Number: F0300 Date Published: 22 July 2020 Version 1 – July 2020
1.0 Summary of Policy
This is a new policy which concerns arrangements for judicial office holders who have registered their home address and are subject to a threat to their home or personal security or who are victims of crime.
2.0 What this Policy is About
This policy, and its associated procedure, give guidance to assist police officers, police staff and contracted staff who perform roles related to the Judicial agreement.
Compliance with this policy and any linked procedures is mandatory.
3.0 Statement of Policy
This policy concerns arrangements for judicial office holders who have registered their home address and are subject to a threat to their home or personal security or who are victims of crime. This policy reflects the National Protocol agreed with the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) the Judicial Office and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS).
Essex Police will respond to all incidents promptly and investigate any reported incident diligently and expeditiously.
Essex Police is committed to building a safer community; this policy aims to allow the Judiciary to feel safe and reassured in that they are able to conduct their official duties and go about their day to day lives without harassment or intimidation.
For the purposes of this policy “Judicial Office Holder” means any Judge whether serving or retired, whether salaried or fee-paid, in any court or tribunal. A judge includes Judges, District Judges and Magistrates’.
This policy only applies to matters connected with a Judicial Office Holder’s professional duties (e.g., threats from persons directly or indirectly connected with cases brought before them, past, present and future). This policy does not apply to matters arising solely out of the Judicial Office Holder’s private life.
Essex Police will have a dedicated SPOC (Single Point of Contact) which will be the Head of the Criminal Justice Department who will have the responsibility on behalf of Essex Police to have an overview of any cases under investigation relating to Op Sabanum.
Op Sabanum relates to the Security of the Judicial Office Holders residential address whether it is their home or lodgings. The Op Sabanum policy will only apply to those Judicial Office Holders that have registered their home address under the agreed protocol. Those Holders outside of this protocol and policy will receive the appropriate Essex Police response to the incident they are reporting.
A register of the Judicial Officer Holders will be held by Operational Planning.
They are responsible for ensuring that the names are forwarded to FCR where a STORM marker will be added to identify them.
A threat under Op Sabanum is defined as:
A threat to a member of the Judicial Office holder’s family at their home address, where it is reasonable to believe that the threat has been made with the intention of intimidating or harassing the Judicial Office Holder in connection with his/her official position;
A demonstration at or near a Judicial Office Holder’s home held with the purpose of intimidating/harassing him/her and/or his/her family;
Trespass upon, or unlawful entry into, any property owned, leased, rented or used by a Judicial Office Holder;
Threats made online or via social media.
3.1 Police Responsibilities:
Where an incident is reported under Op Sabanum:
Comply with Victim Code requirements and practice;
Give careful consideration as to who takes the Judicial Office Holder’s statement, particularly if they were subject to any high-impact crime, especially assault or hate crime;
Secure best evidence to maximise the chances of prosecution;
Capture learning from incidents and feed it back through training or briefings;
Once an incident is reported to the police it must be clearly established whether the Judicial Office Holder is a victim of an offence in the workplace/public place or whether the incident occurred at their home address. The Police will investigate the matter fully and consider if Op Sabanum applies, where there is an ongoing significant threat;
Judicial Office Holders will be kept informed in accordance with the Victims Code of Practice of the progression of the investigation;
The Head of Criminal Justice Department or their deputy must be notified of all cases at the outset of the investigation, regardless of the disposal by the investigating Officer;
The Head of the Criminal Justice Department SPOC will be responsible for maintaining an overview of any cases under investigation;
Regular liaison will be maintained, as required by the circumstances, between the Head of the Criminal Justice Department SPOC and HMCTS Regional Security Officer and, outside working hours, the HMCTS Security and Safety team (0203 334 0824).
4.0 Implications of the Policy
4.1 Finance / Staffing / Training / Other
There are no foreseeable financial implications as a result of this policy.
Currently the training of staff is provided centrally by Essex Police College.
Training needs for new legislation and changes to Essex Police procedures are identified by Line Managers and Command Teams.
4.2 Risk Assessment(s)
Minimal Risk to Officers and Force any incidents reported will be Risk Assessed at the time based on the information received and an appropriate response made.
4.3 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA - Pending.
This policy has been reviewed by the Head of Criminal Justice, the Federation, UNISON, Health and Safety and the Equality and Diversity Department.
6.0 Monitoring and Review
This policy will be monitored by the Criminal Justice Command and updated when required. A review of this policy will take place every 24 months.
7.0 Related Force policies or related procedures
F 0301 Procedure – Judicial Harassment
7.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
7.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
8.0 Other Source Documents, e.g. Legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Partnership Agreements, Force Forms (if applicable)
National Protocol agreed with the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) the Judicial Office and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS)