select for full details HELP FOR HEROES
Help for Heroes (H4H) was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry who were moved to ‘do their bit’ after a visit to Selly Oak Hospital in 2007. The first task, suggested by General Sir Richard Dannatt (then Chief of the General Staff) was to fund a swimming pool at Headley Court (the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre near Epsom in Surrey). Because of legal restrictions it wasn’t possible to channel the money raised through existing Service charities for a capital building project so a new charity had to be established. Help for Heroes was launched on 1 October 2007.

The message: “it’s not about the rights and wrongs of war, we just want to support those who serve our country and are injured in doing so” caught the public‘s imagination and became a focus for a huge ‘demonstration by donation’, as the public showed their support for the Armed Forces. Very quickly it became clear that the scale of the injuries being sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan needed a comprehensive and long term response, and the British public wanted to support us in this effort.

select for full details BEHIND THE HEADLINES: PCCs under scrutiny after Gwent's chief constable, Carmel Napier retires
9:39am Tuesday 18th June 2013 South Wales Argus
The forced retirement of Carmel Napier exclusively revealed by the Argus last week has triggered a debate on whether the power of PCCs should be curtailed. Now a Home Office committee led by MP Keith Vaz will investigate the matter. DAVID DEANS, SOPHIE BROWNSON and NATALIE CROCKETT report.

A GROUP of MPs will investigate the powers of elected police and crime commissioners in the wake of the forced retirement of Gwent’s top police officer.

Instructions given to former chief constable Carmel Napier by the area’s PCC Ian Johnston to retire or be removed has sparked much debate over whether England and Wales’ PCCs have too much power.

Now, Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz, has launched an inquiry which will look at the role and its effectiveness following the row.

He told a national newspaper Mrs Napier’s dismissal was a “symptom of the fundamental problems that appear to be experienced between some PCCs and their chief constables.

He said the committee warned about such issues a year before the elections last November and suggested an agreement be drawn up between police and crime commissioners and chief constables to ensure everyone knew their rights and responsibilities.

Wayne David, Caerphilly MP and shadow justice minister, says a Labour government would hold a review into the controversial posts which would see them scrapped or the law changed.

It comes after Mrs Napier said the government should look into whether the legislation on PCCs protects the independence of operational policing in England and Wales.

Last Tuesday the Argus exclusively reported that Mrs Napier had been forced out by the region’s PCC Ian Johnston. Mr Johnston defended his position, saying the relationship between him and Mrs Napier had irrevocably broken down, and that she did not support the role of the PCC.

The departure also came after a very public spat between the pair in the Argus over whether crime in Gwent was being properly recorded.

Our story caused a storm in the Welsh media and political scene, with calls from Gwent Labour MPs for Ian Johnston to be held to account.

Mr David said the problems in Gwent come from the “inherent weakness in the legislation” on the separation of commissioners from operational policing that had been pointed out by Labour as it passed the House of Commons.

“The legislation says that PCCs are not supposed to be involved in operational matters.

They are concerned with the budget and the strategic direction of policing,” he said.

However he claimed that leaked documents obtained by the Argus seemed to suggest Mr Johnston asked Mrs Napier to retire because he was not happy with operational matters

select for full details Lollipop Lady Who Shielded Children Praised
A girl remains in intensive care after an out-of-control car ploughs into children and a lollipop lady at a school crossing
SKY NEWS 21 June 2013
The family of a lollipop lady have praised her bravery after she reportedly shielded children from an out-of-control car.

Karin Williams suffered several broken bones in the crash outside Rhws Primary School in the village of Rhoose, near Barry.

The 50-year-old is being treated at University Hospital of Wales (UHW), Cardiff, where a schoolgirl remains in intensive care and three other youngsters have been treated for their injuries.

Mrs Williams' husband Lyndon told WalesOnline: "We are so proud of her and what she did ... we love her so much.

"She cannot remember too much about the crash at the minute but all she keeps asking about is the children.

select for full details Posted on 20/06/2013 by Sam Chapman
Congratulations are due today to Bob Jones, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, for outsmarting the Home Secretary on the politics of PCCs. Mr Jones, or some clever member of staff, has spotted that, while the Government went to a great deal of trouble to ensure that PCCs could not have employment contracts with people who were politically active, it conspicuously failed to ban PCCs from having service contracts with them.

As revealed by Fiona Hamilton in today’s Times, a Freedom of Information request from your favourite PCC blog at TopOfTheCops has established that what looked like a recruitment campaign earlier this year for “Assistant Commissioners” and non-executive members of a “Strategic Policing Board” was, technically speaking, not a recruitment campaign, but a procurement exercise in drag. The folk appointed are not Assistant Commissioners, or Board Members. They hold no employment or office. They are contractors providing a service, who can be dispensed with at a month’s notice, and who have no employment rights.

So what?

Well, Mr Jones, who was a Labour Councillor when elected, and who appointed a Labour Councillor as his Deputy, used the ‘recruitment campaign’ to appoint, wouldn’t you know it, 3 Labour Councillors (Faye Abbott, Judy Foster and Mohammed Nazir) to the, I guess technically non-existent, positions of Assistant Commissioners, giving them each £22,500 per year on top of their Council allowances for the two and a half days a week they spend ‘delivering a service’.

Some crumbs fell from the banqueting table for other parties too - £7,500 each for Lib Dem Councillor Ernie Hendricks, Conservative Councillor Tim Sawdon, former Independent PCC Candidate Cath Hannon and businessman Brendan Connor – all as non-executive members of the Board, but actually on service contracts.

Now, you all know the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 as well as I do, and I’m sure that when you were going through Schedule 16 of that Act and got to section 200, you noticed that any PCC employee who isn’t the Deputy PCC is automatically in a politically restricted post. So, Councillors cannot be employed by a PCC – but it turns out they can work for him, as long as they don’t count as employed.

So – general smug feelings all round in the West Midlands then? Well, maybe not. This sort of thing does not come about without certain complications….

1) Everybody else who works for the PCC is politically restricted. Everyone else. That includes the Chief Executive, of course, but also the office cleaner if the PCC employs them. It is just about the most all-encompassing political restriction I’ve ever seen. Even Civil Servants are allowed to be involved in local politics, and in local government the restrictions are themselves restricted depending on the nature and seniority of the post, but all PCC employees are politically restricted. Which is why this law always looked a bit dodgy. It is overbroad. It shows no proportionality or consideration of degree or purpose. In its effort to be whiter than white the issue of those workers’ entitlements under Human Rights law is ignored and so the law could easily be subject to challenge. But how much more is this likely when, thanks to Mr Jones, it can be shown that someone else recruited like an employee, referred to in terms similar to an employee, and working like an employee, can through this ruse retain their active involvement in politics? This loophole undermines any Human Rights defence of just about any political restriction – as it becomes impossible to show the restriction is ‘necessary’ or ‘reasonable’ when they manage perfectly well without it in Birmingham.

2) Councillors around the country take note – here is a way to employ your political mates on decent rates without those pesky rules getting in the way. Think of what you could do – this could make politics popular again!

3) Except there are those other rules – procurement rules. Did these appointments that aren’t really appointments meet the rules that cover the award of contracts?

4) Contracts for service have previously raised their ugly heads because they allow folk to earn money in an, ahem, ‘tax efficient’ way. Are Mr Jones’s contractors paying personal income tax rates on these earnings, or perhaps less?

5) People who are not employees cannot be disciplined. They can’t be prosecuted for malfeasance in a public office because they don’t have an office. There is no established fair procedure to tease out what really happened in any given problem, and they lack the protection of employment law, which could make them overly agreeable to the PCC if their income depends entirely on his good humour.

If Mr Jones has put a nail in the coffin of the concept of political restriction, there will be few people happier than TopOfTheCops. I note that a number of potential and actual candidates at the PCC election faced life-changing barriers to standing due to the political restriction rules. I favour registration of employees’ political affiliations, not the current pretense that they don’t have any.

select for full details Police commissioner to set up new ‘institute’ at the University of Northampton
by John Harrrison Published on the 20 June 2013
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds is to reveal plans to create a new Police, Crime and Justice Institute at the University of Northampton.
Mr Simmonds will address the Police Strategy Forum today, a body that brings together chief constables and PCCs from across the country.

In his speech, Mr Simmonds will say: “A key element to delivering in better ways is to firmly root everything we do in an evidence base.

“In Northamptonshire, to help to achieve this, I have commissioned, with the University of Northampton, a new Police, Crime and Justice Institute.

“The Institute is to be situated at the University and will provide the independence and academic rigour to evaluation projects and programmes of work to ensure that we only do what is evidenced work as a principle.

“Things that we prove do not work will be stopped. The Institute will also link better public insight and engagement with vocational training for the police.

“The Institute will drive innovation and evidence based practice, bringing the best national and international evidence to Northamptonshire.

“I intend the Institute to become a major national and international player, researching key topics and developing thinking beyond the boundaries of Northamptonshire.”

He added: “Practically, this will be launched before the end of my first year in office.”

Mr Simmonds also touched upon his plans to integrate “blue light services”, by bringing together police, fire and potentially ambulance services.

select for full details By James Cartledge 20 Jun 2013 17:00
Brum crimefighting chief: 'Let's put bobbies out of stations and back on beat'
Crime commissioner wants fewer stations and more officers out in community
Birmingham's crimefighting chief has signalled a major move away from local police stations – concentrating instead on officers placed in the community.

West Midlands police and crime commissioner Bob Jones said his priority amid large funding cuts was keeping officers on the beat.

In a bold online blog, Mr Jones wrote: “Buildings don’t catch criminals – that’s what police officers do.”

Last month, it emerged that the future of every police station in the region was under review.

Now Mr Jones has unveiled a clear strategy to move away from neighbourhood stations – instead embedding officers in shared offices, possibly owned by councils.

He highlighted how the West Midlands had lost £126 million in the last four years. The force has already shed around 2,200 jobs.

And Mr Jones said he faced a simple decision between spending money on bricks and mortar or officers.

He said: “Managing cuts on this scale poses a particular challenge because policing is all about people. “Eighty-five per cent of the budget goes on pay and benefits for officers and staff.

“Falling numbers of police officers and staff create the risk of a new ‘tipping point’, where crime starts to rise after two decades of decline.

“So, if 85 per cent of my budget goes on officers and staff, I must focus on that other 15 per cent – the part of the budget that goes on things other than people.”

He added: “No police station ever caught a criminal. An office in a police base can’t prevent a crime. Only police officers, and the staff who support them, can do these things.”

select for full details Internet trolls will escape prosecution if they apologise, say new guidelines released today
'High threshold' placed on Twitter and Facebook comments before prosecution
Heather Saul Thursday 20 June 2013
New guidelines for social media will ensure that Twitter and Facebook users who post offensive messages online must pass a “high threshold” before facing prosecution, and could avoid prosecution altogether by apologising.

Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions has published guidelines for prosecutors who are taking on cases involving communications sent via social media.

The guidelines are being implemented to address the “potential chilling effect” that the high number of prosecutions in cases where a communication might be considered grossly offensive, said Mr Starmer.

Social media ‘trolls’ have become an online phenomenon, and usually post offensive, upsetting and inflammatory comments on networks such as Twitter and Facebook, where their posts may be seen publicly.

Now, under the new guidelines, prosecutions could be rendered unnecessary if the person who has posted the offensive post “has expressed genuine remorse” or has taken “swift and effective action” to “remove the communication in question or otherwise block access to it”. A prosecution could also be avoided if the communication “was not intended for a wide audience, nor was the obvious consequence of sending the communication”.

The guidelines, published on Thursday, seek to make the distinction between communications that should be prosecuted, such as those that amount to a credible threat of violence, a targeted campaign of harassment against an individual or which breach court orders, and those communications which may be considered grossly offensive, to which the high threshold must apply.

Additionally, prosecutors must recognise the right to “freedom of expression” and only proceed with a prosecution when a communication is “more than offensive, shocking or disturbing, even if distasteful or painful to those subjected to it”.

Former Care Quality Commission boss revealed as cover-up conspirator
By Tariq Tahir Thursday 20 Jun 2013 4:39 pm
The former head of the healthcare watchdog is among those linked to an attempt to cover-up its own failings after a spate of baby deaths.
Former Care Quality Commission chief executive Cynthia Bower was named as being present during a discussion centred on deleting an internal review that heavily criticised the regulator’s inspections of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, where a number of mothers and babies died.

Her deputy Jill Finney and media manager Anna Jefferson were both also present when the deletion was discussed, a CQC spokesman said.

All were referred to in the report with the title ‘Mr’ despite them being women with ‘Mr G’ revealed to be Ms Finney.

She is alleged to have said ‘read my lips’ when ordering the deletion of the report.

When Ms Finney was interviewed by the authors of the latest report, she told them that Ms Jefferson, who is a current employee at the regulator, said: ‘Are you kidding me? This can never be in a public domain nor subject to FoI (a Freedom of Information request)!’

When the report into the review’s suppression was published yesterday, the names of those involved had been redacted, and the CQC said it had chosen to remove the names following legal advice.

But after receiving fresh advice, the watchdog decided to publish the names, a spokesman said.

Speaking earlier this week, CQC chairman David Prior described the scandal as a ‘shocking state of affairs’, telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: ‘I’m desperately sorry that this happened.

‘There’s an old saying the fish rots from the head. The board and the senior executive were totally dysfunctional.’

Health minister Earl Howe earlier told the House of Lords the CQC had been challenged over its decision to withhold the names in a report into the scandal released yesterday.

He said: ‘My understanding is that the CQC will later today publish the names of certain individuals currrently anonymised in the report.’

The independent report found that a senior manager ordered the review to be destroyed because it was ‘potentially damaging to the CQC’s reputation’.

It was widely criticised for withholding the name of the manager who made the order, claiming it did not publish it because doing so could breach the Data Protection Act.

Earlier, Lord Macdonald of River Glaven had suggested that officials at the CQC might have committed misconduct in a public office.

An MP has already asked the Metropolitan police to look at whether and offence was committed.

Lord Macdonald, a former director of public prosecutions, took the call for justice a stage further.

He told The Times: ‘If officials had deliberately suppressed failings from the public, that must raise the question as to what criminal offences were being committed by that conduct.

‘If we are talking about a health institution where competence can be a matter of life or death, it is particularly important that regulators can be trusted to investigate and expose serious failings.’

The CQC was widely criticised for withholding the name of the manager who made the order, claiming it did not publish it because doing so could breach the Data Protection Act.

But the data watchdog warned against hiding behind the Act to keep information out of the public domain.

Suffolk: European criminals still allowed to hide history of offences upon entering UK, one year on
select for full details Matt Stott Tuesday, June 18, 2013 5:14 PM
Serious criminals, including rapists, can still enter the UK from EU countries without police and border officials being told of their convictions – one year after we exposed the loophole.
Politicians in the region had vowed to look into the issue, which emerged following two separate cases where rapists from Lithuania had moved to Suffolk.

Their criminal pasts were only revealed when they committed further offences in the county – albeit of a less serious nature – and police carried out background checks. They were then made subject of court orders.

But now the EADT can reveal no meaningful progress has been made in stopping similar cases, although MEPs and MPs have vowed to fight on to end the problem.

Last night, one MEP said the way information was shared should be a “critical part” of the debate when the UK renegotiates its relationship with the EU.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore described the situation as “unacceptable and deeply concerning”, insisting young and vulnerable people were at risk.

“It is perfectly reasonable to expect the criminal history of people entering our country to flag up when they cross our borders,” he said.

“People of a predatory nature are not going to come here and tell everyone they have committed crimes in the past – there is clear risk here to young and vulnerable people.

“It is also damaging to our judiciary system. Judges will not know the full history on these people when passing sentences.

“Our borders need to kept safe and secure and we need to seek reassurances that they are. Swift action is needed.”

In July last year the EADT reported how officers were hunting convicted Lithuanian rapist Gintautas Lipkinas after he fled while on bail for an unrelated offence.

His conviction emerged when the 21-year-old, of St Matthew’s Street, Ipswich, was due to appear before the town’s magistrates for an application to put him on the sex offenders’ register.

It was the second time in 2012 that a rapist from another European country was discovered to be living in Suffolk unbeknown to police, until they were arrested for other matters.

In February last year, an order was made to ensure Juozas Kancauskas, of Fore Hamlet, Ipswich, signed the sex offenders’ register following the discovery of his conviction for rape in Hamburg, Germany, in May 2006.

Neither man was compelled to inform the police of their convictions when they entered the UK, as other countries do not have such strict controls over sex offenders.

The situation has led to East of England MEP Vicky Ford and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer pushing for action to close the loophole and bring in uniformity across Europe in relation to keeping track of rapists and others convicted of sex crimes.

Vicky Ford, Conservative MEP for the East of England, said: “People would expect if you had been convicted of serious crimes in the past in one country that they would flash up and be an issue when you crossed the border in to the UK.

“They need to come to light when they cross the border. Why doesn’t it flag up?

“It flags up when British sex offenders leave the UK and when they return.

“There is a lot we can do to improve our information sharing with other countries and this will be a critical part of the debate about reforming and renegotiating our relationship with the European Union.”

select for full details Hospital death cover-up culprits WILL be named: Government vows to end secrecy over who deleted evidence about unit where 16 babies died

By Eleanor Harding, Sophie Borland, Tamara Cohen and Matt Chorley PUBLISHED: 23:24, 19 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:46, 20 June 2013
Health bosses who covered up failings at a hospital where up to 16 babies died through neglect will be officially named today.

The government announced it was over-turning legal advice which said the culprits could not be publicly identified because of data protection laws.

The Care Quality Commission will name 'certain individuals' whose identities were concealed in a damning report yesterday which showed how officials deleted evidence of a botched investigation into failures at Morecambe Bay.

However, two health bosses at the heart of the cover-up over a hospital where up to 16 babies died through neglect can be named today.

Cynthia Bower, former chief executive of the Care Quality Commission, and her deputy Jill Finney were ‘round the table’ when the decision was taken to delete evidence of a botched CQC inspection.

In a move that prompted fury, the names of those responsible for the cover-up at the health regulator were redacted from a damning report published yesterday.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt condemned the secrecy and demanded the names be published – insisting there should be ‘no anonymity and no hiding place’ for the officials involved.

The new chairman of the CQC, David Prior, had insisted he could not reveal the identities of those responsible because of the Data Protection Act.

But he was forced into a humiliating climbdown after the Information Commissioner’s Office, which is in charge of data protection, rubbished his position.

It said there was no reason why the law should mean people cannot be ‘held to account’.

This bungling quango is a health risk to all
By Daily Mail Comment PUBLISHED: 00:17, 20 June 2013 | UPDATED: 00:17, 20 June 2013
The more we learn of its incompetence, secrecy and deceit, the longer the charge sheet grows against the quango entrusted with safeguarding standards of healthcare in England.
On its website, the Care Quality Commission declares: ‘We make sure hospitals, care homes, dental and GP surgeries, and all other care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care…’

To which thousands whose loved ones have suffered appalling neglect and cruelty will answer: ‘No, you don’t.’

This is the body that failed to spot blatant danger signs at a string of hospitals and care homes, from Colchester in Essex to Winterbourne View in Gloucestershire.

Now Morecambe Bay, where 16 babies and two mothers are thought to have died needlessly, must be added to the list of NHS death-traps it pronounced ‘safe’.

One explanation of this serial incompetence stands out. Incredibly, the quango has recruited its inspectors from the fire service and police, with no understanding of hospitals.

This is all in the name of ‘independence’ – for which, read ‘ignorance’. (How disturbing that MPs want a similarly inappropriate regulator for the Press, excluding anyone with experience of the industry.)

Then there are the cover-ups. In its mission statement, the CQC claims: ‘Throughout everything we do, we always have an open and accessible culture.’

How does this square with the devastating evidence of an official, who was ordered by a senior manager to destroy his review of the watchdog’s failings in Morecambe Bay?

Disgracefully, the quango still won’t name the guilty, concocting a cock-and-bull story about the Data Protection Act.

Indeed, it is only through this paper’s investigations that we are able to identify two of them today.

One of three people arrested over the alleged leaking of expenses claims by Cumbria's police and crime commissioner (PCC) will face no criminal action.
BBC NEWS 23 May 2013
The 47-year-old man, who works for Cumbria Police, was arrested in April after PCC Richard Rhodes used a chauffeur-driven car costing £700.

select for full story Another male police worker, 59, who was interviewed by detectives but not arrested, will also not face charges.

A woman staff member and a man who does not work for the force remain on bail.

Mr Rhodes, a Conservative, has already apologised for using taxpayers' money and has repaid the cash.

Cumbria Police said the cleared men were no longer suspended and would return to work shortly.

Meanwhile Mr Rhodes has been asked for more information about his expenses by the Home Affairs Committee.

He was asked to appear before the committee to give evidence, but said he was unable to do so for personal reasons

select for full story PCSO Kat Stock is currently working with Rudheath High School and Riverside Organic Farm to keep young teenagers who are at risk of offending out of trouble and off the streets.
26 May 2013 Winsford Guardian
They will be undertaking day to day farming activities including building fences and mucking out animals.

Kat said: “We are working very hard to give these youths something to look forward to and some legitimate work experience to help them in the future.”

I have been receiving numerous complaints about parking on and around Ways Green in Winsford, much of which had double yellow lines. This includes the very sharp corner of Weaver Street which has double yellow lines. I would ask any local residents and visitors to the area not to park on these lines. Even popping into the shop could land you with a hefty £30 fine.

The construction site down Ways Green is also causing numerous issues with large vehicles using the small roads.

I have been working with the roads liaison officer, local council and local residents to try to come to some resolution.

The main haul of dirt which needed to be removed from the site has now been completed and this should alleviate the problem

A report from MPs has criticised Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick for his "disruptive and costly" action to suspend Chief Constable Neil Rhodes.
select for full story 23 May 2013 BBC NEWS
The report also condemns the failure of the county's Police and Crime Panel (PCP) to meet for two months because of "incompetent" legal advice.

The document has been published by the House of Commons' Home Affairs Committee.

Mr Hardwick has declined to comment.

The chairman of the PCP, Ray Wootten, announced on 16 May he was stepping down from the role.

'Serious error'

The report - a register of PCCs' interests - highlights the lack of scrutiny in the role of some PCCs, including Mr Hardwick.

It described the suspension of Chief Constable Neil Rhodes by Mr Hardwick as potentially "disruptive and costly and damaging to the reputation of the police force".

Mr Rhodes returned to work after a successful judicial appeal in March, after being suspended in February.

The report adds: "The decision was overturned at judicial review by Mr Justice Stuart Smith who noted 'serious error' by the PCC."

Speaking about the suspension, Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, said: "It's a pretty good example, in our view, of what shouldn't happen."

Following Mr Hardwick's suspension of Mr Rhodes, the PCP waited two months before meeting.

According to the report, Mr Wootten cited legal advice from East Lindsay District Council as the reason for the decision.

'Get a grip'

"We could not believe the testimony, I'm afraid, that was given to us - and has been proved to have been inaccurate - that a lawyer sitting in East Lindsey District Council had said 'don't hold a meeting, don't let the public in and don't discuss it with the public'," said Mr Vaz.

"Frankly, this is all about the public," he said.

In a statement, East Lindsey District Council said: "The panel has explained that it was not desirable to hold a meeting to discuss the suspension of the temporary chief constable, whilst various legal and HR issues were still under investigation.

A POLICE Community Support Officer convicted of assault after a drunken nightclub brawl has been sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid work.
select for full story 24 May 2013 North West Evening Mail
PCSO Lorna Brookes, of Settle Street, Millom, was also ordered to pay £50 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £400 in court costs within 28 days.

The 26-year-old also received a six-month ban from the Reflections nightclub in St George’s Terrace, where the attack took place.

Presiding magistrate Catherine Alexander, sentencing Brookes at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday, said: “The community can expect better behaviour from a PCSO.”

Brookes stood trial on May 7 and was found guilty of grabbing Caroline Leonard, causing bruising to her arm, during an altercation between two groups of women after midnight on February 17.

During the trial, the court heard Brookes had been “significantly impaired” after drinking six vodkas and two or three bottle of beer before the incident.

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said at the sentencing: “The bench were satisfied that Brookes grabbed hold of Ms Leonard’s arm during the incident causing immediate pain.”

At the trial, the court heard Ms Leonard and her friend Yvette Haston were leaving the toilets when Brookes directed offensive remarks at them, resulting in an altercation.

A friend of Brookes then entered the toilet and attempted to punch Ms Haston, causing Ms Leonard to step between them to prevent further violence.

The defendant then grabbed Ms Leonard, who ended up on the floor.

At the sentencing Mrs Hine conceded Brookes was of good character and had no previous convictions or cautions.

Ms Kath McAteer, defending, said Brookes’s “instincts had taken over” and she had caused only “lesser harm” to Ms Leonard.

She said: “As for her personal situation, she has been suspended from her job while this case is going on, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

“Conviction will result in her losing her job and she will therefore have no income.”

Mrs Alexander told Brookes: “We accept that you are of previously good character but there are several aggravating factors.

“First of all this happened in a public place with other people there.

“You were under the influence of alcohol and the victim was not acting aggressively.”

Ministers are failing to properly monitor the salaries and professional standards of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), MPs have warned.
23 May 2013 BBC NEWS
The Home Affairs committee has published its own register of PCCs, claiming "no-one in government is keeping track" of them.

But chairman Keith Vaz said an official register was needed to guard against "maverick decision making".

The Home Office said it was up to voters to hold PCCs to account.

The report compiled by the Home Affairs Committee sets out the pay, weekly hours, other activities and staff costs for each of the 41 police areas in England and Wales.

The register suggested "a massive gap" between the salaries and types of second jobs carried out by PCCs.

Mr Vaz said: "The public cannot possibly judge whether their PCC is upholding the standards of the office and giving them a good deal unless they make a comparison with other PCCs."

'Electorate will judge'

The Home Office says it will consider the committee's findings.

"By law, police and crime commissioners have to publish a register of interests, including budgets and expenses, and the key elements will be displayed on the national website," said a spokesman.

"The local electorate will judge whether PCCs are making best use of public money and hold them to account at the ballot box."

In October 2012, people across England and Wales went to the polls to elect local commissioners. Turnout was as low as 12% in some areas, prompting a critical review by the Electoral Commission.

The PCCs' main role is to listen to public concerns on crime, and hold chief constables and the police force to account. The government hopes the new structure will increase the accountability of law enforcers.

By Jack Tappin Published on 24/05/2013 09:00
select for full story The latest addition to Haverhill’s police force has brought the town’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) up to full strength.

Steven Ridpath, 21, began work as a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) on Monday (20), bringing the number of police in the SNT up to five PCSOs and four police constables (Pcs) and three PCSOs and two Pcs covering St Edmundsbury Rural South.

PCSO Ridpath is covering the Chalkstone Estate with PCSO Mark Isaac, who is based at Samuel Ward Academy.

He goes into the role having already volunteered as a special officer and having worked at Tesco Haverhill, and now hopes it will serve as a stepping stone to one day becoming a Pc.

“This was something I always wanted to do,” he said.

“I’ve had my nine weeks of training in Ipswich and enjoyed that and now I’m looking forward to getting started.”

PCSO Ridpath is a budding thespian and has served in several performances by the Haverhill Centre Stage Company. “Having worked in Tesco and with Centre Stage means I know a lot of people and that helps to start a conversation and build up a rapport,” he said.

Fellow PCSO Lorna Chapman, who covers the Clements Estate, is now supported by Pc Cheryl Claydon, who was a response officer.

“PCSOs are well prepared with good communication skills as we have to use our mouths to get out of a sticky situation,” she said.

select for full story Kent PCC: You can't keep emphasis on the negative

Last updated Thu 23 May 2013 ITV NEWS

Responding to claims that scrutiny is needed to prevent PCCs from "maverick decision making" she said her appointment of Ms Brown was not maverick but "a manifesto promise".

"That was one decision I made, it didn't turn out as I wanted it to unfortunately," she added, "you cannot keep emphasis on the negative."

A councillor has attended a meeting with Thames Valley's police and crime commissioner (PCC) dressed as a chauffeur.
17 May 2013 BBC NEWS
Buckinghamshire town councillor Jon Harvey said he was making a 'humorous point' at the police and crime panel. select for full story

PCC Anthony Stansfeld has defended the use of a part-time officer as his driver on a salary of £12,000, saying it helps improve his efficiency.

The PCC's expenses are now to be independently reviewed.

Mr Stansfeld branded Mr Harvey's actions "pathetic" at the meeting in Woodgreen, Witney, Oxfordshire.

Mr Harvey said: "I have come to highlight the fact that our police and crime commissioner is spending quite a lot of money on a chauffeur during times of extreme austerity and so I thought I would make a somewhat humorous point by dressing as a chauffeur."

The independent audit of Mr Stansfeld's expenses follows concerns raised about him using public money to pay for a satellite office in Hungerford near his home and a support officer.

The officer is employed for an average three days a week as a driver and to undertake administrative duties. and also works for deputy police and crime commissioner David Carroll.

Mr Stansfeld has said the officer, who also works for deputy police and crime commissioner David Carroll. has been put in place to help the pair to undertake their duties efficiently.

The PCC claimed £15.30 and £7.20 in mileage for December and January respectively at a rate of 45p per mile.

He claimed £452.25 for 1,005 miles in February and £600.30 for 1,334 miles in March after the Hungerford office was made available for his use in February.

The PCC's office said mileage claims made between December and March related to Mr Stansfeld using his own car for official business.

Since April he has had the use of a five-year-old ex-force fleet Audi A5 previously scheduled for disposal.

A statement released on behalf of Mr Stansfeld said the Hungerford office was made available to increase his productivity and "reduce the amount of avoidable, non-productive time the PCC would otherwise spend travelling to his other office at Thames Valley Police Headquarters in Kidlington, near Oxford."

select for full story MPs criticise police inquiry into leak of commissioner's chauffeur bill
Lib Dem Tim Farron says it is 'wrong to seek to silence whistleblowers', as third arrest made in Cumbrian investigation
Helen Pidd, northern editor The Guardian, Thursday 18 April 2013
MPs have expressed concern over the arrest of three people in connection with a leak to the press about the Cumbrian crime commissioner's £700 chauffeur bill.

On Thursday police made the third arrest in their investigation, holding a 54-year-old man from Penrith on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

A Cumbria police spokeswoman confirmed that the investigation began following a complaint from the office of Richard Rhodes, who has been police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Cumbria since November.

Last week two police employees were arrested on suspicion of data protection offences and misconduct in a public office. They are currently suspended from the constabulary. The third suspect is not an employee of the force.

Tim Farron, president of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in the south Lakes, said: "Politicians of all colours regularly praise whistleblowers, and it is wrong to seek to silence whistleblowers in this case. Details of the expenses of public officials ought to be publicly available anyway, we shouldn't have to rely on leaks to find these things out.

"This information was in the public interest, and I'm sure could have been accessed by a simple FOI request. Most councils publish this information on a regular basis so why not the police commissioner? To arrest these staff members is high-handed, a threat to free speech and a very dangerous precedent."

Jamie Reed, Labour MP for Copeland in west Cumbria, wrote to the home secretary, Theresa May, on Thursday asking her to investigate what he said appeared to be "indefensible" behaviour on Rhodes's part.

He wrote: "It is widely reported that these arrests followed a complaint from the police and crime commissioner's own office to the chief constable. If true, this is clearly indefensible. Such an act would not only damage the office of the Cumbria police and crime commissioner beyond repair but, more importantly, damage the reputation of the Cumbria constabulary.

"As a matter of urgency, I ask that you determine the facts of this case as quickly as possible so that these matters can be resolved beyond doubt."

Reed told the Guardian: "This is a gravely serious matter which shakes public confidence in the police."

select for full story A police community support officer (PCSO) who tipped off criminals when cannabis factories had been discovered has been jailed for seven years.
3 May 2013 BBC NEWS
Oguz Batmaz, 27, of Sidcup, south-east London, admitted conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Southwark Crown Court heard he checked police computers to tell criminals what data detectives had on them.

He was placed under surveillance in 2010 after officers became suspicious.

Batmaz also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal class B drugs and a further charge of misconduct in a public office in relation to assisting to keep a person unlawfully at large.

He spent time with Wayne Farrell - a convicted drug dealer who had failed to return from prison leave in 2009 - and used his access to the police database to help the fugitive.

'Prime mover'

The court heard Batmaz was paid £5,000 to look for information for an associate using the police computer system and was also heard tipping off his accomplices about a cannabis factory discovered in Mayday Gardens in Blackheath.

Mark Auty, specialist prosecutor in the CPS Special Crime Division, said: "Oguz Batmaz was the prime mover in a drug dealing enterprise who routinely abused his position as a Police Community Support Officer to assist his criminal activities.

"Batmaz used his access to police computer systems to help his criminal associates, including Wayne Farrell, who had at the time absconded from prison, and Batmaz was fully aware of this, but declined to report it.

"As a result of video and audio surveillance evidence that clearly showed Batmaz and his accomplices were regularly involved in the supply of drugs, they now face punishment for their corrupt and criminal activity."

Commander Allan Gibson, from the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards, said: "Our investigation into an ex-PCSO exposed criminality and also highlighted very poor behaviour in a Safer Neighbourhoods Team, all who have now either left or been dismissed from the Metropolitan Police Service."

Eight others have also been sentenced, receiving jail terms of between six months to three years and four months, for offences including conspiracy to supply controlled drugs, stealing cannabis and conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, the Met said.

All convicted male prisoners are to be required to wear prison uniform for the first two weeks of their sentence under a shakeup of life in jail ordered by the justice secretary, Chris Grayling.
Alan Travis, home affairs editor The Guardian, Tuesday 30 April 2013
The changes, to be announced on Tuesday, will also mean prisoners losing automatic access to gym equipment and daytime television. They will be expected work a longer day than at present too.
The 4,000 offenders in privately run prisons will also lose access to satellite subscription channels, such as Sky Sports. Prisoners in all jails will not be allowed to watch daytime television in their cells when they should be working or engaging in purposeful activities. The change in the prison service's "incentives and earned privileges" scheme will mean that prison governors lose much of their discretion over which perks and privileges are available to reward good behaviour.

The changes, to be introduced into public and private sector prisons in England and Wales over the next six months, follows a review ordered by Grayling to ensure that life inside was not seen as a "soft touch".

Grayling said that under the new policy, the lack of bad behaviour would not be enough to earn privileges; instead inmates would have to work actively towards rehabilitation and help other prisoners.

The change will add a new "entry" level for all male prisoners for the first two weeks of their sentence in which their privileges, including access to private cash and wearing their own clothes, will be restricted.

Offenders returned to prison for breaching licence conditions will also be placed on the new entry-level for two weeks. Women prisoners will not have to wear a uniform.

The modern-day prison uniform often consists of grey trousers, grey sweatshirt and grey jumpers with prison-issue underwear and socks.

The Victorian uniform of white jacket, trousers and pill box hat all stamped with a broad arrow to signify crown property was abolished in 1922.

The G4S private prisons have led the way recently in allowing prisoners to wear their own clothes as a reward for good behaviour.

The existing three other privilege levels will be kept but a national standardised list of activities and items will be issued for governors to choose what is appropriate. Movement up the levels will depend on the positive engagement of the prisoner.

"At the end of the entry-level period, prisoners who do not co-operate with the regime or engage in rehabilitation will drop to basic level and stay there until they do. Those who do will move up to standard," said a justice ministry source.

Crime is not just police's problem, says chief inspector of constabulary
Doctors, judges, teachers and prison guards all have a role to play
select for full story Calls for technology to track criminals to prevent crimes happening
Tom Winsor says strategy would save money and reduce victims
Think tank calls for return to Tardis-style police boxes on Britain's streets

By James Tozer PUBLISHED: 09:00, 29 April 2013 | UPDATED: 01:55, 30 April 2013
Parents must do more to teach their children right from wrong to stop them becoming criminals, the police watchdog said yesterday.

In his first major speech as Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor said it was the duty of all parents and families to turn young people into law-abiding citizens.

He also accused mental health services of abdicating their duty to prevent crime, and warned that officers were frustrated with the soft sentences handed out to the criminals they catch

And he urged for persistent and dangerous offenders to be put in prison to prevent them committing further crimes.

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank in Whitehall, Central London, Mr Winsor said: ‘Parents and families as well as schools must instil in children a strong appreciation of right and wrong and the reality and instincts to behave as responsible law abiding citizens.’

Asked about tackling persistent criminals, he said that officers must ‘make it as hard as possible to commit the crime in the first place’.

He added: ‘Many many police officers are extremely frustrated at the sentences that are sometimes handed out by the courts.’

He said officers must find ‘persistent prolific and dangerous offenders and take them off the streets’

‘If you have them locked up that’s a pretty good way of preventing crime,’ he added. Mr Winsor warned that officers were often left to deal with criminals with mental health problems because the police were regarded as the public service that would ‘never say no’.

As a result, officers’ time was wasted looking after people who should be in the hands of mental health professionals.

Mr Winsor, the former rail regulator, also complained that police were working with primitive equipment that was ‘next to useless’.

this 2011 case shows the principle of The early morning raid challenged by a man with the resources to do it. LORD HANNINGFIELD was arrested by police constables who then searched his house and detained him at the police station using their BREAD AND BUTTER powers that you would think that they and their supervisors would know inside out!

and yet here we have a case that shows such actions as UNLAWFUL, the arrest was unlawful, the search was unlawful and yes, the detention at the police station was unlawful - WHY?

well because the law says The power of summary arrest may only be exercised if the relevant officer (in this case, Det Sgt Thomson) had reasonable grounds for believing that it was “necessary” to do so:

  1. to enable the name of the person in question to be ascertained (in the case where the constable does not know, and cannot readily ascertain, the person’s name, or has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name given by the person as his name is his real name);
  2. correspondingly as regards the person’s address;
  3. to prevent the person in question –
    1. causing physical injury to himself or any other person;
    2. suffering physical injury;
    3. causing loss of or damage to property;
    4. committing an offence against public decency ; or
    5. causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway;
  4. to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person in question;
  5. to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the conduct of the person in question;
  6. to prevent any prosecution for the offence from being hindered by the disappearance of the person in question.
The court concluded that NONE of these conditions applied AND AWARDED COMPENSATION READ THE ENTIRE JUDGEMENT HERE

This is a 2011 case, so what is the relevance in 2013? The relevance is that such cases appear to be continuing on a regular basis, as can be seen in the national newspapers this year, last year and following on closely from the February judgement.

Why have other people not challenged their "unlawful arrests"? Undoubtedly further such "unlawful arrests" have quite probably occurred but who has the resources of Lord Hanningfield to mount a challenge? And who "could actually be bothered"?

An unarmed man shot dead by a police marksman as he sat in a car was wrongly suspected only weeks before of stealing a computer memory stick containing the names of 1,075 police informants.
select for full story By David ROSE 27 April 2013
The missing stick was stolen after a detective had taken it home. It held a mass of highly confidential data about police inquiries into drug trafficking – plus hundreds of real names and addresses of secret contacts who gave information about gangsters to police.
Father-of-two Anthony Grainger was questioned about the theft but formally cleared four months later. Meanwhile, the loss of the stick was exposing the informants to grave potential danger.

Now a Mail on Sunday investigation based on exclusive access to hundreds of pages of official documents has revealed that:

- Days after police decided they had no evidence against Grainger over the theft, they began six- weeks of covert surveillance called Operation Shire directed at him and two associates. It involved nearly 100 officers.

- Statements by the Operation Shire team reveal no sign that Grainger or the others had weapons or access to them. But on the morning of the incident, the 16-strong police armed response team involved in his shooting was briefed that he and his friends were highly dangerous and likely to fire at police if challenged.

- In the wake of his death, legal documents show, police searched Grainger’s house and those of his associates – and seized numerous computer memory sticks. None of them was the missing device.

The memory stick theft took place from a detective’s home in the Grotton area of Oldham in July 2011.

Ten months earlier, a similar stick containing sensitive Greater Manchester Police data had also gone missing. This prompted David Smith, the Deputy Information Commissioner responsible for policing and security issues, to make a formal recommendation that all such sticks should be encrypted.

But the second stolen stick, which was inside an officer’s wallet in his kitchen near an open back door, was not encrypted nor protected by a password.

Mr Smith described this as a ‘significant failing’.

He added: ‘The consequences of this type of breach really do send a shiver down the spine.’

As well as the names of informants, the stick contained details of police operations, names of officers involved in them, and those being targeted for arrest. The Information Commissioner’s Office has since fined the force £120,000.

Police watched Mr Grainger for weeks after he was cleared of suspicion regarding the memory stick theft

Mr Smith said: ‘In this particular case the data subjects would suffer from substantial distress knowing their sensitive personal data may be disclosed to third parties.’

If this has actually happened, they were likely to suffer ‘further substantial damage’, and be ‘exposed to physical harm’.

Police made the link between the stick and Grainger the month after it was stolen, when he put some Volkswagen Golf airbags up for sale on eBay. Grainger was working for his friend, Colin Waters, 42, who owned a car-breaking and spare parts business in Bury.

Why did the police think this significant? Because along with the memory stick, the officer from Grotton had lost the keys to his Golf. This was also stolen and not recovered.

Grainger had no convictions for violence, but he did have a record for car crimes, although he had committed all but one of them more than a decade earlier.

On September 29, Grainger and Waters were arrested and questioned about the memory stick at Chadderton police station.

Mr Waters said yesterday: ‘Anthony was a good friend. He lived in my house from 2009 until a short while before he was shot. We used to buy and sell parts all the time, and he put a lot of them up on eBay.

‘When the police interviewed us, all they wanted to know about was the memory stick. They claimed the airbags were from the same model as the VW stolen from the officer. But that proved nothing. We knew nothing about that stick, and we never had it.’

select for full story Westminster has been awash with speculation over who edited the Wikipedia entry of rising Labour star Chuka Umunna to include comparisons with President Obama.
By Andrew Pierce PUBLISHED: 22:44, 28 April 2013
Apparently the changes, designed to flatter the Shadow Business Secretary, were made from a computer at the very law firm where he was working before he became an MP in 2010. A coincidence, of course.

Now it seems Britain’s highest-paid councillor, the pompous Sir Merrick Cockell, has also had his online biography edited — to remove references to his legendary expenses.

Cockell, the leader of true-blue Conservative Kensington & Chelsea Council, is also chairman of the Local Government Association, on a combined salary for both jobs of £120,000. My mole at his town hall tells me that on March 25 the list of his expenses was taken off his Wikipedia entry by someone calling themselves ed17.

Conveniently, his many enemies kept a copy of the deleted words. It shows he spent £59.74 on a taxi from Heathrow Airport to the town hall and £129.53 on lunch with two people. His nickname, Pooter, which he hates, also vanished along with an article giving more details about his spending.

He lavished £60,000 on a Head of Office, and £40,000 on his PA; £115,000 on a Bentley with the number plate RBKC, which Cockell used to use to save on taxi fares; and £800,000 on creating four ceremonial roles, including a mace bearer, and decking their holders out in ruffs and silk coats.

Cockell is standing down as leader in May. Let’s hope his successor tries to save taxpayers’ money, rather than squandering it on vanity projects.

Pooter the council leader gains a reprieve
Andy McSmith's Diary 29 April 2013
In the UK’s wealthiest borough, the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, there is a blogger known only as The Dame who is remarkably well informed and frank about the important and self-important people who run the council – particularly its long-serving leader, Sir Merrick Cockell, whom the Dame delights in calling “Pooter”.

Her latest blog entry begins in style: “One of Pooter’s expensive pretensions was the appointment of a Head of Office at somewhere in the region of £55k a year…”

Until recently, you could pick up some of the Dame’s musings by accessing Sir Merrick’s Wikipedia entry, which also featured an exhaustive list of his expenses, until one afternoon about two weeks ago, when every reference to his expenses and his nickname was removed by one of Wikipedia’s editors.

Sir Merrick is standing down from the council leadership in May. Someone must have thought it was time to stop being beastly to poor old Pooter.

Drug dealer who says tattoos of naked women would endanger his life in Iraq is given human right to stay in UK

By James Slack and Mark Duell PUBLISHED: 09:28, 28 April 2013
select for full story An Iraqi drug dealer who claimed his life would be in danger at home because of his ‘Western’ tattoos has been granted a ‘human right’ to stay in Britain.

In the latest outrage under Labour’s Human Rights Act, Hesham Mohammed Ali won a tribunal appeal against moves to kick him out.

The 36-year-old former wrestling promoter based his case on his tattoos and the fact he is in a ‘genuine’ relationship with a British woman – despite having two children by different women with whom he now has no contact.

The court went to great lengths to consider the issue of Ali’s tattoos, which include an image of a half-naked Western woman on his chest.

Ali said people with tattoos in Iraq ‘get stoned or harmed’. Judge Jonathan Perkins described the issue as ‘problematic’.

He asked whether Ali had considered having the tattoos removed and heard evidence from an expert witness on whether Iraqi people were victimised for having body art.

However, the fact which ultimately swung the case in favour of the convict was Ali’s right to a ‘family life’, under Article 8 of human rights legislation.

Judge Perkins said he was not convinced the tattoos would prompt anything more than ‘curiosity’ in Iraq, but added that he was impressed by evidence from Ali’s British fiancee, Cy Harwood, 31, who met the criminal in 2005.

The judge ruled that Ali’s deportation would have a damaging effect on her and would be a breach of the couple’s rights. Ali has his fiancee’s name, surrounded by stars, tattooed on his hand.

His family life was protected despite the fact he never sees two children he fathered in the UK. He had a child with an Irish woman and then another son with a woman from Liverpool, but has no contact with either child, the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber was told.

The verdict renewed demands for the Government to end the rampant abuse of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is enshrined in UK law by Labour’s Human Rights Act.

Home Secretary Theresa May has vowed to change the law, but no legislation has yet been unveiled.

Tory MP Dominic Raab said: ‘It is bad enough a convicted drug dealer cheating deportation because he has a girlfriend. But it’s even worse that our elastic human rights laws consume government time and money fighting such ludicrous claims.

‘The shifting human rights goal posts have encouraged a “try it on” culture at taxpayers’ expense.’

Fellow backbencher Priti Patel said: ‘The right to family life has been completely abused in this case. It’s clear this individual has no regard for proper family life and the upbringing of his children, as he has no relationship with either of the mothers, let alone either of his children themselves.’

Ali was brought to Britain ‘irregularly’ by a people-smuggling gang in 2000 and has never been in this country legally. He made an asylum claim which was refused.

In November 2005 he was convicted of possessing Class A and Class C drugs, and fined. A year later he was convicted of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply – and jailed for four years.

Tardis Boxes For Police 'Could Cut Costs'
29 April 2013 SKY NEWS
Police boxes like the one from Doctor Who could encourage the public to report crime and save money, a think tank claims.
select for full story Police forces could save money by opening modern versions of the Tardis police box made famous by Doctor Who, according to a report by a think tank.

The centre-right Policy Exchange believes the public could be better served if officers left police stations and moved into shopping centres and post offices.

It claims the move would make it easier for the public to report crimes such as anti-social behaviour, only a third of which are actually reported to the police.

The boxes could also be used to take witness statements and for the public to discuss concerns and access information, the report said.

In London the number of people reporting crimes at police station front counters has fallen by more than 100,000 - almost half - since 2006, as people chose to report crime over the phone and online.

Faced with budget cuts of 20%, forces need to manage the police estate in a "smarter fashion" and become "more imaginative" with how they interact with the public, according to the report.

The report author, Professor Martin Innes, said: "The truth is that most crime is reported by phone, many stations are getting old and increasingly expensive to maintain and are often located in the wrong places, away from key population centres.

"Rather than just thinking about closing police stations, it might be more productive to engage local people in conversations about replacing outdated police stations with more local police offices."

Steve White, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: "This is something which has been happening around the country for many years.

"We support any initiative which directs funding to operational policing, however police stations are accessible to the public, all day and night, something which is not provided by local shops and businesses, therefore we hope this would be taken into account."

select for full story Sutton police station hands Wandsworth prison unwanted bikes to train prisoners
James Pepper 12:18pm Monday 29th April 2013
Unwanted bikes are being given to inmates for use in prison classes.

Dozens of unclaimed and untraceable bicycles at Sutton Police Station have been transported to Wandsworth prison where they will used by prisoners in bicycle maintenance courses.

In classroom and workshop sessions, prisoners will be shown how to dismantle and recondition bicycles which will then be given to charity or auctioned for charitable causes.

Police carried out lengthy checks but were unable to trace owners of the bicycles.

PCSO Matt Webb, of Sutton’s Safer Transport Team, who helped the prison officers load the lorry, said: "It’s good to know the bicycles are going to be well used with proceeds going to charity."

Prison officer Steve Tugwell commented: "It gives prisoners the

Call to open 'Tardis' police boxes
Apr 29 2013 Loughborough Echo
Police forces could save cash by shutting down old-fashioned stations and opening up modern versions of the "Tardis" police box made famous by sci-fi favourite Doctor Who, a centre-right think tank has said.

A better service could be offered to the public if the police left their out-of-date stations and moved into shopping centres and post offices, the report by the Policy Exchange added.

Faced with budget cuts of 20% in the age of austerity, forces need to manage "the police estate in a smarter fashion" and become "more imaginative" with how they interact with the public, the report argued.

In London, the number of people reporting crimes at front counters has fallen by more than 100,000 - almost half - since 2006/07, the Policy Exchange said, as people turn to other forms of communication, including over the phone and online.

Professor Martin Innes, report author, said: "The truth is that most crime is reported by phone, many stations are getting old and increasingly expensive to maintain and are often located in the wrong places, away from key population centres. Rather than just thinking about closing police stations, it might be more productive to engage local people in conversations about replacing out-dated police stations with more local police offices."

Fewer than one in eight crimes received by the Metropolitan Police in 2011/12 were reported at front counters, the report said. Placing officers in high street shops and offices will save the taxpayer money, the report argued, while making it easier for the public to report crime such as anti-social behaviour incidents, only a third of which are actually reported to the police.

The decline in front counter use means that some stations see fewer than seven visitors every day, the paper said, with one survey revealing that 20% of people attend stations to report lost property.

One of the South West's police and crime commissioner's is considering taking on a deal for the five police forces in the area.
3 May 2013 BBC NEWS
But the Avon and Somerset Police Federation said this could leave the forces open to allegations over deals.

Forces across England and Wales face funding cuts of up to 20% by 2015.

Martyn Underhill, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Dorset, said he was in discussions with a potential sponsor who is keen to make a regional sponsor deal.

This would include forces from Dorset, Avon and Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Devon and Cornwall.

'Absolutely wrong'

Kevin Phillips, chairman of the Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said a sponsorships deal was tested by the force but scrapped for good reason.

select for full story "Once you start entering into sponsorships deals you start losing the independence of the police.

"Whilst I appreciate everybody is losing money and having to cut back, I still think it would be absolutely wrong if we start entering into sponsorship with private companies for the police service - this is privatisation through the back door."

Police forces are allowed to raise 1% of their budget through private funding. For Dorset this would amount to about £1m and £3m for Avon and Somerset Police.

Mr Underhill said: "In a funding crisis I have to try to find another way.

"If we get a reputable national company with no connection to policing or the criminal justice system this could be a way of actually increasing my budget, and at the end of the day getting more police officers on the street."

2 May 2013 - 9:17am | posted by John Glenday | 3 comments
Dorset police commissioner floats corporate sponsorship of vehicles & stations
Police cars patrolling the streets emblazoned with McDonald’s logos or Coca-Cola branding could soon be a common site after a police commissioner floated the prospect of securing additional funding via corporate sponsorship of stations and vehicles.

Martyn Underhill, police and crime commissioner for Dorset, said such drastic actions were required in a time of austerity to shore up badly depleted budgets saying: “You can’t keep asking the public for money – why can’t I go into a structured five-year sponsorship deal with a reputable company and actually put police officers on the street?"

Police forces across England & Wales face budget cuts of as much as 20 per cent by 2015 but rules allow them to source as much as 1 per cent of their budgets from private firms either via sponsorship or the gift of cars and equipment.

Brighton & Hove became the first force to benefit from a sponsored car after crime writer Peter James donated the vehicle in 2008 in return for being granted access to the force at work but the Metropolitan Police are the biggest beneficiaries – raking in £23m in sponsorship between April 2007 and March 2012.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Essex has defended his decision to give a new chief constable a salary high on the national scale.
4 May 2013 BBC NEWS
PCC Nick Alston said Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Met Police Stephen Kavanagh was "exceptional".

select for full story To run his job openly Mr Alston has published details of the pay package.

Chief Constable Kavanagh will receive a salary 10% above the set rate, a 15% allowance and a housing subsidy making a total package of £192,000.

"I determined that I should seek the best chief officer I could attract," Mr Alston said.

"The base salary for chief constables is set by national regulations so I had no flexibility other than to consider a salary 10% above or below the set rate at my discretion."

Mr Kavanagh will receive a basic £148,000, an allowance of £22,000 and a housing subsidy of £7,000

"I have to set a remuneration package that I cannot change over the four years of the contract.

"There is no opportunity for subsequent progression or performance related pay," Mr Alston said.

Mr Alston added that he was influenced by pay structures in other parts of the country.

"Chief officers all over the country enjoy what many would see as very attractive allowances to cover various costs but chiefly cars and healthcare.

"In recent years Kent and Essex Police Authorities settled on a fixed rate of 15% on top of base salary

"I judged it right to offer the established figure to Mr Kavanagh to ensure he was neither at an advantage or disadvantage

Six men from the West Midlands have pleaded guilty to planning to bomb an English Defence League rally.
30 Apr 2013 BBC NEWS
Omar Mohammed Khan, Mohammed Hasseen, Anzal Hussain, Mohammed Saud, Zohaib Ahmed and Jewel Uddin admitted preparing an act of terrorism. All six will be sentenced on 6 June.

Five of them took a homemade bomb to an EDL rally in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, last June but arrived after it ended.

They were caught after their car was stopped and found to have no insurance.

Police and security services had no intelligence about the planned attack, although one of the would-be killers, Jewel Uddin, was under surveillance in relation to another terror plan.

After the hearing at Woolwich Crown Court, Assistant Chief Constable of West Midlands Police Marcus Beale said: "Their capability was clear"

select for full story "They created devices that would have certainly maimed and possibly killed people depending on how close they were.

"Their intent was very, very clear. In my view they were very dangerous."

Tommy Robinson, aka Stephen Lennon, leader of the EDL, said he welcomed the convictions.

'Female devil'

On 30 June 2012, the EDL, an anti-Islamic group that says it supports peaceful protest, held a rally in Dewsbury, despite attempts by the Muslim community in the town to have it stopped.

Police estimated there could have been as many as 750 EDL supporters in attendance, as well as dozens of police officers and passers-by

* Dominic Casciani :Home affairs correspondent

Jewel Uddin was under surveillance because of his links to other identified extremists. But he wasn't being watched around the clock because 24-hour coverage only occurs when a suspect is thought to be planning an attack and is in the closing stages of their preparations.

The British police and MI5 don't have the manpower that the East German Stasi once had, so counter-terrorism investigators deal everyday with competing requests for resources for covert operations. Uddin was, in the jargon, a person of interest whom investigators wanted to better understand.

But given what they knew of his connections, did they make the right call? The case has inevitable echoes of 2004 when MI5 had come across a man from West Yorkshire on the periphery of another investigation. They never got to the bottom of who he was until he led the 2005 suicide attacks on London


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