4 Sep 2007

Now they are taking the piss!

I have it on good authority (from a colleague in the west of the county) that officers have received an updated process instruction... Basically any officer who finds someone urinating in the street should adopt the 'new' policing method and proceed via issue of a PND for Sec. 5 Public Order and under no circumstances, report for summons (the 'old' way). But why has NYP just thought of adopting this methodology?
In 2005 both England and Scotland were receiving 'official' guidance on the topic. No prosecution for street urinating: Said the Scottish Law Society Journal in 2005 when the Lord Advocate instructed that 'no police reports to procurator fiscal unless other offence committed'. This was done with a view to 'freeing up police resources'. And also in 2005 The Guardian reported on the Government instructions that; 'offenders can be prosecuted under public order legislation, and that on-the-spot fines of £80 can be served under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. Police could even use an 1847 law against indecent exposure'.
Now apart from the problem of binge drinking and week bladders, one of the fundamental causes of any increase in this anti social act, has been the lack of public toilets in our towns. However, why should it be OK to pee freely in Scotland but not in England?
Perhaps our colleagues over the border are not subject to the rigid target chasing mentality that we are in the south? What worries me is that, not with standing the unsocial act itself, we're now looking to criminalise yet another section of the community, solely to boost crime detection figures. It really is madness, how are we ever going to get back to the 'policing by consent' ethic when we are consistently distanced from those we police by such petty number chasing!

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