Dear DWP: Don’t waste police time – they don’t investigate uncommitted crimes

150215sanctioncentreDWP employees at the Killingworth Job Centre in North Tyneside need a reminder in basic law, namely: Police only investigate crimes that have actually been committed.

It’s a fairly obvious legal caveat that seems to have passed over the heads of whoever set the police onto one claimant who warned he might have to resort to shoplifting to survive, after staff at that Job Centre sanctioned him off of Jobseekers’ Allowance.

However, it seems the police there are no better; they paid the claimant concerned a visit at his home in order to ascertain from him that he was not in fact planning to commit a crime. Perhaps a better word would be “intimidate”.

Here’s the full story, courtesy of Unemployed in Tyne and Wear.

Of course, we don’t know what the claimant did wrong – if anything – to be sanctioned off-benefit in the first place, but this kind of heavy-handedness – from the DWP and the police – helps nobody.

In this claimant’s case, it seems he has family who can help him out – but what if he didn’t?

We know about others who, once sanctioned, went to their deaths in one way or another.

Is this story telling us that the police are helping the DWP victimise people fatally?

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13 thoughts on “Dear DWP: Don’t waste police time – they don’t investigate uncommitted crimes

  1. Tony Dean

    Latest suicide stats, note these are for 2013, before “welfare reform” started to bite in earnest:-

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health4/suicides-in-the-united-kingdom/2013-registrations/index.html
    Released: 19 February 2015

    •6,233 suicides of people aged 15 and over were registered in the UK in 2013, 252 more than in 2012 (a 4% increase).

    •The UK suicide rate was 11.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 2013. The male suicide rate was more than three times higher than the female rate, with 19.0 male deaths per 100,000 compared to 5.1 female deaths.

    •The male suicide rate in 2013 was the highest since 2001. The lowest male rate since the beginning of the data series, at 16.6 per 100,000, was in 2007. Female rates have stayed relatively constant since 2007.
    •The highest UK suicide rate in 2013 by broad age group was among men aged 45 to 59, at 25.1 deaths per 100,000, the highest for that age group since 1981.

    •The most common method of suicide in the UK in 2013 was ‘hanging, strangulation and suffocation’ which accounted for 56.1% of male suicides and 40.2% of female suicides.

    •The highest suicide rate among the English regions was in North East England at 13.8 deaths per 100,000 population, while London had the lowest at 7.9 per 100,000.

    1. aturtle05

      Sorry, I can’t see what your reply is getting at? Are you trying to suggest that Labour Governments cause less suicides than Conservative ones or that the ONS are too slow in compiling these figures?

  2. Nick

    absolutely horrific the prime minister needs to hang his head in shame what a dreadful waste of life by living in such in dreadful country

  3. Ian

    In my neck of the woods, the Jobcentre person would be viewed abut the same as a paedophile. To stop somebody’s dole, their only means of looking after themselves, for what is almost certainly a minor infringement is disgusting, not that I agree with that sanction for any reason. You just don’t starve people, nor should anyone have the power to do so. Add that to squealing to the police about a petty crime *that hasn’t even occurred*, well, I hope this sad act at the JC+ cannot live with itself and suffers, at the very least, public ridicule and embarrassment. Imagine even thinking that this was the right thing to do?

    That’s the climate this poxy, vile government have created. A climate where a decidedly unimportant, very minor functionary, a laminated flunky, gets the slightest whiff of power and feels fully entitled to turn into Judge Dredd, albeit Judge Dredd with a nylon tie and crap shoes.

    I imagine this bumptious little b*****d thinks he’s saving the ‘British taxpayer’ and ‘hardworking families’ from the evils of the undeserving poor and will receive a gold star and a pat on the back. Teacher’s pet.

    I hope he gets a thorough kicking. Then he can report that, the little b*****d.

  4. Gazza

    OT: About UC et al from Ipswich Unemployed Site

    Universal Credit farce hid tax system bodge

    http://www.computerweekly.com/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?search=Universal+Credit+farce+hid+tax+system+bodge&IncludeBlogs=102

    Why do I see the complete system collasping under its own weight? [Note, incomplete data, insufficient users – no stress testing, software bugs, incomplete software, running mim of 2 years late, dependent on outside data, can you imagine the s*&/5 that’l hit the fan when people under pay/over pay tax – business’s going bust- The ConCons are not just Nuts but Insane!] Any one of these can cause a initiative to fail – here we have multiple and its on going!

    You really could not make this S&%$ up. As they say on TV, “There will be Trouble ahead…”

  5. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady

    It’s the law mate….

    Wasting Police Time

    It is an offence to cause a wasteful employment of the police by reporting to the police or to any other person that an offence was committed. The person commits an offence if he or she also makes the police think that there is a real danger of safety of a person or a property. The offence is also committed if the person tries to pretend that he or she has relevant information in relation to some police enquiry. This is governed by section 5 of the Criminal Law Act. It is essential to note that proceeding for this offence cannot commence without the consent of the DPP.

    Penalty

    Penalty for this offence is imprisonment for not more than 6 months on summary conviction or a fine. As in Accordance with Penalties for Disorderly Behaviour (Amount of Penalty) Order as amended by Penalties for Disorderly Behaviour (Amount of Penalty) Amendment) Order this offence is a fixed penalty offence and the penalty is £80 for persons aged 16 or over and £40 for under 16 years old persons.

      1. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady

        The matter can only proceed with the consent of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) so the answer to your question Mike is … probably No.

        However, I would be inclined to write to Darra Singh, the Chief Executive of JobCentre Plus (send it by recorded delivery)

        http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100111121021/dwp.gov.uk/about-dwp/senior-management/#darrasingh

        and advise him that the member of staff has committed an offence under Section 5 of the Criminal Law Act and that dependent upon his reply, you are considering taking further action.

        At the very least, if it only gives them 1/10th of the upset that their spiteful action must have caused the claimant then so be it!

  6. Gary

    There is a new scheme in Scotland where the Police will refer individuals to foodbank if they are caught stealing food, rather than prosecute them. This is a good thing but at the same time its the saddest thing I’ve heard of. Effectively our authorities are recognising that noncriminals now have to steal to eat! All the while the bankers are dining on caviar..

Comments are closed.