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Good to be in Scotland?


badgery
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With the English NHS reforms and now the police, I certainly feel there's a lot of change being done in the south that I don't remember in any manifestos. Happy to be up here!

police

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Forum Editor

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spuds

I see nothing to be worried about in outsourcing admin contracts - running prison services, forensic laboratories, parking, and security services. That can make economic sense without any loss of quality as far as the services are concerned.

My worry is - as I've already said, twice - the involvement of private companies in criminal investigations. I couldn't care less if the parking attendant who fines me works for a private company; it's meaningless as far as my liability for the fine is concerned.

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badgery

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Yes, FE, exactly the point I also tried to explain to fourm member at the start of this thread - but to little avail.

I do believe savings are possible in Police budgets - but to have crimes investigated or our street patrolled by private firms strikes me as steps too far.

The recruits at present have to be qualified and undergo pretty lengthy, rigorous training to become police officers - will private firms undertake the same exacting standards? I think we know the likely answer to that.

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badgery

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fourm member

But who are these 'anti-capitalists' that should not be listened to?

Doesn't everyone in a democracy have a right to be heard?

Of course, 'It doesn't always work that way but it is the way it should work.' - but when it doesn't work and you are in such a critical line of work as policing, there are likely to be far more serious repercussions than if you are privatising, say, refuse collection.

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spuds

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"will private firms undertake the same exacting standards"

And that is perhaps one point I am trying to make. Not sure about anywhere else, but my local constabulary haven't recruited police officer's for about two years now, but they have recruited PCSO's and are still doing so, and are training them up to 'exacting standards' at public expense. And that includes criminal investigations.

If and should the time arise, would it not be an easy administration task to transfer PCSO's to a private venture company, with all the implications and perhaps upsets behind that. What's the point of having a possible very similar and duplicated service, the same as what is perhaps already being suggested?.

Over the past two years or so, there as been rather a number of changes regarding civilian recruitment and deployment at my local constabulary. Some civilian staff have left, others have been made redundant, while others have renegotiated contracts, possibly short term at that. I know people who are now on 12 month contracts, living in fear that in a few months time, they might not be a member of a police force, serving the public, as they did previously or at all.

As I said earlier, the wedge as already been placed in the door!.

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Forum Editor

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I'm certainly not an anti-capitalist, I firmly believe that a thriving private enterprise sector is the key to a thriving economy. On the other hand, I don't believe that private enterprise is a universal panacea - there must be areas of our lives in which the State takes a greater interest, and one of those is the establishment of a robustly empowered Police service.

I say 'robustly empowered' because I believe that police should be given the necessary freedom and authority to do what we need them to do - prevent and detect crimes,and prosecute the criminals they catch. They should do these things within a necessary and suitable regulative framework, but financial considerations shouldn't be the overriding consideration. If it costs a lot of money to bring serious criminals to justice, so be it.

Law and order must be one of a sophisticated society's prime concerns, and no compromises should be made along the way to achieving a safe and law-abiding environment - we certainly shouldn't be employing civilian staff to investigate crime. Those people, if we use them, should be involved in administration, and that can certainly include work on crime databases. It must not include face to face interviews with suspects,other case-work of an investigative nature, or decisions about who is or isn't arrested and/or charged.

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spuds

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FE

The police no longer prosecute criminals, that is now the role of the CPS in England and Wales. The CPS consist of civilians, as I understand it. But I understand the point that you are making.

With regards to cost, then we only need to see some of the cases that the CPS have taken to court, and have lost the case. HMRC recently took a case to court, that as cost £millions, yet the actual prosecutions were based on £thousands, which the taxpayer as had to pay the final costs. Yet at the same time we are talking about cost saving and tendering out work and contracts as an economic solution for a under-funded police service.

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Forum Editor

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spuds

"The police no longer prosecute criminals"

I know that - with two brothers in the Police I should. My mistake, and thank you for pointing it out. I should have made it clear that the Police send cases for prosecution to the CPS and they make the decision. In answer to your question they (CPS) are lawyers.

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badgery

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spuds

The CPS cannot be compared to the police in terms of 'civilian' employees. The job of the CPS is entirely 'law based', not the investigation, collection of evidence, interviewing suspects etc. They are generally qualified, and licensed, in law for their job and not the object of private companies seeking to take over their work.

There will always be cases 'lost' , otherwise it would suggest every case brought was cut and dried - eventually meaning juries were not needed??

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Forum Editor

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The CPS and the Police are entirely independent of each other.

It's the job of the police to investigate crime and come up with evidence that points to a suspect or suspects. When they feel they have enough evidence to charge someone they send the file to the CPS.

The CPS uses a test to decide whether or not to proceed with a prosecution. There must be enough evidence against the defendant to provide a 'realistic prospect of conviction'.

A realistic prospect of conviction is an objective test. It means that a jury or bench of magistrates, or judge hearing a case alone, properly directed and acting in accordance with the law, is more likely than not to convict the defendant of the alleged charge. If the evidence passes that test it's considered worth putting to a jury, and the prosecution proceeds.

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lucky1

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In Scotland the role of the CPS is undertaken by the Procurator Fiscal Service who operate in much the same way as their English counterparts.

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