Police convictions...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by sussex2, Mar 11, 2009.

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  1. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

  2. The Lib Dems have also under the F of I Act done the same for police and criticised heavily.

    I suggest that MP's should look at themselves for convictions etc before criticising elsewhere
  3. I read in The Week that over 7000 convicted criminals applied to be teachers last year including, rapists, murders, paedophiles etc!!!
  4. One would have thought that the need for CRB checks would have applied for Plod too ... Perhaps SPB could enlighten us on whether they get CRB'd as well. I know that I need to have a CRB check every two years
  5. Any police officer convicted of dishonesty or violent crime should be fired and barred from further police service. However, a lot of these convictions are for lesser crimes like speeding and I don't believe that this calls for such draconian measures.

    It was interesting to hear on the Today programme of the policeman who was prosecuted twice for violent crime, dismissed, but reinstated by the Home Office.
  6. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Yes, all Service Police and other members of the Armed Forces have to have a CRB check conducted on joining the branch and periodically throughout, mainly with reference to working with young persons (juniors, dependants, etc.) or vulnerable people (female victims of crime, WAFUs, etc.)! :wink:

    Additionally any previous convictions (antecedents) committed by Service Police committed during our career, regardless of the 'spent' time period, have to be declared prior to all CM trials.

    But as for Home Office Police Forces, look away from the sensationalist aspect of the story and realise that many of the issues raised are non events, e.g. speeding convictions etc. However police officers remaining on the job with convictions for perverting the course of justice, fraud and forgery does seem a bit much. That is appalling. I think any copper with a conviction for dishonesty should go. We rely on an officer to tell the truth in court. I really fail to see how any officer can function as such when the defence lawyer could question his integrity - and with good reason to do so. However the Armed Forces is awash with similar "criminals"; service personnel who have committed acts of dishonestly (dodgy JPA claims is the current trend), yet they are still serving. Should our integrity as a trustworthy person be called into question also?

    Anyway, percentage wise, comparing police officers with politicians, who has the greater number? I seem to remember that it was the latter. Deal with each instance on its merits and leave it to the Force Chief Constable to decide if they stay or go. Getting politics involved can make things very messy.

    However I have reservations about automatically sacking a police officer for offences of violence, as policing is the profession of violence, and under some circumstances it would be quite easy to pick up a conviction for even a quite serious assault carried out with the best of intentions. Police officers have the power to use controlled violence (as far as the layman bystander is concerned) so long as it is lawful; I am not denying that some criminals sustain injuries during apprehension, but it is sometimes the case when a suspect - knowing that the police officer concerned has more to lose than he does - will make an allegation, based on nothing more than vengence or retribution. These allegations have to be investigated by the appropriate authorities, and may or may not lead to a prosecution. But these should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Not forgeting that having been penalised by the court, they are usually also penalised even more severely by internal discipline.

    The real story here though, in my opinion, is the fact that ten forces made no reply to a Freedom of Information Act request. No excuses there, and they should be nailed for it.
  7. I understand what you are saying here. Friend of mine who is a serving policeman was diciplined on an "alledged" assult charge as having used excessive force when arresting a suspect. I suppose it boils down to what is perceived as a reasonable amount of force - What I cannot seem to understand is how "someone" who was not there and potentially has never had to deal with the same set of circumstances can state that the degree of force that was used in a particular incident was or was not excessive. In the course of carrying out your duty as a copper there must be a degree of self preservation i.e. being able to protect yourself - could it be seen that there is no difference between a knife wielding thug hell bent on adding some unwanted ventilation into your abdomen against a feral female who is fueled up on alcohol / drugs who is also hell being on spearing your eyes on her talons! In my mates case he was exhonerated however felt compelled to change station but it did cause an excessive amount of angst while the dicipilinary ran it's course and there is always a degree of distrust afterwards.
  8. Those requiring airside passes are also subject to very regular CRB checks post September the 11th.
    I don't know numbers, and know of only one actual case, but there must have been many who have lost their jobs for some past, sometimes minor, indescretion.
    The case I know about was one where the person had been convicted of shoplifting, just once, and twenty odd years before. They had been working for the airline concerned, with an excellent record, for many years.
    If such high standards are applied to the general public then out of fairness alone surely the police should be taking a very stiff line with those amongst them found guilty of serious dishonesty.
  9. 8O 8O slightly off topic but i saw that happen to a poor woman outside Piccadilly UG station many moons back. Took 4 coppers to floor the drugged up cnut and the victim had her face shredded , not nice at all
  10. 'What I cannot seem to understand is how "someone" who was not there and potentially has never had to deal with the same set of circumstances can state that the degree of force that was used in a particular incident was or was not excessive'..

    This must happen frequently in our criminal courts. People divorced from the actual circumstances having to decide the right and wrong.
    It could easily happen to an ordinairy member of the public forced into physically defending themselves.
    A conviction for them may well have a serious affect on the rest of their life.
  12. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    What annoys me is people's general attitude towards the police these days. I would say that there is a significant need for a change in attitude to the facts of life in this country. Bad things happen. The trouble is, people simply do not understand. One of my most common actions when there was a ruck that I was too late to join in on was to lecture the crowd of stupid onlookers. It went something like this:

    Village Idiot: "Oh look, It takes six of them to arrest one man."

    Me: "It takes six to arrest him without doing him much damage. Otherwise, it would take one, but your mate would be in dock with a fractured skull." This was usually followed by some fatherly advice on their direction of travel.

    The use of force is not understood by the public at large. As for the TASER, there might rightly be a fuss. I understand that many people have died as a result of it's use. Like incapacitant sprays, they can be relied upon to the point where Conflict Resolution skills decay. Some police 'managers' seem to think that arming some dumpy arsed policewoman, or simpleton 'office boy ought to be a social worker nerd', with a can of CS is the answer to everything violent. The answer to some things it can be, to others it isn't, and then you had better be able to hack it.

    As a bottom line, I would rather have someone be afraid of having a go at me, than have to prove to him that he should have been afraid. It's easier that way.

    Take the question of someone coming at you with a knife. What is the appropriate response? Baton? Like hell it is. It's a firearm. Consider a problem facing a gangbanger threatening a police officer with a knife. He can't possibly back down if the officer facing him has a baton, he'd be damned as a girly by his brothers. If the officer draws a gun, then the gangbanger can lay down his knife and keep fact, for only a ******** takes a knife to a gunfight.

    The answer is to educate the public, not pander to their ignorance by pretending that you can deal with personal violence without hurting the bad guy.
  13. I thought that was what the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act was all about - not wishing to doubt your post Susses but was there perhaps more to it than was being cited or have the rules changed?
  14. OK ... to take this a step futher ... does this mean that you advocate the use of firearms for all police? i.e. should the village bobby be armed with a gun as per our colonial cousins? Or should this be restricted to the rapid responce teams? I do take your point re knife versus gun however when said spotty youth gets out on good behaviour - does he not then go get a gun and loses his knife thus perpetuates the spiral???

    I agree that the public needs educating however who is going to educate them - the media? ... as that is where the majority get their impression from. The problem as I see it is that we have a series of high violence style computer games / TV / Films which glorify the use of violence - while the majority of the populace can identify where fact and fantasy end there is always the minority that cannot separate them! So is the answer restrict all films etc to the stage where they are all so bland as to be not worth watching just because some spotty yoof will take Crazy Harry on as a role model???
  15. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Daktari: My views on arming all police officers are not fully formed yet, however as a serviceman I have a familiar attitude towards firearms - however I am well aware that many frontline bobbies are not quite so confident about them. I understand that these reservations stem from the feeling of lack of support (top cover) from their own forces and legislators, rather than their own correct interpretation and application of the ROE.

    There are many practical problems in routine arming, especially when dealing with a public that is as stroppy as the British. You can't, however much you want to, shoot a gobby drunk just because he is a tit. If you go to lock him up and he wants a scrap, you are fighting with someone when there is a gun on the scene. Not too difficult to resolve in theory, but the potential for things to go badly wrong is almost infinite.

    Add that to the fact that I have met many police officers that I wouldn't trust with anything more lethal than a box of crayons, and the difficulties start to become apparent... :shock: :wink:
  16. May I say that I find your response ... reassuring ... and I am in agreement.

    As to policemen and "sharpened pencils" there are several servicemen that fall into that category too ... it was always said that the most dangerous thing was a "Doc" with a loaded gun ... and I'm one of them!
  17. I believe that there have been amendments to the act to cover various circumstances.
    Someone more of a lawyer than me may be able to confirm that.
  18. 'especially when dealing with a public that is as stroppy as the British'..quote

    Am glad you've noticed that as well. I'd love to know the reason why everything seems to be confrontational.
    It really is very noticeable, especially for someone who lives largely abroad.
    Stroppy that is, on both sides of the fence, the public and some, only some, members of the police, and other powers that be.
    A tiny example:
    The first sign you see at Gatwick as you approach immigration. Not 'Welcome to Britain' but a sign (in English so must be aimed at Brits) threatening arrest etc if you are are abusive to an immigration official.
    I always think this is a charming welcome :roll:
    You just don't see the same level of stroppiness elsewhere...got to be a reason for it.
  19. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 applies to England, Scotland and Wales, and is aimed at helping people who have been convicted of a criminal offence and who have not re-offended since.

    Anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offence, and received a sentence of not more than 2.5 years in prison, benefits as a result of the Act, if he or she is not convicted again during a specified period otherwise known as the 'rehabilitation period’. The length of this period depends on the sentence given for the original offence and runs from the date of the conviction. If the person does not re-offend during this rehabilitation period, they become a ‘rehabilitated person’, and their conviction becomes ‘spent’.

    For example, if a person receives a sentence of imprisonment or detention in a young offenders institute of between 6 months and 2.5 years, the rehabilitation period is 10 years, or 5 years if the individual was under 18 at the time of conviction. For an absolute discharge the rehabilitation period is six months.

    Sentences can carry fixed or variable rehabilitation periods and these periods can be extended if the person offends again during the rehabilitation period. However, if the sentence is more that 2.5 years in prison the conviction never becomes ‘spent’. It is the sentence imposed by the courts that counts, even if it is a suspended sentence, not the time actually spent in prison.

    Once a conviction is ‘spent’, the convicted person does not have to reveal it or admit its existence in most circumstances. However, there are some exceptions relating to employment and these are listed in the Exceptions order to the ROA. The two main exceptions relate to working with children or working with the elderly or sick people. If a person wants to apply for a position that involves working with children or working with the elderly or sick people they are required to reveal all convictions, both spent and unspent.


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