PC John Waterman of Norfolk Police got himself in the shit this week after one of the cases he was dealing with appeared in the papers and on the TV.
Two ‘jobless foreign nationals’ were caught vandalising parked cars in Norwich. They were arrested and confessed to several similar offences. The naughty people received a police caution, thus making sure that all 10 victims received their due recompense and were happy with the judicial process, not.
In a letter to one victim the officer described the reason not to prosecute as based on the fact that they were foreign nationals with no income and that prosecuting wouldn’t be in the public interest. Everyone else in Norfolk Police (senior management & public relations people) recoilled in horror at this grave misreading of the circumstances and queued up on the TV and in the press to berate the officer saying that these factors should never be considered when deciding who to prosecute and pointing out that the force had detected 10 crimes even though only two were initially reported. They appeared to forget to mention anything about how the victims felt over the decision to caution.
The answer to all the problems this case raised? Exactly, to send the officer on a ‘diversity’ course, which they have promised to do.
I’ve posted previously on the value if such courses. I can’t help thinking that Norfolk Police would be better served by sending the officer not on a diversity course, but on a course all the other senior officers must attend – the one where they learn not to tell the truth to the public.