Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Sentencing of Rioters

There has been some concern expressed from some quarters, including here, regarding the sentencing of those involved in the recent riots.

Personally, I feel the District Judges and Crown Court Judges have not been politically influenced. I rather suspect that, having been constrained for years by our ludicrous sentencing guidelines, the Judges have jumped at the opportunity to step outside of the constraints of those guidelines and give sentences that appear to actually reflect the offence and public demand.

Those who work outside of the failing justice system in this country need to be aware that the sentences given bear little resemblance to time actually served. For example, an offender looting a shop and pleading guilty to burglary has been attracting a tariff of around 3 years imprisonment. A third is taken off for a guilty plea, and so we are down to two years. The offender is eligible for Home Detention Curfew (introduced in 1999) after serving just one quarter of their sentence. So what may seem a harsh 2 years prison actually means 6 months prison followed by around 3 months on a curfew order at home. The home curfew usually applies from 8pm to 6 am but may be less or up to 12 hours maximum. (The maximum curfew may be increased to 16 hours in the near future.)

Shorter sentences are equally reduced. Magistrates currently are only allowed to impose a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment. A sentence of 6 months results in 3 months prison at the most and usually 2.

Recently we had a spate of burglaries. The suspect for these offences had been sentenced to 5 years in prison (he had convictions for more than 60 offences) in 2009. You may be forgiven for thinking he could not be responsible as he must be in prison. We have learnt this means nothing and always check. The prisoner may be on weekend release, work experience or even paroled. This man had been released on parole after 14 months in prison.

Successive Governments have conned the public regarding prison sentences and the lack of almost any rehabilitation for those serving less than three years. These policies are just parts of the significant failings of the justice system and one of the reasons the system fails to deal with offenders effectively either from a punitive or rehabilitative perspective.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Notting Hill 2

Well at least we got out and about tonight. Generally things were pretty good but there were some tensions.

The Carnival is being hailed as a huge success. One man has been seriously assaulted. At about 8pm some youths started throwing bottles at police lines. Couldn't be better could it? Well worth the estimated £4 million policing bill?

What I did see tonight was some much better tactics from the police. Snatch teams backed up by a number of officers resulted in a number of arrests that may not have happened in other circumstances. The yobs will get wise to this and we need to be careful how this develops.

Notting Hill

I have just got home from the Metropolis having spent almost ten hours sitting around waiting to see what happened at Notting Hill Carnival. The Met didn't seem to want the county Mountie's out on the streets, which was a shame.

I still haven't worked out who is actually in charge of the policing of the Carnival but we did get a few words from a youthful Commander, Steve Rodhouse, who gave us the Young Mr Grace speech. "You've all done really well!" (Sorry, that shows my age. Are You Being Served circa 1973.) The whole of the Met seemed to be crawling with scrambled egg on hats and shoulders.

Commander Steve Rodhouse aka Tin Tin?

The press have hailed the event a success so far and one of the most peaceful with fewer arrests than normal. Radio traffic suggested there were some serious issues. A female officer was slashed with a knife. This seems to have gone largely unreported. At one point youths were throwing missiles at officers and running amok, although that seemed to be sorted out quickly.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A Man With Some Balls at Last

My thanks to Zorro for this. Readers of this blog will know that I have been asking for someone from the black community in this country to stand up and speak out about the drug and gang culture in that community. David Lamentable, that pathetic, disgraceful apology for a leader and so called MP for Tottenham will never be that man.

This is quite a long video clip but listen to the Mayor of Philadelphia talking about similar issues in the USA. This man has got the balls that David Lamentable is missing.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

More Unrealistic Expectations

I was going to write a few thoughts down regarding the aftermath of the riots. I am concerned that the Government seem to be happy to allow the Courts to wave the stick and there is a distinct lack of discussion on the policy changes required to reverse the mess we are in. I loathe the disgusting Daily Mail and I don't always agree with him, but Peter Hitchens has said it all for me here.

Ashleigh Hall - befriended a sex offender, Peter Chapman, on Facebook and was subsequently murdered by him.

On another note, this story caught my eye. It is a tragedy that 17 year old Ashleigh Hall was murdered by Peter Chapman a known sex offender. Ashleigh's mother has decided that she is going to sue four police forces who should have been monitoring Chapman. I don't know if these forces failed to carry out basic monitoring of Chapman but to suggest that supervising sex offenders in the community will stop then re offending is like suggesting that having a chat once a week with a drug addict will stop them taking drugs.

There are thousands of registered sex offenders and they are supposed to notify the police where they are living and meet with police supervisors regularly to discuss what they are doing and to try and establish if they are a risk to anyone. I am aware of one case where a sex offender has refused access to the police and the courts have agreed that it is an infringement of his human rights to have the police calling at his home. He refuses to go to a police station and so his supervising officer meets him once a week in his car in a street, 2 miles from his home. How this can have any influence on his offending I don't know.

If you want to eliminate the risk of sex offenders re offending keep them behind bars until you are sure and then we won't have to worry about ridiculous monitoring in the community, which is designed to empty the prisons and give the public confidence, but in reality achieves almost nothing.

PS. I see the former Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith has had the painters in again. Does this mean we can expect another invoice for her husbands porn?

Monday, 22 August 2011

David Lamentable MP

If you want to make yourself really angry, violently sick or even both, read this article by Tony Blair in The Observer today. Tony doesn't think the riots are anything to do with moral decline, it's all about Tony. He had a plan to solve the whole issue of the underclass. The blueprints were left with Gordon and apparently buried by him. If only Tony had been left in charge the whole issue would have been resolved. How can they print this crud?

All political parties share some of the blame for the policies and strategies that have led us where we are but none more so than the last Blair/Brown regime. While some are still trying to blame the greedy irresponsible bankers it is worth reminding ourselves that these two clowns put the country into £800 billion of debt before the banking crisis. The banking bail out cost us about £65 billion. An unwelcome additional burden on our already debt ridden country, but responsible for less than 10% of our total current debt. So politicians conveniently blaming the state of our economy on bankers are being disingenuous to say the least.

Blair and Brown threw money at the social ills of our society, wasting it in the most disgusting way. Encouraging irresponsible lifestyles, benefit culture and buying votes; discouraging responsibility, boundaries and consequences.  Even the wretched Milliband recognised that the Labour party has become the party of the scroungers rather than the working man/woman. For Blair to suggest he could have prevented and solved the problem is an insult to any person with a modicum of intelligence.

I see that David Lamentable, the disgraceful MP for Tottenham, is calling for more money to be thrown at the area. He doesn't seem to understand that just throwing money at poor areas doesn't solve the problem but I guess it is popular with the voters. Voters in Tottenham also seem to like the suggestion that the police are killing black people in custody rather than any suggestion that the black community needs to sort out it's criminal elements.

Incidentally, you may have missed in the news that yet another young black man, Leroy James, has been murdered. There haven't been any protests, demonstrations, riots or even demands for justice because he wasn't shot by the police or stabbed by racist thugs. His killers were members of another black gang. When his father, also called Leroy James, was asked if children should carry knives, he replied. "It is up to them." Mr James is clearly no Tariq Jahan or any kind of role model.

I refer back to my original post on the riots following the shooting of Mark Duggan. When is someone from the black community going to stand up and and actually speak out against the drugs and gang culture in that community?

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Some Light Relief?

" I am pleased to say that the whole situation is now under full control."


Our father, who art in prison,
Even my mum knows not his name,
Thy Chavdom come, 
Thy will be done in Manchester
As it is in London,
Give us this day our welfare bread,
And forgive us our ASBO's,
As we happy slap those who give evidence against us.
And lead us not to employment,
But deliver us free housing,
For thine is the Chavdom,
The Burberry & the Bacardi,
Forever and ever.


Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good

You cannot help but admire the bravery and dignity of, Tariq Jahan, the father of one of the three young men killed in Birmingham on Tuesday night. How he managed to hold it together and speak to the media, I do not know. Rather than demanding justice he simply asked for restraint and an end to the disorder. The way that this community in Birmingham have behaved and the trust the community have placed in the justice system to deal with it is really humbling. Compare that with the behaviour of the animals in Tottenham.

The Bad

I am really worried that the Government just don't get it. It would appear that as the riots have abated for now already the seriousness of the situation is being downgraded. David Cameron talks tough about rioters going to prison while the Courts bail them. He also makes it clear that the reduction in the policing budget will go ahead. Kenneth Clarke has announced that the Government will increase the maximum curfew sentence from 12 hours a day for 6 months to 16 hours a day for 12 months. So already we can see that the focus will be on non custodial sentences.

It needs to be clearly understood that we have a growing underclass who are putting this country at risk of anarchy. We have to address this quickly. Investment in effective parenting, education, prison with real rehabilitation and a Probation and Youth Justice Service that actually sets boundaries and consequences are an absolute requirement for any sort of change. Curfewing these animals in their disfunctional homes and expecting the police to enforce the curfew and keep them under control is not the answer.

The Ugly

Here is Darcus Howe being interviewed by the BBC. With the benefit of hindsight he foresaw these riots coming and it is all because the police have been stopping and searching young black men like his 'angel' grandson for no reason at all.

I recall Mr Howe making a documentary in the West Midlands regarding relationships between the black and Asian communities. Asian youths told him to clear off or they were going to 'mash him up.' I would have thought that Mr Howe would have learnt  then and since that young people of all races in many communities are out of control for all the reasons previously outlined.

Shouting racist and blaming the police is the ugly face of commentators and community 'representatives.' It is irrelevant to this situation now and I suggest you are too Mr Howe.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

It's Not Over Yet!

Well, last night London was at peace again, although elsewhere in the country the feral youths went on the rampage encouraged by the scenes in London over the last few days. ‘Free stuff’ is too much of an attraction for the underclass who waste their lives rather than even think about becoming useful members of society.

The best thing I saw last night were decent people out on the streets protecting their properties; some white faces, but largely Sikhs, other Asians and Turks. Earlier in the day, hundreds of people were on the streets clearing up the mess. This sends out a strong message to the yobs that decent people are standing side by side with the police to enforce law and order.

We must remember that it was well advertised that the capital would be crawling with police last night. This cannot be maintained for long and we need to take steps quickly to ensure that there are no serious repetitions over the forthcoming weeks. Offenders need to continue to get knocks on the door and the justice system has got to stop pussyfooting around and incarcerate them. We need to consider setting aside prisons for these yobs. The message should be that you stay in custody until you are fit to join society. Education and training should be provided and you stay there until you reach a level of achievement. The namby pamby nonsense I have to put up with all the time from the Youth Offending Team and Probation needs to stop. All I hear is that they are ‘working with’ someone. This means they have a nice chat with an offender for half an hour and arrange for them to go on a daytrip and have a McDonalds. This is achieving nothing. Goals, boundaries and consequences need to be set and enforced.

These riots are music to the ears of the academics who might now get funded for another ten years to give us their enlightened opinions on all the social causes. For nothing, courtesy of another contributor, I can tell you the issues are family breakdown; absent fathers; grossly inadequate parenting; failure of education; welfare dependency; political correctness; victim culture; the irresponsible toleration of soft drug-taking; the distaste of the notion of punishment and the consequent collapse of authority in the entire criminal justice system; the implosion of the policing ethic and the police retreat from the streets; the increasing organization and boldness of anarchist and left-wing subversive activity; and the growth of irrationality, narcissistic self-centeredness and mob rule and a fundamental breakdown of morality and order.

In the area of self centeredness I would highlight the morals of our politicians and the greed of the affluent and overpaid rich and lack of philanthropic attitude are also contributing factors. In Europe, salaries more than £100K are still quite unusual, unless you are an MEP. In this country we have followed the American model and pay senior executives disgusting amounts of money that cannot possibly be justified. Funnily enough we have the same issues with a disenfranchised underclass and the police are not going to just beat them into submission for you.

We need wholesale changes in policies and strategies to address these issues.

From a policing perspective, the current liberal policies have led to two generations of violent, thieving, drug infested, welfare dependents that breed the next generation with no thought of responsibility. We simply house them and offer more benefits, education, social services etc. They take what they want and discard anything that might show any responsibility. The police to these people are just an irritation or the enemy. We have been talking about rights and responsibilities for years. Let’s have some firm action!

In some communities we have so called community leaders whose only concerns are self interest and adulation. Multi-culturalism is their life blood. Integration would render them irrelevant. The police and politicians have been fawning all over these people for years. We have seen now that they have no control or influence over behaviour in their communities and it could be argued that they actually deter the police from taking action allowing the criminal elements to go about their business unimpeded. We need to maintain and build good relations with the law abiding section of these communities and tackle robustly the criminal underworld within. And when someone shouts racist, we need to reflect on that, but we must not let it deter us from doing the right thing.

I do not agree that events such as the Notting Hill Carnival should be cancelled. This event is a good example of what has gone wrong with policing and society. The Carnival itself is not a lawless event and to cancel it would punish the law abiding majority taking part in it. What I see every year is the unlawful element moving into the event after dusk. I see gangs ‘steaming,’ robbery, violence and drugs. The police play it very softly, softly, scared stiff of the R word and upsetting the criminal elements. We need to let the event go ahead and tackle the criminals head on and clean it up for the decent people. This is a time for action not falling on the back foot again.

PS: It doesn't look as if there is much hope. Just watching the news and looters are walking out of the Courts on bail. That will show them!

Monday, 8 August 2011

You Reap What You Sow

Well as I write, various parts of London, Croydon and Birmingham are burning. But fear not, I have just read in the Guardian that the Home Affairs Select Committee are going to launch an inquiry into the rioting so that should  resolve it PDQ.

This is no longer anything to do with the police shooting a gangster in Tottenham. It is nothing to do with police and community relations. It is nothing to do with police racism. This is about 30 years of a liberal ineffective education system. This is about people being allowed to behave as they wish without any consequences. This is about pandering to to peoples rights with no regard to responsibilities. This is about a criminal justice system that is totally ineffective and that holds no fear for criminals. This is about failing to imprison violent and persistent offenders.

This is the legacy of Blair, Brown, Cameron etc. This is the legacy of the liberal hand wringers who just want to help all these poor offenders and never set boundaries or consequences. You reap what you sow. The blame for all this will no doubt be pointed elsewhere. Last week the police were criticised for being too hard on protesters. This week we are too soft. When the ashes are raked over this will need a wholesale change in policies not just laying the blame at the door of the police, a la MacPherson.

This is not a popular uprising such as the Arab states as some cretin suggested. This is about 2% of the population who have been taking the piss for years with impunity from the justice system. The police can sort it out but the liberal hand wringers might have to accept baton rounds and a few cracked skulls. If you cannot accept that then let them carry on. The Government might have to have a rethink on cutting police officer numbers, and before they cut payments to officers for being riot trained and for being called back to work they need to think that one through. Thousands of police officers have been called in to help tackle the rioting tonight. Cut the payments and next time you will find no one answering the phones. Most of us are devoted to the job and are happy to take all the crap and criticism and inevitable shaftings, but don't expect it for nothing.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Tottenham Shooting - Community Response

When an alleged gun toting gangster, who tried to murder a police officer, is shot dead you might be forgiven for thinking that a decent law abiding community would support the action taken or at least await the outcome of the investigation. Apparently decent law abiding community does not apply to some of the residents of Tottenham and the usual hangers on who use any such incident as an opportunity to vilify the police.

Tonight about 120 people marched on Tottenham Police Station demanding justice. The dead man, Mark Duggan, was described as 'into things' but apparently he would never harm anyone, ergo he must have been murdered by the police. So a bunch of criminal thugs decide to set light to some police cars and run riot.

When are we going to hear from someone from the black community who will speak out against the drugs dealers, the stabbings, the shootings and the gangs in the black community instead of the silence, tacit support or usual cries of racist police.

When someone dared to highlight the fact that gun crime, stabbings and robberies are disproportionately committed by black offenders this was decried as low level racism by Diane Abbott MP. The same Diane Abbott who sent her son to private school as she was worried that he would be indoctrinated into gang culture if he went to her local state school.

White offenders are also involved in all these types of offences but in general the community does not support them and the press, MP's, community leaders et al line up to publicly show that they are anti crime and want to be seen to be tough on crime. The imbalance in offending rates and the future of many young black people is not going to change until the community start speaking out instead of spouting the usual racist diatribe. I am delighted to see that Diane Abbott has at last acknowledged the problem. When is someone going to have the balls to actually speak out against it?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

More on Supervision and Promotion

One of my PCs is taking the Part 2 Promotion exam. He is not a bad lad and if he passes I will recommend him for promotion next year, not now. Today he showed me one of the Part 2 practice papers. Looking at the problem and the marking sheet I think I would have failed it.

The scenario is this: the Superintendent has been to a community meeting on a local sink estate. The residents are up in arms as burglary and auto crime are up 45% and local youths are believed to be responsible. The meeting is largely attended by the elderly residents who are frightened and were unaware they had a local beat officer. Following the meeting, the Superintendent issued a memorandum stating that proactive patrols of the estate will take place by a number of other officers from various departments and they will be targeting the local youths.

The local beat officer has 15 years service and he has worked on this estate for three years. He is focused on improving relations between the police and young people on the estate. He rarely makes arrests. He has written to the Superintendent asking him to stop the additional patrols as this will alienate the police from young people. The Superintendent has told his Inspector the patrols will continue and to deal with the officer. As a newly promoted sergeant you have been asked to speak to him.

My thoughts were:
1. Tell him not to write to Superintendent without going through supervisor.
2. He has worked this beat for 3 years. What intelligence has he gathered? Who does he think has been committing these offences? What has he done about the suspects? What support and help does he need to deal with them? How can these additional patrols/resources be used to help tackle the offenders without alienating innocent young people?
3. Why is he focused on good relations with young people on the estate? What has he done to engage with other residents and the more elderly/ vulnerable?
4. Why wasn't he at the community meeting the Superintendent attended?
6. What is his arrest record? Why has he made so few arrests?
6. Does he want to be a police officer or a youth worker?
7. Action plan. Monitor performance regarding the crime problem, intelligence, arrests etc. If no improvement move to unsatisfactory performance procedure.

The specimen answers included 1. and 3. and then said thank him for all his good work as a beat officer and tell him an action plan would be considered if he doesn't improve. Nothing about 2. (too challenging perhaps?) And no mention of his poor arrest record.

Is this why we are producing airy fairy supervisors without the balls to challenge or deal with poor performers?