Stories categorized “Criminal justice”:

The truth about a concocted story

Published November 2008.

The Guardian, November 2008 When the Jersey police this week confessed that – contrary to so many ghoulish news stories – they have, in truth, no evidence of children being murdered and buried in an old children’s home on the island, they laid the blame at their own door. That tells only part of the […]

How the police failed to investigate a judge

Published September 2008.

The Guardian, September 2008 Police have been ordered to review their handling of the case of a judge accused of sexually abusing young children after claims that they failed adequately to investigate him because he was a friend of the chief constable. The judge, who for legal reasons can be named only as Judge X, […]

Concocting a horror story

Published May 2008.

The Guardian, May 2008 Anybody who has been plugged into the news over the past few months could be forgiven for believing that police searching a former care home in Jersey have already found evidence of children being murdered. This belief could have been encouraged by headlines such as: ” ‘Six or more’ bodies at […]

Failure at the Police Complaints Commission

Published February 2008.

The Guardian, February 2008 The IPCC: a catalogue of delays, rejections and basic failures In an investigation into the body that examines complaints against the police, Nick Davies uncovers a series of disturbing inadequacies One night in May 2000 Christine Hurst was woken up by a phone call at her home in Hertfordshire and learned […]

Lawyers expose the police complaints commission

Published February 2008.

The Guardian, February 2008 The Independent Police Complaints Commission faces a crisis of confidence after a network of more than a hundred lawyers who specialise in handling police complaints resigned en masse from the commission’s advisory body. In a strongly-worded letter to the IPCC’s chairman, Nick Hardwick, the lawyers expressed their “increasing dismay and disillusionment” […]

The senior judge who wants less punishment for criminals

Published August 2005.

The Guardian, August 2005 The retiring lord chief justice, Lord Woolf, today makes a passionate plea for a new approach to law and order which would see a major shift away from punishment towards the solution of problems which generate crime. Writing in today’s Guardian, Lord Woolf suggests a shortlist of four strictly limited categories […]

The man who vanished

Published June 2005.

Somewhere in some dark corner of this country, there is an impoverished and homeless man who does not know that he has been given a bank account full of cash which could change his life.

Organising chaos in probation

Published June 2005.

There is an old saying that a camel is really just a horse which was designed by a government committee. So it seems to be with NOMS – the new National Offender Management Service which is due to merge prisons with probation.

Dying for a break

Published May 2005.

Maybe nothing really changes. Several hundred years ago when red-faced judges and pot-bellied politicians were happy to procure power by ordering men to be hanged by the neck and left dangling to rot by the wayside, there was a popular rhyme: “Little villains oft submit to fate, so great ones may enjoy the world in state.”

Prison as a refuge

Published May 2005.

The prisoner is on the phone to his sister. He is due in court soon and he is hoping for a short sentence. She doesn’t see it that way: “You don’t want to come out. You’ll get right back on it. Lola’s on it, Tedda’s on it.”

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