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Showing posts from July, 2016

Historic sexual offences

The police have a lot of work to do and ever fewer police officers to do that work. Priorities are therefore a must.
If I were a senior police officer, I would want to be setting priorities to focus on dealing with situations and offences that can help people who are currently suffering and finding offenders where there’s actually a prospect of a conviction following.
By and large I’m sure this is what the police do. But, they also prioritise historic sexual offences. I can understand why they would prioritise sexual offences, recent ones and cases where abuse is ongoing, but when it comes to historic allegations I am at a bit of a loss.
Obviously, the victims of these offences may still be suffering today. That’s terrible. But, when an offence took place decades ago you have to wonder at the urgency. Take the case I read about from Cambornetoday. A woman says she was sexually assaulted by a man when she was a child. The offence appears to have taken place sometime between 1974 and 1…

Open letter to the Lord Chancellor

The following is a letter I have sent to our new Lord Chancellor today asking that she takes seriously the problems in the justice system. I do not expect a reply but I shall post one if it comes.

Dear Ms Truss,
Re: Criminal Justice System
Congratulations on your recent appointment as Lord Chancellor and Minister for Justice – I saw the photographs of you at the Royal Courts of Justice this morning and it inspired me to write to you about the appalling state of our Criminal Justice System, although I have very serious doubts whether this letter will ever find its way to you or whether it will be taken seriously if it does.
I am a solicitor, I work for myself representing people accused of motoring offences – particularly offences involving alcohol or drugs and vehicles, these are unglamorous offences such as drink driving. I have previously run a general criminal law firm that handled offences from people travelling on the railway without a ticket up to offences involving corrupt poli…

Misogyny to become a hate crime

Nottinghamshire Police have decided to classify any behaviour perceived to be misogynistic as hate crimes. This includes such things as wolf-whistles, unwanted texts, taking an unwanted photograph and sexual harassment.
A spokeswoman for Nottinghamshire Police said that categorising misogynistic behaviour as a hate crime and highlighting the issue would lead to increased reports and therefore a higher number of charges. This is interesting since the police also admit that they will be applying the label “hate crime” and investigating allegations that “do not reach the charging threshold” – or to put it another way, things that are not crimes and thus cannot result in a higher number of charges.
Wolf-whistles and the taking of unwanted photographs are not currently criminal offences unless they go beyond a one-off incident and become harassment. So far as I am aware, there are no plans to criminalise these behaviours, although I read in the Times that they are offences in other countr…