Arresting tactics

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In the past, if someone appeared to have a case to answer, he was interviewed under caution and if the press got wind of it, they were told he was “helping with inquiries”.

When police were satisfied they had enough evidence, the accused was charged, named and the law took its course with reporting restrictions applied until the trial.

Today, the police, on the basis of allegations and without sufficient potential evidence for a conviction, now arrest people and build a case through a process of negotiation.

The new procedure spares them the inconvenience of applying to a magistrate for a search warrant and allows them to go on fishing expeditions in search for evidence.

As a result we have the unedifying sight of a host of geriatric celebrities bullied into “confessing” to a long list of increasingly unlikely sexual exploits half a century ago.

These high-profile arrests are clearly intended to create an impression of guilt and I find such methods thoroughly alarming and reminiscent of the vile American “perp walk”.

(Dr) John Cameron

St Andrews