Wednesday 8 February 2017

A Whole Justice System Under Pressure

Three separate articles here dear readers, all joined at the hip:

The Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) have had £4 million cut from their budget this year.

They will receive £109.5m in 2017, down from £113.5m last year.

Ready, steady, go...cue all the usual bleats and moans from the COPFS about how they're so hard done to and how much pressure they’re under etc <yawn>.

But I could halve their budget, and I could do it very easily.

All it would take is for the COPFS to start acting honestly and with integrity and drop cases against innocent members of the public who they know to be innocent when it becomes clear from Crown production evidence that there has been no crime committed. Cases that have no sufficiency of evidence should be dropped.

The present situation of blanket prosecutions against absolutely everyone and anyone regardless of the sufficiency of evidence is a nonsense. It is purely designed to save the COPFS face and keep up the pretence that their previous wrong decisions to arrest, charge, and prosecute were correct.

Going through with a prosecution against an innocent person which they know will fail in court due to insufficiency of evidence is a flawed strategy.

Oh yeah, it suits the COPFS to do it. Because dropping cases leaves the COPFS open to criticism, whereas allowing them to go to a prosecution in court (and ultimately failing in court) pushes the blame on to the court for failing to find the person guilty.

It lets the COPFS off the hook for the bad decisions they take.

See how it all works now?

Pursuing un-winnable cases against innocent members of the public costs money, a lot of money.

It also goes against everything the COPFS are supposed to stand for.

Their duty is to protect the public, not target the public.

They work for us and are supposed to represent us, not use us as fodder to achieve performance targets.

For goodness sake, it's hard enough in this day and age to put 'baddies' who are guilty of real crimes behind bars without having to also expend untold public money and resources trying to convince courts every day that innocent members of the public have committed crimes when they haven't.

So, can we ever expect the COPFS to stop targeting innocent members of the public and go after the baddies instead?

Nope. It won’t happen.

Because that's just how it is when you have a Procurator Fiscal service entirely made up of failed solicitors from the bottom of the legal food chain (who would never get a job in a proper lawyers firm). Covering up for incompetence, arrogance, waste, and the fear of being found out to be the professional failures they are will always be their priority, not the public.

The Scottish public deserve better than this money-wasting and space-wasting motley crew at COPFS.

A Scottish Police Authority (SPA) board meeting has revealed that Police Scotland are facing a net overspend of £17.5m this year.

Sounds bad enough, but we also have to remember and add the £55 Million of one-off reform cash given to the force.

Rough figures out suggest that they will be about £80 Million short of a 'sustainable' budget.

I could halve the Police Scotland budget, and very easily.

All they need to do is...oh, forget it. Just save yourself some time and read the post above and every time you see the words 'COPFS' just substitute it for 'Police Scotland'.

Job done.

Figures from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) show that adjournments in cases due to a lack of court time have increased by 66 per cent since 2011.

I could halve the budget, and very easily.

All they have to do is...

Ahhhh, I see you're already ahead of me...!