More law and order stories

#1
Liabour pledge card: Your communities safer. :roll:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/li...e_id=404371&in_page_id=1770&in_a_source=&ct=5

A mother-of-two faces a possible prison sentence after swearing at yobs who have made her life a living hell.

For more than two years a large group of teenage thugs have hounded desperate Donna Appleyard who has had to endure relentless abuse, threats and vandalism.

But unbelievably, when the 32-year-old finally "snapped" over the constant intimidation and swore at one of her bullies she was arrested by police and now faces a possible prison sentence if she refuses to pay a fine.

Irate Donna, from Knottingley, in West Yorks., said: "To say I am furious doesn't go half way to explain how I am feeling. I am absolutely livid.

"I am so angry that I have been made out to be the criminal when all I have ever wanted to do is live in peace and quiet.

"You hear of political madness gone mad and police not concentrating on real crime - but this is unbelievable.

"I still can't believe what has happened. When I tell people they think it is a joke at first, but when they realise that I'm serious they become as disgusted as me.

"These kids have made me, my family and my neighbours feel like prisoners in our own homes. They are intimidating and aggressive and make our lives hell.

"All I did was swear at them because they had pushed me right to the edge and I am in trouble with the law. What about everything they have done to us? I can't believe the police have arrested me and leave them to run wild."

Donna, who had lived on the estate for the last 14 years, said the problems with kids had grown progressively worse over the last two years until it is now unlivable.

On a daily basis Donna claims her and her two children, James 14, and Holly, 12, have to put up with a 15 strong group of kids aged between 12 and 17 hanging around outside their three-bedroom semi-detached home.

Donna and her neighbours have had to endure paint been thrown on their walls, plants ruined from their gardens, and late night noise from the gang who stay up drinking on the streets.

On a daily basis Donna claims she has to put up with kids jumping over fences, trampling gardens, shouting, swearing, kicking footballs against windows and constant intimidating behaviour.

Things finally came to a head on March 30 when a desperate Donna finally lost her temper and told her tormentors to "please, just f*** off."

The youths ignored her but two weeks later officers called at her home. She was told a 13-year-old girl had made a complaint against her.

Donna was arrested and charged under public order offences.

She was handed an £80 fixed penalty notice but refused to pay and was taken to court last month. Magistrates then upped the sum to £120 pounds which Donna must now pay or face a possible jail term.

"I was at the end of my tether and I admit I swore at one of them," Donna said. "But that's nothing compared to what my neighbours and I have suffered.

"When the police came I thought it was because I had complained. I never dreamed they had come to arrest me."

Donna claims she made countless complaints to police about the gang outside her home but nothing has ever been done about them.

She said: "They told me I had scared the children. Well, what do they think has been happening to us for the past year or so?

"I had called police and spoken to our beat officer about six times. Not once had they been round to see me.

"I'm really angry that we've had to put up with this behaviour and then you can be taken to court and fined for shouting back at them."

Donna is so enraged by how she has been treated by the authorities that she is now refusing to pay the fine.

"I don't see why I am having to pay this fine when all I have done is stick up for myself and my family. The police are targeting the wrong people. They have told me that if I don't pay I could go to prison but I am not paying it because in my eyes I haven't done anything wrong."

Donna's next-door neighbours Shirley and George Wardle, are so incensed by the action they have offered to pay half Donna's fine.

Shirley, 69, said: "It is deplorable. Whoever charged her wants to come and live here for a while. The kids' behaviour is enough to make you commit murder, not just swear at them."

But Sgt Neil Haley of the Five Towns Neighbourhood Policing Team defended the fine.

He said: "Officers regularly patrol Knottingley. We appreciate that anti-social behaviour can be frustrating but people should not take the law into their own hands.

"We encourage people to report criminal or anti-social behaviour by contacting the NPT hotline on 01924 294518 or email us at 5towns.npt@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

Donna's partner Colin Lamb, 34, a retail manager who also live in Knottingley, added: "This has really upset Donna. She has been made to feel like a criminal despite not doing anything wrong."
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2352317,00.html

Father dies after confronting gang
By Lucy Bannerman

A FATHER of two children died after confronting a gang of youths outside his home late at night.

Alan Toogood, 50, was found dead on the street in Yeovil, Somerset, having suffered a severe blow to the head. He had already spoken to the youths once before that night and an emergency call was made shortly before he went out to speak to the youths a second time.

Police had been called out to deal with complaints of antisocial behaviour earlier that night but arrived after the youths had gone. Neighbours said that hooded youths as young as 12 frequently roamed the estate, terrorising residents and vandalising property.

Police arrested four teenagers aged between 15 and 18 on suspicion of murder. An 18-year-old man and a boy and a girl, both 16, were released on bail pending further inquiries and the fourth, a 15-year-old boy, was being questioned by the police last night. The police said that they were not seeking anyone else in connection with the incident.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Toogood, who died outside his flat in Roping Road, Yeovil at 10.45pm last Wednesday, suffered a blow to the head, but the police have not yet established what killed him. Officers say that he may have been struck on the head or hit his head on the ground. Superintendent Sandy Padgett said: “This man died at the scene in very tragic circumstances, but we are still not quite sure how this happened so we need anyone who saw what happened or who was in the area to come forward.”

Mr Toogood’s sister, Jenny, said: “It is very frustrating, there are so many unanswered questions. We just want to know what happened to help us deal with our loss.”

A statement issued by Avon and Somerset Police on behalf of Mr Toogood’s family read: “Alan will be missed by his two daughters, brother and sister. Anyone who may have any information or know someone involved in the incident, no matter how small it maybe, please come forward.”

Detective Sergeant Nick Eckland said that the area had been troubled by antisocial behaviour. “We have dealt with a number of incidents in the area before. These have tended to be problems caused by youths gathering and general rowdy behaviour, but never anything on this scale.”

Despite efforts to reduce the number of troublemakers in the area by police and South Somerset Homes, the housing association that owns the majority of the flats, residents said that the presence of gangs made them reluctant to leave their homes. One man said: “We are terrified of going outside in the evening, even to put our rubbish out, because we do not want the conflict. This is going on all through the day and night.”

A young mother added: “It can be difficult getting to sleep at night because of all the noise. It used to be a nice estate, but not any more.”

A member of staff at the Yeovil Labour Club, where Mr Toogood was a familiar face, recalled his gregarious person-ality. “He was a very nice person, very popular and chatty,” she said.

There isn't really more that one can add to the debate on how communities are policed (and I wholeheartedly endorse the comment on the Remembrance Day thread about how frontline police are also in despair). Well, perhaps I could express the sentiments that I hope the swearing woman bucks the system, that the hapless Sgt receives a barrage of hostile emails, and that the perpetrators of the atrocity in Yeovil do not end up spending 6 months playing computer games at the taxpayers' expense.

Could the Tories have the answer? The idea below is of great interest. If local authorities had a proper law and order remit, with control over policing priorities (and the appointment of the chief constable), then the equations would be simple:

Happy communities = elected councillors = police chief secure in job.

or

Unhappy communities = councillors kicked out = police chief kicked out.

Give communities power over policing, say Tories
By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor

(Filed: 11/09/2006)

A dramatic extension of local control over the police is being proposed by the Conservatives as an important element of the party's policy overhaul.

Communities unhappy with the priorities of chief officers will be able to withhold part of the budget and spend it on beat patrols of their own, or reopen mothballed police stations.

The funding reform would be backed up by new political arrangements, such as directly elected police authorities or – the favoured option – an elected police commissioner.

The radical plan is being developed by a policy task force headed by Nick Herbert, the Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs, and the party's police spokesman.

It has been examining new ideas to improve the accountability and performance of the police.

Mr Herbert maintains that reconnecting the police with their local communities is its most important objective, marking a return to the founding principles set out by Sir Robert Peel in 1829 when he said ''the police are the public and the public are the police".

In an article today in the magazine of the Reform think-tank, Mr Herbert says: ''Rebuilding that link will be a vital step to restoring public confidence in the modern police service."

The Tories are moving in the opposite direction to that proposed, until recently, by the Government whose emphasis has been on the creation of larger strategic forces through the amalgamation of county constabularies.

John Reid, the Home Secretary, has put this plan on ice following controversy over its cost and objections that it would make the police even more remote. However, the mergers remain a live policy option.

Police chiefs have been divided over mergers, with some favouring a network of regional ''superforces" and others arguing that smaller constabularies retain a connection with the populace.

However, senior officers are unlikely to be attracted to the idea of policing being exercised through elected commissioners, nor will they like the thought of local communities taking some of their funds and using them in a way they have not sanctioned.

Mr Herbert said yesterday that community control over a slice of the police budget did not mean ''privatising" the police, which would remain a ''public good" monopoly, with operational matters still in the hands of chief officers.

He said this was in tune with David Cameron's recent statement setting out the party's new aims and values under the banner ''Built to last." These general principles have been put to the membership, which is currently voting on whether to endorse them in a ballot that closes next week.

They commit the Conservatives to ''give power to people and communities. . . and give local communities greater control over local services". Among the pledges is ''reforming the police to reduce top-down centralisation, targets and bureaucracy, and to introduce direct local accountability".

Mr Herbert said: ''I'm not proposing the break-up of the existing 43 police forces into smaller forces. But I do think that chief constables need a stronger incentive to respond to community concerns, and that local communities who have paid increasing sums through the council tax are entitled to a greater say over how their area is policed."
 
#2
Another ridiculous story.

A police officer told me to f##k off once, should he be arrested under a public order offence. All I was doing was seeing if a friend who had been assualted for no reason was ok.

I have the deepest sympathy for this woman.

The legal system is rapidly becoming a joke.
 
#3
you have to love the way our country is going! our Gov't empower the scum of the earth and give them rights, afterall it's easier to deal with those who live within the rules and step over the line when pushed! Than those who live over it.
 
#4
So she got a fixed penalty fine from the police, but can't you refuse that and insist on your day in court?

Crazy!!
 
#6
The police forces of this country should hang their heads in shame. Not a day goes by without some report of a heavy handed prosecution of a non-offence bringing whatever good work they do into disrepute. I agree with MrPVRd's theory of local control, but cannot see Westminster giving up power to anyone. Something will change soon, however - I don't believe this country will take persecution of this kind for much longer.
 
#7
admag said:
you have to love the way our country is going! our Gov't empower the scum of the earth and give them rights, afterall it's easier to deal with those who live within the rules and step over the line when pushed! Than those who live over it.
Admag is spot on. If you are a man with responsibilities, i.e. a family, a mortgage, tax payer, you are easy to keep in line because they can take something from you - your way of life. You are easy to control. If you have nothing, are on the dole and stick your two fingers up at society you have nothing to lose but everything to gain from the system. You are therefore difficult to control. Govt, via law takes the easy option.
 
#8
Dilfor said:
The police forces of this country should hang their heads in shame. Not a day goes by without some report of a heavy handed prosecution of a non-offence bringing whatever good work they do into disrepute. I agree with MrPVRd's theory of local control, but cannot see Westminster giving up power to anyone. Something will change soon, however - I don't believe this country will take persecution of this kind for much longer.
In actual fact it's not wholly the police's fault. The crime & penalties are set out for the courts to adhere to!
The difference is the way the rules have changed for the officers. The have Gov't set targets to reach, are bound by more legislation than they used to! which means more things are taken further than in days gone past! a copper would of said "oi you lot clear off home" and not one would of been seen when the dust cloud cleared. No more would of been heard about it.

Now today the kids know they can't really be touched, and taunt the cops. and if you get a PCSO, they take the pi55 out of em!
 
#9
The Tories (and other parties interested in this approach) should go further.

Local law and order should encompass prosecution.

So, if victimised citizens are being prosecuted instead of anti-social yobs, the locally appointed (or elected) prosecutor would feel the pain at election time. Likewise, if freed offenders were re-offending.

The trend nationally is the opposite - Reid plans to merge forces and centralise even more control. This will all end in tears if nothing changes - riots, vigilantes etc.
 
#10
suits_U said:
A police officer told me to f##k off once, should he be arrested under a public order offence.
I was once on duty with the ChSupt and was accompanying him on a walk around a certain football ground during a C grade match.

As we walked a member of the public came up and the address, to the ChSupt went like this:

"Oi mate! You with the gold muck on your peak. You in charge here?"

" Yes, I am."

"Good, because that copper over there told me to fvck off."

"Did he?"

"Yes!"

"Well what are you doing standing here wasting my time then?"

Blank look and off the scrote went. No argument, nothing.

That was well before PACE came along and we became an apologetic and litigenous society.
Police personnel were mainly ex-services with a strong bond of comradeship and discipline. They knew how to meat it out too.

Now their hands have been tied behind their backs with too many pathetic forms and money saving ideas.
What with fast tracking of degree holding 'officer' class who *might* take a body during their Streets Duty Course what is the morale really like for those led by pseudo-politicians and who need no real policing skills to get to Inspector and beyond?

All the Coppers Coppers have had their day. That ended with Sir John Stevens.

And now we have Pc So to help society!
 
#11
We are under the constant threat of pikey based crime where I live, with theft, criminal damage and offensive behaviour. Yesterday a mate of mine found himself alone with three pikey lads in our local. They asked him if "that was your car mate?" On the pretext that it was a nice car - which obviously Big Dan thinks it is - they asked for a look. They seemed ok, he let them take a look and then they asked him to sell the car. He having just bought it declined. They then a)lagged on the car b)threatened his mother, who somehow they knew the address and c)threatened him if he didn't sell the car.

When they came back later with the money, a large group of locals (Dan's mobile must have been red-hot!) had gathered and the three pikeys were given the about-face. So what comes next? Bigger group of pikeys? Attack on his mum's place? Unwise - his dad keeps a well-stocked gun cabinet including .475" Nitro-Express. More fear of crime? More criminal damage to cars because that was what happened the last time they were invited not to come into the village and play silly buggers...

PC and PCSO make occasional visits. He is sound (ex-HCR) but has no ability or indeed management support to deal with the thuggish pikeys. She, the PCSO, bless her heart does not strike me as the "facing down the angry mob of pikeys" type of gal, bless her. I fear that she has been introduced into the village because he is going to be withdrawn...

At the policy level, the council don't care as long as the "travellers" stay out off the strangely enough marginal council wards and stick to the predominantly Tory rural areas. So if the law does get taken into people's own hands, which it will eventually by default, they will only have themselves to blame but us to punish.

This is in South Gloucestershire BTW...
 
#12
Cuddles - I am surprised you get any response at all. In many parts of the country, if you suggested travellers were responsible for crime you would get a visit from the local force seeking to 're-educate' your racist views. Even where police have a pretty good idea that travellers may have something to do with crime, they often prefer not to investigate, fearing a public order incident if they visit a camp looking for stolen goods (or accusations of racism from the PC mob). So, as admag says, why go to that aggro when you can reach your Home Office targets by nicking someone for swearing/calling your horse gay/handing out bible extracts/wearing a 'Bollocks to Blair' T-shirt etc etc.

It stinks. And as I've said before, whilst you can blame the politicians for some of it, the police are utterly complicit in the process.
 
#13
Where the injustice is: you get fined by the polis for a public order offence - say £50. You get your solicitor to take it to court and the ticket is thrown out and your name cleared.

All very well except it'll cost you £500 to pay your solicitor.

Who wins then?
 
#14
GDav said:
Where the injustice is: you get fined by the polis for a public order offence - say £50. You get your solicitor to take it to court and the ticket is thrown out and your name cleared.

All very well except it'll cost you £500 to pay your solicitor.

Who wins then?
Well the solicitor obviously, but come on, think of all the training these people have to go through. Would you complain about paying that much to a surgeon or a doctor that did you a service that required an immense amount of skill and training? Besides, if you want justice you should be willing to pay for it.

Who's with me? Anyone, anyone at all........ :roll:
 
#15
Death_Rowums said:
GDav said:
Where the injustice is: you get fined by the polis for a public order offence - say £50. You get your solicitor to take it to court and the ticket is thrown out and your name cleared.

All very well except it'll cost you £500 to pay your solicitor.

Who wins then?
Well the solicitor obviously, but come on, think of all the training these people have to go through. Would you complain about paying that much to a surgeon or a doctor that did you a service that required an immense amount of skill and training? Besides, if you want justice you should be willing to pay for it.

Who's with me? Anyone, anyone at all........ :roll:
That sort of thing is only for the rich ;)
 
#16
GDav said:
That sort of thing is only for the rich ;)
Not strictly true - no person need attend Court and not be represented. The Courts Solicitor could easily take on the question of validity of a penalty notice.

The rub comes when they ask for all costs to be met from Central Funds......
 
#17
mukhabarat2003 said:
GDav said:
That sort of thing is only for the rich ;)
Not strictly true - no person need attend Court and not be represented. The Courts Solicitor could easily take on the question of validity of a penalty notice.

The rub comes when they ask for all costs to be met from Central Funds......
To qualify for the courts solicitor surely you have to be means tested?
 
#18
Dilfor said:
Cuddles - I am surprised you get any response at all. In many parts of the country, if you suggested travellers were responsible for crime you would get a visit from the local force seeking to 're-educate' your racist views. Even where police have a pretty good idea that travellers may have something to do with crime, they often prefer not to investigate, fearing a public order incident if they visit a camp looking for stolen goods (or accusations of racism from the PC mob). So, as admag says, why go to that aggro when you can reach your Home Office targets by nicking someone for swearing/calling your horse gay/handing out bible extracts/wearing a 'balls to Blair' T-shirt etc etc.

It stinks. And as I've said before, whilst you can blame the politicians for some of it, the police are utterly complicit in the process.
Fair enough...the police only ever respond in historical not tactical time frames! They should just hand out blocks of crime numbers to rural residents, like target number blocks...

You know Hitler wasn't all bad - he may have killed ten million innocents in death camps but he also managed two million gypsies...No, I am not sorry and there you have it, a normal peacable person so demoralized by the standard of policing and public order in this country that frankly the law is best placed in the hands of the citizens.
 
#19
Unfortunatly, for the woman (wrongly in my opinion) prosecuted in this case it's just another damning indictment of the criminal justice system in this country.

The police were probably loath to bring this prosecution but with an army of "support staff" reading through computer logs to make sure that if, in their wisened, opinion a crime ahs been committed the police officer attending has dealt with it according to the National Crime Recording Standards (brought in by the government to make sure the figures look good).

If said officer didn't deal with it as such, oh dear thats a snotty memo from some shiny arse inspector paid to do such things.

If having recorded the crime but tried to deal with it informaly (youknow like the police used to, it saved paper too), oh no that can't do as another member of "the support staff"check on how it was disposed off. No formal detection means not reaching government targets.

As for your chav scum underclass, they have more power than any useful member of society due to the fact that the government see's them as "socially excluded" and throws more money at them, despite the fact they generaly exclude themselves by not bothering to work.

I hate having to beat this drum, and would rather be having a giggle i the Naffi Bar (see my numerous previous entries o similar topics) but please please please dont blame your local PC (or sergeant and most inspectors) forthis nonsense. They hate it as much as you do.

Have a look at these blogs and it might become a bit clearer what we have to put up with.

http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/

http://coppersblog.blogspot.com/

enjoy the madness.
 
#20
although some good news caught the end of some sky programme about football hooligans whining that in yorkshire there pathetic crews (crew of what a load of lager and a baseball bat). can't operate anymore as the cops will batter them on match day and if they get away 3 weeks later will kick there door down and put them away for a long time :D.
good apprantly there slowly dieing not as fast as most normal people would like but hey its a start :D
 

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