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Found 129 results

  1. The number of abandoned 999 calls to UK police control rooms has more than doubled in the last year, BBC Freedom of Information requests have shown. The BBC has seen correspondence between police leaders expressing "concern" about high call volumes. A Police Federation spokesman says resources are at a critical level and public safety has been compromised. The Home Office says it expects crimes reported to police to be investigated thoroughly. A document seen by the BBC describes how one force is receiving New Year's Eve call volumes every day, and sets out a longer term intention to recruit more control room staff. Louise Haigh, Labour's shadow police minister, says policing is close to being broken. Terror attacks Across the UK, the number of abandoned 999 calls more than doubled in the 12 months from June 2016 - rising from 8,000 to 16,300 across the 32 forces able to provide information. Police forces that dealt with the terror attacks earlier this year saw a large rise in the number of abandoned calls they experienced. The Met had 5,134 more 999 calls abandoned, while 716 more calls to Greater Manchester Police were abandoned in this period. The number of 101 non-emergency calls abandoned has also risen by 116% June to June, with 230,000 more calls abandoned. The number of 999 calls across the UK overall has risen by 15% in the year to June 2017. What is an abandoned call? 999 - When someone calls 999, they are connected by a BT operator to the police but hangs up before being connected to a police operator. 101 - When someone calls the police via the non-emergency 101 number, but hangs up before being connected to a police operator. Calum Macleod, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says there are a number of theories as to why the call numbers have risen. "One, crime is actually rising so you are seeing more crime day-to-day, and two, there's less visibility so the public is feeling less secure in their day-to-day environment," he said. He says resources are at a critical level and that the loss of 40,000 police officers and police staff will have an impact on service delivery. "This is unsustainable. I'm certain the safety and security of the public is compromised." Mr Macleod noted the strain this was placing on police officers. "Officers have to go from call to call to call during their shift. there is no respite," he said. He explained that eight in 10 staff were showing signs of anxiety, stress and some more serious mental health issues. He added: "90% of them are putting it down to the pressures they are under at this moment in time. The police service is on its knees." Forces with the biggest rises in abandoned 999 calls from June 2016 to June 2017 Hertfordshire Constabulary: 62 to 680 Cambridgeshire Constabulary: 26 to 219 Gloucestershire Constabulary: 18 to 145 Merseyside Police: 94 to 411 Greater Manchester Police: 312 to 1,028 Metropolitan Police Service: 2,606 to 7,740 Close to broken Ms Haigh says police are telling her staff cuts have left fewer officers to dispatch to calls. "We need to increase the budget in real terms to deal with the demands the police are facing," she said. "I think policing is very, very close to broken. "It is very difficult for police forces to deliver a professional police service with the budgets they have got and we are very close to the collapse of policing." Image copyrightPA The number of abandoned 999 calls to UK police control rooms has more than doubled in the last year, BBC Freedom of Information requests have shown. The BBC has seen correspondence between police leaders expressing "concern" about high call volumes. A Police Federation spokesman says resources are at a critical level and public safety has been compromised. The Home Office says it expects crimes reported to police to be investigated thoroughly. A document seen by the BBC describes how one force is receiving New Year's Eve call volumes every day, and sets out a longer term intention to recruit more control room staff. Louise Haigh, Labour's shadow police minister, says policing is close to being broken. Terror attacks Across the UK, the number of abandoned 999 calls more than doubled in the 12 months from June 2016 - rising from 8,000 to 16,300 across the 32 forces able to provide information. Police forces that dealt with the terror attacks earlier this year saw a large rise in the number of abandoned calls they experienced. The Met had 5,134 more 999 calls abandoned, while 716 more calls to Greater Manchester Police were abandoned in this period. The number of 101 non-emergency calls abandoned has also risen by 116% June to June, with 230,000 more calls abandoned. The number of 999 calls across the UK overall has risen by 15% in the year to June 2017. What is an abandoned call? 999 - When someone calls 999, they are connected by a BT operator to the police but hangs up before being connected to a police operator. 101 - When someone calls the police via the non-emergency 101 number, but hangs up before being connected to a police operator. Calum Macleod, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says there are a number of theories as to why the call numbers have risen. "One, crime is actually rising so you are seeing more crime day-to-day, and two, there's less visibility so the public is feeling less secure in their day-to-day environment," he said. He says resources are at a critical level and that the loss of 40,000 police officers and police staff will have an impact on service delivery. "This is unsustainable. I'm certain the safety and security of the public is compromised." Image captionCalum Macleod of the Police Federation says resources are at a critical level Mr Macleod noted the strain this was placing on police officers. "Officers have to go from call to call to call during their shift. there is no respite," he said. He explained that eight in 10 staff were showing signs of anxiety, stress and some more serious mental health issues. He added: "90% of them are putting it down to the pressures they are under at this moment in time. The police service is on its knees." Forces with the biggest rises in abandoned 999 calls from June 2016 to June 2017 Hertfordshire Constabulary: 62 to 680 Cambridgeshire Constabulary: 26 to 219 Gloucestershire Constabulary: 18 to 145 Merseyside Police: 94 to 411 Greater Manchester Police: 312 to 1,028 Metropolitan Police Service: 2,606 to 7,740 Close to broken Ms Haigh says police are telling her staff cuts have left fewer officers to dispatch to calls. "We need to increase the budget in real terms to deal with the demands the police are facing," she said. "I think policing is very, very close to broken. "It is very difficult for police forces to deliver a professional police service with the budgets they have got and we are very close to the collapse of policing." Image captionAlan Todd of the NPCC says forces have had to make hard choices due to increasing demand Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd, the National Police Chiefs' Council's lead for contact management, said police funding was a political choice for politicians to determine. "We senior police officers are charged with taking the funds that are made available to us and delivering the best service we can to the public," he said. "Against the backdrop of increasing demand, that does prove for some hard choices." He said pressure on police could be reduced if the public made sure they used 999 for emergencies only. The Home Office declined to be interviewed. In a statement, it said: "Every person contacting 999 and 101 deserves a good service from the police and their calls to be handled within a reasonable time. "We expect the crimes reported to them to be taken seriously, investigated thoroughly and, wherever possible, the perpetrators brought to justice." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41173745
  2. Parsons Green: Explosion reported on London Tube train 15 September 2017 From the section UK Image copyright Twitter/@rrigs Emergency services are at the scene of a reported explosion on a District Line Underground train in south-west London. A picture on social media showed a white bucket inside a supermarket bag, but does not appear to show extensive damage in the carriage. Witnesses described seeing at least one passenger with facial injuries. Others have spoken of "panic" as alarmed passengers left the train at Parsons Green station at around 08:20 BST (07:20 GMT) on Friday morning. Latest updates: Incident at Parsons Green London Ambulance Service says it has sent a hazardous area response team to the scene. BBC London presenter Riz Lateef, who was at Parsons Green on her way in to work, said: "There was panic as people rushed from the train, hearing what appeared to be an explosion" "People were left with cuts and grazes from trying to flee the scene. There was lots of panic" BBC News presenter Sophie Raworth says she saw a woman on a stretcher with burns to her face and legs. Alex Littlefield, 24, a City worker, said: "I was walking around the corner to the Parsons Green Tube station and I saw the raised platform with everyone running and looking upset. "I saw police officers, fire brigade... masses of people and armed police. There were lots of very, very distressed people. We've been pushed right back now." Content is not available Media technology consultant Richard Aylmer-Hall who was sitting on the "packed" District Line train said he saw several people injured, having apparently been trampled as they tried to escape. The 53-year-old said "suddenly there was panic, lots of people shouting, screaming, lots of screaming. "There was a woman on the platform who said she had seen a bag, a flash and a bang, so obviously something had gone off. "I saw crying women, there was lots of shouting and screaming, there was a bit of a crush on the stairs going down to the streets," he said. Image copyright Alex Littlefield Natasha Wills, assistant director of operations at London Ambulance Service, said: "We were called at 8:20 to reports of an incident at Parsons Green underground station. "We have sent multiple resources to the scene including single responders in cars, ambulance crews, incident response officers and our hazardous area response team, with the first of our medics arriving in under five minutes. "Our initial priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries. More information will follow when we have it." Image copyright Alex Littlefield Are you at Parsons Green station? Did you witness the events? If it's safe to share your experiences then please email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your stories. Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971 Send pictures/video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk Or Upload your pictures/video here Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (international) Please read our terms & conditions Or use the form below If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions. Terms and conditions View the full article
  3. BBC: Hurricane Irma

    Hurricane Irma: Residents prepare for 'potentially catastrophic' storm 6 September 2017 From the section Latin America & Caribbean Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe view inside Hurricane Irma Islands in the Caribbean have made last-minute preparations for Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade, with officials warning of its "potentially catastrophic" effects. The category five hurricane, the highest possible level, has sustained wind speeds reaching 295km/h (185mph). It is starting to hit the Leeward Islands and will move on towards Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In the US, Florida's Key West area has ordered a mandatory evacuation. Visitors will be required to leave on Wednesday morning, with residents due to follow in the evening, and the international airport will halt all flights. "We're emphatically telling people you must evacuate. You cannot afford to stay on an island with a category five hurricane coming at you," said Martin Senterfitt, the emergency operations centre director in Monroe County in Florida. Image copyright EPA Image caption Water is delivered to a shelter in San Juan, Puerto Rico Closer to the storm, thousands of people have been evacuated from at-risk areas. Residents have flocked to shops for food, water, and emergency supplies, and in several locations goods were already in short supply. Airports have closed on several islands, popular holiday destinations, and authorities have urged people to go to public shelters. US President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency for Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, mobilizing federal disaster relief efforts for those areas. In Puerto Rico, a 75-year-old man died during preparations for the storm, which has been described by Governor Ricardo Rossello as "something without precedent". Flights cancelled as Irma approaches Nasa shares video of Hurrican Irma viewed from space Image copyright Reuters Image caption Residents of San Juan rushed with their preparations Storm surges, life-threatening winds and torrential rainfall are expected along the Leeward Islands, which include Antigua, Barbuda and Anguilla. Alison Strand, originally from Staffordshire in the UK, is on the island of Anguilla. She said her family had spent the last several hours fortifying her home on the coast, which "will be the first house hit by the storm". "Our house is 5m (15ft) above sea level and we're expecting 8m swells, so we're just crossing our fingers," she said. "We are expecting to lose our wooden roof." Gary Randall, head of the Blue Waters Resort on Antigua's north coast, said: "I wasn't that nervous yesterday, but today I'm nervous." Staff had boarded up windows, stripped trees of coconuts to stop them damaging property and secured anything that could become a hazard. Predicted path of Hurricane Irma Carolyne Coleby, in Montserrat, said: "Irma is about to hit us full force." "I am a goat farmer and have to consider my livestock. Last night I moved 20 goats to a backhouse at a hostel I manage which is on slightly higher ground," she said. "I am hoping the galvanised roof of the backhouse doesn't fly off. I can't go to the shelter because I can't leave my animals." Texas recovery from Harvey 'could cost $180bn' Uninsured and anxious, victims return home Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBBC Weather's Stav Danaos has the latest on 'dangerous' Hurricane Irma The US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said Irma was moving at a speed of 24km/h (15mph), saying that the storm was "potentially catastrophic", There are hurricane warnings for: Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis Saba, St Eustatius and Sint Maarten Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy The British Virgin Islands The US Virgin Islands Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra Dominican Republic, for the northern region Guadeloupe Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the south-eastern Bahamas are on hurricane watch. How hard has Harvey hit the local economy? Parts of Texas and Louisiana are dealing with the damage done by Hurricane Harvey in late August. But it is not yet clear what impact Hurricane Irma might have on the US mainland. The mainland has not been hit by two category four hurricanes in one season since the storms were first recorded in 1851. A third tropical storm, Jose, has formed further out in the Atlantic behind Irma, and is expected to become a hurricane later on in the week. Are you in the region? If you are a holidaymaker unable to get a flight home or a resident who has been preparing for Hurricane Irma share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: WhatsApp: +447555 173285 Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay Send pictures/video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk Upload your pictures / video here Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100 View the full article
  4. BBC: North Korea missile tests

    North Korea: Tremor detected in sign of possible nuclear test 3 September 2017 From the section Asia A large earth tremor has been detected in North Korea, raising speculation that the country has carried out its sixth nuclear test. US seismologists said the 5.6 magnitude quake was recorded at a depth of 10km (six miles). South Korea immediately convened a national security council meeting. The tremor comes hours after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was pictured with what state media said was a new type of hydrogen bomb. State media said the device could be loaded on to a ballistic missile. Neither claim could be independently verified. View the full article
  5. BBC: North Korea missile tests

    North Korea missiles: Projectile flies over Japan 28 August 2017 From the section Asia Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The latest missile test follows a similar launch on Saturday North Korea has fired a missile that flew over northern Japan before crashing into the sea. No effort was made by the Japanese to shoot down the missile, which was launched early in the morning local time, triggering safety warnings. The missile broke into three pieces before it landed, local media reported. There has a been a wave of North Korean missile tests but it is the first time in eight years that one has flown over Japan. On Friday and Saturday North Korea fired three short-range missiles into the sea off its eastern coast. Have North Korea's missile tests paid off? What can the outside world do? Can the US defend itself against North Korea? As this latest missile flew towards Japan warning alarms went off across northern Japan but public broadcaster NHK said there was no sign of any damage. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said afterwards the government was doing its utmost to protect people's lives. Skip Twitter post by @Chihokomoriya Report End of Twitter post by @Chihokomoriya Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga described the latest test as an "unprecedented" threat. He said that Japan would take "appropriate steps" in response. Japan is likely to see the test as a serious escalation of tensions given the missile's flight path, the BBC's Yogita Limaye in Seoul says. The Pentagon said that Tuesday's test did not represent a threat to the US and the military was now working to gather more intelligence about it. Earlier this month North Korea threatened to fire missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam, while US President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the US. Image copyright Reuters Image caption North Korea recently threatened to target the US territory of Guam The US and South Korea are currently engaged in joint military exercises and the North's missile tests are often in response to them. Thousands of troops from both countries are participating in the drills, which are mainly computer-simulated exercises. View the full article
  6. Image captionThere are currently 73 operational police station front counters, down from 136 since 2013 Half of London's police station front counters will close under new plans announced by the Mayor of London. Sadiq Kahn said budget constraints had left him "no choice". Scotland Yard estimates it will need to make £400m of savings by 2020 under current funding. Under proposals each of the Met's 32 boroughs will be left with one 24-hour counter. There are currently 73 working counters, down from 136 since 2013. Conservatives said the mayor was using government funding as a "scapegoat". London Assembly member Gareth Bacon said: ""The fact is the Met has found three quarters of the savings it requires and no announcement has yet been made about future funding." Mr Khan set out the new plans in a consultation document on public access and engagement published on Friday. City Hall says that closing "poorly used" front counters will save £10m each year - equivalent to the cost of 170 police constables. Since 2010, the Met has had to find £600m of savings. Image copyrightREUTERS Image captionSadiq Kahn said current funding left him "no choice" but to close half of London's police front counters Some 8% of crimes were reported at police front counters in 2016, down from 22% in 2006, according to official figures. About 70% of crimes are reported by phone. Under the plans, remaining police buildings will get upgraded IT services while frontline officers will be provided with tablet computers - in an an effort to boost the reporting of crime online. Mr Khan said: "The huge government cuts to the Metropolitan Police Service have left us with no choice but to take drastic action to protect the frontline of policing. "My top priority is keeping Londoners safe, and every pound saved by closing a front counter is a pound of savings that we do not have to find by reducing the frontline." Image captionSince 2010, the Met has had to find £600m of savings and estimate they will need to find another £400m in the next three years When former mayor Boris Johnson cut police station front counters in 2013, Mr Khan criticised the move, suggesting Londoners could be forced to report crime at police "contact points" in McDonald's restaurants. The Home Office said Scotland Yard has had a "broadly flat" budget since 2015. A spokesman said: "There is more money and more officers for each Londoner than anywhere else in the country. "This government will continue to ensure that the Metropolitan Police have the resources they need to cut crime and keep our communities safe." The public consultation is open until 6 October. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40607533
  7. Image copyrightAFP Image captionMillions of travellers could be affected by the crisis The Brazilian authorities have suspended the issuing of new passports because of a budget crisis. The Federal Police, which usually issue passports within six working days, said it would not accept any new applications made after Tuesday. One of Brazil's prosecutors blamed President Michel Temer's budget cuts. Brazil is suffering its worst recession in decades. The government said emergency funds for passports would be debated this week. In a statement late on Tuesday, the federal police said the decision to stop issuing new passports "stems from a dearth of funds earmarked to the activities of migratory control and the issuance of travel documents". Passport application charges range from 260 reais ($79; £61) for a 10-year passport to 350 reais ($106; £83) for express processing. One of Brazil's top prosecutors, Carlos Lima, accused the government of trying to stifle the police by cutting their funding. Federal police are investigating the involvement of the country's business and political elite in a corruption scheme centred on the state oil company, Petrobras. "Who wins with this? The investigative team has been reduced," Mr Lima said. The announcement comes as President Temer's government tries to rein in spending as part of an effort to address a deep fiscal deficit. Brazil's budget ministry has proposed extra funds to help ease the strain on passport issuance and has urged the Congress, who have to approve the measure, to vote as early as next week. Brazil is currently approaching the winter holiday season - a peak travel period. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-40438147
  8. MSPs have passed legislation aimed at merging railway policing north of the border into Police Scotland. The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill is the first step towards the national force taking on the role of British Transport Police (BTP). There had been a lengthy debate over the plan, with police bosses warning it could be "massively complicated" and "a real challenge". The bill passed by 68 votes to 53, with the Greens backing the SNP. Labour and the Conservatives have opposed the merger and the bill throughout, and the Lib Dems - who had supported the legislation in the stage one vote in order to pursue amendments at committee stage - also voted against the bill. Look back on the stage three debate and vote on Holyrood Live The Scottish government has long wanted to integrate railway policing services into the single national force, and tabled a bill to that end in December 2016. The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill confers extra powers on the Scottish Police Authority and the Police Service of Scotland, but further legislation would be needed at Holyrood and Westminster to transfer staff, properties and cross-border policing functions. The Scottish government insists the integration will provide "efficient and effective" delivery of policing. However, there has been debate over the plan, with concerns ranging from how cross-border services would be affected to the potential dilution of the special skills of transport officers. The BTP wanted to continue providing railway policing in Scotland, but with oversight from Holyrood rather than Westminster. Chief Constable Paul Crowther warned MSPs that a merger could present a "real challenge" in replacing officers amid a "significant outflow of expertise". However, Police Scotland's Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins told the justice committee the move was not a "land-grab" by his force, saying the transition would be "complicated, but not insurmountable". 'Absolutely committed' After a series of votes on amendments during the stage three debate, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said the "primary objective" of the move was to "maintain and enhance high standards of safety". He said the bill would improve accountability of railway policing in Scotland, and said he remained "absolutely committed" to backing staff. The Scottish Conservatives opposed the plans, with MSP Oliver Mundell describing the merger as "an ill-judged and ill-thought out idea". He added: "The list of those with concerns is almost as long as the Scottish government's list of excuses on policing matters." Image copyrightBRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE MSPs have passed legislation aimed at merging railway policing north of the border into Police Scotland. The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill is the first step towards the national force taking on the role of British Transport Police (BTP). There had been a lengthy debate over the plan, with police bosses warning it could be "massively complicated" and "a real challenge". The bill passed by 68 votes to 53, with the Greens backing the SNP. Labour and the Conservatives have opposed the merger and the bill throughout, and the Lib Dems - who had supported the legislation in the stage one vote in order to pursue amendments at committee stage - also voted against the bill. Look back on the stage three debate and vote on Holyrood Live The Scottish government has long wanted to integrate railway policing services into the single national force, and tabled a bill to that end in December 2016. The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill confers extra powers on the Scottish Police Authority and the Police Service of Scotland, but further legislation would be needed at Holyrood and Westminster to transfer staff, properties and cross-border policing functions. The Scottish government insists the integration will provide "efficient and effective" delivery of policing. However, there has been debate over the plan, with concerns ranging from how cross-border services would be affected to the potential dilution of the special skills of transport officers. Image captionTransport Minister Humza Yousaf said the government had "listened closely" to concerns about the plans The BTP wanted to continue providing railway policing in Scotland, but with oversight from Holyrood rather than Westminster. Chief Constable Paul Crowther warned MSPs that a merger could present a "real challenge" in replacing officers amid a "significant outflow of expertise". However, Police Scotland's Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins told the justice committee the move was not a "land-grab" by his force, saying the transition would be "complicated, but not insurmountable". 'Absolutely committed' After a series of votes on amendments during the stage three debate, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said the "primary objective" of the move was to "maintain and enhance high standards of safety". He said the bill would improve accountability of railway policing in Scotland, and said he remained "absolutely committed" to backing staff. The Scottish Conservatives opposed the plans, with MSP Oliver Mundell describing the merger as "an ill-judged and ill-thought out idea". He added: "The list of those with concerns is almost as long as the Scottish government's list of excuses on policing matters." Image captionThe bill was passed by 68 votes to 53 Labour's Claire Baker also spoke out against the plan, warning of a loss of expertise and saying: "The Scottish government have ignored concerns of staff and unions". Her colleague Neil Bibby, who moved a series of amendments to the bill, said it was "shocking" that the government was "ignoring the views of our police officers". Lib Dem MSP Mike Russell said the merger was the riskiest of three options put forward, saying that ministers had decided that the majority of those in the policing sector who opposed the move were wrong. However, Green member John Finnie said his party would support the bill on the condition there was no detriment to staff. Commenting after the bill was approved, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "With this move we are ensuring that policing on Scotland's 93 million annual rail journeys is fully accountable to the people of Scotland and our parliament. "Making this change gives our railway officers access to the specialist resources of the UK's second largest police force including, crucially, counter-terrorism capabilities." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-40404532
  9. A driver who started an argument with two cyclists only to discover they were off-duty police officers has been fined £200. Joseph McCarthy, 50, had pulled in front of the cyclists before braking unnecessarily in Larbert's Bellsdyke Road, causing them to brake. McCarthy was later identified, reported and charged by the officers. He was convicted of careless driving at Falkirk Justice of the Peace Court and had three points added to his licence. A Forth Valley Division spokesman said: "The moral of this story is our officers regularly cycle to work and you never know when you might encounter a police officer." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-39806769
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. A national campaign, led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, has released a film featuring celebrities talking about how they faced their own mental health problems. Rapper Professor Green, cricketer Freddie Flintoff, comedian Ruby Wax and others say admitting their problems for the first time made them realise they were not alone. But for many, asking for help can be much harder. "We didn't really know what we were being sent to," Dan Farnworth, a paramedic in the north-west, says. "The next thing I knew, a child was just placed into my arms." It was 2015, and Dan had just been sent to a 999 call that would change his life. "When we arrived we knocked on the front door, but we couldn't get in. We didn't know what had happened inside," the 31-year-old told the Victoria Derbyshire programme. It quickly became apparent the call involved the murder of a young child. "All of a sudden this little girl was just placed in my arms," Dan, a father-of-four, says. "I just remember looking at her. I remember thinking she looked like one of my own children. She had the same colour hair as one of my children. "I just felt like I froze. It was scary. It is the worst thing I have ever seen in 12 years of doing this job." Flashbacks That night, the horror of what Dan had witnessed began to dawn on him. He finished his shift early and went home, but couldn't sleep. He soon realised something more serious was wrong. "I started having nightmares and flashbacks," he says. "My mind started filling in the gaps, seeing things happen that I hadn't actually seen. "It was awful. I had flashbacks during the day and I was becoming like a recluse and not talking to people at work." In the days and weeks that followed, Dan says he became "a different person". "I realised something was wrong but didn't know where to turn. It was like I was in a deep dark hole, I was scared and drinking and smoking more heavily." Dan says he was struggling to deal with his mental health problems, but feared being honest with his employers might have seen him lose his job. He had always wanted to work in the emergency services. Starting in the ambulance control room answering 999 calls, he then spent time dispatching the air ambulance, before finally applying for a job as an emergency medical technician. He had been on the road since 2010. "I was actually scared that by opening up and talking about what was going on, someone would turn round and say 'this job isn't for you'." 'Put the kettle on' Eventually Dan reached out to his friend and fellow paramedic Rich Morton. Dan says he typed out a text message, telling Rich what had been going on. However, he deleted it before he could send it. He re-wrote the message, but again deleted it. He wrote the message for a third time, and this time pressed send. Dan was so scared of what his friend would say that he hid his mobile phone under a pillow. "He texted me straight back, saying 'put the kettle on, I'm coming over'," he says now. "That text message was the first day of the rest of my life." Dan was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He was signed off work for five months. He says he was offered "unbelievable" support from his GP and received counselling. According to the charity Mind, he is not alone in working in the emergency services and suffering mental health problems. The charity says nearly 90% of blue light staff have reported stress and poor mental health at work. Emergency workers are twice as likely to identify problems at work as the main cause of those mental health problems as the general workforce, Mind says. Dan and Rich have since started their own charity, called Our Blue Light, aimed at improving the mental health of blue light services workers. And through their involvement with Mind, Dan and Rich have also rubbed shoulders with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Marathon challenge Last year, the three royals launched a new campaign called Heads Together, aimed at ending the stigma surrounding mental health. On Wednesday, Heads Together released a series of films to encourage "a national conversation" about mental health. Celebrities including cricketer Freddie Flintoff, comedian Ruby Wax and ex-Downing Street communications director Alastair Campbell have released films about their mental health struggles. In a statement, the royals said: "We have seen time and time again that shattering stigma on mental health starts with simple conversations. "When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall." The royals say attitudes towards mental health are now "at tipping point." As for Dan, Prince Harry had a more specific challenge. "He told me we should run the London Marathon," Dan says, "so we started running the very next day." "Stigmas still exist and [mental health] is a taboo subject," Dan says. "People think mental health is a big issue, but I'm Dan, I'm 31 years old with a job and a family and my life is normal. But I have a mental health problem." Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39432297
  14. A planned 3,000-person drinking trip on inflatable dinghies on a city centre river has been criticised by police. The River Tyne Booze Cruise is based on the Finnish Kaljakellunta, meaning "beer floating". This is "what England needs", organisers said. They said alcohol quantities would be "regulated". Northumbria Police said they were concerned about people drinking a "significant amount of alcohol" in vessels that were not "appropriate". "The River Tyne is not a countryside stream," a spokesman said. "The current is strong, there is a lot of debris and a number of vessels use the waterway every single day. "A rubber dinghy is not an appropriate vessel to be used on this river and if people were to fall overboard then they could find themselves in real danger." The force said it would speak to the organisers. One, Kieran Chapman, said it was "more of a social drink not a night out in town getting mortal". "People will be searched before they go on to the river to make sure that they're not drinking five litres of vodka," he said. The event's Facebook page recommends participants wear armbands and life jackets and stay on their vessel at all times "to eliminate accidents". The July event, lasting three-and-a-half hours, is due to begin in Newburn and finish on the quayside. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-39418982
  15. An attempted murder inquiry has been launched after a driver reversed, dragging a police officer down the street. The incident happened in the Sighthill area of Glasgow at about 13:00 on Tuesday. The officer had been speaking to the driver of a red Vauxhall Astra when he suddenly threw the car into reverse. He then got out of his car in Alford Street and fled on foot. The police officer was unhurt. A Police Scotland spokesman said: "The officer did not require medical treatment and resumed duty following the incident. The man in the car then ran off. "Police are following a positive line of inquiry." The Scottish Police Federation has been made aware of the incident. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-39433018 Sounds bad, but I understand the police officer was left shaken but unhurt.
  16. A device which exploded in Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland has been described as an attempt to kill police. A device exploded Tuesday at around 2030hrs in close proximity to officers on patrol. "They" have not gone away unfortunately. BBC News NI: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-39350435
  17. Reality Check: Did the government protect police funding? 1 hour ago From the section UK Share The claim: Failing police forces have "no excuse" because their budgets have been protected. Reality Check verdict: Overall the police budget in England and Wales has been protected in real terms, but not every individual force will feel the benefit because the money is being targeted at specialist areas of policing. This relatively small funding boost comes off the back of five years of deep cuts. In 2015, the government announced that overall police budgets would be protected. This meant the amount of money the police receive from the government would increase each year in line with inflation for the following five years. The Minister for Policing, Brandon Lewis, flagged this in response to a report by the independent inspector of police forces, which found a "worrying" variation in the quality of policing across England and Wales, despite improvements overall. Police funding in Scotland is devolved and Northern Ireland has different funding arrangements so they were not included in the report. 'No excuse' The report was compiled by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Mr Lewis said: "This Government has protected police funding, through the 2015 Spending Review. "There can be no excuse for any force that fails to deliver on its obligations - those identified as inadequate or requiring improvement must take HMIC's findings very seriously and I expect to see rapid improvements." The inspectorate had warned that some police forces were "struggling to respond to shrinking resources". It is true to say that the overall policing budget was protected in real terms in 2015 but this figure disguises some regional variation. Part of the £900m extra funding over the following five years is going on specific areas of policing like cybercrime and tackling child sexual exploitation which are often dealt with regionally, so not every individual force will see the benefit of this uplift. Austerity cuts A Home Office statement at the time of the announcement said that it would provide funding to maintain individual police force budgets at current cash levels. Not every police force will necessarily receive enough money to keep up with inflation. Spending on policing had been rising steadily for at least 15 years until austerity cuts began to kick in from 2010. It rose particularly rapidly in the 10 years to this date, going up by more than 30%. Following the 2008 crash and the swathe of cuts to public spending that followed, the part of police forces' budgets that are paid for by central government shrunk by 22% on average. Click to see content: Police_funding Before the 2015 announcement there was already regional variation. This is in large part because of the two main ways policing is funded: through a grant from central government and council tax. Different areas rely to different extents on the central government grant; for example last year Northumbria and the West Midlands police forces raised 12% of their revenue through council tax while Surrey raised almost half (49%) of its revenue in this way. This often corresponds to how well-off an area is - generally poorer areas have lower tax takes and rely more on government grants. As these grants have reduced, a larger proportion of budgets is coming from council tax. Since the grant was cut by the same percentage around the country, areas that lean most heavily on central government money, and are the least able to raise money through council tax, will have felt those cuts most sharply. Lean years You can see this in the real-term reductions to funding in different police forces. Between 2010 and 2016 Northumbria suffered a 23% cut while in Surrey it was only 12%. The areas that raised funding by the smallest amount during the previous good years have also experienced the biggest cuts in the lean years. However, it is also worth noting that the variation in quality raised in the HMIC report does not correspond directly to how much budgets have been cut. Bedfordshire, the only force to be rated inadequate, experienced a cut over the last five years that was about average for the country - a 17% fall compared with a fall of 18% across England and Wales. Durham, the only force to be rated outstanding, suffered an above average 20% cut. Demographic differences Of course, simply comparing budget cuts to performance does not take account of demographic differences and crime levels. So while it is true to say that policing is being protected at least to some extent, this comes off the back of five years of deep cuts - cuts which feel larger relative to large increases in spending in the preceding years. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39144620
  18. Nigerian jet 'kills at least 50' civilians in accidental attack 17 January 2017 From the section Africa A Nigerian air force jet has accidentally killed and injured many civilians in the north-east of the country, the military has said. International aid agency MSF says at least 50 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in the incident. Aid workers are among the casualties - the Red Cross says six of its workers are confirmed dead. The attack took place near Nigeria's border with Cameroon where the army has been fighting Boko Haram militants. Army spokesman Maj-Gen Lucky Irabor said the jet's pilot mistakenly believed he was attacking insurgents. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a message expressing his dismay at the loss of life. View the full article
  19. BBC: Search for MH370 suspended

    Search for MH370 suspended 17 January 2017 From the section Asia Search for Malaysian plane MH370 that disappeared in 2014 with 239 on board is suspended This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. If you want to receive Breaking News alerts via email, or on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App then details on how to do so are available on this help page. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. View the full article
  20. Elections to be held in Northern Ireland on 2 March 16 January 2017 From the section Northern Ireland Northern Ireland will go to the polls on 2 March to elect a new Assembly after the power-sharing executive collapsed over a botched green energy scheme. Stormont was plunged into crisis after the resignation of Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister last week. The catalyst was the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which is likely to cost taxpayers £490m. View the full article
  21. Jerusalem 'lorry attack' injures 15 8 January 2017 From the section Middle East Police in Jerusalem have shot a suspected terrorist who rammed a lorry into a group of pedestrians, injuring at least 15, reports say. The attack occurred on a popular promenade overlooking the walled Old City of Jerusalem. "It is a terrorist attack, a ramming attack," a police spokeswoman said on Israel Radio, which reported that bodies were "strewn on the street". The attack comes weeks after 12 people died in a lorry attack in Berlin. View the full article
  22. Japan has one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world. In 2014 there were just six gun deaths, compared to 33,599 in the US. What is the secret? If you want to buy a gun in Japan you need patience and determination. You have to attend an all-day class, take a written exam and pass a shooting-range test with a mark of at least 95%. There are also mental health and drugs tests. Your criminal record is checked and police look for links to extremist groups. Then they check your relatives too - and even your work colleagues. And as well as having the power to deny gun licences, police also have sweeping powers to search and seize weapons. That's not all. Handguns are banned outright. Only shotguns and air rifles are allowed. The law restricts the number of gun shops. In most of Japan's 40 or so prefectures there can be no more than three, and you can only buy fresh cartridges by returning the spent cartridges you bought on your last visit. Police must be notified where the gun and the ammunition are stored - and they must be stored separately under lock and key. Police will also inspect guns once a year. And after three years your licence runs out, at which point you have to attend the course and pass the tests again. This helps explain why mass shootings in Japan are extremely rare. When mass killings occur, the killer most often wields a knife. The current gun control law was introduced in 1958, but the idea behind the policy dates back centuries. "Ever since guns entered the country, Japan has always had strict gun laws," says Iain Overton, executive director of Action on Armed Violence and the author of Gun Baby Gun. "They are the first nation to impose gun laws in the whole world and I think it laid down a bedrock saying that guns really don't play a part in civilian society." People were being rewarded for giving up firearms as far back as 1685, a policy Overton describes as "perhaps the first ever gun buyback initiative". The result is a very low level of gun ownership - 0.6 guns per 100 people in 2007, according to the Small Arms Survey, compared to 6.2 in England and Wales and 88.8 in the US. "The moment you have guns in society, you will have gun violence but I think it's about the quantity," says Overton. "If you have very few guns in society, you will almost inevitably have low levels of violence." Japanese police officers rarely use guns and put much greater emphasis on martial arts - all are expected to become a black belt in judo. They spend more time practising kendo (fighting with bamboo swords) than learning how to use firearms. "The response to violence is never violence, it's always to de-escalate it. Only six shots were fired by Japanese police nationwide [in 2015]," says journalist Anthony Berteaux. "What most Japanese police will do is get huge futons and essentially roll up a person who is being violent or drunk into a little burrito and carry them back to the station to calm them down." Overton contrasts this with the American model, which he says has been "to militarise the police". "If you have too many police pulling out guns at the first instance of crime, you lead to a miniature arms race between police and criminals," he says. To underline the taboo attached to inappropriate use of weapons, an officer who used his gun to kill himself was charged posthumously with a criminal offence. He carried out the act while on duty - policemen never carry weapons off-duty, leaving them at the station when they finish their shift. The care police take with firearms is mirrored in the self-defence forces. Journalist Jake Adelstein once attended a shooting practice, which ended with the gathering up of the bullet casings - and there was great concern when one turned out to be missing. "One bullet shell was unaccounted for - one shell had fallen behind one of the targets - and nobody was allowed to leave the facilities until they found the shell," he says. There is no clamour in Japan for gun regulations to be relaxed, says Berteaux. "A lot of it stems from this post-war sentiment of pacifism that the war was horrible and we can never have that again," he explains. "People assume that peace is always going to exist and when you have a culture like that you don't really feel the need to arm yourself or have an object that disrupts that peace." In fact, moves to expand the role of Japan's self-defence forces in foreign peacekeeping operations have caused concern in some quarters. "It is unknown territory," says political science professor Koichi Nakano. "Maybe the government will try to normalise occasional death in the self-defence force and perhaps even try to glorify the exercise of weapons?" According to Iain Overton, the "almost taboo level of rejection" of guns in Japan means that the country is "edging towards a perfect place" - though he points out that Iceland also achieves a very low rate of gun crime, despite a much higher level of gun ownership. Henrietta Moore of the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London applauds the Japanese for not viewing gun ownership as "a civil liberty", and rejecting the idea of firearms as "something you use to defend your property against others". But for Japanese gangsters the tight gun control laws are a problem. Yakuza gun crime has sharply declined in the last 15 years, but those who continue to carry firearms have to find ingenious ways of smuggling them into the country. "The criminals pack the guns inside of a tuna so it looks like a frozen tuna," says retired police officer Tahei Ogawa. "But we have discovered cases where they have actually hidden a gun inside." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38365729 Probably too late for the police in the UK and US to take this approach, but certainly an interesting article.
  23. Israel PM backs pardon for soldier 4 January 2017 From the section Middle East Israeli PM Netanyahu calls for pardon of soldier convicted of manslaughter for the killing of wounded Palestinian This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. If you want to receive Breaking News alerts via email, or on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App then details on how to do so are available on this help page. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. View the full article
  24. Five arrests after fatal hit-and-run 1 January 2017 From the section UK Five men arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after girl aged 12 killed in Oldham hit-and-run This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. If you want to receive Breaking News alerts via email, or on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App then details on how to do so are available on this help page. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. View the full article
  25. US expels Russian diplomats over cyber attacks 29 December 2016 From the section US & Canada The US has expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for alleged interference into the presidential election. It will also close two Russian compounds used for intelligence-gathering, in Maryland and New York, as part of a raft of retaliatory measures. President Barack Obama had vowed action against Russia amid US accusations it directed hacks against the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton's campaign. Russia has denied any involvement. View the full article

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