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  1. Force fined £234,500 in landmark conviction against office of the chief constable. Emergency Response Belt: Judge Julian Lambert ruled he could not be sure that the ERB, designed to restrain limbs, was a contributory factor in Thomas Orchard's death Date - 3rd May 2019 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle 1 Comment Recruitment will be put “on hold” after a force was fined £234,500 for health and safety breaches in relation to an emergency response belt used around the face of a man before he collapsed in detention. The six-figure sum handed out at Bristol Crown Court meant around seven new officers would not be able to join the Devon and Cornwall force as a result of the financial penalty, it announced. Thomas Orchard, 32, died in hospital seven days after being arrested and taken to Heavitree Road police station in Exeter, Devon, in October 2012. While in custody, Mr Orchard, who had paranoid schizophrenia, was restrained and an ERB was placed across his face to prevent spitting or biting for five minutes and two seconds. The restraints were removed and the church caretaker was left in a locked cell, where he lay apparently motionless for 12 minutes before custody staff re-entered and started CPR. A post-mortem examination found he died from a severe hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. In a landmark conviction in 2018, the office of the chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police admitted breaches under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The charge stated that the force failed to ensure non-employees, including Mr Orchard, were not exposed to risks in connection with the ERB. Last month, Judge Julian Lambert ruled he could not be sure that the ERB, designed to restrain limbs, was a contributory factor in Mr Orchard's death. On Friday, he fined the force £234,500 at a sentencing hearing, and said the force's approval of the belt for use about the face followed a "fundamentally flawed process". The force was also ordered to pay £20,515 in costs. Outside court, Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said: "Today's sentence is clear in its judgment that the actions of Devon and Cornwall Police did not lead to the death of Thomas Orchard. And he said the fine was well short of the £6 million the prosecution had been seeking. Earlier, Jason Beer QC, representing the force, said any fine would have to be funded by a halt in recruitment. Every £100,000 fine would result in a reduction of three recruits for Devon and Cornwall Police, he said. "It took the occurrence of Mr Orchard's tragic death to reveal errors in the procurement, risk assessment and training procedures in the force," Mr Beer told the court. "The use of the device did not, on the evidence, cause actual harm to any person." Following the sentencing, the Independent Office for Police Conduct is expected to initiate misconduct proceedings against officers. Judge Lambert said use of the belt over the face "crept in" despite the force only approving it for use as a limb restraint in 2002. By 2003, force policy was changed to advocate the use of the ERB over the face. "This occurred without any risk assessment or any research being carried out on the effects of use of the emergency response belt as a hood," the judge said. "The prosecution properly characterises this as a fundamentally flawed process. This was accompanied with a lack of uniformity in training." In mitigation, the force said the belt had been used around 500 times about the head before Mr Orchard's death without reports of injury. The judge said: "I appreciate that there is a significant body of evidence that no one was, in fact, killed or very seriously injured because of the use of the belt as a spit or bite guard. "It is, however, my assessment that it was only a matter of time before someone was going to be. "The ERB didn't automatically restrict breathing when used as a hood but it had the capacity to do so in certain situations. "If breathing were restricted in an excited and possibly delirious detainee, perhaps not in good health, I considered it stood to reason that the predicate very serious consequences might ensure." The judge said that concerns were raised about the ERB used about the face in a report by Dr Graham Cook in 2001 – 11 years before Mr Orchard's death. "This report was available to the defendant in 2002 but its concerns were not properly appreciated," Judge Lambert said. "There was an alarming inadvertence to risk." During the hearing, Mark Heywood QC for the prosecution read an extract of a victim personal statement by Mr Orchard's mother Alison. She described the impact of the church caretaker's death on his family. "It has been painful to witness how an organisation which had a duty of care for Thomas was so casual, disorganised and sloppy in their approach to health and safety," she said. "Perhaps the hardest thing to hear was how Thomas's detention could have and should have been managed." She said the family's faith in Devon and Cornwall Police had been "tarnished" and they had been left "fearful" of how they would be treated by officers. Speaking outside court, Mr Orchard's father Ken Orchard said the family were leaving court with "no sense of real justice". "Investigations over the past six-and-a-half years have highlighted some criminally appalling health and safety practices which desperately needed changing," he said. "We hope more than anything that the residents of Devon and Cornwall will be at least a little safer today as a result of Thomas's death." Helen Stone, of Hickman and Rose, the Orchard family's solicitor, said: "Although Judge Lambert previously ruled that he cannot be sure that the emergency response belt caused Thomas's death, his comments in court today make it clear that he considers it was only a matter of time before someone was going to be killed or very seriously injured because of the use of the belt as a spit or bite guard. "But this case is also significant because it has exposed the worryingly haphazard way the UK's police forces obtain and use the specialist equipment they deploy on Britain's streets." IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: "Devon and Cornwall Police's guilty plea last year on health and safety charges represented a landmark conviction as the first ever from a police force in relation to a death in custody. "While there was a failure with the force's corporate decision making, we maintain that there is also a need for the actions of some individual officers involved in the detention and restraint of Mr Orchard prior to his death to be considered by a misconduct hearing panel." The IOPC said arrangements were being made for misconduct hearings to be held by Devon and Cornwall Police. CC Sawyer said the force responded quickly to matters arising as a result of Mr Orchard's death. "The court noted that there had been no recommendations from the IOPC or HSE, yet nevertheless the force acted proactively in response to this tragedy," he said. "Devon and Cornwall Police is a very different organisation six-and-a-half years on from Thomas Orchard's death in terms of the training delivered to staff, awareness of mental health crisis and our ability to identify and manage violent, vulnerable people coming into police contact," he added. View On Police Oracle
  2. Cornwall man becomes first in UK to be police officer, firefighter and paramedic Andrew Hichens is tri-service officer in popular resort town of Hayle, working alongside on-call firefighters, fully fledged police officers and ambulance crews Andrew Hichens who is trained as a fireman, policeman and paramedic. Photograph: SWNS/Cornwall Council He won’t literally be wearing three hats at once – just one hat with three badges representing his roles as a police officer, firefighter and a paramedic.   If there’s a fire on his patch in Hayle, Cornwall, there’s a very good chance he will be on scene; if there is a road accident he will be on hand; a crime to sort out? Hichens is your man.   Hichens, 28, who has two young sons, accepts he is going to be very busy indeed. “It’s very new; it’s going to be a challenge. It is an exciting time for Hayle and myself,” he said.   Hichens is most likely to be spotted in his role as a police community officer – his place falls between that of a volunteer community support officer and a fully sworn police officer. He will be patrolling Hayle, a popular resort town with a historic harbour, in his grey electric car (wearing a unique grey uniform).   But he will also have one eye or ear on his fire and ambulance pagers. Because his police patrol will centre on Hayle, control room staff will know he is likely to be able to get to almost any emergency in the town swiftly. Andrew Hichens, front, with some of his colleagues from the three emergency services he will be working with. Photograph: SWNS/Cornwall Council   Things might get confusing in certain circumstances. If Hayle gets to a fire and finds a body, for example, there may be tension between his roles as a firefighter and police officer – consequently the scope of his role will be reviewed regularly to make sure it is working smoothly.   “I was drawn to the job as it provides the community with a unique presence,” Hichens said. “I want to become a familiar face in the local community, someone the public are happy to see and who can respond to any incident or inquiry.”   He will be based at the new Hayle tri-service centre, working alongside on-call firefighters, fully-fledged police officers and ambulance crews. Emergency responders from the three services began working from the hub in March.   Employed by Cornwall fire and rescue service, Hichens’s role has been funded as part of a two-year government pilot aimed at strengthening collaboration between blue-light services.   The fire, police and ambulance bosses insist this is not just a way of saving money and getting more work out one person. They insist it will be a cleverer, more efficient use of resources, especially in a relatively remote part of the UK. Assistant chief fire officer Phil Martin said: “Andrew will be a familiar face in the community, and working together with his colleagues in one building means we will all benefit from his shared expertise from across the three services.”   Neil Le Chevalier, director of operations for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are the first in the country to bring all three services into one building and the benefits are immense, particularly for the local community of Hayle where we have a dedicated person able to respond on behalf of the three services.”   Asst Ch Con Paul Netherton, from Devon and Cornwall police, said: “The tri-service officer is a groundbreaking idea being introduced into Cornwall. It brings together the skills and training of the three emergency services into one individual and means that we can provide a really effective first responder to any situation.   “This concept is very exciting and we are already thinking how we can expand this beyond Hayle. What it will do is, despite the tough austerity times for the emergency services, is provide local communities with a dedicated local officer who can provide that initial support to our local communities.   “This, coupled with the development of the emergency tri-service buildings, will hopefully safeguard our presence in our communities as well as making us more effective in our response to emergencies and calls for help.”   Hichens spent eight years working as a firefighter in nearby Camborne. He began his police and paramedic training in November.   “There’s not a lot of spare time, having a fiancee and two little boys, but it is important,” he said. “They are very understanding. We realised early on this is a lifestyle choice.”   http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/23/cornwall-man-police-officer-firefighter-paramedic-hayle?CMP=share_btn_tw    
  3. Farm Boy

    New training program?

    Please see the like: http://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/our-people/recruitment/special-constables/training-preference/ (Training preference We are currently developing an open learning package which will allow students to undertake the academic aspect of their training at home. This option could include e-books, web-based seminars and various other methods of learning at a time and place convenient to you. This will reduce the number of training weekends in Exeter, making joining the Special Constabulary available to people who previously could not commit to the conventional weekend classroom programme. Some benefits could include: Learn at a time that suits you Reduce travelling times to training facilities Learn in the most comfortable environment for you With this in mind please can you answer the following questions within the linked survey. Please answer honestly, this survey is anonymous and the information is being used to develop the most accessible learning package for as many people as possible. Webpage links Special Constabulary Training Survey) What are your thoughts?? I think that you can not replace a person and their experiences as a trainer in a classroom and be able to learn to the same standards at home with a gadget and all of the distractions??
  4. A VIDEO appearing to show teenagers abusing and threatening two Plymouth police officers has gone viral online.   The footage appears to have been filmed by the main protagonist using his mobile phone.   One police officer is particularly targeted, while his colleague is also verbally abused.   The lad on the video says to the city PC: "Watch your back", before going on to say: "You're in Estover now."   The incident is filmed at a bus stop as the police officer's colleague appears to be carrying out a search of one of the lad's pals.   The video has been posted on Facebook and already been shared more than 2,000 times.   Over 100 people have commented on the footage - some declaring outrage that the lad who filmed it was not arrested at the scene.   At the end of the video, the two PCs get into their car and drive off.   The lad is warned about his language several times by the main target of his abuse.   "I've got a right to record you," the lad says after being warned he is being cheeky.   "You're in Estover now. You want to watch your back, mate.   "You're in Estover - things happen round here. Bad things, mate. People go walkabouts, mate."   He then calls the officer a "little ******g perv" and goes on to say: "Get back in your Baconmobile and drive off.   "You're not wanted here. Jog on, you little mug.   "You're on minimum wage, you little bum. You're working for me."   A police spokesman said: “Unfortunately we have a small minority of people who are abusive to the police and we understand some people will be shocked watching the video and wonder why he wasn’t arrested. An officer has to use their judgement and take account of a number of factors.   “The individual doing the filming is known to Plymouth police. The officer was aware he was being filmed and that he was being deliberately goaded to react for the benefit of the video.   “I can confirm this incident is subject to a police enquiry and action will be taken against this individual. Just because action isn’t taken at the time does not mean it is the end of the matter. Unfortunately I can’t comment further on this incident, but it was important to provide some context."   http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/VIDEO-Plymouth-police-officers-terrorised/story-26022238-detail/story.html   I can't get the video to display properly so you'll need to click on the article link to view it.  
  5. One man dead and several injured in Plymouth 'axe attack'   Officers were called to the pub in the early hours of New Year's Day   A man has died and several were left injured in an alleged axe and knife attack in Plymouth, police said. Officers were called to the Kings Arms pub on The Green, at Tamerton Foliot, at about 01:30 GMT.   A 27-year-old man died at the scene and two others were treated at Derriford Hospital for their injuries, a Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said.   He added weapons had been seized and a 20 and a 21-year-old man had been arrested.   A number of people called police to report a man holding a knife and an axe   Devon and Cornwall Police said both suspects were being detained at Charles Cross Police Station in Plymouth.   A number of people called police to report a man holding a knife and an axe, with further calls of disturbance later in the morning.   Det Supt Jim Colwell said: "We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or who was in the Tamerton Foliot area this morning to contact the police.   "We have established a cordon at Station Road to assist with scene investigation and our officers will be active in the area throughout the day conducting enquiries."   Source BBC News
  6. Manslaughter charges will be brought against three Exeter police officers after the death of a 32-year-old city man in police custody. Thomas Orchard, who worked at St Thomas Church in Exeter, died in October 2012 after being restrained at Heavitree Road police station. He had been arrested in the city centre on October 3 on suspicion of a public order offence. Mr Orchard, who suffered from schizophrenia, had been bound in handcuffs and leg restraints while in a cell and lost consciousness half an hour later, eventually slipping into a coma. He died at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on October 10. It later emerged that an emergency restraint belt had been used as a “spit hood” on Mr Orchard while he was being detained. His death has been investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which submitted a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last year. The commission asked the CPS to consider charging four police officers, two custody staff and an agency nurse. The CPS announced today: “A police sergeant and two custody detention officers have been charged with manslaughter and misconduct in public office following the death of Thomas Orchard in Exeter in October 2012. “Mr Orchard was a 32-year-old who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and in a condition of relapse. He was arrested and restrained on the morning on 3 October 2012. He was taken to Heavitree Police Station Custody Unit and removed from the police van into the holding area and then a cell. Emergency medical assistance was rendered and he was taken to hospital, where he later died. “A full file of evidence was submitted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in October 2014 following their investigation into the way police officers are alleged to have conducted themselves during their contact with Mr Orchard.” Malcolm McHaffie, CPS deputy head of special crime, added: “Sergeant Jan Kingshott and custody detention officers Simon Tansley and Michael Marsden, all of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, have been charged with the manslaughter of Thomas Orchard and with misconduct in public office. “As part of our review of this case we have also decided that there is insufficient evidence to bring charges against three Devon and Cornwall Police constables and an on-site custody nurse employed by Serco. “The decision to prosecute was reached after careful consideration of the evidence and was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We have determined that there is sufficient evidence to give rise to a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest. “All three individuals will appear at Exeter Magistrates' Court on 29 January 2015. “Criminal proceedings have now commenced and the defendants have the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.” In a statement responding to the news Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall Tony Hogg said: “In the coming months much is going to be written and said about this tragic case but it is important that we don’t lose sight of the fact that, at its heart, is the death of a young man and I feel a great sadness that his family have to deal with that every day. “There will be relief that, today, we have reached another stage in the process of finding out what actually happened to Thomas Orchard, but the case has already gone on far too long, for all concerned. “Police officers and staff like any other member of the public are not above the law and today’s announcement means that, at last, a case will be put to those accused, they will be given the opportunity to state their defence and for a court of law to make a judgement. “The Crown Prosecution Service, the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Health and Safety Executive all have serious questions to answer about the time it has taken them to reach this point. It is a scandal that it has taken 26 months to decide on criminal charges. “I am disappointed that the matters relating to any corporate charges remain unresolved. This helps no-one and I would urge both the HSE and the CPS to conclude matters as quickly as possible. “It should be said that the latest HMIC report into the Force custody process found it to be a ‘good’ and ‘improving’ standard. “This is supported by reports my office receives from the independent custody visitors. ICVs are volunteers from the local community who visit all police custody centres unannounced to check on the welfare of detainees, the conditions in which they are being held and to ensure that their rights and entitlements are being observed. “These reports indicate that the people who work in custody are dedicated and work hard in incredibly stressful situations. This aligns with my daily experience of dealing with police officers and staff, which is that they have the safety of the public at heart and go about their duty in a caring and diligent manner. “I believe the chief constable has decided it is right to suspend from duty the three accused and I support him in this action. Suspension is a neutral act, it is not an indicator of guilt but I feel it is being used appropriately in this case.” http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Breaking-Exeter-police-officers-face-manslaughter/story-25727743-detail/story.html
  7. Hi guys Can someone answer a question that came up in our training at Middlemoor this weekend? We were going through GOWISELY and the need to show warrant card came up to ID yourself if you were off duty at the time. With regular officers they can put themselves on duty, but our instructors couldn't say if the same applied to a Special if they were off duty but had their warrant card on them. Can they place themselves on duty to respond to a particular situation?

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