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Forums News 2009

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The Fat Cat

are getting wed!!

Just to let you know that Billy Bob and The Fat Cat are getting hitched in a year!!!!!

Thanks to Falkor for this wonderful site and anyone who puts loads of effort into it - without this site they would have never of met!!

They Will try and get photo's posted after the big day

How about that? click on either of the avatars to add your congratulations!!


on page 24, a HUGE article on Community Support Officers

The journey from where we were with community policing to where we are now with the introduction of police community support officers (PCSOs) has been remarkable and has resulted in a transformation of the public face of policing. And yet, significant controversy still attaches itself to the role of police community support officers, despite the fact they have been a key component in enabling this shift to a more citizen-focused approach to policing that, in my opinion, is better at meeting community needs and had expectations. Why is this? Fundamentally, I think it is because we have not thought seriously about what the notion of ‘community support’ really means.

select for full article
In early 2002 I was asked by Denis O’Connor, then chief constable of Surrey and Tim Godwin, deputy assistant commissioner in the Met at that time, to undertake a small piece of research to help them understand why policing interventions were not helping communities to feel safer, even though official figures suggested levels of crime had been falling consistently for several years. This initial research morphed into the National Reassurance Policing Programme and now seven years later, neighbourhood policing teams are firmly established throughout England and Wales.

Community support can be both provided and received.

As providers of community support, police intervene in different ways to improve the overall wellbeing of individuals and communities. This might be through managing crimes and criminals, but also by solving other problems of social order, such as antisocial behaviour. In so doing, officers working in neighbourhoods need to be encouraged to think about what they can do to help communities to resolve their problems for themselves.



The following PCSOs wrote in and their letters were published (taking up the entire letters page of the magazine)

PCSO Christopher Woodcock, Sussex Police

PCSO David Nimmo, Humberside Police

And PCSO Christopher Jones, West Midlands Police

Some elements of the magazine are reproduced at

So have a look, the letters page is on page 30 !!

'Deep regret' of knife attack PCSO
Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 08:49

A POLICE community support officer has revealed his deep regret after brandishing a 10-inch knife and dragging his “terrified” girlfriend across the floor.

He grabbed her arm and pulled it behind her back when a furious argument escalated, a court heard.

Lee Holmes, 23, of Coningsby Drive, Grimsby, admitted assaulting Keelie Furnell on November 4 last year.

Colette Dixon, prosecuting, told Selby magistrates that the couple were engaged at the time and were living together.

Both had been drinking while celebrating her 21st birthday, but an argument erupted at home.

Miss Furnell felt she could not get away and struck him. Holmes grabbed her and dragged her across the floor towards the living room.

He grabbed her arm and pulled it behind her back.

He stood in the doorway, holding a knife with a blade of about 10 inches.

Holmes told her: “It’s not for you. It’s for me.”

Michael Culshaw, mitigating, said the relationship was “well and truly over” and both of them had moved on. Miss Furnell was pregnant by a new boyfriend.

Holmes had been “labelled a criminal” but it was Miss Furnell who punched Holmes first, said Mr Culshaw.

Holmes admitted he “went too far” in using skills he learned as a police community support officer to restrain her. He “foolishly” picked up a knife. There had been no contact between them since December last year.

“He doesn’t want anything to do with her,” said Mr Culshaw.

“He has no feelings of affection towards her.”

The court heard Holmes had no previous convictions.

He was given 60 hours’ unpaid work and must pay £200 costs.

After the hearing, Holmes said: “I would like to apologise for any embarrassment I have caused to my family, friends and, most importantly, Humberside Police, whom I would like to thank for their continued support.

"I extend my apologies to Keelie Furnell and I wish her well with her future."

THE magistrates made it clear they hoped suspended police community support officer Lee Holmes would keep his job.

The court heard Holmes had been suspended on full pay and was facing disciplinary proceedings, which could lead to him losing his job.

Michael Culshaw, mitigating, said the case had been “disastrous” for Holmes and he had already been “hugely punished” because of the pending disciplinary hearing and because of publicity about the case.

Magistrate Ian Fithian-Franks told Holmes: “You did something very stupid in picking up this knife.”

But he added: “Had you not picked up the knife during an argument, it is likely you would have been sentenced in a different way.”

He hinted a conditional discharge would have been the penalty.

PCSOs to get new uniforms
Saturday, November 07, 2009, 10:00
14 readers have commented on this story.
THE uniforms of police community support officers in Devon and Cornwall are to be modified – to end being confused with police officers, writes WMN chief reporter Andy Greenwood.

The civilian role caused major controversy when it was introduced by former Home Secretary David Blunkett in 2002 with critics labelling them "plastic policemen" and their appointment as "policing on the cheap".

Many believed the uniforms issued to the PCSOs were deliberately close to those of front-line officers to fool the public into thinking there were more police on the streets.

After pressure from the Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, Devon and Cornwall Police has now agreed to modify PCSO uniforms, in line with national guidance.

Sergeant Steve Tovagliari, chairman of the federation in Devon and Cornwall, welcomed the change.

He said: "My view is that community support officers should not act or look like police officers. I think some police forces let that happen to give the public a perception that there are more police officers than is the fact.

"I am not against community support officers or the job they are doing – they fit well into a niche – but they are not police officers."

PCSOs will now be issued with plain blue hat bands instead of the chequered ones currently worn, which are the same as police officers. Instead of the Crown badge sported by police officers – Crown servants who swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen – PCSO hats will simply say "Community Support Officer".

They will also wear plain blue shirt epaulettes, on the sleeve rather than the shoulder, and a plain blue tie.

It follows recommendations backed by the National Policing Improvement Agency, the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers that PCSOs should have uniforms markedly different from those of sworn officers.

ACPO guidance to forces states that PCSO uniforms "must be distinct from that of a police officer".

A survey by Sgt Tovagliari also found that in 24 out of the 43 forces nationwide, police officers believed the issue was being deliberately ignored. He said: "What is happening in these areas is the recommendation is not being implemented."

Devon and Cornwall Police Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton said the changes would be implemented in the New Year. He admitted there had been public confusion over the two uniforms.

"Community support officers were brought in to do a specific job," said Mr Netherton. "It was not to be police officers or carry our serious investigations, it was to be a visible uniform presence on the streets, to listen to local communities to help solve problems in that area.

Perception or protection?


Shortly before his retirement in 2006, Sir Chris Fox, then President of ACPO, left us with the kernel of wisdom that in his opinion operational officers should soften their image in the eyes of the public by wearing less body armour. He did concede that this could lead to more injuries but his belief was that the choice of whether to wear stab vests or not should be down to the individual officers.

At the time, our own Paul McKeever, prior to becoming chairman of the Federation, described Sir Chris’s attitude as “dangerous, naïve and outdated.” Others were less polite but extremely clear in what they thought, many believing that he and other chief officers were out of touch with the increasingly dangerous world of frontline policing.

Following a flurry of letters published in Police Review, this matter appeared to have died. Recently, it seems to have been resurrected, by some image-obsessed senior officers contending that if we as a service are telling the public that our cities and counties are safe, the wearing of protective vests by operational patrol officers is “sending out a contradictory message”. One report suggests that the risk to officers of being shot or stabbed is less than that posed by heat exhaustion, neck or back injuries and that we need to “get staff away from wearing vests unnecessarily”.

Those working to encourage colleagues not to routinely wear the vests must be aware that the driving factor behind the general issue of body armour was to protect officers against an unexpected spontaneous assault. The Police Federation fought long and hard to achieve this and it only happened after the government became embarrassed when secondhand body armour was being shipped from our colleagues in America to help protect their unarmed, unprotected British counterparts.

“I think it would be of great value if these same senior officers were to ask the families of serving police officers in person whether they feel that their loved ones should wear body armour less often as it may make certain elements of the public feel a little safer?”

It is true that the public may not always like the appearance of officers wearing their personal protective equipment [PPE] but please give them some credit as they do understand the need for it and that it is to protect officers and the public they serve.


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