I have a few cases pending at the moment - nothing particularly scary or highbrow but I DO have witnesses.... security guards and shop managers for theft-shoplifting, fellow officers in various other matters. I am now of course hoping to find a safe-house for all of them as any form of witness intimidation or harm to them as a result of their being witnesses in my cases is MY fault. I will be disciplined personally and my force / service will be subject to the good old Human "£££" Right$ Ac£.Hertfordshire Police
is now appealing against a ruling that it breached the Human Rights of a witness in a trial for theft, who was murdered by the suspect
days before the trial. Now I am obviously not in full appreciation of the facts and there is perhaps much background to this tragic case to which I am not party, but as it stands at the moment this was a case of theft by employee, not a gangland situation or a Trident
case. I mean no disrespect to the murdered man or his family and loved ones, but they have just been awarded £50,000 - the standard amount won for a "breach" of the Human Rights Act
, articles 2 (right to life) and 8 (respect for family and private life) - for the police's alleged failure in protecting him.
I supported the Human Rights Act when it came in - it surely can't be a bad thing for all of Europe to enshrine on paper some of the rights we've had by statute or Common Law in the UK for decades / centuries. I even wondered why so many police officers seemed to oppose it - surely it was a good thing for us all?
As with everything it's been hijacked by the legal profession who see a quick buck ensuing from their suing. Instead of protecting us all it's being used as a stick with which to beat the police, to create extra paperwork to try to prevent avaricious litigation by lawyers who are on the clock, earning, whether their appeals are withheld or denied, used to protect the criminal over the victim, used as an excuse not to take action against criminals who richly deserve it... the list could go on. The spirit of this Act has been flushed away in lawyers' greed and loopholers' absence of consciences as the letter of the law is perverted to help them instead of society. The only ones laughing are the criminals.
The relationship of the UK with Europe in the law has not all been bad - the police are more careful in planning jobs that they are
according to PLAN, ie Proportionate, Legal, Accountable and Necessary; we've seen advances in legal protection for women, gay people in employment, gay people in the military etc because of people taking the government and employers into the European courts system. Maybe I just make the distinction because I fall into those two categories but there is a distinction because there are laws to protect the innocent and there are laws or articles that only seem to help the guilty, or the wallets of the legal "profession".
What happened to Giles Van Cole was a terrible act by a criminal who deserves to spend the rest of his life in misery. Were the police negligent in not protecting him? Well the courts seem to have decided so and they have access to all the information that I don't. Should the family and their lawyers get £50,000 from the public purse for police's failing to place in protective custody what appears on the surface to be a witness in a theft-employee case? Unless a lot more emerges about the background to this case, forget building more prisons, we'll need to build giant witness protection centres, everyone will be unable to do their jobs as they'll be in the protection centre, there will be no police patrolling at all as we'll all be standing around guarding them, and society will grind to a halt with all the witnesses and police off the streets.
In the meantime, I have a spare room and a bed-settee. So everyone round to my house until their court appearances. Bring tea-bags.