The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Well, That's a New One

We had an Immigration Officer in to apply for a warrant a while back. I checked his ID, had him swear that his information was true, and read the typed Information in support of the application. He wanted to go and search a house where he had reason to believe some illegal immigrants who had overstayed their permission to be in the UK were concealed.
I then asked him, as a matter of routine, why he was asking for a warrant, rather than simply going round to ring the doorbell. "Health and Safety, Sir" he said. "Pardon?" I said. "How is that?" He went on to tell me that during a previous raid on the same house two illegals had leapt from a first-floor window in an attempt to escape, and each of them ended up with broken ankles. So he wanted to bash the front door in and storm in to grab the prey before they had a chance to jump. Health and safety, you see. I gave him a mental ten out of ten for ingenuity and granted the application.

By the way, we always write the time next to our signature on the Information. This is a hangover from the Brixton riots, when there was considerable suspicion that a crucial raid took place before the magistrate had granted the warrant.