Tag Archives: law and order

How many British burglaries are home invasions?

People are aware that their house has been invaded in 1/3rd of British burglaries and in a quarter of burglaries, they see the offender. No wonder that burglary and the threat of a burglary are regarded as invasive crimes. We never locked the house when we were young. That changed.

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Source:  Home Office via What burglars steal – and how they get in | News | theguardian.com.

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How well do you know your local burglar?

Something is known about the burglar in 45% of cases. In this rather invasive crime, half of burglaries are betrayals of trust or familiarity. More than a few of these burglaries might be committed by family members and friends wanting money for drugs but that is speculation.

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Source:  Home Office via What burglars steal – and how they get in | News | theguardian.com.

What is stolen in British burglaries?

30% of British burglaries are completely unsuccessful. Many more are reliant on chancing across a wallet or a decent piece of electrical equipment. Back in the day, a TV or VCR was worth a week’s wages. Now the fencing value of these things would be quite minor. The data below is from 2010 so there has been plenty of time for cash to fade away as a item to steal.

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Source:  Home Office via What burglars steal – and how they get in | News | theguardian.com.

An adult start of a criminal career is uncommon

Do you feel safe walking alone at night? OECD by gender

The Japanese are surprisingly worried and New Zealanders too. I lived in both countries. People go about at night without many fears except when it comes to answering Gallup surveys. I use the reliable test that a mugging will get on the front page because they are so unusual.

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Source: Gallup.com Women Feel Less Safe Than Men in Many Developed Countries.

Police shootings by threat level since 1 January 2016

The Washington Post no longer classifies whether the deceased was attacking police or not in its online database. That filter on its 2016 database has been removed. It is possible to filter the data to say whether particular weapons were present.

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Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post. Downloaded at 10:25 p.m., 7 July 2016 New Zealand standard time.

Looking up individual shooting reports in the database provides information on whether the unarmed suspect was doing in terms of resisting police or not. The seven undetermined cases involve disputed facts over whether the suspect was armed or was resisting the police..

Sensible Sentencing Trust mistaken to oppose plea bargaining @sst_nz

The sensible sentencing trust wants to greatly curtail if not abolish plea-bargaining. Its petition is motivated by a recent plea bargain where a particularly horrendous child murder was pleaded down to two manslaughter guilty pleas.

I have no knowledge of the details of that case or the plea-bargain other than a male and female caregiver were charged with the brutal murder of a 3-year-old child in their foster care.

image My speculation is two guilty pleas to manslaughter is better than one of the accused getting off through a cutthroat defence.

In this defence, the co-accused blame each other for the worst and minimises their own culpability. Sometimes this backfires. The jury convicts both on the evidence of the other but ignores self-serving testimony. But sometimes a cutthroat defence works and a guilty goes free.

A few years ago a father was accused of murdering his 3 month old twins. The chief witness against him was their mother.

By the end of the trial, his defence counsel made the mother look far more guilty than the accused. So much so that the jury returned a not guilty verdict in 10 minutes.One of the two did it,  but the jury could not work out which one so there was reasonable doubt.

In the case motivating the petition to abolish  plea-bargaining, the accused pleaded down to manslaughter pleas. Both are certain to be punished rather than one perhaps get off.

Plea-bargain are a compromise but they are still justice. The punishment is less but is more certain. Plea-bargaining allows scarce prosecution resources to be better targeted, which means more convictions in those cases that do go to trial.

Following Landes (1971), plea bargaining is a rational response to the costs of trial for prosecutors intent on maximizing the sum of punishments imposed on defendants as a class and for defendants seeking to minimize the expected costs of punishment to them as individuals.

A plea-bargain spares witnesses the ordeal of a trial; justice is speedier, less a severe but more certain as there is no chance of the not guilty verdict at trail. Testifying against an accused found not guilty because a reasonable doubt rather than actual innocence must be disheartening.

@350nz fossil fuel protesters admit plan was to intimidate ANZ, not peaceful protest

In a letter to the editor today in the Dominion Post defending a climate change protest that closed a branch of the ANZ bank, one of the participants Jimmy Green said

Of course our intention wasn’t to intimidate individuals – our intention was to intimidate ANZ into shifting its investments after the bank ignored us asking.

This honesty about the willingness to intimidate to advance a political agenda shows that climate protesters are engaging in plain thuggery. Peaceful protest has its role in any democracy.

What these thuggish protesters forgot about is how we resolve our differences in a democracy. That is by trying to persuade each other and elections. Let the people decide.

These protesters are keen to pass laws to save the environment but they’re more than happy to break laws they disagree with. I wonder if they extend that same courtesy to others they regard as less enlightened than them? They expect others to obey the laws for which they successfully lobbied.

Why do these climate action protesters think they can break laws that others secured through lawful, peaceful democratic action? Is some direct action more equal than others? Why do these climate action protesters think their vote counts more than mine?

John Rawls makes the point that the purpose of civil disobedience is not to impose your will upon others but through your protest to implore others to reconsider their position and change the law or policy you are disputing.

Rawls argues that civil disobedience is never covert or secretive; it is only ever committed in public, openly, and with fair notice to legal authorities. Openness and publicity, even at the cost of having one’s protest frustrated, offers ways for the protesters to show their willingness to deal fairly with authorities.

Rawls argues: for a public, non-violent, conscientious yet political act contrary to law being done (usually) with the aim of bringing about a change in the law or policies of the government;  that appeals to the sense of justice of the majority;  which may be direct or indirect;  within the bounds of fidelity to the law; whose protesters are willing to accept punishment; and although civil disobedience involves breaking the law, it is for moral rather than selfish reasons, and the willingness to accept arrest is proof of the integrity of the act of peaceful protest.

Rawls argues, and too many forget, that civil disobedience and dissent more generally contribute to the democratic exchange of ideas by forcing the dominant opinion to defend their views.

The civil disobedient is attempting to appeal to the “sense of justice” of the majority and their willingness to accept arrest is proof of the integrity of the act as a contribution to democratic persuasion not intimidation says Rawls:

…any interference with the civil liberties of others tends to obscure the civilly disobedient quality of one’s act.

Rawls argues that the use or threat of violence is incompatible with a reasoned appeal to fellow citizens to move them to change a law. The protest actions are not a means of coercing or frightening others into conforming to one’s wishes.

The intimidation by the protesters at the ANZ bank and their promise to do it again as shown in the adjacent tweet is a breach of the principles of a just society. These climate change protesters blockading an ANZ bank branch were attempting to coerce and frighten others into conforming with their political views. That ‘might does not make right’ is fundamental to democracy and the rule of law. As United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said

The virtue of a democratic system [with a constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech] is that it readily enables the people, over time, to be persuaded that what they took for granted is not so and to change their laws accordingly.

When the climate protesters lose at the ballot box, they always claim it is rigged by the corporate interests. This is just sore losers.

The great strength of democracy is a small group of concerned and thoughtful citizens can band together and change things by mounting single issue campaigns or joining a political party and running for office and winning elections or influencing who wins.

Yesterday’s majority of the vote sooner or later and often sooner than they expect will break off into different minorities on the next big issue of the day. These newly formed minorities will use that same ability to band together as a minority to block vote to protect what they think is important and advance agendas they think are to be wider benefit despite the opinion of the current majority to the contrary. All reforms start as a minority viewpoint.

Indeed, it is a strength of democracy – small groups of concerned citizens banding together – is what is holding up legislating in many areas. It is not that minorities are powerless and individuals are voiceless. It is exactly the opposite.

Parliaments elected by proportional representation such as in New Zealand, and in Australian upper houses reinforces the ability of small groups of citizens to band together to win a seat.

Nothing stirs up the impassioned (and most other people as well) more than depriving them of their right to support or oppose what is important to them through political campaigns and at an election. The losing side, we all end up on the losing side at one time or another, are much more likely to accept an outcome if they had their say and simply lost the vote at the election or in Parliament. Scalia warned of, for example, the risks of the courts moving in advance of the popular will, and thereby poisoning the democratic process

We might have let the People decide. But that the majority will not do. Some will rejoice in today’s decision, and some will despair at it; that is the nature of a controversy that matters so much to so many.

But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better. I dissent.

These climate change protesters want to rob the winners of their honest democratic victory over the balance between oil and coal exploration and other energy options. They are also robbing themselves of a fair defeat.

A fair defeat flows from laws and policies secured through normal democratic means knowing that one day you may be in a majority. Only by respecting the will of the majority when you are in the minority do you have any right to expect future minorities to respect your honest democratic victories as the majority of some future day. Democratic majorities of patched together through give-and-take and the reality that even the most important policies may be reversed in the future.

Climate change protesters should respect the political process because democracy alone can produce compromises satisfying a sufficient mass of the electorate on deeply felt issues so as to not poison the remainder of the democratic process. The losing side, we all end up on the losing side at one time or another, are much more likely to accept an outcome if they had their say and simply lost the vote at the election or in Parliament.

Blacks shot dead by US police by threat level, January – April 2016

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Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

This is what the Washington Post and The Guardian said on the 5 blacks the Washington Post classified as unarmed and not attacking police:

“Antronie Scott, an unarmed 36-year-old black man, was shot on Feb. 4, 2016, in San Antonio, Tex. Undercover San Antonio police officers were monitoring Scott, who had outstanding arrest warrants. When a uniformed officer approached Scott, he spun around with something in his hand. Police later determined that Scott was holding a cellphone.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

"David Joseph, an unarmed 17-year-old black male, was shot on Feb. 8, 2016, in Austin, Tex. Austin police were responding to reports of an erratic, aggressive person. Joseph, who was naked, rushed toward the officer." Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

"Calin Roquemore, an unarmed 24-year-old black man, was shot on Feb. 13, 2016, in Beckville, Tex. Roquemore fled a traffic stop by a Texas state trooper. Roquemore refused the trooper’s orders to show his hands. No weapon was found at the scene."  Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

"Marquintan Sandlin, an unarmed 32-year-old black man, was shot on Feb. 21, 2016, in Inglewood, Calif. The man was a passenger in a car stopped at an intersection. Inglewood police approached the car and noticed that the woman who was driving had a gun. Officers shot and killed Sandlin and the woman, Kisha Michael."  Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

"Peter Gaines, an unarmed 37-year-old black man, was shocked with a stun gun and shot on March 12, 2016, in Houston, Tex. A Houston police officer approached Gaines after he vandalized a traffic sign. Gaines lunged at the officer.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

I will leave it up to readers to work out how many of these police shootings were suspicious and indicate police misconduct.

322 killed by US police by threat level, January – April 2016: updated

Again, surprisingly few people who are unarmed and not attacking police end up being shot by police.

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Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

I reworked the data published by the Washington Post because as usual it does not put it in a form that illustrates how many people were armed or attacking police when shot.

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Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

This is what the Washington Post and The Guardian said on the 12 the Washington Post classified as unarmed and not attacking police:

“Ciara Meyer, an unarmed 12-year-old white female, was shot on Jan. 11, 2016, in an apartment in Penn Township, Pa. A Pennsylvania constable was serving Meyer’s father with an eviction notice. Meyer’s father pointed a rifle at the constable, who opened fire. The bullet travelled through the father’s arm, striking Ciara.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Kelsey Rose Hauser, an unarmed 25-year-old white woman, was shot on Jan. 16, 2016, in El Cajon, Calif. Hauser was a passenger in a stolen car that El Cajon police were pursuing. After a high-speed chase, the driver of the car drove toward an officer, who opened fire.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Daniel Shaver, an unarmed 26-year-old white man, was shot on Jan. 17, 2016, in a hotel in Mesa, Ariz. Mesa police were called to the hotel to investigate reports that a man pointed a rifle from a window. When police questioned Shaver in a hallway, he reached toward his back and didn’t cooperate with the officer’s orders.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Antronie Scott, an unarmed 36-year-old black man, was shot on Feb. 4, 2016, in San Antonio, Tex. Undercover San Antonio police officers were monitoring Scott, who had outstanding arrest warrants. When a uniformed officer approached Scott, he spun around with something in his hand. Police later determined that Scott was holding a cellphone.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“David Joseph, an unarmed 17-year-old black male, was shot on Feb. 8, 2016, in Austin, Tex. Austin police were responding to reports of an erratic, aggressive person. Joseph, who was naked, rushed toward the officer.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Calin Roquemore, an unarmed 24-year-old black man, was shot on Feb. 13, 2016, in Beckville, Tex. Roquemore fled a traffic stop by a Texas state trooper. Roquemore refused the trooper’s orders to show his hands. No weapon was found at the scene.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Marquintan Sandlin, an unarmed 32-year-old black man, was shot on Feb. 21, 2016, in Inglewood, Calif. The man was a passenger in a car stopped at an intersection. Inglewood police approached the car and noticed that the woman who was driving had a gun. Officers shot and killed Sandlin and the woman, Kisha Michael.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Travis Boyd Bradley, an unarmed 36-year-old white man, was shot on March 2, 2016, in Bel Air, Md. Harford County deputies responded to a report of a person who was suicidal. After a standoff, Bradley came out of the residence and charged toward a deputy.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Peter Gaines, an unarmed 37-year-old black man, was shocked with a stun gun and shot on March 12, 2016, in Houston, Tex. A Houston police officer approached Gaines after he vandalized a traffic sign. Gaines lunged at the officer.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Joshua Grubb, an unarmed 30-year-old white man, was shot on March 13, 2016, in Lenoir City, Tenn. Lenoir City police were investigating the report of a drunken driver. Grubb attempted to flee with an officer in the back of his pickup truck.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Cristian Rene Medina, an unarmed 23-year-old Hispanic man, was shot on March 16, 2016, in Florence, Calif. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were responding to a report of a robbery. When they encountered Medina, who matched the description of the robbery suspect, he held his hands together as if he was holding a gun and pointed toward deputies. His family said he suffered from depression.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

“Eric John Wilson, an unarmed 22-year-old man, was shot on April 17, 2016, in El Paso, Tex. El Paso police responded to a call about a suicidal person. Wilson told officers that he had two handguns and an assault rifle. He reached behind his back and pulled out a dark object, which turned out

to be a cellphone.” Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.

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Source: The Counted: people killed by police in the United States – interactive | US news | The Guardian.

@jono_naylor only question was why wasn’t this career criminal deported sooner

When a non-citizen spends 10 of his 40 odd years in Australia behind bars, most recently in 2011, the only question that should be posed is why was not he deported much earlier?

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Source: Former criminal deported and separated from family after 40 years in Australia | Stuff.co.nz.

He is a career criminal who deserves no sympathy. He is the author of his own misfortunes in being separated from his family in Australia. Sympathy should go to his many victims, not to him.

More fool him when he spent 9 months in immigration detention because he chose to appeal his deportation. The criterion for automatic cancellation of Australian visas for criminals is accumulating 12 months in prison. That is a low threshold for automatic deportation unless the minister grants a waiver.

With 10 years behind bars, his appeal had no chance of success. He was a career criminal Australia could well be shot off.

Why Thieves Steal Soap

Stealing soap is almost as good as stealing cash.

Soap and razor blades are surprisingly valuable to petty thieves because they are easy to offload at the pub or the local market stalls

Source: Why Thieves Steal Soap

Killed by US police by threat level and weapon, January – March 2016

I had to download the file from the Washington Posed and reorganise the coding so you can actually work out the threat level and the weapon carried. This was previously possible with the 2015 database. The 2016 database filters changed to make it more difficult to work out how many people were killed by police while an attack was in progress. The improvement is the Washington Post now has filters for the type of weapon present.

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Source: Fatal force: A Washington Post investigation of people shot and killed by police in 2016 – Washington Post.