On 17 July, section 28 and schedule 5 to the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 were brought into force.
These require the imposition of an obligatory minimum sentence for any person over 16 years of age who is convicted, on or after that date, of a second or subsequent ‘offensive weapon or bladed-article’ offence, whenever the first was committed.
For those under 18, the obligatory sentence is four months’ detention and a training order; for adults, the minimum sentence is six months’ imprisonment.
More and more people turning to the internet as legal budget cuts bite.
Theft Burglary Robbery Explained.
Theft is when you dishonestly take possession of something belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.
Key words here are “dishonestly” and “permanently”
Temporary deprivation is borrowing and borrowing is not theft. However if you treat something as your own, such as using a “borrowed” bus pass, then the court may conclude that you stole it.
Forgetting to pay is not theft, it is not dishonest.
Promising to pay afterwards does not undo the act of theft, and many a surprised shoplifter has been led away in handcuffs after making such promise to the store manager.
Finding is theft if you keep the item without taking reasonable steps to find the owner.
Keeping something you were given in error is also theft, so when the bank accidently adds a nought or two to a credit and you gleefully go on a spending spree then you’ll end up in court I’m afraid.
Q. I accidently left the toilet rolls on the back of the trolley at the supermarket when I went through the checkout. Is this theft?
A. No. An accident is not theft.
Q. I didn’t return the library book on time. Can I sell it?
A. Overdue hire is not theft. However the book is not yours so if you sell it you are assuming the rights of the owner so this may be theft.
Burglary is theft from a building, a building that the thief entered as a trespasser. It is not necessary for the thief to actually steal in order to be guilty; entering with intent to steal will suffice.
Nor does there have to be a forced entry, wandering in through an open door will be sufficient to be charged with burglary providing the intent is to steal.
Other intentions, such as find a lost cat or find a bed for the night mean that burglary has not been committed.
The police will seek to establish your intentions by interview, but not only the interview. There are other factors that may indicate your intentions to steal, such as carrying an empty holdall, wearing a balaclava or stacking up valuable items against the front door.
It is not necessary for the whole body to enter for the offence to be complete. A person who smashed a hole in a jeweller’s window and reaches in for a watch is equally guilty as the person who climbed in through the skylight.
A part of a building also counts if that part is entered as a trespasser. Therefore a shopper lawfully in a supermarket who enters the staff area to steal a staff hand bag is also guilty of burglary.
Robbery is theft from a person when force is used or threatened. Mugging is robbery. Holding a bank up with a fake or real gun is robbery because force is threatened.
Pick pocketing where no force is used or threatened. This is theft and is not robbery.
Making off without payment
Also called “Bilking”. This is where you run off without paying for something. Usually committed by a customer who decides to not pay for the meal he has just eaten and slips out of the door when the waiter is not looking. Usually committed by drunken young men at curry houses in the early hours.
Refusing to pay for a meal that you are not happy with is not “making off” and is a civil dispute; providing that you make it clear why you are not paying and provide your name and address to the restaurant. This would be unlikely to work if you and your party ate all three causes and polished off the wine!
This was introduced to plug the legal loophole. How can you steal something you can’t see or give back. This is used by the police when people bypass the electricity meter, particularly at cannabis plantations; when it is necessary to bypass the electricity meter otherwise the cultivation is not only less cost effective, but such a huge increase in power consumption can alert the authorities.
Search Warrant. Can the police search without a search warrant? Can the police search me in the street without a reason? Do you have to give your name or address to the police? Can the police stop my car? What reasons can the police breath test me? How do I complain about how the police? How long can the police keep you when arrested? Can I have a solicitor? Can the police search?
Victim, a witness or accused of a crime? What can and can’t the police do? What are your rights? What is an interview under caution? Ex-partner keeps sending texts and messages. Is it against the law? What can the police do? Is it harassment? Will he be arrested? Have the the police asked you to make a statement? What is a statement? Do you have to? What are the police powers? what is revenge porn? These are the sort of questions being asked of solicitors online. Growing number of websites offering legal advice online regarding police powers. Expert legal advice online available at fixed price. Anonymous and fast response to legal questions.
Citing section 72 of the Highway Act 1835, the Metropolitan Police tweet a warning to owners and users of self-balancing scooters, also known as swegways and hover-boards, reminding people that their use on public roads or pavement was illegal in England and Wales. Any user of such a “vehicle” on a public road is likely at the very least to be committing the offences of using the vehicle without insurance.
The Appropriate Adult achieves a fairer justice system by safeguarding the welfare and rights of children and vulnerable adults when subjected to interview under caution by police, whether they be under arrest or invited to attend a voluntary interview under caution at the police station or elsewhere.
How long can the police hold you if arrested? If arrested the police can hold you for 36 hours without charge. The 36 hours starts from the time that you arrive at the police station. The detention is reviewed at intervals of 6 hours, 9 hours and 9 hours by an Inspector (up to 24 hours), then at 24 hours a Superintendent can extend the custody time for up to a further 12 hours. This extension used to be for serious arrestable offences only, but it is now possible for any indictable offence, which includes such things as ABH, shoplifting, joy riding (aggravated) and possession of drugs. The Inspectors and Superintendents that review and extend the detention have to be satisfied that the investigation is being conducted diligently and expeditiously and that the detention is necessary. This means that the investigating officers have to demonstrate that they are making enquiries such as taking statements or viewing cctv, as well as interviewing the suspect. If the police want to hold you for more than 36 hours then they have to apply to a magistrates court for extensions. Extensions are granted in blocks of up to 36 hours at a time, up to a maximum of 96 hours from the time that the suspect first arrived at the police station when arrested. So with these warrants of extended detention the police can hold you for a total of 96 hours. The police (not the CPS) make the application to the magistrates for an extension, and although magistrates usually grant the first application, they may not grant as many hours as the police want. This means the police may have to make a second or third application to the magistrates to hold you for the full 96 hours. If the suspect attends a hospital for treatment then the custody clock is suspended for the time he is away from the police station. This suspension of the custody clock does not happen if the person receives medical treatment at the police station. When charged with an offence this custody clock stops. Charged means told that you will be prosecuted and given a court date. When charged the police have to either bail you with or without conditions, of keep you at the police station for the next court. None of these times apply to terrorist/terrorism offences.
Entitlement to legal advice is a basic “human right”, Jeremy Corbyn told a rally aimed at defending public access to justice. In a speech at Conway Hall, central London, Corbyn condemned court closures and the withdrawal of free legal advice for employment tribunals, welfare benefit cases and other areas of law. We will support and defend the principle of legal aid, Corbyn said. “Courts and law centres are closing down. The opportunity to be represented at employment tribunals has gone. It’s a denial of justice. I would not say that legal aid is an economic benefit, it’s a basic human right.”
What is revenge porn? Previously dealt with under existing Harassment or Malicious Communications law, there is now a specific offence. The offence is that of distributing a private sexual image of someone without consent, and with the intention of causing them distress. This is commonly called revenge porn. Revenge porn has become a growing phenomenon in recent years and usually involves the posting and sharing on the web of intimate images of former lovers without their consent. Such actions, often by spurned men, are designed to degrade and humiliate ex-partners in the most cruel and malicious way. Victims have spoken out of how they have been traumatised by the images of their bodies being ogled and mocked by thousands of men. The maximum custodial sentence is two years. Distributing an image has a wide definition. It can range from uploading the image to a pornographic website, sharing on social media, to simply sending it via sms to a friend’s handset. Therefore uploading a naked or pornographic image of a person without their consent is now illegal. This does not apply to offences committed before March 2015 when the Act relating to revenge porn came into force. Police powers in relation to revenge porn are the same as with any indictable offence. You may be arrested. Your phone and computer equipment seized, and browser history checked. You may be invited to the police station for a voluntary interview under caution. If you are invited for an interview under caution, then you should seek legal advice. Revenge porn has been described by the courts as “a highly vindictive invasion of privacy, done with the intention of humiliating and hurting your victim”. A number of people in the UK have already been convicted under the revenge porn laws, including a woman and a youth. One person was jailed for 16 weeks. Instagram and Facebook have been used.