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  1. What are your thoughts on this? I tweeted the CoP from my force twitter account and they have confirmed that this review will include the Special Constabulary.
  2. There is further information regarding other areas of the country protesting, but I've kept the quote to just the Warwick University incident. Video is also available at the link. Mainly curious as to people's reactions to this after seeing it mentioned on my Facebook feed, tried to debunk their thinking, and I think I hit most of the major points. Essentially seems like a standard arrest made more challenging by a passive-aggressive crowd with a couple of less passive members, that has been blown out of proportion because it happened to be a protest >_> http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/dec/03/warwick-university-students-police-tuition-fee-protest
  3. PoliceDoge

    Truly Awful News

    I want to keep this brief, as everything is still quite raw at the minute, but Sophie Khan has blocked me on Twitter. It all started when she tweeted: Exclusive report @DefenceHQ police spend £360k on #Tasers - but have used one just ONCE http://t.co/oU8U51cogm via @MailOnline @danbloom1 — Sophie Khan (@khan_sophie) January 17, 2015 So, of course, I shared her concerns, tweeting back: @khan_sophie That's ridiculous! As a taxpayer I demand they Tase more people. How many people do you think they should Tase? One per day? — Jackisback (@JackisbackComps) January 17, 2015 And that was it. She blocked me. I didn't even get to suggest she volunteer as Tasee to boost the numbers.
  4. Bobbie

    WMP Social Media

    This area is for any interesting links relating to West Midlands Police. LPU Social Media Accounts Birmingham North Birmingham South Birmingham East Birmingham West and Central Coventry Dudley Solihull Sandwell Walsall Wolverhampton Command Team DCC Dave Thompson - @DCCDaveThompson ACC Garry Forsyth - @GarryForsythWMP ACC Marcus Beale - @MarcusBeale ACC Carl Foulkes - @accfoulkes Force Departments Central Motorway Policing Group (CMPG) – @CMPG Dogs Unit - @WMPPup Firearms Unit - @firearmswmp Force Contact Centre - @WMPContact Force Traffic Unit - @TrafficWMP Operational Support Unit - @OSU_WMP Police Helicopter - @NPASBirmingham Safer Students - @saferstudents Sentinel Team - @wmpsentinel LGBT Network - @WMPLGBTNetwork Safer Travel Police - @ST_police Force Football Units Force Football Unit - @WMPFootballUnit Aston Villa FC - @WMPVillaFC Birmingham City FC - @WMPBCFC Coventry City FC - @WMPCovFC Walsall FC - @WMPWalsallFC West Bromwich Albion - @WMPAlbionFC Wolverhampton - @WMPWolvesFC Officers Chief Superintendent (Force Contact) - @ChSuptSmallwood Chief Superintendent (Innovation and Integration) - @SalBWMP Chief Superintendent (Operations Unit) - @StuJohnsonWMP Chief Superintendent (Professional Standards) - @PSD_WMP Chief Superintendent (Public Protection Unit) - @PPUCommander Superintendent (Public Protection Unit) - @Suptwhitaker Chief Inspector Kerry Blakeman (Traffic) - @KerryBlakeman Chief Inspector Jack Hadley (FIM) - @JackHadleyWMP Birmingham Taxi Cop - @brumtaxicop Crime Prevention Officer - @CIDCrimePrevent Firearms (Training Officer) - @PCRobPedley Operations Inspector - @LisaRobsonWMP Traffic (Training Officer) - @PCJenningsWMP PD Smithy (Dog & Handler) - @WMPcsiDogSmithy Birmingham East Birmingham Facebook Account Birmingham East on Twitter Birmingham East CCTV Appeals Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams - Birmingham East Acocks Green - @AcocksGreenWMP Balsall Heath - @balsallheathWMP Bordesley Green - @Bordesley_WMP Hall Green - @HallGreenWMP Hodge Hill - @hodgehillpolice Moseley & Kings Heath - @MoseleyKHeath Shard End - @ShardEndPolice Sheldon - @SheldonPolice Sparkbrook - @sparkbrook_WMP Springfield - @SpringfieldWMP South Yardley - @SouthyardleyNHT Stechford and Yardley North - @stechfordpolice Washwood Heath - @Washwood_Police Officers and Departments Birmingham East Partnerships Team - @BEPartnerships Birmingham East Special Constabulary - @BESpecials Birmingham East CCTV - @BrumpoliceCCTV Hall Green CAPT team - @HallGreenCAPT Hodge Hill CAPT team - @HodgeHillCAPT Yardley CAPT team - @YardleyCAPT PC Kamran Tehzeeb - @0186tehzeeb Supt Angie Whitaker - @suptwhitaker Hall Green Constituency - @hallgreenconst Hodge Hill Constituency - @hodgehillconst Yardley Constituency - @yardleyconst BE Magpie Team - @teammagpieBE Chief Inspector Richard Agar - @BhamEastLCT Chief Inspector Ian Green - @ChiefInspGreen Birmingham North Birmingham Facebook Account Birmingham North Police on Twitter Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams - Birmingham North Erdington - @ErdingtonWMP Four Oaks - @FourOaksPolice Kingstanding - @kingstandingNHT Stockland Green - @StocklandGnNHT Sutton - @suttonpolice Tyburn - @TyburnNHT Vesey - @VeseyNHT Officers and Departments Birmingham North Partnerships team - @BNPartnerships Birmingham North CAPT team - @BhamNCAPT Superintendent Richard Youds - @richyouds Sergeant Mark Robinson - @Sgt_MRobinson Sergeant Simon Hensley - @simonhensley PC Mike Lawton - @Mike_Lawton_WMP Prince's Trust Team Programme - @BNPTteam Birmingham South Birmingham Facebook Account Birmingham South Police on Twitter Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams - Birmingham South Bartley Green - @BartleyPolice Billesley - @BillesleyPolice Bournville - @BournvilleNHT Brandwood - @BrandwoodPolice Edgbaston - @edgbastonpolice Hagley Road - @hagleyrdpolice Harborne - @HarborneNHT Longbridge - @LongbridgeWMP Northfield - @NorthfieldNHT Quinton - @QuintonPolice Selly Oak - @SellyOakPolice Weoley - @WeoleyNPT Officers and Departments Birmingham South Partnerships team - @SthBhamPartners Birmingham South Response - @bsresponse University of Birmingham officer - @BrumUniCop PCSO Andy Ryan - @PCSORyanWMP Prince's Trust Team Programme - @BSPTteam Birmingham South CAPT - @BhamSCapt Birmingham West & Central Birmingham Facebook Account Birmingham West & Central on Twitter Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams – Birmingham West and Central Aston - @AstonPolice Birmingham City Centre - @brumcitypolice Digbeth - @DigbethPolice Handsworth Wood - @HandsworthWdNPT Jewellery Quarter - @JQPoliceTeam Ladywood - @LadywoodPolice Lozells - @LEHPolice Nechells Police - @nechellspolice Oscott - @OscottPolice Perry Barr - @PerryBarrNPT Small Heath - @SmallHeathWMP Soho - @SohoPolice Officers and Departments Chief Superintendent - @BrumCommander Birmingham Central Partnerships team - @bwcpartnerships Birmingham Partnership team - @brumpartnership Birmingham Prince's Trust team - @BWCPTTeam Birmingham Theft Team - @brumtheftteam Birmingham Taxi Cop - @bhamtaxicop Birmingham CAPT team - @BWC_CAPT Perry Barr CAPT team - @PerryBarrCAPT Chief Inspector Phil Healy - @CIPhilHealy Inspector Stuart Bill - @Insp_StuartBill Inspector Karen Geddes - @karen_insp5008 Aston University Officer - @AstonUniCop University of Central Birmingham Officer - @UCBUniCop PC Ian Northcott - @BuskingBobby Aston Blue Light Project - @aston_bluelight Chief Inspector Dean Hatton - @DeanHattonWMP Ladywood CAPT team - @ladywoodCAPT Coventry Coventry Facebook Account Coventry Police on Twitter Coventry Police CCTV Appeals Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams – Coventry Bablake and Sherbourne - @BablakeSherborn Binley and Willenhall - @BinleyWhallNPT Cheylesmore – @Cheylesmore_WMP Earlsdon - @Earlsdon_Police Foleshill - @FoleshillPolice Henley - @HenleyPolice Holbrook - @HolbrooksNPT St Michaels (City Centre)- @St_Michaels_NPT Upper Stoke - @UppStoke_Police Westwood – @Westwood_Police Woodlands and Whoberley - @WoodlandsNHT Officers and Departments Chief Superintendent - @CovPolCommander Coventry CCTV team - @CovPolCCTV Coventry Partnerships team - @CovPartnerships Coventry University Officer - @CovUniCop Warwickshire University Officer - @WarwickUniCop North West Sector - @CV_Coordinator Chief Inspector Helen Kirkman - @KirkmanHe Sergeant Ian Bode - @SgtIanBode Special Constable Sam Beckett - @SCBeckettWMP Coventry Magpie Team - @coventrymagpie Dudley Dudley Facebook Account Dudley Police on Twitter Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams – Dudley Brierley Hill - @BrierleyHillNHT Halesowen - @WMPHalesowen Sedgley and Gornal - @SedgleyPolice Stourbridge - @WMPStourbridge St Thomas – @StThomasPolice Officers and Departments Chief Superintendent - @ChSuptJohnson Dudley CID - @DudleyCIDWMP Dudley Offender Management team - @OMDudley Dudley CAPT team - @DudleyCAPT Sergeant James Harrison - @SgtHarrisonWMP Sergeant Jamie Jones - @JJones8157WMP Sergeant Tony Osbourne - @PolicingDudley PC Paul Davies (Young Persons Officer) - @PCPaul999 Sedgley Prince's Trust Team Programme - @SedgleyPTrust Halesowen Prince's Trust Team Programme - @halesowenPT Solihull Solihull Facebook Account Solihull Police on Twitter Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams - Solihull Bickenhill - @BickenhillWMP Chelmsley Wood - @ChelmsleyWdNPT Elmdon and Lyndon - @ElmdonandLyndon Kingsford - @KingsfordNHT Meriden - @MeridenNHT Olton and Silhill - @OltonSilhillNPT Shirley - @Shirley_Police Solihull (Neighbourhood) - @SolihullNHT Smithswood - @SmithswoodNPT St Alphege - @StAlfsPolice Officers and Departments Chief Superintendent - @SolPolCommander Solihull CAPT team - @SolihullCAPT Solihull Response team - @Sol_Response Policing the NEC - @NECCops Solihull Rural team - @SolihullRurals Sandwell Sandwell Facebook Account Sandwell Police on Twitter Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams - Sandwell Abbey - @abbeyWMP Blackheath - @blackheathWMP Bristnall - @bristnallNPT Charlemont and Grove Vale - @charlemontgrove Great Barr - @WMPgreatbarr Great Bridge - @greatbridgeNHT Greets Green & Lyng - @greetsgreenlyng Hateley Heath - @hateleyheathWMP Old Hill & Cradley Heath - @oldhillcradley Old Warley - @oldwarleyNPT Oldbury - @OldburyPolice Princes End - @PrincesEndNHT Rowley - @RowleyWMP Smethwick - WMPSmethwick Soho and Victoria - @SohoVicPolice Tipton Green - @TiptonGreenNPT Wednesbury - @WednesburyNPT Officers and Departments Superintendent Paul Betts - @SuptPaulBetts North Sandwell Sector - @SandwellNPolice South Sandwell CAPT team - @SandwellSCAPT Sandwell Local Priority Team - @SandwellLPT Sandwell Offender Management team - @SandwellOMU Sandwell Response - @SWResponse Sandwell Special Constabulary - @SWSpecials Sergeant Richard Phillips - @Sgt_RPhillips Prince's Trust Team Programme - @SandwellPTteam Supt Paul Betts - @SuptPaulBetts Sandwell CID - @sandwellCID Walsall Walsall Facebook Account Walsall Police on Twitter Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams – Walsall Blakenall - @BlakenallPolice Streetly and Pheasey - @StreetlyPheasey Walsall town centre - @WalsalltownNHT Officers and Departments Walsall CID - @WalsallCID Walsall Central - @WalsallCentral Walsall Partnerships Officer - @KevPittWMP Walsall Young Persons Officer - @WalsallYoung Inspector Anthony Banton - @TonyBantonWMP Sergeant Carl Steventon - @Carlossteve9251 Sergeant Martin Russell - @SgtRussellWMP PC James Ellingworth - @PC_Ellingworth PC Mark Foster - @PCMarkFoster PC Nick Morton – @Morton0121WMP PC Richard Stanley - @PCStanleyWMP PSCO Sam Skinner - @PCSOSkinnerWMP PCSO Peter Cattell - @PCSOCattellWMP Special Constable Kayleigh Rhodes - @SCRhodesWMP Walsall Special Constabulary - @walsallspecials Blogs PC Richard Stanley, Response Officer for Walsall Kevin Pitt, Neighbourhood watch partnerships officer Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Facebook Account Wolverhampton Police on Twitter Wolverhampton CCTV Appeals Local Policing YouTube channel Neighbourhood Teams - Wolverhampton Bilston East - @BilstonEastWMP Bilston North and East Park - @BNorth_EParkWMP Ettingshall - @EttingshallWMP Graiseley - @GraiseleyPolice Heath Town - @HeathTownNPT Low Hill - @lowhillpolice Oxley and Tettenhall - @OxleyTettenhall Penn & Merry Hill - @PennMerryHill Springvale - @SpringvaleWMP St Peters & Park - @StPetersParkWMP Wednesfield - @WednesfieldWMP Officers and Departments Superintendent Keith Fraser - @fraser9529WMP Wolverhampton CID - @WolvesCID Wolverhampton Offender Management team - @WolvesOM Wolverhampton Partnerships - @wvpartnerships Wolverhampton Special Constabulary - @WVspecials Wolverhampton University officer - @WolveUniCop Wolverhampton South District - @SouthWolves Wolverhampton Prince's Trust (Staveley) - @PTStaveley Bilston CAPT team - @BilstonSCAPT Detective Inspector Mark Rushton - @DIRushtonWMP Sergeant Sid James - @SgtSidJames PC Joe Trusselle - @pc6787wmp PC Sian Edwards - @PCEdwardswmp PCSO Courtney Smith - @30159_Smith Other West Midlands Police Accounts Safer Students Facebook account Safer Travel Facebook account West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit Facebook account Mental Health Blog
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  6. Meanwhile in Britain....       (Reuters) - Mondelez International, maker of Cadbury Creme Eggs, has tweaked the recipe of the chocolate shell of its gooey treats ahead of their main Easter selling season, sparking an angry response in Cadbury's home market of Britain.   U.S. group Mondelez said on Monday the Creme Egg would now use a "standard, traditional Cadbury milk chocolate" for its shell, rather than sharing the same recipe as Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate as it has in the past.   The move prompted a furious response from some shoppers in Britain, where trade unions and some politicians were critical of the sale of the near two-centuries-old Cadbury brand to Mondelez's predecessor company, Kraft, in 2010.   "OUTRAGED!" said a woman with the Twitter handle @louise_gaul. "Leave our eggs alone!"   The change only affects Creme Eggs in Britain, since those sold in the United States are manufactured by Hershey.   Mondelez, which last year stopped selling Cadbury chocolate coins, also reduced the number of Creme Eggs sold in its multi-packs to five from six, citing "a range of economic factors".   The price of cocoa based on London futures contracts rose 13.1 percent last year, while the New York price climbed 7.4 percent.   http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/12/uk-britain-cadbury-eggs-idUKKBN0KL1WE20150112?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews&WT.tsrc=Social+Media&WT.z_smid=twtr-reuters_co_uk&WT.z_smid_dest=Twitter&dlvrit=59196
  7. The Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced £1 million in government support for the development of a new memorial to honour the United Kingdom’s Police service, to be built at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The announcement was made at a reception held on behalf of the Police Arboretum Memorial Trust at Number 11 Downing Street, attended by business leaders, Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners.   The Chancellor announced this funding boost for the Police Arboretum Memorial Trust at a reception in No. 11 Downing Street. Speaking at the event the Chancellor said:“The Police across the UK make huge sacrifices to protect us and some, tragically, pay the ultimate price. We must honour them, and this national arboretum Memorial is a powerful idea. With today’s announcement we are using money raised from fines on those who have demonstrated the very worst of values in our financial services to support tributes to those who have demonstrated the very best value in our society.”   Since 1749 and the creation of the Bow Street Runners as the world’s first recognised Police service, over 4,000 men and women have given their lives to serve and protect communities in the United Kingdom. Losses in British Colonial and other UK administered forces overseas number as many as a further 1,000.    Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society, has been a prominent supporter of the memorial.  He said: “This new memorial will help foster in the fabric of our national life an understanding of the importance of Policing.  We must honour the men and women who protect our communities just as we do those who lay down their lives in military service.”   Sara Thornton, Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police and Chair-designate of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, is also a Trustee of the Police Arboretum Memorial Trust.    In thanking the Chancellor, she said: “This will be a memorial for the modern age.  We will have a dramatic online and digital presence, with archive and educational materials to bring the story of UK Policing to life.”   Sir Hugh Orde, outgoing President of the Association of Chief Police Officers and Chairman of the Trust, said: “We are indebted to the Chancellor for this generous donation. We aim to raise £5m to build and maintain this proper and fitting memorial to our fallen colleagues. This is particularly timely as police officers go about their duties protecting the public in challenging times.”   Source http://news.acpo.police.uk/releases/chancellor-pledges-support-for-new-memorial-to-uk-police
  8. Police called to a disturbance in a flat in #trowbridge. Turns out occupant was shouting at TV having lost a game of Ultimate Street Fighter — Sgt Jim Suter (@SgtJimSuter) January 18, 2015
  9. I've just come across this on twitter this morning. Seems like a really good idea given the level of MH calls the police experience! Thoughts?
  10. Delays and cancellations as Channel Tunnel services resume   Passengers at St Pancras have been told to expect delays on the Eurostar services to France   Passengers using the Channel Tunnel are still experiencing delays with 11 Eurostar train services cancelled as the network tries to deal with the effects of Saturday's lorry fire.   Eurostar said six services due to leave London have been cancelled.   Some services have resumed on Sunday but passengers have reported long delays at both ends of the tunnel. At least 12,000 passengers were affected when the tunnel was closed for most of Saturday.   Eurostar confirmed trains started moving through the tunnel again about 11:30 GMT, but at a reduced speed and only one of the two tunnels is open. The services cancelled from London are the 14.04, 15.31, 17.04 18.04 18.31 and the 20.04 (all times GMT).   The train operator is also cancelling the 16:43 and 18:43 from Paris, and from Brussels the 15.56, 17.56 and 18.56 services have also been cancelled. Passengers should expect delays of up to two hours from when they board a running service, Eurostar said.   Meanwhile, Eurotunnel, which operates car and lorry services, said there was a four-hour wait to board shuttles in France, and the tunnel affected by the fire would remain closed throughout Sunday.   Passenger Johnny Chatterton: "We were excited that we were finally going to make it, but now, who knows?"   'So agitated'   Kim Notman, who is at the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais , told the BBC: "I was loaded on to the train at 09:30 GMT with my car and have now been stuck on the train for the last three hours.   "The doors to the train have now been opened because people were getting so agitated."   Similarly Eurostar passenger Professor Urfan Khaliq, who is on a train travelling from Paris to London, also faced delays upon entering the tunnel. He told the BBC: "We've been here around, I guess, nearly three hours now. They've offered free cashew nuts and water to anyone who wants it. People are just sitting here really rather stoically and trying to get on. I do feel for the families who've got very young children."   No arrivals at London's St Pancras from Paris or Brussels are expected until after 13:00 GMT, Eurostar said.   Eurostar had advised passengers to check in as normal if they were already booked to travel on Sunday, and those who had been unable to travel on Saturday should not arrive at stations unless they had re-booked.   The Eurostar website is showing seats are still available for travel this weekend.     The departure boards at St Pancras, London, warned passengers to expect delays   BBC News correspondent Andy Moore said an extra Eurostar train from London to Paris was being laid on, with 800 seats available, in an attempt to ease the queues.   Despite the company organising re-bookings, accommodation and refunds, it could be Monday before the backlog is cleared, he added.   Eurostar - which operates passenger services between Paris, London and Brussels - said 26 of its trains were cancelled on Saturday afternoon, affecting at least 12,000 passengers.   Eurotunnel's services started running again during the night after "residue smoke" was cleared from one of the tunnels.   The company added that it expected to operate a reduced Le Shuttle timetable, with two departures every two hours from both the UK and France. Its customers have been advised to check in as normal.     The fire broke out near the French side of the Channel Tunnel     Eurostar passengers tried to rebook or get refunds on their tickets   The alarm was raised when two CO2 detectors were triggered at 11:25 GMT on Saturday at the French end of the north tunnel.   Eurotunnel said a load on a lorry on board one of its trains, en route from the UK to France, had been "smouldering".   John Keefe, Eurotunnel's public affairs director, said: "We are in the process of moving the train from the incident site. That will enable us to get our technicians in to clean up and conduct any repairs that'll be necessary."   Eurotunnel said passengers were safely evacuated from trains in the tunnel, and the fire "was quickly brought under control" by French emergency services.   Firefighters examined the site and a Eurotunnel spokesman said it did not look like there was any significant damage.   During the day, at St Pancras station and in Paris, there were long queues of passengers after services were cancelled. At Folkestone, lines of lorries built up near the Eurotunnel entrance.   Eurotunnel had anticipated resuming services on Saturday night through its south tunnel, which was unaffected by the fire.   But in a tweet the company said it was "taking slightly longer than anticipated to recommence services, we need to be sure any residue smoke cleared completely before we do so".   Empty trains were sent through the tunnel to ensure it was clear and customers were offered transfers to ferries until the service recommenced, Eurotunnel said.   Eurostar's customer care number is 03432 186 186, or +44 1777 777 878 for people outside the UK.   Eurotunnel's information line is +44 8444 63 00 00.
  11. Increased terror threat  16 January 2015   In response to recent attacks in Paris and Belgium, national counter-terrorism lead AC Mark Rowley has announced an increase in the threat level to ‘severe’ for police officers and Jewish communities.   Steve White, Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales said: “Any increase in threat for any section of the community to ‘severe’ is of grave concern.  However as a service we remain resolute and committed to keeping the public safe. “The level of extreme terrorism that we are facing on an international scale cannot be underestimated and the police service and its security partners are doing all they can. “Police officers face life-threatening risks on a daily basis and are prepared to do so fully aware of the risks involved.  As a service we are regularly assessing what we do in order to adapt to the changing and challenging issues we face. “We continue to urge police officers and staff to follow existing policies and good practice to counter terrorism and ensure their own safety. “It has always been good practice, regardless of threat level, to avoid wearing uniform and take sensible precautions when travelling to and from work. “We re-emphasise and fully support the guidance issued by Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley in his capacity as national policing lead on counter-terrorism.”   Source: Police Federation
  12. Birmingham is a “totally Muslim” place where “non-Muslims just simply don’t go”, a self-proclaimed terrorism expert told the US Fox News channel, sparking a tidal wave of mockery.   Steve Emerson’s comments saw the Twitter hashtag foxnewsfacts trend worldwide on Twitter as people made things up about Birmingham, Fox News or pretty much anything.   Mr Emerson was taking part in a television discussion about supposed Muslim-controlled areas in Europe.   “In Britain, it's not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don't go in,” he said.   “Parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn't dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire.”   He said there were sharia courts in Birmingham “where Muslim density is very intense, where the police don't go in, and where it's basically a separate country almost, a country within a country”, adding that the UK government did not “exercise any sovereignty” there.   Jeanine Pirro, the host of the Judge Pirro show, replied: “You know what it sounds like to me, Steve? It sounds like a caliphate within a particular country.”   Their laughable remarks saw British politicians, leading journalists, novelists and others take part in the general derision of the news channel on Twitter.   Labour MP Tom Watson retweeted a message which said: “Birmingham is home of Black Sabbath and other terrifying Muslim musicians. #FoxNewsFacts.”   Author Mirza Waheed tweeted: “Wali Sheikh Peer was a Muslim dramatist from Englistaan.”   Fellow writer Irvine Welsh said: “I warn you, @FoxNews, I have an Ocean Colour Scene download and I'm not afraid to use it! (Well, maybe a wee bit...).”   Broadcaster Robin Lustig came up with: “Jihadi extremists have forced the city of Oxford to rename the Thames the River Isis. #foxnewsfacts”   And even ITN newsreader Alastair Stewart, joined in “If you do not clean your finger-nails regularly, potatoes will grow in your stomach, crush your lungs & suffocate you. #FoxNewsFacts,” he wrote.   He added: “There will be senior managers in Fox News who don't get what all the fuss is about, nor understand the humour.”   Sean Kelly, who describes himself as a “regular bald guy”, tweeted: “Extremist rock group Showaddywaddy have reformed and changed their name to Jihaddywaddy #foxnewsfacts.”   Mr Emerson later apologised but did not provide a full explanation of how he came to make the remarks.   He told ITV News: “I have clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry. My comments about Birmingham were totally in error. And I am issuing an apology and correction on my website immediately for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham.   “I do not intend to justify or mitigate my mistake by stating that I had relied on other sources because I should have been much more careful. There was no excuse for making this mistake and I owe an apology to every resident of Birmingham.   “I am not going to make any excuses. I made an inexcusable error. And I am obligated to openly acknowledge that mistake.”   He added that he planned to make a donation to “a Birmingham charity called the Birmingham Children’s Hospital”.   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/fox-news-mocked-after-expert-says-birmingham-is-totally-muslim-9971378.html
  13. For Northamptonshire’s police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds, improving the way his force tackles domestic abuse isn’t just a professional campaign - it’s also personal.   Simmonds says he has people “close to me who have for years suffered from domestic abuse”. While he prefers not to identify them, it has added a personal element to his determination that victims of domestic abuse in the county can see that “ultimately there is a PCC who is championing them”.   Facebook Twitter Pinterest expand   Northamptonshire’s police and crime commissioner, Adam Simmonds. Photograph: PR   There is much to do before victims will feel reassured: in its 2014 report on domestic violence, which found “alarming and unacceptable” weaknesses in police response to domestic violence, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary noted that Northamptonshire had the lowest domestic abuse arrest rate of the 43 forces in England and Wales. For every 100 domestic violence crimes recorded, there were only 43 arrests, compared to a force average of between 45 and 90. Only 12% of the county’s 3,685 domestic abuse-related crimes for the year to August 2013 resulted in a charge.   The inspectorate found that domestic abuse “too often remains a poor relation to acquisitive crime and serious organised crime”. Its report came in the wake of such appalling cases as that of Maria Stubbings and Christine Chambers. In both cases, Essex police were found to have failed in the events that led up to the two women’s brutal murders, and that of Chambers’s two-year-old daughter, by the women’s ex-partners.   Related: Vera Baird: domestic abuse is not just an issue for the police   In Northamptonshire, Simmonds made a controversial start as PCC, coming under fire for employing friends, but has pledged to cut violent crime by 40% and has now advised chief constable Adrian Lee on measures to tackle domestic violence, including increasing that low arrest rate.   Simmonds, now 37, who was the youngest PCC in the country when he was elected in 2012, says he is well-placed to bring together the various bodies involved in tackling domestic violence. “I felt, getting into this job, that the system is broken, and agencies siloed,” he says. “I wanted to be the person who brought the system together and patched it up. I’m in a position where I can do something about the system”.   His background will help with this. Before being elected to his present role, Simmonds held a number of senior roles at Northamptonshire county council and he is a big fan of the idea that PCCs should have more responsibility in local government more widely, not just in policing.   Related: How councils can help domestic violence victims   Simmonds is working closely with the council on a scheme to remove abuse partners from tenancies in private rented or council accommodation. It’s a voluntary scheme, still in the planning stage, but Simmonds says he wants to talk to housing providers, including mortgage lenders and housing associations, about putting rules in place that would ensure offenders have to leave the home, rather than victims and their families.   “The reality at the moment is completely perverse,” he says. “It’s the victim and sometimes children removed from the home and put into a hostel.”   Simmonds is also a big advocate of body-worn cameras. in 2007, Northants was one of the first forces in England and Wales to introduce body cameras and 350 cameras are now used on the frontline. Officers switch them on at domestic abuse incidents, filming both victim and perpetrator, and the footage is admissible in court. This is particularly important in domestic abuse cases where police want to prosecute, but the victim has withdrawn support from fear. Footage not used in a court case is discarded.   Filming is not just about gathering evidence: cameras can pick up on injuries, and the tone and fear in interactions - and not just between those involved in the incident. It also monitors “how police behave and how they treat people,” says Simmonds.   Related: Should victims of domestic violence be offered witness protection services?   Another important initiative in Northants is the county’s new victim and witness service, Voice, which was launched in October 2014. The service was set up after a large-scale consultation in 2013 across the county on support services for those affected by crime. The subsequent report, written by police and crime commission researchers, documents victims’ stories and experience of the police, included harrowing tales of domestic abuse, and was overseen by Linda Lee, a past president of the Law Society, who is now chairing the new Voice service.   From October 2014, Northants took over commissioning of victim services from Victim Support as part of a nationwide transition from Victim Support to PCCs. The PCC now commissions Victim Support to run the service.   Simmonds says his office is working through the 79 recommendations made in the Victims’ Voice report. Voice is not part of the police service and is funded mainly through the Ministry of Justice. Its board comprises representatives from the Office of the PCC, Voice, Victim Support, the police force, the Crown Prosecution Service, providers of support services and service users, but the PCC’s office says that Voice will provide an independent, specialist service for victims and witnesses.   It will also provide specialist services for children, particularly around sexual exploitation and domestic violence, following a poor report from Ofsted and HMIC on safeguarding children in Northamptonshire. Simmonds says there has been a 12-month programme to train staff.   Current consultations, such as outreach research with 10,000 children about cybercrime will feed into this approach of prioritising the victim’s voice, says Simmonds. “We want victims to be at the centre of the system and not just an add-on,” he says.   Sign up for your free weekly Guardian Public Leaders newsletter with news and analysis sent direct to you every Thursday. Follow us on Twitter via@Guardianpublic View the full article
  14.   The US Central Command Twitter feed appears to have been hacked by a group claiming to be Islamic State sympathizers.   "American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back," the Centcom Twitter feed said on Monday.   "In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad."   Images were also posted showing documents containing the contact details of current and retired military officers, including home addresses and email accounts.   "ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base... we won't stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children."   Military officials have not yet commented.   http://news.sky.com/story/1406621/us-centcom-twitter-account-hacked-by-is
  15. A French police commissioner has reportedly taken his own life after meeting the relatives of a victim murdered in the Charlie Hebdo massacre.    Helric Fredou, 45, shot himself in his office on Wednesday night in Limoges, a city in central France. according to France 3.    Commissioner Fredou began his career as a police office in 1997 and had been the deputy director of the regional police since 2012. Colleagues told France 3 he was 'depressed' and overworked and said he was single and had no children. Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi shot 12 people dead at the Charlie Hebdo offices on Wednesday before seeking refuge in a print works.   They were killed on Friday afternoon during a shoot-out with police, as was their alleged accomplice, Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris.   The Union of National Police Commissioners has expressed its 'sincere condolences' over Commissioner Fredou's death and said they were thinking especially of his colleagues.   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2906808/Police-commissioner-shot-dead-office-meeting-relatives-Charlie-Hebdo-victim-claim-French-TV-news.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline   Very sad, thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.  
  16.  Lynne Owens, Chief Constable of Surrey, called on hospitals and care homes to tackle problems themselves rather than calling 999 Adds officers shouldn't have to spend hours with those threatening suicide And blasted shops for lax security that allows thieves to get away   A chief constable has sparked a furious debate by saying police should not have to deal with every missing person report or tackle drunk and violent patients in A&E.   Lynne Owens, Chief Constable of Surrey, called on hospitals and care homes to tackle problems themselves rather than calling 999.   She also said officers should not have to spend hours dealing with those threatening suicide simply because there is no separate emergency service for people suffering a mental health crisis.   And she blasted shops and petrol stations for lax security that allows thieves to get away.      In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Mrs Owens said the burden placed on police by other organisations prevents them fighting growing crimes such as online fraud and child abuse.   As forces struggle to cope with ongoing budget cuts, she called on the public to say what they expect of slimmed-down forces. ‘It’s inevitable that the cuts will have operational consequences,’ she said.   The police have had a 20 per cent budget reduction since the last Election in May 2010, leading to the loss of 15,000 frontline officers and the closure of stations.   But Mrs Owens – a former Met Assistant Commissioner who was in charge of security for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding – said that as the cuts bite, some types of crime are on the rise.   She said public-sector bodies and private firms must stop relying so much on the police. ‘We are going to be smaller, and there are some areas where we need to grow, such as our response to dealing with paedophiles and online fraud,’ she said. ‘We are going to have to make choices in other areas. And it does mean we need other sectors to be held accountable for their core responsibilities.’   There had been a ‘huge increase’ in missing person reports, she said. In Surrey they rose from 1,158 to 1,648 in the past year. Some involved vulnerable children or elderly people with dementia, and a few would end up as murder inquiries. She called on hospitals and care homes to tackle problems like drunks  themselves rather than calling 999   Mrs Owens said: ‘Hospitals, care homes and other agencies report people missing and there are questions about whether they should do more themselves before they call the police. She said hospitals were the most frequent callers to Surrey Police, followed by the ambulance service, usually reporting ‘violent people, drunk people or missing people’. But she said all these could be handled by in-house security.   The College of Policing, the new professional body for the service, is looking nationally at the demands placed on police by other public-sector bodies.   Its research is expected to show that some officers are spending up to eight hours with people suffering mental health problems while doctors assess them, and three-quarters of those taken to ‘places of safety’ are driven by police rather than paramedics.   Mrs Owens, who spent New Year’s Eve on the front line with her officers, said that a fifth of calls that night were either people threatening to kill themselves or from worried relatives.   She said: ‘The ambulance service is established to deal with physical health issues but there is no one agency that can respond to people with mental health issues.’   Mrs Owens is also against police locking up drunks, because it takes officers off the street to keep watch over them.   She said: ‘I think there should be some funding from the licensing community, which makes huge profits from people who drink alcohol.’   She criticised shops for not investing enough in security to ‘design out crime’. And she thinks motorists should have to pay for petrol before filling up, so police do not have to chase those who drive off.   Surrey Police have faced criticism for spending £14 million over six years developing an IT system for criminal intelligence – then scrapping it. Last week, Mrs Owens was criticised on Twitter after her force sent six vehicles to deal with hunt saboteurs.   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2904815/Missing-person-Drunks-E-busy-don-t-call-says-woman-cop.html
  17.   Ahmed Merabet, 42, was on patrol when he was killed by two of the gunmen as they left the the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Photograph: Twitter   Police across the UK are to hold ceremonies remembering the two French police officers murdered in the terrorist attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.   Ahmed Merabet, 42, and Franck Brinsolaro, 49, were among 12 people killed by gunmen on Wednesday.   The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Police Federation has called on all UK officers to commemorate the dead officers at 10.30am, 24 hours after the attack – the worst in France for half a century.   Scotland Yard amd West Midlands police said they will hold a two-minute silence.   ACPO’s vice-president, Sir Peter Fahy, said the two officers were murdered protecting free speech. “All members of the British police forces are shocked at the savagery of this attack,” he said. “In any democratic society it is the role of the police to protect basic human rights and our two French colleagues died protecting free speech.   “They knew the risks they were facing in carrying out their duty and clearly showed great bravery in trying to prevent the terrorists murdering others. We stand in solidarity and express our great sympathy for their families and friends.   “We have to stand together against this threat and we cannot be naive or complacent about how extremist ideologies seek to justify this complete disrespect for human life and for the values which ensure the freedom and welfare of all citizens.”   Merabet was working with a bicycle unit at the local police station who was on patrol when he was killed by two of the gunmen as they left the building. In a video which has now been removed from the internet, one of the attackers can be seen shooting Merabet in the head at close range as the officer lies wounded on the ground. Merabet leaves behind a partner, according to the police union.   Brinsolaro was the police bodyguard of Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stéphane Charbonnier. The officer, who had worked for the police protection service since 2013, was in the editorial room where the attack took place. A police union spokesman said the number of death threats against Charbonnier had increased in recent days.   Fahy said that the attack would only make British police officers more determined to face up to the threat posed by extremists and called on the public to continue to cooperate and support its officers.   Thousands of people attended rallies on Wednesday night in French cities and global capitals in defence of free speech. View the full article
  18. Police are avoiding making arrests as it would take them off their beat for many hours reducing the thin blue line to dangerously low levels, it has been claimed. Officers are being forced to make “pragmatic decisions” about whether to arrest people for low-level crimes such as drunkenness and minor disorder, according to Inspector Ian Hanson, chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation. “Every weekend in Greater Manchester and round the country, we battle to keep a presence on the streets,” he told The Independent. “The reality is that police officers – out of necessity – are not making arrests because to do so will reduce the beleaguered thin blue line yet further.” Officers’ discretion is stretched “to lengths we have never seen before”, he said, because if they made arrests their colleagues and the public would be exposed to danger for up to six hours. Mr Hanson said custody suites can be up to 20 miles away, and arresting officers can be taken off their beat for between four and six hours with queues, paperwork and monitoring. He added that while officers share NHS frustrations about dealing with people who are drunk and disorderly, calls for a zero-tolerance arrest policy have not been properly thought through. Officers have to be more tolerant to behaviour that would have necessitated an arrest five years ago (Getty Images) Last month, Dr Cliff Mann, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, argued that drunks who clog up A&E should be arrested, saying: “If more people knew that if they got drunk they were going to be arrested, they wouldn’t drink in the first place and then end up in A&E.” But Mr Hanson said officers believe this would merely shift the problem from one squeezed service to another. John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, agreed that there was a problem, saying: “Officers have to be more tolerant to behaviour that would have necessitated an arrest five years ago. Otherwise the criminal justice system would grind to a halt.” The Greater Manchester force, the third largest in England, is midway through a programme of cuts which will see its numbers diminish from 8,000 five years ago to 7,000 in 2015. A statement from Greater Manchester Police said: “The issue of arresting people for drunkenness raises many concerns that need to be addressed in a different way than placing someone in a police cell.” A Home Office spokesperson said: “The police must play their part in helping to tackle the debt crisis this Government inherited but there is no question that they will still have the resources they need to do their important work.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-allowing-some-alcohol-offences-because-arrests-take-them-off-the-street-for-hours-9954765.html Cannot find the reply from @DCCIanHopkins so here it is in picture!
  19. Chief Bakes

    Twitter Competition

    Ok   December has seen us start to focus a lot more around our social media presence and we would like to get you all involved.    There will be three prizes drawn, first place will be a voucher for £30 and then two separate £10 vouchers for 2nd and 3rd place for our forum sponsor www.police-supplies.co.uk    In order to be entered into the competition you simply need to post the following;     We will draw the three winners after the competition closes which is at midnight on 4th January 2015 so get tweeting and don't forget the more times you tweet the above the greater your chances are of winning. We will count every tweet as a separate entry.   You do not need to be a member of the forum to enter the competition you simply need to send the above tweet out on your Twitter account.
  20.   Mark Pritchard is MP for The Wrekin in east Shropshire. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian   The Conservative MP Mark Pritchard has called for a review of laws handing anonymity to sexual assault complainants after Scotland Yard said he would face no further action over a rape allegation.   Pritchard, the Tory MP for The Wrekin, attacked the “vindictive and outrageous story” that led to his high-profile arrest on 2 December.   On Tuesday, speaking hours after detectives dropped the investigation into the allegation due to insufficient evidence, Pritchard described the ordeal as a “testing time” and hit out at laws guaranteeing lifelong anonymity to sexual assault complainants.   He said outside the House of Commons: “Sadly, as an MP, sometimes you have a target on your back. Of course she remains anonymous.   “The law on anonymity does need to be reviewed and fairness does need to play a far greater role in these cases.”   Pritchard’s arrest had emerged after a letter from the Metropolitan police to the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, about the arrest was referred to on a publicly available Commons order paper.   He declined to answer questions from journalists about the Speaker’s role in the matter on Tuesday, but said he was pleased to announce he would face no further action.   “The last few weeks have been a testing time, I’m glad it’s all over,” he said.   “I would like to thank the Met police and CPS for their thoroughness, attention to detail and professionalism. Most of all I would like to thank my friends in and outside of parliament and my constituents who have kindly emailed, telephoned and written to me offering their support.   “To be falsely accused of anything is an awful thing.”   His accuser’s identity is protected under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.   The MP has kept a relatively low profile since his arrest, with his official website not being updated since 9 December.   Nigel Evans, the former deputy speaker who was cleared by a jury of rape and sexual assault, raised concerns earlier this week about how Pritchard’s name came into the public domain in connection with the allegation.   “I am surprised about how the information got into the public domain. I am a little bemused as to why it appeared on the order paper like that. I don’t think this information should be released before charge,” he said.   Pritchard has been MP for The Wrekin since 2005. He is a member of the UK joint national security strategy committee, which considers the threat posed to Britain by terrorism, cyberwar, global military crises and natural disasters.   He said last September that he had been targeted by a journalist as part of the sting that brought down the Tory minister Brooks Newmark. Pritchard said he had been contacted by a male freelance reporter who, using Twitter, adopted the false identity of “Sophie Wittams”, supposedly a “twentysomething Tory PR girl”.   Last month, Pritchard withdrew his complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) and said he had agreed a confidential settlement. Pritchard reportedly divorced his wife of 15 years, Sonya, last year. He had employed her as his office manager.   A former marketing communications director, Pritchard ran his own consultancy advising blue-chip companies before entering parliament.   He began his political career as a Conservative councillor on Harrow London borough council between 1993 and 1994. In 2001, he stood for election as the Tory candidate for Warley in the West Midlands but was defeated by Labour’s John Spellar. He was elected to represent The Wrekin in 2005, defeating the incumbent Labour MP, Peter Bradley, by just 942 votes.   Since entering Westminster, he has sat on a number of parliamentary groups – chiefly concerning the armed forces – and was joint secretary of the Conservatives’ 1922 committee from 2010-12.   Pritchard was at the centre of a political storm in 2010 when he confronted Bercow, yelling: “You are not fucking royalty, Mr Speaker!” after the latter had told him to stand aside in a corridor.   A Metropolitan police spokeswoman declined to name Pritchard, but said: “A 48-year-old man voluntarily attended a north London police station on Tuesday, 2 December 2014 where he was arrested, following an allegation of rape in central London. “He returned on bail on Tuesday, 6 January 2015, where he was informed that he will face no further action as there is insufficient evidence.” View the full article
  21. Rayhan Qadar posted tweet on Monday morning, causing twitterstorm – and was sacked from job within a day   Police are investigating after a man tweeted that he failed to stop after hitting a cyclist while driving as he was late for work.   The man, named as Rayhan Qadar, reportedly posted the tweet on Monday at 8.30am.   Under the Twitter name Ray Pew, he wrote: “Think I just hit a cyclist. But I’m late for work so had to drive off lol.”   The tweet drew widespread criticism online, and within hours he was sacked from his job in the stockbroking department of Bristol investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown.   Twitter users slated his apparent boast, but only after re-tweeting it and sharing it hundreds of times.     Astronomer Adam Whittaker wrote: “You know what’s dumber than leaving the scene? Tweeting it for the world to see. I’ll be following your case”, while a man tweeting as Joff wrote: “Not a good day for @RayQ18 - hope he was only joking about running a cyclist over or he’s in bother!”   Avon and Somerset police also said that it would be investigating the claim, saying: “We are aware of a tweet regarding a collision between a car and a bike. We are looking into this now. Any witnesses call 101.   “If you’ve been involved in a collision please report it at your nearest police station.”   Greater Manchester Police also urged him to come forward, saying: “If you hit a cyclist, you are obliged to stop. I suggest you call 101 as soon as possible, I will forward the details on.”   Qadar, a former Cardiff University student, has since apologised for what he said was a “bad taste joke”.   But the apology was not sufficient to save his job.   Hargreaves Lansdown said: “One of our employees has failed to conduct themselves to the standards we expect of our staff.   “We find these online comments totally unacceptable. Upon becoming aware of this issue we have terminated this person’s employment with immediate effect.”   Qadar’s Twitter account has now been altered so that only his 1,323 confirmed followers can access his tweets.   View the article source
  22. Ben, from Sheffield, vanished on 24 July 1991 after travelling to the Greek island of Kos with his mother and grandparents.   Photograph: Pa Wire/PA   The Home Office has agreed to fund a team of British detectives to help search for toddler Ben Needham who went missing in Greece more than 20 years ago.   Ben, from Sheffield, vanished on 24 July 1991 after travelling to the Greek island of Kos with his mother and grandparents.   Over the years there have been a number of possible sightings and a range of theories about what happened to the youngster, who would now be 25.   South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Alan Billings today said his force had secured special funding from the Home Office to allow British detectives to “continue to support the Greek authorities in the search for Ben Needham”.   Ben’s family have said they want South Yorkshire police to investigate leads, including a file they have handed in that lists eight separate sightings from unconnected people of a boy who could potentially be Ben with the same Greek family.   The Home Office backed a South Yorkshire Police operation in 2012 when land was excavated on Kos, near the farmhouse from where Ben went missing. No trace of the boy was found.   Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick, who led the 2012 investigation, said: “Ben was a very young child when he went missing.   “His family has endured untold pain and anguish in the years that followed and have never given up in trying to find him. “South Yorkshire Police has provided support to the Greek authorities wherever requested in assisting with the investigation.   “We hope that by continuing to work with them, we can assist in providing the answers Ben’s family so desperately want.   “We will now take time to establish the right investigation team, with a view to the inquiry commencing in April.”   Last year, South Yorkshire Police asked the Home Office for Special Grant Funding to follow up information the family – led by Ben’s mother Kerry, 42, and sister Leighanna, 20 – believe has never been properly investigated.   Ben’s family engaged a human rights barrister, Ian Brownhill, who spotted their plight on their campaigning Twitter feed and offered his services for free.   Some commentators have contrasted Ben’s family’s position with the extensive Metropolitan police resources devoted to investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007.   Billings said he had received a letter from the Home Office confirming the special funding.   He said: “Ben’s mum, Kerry, has spent more than 23 years searching for her son. I fully support South Yorkshire police in their ongoing pursuit of the facts.   “They have worked hard in facilitating the Greek authorities’ investigation into Ben’s disappearance but there is still more work to do. This will be made easier with this additional funding, which will allow further lines of inquiry to be explored.   “Along with the chief constable, I remain committed to finding Ben. I’m pleased that the Home Office saw fit to support us in this commitment and have agreed to provide additional funding which will allow South Yorkshire police to further their investigations into the disappearance of Ben.” View the full article
  23. Where to begin There are times as a Met Officer when I just want to bury my head in my hands. Stephen Lawrence. Plebgate. G20. Even Hillsborough – in another time and another place – becomes an inescapable reality for the Met. The sins of the past and the sins of the present. Conspiring. And, in truth, there can be no escaping the fact that we have, to a very significant extent, brought it on ourselves. There are occasions when police officers – of all ranks – do things that are so jaw-droppingly stupid I am left almost completely lost for words. And some of us can be rude; some of us self-important; some of us unthinking or unfeeling; some of us unprofessional in any number of ways. And then there are those who are just plain criminal – who have no place among us and who shame us all. It’s no wonder that even decent folk can begin to doubt us. I am more painfully aware than anyone I know of some of the faults and failings of the Met. I have encountered racism and corruption first hand. I have seen unprofessionalism – and have been unprofessional myself. There can never be any excuses for of those things. But – and this is important – I don’t know of anyone more aware than I am of the extraordinary brilliance of the Met and the vast majority of its people. Everyday Heroism When you strip away all that really isn’t important, policing has at its core a very remarkable set of values and responsibilities. They form what might be described as the ‘DNA’ of the Met – something that has barely changed in the last 200 years: • Saving lives • Seeking justice • Protecting the vulnerable • Defending the weak • Helping the helpless • Finding the lost • Making places safer • Demonstrating courage • On occasions, even laying down lives Whilst accepting that we can fall short of such ideals, it remains a remarkable list. Pause to think about it for a moment. This is what we – quite rightly – ask and expect of our police. And I for one wouldn’t have it any other way. But it comes at a cost: • I have worked with officers who have been shot in the line of duty • I have worked with officers who went down into the tunnels on 7/7 – just as almost everyone else was desperately trying to get out of them • I have worked with the officer who was first onto the bus in Tavistock Square and who saw things that defy description or comprehension • I have worked with officers who have ventured into the midst of unimaginable horrors, because duty compels them to • I have worked with officers who have chased gunmen and disarmed those wielding knives • I have worked with officers who saved the life of a critically injured drug dealer – giving him emergency life support as he fought them in an attempt to get away • I have put my arm round the shoulder of a colleague breaking down in tears after seeing open heart surgery performed on the victim of a domestic murder • I have worked with people who have made innumerable personal sacrifices for the sake of ‘the Job’ • I have seen and experienced things that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, friend or foe I don’t say these things to impress or alarm – I say them simply because they are true. I suspect that we’ve all had the experience of passing a police cordon – at the scene of a crime or a car crash – and wondering what was going on. I have the privilege of working alongside those who operate on the other side of the blue and white tape – those on the inside of the cordon. They tread where most would fear to go – and, invariably, they do so with a mixture of compassion, courage and true brilliance. A former Met Commissioner used a wonderful phrase to describe what that means in practice. He spoke of the ‘everyday heroism’ of those who police the streets of London. I’ve never been able to put it better. Whilst you’re reading this, there are police officers out there somewhere administering CPR on dirty pavements, confronting armed and dangerous criminals, searching for lost children, talking people down from parapets, picking their way through horrifying crime scenes, completing reams of interminable paperwork, sitting with shattered victims, picking up the broken pieces of life… Twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year. In tipping rain and stifling heat. I admire them more than I can possibly say. The Policing Narrative So what’s my point? Simply that there is a need to rebalance much of the prevailing public narrative about policing. That is in no way an attempt to divert attention from some of our very evident failings – but rather to seek a broader perspective. The Police Service is, in its own way, a microcosm of the society it serves – full of all the same frailties and faults. But for those who have chosen to serve, the bar has to be higher. There has to be an absolute intolerance of dishonesty, prejudice and unprofessionalism of every kind – and an absolute commitment to sincere and far-reaching reform. London and its communities deserve no less. But our own officers and staff are also deserving – not least of a broader recognition and understanding of the extraordinary things they do on behalf of us all, every single day. Not long ago, I was in contact with a senior colleague from another Police Force who had received an e-mail from one of their frontline officers. Responding to the latest round of media coverage of policing, it simply said: ‘Please can someone tell them that most of us are just ordinary people doing our best’. It’s not a plea for sympathy or any kind of special treatment. Just for some understanding. Articulating Complexity I don’t care what anyone else says, policing is different. Not only is it the best job in the world – I think it’s in with a reasonable shout of being the most complex. Actually, I can’t think of another that even comes close, both on the frontline and in Senior Leadership terms. Sure, there are jobs that require higher qualifications and those that demand an extraordinary level of expertise – brain surgery, anyone? – but none that I can think of with a comparable breadth and depth of ability and expectation. Let me try to explain. On any given day, a PC on a Patrol Team might be called to display some or all of the following skills and attributes: • Emergency Life Support for the victim of a stabbing • Forensic preservation of an extensive burglary scene • Knowledge of a huge breadth of law and procedure • High speed driving in pursuit of a crime suspect • Use of a Defibrillator on someone in cardiac arrest • Completion of a court case file following the charge of an offender • Use of a Taser when confronted with an armed man • Crowd control – at the scene of a disturbance or major public event • Stop & search of someone who absolutely refuses to cooperate • Desperate negotiation with someone teetering on a 10th floor window ledge • Coordination of a Missing Person search • Communication with those in distress who speak barely a word of English • Compassion for the victim of a serious sexual assault • Lawful and proportionate self-defence in the face of attack • Forced entry to an address that contains a two week old dead body, part decomposed and infested with maggots • Response to a major or critical incident – anything from cordon management, to traffic control, to sensitive witness enquiries and any number of other things besides • Patience in the face of anti-social hours, significantly extended shifts and inclement weather • Search and rescue at the scene of a major accident • A split second decision to risk their own life for the sake of another And so much of it is done in a variety of adversarial settings – arrest; stop & search; execution of a search warrant; in the midst of a pub fight – or in the face of enormous trauma and distress. Not many people phone the police just to say they’re having a good day. Instead, they call to tell us that: • “My son has been stabbed” • “My girlfriend is missing” • “I can’t take it anymore” • “It’s dark and I’m being followed” • “The house next door is on fire” • “My ex-boyfriend is trying to smash down my front door” • “There’s a car on its roof in the middle lane” • “I’ve just been spat at in the street” • “My husband was out drinking last night and now I can’t wake him” • “My house has been broken into” • “I’ve just seen a cyclist knocked down by a bus” • “My wallet’s been stolen and someone’s spent two grand on my credit card” • “It’s all kicking off in the street outside” • “I want to make a complaint” • “I haven’t seen my neighbour for a week and there are flies all over their window” I could go on for quite some time. But, essentially, my point is a simple one: Nothing else comes close to policing. And I am proud to serve alongside the heroes and heroines who police the streets of London. http://policecommander.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/a-handful-of-thoughts-about-policing/ We thank @policecommander for allowing this brilliant blog onto FPC.
  24. Essex Police (@EssexPoliceUK) 05/01/2015 09:53 Congrats to ACO Derek Hopkins, awarded an MBE for services to policing. His career as a Special has spanned 34 years. pic.twitter.com/I55OYN82iy Congratulations to ACO Hopkins but there's a few in wilts and must be more in other forces that deserve recognition.

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