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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sharp End

This piece from First Post gives an interesting Joe Public view of two unrelated crimes and the way that the people concerned were handled by the police. What happened reflects credit on the officers involved, and that's as it should be.
I see that one officer expressed dissatisfaction at 'the penalties available to the courts' and anyone who reads police blogs will be familiar with that point of view. Where that opinion differs from the more strident police bloggers is that it recognises that Parliament makes laws and courts enforce them. It is simply absurd to imply that 'soft' courts and the 'liberal elite' make laws. Parliament does that, and it is to Parliament that those wanting to see more draconian laws should address themselves.
Crime figures are, as I have frequently blogged, notoriously unreliable, and the factors that drive crime and anti-social behaviour are immensely complex and dependent on many external factors over which courts and Parliament sometimes have little or no control. Experienced police officers, especially those with a bit of rank, have no business propagating black-and-white simplistic slogans that they must know to be untrue and unfair.