Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Police Out Of Control So Soon Into 2011..?

First, they manage to make themselves an utter laughing stock and earn themselves the enmity of yet more fed-up motorists by bringing this case (drawn to my attention by Mr Eugenides, sadly missed from the blogging scene):
Michael Thompson was pulled over by officers in Grimsby, north-east Lincolnshire, in July after flashing at several oncoming cars to warn them about the speed gun.
Thompson, of St Augustine Avenue, Grimsby, was charged with wilfully obstructing a police officer in the course of her duties and found guilty when he appeared at Grimsby Magistrates' Court last week.
He was fined £175 and ordered to pay £250 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after the half-day hearing.
So much for it all being a matter of road safety and 'educating drivers to slow down', eh? And since no less a law blogger than David Allen Green (Jack of Kent himself) considers it a joke, it really must be an own goal.

So they clearly decided to go for broke and piss off the media too:
ITV News was today banned from a press conference by Avon & Somerset police after broadcasting a critical report on the force's investigation into the murder of Joanna Yeates.

The broadcaster's reporters were told they would not be allowed into today's briefing on the murder of the landscape architect in Bristol last month, but were given no further detail about why.
Not that the 'Guardian' aren't speculating on the reason:
Last night's News at Ten ran a report critical of the force's investigation into the 25-year-old's murder, claiming that police were no closer to finding her killer 10 days after her body was found.

Reporter Geraint Vincent questioned whether the Avon & Somerset constabulary's inquiries had followed procedure. A former murder squad detective, interviewed for the programme, claimed that the police were failing to conduct "certain routine inquiries", such as painstakingly sweeping the murder scene for fresh evidence.
Getting the media's backs up isn't really a good idea, is it? Remember the last time the police got into a fight with the media? Something to do with mosques and being undercover, I seem to recall... ;)

At this stage, is there going to be anyone in the UK at the end of 2011 that isn't thoroughly cheesed off with the performance of the police?

Update: A welcome return to blogging for Mr E!


Lynne said...

So presumably all those roadside signs warning drivers they have entered a speed monitoring area are illegal as well...?

Anonymous said...

Thats a bloody good point Lynne, I would appeal it on that basis.

Umbongo said...

I suspect that, if it was a speed gun rather than a speed camera (sorry "safety" camera), then there were no notices providing the same services as Mr Thompson.

I was caught speeding in Northamptonshire by a speed gun and - at the speed school I opted for instead of penalty points - I was informed that warning notices in respect of speed gun enforcement were never put up.

Anonymous said...

It's time people relised that policy enforcement officers are there to collect revenue not protect and serve. All the UK constabularies are corporations in the business of making money, check your local is listed on Dun & Bradstreet, as are the courts - you can never win so don't go. points of law are irrelevant were statutes are concerned. If you get a speeding ticket for some minor infraction send it back with "NO CONTRACT - RETURN TO SENDER" written on it. Speaking from experience this works, the ticket is an offer of service and you have 3 options: 1. described above. 2. ignore it and accept it tacitly. 3. Fill out the slip and send in your licence and payment.

RAB said...

Yes, interesting case this one for various reasons.

Apparently is has been "Obstructing the Police..." to do this since 1911 FFS! How fast could you do in 1911?

An AA patrolman was done for tipping the wink to AA members. It didn't stop them though, they just used a code instead.

See AA patrolmen always used to salute when they saw your membership badge on the front of the car, but after that case they decided that if they have seen a speed trap and a member is coming up the road, they Wouldn't salute.

All the members knew the code, but Plod would have a hell of a job proving that the patrolman had done anything wrong... Sorry officer I forgot to salute, why was there a speed trap up the road then?

Now what confuses me in this case is that it stayed in the Magistrates Court and didn't go to the Crown Court and a Jury.

Now ok, the guy was defending himself, a fool for a client etc, but I would have done the same thing. Ah but I have a degree in Law and know when to plead not guilty and take my chances with a jury, who just out of bloody mindedness, cos we've all been there with shithead Plods havent we? could very well have found him not guilty, law or no law.

Perhaps this is one species of crime that has been barred during the New Labour Junta years from going to a jury because of cost. Anyone know for sure? cos as I have said before, they have fucked with the Law I learned so much it is almost unrecognisable to me now.

And dont start me on Avon and Somerset! They are my local Plod and they are utterly fuckin useless! I will tell you the story of our car break in before xmas if anyone is interested...

blueknight said...

What Lynne said. If he pleaded Not Guilty and was convicted he could appeal.
Did you read The Times today? (free in Costa Coffee these days after the Nightjack affair.)
Not actually undercover mosques but not a million miles away

moriarty said...

O/T, but another example of the lunacy in the legal system. UKBA in this case.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they just go ahead and making driving illegal, and then they can make sitting illegal, and the only thing citizens will be allowed to do is lay down (perfect for being walked on).

JuliaM said...

"So presumably all those roadside signs warning drivers they have entered a speed monitoring area are illegal as well...?"

As Umbongo points out, this is likely to have been a rather different sort of operation...

"I will tell you the story of our car break in before xmas if anyone is interested..."


"Not actually undercover mosques but not a million miles away"

Oh, yes. It's mind-boggling that this sort of thing is covered up by a willing media, isn't it? And I wonder if ITN will be so willing next time..?

"...another example of the lunacy in the legal system. UKBA in this case."

Beggars belief!

Anonymous said...

and the CPS who in any case that is sent to a magistrates court have the final decision to proceed with charges or not issued a statement in this case that 'in decieding wether to proceed or not cost in not a factor'. wrong on so many levels, they appear to have a blank check book attitude also without investigating way to proceed without going to court but not ignoring the law we would see so very financialy upset lawyers and courts.
we need to start seeing the way these type of 'crimes' are treated differently. it is true that they are just revenue generating schemes but not just for the government but the whole justice sytsem and all of those who stand to gain from it. so complaining that the laws are moraly wrong or where the revenue goes is not the only argument. how can the government defend spending more money than they generate with these fines when aother more cost efficient methods exist?

Anonymous said...

Here's a corker of a case in Bradford. If the police spot your car in the red light district they'll inform your employer you're a kerb crawler. And they'll keep your details unless you can prove your innocence.

Rob said...

The £15 victim surcharge here is nothing short of robbery

MTG said...

Fertile police imaginations often compromise their reasoning, words and actions.

In the second case you cite, a missing sock clue has significantly altered the lines of inquiry to take the heat off owners of weird comb-overs.

Dawn hospital swoops and the arrest of dodgy looking amputees may temporarily stifle demands for action whilst cunningly swelling the precious DNA database.

JuliaM said...

"Here's a corker of a case in Bradford."

Cheers for that. Utterly astonishing! I see the 'Mail' has now picked it up too...