Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Doesn't take all that much to chuck reasonable due process out the window.

 Senior Metropolitan police officers devised a policy of holding all people arrested on riot-related offences in custody and recommending that the courts also refuse bail after they were charged, according to a leaked "prisoner processing strategy" that lawyers argue could pave the way for a mass legal challenge.

The document sheds significant light on the Met's processes and could explain why people accused of apparently minor offences such as theft of small items or receipt of stolen goods were not cautioned. They included a 23-year old student with no previous convictions who was refused bail and then sentenced to six months in prison for stealing a £3.50 bottle of water. The debate about sentencing of people accused of taking part in the riots has so far focused on the courts' right to use "exemplary" sentencing – harsher sentences to deter people from rioting. But the document suggests that in deciding whether or not to grant bail the courts would have also been considering recommendations from the police to detain people in the vast majority of cases.