ABOLISH THESE LEGAL 'GAMES' EXCLUSIVE Police Chief Calls for Justice Reform as Force Morale Plummets

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), April 2, 2002 | Go to article overview

ABOLISH THESE LEGAL 'GAMES' EXCLUSIVE Police Chief Calls for Justice Reform as Force Morale Plummets


Byline: Claire Tolley

MERSEYSIDE'S police chief last night said failings in the criminal justice system were "crushing" police morale.

In a hard-hitting interview, Chief Constable Norman Bettison, who will leave the force this summer, called for an end to the legal "games" which caused cases to collapse after months of work.

Mr Bettison called for wideranging reform in the legal process to regain lost public confidence.

Speaking to the Daily Post, he said: "It's often not a question of what does the evidence show us, the question much more these days is how do we prevent the jury ever seeing the evidence?

"The focus of criminal justice over the last decade has seen a shift from a focus on getting to the truth so that the victim and society can be reassured, to one where the games that are played to keep evidence out of court are growing.

"It's dispiriting to see the way that the criminal justice institutions are treated with disdain by the accused, and with suspicion by those who want to be able to rely on those institutions."

Recently, he highlighted a kidnap case in February in which the police had taped evidence of a defendant making ransom demands as well as catching the accused red-handed with marked notes supplied by the police for the ransom. …

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