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  1. Journalist 'confident' PC assaulted photographer. Empress State Building Date - 14th November 2018 By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle 1 Comment Channel 4’s longest-running presenter told a misconduct panel he had "never before and never since" seen a police officer act like a close protection officer accused of using unreasonable force against a photojournalist at a Jeremy Corbyn rally. Met Police PC Mark Dawson, based at Royalty and Specialist Command, is accused of grabbing photographer Anthony Devlin around the neck and wrestling him to the ground and damaging his camera on June 7, 2017 despite the fact he presented “very low risk to the public”. He denies all the allegations against him. Mr Devlin is making a civil claim against the MPS for the cost of damaged equipment. PC Dawson had been assigned to help protect Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a campaign visit to Colwyn Bay in Wales the day before the 2017 general election. A large crowd of people turned up to hear Mr Corbyn speak and Mr Devlin was attempting to follow the politician back to a local train station when PC Dawson confronted him. Giving evidence at a misconduct hearing held at the Empress State Building in West London today, Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow told the panel he stands by his description of the scuffle between Mr Devlin and PC Dawson as an “assault”. He said an 18-second video clip played repeatedly to the panel, which appears to show Mr Devlin trying to slip under the linked arms of stewards and then being wrestled to the floor by PC Dawson, does not capture the “sheer violence” of the incident. Mr Snow is heard on the recording shouting “stop it, stop it, stop it man” and putting his hand on PC Dawson’s back. He told the panel: “You can do me for assault. “I had no doubt that man I had my hand on had just assaulted that bloke thrown to the ground and all his equipment smashed. “The force of the collision was so much I would have been very doubtful you could take a picture with them afterwards [Mr Devlin’s cameras]. “The thing that provoked me was the sheer force of what had been delivered. “It was unusually peaceful for a political rally, the general feeling of beach. It was unlike any political event I’d been to. “It was full of holidaymakers, it was an incredibly relaxed scene. I see a very heavy-handed thrust.” Although he said at the time he had had no idea PC Dawson was a police officer, when questioned by the panel about whether he still stands by the “strong language” in his witness statement Mr Snow responded: “I do very strongly. “He hurled himself, he did something which no human being would do to someone else in a civil context. “I have never seen a police officer behaving in such a way in this country, completely losing his temper and self-control. “It was totally unnecessary to do that. If that’s the way we’re going to deal with civilians in a crowd we’ve gone a long way down a dark street.” He said he had seen clashes on the streets of Northern Ireland between police and civilians but “that had been in the context of a protest”. Other photographer witnesses from the June 7- Anthony Goodman and Oliver Scarff, said they also would have questioned the authority of Labour “volunteers” to block the path of a journalist at a public event. They also agreed they would have questioned the power of a police officer to do so. Mr Scarff said he saw PC Dawson bring Mr Devlin to the ground and apply pressure to his neck area in a “grossly disproportionate” reaction. View On Oracle
  2. The extraordinary case of Bedfordshire Police detective Gareth Suffling will be re-lived in detail. Channel 4 Fly-on-the-wall series 24 Hours in Police Custody has captivated viewers since its first episode four years ago. The show, which shadows Bedfordshire Police detectives around the clock, has tackled some of policing’s thorniest issues - from far right extremism to one-punch murders. Tomorrow's season five opener is sure to hit home with officers who have encountered the sense of bewilderment and betrayal of learning a respected colleague has crossed the line. The news of now former detective Gareth Suffling’s imprisonment for blackmailing a prostitute’s customer in 2017 shocked residents and his fellow officers alike. And the Channel 4 film crew captured the astonishing investigation from the moment the victim reported finding a cling-film wrapped letter with photos of the prostitute he had used and a demand for £1,000 on his car. The first thing he wanted to know was: “Is my wife going to find out about this?” Series director Graeme Macaulay said from the onset the case clearly had a “different energy about it.” “All my instincts were telling me something odd was happening. Amber the series producer had a meeting with Jon [Boutcher, chief constable of Bedfordshire Police] and I remember we were speculating is it police corruption? “It was the fact that I guessed accurately that meant we could have an honest conversation about whether we could cover it.” A honey trap had been set up by the Serious and Organised Crime Unit in an attempt to catch the blackmailer on camera within hours of the victim coming into Luton Station. But no-one showed up. Gareth Suffling had been put on the surveillance team for his own crime and had been watching the log where an envelope of cash had been stashed, as directed by his own demand letter, for hours. After Graeme talked through the logistics of covering such a case, CC Boutcher even sent the investigation team home and brought the programme staff in so they could catch Gareth’s arrest on camera. Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire said she thinks the episode shows the best of policing as well as the worst. “I think the programme allows an honest debate around transparency and police misconduct. “While watching it [Gareth’s investigation] again makes me really angry I think it really highlights the brilliance of the investigation. "They did an amazing investigation, the painstaking way they dealt with that as well as having to deal with the emotions I think shines through. CC Boutcher added: “I am a great advocate for police transparency. This programme demonstrates we deal with everything that comes in front of us in the best possible we can." One of the first conversations about plans for the show was that “it’s right there is transparency in the police service”, Graeme said. “What was different about working with a rig camera was that we would look at every element of people’s working lives. "It was an astonishing commitment by both the leadership team and the officers at Bedfordshire police who both unbelievably warmly embraced us.” But the Bedfordshire chief admitted the force was never able to riddle out the conundrum of why Gareth would give up a promising career and risk his marriage for the sake of £1,000. Even Graeme, who had worked with Gareth previously said he was completely taken aback the talented detective had sunk so low. “He was on another programme 18 months earlier arresting someone for blackmail, how does he become that person? And that I think to a certain extent we’ve not understood - that’s the human tragedy here,” CC Boutcher said. ACC Sebire said: “I think one of the extraordinary things in retrospect is he thought he was going to get away with it. “He was a really, really good detective and yet he left the letter in the bin and all sorts, no attempt to cover up his crime. So I do think given the amount was so small he never thought he’d get caught. “We never found anything, any rationale for him doing that. “I think it comes down to greed.” Watch the show tomorrow (Monday February 19) on Channel 4 at 9pm. View On Police Oracle
  3. Techie1

    TV show: no offence

    A new police drama starts on Tuesday 5th May, on channel four, called "no offence" http://www.comedy.co.uk/guide/tv/no_offence/

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