Sunday 2 January 2011


I was just catching up on some TV programmes I had recorded, and watched a HIGNFY episode.

They stated on it that the average taxpayer pays 62 pence per year for the royal family; but £38.00 per year for legal aid.
Before I have an apoplexy, can someone confirm or deny this?

In other news, I emptied out an old locker recently, and found one of my favourite complaints, where a member of public had written in to complain after seeing me trying to arrest a violent drunk outside a pub in one of our town centres.

She had written that she was with her children and was disgusted to see me rolling around on the floor with the suspect, and that I should have used 'consideration' that there may be children present, and to think of the effect witnessing my arrest would have on their children.
My Inspector called me into the CAD (Control) room to give it to me, and just said "Here you go, you heartless bastard." Oh the hilarity.

EDIT - a poster called Stumo posted this: says public funding of legal services is £2 billion per year - there are 30.6 million income tax payers

simple division gives £65 per person; the "average" will be somewhat skewed from that, and the £2 billion may not just be legal aid - but it suggests it's in the right region...


Stumo said... says public funding of legal services is £2 billion per year - there are 30.6 million income tax payers

simple division gives £65 per person; the "average" will be somewhat skewed from that, and the £2 billion may not just be legal aid - but it suggests it's in the right region...

Area Trace No Search said...


Thanks Stumo. Not sure how to process this information yet; it's definitely an eye opener.
Or something.

Old BE said...

I don't know how Legal Aid works, but I suspect that most of the budget goes on a small number of high-profile cases.

A friend of mine is a solicitor and he tells me that the system is not as much of a laugh for the lawyers as it used to be.

Anonymous said...

Clearly if you had been a halfway decent police officer, you would have known by telepathy that there were going to be children in the vicinity, and dressed in something a little more appropriate like "Bobo the clown" jim-jams. You'd have followed the home office guidance dictating that when arrests are made in the visual field of minors, all suspects, no matter how drunk/smelly/aggressive should be detained using a two prog technique of special cuddles and choccie buttons.

What were you thinking Area? It's incidents like this that make me deeply ashamed of police. HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME.

Fee said...

I take it you aren't allowed to reply to these people? I'd have used that as a learning experience for my kids;

"Look girls, at what happens when you get drunk and behave like such an arse that the Police have to arrest you."

But then, I don't think that kids should be shielded from reality, either.

Anonymous said...

My best recent complaint was when a member of the public phoned in after they had taken my car registration number down because he had seen me taking a swig of water from a bottle whilst waiting at traffic lights.I was accused of "not setting a good example to other motorists".
How I laughed.

Anonymous said...

Jaded, I believe that there have been several MOPs prosecuted for similar offences.

Joseph K.

TheBinarySurfer said...

Stumo's right, it's c£2bn total legal services, but the set of gvt figures disclosed on this back in the early 2000's only had about 45-50% of that being actual 'aid'.

It's not hard to rack up though; consider this, knowing what I do about the legal sector the top (magic circle) law firms happily charge 500 or better an hour for their 'top boys' time; hell even the small/junior players generally average £100p/h+ in charge-out rates.

If you think that it probably takes an hour just to read up on a file properly and research any relevant case law before you even set foot in a court room, and i'm sure I don't need to tell you how long they tend to get delayed by (all of the delayed time will of course be chargeable to the public purse) etc...

Something about gravy trains...hmm...

Anonymous said...

Heartless old you!!!
Clearly not only is she a complete moron she is raising a pair of total wuss's. I suppose it passed her by that had matey boy not been pissed up and kicking off then it wouldn't have happened? My four year old would have ben thrilled to see a policeman rolling around catching a "bad man".


Bagpuss said...

A bit late here but on the Legal Aid point:

The legal aid figures are not just for criminal legal aid, they are all legal aid - so family , care proceeedings, the small proportion of personal injury cases which still qualify, immigration, employment etc.

Binary Surfer - legal aid work is paid at legal aid rates, which have nothing in common with private rates, particulalrly the kind of priivate rates which commercial / Magic Circle firms charge.
Most legally aided work is now paid via fixed fees - these vary depending on a fairly arbirtrary set of rules,but would typically be a few hundred pounds for dealing with a criminal case up to and including trial.
I don't personally deal with any criminal work, but on the family cases I deal with under legal aid, the GROSS amount paid varies between £30 and £65 per hour, on average, (We get paid by way of fixed fees - those figures are arrived at by taking the actual amount paid divided by the nuber of recorded hours work on those files) and that is not including the admin which has to be done, becasue the Legal Aid system is full of form filling and checking, quite possibly designed by the same incompetent committees whcih sevice police paperwork, and non of which is chargable, nor does it inclucde work which doesn't get recorded becasue it is non chargeable, such s dealign with incoming post, non-productive 'chasing' calls to clients or third parties,

There are a small number of cases which are very expensive - for instance, is you have a long-running fraud case, where there is a vast amount of very technical evidence, or where cases are in the Supreme Court. It should also be bourn in mind that the legal aid budget doesn't only cover the legal costs - it also includes disbusrments such as fees for experts. As the experts fees are not set by the LSC they are often much higher than the fees which the lawyers are paid. For instance, a psychologists report based on a one or two meetings and some might cost £1,500, as the psychologist will charge on an hourly rate for their time, inlcuding any reading time. In criminal cases you may have other medical or forensic experts, who will charge hefty hourly fees for their reports and also for court attendances which may include costs if accommodation if they have travelled, and 'subsistance' payments.

I'm better able to comment about family than criminal cases, but there are a small number of very expensive cases - but the majority if cases will have much lower costs.As an example, a solicitor attending court to represent someone at a hearing (other than at final trial) will usually be paid less than £100 for that attendence.

Also, you only get one Royal Family for your 68p per year...

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