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  1. Police are deliberately not calling helicopters because they cost too much or take too long to arrive, potentially allowing criminals to escape, according to a damning new report. Full Story - Independent It's good that this problem is being reported by quite a lot of different news agencies, but it's sad that almost half of calls are cancelled because the helicopter would arrive too late. It's good that HMIC accepts that all NPAS delivers is cost saving and not a better service. Regarding coverage, about a year ago when base closures were announced there was an image going round on twitter that showed that lots of the country won't be in easy reach of a helicopter at all. Derbyshire police is considering pulling out of NPAS completely and I assume that there would be no replacement either (http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/police-warn-cuts-threaten-helicopter-824655).
  2. Fresh spending cuts threaten to undermine the financial sustainability and operational viability of some police forces, the official policing watchdog has warned. For full story please use the following link. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/20/policing-uncharted-waters-cuts-hmic I just wonder how the government will spin this or will they simply ignore these warnings? After all its obvious that they are right about police reforms and everyone else is wrong :-) I did find this quote concerning though "It was “conceptually possible” that even efficient forces could struggle to remain viable, the report said." To me it seems to warn that every force is at risk, regardless of size or how well they have adjusted to the reductions in funding.
  3. https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/13765/West-Mercia-Police-welcomes-HMIC-efficiency-findings
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-34581100
  5. More people are likely to die in shootings unless firearms rules are overhauled, a watchdog has warned. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies said it was easier to own a gun than become a bus driver because of flaws in medical checks. The HMIC said the licensing system for England and Wales has fundamental gaps and previous recommendations for reforms had not been acted on. Only four of 11 forces it inspected were effectively monitoring licences. As of March last year, 734,336 people were entitled to possess and use shotguns or rifles under the legal system for licensing and certificating firearms in England and Wales. In total, these people owned more than 1.8m guns. Gun crime is very low in the UK - and murders and manslaughters involving shootings are relatively rare. There were 29 in the year to March 2014 - and three of those involved a legally held firearm. Stephen Otter, the inspector behind the report, said that while evidence showed that licensed gun holders were very unlikely to be involved in crime, cases where individuals did shoot themselves or others, such as in domestic disputes, often had medical conditions at their root. "It is highly likely that if these processes are not tightened up satisfactorily, there will be another tragedy, particularly if you look at mental health and growing issues around dementia," he said. "Too often, forces are not following the Home Office guidance that is in place, sometimes inexcusably compromising public safety. Lessons from past tragedies have not always been learnt and this fails the victims of those events, including their families, unacceptably." Gun ownership in England and Wales151, 413 firearms certificates on issue as of March 2014 - typically meaning sports rifles582,923 shotgun certificates on issue1,837,243 shotguns and firearms licensed72% increase in licensed firearms between 1998 and 2014260 certificates revoked as a result of a review and 949 applications refused Each police force oversees licensing in its area - but the HMIC said the national guidelines were being inconsistently and inadequately applied and lessons from past tragedies had not always been learnt. Applicants must disclose any relevant medical condition and give the police permission to speak to their GP. However, doctors don't have to respond to the police request - and in practice many licences are issued without policing having completed full medical checks or speaking to referees. The HMIC said that these gaps in the rules meant someone applying to become a bus driver faced more rigorous medical checks than someone who wanted a gun. It called on all applicants to be subjected to a mandatory medical examination as part of their application - and said doctors should be under a duty to record gun ownership and, critically, alert the police to any relevant deterioration in health. Policing minister Mike Penning said: "The Government keeps the firearms licensing system under review to safeguard against abuse by criminals and to preserve public safety. "Discussions are already under way with the police and the medical profession to ensure appropriate arrangements for information sharing between GPs and police." Flaws in medical checks 'could lead to shootings, watchdog warns - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34248179 Sorry folks correct link now added :-)
  6. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32036443
  7. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-31359158
  8. Victims of crime are being let down in areas covered by nearly half of the police forces in England and Wales by poor investigations, a policing watchdog has said. In its annual assessment of the state of policing in England and Wales, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said it was of "material concern" that 18 forces out of 43 were assessed as requiring improvement in the way they investigate offending. Inspectors said a "deficit in skill and experience of officers investigating crimes" and a lack of supervision was behind weak investigations. In the 12 months to March, only one force - Dyfed-Powys - in England and Wales was able to achieve detections, which include cautions as well as charges, for more than half of the crimes recorded. Detection rates range from 22% to 51%. "Opportunities to secure a successful outcome for victims of crime are being missed as a result of failures to conduct an effective, prompt and professional investigation," the HMIC report said. Failures to do house-to-house inquiries, take photos of injuries in domestic abuse cases and collect CCTV evidence on assaults in public places were among some of the inconsistencies found in the way evidence was gathered, the report said. Crimes are being investigated by officers who also provide neighbourhood policing services such as patrols, some of whom have not investigated crimes for a number of years, inspectors said. Inspection plans - used by officers to determine what they need to do gather evidence - were of a poor standard in 18 forces, with some officers copying and pasting previous versions to new investigations. HMIC has also launched a new website to allow the public to see at a glance how well their force is performing. Elsewhere, the inspectorate raised concerns about forces' ability to keep up with modern criminal activity, including cyber-crime and child sexual exploitation. Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor said officers were " policing the crimes of today with the methods of yesterday and insufficiently prepared for the crimes of the future". HMIC assessed the " effectiveness , efficiency and legitimacy" of each force. In relation to effectiveness, 40 forces were rated good or outstanding at preventing and reducing crime with three forces - Gwent, Bedfordshire and Humberside - requiring improvement. Some 41 forces are good or outstanding at tackling anti-social behaviour with two forces - Gwent and Cleveland - requiring improvement. However, only 24 forces were assessed as good at investigating crime. In relation to efficiency, 40 forces were rated good or outstanding for the value for money provided with three forces - Bedfordshire, Gwent and Nottinghamshire - rated as requiring improvement. Shadow policing minister Jack Dromey said: "This report is very worrying - it is just not good enough for half of police forces to be rated less than 'good' at investigating crime. "This is surely a central plank of policing and raises serious questions for the Government about their approach to cutting crime. Theresa May cannot expect to cut 16,000 police officers and still deliver the highest standards of policing the public want and deserve. "HMIC is right to draw attention to the changing nature of crime. Labour has been calling for the Government to take action against the rising wave of cybercrime - from fraud to the grooming of children. "The Home Secretary has ignored this - and, as this report highlights, the police do not have the resource or expertise to respond to the scale of these offences." Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said: "Chiefs whose forces have fallen short on the standard of crime investigation will be analysing the reasons for this and taking action to improve on this crucial area of policing." Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "We have been warning there are issues around what the service can provide against cuts to funding and police numbers. Although we are pleased that the majority of forces are performing well, we know that officers are struggling to provide the service they believe the public deserve." The 18 force s that require improvement in investigating practices are: Bedfordshire Dorset Essex Gloucestershire Greater Manchester Gwent Humberside Lincolnshire Metropolitan Police Northamptonshire North Wales North Yorkshire Nottinghamshire South Yorkshire Staffordshire Surrey Sussex West Yorkshire http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2851509/Forces-letting-crime-victims-down.html The HMIC report is available here: http://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/wp-content/uploads/state-of-policing-13-14.pdf
  9. The Policing and Criminal Justice Minister, Nick Herbert has been called before MPs to give his views on why Tom Winsor, the former rail regulator, should be the next HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary. PoliceOracle.com are keen to hear your view and opinion on this matter, too and so invite you to take part in a short on-line survey. To take part, click here The survey closes at 3pm on Monday, June 25 2012 and the results will be published the next morning - Tuesday, June 26 2012 on www.policeoracle.com Thank You. Editorial Team PoliceOracle.com
  10. The Policing and Criminal Justice Minister, Nick Herbert has been called before MPs to give his views on why Tom Winsor, the former rail regulator, should be the next HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary. PoliceOracle.com are keen to hear your view and opinion on this matter, too and so invite you to take part in a short on-line survey. To take part, click here The survey closes at 3pm on Monday, June 25 2012 and the results will be published the next morning - Tuesday, June 26 2012 on www.policeoracle.com Thank You. Editorial Team PoliceOracle.com

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