blacksheep gotta step in.... I said half and you turned that into 50%. Wel... 50% is half!!!

You actually said More than half then went on to say around 28% of appeals against conviction
28% looks closer to one third, or maybe one third... not a half!!!
(I'm not counting appeals against sentence... because that is nothing to do with the Police!)

Also, you said that convistions were overturned on appeal due to "technicalities". You then suggest that Police notturning up is a technicality. Non attendance of a witness will lead to a case being dismissed surely.. not a conviction that can be appealed...

Other than that, all seemed fairly accurate!!!! ;)

bjcc
23rd Nov 2004, 18:41
Mr Chips

I thank you! Saved me dragging though maths text books to see if I'd missed something on percentages and fractions.

Blacksheep.

What you actualy said was...

'More than half of the convictions based on police prosecution in the Magistrates Court were being overturned upon appeal'

As as has been said your maths were slightly out on the subject. However that in itself is not the full story...Slighly over 1/4 of all convictions that ARE APPEALED are quashed. Which does not support your comments, even had you got your maths right. Not everyone appeals, in fact very few do.

Had your comment read ' Slightly more than a quarter of those that appealed against thier conviction are overturned on appeal' then you would have been more correct, but still very missleading.


First there are many reasons for appeals against convictions being allowed, not all of them being Police evidence. Sometimes its wrong decision by a magistrate or his missunderstand of the legislation. Sometimes it is a legal procedure error, and yes sometimes its the Police evidence, sometimes its because more evidence comies to light.

I have said on other posts I have taken people to court who I know are innocent, but because of the evidence provided by a third party I have had no choice but to have them charged.

Secondly there is no breakdown of who actualy brought the original charge that led to the overturned conviction. So how you can claim that all the successful appeals are Police Prosecutions is beyond me. Other agencies lay charges or apply for summonses, eg CAA, The TV Licening Agency and Customs and Excise. They all have had successful appeals against thier charges so that further reduces you claim of 50% appeals allowed because of Police Evidence.

Now, to move to your next point, Police not turning up at Court...Sorry a CPS foul up I am afraid. To refer back to the Good Old days, the Court Warning system was much better organised and the booking of leave was regualted by court appearences. Court dates were arranged around training courses.

Since the good old CPS took over, they ignore Police booked leave which they are informed of and have trials sheduled in the middle of it, then neglect to tell anyone.

If the Officer doesn't appear because he has not been warned then thats the warning systems fault, not that of the Police officer.

As for 'forgetting' to get a search warrant, a bit pointless continuing with a case if you have, because you know it will get slung, so doesn't happen. Disappearing drugs? A serious allagation that....I hope you have better evidence to back it up that you did with your earlier claims.

tony draper
23rd Nov 2004, 18:53
Item on that watchdog prog tonight, Cowboy Alarm company sell a alarm system to a old lady living in a two bedroom Bungalo and charge her 20,000 pounds for same,20,000 pounds!! how in the name of all thats holy are those people still walking the street?,when by rights they should be sitting in a cell on remand, the legal system in this country is one huge cosmic joke.
:*

gingernut
23rd Nov 2004, 20:32
I know that it looks easy to us laymen, but I bow to her own professional expertise in her own specialist area.

Sounds like the sort of bol:mad: cks that middle class professionals speak to justify their role.

Does the judiciary get it right?

bjcc
23rd Nov 2004, 21:16
tony draper
I didn't see it, but I couldn't agree more with you. Sadly like buying anything, you agree a price and thats that, whether it be Mars Bars, cars or alarm systems. We all know its bent, but not much you can do.

419
23rd Nov 2004, 21:30
T.D,
There was another prog on the TV a few days ago, regarding uninsured drivers. The police were pulling suspect drivers, and if they were uninsured, they gave them the option of going to court, (fixed penalty for first time offence 200!!) or having the vehicle confiscated, an option which they all took up. Then they were just allowed to walk. (they probably walked straight to the local auction, bought another heap for 100 and they drove illegally again).
Why couldn't they have been remanded to appear in court?, instead of being given a tiny slap on the wrist.

419

Nick Riviera
24th Nov 2004, 12:36
419

Think we watched the same programme. I was particularly taken aback by one traffic cop's insistence about how tough they were being on one uninsured driver they caught. This guy had no licence at all and was well known to the police. They confiscated his wreck of a van and the cop proudly announced how he would have a sh1tload of points put on his non-existent licence, so when the time came that he wanted to drive legally he would be banned from doing so! WTF?? This guy does not care about being banned. He doesn't have a licence for f***'s sake, but he happily drives around in deathtraps. The only way to get people like him off the road is to lock them up. But no one seems to have the guts to do this.

airship
24th Nov 2004, 13:21
I read this BBC article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4033513.stm) about a village in India where noone has a front door and noone has never been burgled...

OK, the cynics amongst you will say that a poor Indian villager probably won't have anything worth stealing. But they would still have clothes, food, pots and pans etc. That may represent a lot to anyone with nothing. So I was reminded that most theft in the Western world is effected with a view to reselling the stuff to others who can't afford to buy it normally. Someone is going to mention that some steal to feed their habits. If I am right, in India, you can just walk into a government-run store and buy your dose of hashish or whatever...

So that just leaves us with all the people who would like the use of something but can't afford their own. If we all left our front doors open, these people could just walk into house A with a DVD borrowed from house B and watch it on your fabulous Dolby Surround Sound 52" Plasma screen. If you owned a 52" Plasma tele, you probably wouldn't miss a few packs of crisps and a 6 pack of beer from the fridge?! And if your guests ensured they left the place as they found it, returning the DVD to its' home etc., who really loses out? If you own a flashy Golf GTI and want all the neighbours to know about it, then why not leave the keys in it when you don't need to use it? In time, your guests will come to respect your ability to gather riches more quickly than they can, but perhaps also appreciate that you too need the use of your car, so if they want to use the car for the weekend, they will ask...?!

People who are rich generally tend to flaunt it if they have nothing to hide from the taxman. All I'm suggesting is that they flaunt it all even more. "Yes, I have a Ferrari, come take a look. Want to have a go? Just bring it back before 7 this evening..." Of course, it'll cost you more in servicing and petrol. But the insurance premiums might even go down if theft became history. You'll make a lot more friends...?!

Anyway, anyone with a Testarossa around Nice who isn't using it this weekend? Not all at once please...! As per the title of this thread, I shall give preference to those who will be a little upset if I return the car a few hours late, but are willing to give me a little spanking for it...;)

bjcc
24th Nov 2004, 17:48
Nick Riviera

Perhaps the traffic officer didn't explain things very well....
Chummie does not have a driving licence, but DVLA create a notional licence for him. the points get added to that. He will therefore, when he gets caught enough times, be disqualified from driving...at which point big boys rules apply...first he gets arrested for the offence, and taken before the magistartes, and when they get sick of him he gets banged up....everyones comes again...given time!

419
24th Nov 2004, 19:33
Bjcc,
Some of the uninsured drivers weren't old enough to hold a licence. (one was 14), so the DVLA couldn't even set up a licence for him. He still had the vehicle confiscated, and it was said that the "points" would be added on to his licence when he applied for one, BUT, they still expire after a four years. So, if he waited until he was 18, he could legally get a licence with zero points on it.

419

bjcc
24th Nov 2004, 20:08
419

Irrespective of the age if someone commits an endorsable offence, DVLA create a licence. they add any points aquired to that licence, and should they reach the magic number then the person becomes disqualified from driving under the totting up rules(this is a seperate offence from not having a licence) There is a Power to arrest for this offence and the courts have a power to send a person to prison for it.

I can see your thinking over being too young to hold a licence, but the system works as I described it. At first its a pain, because you have to catch a person with no licence a few times, but then once they have accrued enough points to get disqualed its so much fun to then nick the little sods! Like I said, they allways come again, its just a matter of patience!

Mr Chips
24th Nov 2004, 22:52
BJCC I don't doubt your knowledge etc.. but i am sure that I have seen (on a documentary) a driver get charged with "driving while disqualified by reason of age".....

Nick Riviera
25th Nov 2004, 11:49
bjcc

I am at a loss to understand why driving while disqualified is considered a more serious offence than driving without a licence.

bjcc
25th Nov 2004, 13:56
Mr Chips

Never heard of it being done, but then that doesn't mean someone hasn't tried. The offence is driving while disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence, so its concievable it could be done.

Nick Riviera

Possibly because the offence is committed by people who have specificly been told and are prevented from driving, eg as the result of drinking and driving. Someone driving while disqualified cannot have insurance and thus that offence always follows along.

No driving licence COULD be committed by someone who would be entitled to have a licence but has not applied for one, eg forgien adult who has held a licence in thier own country but been in the UK for more than a year. In those circumstances the offence is not as serious for obvious reasons as someone who has specificly been banned from driving by a court.

Bern Oulli
25th Nov 2004, 16:58
As bjcc says, and as I have certainly seen in the courts in which I sometimes sit, persons with perfectly "valid" foreign licences who should have obtained a UK licence can be technically driving without a licence. However, as they must have some degree of competence, as judged by their own country, and as the licence would have got them a UK licence had they only applied for one, the offence is of a technical nature and viewed as less serious.

Driving while disqualified means that they have
a) been very naughty in the past and have been banned by a court, and
b) chosen to disregard a court order, something all courts regard as almost showing contempt.

As has been said, a disqualified driver cannot be insured and so the offence becomes even more serious. Where I sit, the thinking point is always custody and circumstances would have to be unusual to say the least to persuade me otherwise.

Nick Riviera
30th Nov 2004, 12:10
So in the case of a 14 year old who has never had his competence proven by taking a test, would you consider this to be less serious than a person driving who had 20 years experience and who was currently banned for speeding? Are you seriously telling me that a 14 year old with plenty of previous has never been specifically told by a magistrate that he is not to drive?

bjcc
30th Nov 2004, 16:09
Yes it probably is as serious. Except the person who holds the licence knows the speed limits, and has chosen to ignore them. Thus he's been disqualified as a punishment for his ignoring legislation. If he has passed a driving test he will be above the age of 17, and would be well aware of the consequences. As he would be if he drove while disqualified.
As regards a14 year old, yes probably is aware he is not permitted to drive, but it is not the same offence unless he becomes disqualifed. And I have met a few 14 year olds who are far more compedent at driving than most adults.

bjcc
30th Nov 2004, 17:32
I agree, it shouldn't happen but it does.
14 year olds should comply with the law, and not drive when they are not licenced too, just as those that have driving licences should comply with the driving laws, regardless of what they think of them.

Paterbrat
30th Nov 2004, 17:38
bjcc, caught this comment in passing through the thread 'The public have a duty to prevent crime, and if they wont come forward and do that...' it strikes me in this rather precious day and age that if a member of the public were to step forward and do his/her bit and go for the Guinness Stout Effort Award, they stand a very good chance of being:
1) Sued by the criminal they were endevouring to prevent from commiting whatever nastiness he she they were about to/were in the act of.
2) Catching a good kicking/knifing by the antisocial individual who obviously is up for doing something unpleasent anyway.
3) Be had up for assault themselves.

bjcc
30th Nov 2004, 17:45
Paterbrat

Sued for what?

Get a good kicking? Does happen yes, but depends on what you do to prevent the offence. And if you wont risk that, why should you expect a Policeman too? (No, there is nothing in a Policemans conditions of service that allows him to recieve a kicking!)
Ringing 999 for instance wont get you a kicking, nor contray to propular belief will appearing in court as a witness.
I used to get sick and tired of people who obviously saw a previous burglary happen and did nothing moaning because they were then broken into. If you don't like crime, do something about it!

Had up for assault? Only if you go over the top restraining someone. Same as a Policeman would be.

Paterbrat
1st Dec 2004, 08:59
Quite agree, shouldn't happen but does. My respect has always gone out to the police, not B's Bs who to my mind seem to be a cheap diversion from funds which should go to the Police.