Focus On The Victims Of Crime

In our current fiscal situation, the UK is to lose a potential 65-000 police officers.  

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-10694895

Today, Louise Casey the Victims and Witness Commissioner has spoken freely of how the current judicial system is failing the victims of crime:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10691151

With Kenneth Clarke looking for ways to cut the judicial system budget, it is prudent and respectful to those who have been a victim of crime to to receive the support they deserve and appropriate penalties should be focused on crime with a victim.  This is where law and order should be focused.

It is insulting to those who have suffered real crime to still place onus on catching people with cannabis, there is no victim involved with this plant, and resources simply cannot be spared on this unjust and futile war.  Alcohol is taking up an immeasurable amount of time, money and resources on the police, cannabis has never and can never create this drain on the force as an ingested substance; and as many senior members of the force have spoken out in ending the war on cannabis, please can they be listened to.  It is an infringement of everyone's civil liberties as it stands that cannabis is still given attention by law when violent crime is so prevalent.  Crime needs a victim, so please let's focus on that ethos.

Why is this idea important?

In our current fiscal situation, the UK is to lose a potential 65-000 police officers.  

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-10694895

Today, Louise Casey the Victims and Witness Commissioner has spoken freely of how the current judicial system is failing the victims of crime:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10691151

With Kenneth Clarke looking for ways to cut the judicial system budget, it is prudent and respectful to those who have been a victim of crime to to receive the support they deserve and appropriate penalties should be focused on crime with a victim.  This is where law and order should be focused.

It is insulting to those who have suffered real crime to still place onus on catching people with cannabis, there is no victim involved with this plant, and resources simply cannot be spared on this unjust and futile war.  Alcohol is taking up an immeasurable amount of time, money and resources on the police, cannabis has never and can never create this drain on the force as an ingested substance; and as many senior members of the force have spoken out in ending the war on cannabis, please can they be listened to.  It is an infringement of everyone's civil liberties as it stands that cannabis is still given attention by law when violent crime is so prevalent.  Crime needs a victim, so please let's focus on that ethos.

self-defence

In dealing with personal defence the questions to be answered are such as:  ‘What are you going to do if – you have intruders in the house – a gang is damaging your property – armed intruders break into your house, cinema, shop, school?’ etc. 

The police have no legal obligation to protect individuals from violence.  You alone are responsible for dealing with such incidents in the first instance.  In addition you have a civic and moral duty to be prepared to protect yourself and others.  All laws relating to assault and the carrying of weapons must thus be amended to allow citizens to act in such situations without fear of prosecution.  

Reasonable force.  This term should be abandoned – it is a contradiction in terms. Personal violence is inherently unreasonable because it is always life-threatening and automatically invokes our ‘flight or fight’ survival response.  Our bodies change involuntarily to protect us and our minds  focus solely on what we can do to survive – we become less human.  Given that few of us experience violence, the idea that the righteousness of our actions in a few frenzied seconds of terror and panic can be determined calmly in a court of law is both ludicrous, offensive and an asset to the criminal.  

Weapons.  The current laws forbidding the carrying of weapons should be repealed and replaced by one relating to their use:  brandishing one in public would be an automatic offence (fine) and also make the brandisher a legitimate self-defence target for other citizens;  threatening with one would be an automatic jail sentence.

The law banning the carrying of knives has not prevented any killings but has had law-abiding people prosecuted for carrying multi-tools and Swiss Army knives etc.  90 years of very strict firearms ‘control’ legislation has not prevented spree killings, or a relentless increase in firearms crime.  It has however, given criminals a cast-iron. Government-backed guarantee that their victims will be defenceless. 

To claim that the availability of weapons encourages their use is not supported by evidence and, in a politician, shows a profound lack of trust in the people.  The Swiss have more firearms per head of population than the US and very little armed crime and even in the ‘infamous’ US itself, burglary and house invasions are quite rare.   

The only thing that might have stopped Michael Ryan at Hungerford, Thomas Hamilton at Dunblane, Derrick Bird in Cumbria or so-called terrorists taking to our streets as in Mumbai is the possibility that any citizen, anywhere, might be in a position to return fire. 

Incidentally, being safe with a firearm is blissfully easy – well within the intellectual compass of the average six-year old.

See also http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/repeal-the-terrorism-laws

Source:  http://www.alternativeparty.org.uk

Why is this idea important?

In dealing with personal defence the questions to be answered are such as:  ‘What are you going to do if – you have intruders in the house – a gang is damaging your property – armed intruders break into your house, cinema, shop, school?’ etc. 

The police have no legal obligation to protect individuals from violence.  You alone are responsible for dealing with such incidents in the first instance.  In addition you have a civic and moral duty to be prepared to protect yourself and others.  All laws relating to assault and the carrying of weapons must thus be amended to allow citizens to act in such situations without fear of prosecution.  

Reasonable force.  This term should be abandoned – it is a contradiction in terms. Personal violence is inherently unreasonable because it is always life-threatening and automatically invokes our ‘flight or fight’ survival response.  Our bodies change involuntarily to protect us and our minds  focus solely on what we can do to survive – we become less human.  Given that few of us experience violence, the idea that the righteousness of our actions in a few frenzied seconds of terror and panic can be determined calmly in a court of law is both ludicrous, offensive and an asset to the criminal.  

Weapons.  The current laws forbidding the carrying of weapons should be repealed and replaced by one relating to their use:  brandishing one in public would be an automatic offence (fine) and also make the brandisher a legitimate self-defence target for other citizens;  threatening with one would be an automatic jail sentence.

The law banning the carrying of knives has not prevented any killings but has had law-abiding people prosecuted for carrying multi-tools and Swiss Army knives etc.  90 years of very strict firearms ‘control’ legislation has not prevented spree killings, or a relentless increase in firearms crime.  It has however, given criminals a cast-iron. Government-backed guarantee that their victims will be defenceless. 

To claim that the availability of weapons encourages their use is not supported by evidence and, in a politician, shows a profound lack of trust in the people.  The Swiss have more firearms per head of population than the US and very little armed crime and even in the ‘infamous’ US itself, burglary and house invasions are quite rare.   

The only thing that might have stopped Michael Ryan at Hungerford, Thomas Hamilton at Dunblane, Derrick Bird in Cumbria or so-called terrorists taking to our streets as in Mumbai is the possibility that any citizen, anywhere, might be in a position to return fire. 

Incidentally, being safe with a firearm is blissfully easy – well within the intellectual compass of the average six-year old.

See also http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/repeal-the-terrorism-laws

Source:  http://www.alternativeparty.org.uk

contempt of court review

Review the use of judiciary's use of contempt of court powers in substitution for a proper trial.

On 5 July at Reading Crown Court, Mr John Affleck was sentenced within 3 hours of the alleged offence to 12 months imprisonment for contempt of court — he had a barrister who could not have had sufficient time to defend him and there was no deferral of sentencing pending a pschyiatric report.

The proper course would have been for Mr Affleck to have been arrested for the alleged offence, interviewed under caution and with legal representaion, witness statements to be taken and for the Crown Prosecution Service to decide if a prosecution should be brought.  Like all other defendants he would have then had the opportunity to engage a properly briefed barister and had a fair trial by jury.

Why is this idea important?

Review the use of judiciary's use of contempt of court powers in substitution for a proper trial.

On 5 July at Reading Crown Court, Mr John Affleck was sentenced within 3 hours of the alleged offence to 12 months imprisonment for contempt of court — he had a barrister who could not have had sufficient time to defend him and there was no deferral of sentencing pending a pschyiatric report.

The proper course would have been for Mr Affleck to have been arrested for the alleged offence, interviewed under caution and with legal representaion, witness statements to be taken and for the Crown Prosecution Service to decide if a prosecution should be brought.  Like all other defendants he would have then had the opportunity to engage a properly briefed barister and had a fair trial by jury.

Stop compensation for things we are not responsible for

The Govt should remove ALL rights to claim for compensation for matters which the UK are not responsible, ie the actions of another country and their agents

Why is this idea important?

The Govt should remove ALL rights to claim for compensation for matters which the UK are not responsible, ie the actions of another country and their agents

Justice for victims

I wish to suggest repealing the legislation which allows convicted criminals to appeal against     compensation orders awarded by the courts.

Having been a victim of crime, I was appalled when I was told that the offender, who had been given 6 months in prison for 5 offences of receiving goods by deception, had appealed against the compensation orders which would merely have reimbursed the victims for the amounts they had lost as a result of these crimes.

I refused to agree to this request but don't know what happened after that because I did not receive any further communication from the court. The offender was released from prison after about 2 months without paying a penny in compensation and the court refused to provide any information regarding his whereabouts to enable the victims to pursue a civil claim.     

   

Why is this idea important?

I wish to suggest repealing the legislation which allows convicted criminals to appeal against     compensation orders awarded by the courts.

Having been a victim of crime, I was appalled when I was told that the offender, who had been given 6 months in prison for 5 offences of receiving goods by deception, had appealed against the compensation orders which would merely have reimbursed the victims for the amounts they had lost as a result of these crimes.

I refused to agree to this request but don't know what happened after that because I did not receive any further communication from the court. The offender was released from prison after about 2 months without paying a penny in compensation and the court refused to provide any information regarding his whereabouts to enable the victims to pursue a civil claim.     

   

Loss of Rights on conviction of crime

It is a basic right not to have others impinge on your law abiding life.

By committing a crime against others (theft,burglary etc.) and being convicted of that offence then imprisonment should remove the rights of that offender. ALL rights.

Their action did not take into account the effect on thevictim and in most cases I believe that it is a life changing experience that was not optional for the recipient.

Once someone has been convicted in Britain then it is for British Justice System to operate. Allowing the offender to appeal to Europe when the reality hits them is just  not acceptable.

It is long awaited that the punishment should fit the crime. Someone has yet to convince me that the Death Penalty is not a deterrent against murder.

Getting tough on crime might just improve the lives of the innocent victim who lives in a law abiding way. It is time to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.

Why is this idea important?

It is a basic right not to have others impinge on your law abiding life.

By committing a crime against others (theft,burglary etc.) and being convicted of that offence then imprisonment should remove the rights of that offender. ALL rights.

Their action did not take into account the effect on thevictim and in most cases I believe that it is a life changing experience that was not optional for the recipient.

Once someone has been convicted in Britain then it is for British Justice System to operate. Allowing the offender to appeal to Europe when the reality hits them is just  not acceptable.

It is long awaited that the punishment should fit the crime. Someone has yet to convince me that the Death Penalty is not a deterrent against murder.

Getting tough on crime might just improve the lives of the innocent victim who lives in a law abiding way. It is time to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.

Repeal the Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965

To repeal the 1965 Act removing the right of the courts to impose the death sentence on what were previously termed capital murderers – capital murder being murder committed in the course of or furtherance of theft; murder by shooting or explosion; murder while resisting arrest or during an escape; murder of a police or prison officer or persons assisting them; or two or more murders committed on different occasions.  Aspects of EU law preventing member states from restoring or introducing capital punishment would of course also need to be addressed.

Why is this idea important?

To repeal the 1965 Act removing the right of the courts to impose the death sentence on what were previously termed capital murderers – capital murder being murder committed in the course of or furtherance of theft; murder by shooting or explosion; murder while resisting arrest or during an escape; murder of a police or prison officer or persons assisting them; or two or more murders committed on different occasions.  Aspects of EU law preventing member states from restoring or introducing capital punishment would of course also need to be addressed.

Victims at the Heart of the Criminal Justice System

They CJS was originally designed around the alleged offender. The CJS needs to be overhauled to place the victim at the centre of the process. Only recently have victims had statutory rights under the Code of Practice for Victims however it is questionable as to who acutally montiors this. I have worked within the CJS for 8 years. Although there have been slight improvements, I can personally only remember a handful of victims who have had a postive experience. 

The alleged offenders rights seem to always be given priority over the victims rights. I understand that people are treated as 'innocent until proven gulity' however the correct balance needs to be struck. Victims are constantly left feeling bewidered and shocked by a system that seems to put them last. Their views and opinions are almost always ignored or insignificant to the process. The view of the current CJS is that victims are no longer seen as victims, they are now seen as witnesses to a crime that has been committed against the Crown. Try explaining that to a victim of crime attending court!  

Alleged and convicted offenders have multiple government funded agencies supporting them thorugh the CJS. Who do victims of crime have? A National Charity called Victim Support which is only 75% funded by the government. There is 'end-to-end' offender management. What about 'end-to-end' victim support?

Why is this idea important?

They CJS was originally designed around the alleged offender. The CJS needs to be overhauled to place the victim at the centre of the process. Only recently have victims had statutory rights under the Code of Practice for Victims however it is questionable as to who acutally montiors this. I have worked within the CJS for 8 years. Although there have been slight improvements, I can personally only remember a handful of victims who have had a postive experience. 

The alleged offenders rights seem to always be given priority over the victims rights. I understand that people are treated as 'innocent until proven gulity' however the correct balance needs to be struck. Victims are constantly left feeling bewidered and shocked by a system that seems to put them last. Their views and opinions are almost always ignored or insignificant to the process. The view of the current CJS is that victims are no longer seen as victims, they are now seen as witnesses to a crime that has been committed against the Crown. Try explaining that to a victim of crime attending court!  

Alleged and convicted offenders have multiple government funded agencies supporting them thorugh the CJS. Who do victims of crime have? A National Charity called Victim Support which is only 75% funded by the government. There is 'end-to-end' offender management. What about 'end-to-end' victim support?