View Full Version : Another policeman in trouble

19th May 2005, 11:49
I won't add to the discussion about the speeding policeman but it is interesting to compare the judge or magistrate's comments with this:

District Judge David Simpson said: "There's a lot of talk about respect and the lack of it. Respect is not something you get by putting on a uniform.

"I believe respect should be earned."

From this link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4561131.stm

19th May 2005, 12:57
CarryOn Luggage:

The link to the transcript of that BBC report defies comprehension. What exactly has happened to our policeforce?

I'd like to believe it's an "isolated incident" or "one bad apple", and that's what the Met. would have us believe. However I think the real truth is a good deal more disturbing.

I note that the officer (if you could call him that - "ignorant pig" would be more appropriate - except it would be an insult to pigs) has been suspended - but I wouldn't mind betting that when the dust has settled he keeps his job. I hope I'm proven wrong!

Onan the Clumsy
19th May 2005, 14:15
The boy used his mobile phone to record Pc David Yates, 26, allegedly making threats and swearing. What the problem? When I were a lad, they ALWAYS used to make threats and swear when they arrested me. It wouldn't have seemed right otherwise. :confused:

What are the laws about recording a conversation without informing all participants it's being recorded? In the US it's illegal, therefore this should be inadmisable evidence and the youth should be done for illegal recording. :8

Of course that was never a problem for Linda "I have no friends" Tripp

Metro man
20th May 2005, 06:30
And how many incidents occur every day where the police are subjected to abuse ? Unless the officer concerned is killed or seriously injured no mention is made of it at all.

So some little rat bag got verballed big deal. Whilst we have the right to expect high standards from the police it is unreasonable for us to expect to be protected by them whilst we tie their hands behind their backs with politically correct left wing drivel.

Some one has to deal with the scum of this world, rather make it easy for them.

Bern Oulli
20th May 2005, 06:58
Well really Metro man, I think your predjudices are showing. What evidence do you have that the teenager being arrested was "a little rat bag"? And your implied suggestion that he was "scum"? We are not informed as to why he was being arrested, but whatever the reason there is no excuse for the police officer to use what I can only describe as threatening behaviour. Not swearing and not threatening the use of violence would hardly "tie their hands behind their backs with politically correct left wing drivel."

20th May 2005, 08:18
Bern Ouli:

Spot on! If police officers are properly trained then they, like other "customer service" personnel will know how to deal with all manner of abbusive and generally unpleasant people without resorting to the language of the gutter.

From the report on Radio 4 last night it seems the young man had form - and from the recording of the confrontation I heard it seems as though in the opinion of the officer, he had got away with some previously, through the mistakes of either the officer, or one of his colleagues.

What I find slightly odd is that the complaint regarding the officer's behaviour from the politcally correct mob is about the racist remark "arab", rather than the officier's conduct in general. The logic of that is that a 26 year yob in a police uniform can swear like a trooper at any member of the public, provided that member of the public is not subjected to racist remarks.

20th May 2005, 08:36
And how many incidents occur every day where the police are subjected to abuse
Which they should be professional enough to rise above. If they can't deal with it, they are in the wrong job.

So some little rat bag got verballed big deal.
If you think this PC's behaviour was acceptable..

Metro man
20th May 2005, 10:13
"Which they should be professional enough to rise above. If they can't deal with it, they are in the wrong job."

Bollocks ! Why should the police accept abuse. This attitude of yours is the reason law and order has gone to hell in the west. Sod the victim, what about the poor criminal ? Where his rights violated in any way ? He must have had a difficult childhood to cause him to rob and assault pensioners, let's send him on an adventure holiday. And while we're at it give him a tax payer funded barrister so he can sue for mental distress caused by being locked up.

Look at Singapore, strong on law and order. Clean safe streets, no drug problem, population now richer per capita than the UK.

Long live Lee Kuan Yew

20th May 2005, 10:33
Why should the police accept abuse.
Looks like as well as learning how to use the quote, you need to use you eyes and R-E-A-D.

NOTHING justified the racist comments this officer made.

I don't give a damn what anyone says to a police officer but as soon as that police officer starts swearing back, any hope of respect has gone out of the window. A GOOD police officer will keep a cool head and attempt to defuse the situation. A BAD police officer will swear back at the public, a REALLY BAD police officer will make racist comments.

Metro man is fully supporting the officer's behaviour.

P.S. Do Singapore police swear at people and make abusive comments?

Devlin Carnet
20th May 2005, 11:05
In my view it depends entirely on what went on before the officer apprehended the lad,
Did he pulll him off a ten year old girl?..
Was he kicked in the nuts and abused by the lad,
He lost his temper in my view and whilst not condoning it I can understand why he said the things he did.

The officer would not have reacted in that way if the lad was quietly getting along with his business..would he?

I can understand the frustration, of some police with these lads constantly getting off with crime because of P.C. correctness.

There are many threads on this forum about not tackling these people, and when one policeman does, and loses it a bit, he is critised to death.

20th May 2005, 11:25
Would it not have been possible for said police officer to have achieved his objective - that is nicking said individual, and bringing him to book without the torrent of abuse, plus the racist crap?

There was a commercial running a while ago for the police, in which various celebs. featured in them said that they couldn't do the police's job - and asking, could you?

The answer in my case is "no I couldn't" because in all probability I would have done what the officer did, and that would have been wrong.

Perhaps the problem today is that there are insufficient quality applicants to join the force, and that the entry qualifications have been lowered, with the consequence that inappropriate men and women are finding their way in.

Metro man
20th May 2005, 11:30
eal 401

I suggest you swear at a Singaporean police officer and find out, but I do warn you they take their law and order seriously over there and you would probably find yourself inside Changi prison.

Brian Clough
20th May 2005, 11:35
I agree Devlin,

the officer had obviously recognised him from a previous encounter - he specifically chooses the words robber and rapist. If this lad was still out and about and evidently still causing trouble on the streets, some amount of frustration is understandable. Particularly as its likely that the officer is still having to deal personally with the victim and consequences of the prvious encounter - whereas the probable (based on the officers recognition) offender doesn't have to deal with this.

One poster argues that if this is the case then the police have not done their job properly - I'd disagree. In a system where qualified solicitors are paid by legal aid to defend clients - irrespective of their belief of their innocence or not - coupled with a legal system that sides with the accused and a demoralised under staffed police force - I don't think the fact that less desirables get to walk away from their criminal acts because there isn't necessarily enough evidence means that the police are at fault, merely that they are not well equipped enough to deal with the current situation.

Current policing is a very nasty job, we live in a society where criminal scum know exactly what they can get away with in law and so pull the rug from under the police who have to deal with them.

I agree that the best of police officers know how to deal professionally with potentially inflammatory situations - but I disagree that this can always be taught, for some its a natural gift, for others it comes with experience.

Its easy to read stories like this on a slow news day and have a pompous point of view without having any actual experience of dealing with these situations - ATNotts - but the real world doesn't work like that.

As for being branded a BNP voter for sticking by the police in this instance - surely you're joking arent you eal !

In my opinion the only thing this officer should not have said is the word 'ARAB' - then again, had he not used this - it wouldn't even have made the news.

He shouldn't have introduced a racist element - apart from that he was spot on.

20th May 2005, 12:28
Sod the victim, what about the poor criminal ?

Yes, but in this country, one is not a criminal until proven guilty and at the point of arrest, he was not. HE was therefor the victim and the policeman was the criminal so lets lock the policeman up.

It doesnt really matter which part you dwell on, be it the fact the the police was racist or that he was abusive and behaving like a a thug, the policeman was out of order.

The police have always used slightly 'questionable' tactics. I recall a mate and I being stopped one night and given the old 'who are you, where were you born, where are you going' treatment. Trouble is mate, was born in Muchengladbach (spelling!!). He told the policeman who said (and I quote)
'I don't think thats funny'
to which my mate replied
'I do, you have got to spell it'

We were sent on our way, however half an hour later when we had split up, I was pulled over again and given another grilling in the police car which just happened to end when it started to rain and I got soaked walking home

"I believe respect should be earned."

I don't think that incident did anyuthing to help my respect of the police !

20th May 2005, 12:28
Brian Clough: Sorry, I am not idealist. I come from the generation which believes that the "old fashioned way" of summary justice in the way of a clip around the ear was better than cautioning, form-filling and patting them on the head and telling them not to do it again.

But we live in a different world, and with the government deciding on path of rekindling respect in our society it has to work both ways. The little yob shows respect to the authority figure (the police officer, teacher or whatever) and the authority figure dealing in a respectful way with the little yob. Condoning the behaviour of the police officer will achieve nothing except entrench still further the "them and us" attitude that is prevelent in todays youth.

If you knew me you would know I actually extremely intollerant of yob culture, but still do not see that as excuse for aggressive policing.

Brian Clough
20th May 2005, 12:59
ATNotts, I didn't mean to brand you an idealist but I don't think the vast majority of people who will opine on this story (rightly bought to out attention due to the racist element) can really understand the pressures the modern police force work under.

If it wans't for the racist element it wouldn't have been news worthy - the sound bite gives us no education on what happened on either side of those 2 minutes.

Its all very well to say that this type of behaviour encourages a them and us attitude towards some groups - but its already there - this particular type of criminal know exactly what they can and can't get away with - I'm sorry but I really do think you know very little of modern policing in inner city environments. The training and back up for an outnumbered police force is non existent.

I live in inner city Nottingham, I know several policeman and have shared a house with one. I would not be able to put up with the $hit they have to on a regular basis for the amount of praise they get. They only make the news for the wrong reasons. It is a thankless task and far too may people are getting off on this news story without appreciating the background contributary factors. I reiterate - the racist element was wrong.

A conversation I had in the pub last night with a mate who's in the police :
- father of kid who's bike was knicked, phoning 3 times a day to chase the case - sometimes abusive.
- Policeman : dealing with a rape, 2 burglaries and a GBH incident - has to repeatedly take abuse and politely reply to every call.

I'd probably have lost it with this lad under similar circustances - but I wouldn't have said anything racist.

PS - no I don't nor never will vote BNP or even right wing.

edited for spelling

You splitter
20th May 2005, 14:50
Agreed unless you have to put up with this sort of stuff everyday it can be difficult to realise how difficult it is to deal with. That said however the attitude of some that the person involved was scum, yobish and deserved what they got beggars belief. For a start we dont know enough about this kid to make that conclusion. He may have been a persistant offender who showed no respect for anyone but at the same time he could have been an idiot who got misled and caught the first time he did something wrong. He MAY also have been completely innocent.

The point of the matter is that in a civilised country we need to have respect for those who are given authority over and above the rest of us. Otherwise the system will not work. We can only have that respect when the people who wield that authority above us, act and behave, more responsibly than us (the General Public). How many times have parents said to their kids, "just because he did it doesn't make it ok", or how about "two wrongs don't make a right". Now you may regard such saying as liberal leftie nonsence but in reality if we all treated other people the way we are sometimes treated any sort of polite society is impossible.
There is much talk in the media re the lack of respect and politeness in modern Britan today. The point is that if the institutions who should be setting the example have no respect and can not live by the ideals they proclaim to want, then how the hell are the rest of us supposed to do it.

20th May 2005, 15:00
Brian Clough: You have my heartfelt sympathy having to put up with the crime levels in areas like St Anns, Hyson Green, The Meadows and such like. As indeed do the officers that have to work in such areas.

It seems to have been made all the worse by the present management of Notts. Police from the very top.

Getting parochial for a moment, the problem with Notts. seems to be a disproportionate emphasis on traffic matters, cameras and the like that stems back to a previous Chief Constable to was obsessed with Traffic and it seemed, from the outside at the time, b****r all else. An urban myth at the time had it that when said Chief Constable moved over to run the West Midlands police he was advised in no uncertain terms that his zealous policy regarding traffic would not work there. Sorry, can't remember the guys name but it's more than a dozen years back now.

Brian Clough
21st May 2005, 10:50
splitter : I agree that of course 2 wrongs don't make a right. I think there is a suggestion that can be drawn from the recording that the guy was scum. The officer makes reference to a previous encounter and specifically uses the words of robber and rapist towards the arrested. I'm comfortable in drawing the conclusion that he's a nasty piece of work particularly as I recall he was re-arrested for hassling a girl in the street. I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this one and I can easily see legal arguments to suggest otherwise. However, I'm going to read between the lines on this one - he deserved what he got - minus the racist remark.

ATNotts : Interesting reading but did you know Notts no longer has a traffic division ? From conversations I've had with police, they seem to think it was a move to reactive policing (under the incumbent regime) thats causing a lot of the problems. Removing officers from the streets to form fast reacting responses to calls rather than having people out in the field.

I think this (the recording) case is a benchmark - Police will now (rightly so) be much more wary of their actions. I hope the officer gets duly chastised for the racists remarks he said, but he shouldn't be punished for a lapse of judgement in dealing with scum whilst obviously under a lot of pressure.

oh and ATNotts - I live in WB don't you know !

21st May 2005, 11:05
Article in the Beeb today: The good old days (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4561703.stm)

Flying Lawyer
21st May 2005, 11:36
The officer's final comment is rather telling. "this isn't one that you won't f****** get off of at court because I'll write it up properly." I suppose he might have meant he'd left something out by honest mistake on the previous occasion, and would be more careful this time.

21st May 2005, 12:24
Personally speaking anyone I nick gets put in the van/car following a search and all property will be checked. Wallets and the like will go back in his pocket 'till we reach the custody suite. Mobile phones and the like will be removed and turned off having re-assured the detainee that they'll be entitled to a phone call once booked through custody. And more than once I have removed a mobile phone from someone by force when they insist on trying to call or text someone post-arrest. Problem never arises then, but the two things I always think when dealing with people on the streets are "CCTV" and "recording devices". I find it remarkable in a force the size of the met that this "gentleman" made it into the back of the van with control of his mobile phone in the first place. However, if he's said what he's said then sadly it's a career down the sh****r for the sake of losing it with a common or garden s**t and he's only really got himself to blame.

21st May 2005, 13:01
You make it sound like the only thing you think the policeman did wrong was allowing himself to be caught.

After explaining the precautions you take, you say "Problem never arises then,
but the two things I always think when dealing with people on the streets are "CCTV" and "recording devices".

If you conduct yourself properly when you're dealing with suspects, why are you worried what CCTV might pick up?


21st May 2005, 16:49
Does anybody here have any honest idea of the cause of the increasing levels of voilence among young poor people? And yes, it is the poor, not the middle class.

Would more police with more powers be a good thing? Were there more police with more powers in the past when there was less voilence? Or was there less voilence for another reason?

If we had more police with more powers would we be moving closer to a police state? Do we want a police state?

Isn't there a root cause to all of these problems? These people have brains, they are human beings, not animals which need to be herded and treated like cattle. If we could do something to cause them to behave decently (like the rest of us) then maybe we wouldn't need more police etc.

So what could we do to make them behave like us? Change their environment maybe?

21st May 2005, 17:24
These people have brains, they are human beings, not animals which need to be herded and treated like cattle. If we could do something to cause them to behave decently

Oh yeah? :E

Devlin Carnet
21st May 2005, 17:37
You're by no means alone on this one
I share you're sentiments exactly But,
I dont see the racism,
He called him an Arab, If he isnt an Arab, Then the officer is wrong, If he is then the officer is right, Where is the racism?
If I were in arabia and some one called me English,They would be right, not racist.
I dunno, must be me :bored:

21st May 2005, 17:42
now THERE'S a good point. In saying that calling someone an Arab is an insult, surely that is implying that being an Arab is a BAD thing...

21st May 2005, 19:29
I have had people respond to something I said which they didn't agree with by saying "Ha! English!"

The intention was to draw attention, in a negative way, to my nationality.

What about the phrase "typical american!"?

Don't be thick you two, you know very well why the copper made a reference to "arab". You think the police call english people english every time, or even any time, they arrest them?

21st May 2005, 19:51
Well, having read the ransription: "I'll smash your F***** Arab face in"....

I know full well what he meant, don't worry.

21st May 2005, 20:14
Well, it was a bloody stupid thing to say, whatever the reason.

Think it if you must, but not say it.

I have no idea what this chap did in the first place to get himself nicked...Nor is it very clear if the evidence wasn't there or if he was aquitted because of the recording.

I don't suppose at the end of the day it will matter......

Police officers have got a very difficult job, whatever you do it will annoy someone, and some days it seems as if the world wants to give you a hard time. Being human, as, in spite of what some think, all police officers are, eventualy everyone will snap. Doesn't make it right, just makes you human.

22nd May 2005, 06:46
Maybe the Cops need to revise their human factors component of training...........Wonder how pilots communicating to ATC when they had a bad day would go down:}

16 blades
22nd May 2005, 08:58
It's truly incredible how quickly the liberals will jump on any available bandwagon to wave their 'anti-racism' flags. A single word, which in itself is not offensive, and was arguably not racist at all, is totally irrelevant to this case.

The issue is that of the officer's overall manner and behaviour. That the officer in question acted unprofessionally is, in my opinion, not in question. However, I think there is enough (anecdotal) information within this story to infer that this suspect was a serial scrote whom the officer had dealt with before. The officer was clearly frustrated at the courts' refusal to deal with him appropriately for past offences and I can, in this instance, sympathise with his frustration (me, sympathise with 5-oh, I hear you say? I know, it doesn't happen often - see a speed camera thread near you!). Police officers are as human as the rest of us and have the same limitations as we do.

But this case, to me, opens up debate on a whole range of issues:

WHY had this scrote (allegedly) been allowed to get away with so much at all? (If he hadn't, and was a perfectly innocent bystander, then this question can be asked of any number of the 'yoofs' inhabiting street corners)

WHY was the officer's patience (and the general public's, for that matter) with this individual (and the legal system) stretched to the point of breaking?

WHY are our streets steadily filling up with worthless little oxygen thieves that the law seems powerless to do anything about?

In legal terms, I place the blame squarely at the door of our ridiculously liberal Judiciary. Under the 'guidance' of that fcuking idiot Woolf, Magistrates have been transformed into social workers (and the police along with them), having the ridiculous belief that poverty is the root cause of crime foistered upon them, and that a 'poor' person in their court is there to be helped, not punished. Hence offenders are no longer forced to take responsibility for their actions; the message is "it's not your fault - you can't help it, you're poor - here, have a few hours mending old ladies' fences and go away and think about what you did". If this was the case with the young yob at the heart of the story (and I strongly suspect that it is), I can perfectly understand the police officer's frustration in attempting to deal with him yet again, knowing that he will in all likelyhood NOT have to face the consequences of his actions.

In social terms, one can easily trace all of this back to its roots - the 1960s. Beliefs began to overtake the future shapers of society that defied logic (usually encouraged by the consumption of large quantities of narcotic drugs). The belief that all people are born equal, that all people are equally capable, the belief that if only people were placed in the 'right' environment they would somehow become 'enlightened'. These assertions have been shown to be false in numerous experiments over the ensuing decades, yet they persist. I defy anyone who has served in the forces in any of the recent operational theatres, to ascribe to the belief that the world could be some kind of liberal utopia if we could only 'spread the love, and treat others as we would wish to be treated' - to do so is to fundamentally misunderstand human nature.

Most damaging, IMHO, was the belief that human nature is fundamentally good until corrupted by some outside influence. This is complete and utter bollocks. Children are born without any sense of morality - if you have ever witnessed an 18 month old child smacking it's newborn baby sibling on the head with a wooden block, you would understand what I mean. It is us, as parents, that instill moral codes in our children, and thus ensure that they are equipped for life as a responsible adult, contributing to the fabric of society. And as adults, it is the constraints of a society, with its laws and moral codes, passed from generation to generation, that hold it all together. History has taught us that once the constraints of law, order and morality are removed from a society, that society will inevitably descend into chaos.

This brings us nicely to the crux of the matter. Parents are, quite simply, failing to enforce the values that society needs to survive in any ordered fashion, upon their children. 'Modern' parenting methods, where transgressions are ignored in favour of 'encouraging good behaviour patterns', do not teach children that negative actions have consequences. The rules need to be enforced, not just talked about. The flip side of the coin, a complete lack of any parenting, is equally damaging. When the line is crossed, punishment must ensue, and it has to be a meaningful punishment that inflicts inconvenience or pain, otherwise it has no impact. Simply telling a child to 'stand in the corner and think about what they have done" is utterly pointless. They will think "well, I smashed up my brother's toy and it gave me a rush, but it didn't cause me any hurt or pain. Where are the consequences for me?" - in this they have learned nothing.

This kind of 'progressive' nonsense has also found its way into schools. Kids are now given 'value free' and 'non-judgemental' education, where all choices are equally valid and consequence-free - this bears no relation to the life they will discover in adulthood, hence they emerge as disappointed and angry young adults, with the attitude that society somehow owes them a living.

All of this permeates the whole socio-economic spectrum - it has nothing to do with where you were born, where you live or how much money you have - the recent rise in middle-class delinquency demonstrates this (almost always the result of 'progressive' parenting). Just because povertyand crime are often found together, it does not necessarily follow that one is cause and the other effect (there are, according to the UN, over 1 Billion 'poor' people in the world - they are not all yobbish criminal scrotes). It is much more logical that both crime and poverty are the effects of another cause - a lack of discipline.

Without parental discipline, there cannot be self discipline. And without self-discipline, a young adult will be unlikely to hold down a job, yet alone a high-earning career. Without a sound moral upbringing, a child is also more likely to commit crime. This government, in it's usual wishy-washy liberal style, has promised to restore 'respect' - well, that is another attribute that stems from parental discipline.

There seems to be another pernicious belief sweeping the ruling classes - that respect has to be earned. WRONG! Respect has to be ENFORCED. And it starts, once again, in the home. If a parent does not discipline a child, that child will not respect it's parent. If a child does not respect it's parents, how will it ever grow up to respect authority? To tell a child that adults have to 'earn' their respect completely turns all of the above on its head. Children, or those of us subordinate to some kind of authority, can earn the respect of our authority figures, but to try and do this the other way round simply will not work (as evidenced by the current state of the 'yoof' of this country). Parents and teachers are now overly constrained by law, children are all too aware of their 'rights', the Police and the Courts have to treat juveniles with 'kid gloves' (no pun intended) - the result is that kids no longer HAVE to respect authority - and, surprise surprise, they DON'T!

Therein lies an important lesson for all the liberal, 'progressive' thinkers out there - 'progress' is not necessarily 'improvement'. Your tinkering and social engineering are bringing western society to its destruction. Contrast, if you will, with global Islamic society - it is strong, and growing stronger, because it is fundamentally authoritarian. A society that allows its children to choose their own values, indulges their every whim, prevents parents and other authority figures from doing anything about it, and cushions them from the consequences of their actions, is signing its own death warrant.

It is all of this, I suspect, that lay behind the police officer's outburst that day.


22nd May 2005, 13:31
16 Blades,

Great thinking, brilliant post.:O

The solution forced on the US, by the criminal class, is to build ever more prisons and enforce sentencing guidelines to keep recalcitrants off the streets. Yet even now, with millions in prison, stories of convicted sex offenders and murderers released early to do it again abound.

Clear definition of what behaviour is out of bounds, established early in life and persistently and consistently enforced, is ultimately the only solution. Ever tougher sanctions are called for until the problem diminishes to an acceptable level.

Flying Lawyer
22nd May 2005, 16:26
Excellent thought-provoking post. :ok:

I agree with the thrust of what you say. Sweeping away conventional values and standards may have seemed exciting at the time, but many of the youngsters of the 60's didn't do much to instil any sense of duty, responsibility or morality into the next generation when they became parents.
In many ways, we've paid the price for the 60's ever since.

I've got doubts about your final line, which may be a little too generous. The PC in question sounds as if he might be as much of a yob as the suspect he was arresting.


Despite the ever-popular criticism of 'the legal system', and sympathy for the poor police who do their best despite it etc, the truth is many prosecutions fail (or don't even get off the ground) because of police failures.
Note for example, in this instance, the reference to the previous matter being "NFA'd at court". That expression refers to a prosecution not being pursued. There may be one or more of several reasons for that.
eg An essential witness disappearing after making a statement. (Some people, including victims, sometimes provide a witness statement but on reflection don't want to go through a court procedure and ignore notifications of the hearing date.
eg The evidence isn't good enough. That may be because it simply isn't there, however strong the suspicion. Or because the police who dealt with the incident didn't do a very good job. Or because they (or others tasked with the job) didn't carry out essential follow-up investigations/obtaining necessary further witness statements.

I sometimes read posts in 'law and order' threads by former or serving police constables (or by people who know a policeman from the pub) who appear to believe the reason prosecutions don't proceed is that the 'idiots' in the Crown Prosecution Service stupidly think there isn't sufficient evidence or, if they do proceed and fail, because the courts are manned by fools (judges and barristers) assisted by unqualifed fools (juries and magistrates.)
For some reason, they often appear to think police officers with only elementary legal training (and commonly only modest educational achievements) are better qualified to decide whether the evidence is sufficient to proceed with a prosecution than qualified lawyers who know (or have access to) not only the statute and case law relating to the offence but also the relevant laws of evidence.
And, most significantly, they seem never even to consider the possibility that the fault for a case not proceeding, or ultimately failing, lies with the police either initially or when their evidence is tested in court.
The PC in this case seems to be just the type who thinks the 'legal system' is useless, whereas I read it and think he's just the type who'll screw up a perfectly good case and end up as mince-meat after cross-examination.

I'm not suggesting there aren't failings in either the legal system or criminal law - those who've read posts of mine in the past will know I don't feel the need to blindly defend the system. However, the notion that most people charged with offences are either not prosecuted or ultimately acquitted is completely wrong.

I don't think judges are too soft on crime, despite what the tabloids would have us believe. I'm out of touch with magistrates courts so can't comment.
Those who think the courts are too soft should aim their criticism at the government. The government's much-publicised claims to be 'tough on crime' aren't always borne out by the legislation it actually passes.
Look at the terms and tone of the most recent legislation (Criminal Justice Act 2003), and consider if it's intended to achieve more or fewer prison sentences, and tougher or shorter sentences -
Courts don't impose enough prison sentences?
2003 Act: A court must not pass a custodial sentence unless it is of the opinion that the offence(s) were so serious that neither a fine alone nor a community sentence can be justified.
Courts don't impose long enough prison sentences?
2003 Act: If a court imposes a custodial sentence, it must be for the shortest term that in the opinion of the court is commensurate with the seriousness of the offence(s).

If, having considered those two 'tests', a court imposes a prison sentence, it has no control over how much of that sentence is actually served. That's for the government to decide.
Whilst hitting the headlines with 'tough on crime' polices, the government rather more quietly changed the rules so that some prisoners are released after serving only a fraction of the sentence the court imposed.
For decades, prisoners have only served two-thirds of their sentence. Then, with the introduction of parole, prisoners became eligible for release even sooner.
Now, with the introduction of the 'early release' scheme, some prisoners are released after serving as little as a quarter of the sentence the court imposed. (It might even be as little one-sixth, but I haven't got access to the relevant legislation at time of writing.)

22nd May 2005, 22:42

While I am sure you don't mean to insult over the level of education of police officers, but I think it's a little unfair. I will admit to not having a handful of O levels, and no degree, but in spite of having bloody awful spelling ability, I am reasonably bright. Many police officers are...many do have O and A Levels, lots have a degree.

Level of education is not the problem at the Police end of the judicial system it's lack of experience. That goes beyond the level of PC's. Many Sergeants these days have never had to present a case in court without the aid of the CPS. That means they don't look at it the same way as perhaps we used to before the CPS came along.

I have no evidence to back this up, it's pure memory, but I can't recall the number of successful procecutions going up since the CPS came along. It seemed at the time they were formed that the number actualy fell.

For instance I lost one job in the time before the CPS and lots afterwards. Some because the CPS changed charges to inappropriate ones and some because of thier admin cock ups. Don't get me wrong, we made a few too and plenty before thay came along.

Before the CPS I was regualy asked by Police Solicitors if I would accept a bind over, as we had no realistic chance of winning. My answer was always NO, and we won everytime that was offered. After the CPS came along certainly for a while it seemed thier prefered option, and we no longer had any say in that decision.

It may be that in the cases you deal with you see more of the faults from the police end. But from my experience I never got the impression that in say magistrates courts that Police were the major cause of lost cases.

22nd May 2005, 23:04
the police who dealt with the incident didn't do a very good job. Seems to be the case except when prosecuting heinious motoring offences, such as holding apples or drinking coke when stationary.

Take a real offence and they manage to cock it up most of the time, or withhold evidence to ensure that an innocent person is jailed.

23rd May 2005, 00:32
If you conduct yourself properly when you're dealing with suspects, why are you worried what CCTV might pick up?

I don't worry about what CCTV will pick because I always do conduct myself properly, but that doesn't mean I'm not aware of it. And in one case some 15 minutes of CCTV footage is about to become my best friend. If I'm dealing with a suspect and I know CCTV is in the area invariably I'll ASK the operator to focus on me and the other persons involved.

And I never suggested his only mistake was to get caught, I merely pointed out my surprise that it happened that way, and that the suspect was allowed to retain control of his mobile phone after detention and re-iterate that he has only himself to blame.

While I am sure you don't mean to insult over the level of education of police officers, but I think it's a little unfair. I will admit to not having a handful of O levels, and no degree, but in spite of having bloody awful spelling ability, I am reasonably bright. Many police officers are...many do have O and A Levels, lots have a degree.

In my class of 20 at training school some 16 had degrees including, as I remember, 2 master's. I think it's experience, not educational prowess that counts.