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Found 46 results

  1. Visit from Maggie, 11, whose father was killed on duty prompts announcement. Maggie Henry was made chief constable for a day A force has promised that anyone assaulted on duty will receive contact from a chief officer to check on their welfare. Bedfordshire Police has changed the policy and dubbed it ‘Maggie’s Law’ after the daughter of PC John Henry, killed on duty in Luton in 2007, spent at day at its headquarters. According to a statement from the force, 11-year-old Maggie Henry wants to help the force “look after our police officers, so that they can look after everyone else”. The chief officer team will now take the lead on checking that personnel who have been attacked get the support they need. Bedfordshire Police had already adopted the seven point plan on police assaults, first developed in Hampshire, which commits to treating assaulted officers as victims of crime. Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “Without question, an assault of any kind should never be considered ‘part of the job’. “Our workforce walks into danger when others walk away and sadly verbal and physical assaults are becoming commonplace – but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable. “Our officers should be afforded the support they need and deserve. This means they are treated the same way as any other victim of crime, they feel valued and that those who attack police officers are not dealt with lightly.” Bedfordshire Police Federation Chairman, Jim Mallen added: “Looking after officers and staff members who have been assaulted while doing their duty should be a primary consideration for police leaders. “The Police Federation brought into Bedfordshire the seven point plan and Maggie's law seems a natural extension to highlight to those assaulted that we care about them and will do our utmost to support them.” PCC Kathryn Holloway said she has raised the issue of short sentences for people who attack officers with the government. “I never want another family in this county to experience what Maggie Henry and her family have had to go through,” she added. “In my view, an attack on a police officer is not the same as an assault on any other member of the public, since police are standing on the front-line between those who keep the law and those who want to undermine it. “An attack on a single officer is an assault on society itself and should be met with the toughest penalty possible.” View on Police Oracle
  2. Labour says visibility has rarely been lower and 'blame lies squarely at the government's door'. The number of people who believe police are "highly visible" in their community has fallen by almost half, statistics show. Just one in five (22 per cent) people said they feel officers are highly visible, according to the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales, which looks at the period from April last year to March this year. This compared with 39 per cent in April 2010 to March 2011, while the percentage of the public who said they "never" see police foot patrols has risen by more than half, from 25 per cent to 39 per cent. It follows a survey last year, which found that one in three people in England and Wales has not seen a bobby on the beat in their local area in the past year. The poll carried out for HMIC found 36 per cent of people had not seen a police officer or PCSO on foot in their areas in the past year - while just under a quarter (23 per cent) had seen uniformed personnel "once or twice". The watchdog warned of the "erosion" of neighbourhood policing as forces are forced to make further financial cuts. Labour's Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh said: "Bobbies on the beat don't just reassure the public they collect vital community intelligence and help to keep us safe. Savage cuts mean this tried and tested bedrock of British policing is being chipped away as police withdraw from neighbourhood policing altogether. "Police visibility has rarely been lower and the blame lies squarely at the Government's door. "The Tories shamefully accused the police of crying wolf over police cuts, but now the public are seeing the brutal reality; crime rising and fewer officers on hand to keep them safe." A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Effective policing is not just about the number of officers on the street but about accessibility - having a presence where people now live their lives and are at risk, for example online. "The latest data from the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that nearly two-thirds of the public believe that the police are doing a good or excellent job, and we encourage forces to be innovative, including making best use of technology in the way in which they engage so they meet the needs of all sectors of the community." Last month a number of anonymous former senior Met officers stressed the importance of Safer Neighbourhood Teams, the force’s “eyes and ears” on the ground. The officers claim the teams have been key to detecting signs of radicalisation and gang-related activity in the past. They explained that in 2007 every ward in every London borough boasted a team made up of a sergeant, two police constables and three community support officers. Now there are just three officers in each team, with each unit covering three or four wards. View on Police Oracle
  3. Chief inspectors and commander posts will still exist beyond 2018. Commissioner Cressida Dick has cancelled plans to abolish two ranks in the Met. Last year Police Oracle revealed the force planned to do away with chief inspector and commander posts in 2018. But its subsequently-appointed force leader has called a halt to the idea. A spokesman said “removing two ranks is not the best approach to achieve the outcomes we need”. Police Oracle also revealed that the force had already spent more than £27,000 on the promotion process for potential future chief inspectors before deciding to drop the ranks – with more than 229 officers having applied. The force spokesman said: “The commissioner has signalled very clearly that the Met will introduce flatter management structures and that she is increasing the pace of reform. "However, after extensive consultation, and due to the step-change to our operational context in recent weeks, she has concluded that removing two ranks entirely is not the best approach to achieve the outcomes we need at this time. “In the coming months we will see flatter leadership structures that empower officers to use discretion and make decisions in different units across the Met. “We will also continue to work closely with the NPCC lead on reforms to leadership structures and maintain our place at the forefront of this work.” Reducing the number of ranks in policing was a key recommendation from the College of Policing’s leadership review and the UK’s largest force appeared to be leading the way in implementing it. Met Fed branch chairman Ken Marsh welcomed the change of heart. “It wasn’t thought out very well to begin with, now the Commissioner has given it proper thought I think what will happen will be planned far better,” he said. On the potential for inspectors to gain promotion to chief inspector ranks again, he added: “They were in the process when it stopped, I’m pleased for them and inspectors will now be able to become chief inspectors.” View on Police Oracle
  4. Five officers and a nurse were all attacked by pair in one evening. Five officers and a nurse were assaulted by the men throughout the course of the night. Northumbria Police has appealed for witnesses after an officer was knocked unconscious and four of her colleagues attacked by a pair of thugs. Police were called to Newcastle City Centre shortly after 3am on Monday August 14 to reports two men had punched and kicked members of the public and ran off. Two officers attended and a violent struggle ensued in which both officers were assaulted with one knocked unconscious. The pair were eventually detained and taken to Forth Banks station where a nurse and three detention officers were also assaulted. The force believes a number of people will have seen the attack on the officers and are appealing for witnesses. Four men in particular stopped to help the officers during the struggle but then left the scene without providing their details. Acting Chief Inspector Steve Wykes, of Northumbria Police said: “I’d like to thank the four men who came to our officer’s aid - it was brave of them to do so but they left before our officers could get their details. “I’d ask them to come forward and speak to us so we can thank them for their actions. The offender’s behaviour is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated by Northumbria police. “While I am pleased to report that the officers are not seriously injured this was an awful incident and the officers are receiving support. “I’d also appeal for anyone who was in the area of St Nicholas Street and Castle Stairs who may have witnessed the incident to contact police.” The officer who was knocked out was taken to hospital for her injuries but later released. Two men aged 25 and 36 years were arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer in the execution of their duty and are detained in custody helping police with their enquiries. View on Police Oracle
  5. UCL project exploring evidence recreation working on veracity of 3D modelling. Dr Morgan is enthusiastic about the changes to evidence preservation the PhD work may be able to facilitate. Exact 3D printed replicas of evidence artefacts may hold the key to the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted in the near future. A project at University College London, conducted by PhD student Rachel Carew, is exploring the possibilities around recreating exact copies of pieces of evidence to prevent decay over time. This could help detectives working on cold cases in which the original piece of evidence has deteriorated. Dr Ruth Morgan, director of the centre for forensic sciences at University College London who is overseeing the project, says there may be a number of advantages in preserving evidence in this way. She said: “One of the benefits is being able to preserve an exhibit in its original state meaning we can look at it in ten or 20 years time and evaluate it with new technologies in a way that may not previously been possible. “We are trying to work out the best ways of creating really accurate 3D models which can then be used… we have a lot of people working on this and the work that’s going is aimed at getting the accuracy part of the process spot on. “Cold cases is an area with real potential benefits because often you are going back to exhibits collected many, many years ago. “It can be difficult to evaluate them in the way you would have at the time as there are a lot of factors that can impact features of evidence.” The technique may also enable evidence to be used in a different way in courtrooms, potentially bringing juries closer to pieces of evidence which would previously have remained untouched. However, Dr Morgan warned of the possible ethical and practical limitations, adding: “It is interesting how we will be able to explain to a jury what has been done with the models and there are interesting considerations which need to be taken into account. “For example, how do we preserve exhibits that may be from an individual? Say you were recreating somebody’s skull, you need to have a robust system in place to preserve integrity and the rights of the individual and it needs to be done appropriately.” In terms of how far away this technology is from being deployed in the field, Dr Morgan says the technology already exists but the study is about demonstrating its worth and veracity in practical use. She said: “The technology is there and it’s a case of ‘can we demonstrate the value’. “The quicker and more accurately it be done the better, I think we are talking about a year or two rather than ten or 20 years (for widespread use). “It’s a cool area for this PhD, which has literally just started, but there is a lot of good potential.” Dr Morgan has previously warned about the “knowledge gaps” around what forensic evidence means or is able to tell us and the work she is overseeing around 3D modelling may help create a wider understanding in this regard. View on Police Oracle
  6. PC attacked just weeks into the job urges offenders to consider the consequences of their actions. Officer Clifford had to undergo surgery twice following the incident. A constable who was viciously attacked just weeks into the job has urged offenders to think on the ramifications of what they do. PC Sherry Clifford, a patrol officer in Evesham, Worcestershire, was assaulted only five weeks after completing her initial training. Her case has been highlighted by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, as part of a drive to reduce violence against officers. After being called to a fight in Evesham City Centre a man kicked PC Clifford in the face fracturing her jaw and causing her to lose two teeth. She also had to undergo two bouts of surgery. At first the constable was unaware of the severity of her injuries but six weeks of repeated trips to the dentist soon brought home the reality to her. She said: “I began to feel worried about being in the same situation again, I also felt frustration that it had happened to me so early in my career.” PC Clifford chose not to take any sick leave and says she would have been “frightened” to return the role had it not been for the support of her tutor and inspector throughout the recovery process. Her tutor referred her to the Police Federation who were able to provide additional support and in one-to-one sessions with her sergeant and inspector. They all agreed for her to attend further public order incidents in Worcester to relatively soon after the incident to “stop the fear setting in”. Now PC Clifford “wants the public to realise that every officer and member of staff has a family, a private life and wants to go back home safe.” She added: “I want offenders to think about the wider consequences, what if this was their sister or girlfriend? I want offenders to consider the person outside of the uniform. “It’s not okay to grab or push police officers, it’s not part of their job. “Police officers are often called upon in times of desperation so deserve more respect.” PC Clifford said that by sharing he story she hoped to promote an understanding that officers are “human not machines.” She added: “Hitting a police officer is a really shameful act, these are the people who are there to help." Earlier this year Police Oracle launched our BluePrint campaign which calls on the government to meet its obligation of protecting officers both in the job and when they have been forced out of the service because of physical injuries or mental trauma. View on Police Oracle
  7. Force is pressing ahead with scheme which some officers say is turning them away from the job. The mergers have already pushed control room staff to threaten strike action. A Metropolitan Police pilot scheme to merge London boroughs into single command units will continue despite it causing some officers to “hate” going to work. Towards the end of last year Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering all merged into one with Camden and Islington also combining. These Basic Command Units (BCUs) are overseen by a chief superintendent, with four superintendents each working under them. Vehicles, technology, personnel and buildings are shared between the boroughs within the units in an attempt to save the Met money. Back in November last year before the scheme was launched Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons, who is in charge of the pilot, said: “Change is important for the Met to remain operationally effective in the changing policing landscape.” The chairman of the London Assembly police and crime committee expressed concerns about the mergers and insisted the measure should not be “driven by cost cutting”. Now a number of officers working under the new arrangements appear to be unhappy about their new working conditions, voicing their concerns via social media. At the beginning of July a leaked paper appeared to imply the full programme of the controversial mergers will go ahead despite the pilots not yet being fully assessed. Later the same month control room staff threatened to go on strike during the Notting Hill Carnival over the stresses Pathfinder was putting them under and dangers it posed to the public. The PCS union said at the time: “We have been pushing for months for improvements to new ways of working that we feared would compromise the safety of staff and members of the public. “Members had been telling us about the increased stress of working the new ‘Pathfinder’ system and the risks they posed to the public.” The strike was eventually avoided after the Met provided “assurances” to increase the amount of staff by 135 and invest in new computer systems. Despite the issues and controversy caused by the pilot the force is determined to press ahead and denied rumours they were rolling back any of the units. A spokesman said: “The Basic Command Unit pathfinders, or test sites, in Camden and Islington (North Central Area Command Unit) and Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge (East Area Command Unit) are ongoing, after going fully live at the end of April 2017. “The pathfinders are a genuine test and the Met continues to learn from the way they are operating. “Each of the pathfinders have thrown up different challenges, and the Met are adapting the model to overcome these challenges. “Neither pathfinder site is being rolled back but we are making changes to make the model more efficient. “The purpose of the pathfinder sites is to test the model and make changes as necessary before we roll it out more widely. “The Mayor and the Commissioner will together, towards the end of 2017, consider the evidence from the Pathfinders and the views of stakeholders, before determining the manner of any further roll-out across London.” View on Police Oracle
  8. A Police Oracle analysis reveals the amount of money being paid to private companies for agreements made by old force leaderships in the years before austerity hit. Many facilities, including Derbyshire's HQ and West Yorkshire's Carr Gate training centre, were built using the system, but several forces have had to shut police stations due to austerity Police forces are paying more than £135 million a year for debt taken out for buildings bought before austerity hit. An analysis by PoliceOracle.com has found that across 20 forces in England and Wales, some 31 individual private finance initiative projects are costing forces an average of £6.6 million each. While under the last Labour Government use of the schemes was the only way some could invest, the austerity years have left them with big bills often based on outdated policing plans. Private finance initiatives (PFI), first introduced under the Major Government, were a means of using private money to invest in public sector projects. They typically involve lengthy contracts which see the investors secure huge returns. No new schemes have been created since 2012, meaning that no current chiefs whose forces use them were in post when the contracts were being drawn up. Defunct police authorities signed-off the deals, which cost £135.3 million in the last financial year. In 2015/16 they cost £134.7 million. The Treasury estimates that due to the nature of the contracts the costs will continue to rise annually, but the Home Office supplied only £73 million in the latest police grant settlement towards them – exactly the same amount it has for the last three years. The money invested in the initiatives equates to more than twice the amount that is given to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Chiefs have recently started appealing to the government to curb the watchdog’s budget expansion and give it to them instead. Changing demand Greater Manchester Police built more premises than any other using the system, and is still paying for 16 police stations commissioned under former Chief Constable Mike Todd. Ian Wiggett, who was assistant chief of GMP until late 2015, told PoliceOracle.com: “The problem was that at that stage GMP was aspiring to have 8,000 cops, then all of a sudden austerity hit and a few years later, in quite a few of these buildings, you didn’t have the people to go into them. “Now they’re down to 6,000 [officers] and there was a big drop in police staff as well.” As an example of changing demand, he pointed to Stockport borough where a central police station was closed, and a new one opened on the outskirts of the town, but with officers then moving back into council offices in the centre. But he added: “I was in Cheshire when we did a new HQ there, that was a better bit of business as the estate was in a bit of a mess at the time and getting a PFI scheme was the only way to move, and there was a strong business case for it.” That scheme is forecast to cost £7 million in this financial year. Most of the deals are subject to extra, sometimes unforeseen, charges for things such as maintenance. Taking advantage In his recently released memoir Blue, Met Police Chief Superintendent John Sutherland recalls being charged £90 for a sink plug by a private contractor during his time as Camden borough commander. He calculated that to be an 8,900 per cent mark-up. Although the police station mentioned is not one of the Met’s PFI projects, Chief Supt Sutherland adds: “I could tell you endless tales of the same sort: hundreds of thousands and millions of pounds spent on plugs and things right across policing and beyond. “I don’t doubt there’s a dose of public sector cluelessness in the negotiation of these contracts. And I suspect that there’s no shortage of switched-on business people waiting to take advantage.” In 2013 Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill publicly lambasted his force’s PFI arrangements as “white elephants”, complaining that an empty custody suite and police station were being paid for to the tune of £2.1 million a year. He attempted to renegotiate the contracts and called for the government to intervene, failing on both counts. In 2016/17, the force paid £7.8 million in PFI contract costs. Asked about the issue now, a spokesman for Mr Underhill said: “The PCC was unable to renegotiate the contracts he inherited from the police authority, however, changes have been made to better utilise the buildings Dorset Police has across the geography. “He has asked the questions around re-negotiation but he is not able to change commercial contracts that he inherited. This is the case for police forces nationally.” Whether forces should adapt to their contracts or the changing nature of policing challenges is a question which could be asked by the public in 20 areas where PFI debts are being paid today. Success story One politician had more success than Mr Underhill in abolishing his force’s debt. In 2015 the then-Dyfed-Powys PCC Christopher Salmon was able to buy out a “stinking bad deal” on the barely used Ammanford Police Station, which was opened in 2001. He told Police Oracle this week that the building cost £3 million to construct and the force would have ended up paying £21 million for it, with the site eating 20 per cent of Dyfed-Powys' estate budget. “No sooner had they built the station than the policing model changed and it was the wrong station in the wrong place so it was only partly-used,” he said. “The problem with PFI contracts is that, in theory, you’re laying all the risk on the private sector and saying ‘here’s a payment that pays my mortgage and the maintenance cost of my house and I don’t have to pay anything for the next 30 years’, but in practice the private sector just prices up the risk and you end up paying an enormous amount for what you get.” Mr Salmon drafted in specialist consultants, and was able to announce in 2015 that he was saving more than £3 million by ending the contract. Tim Brain, who was ACPO finance lead and Gloucestershire chief constable in the early part of this century, said that under the previous system his force could have had to wait a decade for Home Office approval, whereas under PFI its new HQ could be built much more quickly. He said many schemes were sensible and necessary but some may have chosen bad deals. “For most forces they were the only show in town – if they wanted to get a capital project they had to get PFI,” he added. Asked whether the increasing cost and level Home Office grant shows that the government is not really protecting police budgets, he replied: “Police budgets aren’t being protected, it’s not true, they do themselves no service by claiming they are [but] PFI costs would always have increased over time so it may be yet another example.” The NPCC was approached to speak about PFI debt but a spokesman said they were unable to comment. A Home Office spokesman said: “The government has a duty to honour its long-term contractual commitments and support investments by police forces. There have been no Home Office-backed police PFI schemes since 2012.” Forces still paying PFI debt Force Cost in 2016/17 Schemes Met £29.9m Gravesend training centre and three south east London stations. GMP £13.9m 16 police stations. Sussex £11.2m Police custody provision. Norfolk £10.3m Operations and communications centre and Police Investigation Centres at Martlesham, Bury St Edmunds and Gt Yarmouth. Avon and Somerset £9.3m Black Rock, Valley Road, Portishead; Keynsham Police Centre, Ashmead Trading Estate, Ashmead Road, Keynsham, Bristol; Patchway Police Centre, Gloucester Road, Bristol; Bridgwater Police Centre, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater. Kent £9.1m Medway Police Station and North Kent Police Station. Dorset £7.8m Western Division HQ + joint fire and police station Cleveland £6.9m Urlay Nook Tactical Training centre and Custody facility Notts £4.4m Buildings costs and vehicle costs for 25 years. W Yorks £4m Wakefield and Leeds District Headquarters and the Force Training School at Carr Gate Suffolk £3.8m Police Investigation Centres at Martlesham, Bury St Edmunds and Gt Yarmouth. Derbyshire £3.6m Divisional HQ in Derby and Ilkeston Police Station. Glos £3.5m HQ and firearms centre. Wilts £3.4m Gablecross Police Station, Swindon. N Wales £2.9m St Asaph Divisional Headquarters and Custody Suite. TVP £1.8m Headquarters. Cumbria £1.2m Workington Police Station. Gwent £941k Ystrad Mynach Police Station. Durham £384k Urlay Nook tactical training centre. Total £135.3m (all info provided by forces/PCCs under FOI) Govt grant £73m View on Police Oracle
  9. Police Now to hold conference today. Participants in a previous Police Now class Confidence in the police has increased by 17 per cent among young people in communities that have a neighbourhood police officer recruited and trained through the Police Now scheme. A survey commissioned by the charity in areas it operates found: a 10 pc increase in young people’s perceptions of how fairly the police treat people; a 13 pc increase in how helpful they are; an 11 pc increase in how friendly and approachable they are; a 10 pc increase of how good an understanding they have of key community issues. Independent survey data for Police Now and comparison wards was compared for the year prior to the posting of Police Now officers, against their first 15 months after training. Around 7,000 people were questioned in total, including around 1,000 youngsters. Police Now, which puts graduates into demanding neighbourhood policing roles, was established as an independent charity by the Met Police in August 2015. It is now a partner of almost half of forces in England and Wales, with more than 200 new officers being placed into wards in deprived communities this summer. At a conference organised by the charity today, Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick will say: “Police Now has been an enormously successful way to bring different people into policing. The people in the places that Police Now participants are working are not just more confident in the police but more trusting of each other.” Home Secretary Amber Rudd says in a report on the programme: “Through Police Now, officers and their local partners are changing the face of community policing in some of the country’s toughest neighbourhoods whilst strengthening the historic British principle of policing by consent. “Police Now continues to develop fresh approaches to police training and leadership development and is having a broader impact on the development of policing as a profession.” David Spencer, chief executive and co-founder of the initiative, said: “Police Now is bringing the best graduates into policing - our participants are changing lives and have an unparalleled opportunity to develop their leadership and problem-solving skills on the policing frontline. "We are incredibly proud of what our participants have achieved over the last two years.” Applications for the next round of Police Now open later this year. Red Snapper Learning, which shares a parent company with Police Oracle, is delivering some of the training for participants in this year’s programme. View on Police Oracle
  10. Ciaran Maxwell, who had a list of targets including police officers, has been jailed for 18 years. Ciaran Maxwell has been jailed for 18 years A "committed" terrorist who infiltrated the British military has been jailed for 18 years for supplying bombs to dissident Irish republicans. Former Royal Marine Ciaran Maxwell stashed anti-personnel mines, mortars, ammunition and 14 pipe bombs - four of which were later used - in 43 purpose-built hides at eight locations in Northern Ireland and England. Bomb-making materials were found in barrels and buckets buried in the ground as well as an adapted Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) pass card, a PSNI uniform and a police stab-proof vest. The 31-year-old, who is originally from Larne in Co Antrim and was with 40 Commando based at Norton Manor Camp in Taunton, Somerset, at the time of the offences, pleaded guilty to preparation of terrorist acts between January 2011 and August last year, possessing images of bank cards for fraud and possessing cannabis with intent to supply. The Old Bailey heard that the father-of-one researched targets and discussed plans to attack police stations and officers. His plot, however, was foiled when members of the public stumbled across his weapons hides by chance. DNA evidence found on parts of the haul led them to Maxwell, who was on the national database due to his alleged involvement in an unrelated assault case. Maxwell's suspected involvement in the violent incident led to his DNA being stored on the database even though he was not prosecuted, and that was how detectives investigating mysterious arms dumps in Northern Ireland linked them to a serving Royal Marine in England. It was not the only piece of good fortune that led to Maxwell's terror plans being foiled. Police say the first two of his 43 weapons hides were discovered by accident in forest parks in Co Antrim - one by a dog walker, the other by a camper. Senior investigating officer Gillian Kearney, a detective chief inspector with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said: "I have no doubt the action of the public in this case has saved lives." Det Chief Insp Kearney outlined how DNA traces found on some of the weapons were linked to Maxwell. "He had been involved in an assault previously and his DNA was on the national DNA database," she said. How a terrorist managed to infiltrate the British military has raised questions around the vetting process of the Royal Marines. While Maxwell now faces 18 years behind bars, police fear weapons he constructed may still be in circulation, ready for deployment by dissident republicans. Four of his pipe bombs have already been used by the violent extremists in Northern Ireland - two detonated, without causing injury - but detectives acknowledge others might still be out there. PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: "We are quite clear Ciaran Maxwell had a link to a violent dissident republican group in Northern Ireland. "There is a strong likelihood that items associated with Maxwell have made their way into the hands of violent dissident groups in Northern Ireland and four of those items have been used, three in the last year. "There is no doubt that he knew these items were going to be used by violent dissident republican groupings." Detectives believe he essentially operated as a lone wolf, who despite links to the Continuity IRA, acted largely independently of that renegade organisation. Commander Dean Hayden, of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "There is no evidence to suggest Maxwell himself was directly involved in the deployment of the items but he was the bomb maker. "A significant number of dangerous items were prevented from getting into the hands of terrorists, hence the public relationship in fighting terrorism is crucial." Maxwell denied he joined the Royal Marines with the intention of infiltrating them from the outset, insisting his criminal exploits only started when his friendship deepened with an old acquaintance who was in the Continuity IRA. He claimed things then spiralled out of control and, as his lawyer put it, he got "in above his head". But detectives are not convinced by this explanation. Det Chief Insp Kearney said: "It's hard to say - we don't know that definitely. "Whatever his motivation was in joining the Royal Marines, quickly he became involved in the engineering of devices and very dangerous activity which made him a very dangerous individual." The lead detective said Maxwell used his military know-how to accumulate and construct the devices. "This was reflected in how methodical and organised he was in the way he stockpiled these things," she said. "It also gave him access to munitions and items that he could use to help him stockpile and further his activities. "I think this is very unusual and it is certainly the first case of its kind in recent years." Over five years, Maxwell, 31, stockpiled mortars, anti-personnel mines, pipe bombs, ammunition and handguns in hides as well as an image of an adapted PSNI pass card and uniform. He wrote a "to do" list on which he identified over 300 targets, including police and military buildings as well as named individuals in Northern Ireland and Britain. Maxwell joined up in September 2010 as a signaller and moved on to 40 Commando at Norton Manor Camp in Somerset in 2013, where he not only stole his colleagues' credit card details, but also a large amount of ammunition. He was about to be promoted to corporal when his double life was exposed. His efforts to build bombs began in 2011 and he sourced information and many of the components he needed from the internet. Terrorist documents and bomb-making guides, including the Irish Republican Army "Green Book", were found on Maxwell's media devices, along with potential targets. The Old Bailey heard he did a lot of his construction work while on leave in Northern Ireland in the home of his late grandmother. The finds in two parks near Maxwell's home town of Larne initially perplexed detectives. While they bore all the hallmarks of a dissident republican stash, the locations did not quite add up. Larne is a staunchly loyalist/unionist town and the last place one might expect to find a dissident arms dump. Maxwell grew up in Larne's small minority Catholic community and claimed he suffered sectarianism throughout his early life. In 2002, aged 16, he was subject to a brutal beating at the hands of loyalists - a separate incident to the one that resulted in his DNA being added to the database. While he claimed that left him dealing with post traumatic stress disorder, he denied it pushed him into adopting hard-line republican sympathies. His support for violent republicanism, he claimed, was fake - motivated by fear of dissidents who knew he was British serviceman. The discoveries at Carnfunnock and Capanagh forest parks last year sparked a major operation involving the Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), the South West Counter Terrorism Unit and PSNI. In August 2016, Maxwell was arrested at his base and a search of Powderham plantation in Devon revealed more weapons stashes. The hides, near his home of Exminster, contained more improvised explosive devices, chemicals, tools, electronic storage devices, hand-written notes and a small cannabis factory. He used the drugs to supplement his military income and had copies of bank cards stolen from his comrades to be used in a fraud. In total, police recovered 14 completed pipe bombs, two anti-personnel mines, two explosively formed projectiles (EFPs), 29 firing systems, 33 bomb initiators, two hands guns and a large amount of ammunition. They seized components for many more explosive devices as well as over 100kg of explosives in Northern Ireland and a smaller quantity in the south west of England. View on Police Oracle
  11. Firm argues that the devices are not necessary or proportionate. Solicitors are seeking a complete ban on spit guard use by police in England and Wales. Police Oracle can reveal lawyers from Irwin Mitchell have launched an application for judicial review against all deployment of the equipment. They argue the National Police Chiefs’ Council should have halted use of the devices following the review of a 2012 case in which a disabled 11-year-old girl was hooded and put in leg restraints by Sussex Police. The IPCC criticised the force in a report about her treatment last year. Yogi Amin, an expert civil liberties solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “A number of police forces in the UK, including large forces such as the Merseyside Police and West Midlands Police, do not allow officers to use spit hoods on adults, let alone children with significant disabilities. “The IPCC’s findings following its investigation into the treatment our young client received at the hands of Sussex Police indicate a clear need for improvements in the way the force responds to disabled children and a full exploration of the policy on spit hood use – including the risks and alternatives – within all forces by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. “The police, of course, do a difficult and important job and it is right that they should have the equipment they need, but hooding someone is a serious decision. “Hooding children is a step too far, particularly in the absence of clear evidence that these devices are necessary or a proportionate means of protecting officers bearing in mind the alternative safe strategies available.” The solicitors want alternatives to be introduced which "protect officers rather than restrict detainees" a spokeswoman added. West Midlands Police is currently exploring whether to introduce the equipment, Chief Constable Dave Thomson told the Police Federation Conference in May. Chief constables were informed of the application for judicial review a few weeks ago and a QC from the Met Police’s legal team was assigned to provide an initial response. This website understands that the NPCC intends to fight the case, and expect the Police Federation and College of Policing, as well as spit guard manufacturers to become interested parties in the proceedings. In May, NPCC chairman Chief Constable Sara Thornton told PoliceOracle.com evidence was being gathered to support the guards’ deployment. Che Donald from the Police Federation said: “It is not right that officers get assaulted. Over half of police forces in the UK are now utilising spit guards in one way or another and there isn’t anything else that protects officers in the same way. “If you don’t spit you won’t have to wear one. And if there is not a spit guard and someone is spitting at a police officer, the officer is going to have to use physical force - which is more than likely to be on the head - and causes far more risk." He added nothing else is as effective and practical as using a spit guard. The case has emerged just after the Met, the biggest force in the UK, rolled-out the use of spit guards in all of its custody suites. The force said that an earlier, limited, trial of the equipment had been “successful” although it did not explain how it arrived at this conclusion. In a statement on the extension of its use, a Met Police spokesman said: “The Met has a duty of care to its officers and staff - the issue of spitting and biting is a real problem and a particularly unpleasant form of assault which rightly generates a lot of concern amongst officers. “Aside from the fact that as an employer the Met cannot expect its staff to be spat at, or think this is acceptable, some of the follow-up treatment required after such an assault can be prolonged and unpleasant.” View on Police Oracle
  12. More than 250 officers and support staff will be cycling for 180-miles. A previous ride Officers from across the country are preparing for a charity cycle ride in memory of police officers who have died in the line of duty. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick will give a contingent a send-off as they embark on the Police Unity Tour on Friday. Many will start the journey to the Police Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire by laying flowers in memory of fallen hero PC Keith Palmer in Westminster. The ride will then carry on to the National Police Memorial on the Mall where floral tributes will be laid. Riders will be joined by the families of the fallen officers, law enforcement officials from the USA as well as crew members. Cyclists will ride approximately 180 miles over three days to the National Arboretum, for a special ceremony on Sunday. Comm Dick said: "This is an important event in the police calendar and I am honoured to be involved. This year will be particularly poignant as we remember PC Keith Palmer who was killed in the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack. “Remembering all of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty reminds us of the dangers police officers face when doing their jobs and ensures those who have paid the ultimate price are not forgotten.” Riders all cycle for an individual officer depicted on an engraved bracelet, which at the conclusion of the ride they will have the opportunity to present to that officer’s family. The Police Unity Tour raises money for the charity UK Care of Police Survivors (UKCOPS), which directly supports the families and loved ones of officers killed in the line of duty. Watch the video below to see footage and interviews from the end of the 2015 edition of the tour. View on Police Oracle
  13. He was rescued with only seconds to spare. Sergeant Mark Shepherd on duty Three police officers entered a house and faced down an aggressive Alsatian to save a man's life are to receive awards. Sgt Mark Shepherd and PC Michael LeFevre were first on the scene after being called to a house where the man who was believed to want to take his own life had locked himself in. The officers managed to barge their way into the home and within seconds they heard the man jump from a stool with a cord around his neck. Sgt Shepherd acted quickly and picked up the man's body to take the pressure off his neck. PC LeFevre took over supporting the man’s weight and Sgt Shepherd ran to the kitchen, grabbing a knife so the man could be cut down. But Sgt Shepherd was confronted by a very large and aggressive Alsatian so had to use a kitchen stool to create distance between them. They managed to get the man breathing and put him in the recovery position until an ambulance arrived. He was later detained under the Mental Health Act. Sgt Shepherd is now set to receive a Royal Humane Society Testimonial on parchment, and PC LeFevre, along with their colleague PC Steve Godden are to receive a certificates of commendation from the organisation. Sgt Shepherd told Police Oracle: “We experience a lot of attempted suicides but this is the first one where we’ve had to act in seconds. The adrenaline kicks in and you have to act fast.” The officers were sent a letter afterwards by the man’s wife thanking them, Sgt Shepherd added: “In a weird way I felt a bit embarrassed when I heard I received the award, but it’s nice to be recognised. “We never expect awards, we’re just doing the job and it’s what we signed up for. It feels good and I would do it all over again if I had the chance.” Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, said: “There is little doubt that, but for the swift action of these three officers, the man would have died. “They were on the scene rapidly, they broke in, found him. It was made even more difficult by the presence of the dog. Thankfully though they managed and he survived. “They richly deserve the awards that have been made to them.” The Royal Humane Society is a 200-year-old charity that grants awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and, also, for the restoration of life by resuscitation. View on Police Oracle
  14. New scheme launched by Prince Harry. Prince Harry being shown the work of the Headway charity A new scheme helping brain injury survivors is to be promoted in the custody arena by the Police Federation of England and Wales. The successful initiative launched by the Headway charity and HRH Prince Harry, will see people who have suffered brain injuries carry special ID cards - to help police identify who they are. Andrew Ward, custody lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “This is an excellent initiative which will particularly help custody officers and other operational police officers to identify those who might have had a brain injury. “It will enable them to give particular support and assistance to members of the public affected by this type of injury and act as a cue to seek an appropriate adult or further medical advice for those who have been detained. The Federation is proud to support this valuable and important scheme.” The Brain Injury Identity Card is supported by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Police Scotland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, NAAN and the NHS. Mr Ward, who also represents the police service on the National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN), added: “The scheme may also assist some of the thousands of police officers who are injured every year in the line of duty, many of them seriously.” Speaking at the launch to brain injury survivors, Prince Harry said: “This surely is a life-changing moment for people with a traumatic brain injury, whether or not they ever get arrested. This card is a saving grace for you guys and for the police as well. ” Headway chief executive Peter McCabe said: “The hidden effects of brain injury can often lead to misunderstandings and difficulties. Many people are assumed to be drunk as a result of having slurred speech or an unsteady gait, with attempts to explain the effects of their brain injury often being ignored. “The card is designed to help the police to identify survivors at the earliest opportunity, ensuring they receive suitable support and are diverted away from the criminal justice system where appropriate. It’s a simple solution to a tricky conversation.” View on Police Oracle
  15. Footage from the force of the cutting edge drone in flight. Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police’s 24-hour drone unit, the first in the UK, has finally taken off. The latest in drone technology has been trialed since November 2015 and now the operational unit has been created. Chief Superintendent Jim Nye said: “This is an historic step for the Alliance [of the two forces] and policing in the UK; Drone capability is a cutting edge way to support operational policing across Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. “This technology offers a highly cost effective approach in supporting our officers on the ground in operational policing. “Drones will aid officers as part of missing person searches; crime scene photography; responding to major road traffic collisions; coastal and woodland searches and to combat wildlife crime. “Drones can even help police track and monitor suspects during a firearm or terrorist incident, as it will allow officers to gain vital information, quickly, safely, and allow us to respond effectively at the scene. “Being the first police forces in the country to have a stand-alone, fully operational drone unit is a great source of pride for the Alliance, and proves that we continue to work hard to find innovative ways to adapt to the ever-changing policing landscape.” Drone Team Manager, Andy Hamilton, added: “It is fantastic to see both forces working together to lead the way in utilising new, cutting-edge technology. Having previously been a police officer for 30 years, I have seen how technology has changed and can help us become more efficient in what we are trying to achieve. “An example of this is historically, any aerial photos or videos have been captured by The National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter; this is not always the best use of resources. Instead of always sending a helicopter on an hour’s flight to take a few photos of a crime scene, we can now use a drone to carry out the same task. “Whilst drones will enhancing our roads policing function, I also see this technology being able to complement NPAS by allowing helicopters to be available for more serious incidents across the South West.” The Drone Unit is currently using a DJI Inspire drone equipped with a zoom camera and a thermal imaging to allow for operational use 24 hours a day. Thermal imaging in action The camera is HD/4K quality and can capture both video and still images. We have also purchased a smaller DJI Mavic to test its portability as it is smaller and lighter in weight. Chief Supt Nye said: “At present we have five officers trained across both forces. Over the next twelve months we are aiming to have a further 40 officers having completed their Civil Aviation (CAA) training, allow them to be fully accredited and enable them to operate the drone. “We will also be adding to the number of drones we have as the number of trained officer’s increases.” View on Police Oracle
  16. Recruitment drive is aimed at individuals inside and outside policing. There are 32 different roles available as part of the initiative The Metropolitan Police Service is set to recruit 100 “change professionals” to help “transform” delivery of service. It says the force is “ever evolving” and needs “talented” people to help it adapt against a “backdrop of ever changing crime patterns and a challenging budget.” As such the force is advertising 100 vacancies across 32 different roles and is looking for people from inside and outside policing. Director of people and change in the Met’s human resources department, Robin Wilkinson, says the type of work being undertaken is unrivalled. He said: “The breadth of work our new Transformation Directorate will undertake is unrivalled in any industry. The work impacts on how the Met safeguards the most vulnerable people in society, how the Met tackles and disrupts crime, through to ensuring we have the right people available to respond quickly and professionally in times of need. "We are looking for change professionals from a variety of disciplines working in Portfolio and Programme Delivery, Integrated Design and Delivery and Business Change roles. Professionals with experience in communications and engagement, risk management, operating model design and project management are just a few of those we need to ensure our team is complete. "In joining the Met you will be part of our Transformation Directorate. You will work in a professional change role which will face the challenge of delivering complex change right across the Met without risking operational delivery." Sam Upton, a blueprint and insight manager at the transformation directorate described the work the department does as ‘hugely rewarding’. He said: “I have always been a passionate problem solver and was initially attracted to the Met by the prospect of tackling some of London's most challenging issues. "That passion has taken me on a hugely varied and rewarding journey over the last 12 years to include supporting operating model design work covering virtually all the Met's local policing services in London. "I can't think of many organisations where you can take that professional journey whilst at the same time having so much fun, making so many lifelong friends and being so regularly humbled by the dedication and professionalism of others." View on Police Oracle
  17. Scientists looked at how social media could be used as a source of information during disruptive events. Twitter could have been used to detect serious incidents such as cars being set alight and shops being looted up to an hour earlier than they were reported to police during the 2011 riots, researchers have said. Computer scientists from Cardiff University looked at how social media could be used as a source of information for police during major disruptive events, analysing data from the disturbances six years ago. They found that in all but two reported incidents, a computer system automatically scanning Twitter feeds could have alerted officers earlier. Co-author of the study Dr Pete Burnap, from Cardiff University's School of Computer Science and Informatics, said: "In this research we show that online social media are becoming the go-to place to report observations of everyday occurrences - including social disorder and terrestrial criminal activity. "We will never replace traditional policing resource on the ground but we have demonstrated that this research could augment existing intelligence-gathering and draw on new technologies to support more established policing methods." The study comes after West Midlands Chief Constable Dave Thompson claimed on Friday that police would face "real challenges" tackling a repeat of the 2011 riots following years of budget cuts. It showed that on average the computer systems could pick up on disruptive events several minutes before officials and more than an hour in some cases. The research team, which believes the work could enable police officers to better manage and prepare for both large and small-scale disruptive events, analysed 1.6 million tweets relating to the 2011 riots in England, which were sparked by the police shooting of Mark Duggan in London and started as an isolated incident in Tottenham on August 6 but quickly spread across London and other cities in England. Vandalism and looting spread to Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester over the following few days, with more than 5,000 crimes committed. A total of 16,000 officers were deployed in London on one night alone in a bid to quell the violence. The researchers used machine-learning algorithms to look at each of the tweets, taking into account a number of key features such as the time they were posted, the location where they were posted and the content of the tweet itself. The results showed the system could have alerted police to reports of disorder in Enfield, Greater London, one hour and 23 minutes earlier, they said. Dr Nasser Alsaedi, who recently completed his PhD at Cardiff under the supervision of Dr Burnap, said: "Coming from a policing background myself, I see the need for this type of cutting-edge research every day. "I wanted to develop a thesis that could have a real impact in real-world policing. I would like to see this implemented alongside the established decision-making processes." View on Police Oracle
  18. Lord Ian Blair warns the Met will be a quarter less in size than when he left the force. Lord Ian Blair A former Metropolitan Police commissioner says it would be "an absurdity" to further cut the force's funding after recent events in London. Lord Ian Blair called for a rethink over plans to cut hundreds of millions of pounds from the force's budget, saying this would leave the Met a quarter of the size it was when he left office in 2008. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned the city has lost "thousands of police staff" since 2010, while the current Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said she would "obviously" be seeking extra resources. "I think the crucial point now is to understand the cuts being considered, certainly for the Met, need reconsideration," Lord Blair told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "As far as I understand it they're supposed to lose a further £400 million by 2021, on top of £600 million in the last few years. "That means the Met must be a quarter less in size than when I left." Lord Blair, now a crossbench peer, went on to call for "no cuts", adding: "Looking at what is happening, the idea of continuously cutting the police service's budget seems an absurdity at this stage." Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackay has said the Westminster and London Bridge attacks had put a "lot of stretch" on the Metropolitan Police. The Metropolitan Police Federation has also warned that officers are fatigued and "stretched beyond belief" after a string of major incidents. Lord Blair said these incidents would put extra pressure on specialist officers such as counter terrorism, adding: "It just seems a very strange time to be reducing the capabilities of a service which is holding the line against some terrible events." The former commissioner said neighbourhood policing is crucial to building trust with communities, but is very difficult to maintain when major incidents happen and officers are needed elsewhere. Lord Blair said it was "no surprise" Monday's attack at Finsbury Park Mosque had happened. "There is this kind of new landscape of terrorism, which the new commissioner Cressida Dick described, where the weapons are knives from kitchens or just hiring a van," he said. "It does create a very difficult problem for the police." View on Police Oracle
  19. Pair honoured by force for their actions. PC James McQuaid, Chief Superintendent Mark Holland, PC Simon Williams Constables who saved the life of a woman stabbed 14 times and gathered enough evidence to convict her attacker have been given an award by their force. PC 3777 James McQuaid and PC 3184 Simon Williams of Nottinghamshire Police were the first on the scene to a report of an assault. The woman had been attacked by her partner – who was high on drugs and drunk – and had forced his way in and stabbed her at least 14 times with a hunting knife before fleeing the scene. The duo gave first aid to the victim, and reassured her until paramedics arrived. A statement from the force says: “They gained valuable evidence and recorded compelling first disclosures from the victim, which would assist with the prosecution of the offender, while continuing to act compassionately and sensitively towards the victim.” The offender was subsequently traced and arrested. “A detailed investigation followed, run by another commended and dedicated officer who also liaised with and gave support to the victim and her family. “Due to the quality of the evidence against the offender he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was given a 10-year prison term plus four years on licence,” it adds. The officers, who are based at St Ann's Police Station in Nottingham, were presented with their certificates by Chief Superintendent Mark Holland. They have been used as an example in a PR campaign on why new recruits should join the force. View on Police Oracle
  20. Ch Supt John Sutherland's book 'Blue' also outlines author's struggle with depression. Ch Supt John Sutherland with his book 'Blue' (image courtesy of Martis Media) Police officers from around the country attended the London launch of Blue: A Memoir this week - a new book outlining the highs and lows of being a British Bobby. The book by Ch Supt John Sutherland – Twitter’s @policecommander – focusses on the positive work of his Met Police colleagues during a 25-year career but also on how policing can take its toll, including its difficult to read pages on John suffering from depression. The strapline for the book is “Keeping the Peace and Falling to Pieces.” Speaking at the event, John said the idea for the book came from the imbalance of predominantly negative reporting about policing in the media. He said: “For the past 25 years, I have had the privilege of doing a job I love – alongside people I truly admire. “In its way, this book is a love letter to each one of them: my family, my city and the women and men of the police force. “Blue tells some of their stories – some of our stories – and in doing so, tries to provide some balance to the wider story being told about policing in this country. “But it is also a very personal story of the toll that life and policing can take. Four years ago, whilst serving as the Borough Commander for Southwark in South London, I broke. I’m still mending.” The book features large chunks on John’s rise through the ranks, his time as a hostage negotiator, as a borough commander and has a real focus on the scourge of knife crime in the capital. Both the speech and book resonated well with the audience in attendance at the launch in London – which also included a number of John’s friends and family. Also there were the Kinsella family. Ben Kinsella was killed in a stabbing incident in Islington in 2008 – and John has remained in touch with them. Blue: A Memoir is available to buy from today (Thursday 25 May). View on Police Oracle
  21. Ex-Met marksman Tony Long talks exclusively to PoliceOracle.com about life as one of Britain's most high profile armed officers. Mr Long believes more officers will be required to carry firearms in the future For the majority of officers trained to use firearms, pulling the trigger in a live scenario is a remote prospect they hope never to face. But for one now retired officer in particular, not only did this situation occur more than once, it came to define his career and shape his life. Tony Long, 60, was involved in three fatal shootings and received seven commendations during his 33 year career as a specialist firearms officer with the Metropolitan Police Service, a record which carries with it both respect and notoriety. The shooting of Azelle Rodney is undoubtedly the incident most associated with Mr Long and the one which has had the most impact on his life and career, as well as the lives of others. Rodney, Frank Graham and Wesley Lovell were in a hired silver Volkswagen Golf driving across north London to carry out an armed robbery on rival drug dealers on April 30, 2005. Being trailed by several units they were seen collecting three weapons which intelligence suggested were MAC-10 sub-machine guns. As the car passed the Railway Tavern on Hale Lane, Barnet, it was subject to a hard stop by armed officers including Mr Long. At the moment the cars came to a stop, the former marksman has always maintained he saw Rodney duck down and re-emerge with his shoulders hunched as if preparing to open fire on his fellow officers. It was this action which prompted him to shoot the 24 year-old dead and which sparked ten years of investigations, a public inquiry, a murder trial, and the end of Mr Long’s career with the Met. As we sit down for a pint in a grand Victorian pub in east London, a short walk from his old unit HQ at 337 Old Street, Tony tells me Azelle Rodney would still be alive today if he had just put his hands up. He said: “If I could have seen his hands and I could have seen they were empty, I would not have shot him. “If he had ducked down and stayed down without springing back up, I would not have shot him. “If he had behaved in the same way as the other two men in the vehicle and just put his hands up he would have survived.” When asked if, in the moments, months and years since the shooting, he has ever doubted his decision that day he responded: “No. Never.” Previous to the Azelle Rodney incident Tony Long was involved in two other fatal shootings. He shot Errol Walker in 1986 after the 30-year-old had stabbed his sister in law to death, threw her out of a third floor window and stabbed her four-year-old daughter through the neck, as well shooting dead two armed robbers at an abattoir a year later. Walker was later convicted of the murder of Jackie Charles, 22. Candid and full of anecdotes about ‘The Job’ Mr Long held the air of a man weathered by his experiences but not dominated by them. He tells me it was not until years later he realised the impact of his employment on his family. He said: “In truth it’s probably had more of an impact on my family than me. With the first two (shootings) I was a young father with two young kids, I was very ‘job pissed’, I perhaps was not as sensitive as I could have been to the effect it was having on them. “It’s only years later that people admitted they did worry about me. “The trial had a big impact on my wife, we weren't even together at the time of the incident, she is a very strong character and not the type to tell you when something is bothering her. “It was only after the not guilty verdict when she had five minutes of emotion that I realised how much pressure I had put on them.” The 60-year-old maintains the job has not had any real impact on him as he was always “prepared” for what carrying a gun on behalf of the state entails. He said: “In terms of me I would like to think it has not had any real affect as far as I am concerned. “if you take the training seriously you understand what you are being asked to do and when you do have to do it, it shouldn’t be a surprise. “If I wasn’t prepared for that I wouldn’t have taken that career path.” Mr Long, who authored a book about his career Lethal Force following the completion of his trial for murder, believes more officers should be firearms trained and the concept of policing by consent needs to be better understood in terms of firearms. He said: “I think the problem is that we have gone from multi-skilled officers to a situation where all of our authorised shots are now specialists. “In the same way that we have a lot more Taser trained officers now I don’t see why you can’t have officers trained to use a handgun rather than needing to be a specialist trained firearms officer, we have a need for specialists but you also need more general training. “The problem is the whole image of armed police flies in the face of this unarmed image we are obsessed with projecting. “I take exception to ‘policing by consent’ because a lot of people who use that phrase don’t really know what it means. “Saying that you can’t police by consent because you are armed I think is insulting to the Dutch and Swedish police for example, they still go into schools and talk to kids about road safety with a gun in a holster. “There is a perception that we cannot do this job without being unarmed, I think it’s nonsense.” As our pint glasses empty and the conversation winds to a conclusion, Mr Long tells me his future is uncertain following the end of his policing career but that he is not ready for retirement just yet. He is certain of one thing though: “The job will have to give serious consideration to saying to all recruits ‘when you join up it is on the understanding that, if required to do so, you will undergo firearms training and carry a firearm if you are needed to.’ “If the police are here to protect the public, then how can we do that if we cannot protect ourselves?” View on Police Oracle
  22. Cressida Dick told children in London feel 'naked' if they are not armed with a weapon. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick Children as young as six are carrying knives and ten-year-olds are arming themselves with weapons out of fear, the country's top police officer has been told. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick heard children "feel naked" without them, while some are too scared to cross the capital's roads unarmed. Ms Dick vowed to get to the root of knife crime as she visited a youth centre in Putney, south-west London, meeting community leaders, reformed gang members and the family of Lewis Elwin - a 20-year-old trainee electrician stabbed to death in Tooting last year. The Commissioner promised more officers in schools and others in every ward to help build relationships with young people. She was told community groups are "screaming out" for a relationship with police, but the force is "not following up". One woman told Ms Dick knife crime affects children far younger than the teenagers and young men normally associated with it. She said: "On the housing estate, it's six-year-olds that are carrying knives, because they think they won't be stopped. You need to start there, in the primary schools - you need to tell much younger people." Josh Osbourne, a mentor at youth charity Carney's Community, said ten-year-olds live in fear, saying: "They can't even cross the road because they're at odds or in a dispute with somebody else from literally the same postcode but across the road." Andy Smith, from social enterprise The Feel Good Bakery, told Ms Dick young people carry blades for protection, saying: "They say they feel naked if they haven't got their knife with them." The capital has seen a wave of knife attacks in recent weeks, with more than a dozen people killed or seriously injured. Scotland Yard launched the latest phase of Operation Sceptre earlier this month, cracking down on knife crime. But despite more than 70 arrests for possession of offensive weapons and knives, within a week three more people had been fatally stabbed. Speaking to the Press Association after the meeting, Ms Dick said it was "pretty horrifying" to hear of armed six-year-olds. She said: "It's outrageous to hear a six-year-old is carrying a knife, for whatever reason. "That's something a police officer by themselves or even a police force isn't going to be able to have very much impact on. The question there is what are the parents doing? What are the school doing?" Ms Dick said youngsters often carry knives for "some kind of respect, some kind of kudos", but added: "I do accept there are places where some of our young people are scared and they feel it makes sense to carry a knife. "I can say as long as I live that it does not make them safer. They may not hear that message from me... we need to get people in communities, we need to get people in schools, we need to get parents understanding and helping young people to understand... it will end in tragedy, probably, for them." Outlining her plans for early intervention to tackle the epidemic, Ms Dick said: "I want to shift us further into prevention. I want all of us to be working on stopping this before it happens. "Community groups will be an incredibly important part of that. We need to play our part, but it is only a part." The Commissioner still has work to do to reach those communities - Mr Osbourne said the meeting was "about as much use as a chocolate teapot". He added: "We have realised that the things that we need, the Commissioner is unable to provide." View on Police Oracle
  23. Fed says case is not isolated example. A constable remains confined to his station more than four years after being acquitted of assault while the IPCC’s investigation into him drags on. Met PC Joe Harrington, who describes policing as “all I ever wanted to do” has now been on restricted duties for longer than he served, prior to an accusation was made against him which was dismissed by a jury in a matter of minutes. The Police Federation of England and Wales are highlighting his case as one of dozens they say the slow processes of the Independent Police Complaints Commission have caused. In a statement issued through the staff association, PC Harrington, 33, said: “I am still barred from any contact with the public at work; I can’t be promoted, leave the service or move roles. I was acquitted at a jury trial years ago but I can’t move on with my life because this IPCC investigation is always lurking in the background. “I have been with my partner for 13 years and we have a five-year-old daughter, but we have no stability in our home life; my partner was eight months’ pregnant when this originally happened but we felt we could not get married with this hanging over us. “For a long time there was a fear that I might go to prison, now it’s the fear that we might be left with a single income.” Asked if he would return to policing if the investigation is lifted, PC Harrington, who says he now suffers post-traumatic stress disorder told PoliceOracle.com: “Policing is all I ever wanted to do, but I don't want to put myself in a position where this could happen to me again. “I would have to think very hard about going into a role with any scope for confrontation.” The Newham-based officer restrained a teenager in custody during the 2011 London riots. He had been serving for three years at the time. The 15-year-old accused him of assault and the watchdog was called in. The CPS initially said there was no case to answer, however it reversed its decision and ended up charging him with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. PC Harrington was suspended from work until the trial in March 2013, where a jury took less than half an hour to acquit him. “The IPCC were unhappy with my acquittal and told the press that they would recommend to the Met that I be sacked,” he said. The IPCC Commissioner who directed the case is Jennifer Izekor, who stood down in March while Police Scotland began investigating an unrelated matter she was involved in. PC Harrington has also been the subject of other complaints which the IPCC have spent years investigating, and in 2015 the Court of Appeal ruled that the watchdog was entitled to re-open a case against him, and any other it decides that it had not pursued properly in the first instance if its initial investigations were flawed. “Although my suspension has been lifted, I have spent the four years since my acquittal in a seemingly endless cycle of being investigated and reinvestigated, and confined to a desk in the station," the officer added. “The IPCC have twice been to the High Court to overturn reports that they had written, so that they could have another stab at it.” PC Harrington told PoliceOracle.com he has received support from the Met but they decided not to remove him from restricted duties. He said: “I think they’re concerned about the negative press they would receive if they lifted the restrictions. Several officers have spoken up for me but the decision was they would not be lifting restrictions until the misconduct process is removed.” The Police Federation of England and Wales is holding a special session at its conference next week on the IPCC. The association’s conduct lead Phill Mathews said: “Sadly Joe’s story is not an isolated case and really highlights the effects of such drawn out cases on officers and their families. “We want to work with the IPCC and forces to ensure that officers are treated fairly and complaints investigated expeditiously so that yet more public money doesn't get wasted, our members and their families are no longer made ill, driven out of the service or have unwarranted press intrusion in their lives.” A spokesman for the IPCC said their investigation into the assault case was completed within five months, but the reactions of the force and complainant held up proceedings. As did a move to quash its own findings in a separate matter relating to PC Harrington. She added: "The report was submitted to the Metropolitan Police (MPS) in June 2013 and in August 2014 the force agreed he should face a gross misconduct hearing but requested a delay to setting a hearing date pending the outcome of a linked case involving the same officer. The IPCC accepted this request." The watchdog says it completed the investigation into the linked case in October 2012 but sought to reinvestigate one element of it and the Met’s legal challenge against the plan held it up. “Separately, the 15-year-old male submitted a large number of complaints which were all investigated by the MPS. “The complainant lodged a number of appeals against the force’s findings which resulted in the MPS reinvestigating areas of the complaint. “In October 2016 the MPS reinvestigation did not uphold the complaints against the constable. The complainant appealed in November 2016 and in January 2017 the IPCC upheld the complaint,” she added. The spokesman added that the Met was then directed to hold a gross misconduct hearing into the matters, despite the force disagreeing with the findings. A spokesman for the Met said this direction was received last week and a hearing is “in the process of being arranged”. View on Police Oracle
  24. Figures revealed at World Counter Terror Congress in London. More than 3,000 people have contacted police with information about possible terrorist activity in just two months. Forces received the tip-offs after senior officers launched a major campaign calling on members of the public to report any suspicions. The National Police Chiefs' Council said a significant number of the calls were made following the Westminster attack. Most of the concerns raised turned out to be nothing to cause any alarm but a number contained important pieces of information that resulted in further action and might otherwise have been missed. In addition to the 3,000 calls since the Action Counters Terrorism initiative was launched in March, authorities also received 300 referrals regarding online extremist material. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D'Orsi, the NPCC's lead for protective security, revealed the figures at the World Counter Terror Congress in London. She said: "The increased response from the general public and from professionals whose job it is to keep people safe within crowded places, has been really heartening. "But, as we have seen very recently here in London, we can not afford to stand still. "We need to exploit every possible way of keeping people safe and do all we can to keep everyone vigilant. "We are working very closely with security managers in busy shopping centres, transport hubs and entertainment venues. "Whether it is in business communities or local communities, we need to encourage everyone to keep contributing because, sadly, terrorism is a growing and increasingly complex threat." She also told delegates police are aiming to increase the use of the national barrier asset, temporary protective structures, during short-term summer events that attract large crowds. Senior officers have repeatedly highlighted the importance of the public's role in their efforts to prevent attacks. The official threat level from international terrorism has stood at severe, meaning an attack is "highly likely", for more than two years. Last week counter-terror officers made a number of arrests in two separate operations in London. View on Police Oracle
  25. The CPS has insisted snap election will have no impact on the timing of decisions on whether to press charges linked to 2015 General Election. Alex Salmond has warned against the Conservatives being "allowed to buy another" General Election by using officials who "successfully bought" the 2015 contest. The SNP MP questioned if ministers have plans in place to deal with the implications should the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decide to press charges linked to the 2015 General Election expenses of Conservative MPs. He expressed concerns in the Commons over the involvement of political strategist Sir Lynton Crosby, known for using shock tactics to divert attention away from another issue, and others in the Conservative campaign given their previous work in 2015. The Electoral Commission fined the Conservatives a record £70,000 last month after concluding the party failed to report accurately its spending in three 2014 by-elections and at the 2015 general election. Fifteen police forces have also submitted files to the CPS which relate to allegations concerning a candidate and an election agent at the 2015 contest, with the number of people involved totalling at least 30. The CPS has insisted the snap election on June 8 will have no impact on the timing of decisions on whether to press charges. Mr Salmond, raising a point of order in the Commons, said: "Given that the Prime Minister has decided to reappoint all of the campaign team who have already been fined by the Electoral Commission responsible for this boorach, we cannot get ourselves into a position of that campaign team, up to and including Lynton Crosby, having successfully bought one election, allowed to buy another." Speaker John Bercow, in his reply, said: "The rules governing the conduct of elections are not a matter for the chair." He added: "I have no intention of being drawn into this matter, which would be quite improper. What the police and Crown Prosecution Service do and when is a matter for them." Labour MP Dennis Skinner (Bolsover), also raising a point of order, said he had received no answers from Prime Minister Theresa May nor Justice Secretary Liz Truss on the matter. He said of Mrs May: "She didn't get a revelation on the Welsh hills. She called a snap election in order to try and beat the Crown Prosecution Service. "That's what this election is all about." View on Police Oracle

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