I don’t want to fall out of the habit of updating this blog, so I thought I’d mention something that just struck me, about the police caution, which if Wikipedia can be relied upon, is approximately
‘You do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, but I must warn you that if you fail to mention any fact which you rely on in your defence in court, your failure to take this opportunity to mention it may be treated in court as supporting any relevant evidence against you. If you do wish to say anything, what you say may be given in evidence.’
The problem is, as we have seen from the Andrew Mitchell ‘pleb’ affair, what happens if the police, as they seem to do most of the time, are unable to recollect what a suspect has said accurately, if at all?
My solution to this – and I think at this point it really would fix more problems than it creates – would be for police to record all interactions with people who have been cautioned, if not the public in general. Who can doubt that they would then be far more careful about sticking to the letter of the law? The only practical drawback is that they would likely stay away from the public altogether, but that’s an indictment of poor training, if anything.
A wired up society may be the only defence we have now from sliding into tyranny.