Friday, May 18, 2007

Going to the dogs pigs...

Over the last few days, a number of worrying stories concerning criminal justice has emerged. Jackart is hardly a fan of the police at the best of times, and his advice that the police need watching is all too pertinent.
I was talking to a Police officer at the weekend (in a social rather than professional capacity for once). I told him that the police had become an arm of the state, driven by political concerns rather than the needs of the communities they serve.

A spate of stories has highlighted this problem recently. The first was the total fuck-up that was Operation Ore.
The records suggest that because of the media and police enthusiasm to hunt down supposed Internet paedophiles, important questions about the evidence were never asked, or asked in time. As recently as last December the police were still unwilling to admit to the House of Commons that thousands of names on the Landslide list were not paedophiles and were known to have paid only for adult material.

Through no fault of their own, many people and their families will never recover from the false stigma of having been associated with child pornography. They are the victims of a combination of technical naivety and fear, fed by a media circus demanding fast results and the exposure of big names.

Next up, via Iain Dale, is the story that in some areas victims of car crime must pay the police £100 to have their case investigated. And, if their car is found, the police now charge storage.
Victims of car crime are being told their cases will not be investigated - unless they pay more than £100 for the privilege.

Police say they will not conduct fingerprint or DNA tests to discover who might have stolen a car or motorbike unless a fee is first paid to a private company - in Norfolk it is Recovery Management Services - which is responsible for recovering and storing stolen vehicles.

Owners will be given a straight choice when their vehicle is found - if they want the case taken further, they will have to pay; otherwise it will be left for them to sort themselves.

The new charges, which start at £105, have been introduced by the Home Office but have immediately been attacked as an extra layer of tax, a penalty on those already traumatised by falling victim to crime and also a first step towards the privatisation of policing.

This is utterly unacceptable; what's next? Charging rape victims? Issuing charges to the relatives of the murdered?

What, precisely, makes car crime so fucking trivial that people should have to pay the police—who we already pay through our taxes, just in case you needed reminding—in order to investigate a fucking crime? That's what we pay you to do, you fucks! We don't pay you to go to Diversity Seminars: we pay you to investigate crime and we shouldn't have to pay an additional bribe to get you to do so.

And now, via Not Saussure, we are being told that we will not be able to report bank frauds to the police either.
People will no longer be able to report cheque or card fraud or theft to the police under new rules being introduced by the Government.

From 1 April 2007, anyone who is a victim of this type of crime will be told to report it to their bank or building society and not police.

It will now be up to financial institutions to report such crimes to the police, which has lead to fears official figures will not truly reflect the seriousness of the problem.

Andrew Goodwill, managing director of Early Warning, an online card fraud specialist company, said the move is downgrading card fraud from a crime to an industry problem.

Well, when we say fraud, what we actually mean is theft, isn't it? That's pretty much what we are talking about. Now, when someone scammed £4k from my bank account last year, I had to go and get a crime number from the police before my bank would reimburse me and start a proper investigation. So, what happens now, I wonder...?

Now the Home Office has decided to introduce a Bill that would allow the police to turf people out of their homes.
Rambo Reid wants yet another Criminal (in)Justice Bill, with yet more draconian liberty destroying powers for the police.
Officers in England and Wales will be allowed to temporarily throw out nuisance neighbours, whether they are council tenants, private renters or even own the properties.

Notice there is no mention of arrest or trial. The police think you are up to no good so then they throw you out on the streets. Rather different from the way that the founder of the modern police service saw their role.
Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

Of course we are told not to worry because these powers will only be used rarely and in extreme cases. Pull the other one, once this power is introduced it will be used more and more for crimes that it was never supposed to cover.

Of course it will. And no one trusts the police to exercise discretion anymore. Actually, sorry, I'll rephrase that.

No one trusts the police. They are becoming almost as hated as the government, if not more so.

And this measure would make them, effectively, judge, jury and executioner. The police seem to be gathering more and more summary powers to themselves; remember the instant ASBOs? And the strong lobbying by the police for the 90 days detention and other illiberal laws has totally blown the pretence that these are dedicated public servants, accepting more powers with a heavy heart; no, the fuckers are actively looking for these powers and our elected representatives are happy to give them.

And, it seems, you are not much safer once you get in front of the judge.
The Times is reporting that the Lord Chancellor maintains a list of judges and magistrates who have been disciplined for misuse of their computers. The offences apparently include the viewing of pornography.

I'm amazed that the article doesn't discuss the obvious implication of the existence of this list, which is that the judges and magistrates concerned can no longer be considered to be independent of the government. They are so obviously open to blackmail that they must be considered incapable of performing their jobs.

One really doesn't want to piss off the government these days, eh?

If you were to organise some kind of unsanctioned opposition, the police would issue you with an instant ASBO and throw you out of your own home, and the political pressures brought to bear on your trial judge would ensure that you are put away for a nice long time.

And then, should you die in prison, the government will steal your home.

Fucking hellski! People worry about a police state but we are effectively in one already. All it needs is for the—surprise, surprise!—vastly over-budget ID Cards to be introduced and we will all be vassals of a state whose hold over the police and the judiciary ensures that those officers are little more than government puppets.

NuLabour have insinuated corruption through every vein of our institutions and their insane target culture is contributing heavily towards ruining the police (amongst other things) and everyone's trust in them.
Frontline police officers are calling for an end to the "target-driven culture" they say is forcing them to make arrests for petty offences.

The Police Federation of England and Wales says government targets lead to "ludicrous" decisions such as arresting a child for throwing a cucumber slice.

Detectives are being diverted away from serious cases, it also warns.

You can read a list of the fucking stupid things that the police have nicked people for too. And the government's reponse?
The Home Office said it was discussing future targets to give more prominence to serious crime.

What? There's too many targets so you are going to think of some new targets? Are you fucking dense or what, you stupid cunts?
Paul Cavadino, Chief Executive of Nacro, the crime reduction charity, said: "Law enforcement agencies should not be judged by how many offenders they arrest but on how much they reduce crime."

Well, we can but hope. Luckily, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has an idea.
Another stupid think tank with yet more unworkable suggestions the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies wants the age of criminal responsibility raised form it's current level possibly as high as 18. Well this is one way of reducing the crime figures, arbitrarily declare that any crime committed by somebody up to the middle of the period of peak criminality [PDF] is in fact not a crime. Brilliant! This will help that statistics no end, just a shame about the people being mugged.

They also recommend getting rid of ASBOs. I agree that ASBOs should be got rid of, but because people should not be able to be thrown into prison due to gossip about things which aren't a crime. Not because some of the people that they are used against happen to be below a certain age. Having removed the societies penalties for anti-social behaviour there has to be some other penalty or there are no disincentives to it at all. The real solution would be not more central control but letting society once again deal with anti-social behaviour and the Police, as Peel put it,
at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence

which might allow the Police to do what they are supposed to:
The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder

rather than their modern mission to raise the maximum money for government while placating the the public with some soundbites and headlines about crime occasionally.

Still, that little lot should take a bit of pressure off the police, eh? Then they and the judges can spend their time hunting down the enemies of the government and dealing with them...

Yes, quoting this book may well be somewhat clichéd these days, but there are simply too many apt lines to let it go.
The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.
...

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

1984 remains the only book that I read year after year and find more and more horrifying, more and more relevent, more and more rage-inducing. The Party, whatever party, shall not succeed.

Which is why I'm a libertarian.

2 comments:

The Remittance Man said...

The plan is simple: reduce the number of crimes reported (by regulation or disincentive) and lo and behold, crime stats fall.

All Hail The (New) Great Leader for reducing crime by his wisdom and super powers. Hail!

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

I think we need some sort of movement to push for the restoration of Peelian Principles, if only to provide something counter to these think tanks and charities so intent on lobbying.

Referring to one of the Principles that you mention, citizens should need to know more about what their responsibilities are before we return to the idea that the police are drawn from the public.