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Found 122 results

  1. A police van was caught on camera toying with an apparent queue jumper by repeatedly nudging forward to stop them making a last-minute cut in on a slip road. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4450954/Police-van-BLOCKS-queue-jumping-driver.html I guess a lot of people will be glad the police blocked the "last minute" driver, but was it the right thing to do? Safety of other road users travelling in that lane? Good to have a word with them, regarding their driving?
  2. Faults with Police Scotland's body-worn video camera system are increasing at a time when the force is considering a national rollout, the BBC understands. More than 300 issues were logged including the assigning of devices to officers and downloading of footage. Numbers are low but data obtained by the BBC shows some officers called the system "inoperative" and "unusable". Police Scotland said most problems had been with the force's own computers, not the cameras. Ch Insp Nick Topping added that the number of reported defects were low considering the devices had been deployed "tens of thousands of times across four years". Body-worn cameras were trialled for 18 months in Aberdeen before the scheme was subsequently rolled out across the Moray and Aberdeenshire divisions in 2012. Smaller and lighter than a mobile phone, the devices are worn on the upper body and are typically used during city centre patrols, events and drug searches. A freedom of information request revealed the force has 385 cameras deployed across its divisions, with an additional 49 set aside for the FoCUS team which polices football matches. A 2014 review showed that early guilty pleas were obtained in 91% of cases where the camera footage formed part of the evidence, allowing 697 officers to be on the streets rather than in the courts. Half of these guilty pleas were also submitted at "first calling" meaning officers did not have to prepare additional paperwork for the Crown Office. Police Scotland officers also stated that the cameras helped de-escalate potentially dangerous situations involving aggressive individuals. But, at a time when Police Scotland is conducting a "scoping exercise"regarding a nationwide deployment of these cameras, data obtained by BBC Scotland revealed the number of faults reported with the body-worn camera system doubled over a three-year period. View the detailed fault report data here. In total officers logged 302 faults in the force's IT portal since 2013, with the number of issues doubling from 57 in 2014, to 120 in 2016. Deployed up to 50,000 times annually, it has been claimed the number of reported incidents each year indicate a failure rate of only 0.03%. However, the number of reports could actually be greater as the force said individuals may have reported the issue directly to a colleague rather than using the IT portal. The force's portal also has no specific search field for camera-related reports, meaning BBC Scotland had to provide a list of specific terms with which to search their system. 'Unusable' system The bulk of the problems logged related not to the cameras themselves, but officers being unable to log the cameras in and out. The majority of issues came from stations in Aberdeen and Banff where the number of reports quadrupled and trebled respectively between 2014 and 2016. A Police Scotland document which outlines the operating procedures for the cameras states that "the units will only function if they have been assigned using the 'My Witness' software to an officer". One officer in Stonehaven reported: "The BWV [Body Worn Video] system is not recognising any BWV cameras which renders the system unusable. "Footage cannot be downloaded and the cameras cannot be allocated to officers." Another officer in Inverurie reported a similar issue logging out cameras and stated: "This is an officer safety issue as we cannot issue BWV cameras until this is fixed". One officer in Aberdeen reported errors with eight "faulty" cameras; other officers in Banff, Lossiemouth, Forres, Huntly, Torry, and Aboyne reported none of their cameras could be used. The data obtained by BBC Scotland also revealed other issues including downloading and locating footage, the charging of devices, broken camera mounts, and one camera which was found by officers to be recording audio at all times even when it was not activated to record. However, Ch Insp Topping said the impact of the reported faults was marginal, and that the majority of the issues were down to user error or computers rather than the cameras themselves. He said: "Our computers run 24/7...so sometimes what happens is a computer needs a reboot". "And that's why there's been some recorded issues because we've asked officers to make sure they record any issues." However, the increase in reports, and the revelation that the same issues are repeatedly encountered by the same officers, suggest a reboot may not always be the solution. One officer reported that "the body worn video system based at Fraserburgh Police Office is inoperative". The officer said: "All cameras are in the charging base but none are registering as being there and no footage can be accessed. "We have re-set the system but still nothing." Infrastructural and funding challenges Ch Insp Topping added that many of the devices were now more than four years old. He said: "So they're coming to the end of their lifetime cycle, and we're in the process of refreshing a number at the moment because the battery for some is not holding a charge. "So the actual issues with the BWVs has been minor because we've deployed these tens of thousands of times across four years." But Andrea MacDonald, chairwoman of the Scottish Police Federation, said there were concerns over a national deployment of the system, as well as its integration with the rest of the criminal justice system. She said: "[We] are largely supportive of anything that could help our members welfare and to protect them and the public...however what concerns us just now is that we have serious issues with our IT infrastructure, and we just don't think it's capable of supporting body-worn cameras at the present time. "And the finances required will be a large sum of money which again, in the current cash-strapped situation, we're concerned that the service don't have the funding for it." Sir Stephen House, the force's former chief constable, told the Scottish Police Authority in June 2015 that "the cost would be more than several million pounds to roll out body worn cameras across the force and the money was not available at the present time". The adoption of the devices by the Metropolitan Police last October is costing the London force approximately £1m a year. And at a time of a £200m financial gap, Police Scotland confirmed no new cameras have been purchased since April 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-39730665
  3. A California man has been arrested after attacking a crime prevention robot in a car park, police say. The Knightscope machine was on patrol outside the Silicon Valley company that created it when the alleged attacker approached, witnesses say. The 300lb (136kg) robot raised the alarm after it was allegedly knocked over by 41-year-old Jason Sylvain. He said he was an engineer who wanted to "test" the machine, said a Knightscope representative. Mr Sylvain has been charged with public intoxication in the 19 April incident. The robot suffered a few scratches, but has "recuperated" and is back on patrol, said Knightscope. The latest on robots Scary robots that want to be useful The robot that wants to go to university "It did what it was designed to do," said company spokesman Stacy Dean Stephens. Alarms on the 5ft (150cm) tall robot, which is known as K5, sounded after it was knocked down, said Knightscope. A company employee went outside to stall the man until Mountain View police could arrive. A police spokeswoman said they were dispatched to the car park after a report of a prowler. They said Mr Sylvain "appeared confused, had red, glassy eyes and a strong odour of alcohol emitted from him". One local man told ABC News it was not a fair fight. "I think this is a pretty pathetic incident because it shows how spineless the drunk guys in Silicon Valley really are because they attack a victim who doesn't even have any arms," said Eamonn Callon. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39725535
  4. 'Fair, robust and transparent' model which was proposed in 2015 has not been introduced but officer who would have felt biggest impact says he doesn't lose sleep over issue. The outgoing chief constable of the force which was set to gain the most from the botched reform of the police funding formula, says he wonders if its effects will ever be felt. Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon, who retires next week after almost ten years in charge of the force, was asked by Police Oracle if he felt his constabulary had been affected by the abandoned changes. In November 2015 the Home Office withdrew changes which it had earlier said would make central government funding “fair, robust and transparent”. Under the first departmental proposal Derbyshire Constabulary would have been around £20 million a year better off, under the second they would have had a £7 million boost. CC Creedon said: “It doesn’t cause me sleepless nights but if you’re going to have a funding formula, implement it. “Do I worry about it? If I’m cynical it’s not going to ever happen, so let’s get on and not try to have a spending profile based on ‘it might happen’. “If it ever gets done and Derbyshire comes out to the positive it will take so many years and it will be damped over about a decade that the benefits will be marginal. “I think the problem with the police funding formula is that it’s a reduced cake, and there’s always going to be people who are winners and losers.” He pointed out many parts of “critical infrastructure” which are done on a cross-force basis through collaboration don’t have secure funding, unlike forces and national agencies and that this is lacking in discussions around the formula. CC Creedon also highlighted the contradiction between the government’s introduction of police and crime commissioners, and a cap on the amount they can raise local taxes by. He said that in force areas like Derbyshire a 2 per cent increase on council tax counts for far less than in force areas where house prices are higher. “I think it’s a nonsense for national government to give freedom to PCCs who are elected democratically by local people but they are not given freedom about what they can do with their budget. “The model as described to me was: that they are elected, they are accountable and the ballot box will be their sanction. So if they raise the precept [by more than 2 per cent] and the public don’t like it they’re held to account through the ballot box, and by the police and crime panel. “I think the truth is that there are some forces better funded than others and that’s not acceptable to me. It can’t be right that if you’re in Essex you have a certain level of policing, in Hertfordshire you have another and Bedfordshire you have another.” In a separate interview Derbyshire PCC Hardyal Dhindsa told PoliceOracle.com: “I hope under the new government the funding formula is delivered and we do get a better deal for Derbyshire. “We haven’t historically. The last funding review we’ve still not had the full dampening effect of that done away with, and we’re still underfunded.” In January Policing Minister Brandon Lewis told Parliament that PCCs and chief constables were “very happy with the process we are undertaking and the timescale we are working on and I don’t intend to rush something, I want to make sure we get right”. But Mr Dhindsa said: “That is not true. He certainly wasn’t talking about me, for a start. There are winners and losers, so I’m sure there are certain police and crime commissioners who would not want it to be rushed because whichever permutation they look at they may lose out.” He added that all PCCs in the East Midlands are keen to have the changes “progressed as speedily as possible”. Mr Lewis also said in January: “The Home Office is undertaking a process of engagement with the policing sector and independent experts on reform of the Police Core Grant Distribution Formula. “No decisions will be taken until Ministers have considered the outcome of the Review. Any new formula will be subject to public consultation before implementation.” View on Police Oracle
  5. A dedicated police squad has been set up to protect hospital staff from violent patients amid rising Accident & Emergency chaos http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/17/police-squad-deployed-protect-nhs-staff-attacks/
  6. New ONS stats show more violent crime alongside 5.4 million fraud and computer misuse offences. Posed photo by Katie Collins/PA Wire Knife and gun crime incidents recorded by police rose by more than 10 per cent last year compared with 2015, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. Police recorded 32,448 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in 2016 - a 14pc rise on the year before - bucking a recent trend for falling knife crime. These include rapes, sexual assaults and robberies in which knives or sharp instruments were used. Firearms offences increased by 13pc to 5,864, largely driven by a rise in crimes involving handguns. Overall, police recorded 4.8 million offences in 2016 - a 9pc increase from the year before, which was "thought to reflect changes in recording processes and practices rather than crime". However, the ONS said there had been "smaller but genuine increases" in homicide and knife crime. Overall, there were about 11.5 million incidents of crime in England and Wales after fraud and computer misuse offences were included for the second time. It makes 2016 the first calendar year to include fraud and computer offences, making up 5.4 million of the total, meaning year-on-year comparisons cannot be made. Stripping out the two categories gives a tally of 6.1 million, which the ONS said was not a "statistically significant" change from the previous year. Even though they had "substantially increased" the total, it was still 40pc below the 1995 level when crime figures peaked at 19 million, the ONS said. Rachel Almeida, head of policy for the charity Victim Support, said the figures made "startling reading". She said: "The latest crime survey for England and Wales shows 21pc of the population fell victim to crime last year, that 800,000 of these are children, with more than half suffering violent crime, and that gun and knife crime have seen sharp rises. "More must be done for victims of crime and that is why we are demanding all political parties seize the golden opportunity of the June 8 snap election and put victims at the centre of their policies for crime and policing when they release their manifestos." The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime and incident recording said the figures showed crime levels were "broadly stable compared with recent years". Chief Constable Bill Skelly added: "There are some genuine increases that police forces across the country are responding to, particularly with regard to a 14% rise in knife crime and 13% increase in firearms offences. "The trend - which had been declining for many years but has now begun to climb more sharply - is a key priority for the police service. "Forces will continue to target habitual offenders and conduct wide-ranging proactive operations to seize thousands of illegal weapons before they can be used to cause harm." View on Police Oracle
  7. Chairman of the Scottish Police Federation described the payments a "significant issue" for members The Scottish Police Federation is challenging Police Scotland over special payments to armed officers who protect the royal family on holiday. Police Scotland stopped enhanced payments to officers for the previous two summers for protecting Her Majesty The Queen and the Royals while they holidayed in the Highlands. In the past the force made the payments due to officers being far away from friends and family and remained “on call”. However, the “held in reserve” payments have been ditched as Police Scotland attempts to close a £190 million funding gap by 2021, according to the Sunday Post. The situation has resulted in an officer, backed by the fed, initiating a judicial review of the decision at the highest civil court in Scotland, the Court of Session. The officer bringing the case is one of many who provide protection for the Royals costing an estimated £100 million per year. Prior to the unification of Scottish forces providing protection for the Royals was the responsibility of the eight regional forces dependent on where the Windsors were. This meant officers were able to return home after being on duty and, as such, did not qualify for the payments. Police Scotland argue the officers based at Balmoral do not qualify for the payments despite them being enshrined in rules by the Police Negotiating Board. A decision on the matter is expected in the next few weeks and general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation Calum Steele says they had “little option” but to pursue the matter legally. He said: “This is a significant issue for our officers. “The force has changed its approach to the reimbursement of officers and we are challenging it. “We have tried to resolve this long before the Court of Sessions action but feel little option but to go down the legal route.” A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “We will not comment on this as it involves an active legal case.” View on Police Oracle
  8. Police have hit back at a national newspaper after it pictured a group of officers having a cup of tea at a Devon seaside cafe. This morning the Sun newspaper ran a story which stated that eight uniformed police officers stopped for a 45 minute break while on shift for a cuppa and a bacon sarnie at a cafe on the promenade at Plymouth Hoe http://www.devonlive.com/police-shame-the-sun-as-officers-pictured-drinking-tea-at-seaside-cafe-in-devon/story-30271556-detail/story.html
  9. The Scottish Police Federation (SPF) has said a violent incident in Glasgow raised questions about whether officers can protect the public. SPF chairwoman Andrea MacDonald said it was "deeply worrying" that no armed officers were dispatched. The attacker in Thursday's incident injured two people before inflicting fatal injuries on himself. Police Scotland has insisted that the incident did not require the presence of armed officers. One of the victims of the attack was reported to be in a stable condition in hospital with injuries to his shoulder and arm. The other victim, a community warden, was allowed home after treatment. Ms MacDonald said: "Had the assailant been intent on harming large numbers of the public, he could have done so with impunity and the police would have been largely powerless to stop him. "Whilst not detracting in any way from the courage of the police officers who attended, the fact no armed officers were dispatched to a man attacking others with knives and an axe should be deeply worrying. "Glasgow is a city with an almost permanent armed police presence but they were not dispatched and they did not attend." She added: "This lays bare the myth that the service adequately risk-assesses incidents prior to deploying resources and that as a service we are capable of protecting the public from spontaneous incidents of extreme violence." The SPF annual conference - last month - heard calls for all officers to carry Tasers and for there to be an increase in the number of armed officers. Police Scotland has rejected these calls and stressed the value of retaining a largely unarmed police service. Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson said: "Police Scotland, along with the rest of the UK, prides itself in being an unarmed service with access to specialist firearms support whenever required. "Yesterday's incident in Glasgow city centre was a dynamic and fast-moving incident. Local officers responded rapidly and contained and dealt with it quickly. "This was not a random attack. It was planned and targeted, and armed officers were not required to attend on this occasion." Detectives have appealed for information about what they said was a "targeted" and pre-planned attack. The incident has been referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-39604233
  10. London gun owners are asking questions of the Metropolitan Police after the force seemingly handed the addresses of 30,000 firearm and shotgun owners to a direct mail marketing agency for a commercial firm's advertising campaign. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/19/met_police_30000_gun_owner_data_breach/
  11. Yes, policing has seen stability in this parliament – if your idea of stability is to be left constantly questioning what is going to happen and when things are going to get done, writes Ian Weinfass. Less than a year after becoming Prime Minister, the politician who had been the longest serving Home Secretary of modern times has called a general election in order to “guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead”. "Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership, and since I became prime minister the government has delivered precisely that,” she proclaimed. The 2015-2017 Parliament will be the shortest since 1974 – but what certainty has it given to the country’s police officers? About the only one I can think of is that next to no one expects a pay rise of more than one per cent ever again. On so many other issues, nothing but questions remain. Former Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement that police funding will be protected in this parliament now reaches its expiry date in seven weeks. Will it now be discarded, preserved or, like new chocolate bars, made even smaller while pretending its the same size? Police funding rises to the top of the political agenda following terror attacks but then always disappears from view faster than an NPCC discussion about compulsory severance. So, will it even get a look-in during the campaign as Brexit, the NHS and education take centre stage? The waiting game Around three times as long has now been spent revising the police funding formula to try to remove the errors from it than was spent consulting on its first draft. “Demographics and demands on policing have dramatically changed in parts of the country and policing in general is completely different” since the formula was last revised – the then-Policing Minister told me in early 2015. His job has since been expanded to cover the fire service - and taken from him and given to someone else. Yet the wait for fair funding based on the modern world goes on. I’ve previously drawn a comparison between the failure to negotiate a funding formula from a budget entirely controlled by government (responsibility of T May), and the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. And those will need a higher level of technical knowledge in discussions with 27 other countries (responsibility of T May). If the latter goes as well as the former, we may as well quit the negotiations before they begin. After all there is only a 24-month time limit for Brexit, whereas at this rate the police funding formula consultation will probably be retired after 30 years. Elsewhere, former Prime Minister David Cameron’s review of protections for firearms officers was ordered in December 2015 after fears that those who used their weapons in order to protect the public would face increasingly face criminal investigations. He departed a few months later, but we have been told that the review continues. The recent heated-debates-via-public-statement between the IPCC and the NPCC, Police Federation and others about post incident procedures may have overshadowed the fact that we are still waiting for clarity from the top on the central issues. A national armed police force was mooted in 2015, producing uncertainty at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, MOD Police and British Transport Police. While quietly advising that no full-blown merger would take place this parliament, the government said it would continue to work across Whitehall to “integrate infrastructure policing”. What now? There are many other issues which we simply do not know the likely trajectory of beyond the next couple of weeks (direct entry for chief officers, counter-extremist legislation and potential electoral fraud prosecutions among them). So yes, policing has seen stability in this parliament – if your idea of stability is to be left constantly questioning what is going to happen and when things are going to get done. View on Police Oracle
  12. A herd of up to 60 cows are standing on a train platform in Kent, delaying Southern Rail trains. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/herd-of-60-cows-invade-station-platform-in-hever-forcing-southern-rail-to-delay-trains-a3515716.html I bet everyone that herd that announcement thought it was just another excuse from Southern Railway!!!
  13. In response to the stats, the Home Office claims its reforms are working. Britain's largest police force has recorded a surge in violent, gun and knife crime in what officers warned is a national phenomenon. Scotland Yard registered annual rises across a number of serious offence categories in the last 12 months, following several years of falls. There were jumps in robbery, theft, violence, gun and knife crime in 2016/17 in London and police say the pattern is being replicated around the country. The disclosures will reignite the debate over resources following warnings from a string of senior figures over the impacts of further budget squeezes on forces. They also come weeks after watchdogs issued a stark warning over the "potentially perilous" state of British policing, and lay bare the challenges facing new Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick. Statistics published by the Metropolitan Police show that: Gun crime increased by more than two fifths (42%) year-on-year with 2,544 offences recorded in 2016/17 Knife crime jumped by almost a quarter (24%), with more than 4,000 offences involving blades resulting in an injury The total number of offences recorded by the force rose by nearly 4.6% from 740,933 to 774,737 Violence against the person crimes were up by 4.7% while there were also increases in robberies (12%), sex offences (9%) and theft (7%) There were 110 homicides - one more than the previous year Sanction detection rates - the proportion of cases where action is taken against a suspect such as a charge or caution - were down across a number of categories As the figures were released, officers raised the alarm over a shift in knife crime which has seen the proportion of youngsters carrying blades who are affiliated with gangs fall from around a third to approximately a quarter. Officers reported an increasing trend for youths in the capital to keep blades on them for protection rather than in order to carry out crime. Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said: "Young people carrying knives are doing so for a variety of reasons including status, criminality and self-protection but only around a quarter are affiliated with gangs. "There is a phenomenon of people feeling that you need to carry a knife to be safe. There is a lot greater sense that 'I need this to protect myself'. The problem comes when you then get a confrontation." The Met has launched investigations into three separate fatal stabbings in the capital since the start of the week. On the overall crime figures, Mr Hewitt insisted that London is "one of the safest global cities in the world". He said: "Similar to the rest of England and Wales, crime rates in London are rising, but many of these are still at a much lower level than five years ago and are against the backdrop of significant reductions in resources." The force has closed dozens of police stations and lost hundreds of staff as it made savings totalling hundreds of millions of pounds since 2010, although officer numbers have remained broadly steady at around 31,000. Deputy London Mayor for Policing Sophie Linden, said: "These figures are deeply disturbing, and a stark reminder of the enormous pressure our police are under every day as they work so tirelessly to protect us." In response to the worrying figures the Home Office highlighted improvements in violent crime rates elsewhere but acknowledged more had to be done. A spokeswoman said: "Police reform is working, with the latest ONS figures showing crimes traditionally measured by the (British Crime) Survey have fallen by a third since 2010 to a record low, with over 370,000 fewer violent crimes a year. "Every violent crime is a significant concern and this Government is taking action to tackle it and keep our communities safe, including through actions set out in our Modern Crime Prevention Strategy. "Last year, we banned zombie knives, extended our work with retailers to prevent underage sales of knives and supported police in a week of action where they seized more than 1,200 weapons and made 300 arrests. "We know there is more to be done. We will continue to work with the police, retailers and voluntary groups to tackle knife crime and ensure support is available for victims of gang violence and exploitation." View on Police Oracle
  14. The officer had been making inquiries following complaints about travellers in the area... but couldn't resist a go when he spotted the empty playpark https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3344570/fun-loving-policeman-takes-break-from-job-to-have-a-go-on-a-zipline-as-he-larks-about-in-kids-playground/ Must be a slow news day...
  15. Over 1,300 police officers are suing the PSNI chief constable George Hamilton for holiday pay. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/1300-police-officers-to-sue-psni-chief-hamilton-for-holiday-pay-35622714.html
  16. Oversight of second emergency service will transfer to the politicians if approved by Home Office Nine police and crime commissioners have been given a share of £1 million to help with their proposals to take over local fire services. The money comes from the Home Office, which will also have the final say on whether the hoped-for takeovers can go ahead. PCCs for Sussex, West Mercia, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and North Yorkshire have been granted a slice of the cash. Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Brandon Lewis said: “PCCs taking on responsibility for fire and rescue services will lead to the same level of public accountability for both services. “I am pleased to support those PCCs who are developing proposals to take on governance of local fire and rescue services.” The Home Office says the money “will ensure that the work and knowledge gained is properly disseminated amongst the policing community”. But not all of the PCCs who are being granted the cash are fully committed to taking on fire service governance. Gloucestershire’s Martin Surl has previously told PoliceOracle.com that he has a “genuinely open mind” and wants to commission research on the issue. Others such as Essex’s Roger Hirst and Hertfordshire’s David Lloyd have said they want to take over from fire authorities, and have already set out their plans to do so. View on Police Oracle
  17. The 11-year-old police-mad boy managed to raise £150,000 for Brain Tumour Research before he died. The force surprised the family of Finlay Church at his old school with the pooch A new West Midlands Police dog has been named in memory of a boy who dreamed of becoming a police officer. German Shepherd Finn is named after 11-year-old Finlay Church who managed to raise over £150,000 for Brain Tumour Research and Birmingham Children’s Hospital before he died from brain cancer in November 2015. The boy, who had a passion for policing, organised a series of fundraisers after his diagnosis including achieving a world record for the longest line of teddies. After making an “unforgettable” impression on staff when he achieved a long held ambition to spend a couple of days with the force, they decided to name one of their latest crime fighting hounds in his honour. Police staff surprised Finlay’s family by arriving at his old Alvechurch Middle School with the 12-week-old pup last Friday while they were organising a fundraising Wear A Hat Day in aid of brain tumour research. Finlay’s mum Penny said: "This is the most wonderful gesture to have a police dog named in honour of Fin. "West Midlands Police has always been incredibly supportive of us and our fundraising work and to keep Fin’s legacy alive in this way is very humbling. “He loved dogs and desperately wanted to be an armed response officer so this really is a fitting tribute. “We can’t thank the Dogs Unit enough for enabling police dog Finn to live out Fin’s aspirations." Family, friends and the force have carried on raising money for Brain Tumour Research and last year West Midlands Police hats helped to set an unusual record relating to headwear placed in a row as part of their efforts. Sergeant Phil McMullen, who took part in some of the charity events, said: "Finlay was an aspiring police officer and we were all deeply saddened when he passed away. "He wanted to help others which is one of the greatest qualities a PC can have "We had discussed the idea of naming a police dog after Finlay and this seemed a nice time to surprise his family. "Finn the dog struck up an instant bond with them and we hope he will soon be out on the beat to help the public - just like his namesake." Read on Police Oracle
  18. Humberside Police are offering a member of the public a "rare opportunity" to visit the force's command hub to watch 999 calls coming in. http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/police-offer-rare-chance-for-you-to-watch-999-calls-coming-in/story-30270113-detail/story.html
  19. MIAMI — Authorities say a man packing a blue light and a BB gun pulled over a nondescript car on Interstate 95, ready to play “traffic cop” again. Bad move: The driver he pulled over is a real police detective. http://nypost.com/2017/04/14/police-impersonator-messes-with-wrong-guy/ [emoji1]
  20. British Transport police say incident at Livingston North station near Edinburgh could have derailed a train https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/apr/14/police-hunt-youths-ladder-railway-tracks-livingston-north-edinburgh
  21. We are impressed by five prisoners in the US who built two personal computers from parts, hid them behind a plywood board in the ceiling of a closet, and then connected those computers to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's (ODRC) network to engage in cybershenanigans. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/12/prisoners_built_computer_connected_to_states_network/ Maybe using prisoners to recycle tech kit is a bad idea??
  22. The sun may be shining on the Killarney lakes this week, but the Garda Síochána is operating under a cloud. The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) began its annual conference in County Kerry at a difficult time for the Republic of Ireland's police force. This week will also see the Dáil (Irish parliament) debate a vote of confidence in Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan. Issues of pay and conditions usually dominate the AGSI gathering: In December, members voted overwhelmingly to accept an independent labour court offer. Timeline of Garda controversies Public unease This year, delegates gather at a time when there is great public unease about the force's culture and leadership. Earlier this month, the government announced a "root-and-branch" review of how the Garda carries out its work after a number of worrying revelations. In March, it emerged that gardaí recorded nearly one million more roadside alcohol tests than had actually been carried out in a five-year period to 2016 - almost twice the real figure. Senior officers conceded it was likely some of the 937,000 tests were simply made up by members of the force. Commissioner O'Sullivan said the bogus breath tests were due to incompetence at best, and deception at worst. At the same news conference, senior officers revealed that about 14,700 people convicted in the courts were prosecuted without a fixed-charge notice first being issued. Gardaí, who have apologised to those affected, now have to appeal against all those convictions and have the court-imposed penalties removed. The state has to cover all costs, estimated to run into millions of euro. It is not the first time Garda numbers have been called into question. Last September, the Central Statistics Office said that gardaí were not recording up to one in six of crimes on their computer system, which meant, either intentionally or unintentionally, inflating their crime detection rate. 'An ethical matter'' The Policing Authority, an independent body that oversees the performance of the Garda Síochana, says the road traffic offences and breathalyser controversy "is not just an academic, statistical matter, it is an ethical one". It also says the controversy raises serious questions of integrity for the Garda Síochana organisation and, combined with previous issues regarding inflated activity levels, erodes confidence in the credibility of Garda data generally. All of this is also happening at a time when there is a question mark over the future of Commissioner O'Sullivan. Even before the latest controversies, she was already under pressure over her alleged involvement in a campaign to smear a garda whistleblower, Sgt Maurice McCabe, with the false allegation that he was a child sex abuser. She strongly denies the charge, which will be investigated by a sworn public inquiry headed by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton. On Wednesday at 16:30 BST, Sinn Féin is to table a motion of no confidence in her leadership of the force, with a vote the following day. 'Huge question mark' She can only be sacked by the government, or by the Policing Authority, but if the Dáil passes such a motion there has to be a huge question mark over her stewardship of the Garda Siochana. Much will depend on what way the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, votes. It has said it cannot express confidence in the commissioner until credible explanations are given for the latest roadside controversies. The party, which supports the minority government in motions of government confidence and on budgetary matters, is to put down its own motion seeking more powers for the Policing Authority. 'Under a cloud It is calling for the authority to be asked to assess whether it has confidence in Commissioner O'Sullivan's capacity to restore confidence in the force. That looks very like Fianna Fáil looking for a way not to support the Sinn Féin motion. So, the expectation must be that the Dáil will not vote that it has no confidence in Commissioner O'Sullivan, which is not quite the same thing as saying it has confidence in her. Whichever way the vote goes, the Garda Síochána will remain a force under a cloud until the whistleblowers issues and the "root and branch" review are dealt with. And it is likely the AGSI at its conference next year, wherever that might be, will be dealing the fall-out of similar controversies. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39555772
  23. A mental health practitioner will accompany police officers to incidents involving mental health issues under the scheme. A previously successful trial where nurses pair with officers responding to calls involving mental issues is returning to Kent. The pilot by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) and Kent Police will run in Thanet over the next few months when demand for attendance at mental health related incidents is high. Kent Police detained 1,256 people under section 136 of the Mental Health Act in 2016 and chief superintendent Rachel Curtis hopes the triage team will help officers make “informed decisions”. She said: “The street triage scheme will mean a qualified medical professional attending mental health related incidents in Thanet that have been reported to the police. “Our police officers receive mental health training the same way they receive first aid training but they are not medical experts. “The pilot will mean those in crisis will receive qualified medical help and the officers will have on-the-scene advice from an expert to make informed decisions. “The number one priority here is making sure those suffering a mental health crisis get the most appropriate care and treatment.” The street triage scheme is the latest in a number measures KMPT and Kent Police have put in place to address mental health in police incidents in the county. KMPT’s Director of Transformation, Vincent Badu, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the delivery of this pilot scheme, which will offer a local response to anyone in crisis. “The scheme demonstrates the importance of partnership working and, through the Concordat, we have agreed joint outcomes and measures which will enable us to capture all the improvements achieved.” Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott says he will be “keeping a close eye” on the progress of the initiative. He said: “Cases involving mental health now amount for around a third of Kent Police time. “I am pleased to see the return of a street triage scheme. “I will be keeping a close eye on the scheme to see whether it helps deliver against the priorities set out within my Safer in Kent Plan. “I also continue to welcome bids to my Mental Health and Policing Fund from projects which free up police officers’ time while also ensuring that people in mental health crisis get the right support from the right person. “The increased time police spend dealing with mental health is unsustainable nationally so I will be discussing the triage outcomes with my fellow PCCs and Government so that other force areas can decide whether they wish to replicate this scheme in their own communities.” View on Police Oracle
  24. Police sent to investigate an incident at a supermarket were dispatched in the wrong city more than 140 miles away. A door had been damaged at Tesco in Aberdeen's Great Western Road, but officers were instead sent to Glasgow's Great Western Road Tesco store. More than three hours after the initial call on 3 April, officers were sent to the correct store. The closure of the Police Scotland control room and call centre in Aberdeen happened last month. Non emergency calls are now handled at centres in Glasgow, Motherwell and Midlothian. And emergency calls are passed via central service centre responders to the North Area Control Room in Dundee for dispatch. 'Further information' Supt Matt Richards, of Police Scotland's Contact Command Control Division, said: "A call was received at around 5.30am in relation to damage caused to a door on Great Western Road which had taken place overnight. "The call was graded appropriately based on the initial information provided and allocated to officers. "After receiving further information about the location of the store, officers in Aberdeen were in attendance by 8.50am that morning. "Enquiries into the incident are currently ongoing." The Scottish Police Authority previously said Aberdeen's emergency control room would only be closed when it was safe to do so. The move is part of Police Scotland's cost-cutting plan to centralise control rooms. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-39567057 Ooops!
  25. NPCC Chairman, writing exclusively for Police Oracle, says balance between full investigation and fair treatment of armed police officers must be found. Police officers who serve as part of firearms units are volunteering themselves for an immensely difficult and dangerous role that will put them in harm’s way. While the rest of us take cover, armed officers rush into the face of danger. They deserve more than just our thanks and respect. To do their job, armed officers need our active support. At Chief Constables Council which I chaired last week, we discussed current draft statutory guidance submitted by the IPCC for handling incidents when a weapon is discharged causing death or serious harm, all ‘key policing witnesses’ – including officers themselves – should be separated from one another. While we understand that in some circumstances this might be required, this will frequently be unnecessary. DCC Simon Chesterman, our national firearms lead, has been working with the IPCC on these draft procedures. He has publicly raised our concerns about the draft guidance on our behalf. He does so with my full support and the total confidence of all chief constables. Post-incident procedures must strike a balance between robust investigation by independent bodies and fair treatment of officers involved. It is not necessary to always separate officers from their team during what is a traumatic experience. Under existing College of Policing guidance, the officers are under constant supervision by an appointed senior officer and their sole purpose is to prevent any conferring. The IPCC also has the right to be present and observe all the post-incident procedures to verify their integrity. The Court of Appeal has recognised this guidance as providing reasonable safeguards against collusion. I wrote to the Home Secretary about these concerns last year and cited a survey conducted by the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime in which 82 per cent of surveyed armed officers were not comfortable with these proposed changes. These changes could make it more difficult to recruit more volunteers to take up an armed role. In this uncertain climate and severe risk level we need more trained armed police officers to tackle the threats we face. We intend to keep working with the IPCC and Government to find the right balance and ensure that our processes reflect the support that our officers deserve. View on Police Oracle