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  1. Force says new officer brings with him a 'raft of strategic management and leadership experience'. A former Home Office civil servant is now a superintendent at Hertfordshire Constabulary. Marc Attwell has joined the force through the Home Office-backed direct entry scheme. He is one of four recruits who started through the programme across forces in England this month. The former official who spent time in both the department’s immigration office and policy office is Hertfordshire’s first ever person hired through the scheme which brings people with no prior policing experience to upper ranks of the service. Earlier this year, Sir Philip Rutnam, the most senior Home Office civil servant said he was “delighted” by the progression of his former “close colleague” through the scheme. The department has been instrumental in the introduction of the programme to a sometimes reluctant police service. A spokesman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said this week: “The programme opens up the police service to professionals who bring different experience and professional perspective from other sectors into the police family. “With a significant service in the Home Office and someone who has seen active service as an army reservist in Iraq, Marc Attwell brings a raft of strategic management and leadership experience into Hertfordshire Constabulary. “He will be working alongside highly experienced senior officers and police staff as we continue our drive to improve the services we provide to the public.” When Police Oracle revealed Sir Philip’s colleague was on the scheme, the then Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter pointed out that direct entry was originally sold as a way to bring leading business people into the service. He added: “It now sounds almost like the Home Office want to get the people into it […]. “It could turn out to be good thing in a way, because they may report back to their friends about how badly policing is being treated.” The College of Policing said all applicants are assessed to the same standard, regardless of background and that as police officers they would always act independently. View on Police Oracle
  2. Crime is up and the service is struggling, MPs say. Yvette Cooper chairs the Home Affairs Committee Date - 25th October 2018 By - Hayden Smith 5 Comments Policing is at risk of becoming "irrelevant" as neighbourhood presences are stripped back and vast numbers of crimes go unsolved, a major new report warns. Forces in England and Wales are "struggling to cope" and there will be dire consequences for public safety unless they are provided with additional funding, according to the Commons Home Affairs Committee, which also accused the Home Office of a "complete failure of leadership". Its inquiry found "volume" offences including robbery and vehicle-related theft are increasing at an alarmingly steep rate. While recorded crime is up by nearly a third in three years, charges or summonses have fallen by 26 per cent and the number of arrests is also down, according to the assessment. It said data suggests forces have lost at least a fifth of their neighbourhood policing capacity on average since 2010. Flagging up the role played by neighbourhood teams in tackling terrorism and gang crime, the report said: "It is absolutely vital that this cornerstone of British policing is reaffirmed throughout the country, to ensure that trust and legitimacy is maintained. "This is particularly important in communities in which distrust of the police - and in public authorities more widely - is rife, and in which those local links are all the more important. "Nevertheless, in all neighbourhoods, without local engagement, policing is at risk of becoming irrelevant to most people, particularly in the context of low rates of investigation for many crimes." The wide-ranging review also found: Only a tiny proportion of online fraud cases are ever investigated and the police response needs a fundamental overhaul; Forces are "woefully under-resourced" for the volume of online child sexual abuse investigations they must carry out; Forces are failing to meet the challenges of the digital age, with investment in and adoption of new technology a "complete and utter mess". Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the committee, said: "Police officers across the country are performing a remarkable public service in increasingly difficult circumstances, but forces are badly overstretched. "Crime is up, charges and arrests are down, and the police service is struggling to respond effectively to emerging and growing challenges, such as online fraud and online child abuse. Policing urgently needs more money." Internet child sexual abuse is reaching "epidemic" levels, with law enforcement estimates suggesting 80,000 people may present some form of sexual threat to children online, the committee found. Its report warned the proportion of fraud cases investigated is "shockingly low" in the context of 1.7 million offences a year, saying: "It appears highly unlikely that more than one in 200 victims ever sees their perpetrator convicted." MPs also called for the private sector to do "much more" to reduce the demand on policing from the two crime types. The committee concluded policing is suffering from a "complete failure of leadership" from the Home Office, saying: "As the lead department for policing, it cannot continue to stand back while crime patterns change so fast that the police struggle to respond." A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Secretary has already been clear that he will prioritise funding for the police. "We have been on the front foot in engaging with police. "The policing minister has spoken to leaders in every force in England and Wales to better understand the demand and changing nature of crime faced by forces. "We are now working closely with the police to gather the evidence to ensure they continue to receive the resources they need at the next spending review." National Police Chiefs' Council chairwoman Sara Thornton said the report "rightly recognises that forces and officers have come under 'serious strain' and concludes 'that forces are badly overstretched' as they deal with rising crime and demand that is more complex". View On Police Oracle
  3. HEAD We want our pre-1969 force back, say campaigners Calls to remove borough from county force as austerity takes toll on policing budget. Councillor Martin Terry Politicians are preparing a case to send to the Home Office to ask for their borough to be withdrawn from its force area. A group of independent councillors in Southend-on-Sea has called for the area to have its own force carved out of Essex – reverting to pre-1969 arrangements. Spokesman Martin Terry, who unsuccessfully stood for the Essex police and crime commissioner role in 2016, said his area doesn’t get the resources it requires. “We’re saying to the PCC that unless we see a dramatic increase in the level of policing in Southend, we will apply to the Home Office,” he said. “Southend has by far the highest crime rate but doesn’t get its fair share. When the PCC put the precept up this year he got 150 officers back from the 800 we lost but distributed them right across the piece - based on crime stats we should have got them all.” He added: “If we re-establish a single borough police force we will be able to establish much more local control of the precept and deliver the policing we need.” Mr Terry, who rubbished Theresa May’s contention that there is no link between officer numbers and crime, said the group would not favour having a local PCC. He added that the large police station in Southend-on-Sea could be a force HQ, while specialist resources could be shared across the county. The non-party political group is the unitary authority’s opposition, having previously led it in coalition from 2014-16. Several major local businesses have spoken to the Southend Echo newspaper in support of the idea. But their chances appear remote, as a spokesman for the Home Office said any application for a change of force boundary needs the support of the area’s PCC. He added: “An application for a police force boundary change would need to be locally led and supported by the police and crime commissioner. “Such an application would need to be accompanied by a robust business case demonstrating how the change would be in the interests of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.” Deputy police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex, Jane Gardner, said: “Working with the police we identified the rise in crime at an early stage and have been lobbying the government on behalf of policing nationally and specifically for the people of Essex.” She said 15 of the new officers will be specifically for Southend and PFCC Roger Hirst has been in recent contact with Southend Council about policing and crime. View On Police Oracle
  4. Little to no hope funding pressures on police will be alleviated. Date - 11th October 2018 By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle 5 Comments The police service should not expect a cash injection any time soon, an HMI said on Tuesday evening. HMI Matt Parr told the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel he believes current financial pressures will remain. He said: “I think police will be under financial pressure for the foreseeable future and if government spending as a whole increases it seems to me by no means certain even likely that one of the recipients of increased spending is going to be policing. “So I think the working assumption worth making is the degree of financial pressure that the forces are under is going to stay. “This is my personal view but the idea that there’s going to be a pot of gold suddenly produced that makes all our problems go away is wishful thinking.” Mr Parr said although the current formula is “not fit for purpose” it will be extremely difficult to agree a model everyone is happy with. “In my experience every chief constable publically says they are a victim of a harsh funding formula,” he said. “They all say that. I’m bring flippant but they all do. “Some of them mean it, some are justified in saying it. Others perhaps have convinced themselves it’s doing them harm- they know that they’re beneficiaries. “If you reformed it the losers are going to shout louder than the beneficiaries so it’s a really difficult thing.” He added the police service does not do itself any favours with its “defensive” tone. “There is a feeling which I think is probably true but there are other departments that are better at getting their act together before comprehensive spending rounds and making their case. “There is the view that policing is not very good at articulating how the country gets value for money and what the consequences would be of long term national settlements.” Mr Parr is the HMI who approves all special grant applications, which are intended for unforeseeable major incidents, told the panel he is concerned the stipend will be cut as too many forces are applying. Bedfordshire Police is planning to submit a special grant request for help with child sexual exploitation investigations and Mr Parr said he intends to write a covering note saying “you want to be careful with this because if you approve this you are changing what special grants are for”. “I think Jon’s [Chief Constable Jon Boutcher] been very clever in bullying the minister into agreeing to this. “We used to get two or three applications a year now we’re getting one a month maybe more because all forces are under pressure they’re all putting in special grants. “For example the Met used to find it impossible to put a grant in because the rule is you’ve got to spend one per cent of your budget or something like that. “The Home Office have given them a bit of leeway and said you can blob up events and two or three events in a series, combine them together and we’ll look at it. It used to be against the rules. “So the thing to remember about special grants is that it’s not a big pot of money, it’s just top sliced off the overall grant. “It’s not a panacea to everyone’s problems and if everyone continues to use it they do at the moment all it will mean is that the grants get cut. Speaking the day after West Mercia and Warwickshire Police forces announced they were abandoning a close partnership, Mr Parr said he still does not believe policing “has even scratched the surface of collaboration and where it might go”. “I’m not talking about amalgamations, I’m not talking about alliances. “I’m talking about clever collaborations.” He said Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) have come a long way since it recommended a single police force ten years ago and believes the advent of police and crime commissioner has kicked the debate into the long grass. “It’s a dreadful cliché the idea of all policing is local there’s something about that something its there’s a point in that. “The challenge now is how do you limit the negative impact of a false boundary. I’d rather people concentrated on that then increased the collaboration.” Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said Mr Parr has so far given him a “very fair” hearing and the two have a good relationship. But he said HMIC as an organisation needs to get off the fence and raise concerns about police budget cuts. “I do think the HMIC not have been as forthcoming as they should have been around policing to government and I see a worrying comparison with the prison service. “We’re sleepwalking into a public services challenge and policing is that service everyone else calls when no one else picks up the phone. “I do think the HMI have got a responsibility to be more vocal. “The pressures on policing at the moment are immense and I think we need to have a more open and informed debate. “One of the biggest challenges is Brexit. “Brexit’s taking a lot of the agenda for everybody at the moment but it feels to me issues in public service aren’t getting the air time they deserve." View On Police Oracle
  5. Charity says a search warrant should be obtained before using tool to extract information from the phones of suspects, witnesses and victims. An urgent review must be conducted into the use of a policing tool, which can pull data from mobile phones without the user knowing, a charity says. At least 26 forces are using data extraction tools, such as Cellebrite, with a further eight trialing or intending to trial the technology. It enables police to extract information from the phones of those convicted of no crime, witnesses and victims, according to Privacy International. According to the charity, forces are acting without clear safeguards for the public, and no independent oversight to identify abuse and misuse of sensitive personal information, which creates blurred lines over whether the use of the software is lawful. It should also be a mandatory requirement for police to obtain a warrant for searching the contents of a mobile phone, issued on the basis of reasonable suspicion, it added. There are additional concerns over the retention of information and it says there should be regulations over how long obtained data can be held before being deleted, especially if the suspect is innocent. Camilla Graham Wood, solicitor for Privacy International, says one of her main concerns following the research was that forces had insufficient knowledge of the tool and its legalities, which is being “used under the radar.” Ms Wood adds police cannot restrict the certain types of data, so if detectives were searching for a particular text message from a specific date, the tool is unable to single this out, thus retrieving every message. It is now calling for an immediate independent review by the Home Office, the College of Policing and police and crime commissioners, with widespread consultation with the public. Ms Wood said: “It is disturbing the police have such a highly draconian power, operating in secret, without any accountability to the public. “Given the serious problems we still face in the UK with discriminatory policing, we need to urgently address how this new frontier of policing might be disproportionately and unfairly impacting on minority ethnic groups, political demonstrators, environmental activists and many other groups that can find themselves in the crosshairs of the police. “The police are continually failing to be transparent with the thousands of people whose phones they are secretly downloading data from.” The report has received support from David Lammy, MP for Tottenham. "The lack of transparency around new policing tools such as mobile phone extraction is a serious cause for concern. There are no records, no statistics, no safeguards, no oversight and no clear statement of the rights that citizens have if their mobile phone is confiscated and searched by the police,” he said. “Without the collection and audit of data about the use of mobile phone extraction powers scrutiny will be impossible. “Given the sensitive nature and wealth of information stored on our mobile phones there is significant risk of abuse and for conscious or unconscious bias to become a factor without independent scrutiny and in the absence of effective legal safeguards. “We entrust so much personal information to our phones that the police having the power to download every message and photo we have sent or received without any rights and protections is another worrying example of regulations not keeping up with advances in technology." A spokesman for the Home Office said it was important for police officers to have "the appropriate powers to tackle crime". "Current legislation allows data to be accessed when there are reasonable grounds to believe it contains evidence in relation to an offence and only then in adherence with data protection and human rights obligations. "The government is clear that the use of all police powers must be necessary, proportionate and lawful." View On Police Oracle
  6. Officers will undergo a new training programme and cybercrime units will be set up in every force. The Home Secretary will today announce a financial package to bolster law enforcement’s capabilities to crackdown on criminals who exploit the dark web. As part of a £9 million investment, law enforcement’s response will be boosted to tackle those who use the anonymity of the online space for illegal activities such as the selling of firearms, drugs, malware and people. More than £5 million will also be used to support the police to establish dedicated cybercrime units in every force to investigate and pursue cyber criminals at a regional and local level. Currently only 30 per cent of forces have a cyber capability that reaches the minimum standard. The funding is part of £50 million of newly earmarked money to ensure police and prosecutors have the right tools to tackle cybercrime. A proportion of the capital, which comes from the National Cyber Security Programme and existing Home Office budgets, will also be used to develop a new cyber training programme for police and the wider criminal justice system, sponsored by the National Police Chiefs' Council. Speaking today at the CYBERUK conference in Manchester, Home Secretary Amber Rudd will say: “The world of cyber is fast-developing and we need a fast-developing response to match. One that recognises that it is the responsibility of everyone in the UK to fight the evolving threat. “And then there’s the dark web. A dark and dangerous place where anonymity emboldens people to break the law in the most horrifying of ways. A platform of dangerous crimes and horrific abuse. “A sickening shopping list of services and products are available.” The Home Secretary will add: “So today I’m pleased to announce that we will be giving over £9million to enhance the UK’s specialist law enforcement response. “They will use this money to help combat the criminals who continually exploit the anonymity of the dark web.” There is currently a network of more than 40 regional cyber “protect” officers who provide a link between the local and national law enforcement response to cyber crime. They deliver cyber security advice to protect citizens and businesses, based on the latest National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) threat analysis. Earlier this year, UK law enforcement secured the conviction of Matthew Falder, a prolific paedophile operating on the Dark Web, who admitted 137 charges and was sentenced to 32 years. Meanwhile, GCHQ is expanding its network of sites. The intelligence agency, often referred to as the UK's listening post, announced it will open a new facility in Manchester next year. Officials said the secure base would be "at the heart of the nation's security, using cutting-edge technology and technical ingenuity to identify and disrupt threats to the UK". GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming said: "I'm delighted we're opening a new site in the city of Manchester. "It will create hundreds of high-calibre jobs for people who will have a vital role in keeping this country safe. "Our new facility will open up a huge new pool of highly talented, tech-savvy recruits vital to our future success." View On Police Oracle
  7. Bobbies on the beat accounted for one in seven axed police posts over the past five years, analysis suggests. At the same time, one in three police community support officer (PCSO) posts - originally intended to be the "eyes and ears" of the community - have gone. Critics say a visible police presence in communities deters criminals and helps gather intelligence. The Home Office said "overall traditional crime" had fallen by almost 40% since 2010. The BBC's Shared Data Unit compared workforce figures for 43 police forces in England and Wales, Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Police Scotland over a five-year period from 2012 to 2017. Click here for full story - BBC
  8. Ten months after the new Taser was approved for police use, almost half of British territorial forces say it has not yet been used on their streets. At least eighteen forces have not yet begun rolling out the new Taser X2 model, ten months after the Home Office approved it for police use, Police Oracle can reveal. Taser X26e has been out of production since at least 2015 and in March last year the Home Office approved the newer Taser X2. Although there is no suggestion the Taser X26es are unsafe, distribution company Taser Safety Responses Ltd said the model had “approached its sunset” in 2015. But since the Home Office gave the go-ahead, only two forces have completely replaced the old less lethal weapon. Police leaders in firearms have already warned UK police forces are “behind the curve”. Twenty-one forces (including British Transport Police) said they had started the introduction and training process (some as recently as a few weeks ago) but X26e are still used on their streets. Only two forces - Dorset and South Wales - told Police Oracle they have completely replaced their old Taser. The Metropolitan Police is among the 18 who told Police Oracle they have not yet started introducing Taser X2 but plan to do so. A spokeswoman for MPS said there is currently no set timeframe for their update. She said: “Following Home Office approval of the X2 model in March 2017, the Met will be adopting this new model in the future, gradually phasing out the X26E model. At this stage, no specific timescales have been set for the replacement programme, although it is expected to happen over the next two years. “Due diligence checks have been made by the Met to ensure that we are equipping our officers with the best and safest model available. “As part of the uplift, the number of Taser devices in the Met will also be increased by 705 - from 1,810 to 2,515." Several forces also said they did not have a start date set in stone or that the roll out is expected to take two to four years. Leicestershire Police said it had no plans to exchange its Taser, but insisted the decision was not related to financial reasons. “We have a sufficient number of Tasers in the force and they do not require replacing at this time,” she said. The Beds, Cambs and Herts (BCH) Armed Policing Unit (APU) is expected to transfer from the existing X26 taser to the new X2, although a timeframe has not yet been set, subject to the Home Secretary approval, for use operationally in UK police forces. The X2 will not be rolled out to officers outside of the APU within BCH, meaning specially trained officers (STOs) in other departments will retain their existing X26 devices. There is however a longer-term aspiration for STOs to embark on a replacement programme making the switch from X26 to X2. A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said priority will be given to officers on intervention teams who respond to 999 calls and X26 is expected to be phased out altogether by the end of the year. Devon and Cornwall, Cambridgeshire, North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire were among the forces who said they are initially only training specialist teams but hope to eventually stop using X26e. Officers who are trained to use Taser X2 are not allowed to revert to the older weapon. Taser X2 has a range of 25 feet, compared with the X26 range of 21 feet, and has a second cartridge which will reduce re-loading. It’s also attributed with better accountability as it boasts a “black box” with enhanced data capture that can analysed later. The new model has a dual laser and, according to Home Office data, has a 90 per cent success rate compared with its older brother’s 65 per cent average. Phill Matthews, Police Federation of England and Wales spokesperson on Taser said: “Taser is a vital piece of officer safety equipment and we support every officer who wishes to carry one having the access and training to do so. “However, as can be seen from the differing responses from the individual forces there is still a lack of consistency in the approach to providing, maintaining and upgrading the equipment. “Taser is an invaluable asset but is it also an expensive one and cost is a big factor – not only the cost of purchasing and maintaining the hardware but also the storage and logging systems, and the training for officers who carry them. “Unfortunately chief officers are facing the real choice of either providing kit for officers to do the job and face the possibility of reducing the work force, or not updating the kit and trying to maintain the numbers. “This is not helped by the fact that a large swathe of the X26 Tasers were bought outside of force budgets from government grant funding. “To provide consistency across the service, and to ensure the safety of officers, the government should step in and provide the funding for forces to update their old Taser units and secure funding to provide the required training over the next few years. “If this happened I think you’d find a lot more forces willing to upgrade and widen their roll out of Taser.” Shaun West, Assistant Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police, which announced it is launching the Taser X2 this week, said his officers will undergo “rigorous training.” “Having a Taser can mean the difference between a dangerous situation being peacefully resolved or not as it provides another tactical option officers can consider. “It is an indispensable piece of kit, especially considering the unique nature of our large county of Lincolnshire, where our officers often find themselves out and about on duty alone. I want to ensure our officers can quickly and safely deal with incidents so they meet the demands placed upon us, while also ensuring the public receive the highest possible level of service, therefore keeping them as safe as possible.” Four English forces and two Welsh territorial forces did not respond in time for our deadline. Police Oracle contacted the National Police Chiefs’ Council for comment but it did not respond in time for our deadline. View On Police Oracle
  9. Report says urgent guidance is needed. The police misconduct system needs to be more consistent. A report, led by police and crime commissioners, says the system is operating reasonably effectively and Legally Qualified Chairs (LQCs) are settling into their role. But urgent guidance is needed from the APCC and the NPCC to encourage more consistency in the application of the misconduct process in relation to the role of the chairman, it says. It also calls for the Home Office to consider developing regulations, and detailed guidance, setting out the underlying features of the LQC role in relation to the new complaints and conduct regime, which will soon be implemented. The report also recommends PCCs, chiefs, the Home Office and Information Commissioners Office work together to provide consistency and clarity about LQCs’ data protection responsibilities. LQCs are also expected to work with the APCC to ensure more transparency is introduced at misconduct hearings. Julia Mulligan, APCC national lead for Transparency & Integrity, said: “Whilst the misconduct hearing process has run very well under LQCs, 15 months after their implementation, it is clear that a collective effort is required if we are continue to improve the misconduct hearing process, for everyone involved. “It is vital LQCs work with the APCC and others to instil and embed as much transparency into misconduct hearings as possible and proportionate, with a clear rationale for their approach with the media and public at the outset of each hearing.” Dame Vera Baird QC, APCC deputy lead for Transparency & Integrity, said: “It is hoped that this review leads to the changes that all those involved in the system agree are necessary, from short-term guidance on the selection process of LQCs to more detail set out in regulations about the roles and responsibilities of all parties, including clarity on issues such as data protection. “We hope the APCC and LQCs can continue to work together to ensure the police misconduct process is overseen and implemented thoroughly and fairly.” View On Police Oracle
  10. Immigration Enforcement are recruiting in the Southern Region :: ASSISTANT IMMIGRATION OFFICER CLOSING DATE 20th FEBRUARY 2017 If you fancy a change of career or are are looking to enter a job similar to policing, then take a look at the following link: https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1525422 Annualised Hours Working (AHW) contracts are currently ~34% so the following salaries apply to new recruits: - London: £24,336 + AHW = ~£32,610 - National: £20,352 + AHW = ~£27,271 (above salaries are approximates) As an AIO you will work on an accredited training programme known as "Pathway" - this is similar to being a Probationary Constable. Once completed you will obtain the rank of IO, becoming fully independent and receiving a pay rise. If anyone has any questions about the job, about life as an IO or needs help with the recruitment process, feel free to post a reply to this topic or message me directly
  11. Volunteers could be used to guard some of the UK's borders, the Home Office has said. The plans under consideration are for "Border Force Special Volunteers" to be used at small air and sea ports. A Home Office spokesman said it was "considering the potential benefits" and looking at how they are used by police forces. But Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke told the Mail on Sunday: "We can't have a Dad's Army-type of set-up." The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which represents Border Force staff, said the government was risking the country's security "on the cheap". The proposal comes after recent reports have raised concerns over "poor" coverage of some minor harbours and landing places. The Border Force carries out immigration and customs controls for people and goods entering the UK. But an assessment by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration,published in July, said there were long periods of non-attendance by Border Force at some locations as well as a shortage of staff able to use specialist scanners. It looked at 62 normally unmanned ports on the east coast and found that Border Force officers had not visited 27 of the sites between April 2015 to June 2016. Chief Inspector David Bolt's report also revealed the number of clandestine migrants detected at the ports had almost doubled in 12 months rising from 233 to 423. Another report by David Anderson QC, former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said there were similar issues with smaller south and east coast ports, marinas and landing places, adding it was "conceivable" they might be an option for returning foreign fighters or other terrorists. 'Ridiculous plans' The Home Office said if it was to introduce volunteers, they would be used to "bolster" Border Force staffing levels and would not be used by Immigration Enforcement. But Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, called the plan "ridiculous". "Border Force are already using poorly trained seasonal workers at most ports and airports, not just at peak periods but throughout the year because of permanent staff cuts," he said. "The plans to use volunteer Border Force specials is a further move towards casualisation of the workforce." Mr Elphicke, MP for Dover, said he would "urge great caution before seeking to adopt a model like that used by the police, with special constables". "Border security is a skilled job, which takes many years of training." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42527750
  12. Council tax changes appear to favour rural areas over urban ones. Andy Burnham pictured at the Police Federation Conference in 2016 Some of the biggest police forces in the country may have to make further cuts next year as a result of the budget announcement. On Tuesday the Home Office announced the central grant for constabularies is being frozen until 2020, with police and crime commissioners being given slightly more flexibility to increase their council tax. The three per cent limit for PCCs to raise council tax by has been replaced with a cap of £12 per band D household. In some areas this enables them to raise tax by more than three per cent, but in some it limits them even further. Former ACPO finance lead Dr Tim Brain said: “It seems as though urban forces which are already struggling will miss out while the shires will be able to raise more cash.” He has calculated that the terms allow Surrey’s PCC to increase his tax by 3.6 per cent, Dorset's by 3.4 per cent and North Yorkshire's by 3.1 per cent. By way of contrast the Met can only increase it by 1.7 per cent, GMP by 1.9 per cent and Cleveland by 1.8 per cent. He added: “The pay rise alone means much of what forces can raise will be used straight away. If they cannot raise at least two per cent more next year they will be facing cuts.” Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “People are noticing the loss of visible policing in their communities and this dangerous decision will make that even worse. With the terror threat at its current level the government are gambling with public safety. “Areas like Greater Manchester, with some of the most deprived communities, are less able to raise money from council tax compared to more affluent areas of the country, and it therefore less able to mitigate the damage caused by these cuts.” Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter says public safety is at risk. “The government is responsible for the safety and security of the public, they should ensure that policing is properly and fairly funded but in this case they have not,” he said. “They have simply passed the buck to local PCCs and asked the public to pay more in their local council tax for something which should be funded centrally.” West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson pointed out that inflation means his force faces a real terms cut. He said: "Despite warm words over the last few months, this is once again a disappointing settlement that falls a long way short of what police forces require. "West Midlands Police or other local forces across the country will not receive a single extra penny from the government. Local police forces will not benefit from this announcement, there is no new money in this announcement for local forces.” However the chief constable of the same force, speaking on behalf of the NPCC, said the funding settlement is better than last year, but cautioned it is not enough. CC Dave Thompson said: “It offers greater certainty over the next two years and gives us more resilience to respond to rising demand and sustain current policing services – as long as police and crime commissioners increase the council tax precept to the maximum. “The settlement recognises the need for further work to make savings, increase productivity and carefully manage major Home Office technology programmes. “While the extra funding to tackle terrorism is welcomed, counter-terrorism policing are considering tough choices as their settlement equates to a less than two per cent increase on current spending at a time when demand has grown by 30 per cent and investment is needed to fulfil recommendations following the London and Manchester terrorist attacks this year.” Nottinghamshire’s Paddy Tipping, who led the campaign for increased funding for the Association of PCCs, said the announcement: "won't resolve our financial difficulties” but is “a welcome and helpful step forward”. View On Police Oracle
  13. A few recent articles regarding the cuts have quotes which point to a possible change in the Home Office's stance on police funding. It isn't very clear but hopefully the Chief's that they are apparently consulting with, will tell them the truth, and they will be listened to at long last (unlikely as the Gov seem to have their fingers in their ears). The quotes read as "we didn't make a mistake by cutting police budgets, it's just that times have changed and terrorism is eating up resources". Most recent article: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/18/police-missing-terrorist-tip-offs-lord-condon-because-of-cuts-says-former-met-chief https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/08/police-cuts-jeopardising-hunt-potential-terrorists Unfortunately the articles are from the same source, I've not seem a similar quote anywhere else. Could this signal a change in policy?
  14. Activists have accused officers from Police Scotland of a " brutal response" to protests held against the removal of a Kenyan man by Home Office services in Glasgow. Full Story - CommonSpace The protestors are complaining about the police tactics, but forget to mention that is was their own appaling behaviour which led to the police response. What did they expect to happen when they tried to block in the van?
  15. The impact of cuts on police forces in England and Wales is far greater than the government realises, according to a group of MPs. In a highly critical report, the Commons Public Accounts Committee also says cuts to other services are increasing police work. The Home Office says the reforms are working and front-line policing is being protected. The BBC's home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani reports. For full story follow the link for video. 'Policing cuts will impact public' - say Public Accounts Committee - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34287666 Apparently this group of MP's have got it wrong home office has already stated the reforms (cuts) are working, crime is falling and front line policing is being protected. I know I shouldn't be surprised but how long will they continue to ignore the damage being wrought across the country to the police service. Of course when it does go wrong it will no doubt be our fault anyway.
  16. Police forces in England and Wales should work together more when buying equipment to cut the £1.7bn they spend each year, the government has said. A Home Office study suggests some forces spend much more than others on items such as batons and body armour. Since 2010 more than £200m has been saved through better procurement, but the government said more could be done. But police chiefs warned such savings would not be enough to solve the scale of cuts facing police forces. The study reveals what the police pay for 20 common items of uniform including shirts, high-visibility jackets and helmets, as well as front-line equipment such as batons, handcuffs and vehicles. Forces have streamlined their procurement but the figures show there are still wide variations in spending. Northamptonshire and Staffordshire Police bought batons for their officers costing £82.91 each while South Wales managed to buy them for just £22.99, the study found. Humberside bought police helmets for more than £43 each while most other forces acquired them for under £30. Policing minister Mike Penning said: "For too long the police have approached the market in a fragmented way, buying equipment in small amounts and to varying specifications. "It makes no sense for forces to buy separately when money can be saved if they act together. "This will help the public and police and crime commissioners hold chief constables to account for how they spend taxpayers' money and, crucially, reveal potential opportunities for further savings." Police chiefs and commissioners say the scale of cuts facing police - between 25% and 40% - would not be achieved by cuts in equipment spending alone. They have warned that the number of officers could be reduced to levels seen in the 1970s. The total police workforce dropped by 36,3672 (15%) between March 2010 and September 2014, and officer numbers dropped by 16,659 (12%) to 127,075. In June the National Audit Office warned that the Home Office had "insufficient information"on how much further it could cut police funding without "degrading services". Police forces told to work together to cut equipment costs - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34166603 Whilst I agree this all makes perfect sense I also worry that in future we won't get the best or most suitable equipment just the cheapest.
  17. Chief Constable Colette Paul wrote to the Home Office in February this year to raise concerns about the future sustainability of Bedfordshire Police as it faces the next Spending Review. The Home Office has responded by offering to send a Finance and Strategy Team into the force for two days to explore further the financial situation. Chief Constable Paul said: "This visit is good news. It will afford us the opportunity to provide the Home Office with first-hand insight into the demands we face and the difficulties we have as an under-funded force. "Bedfordshire is prepared to take its fair share of cuts, just like any other public service, but my concern is the fact that the force is currently under-funded to start with. We are funded as a rural force but the demands we face are more akin to those seen in large metropolitan force areas. "Although we are doing all we can to make the best use of our resources to deliver a police service that our communities deserve, funding will continue to be a concern for the force. "Later this month the force is transitioning to a new police operating model, which will improve the policing footprint in our communities and enable our officers to work smarter using mobile technology to carry out tasks. The new model will also help us to achieve savings."
  18. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31510888 This could be interesting. I wonder if the recruitment "it's not a freeze" will be lifted.
  19. Victims should report crime online to help cut the number of 999 calls, the Home Secretary declared yesterday. Theresa May said using the internet would save police money and free up officers for frontline work. Already being tested at two forces, the scheme would cover non-emergency cases such as criminal damage and minor theft. Campaigners warned however that online reporting would further reduce face-to-face contact between police and public at a time when many local stations have closed. There are also fears it might give officers an excuse not to visit crime scenes or even ignore offences entirely. The Home Office stressed that victims of serious crimes, including rape, burglary and assault, should still dial 999. Mrs May said: ‘The growth in the internet has transformed other services – from shopping to banking – and it is right to give victims and witnesses greater choice over how they report issues to the police.’ She said the measure could cut police costs by £3.7million and free up an estimated 180,000 officer hours a year – potentially putting more bobbies on the beat. The Home Office, which is working on a prototype with the Surrey and Sussex police forces, says the scheme will go nationwide within months. Some forces already allow victims to report offences via the web but this initiative would create a one-size-fits-all system for England and Wales. Mrs May insisted victims of crimes such as burglaries and rapes should still call 999, but one force which has developed its own online service includes stalking, domestic abuse and sex offences in its system Ministers have not yet drawn up a definitive list of offences suitable for reporting online. The online crime reports would be studied by police staff who would decide how to respond. Before the 101 police number was launched – also to reduce 999 calls – research revealed that 80 per cent of emergency calls did not need an urgent response. But in just 12 months more than a million 101 callers failed to get through and many were left hanging on for more than an hour. David Green, director of the Civitas think-tank, said: ‘The problem with dealing with a screen rather than talking to a person is that it depersonalises the experience. ‘It feels like you are a crime statistic instead of asking the police to act in defence of the public. ‘At a time when confidence in the police is falling, it would be better if the police were advised to maximise their contact with the public and not to go in search of devices which mean they have as little contact as possible, even if it does save money.’ But Peter Cuthbertson, of the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank, said: ‘New measures to encourage people to report crimes are very welcome. ‘Sometimes people will feel more comfortable contacting police in this way, especially if they can do so anonymously.’ But campaigners fear the move could give police an excuse to not attend crime scenes themselves, or to ignore call-outs entirely. And Mark Castle, of the charity Victim Support, said: ‘Giving victims more choice and control over their journey through the criminal justice system is something we would of course welcome.’ Policing Minister Mike Penning said: ‘Smartphones, tablets and internet devices are opening up new opportunities for the way people contact the police and forces need to be ready.’ In the past three years, an estimated 264 police station counters have closed – one in five of the national total. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2930574/Don-t-dial-999-online-report-crime-instead-Home-Secretary-tells-victims.html#ixzz3QDT3kt9c Not entirely sure this is good advice, burglar in your house when you wake up, switch on computer, find correct site to write to Police with description of the offender, of course you must hope internet hasn`t crashed. Use Tor browser so no criminal can find out who grassed them up (Tor is very slow) Thirty minutes later a well prepared letter sent off to Police. T May I still have no confidence in you! Video on web site!
  20. From the register http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/coppers_seek_new_radio_contract/ Interesting how the Police ICT co is now owned by the PCC's. Is this the easy way for Theresa May to blame someone else for in-action at PICTco? You'd think the PCCs would be more interested in local matters. Maybe a group of chief constables would be better placed to run the company. They are more concerned about operational matters. I wonder how easy it will be to move to a new (several new systems) to replace Airwave especially with all the staff/officer cuts of recent years.

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