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Failing to Give Up Passwords – a Criminal Offence

Section 49 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000


Passwords – Encryption – Keys – Information

53 Failure to comply with a notice

(1) A person to whom a section 49 notice has been given is guilty of an offence if he knowingly fails, in accordance with the notice, to make the disclosure required by virtue of the giving of the notice.

(2) In proceedings against any person for an offence under this section, if it is shown that that person was in possession of a key to any protected information at any time before the time of the giving of the section 49 notice, that person shall be taken for the purposes of those proceedings to have continued to be in possession of that key at all subsequent times, unless it is shown that the key was not in his possession after the giving of the notice and before the time by which he Read More

New Revenge Law Comes Into Force

digital colours A new revenge law has come into force as part of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act which means those who share sexually explicit images without the subject’s consent could find themselves in facing a sentence of up to 2 years imprisonment, if found guilty.

The new includes uploading images and videos to the internet or websites / social media sites as well as sending the images by text, email or by using any form of messaging software.  Also those simply showing someone else an image, on their phone for example, can still face a charge.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says the law “covers images that show the genitals but also anything that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual, so this could be a picture of someone who is engaged in sexual behaviour or posing in a sexually provocative way”.

What’s the Law?

CPS guidelines state: –

  • The issue in cases of
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Birmingham Pension Fraud Case – Acquittal

Our client and his eight co – accused were faced with a rather complicated case. There were three separate charges against him, namely Conspiracy to Defraud, which is a common law offence, Conspiracy to Cheat, and Conspiracy to launder money contrary to section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

He was arrested in June 2009, charged, and finally acquitted in December 2014.

What was it about and what are SIPPs?

The case concerned Self Invested Pension Plans (SIPPs), which are a specialised type of pension scheme. A SIPP operates in a similar way to a normal pension fund. It is designed to give a SIPP holder and their Financial Advisors the power to invest the SIPP fund as they see fit, subject to certain restrictions.

With a SIPP, the SIPP holder may invest in a broad range of investments, including purchasing shares in unquoted companies (Companies not … Read More

Diesel Laundering – Tax Evasion Plot

truck I was interested to read about the illegal Bootle Diesel laundering plant raided as £20 million tax evasion plot is uncovered.

I have been involved in cases like this where the people who get arrested are innocently working, usually for minimum wages and they end up getting blamed for evasion of tax on diesel fuel.

It is so unfair.

In the cases that we successfully defended, it was demonstrated that our clients (who we cannot name for legal reasons) were not a party to an agreement to evade duty on diesel. The essence of the crime is that HMRC have to prove that a defendant is part of an agreement to evade tax, so don’t give up hope.

– Mark Jones

For advice you can call MJP solicitors on 0151 286 9594 or contact us through our websiteRead More

Police Cautions ‘to be scrapped’ For New System


The government plans to scrap the use of police cautions across England and Wales and to replace it with a new system which would not allow offenders to “walk away scot-free”.

The Ministry of Justice said it would be replacing the police cautions with a new system which requires offenders to make amends for their behaviour.

Chris Grayling said: “It isn’t right that criminals who commit lower-level crime can be dealt with by little more than a warning.

“It’s time we put an end to this country’s cautions culture. I think every crime should have a consequence, and this change will deliver that.

“Under the new system we are introducing, offenders will face prosecution if they fail to comply with the conditions set by the police, so that no one is allowed to get away with the soft option.”

Under the plans minor offences will face a “community resolution” which includes making reparation or paying … Read More

Current Drug Policy ‘has no impact on use’


An official Government study has found that drug use is not affected by the “toughness” of a country’s enforcement on possession of substances.

The study saw no increase in drug use when it looked into Portugal’s drug laws, where possession of drugs is treated as a health matter rather a criminal issue.

The study also monitored the Czech Republic after drugs were criminalised, only to cause a rise in the crime rate.

The Government now going to monitor the results in Uruguay and some US states that have recently legalised possession of cannabis.

The report said: ‘It is not clear that decriminalisation has an impact on levels of drug use. Looking across different countries, there is no apparent correlation between the “toughness” of a country’s approach and the prevalence of adult drug use.’

Danny Kushlick, founder of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, said: “This is a historic moment in the development of UK drug policy.… Read More

National Crime Agency Want More Powers

Keith Bristow, head of of the National Crime Agency, has argued that Britain’s snooping powers are “too weak” during an interview with The Guardian.

Bristow said that they were “losing capability and coverage of serious criminals” and that the Edward Snowden case had “damaged public confidence in our ability, whether it’s law enforcement or the intelligence agencies, to access and use data in an appropriate and proportionate way.”

Bristow insisted his agency had got off to a strong start. In the interview he told the Guardian that: –

  • A series of scandals such as allegations of corruption in the handling of the Stephen Lawrence case had left policing’s reputation damaged and lower than it had been in years. “I think our stock … the esteem in which we are held … is in my judgment not where it was a few months or years ago,” he added.
  • He could see “advantages” if the government stripped
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Fraud Crimes Left Out of Offical Figures

digital colours According to the Office for National Statistics figures for fraud crimes should be higher with almost four million being left out of official figures. This is because the primary set of offences the Crime Survey for England and Wales covers has not changed since 1981 and therefore crimes such as credit card fraud.

The report stated that between 3.6 million and 3.8 million crimes such as credit card fraud and building society fraud incidents were reported.

The report said: “Action Fraud have taken over the recording of fraud offences on behalf of individual police forces. The process began in April 2011 and was rolled out to all police forces by March 2013.

“Due to this change, caution should be applied when comparing data over this transitional period and with earlier years.

“Together, plastic card fraud and bank and building society fraud could contribute between 3.6 million and 3.8 million incidents of crime to the total … Read More

What is Khat? Is it Illegal?

cyber_glow_150Khat, (or quat, qat, Catha edulis) is a green-leafed shrub found in parts of Africa and Arabia, particularly Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia that has been chewed for many years. It is said to make users feel more happy, alert and talkative as a result of it’s stimulating properties, and in many areas it is seen as a normal part of social life.

It is also said to suppress the appetite, but continued use may lead to insomnia, anxiety and depression.

There has been some concern as to the negative effects that some say it has such as, on occasions, mirror the effects found when using amphetamine, which has now prompted the Home Office to act in order to protect what they describe as the potential health and social concerns associated with it’s usage. This is despite the recommendation of their own advisors, the Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), who suggested that a ban … Read More

Joint Enterprise or Common Design?

digital colours What would happen if you, a friend or relative, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

The law in this area is again coming under the spotlight as result of a number of high-profile cases, and as a result of Jimmy McGovern’s film Common.


What does the law say about joint criminal enterprise and how might you fall foul of it?

“Where two or more persons embark on a joint enterprise each is liable for the acts done in pursuance of that joint (or common) enterprise.” This would include liability for unusual consequences if they arise from the execution of the agreed joint enterprise. However, if a participant in the venture goes beyond what had been agreed as part of the common enterprise, the other participants are not liable for the consequences of that unlawful act.

Presently the Ministry of Justice say they have no plans to change the law … Read More

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