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Image credit: BBC , Dixon of Dock Green, Jack Warner

The Bobby on the Bay Life Beat: Local resident, retired police officer, Paul Smith, keep tabs on new crime prevention in the community. In simple lay terms he looks at matters from how to make your garden shed secure, to the finer point of the law, based on his 24 year experiences as a Bobby on the Beat in Brighton.

Notebook, The Blue Pencil, is published in print in the Pevensey Bay Journal. Here we republish his account of the term Robbery, first published in the Pevensey Bay Journal, edition 21, 29 September 2018.

He says “in the absence of a community beat officer here in Pevensey Bay, I am posting a kind of crime prevention section, one of my jobs was to give crime prevention talks to various bodies.” With a nod to his sense of public duty as a policeman, and with characteristic wit, he posts to the Bay Life web platform online, around 6:30pm on Saturday night, the time Dixon of Dock Green was broadcast on BBC1. The programme was voted second most popular programme on British TV in 1961.

Robbery
A person is guilty of robbery if he STEALS and IMMEDIATELY before or at the time of doing so and in order to do so, uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.

Now as a layman I would say that in these modern times we can replace the word “force” with violence, but as a retired constable I know that the word force covers many actions. Robbery is the only offence of aggravated theft. There are no offences of aggravated robbery. There must be evidence of theft. There must be a threat of violence or force before the theft takes place.

If the offender steals your purse or mobile phone but then threatens you this is not robbery.

If the offender makes you believe that you are in danger of violence against your person even without a weapon on show it is robbery. The violence can only be directed against you not property. If there is a threat against property this could be considered as blackmail.

Robbery is an indictable-only offence so would be heard at Crown Court and the maximum legal punishment is imprisonment for life.

So offender comes up to you pulls out a knife or weapon and says give me your mobile or wallet etc and you fear that he will hurt you then that is robbery.

Evening all.

Paul Smith