David Burbage’s weblog

Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

  • About David Burbage

    David Burbage MBE was Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council from 2007-2016. This blog : Promoted by Geoff Hill on behalf of David Burbage and all other Windsor and Maidenhead Conservative candidates, all of 2 Castle End Farm, Ruscombe, Berkshire RG10 9XQ
  • Meta

Why am I not surprised?

Posted by davidburbage on April 1, 2008

Assuming this is all as it appears to be, deliver us from this state quango bureaucracy madness! Credit : The Policeman’s Blog

I was chatting at the nick the other day with an enraged colleague who I’ll call PC ‘S’.
He’d just received a file back from the CPS which he had sent to them for a charging decision.
It is alleged the following happened that led to the suspect’s arrest:
A member of the public, ‘Bob’, is walking down the street one night when he sees a car drive past and crash into a lamp-post. The car contains one occupant, the male driver ‘Gordon’.
Being a caring citizen, Bob runs over to the car to see if Gordon is OK. As he gets there, Gordon opens the driver’s door and tries to run away.
Suspecting Gordon may have stolen the car, and also being able to smell alcohol on Gordon, Bob grabs hold of him and makes a citizen’s arrest.
Gordon is angered by this attempt at detention and hits Bob, causing injury, but Bob manages to keep hold of him until another member of the public, ‘Geoff’, comes to his aid (Geoff having also witnessed the car crash and what is happening between Bob and Gordon.)
The police are called. Whilst waiting for them to arrive Gordon punches Bob a few more times. When they get there, the officers arrest Gordon for drink driving and assault on Bob.
Gordon provides two evidential samples of breath at the police station, which show him to have been over the limit.
He is also interviewed in regard to the assault on Bob, which he denies.
He also denies being the driver of the car, despite both Bob and Geoff saying he was the only occupant of the vehicle when it collided with the lamp-post. (Further enquiries having shown that the vehicle was not stolen.)
A file is prepared for the CPS and a charging decision is sought.
Everybody at the nick thinks Bob has done the honourable thing. He’s managed to detain a drink-driver and possible car thief before we get there. It’s clear to us that Gordon should be punished for assaulting him.
The CPS – aka The Criminal Protection Service – takes a different view.
PC S explains that the CPS say that the original arrest of Gordon by Bob was unlawful because no indictable offence had been committed. (The car was not stolen and drink driving is a summary offence.) Therefore, Gordon was perfectly within his rights to use reasonable force to escape from this unlawful arrest/false imprisonment.
The legislation concerning Any Person Powers of Arrest are contained within
Section 24A Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 but a summary of the powers can be found here.
It says, quite clearly (while giving the writer plenty of room for manoeuvre):

Any person
can arrest a person who is in the act of committing an indictable offence or anyone whom he reasonably suspects to be committing such an offence, if it is not reasonably practicable for a constable to make the arrest instead and it is necessary to arrest the person to prevent him making off before a constable can assume responsibility for him.
What kind of message does this send out to Bob who was acting in good faith and is obviously a very public spirited citizen? As far as he is concerned the Police have let him down and why should he help them again?
PC S stressed to Bob, of course, that the decision not to prosecute for the assault was not a police decision, but that of the CPS. S appealed the CPS decision twice, through a Detective Inspector and the CPS management, but had no joy.
Our useless laws and justice system protect the criminals, and not the victims.

‘PC Bobby Dazzler’

EDIT : http://pcbobbydazzler.blogspot.com is the blog of PC Bobby Dazzler


2 Responses to “Why am I not surprised?”

  1. Thanks for featuring my post.

  2. Acorn said

    As you have just come back from the US, what do you think would have happened if the CPS was replaced with an elected “District Attorney”? Due to the organisational mess of our local government system, the “District” may be hard to define. Possibly a County or a Shire District; a Borough or a Unitary Council. Whichever, I think the outcome may have been a little different?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: