Someone really needs to have a word with Plod here

John James, the managing director of Soho Estates faced the loud-hailer wielding women outside the firm’s offices, assuring them that he “had no problem with this type of work” but had no choice but to inform the leaseholder of the flats that they could lose their lease if they were to allow “immoral activities”, after Soho Estates was issued with an enforcement notice by police.

“I have no angst with these girls, I was surprised last week by an enforcement notice from the police and we have to take that seriously,” he told the Guardian. Asked what he thought of the police action he said: “I don’t understand it, I really don’t – it is part of Soho. Police are putting us in the firing line and turning us into the villains.”

A walk up flat (one working girl, one maid) is not illegal. Yet Plod is raiding them:

A 52-year-old maid from the evicted flat in Romily street, who herself worked as a sex worker before becoming a maid, said: “The police have completely changed, they’ve dragged customers naked out of bed, searched the flat – the girls are scared, they are not criminals. As far as I have understood one girl and one maid is not illegal, it’s not a brothel.”

Someone really needs to have a word.

Unfortunately, I fear that what is happening here is that someone has already had a word. “These people may be doing something legal but I don’t like it so oppress them”.

We need to find that person, who had that word, then hang them. For, and this is important, we are a country that believes in the rule of law. A society founded on that very idea. And if that law says that a bird can fuck for money then that’s exactly what she can do without the rozzers bearing down on her and her punters. Whatever the fuck the prodnoses think about it.

28 comments on “Someone really needs to have a word with Plod here

  1. Particularly since it is about the only business in the country in which the customer comes first.

  2. ” For, and this is important, we are a country that believes in the rule of law.”
    What we like to tell ourselves, anyway.
    Can remember back in the hippy days, any young people even looking like they were headed for a festival being subjected to unwarranted stop, arbitrary search, confiscation of property, prevention of going about lawful business. Truth is, if you haven’t much influence & have upset those who have, the authorities aqre not much bothered about the finer points of the law.

  3. It is notable that a rather attractive young lady was recently hauled into court and prosecuted by HMRC for failing to pay taxes on the money that she had quite legally earned by using her personal assets in exactly that manner.

    Note she wasn’t prosecuted for illegal earnings merely not paying tax on them

  4. This is what happens when you have a mutaween.

    In other news, talking of the “rule of law”, it is to be made law that a man may be punished for being a “potential” sex offender despite never being convicted of any crime-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24461921

    Years and years ago a colleague and I had a running gag about the “Supposition Police” which would come out in little skits in bored moments. “I am arresting you for burglary”, “but, I haven’t burgled anyone”, “ah, but supposing you had…”. It seems that incredibly we are now actually at that point.

    It is bad that these women are being victimised by the Feminist State, but it is really small potatoes compared to what is being done to men, and will be done as it gets worse.

  5. Why should we hang the person who ordered it and let the ones who are ‘just following orders’ go free?

    Ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse for us, so why should it be so for the sworn officers of the law?

  6. From that BBC link quoted above:
    “A report commissioned by Peter Davies from the Association of Chief Police Officers and obtained by the BBC earlier this year said the use of orders was “grossly disproportionately low” compared to the total number of child sex offenders.”

    This was because the legal test that had to be satisfied was too high and measures “over-complicated”, the report said.”
    They mean lack of evidence, don’t they?
    Jeezus!

  7. Seems to me we need to remember the English Bill Of Rights-

    That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;

    That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders;

    That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void

    But of course, that would be “over-complicated”, would it not?

  8. > A report commissioned by Peter Davies from the Association of Chief Police Officers and obtained by the BBC earlier this year said the use of orders was “grossly disproportionately low” compared to the total number of child sex offenders.

    To be fair, I do think it’s part of the police’s job to give politicians this kind of feedback. Those making the laws do need to hear about the day-to-day realities of their efficacy. And obviously the police find it frustrating that they know of loads of criminals they can’t arrest, and I would find it odd if they didn’t mention this fact.

    What pisses me off are the politicians who are apparently completely incapable of replying to the police, “Yes, we realise it’s frustrating, but we have to balance your powers against the freedom and rights of the public. The purpose of the law is not to make your jobs easier — quite the opposite, in fact. Sorry about that.” No, instead, they have taken to agreeing with the police that every single criminal not caught and convicted means we need tougher laws.

  9. It’s not a “harm prevention” order. It’s a “risk” order. In other words, convicting somebody (without a trial) for being judged by others to be a potential sex offender. It’s basically just saying “he looks like a creep, so we’ll punish him now”.

    As to the politicians, they don’t want to “reply” to the police. They want this too. This is why the whole point of the old justice system was based on things like jury trials and corpus delicti that would prevent arbitrary oppression by the powerful. Because the powerful cannot be trusted with justice. They will pursue ends and persecute arbitrarily.

    So, you sweep these things away, and here we are. If juries can’t be persuaded to convict, you just abolish not only jury trials but trials themselves, and have people convicted on a nod from a few State appointees.

    This is what we used to lampoon the Soviets for doing, and sundry petty fascist dictatorships, and so on. But, oh, it’s sex, that consistent Anglospheric hysteria, so abolishing justice in that case, oh that’s fine and dandy.

  10. This is becoming common in both directions. Not just people being harassed for not breaking the law but also clear lawbreaking being ignored for political reasons.

    The doctors carrying out abortions purely on gender grounds comes to mind. So does Helen Boaden of the BBC who unquestionably perjured herself in court by testifying that the BBC’s “28 leading scientists” supporting their warmist censorship were actually scientists when they weren’t. The CPS decline to enforce the law on what is a very serious crime – Tommy Sheriden got 34 months recently far a far less serious perjury.

    I trust no policeman will ever imply that any of these ladies in Soho are prostituting themselves in as bad a way as everybody at the BBC.

  11. Ian: yup, spot on, all of it.

    Neil: there is no law against carrying out abortions motivated by gender, just as the DPP said yesterday. You might want there to be such a law; you can advocate for such a change in the law; but right now, the doctors are non-lawbreakers being harassed on spurious political grounds

  12. “And obviously the police find it frustrating that they know of loads of criminals they can’t arrest, and I would find it odd if they didn’t mention this fact.”

    What complete and utter bollocks, Squander Two, the police’s job is to gather sufficient evidence to prosecute criminals. Until someone is convicted they are not criminals. The notion that the police know who is and isn’t a criminal without the criminal justice system is plain evil. Did Magna Carta die in vain?

  13. > The notion that the police know who is and isn’t a criminal without the criminal justice system is plain evil.

    No, it’s not, as long as you recognise that the police are only one part of the criminal justice system and that conviction doesn’t happen purely on their say-so. How do you think people end up in court in the first place? The police just throw darts at a phonebook? In fact, you’ve contradicted yourself:

    > the police’s job is to gather sufficient evidence to prosecute criminals. Until someone is convicted they are not criminals.

    What you’re saying here is that we can’t prosecute people until after they’re convicted. Right.

    People should not be treated as criminals until after conviction and should suffer no legal consequences without conviction. That doesn’t mean some of them aren’t criminals who’ve gotten away with it. What about Madeline McCann’s kidnappers? Jill Dando’s killer? They’re not criminals, in your opinion? Every unsolved murder has been committed by a non-criminal? To suggest that such crimes might have been committed by criminals is to rip up Magna Carta?

    There was a gang boss in Dublin who used to construct cast-iron alibis for himself. He would park illegally occasionally so that he always had a few unpaid parking tickets outstanding. Then, whenever his boys were committing something major, he’d pop into a police station in person to pay a parking fine. Every time his gang did anything, he had a bunch of gardai as witnesses to his completely innocent whereabouts. This became so common that a general alert would go out to all police forces the moment he was seen even walking down a street towards a police station. I fail to see whose civil rights were trampled by those alerts.

  14. john b,

    > there is no law against carrying out abortions motivated by gender

    I thought English law only allows abortion in cases where it’s medically necessary but that that medical necessity criterion is routinely ignored? Or did that change? (I live in NI, so might just not be up to speed on changes to the law on the Mainland.)

  15. Squander, there is this word “suspect”. Before you’re convicted, you are “suspected” to be a criminal. That’s why there’s this idea that you can’t punish somebody until they’ve been convicted. Because until then, it’s just suspected that they are guilty.

    The police may often “think” they know who committed a crime. They may believe that even if the person is acquitted. It doesn’t mean they do actually know.

    Which brings us to the main point that this law is not about punishing suspects of crimes anyway. It is punishing somebody because *the police think they may one day commit a crime in the future*. Do you see?

  16. Neil Craig: “…but also clear lawbreaking being ignored for political reasons.”

    Not to forget the passive aggressive ‘well, how are we to know who’s really at fault here?’ of this case:

    http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/10728386.East_Worthing_and_Shoreham_MP_slams_Sussex_Police_over_harassment_claims/

    If not for his LimpDumb opponent’s sly little jibe in the last paragraph, we might be left to wonder how come Sussex Police don’t seem to be able to say who is in the wrong here…

  17. Squander Two: “I thought English law only allows abortion in cases where it’s medically necessary but that that medical necessity criterion is routinely ignored?”

    You are correct. This is one of these cases – they simply consider ‘distress of the mother at having the wrong sex baby’ one of those necessary medical criteria… :/

  18. Hmm; I can’t help wondering if the “person who had that word” with Plod was from Soho Estates itself.

    Wasn’t that the late Paul Raymond’s company, founded with his proceeds from the Soho vice trade? If so I read that it owns a big chunk of Soho.

    The directors must be wondering whether they could make more money by moving out the tarts and turning it into flats for wealthy foreigners.

    But to avoid getting too much flak from the tenants during that process, what would be easier than a quiet work with Plod and the council.

  19. As to the politicians, they don’t want to “reply” to the police. They want this too. This is why the whole point of the old justice system was based on things like jury trials and corpus delicti that would prevent arbitrary oppression by the powerful. Because the powerful cannot be trusted with justice. They will pursue ends and persecute arbitrarily.

    This is what people forget – we have (or had) those things because of arbitrary oppression by the powerful. They weren’t developed à propos de rien.

  20. It’s not planning is it?

    Walk-up flat is a business, ie class A1 or a sui generis; but a flat is C3(a) (single-family dwellinghouse).

    If they’re getting enforcement notices, then that could be a planning authority idiocy, rather than alleged criminality.

  21. Yes, Squander Two, the police are part of the criminal justice system, the evidence gathering part. If they can’t do their job well enough to provide enough evidence against a suspect for the other parts of the system to secure a conviction then the suspect is innocent. The police should not then have any powers to restrict that person’s freedom based on their unproven suspicions. Having the police as the only part of the criminal justice system leads to it very quickly becoming the criminal injustice system.

  22. One wonders how Michael Le Vell would have fared, had be not had a jury trial but instead had his guilt adjudged by a gaggle of coppers, activists and wonks. It’s easy to see how this is going to play out-

    “Well you dirty little man, we reckon we can’t quite prove this and some stupid jury will let you off, but we know you’re guilty, so we’re going to slap you with an indefinite perv order and there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it”.

  23. Presumably, under the proposals, Michael Le Vell could still be considered a potential sex offender by the police and have his freedom restricted. No smoke without fire, after all. Better safe than sorry.

  24. Ian,

    > Squander, there is this word “suspect”. [blah blah blah] It is punishing somebody because *the police think they may one day commit a crime in the future*. Do you see?

    Oh, go on, then. Point out the bit where I defended it. Go on. Good luck.

    DocBud,

    > The police should not then have any powers to restrict that person’s freedom based on their unproven suspicions.

    And, before you flew off the handle because, apparently, you can’t manage basic comprehension, you will note that I never suggested that they should, and in fact said that it is the job of politicians to tell them that they can’t.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, are either of you seriously arguing that there are never cases where the police, who are privy to evidence that, for various reasons, is inadmissable, are never in the situation of knowing for a fact that a person has committed a crime but not being able to arrest that person? If so, you’re delusional. All I suggested was that the police should inform politicians of these cases, as the people who make the rules of evidence should receive feedback of how well those rules are working in the real world. This is hardly controversial stuff.

  25. Squander, the police never know anything “for a fact”. Even a court doesn’t know that either, but it does apply (or is supposed to) a rigorous epistemology to attempt to reduce error.

    Colin Stagg. The police knew for a fact he was guilty, and the Daily Mail et al even more so.

    You really trust the nose of the rozzers? I don’t. I also take the view that the more emotive and thus “important to the public” the case is, the less reliable the police’s instincts tend to be, because everyone wants a result. Terrorism, repulsive sex crimes, etc. The last thing you want to rely on is “I know for a fact but I can’t prove it”.

    One way to look at it is simply that if you can’t prove X to somebody else, how can you prove it to yourself? What carries it into certainty at the personal level? Belief. Self confidence. That’s the “real world”.

  26. Ian,

    > Point out the bit where I defended it.

    And you didn’t. What a shock. Instead, a condescending lecture on the nature of knowledge. Well, yes, but we could use the same academic hair-splitting to point out that you don’t know for a fact which country you were born in, or what you had for breakfast this morning. Again, in the real world, everyone proceeds on the basis of this “knowledge”, which, for all its metaphysical problematicity, is quite useful.

    Look, no argument from me that people shouldn’t be convicted on gut instinct. I’ve been speaking out against the treatment of Barry George since he was arrested. But, if the subject under discussion is not convictions or even prosecutions, if it is merely the suggestion that the police do in fact sometimes know who done it but don’t have enough evidence to prove it in court and therefore cannot proceed with a prosecution… well, what’s your problem, exactly? You keep objecting, basically, “How dare you send innocent men to prison?” But since I started all this by saying that it is the job of politicians to remind the police that the law is there to make their jobs more difficult, not easier, that is a non-sequitur and a straw man.

    Secondly, of course the police regularly know things for a fact. The police, in the normal course of their work, talk face-to-face with people who admit their crimes when they know the confession is inadmissable, agree not to arrest criminals for self-incriminating aspects of valuable information, witness crimes first-hand while working undercover, and of course talk to witnesses who refuse to testify out of fear. Other examples abound. Unless you seriously want to claim that the police were astounded by the revelation that it was the Kray twins, of all the unexpected innocent-looking people, who were in charge of all those East London gangs, you’re talking out of your arse.

    I note that the killers of Lee Bigsby have pleaded not guilty. Be interesting to see if that actually works for them. I put it to you that, if two men who committed a public killing and then pointedly boasted about it to witnesses, who deliberately created dozens of records of their own proud confessions, can manage to wangle a not guilty verdict in court, that it would make sense for the police and CPS, afterwards, to inform the Government of which aspects of the rules of evidence and procedure contrived to turn what should have been the easiest case in history into an actual loss. The alternative is that government never takes stock of its own efficacy or efficiency.

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