On the night of Sunday August 15 2015, two PCSOs were patrolling the Eastfield area and encountered Park who was in an agitated state and was verbally abusive towards them.
A short time later, they returned to Eastfield police station and were carrying out administrative duties when a concrete garden ornament was thrown through the ground floor window.
The ornament bounced off a desk into the face of one of the PCSOs, hitting her in the face and chest, breaking her glasses and causing bruising and numerous cuts to her face, neck, chest, jaw and ribs.
Park was arrested four days later and subsequently charged with assault causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage.
He pleaded not guilty to the offence but was found guilty following a three-day trial at York Crown Court where he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and a further eight months' imprisonment for an unrelated assault.
INSPECTOR ANDY SHORT, NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE said "The sentence handed out to Mr Park demonstrates how seriously the criminal justice system views deliberate violence against the police service and sends a clear message that assaulting those tasked with keeping the public safe will not be tolerated."
Police hunt drive-by egg throwers after batch of incidents in Cambridge and St Ives
PCSO Decca Riondino, of Cambridge city’s policing prevention team, has called on the public to help catch the egg-throwers after several attacks.
By Raymond Brown 29 November, 2016
A bid by police has been launched to track down drive-by egg throwers after a batch of incidents in Cambridge and St Ives.
PCSO Decca Riondino, of Cambridge city’s policing prevention team, has called on the public to help catch the egg-throwers after several attacks.
he said: “There has been recent incidents of eggs being thrown out of vehicles when moving, if you have seen this occur and/or have any additional information regarding a registration for the vehicles or a description of the persons involved this would help us in tackling this issue.”
Drive-by egg throwers have also struck in East Street, St Ives - but have been caught on CCTV.
A Cambridgeshire police officer said: “CCTV caught images of eggs being thrown from a passing car at the windows of a shop on East Street, just after midnight early on Monday morning (Novemmber 28).
“This is believed to be the second time this has occurred at this property, and investigations to identify the car involved are underway.”
Laugh away, Jeremy Clarkson, but we 'traffic wombles' play a vital role
Cuts to other emergency services mean a Highways England traffic officer like me may well be first on the scene if there’s an accident
By ANON HATO 19 November, 2016
When I am asked what I do for a living, there tends to be a blank look when I reply Highways England traffic officer. Mention the word womble, however, and people start to get the picture.
Or at least they think they do. Traffic womble is a nickname invented by dear Jeremy Clarkson (thank you, Mr Clarkson), who would rather we didn’t exist at all.
Contrary to the nickname we do not pick up litter. You will find us wielding brooms on occasion, but only to clear the carriageway of debris after accidents.
Cuts within the other emergency services are making our role increasingly important. If you are unfortunate enough to crash , we may well be the first to get to you. As long as no one is hurt and there are no accusations, we can deal with many accidents without assistance from the police, fire or ambulance service, freeing them up for other duties.
When you’ve been sat in a queue for an hour and reach the front to see our black and yellow Battenberg four-by-fours parked behind one car on the hard shoulder, you might be tempted to think there was no real reason for the tailback.
What you don’t see is that half an hour earlier there were three cars spread across the carriageway, one facing the wrong direction, another buried in the barrier. You don’t see the oil spillage that had to be cleared up and assessed before we could reopen the lane or the barrier that had to be repaired. You don’t see the fleet of police cars, fire engines and ambulances that initially attended.
You just see us, those jobsworthy wombles, making you late for that meeting. We’ve never quite shaken off that image in the 12 years since the creation of the Traffic Officer Service.
In reality our priority at such a big incident is to make the scene safe and fully reopen the road as soon as possible.
We stop traffic to clear obstructions, tow broken-down vehicles (our cars and straps can tow a fully loaded HGV), use cones and signs to close lanes and whole carriageways, and remove abandoned vehicles from the hard shoulder. You’ll often find us walking around asking how long things are going to take and trying to get vehicles moved if they don’t need to be blocking lanes.
Ask any traffic officer what they consider to be their main role, and they will say to keep the traffic flowing. We don’t close roads unless we really have to. Quite often I find myself being introduced as a traffic womble by friends and family - but I don’t really mind. You’ll even find a quite a few affectionately dotted around our outstations and control rooms.
I don’t even mind being shouted and sworn at by passing traffic. But sometimes the lack of recognition and respect for what we do is demoralising. Earlier this year a traffic officer was killed and his crewmate seriously injured when a car lost control and struck them while they were dealing with an incident on the hard shoulder. Our job can be very dangerous – we mitigate those dangers to the best of our abilities, but we cannot control every car that passes.
| Homeless John Jailed for 8 weeks for Spitting in PCSO's Face|
A well-known Keighley vagrant has been jailed for spitting in the face of a police community support officer.
By News Editor 2 Nov, 2016
'Homeless John' – real name John Graham – assaulted the PCSO when he was asked to leave the town centre.
Officers were responding to reports of persistent begging by John, 50, who is a familiar figure sat under a duvet and reading outside Bargain Booze, on Cavendish Street.
The PCSO sought medical treatment as John has Hepatitis C.
did the police not believe Stephen Port’s victims deserved justice?
Officers could have caught the gay serial killer much sooner. Some blame incompetence. I think the case was low priority.
By Deborah Orr 25 November, 2016
it is hard to decide who was the more stupid and arrogant, the serial killer Stephen Port or the police officers who investigated his various murders. Having murdered Anthony Walgate, 23, in June 2014, Port simply dumped his body outside the communal entrance to his flat and called the police himself to report an unconscious figure lying in the street. Port was eventually jailed for lying about how the body came to be there.
When a second body, that of Gabriel Kovari, 22, was found in a graveyard near Port’s flat in August 2014, no connection to Port appears to have been made. When a third body, that of Daniel Whitworth, 21, was found in the same place by the same unfortunate dog walker three weeks later, friends of the dead men began to make connections, although the police apparently did not.
Port had faked a suicide note, saying that Whitworth had killed himself out of guilt that he had accidentally killed Kovari. The police asked no handwriting expert to examine the note at the time, even after the coroner had delivered an open verdict saying she could not be satisfied about the suicide theory.
The coroner also noted that the police had failed to trace “the guy I was with last night”, who the note requested should not be blamed. She also advised the police to have items found by the body tested for DNA. This was not done until after the death of a fourth man, Jack Taylor, 25, in September 2015.
After pressure from Taylor’s family and others the police to examined the other deaths again. The bedsheet in which Kovari had been wrapped was covered in Port’s DNA. This the police had on file, of course – Port having recently been released from jail in connection with Walgate’s death, at the time when he killed Taylor.
It was not until a year after Taylor’s death, by which time Port had been charged, that the police made a public appeal for information. At no point during Port’s 15-month-long killing spree was the public warned that a serial killer might be targeting young gay men and killing them in the Barking area of east London. No one was ever given the opportunity to protect himself. Yet Port was convicted of drugging seven other men who survived, and police are now investigating 58 other unexplained deaths involving the drug GHB.
So the killer was incompetent, the police more so. It can only be assumed that in some part of himself Port wanted to be caught, and found the police fantastically unwilling to oblige him.While 17 officers, and their roles in the investigation, are now being scrutinised, it’s all far too late for these young men. Institutionalised homophobia would in all respects be a more comprehensible explanation than the “regrettable mistakes were made”.
What sort of police officer would feel no curiosity about DNA on a bedsheet found on a murdered corpse? What sort of police officer would see nothing weird about don’t-blame-the-guy-I-was-with-last-night? What sort of police officer would retain lack of curiosity when a coroner had clearly advised otherwise?
The lack of engagement in investigating these murders beggars belief. Clearly they didn’t know Port was a killer because they were not sufficiently motivated to want to know. Perhaps these victims, in their eyes, were not worthy of justice or even of interest. I see no credible explanation for this.
It is nothing new for the police to choose to uphold their own ideas of sexual morality. It is nothing new for the police to decide that some corpses deserve justice more than others. But the sheer, mulish, blatancy of this series of blunders, and the literally annihilating price that was paid for them by people who were not much more than kids: it is so vile, so upsetting. Britain, London – we cannot have a police force capable of derelictions such as this, in which young people were apparently treated by upholders of the law as expendable, people whose lives didn’t matter.
By coincidence, Port’s conviction came in the same week as the launch of a short film, Mum, calling for the decriminalisation of laws relating to prostitution. The emphasis is on female prostitution. But since Port is known to have offered payment for his first victim to spend the night with him, I can’t help thinking that the police might have arrested him more quickly if people had felt able to complain to them before Port’s behaviour became quite so appalling, without perhaps fearing that they would be harshly judged or, perhaps, prosecuted themselves.
| Cafe forced to apologise after selling 'Nazi' smoothies complete with swastika labels|
The almond milk and peanut butter smoothies nearly brought one customer to tears.
By Joshua Barrie 28 Nov, 2016
A cafe has had to apologise after selling smoothies with swastikas on the bottles.
The almond milk and peanut butter drinks were on sale for £3.95 at a London coffee shop called Nincomsoup.
Called 'Nutzy', it seems that one staff member at the Old Street Tube Station shop thought it appropriate to give the product a 'Nazi theme'.
The smoothies were removed from sale after a Jewish customer noticed the branding and complained.
The shopper told Campaign Against Antisemitism that they asked to speak to a manager at Nincomsoup. They were told that it was a pun on 'having the nuts', not in any way a pun on the word 'Nazi'.
| Essex Police chief points out poor police parking on Twitter|
A chief constable has tweeted a picture of an officer's poor parking skills and apologised for it.
By BBC NEWS 26 Nov, 2016
Stephen Kavanagh said the photo of an Essex Police van straddling two spaces in Boreham "fell below" the "higher standard" expected of the force.
One person who saw Mr Kavanagh's tweet wrote: "If this is what fills your day, boss, I'm really worried about your priorities."
He replied: "It doesn't fill my day. Apologising to the public when we get it wrong is part of policing."
Another criticised the post, saying: "Multiple stations closing, staff cut-backs in Essex and you're concentrating on parking? This is unbelievable."
However, Steve Taylor, chair of Essex Police Federation, commended Mr Kavanagh's tweet.
"This has certainly captured people's imagination, but, as the leader of our force we look to the chief constable to set the standards when it comes to expectations of how we should behave," he said.
| Policeman shouted ‘Smell my finger!’ after poking colleague up the anus in ‘office prank’|
a policeman pinned down a colleague and inserted a finger up his anus – before waving it around shouting, ‘Smell my finger,’ in an office prank, a court heard today.
By Rob Waugh 21 Nov, 2016
PC Jeremy Fowler, 40, is accused of inserting his finger into a male PCSO’s anus when the PCSO was pinned to the ground by fellow PC Mathew Davies. Fowler denies sexual assault, saying the attack was ‘banter and horseplay’.
Prosecuting, Matthew Cobb said the parade room was ‘a very busy room and sometimes quite boisterous’ as officers gathered at the end and beginning of shifts. The court was shown video of a statement by the PCSO saying, ‘Jeremy Fowler lay down across my legs and, put his hand down my trousers and inserted his finger into my anus. ‘I could hear people laughing. It was embarrassing. I felt like people were looking at me and I was thinking ‘how stupid do I look’.”
murdered woman failed by silent 999 system, says police watchdog
Kerry Power was murdered by an ex-partner after Devon and Cornwall police failed to respond to call she made.
By Press Association 22 November, 2016
The “silent solution” telephone system designed to tackle hoax calls should be reviewed following the murder of a mother by her violent ex-partner, the police watchdog has said.
Kerry Power, 36, contacted Devon and Cornwall police on 6 December in 2013 complaining that bus driver David Wilder, 44, had been stalking her.
Her family claim she was visited by an officer the following day and advised she could make a silent call to 999 if Wilder turned up and police would attend.
Days later, on 14 December, Power made a silent call to 999 at 1.11am after Wilder entered her home in Plymouth, Devon, using a key he had cut.
The call was transferred to the “silent solution” system but did not go through to Devon and Cornwall police as there was no response to commands from the automated voice system.
Wilder called the force at 9.48am and informed them he had killed Power. Her son had been sleeping upstairs as Wilder strangled her. He later admitted her murder and was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 18 years, at Taunton crown court.
An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found the force did not “fully recognise” the risks posed to Power by Wilder.
The IPCC has also made national recommendations to ensure better accountability for “silent solution” and for its effectiveness to be reviewed.
Stephanie Power, Kerry’s mother, called for better training to ensure advice about silent calls was explained properly to those who may use it.
“Although she said before she wasn’t afraid of him, she was really afraid, she was really afraid and that specific evening I think she was obviously petrified,” she told Channel 4 News.
“There’s no question about it, that she should have been a high-risk person but she wasn’t. From my point of view, the way I look at it is the police didn’t take her seriously enough.”
The report found Power, the primary carer to her then 10-year-old son, had first called Devon and Cornwall police on 28 November 2013.
She was concerned that her car had been damaged. Eight days later, she complained that Wilder – with whom she had broken up three weeks earlier – was stalking her.
|VACANCIES: sign up as a magistrate!!|
Magistrates' courts need 'younger, more diverse recruits'
MPs are calling for urgent action after figures show the majority of magistrates in England Wales are "old and white".
By The BBC 19 Oct, 2016
Of more than 17,000 sitting judges, 86% are aged 50 or over and 89% are white. One of the country's youngest magistrates has said the bench needs to be "far more representative".
A report by the Commons justice committee said there were "serious" problems with diversity as volunteer numbers were falling.
Alex Yip is working to get younger people and ethnic minorities to become magistrates and wants firms encouraged to give staff time off to volunteer. "I work with a lot of very talented people and experienced people, but the bench needs to be far more representative of the community it is serving," the 34-year-old said. Mr Yip became a magistrate in November 2009 and is now working with the Magistrates' Association to try to bring more young people into the role. He said: "It has always been surprising for people when they find out I am a magistrate." Comparing himself with his colleagues, he added: "I look like I have just come out of university."
|A U S T R A L I A|
Fake police car driver who drew on signage in pen charged with traffic offences
Woman was driving without a licence and driving a car deemed unroadworthy but markings did not fall foul of any laws
By Joshua Robertson 22 Nov, 2016
The car was white and the word “police” was spelled out in blue lettering. But everything else about the vehicle making its way through Perth traffic screamed to the real police that this was not one of their own.
The “signage” on the unregistered Hyundai, hand-drawn in blue felt pen and complete with police-like checked squares, drew officers’ attention after reported sightings of the car around the Western Australian capital on Monday met mirth online.
However, the crude markings did not fall foul of laws against impersonating police, nor indeed any other laws, a police spokesperson told the West Australian.
More relevant was the yellow sticker on the car deeming it unroadworthy and the fact the 33-year-old woman behind the wheel had no driver’s licence, according to police.
| Government u-turn on 'protecting the police' means GMP must make more cuts|
The Home Office grant to GMP has been cut again despite George Osborne saying in November there would be no cuts in police budget
By John Scheerhout 19 Oct, 2016
Greater Manchester Police must make yet more cuts worth £30m this year - partly because the government did a u-turn on a promise to spare policing budgets from the axe. The then Chancellor George Osborne bragged to MPs in November: “There will be no cuts in the police budget at all. The police protect us, and we’re going to protect the police.”
But now it has emerged the Home Office has cut the grant it awards GMP by £2.4m this year.
Because of rising costs elsewhere in the budget and ‘unavoidable pressures’ in dealing with crime, the latest accounts show GMP must find savings worth £29.6m by March and a further £37m by March 2020.
| Hero police dog killed on motorway chasing burglary suspect|
A police dog was killed on the M6 motorway this morning while chasing a suspect
By Lancashire Evening Post 8 Nov, 2016
Officers were called to an address on Southworth Road, Newton-le-Willows, at around 4am to reports of intruders at a premises.
As part of the search of the area, PD Ghost, a German Shepherd who would have been four years-old on November 19, and his handler, Constable Dave Bartley, were deployed to try and trace any offenders. Sadly, PD Ghost was found on the M6 motorway a short while later. He had died after suffering traumatic injuries after being hit by a vehicle. PD Ghost, had been a serving police dog for nearly four years, and worked with Constable Bartley on numerous jobs including one recently whilst off duty where a man was detained for theft of a car in the St Helens area. On one of their last shifts together PD Ghost and his handler, Constable Bartley, located a man who was hiding in a wooded area after a report of an incident in Norris Green and located a cash box from a taxi driver after it had been stolen from the cab. Earlier this year Constable Bartley and Ghost were called to the area around Mather Avenue after reports of an aggravated burglary. Ghost managed to track a balaclava which had been buried under the roots of a tree and as a result of the DNA found on the balaclava two men were arrested. Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “I feel desperately sorry for PD Ghost’s handler and for the whole team who worked with him. “They should be proud of the commitment Ghost gave. He was part of the police family and I have no doubt will be sorely missed.”
Call to end holding mentally ill in police cells in Wales
National Police Chiefs' Council figures showed there were 336 mental health detentions in police cells in Wales during 2015-16.
By BBC (WALES) 16 November, 2016
This dropped from 541 the previous year, but charity Mind Cymru said the "dangerous practice" should be banned. The Home Office said progress had been made but there was "more work" to do.
Welsh police forces said the number of detained cases were continuing to fall.
Currently, people detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 can be held in a hospital or police station for up to 72 hours.
The figures revealed South Wales Police detained people 192 times under section 136 in a police cell - the third highest number across all police forces in England and Wales.
This compared to Gwent with 81 and Dyfed-Powys with 53, while North Wales detained people with mental health illnesses in cells 10 times.
In England, some police forces such as Hertfordshire and Merseyside recorded no instances.
Sara Moseley, director of Mind Cymru, said a police cell was not an appropriate place for someone in mental health crisis. "When you're in a mental health crisis, you may become frustrated frightened and extremely distressed," she said.
"Your behaviour could be perceived as aggressive and threatening to others, but you desperately need support and compassion. Being held in a police cell and effectively treated like a criminal only makes things worse."
She added: "In England, police forces are showing us what is possible. If Merseyside and Hertfordshire police forces can entirely avoid detaining vulnerable people in police cells, so can any other police force area, including here in Wales." South Wales Police said its figure had fallen from 2014-15 when there were 335 instances, and the number was continuing to fall.
Alun Michael, South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "At its heart this is not a policing problem but a problem for the public service as a whole, and all too often people end up in a police station or custody cell because there is no other place of safety or treatment available at the time of crisis. He called for "even more effective joint working across agencies" to try to change the situation.
Police must open their ranks to recruits from the military, civil service and business, says Amber Rudd
Amber Rudd revealed that just eight people have been recruited from outside police ranks under the first intake of the Direct Entry scheme earlier this year, as she urged police chiefs to do more.
By Laura Hughes 16 November, 2016
She ruled out introducing a target, however. It came as the Metropolitan Police announced that its new chief constable will be a serving officer who could come from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or America as foreign candidates are allowed to apply for the role for the first time. Addressing crime commissioners and chief constables at a conference in London, she said: "You must recognise that talent does not only come from within police ranks. "It can be found elsewhere, too, in both the public and the private sector." Ms Rudd insisted the intention of the Direct Entry scheme is not to take away top jobs from existing police or to put them out of reach of eligible candidates within the forces.
But she said: "There are currently 800 superintendents in England and Wales but only eight people graduated from the first intake of Direct Entry earlier this year and five are on track to graduate next year. So we are a very long way away from a tipping point.
"These men and women bring expertise from the worlds of finance, the civil service, the military and business. Expertise that can make a difference."
Ms Rudd expressed her frustration that six people who passed a superintendent assessment centre in the summer were not offered jobs. "That is policing's loss," she said.
She ruled out imposing targets for Direct Entry recruits but warned: "I urge you to see it for what it is - an opportunity to bring in talented leaders from different sectors."
Ms Rudd added that some forces have made "significant improvements" on diversity but insisted there was still more to be done.
"For example, the proportion of women and BME (black and minority ethnic) officers at chief officer rank remains disproportionately low", she said.
Metropolitan Police sex abuse case 'failings put children at risk'
Children in London are being put at risk because of "serious failings" in the way the Met Police deals with child sexual abuse, inspectors have found.
By London Reporter 25 November, 2016
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary found 75% of cases were dealt with "inadequately" or needing improvement. It said there was an "indefensible" lack of leadership in child protection, with no single officer in charge.
The Met apologised for any failures but the home secretary described the report as "profoundly concerning". The force's assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt said the safety of youngsters was a priority but added that child protection "often involves complex social problems which cannot be solved by police alone". HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) inspectors discovered 277 of 384 cases investigated had been poorly handled. Of those, 38 were referred back to the Met because inspectors believed the children involved may still be at risk.
Information about victims and offenders was kept on "isolated" IT systems and not shared between boroughs, while some staff - including borough child sexual exploitation officers - had been given no training in child sexual exploitation. Mr Parr told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the previous mayor had set the priorities for the Met to tackle crimes such as burglary, criminal damage, theft and violence, which meant it had taken its "eye of the ball" when it came to child protection.
As a result, child protection investigations were "inconsistent" and caused issues such as a backlog of visits to registered sex offenders who were thought to be a very high risk to children.
In a statement, the Met said it already had "more than 1,300 officers" who were "dedicated to protecting vulnerable young people".
It said it had re-examined the cases highlighted by HMIC and had identified "no further harm to children and no further offenders". With regards to accusations it had focused too much on other areas of policing, the force said "children are disproportionately victims" in those crimes.
Police 'used 101 number for their own admin tasks'
A police 101 service deemed "not fit for purpose" was clogged up for an hour a day by officers doing administrative tasks, the BBC can reveal.
By Claire Jones 25 November, 2016
The 101 non-emergency number was introduced to free-up calls to 999. Internal Devon and Cornwall Police emails reveal its officers used the system to request contact numbers. Staff have since been taken off patrol to deal with the call centre backlog.
A force spokesman said "the process has ceased".
The internal messages urging staff not to abuse the system were disclosed to the BBC in a Freedom of Information request to all police forces in England.
It revealed Derbyshire Constabulary also warned its officers not to abuse the 101 facility.
Devon and Cornwall Police said the 101 number is barred from all police landlines, mobile phones and airwave terminals.
However, staff are still able to access the 101 service through their private mobile phones and landlines, "which has been actively discouraged", the force said.
Devon and Cornwall's former police and crime commissioner, Tony Hogg, said earlier this year the 101 service was not fit for purpose.
"At a time when we have been reducing some face-to-face contact though the closure of public enquiries offices, it is vital that our phone contact system is fit for purpose - it is not," he said.
"There is a lack of police management focus in this area and that needs to change."
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said: "An internal message went out eight months ago asking officers not to contact 101 for administrative tasks, this process has ceased."
Council and BID to hold talks over extra policing for Newmarket
The Business Improvement District (BID) may also recruit Town Rangers.
The moves come after the closure of Newmarket Police Station’s front desk in April which sparked concerns over officer visibility in the town.
Town councillors will discuss whether they should fund at least one PCSO when they meet this month. If they decide to go ahead, it would cost £30,000 a year per PCSO.
Cllr Rachel Hood told the News: “It has been drawn to our attention that some councils have been using PCSOs in their areas.
“So we will be evaluating on whether they could be a benefit to our residents – that, and other aspects of the community.”
Suffolk Police started the recruitment process for two PCSOs in the town recently.
A PCSO works with police officers and shares some, but not all of their powers.
The role of a PCSO is centered on four key areas: protecting and safeguarding vulnerable people, community engagement, demand management and crime reduction, including retail, rural and business crime.
They can deal with minor offences such as parking tickets, early intervention to deter offenders, house-to-house enquiries, and guarding crime scenes.
Newmarket BID is also consulting with the council on recruiting Town Rangers.
Graham Philpot, BID manager, said: “The visible police presence was a bit of a disappointment in the town, so we’re looking if there are potential solutions.
"We're looking to get Town Rangers. The idea is that they’ll be visible and present in the town centre.
"They have a dual purpose - welcoming people to the town and handing out maps, being friendly faces, and then the other side of it is to be an active deterrent for crime in uniform.
"They’ll be in the BID colours and around the town, posted at various points to engage. They’ll be going all the way from the train station to up towards the Shell garage."