A personal post from Graham Ellis
Lisa and Graham live in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

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Wiltshire Police - assuming someone is guilty just on the say-so of a member of the public?

I read the following on Facebook yesterday ... posted by a PCSO with the Wiltshire force.

"If you think that a bogus caller may be at your door ... you must report it to the police immediately by calling 999. ... The more details you remember, and the earlier that you tell the police, the quicker we will be able to investigate the crime." (See [here] to see if it's still there!)

It worried me. The policeman (sorry - posted by a PCSO, so a civilian assistant) started off by suggesting rightly that you contact the police if you think there's a problem then, in my view very VERY wrongly ASSUMED that a crime has been committed by saying that they will be able to investigate the crime ... he did not say, you'll notice, "a possible crime" nor "whether a crime has taken place".

It worries me because there's an assumption that someone's guilty before it's investigated - where I thought we were supposed to be considered innocent until found otherwise, and it worries me because this police assistant seems to be taking the law into his own hands when it should be the courts that decide. I appreciate he probably helps deal with a lot of guilty people, but it's dangerous for him to assume that people are in the wrong.

I posted a follow up to ask for clarification. His first response didn't answer the question - it answered something I hadn't asked. Someone else popped up with a personal insult to me (nice woman!) suggesting that this isn't important. The PCSO hasn't answered my follow up. Me thinks that he is avoiding the question.

My question remains - if you THINK someone at your door is a bogus caller and report it to the police, how can they be certain (s this PCSO clearly is) that a crime has been committed? Or was the original post wrong in what it said. Or was the original post trying to quietly move the goalposts of what the police can do (e.g. decide guilt) in Wiltshire?

I will be very interested to see if I get a reply to this when I post it on Facebook, or if it gets deleted. Never mind - if it gets deleted, I'll ask a proper policeman I know by email.




I have had a couple of instances of heavy-handed activities by the police and other authorities which have resulted in a complete clearing of what had been suggested, and I feel they should be very careful indeed in making any assumption of guilt. I admire what most of them do. A few seem to be there because they like the power and go beyond what they should, as (I believe) in the wording of their helper's post.
(written 2014-12-16)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z300 - Politics and Religion
  [4737] Why you should vote for Lisa in Melksham Central - (2017-05-01)
  [4735] Revisiting - should I stand for Melksham Without Parish Council in May? - (2017-02-24)
  [4734] Thoughts on the new Blackmore Ward of Melksham Without Parish - (2017-02-22)
  [4729] The oldest part of Los Angeles - (2016-11-23)
  [4725] Writing Python 2 such that Python 3 is easy - (2016-11-06)
  [4720] Celebrating our diversity rather than discriminating for it - (2016-11-02)
  [4625] Where does Wiltshire bus subsidy money come from? - (2016-01-19)
  [4614] PC Plod - alive and scaremongering in Wiltshire? - (2016-01-04)
  [4597] Not standing as your local councillor - (2015-12-18)
  [4548] Melksham - two small townships, or one big one? - (2015-10-22)
  [4489] Election results - what if we had a party list system? - (2015-05-08)
  [4485] Misusing statistics? - the seedy side of election campaigning - (2015-05-04)
  [4476] Upcoming election - Chippenham Constituency - the major candidates compared - (2015-04-29)
  [4343] Politics and the railway the connects Wiltshire - (2014-12-06)
  [4286] Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices - (2014-07-12)
  [4275] Eurpoean Elections, and other elections ahead. Some thoughts on campaigns and policies - (2014-05-08)
  [4223] Democracy - alive and well with the beauty pagent starting up again - (2013-12-16)
  [4079] Melksham Area - Unitary Council results, May 2013 - (2013-05-04)
  [3921] On rememberance, on war, and on preventing the war cycle - (2012-11-11)
  [3905] How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner? - (2012-10-27)
  [3845] Good cause giving - getting the charity beggars off the street - (2012-08-21)
  [3806] 2011 Census results - initial figures for Wiltshire. - (2012-07-17)
  [3676] Rising prices, changing habits and society - (2012-03-31)
  [3592] Are we one man, one vote? No, and we never have been. - (2012-01-26)
  [3438] Melksham to become a part of Trowbridge? - (2011-09-13)
  [3325] The Olympic Torch, and Melksham House - (2011-06-14)
  [3323] Is Melksham town centre dying? - (2011-06-11)
  [3313] What does our MP do on a Bank Holiday? - (2011-05-30)
  [3264] Alternative Vote (AV) - explaining and an example - (2011-04-25)
  [3051] Positively reforming the system - could it be done? - (2010-11-14)
  [2971] Should the public sector compete with businesses? and other deep questions - (2010-09-26)
  [2948] Melksham shamefully makes the national headlines - (2010-09-07)
  [2870] Old prices - what would the equivalent price have been in 1966? - (2010-07-14)
  [2864] Changing with weather and seasons - (2010-07-10)
  [2856] Two sides of the coin - (2010-07-06)
  [2824] A pint of Black Rat, and a lazy barman - (2010-06-25)
  [2792] Should Government compete with private industry? - (2010-06-03)
  [2757] Bodicea, Lincoln, and our new MP - (2010-05-09)
  [2752] Voting day - UK General Election - (2010-05-06)
  [2740] Melksham Hustings at George Ward School - (2010-04-26)
  [2712] A more informed decision than ever before - (2010-04-08)
  [2689] Can my dog eat potatoes? Doggie Dietary Research, and political sleaze! - (2010-03-23)
  [2640] How is your tax pound spent? - (2010-02-18)
  [2353] All change - Wiltshire Parliamentary - (2009-08-13)
  [2288] Wiltshire Community Area Partnerships - (2009-07-15)
  [2279] Understanding the new local government structure in Wiltshire - (2009-07-11)
  [2270] Wiltshire - a chance to improve life for everybody - (2009-07-05)
  [2257] Ramblings on church and state linkage in Melksham - (2009-06-25)
  [2206] Spot the odd one out - (2009-05-29)
  [2178] Melksham Candidates for Wiltshire Unitary Election - (2009-05-12)
  [2075] Supporting Parkinsons and Trains - (2009-03-11)
  [2028] Things people say on the phone - (2009-02-06)
  [2012] The Wiltshire Police - (2009-01-29)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [1882] Wiltshire Council says - part 2 - (2008-11-14)
  [1881] Wiltshire Council says - part 1 - (2008-11-13)
  [1872] Barack Obama wins US Predidency - (2008-11-05)
  [1769] July child ponders on August children - (2008-08-23)
  [1729] Back from the future - (2008-07-30)
  [1579] Rome, and the faith of Rome - (2008-03-17)
  [1573] Budget tax increases hit vehicle market - (2008-03-14)
  [1526] Carers at work - court case changes - (2008-02-01)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1386] New software product for warmblooded programmers - (2007-10-10)
  [1350] FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Western Region - (2007-09-13)
  [1260] An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs - (2007-07-06)
  [1247] An afternoon at a public enquiry - (2007-06-27)
  [1175] Local elections - choosing who to vote for - (2007-05-03)
  [1135] Government pressure on me to shut up after I make the papers - (2007-04-05)
  [1109] False imprisonment - a contrast from the news - (2007-03-15)
  [1060] What a relief from the tax office. - (2007-02-01)
  [1003] Room at the Inn, Guy at the station - (2006-12-21)
  [967] Realistic on line shoot'em up - (2006-12-05)
  [875] Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones - (2006-09-22)
  [780] Separation and Integration - (2006-06-27)
  [750] Almost everyone loses - (2006-06-07)
  [696] Is than an uphill or downhill task? - (2006-04-23)
  [682] Iran has enriched uranium ... - (2006-04-12)
  [674] Wiltshire to get an extra MP - (2006-04-07)
  [671] Both ends of the animal - (2006-04-05)
  [607] On being British - (2006-02-14)
  [602] MP face to face - (2006-02-12)
  [539] rich and famous - (2005-12-23)
  [505] Would you steal ... petrol? ... a training course? - (2005-11-26)
  [469] Yesterday was Kiss and Ride - (2005-10-19)
  [415] Campaign Drift and efficiency. - (2005-08-15)
  [384] Managing conflict and disappointment - (2005-07-20)
  [377] A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14)
  [335] Sad priorities - (2005-06-03)
  [326] UK Tax payment totals and where the money is spent - (2005-05-27)
  [313] Making bona fide international marriages more difficult - (2005-05-16)
  [301] General Election day, UK - (2005-05-05)
  [289] MP for Devizes, Wiltshire - (2005-04-23)
  [280] Spotted - the local MP - (2005-04-15)
  [257] Politics gets nasty. Must be an election coming up. - (2005-03-25)
  [216] Cheap purchase - votes paid for with selfish promises - (2005-02-15)

Z801 - Pettifog
  [4651] Pressure selling in the fire safety business - (2016-02-19)
  [4630] The story behind the bus cuts, and what they could mean - (2016-01-24)
  [4304] Please do not ask me to be the chair! - (2014-09-25)
  [4282] On tipping - and the expectation of a tip - (2014-07-10)
  [4167] The important customers are the majority, not the celebrity - (2013-09-08)
  [4140] Riots in Melksham - (2013-07-13)
  [3900] The Xxxxx Guest House in Xxxxxxxxxxx - my stay reviewed - (2012-10-20)
  [3835] The Information age - not yet truly with us? - (2012-08-12)
  [3749] Removal of water safety equipment, and how to use a lifesaver ring - (2012-06-04)
  [3302] Are you a half full or half empty person? - (2011-05-25)
  [3084] Can you trust the big brand names? - (2010-12-12)
  [3030] Liquorice allsorts and Dolly Mixtures - (2010-11-05)
  [3013] Audio equipment - (2010-10-24)
  [2944] What others cannot do in 10 months takes Virgin 10 minutes - (2010-09-03)
  [2937] The cat in the dustbin - (2010-08-27)
  [2788] Cost of Sales - (2010-06-01)
  [2761] A small business, facing a big government questionnaire - (2010-05-12)
  [2625] Both feet on the same pavement - (2010-02-05)
  [2193] Excellent product, excruciating customer service. 3 Mobile Broadband - (2009-05-21)
  [2122] Commission Creep - (2009-04-08)
  [1972] Pettifog and forum boards away from public view - (2009-01-03)
  [1862] Remember your units - (2008-10-31)
  [1839] Job application - (2008-10-13)
  [1783] Think before you send - (2008-09-02)
  [1741] Age Concern - (2008-08-07)
  [1349] Cash is not an acceptable way of paying - (2007-09-13)
  [1337] A series of tyre damages - (2007-09-08)
  [1170] Smoking, or no? The law insists we spell out the obvious - (2007-05-01)
  [826] Fighting illegal net use by imposing download limits - (2006-08-09)
  [815] Time trickles like water through a sieve - (2006-07-27)
  [791] Strange housewarming - (2006-07-03)
  [783] Good follow up ... my thanks - (2006-06-28)
  [638] A pile of sand? Where do we stand? - (2006-03-08)
  [600] It costs nothing to say THANK YOU - (2006-02-11)
  [562] Smoke and mirrors - (2006-01-12)
  [519] New Road - (2005-12-06)
  [478] Watch what you wear - (2005-10-26)
  [471] And it gets even better - (2005-10-21)
  [439] You cant - (2005-09-08)
  [323] 1 in 48 steel - (2005-05-24)
  [90] Rude old people - (2004-10-16)
  [87] Too sittings - (2004-10-13)
  [52] International awareness - (2004-09-17)


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C++ in 2 days
Some other Articles
A brilliant finish to 2014 training and business guests, and a look to 2015
Seeing Christmas Coming to Melksham
Object factories in C++, Python, PHP and Perl
C++ in 2 days
Wiltshire Police - assuming someone is guilty just on the say-so of a member of the public?
Celebration pictures, year 1
A long day on the trains, but a rewarding one
A little thing can make a big difference
Keyboard reader for Java programming newcomers
When I am old, what will worry me?
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