Tag Archives: police

Just when you thought Police and Crime Commissioners couldn’t get worse

Police helmet

As a Party we have never been fans. Some even suggested (mistakenly in my view) that the concept was so bad that we should boycott the elections in 2012.

The idea that one person (usually a white man) should have such a significant say on such a sensitive area as policing – and often over an area covering several counties – was clearly absurd. It still is.

The Government is already thinking of giving PCCs the control of fire authorities on the time-honoured principle of ‘if it’s not broke, then fix …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 25 Comments

Simon Hughes calls for CPS and Police to look again at Poppi Worthington case

Former Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Simon Hughes has called for the Police and CPS to look again at the investigation into the death of 13 month old Poppi Worthington. He said:

There is an investigation by the IPCC about whether police did their job properly in this case and due to be a second inquest into Poppi’s death. I’m sure Cumbria Police and the CPS will now also want to look again at the evidence in the public domain.
“In the light of the public judgment in the family court case, police and the CPS should now reopen and review this case. If our justice system is about justice for the deceased as well as the living and above all about the welfare of children still alive, then it must be in the general interests of justice that there is a further review of this case.

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Lord Tony Greaves writes…Crisis on the streets of Lancashire

When the new lot all arrive we’ll have 112 Liberal Democrat peers and we need to use them. For some of us that means local as well as national stuff since some of us are still actively campaigning in our local areas! So when changes to the police funding formula were announced that mean one of the best forces in the country risks being “annihilated”, in the word of the commissioner, it was time to put down a topical question in the Lords.

The Lancashire police force is “outstanding”. That’s the conclusion of the review of police force efficiency by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. It’s one of the most cost effective police forces in the country at only 49p per head, it’s made savings of £74m since 2010, yet it will be hammered by further cuts up to £161m. Police officers will drop from 3,611 in 2010 to 1,699 in 2020 and the PCSOs (community support officers) will disappear. Chief Constable Steve Finnigan says these cuts would severely limit the capabilities of Lancashire Constabulary which by 2020 will only be able to provide an emergency- service, responding to 999 calls and a few priorities.

The potential impacts include closing all enquiry desks and the loss of specialist support units, mounted officers, dog units and road policing units, and dramatic cuts to departments that deal with serious and complex crime. In addition the county-wide network of neighbourhood policing teams – community beat officers and community support officers – will be swept away.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 37 Comments

What if your boss could check your internet browsing history? 

What if your boss could check your internet browsing history?

What if you became a criminal just because you attended a rock concert?

And what if a supermarket knew you were pregnant before you did (actually a true story)? And they could sell that information on?

Most people don’t know that all three things are entirely possible thanks to the Conservative’s Snoopers Charter, the SNP’s use of facial recognition software and the power of supermarkets to track your changing shopping habits against your personal data.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 17 Comments

You should stand for Police & Crime Commissioner

 

Next May, the entire United Kingdom will vote. It will be the first national election since the General Election and will be seen as a test of all parties one year into the new parliament.

Police & Crime Commissioner elections will take place in England & Wales, on the same day as devolved elections.

If you care about human rights, as Liberal Democrats do, policing is where human rights come into sharp focus. No other civilian agency in entrusted with powers so affecting liberty and so at risk of political demands based on popular misunderstanding. Policing needs checks and balances from a liberal point of view, and strategy founded on evidence.

Posted in Campaign Corner | Also tagged | 23 Comments

Opinion: “Victim-blaming” 101: why sexual assault is different to other crimes

Sussex Police has produced a campaign poster encouraging women to stick together on a night out to reduce their chances of sexual assault. There are so many ways this poster is stupid: it perpetuates the myth of stranger rape as the only “real rape” (an idea which helps acquaintance rapists get away with it over and over again), it ignores male victims of rape, and it suggests women should fear sexual assault more than they value their sexual liberty.

But there’s only one issue I want to address now. On Monday, Caron Lindsay called the poster “victim-blaming”: she was right, and it’s worth explaining why victim-blaming is so much more harmful in cases of sexual assault than other forms of crime.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 46 Comments

Why are police forces getting away with misogynistic, victim-blaming rape prevention campaigns?

I was horrified to hear this afternoon that Sussex Police are launching a campaign to encourage women to stay together to avoid the possibility of rape and sexual assault. This is what they tweeted last week:

So, now your friends come above the perpetrator of any crime when there’s blame to be handed out.

Looking a bit further afield, I found the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Be Smart campaign, which is even worse. Three quarters of the page is taken up with advice for women like:

Would you go alone into a stranger’s house at 11am in the morning? No? So why do it at 2am drunk? Arrange to meet new acquaintances when sober.

It’s the sort of victim blaming nonsense that is counter-productive. Going to someone’s house is not a crime. Raping somebody is against the law. If you had been raped, how likely would you be to report what had happened to you if you thought you might be judged and blamed for the crime that you had been subjected to? I thought we’d moved on from that. To add insult to injury, as an afterthought, there’s an “And for guys” bit at the bottom of the page, reminding them that “rape convictions last forever.” The effects of being rape are pretty much a life sentence, too, you know.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 100 Comments
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  • User AvatarPeter Watson 11th Dec - 9:47am
    @CassieB "In referring me to the browser, can I refer you to the ‘about us’ at the top of this website." Fair enough. It is...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 11th Dec - 9:37am
    @Simon Shaw "I don’t think that follows." I would certainly hope not. In 2015 UKIP were outraged by their lack of MPs per vote when...
  • User AvatarCassieB 11th Dec - 9:35am
    Peter> But it is grossly hypocritical for the party simultaneously to claim the moral high ground with an article In referring me to the browser,...
  • User AvatarCassieB 11th Dec - 9:32am
    Glenn, just to clarify: by 'Labour,' I mean Labour voters as well as politicians. A major reason that didn't appeal was also the dismal campaign...
  • User AvatarCaracatus 11th Dec - 9:20am
    OK, how was it that Police and Crime Commissioner elections could be held using supplementary vote without the need for any sort of referendum ?...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 11th Dec - 8:01am
    I'm so glad Ortiz and his family managed to escape to America, and that his daughter has made a full recovery. I know this isn't...