Monday, 13 October 2008

Facebook scandal

A defence Barrister has been slated for using Facebook pictures of a rape victim to illustrate her "having a good time" after she was attacked!
All right, I know anyone accused of a crime is entitled to the best defence money can buy, but this takes us back to the days of defences like "She was asking for it!" "She shouldn't be dressed so provocatively!" and (Heaven forbid) " The 'victim' has a background of enjoying sexual relations with more than one partner"
Congratulations Colin McCarraher - You have put the legal system back more than 2 decades!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Reductions in sentencing

Anybody else perplexed by the numbers of appeals for reduction of sentences being won by younger people who have been sentenced for murder or manslaughter recently?
I notice that the Killers of Sophie Lancaster are appealing their sentences, hopefully they won't be successful.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Adopt a Neighbour

Too often these days stories are to be found in local papers about bodies being found weeks, months and in some cases years, before they are discovered. When this happens, local people are quick enough to slate the local authority and social services. Surely, we are all to blame equally?
Years ago, when the milk was left on the step of a neighbour or the newspaper or mail were sticking out of a letterbox the community rallied and notified the correct authorities that there may be a problem.
This was community spirit, not surveillance or interference.
*Find a neighbour, exchange phone numbers, tell them if you are going away!
*Look out for more vulnerable neighbours - if you are concerned about them talk to your local Police Community Support Officer, they can pop round and check if a person is all right.
This is another role Community Champions could take on, they could be a point of liaison between the authorities and the community.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Read it and weep - for 17 year old Shaun Dykes

In Derby, 2:30 on Saturday afternoon a young man called Shaun Dykes was so distressed that he climbed up on the roof of a shopping centre and contemplated taking his own life. A crowd of people gathered to watch as Police Officers tried to coax him down. A minority of the people gathered (according to the Police and other witnesses) to watch this desperate young man started shouting, encouraging Shaun to jump.
At 5:30pm Sean jumped.

My thoughts are with Shaun's family at this time, may he rest in peace.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Is this....................

Is this..................11 year old girl excluded from primary school for swigging vodka............. Enough to make the angels weep?

Monday, 22 September 2008

Youth Sentencing - a new study

In a report issued to the press by Barnardo's it is stated that the number of children who are locked up by courts has risen by 550% between 1996 - 2006. It also claims that only 7% of the offences that led to youth custody last year were serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence.
Barnardo's has called for more early intervention with families to stop custodial sentencing for all but the most serious of crimes - but this has been happening with a huge amount of training and funding around restorative justice and holistic early interventions being put in place.
The disparity seems to be that there are no "set in stone" tariffs for certain offences, OK, punitive justice is never a good thing, but it seems wholly unfair, whatever the age of the offender that some people receive a custodial sentence for the same offence another offender receives a caution for. Until this is addressed, we cannot have a fair system in place, we here about a postcode lottery for the NHS, but not about postcode lotteries for sentencing, yet it happens.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Epetition against knife crime, please sign

Our Epetition has just been excepted by the Prime Ministers office..... It reads as follows

"Where communities are strong and cohesive, crime and fear of crime is lessened. More needs to be done to address the underling causes of knife crime and boost communities. This could be achieved by the setting up of local community champions within the existing framework of local participation. Working alongside judicial reform which makes carrying concealed weapons an offence which carries a mandatory prison sentence would go a long way to promoting public confidence."
If you wish to sign the petition, the link is here.

Thank you

Pilot scheme in Scotland for panic rooms

Glasgow are piloting a scheme to install up to 10 panic rooms in the homes of domestic abuse victims to enable them to stay in their own home. The cost of this is some £6,000 cheaper than a temporary accommodation alternative. The full story from today's record can be found here.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Security in mental health units

Many of the papers today are running stories of prisoners in the mental health system being able to escape from low secure units to re-offend in the community.
I wonder how many people know that the cheapest drugs available are prescribed to patients in hospitals, because of serious underfunding. Perhaps if the right medication was found to suit each patient, regardless of cost - then with proper care and management tragedies and incidents like the papers have reported would be lessened.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Cornish curfew a success

A trial curfew in a Cornish village has been hailed a success by Police Officers in Redruth.
The curfew meant that Youths could not be on the streets after 9pm unless accompanied by an adult. The amount of antisocial behaviour reported during this period decreased, although this has not been officially verified.
The trial was a voluntary agreement with the local community.


....... For the overt indulgence of the last post, but I think modern day politicians and statesmen could learn lots by reading Marcus Aurelius.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus 121-180 (Quotes)

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus 121-180

A man should be upright, not be kept upright.
A man's worth is no greater than his ambitions.
A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.
Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live.
And thou wilt give thyself relief, if thou doest every act of thy life as if it were the last.
Anger cannot be dishonest.
Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise.
Aptitude found in the understanding and is often inherited. Genius coming from reason and imagination, rarely.
As the same fire assumes different shapes When it consumes objects differing in shape, So does the one Self take the shape Of every creature in whom he is present.
Be content to seem what you really are.
Be content with what you are, and wish not change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it.
Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.
Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.
Begin - to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished.
Confine yourself to the present.
Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh.
Despise not death, but welcome it, for nature wills it like all else.
Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig.
Do every act of your life as if it were your last.
Each day provides its own gifts.
Each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle.
Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be.
Everything that happens, happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
Execute every act of thy life as though it were thy last.
Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it... Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.
He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.
Here is the rule to remember in the future, When anything tempts you to be bitter: not, ''This is a misfortune'' but ''To bear this worthily is good fortune.''
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks.
I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.
If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
Let it be your constant method to look into the design of people's actions, and see what they would be at, as often as it is practicable; and to make this custom the more significant, practice it first upon yourself.
Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live.
Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.
Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.
Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.
Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.
Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight.
Men exist for the sake of one another.
Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear.
Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.
Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are, and to make new things like them.
Our life is what our thoughts make it.
Perhaps there are none more lazy, or more truly ignorant, than your everlasting readers.
Poverty is the mother of crime.
Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.
Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.
That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees.
The act of dying is one of the acts of life.
The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.
The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.
The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.
The sexual embrace can only be compared with music and with prayer.
The universal order and the personal order are nothing but different expressions and manifestations of a common underlying principle.
The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.
There is nothing happens to any person but what was in his power to go through with.
Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.
To live happily is an inward power of the soul.
To the wise, life is a problem; to the fool, a solution.
Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late; the good lived yesterday.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
We are too much accustomed to attribute to a single cause that which is the product of several, and the majority of our controversies come from that.
We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
What springs from earth dissolves to earth again, and heaven-born things fly to their native seat.
Whatever the universal nature assigns to any man at any time is for the good of that man at that time.
When thou art above measure angry, bethink thee how momentary is man's life.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Where a man can live, he can also live well.
You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
You must become an old man in good time if you wish to be an old man long.
Your life is what your thoughts make it.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


A group of Goths camping at a park in Leeds, last week were set upon by a group and kicked and punched. One man had his ear cut off, and others had broken noses and ribs. Didn't the death of Sophie Lancaster teach people anything about intolerance?

Monday, 1 September 2008

SHOCK HEADLINE "Credit crunch could increase crime"

Home Office Minister Tony McNulty admitted after a letter from Jacqui Smith to Gordon Brown was leaked, crime rates, extremism and illegal immigration could increase with the credit crunch - well, excellent news here then! - Just think if some of the billions spent on the war with Iraq had been put into street policing and building newer and better prisons, perhaps offenders would actually be procecuted for committing crime!
Sorry, I am a little sarcastic today :-)

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Mexico takes a stand on crime, with mass anti-crime rallies

Hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens took a stand on crime by attending mass demonstrations on crime, in a series of protests, dressed in white and silently carrying a candle, they protested to put pressure on the Government to take a tougher stance on crime. The full BBC stor can be found here, complete with a video.

Monday, 25 August 2008

What is Britishness?

I think 'Britishness' is quite easy to define - it is the sense of community in the face of adversity the country used to display.
Britishness is knocking on a neighbours door if they haven't taken the paper in for a couple of days. It is helping others out if they have a crisis, it is volunteering for a good cause. It is teaching your children respect for others person and property. It is keeping a public stiff upper lip and not going on Jeremy Kyle and washing your dirty laundry in public, it is caring if people are abusing children, animals and vulnerable people. It is stopping to help push a car, or offering a neighbour a lift home at the bus stop when they have been shopping.
It has nothing to do with colour or creed, class or education. We were a great nation because that community spirit once existed.


Much is being made of the global recession and credit crunch, as it is financially affecting most families in the UK, with fuel, food and other goods being more expensive, topped by the rise in utility bills. It is more difficult to get a mortgage or loan at the present time.
In the last decade or so, credit has been so easily obtainable that the culture of saving up for luxury items has become almost non existent. Nothing really, has a value any more - if it can be replaced straight away, then it doesn't matter if it is not treated with respect.
This can sadly also be attributed to other values. Our society has become morally bankrupt. Respect used to exist within families and within the system - respect for parents, authority figures and for peers. This has almost been eradicated. The family unit is no longer strong, with both parents being forced to work, there are no role models at home, which in the first few years helps build character in a child which should reinforce them throughout their life. Even single parents have felt forced by the Government to go back to the workplace. Both parents and schools have been forced to look at how to discipline children, and to be honest - nothing seems to work (the threat of a smack was enough a couple of generations ago, but this is no longer admissible).

Thursday, 21 August 2008

And this week.................

A man was kicked and punched by 3 "men" after he refused a request to give one of them a cigarette. The full story can be found here. He is now in a drug induced coma in intensive care.
Reminiscent of a case in Bristol where a man died after a man jumped out of a car and punched him in the head and he fell.
Well, this is a week the UK can again be proud of, isn't it?
If you look at both links and have any information, ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Sick Bastards

I do not usually reproduce an article in full on this Blog but here goes...........
Rabbit torture filmed on mobile

A drunken Darlington teenager has admitted smashing a rabbit against a wall while her friend filmed the attack on a mobile phone.

The 14-year-old swung the pet by its ears and its skull could be heard cracking on the footage. It died later.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had drunk three litres of wine and claimed the four-month-old rabbit had bitten her.

She admitted cruelty and was given a referral order for 10 months.

A 17-year-old youth admitted a charge of aiding and abetting the girl to cause unnecessary suffering.

He will be sentenced at South Durham Youth Court, sitting in Bishop Auckland, in September.

The court heard how the girl was babysitting at a house in Darlington when she was egged on by her friends to abuse the family pet by smashing it against a wall four times.

'Extremely remorseful'

A 30-second video was then sent to several other people via Bluetooth.

The RSPCA has been unable to establish who filmed the incident.

Lucy Shuttleworth, defending the girl, said the animal's owner had already carried out her own "justice" and had been given a six month conditional discharge by magistrates for assaulting the teenager.

Ms Shuttleworth said: "She deeply regrets it and is extremely remorseful for what she has done."

'Absolutely horrendous'

Mr Abbott told the girl: "In my time as a magistrate, which is now 18 years, I heard never heard anything like this.

"The bench felt very strongly. If you are capable of doing this to animals, what else are you capable of?"

The referral order means the girl will have to be monitored by a youth offender team for 10 months in an effort to reform her behaviour.

The court also banned the girl from keeping animals for five years and ordered her mother to pay £455 prosecution costs.

RSPCA Inspector Mark Gent said: "This is the worst case of wilful animal cruelty I have seen in my career.

"What that rabbit went through was absolutely horrendous."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/08/20 15:30:54 GMT


Remorseful??????? After bluetoothing it to all their friends?????????????

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Part 2......

Following on from the last article, a former Police Officer was arrested in Northumberland for standing up to a bunch of yobs, hot on the heels of last months appeal from the Chief Constable of the same force asking the public to challenge rowdy behaviour.
The former Police Officer had his life threatened by 12 male youths who were throwing cans at cars, and he was later locked up for 2 hours in the cells on suspicion of assault. It took 2 months to be told no charges were to be forthcoming.
Yet another reason not to put yourself at risk!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

More reason not to confront antisocial behaviour head on

Following a man being sprayed in the face with pepper spray and threatened with a knife, a woman was thrown onto rail tracks after she asked 2 men not to smoke at a train station (story here)
There are ways of taking a stand against crime and antisocial behaviour without putting yourself at risk. Crime and ASB can be reported anonymously and the onus is on the criminal justice system to put every available tool in place to protect witnesses and victims. Lobbying to make sure this happens is the best proactive action the public can take.
People are voted into public office to represent the views of the law abiding decent people who reside in this once great country - So take a stand and demand (in a lawful and peaceful manner) that they do the job they were elected to do and listen to overriding public opinion.

Youth Gangs in London

A 13 year old was arrested for weapons offences after Police found a gun along with 2 silencers and 20 bullets in the stairwell of his home, the full story can be found here. It appears the Baikal is the weapon de jour for today's teenage gang members in Inner City Britain, with a 17 and an 18 year old being killed this year in London with this gun.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Brown calls for Communities to rally against knife crime

Yesterday, Gordon Brown called for communities to rally against knife crime, the article can be found here.
An injection of money into community groups and non-profits perhaps would facilitate the message being taken out to the public in a safe and proactive way, also making community education more freely available.
Communities need to address such issues with input from agencies as a one size fits all approach will never work. More money needs to be available for funding projects to work holistically with at risk groups.
I would also venture to suggest, the reason some communities are not taking a proactive stand against crime and antisocial behaviour, is that when individuals try to make a difference, the law lets them down with weak and ineffectual sentencing - and it is difficult to access support from overstretched agencies while trying to take a stand.
I have attended respect events and what horrifies me is that these brave members of the community who have stood up to the bullies and criminals, have been forced to relocate because of ongoing harassment.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

No Charge!

According to an article in today's Bristol Evening Post, over a 3 month period half of the youths caught in possession of a knife were not charged. The article can be found here. With the current campaigning and public outrage about knife crime and the senseless loss of life, it seems quite ineffectual that harsher sentencing is not being carried out, at least charge those in possession of an offensive weapon.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Code of Practice Setting Out Victims Rights

Here is a link to your rights if you are the victim of a crime. Make sure your rights are upheld by the authorities dealing with you or your family.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Too Soft on Gun Crime

Today, the Weston-super-Mare Mercury reported that a man who terrorised a 13 year old boy with a gun and punched him to the ground, escaped a jail sentence.
How on earth are we supposed to make a difference and sort out the knife and gun culture in this country if custodial sentences are not given out.
The mitigation in this case was that the offender hadn't realised his victim was only 13 years old and that the offender was working long hours.
I expect this will be a comfort to a 13 year old who will probably bear the mental scars for the rest of his life.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Offenders Escaping Court

Magistrates and Solicitors warned in an article published today by the Telegraph that many offenders are escaping court because of Police targets (whole story here)
The consensus of opinion seems to be that Police Officers are handing out fixed penalty notices and cautions for crimes that should require proper sentencing such as ABH resulting in the victim needing medical attention and stitches.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Crime Maps

Ever wondered what goes on in your street?
With new sharing of information you could be appraised of every crime that occurs. A google map could soon be available to residents mapping out every offence that takes place in the area you live.
Critics are already predicting these statistics could be used by criminals to target vulnerable area and by insurance companies to put premiums up. There is a link here to the article in today's Telegraph.
Four Police Force areas are publishing similar information on line now including North Yorkshire and West Midlands. The consensus in some circles is, that unless these statistics are being used to make the Police accountable to the public, they are of little value.
Perhaps in conjunction with PACT (Police and Communities Together - where priorities are set by the public) these statistics could be invaluable, as at present - there can be an issue with the way PACT is administered, because the areas with the strongest resident participation are setting all the priorities, and sometimes this means that a homogenised view of crime or antisocial behaviour leads to the less serious aspects of nuisance being tackled rather than the grass root causes. For example if a local park have a strong committee, a priority may be set to move Youths on if they are drinking in the parks in the evening. This leads to another area without the strength of participation having the problem moved into their area.
PACT needs to be developed, so it outreaches into the general population, and there needs to be a much wider net cast to catch feedback from all groups in the communities, especially the historically harder to reach groups.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Youths Fear Knife Crime

In a report commissioned by BBC London, 55% of young people polled in Brent, Croydon, Hackney, Lambeth, and Southwark. said they fear becoming victims of knife crime, the full report can be found here. So far this year 21 teenagers have died in violent circumstances in England's Capital City.
In the same poll last year fear of crime was much lower.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


In an article today, the Telegraph have reported Gordon Brown has ordered a review into the use of Ripa (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) because local authorities have been abusing the system. It is estimated there have been 10,000 cases where Ripa has been used to snoop on low level offences such as under age smoking, dog fouling and other such issues. Here is a link to the Home Office which goes into more detail about Ripa.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008


Men who kill their partners will no longer be able to claim provocation, under a shake up of UK law it was reported today in the Telegraph. Around a hundred men a year kill their partners and use defences such as nagging, unfaithfulness and provocation such as failing to cook meals. It was also noted in this report that it was easier for men to use this as a defence than women who kill their partners.
Domestic violence is horrific, and not only constrained to men offending against women, it can happen in same sex relationships and women offending against men, although, unfortunately there is a stigma attached to reporting this crime so the true scope of this problem cannot be guessed, although the Home Office thinks it affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men during their lifetime.
If any readers, male or female, are suffering from domestic violence, whether it is physical, mental or financial, please ask for help and support........ There are lots of organisations out there who will support you.
Updated here, 29/07/08

Monday, 21 July 2008


The link here will take you to an article in the Times where 4 young offenders who are currently jailed for knife offences are interviewed about their crime. They actually talk of their experience of prison as being positive and how they wish to improve their lives when released. Perhaps in the current climate of people standing together to help stamp out knife crime, something may be achieved.
Sign petitions, join campaigns, lobby Parliament - do whatever you can to take a stand against this type of crime. If you are a parent or teacher, let children know the implications of carrying a knife or other weapon. Make them aware of the sorrow families feel at losing a loved one in such a tragic manner.


Today a Government plan was unveiled to make community work mandatory for thousands in receipt of benefits. Unemployed for a year? Then work for 4 weeks in your community carrying out chores such as graffiti removal and litter picking - Unemployed for 2 years? It becomes full time. This hot on the heels of a Guardian interview today which predicts hundreds of thousands of job losses due to the current recession. (I wonder if high ranking city workers will be subject to the same penalties?)
The third sector (non-profit) are always crying out for volunteers. It is almost impossible to volunteer full time if you are in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance, or seek to improve your employment prospects with full time education. Perhaps it is time for a new benefit to be offered?
With claimants opting in for a period of a year (with an option to extend at the Benefit Agencies discretion) where the claimant either opts to work or study full time, as this would improve long term back to work prospects with a better salary.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Witness Protection Bill

Today an emergency witness protection bill was rushed through both houses as a stopgap until the law is amended. The full story can be read here.
In some cases of antisocial behaviour as well as crime, intimidation and fear of reprisal makes it very difficult to encourage people living with ASB to officially report it to the correct authorities. It is easy to ask the public to take a stand, but more difficult to provide a service that keeps witnesses free from intimidation and threat 24 hours a day.
I have attended events where the public have been rewarded for having the courage of their convictions and have stood up to people who make their and other peoples lives a misery, but sadly, in many of those cases the recipients of the awards have had had to move for their own safety. Justice needs to be swift and punitive for offences of this type, with no social reports taken into account to ensure more lenient sentencing.
There are more tools than ever to help facilitate this, but we still need more Police and a quicker turnaround from the courts. We also need more services to offer support through this stressful time. If anyone reading this Blog needs support because of antisocial behaviour click here.

Rights to Defend Yourself and Property

In an article published by the Telegraph, new measures are now in place. They published a short list of what is now acceptable / unacceptable to protect yourself and your property.


* If fearful for your own life, you can stab or shoot a burglar if they confront you

* Overpower a burglar or a mugger and use their weapon to attack them – whether it is a knife, a gun or a baseball bat.

* Shoot an armed robber in the "heat of the moment" using a shotgun stored in your home if threatened by them

* Fight, punch and beat a mugger in the street threatening you or a bystander

* Tackle a fleeing burglar to the ground and hold them in a headlock until police arrive


* Attack a fleeing burglar with a cricket bat, a golf club, a knife or any other weapon

* Lay in wait for a burglar and ambush them, or shoot them from behind

* Launch any premidated or prolongued attack - such as tying up, torturing or burning a burglar or mugger.

* Shoot or attack a trespasser on private land if they are challenged and run away"

(16/07/2008 Telegraph on line)

There has been much debate over the last decade about this subject with high profile cases like Tony Martin the Norfolk farmer, who was lucky to have Michael Wolkind QC representing him at his appeal, he subsequently had his sentence reduced to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility,and was freed after serving 3 years of a 5 year sentence. Martin however, shot the burglars as they were effecting an escape, much of the above seems written to cover scenarios highlighted by the aforementioned case.

CABOT would never suggest the public should put themselves at risk in any situation, (unless it is unavoidable) but at least now the guidelines are somewhat clearer.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Back to knife crime......

Today it was announced in the popular press that 60 incidents of serious knife crime are carried out every day. With Jacqui Smith due to publish her long awaited Youth Crime Action Report this week, it must be hoped that stronger measures will be taken to combat this growing trend among the young. There is already dissent among the ranks with a spokesman for the Probation Service referring to the report as a 'damp squib', this is a doubtful remark, as the quality of Mrs Smiths team, including Sue Strickland MBE is not in doubt, Sue has an amazing record in the antisocial behaviour field.
link here
One of the plans appears to be that offenders will be taken to A&E wards to be shown victims of knife crime in an effort to address offending behaviour with shock tactics. This American idea is a step closer to hammering home the consequences of carrying a weapon. Perhaps shock tactics need to be used in a pro social way and aimed at instilling boundaries before the offending behaviour gets a chance to take hold? .......... Just a thought!

Friday, 11 July 2008


Restorative justice is the latest buzz within the criminal justice system. Could they not go one step further and bill convicted criminals the charge of the investigations against them? The money could be reinvested in prisons and would mean less of a strain on the public tax payers purse.
One way this could happen is that prisons are turned into industries and profits earned by inmates working could be used to make them self sufficient, after all what industry do we have left in the UK compared with our heyday?

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Collateral Damage

Collateral damage Away from knife crime today, which the media is full of, it seems to be about time that the remote lawmakers looked at people being more important than property or finance. Stab someone to death, you could conceivably receive 7 years - defraud people and get 15! Mmmmm, food for thought really, no wonder people have such a low value of life!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


..... I read an article in my local newspaper about antisocial behaviour perpetrated by children of 8 and 9 years of age. Although I have total empathy with the people living with this, it needs to urgently be resolved, and they need support from relevant agencies, I was actually more disgusted by the comments left by a couple of members of the public who advocated enforced sterilization of the parents of the perpetrators. One man who tried that, I believe, was born in Austria!
I wonder, if they actually put an effort into joining an organisation to help redress the situation - instead of sitting at home spewing naziesque vitriol - the situation may improve.
More than ever today, family interventions are being used by organisations empowered to use tools, including parenting orders - because someone has smelled the coffee and realised that a holistic approach to address offending behaviour is needed, especially with youth, although when these interventions are ignored then the system should be geared to come down hard on repeat offenders.

Monday, 30 June 2008


This article appeared today on several news sites. It involved a 14 year old girl and months of sustained antisocial behaviour culminating in actual assault against a frail 83 year old widow. Where has society gone wrong? Is it the schools? The parents? Why would anybody think an elderly person was 'fair game' to be on the receiving end of such behaviour?
The outcome?
A 2 year antisocial behaviour order.
It beggars belief.
I wonder if that seems a fair outcome to a fearful elderly lady who had trouble getting to sleep at night because of the campaign of terror she was subjected to?

I do not believe in custodial sentencing for children, but I think it is about time stock was taken, surely, there is some social education we could be undertaking to teach the young about acceptable behaviour in a way that gets the message across - Instead of locking stable doors after the horse has bolted.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Knife Crime

Bebo have a great page to warn younger people about the dangers of carrying knives here It is called Stop Knife Crime.
I call it to attention after the latest in a line of senseless killings of young people this year. To be honest, I have moments where I wonder why I do what I do - always made worse when I read the papers and see another life wasted, but then, it means I am not desensitised to violence, I suppose that counts for something in this day and age.
At an event recently we watched a Youtube happy slapping video, it was horrifying - I felt physically sick, it took me back to being bullied as a child and I identified with everything the victim must have been feeling. I wish sites like Youtube would take more responsibility and remove videos that glorify violence.

Protection of witnesses halts murder trials

Due to the quashing of a double conviction last week because of the anonymity afforded to one of the prosecution witnesses, we could see hundreds of appeals for the overturning of sentences where evidence is given by those too frightened to face the defendant in a court of law.
The victims code of practice here set out the rights of victims and witnesses and the measures which can / should be taken to protect them.
Hopefully this will not lead to a downturn of people willing to give evidence, but that seems like wishful thinking really! There have been a spate of reports about witness intimidation in recent months, and how many would be comfortable putting themselves or their property at risk to be a good citizen.
There must be kudos given to the hundreds of people in the UK that take a stand against crime and antisocial behaviour, putting themselves at risk of reprisal because they are saddened by the deterioration of their communities and wish to make a real difference. These are the (mostly) unsung hero's who work tirelessly in the background involving themselves in community groups, charities & neighbourhood watch groups. There should be more networking established between these individuals / groups because when people stand together their voices are heard more than a lone voice whispering in the wind. If any readers are interested in sharing views there is a link here

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime

Antisocial Behaviour affects most of us, it can have a serious effect on the lives and well being of people. The respect people used to have for each other and the community spirit that once existed seems to have lessened over the years.
Louise Casey has just finished the report commissioned by the Government entitled "ENGAGING COMMUNITIES IN FIGHTING CRIME" I was involved along with thousands of others in giving input to this report, and the resulting paper is very well balanced, as it seems to reflect the views of the public at the events I attended. It clearly shows the public are worried and disconcerted about ASB and crime, they are fearful - and the majority would like to see the criminal justice system overhauled to make sentencing more severe and to give more rights to victims and less to offenders. A copy of the full report can be found here in pdf format.