|Subject: You are going to LOVE this!|
|From: Veronica |
|Date: 28/10/13 11:00 pm|
That this House notes that at times the police and public servants are prosecuted for perjury and other offences in private prosecutions; believes that having the facility for a private prosecution is an important safeguard when the prosecutors refuse to prosecute; further notes that in a number of cases the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has taken over such prosecutions merely to prevent the prosecution from progressing; further believes that this raises concerns as to whether this is a misuse of its power to intervene, when the option to have a case struck out for lack of evidence exists to prevent false prosecutions; and calls for the CPS to list all of the prosecutions that it has taken over in the last decade along with details of the employer of the person being prosecuted, what they have done and the reasons for that decision.Six MPs are currently signatories to it: Peter Bottomley (Con), John Hemming & Andrew Stunell (Lib Dem), Kelvin Hopkins, John McDonnell, Andrew Meale (Lab).
Dear MP etc,
PRIVATE PROSECUTIONS OF THE POLICE AND OTHER PUBLIC SERVANTS AND THE CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE
I am writing to you and calling on your support for EDM 611 - http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/611
This EDM relates to the constitutional right of British Citizens to access the criminal courts of our country, and bring charges when the real need arises. This is a rarely used but significant constitutional protection, as stated by Lord Diplock in Gouriet v Post Office workers;
"In English public law every citizen still has the right … to invoke the aid of courts of criminal jurisdiction for the enforcement of the criminal law … . It is a right which nowadays seldom needs to be exercised by an ordinary member of the public, … but it still exists and is a useful constitutional safeguard against capricious, corrupt or biased failure or refusal of those authorities to prosecute offenders against the criminal law"
Parliament need not be reminded of the extensive coverage and call for reform, of the accountability systems with regard to policing. Indeed much has been said about the impossible struggle of the average member of the public against corrupt police practice, when a Minister has faced such personal difficulty and ruin, when confronted with such circumstances. (Despite being surrounded by people of influence and power).
In the case of Michael Doherty, all due process was accurately followed, yet the very system presented to the public - as the avenue of redress - utterly failed in that task. As such Mr. Doherty resorted to the use of his ultimate constitutional mechanism of protection, the Private Prosecution.
This case was recently covered in an Independent article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/private-citizen-wins-right-to-prosecute-met-police-worker-8890313.html
You may wish to note that the CPS attempted to stop these proceedings by offering 'no evidence'. This action, by the CPS, in the face of the fact that the court had already decided that this case contained 'compelling' evidence - and ought properly to proceed to trial. This did not stop the CPS exercising their power, vested by Parliament, in an attempt to prevent the matter properly going before a jury. After nearly a two year delay, the CPS finally conceded that indeed the case met both evidential and public interest standards. These facts raise serious questions about the CPS.
It is these very abuses that this EDM seeks to address, the 'capricious, corrupt or biased failure or refusal of those authorities to prosecute offenders against the criminal law.' We live in a democracy - proud of it's fervent support of the rule of law, that all are equal in its eyes.
Please support this EDM and ensure that accountability is not just a byword, but a reality. Without it confidence in the great British Police service will be surely consigned to history.
You may also wish to contact MP John McDonnell, who has raised the specific concerns of this case with the Home Secretary. John McDonnell is calling for an Inquiry into the case, which he describes in the following terms:
"I have rarely come across a case where so many public bodies tasked with the delivery of justice have failed an individual in this way"