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A FORMER police community support officer accused of attacking a policeman’s son has been cleared.

Dec 27 2007 by Vince Gledhill, Evening Chronicle

Michael Barnes lost his job with Northumbria Police when he was charged with assault. Michael Barnes He had been accused of grabbing the 12-year-old boy by the throat, lifting him then dropping him to the ground.

Mr Barnes maintained he was the victim of mistaken identity.

Magistrates at Bedlington court found him not guilty, concluding there had been important “discrepancies” in evidence given by prosecution witnesses.

Now Mr Barnes is considering making a formal complaint about the way the case was investigated by Northumbria Police.

At the end of a two-day hearing Mr Barnes, 28, of Tangmere Close, Cramlington, said: “I am pleased that it is over. I have now to begin my life and career over again. I may now get the Independent Police Complaints Commission involved.”

Derek Walden, prosecuting, said the boy, whose father is a serving police officer, had been playing with pals near Portland Gardens in Cramlington on December 29 last year when one of his pals became suspicious about a man they could see nearby. One of the youngsters bent down and pretended to fasten his lace and watched the man in the hope that he would walk past the group.

But giving evidence over a video link, the police officer’s son said that as the man walked by them he turned and grabbed his top and lifted him off the ground before taking hold of his throat. “He squeezed my throat and I thought I was going to pass out,” the boy told magistrates.

He said that the man swore at him and warned the boy that if he came back to the area, or told his parents or police, that he would “kick my head in”. After the boy told his mother what had happened, she confronted Mr Barnes at his home, along with her son.

PC Steven Holmes told magistrates that Barnes had been identified from a series of photos shown to the boy and one of his friends. The friend was taken to Ashington Police Station for the identity process, but PC Holmes went to the home of the policeman’s son for a similar identification process.

Cross-questioned by Mark Humble, for Mr Barnes, he said that he had known that the boy’s mother was to be a witness in the case he would have asked for a different adult to be with the boy during the identification process.

Mr Barnes told the magistrates that the identification process had been “tosh” because the boys who later identified him as the attacker had both spent several minutes getting a good look at him after the alleged attack, while he spoke to the policeman’s wife in his doorway.

Dec 27 2007                view more news             view the topic on this             view the article

PCSO gives CPR whilst on patrol.
By Denise Harvey

PCSO Burt was tutoring a colleague PCSO Maynard in Broadwalk, Harlow Town Centre today at 9.45am, Friday December 21, 2007. Whilst on patrol he was alerted by a family member that a man had collapsed. Stuart attended to the man whilst instructing his colleague to call for an ambulance.

PCSO Stuart Burt said: "I placed the man on his back and saw immediately that he was very grey, I was extremely concerned as I could not find a breath or a pulse, his lips were turning blue. I thought he had already died. I started CPR on him and for about 25 seconds nothing happened and by now I was really worried for him. I gave a hard push on his chest area and the man gave an inward gasp. I can't express to you how I felt at that point, it was extremely emotional. I placed him in the recovery position until the ambulance crew arrived to take over.

Local shoppers were amazing, they also helped by protecting the mans head area by placing blankets so he was comfortable.

After the incident PCSO Stuart Burt resumed his patrols in the town.

Later in the day Harlow police switchboard operators took a call from a consultant at the resus department at Princess Alexandra Hospital stating: "How much he appreciated the officers quick actions, that the thump on the chest started the mans heart again, he would not be alive had it not been for the officers quick response to the situation."

PCSO Burt said: "I think anyone who come across a situation like that would have done the same thing, I am just glad that I was in the right place at the right time to help. I hope the man is still doing ok, I was going to visit him at the hospital but I didn't want to intrude on him and his family. I wish them all a safe and peaceful Christmas."

December 21, 2007                   view the thread

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select to see the whole photo Serving The Community-Wakefield District Awards
Wednesday, December 19, 2007.
People whose work has made Wakefield a safer place have been recognised by West Yorkshire Police in a special awards evening.

The event acknowledged the commitment of more than 30 people including police and residents who have truly excelled to benefit their communities.

Those rewarded included Police Community Support Officers, a police officer who acts as a role model for school pupils through rugby coaching and officers who dealt with a violent domestic dispute.

Worthy recipients also included officers whose actions saved lives and who helped to put facilities in place for youths in their areas.

Wakefield District Police Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Marc Callaghan hosted the evening.

He said: “It has been a great pleasure for me to recognise the fine work of both officers and members of the public who have truly excelled in their efforts to improve their communities.

“Those rewarded include both police officers, Police Community Support Officers and residents whose sense of dedication and public spirit has touched and enhanced the lives of those around them.

“Their efforts can act as a true example for us all and it is only right they are recognised.”

Some of the officers and people who were recognised for their dedication and bravery included:

PCSO Kathryn Hibbert - For determination in tackling problems of anti social behaviour in Wrenthorpe and Outwood by forming a youth centre for young people, and securing a building and funding.

PCSOs Aaron Riley and Simon Ragsdale - For performing to an extremely high standard in bringing a number of offenders to justice and building strong links with the community in the Knottingley and Ferrybridge areas.

PCSO Victoria Saul - For dedication and commitment into a complex investigation for assault which resulted in a number of arrests leading to offenders being charged and imprisoned.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007.                 view more news            view the awards thread            view the article on this

Police fury at ‘new pay snub’
Dec 20 2007 by Luke Traynor, Liverpool Echo

A DECISION to backdate a pay increase to September for police support workers, the same deal being denied police officers, will “light the blue touch paper”, Merseyside police Federation said today.

Officers within the force are furious that civilian staff have been offered the settlement they have been fighting for.

Today, the region’s federation said up to 500 Merseyside Police officers, including senior inspectors, are set to attend a mass demonstration at Parliament in London.

The backdated rise will also apply to those working as custody, forensics and police community support officers.

But Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is refusing to approve the same deal for police officers, backdating the 2.5% instead to December.

The move has led to widespread anger and even suggestions of officers striking, something which is currently illegal.

Some officers have openly discussed working to rule ideas like not policing Premiership games at Anfield and Goodison.

Ian Leyland, spokesman for Merseyside Police Federation, said: “This latest decision has intensified the anger and is the final nail in the coffin for many.

“I have been inundated with calls and text messages.”

The 2.5% pay deal was decided through the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal. It will see all police constables paid a minimum of £21,500, while those with the longest service will get £33,800.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The Police Staff Council is responsible for setting the pay of police staff including Police Community Support Officers. The Home Office does not support the Police Staff Council employer side offer.”

December 20, 2007.             view the article            view the topic

Villagers unite for security
20 December 2007

RESIDENTS in Woodbury and Woodbury Salterton can sleep soundly now that new neighbourhood watch schemes have been set up to help combat crime in the villages.

Villagers were encouraged to unite in the fight against crime by Police Community Support Officer Donna Baker after she discovered not a single watch existed in Woodbury Salterton and many parts of Woodbury were not protected.

Since highlighting her concerns earlier this year, several schemes have since been set up in the villages.

PCSO Baker said she was pleased that residents had been active in setting up their own watches and wants to encourage more residents to get involved in local schemes.

Said PCSO Baker: "Statistics tell us that neighbourhood watches improve residents' awareness and community spirit, which in turn gives rise to greater security.

"My thanks go to the volunteers who run all of our neighbourhood watches.

"This link with the police is invaluable and we hope to continue to increase the number of watches in the area and am pleased to hear from anyone who wants to get involved."

Both villages have been targeted by criminals in recent months.

Reported incidents include thefts from, and vandalism to, vehicles, both at night and during the daytime, and a number of burglaries from properties in the area.

The neighbourhood watch partnership helps make communities safer by improving communication between police and residents to create a greater sense of community.

Police advise residents on ways to reduce opportunities for crime and reduce undue fear by advising them on the real risk of potential crime in the area.

PCSO Baker is keen to hear from anyone who wants to set up a scheme and is advising homeowners to be extra vigilant ahead of the Christmas period, whether they are remaining in the village or going away.

            view the article            view the topic

Support officer is simply 'the best'
By Dee Adcock
Tuesday 4th December 2007

POLICE Community Support Officer (PCSO) Mark Wodarek-Black proved he is the first and best in Dorset by winning an award that recognises his work in Dorchester.

The Dorset Police award for the county's best PCSO also won him through to national police awards at a gala night in London.

PCSO Wodarek-Black collected his Dorset award during a presentation event in Weymouth's Pavilion. select for full story!! Afterwards he said: "I'm really delighted. It means a lot to me and it's also recognition for the good work that PCSOs do.

"We've got a particularly good team in Dorchester and I think this award is not just for me, it's for the others as well."

PCSO Wodarek-Black was the first PCSO in Dorchester, starting when the role was created nearly five years ago.

He was nominated by PC Kevin House, Dorchester's Safer Neighbourhood Team leader, and supported by Inspector Les Fry. The role demands close work with the public and also has its exciting moments including numerous arrests.

One of his most memorable was when he played a key part in the arrest of thieves who had been stealing DVDs worth hundreds of pounds.

He said: "I chased them through the town and they were dropping DVDs as they went trying to get rid of them. Fortunately they ran towards the police station and PC Craig Daniel and I managed to arrest them."

The award also paid tribute to his wide range of work with young people and other community aspects of the role.

PCSO Wodarek-Black, 33, said: "When I started, the job was very much a blank sheet and I think I've shaped that here. I hope it helps new PCSOs."

4th December 2007                view more news           view the topic!!           view the article

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19/11/2007 14:31

A British Transport Police Community Support Officer’s work to reduce anti-social behaviour has been shortlisted for Community Support Officer of the Year Award, as part of a prestigious national policing awards to be held in London.

PCSO Dan Luczak, 22, is part of the West Midlands Neighbourhood Policing Team covering the Lichfield Cross City line.

The nomination recognizes Dan's energy, enthusiasm and proactivity in tackling anti social behaviour and disorder.

The ceremony on Thursday, 22 November, is organised by Jane’s Police Review and pits Dan head to head with PCSOs from police forces from all over the country.

Birmingham based PCSO Dan Luczak said: “I’m thrilled to have been short listed and to have gone this far.

“I really enjoy my job. Everyday is a challenge and knowing that we are making a difference, and having an impact with the community we serve, makes it all worthwhile.”

Area Commander Chief Superintendent Peter McHugh, said: “Dan is a model PSCO. He is committed to the role, friendly and approachable. We are extremely proud of him and wish him all the best.”

19/11/2007 14:31                 view more news         view the topic!!            read who the winners were!!

Community Support Officer of the Year Award

(This award category was newly introduced this year to recognise personal skills in adding value to communities, local initiatives introduced and any demonstration of excellent working relationships with communities.)

23 November 2007


London, 23 November 2007 – The winners of the prestigious Jane’s Police Review Gala Awards were announced on 23 November in a glittering ceremony in London.

PCSO Andre De Jongh of Suffolk Police

PCSO Deborah Charman of Avon and Somerset Police

23 November 2007                 view more news          view the thread          view the article

leave the PCSOs alone!!
I am sick to death of turning on my television and hearing "A 59 year old grandmother had to save a man from being attacked as PCSO's stood by looking bored" or as in the tragic case of the 10 year old boy that drowned that the PCSO's just looked on. I happen to believe that for the most part what we're reading is untrue. I don't believe that any PCSO or human being worth their salt would stand by and do nothing whilst somebody's life was in danger. As a PCSO in a busy town centre, I am proud to represent the Police in my work.

Yes, there are things we are not trained to do and of course there are times when it is more appropriate to call for back up than handle something yourself. In my role I find that more often than not, I am frontline and I have been called to act fast on several occasions including being the first on scene at a suicide attempt which thankfully had a happy ending. I am so tired of the stick we get in the Federation magazine. One quote I read said "PCSO's are a bad experiment and should be scrapped". I would reply to the critics and say we are out there, we're representing the Police and for the most part doing a damned good job of deterring crime. I'm sure the elderly lady who I gave advice to last week on the safety of her purse would agree. Or the mother of the little girl lost in the shopping centre who was delivered safely back to her after I was quickly able to alert retail staff I had got her.

Since when do regular officers have time to stand and chat to members of the public? Tied up with prisoners and paperwork it is usually the PCSO that has to put the public's mind at ease. I love my job. Every day is a challenge. One day I may be at an RTC, the next on top of a Car Park. Or, as has happened so often, been the first to spot a WANTED person going about his or her day. Leave us alone. Let us do what we're trained to do, give us more training to cope with the things we're not, and who knows we may well surprise.



14 Nov 2007
11:54 pm

Post subject:
leave the PCSOs alone!!

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The Blunkett Bobbies who are manning speed traps and handing out fines
Last updated at 22:14pm on 18th November 2007

They are meant to combat antisocial behaviour and provide the local community with a reassuring presence.

So many will be rather puzzled by the sight of a police community support officer instead manning a speed trap and handing out fines.

The revelation that the so-called Blunkett Bobbies are apparently being used to tackle motoring offences has angered many rank-and-file officers.

They say the remit of police support officers, who were introduced by the then home secretary David Blunkett in 2002, is being widened by stealth.

This female officer, who was pictured working in Wilmslow, Cheshire, told a member of the public she had given 13 fines of £60 each to drivers talking on mobile phones.

She said a team of support officers were targeting motorists in an operation being co-ordinated by a police officer.

Metin Enver of the Police Federation, which represents rank-andfile officers, said: "When PCSOs were introduced they were supposed to be the eyes and ears on the street, so anything that removes them from that interaction with the public, in this case manning a roadside speed trap, would be a cause for concern for us.

This is symptomatic of a sinister creep which we are seeing occurring across all 43 of the police forces.

"The Government have allowed this grey area to exist around what roles PCSOs are actually supposed to be performing and it's allowing chief constables to deploy them in ways in which they weren't employed to."

He added: 'The chief constables are keeping an eye on each other°s forces to see how far they can push this grey area, so when one decides, "I'm going to have PCSOs manning speed cameras", they will all follow suit.'

A spokesman for the Cheshire Constabulary said the force has 74 police community support officers and a number of these are dedicated to traffic duties.

Describing the role of its police support officers, the force's website says: "Their role is non-confrontational and they provide a reassuring uniform presence in local communities."

The force's Chief Constable, Peter Fahy, said: "Our police community support officers have already created a favourable impression with the public and it is clear they want to see more of them."

18th November 2007                 view more news              view the article!              view the topic

With regard to an article that appeared in the Daily Mail on Monday the 19th November 2007 which you have replicated on your website, I would like to offer some clarification on the matter. The article is factually incorrect and the Cheshire Police have contacted the Daily Mail requesting that a factual clarification be printed in the Mail, along with an apology. If this is not done we will be forwarding the complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.

The PCSO featured in the article was supporting a Neighbourhood Policing Unit Road Safety initiative during National Road Safety Week. The PCSO did not issue any fixed penalty tickets. The initiative was an educational road safety initiative offering drivers the opportunity to view road safety videos instead of a fixed penalty ticket. Of the 80 vehicles stopped (by police officers) on this initiative, only three drivers opted for the fixed penalty ticket. These three tickets were issued by police officers. The initiative was conducted with the Fire Service who form part of the local Road Safety Partnership.

The Daily Mail had been made aware of these facts last week, prior to the publication of this article on Monday.

I would be obliged if you can address the facts on your website to ensure that reporting on this issue is factual and balanced.


Dave Murray
Assistant Press Officer
Cheshire Police
20 November 2007 11:23

Senior officers give support for PCSOs

Senior officers at Avon and Somerset Police have tonight given their whole-hearted backing to the force's Police Community Support Officers.

Assistant Chief Constable Avon and Somerset Constab Steve Mortimore spoke out after a screening of the Tonight With Trevor McDonald programme.

select to view the article! Part of this programme, entitled The Thin Blue Line, featured footage of one of their reporters on patrol with a PCSO in South Bristol.

The programme questioned the value of PCSOs and highlighted repeatedly the fact that they have no powers of arrest.

Tonight ACC Mortimore gave his unconditional support to the force's PCSOs.

He said: "We whole-heartedly support the positive work that all our PCSOs do and welcome the terrific impact that they are having in communities throughout the Avon and Somerset force area.

"The programme clearly showed our PCSOs trying to use their powers of dispersal and then quite rightly calling for police officer back up at an appropriate time.

"I am aware that the youths seen in tonight's programme probably would have acted quite differently had the television cameras not been there.

"This force fully supports the role that PCSO's perform.

"Part of the programme looked at problems experienced by the Knowle West Baptist Church.

"It should be emphasised that we are well aware of these problems and there has been a multi-agency approach towards tackling the anti-social behaviour in that area.

"As a result, anti social behaviour incidents have dropped by 50 per cent in that area.

"PCSOs and the beat manager regularly patrol that area and a dispersal order is now in place to give the police and PCSOs the power to move disruptive people on.

"Our PCSOs have a key part to play in the on-going introduction of Neighbourhood policing, to work with local communities, as was highlighted by the positive comments made by Knowle West resident Carole Cassey in the programme this evening.

"With more people like Carol, we can all work together to make our communities safer and better places to live.

"From my own personal examples on patrol, I have consistently seen and heard of examples given by local residents about the good work being done by our PCSOs and I thank them all for the unquestionable contribution they are making towards creating safer, stronger, neighbourhoods."

16/11/2007 21:43                view more news          view the topic

Blackburn PCSO up for award
By Andrew Hewitt

A POLICE community support officer who stopped a canal towpath being used as a "motorway" by children riding mini motorbikes has been nominated for a top award.

Police community support officer (PCSO) Nigel Brooke, has been shortlisted for community support officer of the year in the Jane's Police Review Gala Awards.

The PCSO for Mill Hill and Lower Darwen, Blackburn, was nominated by Lancashire police bosses for his work to prevent youngsters racing each other along the towpath of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal.

ON BEAT: PCSO Nigel Brooke PCSO Brooke has also helped in police and DVLA schemes to drive untaxed vehicles off the streets of his patch.

The Jane's Police Review awards recognise the work of beat bobbies who are not attached to high profile units.

The judging panel includes some of the country's most senior police figures.

PCSO Brooke, who joined the force 15-years-ago as a traffic warden, is among five officers from Lancashire Police who have been nominated for awards.

In December 2005 he wrote to British Waterways asking for sections of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal towpath to be blocked.

The move came after officers received reports youngsters were racing each other on mini-motos reaching speeds of up to 40mph.

Lancashire Police's chief constable, Steve Finnigan said: "It was his persistence in the face of apathy that impressed the force.

"Not only does Nigel work full time with the police but he also works for local voluntary groups and charities for the elderly and recently received a chief constable's commendation.

"Nigel has built up strong relationships with the local community and is held in high regard by colleagues."

Mr Brooke, who became a PCSO in 2003, is a familiar face to people living on his beat and covers at least 60 miles a week cycling around the Mill Hill and Lower Darwen area.

Friday 9th November 2007                view more news            view the topic            view the article

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