techie1

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  1. My town had 18 officers on the beat 10 years ago. Now there are four. The service we provide is woefully inadequate - but not for the want of trying... https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2017/may/20/police-cuts-fewer-officers-unrelenting-pressure
  2. Cressida Dick told children in London feel 'naked' if they are not armed with a weapon. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick Children as young as six are carrying knives and ten-year-olds are arming themselves with weapons out of fear, the country's top police officer has been told. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick heard children "feel naked" without them, while some are too scared to cross the capital's roads unarmed. Ms Dick vowed to get to the root of knife crime as she visited a youth centre in Putney, south-west London, meeting community leaders, reformed gang members and the family of Lewis Elwin - a 20-year-old trainee electrician stabbed to death in Tooting last year. The Commissioner promised more officers in schools and others in every ward to help build relationships with young people. She was told community groups are "screaming out" for a relationship with police, but the force is "not following up". One woman told Ms Dick knife crime affects children far younger than the teenagers and young men normally associated with it. She said: "On the housing estate, it's six-year-olds that are carrying knives, because they think they won't be stopped. You need to start there, in the primary schools - you need to tell much younger people." Josh Osbourne, a mentor at youth charity Carney's Community, said ten-year-olds live in fear, saying: "They can't even cross the road because they're at odds or in a dispute with somebody else from literally the same postcode but across the road." Andy Smith, from social enterprise The Feel Good Bakery, told Ms Dick young people carry blades for protection, saying: "They say they feel naked if they haven't got their knife with them." The capital has seen a wave of knife attacks in recent weeks, with more than a dozen people killed or seriously injured. Scotland Yard launched the latest phase of Operation Sceptre earlier this month, cracking down on knife crime. But despite more than 70 arrests for possession of offensive weapons and knives, within a week three more people had been fatally stabbed. Speaking to the Press Association after the meeting, Ms Dick said it was "pretty horrifying" to hear of armed six-year-olds. She said: "It's outrageous to hear a six-year-old is carrying a knife, for whatever reason. "That's something a police officer by themselves or even a police force isn't going to be able to have very much impact on. The question there is what are the parents doing? What are the school doing?" Ms Dick said youngsters often carry knives for "some kind of respect, some kind of kudos", but added: "I do accept there are places where some of our young people are scared and they feel it makes sense to carry a knife. "I can say as long as I live that it does not make them safer. They may not hear that message from me... we need to get people in communities, we need to get people in schools, we need to get parents understanding and helping young people to understand... it will end in tragedy, probably, for them." Outlining her plans for early intervention to tackle the epidemic, Ms Dick said: "I want to shift us further into prevention. I want all of us to be working on stopping this before it happens. "Community groups will be an incredibly important part of that. We need to play our part, but it is only a part." The Commissioner still has work to do to reach those communities - Mr Osbourne said the meeting was "about as much use as a chocolate teapot". He added: "We have realised that the things that we need, the Commissioner is unable to provide." View on Police Oracle
  3. Steve White says government is playing 'perverse game of risk with policing'. Police Fed Chairman Steve White The police service needs a five-year funding strategy to take “the politics out of policing” Police Federation Chairman Steve White told Home Secretary Amber Rudd today. In a wide-ranging keynote speech at the Police Federation of England and Wales 2017 annual conference in Birmingham, Mr White also accused the government of playing a “perverse game of risk with policing” by slashing officer numbers and the service’s budget. There was also applause when he jokingly suggested handing over the protection of Parliament to private security firm G4S. He said: “We cannot do it all. So let us make the changes needed. “We either invest or we divest. Put more resources in or take demand out. They are the only options. “Stop dealing with drug use perhaps and decriminalise Class C drugs? Leave policing the roads to Serco? Leave missing people to the experts in missing parcels, the Royal Mail? I know, let’s hand over the protection of parliament to G4S… “In its report, HMIC also said, and I quote ‘We cannot realistically expect the police to meet every possible demand we might make of them’.” Mr White started by reiterating his view that policing was too big an issue to be used by politicians as a way of scoring party political points. He said: “Policing is too important to be a political football and we look to politicians to raise the debate to where it needs to be. Front and centre. Fair and square. Listening to the public. The electorate. “And as the Prime Minister decided to skip the electoral cycle, please do the same. “Take a long term, unpolitical view of policing. “Whilst the world will move on, if you have a five-year parliament, give the police a five year funding strategy. Why not? “After all, politics and politicians will move on, but policing, its officers and people’s safety will always be needed. “No matter who is in government. “Put policing before politics, put the people before politics, and put those who pledge to serve before politics.” Mr White warned the service was in dire need of further support saying it was in ‘intensive care’. He added: “We are a service that wants to deliver what the public want, when they want it and how they want it - 24 hours a day: 365 days a year. “But this is getting impossible. In the last year we have seen a further loss of approximately 3,000 police officers. “Home Secretary, it is like me telling everyone in your own constituency of Hastings and Rye that every single police officer in Sussex is to go. “So, 3,000 is not just a number. “It is much, much more than that. It is 3,000 fewer police officers patrolling and protecting communities, 3,000 fewer cops investigating crimes and supporting vulnerable victims, 3,000 fewer tackling cyber-crime, dealing with historic offences and tackling the atrocities of terrorism. A sorry total of 20,000 police officers over the last four years. “That is not just uniformed officers. In its PEEL report HMIC referred to the shortage of qualified detectives as a ‘crisis’. “A crisis that we don’t have enough police officers to deal with the demands placed upon the service. “On March 22, we lost one of our own as he fought to stop a terrorist at the heart of British democracy. “In the past we used to say ‘Not if, but when’. “The reality now is that it is, ‘Not when, but where next’. “Policing is on its knees. It is in intensive care. It is fighting for its life.” The theme for this year’s conference is Protect the Protectors – the Fed’s recently launched campaign – with Mr White demanding those convicted of assaulting police officers are hit with harder sentences. He said: “Many expressed support for a change to see harsher sentences for those convicted of assaulting officers. “And so, today I ask you and every politician seeking to be elected – can we have a firm commitment to make this happen. “No more excuses about timetabling. No more excuses about process or protocol. “We have clearly seen that when the Prime Minister and your parliamentary colleagues want something – it happens not in months, in weeks. “We want a commitment that you will give the police officers of England and Wales the support and protection needed to do their job. “When she was Home Secretary, the Prime Minister told us we should have a single mission – to fight crime. “We said it then, and I say it again now, policing is so much more than just fighting crime. “Tell the family of a suicidal man with mental health issues making threats to end his life that it’s the NHS they need; it’s not one for the police. “Tell the elderly victim of a burglary seeking comfort and reassurance that time is money and the job of the police is to fight crime and capture an offender, rather than counsel them as a victim. “Home Secretary, you cannot put a price on the value of policing. “And no government can cut tens of thousands of police officers and expect us to pretend that it won’t make a difference.” Mr White said the federation remained “gravely concerned” that, under current legislation, officers are not being afforded adequate protection during police pursuits. He told the audience the current test of what is dangerous driving is outdated, misinterpreted and “downright ridiculous at worst” in the way it applies to police officers. Talking about the criminals, he added: “And they drive off laughing as they kill another innocent bystander or police officer. “We want to ensure that, if a situation arises where an officer, doing their duty, has to engage in a response or pursuit in a police vehicle, that they are not unfairly processed through the court.” On police pay, Mr White outlined how some officers were struggling to survive on their salaries, saying changes were badly needed. “Remove the shackles from the Police Remuneration Review Body,” he told Mrs Rudd. “Allow them to take the evidence we provide – full and detailed analysis – and decide for themselves what pay award officers should receive. “Allow them their independence. “Do not pretend it is an open and transparent process if you are tying their hands by setting a one per cent cap for any public sector increase. “I see some benefits of the pay review body in the detailed recommendations they make on a number of issues. “I see how they listen to what we say. “How they take our evidenced submission and make recommendations in a number of areas, using information we provide. “But I also understand that, for the men and women out there policing today, they just see what their annual pay increment is. “And understandably, they question the point and purpose of the review body if its hands are tied behind its back. “I ask, what is it with politicians and maths? “For every MP last year must have misread the one per cent pay cap. Perhaps they were seeing double, giving themselves 11 per cent instead.” Mr White paid tribute to the six officers who had died in the line of duty in the last year (PC Austin Jackson, Leicestershire Constabulary, PC Paul Briggs, Merseyside Police, Inspector Mark Estall, Essex Police, PC Joe Mabuto, Thames Valley Police, PC Gareth Browning, Metropolitan Police and PC Keith Palmer, Metropolitan Police) before outlining the Federation’s requests. He said: “We want a national system of welfare provision for police officers, we want legal protections for officers doing their job, the right protective equipment for officers, no further budget cuts and an immediate halt in the reduction of officer numbers. “We want a long-term five-year investment to build the numbers up to provide the resilience needed and to allow the service to continue to deliver. A progressive culture and an open environment where the police service learns from its mistakes. “And finally, we want a government that supports the police. “Not just in words. “In actions too. All we ask is that government does its duty too. And protects the protectors.” View on Police Oracle
  4. "It was very emotional, something that will be forever on my mind," says officer outside court. PC David Wardell with his now-retired police dog Finn outside Stevenage police station A police officer stabbed as he tried to defend his dog from an armed suspect has described the "harrowing" moment he was compelled to spring to the wounded animal's defence. Stevenage PC David Wardell suffered hand injuries as he sought to apprehend a 16-year-old, who attacked police dog Finn as he tried to make his escape. The dog underwent extensive surgery before retiring to action. The teenage defendant, who cannot be named because of his age, was convicted of attacking the police officer, his dog, and possessing weapons. Speaking after the case, at Stevenage Youth Court this week, PC Wardell said reliving the experience in court had been difficult. "It was very emotional, something that will be forever on my mind - it wasn't difficult to relive those moments. "It's such a huge relief to have actually got into that room and given evidence because I wasn't sure we'd actually get to that point. "It's not a difficult incident for me to relay, it's probably the most harrowing that's ever happened to me. "And to have my faithful friend and partner go through that - if you asked me to relive it in ten years' time I could do it exactly the same." Mr Wardell gave his backing to the introduction of Finn's Law, increasing sentences for criminals who attack working animals such as police dogs and horses. The campaign had been supported by more than 100,000 people before the moves were halted by the announcement of the General Election. He said: "There is a campaign running and it will be down to the government of the day whether they make changes to the laws that currently exist." The teenage boy, from south London, was convicted following a day-long trial. The court heard the 16-year-old plunged the 12-inch (30cm) hunting knife into Finn after being pursued by Mr Wardell. The boy said he was acting in self-defence after fearing for his safety and being "bitten up" by the animal. Mr Wardell broke down in tears as he described the moment he feared for his life, and that of his dog, as the suspect brandished "the largest knife" he had ever seen. The suspect said he only ran from police, through Stevenage in the early hours of October 8, after becoming worried about being caught with the blade. But district judge Jo Matson found the boy guilty of actual bodily harm, as well as criminal damage to the dog, and warned he could face jail when he was sentenced next month. The judge said the defendant's evidence was "not credible or truthful". She added: "His evidence does not add up. I do not accept that he found it necessary to take the actions he did to defend himself. "He put himself in a position where it was necessary for Finn the police dog to stop him from running away with a knife in his hand. "Stabbing a dog you know to be a police dog and lunging a knife at a police officer were not necessary or proportionate and I do not find he (the defendant) believed them to be at the time. "PC Wardell gave very emotional evidence today and was clearly very distressed by what happened that day, and still is." Addressing the youth, who had his mother by his side at court, the district judge said: "All sentencing options remain open, including custody." Finn required a four-hour operation, including having two sections of his lung removed, after being stabbed in the body and head. The court heard the knife narrowly missed the dog's heart. He returned to the force after making a recovery and has subsequently retired from service, Hertfordshire Constabulary said. PC Wardell suffered a cut to the hand after running to the aid of his dog. Recalling the incident, PC Wardell said: "It was the largest knife I've ever seen. "Finn didn't let go at all of the suspect. I was in fear of my life, and in fear of Finn dying in front of me. "Finn is one of the highest trained dogs in the police force, I wished neither Finn nor myself were in that garden, but we were." The youth will be sentenced in Bromley, south London, next month. View on Police Oracle
  5. Most powerful group's officials say they question the continued benefit of being part of the staff association. The Met Police Federation is considering splitting from the national staff association The largest and most powerful branch in the Police Federation of England and Wales is looking at breaking away from the rest of the staff association, Police Oracle can reveal. The Metropolitan Police Federation is examining its options after reps became increasingly frustrated with how the national organisation is run. The issue has come to the fore just days before the association’s annual conference takes place in Birmingham. Met Fed Chairman Ken Marsh confirmed to Police Oracle the branch has been carrying out scoping work on the possibility. Among the issues he says have prompted the move are the pace of the Normington reforms – especially in relation to finance - and the associated costs of spending on consultants. He also said the negotiating power of the Met might be greater if it was its own entity, arguing for things such as an increase in London Weighting. “All I’ve ever wanted since I took over is to provide a good service to cops. I think we have done that locally in the Met, I don’t think we get that from the PFEW,” he said. The branch is by far the largest within the Police Federation and generates a significant proportion of its income. On Thursday afternoon chairman Steve White sent an email to reps at its national board and national council telling them rumours have been circulating about a Met Fed breakaway. With it, he attached a letter he had sent to Met Fed officials requesting they clarify their position. In the email Mr White said: “I did not want a situation going into conference where we were distracted from the important business of protecting the protectors by unsubstantiated rumour. “I have asked the question on behalf of the organisation and we will get a reply.” After the email was forwarded to Police Oracle, our reporter contacted Mr Marsh who said he had now been put in a position where he may as well speak about the issue. “We’ve been scoping it for quite a while. Twelve sergeants sat at a [meeting] and asked Paul [Deller, general secretary] and I to scope it,” he said. “The Met Police Federation is a bigger organisation than Scotland and Northern Ireland. They are not part of PFEW, Wales might not be when they get devolution, and we’re bigger than them.” Among his frustrations is the money held in local branch accounts, or so-called “number two” accounts, which Sir David Normington identified in 2014 as needing to be published. A recent checklist published by the national Fed describes this reform as “complete”, however the regulation is yet to be updated by the Home Office. Mr Marsh said: “We want to be in a position where it’s all for one and one for all, but we are not going to be part of something where we hand over £8 million from our reserves when there’s little forces keeping millions in reserves and carparks and everything else.” Mr White’s email also says: “I understand discussions have included ways to circumvent the current position that this would not be supported by the Home Secretary. I know that you will be aware of how damaging rumour can be.” Mr Marsh says while he would prefer for the changes to be made via regulations through the Home Office, other methods may be possible – such as withholding payment from the national body, and said he thinks the plan might have political supporters. “We haven’t got anything to lose from this, unlike the rest of the country if they lost the Met,” he said. In his letter to the Met officials, which was forwarded to Police Oracle on Friday morning, Mr White said the branch is important to him. “As we near the completion of the review and as we get to grips with a new way of managing our collective finance, to provide best value for our members, I know that the Metropolitan Federation view is one shared by many in relation to “number 2” accounts and the like. I am certain that by working together we can resolve these issues. “The Metropolitan Federation is hugely important and influential and should be front and centre in helping the organisation change for the better. I want to know how I can help to give you confidence that this is the case, and reassure you of the importance that attach to every constituent part of the Police Federation of England and Wales,” he said. In a recent interview with Police Oracle, national general secretary Andy Fittes said he was happy with the work done so far but stressed the “complicated process” cannot be rushed. He was hitting back at sentiments from Greater Manchester and Hampshire Fed chairmen who criticised the time the process was taking, and the money being spent on consultants. View on Police Oracle
  6. The new memorial is for the 13 officers killed since the Royal Ulster Constabulary was replaced by the PSNI. Charles and Camilla were at the beginning of a four day tour of Ireland (Credit: PA) The Prince of Wales paid tribute to fallen police officers as he joined bereaved relatives at the opening of a memorial in Belfast. Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall bowed their heads for a minute's silence before laying wreaths at the striking stone roll of honour for the 13 Police Service of Northern Ireland officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty since the organisation was founded in 2001. A piper played a lament after family members watched the royal couple unveil a plaque to commemorate their visit to the memorial garden, which is tucked in a secluded area of PSNI headquarters. In a particularly poignant moment, seven-year-old Victoria Grieves, whose officer father Gary was killed in a road crash in 2010, presented a bouquet of flowers to the Duchess. PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said: "This is a very special, but also sad day, for the families and PSNI as we remember those who have died." There is already an adjoining memorial garden to the 300 officers from the PSNI's predecessor, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, who were killed during the Troubles. The solemn event, during which the couple also viewed a new book of remembrance, started the couple's second day of their four-day trip to Ireland. In a moment that captured the poignancy of the occasion, seven-year-old Victoria Grieves curtseyed before presenting the Duchess of Cornwall with a vibrant bouquet of flowers. Victoria's father Gary, a police constable in the PSNI, was killed in a road crash in Portglenone, Co Antrim as he travelled home from duty in 2010. His daughter was among family members of fallen officers who gathered at PSNI headquarters to meet the Duchess and Prince of Wales at the official opening of a memorial paying tribute to their sacrifice. It was 14 years since the Prince stood only yards away to open an adjoining garden commemorating the 300 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers killed during the Troubles. Kate Carroll, whose husband Stephen was murdered by dissident republicans in Craigavon, Co Armagh in 2009, spoke with the Duchess. Constable Carroll's name, along with 12 others, is listed on the roll of honour on the striking Irish black limestone memorial wall. "She just told me to keep on smiling and she said I have been brave and I said, 'well, you have to be'," said Mrs Carroll. The police widow described the memorial as a "fitting tribute". "I think it is very comforting that you are able to come and see where your loved ones are being honoured," she said. "It is a nice feeling to know you can go somewhere and that they are appreciated." As well as serving PSNI officers and police staff, former chief constable Matt Baggott and representatives from the Irish Garda attended the ceremony. Current PSNI chief George Hamilton said it was a day of "mixed feelings". "There is the pride and poignancy of the day but also the sadness of it," he said. "We have 13 names on the wall of this memorial garden and that is 13 devastated families and most of those families were able to join with us for this official opening. "We were grateful too that the significance and size of the sacrifice was marked by the attendance of their royal highnesses." PFNI Chairman, Mark Lindsay, represented the staff association at the event and said he was “deeply appreciative” of the remembrance displayed. Afterwards, Mr Lindsay said: “I was honoured to have been there to pay my respects to colleagues who lost their lives in tragic circumstances. “This was a fitting tribute to the officers, and I know the families are deeply appreciative of the way their loved ones are being remembered. “The Memorial Garden is a constant reminder to our wider community of the dangerous work officers do day and daily. It is right and proper that those who served and paid the ultimate price are remembered in this way. “I was delighted The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall could attend and perform the official opening, which I know will be deeply appreciated by the wider police family.” View on Police Oracle
  7. Fed says case is not isolated example. A constable remains confined to his station more than four years after being acquitted of assault while the IPCC’s investigation into him drags on. Met PC Joe Harrington, who describes policing as “all I ever wanted to do” has now been on restricted duties for longer than he served, prior to an accusation was made against him which was dismissed by a jury in a matter of minutes. The Police Federation of England and Wales are highlighting his case as one of dozens they say the slow processes of the Independent Police Complaints Commission have caused. In a statement issued through the staff association, PC Harrington, 33, said: “I am still barred from any contact with the public at work; I can’t be promoted, leave the service or move roles. I was acquitted at a jury trial years ago but I can’t move on with my life because this IPCC investigation is always lurking in the background. “I have been with my partner for 13 years and we have a five-year-old daughter, but we have no stability in our home life; my partner was eight months’ pregnant when this originally happened but we felt we could not get married with this hanging over us. “For a long time there was a fear that I might go to prison, now it’s the fear that we might be left with a single income.” Asked if he would return to policing if the investigation is lifted, PC Harrington, who says he now suffers post-traumatic stress disorder told PoliceOracle.com: “Policing is all I ever wanted to do, but I don't want to put myself in a position where this could happen to me again. “I would have to think very hard about going into a role with any scope for confrontation.” The Newham-based officer restrained a teenager in custody during the 2011 London riots. He had been serving for three years at the time. The 15-year-old accused him of assault and the watchdog was called in. The CPS initially said there was no case to answer, however it reversed its decision and ended up charging him with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. PC Harrington was suspended from work until the trial in March 2013, where a jury took less than half an hour to acquit him. “The IPCC were unhappy with my acquittal and told the press that they would recommend to the Met that I be sacked,” he said. The IPCC Commissioner who directed the case is Jennifer Izekor, who stood down in March while Police Scotland began investigating an unrelated matter she was involved in. PC Harrington has also been the subject of other complaints which the IPCC have spent years investigating, and in 2015 the Court of Appeal ruled that the watchdog was entitled to re-open a case against him, and any other it decides that it had not pursued properly in the first instance if its initial investigations were flawed. “Although my suspension has been lifted, I have spent the four years since my acquittal in a seemingly endless cycle of being investigated and reinvestigated, and confined to a desk in the station," the officer added. “The IPCC have twice been to the High Court to overturn reports that they had written, so that they could have another stab at it.” PC Harrington told PoliceOracle.com he has received support from the Met but they decided not to remove him from restricted duties. He said: “I think they’re concerned about the negative press they would receive if they lifted the restrictions. Several officers have spoken up for me but the decision was they would not be lifting restrictions until the misconduct process is removed.” The Police Federation of England and Wales is holding a special session at its conference next week on the IPCC. The association’s conduct lead Phill Mathews said: “Sadly Joe’s story is not an isolated case and really highlights the effects of such drawn out cases on officers and their families. “We want to work with the IPCC and forces to ensure that officers are treated fairly and complaints investigated expeditiously so that yet more public money doesn't get wasted, our members and their families are no longer made ill, driven out of the service or have unwarranted press intrusion in their lives.” A spokesman for the IPCC said their investigation into the assault case was completed within five months, but the reactions of the force and complainant held up proceedings. As did a move to quash its own findings in a separate matter relating to PC Harrington. She added: "The report was submitted to the Metropolitan Police (MPS) in June 2013 and in August 2014 the force agreed he should face a gross misconduct hearing but requested a delay to setting a hearing date pending the outcome of a linked case involving the same officer. The IPCC accepted this request." The watchdog says it completed the investigation into the linked case in October 2012 but sought to reinvestigate one element of it and the Met’s legal challenge against the plan held it up. “Separately, the 15-year-old male submitted a large number of complaints which were all investigated by the MPS. “The complainant lodged a number of appeals against the force’s findings which resulted in the MPS reinvestigating areas of the complaint. “In October 2016 the MPS reinvestigation did not uphold the complaints against the constable. The complainant appealed in November 2016 and in January 2017 the IPCC upheld the complaint,” she added. The spokesman added that the Met was then directed to hold a gross misconduct hearing into the matters, despite the force disagreeing with the findings. A spokesman for the Met said this direction was received last week and a hearing is “in the process of being arranged”. View on Police Oracle
  8. Firm behind the real-time anti-terror software has begun discussions with forces about introducing the new technology. The software can also provide gender and indicative age for unknown people identified. (Credit: Digital Barriers) A tech company which has developed software to live stream footage incorporating facial recognition says it will bring “Hollywood” into reality for law enforcement. Digitial Barriers, a global tech firm specialising in visual surveillance and security, has developed real time video and integrated surveillance which it is now looking to introduce to UK police forces. The software can pick out and identify hundreds of individual faces at a time, instantly checking them against registered databases or registering unique individuals in seconds. Demonstrating the software at the Forensics Europe Expo 2017, vice president of Digital Barriers Manuel Magalhaes said the company was introducing the technology to UK forces. He said: “For the first time they (law enforcement) can use any surveillance asset including a body worn camera or a smartphone and for the first time they can do real time facial recognition without having the need to control the subject or the environment. “In real time you can spot check persons of interests on their own or in a crowd. “We have sold this as a counter terrorism device initially and we have a contract with one of the major law enforcement agencies in Europe, now it is at the right maturity level for us to go to that (UK) market and we have shown it informally to a few police stakeholders. “If you’re using a HD camera and have a crowd 300 or 400 people we can do a match on people in that crowd and if they are not on the database we can give gender and indicative age. “Now Hollywood is possible with the stuff in terms of what we used to think was not possible.” The software is only limited by the quality of the camera which is providing the images and has already proved popular in the middle with the company winning a massive contract with Careem, a taxi service akin to Uber. Mr Magalhaes continued: “If we can overcome facial recognition issues in the Middle East, we can solve any facial recognition problem here in the United Kingdom. “We are number one in terms of real time cellular network streaming and we are putting this technology in a body worm camera for the first time. “Instead of you having to finish your shift, take your body word worn to a station and upload it, that’s the past, that’s time consuming and expensive. “Instead of that you just press a button and your commander or colleagues can see what you can see wherever you are in the world. “If something happens you need to see it immediately. This will change policing in a big way. We have the facial recognition and the video coding that no one else has. “It isn’t the technology that is going to push this, it’s the cost save for the agencies because for the first time they will be able to do things in real-time. They can do more with less police officers.” View on Police Oracle
  9. Special bond has developed between pair. A young girl born with a problem which meant her legs and arms did not develop properly has formed a special relationship with a puppy she is helping train to become a police dog. Marina, eight, who was born in Russia with congenital limb differences and adopted at the age of two by a family in Devon, adores her "best friend", eight-month-old Tag. Her mother, Jo Pritchard, said the bond between the two had helped improved Marina's confidence. She said: "'Marina has had a special relationship with Tag from day one. "Tag knows when Marina and her brother, Seth, are on their way home from school and waits at the gate to greet them. "Marina has always loved animals, but her relationship with Tag has improved her confidence." Ms Pritchard said Marina loves to tell people she is helping to train a police dog and has become so close to Tag that she has asked to become his main carer. The pair's special bond was noticed during a recent puppy training session at Devon and Cornwall Police headquarters in Exeter when canine development officer Paul Glennon noticed that Tag showed unusual sensitivity and gentleness when interacting with the little girl. He said: "It was clear to me straight away at our police puppy training days that Tag and Marina were very close. "Tag is an intelligent and calm puppy and adores Marina. "He seems to understand her disabilities and limitations and is incredibly gentle with her, which is amazing for a dog of his age. We have high hopes for Tag moving forward to full police dog training when he's old enough." Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Marina said of the day when Tag will have to leave to continue his training: "I'm going to be very sad but I know he is going to be a very cool police dog and he is going to catch loads of baddies." She added: "He is my best friend. He is basically my special BFF." Marina was adopted after Ms Pritchard, a children's physiotherapist, met her while she was working for the charity ThePromise, which works in Russia and neighbouring countries training people in "portage", a pre-school education system designed to support the development of children with disabilities. Marina, who enjoys running, tennis and swimming, wears custom sports prosthetic "running blades" on her legs, which were made by Ossur after a chance meeting with Paralympian Richard Whitehead, who arranged for Marina to go to London and have the blades fitted. Ms Pritchard is currently working to create a new charity to help other children with limb differences in the UK to get access to information and equipment like blades. View on Police Oracle
  10. Figures revealed at World Counter Terror Congress in London. More than 3,000 people have contacted police with information about possible terrorist activity in just two months. Forces received the tip-offs after senior officers launched a major campaign calling on members of the public to report any suspicions. The National Police Chiefs' Council said a significant number of the calls were made following the Westminster attack. Most of the concerns raised turned out to be nothing to cause any alarm but a number contained important pieces of information that resulted in further action and might otherwise have been missed. In addition to the 3,000 calls since the Action Counters Terrorism initiative was launched in March, authorities also received 300 referrals regarding online extremist material. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D'Orsi, the NPCC's lead for protective security, revealed the figures at the World Counter Terror Congress in London. She said: "The increased response from the general public and from professionals whose job it is to keep people safe within crowded places, has been really heartening. "But, as we have seen very recently here in London, we can not afford to stand still. "We need to exploit every possible way of keeping people safe and do all we can to keep everyone vigilant. "We are working very closely with security managers in busy shopping centres, transport hubs and entertainment venues. "Whether it is in business communities or local communities, we need to encourage everyone to keep contributing because, sadly, terrorism is a growing and increasingly complex threat." She also told delegates police are aiming to increase the use of the national barrier asset, temporary protective structures, during short-term summer events that attract large crowds. Senior officers have repeatedly highlighted the importance of the public's role in their efforts to prevent attacks. The official threat level from international terrorism has stood at severe, meaning an attack is "highly likely", for more than two years. Last week counter-terror officers made a number of arrests in two separate operations in London. View on Police Oracle
  11. Pilot underway in Hampshire where type of medical emergency 'could include cardiac arrest'. Special constables in Hampshire are now serving as first responders for the ambulance service. A trial has begun which will see six specials, who have been trained by paramedics, deployed to carry out initial lifesaving treatment at medical emergencies where an ambulance would struggle to get there in time. A statement from the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) says: “The type of medical emergencies the special constables could be sent to include patients in cardiac arrest where every second saved before treatment commences makes a real difference to the patient surviving.” Local Police Federation chairman John Apter said the scheme is covering gaps in the "broken" ambulance service with resources from another overstretched one. Richard Tracey, SCAS community responder manager, said: “Due to the nature of their work, the special constables in Hampshire are often roaming across the more rural parts of the county. “If we get a 999 emergency call saying someone is in cardiac arrest in such areas, they could be the closest medically trained person to the incident by a good few minutes.” The training provided by SCAS enables the specials to carry out basic lifesaving skills, including the use of oxygen and a defibrillator, which can be used to provide a shock to patients in cardiac arrest. Hampshire Special Constabulary Deputy Chief Officer Russell Morrison said: “The partnership has enabled the six special constables to develop and enhance their emergency first aid capabilities. “It is something they are extremely passionate about; being able to offer an additional, potential lifesaving service to the communities and people they help keep safe.” The specials will respond for SCAS to medical emergencies in their patrol vehicles under normal road conditions. This is similar to the service provided by existing community first responders across the ambulance service region. The ambulance service says the specials will be classified as first responders when deployed by them so should the patient they help dies it will not count as a death following police contact for the purposes of an IPCC investigation. Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter said: “Any initiative which sees police officers assisting other 999 services such as this and giving first aid to those who need it will be a good thing, however for years police officers have given first aid. “But this initiative is papering over the cracks of a broken ambulance service with scarce police resources, at a time when our officers are struggling to respond to our own 999 calls. “If our special constabulary do have extra capacity then why don’t we deploy them to where they’re needed in some of our busiest areas?” View on Police Oracle
  12. A Metropolitan Police officer who has been crawling the London Marathon in a gorilla costume since the race began on Sunday morning has completed the 26-mile route. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/29/mr-gorilla-met-police-officer-finally-finishes-london-marathon/
  13. The CPS has insisted snap election will have no impact on the timing of decisions on whether to press charges linked to 2015 General Election. Alex Salmond has warned against the Conservatives being "allowed to buy another" General Election by using officials who "successfully bought" the 2015 contest. The SNP MP questioned if ministers have plans in place to deal with the implications should the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decide to press charges linked to the 2015 General Election expenses of Conservative MPs. He expressed concerns in the Commons over the involvement of political strategist Sir Lynton Crosby, known for using shock tactics to divert attention away from another issue, and others in the Conservative campaign given their previous work in 2015. The Electoral Commission fined the Conservatives a record £70,000 last month after concluding the party failed to report accurately its spending in three 2014 by-elections and at the 2015 general election. Fifteen police forces have also submitted files to the CPS which relate to allegations concerning a candidate and an election agent at the 2015 contest, with the number of people involved totalling at least 30. The CPS has insisted the snap election on June 8 will have no impact on the timing of decisions on whether to press charges. Mr Salmond, raising a point of order in the Commons, said: "Given that the Prime Minister has decided to reappoint all of the campaign team who have already been fined by the Electoral Commission responsible for this boorach, we cannot get ourselves into a position of that campaign team, up to and including Lynton Crosby, having successfully bought one election, allowed to buy another." Speaker John Bercow, in his reply, said: "The rules governing the conduct of elections are not a matter for the chair." He added: "I have no intention of being drawn into this matter, which would be quite improper. What the police and Crown Prosecution Service do and when is a matter for them." Labour MP Dennis Skinner (Bolsover), also raising a point of order, said he had received no answers from Prime Minister Theresa May nor Justice Secretary Liz Truss on the matter. He said of Mrs May: "She didn't get a revelation on the Welsh hills. She called a snap election in order to try and beat the Crown Prosecution Service. "That's what this election is all about." View on Police Oracle
  14. Faults with Police Scotland's body-worn video camera system are increasing at a time when the force is considering a national rollout, the BBC understands. More than 300 issues were logged including the assigning of devices to officers and downloading of footage. Numbers are low but data obtained by the BBC shows some officers called the system "inoperative" and "unusable". Police Scotland said most problems had been with the force's own computers, not the cameras. Ch Insp Nick Topping added that the number of reported defects were low considering the devices had been deployed "tens of thousands of times across four years". Body-worn cameras were trialled for 18 months in Aberdeen before the scheme was subsequently rolled out across the Moray and Aberdeenshire divisions in 2012. Smaller and lighter than a mobile phone, the devices are worn on the upper body and are typically used during city centre patrols, events and drug searches. A freedom of information request revealed the force has 385 cameras deployed across its divisions, with an additional 49 set aside for the FoCUS team which polices football matches. A 2014 review showed that early guilty pleas were obtained in 91% of cases where the camera footage formed part of the evidence, allowing 697 officers to be on the streets rather than in the courts. Half of these guilty pleas were also submitted at "first calling" meaning officers did not have to prepare additional paperwork for the Crown Office. Police Scotland officers also stated that the cameras helped de-escalate potentially dangerous situations involving aggressive individuals. But, at a time when Police Scotland is conducting a "scoping exercise"regarding a nationwide deployment of these cameras, data obtained by BBC Scotland revealed the number of faults reported with the body-worn camera system doubled over a three-year period. View the detailed fault report data here. In total officers logged 302 faults in the force's IT portal since 2013, with the number of issues doubling from 57 in 2014, to 120 in 2016. Deployed up to 50,000 times annually, it has been claimed the number of reported incidents each year indicate a failure rate of only 0.03%. However, the number of reports could actually be greater as the force said individuals may have reported the issue directly to a colleague rather than using the IT portal. The force's portal also has no specific search field for camera-related reports, meaning BBC Scotland had to provide a list of specific terms with which to search their system. 'Unusable' system The bulk of the problems logged related not to the cameras themselves, but officers being unable to log the cameras in and out. The majority of issues came from stations in Aberdeen and Banff where the number of reports quadrupled and trebled respectively between 2014 and 2016. A Police Scotland document which outlines the operating procedures for the cameras states that "the units will only function if they have been assigned using the 'My Witness' software to an officer". One officer in Stonehaven reported: "The BWV [Body Worn Video] system is not recognising any BWV cameras which renders the system unusable. "Footage cannot be downloaded and the cameras cannot be allocated to officers." Another officer in Inverurie reported a similar issue logging out cameras and stated: "This is an officer safety issue as we cannot issue BWV cameras until this is fixed". One officer in Aberdeen reported errors with eight "faulty" cameras; other officers in Banff, Lossiemouth, Forres, Huntly, Torry, and Aboyne reported none of their cameras could be used. The data obtained by BBC Scotland also revealed other issues including downloading and locating footage, the charging of devices, broken camera mounts, and one camera which was found by officers to be recording audio at all times even when it was not activated to record. However, Ch Insp Topping said the impact of the reported faults was marginal, and that the majority of the issues were down to user error or computers rather than the cameras themselves. He said: "Our computers run 24/7...so sometimes what happens is a computer needs a reboot". "And that's why there's been some recorded issues because we've asked officers to make sure they record any issues." However, the increase in reports, and the revelation that the same issues are repeatedly encountered by the same officers, suggest a reboot may not always be the solution. One officer reported that "the body worn video system based at Fraserburgh Police Office is inoperative". The officer said: "All cameras are in the charging base but none are registering as being there and no footage can be accessed. "We have re-set the system but still nothing." Infrastructural and funding challenges Ch Insp Topping added that many of the devices were now more than four years old. He said: "So they're coming to the end of their lifetime cycle, and we're in the process of refreshing a number at the moment because the battery for some is not holding a charge. "So the actual issues with the BWVs has been minor because we've deployed these tens of thousands of times across four years." But Andrea MacDonald, chairwoman of the Scottish Police Federation, said there were concerns over a national deployment of the system, as well as its integration with the rest of the criminal justice system. She said: "[We] are largely supportive of anything that could help our members welfare and to protect them and the public...however what concerns us just now is that we have serious issues with our IT infrastructure, and we just don't think it's capable of supporting body-worn cameras at the present time. "And the finances required will be a large sum of money which again, in the current cash-strapped situation, we're concerned that the service don't have the funding for it." Sir Stephen House, the force's former chief constable, told the Scottish Police Authority in June 2015 that "the cost would be more than several million pounds to roll out body worn cameras across the force and the money was not available at the present time". The adoption of the devices by the Metropolitan Police last October is costing the London force approximately £1m a year. And at a time of a £200m financial gap, Police Scotland confirmed no new cameras have been purchased since April 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-39730665
  15. 'Fair, robust and transparent' model which was proposed in 2015 has not been introduced but officer who would have felt biggest impact says he doesn't lose sleep over issue. The outgoing chief constable of the force which was set to gain the most from the botched reform of the police funding formula, says he wonders if its effects will ever be felt. Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon, who retires next week after almost ten years in charge of the force, was asked by Police Oracle if he felt his constabulary had been affected by the abandoned changes. In November 2015 the Home Office withdrew changes which it had earlier said would make central government funding “fair, robust and transparent”. Under the first departmental proposal Derbyshire Constabulary would have been around £20 million a year better off, under the second they would have had a £7 million boost. CC Creedon said: “It doesn’t cause me sleepless nights but if you’re going to have a funding formula, implement it. “Do I worry about it? If I’m cynical it’s not going to ever happen, so let’s get on and not try to have a spending profile based on ‘it might happen’. “If it ever gets done and Derbyshire comes out to the positive it will take so many years and it will be damped over about a decade that the benefits will be marginal. “I think the problem with the police funding formula is that it’s a reduced cake, and there’s always going to be people who are winners and losers.” He pointed out many parts of “critical infrastructure” which are done on a cross-force basis through collaboration don’t have secure funding, unlike forces and national agencies and that this is lacking in discussions around the formula. CC Creedon also highlighted the contradiction between the government’s introduction of police and crime commissioners, and a cap on the amount they can raise local taxes by. He said that in force areas like Derbyshire a 2 per cent increase on council tax counts for far less than in force areas where house prices are higher. “I think it’s a nonsense for national government to give freedom to PCCs who are elected democratically by local people but they are not given freedom about what they can do with their budget. “The model as described to me was: that they are elected, they are accountable and the ballot box will be their sanction. So if they raise the precept [by more than 2 per cent] and the public don’t like it they’re held to account through the ballot box, and by the police and crime panel. “I think the truth is that there are some forces better funded than others and that’s not acceptable to me. It can’t be right that if you’re in Essex you have a certain level of policing, in Hertfordshire you have another and Bedfordshire you have another.” In a separate interview Derbyshire PCC Hardyal Dhindsa told PoliceOracle.com: “I hope under the new government the funding formula is delivered and we do get a better deal for Derbyshire. “We haven’t historically. The last funding review we’ve still not had the full dampening effect of that done away with, and we’re still underfunded.” In January Policing Minister Brandon Lewis told Parliament that PCCs and chief constables were “very happy with the process we are undertaking and the timescale we are working on and I don’t intend to rush something, I want to make sure we get right”. But Mr Dhindsa said: “That is not true. He certainly wasn’t talking about me, for a start. There are winners and losers, so I’m sure there are certain police and crime commissioners who would not want it to be rushed because whichever permutation they look at they may lose out.” He added that all PCCs in the East Midlands are keen to have the changes “progressed as speedily as possible”. Mr Lewis also said in January: “The Home Office is undertaking a process of engagement with the policing sector and independent experts on reform of the Police Core Grant Distribution Formula. “No decisions will be taken until Ministers have considered the outcome of the Review. Any new formula will be subject to public consultation before implementation.” View on Police Oracle