One has to welcome Home Office prognostications on saving police man hours through such “new” devices as charging people through the post. Sadly, all this could have been done by proceeding by summons except in special circumstances, as was once the recommendation. Sick of the injustice of having to arrest pensioners who had nicked food – meaning a court appearance – I asked if we could write them up by summons which gave the chance of a caution. This was adopted in my force, but soon swept away – these were the amalgamation days.
We need new forms of summary justice. Copperfield has outlined the Canadian system. The issues are deeper than form-filling. Gadget has revealed that much cancelled drivel was merely re-badged locally. One can only expect other procedures to be put in place – if only that this kind of paper-work is how the chiefs protect themselves. They like being able to say they have procedures in place.
The culture that developed the ‘Spanish practices’ is still in place and nothing seems to being done to change that. The gaming with crime statistics continues, and what should be simple investigations into matters like ‘Harwood’ and others burgeon into extended cover-ups that bury the evidence in time. There seems little address of the massive problems in case presentation involving police, prosecution and the courts. I have yet to see one example of follow-through on the cock-ups where the ‘we are learning the lessons’ is claimed – not a single example of how victims’ issues have really been taken on board and satisfactorily addressed, leading to the eradication of the problems. The same problems regularly occur again and again along with the same inabilities to deal with them.