Someone to Watch Over Me by Trevor Plumbly

Checks and Balances The killing of children anywhere is always hard to come to terms with, but it gets tougher when it happens in your own home town. There’s little doubt now that Edward Livingstone was a troubled soul, with a history of sexual violence against his partner Katherine, which culminated in her being granted a protection order in May 2013. For some strange reason, this order wasn’t finalised till August of that year. Later, during a supervised visit to their two children aged 6 and 9, Livingstone presented the children with… Read More

A Word from our Sponsor by Trevor Plumbly

An interesting situation has arisen down here that I reckon is worth some sort of comment. Late last year, a group of teenagers calling themselves ‘The Roast Busters’ crowed on a social media site of having sexual contact with intoxicated under-age girls. The police investigation into the matter could kindly be described as bumbling, and seems destined to remain so; it was only the public outcry that caused them to take a serious interest in the matter. The alleged offences were obnoxious by any standard and exacerbated by the on-line boasting and… Read More

Sparring Partners by Trevor Plumbly

It’s that time again. You know, when all those government paid statisticians release their findings on what improved and what didn’t in the past year. It’s always seemed to me to represent a lot of effort for very little direct good. Ministers either crow about the results or promise that the problem will be addressed, but of course political survival demands that bad bits have as short a shelf life as possible, so the placebos are doled out to us and life goes on as usual. Don’t get me wrong, I love… Read More

A Policeman’s Lot is not a Happy One by Trevor Plumbly

The Police under Scrutiny Wherever you are these days, not many weeks pass without allegations being levelled at the police ranging from incompetence to corruption. Such allegations are usually whipped up to a frenzy by the media and eagerly lapped up by a scandal-thirsty public. It’s interesting how the relationship between the public and the police has altered over time. Not that long ago the idea of an ‘Independent Police Conduct Authority’ would have been judged as unnecessary by the judiciary and the force itself, but now questioning police performance is regarded… Read More

Casting the First Stone by Angela Caldin

The Stephen Lawrence Case The recent claim by an undercover police officer here in the UK that efforts were made to smear the reputations of the family and friends of Stephen Lawrence leave me groping for the right word to describe how I feel about this extraordinary revelation: I am dumbfounded, outraged, perplexed, horrified. There does not seem to be a word strong enough to convey the shock that overtook me when I heard the allegation that the police, instead of concentrating on finding evidence against those in the frame for the… Read More