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  1. Northamptonshire Police officer has been dismissed for saying black women have "too much blackitude" and speaking of taking "the weave off her head and slapping her across the face with it". Northamptonshire officer dismissed for use of the word 'blackitude' Date - 1st February 2021 By - Chloe Livadeas PC Mehmet Akkaya joined the force in December 2019 as a student officer. In February 2020 he was part of a class of student officers at the training school at force Headquarters. During the lunch break he asked the group “Who here has ever dated or gone out with a black girl before?”, and then said “Well, I would never go out with a black woman, too much blackitude” and then “If I was going out with a black woman I’d take the weave off her head and slap her across the face with it”. His comments were challenged by a colleague and reported to senior officers. PC Akkaya was then spoken to by senior officers and did not dispute what he said and didn’t seem to recognise an issue with it. He said the term ‘blackitude’ was around black women having an attitude and certain way of doing/saying things, compared to white people.” It was subsequently recorded as a Hate Incident and met the criteria for a mandatory referral to the IOPC, who referred it back to the force to investigate. In a written submission to the investigation PC Akkaya stated that his words had been said “without any thought”. PC Akkaya, who describes himself as a black male of Turkish and Jamaican parents, said that the word ‘blackitude’ was commonly used by black people, that his comments were not intended as racist but accepted that the words were “inappropriate and unacceptable” and “appear to be discriminatory in nature against black women”. He states that his comments were made in the course of a private conversation about preferences in relationships and the remarks were light-hearted and not intended to be taken seriously. He said ‘blackitude’ was not of itself a derogatory term and gave examples if it being used in a positive context. A misconduct panel which took place from 21-22 January and chaired by Jane Jones considered two reports by and heard live evidence from Dr Richard Bramwell, a Loughborough University lecturer in communication and media studies and an expert on the use of black British vernacular. Dr Bramwell’s opinion was the term ‘blackitude’ was not commonly used within British culture. Ms Jones wrote in hearing outcome report: “There has been some emphasis on the word ‘blackitude’, and in the end a consensus that the term is not necessarily derogatory. The Panel accept that the word has more generally been used in some cultural contexts in a positive way but note that it is also something that the officer specifically rejected in excess.” An officer has a right to express their sexual preference, but the panel ruled that since PC Akkaya spoke of no actual relationship, no real experience, no actual person, it was “is just a very general public derogatory comment about a whole group of people with reference to their gender and race”. “There is no doubt that in the context in which the word was used, it was meant to be derogatory and offensive,” writes Ms Jones. PC Akkaya did not give evidence at the hearing which meant the panel were “unable to explore with him his prior knowledge or understanding of the cultural background and various uses of the term blackitude, as outlined by Dr Bramwell’s first report”, Ms Jones writes. Ms Jones said the comments about slapping a woman with her weave “leaves little room for ambiguity”. “If this was an attempt at humour it was ill judged and totally inappropriate in a professional environment” and “demonstrated a gross insensitivity to the very real issue of domestic violence”, she writes. The panel did not accept this PC Akkaya’s defence that the words were said in the context of a private conversation as he was standing up in a training room, talking generally to those around him. Ms Jones wrote in hearing outcome report: “He was not making a comment on his personal preference so much as a commentary on the characteristics of black women, as he saw them, in a stereotypical way. It was not an exchange of information, more a case of him setting himself up for a punchline or statement designed to shock. It may indeed have been intended as a joke, but the realisation that it was badly judged did not seem to dawn on him. “When he was immediately challenged by a fellow officer, he just laughed and continued to speak with someone else. It was not a conversation that anyone else participated in.” Ms Jones said since the remarks touched on race and gender and the officer would have been “naïve in the extreme not to appreciate that these were areas of sensitivity” and there was a potential for his comments to be perceived as offensive and would place his colleagues in a difficult position themselves, “given their obligation to report or challenge him”. She concluded the comments do not reflect the values of Northamptonshire Police and "call into question the ability of this officer to deal impartially with black women". View On Police Oracle
  2. image copyrightNorthamptonshire Police image captionNorthamptonshire Police chief constable Nick Adderley paid tribute to the two officers caught up in an "appalling attack" Two police officers were injured when a kettle of boiling water was thrown at them, the force said. One of the officers will require plastic surgery following the attack in Northampton on Saturday night. Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley said it was an "appalling attack" that demonstrated the challenges police face every day. A 15-year-old girl has appeared before magistrates charged with grievous bodily harm. Mr Adderley, who was divisional commander in Manchester when PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were killed in a gun and grenade attack by Dale Cregan, in 2012, has often spoken of the dangers of the job. He said that shortly before midnight on Saturday the officers were "called to deal with an extremely vulnerable young person" at an address in Abington. They were both later treated at Northampton Hospital, with one now requiring plastic surgery after suffering serious burns on the left side of his body. The other office received minor burns to one hand. 'Horrific injuries' Mr Adderley said: "The actions of other officers at the scene were exceptional, in particular one colleague whose rapid response in the immediate aftermath of the attack prevented these very serious injuries being even worse. "Once again, incidents such as these demonstrate the really challenging situations which our officers are left to confront on a daily basis." Chairman of Northamptonshire Police Federation Sam Dobbs, said: "This was an officer with just over two years service who went to a normal incident and sustained quite horrific injuries." The 15-year-old girl, who was arrested at the scene, appeared at Northampton Magistrates' Court On Monday has also been accused of assaulting an emergency worker. She was released on unconditional bail. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-54880984

    Week 4

    Week 4 was certainly an interesting one. It saw my first arrest for drink driving, once again looking for a missing person who was allowed to walk out of where she was being cared and also saw me attend a nasty domestic between a mother and son. I am now confident is how to deal with missing people and compact, I feel confident in dealing with drink drivers but I am still a little unsure on domestics. I have been to a few now but there is something about them that I just cannot seem to grasp. Perhaps it is the pure desperation that these people are experiencing and I am the only person that they can turn to to sort out their lives when they are at rock bottom. Hopefully I will be able to get the hang of them and deliver the service that those victims expect of me. The excitement and thrill of being a police officer was not wearing thin as it is a job like no other however I was becoming mentally and physically exhausted and the demand on the body and brain was one I had never imagined. Despite this it is such an exciting job that you just forget about how drained you are and get on with it, leaving work knowing that you might have made a difference to someone’s life is enough for me. You most certainly get dunked in the deep end on your 10 weeks but the excitement of it all leaves me itching for the next shift.

    Week 1

    Week 1 of being an operational police officer certainly saw me out of my depth and struggling to come to terms with the position I was now in, however, it was also the most exhilarating and interesting week. It was an uphill battle from the very beginning, trying to remember the training we had been given but also trying to bring the human being element into it as well. Week 1 involved my first arrest, a warrant on a shipping container, first domestic, a hate crime, a sudden death and a high risk missing person enquiry. My first arrest was a terrifying experience however it was something that will stay with me forever. I feel that it went well and I was able to remember all my training and the correct processes whilst dealing with the arrested male. When I was called to attend a sudden death I was terrified about how I was going to deal with it as I had never seen someone dead before. Looking back on it I will admit that I was verging on being in shock when we arrived and although the family dealt with it well I did not really know what to say to them. It was a massive learning curve and feel ready to lead on the next. The main struggle for me this week has been getting to grips with the computer systems. Having had our training on this before Christmas and completely forgetting how to use it, it has been extremely difficult and almost embarrassing having to keep asking people how to work it. I do feel a little more comfortable on it however still have a long way to go to figuring it all out. It is a massive emotional and physical drain dealing with so many different people day in day out, most of whom are at rock bottom, however what I have certainly learnt from this week is that the main skill in becoming a good police officer is your ability to talk and engage with people.

    Week 3

    Week 3 saw me grow in confidence at jobs and experience my first bit of confrontation although not physical just a heated exchange of words. I have never really been a very confrontational person and coming into the job I was a little worried about how I would react in those situations however I felt that I managed the situation well and with a little help from Alan all was resolved and the suspect taken to custody. This week saw me experience Berrywood for the very first time and I am sure it will not be the last. The woman we were looking for just walked straight out of the hospital even though she was sectioned, I cannot understand how this was allowed to happen however that is not for me to worry about it is for me to find them, make sure they are safe and well and return them to the hospital. Week 3 saw my first foot chase although running 50 meters after a very drunk 14 year old who had sprung out of the police car, I am not sure it really counts. Dealing with her was a challenging job. There was absolutely no reasoning with her which was tough and trying to make her see sense was just falling on deaf ears. Eventually Alan and I left her with her mother and advised that if she had any more problems to call us. I visited my first prison which was an exciting job and one that I will certainly not forget. What I have realised this week is that being a police officer entails so much more than fighting and solving crime; I feel like I am a counsellor, a metal health nurse, an ear for those who have no one else among other things but the thing that I am enjoying most about this job is how varied it is from day to day. I've been worried about the massive pressure to get everything right but I've had so much advice and support from everyone in my team already that even after 3 weeks I feel part of the furniture.

    Week 2

    This week saw me work my first ever night shifts, something that I was certainly not looking forward to when I became operational and was not sure how I would cope with them. It is safe to say that although they are a shock to the system it is the early shifts that are the worst! I was still at the stage where I was more comfortable watching and learning from Alan as this is how I have always best learnt however towards the end of the week I was a lot more confident on being the first one into the incident. Two weeks in and already two sudden deaths down. I knew that this was part of the job but certainly didn’t think they would come around like this! Having taken the lead on my second I now feel confident in what to do at sudden deaths. This week also saw my first domestic assault which proved very difficult to handle as not only was it at 0600 and I was extremely tired but also the IP being hysterical I found it hard to cope. Nonetheless I coped well and onto the next. I nicked my second drug driver which was very satisfying and again confident in the drug drive procedure. All round a pretty good week and looking forward to the next.
  7. The new man in charge of Northamptonshire Police spoke to Police Oracle about the challenges facing his force. Chief Constable Nick Adderley Date - 4th September 2018 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle 3 Comments A force may have to change how it delivers policing following the effective bankruptcy of a local authority, its new chief says. Northamptonshire Police has added the local county council’s financial challenges to its risk register of threats – believing it could further stretch the already strained level of law enforcement resources. New Chief Constable Nick Adderley told Police Oracle: “Unless things change considerably with the funding formula and central grant we’ve got some significant challenges coming down the line with the difference in crime types and collateral demand that’s inevitably going to come our way from the council. “We’re so concerned about [the council] that I put it on the force risk register which articulates what we consider the strongest threats facing the force.” In a wide-ranging interview with this website, the chief touched on subjects including plans to change the force set-up so that it’s organised on a directorate structure – with the force broken up into response, community partnerships and other such areas – and moving straight from assistant chief to chief constable. He listed council-run services like rehabilitation programmes for drug and alcohol intervention, youth services and homelessness as areas which could raise major issues for police. “If we are not careful we’ll start to create a vacuum or a void that will be filled by people that we don’t want people to fill it. We’re watching it very carefully,” he said. CC Adderley added that, while he is awaiting a meeting with the council’s chief executive, he understands there’s no bailout available – which may well mean the force has to adapt in response. “We won’t be coming out to low level shoplifting, we won’t be coming out to where cars have been stolen from and all the rest of it. Those are the decisions we’ll have to take to free up officers to deal with some of these things, so we’re watching it very carefully,” he said. Asked about the potential public outcry about police not attending such incidents, he stressed the importance of being honest and clearly telling people what can be done and what cannot. “Without getting political around this, the issue for the taxpayer isn’t necessarily for us, we can only do what we can do with the money that we’ve got available,” he said. “The first thing I will be doing is consulting with the public when we get to those really difficult decisions we need to make. “Yes, you’re going to get mixed views, you’re going to outcry from some quarters, but I think if you involve the public they will, in the main, understand.” But the chief, who says he is spending as much time as possible on patrol and in departments and, later spoke about moving away from a mentality which states “we’re a small force and we’ve got no money” when trying to think of innovations to help it improve. He said: “I don’t subscribe to that. We may be a small force, however you define that, but we’ve got some big force issues that we’ve got to deal with – county lines, drugs gangs and all the rest of it. Let’s focus on the money that we have got, which this year is £118 million, and what we’re going to do with that.” CC Adderley, a former Staffordshire assistant chief constable who also served in Greater Manchester and Cheshire, is now in his fourth week in his new job, one he got ahead of three other candidates. On the leap in ranks, he said: “It is a fair jump but I think the role of chief constable is very different to that of an assistant chief or even a deputy chief. I don’t feel I’m disadvantaged not having been a deputy because the roles are so different. “I think what they were looking for here in Northamptonshire is someone with that strategic vision and could push on with that level of enthusiasm and energy to get us through what is going to be a difficult few years because of the way the force is funded.” View On Police Oracle
  8. A police and crime commissioner (PCC) has been forced to write to the police workforce to clarify comments he made about under-performing officers. http://www.policeprofessional.com/news.aspx?id=31978
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