David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ukraine Air Disaster

Like millions of others worldwide, I have been deeply shocked by the pictures on television of the catastrophic air disaster over eastern Ukraine last Thursday 17th July, involving the apparent shooting down by one or more surface to air missiles, of the Malaysian Airways Boeing 777 passenger aircraft flight number MH17 with the total loss of all 298 innocent passengers and crew including 80 children.

I would like to add my personal condolences to all the many tributes posted on the Internet to the families and friends of those, of whatever nationality, who perished in such unimaginable circumstances.

Such an evil act must not go unpunished by whomsoever was responsible for this appalling act of treachery. The vast family of law abiding and free nations must pull together to establish the full truth of what happened and to hold the guilty to account.

To the deceased, may their souls rest in peace, and to their families and friends, may you find some strength from the knowledge that millions of people worldwide share your grief and sorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Shift patterns 'force police to sleep on the streets'

Claims officers are bedding down on benches, under bridges and in train stations due to lack of facilities.

Changes to working patterns mean some officers are resorting to sleeping on the streets because they have no means of getting home to bed after finishing late shifts, a Police Federation official has warned.

Deputy General Secretary of the Metropolitan Police Federation Dennis Weeks said officers were bedding down on benches, under bridges and in train stations after finishing shifts in the early hours of the morning after trains had stopped running.

“Officers are not allowed to sleep in police stations, so they are going to train stations and sleeping there or on benches near the station so that as soon as the first train leaves they can go home,” he said. “It makes them vulnerable to being criminally assaulted, the impact on their health is extremely bad and bad weather can make it difficult.

“An officer might end up finishing at 1am and missing the late train, meaning they cannot get home because night buses only go within London. There used to be police section houses with accommodation for officers all over London, but now there is just one.”

No accommodation

The peak time when officers are needed in London boroughs is between around 7pm and 1am, but after this time crime tails off, meaning keeping officers on overnight would be inefficient.

Met officers who live outside of London often commute dozens of miles to work by train even if they are motorists because of a scarcity of spaces caused by sell offs of police car parks and strict restrictions on parking in some areas.

Westminster, Camden and Kensington and Chelsea are among the boroughs where the problem is most acute, Mr Weeks said – but he stressed officers who were sleeping on the streets did so on a “sporadic” basis and not for long periods of time.

He added: “During the Olympics we had officers sleeping under bridges. The organisational ability to house people in emergency situations has been depleted.”

Asked whether any off duty officers found sleeping rough had been moved on by their on duty colleagues, Mr Weeks said: “Our people can be moved on from places the same as anyone else.”

He also highlighted “anti-homeless” metal spokes which prevented people – potentially including sleeping policemen - from catching forty winks.

‘Heard stories’

At a London Assembly Police and Crime Panel meeting this week, panel member Len Duvall told Met Police Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey he had heard about police sleeping on the streets of London.

“I have heard those stories as well,” the Deputy Commissioner replied, “but certainly (I have heard about) sleeping in police stations and all those things that we do not want.”

DC Mackey said the Met faced a tension because “work demand” meant officers “finishing at 2am or 3am” and the fact that in some London boroughs “for anyone who does not live in that borough finishing at 3am (poses) real practical things like they cannot get home if they have not got their own transport.”

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe added: “A lot of our people live outside of London and have to travel a distance. If the transport stops and they cannot bring a car in, it causes a tension. We realise that and are doing our best to resolve it, but it is not straightforward.”

Article courtesy of Josh Loeb of www.policeoracle.com

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Labour government 'would reduce number of police forces'

Labour will seek to cut the number of police forces in England and Wales if it wins the next general election to free up cash to bolster neighbourhood policing.

Addressing the ACPO conference in Harrogate, Shadow Policing Minister Jack Dromey told delegates that there would be less than 43 forces by the end of the party’s five-year term.

He also hinted Labour could abolish police and crime commissioners and introduce a new form of governance – although he stopped short of committing to the proposal.

Mr Dromey said: “It is a nonsense to continue with 43 separate forces in England and Wales – it has been said to me time and time again that it is the enemy of operational effectiveness. It is certainly the enemy of efficiency.

“At the end of the first term of a Labour government there would not be 43 forces.”

Mr Dromey said that Labour’s plans to raise funds to bolster neighbourhood policing are currently being put together.

He added that the neighbourhood policing policy – introduced by a previous Labour administration – had been successful but had been placed under threat by the cuts of the Coalition Government.

During his speech to the conference, Mr Dromey said there were a number of convincing proposals put forward in the Lord Stevens independent commission into the future of policing.

The party commissioned the former Met commissioner to carry out a comprehensive investigation in 2012, which had involved the consultation of several international law enforcement professionals.

In outlining the party's policy ahead of the general election in 2015, he said there were compelling arguments in Lord Stevens' recommendations to reduce the numbers of forces as well as abolishing the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and creating a new body.

He suggested that the IPCC did not have the confidence of either the police or the public – adding that the government was wrong to enhance funding of the body.

Mr Dromey believed that more could be achieved by bringing together the IPCC and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary – as suggested by Lord Stevens.

During his speech he emphasised that Police Service leaders would not always like what any future Labour government would have to say. But he stressed that the party would “stand up for the best of British policing”.

The senior MP also asserted that there needed to be sound and thorough investigations into past incidences, such as the Hillsborough and the Stephen Lawrence murder probe.

Article courtesy of Cliff Caswell. www.policeoracle.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How far from the truth ?

Barack Obama and David Cameron are shown a time machine which can see 100 years into the future.

They both decide to test it by asking a question each. Barack goes first.

“What will the USA be like in 100 years time?”

The machine whirs and beeps and goes into action and gives him a printout, he reads it out

"The country is in good hands under the new president, Crime is non-existent, There is no conflict, the economy is healthy. There are no worries”

David thinks “It's not bad this time machine, I'll have a bit of that” so he asks:

“What will England be like in 100 years time?”

The machine whirs and beeps and goes into action, and he gets a printout. But he just stares at it.

“Come on David” says Barack, “What does it say”

David replies,

“Buggered if I know! It's not in English!”

Friday, May 30, 2014

World Cup policing operation gathers pace

Six police officers from across the UK will head to Brazil during the World Cup to ensure a safe and trouble-free tournament.

The UK plans to send six police officers to Brazil during the 2014 World Cup to offer support and advice to Brazilian police and local authorities.

The team in the South American country will be led by Chief Superintendent Rachel Barber of South Yorkshire Police, supported by the national police lead on football, Deputy Chief Constable Andy Holt who will act as Gold commander based in the UK.

Ch Supt Barber will be joined by deputy director Roger Evans from UK Football Policing Unit, Bedfordshire PC Chris Hawkes, GMP PC Ashley Keyte, West Midlands PC Stewart Bladen, Hampshire PC Paul Foley and Norfolk PC Andy King.

The UK policing delegation will remain in Brazil as long as the England team is in contention.

DCC Holt said: “British police are among the best in the world at policing football matches and it is testament to their work with supporters groups and others involved in the game that serious football violence has declined. At the last World Cup in 2010 there were only seven arrests of England fans, none of them for football-related violence."

As reported on PoliceOracle.com, the policing operation during the last competition in South Africa won significant acclaim. A combination of a strong message to fans and effective enforcement of Football Banning Orders with operations at airports saw an effective clampdown on disorder.

The action included an action at Southampton Airport led by Superintendent Ricky Burrows, an authority on football policing at Hampshire Constabulary.

DCC Holt said his team would again be encouraging fans to look after themselves and there would be a fresh campaign to target those subject to Football Banning Orders, encouraging them to surrender their passports to police stations as required.

He added that there would be "a firm but friends policing operation" during the World Cup in the UK, with a particular focus on preventing alcohol related disorder.

Article courtesy of Alex Iszatt - www.policeoracle.com

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Serial goat vandals damage car

Police chief hopes that damage done to a car by a known pair of goats will be settled out of court.

Police in Richmond, California were called after a concerned resident was unable to convince a pair of goats 'known to get loose' to climb down from his car.

The nefarious four-legged duo escaped from their enclosure to resume a campaign of vandalism, resulting in bodywork damage to a resident's Ford Focus after they jumped up onto the bonnet.

When the resident noticed the two animals standing on his car, he notified the police. By the time the officer arrived, the goats refused to stand down.

After assessing the damage done to the car, the owner intended to obtain quotes for the repair of the scratches on his bonnet and for the goat's proprietor to take care of. As a consequence, there were no criminal charges.

Attending officer Scott MacMaster of Richmond Police said: "Apparently the goats got loose from the neighbours’ and were climbing all over his car...They have been known to get loose in the past"

Article courtesy of Scott Docherty -www.policeoracle.com

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