David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Friday, February 28, 2014

Case for water cannon 'contradictory'

Politicians say Met must make better case for using less lethal weapon.

The Metropolitan Police’s case for using water cannon is flawed because examples given of the type of disorder it could be used “appear contradictory”, the London Assembly has said.

Assembly members said the list of times where cannon could have been deployed – including the Countryside Alliance march in 2004, the Gaza demonstrations outside the Israeli Embassy in 2008/9 and the student protests in Millbank in 2010.

It also said there was confusion over whether water cannon would have been practical during the 2011 riots.

In its report, the assembly’s Police and Crime Committee said: “At a recent public engagement event, the Met said it had identified one or two instances a year when water cannon may have been a suitable tactic, significantly more than the three examples in the Association of Chief Police Officers’ briefing.

“We are concerned that some of the examples that the Met has given conflict with its assurances about how water cannon would be used.

“At the public engagement event, the Met introduced other examples of events when they felt that the scale of disorder was such that water cannon may have been a justified tactic: the carnival against capitalism in 1999; in Tottenham during the disorder of August 2011 and to tackle disorder between fans at a Millwall v Birmingham football match.”

But the committee said evidence from senior officers and Mayor Boris Johnson contradicted this.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told the committee “you would never see (water cannon) at a peaceful protest”, even if some within it were causing disorder.

Mr Johnson also said that water cannon would not have been appropriate during the 2011 disorder.

He told the committee: “Suppose we were to re-run (the disorder). We would not be talking about water cannon.

“We would be talking about more assertive policing. Let us be absolutely clear about that… the answer to that feeling (of helplessness) is not just to equip the police with greater weaponry or greater firepower in the form of water cannon.”

The committee’s report has said there is “no convincing argument” for water cannon.

It concluded: “The Met is pressing ahead for an ‘interim solution’ without clear justification for its urgency. In doing so, it is preventing and avoiding a full and proper national public debate about water cannon.”

The Met declined to comment on the report.

Stephen Greenhalgh, the deputy mayor for policing, has defended the usefulness of water cannon.

Writing in The Guardian on February 26, he said: “The strict criteria for use could not be clearer. The police will only be able to use them in those situations where there is a significant risk of widespread destruction of property or the loss of life.

“A water cannon is neither a toy for the cops to bring out as a show of strength nor a tool to deploy at normal protest or public events.

“The Met polices over 1,500 public order events every year, with the vast majority passing off peacefully. However, if and when legitimate protest is hijacked and turns into violent disorder, the public rightly expect the police to have the necessary tools to restore order and safeguard life.”

Article courtesy of Jack Sommers -www.policeoracle.com

Friday, February 07, 2014

Drunk man mistook officer for a stripper !

Man admitted obstructing a police officer after flicking her in the face with a towel believing she was a stripper.

A man has been arrested after mistaking a female police officer for a stripper, dancing in front of her and whipping a bar towel in her face.

Mirroring a scene out of Only Fools and Horses, Paul Harbord thought it was his lucky day when a female officer walked into the Black Bull pub in Old Shotton, County Durham.

The 27-year-old, who had been enjoying an all-day drinking session with a large group, mistook the officer for a stripper when she came in to investigate ‘rowdy’ behaviour on December 29.

Harbord, who is a rigger, was told by one of his friends to expect ‘entertainment’ that evening, so when she entered the pub he shouted ‘look, here is one of the strippers,’ a court heard.

Chairman of the bench David Carr described it as an ‘unfortunate affair’.

Vicky Wilson, prosecuting at Peterlee magistrates court, said: ‘He was part of a large group dressed up. At 9.30pm a female police officer arrived at the pub, following concerns that the group was rowdy.

‘Harbord shouted “look, here is one of the strippers” as he flicked a bar towel in the officers face.’

Harbord, of Peterlee, Country Durham, admitted to obstructing a police officer and was given a six-month conditional discharge. He was ordered to pay £85 and a £15 victim surcharge.

Article courtesy of www.policeoracle.com

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A phenomenon in your own lifetime !

NB. This is not a photograph of my friend.

This is the only time you will see this phenomenon in your lifetime.

Calendar August 2014

It is a fact that August 2014 will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. According to my very clever former school friend, now a retired head teacher, this happens only every 823 years ! Is that really true ?

This is another of her fascinating claims. If true it speaks volumes about our European bureaucrats:

If there was still a shred of doubt the world is totally insane, this should remove it; only Divine intervention can now restore us to sanity !

Pythagoras' Theorem: .............. 24 words

Lord's Prayer: .................. 66 words

Archimedes' Principle: ............ 67 words

Ten Commandments: .............. 179 words

Gettysburg Address: ............... 286 words

US Declaration of Independence : . 1,300 words

US Constitution with all 27 Amendments: 7,818 words

EU Regulations on the Sale of CABBAGES: 26,911 words

Words fail me, someone please reassure me that the last statistic is incorrect !

Friday, January 17, 2014

'Bobby tax' will hit recruitment

Concerns grow that gifted officer candidates will be unable to apply for jobs as a result of £1,000 fee

A document that serves as a crucial prerequisite for prospective officers to join the service has been described as a “bobby tax”.

Siobhain McDonagh, Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden in London, asked colleagues during Prime Minister’s Questions: “Do you want the police to be like us, or only for the rich?” – referring to the new Certificate in Knowledge of Policing. She said she had launched a petition against the move – which will cost officers up to £1,000. Ms McDonagh added: “As if the cost of living wasn’t bad enough already they’re bringing in a new bobby tax. The government is doing something very silly. “From now on, anyone who wants to apply to become an officer can forget it, unless they can cough up a grand to go on a new course they’ve invented called the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing. “Without paying the money, you won’t even be allowed to apply for the force, let alone have an interview or get the job.” According to the College, The Certificate in Knowledge of Policing “is a means towards achieving the Diploma in Policing. The Diploma is a requirement for all new police constables, and is the national minimum professional qualification.” It will cost prospective police officers between £750 and £1,000 to attain.

The College adds: “It is for each individual police force to decide whether applicants to become police officers will need to have the Certificate before they apply. The Metropolitan Police is the first force to require this for new candidates who are not special constables – other forces are following suit.” But Ms McDonagh said other sectors had long abandoned this type of practice. She added: “The Army stopped all that back in 1871, when they realised it was better to give the job to people based on merit rather than on how rich or posh they are. “Why should our best, most talented youngsters have to fork out £1,000 for the privilege of joining the police? “It doesn’t make any sense. Most of the young people from Mitcham and Morden won’t be able to afford that – so we’ll end up with officers from wealthy backgrounds, who don’t know the first thing about what it’s like to live in a community like ours. “Everyone agrees we need to have a police force that is more like the community it polices. We need more people from tough backgrounds, more people from ethnic minorities. In short, we need more people from places like Mitcham and Morden. “But that’s not going to happen now. A thousand pounds is too much for people from round here to afford.”

Responding at Prime Minister Questions, PM David Cameron said: “What we are trying to do through the College of Policing is even further professionalise this vital profession – I will make sure the Home Secretary contacts her about this particular issue.”

The College of Policing says the “Certificate gives you an understanding of policing and police law, and to demonstrate some of the critical decision-making skills that are required for the job”. If people cannot afford the £750-£1,000 they are advised to “enquire about any available funding from individual providers”. Helen Schofield, Head of learning strategy at the College, said: "External funding is available for the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing and is open for anyone to apply and can cover the whole cost of a course. "In addition, police forces are allowed to create their own bursary schemes to attract candidates which may be at a disadvantage. "The certificate is one of a number of entry routes into policing and gives candidates an official qualification. It also allows future police officers to take responsibility for their learning."

Article courtesy of Royston Martis - www.policeoracle.com

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Offence for attacking police dogs proposed

A campaigner's fight to create more protection for police dogs from criminal acts and violence could force a debate in Parliament.

Police dogs should be recognised as serving members of the service so criminals face tougher punishments if they decide to attack the canines, a campaigner has said.

Dave Hibbert, who set up the Retired West Midlands Police Dog Benevolent Fund, says offenders facing the minor charge of criminal damage for injuring police dogs is not good enough.

Mr Hibbert, who also walks the force’s puppies, has launched a government petition to afford the dogs greater protection in law – by creating a more serious criminal offence.

He said recognising the dogs as “serving members” of the service - as an extension to their officer handlers – would make criminals think twice about attacking them.

Mr Hibbert said: “Police dogs do a fantastic job protecting our communities and on a daily basis there are examples where dogs have tracked crime suspects, uncovered stolen property or sniffed out vital evidence.

“They are the first to be called in when dangerous situations occur and they often put themselves on the line to protect their fellow officers.

"However, despite the invaluable work police dogs do for their communities, in law they are only considered 'property'.

“At present an attack on a police dog would only be considered criminal damage which I don't think provides enough of a punishment or deterrent."

He continued: "One of my own puppies, Police Dog Usha, was once attacked with a glass bottle and there have been recent examples of other police dogs being assaulted by criminals.

“There seems to be a growing trend of attacks on police dogs (and horses) and I feel now is the time to push for a law change recognising the sterling work police dogs do for their communities.”

Mr Hibbert said 100,000 signatures were needed to bring the matter to parliament for discussion.

He added: "Assistance dogs, such as guide dogs, have been recognised as being an extension of the assisted person and I'm campaigning to see police dogs classed as representing an extension of their police handler.

"I need 100,000 names on the petition to officially get it raised in parliament – but even if I don't reach that target I'm hoping the campaign will generate enough support so that MPs take notice and will take our campaign further."

In September 2012, Gino, a West Midlands Police dog, was attacked, strangled with his own collar and even bitten by a violent car thief who had knocked down two pedestrians in Birmingham city centre.

He refused to be beaten though and dragged the man down as he tried to scale a six-foot fence. The dog also maintained his grip despite being repeatedly punched and kicked. The man was later jailed for aggravated vehicle taking - but there was no additional punishment for the attack on Gino.

Then in November, Fuzz, a Metropolitan Police dog, was struck with a metal bar by a robbery suspect wanted for stealing a moped. He kept hold of the man until he was arrested but was rushed for veterinary treatment to a cut eye and bleeding nose.

The online petition will be open until 28 November this year. Signatures so far total 9339. To sign please visit: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/57585

Article courtesy of Nic Brunetti- www.policeoracle.com

Friday, January 03, 2014

Crash Sleigh Santa faces charges

Drunken festive ride lands Father Christmas in trouble with the police

A drunk Santa and his pie-eyed helper are both in hospital after falling out of their sleigh during a tipsy ride down a busy high street.

The 51-year-old Father Christmas and his 31-year-old female helper had been singing Xmas carols and waving at locals as they trotted down the busy street in Ustrzykach Dolnych, Poland, when a passing car beeped them, scaring the horse which reared up sending them flying into the road.

Passerby Zdzislaw Molodynski who captured the scene on camera said: "It was quite extraordinary. They were supposed to have been an attraction at the local market and lots of people were taking their children there to go and see them. But instead they saw these two, who were clearly under the influence, behaving like they had just come out of a nightclub or something. Then a car started beeping them which threw the horse into a panic. It reared up and sent them smashing into the wall on the corner of the street. It was a mixture of 'Ho, ho, ho' and 'No, no, no'," he said.

Magda Dudzinska who had taken her seven-year-old son to meet the Santa said: "I'm not happy they had a crash or are in hospital, but I'm delighted we didn't get to meet them. Who knows what they would have done in that state. They were clearly in no state to deal with children."

The pair were taken to local hospital suffering from concussion.

Police spokesman Dorota Glazowska said: "Technically, they were drunk while in charge of a vehicle on the road. We are looking at pressing charges."

Article courtesy of www.policeoracle.com