Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?

Domestic abuse law not being enforced by police

It’s two years since the new offence of coercive and controlling behaviour (see my post on this here) came into force yet only 532 charges have been brought in England even though more than 4,000 offences were recorded by the police in one year.

The offence carries a maximum sentence of 5 years.

Six police forces have brought 5 charges or less and only eight of the 43 forces in England and Wales have taken up an accredited training programme dealing with the offence.

Elfyn Llwyd, whose private members’ bill led to the introduction of the offence said it was very frustrating that training had been so low. “The poor take-up of training among the Welsh and English police is reflected in the low number of prosecutions. The government must ensure that training is made mandatory and funded centrally“.

It’s just not good enough. When police forces are spending money demonstrating how PC they are by painting their cars and finger nails it suggests that they haven’t got their priorities right in protecting victims of what Theresa May, then Home Secretary, said could be “tantamount to torture”.

Essex police were also criticised for their campaign offering support to over-55 year old victims of domestic abuse who decided to stay with their partners.

It included a fictional case study which said “She knew the abuse in her relationship was wrong but also knew she wouldn’t leave. With help and support from specialist organisations and agencies she and her husband stayed together, but safely”.

Refuge, the domestic violence charity, were less than impressed saying it was the police’s job to arrest abuse perpetrators and that it seemed they were failing victims. Every week two women were killed by their partners or former partners.

Essex police acknowledged it had used “clumsy language“.


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More needs to be done about drivers using mobile phones


texting_behind_the_wheel_1600_wht_10007It seems some motorists are addicted to using apps when driving and the current £100 fine plus 3 penalty points is no deterrent (which was to be increased to £150 and 4 points – 6 for HGV drivers after the consultation period ended in March).

An RAC survey found that drivers think that the fine should be even bigger, perhaps £450, to try and deter drivers using everything from texting to updating Facebook because drivers see the existing fines as unduly lenient.

10% of drivers believe that using a phone when driving should lead to instant disqualification, and I couldn’t disagree with that. Mobile phone use is the top complaint by drivers.

Prosecutions have dropped  by almost half between 2009 and 2014 and fewer drivers have been handed fixed penalties. This suggests that the police aren’t taking it seriously. All they would have to do is park near my nearest…

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Jūs suraižyti

hands_in_handcuffs_pc_1600_wht_3604Scotland Yard is about to recruit foreign police officers for a three-year project, Operation Nexus, to help tackle the increasing number of foreign criminals in the UK.

28% of the arrested suspects last year were foreign nationals.

Broadly the same percentage applies to murder victims, those suspected of  organised crime, and dangerous sex offenders.This is not surprising when you consider that 24% of people living in London are not British.

Romania and Poland have already signed up to the scheme with talks in progress with Lithuania and Ireland.

The police will be plain clothed and won’t have the power of arrest but will take part in raids and in interviewing suspects. They may wear their uniforms if the situation demands which should make it even more confusing for visitors to London!

This makes sense as the UK is the No 1 target for economic migrants. Crime knows no boundaries and in Lithuania, for example, the police there joke about the criminals joining the EU before the country did.

Lithuanian police in Trakai

Lithuanian police in Trakai

I was with an American friend in Lithuania when he had his lap-top snatched. The police sergeant who took my witness statement said he was surprised as he thought the criminals were all in England.

And Lithuanians in the UK have a bad reputation for illicit vodka stills and gun trafficking They are also involved in charity scams.

It’s hoped that Operation Nexus will improve the ability to deal with foreign suspects eg making it easier to check criminal records in their own country, and work more closely with the UK Border Agency to deal with overstayers and criminals trying to get into the UK.

But the Lithuanians are not the biggest group arrested because there aren’t that many of them. Poles and Irish are the two largest foreign nationalities arrested because there are so many of them here.

The Romanians are known to have criminal networks and made their criminal reputation here with their gangs of pick-pockets using children. And they haven’t officially arrived here yet!

Other countries in the top 10 list for crime are Pakistan, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Somalia, and Portugal.

FYI the post heading says “you’re under arrest” in Lithuanian.

Scotland Yard has just published figures showing that almost 35,000 Poles were arrested last year for serious offences in London including 84 for murder.

Romanians are the second most prolific foreign offenders with almost 28,000 arrests including 1o for murder, 142 for rape and 666 for other sex offences.

Lithuanians were the third most arrested foreigners in the capital.

The high number of Poles perhaps isn’t surprising considering the number over here (more than half a million) and the fact it’s now our second most spoken language.

Romanians aren’t officially due yet until next year so the criminals are following a well-worn path to the UK. To add to their track record of pickpocketing, child trafficking and begging they are now getting rich on stealing metals.

Lithuanians seem to punch above their weight when it comes to crime. Apart from violent crime they are known to be involved in charity scams as well as gun-running and illicit vodka.

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Facebook vigilantes cop traffic offenders in Delhi

In India Delhi traffic police set up a page in Facebook two months ago with the intention of informing the public about traffic snarl-ups.

What they actually got was “crowd sourced” photographs of people breaking the traffic laws.

The Facebook vigilantes have posted 3,000 images which have resulted in 700 tickets being issued including 50 to policemen.

The 5,000 strong police force (in a city of 12 million), which has stopped a quarter of a million drivers who ran red lights already this year, has now dedicated 4 officers to checking the Facebook site and other cities are calling for similar action. Offences include blacked out cars, whole families on a scooter, and drivers on mobile phones.

The report in the Times; “Facebook vigilantes give traffic police a headstart” pointed out that most of the images appear to have been taken from mobile phones! If you want to see the results see: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Delhi-Traffic-Police/117817371573308

So you don’t have to have a Facebook account to get caught out, other people are quite happy to do that for you!