Wasting police time – a new role for the Jobcentre ?

> The following was forwarded by email and is reproduced with permission.

Hi,I  enjoy reading your blog, I felt i had to write to someone to express my astonishment at the actions of Killingworth (North Tyneside)  job centre.

My son has just been sanctioned by them. He asked for a hardship form to get some kind of help.

I know he shouldn’t have done but in filling it in he said he might have to resort to shoplifting to survive !

Very much to my surprise at about 6.30pm tonight was a loud knock on the the door my partner answered to be confronted by 2 policemen.They asked for my son by name, they asked if he had written those things on the from.

He said he had because he was very annoyed with being sanctioned, they asked if he was intending to go shoplifting, he said no, they both laughed at the stupidity of the situation, apologized for disturbing us and left.

I just cannot think why the job centre informed the police as no crime was commited, just them being vindictive i think!

Anyway got that off my chest and keep up the good work!!
best regards,John

> John added that I have contacted my MP Alan Campbell and his assistant spoke to my son and they are taking it up with the jobcentre, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

I often think I’m immune to being suprised when it comes to the behaviour of some Jobcentre staff, but the fact that someone actually took it upon themselves to contact the police and make a complaint…I think anyone with any sense would see a comment like that for what it was – an expression of frustration, and surely they must have heard similar sentiments many times.

Perhaps it was the fact it was in writing that caused them to take this action. I guess the moral is, say it but don’t put it in writing.

I just hope the police get back to the complainant and caution them about wasting police time.



  1. joy

    A similar incident happened in my town: A man [who had to walk five miles to the jobcentre cos he had no bus fare] was sanctioned for being a few minutes late. He hit the roof and screamed at the advisor: ‘I AM GOING TO THE STORE ACROSS THE ROAD AND I’M GOING TO STEAL FOOD FOR MY KIDS!’
    The police was called and it backfired on the jobcentre [after they heard both sides] and they told the jobcentre to pay him!

  2. Sasson Hann

    Ironic isn’t it? Many of these sanctions are illegal and have even caused deaths, but not one police officer has visited a job centre employee concerning this.

  3. A4e Sucks

    Well, logically if you’ve got no money, what are you supposed to do for food? A foodbank only gives 3 days’ worth and people are limited to 3 referrals a year!

  4. Pingback: Dear DWP: Don’t waste police time – they don’t investigate uncommitted crimes | Vox Political
  5. borderbonkers

    A very similar thing happened to to me a few years ago but with Unison, not the Job Centre. I had been very ill with PTSD and Unison were supporting me. One day I had reason to ring them up, and whilst waiting to speak to my so called welfare officer, the young girl asked me what PTSD was. I gave her a brief description and as an example I said “and it made me feel murderous towards my former employer.” This was at 10.30am and at 2pm I had a copper on my doorstep warning me about making threats to kill! Its not just the JobCentre, I think its just people being stupid. Although I should think there are a lot of stupid and venomous people working in JobCentres. Little Hitlers by the sounds of it.

  6. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Clearly, the police and Jobcentre in this case think they are department of pre-crime, as in the film Minority Report. Mr Weare makes the point that they should have recognised the comment for what it was – an expression of frustration and outrage, rather than a statement of intent. Mike over at Vox Political also states that the Jobcentre should also know that the police only investigate crimes that have actually occurred.
    See also ‘Joy’s’ comment about how something like that happened at a Jobcentre in her town. The coppers in that instance showed eminently better sense than the Jobcentre staff and order them to pay him. It’s unfortunate that the rozzers in this case didn’t have a similar amount of intelligence.

  7. maria

    I thought they were giving food voucher out now when they find people shoplifting food because they had been sanctioned. The state of this country these days is enough to make you feel sick.

  8. Chris

    No big party seems able to offer an end to Jobcentres and work programmes that waste police time and do not offer toilets, toilet breaks or a drink water, which are things that the police and employers have to provide for those they have a duty of care.

    This is a VOTE OR STARVE election like no other in my lifetime and I am close to two thirds of a century old.

    There is a way that the tens of millions of poor, in or out of work, suffering whilst MPs get a £74,000 pay rise this year.
    See how at:

  9. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady

    Wasting Police Time

    It is an offence to cause a wasteful employment of the police by reporting to the police or to any other person that an offence was committed. The person commits an offence if he or she also makes the police think that there is a real danger of safety of a person or a property. The offence is also committed if the person tries to pretend that he or she has relevant information in relation to some police enquiry. This is governed by section 5 of the Criminal Law Act. It is essential to note that proceeding for this offence cannot commence without the consent of the DPP.


    Penalty for this offence is imprisonment for not more than 6 months on summary conviction or a fine. As in Accordance with Penalties for Disorderly Behaviour (Amount of Penalty) Order as amended by Penalties for Disorderly Behaviour (Amount of Penalty) Amendment) Order this offence is a fixed penalty offence and the penalty is £80 for persons aged 16 or over and £40 for under 16 years old persons.

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