Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Monday, 24 February 2014


The Policy Exchange report on the utilisation of magistrates in police stations has not gone unreported in the media.  This organisation has published many supposedly innovative ideas for the improvement of many systems currently under the umbrella of the Justice Ministry and the Home Office.  Whether one agrees or disagrees with any or many of them with regard to theory or outcomes Policy Exchange does make its voice heard at high levels. 

Police Federation vice chairman is quoted in Police Oracle as follows:- In an interview with, Federation Vice-Chairman Steve White said the move would bring wider aspects of the criminal justice system up-to-date with the Police Service. He added: “The whole tenure of public service is changing. It is time that people catch up with the Police Service. “The criminal justice system and the magistrates' systems are highly inefficient. “We can run a 24/7 service in policing but it is difficult to do that when you are working against a very non 24/7 service. “In terms of swift justice, we would support the idea of being able to deal with cases much more quickly. “We have already had 24/7 courts during the riots and the Olympics and they worked very well. “We have no interest in prolonging justice.”

In the same issue 24th February, national policing lead for out of court disposals Chief Constable Lynne Owens, said that the recruitment of thousands of magistrates to take responsibility for out of court disposals would not be wise.  She added: “The Ministry of Justice’s simple cautions review found that overall these disposals were administered effectively by the police. Therefore, a conclusion that necessitated the recruitment of many thousands of magistrates to take over responsibility for the out of court disposal system would seem unnecessarily bureaucratic.”

To be fair to Richard Monkhouse Chairman of the Magistrates` Association he has been quoted as saying, It would seem a backward and totally inappropriate step for magistrates to deliver justice in police stations”.  However until this organisation faces the reality  that the government`s destination for Justices of the Peace is totally outside the courtroom his efforts on behalf of his members will be as effective as the flood barriers in Somerset.  

1 comment:

  1. The notion that the Police run an effective 24/7 service is not borne out by the coppers on the ground who will happily tell you that the "out of hours" service is run on a significantly reduced staff level.