Society Magazine

Happy Christmas – Courtesy of the Criminal Justice System

Posted on the 23 December 2011 by Minimumcover @minimumcover

As the festive season gets into high gear and those of us without that “planning” gene rush around like crazy trying to get those last-minute gifts levels of acquisitive crime also make their seasonal rise.

Over the last week the officers in my small part of the district have dealt with no fewer than 15 families that have had their Christmas plans ruined by opportunist thieves letting themselves in through doors and windows and the letting themselves out again with TVs, games consoles and laptops. Thankfully this mini crime-wave was halted last night by a combination of luck and intelligent patrolling.

To combat the impact this was having on the non-existent public satisfaction targets, the senior management decided to put out a double-crewed burglary car to target those that were responsible. This was justifiable as they considered two pairs of eyes more efficient than one for this purpose.
The Inspector that was promoting this particular strategy then failed spectacularly to answer a question about how this type of patrol was different to the rest of the time when being single crewed is compulsory as it is also more efficient. A paradox of proportions so huge that they were only dwarfed by the size of the bollocking handed down to the officer that asked the question during a closed-door chat following the briefing. It was obviously a little embarrassing for the Inspector during his festive visit to the dark side of the patch in company with a Superintendent we have never met, who had been dragged out on a PR exercise clutching a box of “Celebrations” but wearing no PPE what-so-ever (clearly demonstrating his lack of desire or readiness to get involved in some actual Police work if he should stumble into some!).

Happy Christmas – Courtesy of the Criminal Justice System

In a strange quirk of fate, a vehicle with sufficient officers to watch the road and the world at the same time, with the freedom to patrol the vulnerable areas of the patch without constant calls to referee Facebook domestics, managed to locate and detain the burglar on only the second night of trying. 

Ashley was found leaving the driveway of a detached four bedroom house on the outskirts of town clutching a laptop, several blu-ray disks and a rucksack containing a PS3 and almost £2000 of jewelry. The family was in the house at the time, but all asleep upstairs, and the back door had been left unlocked as usual.
He was swiftly detained and immediately played the usual found-the-stuff-on-the-drive card until he got to custody. Following the swift completion of the initial stuff such as statements of loss and the hunt for the files relating to the other seven houses in that particular street that had been attacked in the last two weeks, he was spoken to by one of the Burglary Investigation DCs and decided it would be best to come clean as that would give him the biggest discount at court and, no doubt, many other benefits – it wouldn’t surprise me if he even got some Nectar Points to use against his purchases of contraband from the prison shop.

Following admissions to 13 burglaries, the losses to victims believed to be in the region of £9500 and the gain to him being about £800, he was duly remanded into custody and put before one of the festive court sessions. Here they heard the evidence and, thankfully chose to remand again following conviction with a view to obtaining the relevant reports prior to sentence.
It turns out that he had been released from prison only four days before the first offense [that he admitted to] was committed. Unbelievably, he had actually been due for release in February 2012 after serving less than half a five-year sentence for a string of burglaries committed in the run up to Christmas 2009. His plea to be allowed to return home to his family for the third birthday of his son and the festive period had tugged sufficiently at the heart-strings of those that decide on such matters and they had released him two months early.

Unfortunately, none of those that made this decision were victims of their own stupidity and only the innocent and uninvolved were punished for their poor sense of judgment.

One day I hope we will see a ruling that people serve the sentences that they are given. One day, people like Ashley will not be allowed the opportunity to have their punishment eroded by any number of factors, and will be denied the ability to get out early for no other reason than they need to hit the streets while the pickings are rich and the avenues for shifting stolen gear are plentiful.

A new ‘Lock ‘em Up and Leave ‘em There Act‘ – That’s what I want for Christmas. Sadly, I am pretty sure Santa only does presents, not miracles.

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