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  1. Devices purchased under Boris Johnson were not approved for use in mainland Britain. Boris Johnson and Theresa May discussing water cannon in Parliament in 2015. Date - 19th November 2018 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle The Met Police’s three redundant water cannon have been sold for scrap – after costing taxpayers more than £300,000. The devices were bought under former Mayor of London Boris Johnson before they were approved for use in mainland Britain. Then-Home Secretary Theresa May eventually refused to give permission for their deployment. Today the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced their sale to a scrapyard for £11,025. The cash will be invested in youth services. Mr Johnson approved the purchase of the vehicles for £85,000 in 2014 from the German Federal Police, following requests from senior officers in the wake of the 2011 riots. While his deputy mayor Stephen Greenhalgh claimed the deal had to be done swiftly as there were other interested bidders, Police Oracle revealed in 2014 that was not actually the case. In addition to buying them, the extra cost of refurbishing and storing the vehicles has seen the taxpayer spend £322,000 on the devices to date. Mr Khan said: “For too long, London taxpayers have had to bear the brunt of Boris Johnson’s appalling botched water cannon deal. “This has been another waste of taxpayers’ money by Boris Johnson. Londoners continue to live with his vanity. “I am pleased we have managed to finally get rid of them and I made an election promise to Londoners that I would claw back as much of this cash as possible, and pump it into helping young people at risk of being affected by crime and giving them better life opportunities.” The water cannon, bought in June 2014 only had an expected lifespan of five years. Despite this, former deputy mayor Stephen Greenhalgh called the sale “gesture politics” on Twitter, and claimed the devices he was involved in buying should still be used if necessary. View On Police Oracle
  2. The people who are going to suffer from this are police officers and the public, says analyst. Liz Truss. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire Date - 12th November 2018 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle 4 Comments The government continues to insist that chief constables were told about imminent pension changes that the service worries could cost 10,000 officer posts. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Elizabeth Truss has repeated the claim that upcoming pension changes were announced by the government years ago. PCCs and chiefs have warned the increased pension payments from public sector employers demanded by the department could destroy financial plans and put public safety at risk. Shadow policing minister Louise Haigh, who last week called for Prime Minister Theresa May to apologise for “rank incompetence” over the issue, asked Ms Truss whether the effect of the change was communicated to police forces before September this year. Following a previous comment by Theresa May that chiefs were warned about the changes, the NPCC and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners issued a joint statement which said they had been given no guidance on costs or a timeline for when the payments had to be increased. In a written response, Elizabeth Truss said: “Budget 2016 identified expected pressures on employer contributions to public service pensions of £2 billion. “The Home Office communicated with the National Police Chiefs’ Council on the issue shortly after Budget 2016, explaining the need to consider the matter within the wider context of the imminent scheme valuation.” She added the 2018 budget also confirmed it is giving the sector more than was anticipated in 2016. Then-chancellor George Osborne’s 2016 budget speech gave no specifics about pension changes and claimed the public sector would feel the benefits from “the fiscal windfall of lower inflation”. Inflation has been rising since soon after the budget was delivered. Associated documents did say that employers "will pay higher contributions to the schemes" from the 2019/20 financial year onward, and stated this would cost the public sector as a whole £2 billion, according to the House of Commons Library. The full impact of the changes on the police service will be revealed in December when the police funding settlement is announced. Policing academic and former ACPO finance chief Dr Tim Brain told Police Oracle: “I see no reason for any optimism whatsoever. “Whoever’s fault it is, if it is going to fall on current police budgets at their current levels, the only way to fund it is through staffing cuts. “The people who are going to suffer from this are police officers and others working in the service - and the public.” View On Police Oracle
  3. Theresa May has been branded "deluded" by one of Britain's top cops after she insisted there was no direct "causation" between officer numbers and crime levels. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-branded-deluded-frontline-officers-13348052 She is so deluded it is scary,
  4. Chief also says he will write to officers who have recently left his force asking them if 'the grass is as green as you thought'. CC Giles York, right, said he has told CC Mike Cunningham, left, to work on updating the regulations. The Sussex chief has been looking at the issue for longer than his counterpart Date - 10th August 2018 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle 12 Comments An idea championed by Theresa May four years ago to "challenge old ways of thinking" in the police service, could be introduced next year. The notion that officers could take career breaks, work elsewhere and return to service at higher ranks was outlined by the then Home Secretary at the College of Policing Annual Conference in 2014. The concept was included in the College of Policing’s leadership review in 2015 but is still subject to an ongoing internal consultation. Chief Constable Giles York, NPCC workforce lead, referred to the idea during a College of Policing webchat this week, revealing that the work to amend regulations is due to be complete later this year. The Sussex chief made no reference to the previous work done on the concept. He said: “I’m beginning to see [...] people coming back. And I’ve been pushing you Mike [Cunningham, College CEO], because I think the current regulations are that you can only come back in the rank you’ve left. “I had an officer who left a couple of years ago who went to work for another organisation who’s been promoted a couple of times since. [She’s] still in touch, [and is] really positive about policing. “I’d love to bring her back in, probably at a higher rank, but at the moment I can only bring her back at the rank she left, so that’s one of the changes I’d like to see in place by the autumn – to start saying, how do we start bringing this change and churn and difference through the organisation.” A spokesman for the College clarified to Police Oracle that it aims to finish its consultation on the issue in the coming months. It will then need to be sent to the Home Office and parliament would be required to change police regulations, so is not likely to happen until next year at the earliest. The issue came up during a discussion on the number of officers leaving policing. CC York, who worked on the 2015 leadership review, said that while people are leaving, he sees “many more staying” and "some" coming back. And he added: “We’re going to start sending them postcards six weeks after they leave, saying is the grass as green as you thought? You can come back tomorrow, we’ll start you back on Monday if you like.” A pilot project to set up a major re-entry programme for ex-detectives is awaiting a Home Office funding decision, according to a College of Policing spokesman. Some other aspects of the leadership review yet to be implemented, include allowing specials to be promoted to the equivalent of regular ranks. The review was trailed as a plan to tackle major issues facing policing for the future, such as a dearth of candidates for chief officer jobs. Its recommendation that there be fewer ranks in the service appears to have been shelved after the Met abandoned a pilot. Recommendations which have been adopted include direct entry at inspector level and the ability for chiefs to designate police powers to staff members. View On Police Oracle
  5. Leaked letter from Home Office is at odds with minister's public statement. Saijd Javid told the Police Federation Conference he would back police officers Date - 16th August 2018 By - Ian Weinfass and Press Association 1 Comment Home Secretary Sajid Javid said Theresa May made the "wrong decision" when she blocked a three per cent pay rise for the police, it has emerged. The Cabinet minister apparently set his face against the "small" increase the Prime Minister favoured, despite publicly backing it. Officials outlined Mr Javid's views in a letter, apparently seen by The Daily Telegraph, in July to Downing Street. It followed Mrs May's decision to reject a recommendation by the independent Police Remuneration Review Body on officers' pay. Mr Javid wanted officers to be given a three per cent rise but was overruled and a two per cent settlement was announced instead, officials say. The Home Office letter, seen by the Conservative-supporting newspaper, states: "As you will be aware, the Police Remuneration Review Body recommended the consolidation of the one per cent non-consolidated award for police officers from 2017/18 and, following that consolidation, a two per cent consolidated increase for officers at all ranks from 1 September 2018. The Home Secretary was strongly in favour of this. "However, the Prime Minister and Chancellor have decided that officers should only be given a two per cent consolidated pay award, meaning only a small one per cent pay rise in reality. He continues to be of the view that this is the wrong decision." When the pay award was announced, a Home Office press release said that despite the recommendation of the review body, police employers advised that the maximum affordable award would be a two per cent increase. This is despite the pay review body taking representations from the NPCC into account before making its recommendation. Mr Javid, who has been widely tipped as a future Tory leader, was quoted as saying: "This award represents the highest consolidated pay award since 2010. I'll continue to fight on behalf of police to ensure they have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively." He had earlier told the Police Federation Conference he would back the service. Police Federation chairman John Apter said yesterday the he wants frank discussions with the Home Secretary about cuts and the "continuous kicking" given to the service by parts of government. View On Police Oracle
  6. Noticed on Prime minister's questions today a question was raised about police cuts and a rise in violent crime (knife crime yet again). May responded by saying there are more police actually on the frontline despite cuts? It directly contradicts what I've heard on here and in the press - lots of officers having to fill backroom roles which were previously carried out by civilian staff... Blatant lies from the PM?
  7. http://news.sky.com/video/laugh-i-nearly-dislocated-my-neck-10794659
  8. MerseyLLB

    Morale? ASNT

    Right. I have never before supported the view of morale being at rock bottom. It's been rolled out 3 or 4 times since I first joined the 'police family' in 2008 and usually it's led to derisory comments from all corners of society. I'm known as someone who is 'job pi**ed' and I am annoyingly chipper whether it be a dead early 5am start for a door knock or a 12 hour night shift enforced due to a recent outbreak of violence. Morale is inevitably low at the minute but I didn't realise quite how bad until this week. I was scrolling through Force Orders the other day whilst sat on my lunch break of a training course. I had to double take when I read one of the names listed as a resignation - it was a PC who i used to work with often as a special aligned to his response team. Rarely does reading something ever affect me physically but my stomach dropped. I initially thought either he must be ill or some kind of disciplinary. He is one of the most proactive and resilient cops I have worked with and with that comes complaints so I saw that as a distinct possibility. I dug out his number and gave him a text to offer my support with whatever trouble he'd got himself into or support he'd needed.His reply blindsided me. He is of good physiological health and he is not in any trouble; he is leaving with less than 10 years service because he has had enough. This is a copper who used to come into work and go out of his way to look on the briefing system to keep abreast of current events and to seek out those wanted offenders who fell into the 'too much effort' category for most response cops. I didn't pry any further. I didn't need to. In that moment I knew what he was talking about without asking. And that's when I realised that I too am fed up. I've been 'Ostriching'. Every time things are just about to get on top I get a small course to distract me and I take a few days leave and take a trip down south to see friends and family. But somewhere in the past 6-10 months the tone of response policing changed for me. I no longer go to work feeling like I help people. Do I serve justice, or help to serve justice? Rarely. In the main I am used as a tool by one party to get one over on their partner/ex best mate/neighbour/brother/parent/son/business partner. I make an arrest. I seize various CCTV, view it and document it before sending it for processing. I take various statements and I exhibit Body Worn Video footage which I am ordered to use even though it hinders interaction with victims and the courts have no interest in when it shows a suspect threatening to rape my [non-existent] wife and find me when I am off duty and bite my face off (though if I tell the suspect who has just broken his wife's cheekbone to shutup and stop being a knob then suddenly the footage becomes the centre of controversy). Then, predictably, a week later a victim demands a retraction statement be taken from them. No Further Action follows and everybody laughs at the police - even the victim who so 'desperately' needed us just a week before. Occasionally though I come across a member of the public who really needs and wants our help. Just recently this happened. They work long hours. Their address isn't known to us except for a burglary they were a victim of 5 years ago - which we didn't solve. They apologise for calling us out and are sure we have more important things to do. I assure them, with a dead pan face, that there is nothing more important for me to do. What has happened with this member of the public? He has returned from a night shift and as he has got out of the taxi his next door neighbour, of an ASBO/Criminal household well known to us, has proceeded to march out of the house and punch him to the ground multiple times before the victim manages to drag himself across the floor to his front door where his young daughter lets him in having heard the commotion whilst she was getting ready for school. Little does the victim know it but the offenders wife has argued with the victims wife the evening before. The offender has in all likelihood waited in his porch looking out for the victim's return from work. The victim has severe facial injuries. We can't take a statement as the ambulance are concerned that there may be a fractured cheekbone and eyesocket. I duly go next door and arrest the smug offender on suspicion on GBH. He asks to get changed and tries to pass his clothes to his wife. My colleague intercepts and seizes the clothes. The offender has no injuries on him but tries to allude to him being attacked. The offender believes I am being over the top for handcuffing him front stack...Ive seen what he can do I am not sitting in the back of a car with him uncuffed. I explain that I am not willing to discuss any of this with him whatsoever and we sit in silence on the way to the police station. The offender is booked in and immediately sees the custody nurse for some dubious reason - I don't care enough to enquire what for. My colleague attends the hospital where the victim is in the public waiting room on a metal bench (unlike the offender who has already seen a nurse, been made a coffee and given a hot meal to eat whilst lying down on a mattress). He gives a statement where he discloses a long catalogue of petty intimidation and ASB from the offenders family. This had never been reported until the day before. Door to door proved unfruitful for me and there was no CCTV. The victim in the meantime had been xrayed and there were no broken bones. Accordingly I crimed it as an ABH. He still had severe swelling all over his face and the back of his head. He had 2 black eyes and a 2-3 inch long split eyebrow. I complete a weighty handover file and ring the victim to keep him updated that I am going off duty but will be handing over the case for the offender to be interviewed. I readied him for the fact that the charge would likely be lessened to common assault because of CPS Charging Standards. The next morning I came in. Had the case been dropped to a common assault? No. Not at all. The offender had admitted hitting the victim. He claimed the victim in fact started the fight. The fact that the offender has no injuries was not addressed. The offender's reason for being in the street at the time was also unaddressed. The offender said he was sorry for the injuries that had occurred. The charging decision: NFA - no independent witnesses. It shouldn't surprise me after 7 years in the police. But these decisions still do. Everything from the perverse charging standards to the way the offender is treated better than the victim - it deeply bothers me. I am currently off of the cigarettes but that evening I bought ten and smoked them sat in my car. Pondering. Where is policing going? Do I want to be a part of the future? We have had our terms and conditions steadily eroded since the late 80s. We have had our credibility eroded to the point that without video proving what we said we are disbelieved. We are guilty until proven innocent of any complaints made against us. We receive no support from the senior ranks, there is a new 'corporate image' to be protected, regardless of the effect on morale. The media attacks us singing the same tune that the government does. Generally Joe Public can be put into two categories: those who believe the anti-police propoganda and think we are useless OR those who find us a neutered, diluted, ineffective, uber liberal shadow of the great British Police Force. I make the same money as my friend who does unskilled labouring for 7 jours a day Monday to Friday. I can no longer tell people what I do with pride and I am meant to hide who I am in case a crazed militant decides to murder me. This is not rock bottom. However for the first time I have woken up and realised we are on a steep slope down. I'm not yet going to tackle the issues of spurious complaints, targets, overbearing supervision, officer safety, stress, fatigue, resourcing, assaults, lack of respect, budgets, vehicles, ineffective policing policy or any other of the number of individual themes which are slowly grinding down the police force.
  9. Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who had been brought in for the event as freelance referee, introduced the contenders: “Please welcome the home secretary Theresa May and the chair of the Police Federation, Steve White.” There was a long pause before either appeared and some in the audience began to wonder if the two had come to blows before they had even made it to the stage. When May addressed the Police Federation last year she had been received in total silence, after calling them out as a bunch of reactionary jobsworths who had lost the trust of the public. Expectations were high for the re-match. White was certainly in no mood to forgive or forget. He has the build of a bruiser and his speech was equally combative. The home secretary had been wrong about Plebgate and wrong about everything else. The country was now a less safe place, police morale was at rock-bottom and the public would be shocked if they really knew what was going on. “It would appear that the cuts have been nothing more than a smokescreen for ideological change,” he declared. This must be the first time a chair of the Police Federation has sounded like a firebrand neo-Marxist. Certainly well to the left of any of the likely contenders for the leadership of the Labour party. And how would White’s revolution be won? With Tasers. “We have called for a greater rollout of Taser, because we know it works,” he added, giving May a glare that suggested he would be happy to give her a practical demonstration. May briefly looked up to return the compliment with a “bring it on if you think you’re hard enough” stare of her own. With a final appeal to the home secretary’s conscience, White sat down to a rather reluctant standing ovation. Related: Stop scaremongering and prepare for further cuts, Theresa May tells police Conscience is something that seldom bothers the home secretary. Nor was she in the mood to give an inch. The conference slogan had been #cutshaveconsequences but for May they don’t. The electorate had just given her free rein to do whatever she liked without any of the touchy-feely Lib Dem nonsense and she intended to spend the next five years doing just that. There were plenty more reforms and cuts to the police that were needed and the federation could choose to work with her or not. On balance, she would rather they did, but she wasn’t that bothered either way. The police had been scaremongering and crying wolf for too long, she said. Moan, moan, moan, that’s all they did. How about catching some crims instead? “I want police cars to become mobile police stations.” Presumably that will mean using the boot as a holding cell. If only the police had the same conviction rate as May; the home secretary is so sure of herself she doesn’t even notice the contradictions in her own arguments. Having gone on at length about how the police needed to become less target driven, she introduced one of her own: Crime is falling. I am right and you are wrong. You can’t fight that kind of self-belief and much to White’s dismay the audience buckled and gave her a polite round of applause. She even took a few questions from members of the Old Bill. “Please don’t talk down to us,” one pleaded. May looked confused. How else was she meant to talk to a bunch of idiots? Once or twice, she tried to appear placatory. “I will go away and think about what you’ve said,” she promised (and then forget all about it, she didn’t add). The hardest question came from Guru-Murthy. “Wasn’t the whole point about the boy who cried wolf,” he asked, “that there was a wolf and the boy died?” If looks could kill. May smiled wanly, making a mental note to sack her speech-writer. And to remind the new culture secretary to make life as difficult for Channel 4 as for the BBC. View the full article
  10. The home secretary, Theresa May, is to pledge up to £15m of new funding to provide health-based alternatives for the 4,000 people a year who spend time in detention in police cells under the Mental Health Act. In her first speech since being reappointed home secretary, May will tell the Police Federation conference on Wednesday that a new policing and sentencing bill, to be included in next week’s Queen’s speech, will include legislation to ban the use of police cells to detain any children with mental health problems. It is thought that the ban on detaining those under 18 in police cells as “places of safety” is likely to affect at least 150 children each year because of the lack of alternative NHS health facilities. The policing and sentencing bill is also expected to include a manifesto promise to introduce a new sentence based around a “sharp, short spell in custody” that will involve locking up prolific offenders in police cells “to change their behaviour”. The home secretary is to tell the Police Federation that the extra £15m in funding will save police time and ensure that vulnerable people receive the medical care and support they need. The Conservative manifesto includes a pledge to ensure proper provision of places of safety for people suffering mental health crises. The new funding is to be made available to the NHS, working in partnership with police and crime commissioners, to fund more health-based and alternative places of safety. People detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 can be held in a hospital or police station for up to 72 hours. May is to tell the Police Federation conference in Bournemouth: “Nobody wins when the police are sent to look after people suffering from mental health problems; vulnerable people don’t get the care they need and deserve, and the police can’t get on with the job they are trained to do. “Last year, over 4,000 people detained under section 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act were held in a police cell rather than in a health-based place of safety. “The government will provide the bed and the funding that is needed to stop that happening. This will mean up to £15m of new funding to deliver health-based places of safety in England and a guarantee from this government that no person with mental health problems will be detained by the police due to the lack of a suitable alternative. “The right place for a person suffering a mental health crisis is a bed, not a police cell. And the right people to look after them are medically trained professionals, not police officers.” The latest figures show that at least 21,995 people were sectioned under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, of whom at least 20% were detained in police cells. The police are estimated to spend between 20% and 40% of their time dealing with people with mental health issues. The new legislation in next week’s Queen’s speech will also ensure that police cells are only used as a place of safety for adults if the person’s behaviour is so extreme that they cannot otherwise be safely managed. The current 72-hour maximum period of detention for the purposes of a medical assessment will be reduced and the new bill will enable other places, apart from police cells and health-based alternatives, to be designated as places of safety to support vulnerable people. View the full article
  11. Police bail time limit announced by home secretary   There would be a "new presumption" to release without bail at all, Theresa May said   Time limits on police bail in England and Wales have been announced by Home Secretary Theresa May.   Under the plans, a senior police officer would have to authorise police bail for longer than 28 days and a magistrate for more than three months.   There is currently no time limit and no need for police to seek approval to get bail extended before charge.   The plan to reform the law on police bail would have to be taken forward in the next Parliament, Mrs May said. She said it was "simply not acceptable" that pre-charge bail could last "months or years".   The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said the bail system needed to be "efficient and proportionate".   Earlier this month, broadcaster Paul Gambaccini backed a limit on the use of police bail.   He told MPs how officers and prosecutors "sat" on him for 12 months before telling him he would not be charged in relation to an allegation of historical sex abuse.   It had previously been proposed that police would have to gain approval from a court for a bail extension after 28 days.   But the Home Office said under the new plans extensions could be approved by a superintendent at 28 days, although this would only be allowed up to a total of three months in exceptional circumstances.   Mrs May said alongside the measures would be a "new presumption" to release without bail at all, which she said would drive down the "inappropriate use" of pre-charge bail and ensure that suspects were released under bail conditions "only where it is necessary or proportionate".   Other plans for the production of guidance and the collection of data on the use of police bail did not need legislation and could be progressed straight away, she said.   An Acpo spokesman said: "Pre-charge bail is an essential tool in securing justice. The police have been clear that we want and need a bail system that is efficient and proportionate, both for victims and those suspected of committing crimes.
  12. An inquiry by Alexis Jay found 1,400 children were abused by gangs of men in Rotherham Senior public officials who fail to protect children would face up to five years in jail under new measures being considered by the government. Under the proposals, being unveiled by PM David Cameron, the crime of "wilful neglect" would be extended to cover children's social care and education. There would also be unlimited fines for individuals and organisations shown to have let children down. Meanwhile a retired officer said police failed victims of an Oxford abuse gang. The government's new measures are a response to child abuse scandals in Rotherham, Oxford and elsewhere. A national helpline will also be set up to enable professionals to report bad practice. Face consequences The proposals are being unveiled at a summit in Downing Street - attended by victims, survivors groups, police chiefs, council leaders, child protection experts, and health and social care providers. Mr Cameron said he hoped the plans would enable different agencies to uncover child abuse - or face the consequences. He also said he would demand that local areas work more effectively to strengthen children protection frameworks. As part of the measures, child sexual exploitation is also to be prioritised as a "national threat" by police leaders - meaning police forces, chief constables and police and crime commissioners will have a duty to collaborate with each other across boundaries to protect children. And the government is to consult on making it a criminal offence to wilfully neglect those at risk of, and victims of, child sexual abuse. This would cover social workers, education practitioners and local councillors. Britain has been rocked by a series of child sex abuse cases including in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford. An independent report found that at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham by gangs of men who were predominantly of Pakistani origin between 1997 and 2013. The report author Professor Alexis Jay said that girls as young as 11 were raped by "large numbers of male perpetrators". 'National threat' Remarking on the Rotherham scandal, Mr Cameron said: "Today I am sending an unequivocal message that professionals who fail to protect children will be held properly accountable, and council bosses who preside over such catastrophic failure will not see rewards for that failure. "It is not just about introducing new policies. It is about making sure that the professionals we charge with protecting our children - the council staff, police officers and social workers - do the jobs they are paid to do. "We owe it to our children, and to the children who survive horrific sexual abuse, to do better and ensure the mistakes of the past are never repeated again." The prime minister has commissioned Home Secretary Theresa May to lead a cross-governmental response following the revelations in Rotherham. She will attend the child protection summit along with the secretaries of state for education, communities and local government. The Department of Health has also published new guidance on the role of school nursing services in preventing child sexual exploitation. And the Department for Education will announce a new £3.8 million allocation of its Innovation Programme. £1.2m will go to Sheffield and South Yorkshire Councils to develop services for young people experiencing or at risk of child sexual exploitation. Wigan and Rochdale Councils will receive £956,000 to find alternatives to high cost and secure accommodation for victims of sexual exploitation, and to help those young people and their families. St Christopher's Fellowship will receive £1.19m to develop a home for at-risk girls, and Durham County Council will get £496k to open a new unit at their Aycliffe secure children's home. A serious case review into the Oxford abuse is due to be published on Tuesday, with police and social services expected to be severely criticised. The Guardian has reported the review will say there were more than 300 victims, and lead investigator Det Ch Insp Simon Morton told BBC Newsnight police "completely let the girls down". "There is no hiding, there is no explanation for the victims. And the review has identified many areas that the authorities were weak in," he said. View the full article
  13. Theresa May has told police forces they must further reduce the number of stop-and-searches carried out. Delivering the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust Criminal Justice Lecture, the Home Secretary reiterated her warning that if stop-and-searches are continually misused, a Conservative government “will not hesitate” to introduce legislation to curb the power.   Paul Ford, lead on stop and search for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Stop and search remains a vital part of everyday policing. Police forces are continuing to make significant progress to allay concerns and improve what is an effective tool to combat crime and provide public reassurance, which is now more challenging than ever with 17,000 less officers on the streets.   “Many communities want and need a visible police presence with street crime, possession of knives, weapons and drugs still prevalent across England and Wales. Knife and gang related crime pose a significant risk in some communities, requiring police officers to use stop and search powers proportionately.   “The Home Office and Chief Officers have a responsibility to educate the public around police stop and search powers, and how they are used to keep the public protected.   “Additional training in this area for officers would be welcome, but forces need to be allocated more resources as most have cut training budgets to cope with the significant reduction to police budgets.   “Whether to further reduce the number of stop and searches carried out or curb the power entirely should be an operational decision.” View the full article
  14. Victims should report crime online to help cut the number of 999 calls, the Home Secretary declared yesterday. Theresa May said using the internet would save police money and free up officers for frontline work. Already being tested at two forces, the scheme would cover non-emergency cases such as criminal damage and minor theft. Campaigners warned however that online reporting would further reduce face-to-face contact between police and public at a time when many local stations have closed. There are also fears it might give officers an excuse not to visit crime scenes or even ignore offences entirely. The Home Office stressed that victims of serious crimes, including rape, burglary and assault, should still dial 999. Mrs May said: ‘The growth in the internet has transformed other services – from shopping to banking – and it is right to give victims and witnesses greater choice over how they report issues to the police.’ She said the measure could cut police costs by £3.7million and free up an estimated 180,000 officer hours a year – potentially putting more bobbies on the beat. The Home Office, which is working on a prototype with the Surrey and Sussex police forces, says the scheme will go nationwide within months. Some forces already allow victims to report offences via the web but this initiative would create a one-size-fits-all system for England and Wales. Mrs May insisted victims of crimes such as burglaries and rapes should still call 999, but one force which has developed its own online service includes stalking, domestic abuse and sex offences in its system Ministers have not yet drawn up a definitive list of offences suitable for reporting online. The online crime reports would be studied by police staff who would decide how to respond. Before the 101 police number was launched – also to reduce 999 calls – research revealed that 80 per cent of emergency calls did not need an urgent response. But in just 12 months more than a million 101 callers failed to get through and many were left hanging on for more than an hour. David Green, director of the Civitas think-tank, said: ‘The problem with dealing with a screen rather than talking to a person is that it depersonalises the experience. ‘It feels like you are a crime statistic instead of asking the police to act in defence of the public. ‘At a time when confidence in the police is falling, it would be better if the police were advised to maximise their contact with the public and not to go in search of devices which mean they have as little contact as possible, even if it does save money.’ But Peter Cuthbertson, of the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank, said: ‘New measures to encourage people to report crimes are very welcome. ‘Sometimes people will feel more comfortable contacting police in this way, especially if they can do so anonymously.’ But campaigners fear the move could give police an excuse to not attend crime scenes themselves, or to ignore call-outs entirely. And Mark Castle, of the charity Victim Support, said: ‘Giving victims more choice and control over their journey through the criminal justice system is something we would of course welcome.’ Policing Minister Mike Penning said: ‘Smartphones, tablets and internet devices are opening up new opportunities for the way people contact the police and forces need to be ready.’ In the past three years, an estimated 264 police station counters have closed – one in five of the national total. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2930574/Don-t-dial-999-online-report-crime-instead-Home-Secretary-tells-victims.html#ixzz3QDT3kt9c Not entirely sure this is good advice, burglar in your house when you wake up, switch on computer, find correct site to write to Police with description of the offender, of course you must hope internet hasn`t crashed. Use Tor browser so no criminal can find out who grassed them up (Tor is very slow) Thirty minutes later a well prepared letter sent off to Police. T May I still have no confidence in you! Video on web site!

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