Police urged to consider making fewer arrests

Crime / Wed 22nd May 2024 at 07:38am

POLICE are being instructed to consider making fewer arrests because of the lack of space in prisons. 

A letter from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) circulated last week urges chief constables to think about “pausing” so-called “non-priority arrests”. 

It also suggests halting planned operations where a large number of arrests could take place to “ease the pressure within the criminal justice system”.

It comes as court cases are being delayed and some prisoners are being released early due to overcrowding in prisons. 

The government said the impact of the pandemic and barristers’ strike was putting pressure on jails, but Labour said the Conservative “mismanagement” of the criminal justice system “cannot go on”. 

The NPCC letter dated 14 May, first reported in the Times, said: “Consideration is to be given to pausing non-priority arrests and any planned operations, where large numbers of arrests may take place to ease the pressure within the criminal justice system.”

It goes on to suggest a risk assessment should be completed as part of the decision-making process. 

“Public protection remains a priority and a considered threat, harm and risk assessment is to be completed when considering any pause of policing operations,” the letter says.

The letter also informs chief constables the government was activating Operation Early Dawn – an emergency measure still in place allowing the delay of court cases of some suspects due to prison overcrowding – in all English regions the next day. 

But it warns the measure is “not a sustainable long-term option for policing” and any further deterioration “risks public safety”. 

The document is signed by Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Rob Nixon, the NPCC criminal justice lead, and Surrey Police Deputy Chief Constable Nev Kemp, the NPCC custody lead.

They write that on 13 May, 282 prisoners were held overnight in cells across the country. No comparison figures are quoted. 

It goes on to say that on 23 May it is anticipated that pressures on prison cells will begin to ease, as a new early release scheme comes into effect allowing some prisoners to be freed up to 70 days early. 

The scheme was first introduced by the government in October, initially allowing release up to 18 days early, before then increasing this to up to 60 days in March.

Labour’s shadow justice secretary Shabana Mahmood said: “It beggars belief that police are being told to sit on their hands and ignore crime because the Conservatives have mismanaged the criminal justice system so badly.

“Rishi Sunak’s rap sheet now reads: the rushed early release of domestic abusers on to our streets, deliberate delays to trials and victims waiting years for justice. The public will be absolutely dumbfounded. This cannot go on.”

A government spokesperson stressed “public safety will always be its first priority”. 

The spokesperson said: “That is why we have backed our police with the officers and resources they need to keep our streets safe and are introducing new laws to lock up the most dangerous offenders for longer while delivering the biggest prison expansion programme in 100 years.

“We continue to see pressure on our jails following the impact of the pandemic and barristers’ strike and have initiated a previously used operational measure to securely transfer prisoners between courts and custody.”

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21 Comments for Police urged to consider making fewer arrests:

2024-05-22 08:05:37

There are no words

2024-05-22 08:11:26

Enough.We now need vigilantes.

2024-05-22 08:40:27

My spidey senses are tingling!

Guy Flegman
2024-05-22 08:58:05

Are the police completely incompetent. Who in their right mind would make this public knowledge. Talk about giving the green light to criminals! It makes my blood boil arhhhhhhhhhhhh. Time to think about the public coming together and stop paying taxes to these fools.

2024-05-22 09:19:45

Go Spiderman!No wonder they've stopped issuing descriptions of suspects,no where to put criminals when caught.Chaos.

2024-05-22 09:32:34

I don't know why my post was blocked. My observation is we are now in a situation where the roads and pavements aren't being maintained, the police and justice system is unfit for purpose, NHS is on its knees. Industry had left. Housing crisis. Water polluted with sewerage. Schools crumbling. Greenspace critical to the natural balance of things being destroyed. Is there anything that is actually working? This won't be a country worth living in soon

2024-05-22 09:45:37

To detain people while the government prepares to remove them, Sunak last month said detention spaces have been increased to 2,200. To process claims quickly, 200 trained caseworkers were ‘ready and waiting’. Sunak added: ‘To deal with any legal cases quickly and decisively, the judiciary have made available 25 courtrooms and identified 150 judges who could provide over 5,000 sitting days.’ - So, if you've been waiting for years for a rape case to be heard, you can rest easy in the knowledge that were getting Rwanda done.

Mr Grumpy
2024-05-22 10:13:55

I feel so sorry for the officers on the front line. Constantly under pressure from above then this nonsense comes along. Might as well allow this country to fall into total anarchy and done with it. This country is a joke !!

Gary adler
2024-05-22 10:56:22

I don’t feel for the policemen and police women at all especially the ones that made a political point by taking the knee and driving rainbow cars!

2024-05-22 11:56:06

If this was the 1700s no one would be putting up with the state of this country and they'd be revolting, but instead today we roll over and just let the governments shaft us and rob us of money via taxes. This just keep calm and carry on attitude forged during the second world war is good but also to blame as now it has made the British people weak and has told them to just take the bad and deal with it and hope things get better instead of fighting for change, be a good little wage slave and pay your taxes and maybe we'll give you something in return. Stand up people and protest. Everyone should stop paying their taxes, what are they going to do, imprison us? Hahahahahah

2024-05-22 12:57:38

One of the key roles of the state is protecting the peace, when it fails to do that do why should we keep on paying taxes to fund failure? State failure is the same as bankruptcy, How did society collapse, slowly then quickly. Anyone who thinks we are voting our way out of this mess needs to give their head a wobble. All the parties have led us to this situation over 30 years and it will only get worse.

2024-05-22 13:32:56

Mason and Adam you've got it. Can see people taking to the streets eventually.All our rights are slowly being taken away.

Another resident
2024-05-22 13:36:39

Simples, don’t bother with new hospital, build a prison instead, must be cheaper

2024-05-22 14:11:44

Resident sadly most people are morons - they fell for the covid scam and lined up for the vaccination - though with what is coming out now that might be beneficial

2024-05-22 15:50:12

More trouble on its way for motorists then as we are a easy target, just fines no prison. Seriously what is going on with this country

David Forman
2024-05-22 20:32:09

The general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, Steve Gillan, writing in the Morning Star yesterday said: "Sadly, prisons have just become warehouses with no worthwhile rehabilitation taking place because they are so overcrowded, and prison officer grades do not have time on their hands to even deal with the basics of the job." See article at https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/prison-service-crisis

Hey Big Spender
2024-05-22 20:50:38

Whoever gets into Government at the next GE, I hope they have the sense to build more prisons. They are desperately needed. This country gets more ridiculous by the day. Fancy being given the advice to arrest fewer people. You couldn’t make it up!

2024-05-22 22:16:46

I am a fireman and I have decided to put out fewer fires

Josette noel
2024-05-23 10:11:58

Want to see where we're heading? Just look at New York. Soft on crime- paradise for the criminals.

Dean Wilson..
2024-05-23 10:37:17

Lol Resident those are all benefits of Brexit! Those sunlit uplands are coming. Lmao.

2024-05-23 14:03:58

How's this for an alternative ? Why not send all the criminal low life etc, onward to Sunaps Rwanda shuttle, and encourage all the illegals who come here for a better life to work legally.

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