What's the MG3?
It is the form that officers fill in during their final interaction with the CPS - The Crown Prosecution Service - prior to a charge being made. It contains a summary and observations by the officer investigating as a result of all the evidence and interview collected.
Reason for change necessary
Here are the self evident argument/s demonstrating need for change as contained in my letter of the 7th July to a local senior officer:
"Your final comment in the particular paragraph that 'It is, ultimately a matter for the courts to decide on the outcome of prosecutions placed before them.' whilst technically not inaccurate, is in fact, troubling to the core:
If the Police Service investigates and conveys through its MG3 a prosecution, without providing the impartial counter possible as indicated at interview or as contained by evidence in hand before its write up, then a thought process which underpinned this lack of provision, that the courts are where the defence happens, are contrary to the most basic 'rule' - as is the common belief - as being within the British legal system: namely, that a person is innocent until proven guilty:
Such thinking and practice is the opposite, since it very effectively portrays someone as guilty until proven innocent!
With any hint of that thinking process as mentioned, in play, it is a mockery to suggest 'the system operated is fair and balanced'. How can the Police Service consider fair and reasonable people have given their consent, if this highlighted thinking and practice exists?
Is it not the truth that the public is unaware this thinking exists: that it is part of the current police culture and endemic?
I am sorry if these words appear strong or severe, but when a norm, as is apparent, has existed for so long, the basic moral truth of impartiality is totally lost in such a feeling of impunity in the belief this is not 'our job', as per such thinking.
My whole point of mentioning PC Blakelock and the automatic re-examination 100% of every overturned miscarriage of Justice was to help show you that quality checks are not about the standard of supervising a norm, as you well indicated already happens, but about the detailed analysis of the process that has gone wrong and something not to be repeated. The fact it is repeated tells all there are no regular quality checks.
For example: How many Inspectors, have regularly - say 1 in a 100 minimum - of cases of prosecution, listened to all of the interview tape/s involved in that 1 picked out case for quality check?
Do you think the CPS ever listen to a tape in full? Let alone, regularly? They too, indeed, ought to periodically check 100%, 1 in so many, as a quality check. And, 100% automatically exhaustively in every overturned case, let alone the rest of the evidence, but my interaction here is with those that are not only first in the overall process, but also the one public service wherein each and every officer took an oath of impartiality.
Without a regular and thorough return to a common sense rule which one can check against, regular activity over a long time, produces an unavoidable blindness that one has lost one's way.
Is it honest to suggest the CPS are currently effective ' "gate-keepers" ', when they are regularly seen as insufficiently prepared in Court, to your own frustration, of police hard work thus rendered useless?
Indeed, they share in that responsibility and they should be, but one service at a time, please. My planned comments to the appropriate Parliamentary Committee in regards to the CPS will be carried out in due course.
But, just as I am not after your blood, but your hearts, so they too, will also get my considered attention.
Where this 'ultimate' court thinking further fails beyond the moral principle highlighted
The CPS have no connection or responsibility in regards to defence, except to pass on to the Defendant's representatives relevant information previously gathered by the police. But, tell me, how can the CPS do that if the police service did not investigate the reasonable doubt mentioned or in hand prior to the MG3 filling in and not mentioned in the MG3?
How then can the defence secure protection of the innocent charged?
How can the real guilty be ever found, when a crime is placed on the innocent?
And, as is true for the majority of defendants reliant on the public funding of the defence, since the only legal public body responsible and funded for investigation did not carry out that part of their understood role in Statute, how can a defendant's solicitor and barrister be expected to do it?
It is not without good reason I mentioned from the outset the essential reading of the alternative system of operating this element of policing as exampled in the French system as mentioned in Michael Mansfield QC's Presumed Guilty: British legal system exposed
Since our meeting on the 2nd June, is it unreasonable of me to inquire if you have ordered a copy yet?
The reasonable thinking that is required for the way ahead, for all our nation's Police Service, is to practice their investigations and their reporting - the MG3 currently - as if, the form had in Statute (which it already has in spirit and principle, as touched on above) two written sections established - to be filled in - one for the prosecution and one for the defence.
If this were in place, in the thinking process of detectives, then new objective and creative ways could be discovered to reveal the real criminals effectively: this is because when problems are thought dealt with (as currently), no more need to think through a challenge any longer exists. But, when the process is true in the first place, light is shed on what really needs to be done to bring true results..."
Further thoughts in my previous letter
I expressed the view that if the MG3 were a manufactured product - a fabricated item at the end of a production line - it would be subject to numerous quality checks and regular re-appraisal for improvement or just the maintenance of high quality for which it was designed. The MG3 form filling in, however, appears to have very little if any such quality considerations on a regular basis. It could be argued that most (all?) miscarriages of justice since 1986 began with an incorrectly filled in MG3 resulting in two wrongs: an innocent deprived of their liberty and the real criminal getting away.
A financial case by use of a "ball park figure" statistic
Our nearest international neighbour, with a different system of justice in many significant aspects, and yet with a similar sized population is France. Just looking at the prison population alone we can see something clear:
We have 20,000 more in prison than we should have comparatively.
With any statistic two can play at the same game, but here is enough leeway - countering moderating factors - within this 20k to still see as substantial, an ongoing saving potential, for a fraction of the increase in cost (new budget) to policing required for this essential change.