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bobwilson
521270.  Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:45 am Reply with quote

Full story

Quote:
A policeman convicted of assault twice has been allowed to stay on the beat in Sussex.

Police bosses revealed that the shamed Sergeant was allowed to keep his job - despite having committed a pair of assaults.

The unnamed officer, who was handed two 180-hour community punishment orders for his crimes, was sacked by the force after his conviction but then reinstated by the Home Office after an appeal.

Sussex Police also admitted a further eight officers were still on duty despite being convicted of nine offences between them, including assault, careless or reckless driving, driving without due care or attention, failing to report an incident and speeding.

 
bemahan
521278.  Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:51 am Reply with quote

Quote:
“There are currently in excess of 3,000 serving officers and in the past eight years only eight officers have remained serving following any convictions.

“The numbers are therefore very small and, in each case, the individual circumstances have been the subject of careful consideration beforehand.”


Oh well that's alright then.. Thin end of the wedge?
Anyone watched "Red Riding"?

 
dr.bob
522774.  Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:45 am Reply with quote

Note that they say that "only eight officers have remained serving following any convictions." Nothing is mentioned about how many officers have not remained serving following any convictions. If 8 remained serving whilst 200 had been sacked, then I would say that that really was all right then. If 8 remained serving whilst 0 had been sacked, then I might be worried.

The original article mentions that some of the officers had been convicted of speeding. If a police officer's duties don't involve him going anywhere near a car, should he be fired because of a speeding conviction? I guess you could argue that the police should be held to much higher standards than the rest of us as they're the ones enforcing the law, but I think at some point common sense should prevail.

The first sentence of that article also struck me as odd. Do police sergeants really go out "on the beat"?

 
bobwilson
523167.  Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:15 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
If a police officer's duties don't involve him going anywhere near a car, should he be fired because of a speeding conviction?


Short answer - no. Longer answer - a policeman is there to uphold the law. If the law says it's a criminal offence to speed (no matter how stupid the law is) then how can you have any confidence in the integrity of a policeman who flounts the law?

Maybe we should allow burglary detectives who have been convicted of murder to continue to operate - provided they don't get involved in cases where murder is the matter under investigation?

It isn't a question of what offence has been committed. It's a question of whether they agree to the principle of the absolute sovereignty of the law. If the law says you don't do it, and you subscribe to that principle, then you don't do it.

 
Jenny
523179.  Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:43 pm Reply with quote

Depends if he's been punished for it? If he's paid a fine for a motoring offence, doesn't that clear it? Assault is more serious though, and I'm surprised if somebody who has been tried and convicted of assault (though possibly there are degrees of severity in these matters, because I can't imagine anybody who's served time for such a thing being allowed to remain on the force) can continue as a policeman.

 
bobwilson
523184.  Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:54 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
If he's paid a fine for a motoring offence, doesn't that clear it?


Does it? If I get picked up for doing 120mph through the cones on the M40 I'll probably get banned. If PC Plod gets picked up and flashes his badge (on a non-emergency call)? If PC Plod gets taken to court for a speeding offence then it almost goes without saying that it has to have been a very serious offence - if it was minor a flash of the badge would have resulted in professional courtesy.

 
Sadurian Mike
523738.  Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:50 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Assault is more serious though, and I'm surprised if somebody who has been tried and convicted of assault (though possibly there are degrees of severity in these matters, because I can't imagine anybody who's served time for such a thing being allowed to remain on the force) can continue as a policeman.

There are indeed degrees of severity. You can assault someone without even touching them (you only need to have gestured or indicated that you mean them harm and they need to have believed it), and you can beat someone to within an inch of their life.

Had the assault in question been the policeman turning up at someone's house and knock seven shades of shit out of them with a 4"x2", it would have been substantially more serious than telling a struggling suspect to "shut up or I'll belt you one", yet both can be grounds for a charge of assault.

 
bobwilson
523743.  Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:54 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
both can be grounds for a charge of assault


Indeed they can. But assault is a criminal offence and the decision to prosecute lies with the CPS. It's highly unlikely the CPS would choose to prosecute if a policeman were to tell a struggling suspect to "shut up or I'll belt you one".

If a policeman has been convicted of assault the chances are that the offence was serious/very serious and moreover that it was not carried out in the line of duty (which would probably result in an internal disciplinary rather than a criminal charge).

 
Sadurian Mike
523751.  Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:07 pm Reply with quote

As we don't know the details of the cases in question this is pure speculation. It might have been prodding someone in the chest for all we know.

 
bobwilson
523755.  Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:10 pm Reply with quote

yes, it might have been and as you say, we don't know the details. However, I think it's highly unlikely that the CPS would have pursued a prosecution for assault against a serving police officer if it was as trivial as that. (They'd be reluctant to pursue such a case against a raging drunk).

 
Sadurian Mike
523758.  Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:14 pm Reply with quote

But then it is highly unlikely that the Police Force would allow a man who has committed a serious assault to keep working with them.

It is speculation, pure and simple.

 
bobwilson
523761.  Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:18 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
But then it is highly unlikely that the Police Force would allow a man who has committed a serious assault to keep working with them.


One would hope so - but that's not always the case. You'd have expected the Catholic Church to get rid of child molesting priests that it knew about - but it didn't did it?

 
Sadurian Mike
523768.  Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:32 pm Reply with quote

Are you saying that the police are priests who molest children?

If not, then the analogy is rather poor. You need to keep like with like or simply stick to the subject in hand.

"Oh who would have thought that a Bavarian lance-corporal would trigger the Holocaust and still be allowed to rule. That's just like Mrs Miggins who short-changed the customer and was allowed to keep working in the cake shop."

 
bobwilson
523771.  Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:38 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Are you saying that the police are priests who molest children?


No of course not. You said
Quote:
it is highly unlikely that the Police Force would allow a man who has committed a serious assault to keep working with them.


Which is a perfectly reasonable assumption to make. It's also reasonable to assume that if a body as authoritative and Christian as the Catholic Church became aware that some of their priests were molesting children, they would take effective steps to, at minimum, protect children.

I would like to think that the police wouldn't continue to employ a police officer who had been convicted of an assault which was "real" rather than "technical" - but life has shown me that coteries close ranks rather than act sensibly far too often.

The analogy is reasonable because not only were the priests allowed to continue acting as priests, they continued to have access to children unsupervised, and in at least one case, continued to molest those children.

 
Spud McLaren
814428.  Sun May 08, 2011 9:30 am Reply with quote

You can tell I'm at a bit of a loose end when the resurrections start.
Sadurian Mike wrote:
There are indeed degrees of severity. You can assault someone without even touching them (you only need to have gestured or indicated that you mean them harm and they need to have believed it), and you can beat someone to within an inch of their life.
Technically only the first example is an assault. Once it comes to physical contact you're venturing into the realms of battery.

 

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