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  1. Former close colleague of top man in department passes direct entry assessment centre. A former “close colleague” of the most senior civil servant in the Home Office is to become a direct entry superintendent. The unnamed official passed through the College of Policing’s assessment centre this week. He will now face an interview and if successful, he will join a force in November. The Home Office has been instrumental in the introduction of direct entry on a sometimes reluctant police service. The College of Policing says no one who designed the scheme has served as an officer on it. Home Secretaries have repeatedly called for forces to take on more officers through the method – which enables those with management experience to join the police service at the rank of superintendent. It also funds the programme and its delivery body the College of Policing. Home Office Permanent Secretary Sir Philip Rutnam told a group of graduating direct entry superintendents this week about his colleague. “I’m delighted to be here not least because a close former colleague of mine has just been accepted on the direct entry superintendent scheme. He’s just passed the assessment centre and he’s waiting to be posted,” he said. “If I were in this role and in this place in 18-months' time, two years time, I would hope to be congratulating him personally.” The official will not be the first Home Office civil servant to join policing through the path, with one announced in 2014, though he may be the most senior to date. One former deputy director of a government department, Joanna Dally, dropped out of the 2015 cohort of direct entrants after seven months. At least one direct entry inspector used to work for the Home Office, Police Oracle understands. Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter said: “If you remember what was originally said about direct entry was leading business people, the Richard Bransons of this world, would join the police this way, but this was obviously never going to happen was it? “It now sounds almost like the Home Office want to get the people into it. “What motivates the people is a key question and I have been impressed by Hampshire’s direct entry superintendent. “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.” Supt Paula Light who runs the programme for the College of Policing said: “Applicants are subject to the same strenuous selection process regardless of background.” She outlined the criteria including a blind marking stage where all personal information is removed. She added: “At the end of the selection process, the ultimate recruitment decision lies with the recruiting force, not the College." Our reporter asked whether hiring ex-Home Office senior staff through the scheme may have a bearing on the perceived independence of the organisation from the government. Supt Light said: “The programme team have experience of working with a wide variety of strategic partners and key individuals, both inside and outside the Home Office and the forces across in England and Wales. "However as police officers and police staff members we will always be transparent and fair, which includes acting independently.” View on Police Oracle I wonder who it is... ?
  2. The system has been tested for three years and is now undergoing a live pilot. Custody sergeants are trialling a system which will aid them in making difficult risk-based judgements. The tool, created by Cambridgeshire University, helps identify detainees who pose a major danger to the community, and whose release should be subject to additional layers of review. “The police officers who make these custody decisions are highly experienced, but all their knowledge and policing skills can’t tell them the one thing they need to know most about the suspect – how likely is it that he or she is going to cause major harm if they are released? “This is a job that really scares people – they are at the front line of risk-based decision-making,” says Dr Geoffrey Barnes. “Imagine a situation where the officer has the benefit of 100,000 or more real previous experiences of custody decisions? No one person can have that number of experiences, but a machine can,” Professor Lawrence Sherman added. In 2016, the researchers installed the world’s first AI tool for helping police make custodial decisions in Durham Constabulary. Called the Harm Assessment Risk Tool (HART), the AI-based technology uses 104,000 histories of people previously arrested and processed in Durham custody suites over the course of five years. Using a method called “random forests”, the tool can create thousands of combinations of predicted outcomes, the majority of which focus on the suspect’s offending history, as well as age, gender and geographical area. “Imagine a human holding this number of variables in their head, and making all of these connections before making a decision. Our minds simply can’t do it,” explains Dr Barnes. The aim of HART is to categorise whether in the next two years an offender is high risk, moderate risk or low risk. “The need for good prediction is not just about identifying the dangerous people,” explains Prof. Sherman. “It’s also about identifying people who definitely are not dangerous. For every case of a suspect on bail who kills someone, there are tens of thousands of non-violent suspects who are locked up longer than necessary.” Durham Constabulary wants to identify the ‘moderate-risk’ group – who account for just under half of all suspects according to the statistics generated by HART. These individuals might benefit from their Checkpoint programme, which aims to tackle the root causes of offending and offer an alternative to prosecution that they hope will turn moderate risks into low risks. However, the system cannot prioritise offences, which often change over time, so it has to be supplied frequently with up-to-date information. An independent study found an overall accuracy of around 63 per cent, but is 98 per cent accurate at detecting a ‘false negative’ – an offender who is predicted to be relatively safe, but then goes on to commit a serious and violent crime. The researchers also stress the technology is not a “silver bullet for law enforcement” and the ultimate decision is that of the officer in charge. Prof. Sherman said: “The police service is under pressure to do more with less, to target resources more efficiently, and to keep the public safe. “The tool helps identify the few ‘needles in the haystack’ who pose a major danger to the community, and whose release should be subject to additional layers of review. At the same time, better triaging can lead to the right offenders receiving release decisions that benefit both them and society.” View on Police Oracle
  3. A police worker who unwittingly prosecuted himself for having an untaxed vehicle has been mocked by colleagues online. West Yorkshire Police's Roads Policing Unit said the man had "managed to fill a form in incorrectly" - seemingly putting his own name on the paperwork rather than the actual offender. In a letter from the DVLA he was told to pay £81 or face court action. The letter appears to have been posted to a police station in Bradford. The Roads Policing Unit posted: "To the great amusement of the rest of the office, one of our colleagues managed to fill a form in incorrectly, and prosecuted himself for driving an untaxed vehicle!" The letter, dated 15 March, states the untaxed vehicle was found in Oak Street, Bradford, on 15 February, and makes a demand for payment of the fine by 1 April.
  4. Many drivers are breaking the law without even realising https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/how-you-could-lose-your-14377497 There's a poll on our Twitter feed on the same subject:
  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-43306423 A professional rugby player, Tasered six times after driving at 150mph in a police chase, has been jailed. Scott Moore crashed into a house in Leigh and fought officers, threatening one with a Taser he stole from them. The ex-England rugby league star, 30, used "his size and experience on the rugby field" to evade arrest, Greater Manchester Police said. He was jailed for 23 months at Bolton Crown Court after admitting dangerous driving and assault. Moore, of Ranworth Drive, Lowton, Wigan, was disqualified from driving for two years. Police spotted Moore in the early hours of 14 October 2016 driving a black Mercedes at speed along Chaddock Lane towards the East Lancashire Road. He refused to pull over, sparking a pursuit during which he overtook a lorry at 100mph on a stretch of roadworks which had a speed limit of 30mph. He then accelerated at more than 150mph into a housing estate in Leigh and crashed into the wall of a house before stopping at a dead end, police said. 'Tug of war' Moore elbowed an officer and "violently resisted arrest in a struggle lasting 50 minutes" during which he was Tasered six times but "kept rising to his feet to fight and charge at officers". At one point, the former St Helens, Widnes and Wakefield hooker grabbed the Taser's wires after being stunned and removed them from his body. He then grabbed the Taser in a "tug of war" with the officer, shouting: "You're getting it now!" while pointing it at the officer's face, police said. The terrified officer fought with Moore to release it from his hand and the other officer struck him numerous times. Moore eventually dropped the Taser and, following a further struggle, was detained. The officers had never in their careers "been so scared nor witnessed such a violent individual", Det Con Lynsey Watson-Perry said. One officer had to undergo surgery. "Whatever level of force he is used to displaying on the pitch, this was not a game - people's lives were in danger", she added.
  6. The study analysed almost 1.5 million tweets. Corporate police twitter accounts should learn from individual officers’ use of social media, researchers say. A study of almost 1.5 million tweets from 48 corporate and 2,450 non-corporate police accounts, encouraged official social media controllers to embrace the techniques used by more personal police accounts. The Knowledge Media Institute analysis of UK Policing Engagement via Social Media, presented this week at the Evidence Based Policing conference described corporate police accounts as a “one way street.” “One of the key elements that can be observed from our manual analysis of tweets is that non-corporate accounts are more interactive than the corporate ones. “Another observation is that although non-corporate accounts may not have a large number of followers, they tend to have some key followers (e.g., local neighbours). “They know their communities better and they manage to engage their community members by participating in discussions and providing direct feedback to users. “Corporate accounts could benefit from identifying highly engaging police staff members and community leaders, and involve them more closely in their social media strategy,” the report said. The most popular tweets for both types of police accounts used sensitive and respectful humour. But researchers acknowledged the tightrope police Twitter users must walk as misjudging the tone of a comic tweet can result in irreversible reputational damage. Popular tweets were more likely to come from corporate accounts which had been established for a long time but personal account tweets were more likely to attract retweets if they followed many other accounts. This sometimes had the opposite effect for official police twitter accounts- users felt “surveyed” if they noticed a centralised police account was “following” them. For both types of accounts tweets attracting high levels of engagement were longer easy to read, avoided jargon, were highly informative and used pictures or videos. But using mentions had a negative impact on a post’s popularity, the paper said. The researchers found users were more likely to engage with tweets which talked about roads and infrastructure, events, missing people, mentioned locations or aimed to raise awareness about issues such domestic violence and modern slavery. On the other hand, tweets receiving lower engagement talked about crime updates: such as burglary, assault or driving under the influence of alcohol, following requests (#ff) and advice to stay safe. The report said previous research suggests people are more likely to retweet posts about weather conditions, missing people and road problems “since by sharing these messages users feel they are helping others.” The potential for police to engage with the public through social media is being limited as there is often no budget for staff training, the report said. “Nowadays, the public is getting used to seeing companies and organisations using social media 24/7 as communication channels, and have started to expect the same coverage and behaviour from the police. “However, social media is not the main policing communication channel, and the police social media accounts are not active 24/7. “There is therefore a mismatch between what the public expects, and what the police provides.” View on Police Oracle
  7. Jihadi who got classroom of pupils to act out the Westminster terror attack has been convicted thanks to the hard work of detectives and security services. A "high-risk" strategy to arrest a terror suspect before the extent of his crimes were fully known has paid off after the school administrator, who made children re-enact the Westminster terror attack, was convicted. Umar Haque, 25, of Newham, east London, first came to the attention of law enforcement when he tried to travel to Turkey in April 2016. He was stopped and his passport was revoked by the Home Office after research into terrorism was found on his phone. But it was not until almost a year later, according to Commander Dean Haydon, that the first evidence came to light of his plan to radicalise children, after Haque had been arrested for driving without insurance. In May 2017 Haque was arrested on suspicion of terror offences as police established he had been working at a school. Commander Haydon said: "We intervened early, that was probably a high-risk strategy on our part but we needed to fully understand what was happening in the school." It turned out Haque who worked at one school, and had previously been employed by another was also teaching at a mosque's education centre. He had been in contact with 250 children aged 11-14. He was showing them graphic terrorist videos of beheading and other serious violence in a bid to radicalise them towards Islamist extremism. "He made them role play terrorist attacks, part of that was the role of re-enacting attacks on police officers," Cmdr Haydon added. The children were told repeatedly to act out the then recent Westminster terror attack in which PC Keith Palmer and four other innocent people were murdered. He planned to create "an army of children" who would stage a wave of attacks on up to 30 identified targets, mostly in London. It was his aim to teach the youngsters to drive and continue radicalising them until they reached adulthood. The Met says none of those in charge at the institutions – the Lantern of Knowledge school, and the madrassa at the Ripple Road Mosque, in Barking - were aware of what Haque was doing. Nevertheless the radical, employed as an administrator not a teacher, was left alone with groups of children on a regular basis. The Charity Commission is now carrying out its own investigation into the mosque. Some 110 children had been identified as having been shown propaganda by the jihadi, with 35 of those now on a long-term safeguarding programme. Cmdr Haydon said: "They were paralysed by fear in the classroom, he told them he had significant connections into Daesh. "He showed them pretty shocking videos of beheading, involving serious injury, murder, mostly overseas, he threatened them that if they were to talk to their teachers, parents, or allude to anybody outside of that classroom of what was going on that they would meet a similar fate. "It doesn't appear that any of those children raised the alarm bell of what was going on. There was a wall of silence." Six of those children gave evidence during his trial. Umar Ahmed Haque, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of dissemination of terrorist publications and three counts of collection of information useful to terrorists. A jury at the Old Bailey found him guilty of two counts of preparation of terrorism attacks and one of collection of information useful to terrorists. The jury was hung on one count of of dissemination of terrorist publications and he was found not guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm. Abuthaher Mamun, 19, of Barking, who helped Haque, was convicted of one preparation of a terrorist act. Muhammad Abid, 27, Newham, was found guilty of having information about acts of terrorism. View on Police Oracle
  8. The current criminal justice system 'isn't working', according to the APCC chairman. Police and crime commissioners should be given joint oversight of probation and offender rehabilitation services with the Ministry of Justice, the head of the commissioners' association has said. David Lloyd, chairman and criminal justice lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), said on Tuesday the current system “stifles innovation” and does not work in its current form. “Although we call the criminal justice system a system - it isn’t. It’s made up of a series of often competing organisations that together manage to forget the needs of the victim and the offender," he said at a Justice Committee meeting. “I really believe this is a moment when we can make a step change in reducing reoffending if we all work together. “The biggest culture change is the lessons that fire can bring to police and that is rather than investing in more fire trucks look at how you reduce fire in the first place. I think it’s exactly the same in criminal justice.” He added: “Frankly there is no one who holds the ring around criminal justice. “What works poorly is for the democratic accountability is to be held centrally at the MoJ. “The positive thing is if you bring PCCs to have responsibly for it there is a very direct democratic oversight.” Mr Lloyd said he would be in favour of adopting the “Manchester model” (a combined local authority in which the mayor has taken on PCC responsibilities). “There isn’t a great amount of parliament time. By allowing the local leaders to get on and do it we can move on and that is the solution for you. “What we need is some leeway -to take on the Manchester model for example. “I think the role of PCC broadly a local leadership," he told the committee. He also claimed UNISON, one of the largest unions in the police and justice system, are in favour of probation and prisons coming under the jurisdiction of PCCs- much to his own surprise. When asked whether he thought disengaged PCCs would pose a risk to such a system he responded: “I believe in the wisdom of the electorate at the end of the day. The electorate shows great wisdom.” In a separate statement on the APCC’s website, Mr Lloyd said: “It is my view that PCCs have a key role in working with partners to ensure an efficient and effective criminal justice system. “That means real oversight and accountability of local criminal justice services, including offender management services, in the first instance, this should include joint oversight of Community Rehabilitation Companies and the National Probation Service with the Ministry of Justice." The APCC also wantS to see funding handed over to PCCs without a ring fence. View on Police Oracle
  9. Confusion over why money has not been spent after three years. One million pounds of government roads policing funding has been gathering dust for three years. Concerns were raised about what had happened to the money, approved in 2015, at a roads policing conference in January as “equipment only gets more expensive”. Delegates were later told the cash had been transferred to Surrey Police. A department for transport spokesman told Police Oracle there had been no delays in handing over the funding to the police and it had been transferred from Sussex to West Mercia Police. The money was intended to fund forensic roads policing equipment. A National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) spokeswoman confirmed there had been no government delay. After repeated Police Oracle requests for clarification to West Mercia, Surrey and Sussex Police a West Mercia spokesman confirmed the cash was still with Sussex Police but could not explain the three-year delay. A comment from Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans of West Mercia Police last week stated he “updated on the circa £1 million” when he stepped up as NPCC lead for forensic collision investigation in July 2017. "A significant amount of work had taken place to try and secure a national procurement for laser scanners with this money for those forces that required them but unfortunately as is the case in many areas currently this has proved unfeasible due to forces using different systems, some of which still have a number of years to go on their existing contract, differing processes carried being out within different teams etc,” he said. "As a result a national procurement was not possible. “I have therefore recently conducted an audit across all forces to identify those in most need of Laser scanners and my intention is to provide them individually with the funding required from the DFT money to be able to purchase the equipment that they require themselves. “The money has not been transferred but remains with Sussex Police pending the purchase of equipment.” But when Police Oracle asked his office to clarify whether any work had been carried out on the national procurement before July 2017, we were told he did not wish to comment further. Neither would he explain what kind of lasers he was referring to, whether he was replacing old equipment or commissioning new scanners and when it became clear national procurement would not be possible. Police Oracle lodged a second request to speak directly with ACC Evans last week and was told he would not be in the office until Friday. On Friday - three weeks after our first request - a West Mercia Police spokesman said ACC Evans would not be available until next week. View on Police Oracle
  10. Target date for merger has been shelved. The merger of British Transport Police into Police Scotland north of the border will not go ahead in April next year. The merger was due to take place in 2019 despite a recent admission that terms and conditions, third party contracts and ICT would not be ready to transfer from the railways constabulary by the target date. But a statement from the Scottish Government says a revision of the timetable with “allow for enhanced engagement with officers, staff and their representatives on key issues, including pay and conditions”. No new target date has been set. Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish and UK governments are working together to ensuring the legislation passed by Parliament last year is implemented as effectively as possible. “The benefits of a single command structure and improved access to the full range of capabilities of Police Scotland will be delivered for railway policing, providing an enhanced service to both the rail industry and travelling public. “While much has been achieved so far, we want to ensure a seamless transition which delivers continuity of service for rail users and staff. As I have previously said, any issues raised by the Joint Programme Board in their role as overseeing the project would be given due consideration. “While a later integration date is disappointing, it will provide all partners with the opportunity to enhance the process of engagement, in particular with officers, staff and their representatives on key issues.” Scottish Labour's Justice spokesperson Daniel Johnson called for the whole process to be shelved. He said: “This is a welcome u-turn at the 11th hour by the SNP. “Scottish Labour opposed folding BTP into Police Scotland from the start alongside officers, trade unions and experts – and it is welcome the SNP appears to have finally listened. “This delay reopens the debate about whether this foolish and misguided merger should go ahead at all given the distinctive nature and requirements of policing our railways.” View on Police Oracle
  11. 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
  12. Mohibur Rahman was sentenced to 16 years in jail this year for wounding two restaurant workers. Mohibur Rahman Durham Constabulary failed to respond in time to phone calls from a man hours before he launched a frenzied knife attack on two restaurant workers because it did not have the resources, a police watchdog has said. Mohibur Rahman inflicted serious injuries on two restaurant workers in a ‘horrific’ knife attack Darlington on July 21, 2016. Rahman, 43, was given a 16-year sentence after pleading guilty to wounding at Teesside Crown Court on February 7 this year. He had made four 999 calls to Durham Constabulary and spent several hours in detention at Darlington custody suite for possession of a controlled substance in the 43 hours leading up to the attack. During this period, there was also a non-emergency 101 call from his landlady reporting criminal damage. He was on bail for grooming girls in Tyneside at the time. Rahman had called the police describing increasingly violent hallucinations, saying there were about 50 dead bodies inside his house, he could see spirits and a gun gang were after him. In his final 999 call he claimed he could see people with guns, which would have meant officers should have attended within one hour. But Sheila Reay, a priority dispatch centre supervisor at Durham Constabulary, told the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) the target for a priority dispatch is missed regularly "by which I mean during every shift". Another call centre handler told the IPCC very few priority jobs met the arrival target of one hour ‘due to a lack of officers and she was aware of some priority incidents not attended to for three to five hours. She said over 20 outstanding incidents used to be a busy day for the Darlington area but now under 30 was a good day. The call handler explained when there are several priority incidents waiting for officers to attend, part of her role, as a dispatcher, is to decide which priority incident to send officers to first, effectively "prioritising between the priorities”. Durham Constabulary referred the case to the IPCC but the investigator found none of the police call handling staff or police officers involved had a case to answer for misconduct. “Although Durham Constabulary did not send officers to Rahman’s address within their one hour target time in response to his final 999 call, in the investigator’s opinion, this was as a result of a lack of resources rather than any individual failure to follow policy,” the IPCC report stated. IPCC Operations Manager Lauren Collins said:“I’d like to offer our sympathies to everyone affected by this horrific attack on innocent people and to reassure the families involved and the public that we carried out a very thorough and detailed investigation. “Our investigators examined all of Durham Constabulary’s contact with Mohibur Rahman in the days prior to his attack. We reviewed the content of the calls made by him and his landlady and the CCTV footage from the custody suite. We also interviewed police officers and staff, and considered whether local and national policies were complied with. “Although there were no identifiable conduct issues, we have identified learning for Durham’s control room staff about how they handle calls concerning firearms. We have also reiterated the importance of accurately recording information received from callers and accurately recording actions taken as a result of those calls.” View on Police Oracle
  13. Mr Justice Mitting says witnesses need to know who was working covertly for police to give evidence to inquiry. One of the officers infiltrated the campaign for justice for Stephen Lawrence The cover names of at least two special operations or special demonstrations squad officers are to be made public. The Undercover Policing Inquiry, now chaired by Sir John Mitting, will release the assumed identities of two officers – despite acknowledging this will increase risks to them. One of the two apparently infiltrated the campaign for justice in the wake of Stephen Lawrence's murder in 1993, the other is someone who may have had sex while undercover. A statement from Sir John, referring to the individuals with coded references, says: "The Inquiry cannot fulfil its terms of reference on a critical issue – the alleged infiltration of the Lawrence family campaign and the intelligence gathered and reported upon it by undercover police officers, in particular HN81– unless the cover name is published. "It is essential that members of the group against which HN81 was deployed and others in the Lawrence family campaign should be able to give evidence about HN81’s actions. "They cannot sensibly be expected to do so unless they know who HN81 was in the name by which HN81 was known to them." He adds that it is likely that the move will have an adverse impact on the individual's mental health but says the public interest outweighs HN81's rights. Elsewhere he says: "Publication of the cover name of HN16 is necessary to afford an opportunity to any individual who may have had an intimate relationship with HN16 under the cover name to provide information and evidence about it to the Inquiry. "This involves a small risk of significant interference with the right to respect for private and family life of HN16, if it leads to the revelation of the real name of HN16." Another officer's cover name is to be released, the judge says, if the Met does not submit an application to stop this. No details have been given yet about what the officer, referred to as HN330, did while undercover. Sir John Mitting has taken over the inquiry from Sir Christopher Pitchford who stood down in June. Last year, it was determined that there would be no automatic anonymity for those who had worked covertly in the past and that applications for secrecy would be decided on a case-by-case basis. View on Police Oracle
  14. After sustained period of cuts, the APCC fears funding shortfall may lead to rise in crime, hurting police and state legitimacy https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/29/england-and-wales-police-in-need-of-13bn-to-tackle-and-terrorism?CMP=twt_gu
  15. Staff were bestowed with the 'Sword of Honour'. NPAS staff, who do not wish to be named, alongside Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson (far right) The National Police Air Service (NPAS) was presented with a prestigious national award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to aviation. The ‘Sword of Honour’ was presented by the Honorary Company of Air Pilots (HCAP) at a ceremony at London’s Guildhall on Thursday evening. This award marks the highest achievements and excellence within the aviation industry across the world and is being awarded to NPAS particularly for the part the service played in the emergency response to two of the UK’s terror attacks earlier this year. Chief Constable Dee Collins, QPM of West Yorkshire Police and Air Operations Certificate Holder for NPAS said: “I am delighted that NPAS have been recognised for their outstanding response to two major national incidents, one in Westminster and one in Manchester earlier this year. “The crews, across a number of NPAS bases and within the National Operations Centre, provided an unprecedented response and invaluable command and control of the incidents without which, both colleagues and communities would have been put at much greater risk. “Every day crews carry out remarkable work from a national network of 15 bases to keep communities safe and it is highly fitting that NPAS should receive such a prestigious award.” NPAS crews were recognised for their provision of sustained cover throughout the protracted duration of the incidents at Westminster Bridge, in March, and in Manchester, in June this year. Both of these attacks necessitated a sustained and unprecedented response from UK policing and from NPAS as a part of that to provide a continuous aerial view of the incidents as they unfolded. NPAS strategic board chairman and West Yorkshire Police PCC, Mark Burns-Williamson said: “NPAS winning a highly prestigious award reflects the outstanding efforts and work carried out in response to two major national incidents. “NPAS exists to reduce the risk to communities and during both these incidents an unprecedented response was provided to ensure the safety of the public and colleagues. “The response provided demonstrates the value of borderless air support provision to UK policing.” View on Police Oracle
  16. Three out of four fraud cases were not reported to the police, said Barclays. Most people who fall victim to banking fraud do not report the scam to police, often because they are too embarrassed, research has found. A survey of 1,500 victims showed that a third did not tell their bank, even though the average amount stolen is almost £900. Barclays Bank is launching a "fraud clinic" to offer the public advice on how to protect themselves from potential cyber-attacks following its research. Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK, said: "We want to encourage people to talk more openly about scams, so that we can work together to lift the stigma of fraud. "If people are too embarrassed to even tell their friends and family, then how can we expect them to report it to their banks?" The most common frauds include identity theft, fake bank websites and online shopping scams, said the report. Three out of four fraud cases were not reported to the police, said Barclays View on Police Oracle
  17. Abnormal demand resulted in missed calls for police air support. The National Police Aviation Service has begun the process of requesting extra funding from the Home Office amid public safety concerns following recent events. NPAS strategic board chairman Mark Burns-Williamson and West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins, submitted a letter to the Home Secretary in March highlighting concerns around future fleet strategy and financing. Since then the country has suffered three terrorist incidents, the Grenfell Tower disaster on June 14 and disorder in Stratford on June 25 – leading NPAS to face ‘unprecedented’ demand with a need to provide continuous response. Helicopters carried personnel and did reconnaissance for up to 13 hours during the Westminster Bridge and Borough Market attacks. However, they can only fly for two to three hours at a time, so each major incident uses five or six of the UK fleet of 19. This means other calls for police air support go unanswered. Details of how many requests for air support had to be turned down during the London attacks were redacted from the meeting minutes. The Home Office failed to respond to March’s letter nor the follow up sent in June which Mr Burns-Williamson described as “unacceptable.” However, discussions have since taken place between Mr Burns-Williamson, CC Collins and Policing Minister Nick Hurd on the demand for police air support in the future. “With these plans in place, we hope to demonstrate both the clearly defined requirement to sustain current levels of service to UK policing along with the return on investment to both government, local and national policing bodies.” Mr Burns-Williamson said. “Consideration is currently being given to alternative models for the future provision of other areas of specialist capability in UK policing. The lessons learned through nationally delivering a 24/7 police air support service will no doubt usefully inform these processes and future direction going forwards.” The annual spend on helicopters has been slashed from £53.5 million in 2012 to £38.5 million now with eight out of 23 police airfields shut and the service centralised. A request has now been made by the Home Office for NPAS to submit a fully costed treasury plan for a new fleet by April 2018. A spokesman for NPAS who described the response and demand as ‘unprecedented’ added: “We need to start considering fleet and funding, clearly there’s a need there with an aging fleet. It’s a bit like cars, you can keep old cars running and they can pass their MOT, aircraft are a little like that – at what point will they stop passing their MOT?” NPCC Police Aviation Lead and Cambridgeshire Chief Constable, Alec Wood Combs, has sent a questionnaire to chiefs and PCCs asking their requirements for air services in the future and what NPAS needs to do differently. The results from the questionnaire will be used to support NPAS’s treasury plan. CC Collins, QPM and Air Operations Certificate Holder for NPAS said: “The National Police Air Service is groundbreaking and I’m very proud to be leading it. The men and women in our organisation seek to deliver support across the country to the best of their ability and in doing so, successfully deliver a professional service to every police force throughout England and Wales. “We have had some challenges in this but nothing that I would not expect as the first ‘pathfinder’ national policing capability. “We now have an opportunity to work with the Home Office and our partners to develop what the future needs for police aviation are and the resultant cost of achieving it. “What I am absolutely certain of is the service that NPAS provides is key to challenging some of the risks that our communities face." A Home Office spokesman said: “We want a modern and flexible air service, which meets the operational needs of forces and represents the best possible value for money for taxpayers. “It is for the police themselves to determine what air support they need and we will consider their plans once they are brought forward.” View on Police Oracle
  18. A CSO's account of his struggle with PTSD highlights the trauma police officers face in their daily duties. World Mental Health Day A Community Support Officer has described his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder as part of a day of action to raise awareness about mental health issues. On World Mental Health Day (October 11) the Gwent CSO wrote anonymously about how the graphic aftermath of a gas explosion in Newport haunted him for years. The CSO was among the first emergency responders on scene after hearing the explosion from Newport Central Police Station. “The give-away was a large hole where the front window used to be and the burning debris strewn across Bridge Street. “Immediately the smell of gas filled my lungs and the sight of a male stood in the debris with his clothes and chunks of skin missing filled my mind. Suddenly I was climbing in through the hole, over the gas pipe and pulling this stranger to the site of the former window. Then along with a colleague we pulled him out and into an ambulance. It was probably less than a minute but would affect me for what is looking like years.” Although it took several months for his problems to start, the CSO was plunged into a downward spiral that almost wrecked his personal and professional life. “I think the biggest issue for me became the words that every Community Support Officer hears almost daily ‘You’re only a CSO.’ It doesn’t bother me when the public say this but it definitely had an effect when it was my own mind. My mind was telling me CSO’s don’t have issues like this. You don’t go to incidents that could possibly have an effect on your mental wellbeing. Your colleagues are going to think you’re an idiot.” Eventually, he felt he had no choice but to explain why he was underperforming and confessed to his sergeant: “So sitting in front of my sergeant with my heart pounding and my mind screaming at me I blurted it out. I imagine I sounded like a blubbering idiot but I had done it. “ After being placed on an "extremely long waiting list" the CSO wrote revealed he will be starting treatment for PTSD tomorrow “This is where the real work begins and this is where I will be getting my life back on track. “My colleagues don’t laugh. I have the most supportive team around me. I am proud I acted. I will get better and I will get back to being me. “My condition does not and will not define me and the rest of my life.” View on Police Oracle
  19. Police Federation calls on chiefs to take action. Cuts have led to a substantial increase in fatigue and stress Senior officers and the government must do more to tackle a crisis in detective policing as morale hits rock bottom, the Police Federation says. It is warning the role is no longer desirable or sought after and victims may be failed as a result of worsening conditions. The staff association’s detective forum has released the results of its annual survey which found that 90 per cent of respondents said they had taken time off due to mental health and wellbeing issues either caused by or exacerbated by their work. Some 56 per cent said service cuts have had a huge impact on their morale while over a quarter of detectives felt their physical and mental health had been affected Half of those who answered also said cuts had led to a substantial increase in fatigue and stress as they battled to keep up with demand. Karen Stephens, secretary of the Police Federation national detective forum, said: “The facts speak for themselves. These results clearly show that detectives are overwhelmed with increased pressures brought on by a lack of resources. “Morale is low, people are exhausted and there is little sign of improvements to come if things stay the way they are.” Three-quarters of detectives said they were not able to provide the service victims need due to their workloads being too high. Mrs Stephens said: “The single aim of every officer, detectives included, is to protect and help others. But what these results show is that despite their best efforts, the demands of the role do not allow them to do this. "This is further emphasised with over half of the respondents saying they did not even have time to stay up to date with the latest training. “Being a detective was always a sought after, desirable role. However this survey shows things have changed and not for the better.” She called on the NPCC, College of Policing and government to act on the warning sounded by her members. Earlier this year HMIC warned that a shortage of detectives is a national crisis for policing in England and Wales. Chiefs have previously asked to be allowed by government to pay detectives bonuses for carrying out their roles, but were told by the pay review body to show evidence for why this would actually help. NPCC lead for detective recruitment and retention, Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes said: "Detectives do a vital job investigating crimes, apprehending offenders and protecting people from harm – and I know that all chiefs are proud of the work they do. "Forces have been aware for some time of the challenges that today’s survey describes, and it is always a concern when colleagues feel overworked and undervalued. "The complex nature of investigations and our work to protect vulnerable people has made the role of detectives even more challenging. We are facing a challenge to recruit and retain in these roles, which is adding to the pressure on serving detectives." He added: “We are looking at a range of ways to improve the situation, including reviewing the way detectives are selected and trained, providing improved workplace support to existing detectives which recognises how their work is changing, as well as looking at changes to incentivise more people into these important roles.” View on Police Oracle
  20. Honey, I shrunk the police. 164 primary school children aged between nine and ten are enrolled on the scheme. Northumbria Police has taken on more young recruits as its successful Mini Police scheme is extended. Earlier this year the force’s Mini Police initiative was launched with seven primary schools across the county signing up. Schoolchildren were selected for the scheme - where they work with officers and volunteer police cadets to learn about a host of topics to help keep them and their friends safe. Mini Police, recognisable by their uniform, also carry out work in the community and since the scheme began have attended some of the region’s biggest events such as the Sunderland International Airshow. There they played a vital role and helped hand out wristbands to children their own age and younger, the wristbands included the contact details of the child’s parents or guardian so if got separated they could quickly be reunited with them. Due to the success of the scheme it has been extended with eight more schools now signing up and an extra 88 nine and ten year olds becoming Mini Police - meaning there are now 164 primary school children enrolled on the scheme. Superintendent Sarah Pitt was instrumental in launching Northumbria Police’s Mini Police. She said: “Since we launched the scheme in April we’ve had a lot of interest in our Mini Police with people getting in contact to see how their children or school could get involved. It’s been a great success so far and we’re really pleased we’ve been able to extend it and welcome more children into the police family.” Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for children to engage with their local communities and learn more about how our officers tackle crime and help people who need it. It’s great that we have more youngsters signing up – I hope their involvement inspires them and they have lots of fun as new Mini Police recruits.” View on Police Oracle
  21. All 43 federations sign open letter to Prime Minister demanding 'a properly funded and well-resourced police service'. Prime Minister Theresa May Those representing rank and file officers across the country have written an open letter to the government describing the recent pay award as 'derisory'. Representatives from all 43 police federations in the country endorsed the letter, saying “members were angry” and forces “had been put in an impossible situation.” Police Federation of England and Wales Vice Chairman Calum Macleod said: “We feel the government has not been truthful and honest about the pay award given to officers, and that is insulting. "The two per cent awarded has to come from existing policing budgets which means forces may have to choose between officer numbers and public safety. That cannot be right." The full letter reads: Dear Prime Minister, On behalf of the hard working officers who are working to the bone to protect our people, who fight to protect our communities and who keep you safe, we demand answers. And we demand that you tell the public the truth. About crime figures. About police numbers. About the ‘extra’ officers you pledge. About ‘extra’ money you say you will pay. No more smoke. No more mirrors. No more double standards. You expect officers to run towards terrorists one minute and then turn your backs when we ask for help so they can afford to feed their families. Families they barely see because of the hours they work to fill the void left by the thousands of officers who are no longer there because of your cuts. Officers who are now broken. Who are unable to cope with the mental and physical demands placed upon them by having to work in depleted environments. With out of date kit .With fewer people. With no support. One chief constable has just this week told you that 40 per cent of his officers have sought professional help for stress. It is the tip of the iceberg. Our officers are committed to serving the public. And we thank the public for their overwhelming support, particularly in light of recent incidents. But with 20,000 fewer police officers than five years ago it is no wonder we have seen crime rise and the service to the public suffer. This is not fair on them. And two per cent pay rise with no extra money to pay for it means it is the public who will yet again suffer and get even less of a service. So hear us when we say: The pay award of on average less than £10 a week is insulting. A two per cent rise is not a rise when it has to come from existing policing budgets. It’s a disgrace you have dressed it up as a pay rise. Funding must come centrally, it is unfair to make the public suffer with fewer officers available to fight crime. It’s a disgrace you have ignored the recommendations from the independent Police Remuneration Review Body – the very body you set up to advise on police pay. Forces cannot cope with any further falls in police numbers. Communities will be further under threat at the very time protection is needed the most. Community policing plays a vital part in intelligence gathering to help combat terrorism and it has been decimated. ‘Extra’ police officers are not ‘extra’ police officers. They are the same officers doing longer hours, being called back in when they are off or being given extra responsibilities. Crime is not falling. And answer our questions: Why was the independent body, which has awarded MPs and ministers a 13 per cent rise over the last three years listened to when the independent police body on pay was not? How can you justify these double standards? Do you think it is acceptable that the derisory pay award is expected to come at a cost of losing more officers? Our members have been failed by: The FAILURE to heed our warnings. The FAILURE to implement the very recommendations of the independent bodies you introduced. The FAILURE to support them and the police service as a whole. The FAILURE to help officers protect the country. The FAILURE to help officers protect the public adequately. We don’t want meaningless platitudes. We want a properly funded and well-resourced police service. The public rightly want and expect this. For the sake of those who put their lives on the line for the public we demand you address these injustices and give us answers. Members of the interim National Council View on Police Oracle
  22. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/police-officer-pins-suspect-floor-9372518 A shocking video has led to the investigation of a police force after it showed an officer allegedly punching a suspect to the floor during an arrest.
  23. 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
  24. Chief Bakes

    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
  25. Integration now brought down further, to below ACC level. Warwickshire Police and West Mercia cars feature both force's badges. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire Two forces who had been discussed as candidates for a merger have scaled back their integration. Warwickshire and West Mercia Police announced a formal “strategic alliance” in 2012 and had been merged at all levels below deputy chief constable in recent years. West Mercia's former PCC Bill Longmore had been sympathetic to the idea of a full-blown merger. But this month further separation has taken place with two assistant chief constables moving back to working for just one force each. Chief Supt Charlie Hill, who serves both forces, told the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales Conference on Wednesday: “We've moved away from a strategic alliance, in my view, to a collaboration around protective services, finance and enabling services. “Frankly we need some real leadership from chief officers and PCCs to step up to the mark and say I'm prepared to give up sovereignty and move forward. Two FTSE 100 companies do not merge and have two chairmen, two chief execs, two deputy chief execs.” He was speaking on the morning that Dorset Police along with Devon and Cornwall Police announced they are exploring the possibility of merging. The existence of too many constabularies was a recurring topic throughout the staff association's conference this week, with PSAEW President Chief Supt Gavin Thomas raising it before the Policing Minister said he will listen if there are good arguments for them. Chief Constable Sara Thornton, chairman of the NPCC, said that her working group had ruled out arguing for larger, fewer forces as part of its 2025 policing strategy, despite being in favour, because she didn't think it was widely achievable. “Fewer, larger forces is not going to happen, politically it is just not an option,” she said. She pointed out problems including different council tax levels in neighbouring force areas. In a joint statement, Warwickshire Chief Constable Martin Jelley and West Mercia Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said they remain fully committed to their alliance, and said it is “continually developing”. “Part of any healthy development means continual review of our collaborative arrangements and the introduction of the ACC for each force is to ensure greater focus on local issues, partnerships and performance across the diverse landscape of our alliance. “We are very proud of the fact that our alliance has been and continues to remain one of the leading collaborative working arrangements between police forces in the country which has been commended and recognised by HMIC.” Their statement added that there are still “two clear and differing force identities” and the arrangement is “providing the very best service to our communities”. View on Police Oracle

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