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.

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Friday, 29 July 2016


The Police Federation of Northern Ireland is a unique organisation in the U.K.  Its members are permanently armed and 18 years after the Good Friday Agreement still face threats rare in the rest of the country. Whilst the degree of misconduct amongst PSNI is probably no better or worse than on the mainland inquiries into shootings resulting in death seem rare.  Assault on police  on the other hand are not  uncommon.  According to a FOI request "in the financial year 2014/2015 there were 2,866 assault offences where the victim was a police officer on duty."  The Police Federation of Northern Ireland is arguing that a custodial sentence should be mandatory for every offender convicted of an assault on their members.  Their request to Stormont makes clear that even those convicted of common assault where no harm occurs should suffer that mandatory jail sentence.  There cannot be a single J.P. or criminal lawyer who is unaware and/or has no experience of the most perfunctory "assault on P.C." being brought to court on the flimsiest of evidence.  The good burghers of Stormont should think carefully before acquiescing to this request.

1 comment:

  1. I remember we once dealt with an allegation of assault where the prosecution evidence was that the defendant placed his hand on the traffic wardens shoulder (gently !!), called her dear and asked her not to be silly. We wondered at the time if that had passed the relevant CPS hurdles.......