July 2011 articles archive:

Legal protection for whistleblowers.

Call for greater legal protection for whistleblowers.

We have heard many fine words deploring the alleged misconduct on the part of  a minority of carers  recently following the BBC’s Panorama ‘fly on wall’ documentary.  We may be excused for thinking that something is being done especially as some of those speakers mention systems in place to protect whistleblowers.  So should we be concerned or not?

Well, thanks to an article by Nina Lakhani in the Independent, we are able to appreciate that there are to be calls by leading health professionals for greater and more effective protection for whistleblowers in this country amidst concerns that there is a ‘code of silence’ operating in the NHS.

This is despite the passing of the Public Interest Act 1998.  It would be interesting to learn whether there have been any protected disclosures under the Act and the outcomes of these disclosures.  We are not talking about trivial matters here.  The 1998 Act defines disclosures qualifying for protection as:

Disclosures qualifying for protection:

1  In this Part a "qualifying disclosure" means any disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure, tends to show one or more of the following -

  • that a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed,
  • that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subject,
  • that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
  • that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered,
  • that the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged, or
  • that information tending to show any matter falling within any one of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed.

 

Yet More Red Tape

Swapping bureaucratic accountability for democratic accountability.

One of the subjects available to Uniformed Public Service students to research and report on, as part of their Unit 1 Government Policy Studies, is the policy of cutting red tape in the public services.  In particular within the police in order to free up officer time.  It could be assumed that the arguments are relatively straightforward on the grounds of greater efficiency quite apart from any question of reducing crime or fear of crime.

However, Theresa May's apparent 'set to' with senior police officers at the recent Association of Chief Police Officers annual conference at Harrogate, seems to suggest that not all the battles have been won.

So, what might otherwise seem achievable, remains elusive to this government  in the same way that it did to its' predecessors, thus providing plenty of scope for further research into the reasons why this proposed reform seems so impossible to achieve in practice.

Game up for young burglar.

A teenage burglar, when asked what he owned that meant a lot to him, informed the judge about his games system. The judge then ordered that it should be relinquished to the authorities.

When I read about the case of the  13 year old suspected burglar ordered to give up his Xbox to the police as part of his bail conditions, I could see the point the judge was making straight away.

The approach by the judge in Northern Ireland was to take steps that emphasized the importance of the need for bail conditions to be observed and to show that bail was not just a formality, but would also cause the youth to make a connection with his alleged victims and his own predicament.

The alleged teen burglar is also barred from having any contact with his co-accused in the case and has been electronically tagged.

Any approach which might cause a young person to think about the plight of their victim must be a good thing, but if such a tactic were to become more common, are we going to hear about more cherished Xboxes, mobile phones, play-stations and the like being handed over?  Perhaps word will spread and we will suddenly find that a book or magazine is the suspect's favourite possession.

 

 

 

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Recent Posts

The latest posts from the lawmentor.co.uk blog archives.

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