Rough Justice recounts the experiences of victims of police and criminal justice failings through the stories of some who fought back, often with amazing commitment and courage. Their feelings encompass frustration, confusion, helplessness and anger. Their encounters affected their trust, certainty and confidence in British justice, sometimes for a lifetime. In 2006 Prime Minister David Cameron declared the police the ‘last great unreformed public service’ but Governments have dodged fundamental change. Police still investigate and often ‘clear’ themselves, and avoid prosecution more than Joe Public. A minority practice deception and dubious tactics to obscure what is happening. At a time when the Home Office is reviewing police integrity and discipline, the book also looks at the manipulation of crime statistics, argues that the Independent Police Complaints Commission is unfit for purpose and points to unfairness underpinning a crisis of legitimacy. As former Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer commented, ‘Britain’s criminal justice system fails the vulnerable’. It lets down law-abiding people too (including MPs) through free-style policing and a ‘because we can’ approach.
It could it happen to you. Will anything ever change? When will politicians face up to the need for action?
‘We need more books like Rough Justice to highlight what is happening because so many people are unprepared and, yes, scared, of following through a challenge to the behaviour of State officials’: Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers.
‘An extraordinary book which should remind us all that our ‘social contract’ comes with some frightening downsides’: Professor David Wilson (From the Foreword).
Roger Williams wrote Rough Justice as an ordinary citizen caught-up in a highly professional and impenetrable criminal process. After experiencing injustice at the hands of police and prosecutors he eventually complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) expecting it would ‘sort this out’. He then discovered others with the same sense of inadequacy when faced with the might of the state. He hopes their stories and his suggestions might make a difference. He is an engineer who initially trained in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. He has published 20 books on motoring (Veloce Publishing).