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Found 73 results

  1. Staff were bestowed with the 'Sword of Honour'. NPAS staff, who do not wish to be named, alongside Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson (far right) The National Police Air Service (NPAS) was presented with a prestigious national award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to aviation. The ‘Sword of Honour’ was presented by the Honorary Company of Air Pilots (HCAP) at a ceremony at London’s Guildhall on Thursday evening. This award marks the highest achievements and excellence within the aviation industry across the world and is being awarded to NPAS particularly for the part the service played in the emergency response to two of the UK’s terror attacks earlier this year. Chief Constable Dee Collins, QPM of West Yorkshire Police and Air Operations Certificate Holder for NPAS said: “I am delighted that NPAS have been recognised for their outstanding response to two major national incidents, one in Westminster and one in Manchester earlier this year. “The crews, across a number of NPAS bases and within the National Operations Centre, provided an unprecedented response and invaluable command and control of the incidents without which, both colleagues and communities would have been put at much greater risk. “Every day crews carry out remarkable work from a national network of 15 bases to keep communities safe and it is highly fitting that NPAS should receive such a prestigious award.” NPAS crews were recognised for their provision of sustained cover throughout the protracted duration of the incidents at Westminster Bridge, in March, and in Manchester, in June this year. Both of these attacks necessitated a sustained and unprecedented response from UK policing and from NPAS as a part of that to provide a continuous aerial view of the incidents as they unfolded. NPAS strategic board chairman and West Yorkshire Police PCC, Mark Burns-Williamson said: “NPAS winning a highly prestigious award reflects the outstanding efforts and work carried out in response to two major national incidents. “NPAS exists to reduce the risk to communities and during both these incidents an unprecedented response was provided to ensure the safety of the public and colleagues. “The response provided demonstrates the value of borderless air support provision to UK policing.” View on Police Oracle
  2. Three out of four fraud cases were not reported to the police, said Barclays. Most people who fall victim to banking fraud do not report the scam to police, often because they are too embarrassed, research has found. A survey of 1,500 victims showed that a third did not tell their bank, even though the average amount stolen is almost £900. Barclays Bank is launching a "fraud clinic" to offer the public advice on how to protect themselves from potential cyber-attacks following its research. Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK, said: "We want to encourage people to talk more openly about scams, so that we can work together to lift the stigma of fraud. "If people are too embarrassed to even tell their friends and family, then how can we expect them to report it to their banks?" The most common frauds include identity theft, fake bank websites and online shopping scams, said the report. Three out of four fraud cases were not reported to the police, said Barclays View on Police Oracle
  3. Mohibur Rahman was sentenced to 16 years in jail this year for wounding two restaurant workers. Mohibur Rahman Durham Constabulary failed to respond in time to phone calls from a man hours before he launched a frenzied knife attack on two restaurant workers because it did not have the resources, a police watchdog has said. Mohibur Rahman inflicted serious injuries on two restaurant workers in a ‘horrific’ knife attack Darlington on July 21, 2016. Rahman, 43, was given a 16-year sentence after pleading guilty to wounding at Teesside Crown Court on February 7 this year. He had made four 999 calls to Durham Constabulary and spent several hours in detention at Darlington custody suite for possession of a controlled substance in the 43 hours leading up to the attack. During this period, there was also a non-emergency 101 call from his landlady reporting criminal damage. He was on bail for grooming girls in Tyneside at the time. Rahman had called the police describing increasingly violent hallucinations, saying there were about 50 dead bodies inside his house, he could see spirits and a gun gang were after him. In his final 999 call he claimed he could see people with guns, which would have meant officers should have attended within one hour. But Sheila Reay, a priority dispatch centre supervisor at Durham Constabulary, told the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) the target for a priority dispatch is missed regularly "by which I mean during every shift". Another call centre handler told the IPCC very few priority jobs met the arrival target of one hour ‘due to a lack of officers and she was aware of some priority incidents not attended to for three to five hours. She said over 20 outstanding incidents used to be a busy day for the Darlington area but now under 30 was a good day. The call handler explained when there are several priority incidents waiting for officers to attend, part of her role, as a dispatcher, is to decide which priority incident to send officers to first, effectively "prioritising between the priorities”. Durham Constabulary referred the case to the IPCC but the investigator found none of the police call handling staff or police officers involved had a case to answer for misconduct. “Although Durham Constabulary did not send officers to Rahman’s address within their one hour target time in response to his final 999 call, in the investigator’s opinion, this was as a result of a lack of resources rather than any individual failure to follow policy,” the IPCC report stated. IPCC Operations Manager Lauren Collins said:“I’d like to offer our sympathies to everyone affected by this horrific attack on innocent people and to reassure the families involved and the public that we carried out a very thorough and detailed investigation. “Our investigators examined all of Durham Constabulary’s contact with Mohibur Rahman in the days prior to his attack. We reviewed the content of the calls made by him and his landlady and the CCTV footage from the custody suite. We also interviewed police officers and staff, and considered whether local and national policies were complied with. “Although there were no identifiable conduct issues, we have identified learning for Durham’s control room staff about how they handle calls concerning firearms. We have also reiterated the importance of accurately recording information received from callers and accurately recording actions taken as a result of those calls.” View on Police Oracle
  4. NPCC lead for the issue believes the Home Office is listening to police on funding. AC Mark Rowley speaking at the Home Affairs Committee The Home Office is engaged in constructive dialogue over the huge budget pressure created by the terror attacks this year, the national lead for counter-terrorism believes. Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told the Home Affairs Select Committee that the increased terror threat has created around 30 per cent more work for counter-terror officers. At the same time, the overall counter-terrorism budget is due to be cut by 7.2 per cent in cash terms over the next three years, following its previous uplift. A one-off grant of £24 million has been given by the Home Office to deal with the aftermath of the series of attacks this year, but it does not cover all associated costs. AC Rowley said: "We now have a double challenge [with] the resources across the country: we have to look back and investigate those attacks and support all the victims and those cases through to trials or inquests […] but at the same time, I have a bigger threat to try and mitigate with my work with the security service. "That challenge has stretched us enormously. We're over spending considerably this year, [we have] constructive engagement with the Home Office on that, and that £24 million will cover part of the overspend. We're still discussing with the Home Office about how we cover the rest of it this year." He added: "Looking forward […] what I'm seeing at the moment is about 30 per cent more work for us in the system for counter-terrorism. "We're going to need real terms extra resources to counter that as well as our creativity, not a 7.2 per cent reduction. The Home Office understand that and we're working together having good conversations with them […] "I want to be able to get to a position where we're as well matched at dealing with a threat next year as we were last year." Earlier Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Gareth Morgan told the same committee it is important that funding neighbourhood policing is intrinsically helpful for tackling counter-terrorism and organised crime. He said: "We need to remember that policing is a system: colleagues in the NCA and counter-terrorism need our neighbourhood policing officers as much as we do." AC Rowley pointed out that 80 per cent of the resources used to respond to the Manchester attack did not from specialist counter-terror teams. Last week, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the government was determined to provide funding for CT issues but did not commit to increasing funding for other areas. View on Police Oracle
  5. Mr Justice Mitting says witnesses need to know who was working covertly for police to give evidence to inquiry. One of the officers infiltrated the campaign for justice for Stephen Lawrence The cover names of at least two special operations or special demonstrations squad officers are to be made public. The Undercover Policing Inquiry, now chaired by Sir John Mitting, will release the assumed identities of two officers – despite acknowledging this will increase risks to them. One of the two apparently infiltrated the campaign for justice in the wake of Stephen Lawrence's murder in 1993, the other is someone who may have had sex while undercover. A statement from Sir John, referring to the individuals with coded references, says: "The Inquiry cannot fulfil its terms of reference on a critical issue – the alleged infiltration of the Lawrence family campaign and the intelligence gathered and reported upon it by undercover police officers, in particular HN81– unless the cover name is published. "It is essential that members of the group against which HN81 was deployed and others in the Lawrence family campaign should be able to give evidence about HN81’s actions. "They cannot sensibly be expected to do so unless they know who HN81 was in the name by which HN81 was known to them." He adds that it is likely that the move will have an adverse impact on the individual's mental health but says the public interest outweighs HN81's rights. Elsewhere he says: "Publication of the cover name of HN16 is necessary to afford an opportunity to any individual who may have had an intimate relationship with HN16 under the cover name to provide information and evidence about it to the Inquiry. "This involves a small risk of significant interference with the right to respect for private and family life of HN16, if it leads to the revelation of the real name of HN16." Another officer's cover name is to be released, the judge says, if the Met does not submit an application to stop this. No details have been given yet about what the officer, referred to as HN330, did while undercover. Sir John Mitting has taken over the inquiry from Sir Christopher Pitchford who stood down in June. Last year, it was determined that there would be no automatic anonymity for those who had worked covertly in the past and that applications for secrecy would be decided on a case-by-case basis. View on Police Oracle
  6. Abnormal demand resulted in missed calls for police air support. The National Police Aviation Service has begun the process of requesting extra funding from the Home Office amid public safety concerns following recent events. NPAS strategic board chairman Mark Burns-Williamson and West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins, submitted a letter to the Home Secretary in March highlighting concerns around future fleet strategy and financing. Since then the country has suffered three terrorist incidents, the Grenfell Tower disaster on June 14 and disorder in Stratford on June 25 – leading NPAS to face ‘unprecedented’ demand with a need to provide continuous response. Helicopters carried personnel and did reconnaissance for up to 13 hours during the Westminster Bridge and Borough Market attacks. However, they can only fly for two to three hours at a time, so each major incident uses five or six of the UK fleet of 19. This means other calls for police air support go unanswered. Details of how many requests for air support had to be turned down during the London attacks were redacted from the meeting minutes. The Home Office failed to respond to March’s letter nor the follow up sent in June which Mr Burns-Williamson described as “unacceptable.” However, discussions have since taken place between Mr Burns-Williamson, CC Collins and Policing Minister Nick Hurd on the demand for police air support in the future. “With these plans in place, we hope to demonstrate both the clearly defined requirement to sustain current levels of service to UK policing along with the return on investment to both government, local and national policing bodies.” Mr Burns-Williamson said. “Consideration is currently being given to alternative models for the future provision of other areas of specialist capability in UK policing. The lessons learned through nationally delivering a 24/7 police air support service will no doubt usefully inform these processes and future direction going forwards.” The annual spend on helicopters has been slashed from £53.5 million in 2012 to £38.5 million now with eight out of 23 police airfields shut and the service centralised. A request has now been made by the Home Office for NPAS to submit a fully costed treasury plan for a new fleet by April 2018. A spokesman for NPAS who described the response and demand as ‘unprecedented’ added: “We need to start considering fleet and funding, clearly there’s a need there with an aging fleet. It’s a bit like cars, you can keep old cars running and they can pass their MOT, aircraft are a little like that – at what point will they stop passing their MOT?” NPCC Police Aviation Lead and Cambridgeshire Chief Constable, Alec Wood Combs, has sent a questionnaire to chiefs and PCCs asking their requirements for air services in the future and what NPAS needs to do differently. The results from the questionnaire will be used to support NPAS’s treasury plan. CC Collins, QPM and Air Operations Certificate Holder for NPAS said: “The National Police Air Service is groundbreaking and I’m very proud to be leading it. The men and women in our organisation seek to deliver support across the country to the best of their ability and in doing so, successfully deliver a professional service to every police force throughout England and Wales. “We have had some challenges in this but nothing that I would not expect as the first ‘pathfinder’ national policing capability. “We now have an opportunity to work with the Home Office and our partners to develop what the future needs for police aviation are and the resultant cost of achieving it. “What I am absolutely certain of is the service that NPAS provides is key to challenging some of the risks that our communities face." A Home Office spokesman said: “We want a modern and flexible air service, which meets the operational needs of forces and represents the best possible value for money for taxpayers. “It is for the police themselves to determine what air support they need and we will consider their plans once they are brought forward.” View on Police Oracle
  7. Offenders whose cases are held up can claim payouts even if they are ultimately kept behind bars. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/PA Wire Criminals are in line for £1 million in taxpayer-funded compensation pay-outs over delays in parole proceedings, it has been revealed. Offenders whose cases are held up can claim payouts under human rights laws - even if they are ultimately kept behind bars. MPs heard the Parole Board for England and Wales expects the total sum to run to seven figures this year as it works through a backlog. A senior official said it was a "huge" amount, while a government minister admitted it was "far too high". In 2016/17, the body made 578 compensation payments to prisoners totalling £938,000 - nearly double the £554,000 paid out in the the previous year. Parole Board chief executive Martin Jones told the Commons Justice Committee: "For this year I expect the total amount paid in damages to prisoners to actually go up because we are making such progress on the backlog. "The problem that we have is the point at which you claim for damages is when your case is concluded. "As we conclude those really old cases, people are then coming forward to say 'actually my case was delayed for three to six months' and claiming the appropriate amount of money. "I'm expecting this year probably to pay about a million pounds. "That's a huge amount of money and an enormous concern, but I expect it to come down quite sharply next year." The Parole Board is responsible for deciding whether prisoners can be safely released from prison, and advising on movement between closed and open prisons across England and Wales Earlier this year a watchdog detailed how delays mean that some inmates may have spent longer in jail than they would have if their parole hearing had been held sooner. The report, published in February by the National Audit Office, said prisoners who experience delays can claim compensation under the Human Rights Act once their case has been completed. If they are turned down for parole they can still claim at a rate of around £50 per month of delay, which rises to roughly £650 per month of delay for applicants who are freed following a hold-up. The Parole Board saw the number of outstanding cases jump sharply in the wake of a legal ruling in 2013. At its peak in January 2015, the backlog reached 3,163. MPs heard this figure has now been brought below 1,300. Referring to the £938,000 compensation bill for 2016/17, committee chairman Bob Neill suggested to Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah that it was a "waste of money". Mr Gyimah said he would use a "different form of words", but accepted that the sum was "far too high". View on Police Oracle
  8. A new police super-complaints system aims to 'shine a light on recurring issues' within policing. Home Secretary Amber Rudd Members of the public are being urged to share their views on plans for a police super-complaints system that would allow groups or charities to raise issues on behalf of the public. The police super-complaints system is designed to mirror similar schemes in the commercial and financial sectors. Designated bodies would be able to refer complaints about concerning trends or patterns in policing to a joint committee connecting HMICFRS, IPCC and the College of Policing. It aims to give people a voice who "lack confidence in the current complaints system" and provide an avenue for raising "systemic issues in policing, which are significantly harming the interests of the public". The Home Office has also confirmed the system, the first of its kind in the public sector, will be introduced next year. It launched a public consultation which will determine which types of organisations can apply to become designated bodies. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “What the super-complaints system allows people to do is to speak with one voice on a specific issue when their concerns are shared by others. “We know that existing systems have sometimes, in the past, been too slow at capturing major issues in policing, such as the failure to fully investigate widespread child sexual abuse or the misuse of stop and search. “This consultation will decide what type of organisations can apply and take on this important responsibility in our society, shining a light on recurring issues and making sure there is a joined-up police response.” James Plunkett, director of policy at Citizens Advice said: “Super-complaints have been successful in holding industries, like banking, to account when they’ve significantly let down customers or standards have fallen short of what’s required. “Extending this to public services, as the government is with the police, creates the opportunity for serious problems to be raised, investigated, and appropriate action taken - giving a much stronger voice to the public. Robust evidence is essential for an effective super-complaint, so it’s good to see that’s a key part of the government’s criteria.” The consultation documents propose trade unions and police staff associations are barred from becoming designated bodies. Designated bodies should be well placed to represent the interests of the public and work for the improvement of policing but bodies who are opposed to policing in general, bodies with limited public interaction or bodies which represent a vested interest would be excluded, according to the document. Would be designated bodies should also be willing and able to act as an umbrella providing a conduit enabling smaller bodies to bring super-complaints. Plans for a police super-complaints system were first announced in 2015 as part of a wider government reform of police disciplinary and complaints processes. The new super-complaints system will sit alongside the reformed complaints system. The consultation, which closes on December 8, can be accessed at gov.uk/government/consultations View on Police Oracle
  9. Police Federation calls on chiefs to take action. Cuts have led to a substantial increase in fatigue and stress Senior officers and the government must do more to tackle a crisis in detective policing as morale hits rock bottom, the Police Federation says. It is warning the role is no longer desirable or sought after and victims may be failed as a result of worsening conditions. The staff association’s detective forum has released the results of its annual survey which found that 90 per cent of respondents said they had taken time off due to mental health and wellbeing issues either caused by or exacerbated by their work. Some 56 per cent said service cuts have had a huge impact on their morale while over a quarter of detectives felt their physical and mental health had been affected Half of those who answered also said cuts had led to a substantial increase in fatigue and stress as they battled to keep up with demand. Karen Stephens, secretary of the Police Federation national detective forum, said: “The facts speak for themselves. These results clearly show that detectives are overwhelmed with increased pressures brought on by a lack of resources. “Morale is low, people are exhausted and there is little sign of improvements to come if things stay the way they are.” Three-quarters of detectives said they were not able to provide the service victims need due to their workloads being too high. Mrs Stephens said: “The single aim of every officer, detectives included, is to protect and help others. But what these results show is that despite their best efforts, the demands of the role do not allow them to do this. "This is further emphasised with over half of the respondents saying they did not even have time to stay up to date with the latest training. “Being a detective was always a sought after, desirable role. However this survey shows things have changed and not for the better.” She called on the NPCC, College of Policing and government to act on the warning sounded by her members. Earlier this year HMIC warned that a shortage of detectives is a national crisis for policing in England and Wales. Chiefs have previously asked to be allowed by government to pay detectives bonuses for carrying out their roles, but were told by the pay review body to show evidence for why this would actually help. NPCC lead for detective recruitment and retention, Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes said: "Detectives do a vital job investigating crimes, apprehending offenders and protecting people from harm – and I know that all chiefs are proud of the work they do. "Forces have been aware for some time of the challenges that today’s survey describes, and it is always a concern when colleagues feel overworked and undervalued. "The complex nature of investigations and our work to protect vulnerable people has made the role of detectives even more challenging. We are facing a challenge to recruit and retain in these roles, which is adding to the pressure on serving detectives." He added: “We are looking at a range of ways to improve the situation, including reviewing the way detectives are selected and trained, providing improved workplace support to existing detectives which recognises how their work is changing, as well as looking at changes to incentivise more people into these important roles.” View on Police Oracle
  10. A CSO's account of his struggle with PTSD highlights the trauma police officers face in their daily duties. World Mental Health Day A Community Support Officer has described his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder as part of a day of action to raise awareness about mental health issues. On World Mental Health Day (October 11) the Gwent CSO wrote anonymously about how the graphic aftermath of a gas explosion in Newport haunted him for years. The CSO was among the first emergency responders on scene after hearing the explosion from Newport Central Police Station. “The give-away was a large hole where the front window used to be and the burning debris strewn across Bridge Street. “Immediately the smell of gas filled my lungs and the sight of a male stood in the debris with his clothes and chunks of skin missing filled my mind. Suddenly I was climbing in through the hole, over the gas pipe and pulling this stranger to the site of the former window. Then along with a colleague we pulled him out and into an ambulance. It was probably less than a minute but would affect me for what is looking like years.” Although it took several months for his problems to start, the CSO was plunged into a downward spiral that almost wrecked his personal and professional life. “I think the biggest issue for me became the words that every Community Support Officer hears almost daily ‘You’re only a CSO.’ It doesn’t bother me when the public say this but it definitely had an effect when it was my own mind. My mind was telling me CSO’s don’t have issues like this. You don’t go to incidents that could possibly have an effect on your mental wellbeing. Your colleagues are going to think you’re an idiot.” Eventually, he felt he had no choice but to explain why he was underperforming and confessed to his sergeant: “So sitting in front of my sergeant with my heart pounding and my mind screaming at me I blurted it out. I imagine I sounded like a blubbering idiot but I had done it. “ After being placed on an "extremely long waiting list" the CSO wrote revealed he will be starting treatment for PTSD tomorrow “This is where the real work begins and this is where I will be getting my life back on track. “My colleagues don’t laugh. I have the most supportive team around me. I am proud I acted. I will get better and I will get back to being me. “My condition does not and will not define me and the rest of my life.” View on Police Oracle
  11. The operation-stalling attack was kept under control by the force's Cyber Crime Unit. Left to right: Special Sergeant and Lead on Cyber Specials, Michael Moore, Nick Carver and Special Constabulary Chief Officer, Mark Kendrew. Special Constables who helped the NHS during the summer’s cyber-attack have been recognised at a ceremony celebrating their work. The group from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Cyber Crime Unit lent their skills and support to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Their work was praised by Chief Constable Charlie Hall and the CEO of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Nick Carver. Mr Carver said input from the specials meant patients were not as adversely affected by the cyber-attack in Hertfordshire. Their award was part of a dedicated Employer Supported Policing (ESP) event at Police Headquarters. CC Hall said: “We are focused on protecting vulnerable people and need to adapt our workforce to help investigate such crimes –volunteers with the different skills we require can help. “We want to continue the conversation with you and your organisations to see how we can work to encourage your staff to give up their time to come and help us. The value we give back to you will help your staff, your businesses and society as a result." He added. There are currently 25 organisations signed up to the ESP scheme in Hertfordshire, including Tesco, Which?, McMullen Brewery and Sons and local district and borough councils. View on Police Oracle
  12. The Policing Minister Nick Hurd said he wanted to understand more about demand and capacity within the service ahead of the spending review. Conservative PCCs showing their support for our Protect The Protectors campaign (left to right) Julia Mulligan, David Munro and Katy Bourne. The Police Federation says its Protect The Protectors campaign was top of the agenda at a meeting with the Policing Minister and other MPs during the Conservative Party Conference. Following a similar event at the Labour Party Conference last week, a contingent of national and local PFEW representatives raised issues including the recent one per cent pay award and one per cent force-funded bonus. The Policing Minister Nick Hurd said he wanted to understand more about demand and capacity within the service and is undertaking a review of police funding ahead of the government's Spending Review later this year. The group also discussed the College of Policing's directives to bring in qualifications and accreditation to the service as well as Direct Entry and how the scheme impacts on officers. PFEW Chairman Steve White, who attended the event ahead of a roundtable meeting with Mr Hurd, said: "Of course the Federation isn't always going to agree with government and we had frank exchanges at times but we have to maintain an open dialogue with decision makers and overall it was a positive and productive meeting. "National and local representatives were able to talk and debate issues direct with the Policing Minister and other MPs and PCCs which will undoubtedly help with our work to inform and change policy for the benefit of our members." All attendees stated they are behind the Protect The Protectors campaign which calls for a specific offence to be introduced for assaulting officers or other emergency service worker and harsher sentences for those who do punch, kick or spit at officers to help as a deterrent. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "My department is working with the Police Federation on its campaign to Protect The Protectors. We’ve already funded a new police welfare service, we are reviewing the law so the police can pursue the appalling thugs on mopeds who attack people on our streets and we’re also examining whether we need clearer rules so that anyone who assaults an emergency service worker faces a tougher sentence. The police protect us and it’s my job to ensure we protect them." View on Police Oracle
  13. Before the MPS, murderers, thieves and rioters ran amok with citizens taking the law into their own hands. Victorian police uniform complete with high-necked collars for protection again stranglers. (Twitter - @KentOfInglewood) London was a grim place in the 1800s, with poverty prevailing in the backstreet slums of the big smoke it Is not surprising that many turned to petty thieving in order to live. Children used to pick a pocket or two while women engaged in a spot of shoplifting from time to time. But there was a more sinister side to petty thieves, with notorious conmen called ‘sharpers’ who would go to extreme measures by dipping a hanky in chloroform to subdue their victim before robbing them. Sometimes a man's hat might be tipped over his face to facilitate the crime - a trick called bonneting. Another ruse was to lure men down to the riverside using prostitutes as decoys. The dupes would then be beaten up and robbed out of sight of passers-by. Murders were also on the rise along with riots where mobs of unhappy Victorians would gather at Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square to air their grievances. Although there were foot patrols - whose main role it was to protect property - there was no overall organised policing unit. Many prosecutions were not carried out by police and were taken into the hands of the victims. The victim would have to apprehend the criminal themselves or employ a ‘thief-taker’ to drag them by the ears to the parish constable or magistrate. Sir Robert Peel, who was Home Secretary in 1829, decided things were getting a little out of hand so persuaded Parliament to provide a new police force for London, excluding the City and the Thames, who already had their own uniformed patrols. He tasked a committee to investigate the current system of policing. Peel immediately acted upon the committee’s findings and created ‘Peelian principles’ that involved the payment of police officers who were organised along civilian lines. Peel’s ideas for the system of policing were approved by Parliament in the Metropolitan Police Act with Royal Assent being granted on June 19 1829. The 895 constables of the new force, nicknamed ‘Peelers’ or ‘Bobbies’ after their founder, were responsible for law enforcement and public order within a seven-mile radius of Charing Cross. (Twitter - @MarshallGroup) They were overseen by a progressing hierarchy of Sergeants, Inspectors, Superintendents and two Commissioners who reported directly to Peel himself. On September 29 1829 – 188 years ago – the Metropolitan Police Force was officially formed. It would have eight Superintendents paid £200 a year, 20 inspectors paid £100 a year, 88 sergeants paid 3s 6d a day and constables paid 3s a day. There were considerable problems with those recruited, many were drunks, unfit and unruly and in the first six months just over 50 per cent were required to leave the service. Each officer was issued with a warrant number and a divisional letter which denoted where they worked. The first headquarters was 4 Whitehall Place, with a back entrance for special visitors via Scotland Yard. The bobbies were given blue uniforms to distinguish them from the red used by the military and sent out on the beat with only a wooden truncheon and a ratcheted rattle to raise the alarm. (Twitter - @Chindiazindabad) High-necked tunics protected officers from strangulation – it was popular back then to garrotte people from behind - and top hats were reinforced as Peelers were likely to be attacked in the street - and penalties for violent crime were more lenient. After PC Robert Culley was stabbed to death at a riot in Holborn in 1833 a coroner's jury returned a verdict of "justifiable homicide". At first the public did not embrace the new force, it was paid for from local parish monies and some members of the public argued the Met was a threat to civil liberties. Some members however remained hostile, numerous reports say the first traffic police risked being run down and horse-whipped by irate coachmen. Eventually they warmed to the idea of a police force and officers became better skilled at the difficult job they had to do. “The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.” – Sir Robert Peel. View on Police Oracle
  14. Honey, I shrunk the police. 164 primary school children aged between nine and ten are enrolled on the scheme. Northumbria Police has taken on more young recruits as its successful Mini Police scheme is extended. Earlier this year the force’s Mini Police initiative was launched with seven primary schools across the county signing up. Schoolchildren were selected for the scheme - where they work with officers and volunteer police cadets to learn about a host of topics to help keep them and their friends safe. Mini Police, recognisable by their uniform, also carry out work in the community and since the scheme began have attended some of the region’s biggest events such as the Sunderland International Airshow. There they played a vital role and helped hand out wristbands to children their own age and younger, the wristbands included the contact details of the child’s parents or guardian so if got separated they could quickly be reunited with them. Due to the success of the scheme it has been extended with eight more schools now signing up and an extra 88 nine and ten year olds becoming Mini Police - meaning there are now 164 primary school children enrolled on the scheme. Superintendent Sarah Pitt was instrumental in launching Northumbria Police’s Mini Police. She said: “Since we launched the scheme in April we’ve had a lot of interest in our Mini Police with people getting in contact to see how their children or school could get involved. It’s been a great success so far and we’re really pleased we’ve been able to extend it and welcome more children into the police family.” Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for children to engage with their local communities and learn more about how our officers tackle crime and help people who need it. It’s great that we have more youngsters signing up – I hope their involvement inspires them and they have lots of fun as new Mini Police recruits.” View on Police Oracle
  15. All 43 federations sign open letter to Prime Minister demanding 'a properly funded and well-resourced police service'. Prime Minister Theresa May Those representing rank and file officers across the country have written an open letter to the government describing the recent pay award as 'derisory'. Representatives from all 43 police federations in the country endorsed the letter, saying “members were angry” and forces “had been put in an impossible situation.” Police Federation of England and Wales Vice Chairman Calum Macleod said: “We feel the government has not been truthful and honest about the pay award given to officers, and that is insulting. "The two per cent awarded has to come from existing policing budgets which means forces may have to choose between officer numbers and public safety. That cannot be right." The full letter reads: Dear Prime Minister, On behalf of the hard working officers who are working to the bone to protect our people, who fight to protect our communities and who keep you safe, we demand answers. And we demand that you tell the public the truth. About crime figures. About police numbers. About the ‘extra’ officers you pledge. About ‘extra’ money you say you will pay. No more smoke. No more mirrors. No more double standards. You expect officers to run towards terrorists one minute and then turn your backs when we ask for help so they can afford to feed their families. Families they barely see because of the hours they work to fill the void left by the thousands of officers who are no longer there because of your cuts. Officers who are now broken. Who are unable to cope with the mental and physical demands placed upon them by having to work in depleted environments. With out of date kit .With fewer people. With no support. One chief constable has just this week told you that 40 per cent of his officers have sought professional help for stress. It is the tip of the iceberg. Our officers are committed to serving the public. And we thank the public for their overwhelming support, particularly in light of recent incidents. But with 20,000 fewer police officers than five years ago it is no wonder we have seen crime rise and the service to the public suffer. This is not fair on them. And two per cent pay rise with no extra money to pay for it means it is the public who will yet again suffer and get even less of a service. So hear us when we say: The pay award of on average less than £10 a week is insulting. A two per cent rise is not a rise when it has to come from existing policing budgets. It’s a disgrace you have dressed it up as a pay rise. Funding must come centrally, it is unfair to make the public suffer with fewer officers available to fight crime. It’s a disgrace you have ignored the recommendations from the independent Police Remuneration Review Body – the very body you set up to advise on police pay. Forces cannot cope with any further falls in police numbers. Communities will be further under threat at the very time protection is needed the most. Community policing plays a vital part in intelligence gathering to help combat terrorism and it has been decimated. ‘Extra’ police officers are not ‘extra’ police officers. They are the same officers doing longer hours, being called back in when they are off or being given extra responsibilities. Crime is not falling. And answer our questions: Why was the independent body, which has awarded MPs and ministers a 13 per cent rise over the last three years listened to when the independent police body on pay was not? How can you justify these double standards? Do you think it is acceptable that the derisory pay award is expected to come at a cost of losing more officers? Our members have been failed by: The FAILURE to heed our warnings. The FAILURE to implement the very recommendations of the independent bodies you introduced. The FAILURE to support them and the police service as a whole. The FAILURE to help officers protect the country. The FAILURE to help officers protect the public adequately. We don’t want meaningless platitudes. We want a properly funded and well-resourced police service. The public rightly want and expect this. For the sake of those who put their lives on the line for the public we demand you address these injustices and give us answers. Members of the interim National Council View on Police Oracle
  16. The majority of the budget is spent on supporting outdated systems - according to report. Forces need to stop wasting their budgets on outdated computer systems and invest in new technology. A new report by think tank The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) says many police hours are wasted carrying out basic data management tasks, due to severe deficiencies in the forces’ digital infrastructure. It highlights how the majority of police IT budgets are spent supporting old systems, with little funding available to invest in new technology. The report, compiled after six months research, argues forces are unable to capitalise on the opportunities presented by advance technology, which has already revolutionised many other sectors. RUSI research analyst Alexander Babuta said: “With police hours becoming an increasingly scarce resource, it is more important than ever that valuable time is not wasted carrying out routine administrative tasks.” He added if the budget was spent on new technology the costs will be recovered quickly in the savings made to time. The report also suggests forces should coordinate nationally to overcome challenges by unifying all police data. Mr Babuta said new technology is gradually being introduced, however, they are incompatible on a national level. "Digital infrastructure is compartmentalised because of the highly localised nature of policing procurement, resulting in poor data sharing and little coordination at the national level,” he added. For example, Durham Constabulary uses a new system called the Harm Assessment Risk Tool (HART). The system classifies suspects at a low, medium or high risk of offending and has been tested by the force with 98% accuracy. Mr Babuta, points out the system is significantly better at finding who is at greater risk of reoffending – better than intelligence based assessments. However he stresses that officers’ professional judgement should not be replaced by this and “the idea would be to support officers and enable them to be more effective.” However, Durham only uses local data for this – therefore if a person moves from one county to Durham, they won’t be on the system. If the database was unified they would have this access to this information. “Some forces have started to address the problem locally, but there has been little progress at the national level. Only when a unified national infrastructure is in place for centrally managing all police data will forces be able to make effective use of big data technology,” he added. Mr Babuta told Police Oracle unifying all databases will be difficult as there are 220, but suggested the databases could be combined and then put on a nationwide force search engine. HMIC and Mr Babuta also make future recommendations of implementing Predictive Hotspot Mapping (PHM). PHM can use past crime data to predict where crime could occur, as well as what type of offences may be committed. HMIC teamed up last with the London School of Economics lasy year to build a picture of “predicted demand” on policing in the 181,000 census output areas. The inspectorate warned forces must have a better grasp of what they are likely to face in the years to come as they deal with increasingly limited resources. HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor said: “It’s just an enormously valuable instrument, which many of them do not have "At a local level, the inspectors themselves know where the troubled families are; they know where habitual criminals live. “But to have that at force level but also to be able to drill down to small units in a particular area; that is an enormously valuable tool.” HMIC argued police forces need a more effective approach to prevent crime from happening, although it admits understanding future demand is not easy. The RUSI report concludes that introducing new tech is all well and good, but stresses that any investment will be wasted if officers are unable or unwilling to use the software and tools provided to them- therefore there should be sufficient training provided. View on Police Oracle
  17. But less than seven per cent is expected to be recouped. Security Minister Ben Wallace says more money is being collected from crooks Criminals owe the taxpayer more than £1.8 billion - but less than a tenth of the sum is expected to be clawed back, figures show. Outstanding debt from confiscation orders, a key route for stripping offenders of the proceeds of crime, stood at just over £1.8 billion at the end of March. But it is estimated that just £128 million - or 7 per cent - of the total will ultimately be recouped by authorities. Confiscation orders are issued by courts against convicted offenders and can be applied to any offence resulting in financial gain, with the amount based on "criminal benefit". The government and law enforcement agencies have repeatedly come under fire over efforts to recover ill-gotten gains. Last year, MPs hit out at a "spectacular failure" to address concerns about confiscation orders. Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said: "This is an appalling failure by the authorities to recover criminal assets. "Courts are ordering the seizure of assets, but too often criminals are getting away with it. We need to know what action is being taken to turn this around." The figure for confiscation order debt is cumulative and dates back over several years. It includes more than £500 million interest, as well as £12.6 million relating to orders which are subject to appeal. The amounts are detailed in an annual statement published by HM Courts & Tribunals Service in July. It says: "The recoverability of confiscation order debt is affected by the nature of the debt - orders are often imposed on assets which have been hidden by the defendant, or the assets are overseas. "Furthermore, it is not possible to write off confiscation order debt - it can only be cancelled in court (a judicial cancellation) in very specific circumstances, such as on the death of a defendant." A Home Office report published on Tuesday said £201 million of criminal proceeds were confiscated in 2016/17 - a 19pc increase compared with 2011/12 (£170 million). The bulletin also disclosed that, of £490 million being pursued across 131 "priority" cases, £94.3 million, or less than a fifth, has been collected by law enforcement agencies. Priority status can be designated to cases where is a "significant public interest" and where the amount being chased is at least a quarter of a million pounds. Since 2011/12, £174 million has been paid in compensation to victims from the proceeds of confiscation, the paper added. Security minister Ben Wallace said: "We will not stand by and allow criminals to profit from their crimes which is why the government and law enforcement agencies are committed to stripping them of their cash and assets to prevent further criminality. "We are collecting more assets from criminals and we are giving more money back to police and to victims. "But we need to do better. Over the coming months, we will be bringing in new powers for operational partners to seize other criminal assets such as works of art and precious metals. "We want to ensure that criminals do not enjoy a luxurious criminal lifestyle at the expense of law-abiding citizens." The Home Office said the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which will be phased in from this autumn, contains a number of measures to significantly improve the ability to recover criminal assets. They include an expansion of the definition of "cash" - allowing agencies to seize works of art, precious stones and metals, and the creation of orders requiring those suspected of corruption or other serious crime to explain the sources of their wealth. View on Police Oracle
  18. Officer was handed a suspended jail sentence earlier this year. An officer who crashed into another motorist when he went through a red light at a junction has been given a final written warning. PC Peter Mcall, of Northumbria Police, hit the woman’s car at 74mph in what was a 40mph zone on August 18, 2015. PC Mcall had been responding to a report of a fire at a hotel when the incident occurred in North Tyneside. The victim was hospitalised for three weeks and left with seven fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, lacerations to her liver and spleen and a broken knee. PC Mcall admitted causing serious injury as a result of dangerous driving. In April, PC Mcall was given a 15 month jail sentence- suspended for two years - disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to pay more than £6,000 court costs. However the woman said she did not wish PC Mcall to lose his liberty or his job with the force, views that The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said “weighed heavily” in his decision on sentence. It was claimed the officer may have confused the red lights with lights further down the road which were green. The 30-year-old said he genuinely believed he was responding to an emergency. PC Mcall was said to have shown considerable remorse and had penned a letter to the victim. He received praise from senior officers who gave references, describing him as an honest, caring, reliable individual with a genuine desire to help people. An investigation by the IPCC found evidence of gross misconduct and as a result he was given a final written warning last week. View on Police Oracle
  19. Home Office accused of playing politics with officer remuneration. John Apter pictured speaking at the Police Federation Conference last year Officers should be consulted on whether they want full employment rights, a prominent staff association representative says. Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter has labelled the government’s rejection of the police remuneration review body’s recommendation for a two per cent pay rise next year as “shameful”. Instead, the Home Office is giving officers a one per cent rise, and a one-off, unfunded, bonus. Mr Apter said: “They are playing politics with police officer's pay. It's shameful. We need to look at the detail of this announcement but it is clear that there is nothing to celebrate. "Officers will see this for what it is which is an insult considering officers have had in real terms a 15 per cent cut in pay since 2010. "Police officers have no employment rights so are limited in how they react to such a kick in the teeth. The government know this and have taken advantage of it. "With a heavy heart I feel the time has come to ask our members what their views are on police officers having full employment rights. "This is something I will raise with the national Police Federation of England and Wales colleagues in the coming days." Mr Apter intends to stand for election for national chairman of the Fed when rule changes allow him to. Home Secretary Amber Rudd claimed: "This award strikes a fair balance for police forces, officers and taxpayers. "We want to reward and attract the very best police officers within the resources we have, whilst making the right decisions for the economy overall." National Fed chairman Steve White did not rule out a conversation about industrial rights last year when asked what he would do if the government ignored the recommendations of the review body. At the time, he said: “We put a lot of work into our submission but if its recommendations are not taken up and if the system comes into question as an organisation we may have to do things differently.” While Mr White and General Secretary Andy Fittes are both due to leave their posts at the end of the year, the next remuneration review submission is likely to have been completed by then. On Tuesday the Fed says it was looking closely at the PRRB report and would provide further updates soon. In a 2013 ballot, only 42 per cent of Fed members cast a vote on the issue of industrial rights. Of those who did more than 80 per cent said they wanted the organisation to pursue a legal challenge to try to secure workers’ rights – such as the ability to strike. The Fed said it would not act on the issue because the turnout was too low. View on Police Oracle
  20. The 'highly unusual decision' by CPS has sparked debate. A case involving a drug driver has been thrown out of court after the officer in the case was unable to attend proceedings due to his baby being in intensive care. PC Steve Lee, a roads policing officer with Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing unit, took to social media to reveal the decision. He tweeted: “Told today a drug drive case of mine was thrown out of court due to me being in intensive care with my baby, rather than giving evidence.” He also tweeted: “I have raised a complaint to @cpsuk via my department's senior management. What are your thoughts on this decision @symondsa?” The tweets generated a lot of debate on social media and have since been taken down. PC Lee tweeted: “Lots of support in relation to this tweet, thank you. For all those who have asked about our daughter she is doing great & making progress.” Andy Symonds, Chairman of Norfolk Police Federation, said: “We are liaising with the constabulary and the court to find out the facts of the incident. “We cannot make any further comment at this stage until we know the facts about why this highly unusual decision was made. “We also have to be cognisant of the fact that this case may still be subject to legal issues which we wouldn’t want to encroach onto.” Norfolk Constabulary said it will not be providing a comment. View on Police Oracle
  21. The mobile app is the first of its kind in UK policing. Stop and searches are set to become quicker and more efficient with the launch of a new app for officers. The mobile app, the first of its kind in UK policing, is being used by West Midlands Police and allows officers to record details of street encounters on their smart phones without the need to call contact centre staff. The new piece of kit also has GPS which automatically records the location of each search. The force believes the app will cut demand on force contact staff by almost 1,000 calls a month. Project lead, Temporary Inspector Dave Whordley, said the development will reduce delays and cut the length of time needed to carry out a street stop. He added: “Officers will be able to input details directly via their phones and instantly receive a unique reference number. It means doing away with having to wait on the phone for contact centre staff to record details of the search. “It’s been developed as part of our WMP2020 Mobility project which has already seen the rollout of more than 3,700 hand held devices to frontline officers. “This app is the first of many which will be rolled out to help cut bureaucracy and help officers spend more time investigating crime and on the beat." West Midlands Police has one of the highest stop and search recording accuracy rates in the country with a recent HMIC inspection finding that 93 per cent of all encounters had been noted correctly. Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who leads on WMP’s Mobility project, expects the new technology to further improve recording accuracy. He added: “We’ve listened to operational officers about what apps will allow them to do their job more efficiently and effectively and allow them to remain out in the community where they should be, rather than having to keep returning to the station. “We are reviewing a wide range of requests for apps and products, with a view to delivering some new apps to benefit frontline officers in the near future." Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Ashley Bertie said: “This new app will mean that officers are able to record important information on the move. "We have ensured that stop and search is intelligence-led and have increased the number of arrests that it has produced, at the same time as reducing its overall usage. “This has improved public confidence and will be boosted further by this new app. “This is an important development that will continue to ensure that West Midlands Police remains at the forefront of reforming stop and search.” View on Police Oracle
  22. Police Oracle editor Martin Buhagiar says a case highlighted this week illustrates why current legislation leaves police drivers vulnerable. The petrol station cashier opened the door and walked out onto the forecourt with a can in his hands. I assumed a customer had paid for the tin and left it in the shop but the attendant raised his hand in a menacing way. As the car behind me wheel-spun away from the pump, it all became clear. The cashier threw the tin at the VW Golf leaving it with a fair-sized dent. “This is how they deal with fuel thieves in north London these days,” I thought to myself. It is what happened afterwards that got me thinking about a far greater concern, however. Without stopping, the driver sped out of the exit turning left into oncoming traffic and continued to accelerate. This was on Monday afternoon at the Esso Station in Archway Road, north London. The petrol station is on a roundabout and the driver decided to turn into four lanes of rush-hour traffic, rather than simply turn right and go with the flow. Who knows why? Incredibly, he avoided a bus, a lorry and a van and made it to apparent safety as he disappeared out of view. As I headed home, I wondered what a police officer would be expected to do in that situation. The thief has stolen £15 worth of petrol, hardly a priority in these days of cuts and over-stretched forces, but has risked the lives of pedestrians and other motorists afterwards. No doubt the public – and the police – would like to see this person caught and quickly, but officers pursuing could face serious consequences if this madman (or woman) mounted the pavement and hit a child while being followed. Potentially prosecuted if you do, damned if you don’t. Police Oracle has been covering the on-going saga of police pursuits for a while and, thanks to the government continuing to deliver meaningless drivel and little action, specialist police drivers are continuing to pursue criminals with the very realistic threat of criminal charges hanging over their heads. This week a pair of Metropolitan Police officers were the latest to be told they could face criminal charges following the IPCC's investigation of a case which saw the driver jailed for 12 years. I am sure you know the case. Convicted car thief Joshua Dobby, 23, was out on licence when he killed Makayah McDermott, ten, and his auntie Rosie Cooper, 34, as they went for ice cream in south London. Officers fought to save their lives, the same bodies that Dobby stepped over as he made his escape. Following his sentencing it was confirmed Dobby had 53 convictions dating back a decade and was in the process of delivering this stolen car for cash so he could buy more drugs. Some Police Oracle readers have correctly asked who is more culpable for this – the officers who pursued this reckless driver as he accelerated down one-way streets and through red lights, or a system that continued to release this clearly troubled man from custody every time officers arrested him? We can save that argument for another day - needless to say, we agree. This is now an issue facing officers far too often. In April, Greater Manchester PC Simon Folwell found himself in a similar position. PC Folwell was pursuing 24-year-old Luke Campbell, who died after crashing into another car. The IPCC told the force to bring proceedings against the officer for gross misconduct for careless driving. GMP disagreed but was directed to open proceedings against the officer. Try and catch a criminal in a car and potentially lose your job or, even worse, your freedom. I live in an area that recently saw an increase in the number of nuisance motorcyclists - probably like most towns in the UK. Earlier this year neighbours and friends had clearly had enough and were moaning about the apparent lack of action. “Where are the police?” “Why don’t they chase them?” “Knock them off their bikes and lock them up.” They are just the lines I can print. I started by talking about the cuts and the falling number of officers nationally. I then explained why most of these motorcyclists do not wear helmets or removed them at the first sound of a siren and many of those I told were surprised. I was stunned they did not know. Perhaps it suits some that so many members of the public are happy to blame the police for an apparent lack of action. In June, the Police Federation of England and Wales sent a letter to forces warning drivers over the lack of protection the law gives them. The staff association said officers had barely any legal rights and should not carry out any manoeuvre deemed illegal for civilian motorists. The traffic sign safeguard is void if there is any element of risk to the public. The speed limit ‘safeguard’ is anything but as it will not stop charges of careless driving being brought. Earlier this year the Fed also revealed more than 100 officers had been pursued over on duty driving matters during the preceding 18 months. Tim Rogers, PFEW lead on roads policing, told us: “Legal advice has recently highlighted that police response and pursuit drivers are, in most circumstances, highly likely to fall within the definitions of careless and or dangerous driving. “The federation has raised this matter with numerous MPs but to date the difficulties remain with our proposed draft for legislative change not yet having been progressed to a point where officers are appropriately protected.” And last month the government was accused of not properly answering questions on the subject. Halifax MP Holly Lynch wrote to Police Minister Nick Hurd raising concerns the law is not providing proper protection for emergency service drivers. Mr Hurd explained the CPS says it is “very unlikely” to be deemed appropriate to proceed with a prosecution on public interest grounds against a member of the emergency services. That does not stop the IPCC recommending that charges are brought against police drivers though does it and the pressure that places on an officer's shoulders? Then came the usual: “The government fully recognises the risks associated with pursuits,” before the reality: “Officers must be accountable to the public … for the way they reach their decisions, including potentially the prosecution of police officers for careless or dangerous driving.” What clarity does that offer the federation or officers? None. Moped-enabled crime continues to increase at an unprecedented rate - that could not be clearer. However, the protection offered to officers could not be more murky and that brings with it further problems. A freedom of information request revealed that of the Met’s 32,000 police officers, more than 5,000 have been trained to carry out pursuits in the last five years. Of those, 315 had made the tactical pursuit and containment level since 2014. The shortage could be for a number of very obvious reasons, but until clarity is offered and the government commits to new regulations offering officers protection, it would not be a surprise to see the national number of police drivers fall. Officers who engage in pursuits know how dangerous their job can be. The IPCC’s announcement this week illustrates that further obstacles could be waiting just around the corner once the pursuit is completed and the officers have apprehended the criminal. The current legislation leaves them vulnerable and must be changed. Let officers pursue criminals without living in fear of being pursued for doing their job. View on Police Oracle
  23. Integration now brought down further, to below ACC level. Warwickshire Police and West Mercia cars feature both force's badges. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire Two forces who had been discussed as candidates for a merger have scaled back their integration. Warwickshire and West Mercia Police announced a formal “strategic alliance” in 2012 and had been merged at all levels below deputy chief constable in recent years. West Mercia's former PCC Bill Longmore had been sympathetic to the idea of a full-blown merger. But this month further separation has taken place with two assistant chief constables moving back to working for just one force each. Chief Supt Charlie Hill, who serves both forces, told the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales Conference on Wednesday: “We've moved away from a strategic alliance, in my view, to a collaboration around protective services, finance and enabling services. “Frankly we need some real leadership from chief officers and PCCs to step up to the mark and say I'm prepared to give up sovereignty and move forward. Two FTSE 100 companies do not merge and have two chairmen, two chief execs, two deputy chief execs.” He was speaking on the morning that Dorset Police along with Devon and Cornwall Police announced they are exploring the possibility of merging. The existence of too many constabularies was a recurring topic throughout the staff association's conference this week, with PSAEW President Chief Supt Gavin Thomas raising it before the Policing Minister said he will listen if there are good arguments for them. Chief Constable Sara Thornton, chairman of the NPCC, said that her working group had ruled out arguing for larger, fewer forces as part of its 2025 policing strategy, despite being in favour, because she didn't think it was widely achievable. “Fewer, larger forces is not going to happen, politically it is just not an option,” she said. She pointed out problems including different council tax levels in neighbouring force areas. In a joint statement, Warwickshire Chief Constable Martin Jelley and West Mercia Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said they remain fully committed to their alliance, and said it is “continually developing”. “Part of any healthy development means continual review of our collaborative arrangements and the introduction of the ACC for each force is to ensure greater focus on local issues, partnerships and performance across the diverse landscape of our alliance. “We are very proud of the fact that our alliance has been and continues to remain one of the leading collaborative working arrangements between police forces in the country which has been commended and recognised by HMIC.” Their statement added that there are still “two clear and differing force identities” and the arrangement is “providing the very best service to our communities”. View on Police Oracle
  24. Chief constables "feel it is the right time.". CC Debbie Simpson and CC Shaun Sawyer The chief constables of Dorset and Devon & Cornwall Police have announced plans to explore further collaboration and closer working between the two forces. Both chiefs reveal they “feel that now is the right time” to explore whether a full merger between the two forces is possible. The police and crime commissioners from both areas have informed the policing minister of their support. Over the coming weeks a consultation with MPs and councils will begin. In a joint statement CC Shaun Sawyer, Devon & Cornwall, and CC Debbie Simpson, Dorset, said: “The strategic alliance has made significant progress helping us provide a more effective and efficient policing service to the residents of our three counties. “We now see this as a timely opportunity to progress this alliance further, including a potential aim to merge our resources and create a more resilient police force. “Policing has faced some significant funding challenges in recent years and we do not see this landscape changing. To preserve local, neighbourhood policing and deliver safeguarding within our communities, as well as an ability to respond to emergencies and emerging threats as effectively as possible, we view closer working as the only way forward.” Shared leadership is already in place across both forces with two DCCs sharing portfolio areas as well as operational commanders and heads of department in some areas. Police departments such as operations, roads policing and prevention as well as 17 other areas are also operating across three counties with a further 11 departments currently going through changes which will see them aligned. The forces also now share a number of support services such as Administration, Information Technology and Human Resources. The chief constables added: “We have been able to make this progress so far because of our staff’s hard work and conscious effort to work in collaboration. “Our officers across Dorset, Devon and Cornwall have similar policing styles, values and priorities with cultures based on delivering resilient and sustainable services to our communities. “We know working together has increased our resilience, streamlined our leadership and unlocked new capabilities in our support functions allowing us, where we can, to re-invest in our services. We feel that now is the right time to explore whether a full merger between the two forces is possible. “We realise there may be statutory obstacles to overcome and there is a lot of work to be done to understand the benefits and challenges ahead. We will also ensure that the views and feelings of the public are taken account of. "As a result, a decision is unlikely to be made quickly but we are absolutely committed to exploring the possibility of a merger in order to continue to provide a sustainable police service for all of our communities in the future.” View on Police Oracle
  25. Minister hints at better resourcing and pay. The government listens to the service and is keen to help officers, the Policing Minister says. Addressing the Police Superintendents’ Association Conference today, Nick Hurd said pay and resource complaints are being listened to. After beginning his speech apologising for the non-appearance of Home Secretary Amber Rudd, he addressed a number of topics including resourcing. On pay, he said: “We’re not deaf, even if we sometimes give the impression that we are. “The message we have heard very clear and constant is about stretch and strain and the pressure experienced police officers telling me they haven’t worked under these conditions before. “I’m standing here as a representative of the government who’s profoundly aware that police officers and a number of others have had to take their share of the burden […]. “There’s a limit to what we can reasonably ask of people.” But he added that there is “considerable concern being expressed by employers” about “sustainability”, which is why there has been a delay so far. He said there will be an announcement on pay imminently. Candid conversations about budgets will soon be held, he said, and hinted he will make some forces spend their reserves. PSAEW president Chief Supt Gavin Thomas had earlier called for a pay rise and for better resourcing. Mr Hurdalso promised a thorough review of resources and budgets, and other areas such as morale which he wrote to chief constables and police and crime commissioners about today. He said such a body of work had never been done before, and will shape the 2018/19 budget with an evidence base. Elsewhere he promised a total of £60 million funding for several projects, including funding for certain forces. His speech coincided with the announcement of a number of successful bids to the police transformation fund including a pilot to roll out video evidence in courts, £6 million to help digital policing in Cheshire, Essex, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Merseyside and £23 million over the next three years for the NCA, Regional Organised Crime Units, and some police forces to detect, monitor and disrupt organised crime groups. Responding to the funding announcements, Paddy Tipping, chairman of the Association of PCCs said: "The £60 million funding package announced by the minister will be invested across our regions and in local forces to ensure that our police can respond to the range of threats which pose harm to our communities. "This funding covers programmes that use innovative ways to keep our communities safe, by investing in digital policing methods and effective local partnerships to combat serious and organised crime, whilst protecting the most vulnerable members of our society." View on Police Oracle

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