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  1. Brexit deemed 'bad guy' after postponement of news on grant settlement. All-consuming Brexit is being blamed for the government pulling the plug on announcing next year’s round of police funding. And the Home Office came under fire from former Shadow Policing Minister Jack Dromey for the “unacceptable” delay in delivering news on the 2019-20 grant settlement. Forces in England and Wales had been expecting to discover yesterday afternoon whether they would receive a cash boost. But Home Secretary Sajid Javid's much-anticipated Commons statement was postponed – as MPs found themselves stuck in the middle of five days debating whether Britain will finally exit the EU, and under what terms and conditions. Birmingham Erdington MP Mr Dromey told Police Oracle: “This government is abjectly failing to make the big decisions this country needs. "All consumed by its abysmal failure to negotiate a Brexit deal, it has now pulled the announcement of funding for our increasingly stretched police service. “The police desperately need funding to keep the public safe and certainty over how many officers they can recruit going forward. “This delay is simply unacceptable.” The next funding settlement is considered vital for policing, with violent crime rising and many forces saying they are struggling to cope with low officer numbers and scant resources. Policing is set for a “double your money” council tax windfall to fight the rising tide of violent crime as officer number forecasts for Britain’s biggest force predict the lowest level since 2002 – unless funding increases. London mayor Sadiq Khan was due to meet Home Secretary Sajid Javid this week to discuss the police funding settlement for next year, amid reports a provisional agreement has been brokered with Chancellor Philip Hammond and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to increase the precept charged by local authorities on behalf of forces. The amount police and crime commissioners will be able to impose will rise from £1 a month to £2 a month from April 2019 – an extra £24 per household each year – which could raise around £450 million for forces in England and Wales, according to the report. It is not the first time the government has delayed an issue relating to law and order. In October a Commons debate on banning offensive weapons was pushed back after another Brexit debate dragged on. The latest criticism follows a stand-off earlier this week in the Commons when Policing Minister Nick Hurd deflected questions on police pay and pensions from 16 different MPs – by repeatedly telling them to wait for the “imminent” funding settlement. He told them the government had raised £460 million for the police service this year and chiefs should look forward to the funding announcement soon. Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh quizzed him about reported leaks the upcoming settlement will deliver a real terms cut. The government has altered the wording of its claims about police funding since March when UK Statistics Authority chairman Sir David Norgrove rebuked the Prime Minster for making “misleading” comments suggesting central government was providing an "extra £450m for the police". Theresa May was referring to £130 million top sliced from police budgets for national police priorities, £50m in counter-terrorism funding and a potential £270m that could be raised if all police and crime commissioners decide to raise local council tax precepts by £12. Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has accused Mr Hurd of “blurring the facts” by “deliberately and consistently confusing money raised locally by taxpayers with money from central government". The Home Office was not available for comment when Police Oracle contacted the department. View on Police Oracle
  2. TV stars speaks out to millions of live viewers Nick Knowles has received appreciation from emergency service workers following his passionate exit speech on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! DIY SOS host Knowles has become the sixth contestant to face the boot from the show after a public vote. He managed 20 days in the jungle and became the camp's de facto cook - playing a fatherly figure to the group's younger members. After hugging his campmates, Knowles joined Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly where he said he hoped the camp's camaraderie could be an example of unity to a UK rife with "division". After taking a long swig of water, Knowles, 56, added: "When I came in here I wanted to see whether a whole bunch of people could get together and make friends. We are having such a hard time in the UK at the moment. There's so much division in the UK. "I thought if we could all get on in here then it would be a bit of a pointer for everyone at home. There's this big split going on in the UK." He then used up the rest of his live airtime to praise the work of emergency services saying: “One last thing – please support our veterans, support the police, support the NHS, support the emergency services. They all do amazing jobs and they have it a lot harder on a day-to-day basis than we do in here.” Thank-you messages began flooding in shortly after from police, veterans and members of the public on social media. Last year, DIY SOS, renovated the home of an officer who was left paralysed after the Westminster Bridge. PC Kris Aves suffered a devastating spinal cord injury when terrorist Khalid Masood hit him with his car. The crew, backed by hundreds of local tradesmen, installed a lift and widened the doors so PC Aves can now move his wheelchair round the house. View on Police Oracle
  3. Road to new legislation is far from smooth for campaigners The chaos that has engulfed Parliament amid Brexit may hinder the progress of eagerly awaited draft laws which would enhance legal protection for officers who pursue helmetless moped riders. The Police Federation for England and Wales (PFEW) cautiously welcomed the news last May that the Home Office was drafting legislation to ensure skilled police drivers are “protected”. PFEW was awaiting the results of the government’s consultation when it received the news there will no longer be time in the parliamentary diary because Brexit-related work must take priority. Instead, the Home Office hopes the same ends will be achieved through Sir Henry Bellingham’s Emergency Response Drivers private members bill. It was originally introduced as a ten-minute bill in December 2017 but was shelved after government objections in March. The bill was due to have its second reading on November 23 but Sir Christopher Chope, who is notorious for blocking private member’s bill on principle, raised an objection. Sir Christopher invoked the ire of activists earlier this year when he blocked the progress of a bill to make upskirting a separate offence and Finn’s Law, which would increase the penalties for those who injure police animals. This, however, did not stop him submitting several of his own private members bills last month. The Emergency Response Drivers Bill second reading has been rescheduled to March. PFEW Pursuits Lead Tim Rogers, who has been campaigning to change the law for more than seven years, told Police Oracle the government has some concerns the bill will not match the issues covered in the consultation and that it will include ambulance and fire engine drivers, who are not trained to the same standard as police officers. He said: “If you compare officers to the careful and competent drivers standard the techniques they use are illegal. “The deal officers get is 'as long nothing goes wrong that’s fine and we won’t do anything about it but when something does happen you’re on your own'. “Roads policing officers are highly trained professionals who go to work and carry out these manoeuvres every day but that isn’t recognised in law. “It’s just stupid. “Even the IOPC came out and said officers shouldn’t be compared to the careful and competent drivers standard.” Mr Rogers said Policing Minister Nick Hurd had given himself and PFEW chairman John Apter personal assurances last week he remained committed to the issue and will soon issue a ministerial statement confirming this is the case. It is still hoped the bill will gain Royal Assent by 2019/2020, he said. A Home Office spokesman said: “We recognise the difficult job that police drivers do every day to keep road users and the wider public safe. “That’s why we have worked closely with the Police Federation, other government departments and groups representing road users and those advocating road safety to review the law, guidance, procedures and processes surrounding police pursuits. “Ministers are expecting soon to be in a position to announce the next steps following the consultation. This will be subject to final clearance across government.” View on Police Oracle
  4. Disparity in mental health services a 'burning injustice' which must be 'put right', says Theresa May. Demand placed on police picking up pieces of struggling mental health services could be alleviated if the government considers a shake-up in an “outdated” law, an official report said. The review of the Mental Health Act (MHA), commissioned by the Prime Minister, has called for police cells to stop being used as a place of safety by 2023/24, and for detainees in crisis to be transferred to a health care setting via ambulances only. Not only will this ease pressure off police by ensuring mentally-ill people are transferred to healthcare professionals faster, but it will also be less traumatic for the detainee, the report said. However, the government needs to provide more funding for mental health services to make this possible, according to the review. It also recommends an amendment of Section 136 to allow a police officer to end detention in cases where it is clear a full MHA assessment is unnecessary. Health staff must carry out an objective risk assessment process to determine when officers can leave, and where there are disagreements, the escalation process should include the police duty sergeant or inspector and an NHS manager working to reach agreement, it added. A “disproportionate” number of black African or Caribbean detainees dying in custody should also prompt the College of Policing to update its Equality Improvement Model to include a “greater focus” on mental health and ethnic minority issues for forces to “demonstrate progress against equality objectives,” the report said. It is also supporting the move towards custody suites being commissioned by NHS England with oversight and regulation from the Care Quality Commission – recommended in Dame Elish Angiolini’s report on serious incidents and deaths in custody. These suggestions are now being considered by the government ahead of the creation of a new Mental Health Bill in the New Year. Changes to legislation which will give mental health patients more control over their care have already been approved. People will be able to nominate a person of their choice to be involved in decisions made about their care and can express their preferences for care and treatment. Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The disparity in our mental health services is one of the burning injustices this country faces that we must put right. “For decades it has somehow been accepted that if you have a mental illness you will not receive the same access to treatment as if you have a physical ailment. Well, that is not acceptable. “I commissioned this review because I am determined to make sure those suffering from mental health issues are treated with dignity and respect, with their liberty and autonomy respected. “By bringing forward this historic legislation – the new Mental Health Bill – we can ensure people are in control of their care, and are receiving the right treatment and support they need." National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Mental Health, CC Mark Collins said: "We welcome the recommendations in the report following our close work with Sir Simon Wessely. “People experiencing a mental health crisis are not criminals - they're unwell, vulnerable and often frightened. Police cars and police cells are no place for those who need medical support, and forces have worked to halve the number of instances where vulnerable people are kept in custody. “Members of the public rightly want the police out fighting crime, and the recommendations in this report will ensure there is reduced demand on policing to respond to those who need a more appropriate form of care.” Association of Police and Crime Commissioners mental health lead, Matthew Scott , said: “People experiencing mental ill health need the right care from the right person at the right time. That also means the right place. “And whilst police officers will and do always do their best to help, this care is better provided in a health setting not a police cell, and by trained professionals not police officers. “Members of the public rightly want the police out fighting crime, not picking up the pieces for other agencies. “I hope that with these reforms, and the extra investment the government is putting into crisis services, we can get people the care they need and reduce demand on policing.” Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: "This outdated legislation has seen thousands of people experience poor, sometimes appalling, treatment, who still live with the consequences to this day. We are pleased to see that many of our concerns – and those of the people we represent and have supported to feed into the review – have been heard.” View on Police Oracle
  5. Met officer numbers forecast to fall to 'lowest level since 2002' without extra funding, warns mayor Sadiq Khan. Policing is set for a “double your money” council tax windfall to fight the rising tide of violent crime as officer number forecasts for Britain’s biggest force predict the lowest level since 2002 – unless funding increases. London mayor Sadiq Khan claims Metropolitan Police numbers could drop to 26,800 if further savings are demanded from the force. Mr Khan is due to meet the Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday to discuss the police funding settlement for next year, amid reports a provisional agreement has been brokered with Chancellor Philip Hammond and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to increase the precept charged by local authorities on behalf of forces. The amount police and crime commissioners will be able to impose will rise from £1 a month to £2 a month from April 2019 – an extra £24 per household each year – which could raise around £450 million for forces in England and Wales, according to the report. The government is expected to make an announcement next week. As well as the increase in council tax, it is understood the Home Office and Treasury could also commit another £170 million to general police funding. But the London force is required to make a further £335 million worth of savings by 2022, according to Mr Khan's office, basing its figures on "updated and detailed" calculations by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime ahead of the Mayor's next budget. The figure is £10 million more than previous forecasts, claiming it could lead to officer numbers falling to their lowest level since 2002. The forecast projects that by 2022, further planned cuts will take Metropolitan Police officer numbers down to 26,800, for a population of more than nine million people. When officer numbers were last that low, London’s population was seven million. Until 2010 officer numbers were broadly holding at around the 30,000 mark or just above. In that year it had 33,367 officers for a population of 8,054,000, meaning it had 4.1 police officers per thousand people. Now it has 29,654 officers for a population of nine million, or 3.3 officers per thousand people, and the number of officers is forecast to fall, despite London’s population growing since the start of this century – and forecast to hit 10 million by 2030. Historically, London has had more officers per hundred thousand population than other big urban forces because the capital is seen as having more complex needs. The budget forecast also takes account of a change in police pensions which will require Scotland Yard to meet an increase in its annual pension bill of £104 million from 2020, equivalent to more than 1,700 officers, the Mayor's office added. It said the calculations were made on the basis that Mr Khan will increase the policing element of the council tax precept by 5.1 per cent, or £12 per household – half the reported future rise. This would raise an additional £49 million which is equivalent to 800 police officers, the office added. Mr Khan said: "The causes of violent crime are extremely complex, but there is no doubt it has been made far worse by huge government cuts to the police and youth services. "Even the Home Secretary has finally admitted that the Met won't be able to tackle violent crime without more funding from the Government. "Now we urgently need to see action to avoid officer numbers falling even further. "Government cuts have led to London losing 3,000 police officers and more than 3,000 PCSOs and 5,000 police staff and I'm genuinely concerned about how we keep Londoners safe with officer numbers as low as 26,800. "Ministers need to reverse the £1 billion savings forced on the Met and reverse their cuts on youth services and other preventative services so that we can keep our city safe." Police chiefs nationally are threatening to sue the government unless it relieves the new financial burden placed on forces by the government’s decision on police pensions. View on Police Oracle
  6. But EU is yet to make any promises. The Home Secretary is maintaining claims a “very good” security deal has been reached with the EU post-Brexit despite a draft paper published last month giving no such assurances. The Prime Minister and Home Office officials have repeatedly stated the EU is keen to forge a close security partnership after Brexit. Chiefs have been clear close co-operation on security and policing benefits the entire European Union and losing Europol membership would also threaten the safety of citizens on the other side of the Channel. But EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier made it clear earlier this year Theresa May's "red lines" would mean it was impossible to remain in the European Arrest Warrant. And Prime Minister Theresa May’s draft Brexit agreement, published in November, gave no guaranteed access to crucial databases or confirmation agreements will continue after an initial transition period. The 585-page document states the UK will only be able to use the vital Schengen Information System for a maximum of three months after the transition period and Europol’s SIENA platform for one year. Article 8 says the UK will cease “to be entitled to access any network, any information system and any database established on the basis of Union law”. But this afternoon Home Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs at the House of Commons he is “sure we can reach an agreement”. Labour MP Nick Thomas-Symonds asked: “When will the government actually act to stop this diminishing of our ability to tackle crime?" He said: “Tackling online crime has to of course be cross border and yet the government has failed to get the Schengen Information System or SIS2 and European Criminal Record Information System included in their political declaration. “It hasn’t identified exactly what our relationship with Europol or Eurojust is going to be going forward and we only have vague promises on the benefits of maintaining the European Arrest Warrant.” Mr Javid responded: “The honourable gentleman will know from the information we’ve already published that we have reached a good agreement on future security cooperations so for example on things like passenger name records on DNA and other important databases. “That is something we will continue to work together on.” He went further when MP David Hanson demanded: “Are we to be members of Europol in this brave new world or simply shadowing and incorporating with them?” Mr Javid hinted full-blown Europol membership is still on the cards. He said: “We have an agreement with the EU. A draft agreement that gives us a very close relationship with the EU on security and cooperation and it includes considering membership of Europol.” View on Police Oracle
  7. 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
  8. Overstretched officers are having to act as a last line of defence Is it time to say enough is enough? https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/29/police-force-cuts-mental-health An interesting point here: “Now consider the people we cannot identify and quantify – the callers who couldn’t get through because the police were busy dealing with those 8,655 calls. What if they too were vulnerable, and some almost certainly were? What if they came to significant harm or even died – and they may have? Where was our duty of care to them?”
  9. It's a different form of public service without the politics'. What does a former police and crime commissioner do with their spare time when they are no longer in office? The answer for Olly Martins involved getting a warrant card. That’s because the former Bedfordshire PCC, who governed from 2012-2016, is now a special constable on Merseyside. By day a local government officer, the ex-politician now serves law enforcement in an area he represented as a councillor in Liverpool from 1995-2003. SC Martins did not approach this website to promote what he is doing, but after our reporter had heard about his service and made contact with him, he agreed to speak. So, why did he decide to join the special constabulary? “I spent quite a lot of my time as PCC promoting the specials because I saw specials are the epitome of that Peelian principle: the public are the police and the police are the public,” he said. “I know that Merseyside values the sort of outside experience that the specials can bring, that kind of link back into communities that people who are doing it part time and on a voluntary basis can bring to the force. “I used to ride along with our specials in Bedfordshire and I said if I ever lost office I would want to be a special. Even though there’s probably no one who remembers me making that promise I still feel like I’m keeping a promise.” He was attested in March after six months of training, and now serves in the Speke area on a community team – which carries out a combination of preventative and engagement work. “In a way I’m a little bit envious because that’s the kind of capacity that Beds really struggles to have. Although Merseyside has lost 1,000 officers it’s still better resourced than I was used to in Bedfordshire, but only just,” he said. Has anything surprised him about the role? “If anything the challenges are even greater than I was able to observe before – the resources and the risks that police officers face on behalf of the public.” On how he is treated by regular officers in the force, he praised the way in which specials are fully integrated into local policing on Merseyside. He added: “I, and I think it’s the same for other specials, we get nothing but respect from regulars when we turn up after our day job to help them police Merseyside. “Historically I’m not sure that’s always been the case […] but particularly in the current climate where people are going to be single-crewed and they’ve got a special working with them they’re not single-crewed.” But the role is not the only one the former PCC does for free – he is a longstanding member of the army reserve, but says the two roles are quite different, with the special service involving a lot more application of the training he has received. In our interview, SC Martins made repeated reference to his time in office, noting he enjoys his new day job though he would “prefer to have been re-elected” and also that serving as a special has confirmed some of the theories he had about the nature of offending and how to stop it occurring. So, if the opportunity arises would he want to be a PCC again? “Never say never, but at the moment I’m enjoying being out of the political cut and thrust. “I was deeply immersed in politics for over 20 years so I kind of feel like I’ve done my time. I’m a local government officer so I’m not party political. […] I am quite enjoying that. “And it’s a different form of public service without the politics." View on Police Oracle
  10. NINE out of ten people surveyed in Dorset believe the police need more money - but officers fear cuts will soon cripple the service https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/17255349.amp/ similar story across the UK, but interesting numbers none the less.
  11. Chilling footage showing a getaway driver abandoning an ambulance on railway tracks in front of a high-speed train has been released by police. The driver, who was being chased by police, smashed through a railway barrier and jumped out of the decommissioned ambulance, which then came within inches of colliding with an oncoming train. Read more at: https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/watch-the-terrifying-moment-a-yorkshire-getaway-driver-abandons-an-ambulance-in-front-of-a-70mph-express-train-1-9455805
  12. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-46222026 Japan's new cyber-security minister has dumbfounded his country by saying he has never used a computer. Yoshitaka Sakurada made the admission to a committee of lawmakers. "Since I was 25 years old and independent I have instructed my staff and secretaries. I have never used a computer in my life," he said, according to a translation by the Kyodo news agency. The 68-year-old was appointed to his post last month. His duties include overseeing cyber-defence preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
  13. Police officers took almost 40,000 days off work last year due to stress-related illness. The Scottish Police Federation say some members have taken their own lives because of pressures they faced at work. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/scots-cops-anxious-suicidal-stress-13530271.amp ”Kennedy said: “One officer had a manager try to serve discipline forms on him the day after he tried to take his own life.” Did the manager know he’d tried to take his own life? If so what a ...... 😡
  14. Two bungling car-jackers attempted to carry out a terrifying robbery on a Black Country street – only to find the vehicle they targeted filled with armed police officers. https://www.expressandstar.com/news/crime/2018/10/29/men-arrested-after-threatening-armed-police-in-car-with-crowbar/ I guess it it was a case of “you call that a weapon, THIS is a weapon!” 😄
  15. MIAMI — Authorities say a man packing a blue light and a BB gun pulled over a nondescript car on Interstate 95, ready to play “traffic cop” again. Bad move: The driver he pulled over is a real police detective. http://nypost.com/2017/04/14/police-impersonator-messes-with-wrong-guy/ [emoji1]
  16. Crimestoppers has voiced how the public's frustration over police failing to answer 101 calls has led to the crime reporting service being busier than ever. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10/18/crimestoppers-reports-rise-amid-frustration-around-police-failure/amp/
  17. McDonald's has apologised after firefighters tackling a blaze at a branch of discount retailer B&M were denied free refreshments. Crews spent Saturday night bringing a huge fire, which left the building at York's Clifton Moor retail park "a burnt-out shell", under control. It later emerged two members of the public had paid for drinks out of their own pockets when none were provided. McDonald's has said free drinks "should have been provided on the night". A number of firefighters reportedly approached the branch, close to the B&M store, while taking a break from combating the blaze. They are said to have asked if the restaurant could provide free drinks, on account of crews not carrying cash while attending a call-out, but were refused. 'Small recognition' Several firefighters used Facebook to thank "a lady and a young man" who bought them refreshments. Steve Brown, a crew manager at North Yorkshire Fire Service, wrote: "I was one of the firefighters there last night, thank you to the lady and young man who brought us the teas and coffees, really appreciated." Phil Lee also expressed thanks, writing that the teas and coffees "couldn't have come at a better time. Many thanks from all the lads". A McDonald's spokesperson said: "On this occasion, we would like to apologise to the firefighters who bravely tackled last night's fire. "They should have been provided with free refreshments on the night as a small recognition for their efforts. "McDonald's will of course be happy to reimburse the member of public involved." The company would be in touch with the local fire and rescue service, it added. North Yorkshire Fire Service has been contacted for a comment. Crews remain at the scene of Saturday's blaze, and an investigation into its cause is due to begin, said North Yorkshire Fire Service. A spokesman said the flames had been brought under control but firefighters continued damping down the remnants. He confirmed the fire had been contained within the store and there had been "no immediate concern for adjacent buildings". At the height of the blaze, which broke out just before 16:30 BST when the store was still open, local residents were advised to stay indoors and close their windows. BBC reporter Phil Bodmer, who was at the scene, described seeing "dozens of fire crews" and hearing "large bangs... coming from inside" the building. Plumes of smoke could be seen "for miles", he added, and the "whole building" appeared to be alight. Returning to the scene on Sunday, he said the store was a "burnt-out shell" which remained smouldering despite heavy rain. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-45853429 Something I’ve never really thought about - not carrying cash with them on shouts! Pretty mean to refuse drinks to emergency services, especially ones working in such hot conditions!
  18. POLICE officers and staff "failed in their duties and responsibilities" after a vulnerable woman was found dead almost 17 hours after her social worker raised concerns about her. https://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/16960773.police-found-woman-dead-17-hours-after-999-call/ Is A&E the best place for someone who has had a major depressive disorder? Is it right to expect someone to make their own way - should an ambulance have been called or at least a friend or family member? Who investigates social services?
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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:
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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

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