Friday, November 23, 2007

This will take years off you..!

Oil of Ulay?...Yoga?...Ginseng?...No its the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and its associated Codes of Practice.(known in short as PACE)

In my humble patch of vibrant Cosmopolitanism, the open Europe policy has provided a significant success story.The emergence of a young, bright,keen and articulate wave of Police listed interpreters.
They are very good and help me and my colleagues ever so much. Some are such regular visitor's they are on first name terms with most of the staff and know their way around the station better than I do.
A fairly common ploy at the moment is to arrive through the back door of the nick and announce to the Custody sergeant that you are a Juvenile despite every visual appearance to the contrary.
Sadly our hands are tied and if he/she in fact persists with this nonsense then PACE says we treat them as Juveniles until proven otherwise.

There are various Codes of Practice to PACE to say which way we should deal with things. The codes run from A to H.
Unfortunately there is, as yet, no code P. This would set out the requirements for not taking the P**S.

As we treat him/her as a Juvenile we tick into the weary world of appropriate adults.
Strangely,the extended families of those detained do not seem keen to attend the police station and assist and addresses are always vague.So its Social services.. blah blah blah.
If they want representation it adds a further layer of problems because the appropriate adult supplied will not turn up unless the other is there or on their way and vice versa.The interpreter is invariably the only consistent part in this merry go round and turns up when requested.

Eventually we all sit in a small room and I look across at our 'Juvenile' with a voice deeper than mine and a bristling 'nine o'clock shadow' and ask my questions.
We have got to the stage where we now seek professional opinion as to their age. This usually involves calling out someone and the examination of the teeth.

The whole charade is a senseless waste of resources.
But we have to be seen to be fair.

When PACE was brought in,it was to set and maintain a balance between the powers of the police and the rights of the public.
Now we employ people who may offer an opinion on dental age, just to be fair and balanced.
I always feel the need to wash my hands before I leave the station after a shift and this is one of the reasons why.


Blogger Big Fella in Blue said...

I had to conduct 8hrs of constant obs on a prisoner and all i could get my hands on to read were the codes of practice and a three week old paper and two volumes of readers digest mini stories.

I thought I would need the constant obs after that.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Whichendbites said...

Now, now. I think I definately sense a small hint of your cynical side, just peeping through your usual professional veneer.

You obviously never got a seat on the bullshit express as it left.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Officer Dibble said...

I never even made it to the platform as it left the station.

I just shrugged,had one further last pint in the pub and made my own way home.

7:25 PM  

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