David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Police Officers march for Royal Marines' charity

British Royal Marines turned cops are digging out their marching boots for charity.

More than 80 officers from around the UK are joining forces under the banner of Commando Cops to perform a half-marathon speed-march.

Nearly a third of the ex Royal Marines taking part are officers from my former force namely the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary.

The Royal Marine Association hopes to raise enough funds to send 62 Royal Marines, all of whom have suffered life-changing injuries, to the 2010 Winter Paralympics and the 2012 London Paralympics.

Originally setting a target of £40,000, the Commando Cops have already raised £60,000 with a significant proportion of the sum raised by two local officers from Devon. Detective Chief Inspector Ken Lamont and Detective Constable Peter Boorn have already raised over £6,000 between them.

Det. Chief Inspector Lamont said; "Support has been fantastic. The generosity of colleagues and local people from Devon has made us proud."

The speed-march will take place in Central London on Saturday, November 7th, the day before Remembrance Sunday.

If you would like to donate please visit; www.bmycharity.com/commandocops
and sponsor any officer's name you may choose from the list provided.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Police win data deletion appeal

My thanks to my former colleague Andy Pierce for drawing my attention to this news report and I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with his sentiments as follows; A sensible decision by the Court of Appeal which must leave some like me, who constantly and consistenly argued the toss with the Data Protection / Freedom of Information lobby, feeling quite smug.

The rules state information must be relevant, up to date and not excessive
Five police forces which challenged a ruling that they should delete records on criminal convictions from their database have won their appeal.

The court of appeal said convictions, however old and however minor, can be of value in the fight against crime.

The court said that as a result the retention of that information should not be denied to the police.

The forces said if they had lost, they may have been forced to delete details of as many as one million people.

The police added if the original ruling had been upheld, the result would have been a "liars' charter" - where people would be able to deny criminal convictions on job applications if they knew the deletion deadline had passed.

'However old or minor'

Three judges ruled that retaining information was far easier to justify than actually disclosing the information to others.

"If the police say rationally and reasonably that convictions, however old or minor, have a value in the work that they do, that should, in effect, be the end of the matter," said Lord Justice Waller, sitting with Lord Justices Carnwath and Hughes.

The appeal was made by the chief constables of the Humberside, Staffordshire, Northumbria, West Midlands and Greater Manchester forces.

"This data assists police officers in their work in preventing crime and protecting the public" Quote from ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers.

The five convicted people who had contested the case were refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) welcomed the ruling, adding that "the ramifications of losing the appeal were potentially huge".

Ian Readhead, Acpo director of information, told the BBC: "This data assists police officers in their work in preventing crime and protecting the public and the loss of such valuable information would have been detrimental to that.

"Although principally used for police purposes, these records are also critical to the courts, the Criminal Records Bureau, the Independent Safeguarding Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office, who all supported this appeal."

But Anna Fairclough, a lawyer for the civil rights group Liberty, said the judgement "forgets the privacy rights of millions of people".

She said: "Exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and the net of employment vetting are being cast so wide that people will be forever haunted by the minor indiscretions of their youth.

"We need a tighter rein on the circumstances when spent convictions can be disclosed."

Held for 100 years

The original ruling came about after five people complained to the information commissioner because their criminal records showed up when they applied for jobs.

One of the cases was a record held by Humberside Police about the theft of a 99p packet of meat in 1984. The person involved, who was under 18 at the time, was fined £15.

Another, held by West Midlands Police, referred to a theft which took place more than 25 years ago, for which the individual was fined £25.

And a third, held by Staffordshire Police, related to someone under 14 who was cautioned for a minor assault.

Under current policy, criminal records remain on the police national computer for up to 100 years.

Information courtesy of http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8314032.stm

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lloyd Gardner - A remarkable young man from Devon

A good Samaritan given a £10,000 reward for helping catch a brutal rapist has handed all the money to the stunned victim.

Big-hearted Lloyd Gardner, 22, said the woman had far more need of the cash as she was left crippled by the savage attack.

The 48-year-old, who can not be named, was left for dead, unconscious and naked, in the centre of Exeter, Devon, and still uses a wheelchair over three years later.

Lloyd, a restaurant manager, gave cops vital information which helped them track down sex beast Jakub Tomczak to Poland.

The 24-year-old fugitive monster was arrested and brought back to the UK and given two life sentences in January 2008.

Lloyd responded to a TV appeal over the attack when he recognised two Polish girls spotted on CCTV with Tomczak.

He had worked with them before they returned to Poland but he told detectives where they came from and they led officers to the rapist in Poznan.

Modest Lloyd told police he wanted the victim to have all the money and said: "I didn't feel like I'd earned it.

"The fact that such a horrific thing happened to that lady, I thought it would benefit her life more than it would mine.

"I just wanted to try and improve her standard of life.

"It's a huge amount of money but I've been lucky throughout my life - she nearly died and was left in a horrendous state after the attack.

"I thought the money would go a lot further to improve her situation. I just wanted to help in any way possible and I hope this has done that."

Lloyd, of Ottery St. Mary, Devon, added: "I thought what I told police was quite minor at the time but they told me it was what they needed and had been a vital part of the case."

Lloyd has now been chosen by police in Ottery St. Mary to officially open their new station next week.

Local Sergeant Nick Harper said: "Lloyd's act of kindness was unbelievable. He is an outstanding member of the community."

Tomczak was working as a hotel night porter when he struck and left his badly injured victim under a van.

He was brought back to the UK under a European arrest warrant and convicted on DNA evidence which matched his semen with samples found at the scene.

He told the court: "I do not know the truth of what happened to her."

He was given two life sentences for rape and grievous bodily harm, to run concurrently, and was sent back to Poland to serve them.

Story courtesy of www.policeoracle.com