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Whatever Happened to Discretion? March 7, 2010

Posted by Audit Monkey in The State of the British Nation.
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One recent news item which caught my attention was the prosecution of Andy Powell, the Welsh Rugby Union Player, (presumably for drunk driving), for driving a golf buggy along the M4 to buy some ‘munchies’ at a Service Station at 5.30am in the morning. Powell had been celebrating Wales’s earlier victory over Scotland at the Millennium Stadium. Powell was contrite but was banned from driving, fined and dropped from the Welsh squad.

Question, why an earth did the Rozzers (Police) bother to breathalyze and arrest Powell? Surely, the officers concerned should have thrown Powell in the back of the Squad Car, returned him to the team hotel, given him a ‘telling off’ for being silly, had a chuckle at how amusing the situation was and left him with a packet of Salt and Vinegar. It wasn’t like Powell was reprising that famous scene from the ‘Dirty Harry’where Scropio hijacks a School Bus filled with scared school children on board. He was doing 5 mph on the hard shoulder in a battery operated golf cart. The only damage he was doing was to himself, mainly his liver.

But no, the Police have followed the letter of law and didn’t use any discretion. Next question, why?

Answer – the Police are scared or have succumbed to political correctness. I presume the ‘Thought Police’ (government officialdom) have visited and decreed that the Police should not use any discretion in any situation because they shouldn’t act as ‘judge and juror’ as it wouldn’t be in the ‘public interest’. If the Police ignore ‘official guidance’, serving Police officers are probably aware that they would be risking their careers and pensions. So to ensure they stay on the right side of wrong, they have no option to arrest anyone who transgresses for fear of being accused of negligent or incompetent. Worse, anyone who is having a bit of fun isn’t allowed to anymore. Sad isn’t it?

A crime wave just waiting to happen...

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