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Saturday, 24 October 2009

THE TRUTH ABOUT CRIME & POLICING IN THE UK


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The Crime Analysis Team at Nice 1 are collating articles that will be published on these pages over the forthcoming weeks.

The articles will detail many of the "home truths" about crime recording and reporting, and the bureacratic and procedural obtsructions to officers providing the public with a better service. The articles will show that front line officers are frustrated at ridiculously excessive paperwork and processes that inhibit their ability to be truly effective.

Manipulated statistics and detection policies combined with excessive influence from politically correct committees and strategy teams, have turned the average officer into a box ticking, form filling adminstrator, who is in constant and non-sensical fear of being tripped up over administrative and procedural errors.

The vast majority of UK police officers are conscientious people who want to provide the very best service they can for the general public. These pages will show how, over many years, a web of deceit has been built around the real conditions faced by these officers in their attempt to perform their duty.

Grass roots police officers are indoctrinated into protecting themselves against nuwarranted attack from both their senior management teams (SMT's) and the very system they are forced to implement. As a consequence, you and I, the average UK citizen, are being deprived of the protection and response our millions in taxes is paying for.

Who are the culprits? Certainly not in the main, the bobby on the street, (the few that remain). Some (not all) senior officers, Home Office officials and politicians have combined down the years to create the flaws and inadequacies that exist within the service today, for their own purposes of political, career and financial advancement. The rot unfortunately, is not confined to the police service. The UK criminal justice system is severely flawed in many areas.

All is not as rosy as presented in Government and judicial headlines. It is not in their interest to reveal the truth of their systematic failures to the public, particularly not in the twelve months leading up to a general election.

Through these pages, we will present the information as we discover it for you to make up your own mind. We will, where appropriate lobby officials, raise questions, conduct polls, national surveys and petitions.

"Res Ipsa Loquitur" is latin for"let the facts speak for themselves".  We will present the information that will speak for itself.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first steps. The first steps that will be taken from this site will aim to bring this information to the forefront of public attention. We are not so unrealistic as to believe that we alone can bring about dramatic political and procedural change. Our aim is to encourage informed public debate about these subjects which affect the wellbeing of our society. Complete transparency for subjects that are within the public interest that do not conflict with matters of state and national security is a worthwhile goal.

Bookmark these pages and this site to keep informed of the progress. If you wish to contribute, we will understand that you may consider the content contraversial and that you may wish to remain anonymous with your submissions, through this or other sites we are monitoring.

The Crime Analysis Team
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THE SPOILED YOUNGER GENERATION IS SPOILING OUR SOCIETY


Dr Aric Sigman

Thanks to http://200weeks.police999.com/ for inspiring this post.

In a book published this week called "The Spoiled Generation" psychologist Dr Aric Sigman explores the erosion of discipline, respect and civility in the youth of the UK and the negaive effect it is having on society.

Dr Sigman accurately captures the growing sense of unease felt by a large percentage of the UK public. He said “Children of the spoilt generation are used to having their demands met by their parents and others in authority, and that in turn makes them unprepared for the realities of adult life. This has consequences in every area of society, from the classroom to the workplace, the streets to the criminal courts and rehabilitation clinics".

He suggests that children & young people’s rights must be curtailed and a firm hand is urgently needed if they are to be properly guided into adulthood.

Dr Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, continued: “Authority is a basic health requirement in children’s lives. But, while children have become increasingly ‘empowered’ in terms of legislation and rights, far from being protected, they are actually suffering in ways that could never have been foreseen.”

The police see the consequences of the "Spoiled Generation" every day on the street of the UK. - Britain now has the highest rates of child depression, child-on-child murder, underage pregnancy, obesity, violent and anti-social behaviour and pre-teen alcoholism since records began. A 44% rise in assaults on police by children is surely a symptom of a much greater disease that will follow if not treated fast.

Respect for law and order and authority is fading rapidly as parents and schools fail in their duty to their children. The criminal justice system including the police are then just one of the groups of agencies that deal with the fall out. The empowering of children, however well intended, has served to undermine the authority of parents, teachers, police officers and other authority figures.

If the Government are to start the task of fixing our society, then surely there is no better place to start than  here. By instilling some firm handed forgotten disciplines within the "spoiled sector" of our youth, there will at least be a glimmer of hope that the UK may once again be a pleasant place to live.  

If it is down to our politicians to start the ball rolling, we'll not hold our breath.

Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited
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OFFICER SPEAKS OUT ABOUT LOW POLICE MORALE



LOW morale, not enough officers and a failing justice system are among the sentiments of rank and file police, a serving officer said today.The experienced officer did not want to be named, but spoke out amid a backdrop of crushing financial pressure from the government for the constabulary to slash millions of pounds from its budget. 

The modern police service faces many more challenges to its morale than ever before and many of the matters talked of here echo the sentiment of other articles from these pages. If the escalating problem of low police morale is the effect, what are the causes? 

Behind the scenes at this site, we are compiling hundreds of examples of officers voicing the same concerns about the decline of the service they love. The problem is not confined to a few disillusioned officers in small pockets of the country. This is a growing problem across all police forces in the UK, from an ever increasing number of rank and file frontline troops.

The balanced observations of one front line officer sum it up well. 

A POLICE OFFICERS VIEW FROM THE STREET


“I still love the job as much as I did when I first joined, but things have changed and not necessarily for the better. We see many times in the course of our careers all that is wrong with society and how inhuman people can be. Often a smile or joke can be a release valve. It seems more and more that we are not allowed an opinion or a sense of humour.

One thing that I have noticed more than anything is morale. I have never seen it so low. I talk to officers with five to six years service counting down the time they have left and that should not be.

My opinion for it being so low is down to a number of things; staff shortages, excessive workloads, a feeling of being let down by a seemingly uncaring senior hierarchy, the inability of the service in general to stand up for itself, and being let down by the judicial system.

I can say hand on heart that the vast majority of officers I have worked with over many years have been professional, caring, keen, and take great delight in locking up the bad guys.

On staff shortages, if you read the headlines from certain quarters they say we have no staff shortage problems. If the general public really knew that almost on a weekly basis and in some case daily, major towns have no officers to deploy to incidents as they are tied up on jobs or stuck in the custody areas.

It is not uncommon for officers to be drafted in from other areas leaving them short of cover, with specialist departments being used to backfill. Custody is regularly filled so that detained persons are taken to other stations. If this is the case then two officers are sent for escort and booking in.

Then the amount of time the booking in process takes, and then if that person is deemed as at risk he/she is put under constant supervision with a police officer. That means yet another officer down. You don't have to be brilliant at maths to see what the consequences are especially when I have known up to three constants on the go at the same time.

Officers who take crime reports are then allocated them to investigate. Obviously the more serious and involved are taken up by CID. As you can imagine an officer is not just given a couple to sort out but the list can be quite extensive.

The problem is that the list will continue to grow as more and more are allocated to that officer. With all the best will and dedication in the world some are not going to be investigated perhaps as fully as they could be.

This is not because the officer does not care. With time restraints and supervisory pressure, workloads must be trimmed. And I think you can guess the consequences.

The fact that a lot of offenders do not go to court is not down to the individual investigating officer or the service. It is down to the government department charged with prosecuting of suspects at court. They too have pressure to increase their conviction rates, so if they are not satisfied that there is a more than good possibility of a conviction they drop it straight away.

This is despite all the paperwork submitted, numerous interviews, and sometimes compelling evidence in the officers' eyes - and, most important of all, the expectations of the victim.

It does seem to be that before long they will only take on the guilty pleas.

Do I feel that we at times let the victim down? Yes. But we are not entirely to blame, the system is. I believe the system is squarely on the side of the offender rather than the victim. The younger and persistent offenders I come into contact with have no fear of the system or its punishments.

They look on young offenders' institutions as a holiday camp where they get free food, free games, free gym membership and are even allowed to keep together with their friends. They do what ever they like, when they like.

As police officers we are paid a good wage, and I for one have enjoyed every minute of it. I love my job and the satisfaction of getting a good result for the people who we serve. I feel the senior hierarchy needs to back us more and listen, not just preach. Yes, like all organisations or firms money is tight and cuts and financial savings have to be made, but not at the expense of the officers on the beat who are the backbone of the service and the ones getting the flak day after day on the streets.

We are the ones that have to face the job and all it entails face on and not from the comfort of a desk.”

Source : http://www.eveningstar.co.uk/

To read the full article, comments from his Chief Constable and Crown Prosecution Service click here.

COMMENT

Critical areas of police service policy and procedure is not only affecting officers morale. Many of the problems highlighted here are having a severly detrimental effect on public confidence in the police as a whole. Regrettably, the front line bobby is the thin blue line where the public aim their dissatisfaction. The target should really be the politicians and senior officers who set the policy these officers have to work with.

The general public want to see a more visible police presence, improved response times and common sense policing. Despite protestations from the Government to the contrary, there remains an excessive "performance culture" within the job. Combined with a lack of discretionary policing this has resulted in a service that is more consumed with political correctness and meeting statistical targets than the 'back to basics policing' the public and front line officers would like to see.

A disproportionate amount of time and resource is wasted on issues that affect a minority of the public. Meanwhile, the Government and senior officers perpetuate the the 'con' about declining crime figures and rising public confidence. The general public are not stupid. They are not taken in by statistics that are manipulated for the media or surveys that are not representative of the real public view.

The time for transparency is now. Clear the decks. Accept that the service has become swamped with bureaucracy and the quality of our society needs fixing fast if the country is not to slip into irreversible moral decline.

This will not happen within the time left with this Government. It seem likely that another party will be in power before any significant change will be seen. Will they be any different? For as long as politicians keep using crime and policing as a convenient political football to grow their overstaffed and excessive empires, then the answer is no.

A radical, honest and transparent approach is needed if public and police confidence is to be restored.

Acceptance that a system is not working is a first step. Forget blame, we don't care what or who caused it, we just want it fixed. Learn the lessons that are staring us in the face. Dismiss the performance culture policing, listen, HEAR and ACT upon what the front line coppers are telling us is inherently wrong with the service. Make every effort to eliminate committees and projects that detract from basics. Reverse the trend of spending 90% of the time and resource planning how you will improve things and 10% of  the time actually doing it. Stop giving us statistics and headlines we stopped trusting long ago. Give the police their dicretional common sense freedom that will enable them to do the job they joined for.

Are there any politicians and senior officers courageous enough to take the action needed? 


Crime Analysis Team
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ARE YOU READY FOR THE TRUTH ABOUT POLICING IN THE UK?



One of the better police blogs is http://200weeks.police999.com/ which burst into life on September 9th 2005. The site was created by a rEgular police officer who has dedicated his life to the force and area that he serves.

In his own words, the site author has spent his entire life "in the trenches" as a front line officer. In February 2009, the author hung up his boots and truncheon, and after 30 years service, became a civilian in his police force control room, a vantage point from where he is able to continue his insightful reports on policing as it really is in the UK today.

A prolific and intelligent writer, "200" posts regular articles that provide an honest and informed view of the challenges that face police officers in their attempts to deliver a fair system of justice, despite an ever increasing burden of bureacuracy and idiotic procedures.

The articles reprinted below are two fine examples from "200" of real world of policing in Britain in 2009.

NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH

The dreadful case of Fiona Pilkington whose life was blighted by anti social youths on her estate to such an extent that she took her own child’s life & committed suicide by setting fire to her car as they sat in it, will have some far-reaching repurcussions. The surprise is that, in the two years since this tragic event happened, there has been just about zero change in the way police deal with anti-social behaviour.


I spend every late shift in every town I control not sending police officers to anti social youths. This is despite the fact that I know what an effect it can have on people’s lives let alone their peace. I’m almost ashamed to say but I have anti social behaviour in my street & I never report it to the police, the reason purely & simply is, I know there is little chance of the police arriving before the youths have moved on. If it’s gotten too bad I have gone out there myself & given some ‘advice’, though I don’t like doing this in my own street. (I tend to climb over my back fence & appear from somewhere not near my house so they don’t know where I live).

The apalling crux of the matter is one of mathematics. We have X-amount of officers & we get Y-amount of jobs which take Z-amount of time. When Y x Z > X we cannot possibly get to all the jobs on time, if at all. We either have to make people wait, in some cases days, or we just don’t go.

The problem with antisocial behaviour is that it doesn’t fit in with any targets & we don’t get to tick any boxes. When Jay sends a text message to his ex-girlfriend Leah saying she’s a slag, that’s threats to violence or damage, malicious communications or a domestic, all of which are recordable & may result in a detected crime. When Mrs Miggins is fed up to the back teeth with a bunch of teenage yobs who spend every night shouting & swearing outside her bedroom & pissing up against her fence, that’s just a bit of ASB. Guess which one gets an officer sent to it whether they want one or not & which one gets closed off 2 hours after the youths have gone elsewhere with a ‘no officer available’ closing.

Mrs Pilkington did not have the protection afforded to certain groups within society. Had she been black or Asian, Jewish or gay, she would have had an officer every single occasion she phoned. There are teams within each police force whose sole job it is to look at ‘hate’ crimes against minority groups. I well remember a case of some kids throwing snowballs at a Jewish shop, on a day when the kids were throwing snowballs at everyone & anyone & we didn’t have the resources to deal with all the accidents & crime let alone kids chucking snowballs. Most of the snowball jobs just got closed off because there was absolutely no chance of us sending anyone; we had more important & immediate things to do. The Jewish shop had to remain open because the racism word had been mentioned. Within an hour the Inspector in charge of the diversity unit was on the phone to the control room inspector demanding to know why this racist incident hadn’t been assigned within the 1 hour requirement of force policy.

Nobody phoned up from any police unit who sit on their arses looking at logs in some office somewhere at HQ on behalf of all the other people being taunted by kids with snow. The fact that Mrs Pilkington had a disabled daughter, much of which taunting was aimed at, doesn’t seem to have cut any ice with the local constabulary.

I’ve blogged before about the unfairness of diversity policy & have argued that everyone should be treated on their own merits only. It completely baffles me that, for instance, a 6′6 Afro-Caribbean nightclub bouncer with years in the nighttime entertainment trade, who gets called a rude name is entitled to a better service than a vulnerable teenage girl who may be, unknowingly to us, considering suicide because of some bullying. How can a rule written on a policy somewhere at police HQ possibly differentiate between the effect on these two people & class one as somehow more deserving of a higher response than the other. Where is the leeway to attend based on the individual potential effect on the victim?

Just occasionally, someone will come up with a local operation to target antisocial behaviour. Extra resources will be called in & they will be tasked for ASB jobs alone, unavailable for RTCs, assaults or domestics. This is a clear acceptance of the importance of tackling such behaviour, but if it is important, why isn’t important all the time & on every estate.

Antisocial behaviour is the key to so many more problems in society. Someone who grows up not having consequences for their behaviour will learn that they are entitled to do what they want, when they want, to whom they want. They will grow up with a me, me, me attitude & will spend the rest of their lives demanding everything they can get. A child who grows up to respect other peoples needs & rights will end up as net givers to society.

When I was on the street I actually enjoyed helping to make other people’s lives a little better. One of the reasons I wanted to join the police was to help people who couldn’t help themselves. I held that belief until the day I retired. I still believe it. I am unable to do it because I do not have the resources nor the will from those who run the show to sort the matter out.

After the story of Mrs Pilkington, I will be wondering if the next job I fail to send an officer to will end up with someone murdering their child & topping themselves. That’s simply not fair & I don’t have the power to address it properly.

Time will tell whether the fallout from Mrs Pilkington will make any difference.

AND SO IT GOES . . . .


Twenty years ago Mrs Pilkington would have had a much better service than she got in the years leading up to 2007. There were many thousands less police officers. In March this year there were 144,000 police officers. In March 1987 there were 120,000.

We have 24,000 more police officers yet those available for front line policing have been slashed dramatically. I don’t have access to any figures for the amount of officers available for day-to-day policing calls so I can only go by my own experience. In 1987 one division I worked in paraded 18 officers split between 4 police stations. This did not include 3 rural cars which covered the villages, 1 officer in every neighbourhood beat & a rural officers who shared all the villages between them. We put out 9 patrol cars in the division plus a walker in each of the town centres & the police stations were open 24 hours a day.

Now those same 4 towns have a maximum of 8 officers between them, we are lucky if they can put out 5 cars in the whole division, all of the police stations are closed longer than they are open.

Back in the day the village bobby lived on the patch & knew everyone & everything there was to be known. He probably looked after 2 or 3 villages. Every estate had a neighbourhood officer who lived on their patch, they often had a little police office attached to their house, they too knew everyone, they were a vast source of information. What they knew & what they did couldn’t be recorded in an exel spreadsheet yet their value to policing was enormous.

Then someone in a wendy house somewhere decided that the only way to measure the success of an organisation was to match its performance against a written down set of criteria & the way to do this was to count beans. Suddenly, the value of everything was measured in beans & rural/neighbourhood officers didn’t grow any beans on their patches. Add to that the fact that they lived in expensive police houses.

The theory went that if you did away with neighbourhood & rural officers not only could you pull them all back to the nick where they could produce a few beans, you could also save the expense of maintaining their houses, sell them off & plough lots of lovely lolly into all the new & dynamic projects which were about to hit the world of UK policing. We lost a generation of intelligence which we are only now getting back, amazingly enough, through local PCSOs, who will, within a few years, be just as valuable a tool to police intelligence as the old village bobby.

It made good political – read voting – sense to increase the number of bobbies, so every government promised more. More bobbies means more votes ‘cos we all want more bobbies on the streets, only they never made the streets. They all went into disparate little ‘remit’ teams. You know the teams, they are the ones you ask for help when you’re struggling to meet all the frontline priorities who turn round & say “sorry, mate, not my remit”.

So we had the burglary squad, set up to specifically target burglary beans, the robbery squad busy collecting robbery beans, sexual offences squad, paedophile squad, computer crime squad, diversity squad, more officers means more potential for naughty goings-on so the rubber heel squad was boosted. We had the serious crime units, the bloody serious crime units, organised crime, it goes on. Then there are the units who monitor the other units, who count the beans, who supervise those who count the beans, who make sure the right beans are being counted.

So every time an Inspector of Constabulary comes a-calling & says, “now look here Mr Chief Constable, your force is doing particularly low in detections of spanner-wielding credit-card thieves” we have to have a department whose soul aim is to reduce spanner-wielding credit card thefts.

The problem for those on the front line is that most of the calls we get don’t lead to all the remit-beans. Nobody measures the prevention of crime, nobody measures kids who piss up your garage & chuck eggs through your windows, nobody measures depressed people who threaten suicide but never go through with it. You don’t get a bean for sitting outside a row of shops stopping the kids from spitting at people with special needs.

And if they’re not measured, they’re not important.

If the next Inspector of Constabulary comes round & says “Now look here Mr Chief Constable, the behaviour of teenage yobs in this area is apalling, this chart shows a 150% increase in bad language in front of old ladies, get it sorted” you’ll have so many shiny-arses out of their offices that the problem could be sorted in a year.

It ain’t gonna happen, though.

COMMENT

The authors of this site have been contacted by senior politicians who are capable of introducing effective criminal justice reforms. They tell us that they are interested and paying regular attention to the content on these pages. Whilst the statistical analysis contained in the reports from these pages is our work, the majority of the real life experiences are inspired by or drawn from people at the coal face of British policing, such as the author of the 200 site, Inspector Gadget, PC Bloggs and others contained in the "Thin Blue Line" links opposite.

To the politicians, Home Office civil servants and senior officers that may read these pages, we would invite you to spend some time reading some of the enlightening articles contained on these and other front line policing sites. Be prepared to confront the real world head on through these pages. We invite you to step out of your environment for a while, so that you may empathise with the challenges and obstructions faced by the front line officer. The content is an often colourful, honest view of the framework within which our guys at the coal face of society perform their increasingly difficult duty.

Listening is not enough. Take what you hear to heart. Then take the effective action only you are empowered to take, to make the necessary reforms that may ultimately restore public confidence in the Criminal Justice System that should be the bedrock of a decent, peaceful society.

We know the challenge is a difficult one that will require all your reserves of courage and direct thought. We know it involves accepting openly and honestly that mistakes have been made. Only by applying this level of honesty and transparency in any reforms you consider are appropriate, will your efforts bear the fruit in transforming society.

Britain is broken. You have the power to fix it. Cut through the distractions and obstructions that have plagued modern policing. Let us hear less of the minority projects and more of firm and effective use of police resources. Show us evidence that our taxes are being well spent, that the ratio of frontline officers actually available for real policework, dramatically exceeds those tied up counting beans, creating flow charts and ivory tower projects to justify the perpetuation of departments crammed with wasted resources.

Spend our money wisely. Show us the real value we deserve to see. You will find you have a much greater degree of public support and confidence from the wider public than you may have imagined.

We hope to see evidence of your efforts very soon.

The Crime Analysis Team
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THE FARCE OF UK CRIMINAL JUSTICE



When a 17 year old teenager threw stones at the window of a disabled pensioner, Renate Bowling, 71, confronted the 17-year-old youth in the street. She bravely went out to remonstrate with him. During the conversation the frail widow, who fled to Britain from Communist East Germany and walks with a steel frame, prodded the youth in the chest with her finger.

She told him what she thought of him. He called her "some ****ing German woman".


Police officers were called to the quiet residential street and the teenager told them he had been assaulted.


'Then the police arrested me - I thought "What a joke. What is going on?"


'That lad had held my wrists and bruised them and he had the gall to call it self-defence.

'The police put me in the back of their van like a sack of spuds and took me to the station where they questioned me. Then a few days later I was told I was being prosecuted. I could not believe it, neither could my family.

'I had to borrow £20 from a friend to pay the court costs as I only had £30 on me. It has all been a nightmare

To read the full Daily mail story click here

COMMENT

This story exemplifies what a complete farce the Criminal Justice System has become.

That a system has become so perverse that common sense could not prevail is beyond belief. The sad fact is that the majority of common sense coppers in the UK agree with how ridiculously commonplace such incidents are.

Inspector Gadget, Copperfield, Ellie Bloggs, 200 and other police bloggers and authors have been trying to raise public awareness about the mid boggling utter stupidity of the crime reporting system for a few years now.

Hunting detections to improve crime figures is slowly but surely eroding the confidence of natural police supporters. Ordinary people who make up the bulk of the British population are being criminalised in ways like that of Renate Bowling, all in the crazy pursuit of ticked boxes and meeting targets. The common sense police response would be to exercise descretion, rap the youth on the knuckles for his behaviour and advise Mrs Bowling. The mad system that has evolved however does not allow for discretion. Once the matter is reported, (the assualt in this case) it is logged on computer as a crime. The case cannot be resolved and "detected" until the accused accepts responsibility. The officers are not permitted to show discretion and walk away, they are forced by the system to follow it through. Teams of audit officers scrutinise and follow up on such cases until the detection box is ticked.

In this case, as with many thousands of others concealed within Home Office figures, the price paid for the detection was way out of proportion with common sense policing. The result is one criminalised disabled grandmother who has lost all confidence and support for the police. Consider further the many hours consumed by officers taking statements and processing the matter for the CPS. Whilst police officers are tied up with enquiries like this that only serve to diminish confidence in the service, they are not available to respond to other more serious and needy cases. Little wonder police morale is at its lowest ebb, when the very system they are forced to implement prevents them doing the really important jobs as effectively as they would want.

The example is one of thousands where the CPS then exacurbate the situation by pursuing the case, safe in the knowledge they have another detection secured. Why oh why, could common sense not have prevailed and the decision made to take no further action? If the responsibility and decsion to charge was returned back to the custody sergeant, common sense might well have prevailed, and Mrs Bowling may have been saved the indignity of a court appearance and a black mark against her otherwise good name.

Police Officers and CPS are being strangled by Government directions and performance targets to detect at any cost. All so that the Government can feed the public more statistical spin about how crime has reduced since they came to power. 

A consequence of the true public perception is that less than 50% of crimes are reported. The public have lost confidence that the police will be able to do anything, or worse, as in this case, as the real victim, you are more likely to face prosecution than the yob. We no longer have an accurate grip on what is real and manufactured concerning crime in the UK. On that basis, how can any Government accurately forecast the financial and human resourcing for a given area?

The system doesn't legislate or care, it got its detection and that's all that matters.

Politicians take note . . . .  This needs addressing SOON.

The Crime Analysis Team
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Friday, 23 October 2009

PETITION TO BRING THE MURDERER OF WPC FLETCHER TO JUSTICE



WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot and killed outside the libyans people bureau in 1984. Her killer was released from the bureau and returned to Libya a few days later. In view of the compassion shown by the UK to the lockerbie bomber, her killer should be returned to the UK to face justice.

A petition has been raised on the site http://www.number10.gov.uk/

To support this petition click http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/YvonneFletcher/

Crime Analysis Team
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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Cash For Crash Fraudster staged almost 100 car crashes and cost insurance firms £1.6m


• Mohammed Patel charged £500 a time to stage 'accidents'
• Office workers noticed high number of crashes at roundabout

A "crash for cash" fraudster who lived the high life on the proceeds of staged accidents and cost the insurance industry £1.6m was jailed today.

Mohammed Patel, 24, charged £500 a time to stage accidents which enabled fraudsters to claim an average of £17,000 from insurers. He staged at least 93 crashes, earning himself around £46,000, Manchester's Minshull Street crown court heard.

Patel, of Bolton, Greater Manchester, admitted one count of conspiracy to defraud, six counts of dangerous driving and four counts of driving while disqualified. He was jailed for four and a half years and banned from driving for three and a half years.

William Baker, prosecuting, said Patel's earnings funded an "Aladdin's cave" at the home of his unemployed girlfriend, Ettorina Hay. The court heard the pair enjoyed luxurious foreign holidays and drove expensive cars.

Baker said the scam was exposed by suspicious office workers at Bovis Homes, who overlooked the Eden Point roundabout on the A34 at Cheadle Hulme. He said that in the latter part of 2005 "they became suspicious that road traffic accidents were being staged" because of the number and similarities of crashes.

Baker, describing the set-up, said: "One vehicle colliding with another at low speed with minor damage and often the same person driving the lead vehicle. They told drivers of the rear vehicles they thought they were the victim of fraud."

Baker said: "Mohammed Patel staged the road traffic accidents. He drove cars on to the roundabout and then stopped them so abruptly the vehicle behind could not avoid a collision.

Fraudulent claims, submitted by people not present at the scene whom Patel purported to be, were then made. Claims would include compensation for injuries such as whiplash, damage to the vehicle, a hire car, and storage of the damaged vehicle.

Baker said Patel staged the accidents between May 2005 and August 2008. Patel was arrested in Bolton on 7 August last year and gave a prepared statement to police. He pleaded guilty to the charges.

Crime Analysis Team
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CRIME MAPPING - IS POLICE RECORDED CRIME A TRUE MEASURE?



Click on the map or the link in the sidebar


An interactive map offering detailed crime statistics on every street in England and Wales crashed hours after its launch yesterday.

Those attempting to visit the site, http://maps.police.uk/ were shown an automated message saying it was temporarily unavailable.

The teething problems surfaced as Home Office minister David Hanson officially unveiled the website during a visit to a regeneration project in south west London. He was joined by National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) deputy chief executive Steve Mortimore, whose colleagues drew up the map.


The website aims to offer members of the public unprecedented access to information about crimes taking place in their neighbourhood. The national map follows on the heels of regional versions created by the 43 forces across England and Wales.

Users should be able to access figures on levels of burglary, robbery, violence, vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour. They can also compare one area against another and compare figures against the same period the previous year to see if crime is getting better or worse. The website also offers messages from senior officers and links to local policing priorities and information about forthcoming crime-fighting events.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The high level of public interest in the new national crime map has put temporary pressure on the website. Urgent work is under way to resolve this and the website should be working again shortly."

The launch of the “Crime Mapping” facility, http://maps.police.uk/ unites the crime statistics of the 43 police forces of England & Wales under one software banner for the first time.

This is long overdue. Earlier in the week an article posted on http://thinblulineuk.blogspot.com/ complained that the Home Office were allowing 8 forces responsible for 40% of the population and 48% of crime to use their own software. Cynical perhaps, but we suspected that this was yet another Home Office strategy to prevent the general public from accessing the full picture of current recorded crime, and also continuing the “fudging” of figures.

After the shaky start when the facility kept freezing up, it started to work more efficiently this evening. We have attached a composite report of the 43 forces current recorded crime for Burglary, Car Crime, Robbery and All recorded crime. On completion, we are not one bit convinced that the police recording of crime is now an accurate reflection of crime in the UK.

A Few Observations

• The “All Crime” monthly average for the most recent three months is 357,365 incidents
• On that basis, the full year forecast will be 4,288,380 crimes
• In 2008 the recorded crime incident was 4,703,814 (-415,434)
• Will we be expected to believe a crime reduction of 13.4% ??
• This is more than a months full crime reporting for the nation!

Click on table below to see larger image


• In 2008 as in previous years, the BCS estimates of crime were over twice that of recorded crime
• Front line officers tell us that if anything, the volume of crime is increasing NOT decreasing
• Crimes are often misclassified… robbery downgraded to theft, car theft included in burglary when keys are stolen on egress
• How many crimes are not now reported as such, if the victim does not insist? (Citizen focus?)
• Has public confidence sunk so low that they have simply lost all faith in reporting?
• The BCS last year suggested that reporting had dropped as low as 33% for some offences, to 38% overall

To quote from the Home Office BCS : “For the crime types it covers, the BCS provides a better reflection of the true extent of household and personal crime than police recorded statistics because the survey includes crimes that are not reported to or recorded by the police. The primary purpose of the BCS is to provide national level analysis but some headline figures are available at regional and police force area level. The BCS is also a better indicator of long-term trends than police recorded crime because it is unaffected by changes in levels of reporting to the police or police recording practices”.

• This implies that the Government will place importance on police recorded crime only when it suits them. i.e. If recorded crime shows a decrease, with all the measures introduced to achieve that.
• The table below shows a steady decline in reporting of overall crime in the last 12 years, coincidentally the years of New Labour.
• Does this explain the “gap” of crimes that seem to have appeared in the reduction of reported crime?
• With so many new offences created, we are advised that it is simple to reallocate a reported offence to a lesser category.
• Section 5 Public Order Offences (crimeable) are now commonly demoted to drunk and disorderly (no crime report)
• Of those interviewed by BCS, 76% said they did not report because they felt the police would not/could not do anything
Click on table below to see larger image


• Is that what the Criminal Justice System has come to, that the public won’t report because they have lost heart?
• Could this be a major contributory factor to the decrease in recorded crime?
• Has the massive surge in bureaucracy resulted in the massive misreporting of crime?
• How timely that the Government have pushed through the alignment of 43 forces data for current crime
• Are they planning yet another media spin about how crime has been dramatically decreased thanks to their effort?
• The recorded crime shows reductions of 5% burglary, 18% car crime, 7% for robbery and overall crime
• The target, performance and senior officer bonus culture will continue to “fudge” until stopped.
• We are guessing that a Home Office release will be imminent.

We wish we could accompany all of this skepticism with a dose of solutions, but unfortunately, we cannot yet see an answer. Clearly, the crime recording system is flawed and unreliable as a measure of crime. Detections are similarly distorted it would seem. It will be a courageous team that arrives at an acceptable solution that will encourage confidence to return, in the face of a Government and senior management teams that will apply many more dirty tricks to keep their noses buried in that trough. The BCS is only based on a trawl of 46,000 members of the public which hardly seems representative.

We would advocate and support the proposal to make crime statistics properly independent. This would remove responsibility for compiling and publishing crime figures from the Home Office. The responsibility should be placed with the Office for National Statistics which is totally independent. The pre-release access that Ministers and political advisers get to crime statistics should be abolished – so the public would be the first to get an honest account of the facts. Any politician can talk about resuscitating public trust.

The party that demonstrates their intentions and follows it up with decisive transparent and honest action that is genuinely in the public interest, will have the best chance of achieving it.

Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited

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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

CONSERVATIVE PROMISE - IN A NUTSHELL


Following on from the rousing Conservative party conference in Manchester last week, here, in a nutshell, are a selection of observations, quotes and pledges from the speeches of David Cameron and Chris Grayling on the plans they have to reform the Criminal Justice System.


  • Criminals aren't caught because the police are stuck at desks doing paperwork.

  • Violent offenders, sex offenders and heroin dealers get off with cautions because it’s the least hassle.
  • Even if they go to prison, the Government releases them automatically after a fraction of their sentence to reoffend on the same streets as before.
  • People think our criminal justice system is broken.
  • Worrying too much about the criminals and not enough about the justice.
  • It makes me furious. It makes you furious. And law abiding, decent, people are asking - who’s looking after me?
  • That’s why need radical reform in every part of the system. The police. The CPS. The courts. Prisons. Probation. We need to sort it out, so there's no more excuses, no more buck-passing, no more nonsense. We need a criminal justice system that is focused on fighting crime and that is exactly what we plan to deliver.
  • No one thinks that the Government’s 24 hour drinking regime has led to the creation of a “continental cafĂ© culture.
  • We’re not talking about stopping people enjoying a few drinks in the pub. But things have gone far too far. Our town centres on a Friday and Saturday night can be battle zones for our police. Local parks and local estates are blighted by gangs of young troublemakers…. fuelled by alcohol given to them by irresponsible adults.
  • I have talked to people up and down the country whose lives are being ruined by antisocial behaviour. It’s time we stood up for them.
  • We’ll start with the problem of fourteen year olds hanging around with bottles of super-strength beers or ciders. It’s much too easy for them to get very drunk quickly and cheaply.
  • We will increase the price of a four pack of super strength lager by £1.33. We will more than double tax on super strength cider. And our planned increase on alcopops will raise the price of a large bottle by £1.50. These tax changes will not hit responsible drinkers.
  • We’ll tear up this Government’s lax licensing regime. Right now virtually anyone can get a licence to sell alcohol. We even have all night takeaways selling more drink to people as they stagger home from the pub. We will change that.
  • We’ve also got to deal with those who commit the acts of antisocial behaviour and disorder as well. Right now they can offend again and again and just get away with it.
  • Our criminal justice system is sending all the wrong messages. We need real punishments for young troublemakers. Not to send them home with a rap over the knuckles. That’s why we are working on a range of instant punishments for antisocial behaviour.
  • Like grounding the offenders for up to a month. Or making them do community punishments, like cleaning up local parks. Real consequences for the trouble they’ve caused. But that’s for low level offences.
  • For the more serious incidents, things must be different. We were all shocked by the tragic case of Fiona Pilkington. But let’s be clear. What happened to her wasn’t antisocial behaviour. It was criminal.
  • Giving someone a caution or a fixed penalty notice means box ticked, case closed, another solved crime. But we know the system is being misused.
  • But when serious offenders, like people carrying knives, also get off with a caution, when they should be behind bars.
  • I think anyone who assaults a police officer should end up in court facing time behind bars.
  • It’s time for a new deal with our police. We’ll deal with the things that frustrate them. We’ll get rid of the mountains of bureaucracy that make it easier to cut corners. We’ll provide them with proper protection against violence. We’ll get rid of the target culture that makes it easier to issue a caution than to prosecute. And we’ll give them back more power to charge criminals themselves.
  • But in return we want real action against the troublemakers. And we want them to be more accountable to the communities they serve. The next Conservative Government will get rid of Britain’s caution culture. And will demand real moves to tackle antisocial behaviour. It’s time justice was really done on our streets.
  • We will tear down Labour's big government bureaucracy, ripping up its timewasting, money-draining, responsibility-sapping nonsense.
  • The police, the prosecution services, the prisons … is failing under the weight of big government targets and bureaucracy. The police aren't on the streets because they're busy complying with ten different inspection regimes.
  • The police say the CPS isn't charging people because they have to hit targets to reduce the number of unsuccessful trials.
  • And the prisons aren't rehabilitating offenders because they're focused on meeting thirty three different performance indicators.
  • This all needs to change. I'm not going to stand here and promise you a country where nothing bad ever happens. I do not underestimate how difficult it will be to deal with this problem of crime and disorder.
  • We cannot rebuild social responsibility from on high. But the least we can do the least we can do is pledge to all the people who are scared, who live their lives in fear and who can't protect themselves, that Chris Grayling, with Dominic Grieve, will reform the police, reform the courts, reform prisons.
  • I see a country where you're not so afraid to walk home alone, where you're safe in the knowledge that right and wrong is restored to law and order.
  • But if we pull together, come together, work together — we will get through this together.
  • And when we look back we will say not that the government made it happen … not that the minister made it happen … but the businesswoman made it happen … the police officer made it happen … the father made it happen …the teacher made it happen.

You made it happen.


Right now it seems that the Conservatives are closest to the real issues and have the desire to bring about the reforms that are essential if we are to enjoy a more peaceful society. The message we would send out to whichever party is elected at the next election is this. Show us that you have learned from the lessons, mistakes and errors of judgement of the past. Waste no time on party policital spin, we've had a belly full of it. Ditch the blame culture once you have cleared the decks. Show us the truth about the state of the Criminal Justice System as it stands now, then waste no time on blame, show us with your actions that you are healing the wounds inflicted on this country over recent years. Then you will have our blessing, support and confidence. 
 
One last thing. There will be sectors of society waiting for you to trip up. Show us your guts and determination to succeed for us all. Don't give them the ammunition to shoot you. There will be those who will accuse you too, of having your noses buried deeply in the trough. Be aware of that. Act with transparency and honesty so that we will not feel our trust is misplaced.   
 
The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited
 
 


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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE FARCE

A man has been charged with causing criminal damage to two hamburgers worth £5 after an alleged doorstep dispute with a fast food firm.

Stephen Morgan, 31, of South Wales, underwent a police grilling after he was arrested and taken from his home in handcuffs at the weekend.

He is due appear at Swansea Magistrates' Court, in south Wales, next Monday.

Morgan was at home in Culfor Road, Loughor, near Swansea, with partner Michelle Owen on Saturday evening.

The couple, who have two children, planned to stay in and watch ITV1's The X Factor with other family members.

A dispute is alleged to have started after an order of food with a local pizza parlour arrived minus two hamburgers.

Mr Morgan claims it was agreed the group should wait for the rest of the order, he told the South Wales Evening Post.

A dispute is alleged to have started with a delivery man who came to the house later, and £15 compensation was eventually paid out, he claims.

Police visited the address later that evening and arrested Mr Morgan on suspicion of robbery. He was taken to Swansea Central police station where he was questioned about the incident and held overnight.

A South Wales Police spokesman confirmed that a 31-year-old man was arrested on Saturday evening and has since been charged with causing criminal damage to food valued at £5.

COMMENT

Yet another example of the farcical abuse of the Criminal Justice System and complete and utter waste of police and judicial resources. C'mon Mr Johnson get it sorted for crying out loud!!! Ah well, at least the Home Office auditors will be pleased they got another detection.

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