Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cost Drivers

As my profession seems to be obsessed with costs at the moment I have been considering ways to make the criminal justice system more efficient.

Today I attended at an Identification Suite to view a witness watching video identification parades of two of my Clients. I telephoned in the morning to check that the appointment was still going ahead - I was told that it was.

In the afternoon I attended at the Identification Suite promptly to discover that the viewing had now been cancelled because the witness was in France! Still seething with anger and frustration I said to the Inspector at the desk:

Me: "Why didn't you phone me?"
Him: "We didn't know who you were."
Me: "My name, office address and telephone number is on the form the Client signed when he consented to take part in this identification procedure".
Him: "Yes it is, isn't it. Erm, I'm not sure why we didn't phone you then."
Uniformed Officer: "We only found out about an hour ago".

If they had looked on their paperwork they would have found my telephone number. They could have telephoned my office to tell me the appointment had been cancelled, and even if I had already left the office could have called me on my mobile phone. If the call had been made it would have saved wasting my time, and it would have saved public funds.

My idea to reduce cost drivers is to get the Police to talk to solicitors more.


Anonymous said...

Not wishing to have a go at the police, but their systems are just plain stupid and arrogant.

When it comes to something like this (an ID) they think the world revolves around them.

You would think that before arranging an identification they would make sure an important person (like the witness) would be availiable. Instead they organise the thing only to find the witness is away in France. Assuming the witness didn't go to France at the drop of a hat, the fact they hadn't ascertained in advance convenient times beggars belief.

As for informing you, why should they bother? Who cares what it costs? It doesn't come out of the police budget or the inspector's pay packet. If it did they would bend over backwards to ensure you were informed.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately as with any job there are police officers willing to be desk jockeys and watch the world run past them. Some have so little initiative or really don't care and give the force a bad name. It doesn't help that the propper procedures aren't nailed down, or if they are they are not disseminated properly.. At the end of the day its another governemnt quango...just an important one.

I have learnt one thing from dealing with a certain police force in the last 8 months, and that is: If you want anything done, do it yourself.

Gavin said...

I am glad that I am not the only one who feels like the police don't talk to me.

Anonymous said...


I have been reading your blog for a while now and it comes across that you seem to get frustrated with lack of communication from the Police Service. Is that a fair assessment?

I hope to become a Police Officer shortly. Thanks for the solicitors point of view. Will do my best to help you guys out.

Are there any other things you feel you could get helped with a bit more?

Gavin said...

Good communication with the Police would be excellent! Communication is my only gripe with the Police at this moment in time.