Brian's Brief Encounters

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Wheels Of Justice

In days gone by other countries used to look to us for new ideas.

In the 21st century it seems that every ‘new idea’ we have has been tried and tested in another country first. Usually America. An eagle-eyed senior officer then spots it and hey presto we get a new policy. They get a big tick in their promotion box too. But that’s not why they brought the policy in. No, not at all.

Small Corner’s favourite call has had the new policy spin added to it recently. To much fanfare we’ve introduced a ‘Positive Arrest’ policy for all ‘disturbance in private premises’ calls. Strangely enough, this one came from the ‘Land of the Free’ too.

Not everyone over there seems entirely convinced with this course of action. But that’s not important right now. Not everyone over here is entirely convinced that this strategy gels with minor laws like PACE and The Human Rights Act. But that’s not important right now either.

At least it gives us all the chance to work our way through the criminal justice system. At great expense.

Having given this situation some thought. I’ve come up with a new idea. Don’t worry; I’m not after a tick in my promotion box. I just thought it might speed things up a bit and cut down on costs.

I’ve called it Brian’s Justice Bus©. For this idea to work I’ll need:-

One comfy bus with driver.

One Judge.

Twelve upstanding members of the community. Who have been chosen at random and were too slow to think up a good excuse as to why they shouldn’t be there.

One tea urn.

An assortment of pastries.

Then all we need to do is to wait for a suitable call. They’ll have to be patient; it could take twenty minutes or so. Once my colleagues and I have sorted out the initial melee they can be called in. Provided a real offence has been committed that is.

No need for a stuffy courtroom with everyone dressed in their Sunday best tracksuits. We’ll do this in the front room. Complete with all the sights, smells and sounds of the real world. If they’re really lucky the wide-screen TV volume may be muted and there’ll be an open window providing some much needed fresh air.

All of the interested parties can hold a copy of the nearest tabloid in the air and swear to tell the truth. Or their version of it at least, and we can begin. Questions will be asked by us. Not because we really want to hear all of the sordid details again, it’s just that we’re pretty good at asking questions. Nor will we have to ask very many, the interested parties are never normally very shy about putting their points of view across. Unless they’re in a Police interview room or court that is.

After this, questions from the floor will be taken if need be. The judge can then decide if there is a case to answer and if so by whom. He’ll direct the audience on what they should be considering and they can retire to the bus for tea and pastries and a good old chinwag. We’ll keep the judge awake by chatting about mutual friends from the Lodge.

If the twelve pillars of the community return a guilty verdict on one or more of the interested parties the judge can swing into action. Any sentence passed will start with immediate effect and we’ll whisk the guilty off to the appropriate prison, probation office or anger management class.

In the unlikely event that we get a ‘Not Guilty’, they can all pile back on the bus and drive around the corner. Best not to go too far as we’ll all be going back within half an hour or so.

Although my idea may save the hard pressed taxpayer squillions, I don’t think it’ll catch on just yet.

Not unless someone in America tries it first that is.

2 Comments:

At 26/9/05 3:56 PM, Anonymous PC Copperfield said...

They alreay have.
William Bratton, when he was head of NY Transit (before becoming NYPD Commissioner) introduced the "bust bus" to stop fare evasion on the NY Subway. Officers used to wait for people to dodge fares, take them to one side and when they had enough, they would handcuff them all together and walk them all to a nearby converted bus for processing.

 
At 27/9/05 12:49 AM, Anonymous Brian said...

Let's hope there's a senior officer reading then.....

 

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