Sunday, January 14, 2007

Busy Boy

After a lull over Christmas and New Year, with a cancelled sitting and a couple of short days caused by a lack of business, I am back to work this week with a couple of committee meetings and two court sittings, one to help out a colleague who has a last-minute family problem to cope with. On my scheduled sitting day I have a note in my diary to remind myself that a defendant whom we dealt with in November is coming in so that we can review how he is getting on with paying his fine and compensation. There was some doubt about his motivation so we ordered him to attend for a review on a day when I was sitting, and I told him that I was making notes (that are now in his court file) and that we would hold him to what he promised to do. We left him in no doubt about what could happen if he failed to pay.
Today's Sunday Times has a piece that confirms something that this blog and the many police blogs have been saying for a while: the so-called improvement in Offences Brought To Justice is based entirely on the issuing of thousands of fixed penalty tickets and many more thousands of cautions for cannabis possession. Convictions in court have actually fallen. Most of the trials that we are seeing nowadays are for Common Assault, almost all in a domestic context, a direct consequence of current CPS policy. Let's see how we get on.

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