Will my past control my future?

Old Mar 3rd 2008, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Originally Posted by JAJ
With attitudes like this being reported it is hardly a surprise that trust in the police force is at rock-bottom:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...icle716688.ece

Perhaps it would be simpler for all if the caution system was abolished. If it is going to be treated as a criminal conviction, then it would be a lot better if proper court process was observed.
The caution system surely frees up the court system for more complex and serious cases. This is turn saves tax payers money and allows more revenue to be directed to law enforcement.

Why does this article reflect badly on the police? Are we to just feel sorry for those who commit crimes as their record will be around for a longer? Perhaps you should ask victims of crime. The consequences are known, that's the risk. Punishments 100 plus years ago were far harsher. They are not being shipped off to penal colonies now!
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Originally Posted by JAJ
With attitudes like this being reported it is hardly a surprise that trust in the police force is at rock-bottom:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...icle716688.ece

Perhaps it would be simpler for all if the caution system was abolished. If it is going to be treated as a criminal conviction, then it would be a lot better if proper court process was observed.
Interesting article.

Why abolish the caution system? It is simply a way to free the courts up who are over worked and crowded. If someone admits to an offence then why drag them through the unpleasant court process. It might me a one of / mistake in life but rules are rules - if rules are bent then why have then in the 1st place?


Apologies for using this thread to discuss such issues.
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Originally Posted by ann m
I resent that sweeping comment ... :curse: Not helpful and not accurate.
Perhaps a little sweeping.

But I find it surprising that I am the only person to be concerned about the way that the police caution system in England and Wales (unsure about Scotland/Northern Ireland) has turned into something for which it never was intended.

There is evidence out there that some police officers do administer cautions where the chances of persuading the CPS to prosecute would be low, and the chances of a court conviction are even lower.

There is evidence that people are "persuaded" by police to accept a caution under false pretences that it is not a criminal conviction when it is now effectively treated as such.

Or have accepted such advice in that past which may have been correct and then found themselves on the wrong side of a very un-British retrospective change in the law on classification and treatment of cautions.

And there's plenty of evidence that many police officers - perhaps following orders from the Government - are more concerned with hitting targets through cautions without any meaningful consideration of whether a more informal approach is appropriate in the circumstances.

The bottom line is that it is difficult to have confidence in the police caution system as it now operates.

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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Originally Posted by wayne-Niki
Interesting article.

Why abolish the caution system? It is simply a way to free the courts up who are over worked and crowded. If someone admits to an offence then why drag them through the unpleasant court process. It might me a one of / mistake in life but rules are rules - if rules are bent then why have then in the 1st place?
Because a caution has become too serious in its consequences to be administered by the police without any real checks and balances.

If it is to be a de-facto criminal conviction then it should be handled through the court system. The option is still there for someone to plead guilty but there is at least a more formal independent process.

There is a case for an lower-tier penalty system (for cases that you mention) that does not lead to a court conviction or criminal record - such as that for speeding offences - but the caution system as it is now is not that alternative.

Last edited by JAJ; Mar 3rd 2008 at 3:59 pm.
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Originally Posted by JAJ
Because a caution has become too serious in its consequences to be administered by the police without any real checks and balances.

If it is to be a de-facto criminal conviction then it should be handled through the court system. The option is still there for someone to plead guilty but there is at least a more formal independent process.

There is a case for a fixed penalty system (for cases that you mention) that does not lead to a court conviction or criminal record - such as that for speeding offences - but the caution system as it is now is not that alternative.
I guess if a caution leads to a criminal record, the accused should be adequately advised prior to agreeing. However this is the responsibility of their lawyer, the police are there to enforce the law and protect society based on the standards society sets.
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Originally Posted by Surrey Expat
The caution system surely frees up the court system for more complex and serious cases. This is turn saves tax payers money and allows more revenue to be directed to law enforcement.

Why does this article reflect badly on the police? Are we to just feel sorry for those who commit crimes as their record will be around for a longer? Perhaps you should ask victims of crime. The consequences are known, that's the risk. Punishments 100 plus years ago were far harsher. They are not being shipped off to penal colonies now!
There is such a thing as punishment. There is also such a thing as forgiveness. Blighting the lives of people permanently because of one-off minor offences is certainly one approach to justice.

There is another approach which does not have a similarly casual view of imposing a lifetime punishment upon a citizen for a trivial offence.

If one's faith in the police is such that you believe every arrest to be justified (as your earlier post suggests), then why not save even more taxpayers money and just not bother with having a court system? (extreme point of view - used for illustration).

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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Originally Posted by Surrey Expat
I guess if a caution leads to a criminal record, the accused should be adequately advised prior to agreeing. However this is the responsibility of their lawyer, the police are there to enforce the law and protect society based on the standards society sets.
In fact the courts are there to enforce the law.

"this is the responsibility of their lawyer". Perhaps, but in the real world "is" ought to read "should be" - as with any profession there is always going to be a great variation in calibre from one practitioner to another.

On top of that, in the past cautions were not taken as seriously as some people do now, and advice that may have been correct at the time has been superseded by retrospective legislation.

A court process isn't perfect but does impose a segregation between the role of arrest and that of conviction.

Good justice does require a segregation between the role of the police and the courts and the caution system dangerously blurs the two. It wouldn't matter if it just led to a fixed penalty (fine, community service, whatever) and all was forgotten after that.

Do they have England-style police cautions in Canada?
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

I tend to agree; Labour have totally politicised the police force, which is one of the reasons why I left the UK. I no longer wanted to live in a country where I could get a big fine and a life-long criminal record for a minor infraction of some nonsense law while burglars and muggers walk free.

I'd fully support eliminating the caution system, as it would discourage the enforcement of Labour's nanny-state laws by clogging up the courts if they tried to do so. Though, that said, Labour would probably be quite happy to stop prosecuting anyone for real crimes in order to ensure that the scum who didn't reuse their supermarket carrier bags paid the full penalty for their crimes.
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

This issue seems to have developed into a debate about the integrity of the police and the caution systems as utilized, and does not address the concerns of the original OP. We all get to act the goat a little when we are young, and this man seems to be exceptional, in that he always seems to get caught. What's done is done, and there is no "overturning" or" appealing" these cautions. What appears on your police record checks, is what immigration will most be interested in. That does not, for one second suggest that any omission of non-recorded actions by the authorities, should be considered. Apart from the police national computer (PNC) data-base, there are little things called "collator files". ANY information called for by an immigration officer, will be provided by any police force. The reality of the offences having been disposed of by way of cautions, are due to a preponderence of the evidence (or lack thereof), and this is the only reason you managed to accumulate so many cautions within the time-frame, without actually being brought in front of a magistrate. In a nutshell, the cautions will probably not be a bar to your quest to emmigrate to Canada, but should be openly discussed at interview, as this is the immigration officer's opportunity to get to the bottom of such things. Be careful of taking advice from those not qualified to render it. Submit your application and go the distance in truth, and for heavens sake "stay out of trouble"!!
Good luck.
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Originally Posted by JAJ
If one's faith in the police is such that you believe every arrest to be justified (as your earlier post suggests), then why not save even more taxpayers money and just not bother with having a court system? (extreme point of view - used for illustration).
What a childish and ridiculous thing to say.
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Oh good grief.

Just send for your police record thingy and see what it says on it. You may be worrying over nothing.

If any of your "offences" are mentioned on the police record, then you have to declare this on any application you make and enclose full details of the circumstances and consequences, ie court records if you have any.

Personally I doubt whether you will be barred form entering Canada for breaking a branch of a tree by swinging on it! It doesn't sound as if any of the offences are that serious, though I don't claim to be expert in this! People here do like to scare-monger.
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

<PARANOIA MODE>
My heart sinks when I read threads like this.
I'm in the same boat.
Juvenile theft (reprimand) 1982
Driving without an MOT - ie a vehicle safety certificate (£50 fine) 1990
Drunk & something (caution) 1991
Speeding SP30 (£60 fine) 2005

I am hoping to get a WP from PoE in three weeks.
Are we saying I've got no chance of getting a WP?

Something very odd has happened in the last few years.
I'm not a bad fella. I now I have to bugger about getting pardons because I had a few too many lagers 20 years ago? Is that what it's come to?
</PARANOIA MODE>


My police reports are on order, BTW. Can't wait to see whats on them!


EDIT:
I found this. Useful for people in my situation...
http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-a...ocanada-en.asp
and here
http://www.canadaimmigrationlaw.net/...onvictions.htm

Last edited by wbexpat; Mar 3rd 2008 at 9:17 pm.
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Old Mar 4th 2008, 12:24 am
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Default Re: Will my past control my future?

Speeding shouldn't matter, and the others are over ten years ago so shouldn't be a problem even if you have to get a pardon for them.
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Old Mar 4th 2008, 1:16 am
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Default Fear and Loathing on British Expats

Originally Posted by wbexpat
<PARANOIA MODE>
My police reports are on order, BTW. Can't wait to see whats on them!


EDIT:
I found this. Useful for people in my situation...
http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-a...ocanada-en.asp
and here
http://www.canadaimmigrationlaw.net/...onvictions.htm
Co-sign- my police checks will be back by 12th March. And thanks for posting the above- it goes against the grain of the usual poster on here. A very important part of the above is this:

If an individual is only convicted of one offence which may only be prosecuted by summary procedures then such an individual is not inadmissible, however, two summary convictions not arising out of a single event will render an individual inadmissible. The majority of offences in Canada are indictable or may be proceeded with by way of indictment at the opinion of the Crown prosecutor.

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Old Mar 4th 2008, 1:48 am
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Default Re: Fear and Loathing on British Expats

Originally Posted by geo4
Co-sign- my police checks will be back by 12th March. And thanks for posting the above- it goes against the grain of the usual poster on here. A very important part of the above is this:

If an individual is only convicted of one offence which may only be prosecuted by summary procedures then such an individual is not inadmissible, however, two summary convictions not arising out of a single event will render an individual inadmissible. The majority of offences in Canada are indictable or may be proceeded with by way of indictment at the opinion of the Crown prosecutor.

1. How do you know (unless you have a summary conviction in Canada) that your conviction outside Canada "may only be prosecuted by summary conviction if committed in Canada"?

and

2. Read carefully the part in red in section you quoted - it is up to the opinion of Crown prosecutor to proceed with indictment. How can you determine that your offense if committed in Canada is indictable or not and/or would be proceeded with by the way of indictment or summary conviction?

and

3. The quote you used is just from very simplistic, generic description on the immigration consultant's website - it is not the law nor it doesn't quote the law;

and finally

4. In last paragraph consultant writes about "Minister's Permit" and in the footer of page it clearly states "© 1994 - 2008".

2008??? Minister's Permit doesn't even exist under current law which is already in force since 2002. How much weight said page has now?
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