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  1. Chief Bakes

    News Team

    Places: 3

    Applicants: 1

    JOIN OUR NEWS TEAM HERE AT POLICE COMMUNITY Do you want to be part of a vibrant community where you help to shape its future? Why not join our fantastic News Team here at Police Community with responsibility for ensuring that all the very best content from across the internet that is police related gets posted to our forum for discussion by our members. You will be responsible for posting the latest news and events onto our forums for the membership to discuss, debate and enjoy. This role comes with enhanced access across the forum. You will have access to our social media platforms and other restricted content. For these reasons you will be required to comply with our non-disclosure agreement and sign a contract to ensure you only access information required for your role and you treat that information in the strictest of confidence. If you have further questions about this role, please contact a member of the Management Team to discuss the role further. We look forward to receiving your application.
  2. Met police accused of abusing black fireman have case to answer, says IPCC The IPCC has concluded there was evidence the officers racially stereotyped firefighter Edric Kennedy-Macfoy. Photograph: Casey Moore for the Guardian Six Metropolitan police officers accused of responding to an offer of assistance from an off-duty black firefighter by abusing him, dragging him from his car and shooting him with a Taser should face disciplinary charges for possible racial discrimination, the official watchdog has concluded. Edric Kennedy-Macfoy has accused police of behaving like wild animals when he approached them in a north London suburb to provide them with a description of a man he spotted throwing a rock at a police van. After a 20-month investigation into the case, which involved tracking down members of the public who witnessed the incident, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concluded there was evidence the officers racially stereotyped the fireman, according to a summary of its key findings in the case, which has been seen by the Guardian. The IPCC is referring a dossier of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service after concluding a police constable could also face criminal charges over the use of the Taser. The watchdog also found police failed to act with integrity, courtesy, patience, discretion, professional judgment or common sense. The most senior-ranking officer among those accused, former inspector David Burgum, denied the charges, questioned the firefighter’s motives and took the unusual step of condemning the statutory watchdog that investigates serious police complaints. “In my opinion Mr Kennedy-Macfoy has cynically played the race card for his own ends,” Burgum said in a statement to the Guardian. “I do not consider that the IPCC have conducted an independent investigation. They are political organisation with a strong anti-police bias.” Kennedy-Macfoy was driving through Harrow around 3.30am in September 2011 when he saw a young man hurl the rock at the police van. After noting a description of the young man, Kennedy-Macfoy flagged down the van driver and approached a line of officers to pass the information on. A disagreement ensued in which, the IPCC said, several officers used abusive language against Kennedy-Macfoy. The off-duty fireman complained officers repeatedly swore at him, before charging at his car and pulling him from the vehicle. In an account he gave the Guardian in 2012, Kennedy-Macfoy, then 29, said he responded by calmly and showed his palms to the officers, telling them: “Listen guys, I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m a firefighter – I work with you lot and I just want to explain something.” He said the Taser was discharged, without warning, when he was walking backwards with his hands in the air. The final report from the IPCC investigation has not been made public or provided to any of the parties involved. However, a summary of the IPCC’s key findings, seen by the Guardian, concludes the police’s initial reaction to Kennedy-Macfoy was based purely on his ethnic appearance. The watchdog’s report names six officers, including Burgum, who it says have a case to answer for gross misconduct in respect of their alleged racial discrimination of Kennedy-Macfoy. In addition to the ex-inspector, they include a sergeant, three police constables and a special constable. One of the constables - the officer who twice discharged the Taser - could also face criminal charges, the IPCC states. “The IPCC has completed its investigation into a complaint made by Edric Kennedy- Macfoy relating to his arrest by [Met] officers in September 2011,” a spokesperson for the watchdog said. “The IPCC will be referring a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration related to an officer’s use of Taser.” The IPCC did not find sufficient evidence to uphold a complaint against two officers: a seventh officer, of constable rank, who was also present on the night, and a detective inspector who initially handled the fireman’s complaint. After Kennedy-Macfoy was shot with the Taser, he was arrested and charged with obstructing police. He was found not guilty after a trial at Brent magistrates court. During those proceedings Burgum gave evidence about the fireman’s racial appearance, which later formed part his complaint. Burgum told the court his officers were in a “stressful” situation and had been dealing with a group of partygoers who had been throwing missiles at them. According to a court clerk’s notes of proceedings, Burgum added: “I couldn’t say he was anything to do with the party. The party was all black. He was black. He had driven through the cordon. I had to do a quick risk assessment.” Burgum retired from the Met in January and now works for a private company that has an outsourced contract to train prospective Met police recruits. In his statement to the Guardian, Burgum called the account given by the fireman and apparently supported by the IPCC investigation “implausible in the extreme”. The ex-inspector is among the four officers the IPCC concluded have additional cases to answer for misconduct on the night – in his case, for swearing at Kennedy-Macfoy. Burgum said it was ridiculous for the IPCC to raise concern about his abusive language toward fireman because “Mr Kennedy-Macfoy swore at me first”. “The suggestion that the police reaction to Mr Kennedy-Macfoy was based purely on his ethnic appearance and that the police officers racially stereotyped him is likewise ridiculous,” he said, adding that some of his police colleagues present on the night were “of ethnic minority backgrounds” and they, too, reject the suggestion that this was “a racial incident”. Given he has retired, Burgum cannot face disciplinary proceedings. However, the other five officers, who all remain at the Met, could be subject to a misconduct hearing. The Met declined to say whether it would hold such a hearing. “As is normal procedure, we will consider the report’s finding and associated evidence and respond to the IPCC within the statutory 15 working days,” a Met spokesman said. If the Met decides against holding the hearing, the IPCC has powers to compel the force to do so. Asked if the watchdog planned to use that authority, an IPCC spokesperson said: “We’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.” Kennedy-Macfoy’s solicitor, Shamik Dutta of the firm Bhatt Murphy, said: “In light of the IPCC’s findings we now look to the CPS and the Met police commissioner to properly consider all the evidence that has been gathered and to make a decision which does justice to that evidence.” The IPCC and Met have clashed over the Kennedy-Macfoy case before. His complaint was initially investigated by the Met’s professional standards department, with arm’s-length supervision from the IPCC. That internal inquiry provisionally concluded no police officer should face disciplinary or criminal proceedings. The IPCC then took the unusual step of rejecting the Met’s inquiry in its entirety, initiating the fully independent investigation. It is that inquiry that, after almost two years collecting and analysing the evidence, concluded six officers have a case to answer for racially-motivated misconduct. View the full article
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-30210199 Any familiar faces for those that are fans of traffic cops!
  4. http://news.sky.com/story/1388316/west-midlands-police-ordered-back-to-base Stay safe out there!
  5. There is further information regarding other areas of the country protesting, but I've kept the quote to just the Warwick University incident. Video is also available at the link. Mainly curious as to people's reactions to this after seeing it mentioned on my Facebook feed, tried to debunk their thinking, and I think I hit most of the major points. Essentially seems like a standard arrest made more challenging by a passive-aggressive crowd with a couple of less passive members, that has been blown out of proportion because it happened to be a protest >_> http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/dec/03/warwick-university-students-police-tuition-fee-protest
  6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2909788/Motorway-Cops-star-bullied-booted-team-warned-fault-meant-patrol-cars-flashing-lights-switched-chases.html
  7. stoppedreality

    Car smoke ban 'to start in October

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30513439 Car smoke ban 'to start in October' By Nick TriggleHealth correspondent, BBC News Continue reading the main story Related Stories Car smoking ban 'due before 2015' Ministers 'will ban car smoking' Smoker: My car is my castleWatch Smoking in cars with children will be banned in England, under new laws put forward by the government. The regulations laid before Parliament propose banning smoking in cars containing children under 18. A fine of £50 will be issued to people who smoke or who fail to prevent another person smoking. MPs will vote on the plans before the election - and if they are passed the change in law will come into force on 1 October. The move comes after a free vote in Parliament in February gave ministers the power to introduce the law, although it did not compel them to. Public health minister Jane Ellison said: "Second-hand smoke is a real threat to children's health and we want them to grow up free from the risks of smoking. "The only effective way to protect children is to prevent them breathing second-hand smoke and our plans to stop smoking in cars carrying children will help us to do this." Smoking in cars Smoke can stay in the air for up to two and a half hours even with a window open. Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer. Exposure has been strongly linked to chest infections, asthma, ear problems and cot death in children. Research indicates 300,000 children in the UK visit a GP each year because of the effects of second-hand smoke, with 9,500 going to hospital. Smoking in a car creates a higher concentration of toxins than in a bar, some research has put it at 11 times higher. Bans on smoking in cars when children are present already exist in some US states, including California, as well as in parts of Canada and Australia. Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: "We are delighted. We also urge the government to put the regulations on standardised packaging to Parliament before the general election. "This, together with the protection of children from second-hand smoke in cars, will help de-normalise smoking and protect children from this deadly addiction." But Simon Clark, director of smokers' lobby group Forest, said: "The government is taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The overwhelming majority of smokers know smoking in a car with children is inconsiderate and they don't do it. "The regulations are unnecessary and excessive. Do we really want to criminalise people for lighting a cigarette in a private vehicle?" A ban on smoking in cars has also been put forward in Scotland and Wales.
  8. A senior Essex police officer has appeared in court on indecent image charges. Chief Insp Ben Hodder, 34, district commander for Harlow, was arrested on 8 May this year and charged with two counts of making indecent images of children. It is alleged two pornographic images of children under the age of 18 years old were discovered on an Apple MacBook and four on an Apple iPhone. Hodder was suspended from his role after the arrest, a police spokesman saying: 'On Thursday 8 May, Essex police arrested a man in connection with a sexual offence. 'Nobody else has been arrested in connection with the investigation and inquiries are ongoing.' Hodder appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court for a preliminary hearing but is yet to enter pleas and spoke only to confirm his name. The officer has spent his law enforcement career working in Thurrock, Basildon and Harlow. Hodder, of Chafford Hundred, Thurrock, Essex, is charged with two counts of making indecent images of children He was given unconditional bail ahead of a plea and case management hearing on 16 February next year. Hodder began his career policing the streets of Basildon and Grays before moving onto become district commander in Harlow in April 2010 http://www.courtnewsuk.co.uk/?news_id=39038#sthash.JoVIudMM.dpuf
  9. Seven Met police officers arrested after brawl in Lithuania Officers were reportedly attending a stag party in the capital Vilnius and are now under invesigation over the incident The Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. Photograph: Alamy Seven police officers have been arrested while on holiday in Lithuania following a brawl. Scotland Yard said the Metropolitan police officers were detained in Vilnius, the country’s capital, and are under investigation. The Sun reported that the men were in Lithuania for a stag party, and the newspaper published pictures appearing to show them bloodied and stumbling as they were handcuffed and put in to police cars in the city, which is a popular tourist destination. A Met police spokesman said: “The directorate of professional standards is aware seven police constables from territorial policing were arrested on Saturday 22 November whilst on leave in Vilnius, Lithuania. “Inquiries into what has taken place are ongoing but are at an early stage. The DPS will liaise with Lithuanian authorities.” A Lithuanian prosecutor, Marius Zupkauskas, told The Sun: “I personally gave them bail after they paid 5,000 Lithuanian Lita which is about £1,000. “If we decide to charge them they will have to return to Lithuania for a trial.” The Met spokesman said that the officers had not been suspended, but he added that if the Lithuanian authorities charged the men “we will obviously evaluate that decision”. Source: The Guardian
  10. http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/crime-court/newham_pcso_guilty_of_blackmailing_brothel_workers_1_3907032
  11. <p>Concerns from the British Retail Consortium that police regard shoplifting as a “victimless crime”, which is not to be taken seriously is untrue, according to the Police Federation.</p> <p>Paul Ford, secretary of Police Federation National Detective Forum, said: ‘Nothing could be further from the truth.  It is important to recognise that retailers experience crime every day and ultimately this affects us all in society. Shoplifting is frequently committed by organised gangs and those who have problems with drug dependency.</p> <p>‘However, the fact is that the police service is under tremendous pressure due to the last four years of government cuts and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary has recognised that forces will have to prioritise some crimes over others - officers face having to make very difficult decisions in future as a result.</p> <p>‘We have lost nearly 16,000 officers from forces in England and Wales – the equivalent of losing all the police forces in the south west of England – Devon and Cornwall, Avon and Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire – as well as Thames Valley and Wiltshire Police forces. This, coupled with equal numbers of police staff job losses and the closure of hundreds of police stations, is affecting all aspects of the police service’s ability to protect communities and to respond to calls for help.’</p> <p>Shoplifting cost UK retailers £603 million in the 2013-2014 financial year, with the average incident costing £241, a 36 per cent increase, according to the British Retail Consortium in a report published today.</p> <p>Small business owners and large retailers alike are urged to report shoplifting incidents to police.</p> <p>Mr Ford said: ‘The vast majority of police officers are serving because we are here to help.  We cannot help if a crime is not reported.  The public can always be assured that we will always do our very best with the resources that we’ve got.’</p> View the full article
  12. E29NP

    PC jailed for attack

    A police officer who launched a ‘totally unwarranted’ attack on an innocent motorist by getting him into a headlock and punching him in the face has been jailed. Matthew Harries, 36, stopped Justin Small on suspicion of possessing drugs outside Nando's restaurant in Acton, West London. He held Mr Small in a headlock, causing him to choke, punched him in the face and then kneed him using a ‘high degree of force’, Southwark Crown Court heard. Mr Small was left bleeding with swollen and bruised eyelids and swelling to the spine after the attack on April 5 last year. Harries later claimed Mr Small was holding his car keys in a clenched fist and he believed they could have been used as a weapon against him. He said the ‘worst case scenario was death with one hit’. However, a jury rejected his self-defence claim and found the police constable guilty of one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after four and half hours of deliberation. The judge, Mr Recorder Peter Kyte QC, told him: ‘You are a 36-year-old man now, you are married to a fellow police officer and you have a very young baby. ‘In your favour is the fact that this is your first criminal offence. ‘I also give you due credit for the fact that it seems that you have otherwise been a responsible and conscientious police officer of a period of 11 years. ‘I have read and I am impressed by documents which include testimonials from 11 police officers and three of your personal friends. ‘I note and take into account also the fact that there are no less than five commendations and obviously all that counts in your favour.' However, the judge also told Harries that the 'full picture' to be taken into consideration included previous complaints made by members of the public about his conduct. He told Harries: ‘It is pretty insignificant by comparison and your counsel has referred to those other matters as "low level" and they may well come into that category but the full picture includes a number of complaints from members of the public about incivility, intolerance and impoliteness ‘The most important aspect of this is the fact that, at the material time, you were a police officer in uniform and this was, in my view, a nasty assault that the jury rightly convicted you of. ‘It was an unprovoked attack on a civilian who has consequently "lost his faith in the police". ‘I wholly reject your claim in evidence that at the relevant time Mr Small was armed with a car key which you regarded as a weapon. ‘This in my view was an invention of yours in order to seek to justify your actions as amounting to self-defence. ‘It is you who placed his head in a headlock, as a consequence to which he started to choke and was unable to speak, according to his evidence.‘He then went to the ground, your colleague was on top of him at this point.‘According to the complainant, at this point one hand cuff at least had been applied to Mr Small and then you chose to punch him with full force to the face. ‘Again, I use his words: "This was a totally unwarranted attack". ‘Not content with that, you then kneed him to the same general area with what he described as a high degree of force.' The court heard how Mr Small was left nauseous and dizzy after the attack. ‘In all the circumstances it would be wholly inappropriate of me not to mark it with a sentence of immediate custody - it is quite unavoidable,’ Mr Kyte QC said.Harries was ordered to serve a six-month sentence and pay an £80 victim surcharge. ‘That, in my view, is the least sentence I can properly impose,’ the judge concluded. The attack happened after Mr Small stopped to use the toilet at the Royal Leisure Park in Acton before driving home to Sussex. He found the toilet was busy during his visit at around 7.30pm and instead decided to use the corner of the car park. Harries then pulled up alongside him as he jogged back to his car and asked if he had been drinking. The officer went on to suggest that Mr Small was slurring his words and that his pupils were dilated, jurors heard. The court heard that the officer then attempted to manhandle Mr Small, who sought to diffuse the situation by asking: 'Why are you being so aggressive?.’After assaulting the ‘wholly innocent’ victim, Harries then bundled Mr Small into the police car and took him to Acton Police Station. When Harries was booking him in, Mr Small said he overheard Harries saying he could not remember what had happened. Mr Small was charged with obstructing a police officer and did not see a doctor until 3am. Described in court as ‘sick and emotional’, Mr Small agreed to a caution at the police station - requiring an admission of guilt - so that he could go home. The caution was later expunged and the decision to prosecute Harries was made following an investigation. Harries accepted he had made ‘two rapid heel palm strikes’ to Mr Small’s biceps to try to get him to release the keys which he claims he was still holding. Harries, of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, was convicted by the jury after denying one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He had been placed on restricted duties pending the outcome of the trial. DPS Detective Chief Superintendent Alaric Bonthron said: ‘Where an officer’s behaviour falls short of the very high standards that we and the public expect of them then it is only right that they are held to account for their actions. ‘The actions of one officer abusing his position in this way can cast a shadow over the thousands of officers who are on duty right now demonstrating bravery, compassion, integrity and professionalism. ‘There is no place in the Metropolitan Police Service for officers and staff who do not uphold our values. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2804755/Police-officer-jailed-totally-unwarranted-attack-innocent-motorist-got-headlock-punched-face.html
  13. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-30947899 Two police officers who bludgeoned an injured deer to death have been removed from firearms duties after being found guilty of gross misconduct. Andrew Pittilla and Brian Clewlow were sent to destroy the animal, which was believed to have been hit by a vehicle at Tanfield Lea in June. They struck the deer several times with a large blunt tool, believed to be a crowbar, rather than using a firearm. Durham Police said the officers had brought "discredit upon the force". A misconduct hearing was told that the officers, both of whom have extensive firearms experience, were sent to deal with an injured deer on 9 June. They remained with the deer, thought to have been hit by traffic, until it managed to stand on "weak legs". After receiving some advice from an animal welfare expert, they carried the animal into nearby woodland where they hoped it would recover. 'Animal's best interests' On 11 June police received another report of an adult deer lying on the road and the same officers were sent to the scene. The hearing accepted they rightly assumed the deer was the same animal as before. The officers, intending to make sure the deer was dead and not suffering further, struck the animal several times with a large blunt tool. They said their actions were in the "best interests of the animal" and that neither gained "any satisfaction" from the circumstances. The panel was "satisfied" the actions of the officers were not "borne from cruelty", although the accepted practice of dispatching the animal with a firearm was not followed. Ron Hogg said the case had caused "disgust and distress" A police spokesman said: "Durham Constabulary regrets the actions of the officers. Our partnership with the public and its confidence in police actions is paramount to us. "We expect our officers to adhere to the code of ethics, which defines our legitimacy, at all times." The officers, who will remain on a final written warning for 18 months, were moved to other duties after the allegation was made. Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg said the case had caused "disgust and distress". He said: "The constabulary have dealt with it in an extremely diligent and professional way, and left the two officers in no doubt that their behaviour was unacceptable and unbecoming of a police officer. "Due to one act of stupidity, they have gone from having long, clean and commended records to being on their final warning - and stripped of their firearms responsibilities." I have faced this issue before. Injured deer on the side of the road. Can i get a deer man, no. Can i get firearms, no. What do i do now? Do i wait for the animal to die a slow and painful death because i will be done over by my force if i despatch it myself. Or do i eat a misconduct from my force, who has sent me to deal with the deer and kill it.
  14. Tony Porter, the surveillance commissioner, says the public is complacent about being watched. Photograph: Martin Godwin The increasing use of surveillance technology – including body-worn video, drones and number plate recognition systems – risks changing the “psyche of the community” by reducing individuals to trackable numbers in a database, the government’s CCTV watchdog has warned. In his full first interview as surveillance commissioner, Tony Porter – a former senior counter-terrorism officer – said the public was complacent about encroaching surveillance and urged public bodies, including the police, to be more transparent about how they are increasingly using smart cameras to monitor people. Porter stressed that he was not anti-surveillance and insisted he was helping to improve standards by encouraging the adoption of a voluntary code. But he added: “The lack of public awareness about the nature of surveillance troubles me.” Porter, who was appointed to the independent role in March, is responsible for overseeing around 100,000 publicly operated CCTV cameras out of total of up to 6m surveillance cameras nationwide. He said: “When people say ‘the public love CCTV’, do they really know what it does and its capability? Do they know with advancing technology, and algorithms, it starts to predict behaviour?” He said he was very nervous about the “burgeoning use of body-worn videos [bWV]”, not just by the police but by university security staff, housing and environmental health officers – and even supermarket workers. “If people are going round with surveillance equipment attached to them, there should be a genuinely good and compelling reason for that. It changes the nature of society and raises moral and ethical issues … about what sort of society we want to live in … I’ve heard that supermarkets are issuing staff with body-worn videos. For what purpose? There is nothing immediately obvious to me.” Police officer wears body-worn video (BWV) camera, ahead of a year-long pilot scheme by the Metropolitan police. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Security staff on patrol at a number of universities, including Newcastle, Essex, Bath and Bangor, have started wearing body cameras and microphones in an attempt to reduce fights and crime on campuses. Similarly, fears of antisocial behaviour at an Asda supermarket in Dundee led to security staff being issued with BWVs. Porter said he had had “robust” arguments with universities about the use of such cameras and questioned whether they were “conducive to creating a learning environment”. He said: “There’s a security argument, but there’s also a personal freedom argument. Have universities been transparent with students and parents? It is very important to corral all those using it [bWV] and bring home to them their obligations.” Porter, a former counter-terrorism commander with Greater Manchester police, is also working with police forces piloting the use of BWVs as a way of increasing police accountability, particularly firearms officers. Porter said he had insisted that police publish privacy impact assessments on how they are using BWVs, and added that none of the forces involved had “got it absolutely right” as they were “navigating massive complexities”. He said he was concerned that the experiment could harm community policing by making the public reluctant to talk if they were confronted with “a million pixels up their nostrils”. Porter added: “I challenge chief constables on what happens if the cameras are stolen – how are they going to ensure that highly sensitive material is protected.” CCTV cameras in Britain. Photograph: Alamy He said he had also challenged senior officers on the transparency of the use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems. “It is seen as a valuable tool, but the police should be identifying how many cameras there are,” Porter said. “It is wrong not to be transparent because it impacts not just on the motorists, but on the whole psyche of the community. It is very dangerous to walk into a datafied society, where everybody is a number and everybody can be linked via ANPR to facial recognition, to another thing.” He has similar concerns about drones: “Every time a drone is operating with a surveillance camera attached to it, then the risk of a privacy impact in a public space rises exponentially.” Porter also pleaded with those who got drones for Christmas to use them responsibly. “You might say ‘it’s just a toy’ but used repeatedly, hovering over a neighbour’s house, [it] is going to cause an issue. You should use it with a great deal of sensitivity.” Porter argued that new technology must have the consent of the public. “To knock it back is Luddite, but you need a close examination of what’s going on.” A remote-controlled drone with camera equipment. Photograph: Geoff Moore/Rex The role of the surveillance commissioner, which was created under the coalition agreement “to roll back the over-intrusive powers of state”, has been questioned by civil rights campaigners. Isabella Sankey, director of policy at Liberty, said Porter had been handed an impossible job because he had no enforcement powers. “He seems genuinely interested in the issues. But there are hardly any powers that he can exercise. Meanwhile, new innovative use of CCTV is running with itself and nothing in the regulation can keep up with that,” she said. Porter accused Liberty of being defeatist, saying: “I get irked by this idea that it’s a toothless role … if it isn’t working, it’s within my gift to request greater powers.” But he added: “It is difficult to legislate because the technology is moving so fast.” Porter also rejected as “bonkers” any suggestion he could not champion privacy because of his background, which included a stint as counter-terrorism coordinator for the London Olympics. He said he was more likely to raise standards because he understood the “labyrinthine politics of covert and overt surveillance”. Porter said he took a pay cut to take the job, which comes with a £90,000 salary – pro-rated to three days a week even though he works full-time in the role. “Everyone is impacted by surveillance. I want to set a new standards framework and bring the rest up to the best. The UK has some of the most surveillance cameras per head in the developed world. That reputation spurs me on to make sure I make a difference. If I don’t make an impact I won’t want to hang around.” View the full article
  15. London's policing supremo is demanding an extra £20 million of police counter-terror funding to keep the public safe after a rift with the Government over “penny-pinching” in the wake of the Paris attacks. Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh said that the money currently earmarked for counter-terrorism policing was “not enough” to cope with the increasing threat posed by returnees from the Syria conflict and other extremists. He said that at least £20 million more was needed instead and that it was a “scandal” that the Home Office was planning to retain a large chunk of the £130 million of additional terror funding promised by David Cameron. He warned that the police’s ability to protect the public would be weakened without the extra cash. Mr Greenhalgh’s criticism follows a warning by the Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer, Met Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, that police and Jewish residents could be at increased risk of attack by Islamist extremists. The police presence in Jewish areas of London has been stepped up as a result. Officers will also patrol in pairs, rather than alone, in some parts of the city. Mr Greenhalgh said that the Home Office was gaining £35 million agencies of the money promised by Mr Cameron, but that only £5 million of that had initially been earmarked for police. That sum had now been raised to around £9.4 million after protests from him and Boris Johnson. But the rest of the money was being retained in Whitehall to fund the Home Office’s “Prevent” counter-radicalisation programme and other Government work. The Deputy Mayor said that meant the money going to the Met was inadequate and added: “I think that’s a scandal. We are having an arrest nearly every day, 50 per cent of the undercover counter-terrorism work is here in London and half of the people returning from Syria are in London so there is a huge volume of activity that needs to be carried out. The police’s ability to keep us safe will be harmed if they are not getting the money to do the job. The pie doesn’t seem to have been split fairly and the cops are unhappy about it.” Mr Greenhalgh also expressed concern that an attack would have a devastating effect on tourism. He said that was the capital’s third largest source of revenue. “We make more than £11 billion a year from our tourist industry. That is massive. I went to New York two months after 9/11 and the plane was empty. We can’t afford to be penny wise and pound foolish about this when billions would be lost if we had a terrorist outrage.” The Home Office said that it did not discuss precise funding levels and that a final decision on the allocation of the £130 million had not yet been taken. A spokesman said: “While all public services must constrain their spending, we have protected funding for counter-terrorism policing.” The total budget for counter-terrorism policing for the financial years 2014/15 and 2015/16 is £564.3 million. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-needs-extra-20m-to-fight-parisstyle-terror-attack-9997940.html
  16. A man who was sprayed in the face with CS gas by police officers has been awarded a £21,000 compensation pay-out. Essex Police agreed the out-of-court settlement to Alan Lethbridge but has not apologised. Mr Lethbridge, 34, of Romford, said he has had mental health problems since being sprayed during his arrest in Brentwood High Street in 2009. The former builder said he hoped to "rebuild his life" with the money and work again. Mr Lethbridge bought a van with part of his compensation money and is about to return to work, as a delivery driver, for the first time since his arrest. "The money just doesn't do it justice and it wasn't about the money," he said. "It was about the principle that I hadn't done anything in the first place. "It's just a relief that it is all finished with, but it's disappointing that I never got an apology." Defensive skills training In 2010 the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigated and decided Mr Lethbridge's arrest was lawful, but the two people who were sprayed with CS gas should have been given a clear warning. A TV cameraman filmed the CS spray being discharged close to Mr Lethbridge's face. Following the IPCC inquiry, the three police officers involved went on a defensive skills training refresher course and the officer who deployed the CS spray was given advice on its use. The Crown Prosecution Service had previously decided the officers should not face any criminal charges. Mr Lethbridge was convicted for spitting in the face of a paramedic in April 2010, but it was quashed after an appeal. Charges of being drunk and disorderly and using threatening words or behaviour were dropped. "For the five to six years I've been on anti-depressants, the doctors diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder and I've been having counselling," said Mr Lethbridge. "My life has been complete hell for the past five years." Essex Police told BBC Look East it would not issue an apology as Mr Lethbridge's complaint to Essex Police was not upheld by the IPCC. Source here with video
  17. The flag of Greater Manchester police outside the force's headquarters in Manchester. Photograph: Christopher Lee/Getty Images John Buttress was a poster boy for Greater Manchester police. Ten years ago he appeared in adverts for the force’s high potential development scheme, which cherry-picks the brightest and best for a fast-track programme. “I never imagined I could get so far in my force,” read the slogan above a picture of Buttress in uniform. “I moved from constable to chief inspector in five years.” There’s another thing Buttress could never have imagined: standing trial on a fraud charge instigated by his own colleagues – a charge that he claimed in court had been brought only after he stood up to senior officers whom he accused of bullying and persecution. The 48-year-old father-of-two was in the dock at Liverpool crown court last week accused of minor mortgage fraud. It would have been an unremarkable case had it not marked the finale of a series of costly investigations into his financial affairs carried out by Greater Manchester police (GMP) at a time when the force was facing unprecedented budget cuts. He claims that multiple internal police inquiries were conducted, leading him to become so paranoid that he ended up burying a police computer in a remote field in Wales in order to preserve evidence. He insists he was exonerated in every instance, but not before being arrested twice and having his properties searched by 23 officers. At one stage the police helicopter was used to take aerial photographs of his Welsh home. Last Thursday Buttress was cleared by a jury of failing to tell his mortgage provider that he was occasionally letting out part of his north Wales farmhouse to holidaymakers. The charge was that he illegally took out a cheaper personal mortgage rather than a buy-to-let policy. It took the jury 20 minutes to reach the unanimous decision, having heard glowing testimony from a string of high-ranking policemen including Craig Mackey, the deputy chief constable of the Metropolitan police. The verdict brings to an end what Buttress later claimed was “an orchestrated smear campaign” waged against him by some elements of Greater Manchester police (GMP). He told the court that his troubles began when he headed up a new stop-and-search programme in 2012 that proved unpopular among many officers. Under his leadership, the disproportionate number of ethnic minorities searched by police fell dramatically following the introduction of a radio system that put an end to the force automatically recording the names and addresses of everyone searched. He alleges he was also targeted after standing up for an Asian colleague who claimed to have suffered racially motivated ill-treatment within GMP. After clashing with his superiors at the Bolton division in GMP, where he had arrived in September 2011, Buttress found himself under investigation. First he was accused of insider share dealing in the electronics company that provided the police stop-and-search technology. He told the jury that he immediately suspected his superior in Bolton, Supt Steve Nibloe, had made the complaint. Nibloe had taken against Buttress from “day one” after he had made allegations of bullying, the court heard. Buttress said he was assured by GMP top brass that Nibloe was not responsible for the referral, only for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) later to confirm that he had indeed made the tipoff. In court, Buttress told the jury he couldn’t believe what had happened to him. “Naively I didn’t think, excuse the expression, that my employer would try to stitch me up.” According to Buttress, no sooner had he proved that he had never in his life bought or traded in any shares than he found himself accused of fiddling his mileage expenses claims. In the end he was found to have significantly under-claimed. In addition, Buttress claims he was falsely accused of: • Money laundering. • Underpaying council tax (he says the investigation discovered he had in fact overpaid, and he was refunded £1,779.41 by Wrexham council). • Misleading his mortgage company when borrowing money for a divorce settlement. • Evading income tax. • Having unregistered business interests in the construction industry. • Making a fraudulent claim for flood damage at his home. When asked by the Guardian, GMP did not dispute that any of these investigations were carried out. It said: “GMP will review the claims made by CI Buttress and establish whether there are any matters requiring further investigation.” In the mortgage case Buttress was originally charged with misleading his lender by not living at the property he had given as his home address. This charge was dropped the week before the trial after Buttress’s defence team were able to prove that the prosecution had originally failed to disclose crucial evidence that exonerated him. The court heard that as part of an investigation by GMP’s counter-corruption unit, two officers interviewed a woman from Intelligent Finance, Buttress’s mortgage company, about where Buttress was actually living. The woman told them that on the company’s criteria Buttress was indeed living at his home address. Yet the page of the police statement in which she said this was missing when it was submitted as evidence, the court heard. Only when the judge ordered the original tape recording of the interview to be released was Buttress able to commission a full transcript and prove his case. He appears to have been pursued for the most minor alleged violations. At one point he claims he was put under pressure to record his role as a voluntary unpaid church organist in his village as a formal business interest – a demand only dropped after an intervention from a senior officer. GMP did not refute this version of events when contacted by the Guardian. According to Buttress, the most “worrying and sinister” element of the campaign against him occurred in December 2012 when investigators were granted access to his police computer. “Shortly after this access was granted, the entire file relating to the inappropriate treatment of the Asian policeman was deleted from the police system. This file included specific reference to the leaking of confidential police information to the press,” he told the Guardian. Buttress says that unbeknown to whoever carried out the deletions, he had already become so paranoid about his own force that he had taken the precaution of backing up the evidence on an encrypted file on a computer, and burying the whole computer, wrapped in two plastic bags, on farmland in north Wales. “This was well before I was aware that I too had been targeted for investigation,” said Buttress. “Just one month later the counter-corruption unit arrested me and searched my home, removing all the computers, memory sticks, electronic devices and other evidence from my address and that of my partner, Nicola.” GMP did not refute the allegation of file deletion. Buttress believes he was targeted and that he knows why: “My belief is that I have been subjected to a series of maliciously motivated investigations simply because I attempted to expose corrupt and inappropriate practice within the force. I believe that I have been targeted as a whistleblower and that repeated malicious investigations have been launched, involving illegal and deliberate phone-hacking, as part of an orchestrated smear campaign to discredit me.” But he has always maintained that GMP picked on the wrong guy. He was determined to protect his previously unblemished police record, which once even led to a cameo during the Queen’s Christmas speech. In 2004, having just been promoted to chief inspector, he pursued and arrested a gunman at 3am on Christmas morning in the centre of Stockport. CCTV footage of the offender brandishing the gun was used by the BBC to back the Queen’s speech the following year as gun control legislation was tightened. Buttress was also praised for his work managing a high-profile programme of projects delivering the police’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear preparedness across the UK. Buttress has been suspended on full pay since August 2013. Despite it all, he says he wants to go back to work for GMP. Asked by the Guardian how much the three-year investigation had cost, GMP said it was impossible to calculate. The Manchester Evening News has suggested the bill could run to £1m. Following Buttress’s acquittal, GMP’s deputy chief constable Ian Hopkins said the force “fully respected” the verdict. But he dismissed claims Buttress made in court accusing Nibloe, his superior in the Bolton division, of bullying. “The claims were subject to a legitimate grievance process and formally investigated and reviewed three times, by a chief superintendent, an assistant chief constable and finally by myself and the head of human resources. In all three stages we found no evidence to substantiate the allegation of bullying,” said Hopkins. “GMP will always take allegations about its staff seriously and where necessary will carry out criminal investigations. The public have a right to expect that allegations regarding the integrity of serving officers are properly explored and tested. “In addition to the criminal justice process, the police service has its own internal code of ethics and standards of professional behaviour. CI Buttress’s actions will now be subject to formal internal assessment to establish whether he may have a case to answer for gross misconduct, misconduct, or no case to answer.” View the full article
  18. West Yorkshire Police scraps traditional helmets Police helmets will be replaced by peaked caps in West Yorkshire West Yorkshire Police is getting rid of the traditional police helmet in favour of peaked caps. The force made the decision after a survey found the "overwhelming majority" of staff wanted to do away with the helmets. The "custodian" will still be worn on ceremonial occasions, like funerals and Remembrance Day parades. West Yorkshire is the second force to make the change after Thames Valley did so five years ago. Supt Keith Gilert said peaked caps had become "more appropriate" and "more in keeping" than traditional helmets. 'Cumbersome' First used by the Metropolitan Police in 1863, the "custodian" helmet was based on the spiked Pickelhaube worn by the Prussian army. Nick Smart, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, welcomed the change in headwear. "Helmets fall off heads, they're cumbersome and a lot of the time they weren't getting used," he said. "Officers in cars would chuck them on the back seat and not put them on to deal with an incident." source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-30938989 About time and a brilliant idea In my opinion. Wish we would follow suit!!
  19. The rise in rape was revealed by the quarterly crime figures published on Thursday, which show an 11% fall in overall crime levels in the 12 months to September 2014. Photograph: Christopher Thomond The number of rapes recorded by the police in England and Wales has risen by 31% in the past year to 24,043 – the highest level since for at least 10 years, according to the Office of National Statistics. The official statisticians say the increase in rapes and a 22% rise in all sexual offences reflects a greater willingness among victims to come forward to report attacks and better recording by the police. The rise in rape is revealed by the quarterly crime figures published on Thursday, which also show an 11% fall in overall crime levels in the 12 months to September 2014 compared with the previous year, according to the authoritative crime survey of England and Wales. The separate measure of police recorded crime figures show no change in the 12 months to September 2014. The 11% fall confirms a continuing downward trend in overall crime levels which are now at their lowest level since 1981. Particularly strong falls were seen in car crime and criminal damage both of which fell by 15% according to the official crime survey. ONS statisticians said the renewed focus on improving the quality of police compliance with national standards for the crime figures led to more crimes being recorded than previously. They point to findings in the crime survey, which interviews 40,000 people about their experience of crime, that there has been no significant long-term change in the rate of sexual offending as evidence that the increase in rape figures reflects better reporting and recording than a real rise in attacks. View the full article
  20. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30945505 A senior judge has set out plans to "streamline" the "inefficient, time consuming and... very expensive" justice system in England and Wales. Among Lord Justice Leveson's ideas are more use of evidence from cameras worn by police, and flexible court hours. The BBC's Clive Coleman says parts of the report could "dramatically change the criminal justice system", affecting the right to opt for trial by jury. The government said it wanted to work with judges to improve the system. It has already announced a £160m scheme to replace courts' "outdated paper-based system" with "digital courtrooms". Lord Justice Leveson, the third most senior judge in England and Wales, said the criminal justice system must expect "diminished resources for years to come" and needs to be efficient. His report, commissioned by the Lord Chief Justice, also calls for government money to fund the changes. His recommendations, which he said would not require legislation, include: more use of technology to allow "remote hearings" "tighter case management" by judges, including, in appropriate cases, the provision of timetables for evidence and speeches more "high-quality equipment" in courts to ensure footage from police body-worn cameras can be shown "flexible opening hours" in magistrates' courts to accommodate those who cannot attend during normal working hours contracts requiring "greater efficiency" from those who deliver prisoners to courts, to avoid delays Analysis By Clive Coleman, BBC legal affairs correspondent Lord Justice Leveson has made recommendations largely about technology and procedures, that don't require legislation. However, in Part 10 of his report he covers potentially radical changes - many of which have been discussed for years - that could dramatically change the criminal justice system. Such changes would be for parliament to decide, but Leveson is nudging it to look at these. One is the defendant's right to choose jury trial for offences that can be tried either in the magistrates or crown court. Many who Lord Justice Leveson consulted wanted the court rather than the defendant to have the power to decide whether trial was to be in the magistrates court or in crown court - where trials are far longer and more expensive. The right to jury trial began in the 19th Century, at a time when defendants had much less legal protection. Is it still right that a defendant can decide to have a jury trial for stealing a newspaper from a shop? Or should that now be decided by an independent judge? The judge, who previously led the inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press, said the government should make money available to meet the "inevitable cost of changing from the current systems to the more efficient ones". "The changes I have recommended are all designed to streamline the way the investigation and prosecution of crime is approached without ever losing sight of the interests of justice," he said. "Our conduct of criminal trials was designed in the 19th Century with many changes and reforms bolted on, especially over the last 30 years. "The result is that it has become inefficient, time consuming and, as a result, very expensive." I will fall of my chair if any of this actually happens. The 'reforms' they are talking about are just things that should be in place anyway. I shall enjoy court being a demented farce for years to come.
  21. Police say the number of arrests for suspected Syria-related terror offences in Britain increased sixfold last year. Officers made 165 arrests across the country for offences including terrorist financing, commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, and attending a terrorist training camp, Scotland Yard said. This compares with 25 Syria-related arrests in 2013. The number of arrests for terrorist offences of all kinds totalled 327 last year, a 32% year-on-year increase. Helen Ball, senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, said: “We have been running exceptionally high numbers of investigations, the likes of which we have not seen for many years. Several attack plots have been disrupted, of various sophistication, from individuals planning to carry out lone attacks to more complex conspiracies, the majority seemingly directed by or inspired by terrorism overseas. “The partnership between police and MI5 is very effective, and we are experiencing very strong support from the communities. We will continue with this vital work to protect and work with the UK public to combat terrorism in all its forms.” The terror threat level in the UK was raised from substantial to severe last August against a backdrop of increasing concerns over hundreds of aspiring British jihadis travelling to Syria and Iraq to learn terrorist “tradecraft”. Fears of an attack on Britain’s streets have heightened in the wake of the rise of Islamic State, the extremist group that has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria and attracted thousands of foreign jihadis to its cause, including more than 500 Britons. Last May, father-of-two Mashudur Choudhury became the first person in the UK to be convicted of terrorist offences in connection with the Syria conflict. The 31-year-old went to the Middle Eastern country with the intention of joining a terrorist training camp last October. View the full article
  22. Tricky situation to be in for a PC without a weapon to leverage the bandits. I suppose of the PC was armed it would only encourage criminals to start arming themselves with pistols?......

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