Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Pity The Poor Police Spokesman…

…who has to memorise rubbish like this and regurgitate it with a straight face:
Investigating officer PC Mike Hillis, of Basildon police, said: “This was a great result, and I must thank Echo readers for coming forward with information, which helped us with our investigation.

“Time and time again, the readers have helped us out. Thanks to them, this man admitted the offences and justice has been served.

“This proves by working together with the local community, we can make sure those committing crime are caught and are made to face up to their negative actions.”
Sounds good?

Well, let’s examine the story, shall we?
A man who attacked a store security guard has handed himself in to police after he was named by Echo readers.

The Echo reported how the man had stolen items from Debenhams, at the Eastgate Centre, in Basildon, on April 12.

He was chased by one of the shop’s guards. When the pair got to Southernhay, the crook turned on the guard, hitting him with his skateboard.
So we have theft and assault.
The Echo ran a still of the man, taken from CCTV, in Monday’s paper in a bid to help police identify and catch him.

The suspect was named by readers on the Echo’s website, and the 21-year-old man, from Basildon, handed himself in to police on Wednesday.
Oh, well, there’s iDave’s ‘Big Society’ at work! Excellent!

And I’m sure the police and justice system combined to match the efforts of the media and the citizens, and justify Mike Hillis’ fulsome praise, yes?

Well, what do you think?
He was arrested on suspicion of assault by beating and shoplifting, and was later cautioned for both offences.
Words used to mean something. It seems, increasingly, they do so no longer…


Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

"This was a great result" means...the criminal received no punishment whatever. Perhaps we could collaborate on this site to produce a 'Police Spokesman to English Dictionary'.

Quiet_Man said...

They do love to stretch the language to its limits and beyond, don't they?

Captain Haddock said...

"This was a great result" .. is modern Police-speak for ..

"This will (despite the suspect having given himself into custody, which involved little, or no tiresome investigation on our part) still be recorded as a "Clear-Up" .. making our Crime statistics look better than they actually are" ..

That the suspect was subsequently cautioned for offences of Theft & Assault probably means that both of the aggrieved (the Store & the Victim) declined to prosecute, realising what a waste of time and energy that would be ..

Assuming of course, that they were even consulted in the first place ..

MTG said...

One can read only so much before having need of the communal vomitus bag.

RAB said...

What's this "Assault by beating" crap all about?
An assault is an assault, be it with a wet haddock or a croquet mallet.

There is Common Assault, there is Actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm, but no friggin assault by beating!
They are just making it up as they go along now, not even Plod knows what the law is anymore.

blueknight said...

What's this "Assault by beating" crap all about?

There were two offences at Common Law, 1. assault and 2. battery. The Common Law was superceded by the Offence Against the Person Act.
After a stated case in the 1990s, the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled that if there was a threat to assault that would be charged as assault, but an actual physical battery would be charged as assault by beating.
Although in this case the actual wording of the charge is academic

RAB said...

I am grateful for your assistance Blueknight.
I gained my law degree in the early 70s, and they have fucked with the law so much in the meantime, I barely recognise it anymore.

JuliaM said...

"Perhaps we could collaborate on this site to produce a 'Police Spokesman to English Dictionary'."

Something like the Estate Agent's Translation Guide, you mean..? ;)

"What's this "Assault by beating" crap all about?"

I was wondering that too! Cheers, blueknight...

"...they have fucked with the law so much in the meantime, I barely recognise it anymore."

And not just with the wording either...