“..Let one anecdote stand in for the bigger picture. The Tories sold half the magistrates’ courts and more than a third of county courts in England and Wales between 2010 and 2020, and about 600 police stations. The same government is engaged in a screeching U-turn today and trying to deal with the tens of thousands of Covid-delayed trials by opening “Nightingale courts”, although I doubt that Florence Nightingale would have sent the lowliest British soldier in Crimea to our fetid prisons.
Bewildered detectives reported to former chief crown prosecutor Nazir Afzal that a police station in the north-west was included in the fire sale and an organised crime group bought it. The gang run it as a pizza restaurant and a front for the distribution of drugs – “extra toppings”. Afzal tells me police intelligence heard the gangsters “crowing” about getting one over on their old adversaries….” (extract)
Full article here: Nick Cohen www.theguardian.com