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Justice denied: Our worst retreat since Dunkirk

Nov 14, 2012

from Peter Hitchens' column in Mail on Sunday:

In my Mail on Sunday column last Sunday (11th November) I promised a fuller account of the scandalous downgrading of serious crime by the authorities in England and Wales ( I have not made a similar analysis of Scotland, which has its own separate legal system, but suspect something similar will be under way there).  What was most distressing was to receive several personal confirmations of police uninterest in pursuing quite serious matters. The use of so-called ‘restorative justice’ to negotiate a supposed reconciliation between criminal (or in value-free jargon ’offender’) and victim is a growing part of this array of devices to reduce pressure on prisons, massage crime figures downwards and give the illusion of action.

Here is what I have found.  

This country has not seen such a retreat since Dunkirk. Prosecutors and Police are in headlong flight in the face of a flood of crime and disorder unseen in this country since the Victorian era.   And, just as at Dunkirk, skilled propagandists seek to portray the defeat as a triumph.

For some time, I have scoffed at official figures claiming that crime was falling. It is plain to anybody outside the elite cocoon of money and power that such a claim must be garbage of a high order. But as always, when the state has a monopoly of information, it was hard to show where the flaw was. Now, thanks to the brave and astute action of the Magistrates Association, some light has been shone on this dark place.

The story is enormous. In 2008 Magistrates began to suspect that a falling workload in the Magistrates’ Courts was a national rather than just a local phenomenon. The Magistrates’ Association tried to find out what was really happening. They were of course told there was a reduction in crime . The published statistics, of course,  supported that.   

Rather than accept what they were told (as so many people gullibly and acquiescently do) the Magistrates launched their own inquiry, using the Freedom of Information Act.

I regret that much of the information here is three years old or more, but it has (to my embarrassment and regret) taken me that long to get on to this story, which has been hiding in plain sight for anyone to pick up. My excuse is that at the time it first surfaced briefly, I was travelling abroad a great deal.  I suspect that more recent figures would be even worse. The rape total given in my article of 11th November (higher than the one shown below) results from figures obtained since this report was written.

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