What a good idea

Domestic abusers and stalkers should be forced to sign a national register like sex offenders, a cross-party parliamentary report has said.

They should be monitored under the same arrangements as rapists and paedophiles, giving greater protection to victims who live in fear of their tormentors.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee backed calls for a register of serial stalkers and domestic violence perpetrators to be introduced “as a matter of urgency”.

The perpetrators would have to register with the police within 72 hours of being convicted or cautioned and have to notify officers if they intend to move house or travel abroad.

A domestic abuser – the clue’s in the description – is going to be such a threat to all those foreigners on her hols, isn’t she?

But on the other hand if we expand the surveillance and monitoring powers of the state then we’ll have expanded the powers of the state, won’t we? Which is why politicians propose it.

On a more technical point, do we actually have a list of rimes by incidence of recidivism? Logically we might assume that such registers start with those crimes most likely to be done again. Do they?

23 comments on “What a good idea

  1. Don’t the police already have a single register of all convictions? The courts could send them a little email at the end of each trial saying “we’ve convicted Joe Bloggs of 64 Zoo Lane of heinous crime X, sentenced to Y months”, the police add that to their national computer, and job done. No need for umpteen separate registers.

  2. “Logically we might assume that such registers start with those crimes most likely to be done again. Do they?”

    Well, stalkers are notorious for disobeying the courts, since they’re usually mental.

    And how many times do domestic violence ‘victims’ go back to their abuser because ‘he’s changed, I can tall’…?

  3. @Andrew M
    But the police don’t just want to record convictions, they also want to record cautions (and probably just a general sense that “he’s a wrong ‘un”) that can then be used to control the lives of those so affected.

  4. Isn’t nagging excessively now domestic abuse? So wouldn’t we have to put all women on this register?

  5. Domestic violence has a sky high recidivism rate, even if you ignore the “I love him and I’ll give him another chance” crowd. If you abuse one partner you’re statistically likely to abuse the next too.

  6. The police national computer records all convictions, warnings, reprimands and cautions. Forever. The courts do pass on the info. That being the case, I’ve always thought the concept of a conviction being “spent” is meaningless.

  7. Cautions. So now you don’t even have the dubious safety net of a a Jury to save you. One false accusation, Progressive Plod slaps a caution on you with zero actual evidence (there’ll be lots of ‘its only a caution and you can walk out of here’ pressure) and hey presto, the State can monitor you for the rest of your life.

    Apart from the support for terrorist groups, in what ways are the modern Conservative party different from Corbyn’s Labour?

  8. As I understand it you can them to shove their “caution” up their arse and refuse to sign it anyway. Force a jury trial on them.

    The whole caper is more feminist cockrot. How many females do you think the system would apply to–despite their near equal participation in domestic violence and their much higher rates of child abuse.

  9. They got me on the whole caution thing. My 24th birthday party (16 years ago now) got a little out of control and I ended up having to visit the police station a few days later. Told me just take the cautions (managed to get two at once), you’re free to go and the prints, DNA, record etc will be gone after 7 years. So I took the rap for the whole fiasco because it didn’t seem like a big deal.

    Now I gather actually they keep the lot forever.

  10. The more things or people are monitored the less effective the monitoring. At this rate everyone will be nominally monitored but to no effect.

  11. ‘The perpetrators would have to register with the police within 72 hours of being convicted or cautioned and have to notify officers if they intend to move house or travel abroad.’

    They should be in prison within 72 hours of being convicted.

    “We keep the public safe by registering serious criminals.”

    I keep Gamecock safe with a Smith & Wesson in my pocket. The more criminals released back into the public, the more I need it.

  12. A caution is administered only if the offence is very low level/first-time, and if the suspect accepts his wrongdoing.

    The suspect can opt for a charge and have a trial.

    In reality in most cases suspects just accept the caution – ie, ‘yes, Mr Rozzer, I dunnit’ – on the basis that it’s the least worst option. Then they just walk out of the cop shop and that’s that.

    Also in reality, cautions have zero impact, or as close to zero impact as makes no difference, on almost any subsequent prosecution.

    Whether or not employers doing a CRB search are troubled by them, I do not know. But they certainly stay on the PNC.

  13. In reality in most cases suspects just accept the caution – ie, ‘yes, Mr Rozzer, I dunnit’ – on the basis that it’s the least worst option. Then they just walk out of the cop shop and that’s that.

    Except that won’t be the case in the future when this goes through. Only the underclass and the mad will take cautions, as they don’t care anyway (and nor do the police).

  14. “Also in reality, cautions have zero impact, or as close to zero impact as makes no difference, on almost any subsequent prosecution.”

    Cautions are permanent on their records and can cause you all sorts of problems in the future.

  15. Rob, I’ve always been somewhat ambivalent about cautions. They’re intended speedily to deal with minor miscreancy, and even to divert it from the criminal justice system so to keep the miscreant out of the swamp, without the need to make a huge fuss by way of a trial, albeit the miscreant can opt for a trial if he wants it.

    Problem is, the inducement of being given the equivalent of a parking ticket for possession of a joint, or for throwing a glass of beer over someone, is too great a temptation for someone who just might have a valid defence. So they accept the caution when sometimes they ought not to. See: our friend in China, above.

    So you may be right. I doubt I’d be in mourning, though, if they do go the way of the dodo.

    Mr Ecks, “all sorts of problems”? Well I assert that they rarely, bordering on never, cause their recipients problems in subsequent prosecutions. They may cause problems with employers, as I suggested. Other than that, I do not know what problems they cause.

    In my experience, 99.9 per cent of people in any way involved in criminal justice consider cautions to be an irrelevance for all practical purposes.

  16. Re-reading Dongguan John’s account, above, reminds me of another thing: if you’re a witness to criminality, and the rozzers turn up and ask you what you saw, they’ll write it down in their pocket books THEN ASK YOU TO SIGN IT. They do not explain the risk of you subsequently being summonsed to court to give that evidence live. Which does happen. Personally, I’ve got no problem with giving such evidence if I was willing in the first place to speak to the copper. On the other hand, knowing the system as I do, I’d know what I was letting myself in for. Lots of people do not, and feel justifiably aggrieved at the honeyed words of the cops on the scene later belied by the hard-nosed prosecutor who has them arrested for refusing to go to court.

  17. I think there should also be a register of false rape accusers so that future potential Tinder hook-ups can perform due diligence and get the protection they deserve.

  18. Question, m’lud,

    Do you have any idea what proportion of cautions offered and refused they would even attempt to prosecute? Does this low level stuff attract the interest of any prosecutors, or wrath of magistrates? Or would you often find there is “insufficient evidence” to prosecute?

  19. Mr in G in J, no I have no concrete notion of what they’d prosecute. I very much doubt the data exist or could exist. But my experience is overwhelmingly that the CPS prosecutes anything the given decision-maker thinks he can make fly. Ultimately, they don’t care, provided the matter proceeds beyond half-time (the close of the prosecution case).

    I do not think offences attracting cautions attract the wrath of mags or circuit judges. They have plenty of other fish to fry.

  20. E’ Lud,

    I recieved a phone call at work from a policeman asking me to come in after work to explain what happened. I was never arrested or offered any legal representation. I gave my account of the high jinks, showed a lot of remorse and offered to take responsibility as it was my party at my home.

    The policeman told me if I didn’t want to get others involved I could take the cautions and it would all be over in an hour so it seemed the easiest option. They took my prints and DNA and made me sign a statement; that was it. The cop intimated it would only remain on record for 7 years but now I’m thinking that might not be the case. Would be shit if it bites me on the arse 20 or 30 years later

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