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select for full details Mental health provision now so bad patients are locked up with criminals
services are now so stretched that the police are having to plug the gaps, leading to vulnerable people being treated in a "profoundly improper way"
By Martin Evans 20 April, 2017

With ambulances often unavailable, people suffering from mental health issues are often picked up by police officers and find themselves being locked up with criminals instead of being given the care they need, the report said.

Publishing his annual State of Policing report, Sir Tom Winsor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, painted a bleak picture of mental health provision in Britain today, but said it was not the police's job to pick up the pieces.

He said: "The severe problems in mental health provision in this country are not only failing those who need treatment; they also create an unacceptable strain on the police and imperil public safety."

“Until mental health is given the same priority as physical health, in resources including funding, the police will continue to play too large a role dealing with people with mental health problems.”

"In a well ordered and compassionate society we should not rely on law enforcement to support people who need medical care."

In its damning assessment of the current landscape, the HMIC report stated: "We are still finding cases of mentally ill people who have not committed any crime - spending the night in a police cell. This is because they are too vulnerable to be left alone but there is no bed for them in a healthcare facility.

"This is an unacceptable drain on police resources and it is a profoundly improper way to treat vulnerable people who need care and help, not incarceration among criminals."


select for full details Latest PCSO student recruits take part in Suffolk Police passing out parade
eight new PCSOs have been welcomed into Suffolk Police after completing their training
By Bury Free Press 27 March, 2017

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “I am very pleased to see another wave of Police Community Support Officers join the ranks in Suffolk.

The PCSOs do a great job

they work hard in the heart of our communities and are an important part of the policing family.

They develop deep roots into the localities they serve

their faces are well-known and they are trusted in their communities.

“In my role as PCC I have spoken to many PCSOs and it is obvious to me that it’s a very varied job with immense satisfaction.

I wish these new officers well in their new career.”

Anyone wanting to become a police officer can do so by visiting the Suffolk Police website


select for full details Ambulance callouts to London police custody suites double in four years
Met officers have to escort suspects to A&E departments amid shortage of specialist nurses
By Mark Townsend 2 April, 2017

The number of ambulances called out to police custody suites in London more than doubled, from 2,374 to 5,018, in the past four years, a rise that critics say exposes the shortage of nurses to assess and treat detainees.

The call-outs are a drain on resources, with two police officers required to escort suspects to hospital A&E departments, where they can be required for hours.

The Metropolitan police has found it difficult to recruit sufficient nurses for its custody suites. A recent briefing document states that, in spite of their repeated efforts, the “Met’s inability to recruit and retain sufficient numbers of custody nurses was a major concern”, with analysis showing that in March 2016 there was a 70% vacancy rate.

There have been 49 deaths in or following police custody in the Metropolitan police district since April 2002, according to a report from the London assembly’s police and crime committee released in 2014, with the treatment of mental health detainees an area of particular focus.

The Met has stated that the health and wellbeing of individuals in custody was a “key priority”.

Caroline Pidgeon, the leader of the Liberal Democratic London assembly group, and a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, who has been campaigning for more medical staff to assess and treat detainees in custody, said: “The huge increase in ambulances called out to London police stations in just four years is a clear demonstration that the Met is failing to provide adequate healthcare provision within its custody suites.

“It is an alarming situation when ambulances are routinely being called to police stations, putting additional pressures on our stretched ambulance services.

“This also means the Met are tying up the time of their own police officers, who need to escort detainees to hospital, often having to wait many hours with them at busy A&E departments.”


Commentary from Site Administrator, 13 April, 2017
    It is high time that we move away from this tired old notion that criminals need to be punished. Why should they be punished?
This is an outmoded method of dealing with a person who committed a crime. They should be held in custody, preferably for a short a time as possible, so it doesn't cost too much and if when they are released, they then commit a further crime, well even then they still don't deserve punishment, instead they should be welcomed back into custody, preferably for an even shorter time than previously, so it costs even less than the first time. When released back onto the poor old UK public again, if they commit a further crime again, well - it's to be expected.
The UK have a 'REVOLVING DOOR JUSTICE system,' it's not that good at actually providing justice for the UK public, but it is cheap and that's what counts


select for full details Prisons no longer place for punishment, ministers say
Liz Truss has introduced a new Prison and Courts Bill.
By Christopher Hope 13 April, 2017

Prisons are no longer places for punishment, ministers have said after the phrase was excluded from the first legal definition of the purpose of jails.

A new Prison and Courts Bill, proposed by Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary, tells prison governors they must protect the public, reform and rehabilitate offenders, prepare prisoners for life outside and be safe and secure.

The legislation does not place any obligation on prisons to punish offenders, reigniting the row over so-called “holiday camp” jails.

Critics suggested Ms Truss had “gone soft on crime”, but the Ministry of Justice insisted that the courts punished offenders by sending them to prison, and that no further punishment was necessary once they were locked up.

The news comes in the week that Scotland Yard warned that Britain is experiencing a surge in violent crime and the prisons inspector found that guards have “all but lost control” at a crisis-hit jail where inmates are allowed to wander around in their dressing gowns.

In recent months Britain’s jails have experienced some of the worst rioting in decades, and pictures have emerged showing inmates with drugs and alcohol in their cells and even frying steaks.


select for full details Career criminals say life behind bars is just an 'occupational hazard'
The comments come amid mounting concerns that jails are 'soft' on offenders.
By John Stevens 15 April, 2017

Prisons are now so 'soft' on offenders that career criminals no longer fear them, the Prison Officers Association has warned.

The Government recently excluded any mention of punishment from the first legal definition of the purpose of prisons which has drawn criticism from the Prison Officers Association.

Steve Gillan, general secretary of the association said that most reasonable people would expect prisons to be about punishment.

"If you take away the discipline and punishment side from the prison service, then people don't fear it as much. It just seems to be an occupational hazard,' Mr Gillan told The Daily Telegraph.

But the Justice Ministry has said that depriving people of their liberty is punishment for crime so no further punishment is needed after incarceration.

Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary, is putting a prisons mission statement into law that will 'make sure that it is crystal clear what the prison system exists to deliver'.

But the legislation that is due to gain royal assent later this month does not include any mention of an obligation on prisons to punish inmates.

The move comes despite mounting concerns that jails are 'soft' on offenders.

Last year pictures emerged of convicts at HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset enjoying steak, alcohol and drugs inside their cells.

Prisoners are routinely allowed televisions and games consoles as a reward for good behaviour.

There is also significant concern that tens of thousands of mobile phones are being smuggled into prisons every year.

At Britain's biggest and newest prison, HMP Berwyn, which opened last month, the 2,100 inmates get phones and laptops in their 'rooms', which are not even called cells.


select for full details Thugs jailed after torturing man, 25, for 12 hours, then dumping him outside in a onesie
Gang 'took law into own hands' after false claim the victim had burgled a boxing club
By THE SUN 15 April, 2017

A KIDNAP victim was tortured for 12 hours and dumped outside dressed in a onesie.

A gang stamped on the 25-year-old’s head, kicked, punched and possibly stabbed him over a false claim that he burgled a boxing club in Dudley, West Mids.

He thought he was going to die as a samurai sword was held to his throat, Wolverhampton crown court was told.

He passed out and woke up tied to a chair in the club, soaking wet and naked from the waist up.

His kidnappers later dressed him in a onesie and dumped him in Hagley, West Mids

A woman who found him wandering around in his bare feet told police: “He was just staring into space.”

Five attackers were found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment or assault at Stourbridge.

Asa Cartwright, 30; his sister Charlotte, 23; her boyfriend Jak Skeldon, 26; Ricky Green, 26; and a long-time friend of the victim, Ashley Round, 24, were jailed for terms of between three and six years.


select for full details Gun and knife crime surge in Britain as police struggle to cope with a rise in youngsters who think it’s ‘trendy’ to carry a weapon
UK's biggest police force admitted it is battling an explosion in knife and crimes
By Rebecca Camber 13 April, 2017

Knife and gun crime is rocketing as youngsters think it is ‘trendy’ to carry a weapon, police said yesterday as two students were slain within 90 minutes of each other in London.

Britain’s biggest police force admitted it is battling an explosion in knife and gun crimes committed by young people as senior officers said it had become cool to carry weapons for status or protection.

The Metropolitan Police says gun crime is up 42 per cent, and knife crime has risen by 24 per cent. The Met says the picture is similar across the UK as Britain's blue line thins due to a 'significant reduction in resources'.

'Increased demand' on its officers caused by issues like 'child protection and mental health' have also been cited as causes of the rise, reports The Telegraph.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics for 2016 reveal that knife crime has risen by 11 per cent to more than 30,000 recorded incidents, and gun crime has risen seven per cent, top 5,400 incidents.

In a stark illustration of the problem, two young men, a 20-year-old business student and a 19-year-old footballer, were knifed to death in the capital on Tuesday.

Scotland Yard published shocking statistics yesterday showing that crime levels are soaring, while detection levels are falling across every major crime group.

The figures come weeks after a watchdog said policing in England and Wales is in a ‘potentially perilous state’ as Government cuts lead to investigations being shelved, victims being let down and tens of thousands of suspects remaining at large.

In a report on effectiveness in policing, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary uncovered a range of ‘dangerous’ and ‘disturbing’ practices that have arisen out of police forces’ approach to dealing with budget cuts in excess of 20 per cent.


select for full details Someone is protecting Maddie McCann's kidnapper, detective sensationally claims
MADELEINE McCann could still be alive - but someone is protecting her kidnappers, a detective formerly involved in the case has sensationally claimed.
By Joey Millar 27 March, 2017

Retired Detective Inspector Dave Edgar ruled out Kate and Gerry McCann as suspects in the disappearance and said “someone knows” what really happened.

Mr Edgar spent three years hunting for Maddie, who disappeared from Praia Da Luz in Portugal in 2007.

He told the Mirror he believed the girl, then aged three, could still be alive and urged anyone with information to come forward.

He said: “I think that someone else apart from the perpetrator knows and that is one of the best hopes of getting to the truth, that someone comes forward and says what they know.

“They can’t keep it to themselves and research has shown they always confide in someone else.”

Mr Edgar said he believed the kidnapping, from the Ocean Club resort on May 3, 2007, could be sexually motivated - and feared, if so, the kidnapper could strike again.

He said: “If the motive was gang-related child prostitution, there might have been more than one involved.

“It’s the type of crime they cannot help themselves, certainly if it was sexually motivated.”

He ruled out the McCann parents as suspects, as well as two high-profile suspects who have both since died.

Regarding Madeleine McCann’s parents, he said: “If I found any evidence against Kate and Gerry I would have given it to the police immediately. Kate and Gerry would expect no less. But I found no shred of evidence.

“We obviously look at all factors – motive, preparation, opportunity – and there was absolutely nothing.”

and he ruled out convicted British paedophile Raymond Hewlett, who was living near the scene at the time.


select for full details Goole PCSO caught chainsaw thieves as they took drugs in their car
PCSO Katie Hart was patrolling a remote spot near Goole Canal when she spotted a suspicious looking vehicle and smelt what she believed to be drugs.
By David Spereall 17 March, 2017

After calling for back-up from PCs, two chainsaws were found in the car, which were later linked to a burglary in the nearby hamlet of Whitgift.

Four people, including the 15 year-old boy was later charged, were arrested in connection with the incident. The other three were later cautioned and the chainsaws were returned to their rightful owner.

PCSO Hart was commended for her "keen observations and diligent enquiries", and was one 33 officers to be recognised at Humberside Police's 'Making a Difference Awards' this week.

The ceremony recognised individuals who had shown bravery, selflessness and dedication, and made a positive and tangible difference to their local communities as a result.

A total of five police staff, two immigration officers and a member of the public were also awarded for their efforts.

Temporary chief constable Garry Forsyth said: "I am incredibly proud of everyone who works for Humberside Police.

"We are not very good at accepting praise as most people say, 'I was just doing my job'. Our officers do incredible work every day of the week, putting themselves in danger and going over and above to help our communities.

"I would like to say well done to everyone who has received an award."


select for full details HMP Birmingham boss replaced just months after worst UK prison riot in more than 20 years
Prison bosses also confirmed that HMP Birmingham will reopen its damaged wings later this month
By Nick McCarthy 12 April, 2017

The boss of HMP Birmingham has been replaced nearly four months after the worst UK prison riot in more than 20 years.

G4S, which operates the Winson Green prison , confirmed that Pete Small has been replaced by Richard Stedman, who was previously director of HMP Rye Hill, near Rugby.

Prison bosses also confirmed that HMP Birmingham will reopen its damaged wings later this month and reach full operational capacity with prison numbers returning to 1,450, from the current 990.

More than a third of the prison population was shipped out following the riot at the jail in December.

In what was dubbed the worst trouble since the infamous 1990 Strangeways Prison riot, it is believed more than £2 million of damage was caused.

Heroic prison officers held rampaging prisoners back who sprayed them with hoses and pelted them with missiles and paint during the 12-hour stand-off that was finally brought under control with the help of national colleagues who had been drafted in.


select for full details EX-PRISON OFFICER GIVES INSIGHT INTO LIFE BEHIND BARS AT CRAIGINCHES IN NEW BOOK

Retired prison officer Bryan Glennie spent 25 years working within the imposing Victorian walls and has recorded his memories
By Adele Merson 11 April, 2017

A new book telling the story of Aberdeen’s former jail will be published later this month – with a foreword by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Retired prison officer Bryan Glennie spent 25 years working within the imposing Victorian walls and has recorded his memories and recollections in a new book Craiginches: Life in Aberdeen’s Prison.

Bryan, who worked at the jail from 1971 to 1996, tells stories about the history of the 124-year-old facility, which was demolished in 2015. These include the prison’s only hanging, rooftop riots, botched escapes, drug smuggling and even how prisoners tried to brew their own beer in a dung heap.

But life in Craiginches had more upbeat episodes, too, with famous visitors including Princess Anne, comedian Andy Cameron and the pop star Toyah Willcox, who treated the prisoners to a one-hour live set.

Bryan, 74, was inspired to write the book because, he said, Craiginches was “much more than a holding facility for prisoners”, who also took part in a string of good causes across the North-east.

Efforts were made to rehabilitate those who wanted to be helped, which included working on a number of big projects such as when inmates were allowed out to help install walkways at the nature reserve at Burn O’Vat. Other projects included clean-ups of Balmedie Beach, efforts to help the Donmouth gain conservation status and – for two years – prisoners even had the responsibility of cleaning up Pittodrie after home games.

In the book, Bryan said: “There was too much achieved inside and outside of those prison walls to simply be discarded or condemned to the vaults of Scottish prison history.

“That was the main reason I decided to write this book.”

Bryan, who lives in Aberdeenshire, said he wanted his book to emphasise all that good work staff and prisoners contributed to the community.

Bryan said: “You can’t drive past now and see the prison and say such and such happened there.

“That’s the biggest part, I don’t think these things should be forgotten.”

Craiginches – which opened its doors back in 1890 – was emptied of all prisoners on January 10, 2014.

One of the chapters in the book details the last Scottish execution which went ahead in Craiginches on August 15, 1963.

Henry John Burnett was hanged after killing the husband of his lover with a shotgun.

The book tells how more than 200 people turned up to the jail on the day of the hanging to protest against the move and to put pressure on the authorities to stop the execution.

Another incident in the book details the time a prisoner climbed up onto the roof of the prison building in protest and rang the prison bell at 2am in the morning – to the annoyance of Torry residents nearby.


select for full details Rapist Robbie Thurston returns to prison for beating up woman with learning disabilities
Thurston, has a record of 163 crimes since 1982, including nine years locked up for raping a woman near Ipswich in 1991.
By Tom Potter 11 April, 2017

A rapist is back in jail for beating and imprisoning a woman with learning disabilities – restraining her with such force that her shoulder dislocated.

Appearing at crown court via video link from prison, Thurston was given another 40 months behind bars and banned from approaching his latest victim

He had been due to stand trial, but admitted grievous bodily harm and false imprisonment last week, having previously denied the offences – as well as two charges of rape and breaching a sexual offences prevention order.

The attack happened at property in Woodbridge on November 24.

Thurston hit his victim on the shoulders and hands, twisted her arm, dragged her to the ground and pushed her, causing her head to hit the kitchen sink.

Prosecutor Andrew Thompson said Thurston also took the woman’s house keys and mobile phone – refusing to let her leave.

“The defendant put his arms round her neck,” he added. “She was taken to a spare bedroom and held down on a bed for what she described as hours, or all night.”


select for full details Police call handler sacked over 'up to you' killer advice
A police call handler who told a killer who was threatening to take the law into his own hands that it was "entirely up to you" has been sacked.
By BBC NEWS 6 April, 2017

Derek Hancock spoke to Susan Akerman minutes before stabbing Robert Cox to death at a hostel in Bristol in 2013.

The police worker told Mr Cox's inquest that Hancock had given no indication that he would go on to do what he did.

Hancock pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility in 2014.

Described as "deluded and psychotic" in court, Hancock had repeatedly made false allegations that Mr Cox and other residents at supported accommodation at Egerton Road had made sexual advances towards him.

At Mr Cox's inquest, a jury unanimously returned an unlawful killing verdict, citing issues over delays in diagnosing Hancock's mental health issues and interactions with police as contributing factors.

On the night of Mr Cox's death, Hancock called Avon and Somerset Police three times complaining about him.

In the third, three-minute conversation, he told handler Susan Akerman that the "law is not doing anything" and he threatened to "take the law into my own hands". In response, Ms Akerman told him police would deal with it, but later said "…that's entirely up to you Derek".


select for full details Killer set off prison sprinkler system to flood his cell – then complained staff didn’t save his books
Steven Brady caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage by using a lighter to set off the fire alarm and activate the sprinkler system.
By Shona Gossip 12 April, 2017

Steven Brady caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage by using a lighter to set off the fire alarm and activate the sprinkler system.

But the murderer then wrote to court to complain that prison staff had not acted to look after his collection of 76 books, his Playstation and ten games.

The 28-year-old from Aberdeen, admitted damaging furniture and fittings in a cell at Perth Prison on January 19 by maliciously activating the sprinkler system.

Fiscal depute Carol Whyte told Perth Sheriff Court yesterday: “At 10.50am the accused was within a cell and the door was locked.

“The fire alarm panel activated and officers went into the cell and saw that the sprinkler system had been activated and the cell was flooded

“The accused was moved to another area and he admitted to staff he had used his lighter under the detector to activate the sprinkler system.

“The total damage to the cell was £436, including parts and labour.”

In a letter pleading guilty, Brady whined about the loss of his goods as a result of the flooding and said he set off the alarm because he feared for his life.

He said: “Mostly all of my personal property went missing after this event, with no explanation from staff. There was one PlayStation, ten games and 76 books costing an average of £6.99 each.

“All of this property was bought by my family. I set off the alarm as I believed my life to be in danger in the hall.”

Brady, who is serving life for murder, had a two month concurrent sentence imposed yesterday.


select for full details Innocent man reveals his five-year ordeal at hands of 'out of control' officers
Force then launched a vendetta which led to his loyal police wife being hounded out of her job
By David Rose 1 April, 2017

He pulled over and was confronted by three burly officers, yelled at and handcuffed.

He didn’t fight back. A police body-cam shown in court would later reveal him insisting that he wanted to ‘come in peace’. But that didn’t stop one officer pepper-spraying him in the face, temporarily blinding him.

It would be shocking enough to discover that Mr Gilly was charged in December 2015 with causing the policemen ‘harassment, alarm or distress’ under the Public Order Act. His ordeal only ended last week when Newcastle-under-Lyme magistrates found him not guilty and it emerged that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was investigating the use of the pepper spray.

But what makes this story truly alarming is that the case was the culmination of what would appear to be a five-year vendetta waged by Staffordshire Police against Mr Gilly, an entirely innocent man.

Such was the determination of a force that the Gillys’ MP has described as ‘out of control’ to get its man, that it even turned on the wife who stood by him.

More astonishing still, Julie Gilly was a serving Staffordshire officer. And after presenting evidence to her superiors that put her husband’s innocence beyond doubt, she was subjected to what colleagues say was a campaign of intimidation that forced her to resign.

It was no coincidence in Juan and Julie’s minds that the pepper spray incident occurred just five months after Mr Gilly was cleared of a much more serious charge pinned on him by Staffordshire Police.

Mr Gilly had spent three years on bail facing the terrifying prospect of 18 years in jail after being falsely accused of being at the centre of a vicious street battle that he had absolutely nothing to do with.

When he finally appeared in court on charges of wounding with intent and violent disorder, the judge said his alibi was the strongest he had ever seen. But despite being given full details of that alibi on the day he was arrested, the police refused to check it, prompting the judge to offer a heartfelt apology on behalf of the criminal justice system for ruining Mr Gilly’s life. Staffordshire Police have already paid a six-figure sum to settle his civil action for misfeasance in a public office, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

The motives for the campaign against the Gillys remain unknown, but this newspaper can reveal it is by no means an isolated case involving questionable methods by Staffordshire Police. Stoke South Labour MP Rob Flello isn’t the only critic to say the force is ‘out of control’. One of its own officers, former Detective Inspector Joe Anderson, whose career was ruined after he blew the whistle on corruption inside an elite Staffordshire serious crime unit, used those exact words when talking to this newspaper. He said senior officers had for years shown a systemic failure to tackle wrongdoing. Some were ‘more interested in protecting their brand than doing the right thing. This in turn has alienated the majority who do their jobs ethically’.


select for full details Rural Welsh police force set to drop different uniforms for male and female officers... to avoid upsetting transgender people
Dyfed Powys Police said several officers were not comfortable with the different dress codes enforced on male and female colleagues, adding that some traditional protocols had in fact “adversely” impacted the transgender community.
By Harry Yorke 31 March, 2017

the announcement has been branded “ludicrous” by David Davies, MP for Monmouth and a former British Transport police special constable, who accused the force of attempting to “win brownie points” by “pandering” to minority groups.

Mr Davies, who is chair of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, added: "The only major difference in uniforms now are the hats but I don't think minority groups are going to be bothered anyway about the headgear worn by men and women officers.

"It's a huge amount of work involved for no great gain."

With the policy now under review, the archetype policeman may now be a thing of the past, as beat officers consider ditching ties and cravats, hats and helmets, for a more inclusive uniform designed to “minimise gender differences”.

Defending the proposals, a spokesman said the changes would be “cost neutral” and that officers would still be permitted to wear their traditional attire, should it be desired.

The review follows a lengthy consultation with a gender identity working group, which was enlisted by the force to help make it more transgender friendly.

Among the concerns raised, the focus group said that traditional differences between uniforms had become impractical, leading to transgender officers being pushed into “non-public facing roles” or forced to “out themselves” in the workplace.

Dyfed Powys is also considering redesigning custody cells, so that inmates would also be housed in ‘gender-neutral’ facilities, and making staff toilets unisex across all sites.

It is hoped that the 18-pronged strategy, which includes training call handlers to drop gender pronouns, will improve transgender people’s experiences with the police.


select for full details Bungling prison bosses mistakenly freed burglar to strike again
Within weeks of Stoke Heath Prison releasing Joshua Roberts, 24, he targeted a property in Coedpoeth, Wrexham
By Elwyn Roberts 13 April, 2017
Bungling prison bosses accidentally freed a burglar who was up to his old tricks again within weeks.

Joshua Roberts, 24, was initially jailed in August for four and a half years for four break-ins.

However, staff at Stoke Heath Prison, Shropshire inexplicably released him on January 9 allowing him to go on to commit his 11th burglary.

today at Mold Crown Court Roberts of Bryn Hafod in Wrexham received a consecutive two-year sentence for his latest crime.

On that occasion Roberts broke into a house in Coedpoeth near Wrexham.

He stole an Audi Quattro off the drive while the owner was watching the Wales v England rugby international Saturday February 11.

When police officers saw the car on the Caia Park Estate at Wrexham, Roberts sped off – only to crash into some parked cars.

He and others fled from the vehicle but Roberts was arrested after a DNA hit on his blood found inside the burgled premises.

Judge Rhys Rowlands today told him: “You knew full well that they (Stoke Heath Prison) had made a mistake.

“The fact that the mistake was made is a matter of concern, the more so because in a short period of time you reverted to type.

“In less than three weeks you committed another burglary in someone’s home.”


select for full details New plans for Inverness prison go on public display
THE first glimpse of how the new prison planned for Inverness could look like was given this week
By Gregor White 6 April, 2017
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) released a series of artists’ impressions for the new facility which is currently planned for land close to the Inverness Shopping retail park.

A public outcry put paid to earlier plans for it to be sited close to homes in the Milton of Leys area and SPS has still to submit a formal planning application, but if it gets the go-ahead the £66 million HMP Highland will replace the current Porterfield facility in the Crown area of Inverness.

While that regularly averages around 117 inmates, despite being built for just 103, the new prison would be able to take up to 200 prisoners.

Senior architect for SPS, Gregg Perron, said: “The idea is that the new prison looks very much part of the environment it’s in and looks in a lot of ways like any other community facility. That’s important for the local community outside but also for families of prisoners and the prisoners themselves when there is such an emphasis on rehabilitation.”

A public consultation drew a low turnout at Inshes Church last week, with those in charge hoping this suggests people are largely satisfied with the latest proposals.

One man who did attend but preferred to remain anonymous said: “It seems very fancy, very modern – probably more fancy than it needs to be.”

SPS is hoping to submit a full application this summer with the prison opening towards the end of 2020 or start of 2021.


select for full details Why South & City College is backing Police drive to identify PCSO apprentices
West Midlands Police recently launched an 80-place Police Community Support Officer Apprenticeship programme
By David Whinyates 21 March, 2017
West Midlands Police recently launched an 80-place Police Community Support Officer Apprenticeship programme and is keen to encourage local people to apply for available roles.

In partnership with South & City College , Bournville College and Job Centre Plus, a course was developed exclusively to support Job Centre Plus clients with application and interview techniques to gain access to PCSO jobs and a Level 3 Customer Service Apprenticeship programme with the force.

The programme engaged with candidates via Job Centre Plus to offer them the opportunity to join a three-week pre-employment programme. Initially, more than 60 candidates attended the assessment day, of which 13 candidates were successful and invited to join the programme. On completion of the course each candidate was guaranteed a telephone interview, which was the first stage of the PCSO recruitment process.

Trainer Dawne Hay said: “Working with West Midlands Police and designing and developing training to meet their specific customised specialist training was very interesting and challenging.

“As the tutor it was extremely rewarding to work with students who were so motivated and focused.

"It sounds like a cliché saying we went on a journey together, but we really did.

"Unemployment affects our confidence and to witness meeting them at the start of the programme and comparing the changes at the end of the course, it was clear to see a dramatic improvement of their personal and vocational development.”

The focus of the PCSO pre-employment course was customer service and communication skills, which are key features of the job role.

"It was also important for the students to have an understanding of basic human behaviour, and whilst on the course, they learned how to tackle problems within the community, how to manage conflict and how to handle difficult situations.


select for full details Five dead after knife-wielding terrorist drives car into people
Eyewitnesses say a car travelled along the pavement at Westminster Bridge mowing people down before police shot a knifeman near Parliament
By Anthony Bond 3 April, 2017
Five people have died and at least 40 were injured after a knife-wielding terrorist drove a car into pedestrians before he attacked a police officer outside the Houses of Parliament.

Late tonight, Metropolitan Police updated the number of those dead to include three members of the public, the police office protecting parliament and the attacker himself.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said as many as 40 people were now injured and named the deceased officer as PC Keith Palmer, 48.

Three of the injured were police officers, two of whom were in a serious condition.

"One of those who died today was a police officer, PC Keith Palmer, a member of our parliamentary and diplomatic protection command," Mr Rowley said.

"Keith, aged 48, had 15 years service and was a husband and father.

"He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift and he had every right to expect that to happen."

Eyewitnesses earlier described how the attacker deliberately mounted the pavement with a car on Westminster Bridge before hitting more than 12 people - including three police officers returning from a commendation ceremony.

The driver then reportedly got out of his car at the Houses of Parliament where he attempted to force his way past a security check-point.

After being confronted by police he reportedly attacked an officer with a knife before he was shot a number of times.

Horrific pictures from Westminster Bridge showed a woman trapped under a red doubledecker bus and multiple people lying injured on the floor being comforted by friends and passersby.

A junior doctor who helped people at the scene described seeing "catastrophic" injuries.

As the attack took place, Theresa May was dramatically bundled from the House of Commons by police and Parliament was placed under lockdown.

The Prime Minister appeared in Downing Street tonight after a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee.

The PM condemned “the sick and depraved terrorist attack on the streets of our capital this afternoon”.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected - to the victims themselves and their family and friends, who waved their loved ones off but will not now be welcoming them home,” she said.


select for full details 'Neglect' contributed to Winchester prison inmate's death
Daryl Hargrave, who had a history of mental health problems, was found hanged in his cell in July 2015.
By BBC NEWS 8 April, 2017
He had been on remand for six days, an inquest in the city heard.

The jury found there was a failure to provide treatment for psychosis, and a decision not to put him under constant supervision also contributed to his death.

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, which manages healthcare at HMP Winchester, apologised for its failings and "the distress this process has caused the family".

It added improvements had already been made, including all mental health referrals now going to one point of contact and defibrillator training for all clinical staff.

Assistant coroner Karen Harrold said she had concerns about the risk of future deaths at the prison and felt further steps were needed.

Mr Hargrave's death was one of three self-inflicted deaths at HMP Winchester in two months during 2015.

Following an unannounced visit in 2014, inspectors described the prison as "insufficiently safe" with ineffective anti-bullying measures.

After the inquest, Mr Hargrave's mother Nicky said: "All we can ask is that lessons are learned and for the prison to get more resources and more training."

Solicitors representing the family said Mr Hargrave, from Gosport, had shown "clear symptoms" of psychosis days before his death and had told staff he had "demons in his blood, telling him to harm himself".

The jury heard he was arrested for allegedly being involved in a fight, and had been in prison for six days when he died.

His mother said he had struggled with addictions and had a history of mental health problems and self-harming.

The Ministry of Justice said the safety and welfare of people in its custody was a "top priority" but added it recognised there had been "significant failings" in Mr Hargrave's care. It added a "number of measures to better support offenders" had been put in place.


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“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep.

“If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.

“But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens?

“What do you have then?

“A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path.

“Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed. ”


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Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebowale moved from high-security prison to 'softer' Broadmoor

An Islamic extremist who murdered soldier Lee Rigby near his London barracks will be moved back to Broadmoor from jail, it has been reported.
By Fiona Simpson 5 April, 2017
Michael Adebowale, 25, has been in high-security prison HMP Wakefield since September 2015 after he and accomplice Michael Adebolajo hacked the 22-year-old fusilier to death in Woolwich in May 2013.

The pair ran down the solider, a father-of-one, with a car before launching a brutal machete attack.

Adebowale was transferred from the tough category A prison in Yorkshire to the "softer" psychiatric hospital, where it costs £250,000-a-year to house inmates, the Sun reported.

According to the newspaper, Adebowale has refused to comply with medical treatment while in Wakefield jail leaving officials no choice.

The move was reportedly passed last month and the killer made the 210-mile journey earlier this week.

His victim’s family have spoken of their outrage following his transfer to the softer establishment

Following his original move from the hospital Fusilier Rigby’s mum Lyn hailed the end of his "gentler life".

The 50-year-old, told the Sun: “I’ve said before that Adebowale deserves to be in a tough prison for what he did to my Lee.

“I get the impression this whole situation is going to yo-yo back and forth for years because the authorities clearly don’t know how to deal with him.

“I need to be reassured that the right punishment is being handed down to the man who took my son’s life.”


select for full details 'Hillsborough law' could imprison police officers who are not truthful
Bill proposed by Andy Burnham to impose duty of candour was prompted by 27-year fight for fair hearing for victims’ families
By David Conn 29 March, 2017
The 10-minute-rule bill will be introduced by Labour MP Andy Burnham on Wednesday. The public authority (accountability) bill would impose on public authorities and employees a duty to act with “transparency, candour and frankness”. Individual officials would face a fine or maximum two-year term in prison for failing to do so, including for feeding misleading information to the media.

It has been developed following the verdicts of the second inquest into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which found that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed, vindicating their families’ 27-year fight against an alleged cover-up by South Yorkshire police.

The Hillsborough law also proposes that families whose relatives have been killed or seriously injured in the care of the police or other public authority should have funding equal to those bodies for legal representation at subsequent inquests or public inquiries.

The families whose relatives died at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough had to pay for lawyers themselves, while South Yorkshire police, individual police officers, the South Yorkshire Metropolitan ambulance service, Sheffield city council and other authorities responsible were publicly funded.

The bereaved families could not all afford to pay for lawyers, and ultimately 42 agreed to pay £3,000 each, which funded solicitors and a single barrister to represent all of them at the first inquest, held in Sheffield from November 1990 to March 1991.

The South Yorkshire police case was to deny that its failings had caused the deaths, and instead to allege that the victims themselves, people who had paid to attend the semi-final and support Liverpool, were to blame for misbehaving. The verdict, of accidental death, was never accepted by the families, who campaigned relentlessly for justice before the verdict was finally quashed in December 2012.

Under Theresa May as home secretary, the government did pay for lawyers to represent the families at the new inquests, at a cost of £63.6m for highly experienced firms of solicitors and teams of senior and junior barristers to fight the case that ran from March 2014 to April 2016, the longest-ever heard by a British jury.


select for full details PCSOs Jessica Hussell and Thomas Fendall are now behind bars for giving bogus information about innocent man
A PAIR of police community support officers have been jailed for trying to frame an innocent man for attempted murder.
By Amanda Devlin 19 March, 2017
After telling Crimestoppers he was to blame, the couple then claimed to be working on behalf of Greater Manchester Police, to the DVLA.

Following this the victim had his licence revoked for two months on medical grounds.

A judge described their behaviour as “wicked”.

Hussell, 19, of, Glossop and Thomas Fendall, 26, of Denton pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice at Liverpool Crown Court.

Fendall was sentenced to 19 months jail and Hussell to 16 months in a young offenders institute.

Fendall had pleaded guilty to another count of misconduct in a public office and four counts of computer misuse relating to the GMP intelligence system.

Sergeant Lee Westhead from GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “The actions of Fendall and Hussell undermine everything that is at the heart of policing in this country.


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