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2007 NEWS ITEMS
this page shows various news items from 2007        

5th April 2007

Emma on duty

WEB EDITORIAL - webdesk@herts24.co.uk

FORMER shop worker Emma Melton has become the latest recruit to join the team of Police Community Support Officers in East Cambridgeshire.

Emma, who is just 19, will join the Soham neighbour-hood policing team.

Emma said: "I am really looking forward to getting to know all the people and issues in Soham, and hopefully I can do my bit to help make the town a great place to live and visit.

MP's police concerns

MP Greg Barker has expressed his concern at the Government's decision to "abandon" a manifesto pledge to recruit 24,000 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) by March, 2008. Mr Barker says it means Sussex Police, who had been planning for 525 extra PCSOs by next March, will have a net loss of 171 as they will have to take a share of only 16,000 PCSOs nationally.

This comes as the police levy on Council Tax across Sussex has soared by over 123 per cent since 1997 to £116 with further hikes expected this April.

Mr Barker said: "People want to see a uniformed police presence on their streets to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and to provide reassurance to their community.

"This broken promise will mean fewer Police Community Support Officers in Bexhill and Battle than previously planned, which is a serious loss at a time when violent crime is on the increase.

"There is already a feeling that towns such as Bexhill and rural areas such as Robertsbridge and Etchingham do not receive enough local policing when we are all facing ever higher council tax bills."

Mr Barker will hold a public meeting to raise local support for the new Sustainable Communities Private Members Bill in Battle, today (Friday).

The gathering will take place in Battle Memorial Hall at 6.30pm. It will feature a panel of local community leaders, including Rother District councillors Robert White and Ian Jenkins, who will outline how the draft legislation could empower local communities to draw up and implement an action plan to prevent local economic and high street decline.

An expert from the Local Works organization will also be speaking on how parts of the bill can assist local councils and communities to set up local energy schemes.

27 Mar 2007

Police 'not taking ethnic minority recruitment seriously'
: 22 Mar 2007
By: Channel 4 News

New figures reveal forces struggling to hit targets for non-whites.

Police forces have been accused of ignoring their promise to give jobs to ethnic minorities.

Sergeant Keith Jarrett, president of National Black Police Association, made the claim after new figures revealed forces were still struggling to hit recruitment targets for non-white recruits.

The statistics showed one force hired just one non-white police community support officer in four years. While the Scottish arm of the British Transport Police (BTP) has just one Asian officer among its 227-strong ranks. Sgt Jarrett, who has served in the BTP for 14 years, told Channel 4 News online: "The whole of the police service is not taking this seriously enough.

'I'm worried that in a few years we'll actually have less ethnic minority recruits than we do now.'

Sergeant Keith Jarrett

"I'm sure the chief officers want things to improve, but it's got to filter through to the police authority, human resources directors - all levels of the forces."

Last year, a 10-year Home Office target for seven per cent of police officers to be from black and ethnic minority communities by 2009 was dropped because it was deemed to be unrealistic.

It was replaced with targets aimed at ensuring new recruits reflected the racial make-up of each force area.

Sgt Jarrett said: "I think the targets that have been set are realistic and can be met. If the police are serious about this then they need to change their recruitment strategy. "It's no good simply asking people from these communities to sign up, we need to use our ethnic minority officers to go in and do this. "I'm worried that in a few years we'll actually have less ethnic minority recruits than we do now."

Source: Home Office, March 2007

Figures released by the Home Office earlier this month show Cleveland police recruited just one police community support officer from an ethnic minority between 2002 and 2006 - it has 11 ethnic minority officers from ranks of about 1,700.

Over the past 12 months Humberside police has taken on 79 new recruits - only one from an ethnic minority background.

While North Wales police has just eight non-white officers from a force of more than 1,634 - less than 0.5 per cent.

All three are among scores of forces currently missing their recruitment targets.

Last month the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) floated the idea of using affirmative action to increase ethnic minority recruits.

Peter Fahy, the chief of Cheshire and spokesman for ACPO, said it might be the only way to hit targets - although the practice is currently illegal in UK law.

Christine Twigg, deputy Chief Constable of Cumbria police - whose 1,265-strong force has just one per cent of non-white recruits, said: "We take the need to meet government targets very seriously, but more importantly we do it because it is the right thing to do.

22 Mar 2007

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Officer answers SOS from America

A man in America worried about his 81-year-old mother used the Surrey Police website to ask an officer in Claygate to go and knock on her door. Tim Tibble, in Philadelphia, could not reach his mother because her phone was constantly engaged. Neighbours who usually kept an eye on her were away. PCSO REED He found community support officer (PCSO) Jazz Reed's mobile phone number on the website and called her.

His mother was found to be safe and well - her phone line out of order.

"I would like to thank PCSO Reed for her prompt attention to a situation that could have been serious," said Mr Tibble.

PCSO Reed received the call last Thursday afternoon and was able to ring Mr Tibble back 40 minutes later at his home 3,600 miles away.

"I am pleased I could help and that his mother was safe," said PCSO Reed.

"We are here to help and this sort of job is very satisfying."

13 February 2007

CUTS IN POLICE SUPPORT OFFICERS HEAVILY CRITICISED
lewestoday.co.uk

Jason Sugarman, the Conservatives' Parliamentary Spokesman for Lewes, today expressed concern at the Government's decision to abandon a manifesto pledge to recruit 24,000 police community support officers (PCSOs) by March 2008.

He said: 'This means that in Sussex, where the police had been planning for 525 PCSOs by March 2008, there will now only be 354. The cuts in funding mean that Labour has broken its manifesto pledge to "take CSO numbers up to 24,000".

'This comes despite the police levy on council tax across Sussex soaring by 123% since 1997, with further hikes expected this April'.

30 January 2007

John Child from London graduated from KIAD Rochester in 2001 now working as a graphic designer

'DISAPPOINTED' AT FUNDING CUT

09:45 - 26 January 2007
A Funding cut, which will see Humberside Police receive less police community support officers (PCSOs) than promised, has been branded 'disappointing' by the man responsible for a national initiative to boost communities' quality of life.

The reaction was voiced by Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Kirkby, as he visited Scunthorpe yesterday.Mr Kirkby, the Association of Chief Police Officers' (ACPO) programme director of neighbourhood policing, visited the area to observe PCSOs at work.

The officers are a vital part of neighbourhood policing and spend 80 per cent of their time on patrol in communities. But a change in Home Office funding is set to reduce the number of PCSOs with Humberside Police from a planned 310 to 210.

Mr Kirkby said he was discouraged by the funding cuts. "ACPO have made their position clear. We are disappointed that the Government is investing cash from neighbourhood policing into other priorities," he said.

It has not been decided how the cut in funding will affect the number of PCSOs on duty in North Lincolnshire and the Chief Constable of Humberside Police, Tim Hollis, has lobbied the Government to change its mind.

Mr Kirkby returned to the area some 18 months after his last visit and said he had recognised how neighbourhood policing and the use of PCSOs had developed.

There are now 27 deployed across North Lincolnshire. During his visit Mr Kirkby visited Scunthorpe and Barton-Upon-Humber and observed PCSOs both training and at work. "I'm impressed with the quality of staff doing their jobs," he said. "They're making a big difference to the issues which matter to communities, like anti-social behaviour. "PCSOs and neighbourhood policing does something about the problems in communities."

Mr Kirkby visited Scunthorpe as part of a tour of stations across Humberside.

TOP COP HITS BACK AFTER FUNDING CUT
09:45 - 06 January 2007
Humberside's police chief has criticised the Government for cutting the number of community support officers.

As previously reported in the Scunthorpe Telegraph, Humberside Police Authority chairman Graham Stroud and Chief Constable Tim Hollis appealed to the Home Office, following a decision to cut funding for Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).But their pleas have fallen on deaf ears and the cuts, announced in November, mean instead of funding 332 PCSOs by March 2008, the Home Office will only pay for 210.

Chief Constable Tim Hollis said: "I am very disappointed by the decision to cut the funding. I always think of myself as a man of my word and it frustrates me when someone goes back on theirs.

"We budgeted for this funding and now our plans will have to change as we will not get it. This I have to accept and get on with the job, but it doesn't make it any easier.

"The decision has been made nationally and I don't think the implications for Humberside have been considered. The Home Office has been quick to criticise us before and we often do poorly in league tables, yet when we have the opportunity to make good something they take it away."

He said PCSOs had received a lot of support from the community and added: "I am genuinely disappointed and feel particularly let down."

Coun Stroud said: "The decision to withdraw promised funding is a severe blow to our financial plans in respect of neighbourhood policing.

"It is particularly disappointing the Government, which pledged so much to policing and continues to place neighbourhood policing as one of its top priorities, has now reneged on its own promises.

"We still believe neighbourhood policing is the way forward, but the promised funding will not be available.

"I feel the Government's stated commitment to policing is now called into question and this decision appears to prove it."

North Lincolnshire Council Humberside Police Authority representative, Glen Phillips, also spoke of his disappointment.

He said: "PCSOs make a vital contribution to policing and to have this funding withdrawn is terrible.

"The public tend to trust them more as they generally come from the area which leads to better intelligence and a better ability to fight crime.

"It is truly disappointing."

Frances Carty

Frances has been a Community Support Officer for seven months and previously worked at Peugeot as a production operative. Before that she was a Nursery Nurse.

When she is not working she likes to relax to a mixture of "RnB" and pop music but still finds the energy to work out at her gym, followed by a refreshing Jacuzzi.

She likes to visit members of her large family of 9 sisters, a brother and 30 nephews and nieces, and if there is any time left after that she supports Coventry City Sky-Blues.

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Friday, 21 September 2007
What do community support officers do?

Police chiefs have defended two community support officers (PCSOs) who were present when a boy drowned in a pond.

So how much training do PCSOs get and what are their responsibilities and duties?

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Owen, of Wigan CID, who led the investigation into 10-year-old Jordon Lyon's death, said PCSOs were not trained to deal with major incidents such as this.

So what exactly is the role of a community support officer and what training and responsibilities do they have?

An estimated 16,000 community support officers currently patrol the streets of England and Wales.

Usually identifiable by their fluorescent jackets and flat hats, they are intended to deter criminals and reassure communities by their high-visibility presence.

Their focus is on low-level crimes, but they also help regular officers at crime scenes.

Day-to-day, they might be listening to complaints about graffiti, dealing with neighbours' disputes and trying to get loitering youths to move on.

Standardised powers

They are employed by police authorities and are under the direction and control of the chief constable.

As such, each chief constable sets their training requirements and decides on their powers, as well as their uniform and the equipment they can use.

Each officer carries a document which can be presented to a member of the public, if asked, which lists their powers.

However, from 1 December that will change when a standard set of powers and duties for PCSOs is introduced by the government.

Training is provided locally. There is a national PCSO training package provided by the National Policing Improvement Agency for use by forces.

Heroic rescue

Within the Greater Manchester Police force, PCSOs receive five weeks of training.

That includes communication skills, conflict management, risk assessment, first aid, radio training, court procedures, major incidents and terrorism.

However, Det Ch Insp Owen, who investigated Jordon Lyon's death, said the support officers had not been trained in "water rescue".

A first aid training quiz that appears on the unofficial National PCSOs website asks what an officer should do if he were to see a crew member fall into a river off the back of a tugboat to sink without trace.

The answer it gives is to radio in and call the appropriate services for help.

It warns against attempting a heroic rescue in hazardous circumstances which would put an officer at risk and stop them from being able to help a casualty.

It is expected that with the new standardised set of powers, PCSOs will require more training at a greater cost.

But the Home Office stresses it does not want PCSOs, which it introduced in 2002, to be a "paler shade of police officer".

It considers them an important weapon in the drive to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The hope is that a strong PCSO unit which deals with minor nuisance crimes frees up regular police officers to concentrate on more serious crimes.

It says it does not want them to take on duties that would remove them from the streets and leave them handling the paperwork involved in many criminal cases.

However Paul Kelly, chairman of the Police Federation in Manchester, said PCSOs were not capable of dealing with emergency situations.

"We should do away with PCSOs because they are a failed experiment," he said.

21 September 2007

Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Family tribute to support officer
The parents of a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) killed in a collision in Manchester have paid tribute to their "sports mad" son.

Christopher Maclure, 21, was on patrol when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a lorry in Hindley Green. He suffered massive head injuries and died at the scene.

His parents, Pauline and Donald Maclure said: "He was a quiet lad with a wonderfully dry sense of humour. He will be greatly missed."

The lorry driver was treated for shock following the accident at the junction of Atherton Road and Leigh Road.

'Everton passion'

Mr Maclure's parents said their son, one of four brothers, was a "sports-mad type who liked any form of sport."

They added: "Until recently he played for a local football team and his biggest passion was for Everton Football Club." The 21-year-old joined GMP as a PCSO on 26 January and was stationed at Bamfurlong police station, Wigan.

He was due to marry his fiancée Kelly Ann Dale next year.

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed as Mr Maclure was on duty as a PCSO at the time of the incident.

11 September 2007

'PCSO broke my arm' claims injured cyclist
By Jonathan Bunn
19th August 2007

A MAN who claims his arm was broken in four places by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) while being restrained is considering legal action.

Victor Roseman, of Blackhorse Lane, Waltham-stow, says he has approached a solicitor and may make a criminal complaint about his treatment.

The 23-year-old was riding his bicycle at speed in Walthamstow High Street at around 4pm on Friday, July 27.

He was spotted by a police officer who Mr Roseman claims raised his arm in an attempt to stop him. Mr Roseman admits he was angry because he says he was nearly knocked off his bike and became involved in an argument with the officer, which soon escalated.

Up to 12 police officers were then called to the scene as the dispute intensified in front of a number of witnesses.

Mr Roseman said an officer handcuffed one arm but a PCSO hastily grabbed the other, striking and twisting it in order to secure it. He then fell to the ground writhing in pain.

He was then taken to Whipps Cross University Hospital, where the quadruple fracture was diagnosed. Mr Roseman said: "The officer was resting on my arm and I asked him to get off, but I realised the pressure of him was actually keeping by arm straight and when he got off I realised my arm was completely broken and hanging loose.

"The doctor told me my injury had been caused by my arm being severely twisted and suffering a blunt impact." A police spokeswoman confirmed a man became abusive after ignoring repeated requests from officers to dismount She said: "Police twice warned the male about his behaviour but he continued to be abusive in the presence of a large crowd, which included children.

"The man then became aggressive and a scuffle ensued.

"Police attempted to handcuff him due to his behaviour and he violently resisted.

"The man was then arrested for public disorder. During the incident the male sustained an injury to his left arm.

"On August 3 the man was issued with a fixed penalty notice for disorder.

Community officer stabbed on duty

A Metropolitan Police Community Support Officer has been stabbed while on duty in central London. The man, thought to be in his 30s, was attacked near Lloyds Bank in Victoria Street at 1000 BST.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said the officer had been treated in hospital for minor injuries and had since been discharged.

Police have confirmed that a man in his 30s has been arrested in connection with the stabbing.

Victoria Street was cordoned off while police with sniffer dogs carried out a search of the area.

Sniffer dogs

A large public square in front of Westminster Cathedral was also cordoned off and up to eight police vehicles, including two recovery lorries, were called to the scene.

The spokeswoman said: "At approximately 9.56am in Victoria Street outside Lloyds Bank, a male Police Community Support Officer was stabbed.

"London Ambulance Service attended. He has been taken to a central London hospital suffering from what are believed to be non life-threatening injuries."

select to see next 2007 NEWS page 'Punching the driver'

Tracey Harmer, who saw the attack, said she saw a man in his 20s walking in the middle of the road following a police van.

"The van was stationary in traffic and he caught up with the driver's side window.

"He put his arm up and the next minute he looked like he was punching the driver."

She said the man then ran off towards the cathedral with an officer in pursuit.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

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