Fury as Chief Constable forgets charging system…

A police chief has condemned his own force (that he is in charge of) for letting a house burglar off with a recordable detection caution.

Jim Barker-McCardle, Chief Constable (and therefore in charge) of Essex Police, said he was ‘staggered’ by the officers’ decision to give a caution for the offence and has launched a misconduct investigation.

In a related story, the officers involved said they were “not that staggered…” that the CC didn’t appear to know much about what officers at the ‘coal-face’ actually do…

Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle is furious that his officers gave a burglar a caution and let him off with a warning
Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle is furious that he ‘doesn’t know what his own officers do for a living’ (and wearing his Heart on his sleeve)


Ireneusz Blaszczyk broke into the house in Essex in November last year, stealing cash, belongings including jewellery and cameras and unwrapping the family’s Christmas presents.


Well…can’t say I’m TOO surprised… can you imagine the PSD interview?

  • (beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep) This interview is being conducted in an interview room Essex HQ and is being taped recorded…I am DCI Phil McBasterd Dept of Professional Standards. The other officers present are: (they introduce themselves…). I remind you you are still under caution.
  • Ok… you are the arresting officer in the Blaszczyk case…why did you give this man a caution?
  • OIC- err…because CPS told me to…



16 responses to “Fury as Chief Constable forgets charging system…

  1. Can I play the first game?

  2. I think the CC needs to put his boots on and get out onto division.

  3. Brief Encounter

    Yes but in defence of the CC (competitive rates apply) is there not a procedure for challenging a charging decision by the CPS? That was not a rhetorical question, I do not know if there is or not. If there isn’t there should be and if there Is then maybe the CC might have been saying, look dont accept such apparently odd decisions without referring it up to whoever is in charge.

    If this decision is to be overruled then time is of the essence lest there is an abuse of process argument.

  4. Brief Encounter

    That cannot be right. Not saying you are wrong but if there is no appeal from the CPS decision making process then it must be amenable to Judicial Review.

    In my mind there should be certain offences which are dealt dealt with by caution. There must be otherwise someone might get a caution for murder.

    I personally don’t know why we still have the CPS making charging decisions in anything but the most serious offences.

    • There is an appeal process…but… it only really works if they have strayed in some way from the guidelines on charging…

      I have seen cautions for rape… and it don’t get more serious than that…

      CPS are charging because of the horror at how many cases were being lost by the Police/prosecution when we did our own charging…

      They introduced the system we have now and there was a massive drop in the amount of convictions but… a huge increase in the
      amount of ‘guilty pleas’… this was simply down to villains and briefs being acutely aware that CPS were not charging unless they
      had an 80% chance of a win…

      I for one think that we need a review of the whole system.

    • Yes there is an appeal process but I find it to be rubbish. I have never had to appeal a charging decision but colleagues of mine have. This has been due to the fact people have been charged with very minor offences when there are clearly far more serious offences that have been committed.
      Having gone through the process the CPS have decided to stay with the original charging decision.
      The issue is that the process can take time so many officers just accept the original charging decision.
      I joined the job when the custody sergeant made a charging decision in all but the most seriou of cases. It was a far easier and successful system than the one we have now.

  5. 10 miserable years to go

    I can’t believe that anyone is actually surprised about this. Except anyone above the rank of inspector of course because they don’t have a clue what goes on beyond their own office door.

  6. If they think they can get an EGP to a lesser charge at Mags, CPS will generally go all out to avoid the opportunity to pursue a defendant to Crown Court.
    CPS decide on what they will prosecute, (80% chance of success rule). Take Affray…..Either Way Offence , must go to CPS for a charging decision, invariably reduced to S4 POAct, so as to avoid the defendants opportunity to go to Crown Court, yet they still manage to lose a good percentage of those, even some which are stone bonk for a GP.
    Is it just me?

  7. So does this explain why my cleaner got a caution despite being caught on film AND confessing to stealing from two other clients AND flogging stolen stuff on eBay going back at least 18 months??? http://www.guildford-dragon.com/2013/03/14/guildford-cleaner-caught-stealing-on-camera-receives-police-caution/

  8. Brief Encounter

    I think that a victim would have nexus in terms of a JR.

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