Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Worrying

One of the new Police and Crime Commissioners has come out with an ill-thought-out and downright stupid idea to charge (unconvicted) 'suspects' for  their stay in the cells, plus, for all I know a fee for the use of handcuffs.

This suggests that he doesn't have a clue about the proper relationship between the police and the courts, and is pretty hazy about the idea that people are innocent until proved guilty.

I do hope that this idiot is not typical of the new Commissioners, or I may find myself forced to agree with Gadget.

16 comments:

  1. As someone who quite likes the PCC idea, I agree that this is a dreadful indication of what may result.
    The statement "He also called for the assets of criminals to be seized and invested in public services." in the BBC report is also worrying, given the injustices resulting from asset forfeiture in the U.S., for example
    http://www.citypaper.net/cover_story/2012-11-29-civil-asset-forfeiture.html

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  2. Many years ago I had the good fortune to be put up for the night by the Police force in Gibraltar. Although the company of my fellow residents lacked a little in quality, the breakfast service of a burger and choice of tea or coffee before my interview with the mag was efficient and, more to the point here, free of charge.

    The mag was not so generous though, but he did give me a choice of paying a fine or enjoying an extra week of spartan comfort in the cells.

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  3. As one involved in the past in attempts to seize control of criminal proceeds, I can assure him that the success rate is staggeringly low, a fact of which the public is woefully ignorant.

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  4. To be fair, the article does couch it more as an idea in progress, and there is recognition of the complexities that would have to be dealt with.

    Meanwhile, London got Boris as its effective PCC without election, and is once again excluded from the supposed improvements in democracy enjoyed by other parts of the country.

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    1. Nevertheless, the report (which, coming from the BBC, I would hope had been checked for accuracy) does clearly use the word "suspects", implying those who are, in law, innocent.

      I don't have a particular problem with charging those who've been convicted for the costs associated with their incarceration, although I strongly suspect that there would be precious little in terms of real cash recovery.

      As the BS team rightly say, this shows a worrying lack of understanding of the fundamental principle that underpins our legal system, something that I find rather surprising, given that the most junior police officer within the service that he oversees would have to know this.

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  5. Applying maximum positive spin you could say- this fellow is trying to save us honest tax-payers some money. If we look at this proposal with a jaundiced eye it's because we know that we will never actually see this money - it will be swallowed by the State (just like victims never actually get the victim's surcharge.)

    This idea seems to be a natural extension of the current policy of deducting from a wrongly imprisoned person's compensation an amount to cover board and lodging in prison.

    It boils down to: they want your money and no fig leaf is too small.

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  6. I think I will put a window-sticker in my car saying

    DON'T LAUGH AT ME, I DON'T LIVE IN HERTFORDSHIRE

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    1. I live in the the town and this is the same place that has one patrol car for all of Friday night.

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  7. We have already got this with the recovery of cars after possible crimes. Where the owner is charged for this "service".

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  8. I can see the Coalition loving this, and passing it/sneaking it in ASAP. Just think how many more vulnerable people, families, and "can't pay's due to being on benefits" can be routinely intimidated and harassed by Rogue Bailiff's, taking another opportunity to ramp up their fees.

    A situation where for Police Forces merely arresting and holding someone for the night leads to an income is not going to be good for the Public.

    I am sure plenty of decent people imagine it would be unlikely and sheer lunacy to imagine that this might also be applied to people never charged/turn out to be innocent. They forget that people found Innocent in the Courts of Appeal are routinely charged for their accommodation, food and "care" for their wrongful stay at Her Majesty's Pleasure.

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  9. Balmy......plain and simple. Lunatics- asyslum!!

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  10. Cant be bothered looking up his credentials but he certainly doesn't seem best placed as a PCC

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  11. This is even more worrying (from his website):

    "David Lloyd is already well known as the Chairman of the Hertfordshire Police Authority. Since he has been in that role crime has fallen by approximately 20% and significantly more criminals are being caught – and at the same time in this tough financial climate he has ensured the public don’t pay a penny more for policing.

    He is excited by the opportunities this new role brings: “This is all about ensuring that Hertfordshire remains a great place to live and work,” he said. “Getting the policing right and ensuring that crime continues to be low is the best way to support our communities.”

    So he has learned nothing as a chair of a police authority. And apparently thinks he is personally responsible for any drop in crime. Oh dear.

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  12. grannybiker JP11 January 2013 18:07

    I did look up his 'credentials'. He was the Conservative candidate (really?) and was the previous chairman of the Police Authority. You'd have thought he'd have learned something in the months/years on that committee, but it doesn't appear so.
    Perhaps the power has gone to his head. Heaven help Hertfordshire!

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  13. I know him. He is clearly not fully au fait with the role nor the influence the PA had - or didn't have on crime stats. Police meals are typically much less than three quid each and contain about 250 calories - itself a scandal. How much the budget of the PCC and force will benefit by charging back at cost, I can't imagine. The marginal cost of keeping someone in overnight is less than £10. Say we charge three people a day ten pounds each that makes £10000 in a good year. The Herts policing budget tops £300m. 'nuff said.

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  14. Lunatics, I speak as one, inspired by political ambition will always be with us and a gentle word with him should suffice for him to see the ridicule value. However, his pocketbook is clearly in the correct place!

    There will be more need for detections, as crime always increases in a Depression. There will be more pressure to cut expense. Civil burdens of proof are simpler to administer. The good old days of summary justice at the hands of "the local copper" may be on their way back, reversing all burdens of proof, subject to cameras etc, upon the "suspects".

    Ahhh, happy days!

    The USA system of having a million slaves via the prison system reduces unemployment but at massive expense. It will be discontinued, even as those who profit from it, squeal. I foresee fortified, not gated, communities ahead. There are no colonies to populate and we, in Australia anyway, do not want your suspects here!

    Perhaps we could learn, as a series of communities, to include all those who feel they must prey upon us? These problems always begin in the family, or with the absence of a loving father? Encouraging single mothers to live together may help, but financal incentive for use of Depo-Provera may need to be considered, since UK and other countries have discovered drones and special forces instead of line infantry for war use?

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