Youd think the police would have had better things to do ?

#2
From the daily mail online
But he was also spotted by a security worker at a nearby building, who noted down Ian's car registration plate and called the police.

Detectives spent three months tracking Ian down - and then interrogated him during a formal interview at a police station.
It took officers 3 months to track him down with his car reg to go on? maybe the police can't afford the £2.50 fee from the DVLA (assuming that he was correctlly registered)
Seriously though (for a change) I guess that they had far far more important things to do over that 3month period.
 
#3
Another example of Performance Indicators and Sanctioned Detections taking precedent before common sense...Gov rules on crime recording and all that has vurtually taken away bobbies use of discretion...On the other hand you might be a bit p1ssed off if they were your bushes on private land and some cheeky fcuker climbs a fence and takes all the berries!!!!! hardly picking them whilst on a woodland walk, he climbed over a fence FFS!!!!!!!! I think a good 'talking' to would have sufficed but hey New Liarbour rules and all that.... :roll:
 
#4
Technically it is theft.

Can the Police now charge someone (or usethe alternative of cautions) without the agreement of the alleged victim - the farmer on whose land the rowans were. If he agreed or demanded the action then surely the police ust do something about it, if on the other hand he didn't mind (or wasn't asked) how can the action be taken??
 
#5
Sven said:
Technically it is theft.

Can the Police now charge someone (or usethe alternative of cautions) without the agreement of the alleged victim - the farmer on whose land the rowans were. If he agreed or demanded the action then surely the police ust do something about it, if on the other hand he didn't mind (or wasn't asked) how can the action be taken??
Yep Police can decide what action to take, eg Caution, warning or ask CPS for permission to charge. Doesn't matter what the complainant wants 'done' to the offendor, in my force you are supposed to put on the end of a complainant statement 'I agree to abide with any decision made by the Chief Con in relation to this matter'.......For the fella to have been locked up the bobbies must have got a complaint from the owner, but not absolutely required they could still 'process' him and caution just on the observations of the security guard, though they would never get the job to court....Its called 'cooking the books' .ooops I mean Sanction Detections are up this month Sir!!!!!!! :roll:
 
#6
Sven said:
Technically it is theft.

Can the Police now charge someone (or usethe alternative of cautions) without the agreement of the alleged victim - the farmer on whose land the rowans were. If he agreed or demanded the action then surely the police ust do something about it, if on the other hand he didn't mind (or wasn't asked) how can the action be taken??
Is it really?

I posted this on another thread but I may as well post it here since it is a live discusson on the issue.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that the matter reported in the newspaper accurately reflects the facts.

Theft is the dishonest appropriation of the property of another with the intention to permanently deprive. For any successful prosecution, that which is alleged to have been stolen must comprise 'property' which is capable of being stolen.

There exists items which are not capable of comprising 'property' for the purposes of the Theft Act 1968. These are found at section 4(3) Theft Act 1968 which reads:

"A person who picks mushrooms growing wild on any land, or who picks flowers, fruit or foliage from a plant growing wild on any land, does not (although not in possession of the land) steal what he picks, unless he does it for reward or for sale or other commercial purpose. For purposes of this subsection 'mushroom' includes any fungus, and 'plant' includes any shrub or tree."

Thus, if he is just picking wild blackberries to make a pie which he and his family intend to eat, or jam which they do not intend to sell for gain or reward to others, he or they commit no theft.

I doubt if he will have been made aware of this provision by the Police who have spent time and money tracking them down, and who want a return for their trouble.

So here we have Mr and Mrs Harmless, one, an old-age pensioner bothering no-one, committing no offence, who admits his guilt and accepts a caution for theft and in so doing is blissfully unaware of the serious consequences of forgoing legal advice and the protection of the court.

Of course the police can do what they like, they can even coerce an admisson of guilt out of the innocent if necessary!

This is what is meant by 'Picking low hanging fruit' (ie, an easy but illegal 'pull') by shaking the Milquetoast (here one person at least being an OAP) in satisfaction of a Home Office target.

A paradigm to the contention that a fool accepts without question a caution or an on the spot fine in respect of something that would probably be thrown out by CPS after the officer has completed 11.5 hrs of paperwork to process an arrest.

Be warned!
 
#7
(RANT ON) Actually it's not theft unless you remove the "roots"....eg cut flowers ok, plucked flowers bad.

Berries the same, picked...ok, chainsaw the F'kin tree down....bad

(RANT OFF) :wink:
 
#9
Iolis and Datum - thank You.

I ask in all seriousness, can a tree that has been planted and then left be considered anything but wild. If the farmer, for instance, used the rowan berries for himself would this then be theft. If the tree had been planted by the farmers grandfather and consequently not used by the following generations would the tree be cultivated or wild
 
#10
Sven said:
Technically it is theft.

Can the Police now charge someone (or usethe alternative of cautions) without the agreement of the alleged victim - the farmer on whose land the rowans were. If he agreed or demanded the action then surely the police ust do something about it, if on the other hand he didn't mind (or wasn't asked) how can the action be taken??
I presume the rowans were growing wild, and were not planted by the farmer, therefore, there should be no case to answer. Or else, foragers/gathers for centuries have been on the wrong side of t'law. :roll:
 
#11
Agent_Smith said:
Sven said:
Technically it is theft.

Can the Police now charge someone (or usethe alternative of cautions) without the agreement of the alleged victim - the farmer on whose land the rowans were. If he agreed or demanded the action then surely the police ust do something about it, if on the other hand he didn't mind (or wasn't asked) how can the action be taken??
I presume the rowans were growing wild, and were not planted by the farmer, therefore, there should be no case to answer. Or else, foragers/gathers for centuries have been on the wrong side of t'law. :roll:
Not always.

At Bolton Abbey the estate people gave my family permission to use an old walled garden and in it was a rowan tree - at the far end of the orchard.
 
#12
Hi Sven,

The effect of section 4(3) is, in general to exempt things growing wild from the law of theft. It will be theft however if:

(a). (except in the case of mushrooms) the defendant removes the whole plant. For example, he pulls out a primrose or a sapling by the roots. This is not picking from a plant and so is not within the exception.

(b), The defendant removes the plant or part of t by an act which cannot be described as 'picking'. For example, he saws off the top of a Christmas tree growing wild on the Plaintiff's land, or cuts the grass growing wild of the Plaintiff's land with a reaper or a scythe.

(c) The defendant picks mushrooms or wild flowers, fruit or foliage, for a commercial purpose - for example, mushrooms for sale in his shop or holly to sell door to door at Christmas. The provision is (according to JC Smith: Law of Theft) intended to be used against depredation on a fairly large scale but t would seem to cover such cases as where the defendant, a schoolboy, picks mushrooms intending to sell them to his mother or the neighbours. According to Smith, it is possible, however, that such a single isolated case might be held not to fall within the law as not being a 'commercial' purpose - for it will be noted that the wording of the subsection requires that the defendant, to some extent, must be making a business of dealing in the things in question.

It will, of course be theft to pick a single cultivated flower, wherever it is growing.

As for the tree, the issue of whether it is cultivated or wild is a question of fact and whether it was reasonably discoverable.

However, the law of theft has a mental element to it which must be satisfied for a prosecution to succeed. Theft requires dishonesty to be proved and the test of honesty is a two-stage objective/subjective test set out in the case of R v Ghosh [1982] 1 QB 1053. the first stage is to ask:"was the defendant dishonest according to the stands of ordinary decent people? (the objective part). If the answer is yes, then the second stage of the test, (the subjective part) is to ask did the defendasnt reaslise that what he was doing was dishonest by those standards?

(edited to add the Ghosh test of honesty)

Regards and best wishes
Iolis
 
#13
Iolis said:
a fool accepts without question a caution or an on the spot fine in respect of something that would probably be thrown out by CPS after the officer has completed 11.5 hrs of paperwork to process an arrest.

Be warned!


Wise words indeed - I have to comment that I seem to be hearing more and more often of people accepting cautions for silly things that would clearly be thrown out by the magistrates, even if they did get past the CPS.

more fool them for accepting the caution, but it clealy indicates that something is rotten within the service - possibly deliberate coercion to accept a caution and "get it all over with without having to go to court"???

Fraid it comes back to rule one - never say anything without consulting a decent solicitor that you know and trust!
 
#14
What is the definition of "growing wild"? We only have his word that it was growing wild. The police did not seem to pursue that line of enquiry, so we will not know if Theft was the proper charge.

Still under s.2(1) and Schedule 2 of CROW, I think they would probably have committed trespass as those provisions specifically states that one may not "

"intentionally removes, damages or destroys any plant, shrub, tree or root or any part of a plant, shrub, tree or root..."

So there! Not completely a sham. Well...at least he probably commited a crime...
 
#15
What is the definition of "growing wild"? We only have his word that it was growing wild. The police did not seem to pursue that line of enquiry, so we will not know if Theft was the proper charge.

Still under s.2(1) and Schedule 2 of CROW, I think they would probably have committed trespass as those provisions specifically states that one may not "

"intentionally removes, damages or destroys any plant, shrub, tree or root or any part of a plant, shrub, tree or root..."

So there! Not completely a sham. Well...at least he probably commited a crime...
 
#16
Scabster_Mooch said:
What is the definition of "growing wild"? We only have his word that it was growing wild. The police did not seem to pursue that line of enquiry, so we will not know if Theft was the proper charge.

Still under s.2(1) and Schedule 2 of CROW, I think they would probably have committed trespass as those provisions specifically states that one may not "

"intentionally removes, damages or destroys any plant, shrub, tree or root or any part of a plant, shrub, tree or root..."

So there! Not completely a sham. Well...at least he probably commited a crime...
We are, of course, actng upon the asumption that the newspaper report is accurate and complete. Trespass, Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 excepted is not a criminal act. Trespass is actionable per se in civil recovery. However, the main point here is that the burden is on the prosecution: Woolmington v DPP [1935] AC 462 to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the tree in question was not growing wild. The accused here need not prove anything at all and the suggestion that "we only have his word", would seem wrongly to suggest that the accused somehow has to satisfy the Police that the tree was growing wild. The defendant may have a belief that it was growing wild and it will not matter whether his belief was reasonable as long as it was honestly held and that is an evidential burden only (ie, on the balance of probabilities).
 
#18
exile1 said:
"the rule book is for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
Obviously a lot of f@cking idiots is the police.
It is possible sometimes (only sometimes mind you!) to have some sympathy for the Police although not in this case where the law of theft is well settled.

In many cases, the Police have to enforce statutory provisions that are appallingly drafted by Parliament and the Copper on the ground has to interpret it to the factual situation he finds himself in on the ground and get the law right.

I remember an interview on Radio 4 with Jack Straw when he was Home Secretary regarding a particularly ambiguous provision of a Bill which he had presented to Parliament. When this was questioned by John Humphreys, it was pointed out to Straw that two opposite interpretations could be given to it. Straw's response was: "Well, the courts can interpret that for us, that's their job".

I was absolutely bloody appalled at what I had heard from Straw, since there was his Bill and he could not even tell us what a part of it was supposed to mean and his suggestion that the court would interpret it for him was absolutely risible!

What hope then for some young Copper on the ground having to interpret a statutory provision the meaning of which even the Home Secretary cannot articulate.

Regards and best wishes
Iolis
 
#19
Calling the police idiots was a bit strong on my part. Good and bad like any other organisation. IMHO The perception that the public see the police take the easy route to a quiet life where possible is driven in part by the requirements of legislation and orders/paperwork centered around politically driven agenda, BUT if resistance to this is not taken within the force then I can see no improvement likely in this perception.
I've had a few drinks so If this sounds like a load of cr@p, I'm sure someone will tell me. : :)
 
#20
Gentlemen, please, you must remember the overwhelming efficacy of zero tolerance policies when stopping criminals and their behaviours. Think back to the overwhelming success that was, the then, Mayor of New York, Mr Rudolph Giuliani's "zero tolerance on crime" stance. His idea being that individuals that commit serious crimes, repeatedly, will think nothing of jumping ticket barriers, littering or doing other petty crimes. They claimed to have caught several serial killers, rapists, armed robbers amongst others and generally made the streets safer for all with their policy. Three cheers for them.

We should therefore thank Bliar et al. for saving us from such scurrilous and recidivistic individuals as this "jam-knapper" and his accomplice. In fact I believe the constabularies of the areas involved showed use of cunning, detective finesse by not resorting to a motor vehicle search - the easy way out - instead choosing to spend three months hard slog to track down such a master criminal as the individual involved. Ignoring other matters they worked in concert to prevent this underworld crime boss from continuing on his unlawful career. I believe the officers in fact may have been hampered and restricted to merely cautioning this scoundrel and his strumpet in not being allowed to flog him and transport him to the colonies for such crimes.

One must also make mention of the security guard whom triggered this by noting down the details, taking time out from his obviously busy schedule in doing so, and passing them on to the appropriate body. He should be given a standing ovation by the Commonwealth, nay the Parliament, for being such an overinvolved and petty (theft) minded person. I shall sleep more soundly in my bed knowing that hardened criminals such as this jam-knapper and his accomplice are under the eagle eye of no less than two constabularies. He will not be jumping fences picking berries again in the near future I should think.
 

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