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Thursday, June 09, 2016

So called 'LEGAL HIGHS' Psychoactive Substances Act now in force, and Home Office sentencing updates. HOME OFFICE May Bulletin released.



Psychoactive Substances Act now in force

A blanket ban on so-called ‘legal highs’ and tough new enforcement powers came into effect on 26 May. The Psychoactive Substances Act protects young people and those vulnerable to using these substances by banning any trade for human consumption of these potentially dangerous drugs.


The act provides a range of criminal and civil sanctions including new powers for police and tough sentences for offenders.


Sanctions under the act include:
  • up to 7 years in prison for the supply, production, possession with intent to supply, importation or exportation of a psychoactive substance for human consumption
  • up to 2 years in prison for possessing a psychoactive substance in a custodial institution
  • prohibition and premises orders which will allow police to shut down head shops and online dealers in the UK, with up to 2 years in prison for those who fail to comply
The UK is the first country in the world to put in place a rigorous system of testing to demonstrate that a substance is capable of having a psychoactive effect, providing evidence to support civil action and prosecutions.


The government has already taken action against so called ‘legal highs’, having banned more than 500 potentially dangerous drugs.


The new act will go even further but legislation alone is not enough. The government continues to take action across prevention, treatment and recovery to reduce harmful drug use and is working with experts to develop a new drugs strategy.


The Home Office has produced a new psychoactive substances resource pack for informal educators and frontline practitioners. Request a copy by e-mailing: CrimeandPolicingPartners@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

Proposed revisions to magistrates’ court guidelines

The Sentencing Council has published proposals for revisions to some of the magistrates’ court sentencing guidelines.


The aim is to introduce a consistent approach to sentencing in all magistrates’ courts in England and Wales.


The council has developed a more sophisticated methodology for assessing the seriousness of offences in its guidelines compared with those previously produced and wants to ensure that this approach is applied across the board.


The Sentencing Council is keen to hear people’s views of the proposals, particularly:
  • magistrates
  • people working in the criminal justice system
  • people who have an interest in this area of sentencing
The council has launched a public consultation which will run until 11 August, and you can take part by visiting the Sentencing Council’s website.

Proposed guidelines for sentencing of young offenders

The Sentencing Council has published proposed new guidelines for sentencing young offenders.


The guidelines will provide judges and magistrates with up-to-date guidance that will help ensure consistency in sentencing in England and Wales, and will ensure that young people who commit offences are sentenced fairly and proportionately, with the primary aim of stopping them reoffending.


The Sentencing Council has launched a consultation on its proposed guidelines which will close on 3 August. You can find more information about the proposals and take part in the consultation on the Sentencing Council’s website.

Promoting the National Citizen Service for your teen campaign

The Cabinet Office is encouraging organisations to promote the National Citizen Service (NCS) for your teen campaign to their staff. The campaign aims to inform parents of the positive benefits participating in the NCS can have on their teenager, and encourage them to speak to their teenager about NCS. More information about the campaign is available.
















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Editorial policy: WE DON'T CENSOR NEWS, we will however come down hard on lawbreakers, all forms of ASB - Anti Social Behaviour, and anyone or group who seek to disturb or disrupt our neighbourhoods and communities, or in anyway abuse, take unfair advantage or financially disadvantage our citizens. We support the Park Farm Neighbourhood Watch and digitally carry the messages from this independent Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.


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Whilst accepting that many in Public Office perform a valuable service and make a worthwhile contribution, there are others who are frankly rubbish. Although Julian Bray is the editor, there are several Blog administrators / correspondents who actively contribute by remote transmission to this blog.

So it could be some days before the copy (content) is seen by the Editor and properly formatted. We consider all representations and correct any facts that are clearly deficient.




OUR HUMAN RIGHT TO LAMPOON AND CRITICISE POLITICIANS

THE HIGH COURT has ruled....People have a right to lampoon and criticise politicians and public officials under the Human Rights Act, the High Court has ruled.

We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

Derivatives: lampooner noun lampoonery noun lampoonist noun Origin: mid 17th century: from French lampon, said to be from lampons 'let us drink' (used as a refrain), from lamper 'gulp down', nasalized form of laper 'to lap (liquid).

NUJ CODE OF CONDUCT

NUJ Code of Conduct

The NUJ's Code of Conduct has set out the main principles of British and Irish journalism since 1936.

The code is part of the rules and all journalists joining the union must sign that they will strive to adhere to the it.


Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

A journalist:

1 At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed

2 Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair

3 Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies

4 Differentiates between fact and opinion

5 Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means

6 Does nothing to intrude into anybody's private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest

7 Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work

8 Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information and takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge

9 Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation

10 Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed

11 A journalist shall normally seek the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare

12 Avoids plagiarism The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code.

The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code

The NUJ logo is always a link to the home page.

(As modified at Delegate Meeting 2011)