Latest News

27 Feb 2024

Economy & Public Finance

Jeremy Hunt plans national insurance cut and vape tax for budget

Jeremy Hunt is expected to use next week’s Budget to cut national insurance rather than income tax as he announces a new levy on vaping. The Chancellor has significantly scaled back his planned cuts after official forecasts suggested he will have much less money to spend than expected. The two main tax cuts expected in the Budget are a 1 percentage-point reduction in employee national insurance, at a cost of about £4.5 billion a year, and an extension of the fuel duty freeze at a cost of £1 billion a year.

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27 Feb 2024

Economy & Public Finance

Budget tax cuts warning

The Government should not cut taxes in the upcoming Budget, unless it can spell out how it will afford them, a leading think tank has warned. The Chancellor has hinted he would like to lower taxes in what could be the last Budget before a general election. But the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the case for tax cuts was "weak". The Government said it would not comment on whether further cuts to tax would be "affordable in the Budget".

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27 Feb 2024

Police Finances

Israel-Gaza protests have cost police £25m so far

Ministers must do more to prevent the Israel-Gaza protests from “draining” official resources after policing the events cost £25 million, a report has concluded.

The figure covers pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protests from October 7 to December 17 last year. Scotland Yard has spent almost £19 million policing London rallies, with another £6.5 million spent outside the capital.

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26 Feb 2024

Justice

Early release scheme extended

A scheme to allow prisoners to be released early because of a lack of space has been extended indefinitely, suggests Sky News. Ministers have also expanded the number of jails letting out prisoners before the end of their sentence, according to leaked documents. Originally, the early release scheme - known as the End of Custody Supervised Licence (ECSL) - applied to 21 jails, but has since been "updated" to apply in others. The scheme, outlined in October, allowed prisoners to be released up to 18 days before the end of their sentence to reduce an "acute and exceptional demand" on prison places.

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26 Feb 2024

Economy & Public Finance

Public services will buckle under planned spending cuts, economists warn

Britain’s stretched public services will buckle under the weight of the spending cuts being planned for after the election, economists have warned, as the Chancellor reportedly prepares for another round of tax reductions in next week’s Budget. Experts say the level of public sector spending pencilled in for the next parliament would mean cuts equivalent to those undertaken by David Cameron’s government from 2010 to 2015, with some warning the next government will not be able to implement them and be forced either to raise taxes or borrow more to fund emergency spending.

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26 Feb 2024

Recruitment and Retention

Pc Jake Cummings: Metropolitan Police officer charged with rape and stalking

A serving Metropolitan Police officer has appeared in court charged with rape and stalking.

Pc Jake Cummings, 23, from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, appeared at Hatfield Magistrates' Court on Friday, police said.

Cummings is accused of rape, two counts of stalking, two counts of controlling and coercive behaviour, and possession of an offensive weapon.

The alleged offences, which occurred while he was off duty, relate to one female victim in Hertfordshire.

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26 Feb 2024

Recruitment and Retention

Met detective sacked for racism has been reinstated and sent on leadership course

A Metropolitan police detective initially sacked for racism has been reinstated and sent on a leadership course, the Guardian has learned.

DS Neil Buckmaster was dismissed in 2021 after a discipline panel found him guilty of gross misconduct. The panel heard he had used racist terms, which he gave to avatars while playing an online football game.

A public complaint led to an investigation, and Buckmaster was sacked and placed on a list barring him from employment in policing, Scotland Yard announced.

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Other Headlines

25 Feb 2024 -

Prisons

Foreign criminals face deportation under plans to free up prisons

Foreign shoplifters, thieves and drug dealers are to be deported rather than prosecuted as part of radical plans by the Justice Secretary to free up prison spaces.

Alex Chalk told The Telegraph that lower level foreign offenders will be spared jail and instead given “conditional cautions” under which they will be expelled and banned from returning to Britain.

Chris Philp, the policing minister, has been put in charge of delivering the deportation scheme which aims to reduce the 3,300 foreign prisoners on remand who have been charged but not yet convicted.

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24 Feb 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police special constable sacked for watching footage of stabbed Nottingham attack victims

A special constable has been sacked for viewing body-worn camera footage of two victim’s final moments following the Nottingham attacks, it has emerged.

The man has been barred from ever serving in the police after he was found to have viewed the footage of students Grace O’Malley Kumar and Barnaby Webber shortly after they were stabbed, The Independent understands.

School caretaker Ian Coates, 65, was also knifed to death and three others were run over by paranoid schizophrenic Valdo Calocane in the horrific city centre attack last June.

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24 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Northamptonshire's chief constable misconduct hearing to be private

A suspended chief constable's gross misconduct hearing for allegedly misrepresenting his military service is to be heard in private.

Nick Adderley faces the proceedings by Northamptonshire Police following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

He was accused of wearing a Falklands War medal he did not earn and falsely stating he was a Royal Navy officer.

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23 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Cocaine haul worth £450m found hidden in banana shipment in largest-ever class A drugs bust

A shipment of £450m worth of cocaine has been seized at Southampton Port in a "huge hit" to crime cartels.

It's the largest-ever seizure of a haul of class A drugs in the UK, with National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force officers finding 5.7 tonnes in a container carrying bananas from South America on 8 February.

This far eclipses the previous record of 3.7 tonnes discovered at the same port in 2022 and 3.2 tonnes found on board the tugboat MV Hamal in Scotland in 2015.

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22 Feb 2024 -

Police Finances

Met police force facing ‘deeply concerning’ shortfall in officer numbers

Britain’s biggest police force is facing a “deeply concerning” shortfall in officer numbers amid recruitment struggles.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the force will be 1,400 short at the end of March, and 2,650 short by March 2025 at current application and recruitment levels.

Under the national programme to replace 20,000 police officer jobs cut during austerity measures from 2010, the Home Office has allocated funding for the Met to employ 35,415 full-time equivalent officers.

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22 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

More than 6,600 arrested in annual drink and drug-drive crackdown

More than 6,600 arrests were made in the latest national Christmas drink and drug-drive police operation.

The campaign known as ‘Operation Limit’ has been run nationally since 2022 and brings police forces together in what the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) describes as a “concerted effort to remove drink and drug drivers from our roads”.

In total, 49,812 breath tests were conducted with 9.5 per cent of those testing positive, failed or refused.

Almost 50 (48.5) per cent of the 6,846 tested for drugs were positive.

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20 Feb 2024 -

Police Finances

More women investigated for illegal terminations, says abortion provider

An unprecedented number of women are being investigated by police on suspicion of illegally ending a pregnancy, the BBC has been told.

Abortion provider MSI says it knows of up to 60 criminal inquiries in England and Wales since 2018, compared with almost zero before.

Some investigations followed natural pregnancy loss, File on 4 found.

Pregnancy loss is investigated only if credible evidence suggests a crime, the National Police Chiefs' Council says.

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20 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

First jailing over intention to supply nitrous oxide in Essex

A man has been jailed for four months for possession and intention to supply nitrous oxide in the first prosecution since it became an offence.

Essex Police found canisters alongside ketamine and £38,995 in cash after Thomas Salton was pulled over in Southernhay, Basildon, in December.

The drugs were discovered in party bags with balloons and crackers in the boot of his Range Rover.

Nitrous oxide was made a Class C drug in November.

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20 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Beds OPCC funds half price forensic marking for farmers

£40,000 has gone into the new initiative, which it's hoped will assist Bedfordshire policing teams with recovering stolen agricultural equipment.

The Bedfordshire OPCC has invested in a new scheme that will enable farmers to forensically mark agricultural equipment at half the price.

It has been funded by the Safer Streets project which encompasses tackling neighbourhood crime issues.

The initiative, worth £40,000, will see discounts available to Bedfordshire farmers on the industries official CESAR System, incorporating Datatag technology – a scheme that has already assisted policing teams across the country to recover stolen agricultural equipment.

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19 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Domestic abuse service cuts

Domestic abuse charities have warned that services will have to be scaled back due to a reduction in funding. Women’s Aid has said that the non statutory nature of them put them at greater risk as councils looked to manage budgetary pressures.

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19 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

West Midlands PCC applies for judicial review over scrapping of his role

The West Midlands police and crime commissioner (PCC) has announced he is taking the home secretary to court over plans to scrap his role and transfer his powers to the region’s mayor.

Simon Foster, who took over as PCC in the West Midlands in 2021, said he had applied for a judicial review to challenge what he described as a “hostile takeover of PCC powers by the mayor”.

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19 Feb 2024 -

Technology

IT fails, bureaucracy and inexperience are barriers for effective case building by police and CPS

The early findings of a joint inspection by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and HM Inspector of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services into case building by police and the CPS has found bureaucratic processes and IT challenges as well as an inexperienced workforce are creating barriers and tensions between the two organisations – but the closer working relationships of specialist teams could bring real benefits, as Policing Insight’s Sarah Gibbons reports.

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19 Feb 2024 -

Justice

Revealed: Scandal of 1,374 hospital sex attacks – and just 26 charges

Police are failing to get justice for mental health patients who have suffered alleged sexual violence in hospitals as new figures show only a handful of complaints end up in criminal charges.

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19 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Rapist ex-policeman David Carrick stripped of Met Police pension

Serial rapist David Carrick has been stripped of his state-funded Metropolitan Police pension.

Carrick, who was unmasked as one of the UK's worst sex offenders and convicted of crimes against 12 women over 17 years, will lose 65% of his pension, estimated to be more than £10,000 a year, which was contributed by the force.

If he is released, he can still receive 35%, his personal financial contribution.

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19 Feb 2024 -

Justice

Victims of crime face five-year waits for cases to go to court

Victims of crime are waiting up to five years for their cases to go to court, the chief inspector of prisons has said, amid Covid backlogs that have led one in six prisoners being held on remand.

Charlie Taylor, the chief inspector of prisons, said he had recently encountered one prisoner who had been in jail on remand for three years, and had received reports of others waiting up to five years before facing trial.

The number of people being held on remand without having been tried or sentenced has risen to 16,200, a 50-year high and up from 9,000 in 2019 before the Covid pandemic.

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15 Feb 2024 -

Police Finances

Police forces get extra cash to tackle anti-social behaviour

Humberside Police has been awarded £1,392,980 to combat anti-social behaviour.

The government has said £66m will be spent in England and Wales in 2024-25 to enable each force to deploy uniformed patrols in “hotspot” areas.

The neighbouring Lincolnshire force will receive £1m.

Each force has been given until 8 March 2024 to submit proposals for how the money would be spent.

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15 Feb 2024 -

Police Finances

APCC response to anti-social behaviour funding

The government has announced that every police force in England and Wales will receive at least £1 million to ramp up patrols to tackle violence and disorder, targeted in areas with high levels of anti-social behaviour.

It is estimated that the funding - £66 million in total - will enable each force to deploy uniformed patrols for up to 20,000 hours in “hotspot” areas each year, helping drive down crime and boost public confidence in their local force. The announcement follows the successful piloting of this approach in 10 areas, which saw more than 80,000 hours of patrols in the six months since it launched.

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15 Feb 2024 -

Technology

Offenders confused about ethics of AI child sex abuse

A charity that helps people worried about their own thoughts or behaviour says an increasing number of callers are feeling confused about the ethics of viewing AI child abuse imagery.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF) says AI images are acting as a gateway.

The charity is warning that creating or viewing such images is still illegal even if the children are not real.

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15 Feb 2024 -

Justice

Shoplifters should be spared jail to help tackle court backlogs

Shoplifters should be spared prosecution and jail to help tackle court backlogs and overcrowded prisons, says the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Sir Max Hill said the Government should consider dealing with acquisitive crime such as shoplifting outside the court system through schemes designed to tackle the causes of the criminality.

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15 Feb 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK economy fell into recession after people cut spending

People spending less, doctors' strikes and a fall in school attendance dragged the UK into recession at the end of last year, official figures show.

The economy shrank by a larger than expected 0.3% between October and December, after it had already contracted between July and September.

The UK is in recession if it fails to grow for two successive quarters.

The figures raise questions over whether Rishi Sunak has met his pledge made last January to grow the economy.

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15 Feb 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Interest rates won't fall due to 4% inflation, says Bank boss

The Bank of England's governor has said UK inflation remaining unchanged is "encouraging", but he hinted it would not mean earlier interest rate cuts.

Andrew Bailey said inflation, which measures how prices rise over time, staying at 4% last month "pretty much leaves us where we were".

The figure surprised experts who had expected a rise in energy bills to push prices up at a faster rate.

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15 Feb 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK economy fell into recession after people cut spending

People spending less, doctors' strikes and a fall in school attendance dragged the UK into recession at the end of last year, official figures show.

The economy shrank by a larger than expected 0.3% between October and December, after it had already contracted between July and September.

The UK is in recession if it fails to grow for two successive quarters.

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14 Feb 2024 -

Justice

Men who kill their partners during ‘rough sex’ will face longer sentences

Men who kill their partners through “rough sex” face longer sentences under a Government crackdown on violence against women and girls.

Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, is to introduce legislation that would make rough sex an aggravating factor if it caused the death of an offender’s sexual partner.

Judges would be empowered to increase the sentence of the offender for causing death through “abusive, degrading or dangerous” sexual behaviour. It would mean anyone convicted of manslaughter, for example, would get an additional period in jail on top of their normal sentence.

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14 Feb 2024 -

Police Demand

UK shop workers ‘targets’ as abuse and attacks soar

Shop workers feel like "targets" the BBC has heard, as reports of violence and abuse have soared.

Shop assistant John from Dundee said: "It's almost a daily occurrence now where you are shouted at or sworn at".

Violence and abuse against shop workers rose to 1,300 incidents a day last year, according to a trade body.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) criticised the "woefully inadequate" action taken by the government to address the "crisis".

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14 Feb 2024 -

Police Finances

Raise council tax to fix policing, says think tank

A one per cent weekly rise in council tax could help fix neighbourhood policing in England and Wales, a think tank has said.

Onward has proposed that the 43 police forces in England and Wales need to recruit 19,000 neighbourhood officers to restore numbers to 2012 levels.

The think tank said it would meet the public demand for more visible policing to help curb persistent crimes, such as anti-social behaviour, theft and burglary.

The Government has added 20,000 more police officers in the past three years, but the number covering local neighbourhood beats is still 10 per cent down on 2012.

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13 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Met Police scraps controversial gang database

The Metropolitan Police has scrapped its gangs violence matrix (GVM) after more than a decade over concerns about the scheme's "disproportionality".

The GVM database was used by the Met to identify those at risk of committing, or being a victim of, gang-related violence in London.

It is being replaced by an existing but "adapted" violence harm assessment (VHA), the force said.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said Londoners would "judge this new approach on results".

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13 Feb 2024 -

Justice

Drawn-out police inquiries erode the principle of justice

Andrew Rosindell, the Conservative MP for Romford, has been cleared of rape allegations against him after a thorough investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

However, this victory for Rosindell raises serious concerns about the handling of the case and the broader implications for justice in our society.

Although the importance of thorough investigations cannot be overstated, it is evident that Rosindell’s experience with the Met has been marred by delays and questionable decisions. As someone who has endured the shortcomings of police investigations, notably in Operation Midland, I cannot help but feel a sense of déjà vu, particularly when I have been told by three Met commissioners that lessons will and have been learnt.

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12 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Facebook told to crack down on sellers amid shoplifting epidemic

The policing chief for retail crime has called on Meta to force users of its Facebook Marketplace platform to verify their identity and location to thwart an epidemic of shoplifting.

Chief Superintendent Alex Goss, head of retail crime at the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said that Meta and other online platforms needed to do more to “think about criminality” when designing their platforms.

Figures out today show that police forces are attending almost twice as many shoplifting cases reported to them since they signed up to a new commitment in October to prioritise it.

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12 Feb 2024 -

Technology

National campaign to fight fraud launched

Launched on Monday (February 12), Stop! Think Fraud is backed by leading counter-fraud experts to provide “consistent, clear and robust” anti-fraud advice to the public.

City of London Police, the national lead force for fraud, hopes it will generate a much greater understanding of what has become the most prevalent crime in the UK.

Fraud accounts for around 40 per cent of all crime in England and Wales, with an estimated 3.2 million offences each year.

While latest data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales shows it has reduced by 13 per cent over the past year, the estimated cost of fraud to society is £6.8 billion in England and Wales.

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12 Feb 2024 -

Police Demand

Police fail to attend 40pc of violent shoplifting incidents

Police failed to attend 40 per cent of shoplifting incidents where there was violence, despite an agreement to prioritise such offences, official figures show.

Officers also failed to attend in a quarter of cases where the shoplifter was detained by shop or security staff, according to the data from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

The figures represented a significant improvement on last year but revealed big performance differences between forces, with some achieving 100 per cent attendance rates for violent shoplifting incidents or where the offender was detained.

The figures were based on 31 of the 43 forces in England and Wales who were each asked to review 50 shop theft crimes from Dec 1 last year.

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11 Feb 2024 -

Justice

Criminals gaming the justice system as cases jammed for years in court backlog

Criminals are gaming the system by pleading not guilty and relying on crippling trial delays to evade justice, The Independent has been told.

Laying bare the extent of the crisis in the courts, figures obtained by this publication suggest the number of cases waiting more than three years for a verdict has skyrocketed at least sevenfold since 2019 to exceed 1,280 last June.

As delays have soared, the proportion of early guilty pleas has plummeted – falling by nearly half in four years – as suspects try to manipulate the system.

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09 Feb 2024 -

Police Finances

Public accounts deadline

Local Authorities in England are facing the possibility of a deadline to publish overdue accounts before September. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that it plans to bring in a “statutory backstop” in an effort to clear a high number of audit opinions by September 30. The Department said the backlog had reached an “unacceptable level”, which sat at over 700 at the end of 2023. In its report in June last year, the Public Accounts Committee noted that the market had been severely constrained, with fewer than 100 “key audit partners” registered to carry out the work across England.

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08 Feb 2024 -

Police Demand

Masked protesters could soon face arrest, says Home Office

Protesters who wear masks could face arrest, up to a month in jail and a £1,000 fine under proposed measures that human rights campaigners claim are pandering to “culture war nonsense”.

Police in England and Wales will be given the power to arrest people if they are wearing face coverings at specific demonstrations, the Home Office has said.

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08 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Plan to scrap West Midlands police commissioner role moves closer

Plans to merge the West Midlands mayor and police and crime commissioner roles have moved a step closer.

Conservative Mayor Andy Street has given his formal consent to the merger, which means the decision will now be sent back to parliament which should have the final say.

But there is still opposition to the move from existing Labour West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, who the BBC understands is considering his legal options following the latest news.

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08 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

James Cleverly at the APCC general meeting

The Home Secretary spoke at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners general meeting on 7 February 2024.

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08 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

'Duplicate responses' fuel police merger row

Apparent "duplicate responses" to a public consultation have fuelled an ongoing row over scrapping the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) role.

The official Home Office consultation, external into plans to merge the role with that of the West Midlands mayor showed 50% of replies to a survey of about 7,000 people disagreed with the move while 46% agreed.

The picture was further confused after it emerged a total of 927 responses were identified as "duplicates" – all of which disagreed with the move to merge the roles.

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06 Feb 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Hertfordshire policeman demoted for selling his trousers

An inspector who sold his police trousers for £4 online has had his rank reduced after being found guilty of gross misconduct at a hearing.

Owen Hurley of Hertfordshire Police admitted he sold the item on Vinted, a second-hand selling app.

He told the misconduct hearing the trousers had been in his wardrobe at home for "a long time" and he wanted to "make space" after redecorating.

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06 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police failed to record race of nearly two-thirds of people referred to Prevent

Police in England and Wales have failed to record the racial identity of nearly two-thirds of people referred to the Prevent counter-extremism programme, despite questions over whether it discriminates against minority ethnic groups.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said details on the race or ethnicity of 33,116 people referred to the scheme over eight years could not be accessed. Government figures show that there were 51,204 Prevent referrals from April 2015 to April 2023.

The findings come after William Shawcross’s much-criticised review of the strategy which places public bodies, including schools and the police, under a legal duty to identify people who may turn to extremism and intervene in their lives before an attack takes place.

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06 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Met officers investigated after black boy, 16, stopped six times in five months

Eight Metropolitan police officers are under investigation after a black 16-year-old was stopped six times in five months, on each occasion with nothing criminal found.

The police watchdog is investigating after the case triggered claims of racial profiling and a friend of the boy’s family said he had been left traumatised.

The Guardian has learned that one stop took place outside the boy’s mother’s house, another outside his grandmother’s house, one in a chicken shop and another by Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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01 Feb 2024 -

Police Demand

Home secretary demands more police on community beat

James Cleverly has ordered police chiefs to present him with “hard evidence” that they are treating neighbourhood policing as a priority. The Home Secretary has set out his vision to “get back to core policing” and said that bringing back the presence of officers in communities was a vital part of restoring the public’s trust in the police.

[ more...]

01 Feb 2024 -

Justice

Stuart Polak: The Victims and Prisoners Bill is a vital chance to ensure abused children receive proper support

Abuse ruins lives. It is a stark reality that sexual and domestic abuse have a devastating impact, particularly when it comes to children. The effects are intricate and far-reaching, often lingering with victims for a lifetime.

It’s not a ground-breaking revelation to say that traumas like sexual abuse and domestic abuse in childhood have lasting consequences. Experts have known this for decades, understanding the profound influence these experiences can have on people’s lives.

With the right support, children and young people who have endured abuse can find a path to recovery, but the key lies in ensuring that the necessary support is readily available.

[ more...]

01 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Met accused of bowing to political pressure with Palestine march curbs

The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, has been accused of bowing to political pressure by banning pro-Palestine demonstrators from ending their march this Saturday with a rally outside Downing Street.

The marches in London have regularly ended both at Trafalgar Square and near Downing Street on Whitehall to allow the huge crowds to safely disperse from two locations.

Organisers were told on Wednesday that the police would not allow the expected 300,000 demonstrators to rally on Whitehall this Saturday, however. According to Ben Jamal, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), senior officers liaising with them claimed to have been unable to consult with government offices and businesses about the disruption.

[ more...]

31 Jan 2024 -

Justice

Victims bill has 'no teeth', claims government adviser

Victims Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, has said that the Victims and Prisoners Bill, set to return to parliament this week, is not strong enough. The Ministry of Justice has committed to inspect agencies which fail a new proposed code of conduct for supporting victims of crime and better oversight. Baroness Newlove has called for this code of conduct to be front and centre of the Bill and for the code to become law, saying currently it is just guidance which will not assist those without legal rights.

[ more...]

31 Jan 2024 -

Police Demand

Bedfordshire Police to focus on crime over mental health calls

Bedfordshire Police said its new 999 policy "Right Care, Right Person" (RCRP) would allow officers to focus on the jobs they have been "trained" for.

The change, which came into force from Wednesday, sees 999 callers with mental health issues turned away by police unless there is a risk to life or a crime has been committed.

The force said it had to deal with 14,000 welfare calls in 2023.

[ more...]

31 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Ban won’t end knife crime, says founder of Bristol academy whose pupils died

Banning “zombie” knives and machetes will not end the trauma of knife crime, the founder of an academy trust has warned, after two pupils at one of his schools were fatally stabbed over the weekend.

The Rev Steve Chalke, of Oasis academies, said the killing of Mason Rist, 15, and his 16-year-old friend Max Dixon in south Bristol was “absolutely devastating” for family and friends, their school and the wider community in Knowle West.

Knife crime, he said, was a “tragic symptom” of a wider crisis affecting young people – made worse by Covid – and called for earlier, therapeutic intervention for children as young as five who are already struggling in school, and support for their parents.

[ more...]

31 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Camborne Police Station gets permission for £3m overhaul

A police station in Cornwall has been granted planning permission for a £3m redevelopment.

Camborne Police Station, which was built in the 1960s, will get a new police enquiry desk, new windows and a new roof.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said the work was "desperately needed".

[ more...]

30 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Premier League’s £7m ‘thank-you gift’ payment to police

The Premier League is to pay £7 million to police forces as “an unconditional gift” but sources insist the cash is not a sweetener to ensure matches in prime-time TV slots can be played.

The one-off payment — said to be for “recognition and thanks” to the police — will be split among all forces that have a Premier League club in their area, with more paid to those such as the Metropolitan Police, which has several top-flight clubs.

[ more...]

30 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Sussex Police faces funding gap of at least £8m

Sussex Police faces a budget shortfall of more than £8m, even if it increases its share of council tax by the maximum allowed by the government.

The force can raise its share of the council tax precept by £13 a year for a Band D property in the 2024-25 financial year, though this has yet to be approved.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said the rise was "absolutely fundamental".

Without it the force would have to make "quite destructive savings", she said.

[ more...]

30 Jan 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Number of police officers guilty of crimes in England and Wales soars

More than 150 police officers and staff in England and Wales were found guilty of crimes last year after a complaint or misconduct investigation – up 70% compared with the year before.

Home Office figures show that, in the year to April 2023, 115 officers and 43 staff were found guilty of crimes including sexual offences and violence against the person – up from 68 and 25 the year before.

The figures will have included the serial rapist and ex-Metropolitan police officer David Carrick, who was jailed for life in February 2023 after pleading guilty to 85 serious offences including 48 rapes.

[ more...]

30 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Police officers mock body-worn video of semi-naked woman

Police officers made "sickening" comments about an assault victim while watching body-worn video showing her groin, the BBC has learned.

The woman's body was exposed when she was filmed suffering from a seizure. Three Thames Valley Police PCs later watched the footage without reason.

None of the officers faced a misconduct hearing but a student officer who reported them was later dismissed.

[ more...]

30 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Sniffer dog to be deployed at school to deter vaping

A school will employ a sniffer dog and install detectors in its toilets to stop pupils vaping.

City of Norwich Secondary School said a “passive deterrence dog” will be in place to sniff out vapes for one day next month.

Heads at the school, which has 1,720 pupils, said they would also install vape detectors in the toilets, carry out student bag searches and add staff patrols.

[ more...]

29 Jan 2024 -

Technology

Upgraded CCTV 'a great resource' for police

An expansion of a county's CCTV network will help to fight crime, police have said.

Since 2022, CCTV has helped Cumbria Constabulary investigate hundreds of crimes and missing person searches.

The county's network has now been improved with about 40 new cameras added to provide wider coverage and clearer images.

Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Mike Johnson said the upgrade would be "a great additional resource" as it was not possible to "put a cop on every street corner".

[ more...]

29 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Cambridgeshire's police chief proposes council tax precept rise

A police and crime commissioner (PCC) has proposed increasing the policing element of council tax bills.

Darryl Preston has requested a rise of £12.96 per year for households in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The proposal is just four pence shy of the maximum £13 rise that is permitted.

It would mean Band D households would pay £285.48 in the next financial year, up from £272.52. The plans are due to be discussed on Wednesday.

[ more...]

29 Jan 2024 -

Police Demand

Three in four burglaries unsolved in England and Wales last year

More than 200,000 burglaries went unsolved in England and Wales last year, the latest data has shown.

Three in four of all break-ins went unsolved in the year to September 2023, with only 6 per cent resulting in a suspect being charged.

The total number of unsolved burglaries stood at 213,814 – a rise of 4 per cent compared to the previous year – with an average of 586 a day.

[ more...]

29 Jan 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Scrutiny of police shootings deters would-be firearms officers

Scrutiny following a police shooting is the greatest barrier to officers joining a firearms unit, research has found.

A survey of more than 2,487 non-armed police officers from across England and Wales found that 98.1 per cent were concerned about how they would be treated after discharging their weapons if they were to join an armed unit.

The research was commissioned by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and carried out by researchers at Liverpool John Moores University at the start of 2023, before the case of NX121, the police officer who was charged with murder over the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba, in southeast London in September last year.

[ more...]

29 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Monday briefing: All eyes on BoE, a costly radio silence and Gove the payday lender?

Procurement scrutiny hits the Airwaves

Can’t get enough of rows over public sector procurement deals going badly?

Peers in the House of Lords are starting the week by delivering fresh scrutiny of the plans to replace the emergency services Airwave system.

The idea was to create one system for the three Blue Light services. It’s a critical issue since the Grenfell Tower disaster but it hasn’t gone well.

Labour peer Lord Harris of Haringey will lead the debate on the cost estimate and full operational launch of Emergency Services Network critical communications system. The back story: it’s eight years late and has cost £11bn so far. The supplier of the current system is also being paid to keep it going.

[ more...]

29 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

‘Wrong time’ for capital changes, expert says

The government is considering allowing local authorities more freedom to use capital resources to reduce the pressure on their revenue budgets amid dire warnings over the sector’s sustainability, but caution is needed, Nicole Wood, president of the Society of County Treasurers, told PF.

While giving authorities additional freedom over their finances is welcome, she said, it is arguably the “wrong time” to introduce potentially high-risk capital changes at a time when local audit capacity is low – as evidenced by a huge backlog.

“There has been non-compliance with the Prudential Code; whether that is through omission or commission, it is a matter of fact that that has happened,” Wood said.

[ more...]

28 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Surrey Police funding is unfair, says crime commissioner

Surrey's police and crime commissioner has said the allocation of government funding for police is "unfair".

Lisa Townsend said the Surrey force gets "proportionately the lowest level" of grant in the country to cover its costs.

She made the comments in a letter to the government after funding was announced last month.

[ more...]

28 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Plan to increase council tax to boost funds for Nottinghamshire Police

Households across Nottinghamshire will be asked to pay more council tax next year to support the police.

The proposed 4.8% increase would bring in an extra £4.3m for Nottinghamshire Police over the 12 months from April compared to the current financial year.

Police and crime commissioner, Caroline Henry, said she was "mindful" of the burden this placed on taxpayers.

[ more...]

28 Jan 2024 -

Justice

‘Line of Duty’ documentary reveals if police are fit to bring corrupt officers to justice

The concept couldn’t have been sexier: a real-life Line of Duty. That’s how film-­makers Hugo Pettitt and Ashley Francis-Roy pitched their documentary series to Channel 4 commissioners and the top brass of Avon and Somerset police, whose corridors they wanted to shoot inside. It was late 2020, TV audiences were awaiting the final series of AC12 bent-copper hunting. In their docuseries, Pettitt and Francis-Roy would be embedded within Avon and Somerset’s very own professional standards department and counter-corruption unit – their cameras granted access for the first series of its kind involving a British police force.

“We expected secret squirrel-style cases,” Pettitt said, “maybe without the explosions and guns, but still an enjoyable journey of officers solving cases and crimes, rooting out individual officers.” While precise formats differ, access-driven law-enforcement shows like this have become a mainstay of modern British television. Major returning series including 24 Hours in Police Custody (also Channel 4), BBC One’s The Met, Special Ops: Crime Squad (UKTV) and Sky’s The Force – alongside a constant stream of limited series and single documentaries – ever-popular with audiences, drawing out drama by following criminal investigations, or bobbies on the beat.

[ more...]

28 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Avon and Somerset PCC: 'It's not possible' to stop gross misconduct

A police and crime commissioner has said it is "not possible to eradicate" misconduct completely among officers.

Avon and Somerset PCC Mark Shelford made the comment ahead of a Channel 4 series, To Catch A Copper, which goes behind-the-scenes at the force.

The documentary-makers film how police look into cases against its own officers.

[ more...]

27 Jan 2024 -

Police Demand

Police officers sent to only one in five shoplifting offences despite record number of retail thefts

Police forces are failing to attend four out of five calls to shoplifting offences, data obtained by The Telegraph shows.

The proportion of shoplifting offences where police forces send an officer has fallen from 36 per cent in 2019 to just 19.7 per cent in 2023, according to the figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws.

National data last week showed shoplifting offences have risen by more than 30 per cent in a year to a record 1,300 a day but only one in seven are being solved.

[ more...]

27 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Head of Britain’s police chiefs: The force has lost focus of things that affect people’s day-to-day lives

In many ways, Gavin Stephens is an old-fashioned police officer. Now chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), which brings together police leaders across the UK, he is at the forefront of discussions with the Government about the future of policing: investment in facial recognition and artificial intelligence, but his core passion remains neighbourhood policing, which he calls the “bread and butter” of crime-fighting and has been the focus of much of his three-decade career.

“It’s my belief that’s the bedrock of what we do,” he says. “Local relationships will always be important for everything, from antisocial behaviour through to countering terrorism. Everything happens in a neighbourhood somewhere.”

Stephens knows that the impact of one crime can be felt far more widely than in the area it happened. The murder of Sarah Everard in March 2021 by a serving Metropolitan Police officer in London decimated trust in the police nationally and generated reverberations that are still being felt three years later.

[ more...]

26 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Labour should not play ‘King Canute’ with devolved policing in Wales – Drakeford

A Labour UK Government should pave the way for the transfer of policing powers to the Welsh administration and avoid adopting a “King Canute” stance on devolution, Mark Drakeford has suggested.

The outgoing First Minister said colleagues in Westminster would have a “responsibility” to show the “journey has begun” towards handing Cardiff more control of the system across the border if they win this year’s election.

In 2022, a report led by former prime minister Gordon Brown said the next UK Labour government should “embark upon the devolution of youth justice and the probation service”.

[ more...]

25 Jan 2024 -

Police Demand

Knife crime rising faster in rural areas as Starmer pledges tougher sanctions

Knife crime is rising faster in rural areas than in other parts of Britain, police figures show.

The figures were revealed on Wednesday as Sir Keir Starmer prepared to pledge that no young person caught with a knife will escape sanction under Labour.

Offences of knife possession have doubled in the past decade in rural areas, compared with a 60 per cent rise in urban police force areas, according to Labour analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

[ more...]

25 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Fury as nearly 6,000 criminals get off scot-free every DAY with knife crime and shoplifting soaring

More than two million crimes have gone unsolved in a year — as knife crime and shoplifting soar, figures show.

Culprits in England and Wales got away scot-free nearly 6,000 times a day in the year to September.

Home Office statistics reveal that a staggering 2.18million offences were closed with no criminal identified — a nine per cent jump on the year before.

[ more...]

25 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Tories launch third zombie knife crackdown since 2016 to ‘close loopholes’ in UK ban

The Conservative government has announced its third attempted crackdown on zombie knives since 2016 in a bid to close “loopholes” in its previous efforts to ban the weapon.

James Cleverly, the home secretary, defended the government’s record on tackling knife crime as he announced fresh legislation set to be introduced to parliament on Thursday.

Zombie-style knives were first banned in 2016 when the government defined them as having a cutting edge, a serrated edge and “images or words” that suggest violence.

[ more...]

25 Jan 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police numbers 'slashed into oblivion' as communities made unsafe - search your area

More than 600 police community support officers have been taken off the streets in just one year, Home Office statistics have revealed.

The total number of PCSOs have been "slashed into oblivion" under the Tories, dropping to just 7,651 across England and Wales. When the Tories came into power in 2010 PCSO numbers were at 16,918, but have been falling ever since.

Some 611 fewer PCSOs were on the streets in September 2023 compared to the previous year. The hardest hit police force was Kent, which saw its PCSOs numbers down by 67% in just 12 months. This brought their total number of PCSOs to around 70, down from more than 200 in the previous September.

[ more...]

24 Jan 2024 -

Police Demand

Welsh police force seized one of the highest amounts of cocaine in the UK last year

A police force in Wales seized one of the highest amounts of cocaine per capita in the UK last year, it has been revealed. Officers across the UK seized record amounts of the Class A drug during raids carried out across the UK and our interactive map reveals the areas with the biggest problems.

Dyfed-Powys Police recorded the third highest amount of cocaine drug seizures UK wide with 574 per million of population. It was a significantly higher amount than South Wales Police, which recorded 364 drug seizures per million of population. Gwent Police had the lowest amount of Welsh cocaine drug seizures per million of population with 203. North Wales Police, meanwhile, recorded 561 seizures per million of population.

[ more...]

23 Jan 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

UK mass screening of police employees has led to nine criminal inquiries, chiefs say

Police chiefs have said a mass screening of more than 300,000 UK police officers, staff and volunteers has led to nine criminal investigations.

The records of 307,000 police employees were checked against a national intelligence database in an exercise after the cases of Wayne Couzens, the officer who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, and David Carrick, who became one of Britain’s worst convicted serial rapists, despite repeated concerns being raised about him.

Police gave very little detail about the alleged wrongdoing unearthed by the exercise, citing privacy concerns, but said sexual assault was among the allegations.

[ more...]

23 Jan 2024 -

Technology

AI will increase global ransomware threat, UK cyber security chiefs warn

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) will enhance the threat posed by ransomware over the coming years, the UK’s cyber security agency has warned.

A new report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – which is a part of GCHQ – said the technology is lowering the barrier of entry to novice cyber criminals.

As a result, AI is enabling unskilled online actors to carry out more effective cyber attacks, the report says.

[ more...]

23 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police failed to catch Nottingham killer for nine months before his attacks

Police failed to catch the Nottingham killer for nine months when he was wanted for another offence before he stabbed three strangers to death.

Nottinghamshire Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Valdo Calocane in September 2022 after he failed to appear in court in connection with an assault on an officer who was taking him to hospital for mental health treatment.

But officers failed to track him down and make the arrest, leaving Calocane free to launch his fatal attacks on Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates in June last year.

[ more...]

23 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Outrage as Just Stop Oil ‘menace’ costs Met Police £20m

Just Stop Oil eco-zealots slammed for their "cheek" in costing the Metropolitan Police millions of pounds as they tried to bring London to a standstill.

Just Stop Oil has been roundly condemned for costing taxpayers nearly £20million in just over a year to police as protesters repeatedly tried to bring London to a standstill.

Latest figures released by the Metropolitan Police show that the force spent more than £3.8million responding to the group’s disruptive protests over a five-week period in October and November.

[ more...]

23 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Thames Valley Police retail crime strategy promises shoplifting crackdown

Shoplifting and other retail crime has not always been tackled effectively, police chiefs have admitted.

Thames Valley Police has launched a new Retail Crime Strategy, developed jointly with retailers and businesses.

Police and crime commissioner Matthew Barber said offences targeting shops were not "victimless crimes".

The Association of Convenience Stores welcomed efforts to target "prolific, repeat offenders who blight communities".

[ more...]

22 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Greater Manchester Police failures have left paedophile ring at large for seven years, whistleblower claims

A whistleblower who resigned from Greater Manchester Police has told Sky News the force's child protection investigation unit where she worked is "not fit for purpose" and that failures have left a paedophile ring at large for at least seven years.

In her resignation letter last year, she said: "I don't feel like we're making things better for these kids. In fact, I think we're making it worse."

She also said that her work with the victims only served to "re-traumatise them" and "leave them hanging".

[ more...]

21 Jan 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Sixty-four Northumbria Police officers accused of abuse, data reveals

Sixty-four Northumbria Police officers were accused of sexual or domestic abuse over the last four years, it has been revealed.

The figures cover April 2019 to March 2023 and saw 54 officers investigated with 11 dismissed and three prosecuted.

The information was released following a request by councillors in North Tyneside.

[ more...]

21 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

James Cleverly warned not to repeat Suella Braverman mistakes after review backfires

James Cleverly must not repeat the same “tropes and terminology” as Suella Braverman, the head of the police racism watchdog has said.

In an interview with the Mirror, Nick Glynn told the Home Secretary to recognise “his words have immense power and influence” as he warned that police officers are “not immune” to being influenced by harmful narratives. He gave the example of Ms Braverman describing illegal migration as an “invasion”, as well as her interference in pro-Palestine protests, which she described as “hate marches”.

“I know what it’s like as a Police Commander to keep the balance right and it’s hard. The Home Secretary’s job should not be making that more difficult for policing,” he said. “They should be being as supportive, or as quiet as appropriate, and to let them get on with treading that very difficult path and keeping that balance.”

[ more...]

19 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Met Police apologises after homeless tents destroyed

The Metropolitan Police has apologised to a man after homeless people's tents were destroyed in central London.

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley admitted that officers acted unlawfully when issuing a dispersal order and some tents were thrown into bin lorries.

It happened on 10 November on Huntley Street, Camden.

[ more...]

19 Jan 2024 -

Justice

Child sexual abuse victims waiting longer for help, report finds

Tens of thousands of child sexual abuse victims face long waits for vital support, a major report has found.

It takes at least six months for many to get help including therapy, advice and counselling, but some wait over a year, the Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse (CSA Centre) report says.

Coverage is patchy, with victims facing a "postcode lottery" in accessing support, according to researchers.

Service providers say they cannot keep up with rising demand.

[ more...]

19 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Independent retailers welcome ‘crucial’ amendment to Criminal Justice Bill

Independent retailers have welcomed a “crucial” amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill that would make it an offence to assault a shop worker.

The amendment was tabled by Alex Norris, the Shadow Minister for Policing earlier this week.

Muntazir Dipoti, the national president of the Federation of Independent Retailers, said: “We have been lobbying the Government for years for better protection for those who work in shops, for any form of attacks on shop workers to be taken more seriously and for the penalties for those who commit such crimes to be more stringent.”

He added: “We campaigned successfully in Scotland for the establishment of a standalone offence for those who abuse or use violence against retail workers.

[ more...]

18 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

How undercover Met Police officers caught designer watch thieves

The Metropolitan Police has been carrying out undercover operations over the last two years to catch suspected robbers targeting people with luxury watches.

In four CCTV videos filmed on different days in London's Soho, criminals can be seen approaching people - who unbeknownst to them are undercover police officers - and then proceeding to try and take their watches.

A number of stings have taken place in London, after 300 watches were stolen between April and September 2022, totalling in a value of £4m.

Commander of Met Intelligence, Ben Russell, said that the stings "resulted in 31 robbers arrested in a 12-month period" and that "fourteen have already been sentenced".

[ more...]

18 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Suffolk Police plans £5.2m savings despite planned council tax rise

A police force is planning £5.2m in savings over the next four years.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said the plans were a "worst-case scenario" and that, while it was too early to say where the axe may fall, he hoped to avoid job losses.

Mr Passmore, a Conservative, said cuts were necessary due to a "lousy" government funding settlement.

The Home Office said that in 2024/25 Suffolk Police would receive £10.8m more than during the current year.

[ more...]

18 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Community backing needed for knife crime reduction - police

People in West Yorkshire must take "personal responsibility" to help tackle knife crime, police have said.

The comment by Ch Insp James Kitchen came after staff at a Leeds hospital shared their concerns about the number of injuries from machete-style weapons.

West Yorkshire Police said while knife crime had decreased, it was down to communities to keep reporting it.

Ch Insp Kitchen said: "We must all work together as one community."

[ more...]

18 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police investigation into Post Office Horizon scandal will take until ‘at least’ 2026, says Met chief

An investigation into potential criminal offences linked to the Post Office/Horizon scandal will take at least until 2026, Britain’s most senior police officer has admitted.

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said that an exhaustive nationwide investigation will take place to determine whether crimes have been committed. The investigation will follow the public inquiry into the scandal, which is due to publish its findings late next year.

He said detectives will have to trawl through tens of millions of documents in order to establish whether crimes such as fraud or perverting the course of justice took place. Officers will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was “deliberate malice” on the part of alleged suspects.

[ more...]

17 Jan 2024 -

Police Demand

Force overhauls approach to 999 response after admitting it ‘simply was not good enough’

West Midlands Police says that it is now one of the best performing police forces in answering calls for help within just 10 seconds after spending the past 11 months transforming the way it answers 999 and 101 calls. Police officers are now arriving at the most serious incidents in an average of 12 minutes which is two minutes faster than in March 2023.

In December 2022, the force only answered 78 per cent of emergency calls and 40 per cent of non-emergency calls. It said that this was ‘simply was not good enough and not the service we wanted to provide to the communities of West Midlands Police.’

[ more...]

17 Jan 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Inflation rises to 4% in surprise increase

The annual rate of inflation has surprisingly risen, official figures show.

The consumer price index (CPI) measure of inflation stood at 4% in the year to December, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). A fall, to 3.8%, had been expected by economists polled by Reuters.

But instead inflation rose from 3.9% in the 12 months to November.

[ more...]

17 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Heartbroken daughter of murdered MP Sir David Amess to sue police and Home Office for failing to prevent terrorist from slaughtering her father

The daughter of murdered MP Sir David Amess is suing the police and the Home Office for failing to prevent his death.

Katie Amess has filed a court claim to get justice for her father, 69, who was stabbed to death while meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 2021, according to The Mirror.

Ali Harbi Ali, 28, was found guilty of murdering the Conservative MP for Southend West at the Old Bailey in April 2022 and he was handed a whole-life prison term.

[ more...]

17 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Bronson Battersby: Police force refers itself to watchdog after boy, 2, starved to death

A police force has referred itself to the police watchdog after a two-year-old boy starved to death next to his father’s body in what has been described as a “straightforward system failure” by the authorities.

Bronson Battersby was last seen alive on Boxing Day and was found 14 days later lying next to his father Kenneth Battersby, 60, who had died of a heart attack at their home in Skegness.

Social workers had visited the home on January 2 and again two days later, getting no answer. They contacted police on both occasions but the bodies were not found until January 9 when Battersby’s landlord provided a key to the property. She and a social worker opened the door to discover Battersby dead and his son “curled up” next to him.

[ more...]

17 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

The Metropolitan Police is utterly demoralised [opinon]

It has always been a big ask to convince enough fit, brave and smart individuals to sign up to be a Police Constable in the capital.

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s apocryphal advert seeking men for his Antarctic expedition who were willing to tolerate “low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness; safe return doubtful” often seems not far from appropriate.

The Metropolitan Police’s own data now shows that the numbers willing to sign up for a policing career have reached crisis levels. Three years ago a quarter to a third of Londoners were willing to consider a policing career – now the figure has cratered to around 10 per cent.

[ more...]

12 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

£250million black hole may risk policing in London, warns Met

Scotland Yard has warned ministers and City Hall that it risks being unable to police London effectively and overhaul its performance because of a £250 million funding shortfall as it seeks to win more money for the coming year.

The force says that rising demand and changing crime patterns, which are both affecting the capital disproportionately, are among the causes of the huge gap in its budget for the next financial year.

[ more...]

12 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

PCC tells government to stop ‘messing around’ and fund West Midlands Police properly

The government has been told to stop “messing around” and bring forward a new fit for purpose police funding formula as a matter of urgency.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, is doing all he can to fight for fair funding for West Midlands Police, but the government’s “time wasting” is leaving the force facing a £27m budget deficit in the next financial year.

He said the force was having to make tough decisions on cuts and highlighted that despite the so-called uplift, the force still had 800 fewer police officers and 500 fewer PCSOs than it did in 2010. In addition, the failure to implement the existing funding formula in full, costs West Midlands Police £40 million a year – the equivalent of 800 police officers.

[ more...]

11 Jan 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Bank of England may cut interest rate sooner after surprise inflation forecast

The Bank of England may be forced to bring forward the date of its first interest rate cut after three leading forecasters issued a surprise update suggesting the inflation rate will halve to 2% by April.

The Oxford Economics consultancy and analysts at Investec and Deutsche Bank have reassessed their outlook for inflation in 2024 and concluded that the consumer prices index (CPI), which dropped to 3.9% in November last year, will fall below 2% within four months.

A slump in energy prices and the cost of oil on international wholesale markets will, they say, bring down inflation at a faster rate than the Bank of England expected when it reviewed price rises in November.

[ more...]

11 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Improvement plan to get Wiltshire's 999 calls answered sooner

Wiltshire Police has put an improvement plan and recruitment strategy in place for responding to 999 calls.

It comes after more than 20% of emergency calls to the force were not answered in under the target 10 seconds in November, according to Police.UK data.

It found that of 7,868 emergency calls, 77% met the target.

[ more...]

11 Jan 2024 -

Police Demand

Rise in sexual offences on the Tube, British Transport Police figures show

The annual number of sexual offences recorded on the Tube have risen, British Transport Police (BTP) figures show.

There were 909 sexual offences, excluding rape, recorded between December 1, 2022 and November 30, 2023, compared to 866 in the previous 12 months.

The figures also show that violent crimes rose, with 3,542 incidents reported, up from 2,963 in the previous year.

[ more...]

11 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Watchdog eases scrutiny of Devon and Cornwall Police

Devon and Cornwall Police is no longer under extra scrutiny over its handling of violent and sexual offenders in communities, it announced.

In October 2022, the force was moved into an enhanced level of monitoring by the police inspectorate.

The watchdog found three areas for improvement; emergency call response, recording of crime and management of registered sex and violent offenders. "Additional scrutiny" has been lifted for the third strand, the force said.

[ more...]

11 Jan 2024 -

Technology

Police chiefs reducing use of social media over risks posed by foreign bots

Police chiefs in England and Wales are reducing their use of social media due to foreign automated bots that they fear could unduly influence the public’s view of the service, a watchdog has found.

There are also concerns over other social media users misusing official police communications to fit their own agenda, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said.

Watchdog chief Andy Cooke wrote to the Home Secretary James Cleverly on Wednesday to give an update on a review of activism and impartiality in the police.

[ more...]

10 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

BBC Panorama highlights consequences of under-funding police, says Federation

Steve Hartshorn said the episode, Will My Crime Be Solved, which aired on Monday (January 8) highlighted a number of criminal cases in which the subsequent police investigation appeared inadequate and the victims of each felt let down by the police response.

“While the journalist was at lengths to highlight, rightly, the impact of these crimes on the victims, and appeared to shine a light on police response and investigation inadequacies, I feel that what was missing was an explicit expression of the root causes that have led to such failings,” said Mr Hartshorn.

[ more...]

10 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Confused police forces fear misgendering trans people

Police officers are confused about how to treat trans people and want better training to avoid misgendering them, a watchdog has found.

Forces said there needed to be greater clarity about how they applied the Equality Act particularly around complicated areas such as gender and sex.

In a letter to James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) warned that getting things wrong risked undermining public trust and confidence.

But there was also a warning that forces risked discriminating against certain people, such as the disabled, the elderly and those of particular faiths, because too much emphasis was placed on other protected groups.

[ more...]

10 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Trans police officers ‘should have gender ID papers to carry out strip search’

Ministers have told police chiefs to stop transgender officers conducting strip searches unless they have a gender recog­nition certificate.

Research from the Women’s Rights Network found that the majority of police forces allowed officers who self-identified as female to strip-search women.

Chris Philp, the policing minister, told parliament’s home affairs committee on Wednesday that codes of conduct which govern policing state that strip searches should be conducted only by someone of the same sex. He has asked the National Police Chiefs’ Council to review its guidance to ensure that transgender officers may search someone of their current sex only if they have a gender recognition certificate.

[ more...]

10 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Whitehall reserves advice could ‘undermine’ role of S151 officer

Encouraging councils to use reserves as a one-off quick fix during the funding crisis is “misguided and unhelpful” and could put more authorities at risk of Section 114 notice, a finance director has said in response to a minister’s comments.

Local government minister Simon Hoare said “authorities can and indeed should” consider drawing on their reserves to meet any funding pressures because council cash balances have generally increased since the beginning of the pandemic.

However, Michael Hudson, executive director of finance and resources Cambridgeshire County Council, said Section 151 Officers allocate and use reserves with the full understanding and knowledge of their future financial risks.

[ more...]

09 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

First cases of 3D-printed guns in Scotland, according to new figures

3D-printed guns have been recorded by Police Scotland for the first time, according to new figures.

Two incidents were logged last year, with the force working with key partners to prevent the risk posed by the manufacture, distribution and possession of the crafted firearms.

Figures obtained by justice and social affairs magazine 1919 revealed that an incident occurred in the Argyll and West Dunbartonshire division in April, followed by another in Tayside a month later.

[ more...]

09 Jan 2024 -

Justice

Domestic abuse victims to receive 'flee funds' to escape abusive partners

Hundreds of domestic abuse survivors will receive cash payments of £2,500 each to help them flee their tormentors, under a new initiative.

The £2m scheme, which launches this month, is described as a "lifeline" for women who can't flee - or are forced to return to - abusive relationships because they cannot afford essentials.

A successful pilot of the scheme last year, saw 600 victims given £250 or £500. A review found 80% of applicants used it to flee to a safe location, as well as buy food, clothing, nappies and security cameras.

[ more...]

09 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

PCC does not rule out legal action on Home Secretary’s ‘flawed’ consultation

Simon Foster says if it is not withdrawn he will have no alternative but to seek a judicial review.

He disagrees with the Government’s plans to transfer the powers of the PCC to the mayor and has called on the Government to abandon its “hostile takeover plans”.

In his letter to the Home Secretary, Mr Foster highlights how a “surprise public consultation”, launched just before Christmas, does not adhere to the requirements for a lawful consultation.

He said: “I have repeatedly advised the Government and the mayor not to proceed with this cynical, divisive and undemocratic power grab, yet they have refused to listen.

[ more...]

08 Jan 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Lack of support from bosses blamed for record number of police officers wanting to quit

Police officers are more likely to quit their jobs now than ever before, an arresting survey reveals.

Too few officers, a blame culture, lack of support from bosses and stress are top reasons why cops leave.

[ more...]

08 Jan 2024 -

Police Demand

Police refusing requests for background checks on violent partners

Police in England and Wales are leaving people at risk of domestic abuse by refusing to release information on suspected violent partners, the Observer can reveal, with one force declining 95% of requests for checks.

Under Clare’s law – named after Clare Wood, 36, who was murdered in 2009 by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton – people have a right to ask police whether a partner or ex-partner has a history of abusive behaviour.

[ more...]

08 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Idris Elba calls for immediate ban on 'zombie' knives

Actor Idris Elba has urged the government to immediately ban machetes and so-called zombie knives, saying it's "time to push the agenda as strongly as we can".

The Luther star has launched a campaign called Don't Stop Your Future, and told Sky News that "the nation wants to see that we do care about our youth".

"We're seeing a rise not a decline and that needs to change," Elba said.

[ more...]

08 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Post Office scandal: Law to quash convictions being 'actively' considered by government

The government is "actively considering" using legislation to quash all the Horizon scandal convictions, according to the justice secretary.

Alex Chalk answered questions about the government's position in between meetings with senior judges to discuss ways to accelerate the appeals of those convicted in the Horizon scandal.

An announcement is expected this week - with Mr Chalk saying he expects to be able to make "further announcements shortly".

[ more...]

07 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Post Office scandal: Met Police investigate potential fraud offences

The Metropolitan Police is investigating the Post Office over potential fraud offences committed during the Horizon IT scandal.

Over a 15-year period, more than 700 branch managers were convicted of false accounting, theft and fraud, based on faulty software information.

It has been called the most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history.

[ more...]

07 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Pro-Palestinian protesters should cover police costs, says peer

The Stop the War Coalition has defended its pro-Palestinian protests as “overwhelmingly peaceful” after a government adviser suggested that activists should pay for the policing of their marches.

Lord Walney, the Home Office’s ­independent adviser on political violence and disruption, is urging ministers to consider charging organisers for the costs of policing demonstrations.

His call came as hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters staged a sit-in at Westminster Bridge at the weekend, ­requiring a heavy police presence.

[ more...]

03 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Black man shot with stun gun by London police allowed to appeal in damages case

A black youth worker who was standing with his arms folded when he was shot with a stun gun by officers during a traffic stop has been given permission to appeal over a lost claim for damages against City of London police.

Officers claimed in statements that Edwin Afriyie had adopted a “fighting stance” before he was hit by the Taser electrical weapon but police body-worn camera footage showed his arms were folded and he was standing at a distance from them.

Afriyie, 37, hit his head on a stone ledge and sustained a minor injury after the shot knocked him backwards.

[ more...]

02 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police investigate ‘virtual rape’ of girl in metaverse game

The police are investigating an alleged rape in the metaverse for the first time after a child was “attacked” while playing a virtual reality video game, it emerged last night.

The girl, who is under the age of 16, was not injured as there was no physical assault but is said to have suffered significant psychological and emotional trauma. She had been wearing an immersive headset while in a virtual “room” when she was attacked by several adult men, according to the Daily Mail.

Police leaders are concerned that sexual offending is rife in online worlds, and Ian Critchley, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for child protection and abuse investigation, said: “The metaverse creates a gateway for predators to commit horrific crimes against children.”

[ more...]

02 Jan 2024 -

Police Finances

Hertfordshire’s PCC to stand down at next election

Mr Lloyd is one of the longest-serving PCCs in the country having being elected to the post when it was created in 2012. He was re-elected in 2016 and again 2021.

He was previously chair of the Hertfordshire Police Authority and deputy leader of Hertfordshire County Council and has been continuously involved in police governance since 2005 – the longest in the country.

The new PCC will be elected in May 2024 when elections will be held across England and Wales.

[ more...]

02 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

London: More teenagers killed in 2023 than 2022

More teenage homicides were recorded in London last year than in 2022 after 21 teenagers were killed.

Of those who died, 18 teenagers were stabbed, two were shot and one was killed after his moped was hit by a car.

The number is up on 2022, when 14 teenage homicides were recorded, but lower than the peak of 30 in 2021.

[ more...]

02 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Watch: Shoplifting couple who terrorised market town jailed

A prolific shoplifting couple with more than 60 convictions for theft have been jailed after terrorising a market town.

Scott McSpadden and Tanya Momot, who are already banned from entering shops together, stole hundreds of pounds worth of alcohol and hair straighteners from two major stores.

The couple have a combined total of 120 criminal offences against their names, including 60 thefts, and were already subject to Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs), but they had, until now, escaped jail.

[ more...]

01 Jan 2024 -

Police Demand

Bike theft ‘decriminalised’ as nine out of 10 cases unsolved, say Lib Dems

Bike thefts have been effectively “decriminalised”, with nine out of 10 cases remaining unsolved, analysis of Home Office data shows.

More than 365,000 bike thefts reported to police have gone unsolved since 2019, accounting for 89 per cent of all cases, analysis of Home Office data shows.

This adds up to 200 bike thefts a day – more than eight an hour – going unsolved in England and Wales over the past four years.

[ more...]

01 Jan 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Thousands of women at risk as police reject over 10,000 background checks on potential abusers

Thousands of vulnerable women are being left at serious risk of harm because police forces are failing to hand over potentially lifesaving information on violent criminals, The Independent can reveal.

In the latest shameful example of England’s police forces failing to protect women, official data shows that more than half of 20,226 requests for background checks on potential domestic abusers were rejected during a six-month period.

Campaigners say that victims face a “postcode lottery” in their search for answers, with one expert warning that the sheer scale of rejections is putting women’s lives at risk.

Senior Tory MP Robert Buckland has called for an urgent independent review of the disclosure scheme, known as Clare’s Law. It is named after 36-year-old Clare Wood, who was murdered in 2009 by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton. Appleton had a history of violence that Wood was unaware of.

[ more...]

31 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

‘I had my drink spiked and was raped – the crime needs its own law to protect victims like me’

I knew I was cutting it fine – trying to squeeze in a last afternoon with old friends ahead of a final night with my family, before leaving for home. “A couple of hours,” I said to my parents, who were planning a takeaway pizza send-off for me.

The crowd at the pub was much larger than I’d anticipated (“you’re hardly ever here! Why wouldn’t everyone come?” my best friend said, delightedly) and it was hard to make my way around everybody. I became anxious, knowing that my family was expecting me home; more so when I saw how low my phone battery was. Not wanting to rely on its dwindling strength to get an Uber, I said goodbye to everyone and told them I was going to head out onto the street and hail a taxi.

[ more...]

30 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Congratulations to policing and public safety recipients of the 2024 New Year Honours

Policing Insight have published the recipients of the policing and public safety new years honours.

[ more...]

29 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

King's New Year Honours List recognises police officers, staff and volunteers

Police officers, staff and volunteers from forces across the country have been recognised in His Majesty The King's New Year Honours List.

People of all ranks and several roles have been awarded honours.

The 2024 list includes a total of 36 police and law enforcement personnel honoured for their extraordinary contributions to policing.

[ more...]

28 Dec 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

More than 1,100 officers under investigation for sexual or domestic abuse in England and Wales

More than 1,100 police officers across England and Wales are under investigation for sexual or domestic abuse, prompting fresh calls for vetting and misconduct procedures to be radically overhauled.

Of these, 180 – almost one in seven – have been allowed to carry on working as normal despite the severity of the offences. Of the 1,151 officers under investigation, 428 have been placed on restricted duties, with another 378 suspended.

The highest number of officers under investigation is from the largest force, the Metropolitan police, with 657 individuals accused of sexual or domestic abuse, or both.

[ more...]

27 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

More than 200,000 cases of shoplifting left unsolved over one year - analysis suggests

More than 200,000 shoplifting cases went unsolved over the space of 12 months, the Liberal Democrats have concluded from analysis of official figures.

The party, which studied statistics for England and Wales, says the government is "totally falling" to tackle a "growing crime epidemic".

A Home Office spokeswoman said charging rates for shoplifting are up by "almost a third" in the past year.

[ more...]

27 Dec 2023 -

Justice

Shoplifters to benefit most from ending short jail terms in England and Wales

Shoplifters will benefit most from the government’s plans to impose a moratorium on jail sentences of less than 12 months in England and Wales, figures show.

Despite Rishi Sunak’s attempt to introduce tough sentences for criminals in the run-up to the general election, shoplifters, offenders convicted of battery, and those who have assaulted emergency workers, are the top three groups who will avoid prison under the government’s new measure.

Shoplifters account for more than one in eight offenders who will not face jail and who will instead receive a suspended sentence, the data shows.

[ more...]

27 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

Police to attend burglaries within an hour, under new rules

After a burglar stole thousands of pounds' worth of power tools from her home, in St Albans, in October, Sharon Allen turned amateur detective.

She began going house to house, making her own inquiries, and handed CCTV footage from her neighbours to police.

"He's got a distinctive nose," Ms Allen tells BBC News, as she examines her own black-and-white security-camera footage.

"I've given them the information and I'm hoping they've looked at the CCTV."

[ more...]

27 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

Police to attend burglaries within an hour, under new rules

After a burglar stole thousands of pounds' worth of power tools from her home, in St Albans, in October, Sharon Allen turned amateur detective.

She began going house to house, making her own inquiries, and handed CCTV footage from her neighbours to police.

"He's got a distinctive nose," Ms Allen tells BBC News, as she examines her own black-and-white security-camera footage.

"I've given them the information and I'm hoping they've looked at the CCTV."

[ more...]

27 Dec 2023 -

Justice

Prisons must focus on rehabilitation

Education, training and rehabilitation needs to become the primary focus of jails, the chief inspector of prisons in England and Wales has said. He said that a "fundamental reorientation" of the prison system was the only way to reduce reoffending.

[ more...]

24 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Thank you to police and fire service: letters from Home Secretary

Letters of thanks from Home Secretary James Cleverly to all police, fire and rescue service workers.

[ more...]

21 Dec 2023 -

Justice

Prison does not stop criminals offending, claim police

Analysis of 116 studies found that imprisonment resulted in ‘increased reoffending’ compared with punishments in the community

[ more...]

20 Dec 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Inflation falls to lowest level in over two years

UK inflation has fallen to its lowest level for more than two years, driven largely by a drop in fuel prices.

Prices rose by 3.9% in the year to November, down from 4.6% in October.

Slowing price rises for food, including staples such as pasta, milk and butter, as well as for household goods were also behind the fall.

[ more...]

20 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner functions transfer

The Government are consulting on the transfer of police and crime commissioner functions to the Mayor of South Yorkshire at the May 2024 elections.

[ more...]

20 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

West Midlands police and crime commissioner functions transfer

The Government is consulting on the transfer of police and crime commissioner functions to the Mayor of the West Midlands at the May 2024 elections.

[ more...]

19 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

More police 999 calls taking longer to answer

The number of 999 calls received by a police force has increased, while the proportion of those answered within the national 10-second target has dropped.

Cleveland Police took nearly 122,000 emergency calls in the year to September, a rise of more than 8,500 on the previous 12 months.

The average waiting time was less but the percentage of calls answered within 10 seconds decreased to 84.3% from 88.2%.

[ more...]

19 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

Met saves 34,000 hours of officer time in first month of new approach to mental health calls

Reporting to the Met Police Board earlier this month, Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley confirmed that his officers attended 6,000 less deployments to mental health calls, almost half compared with the same period last year. This comes after the Met introduced a new approach called Right Care, Right Person for those in a mental health crisis.

He said that this equated to 34,000 hours of police officer time saved, as under this approach they will not attend medical calls where a healthcare professional is more appropriate.

[ more...]

17 Dec 2023 -

Prisons

Suella Braverman tried to block plans to suspend jail sentences under a year

Suella Braverman opposed sentencing plans when she was home secretary that would see up to 6,800 criminals spared jail at any one time, it emerged on Sunday.

Mrs Braverman sought to block Ministry of Justice (MoJ) plans to let offenders facing jail terms of less than 12 months serve their punishment in the community on suspended sentences rather than in prison but was overruled by Rishi Sunak, sources say.

A newly-released impact assessment from the MoJ has now revealed that the policy will mean between 1,700 and 6,800 offenders including thieves, shoplifters and drink drivers will be under the supervision of probation officers at any given time after being spared jail. The mid-range estimate is 3,700.

[ more...]

17 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

Met Police attend less than half of shoplifting reports, figures show

Less than half of shoplifting reports in London are being attended by the police, new data has shown.

Met Police statistics show that between April 2022 and April 2023 38% of shoplifting-related calls were attended by officers.

Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat assembly member, called on the government to tackle the gangs behind "shoplifting rings".

[ more...]

17 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Spiking crackdown to see more funding for test kits

More training for door staff and funding for testing kits are among a package of measures announced to crack down on spiking.

The Home Office has said the law will also be "modernised" to make it clear spiking - putting alcohol or drugs into another person's drink or body without their consent - is a crime.

The plans have broadly been welcomed by campaigners.

[ more...]

15 Dec 2023 -

Police Finances

Police chiefs warn over ‘difficult financial decisions’ amid funding shortfalls

Police leaders have warned that shortfalls in Government funding will leave forces in England and Wales facing “difficult financial decisions” next year.

A 6% increase in cash terms falls short of what is needed to “progress and improve”, chief constables said, while the staff association for more than 145,000 rank-and-file officers branded the package the “worst financial support forces have received in recent years”.

[ more...]

15 Dec 2023 -

Police Finances

West Yorkshire Police cash boost will not plug gap - deputy mayor

A £40m cash boost for West Yorkshire Police will do "nothing" to close its funding gap, the politician in charge of the county's policing has said.

Funding for the West Yorkshire force would rise from £574.8m in 2023-24 to £615.5m in 2024-25, Policing Minister Chris Philp confirmed on Thursday.

But Alison Lowe, the county's deputy mayor, said it had lost £140m since 2010 and faced an £11m deficit in 2024.

[ more...]

15 Dec 2023 -

Police Finances

West Yorkshire Police cash boost will not plug gap - deputy mayor

A £40m cash boost for West Yorkshire Police will do "nothing" to close its funding gap, the politician in charge of the county's policing has said.

Funding for the West Yorkshire force would rise from £574.8m in 2023-24 to £615.5m in 2024-25, Policing Minister Chris Philp confirmed on Thursday.

But Alison Lowe, the county's deputy mayor, said it had lost £140m since 2010 and faced an £11m deficit in 2024.

[ more...]

14 Dec 2023 -

Police Finances

APCC response to the police funding announcement

Responding to today’s police funding settlement APCC Lead on Funding Formula, CSR and Grants, Roger Hirst, Essex Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, said:

“Today’s announcement is good news for policing and gives Police and Crime Commissioners greater flexibility in locally raised funding. The police service must adapt to meet evolving threats and challenges, and this can only happen with sound investment to support growth. We welcome the flexibility in precept cap, which in part recognises the inflationary pressures currently impacting forces and the need for additional funding if we are to maintain the frontline resources necessary to get crime down."

[ more...]

13 Dec 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK economy falls unexpectedly in October as higher rates bite

The UK economy shrank by more than expected in October, as higher interest rates squeezed consumers and bad weather swept the country.

The economy fell 0.3% during the month, after growth of 0.2% in September.

Household spending has been dented by rate rises as the Bank of England tries to tackle inflation. It is due to make its next rate decision on Thursday.

[ more...]

13 Dec 2023 -

Prisons

Eight in 10 convicted in UK over child abuse images avoid prison, NCA says

Eight out of 10 people in the UK caught with images of children being sexually abused avoid going to jail, the head of the National Crime Agency has revealed.

Graeme Biggar, the director general of the NCA, said some had been caught with thousands of images but avoided imprisonment, and others had been given rehabilitation orders and suspended sentences and then reoffended.

In a media briefing, the NCA called for tougher sentences of imprisonment.

[ more...]

12 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

Calls for police to investigate mental health deaths in Norfolk and Suffolk

Campaigners have written to the chief constables of Norfolk and Suffolk to request an investigation into thousands of mental health deaths in those areas.

They say coroners are raising safety issues but no improvements are being made.

A report by independent auditors found as many as 8,440 patients had died unexpectedly over three years.

[ more...]

12 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

The ‘highly organised’ epidemic that is robbing the high street of £1bn

With a population of around 3,000, Fordham, Cambridgeshire, is not known to be a hotbed of organised crime.

But for Jonathan James, who opened a new Fresh & Proper shop in the village with his son Joshua in June, it has become the site of an ongoing battle with shoplifting gangs.

“It’s utterly soul destroying just how brazen they are,” says James, who runs 45 stores across the country. “I’ve got a video of six people coming in – three ladies and three gentlemen – and they are just loading stuff into the females’ skirts.”

[ more...]

12 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

The ‘highly organised’ epidemic that is robbing the high street of £1bn

With a population of around 3,000, Fordham, Cambridgeshire, is not known to be a hotbed of organised crime.

But for Jonathan James, who opened a new Fresh & Proper shop in the village with his son Joshua in June, it has become the site of an ongoing battle with shoplifting gangs.

“It’s utterly soul destroying just how brazen they are,” says James, who runs 45 stores across the country. “I’ve got a video of six people coming in – three ladies and three gentlemen – and they are just loading stuff into the females’ skirts.”

[ more...]

11 Dec 2023 -

Police Finances

Met 'underfunded for London's unique demands'

The Metropolitan Police lacks the funding it needs to meet London's “unique demands”, Sadiq Khan has said.

The mayor has written to Home Secretary James Cleverley to call for an increase in the National and International Capital City (NICC) grant.

NICC is a mechanism provided to the Met to support the additional costs of policing a capital city – including protests, sporting events and diplomatic protection.

[ more...]

11 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

Palestinian protests in UK cost police up to £20m

Pro-Palestine protests have cost police as much as £20 million and have put a strain on other frontline duties as thousands of officers have had to be redeployed every week since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7.

[ more...]

11 Dec 2023 -

Police Finances

Met 'underfunded for London's unique demands'

The Metropolitan Police lacks the funding it needs to meet London's “unique demands”, Sadiq Khan has said.

The mayor has written to Home Secretary James Cleverley to call for an increase in the National and International Capital City (NICC) grant.

NICC is a mechanism provided to the Met to support the additional costs of policing a capital city – including protests, sporting events and diplomatic protection.

[ more...]

11 Dec 2023 -

Technology

Largest police data breach in UK history ‘went unnoticed’ by officials

The biggest data breach in the history of UK policing, which saw the personal details of almost 10,000 Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers published online, was missed by six officials, a report has found.

The surnames, initials, ranks and units where the officers and staff worked ended up in the hands of dissident republicans after being mistakenly published online following a Freedom of Information request in August.

It was initially thought the blunder was the result of “simple human error”, but an independent review into the data breach found that six people missed the mistake before the data was eventually published.

[ more...]

08 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

Just Stop Oil: Met Police says protests have cost it £20m

The Met Police has asked Just Stop Oil (JSO) to "reach out and speak to us" after revealing policing the campaign group's protests has cost almost £20m.

The force said the time it had spent on the group equated to roughly 300 officers being taken off frontline policing each day.

It added JSO had "refused to engage" with police when planning protests.

[ more...]

08 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Grooming gangs: Police 'do not accurately understand issue'

Police still do not have an accurate understanding of "grooming gangs", despite years of concerns about the problem, the police watchdog has said.

His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) reviewed 27 cases.

Data collection was "unreliable", it said, and intelligence gathering "wasn't prioritised".

[ more...]

07 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Surrey Police uses stop and search 'fairly and respectfully'

HMICFRS has identified a number of areas of positive practice within Surrey Police’s understanding and use of police powers.

The force has been graded as “adequate” in this category by the Inspectorate this morning, with further work required on informing the public on how analysis and monitoring inform the use force and stop and search, as well as ongoing work on addressing disproportionality.

Surrey holds quarterly meetings discussing both these powers, however HMICFRS has today said that the minutes from these should be published and enable the public to both follow discussions and subsequent decisions.

[ more...]

07 Dec 2023 -

Police Demand

Child cruelty and neglect cases more than double in five years, police data obtained by the NSPCC shows

The number of child cruelty and neglect cases has more than doubled in the past five years, police data collected by the NSPCC shows.

The data from police forces in England shows there were 29,405 offences between April 2022 and March 2023 compared to 14,263 offences between April 2017 and March 2018.

The figures, obtained by the NSPCC children's charity by using the Freedom of Information Act, reveal the number of cases increased steadily year on year during that period.

[ more...]

06 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Cleveland pilot will offer drug-drivers the first UK post-conviction rehabilitation course

Drug-drivers convicted in the South Tees area (policed by officers in Cleveland) will become the first in the UK to be offered an educational course to reduce reoffending – similar to the drink-drive rehabilitation scheme – under a pilot programme which, if successful, could be rolled out nationwide.

[ more...]

06 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

West Midlands Mayor given backing to take on PCC powers

The West Midlands Mayor has said his request to take on the powers of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) have been approved by the Home Secretary.

Andy Street has argued it is necessary because the West Midlands force is currently in special measures and has seen crime rise.

He said it would not happen until after the next mayoral elections in May.

[ more...]

03 Dec 2023 -

Prisons

Domestic abusers freed from jail early to tackle overcrowding

Prisons are being allowed to release domestic abusers early to deal with chronic overcrowding, leaked government guidance has revealed.

The document was sent to 21 prisons across England and Wales as part of an early release scheme launched last month by the justice secretary, Alex Chalk.

It confirms that convicts guilty of a range of domestic abuse offences, as well violent offenders sentenced to less than four years, can be freed early. The government has made tackling domestic abuse and violence against women a pillar of its criminal justice reforms.

[ more...]

01 Dec 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Greater Manchester Police has significantly improved, watchdog says

A police force which was put into special measures for failing to record up to 80,000 crimes has "significantly improved" its performance, the police inspectorate has said.

A report by the watchdog said no areas of policing by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were currently inadequate.

Outcomes for victims of crime had been improved, it added.

[ more...]

30 Nov 2023 -

Police Demand

Sadiq Khan ‘failing to keep Londoners safe’ as public transport crime soars

Sadiq Khan has been criticised for failing to keep Londoners safe after crime on the capital’s transport network increased by a third.

Figures show a 30 per cent rise in the number of crimes reported on public transport in London in the six months up to September. The total of 22,290 crimes reported was up from the 17,160 recorded in the same period last year.

The sharp rise came despite public transport use increasing by only 13 per cent between the two periods.

[ more...]

29 Nov 2023 -

Justice

Courts urged to consider fewer short jail terms

Courts could soon be handing out more rehabilitative community sentences, rather than sending people to jail for short terms, under radical new plans.

The Sentencing Council for England and Wales says judges and magistrates should think more about sentences that are proven to reform offenders.

The plans tell courts to think twice about jailing women because of the impact on children.

The plans, years in development, come amid a prison overcrowding crisis.

[ more...]

29 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

'Drastic' cut in number of temporary gun licences issued by Devon and Cornwall Police

The number of temporary gun licences issued by Devon and Cornwall Police has "drastically reduced," according to the force's police and crime commissioner (PCC).

PCC Alison Hernandez told Devon and Cornwall's police and crime panel on average only four temporary gun licences are now issued each month.

The 50-year licensing system is being reformed after an inquest found "catastrophic" failings in the force's firearms licensing unit allowed a lone gunman to kill five people in Plymouth.

[ more...]

29 Nov 2023 -

Police Finances

Airwave replacement update: 'It might have been better to wait'

It might have been better to “wait a bit” before launching into the programme to replace the Airwave system, the Home Office Permanent Secretary has said.

With the programme further delayed while Motorola appeal the decision by the Competition Markets Authority to cap the amount it can charge forces for the current system, Sir Matthew Rycroft has said that as a government “it is not always the best place to be, to be at the cutting edge of technology”.

The programme now has a baseline cost of £11.3bn where the cost in the business case, signed off in 2015, stood at £5.2bn.

[ more...]

29 Nov 2023 -

Prisons

Menopausal offenders could be spared jail under new sentencing guidelines

Menopausal female offenders could be spared jail under new sentencing guidelines for judges and magistrates.

The Sentencing Council, which advises the Government and courts, has set out new guidelines encouraging courts to consider more rehabilitative community sentences rather than sending people to jail for short terms.

The council said judges and magistrates should think more about sentences that are proven to reform offenders and think twice about jailing younger women because of the impact on children and older women because of the menopause.

[ more...]

28 Nov 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Gloucestershire Police: Concerns over 'really inexperienced' staff

A police force which made improvements to be pulled out of special measures is struggling with a "really inexperienced" workforce, bosses said.

Gloucestershire Constabulary was discussing barriers to its recovery at a Police and Crime Panel on Friday.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Ocone raised concerns that increasingly high workloads were placed on young officers who are also required to do a degree.

[ more...]

28 Nov 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Gloucestershire Police: Concerns over 'really inexperienced' staff

A police force which made improvements to be pulled out of special measures is struggling with a "really inexperienced" workforce, bosses said.

Gloucestershire Constabulary was discussing barriers to its recovery at a Police and Crime Panel on Friday.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Ocone raised concerns that increasingly high workloads were placed on young officers who are also required to do a degree.

[ more...]

28 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Greater Manchester Police 'remains institutionally racist'

One of England's biggest police forces remains "institutionally racist" and must do more to tackle the problem, a leading equality advisor has said.

A 2021 report found black people were more likely to be arrested, Tasered and searched by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) than white people.

Elizabeth Cameron, who worked with GMP on the report, said its systems were "perpetuating racial discrimination".

[ more...]

24 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Fiscal outlook based on ‘possibly implausible assumptions’

The government has only met its target to show debt will fall by “pretending” certain measures, including the fuel duty freeze, will end this year, economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies have said.

[ more...]

24 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Jeremy Hunt pledges £7m to tackle antisemitism

Jeremy Hunt has pledged up to £7m over the next three years to charities tackling antisemitism in the UK.

The chancellor unveiled the measure while delivering the government's Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

Mr Hunt expressed his "horror" at the Hamas attack on Israel last month, and said he was "deeply concerned about the rise of antisemitism" in the UK.

Police have recorded a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents since the conflict broke out on 7 October.

[ more...]

23 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Five-year plan launched to tackle fraud, economic and cyber crime

It is the first time the national lead force for the three threat areas has produced a five-year plan, which builds on fraud and cybercrime being included in the strategic policing requirement earlier this year.

The new strategy has been developed to guide and support local, regional and national policing to deliver a better service for victims and sets out the actions under three objectives to improve outcomes for victims, proactively pursue offenders and protect people and businesses from threat.

T/Assistant Commissioner Nik Adams who is responsible for the national coordination of economic and cybercrime, welcomed more than 400 operational law enforcement professionals and industry representatives at this week’s Serious and Organised Crime Exchange (SOCEX) conference to share the plan and discuss how the UK tackles fraud and cybercrime.

[ more...]

23 Nov 2023 -

Prisons

Ex-prisoner gives rare and shocking account of what life's like in a women's jail

Scarlett Roberts' diary of her four months inside a women's jail last year is a rare and shocking account of mostly male prison officers allegedly abusing their power over women.

One extract reads: "14th of May, cell 19 after lunch at 12:30. Two officers were arguing with her. She was not violent... There were seven officers in the end, all restraining her in her cell. No officers put bodycams on. One officer kicked her in the chest."

Her account details the alleged treatment of a youth offender in a cell next door.

[ more...]

21 Nov 2023 -

Police Demand

Thames Valley Police deal with 500,000 reports in six months

Thames Valley Police responded to more than half a million contacts from the public in the six months from April to September, new figures have shown.

The force said it made 16,239 arrests during the period, 28% of which were related to domestic violence.

The figures also showed a 22% rise in the number of charges for rape and an 11% increase for other sexual offences, compared with the same period in 2022.

[ more...]

21 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police could charge thieves, drug dealers and shoplifters in hours under new powers

Thieves, drug dealers and shoplifters could be charged within hours under new police powers to speed up justice.

Police will be able to charge offenders for crimes that merit jail sentences of up to six months without having to go through independent crown prosecutors.

The move – a significant increase in the powers of the police – will be piloted by “high performing” forces before any expansion to all 43 constabularies in England and Wales.

The change has been recommended by a government-commissioned review that found officers spent 540,000 hours a year filling in 17-page forms for nearly every case sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) before it decided on whether to charge.

[ more...]

20 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Home Secretary welcomed to the APCC NPCC partnership summit 2023

APCC Chair, Donna Jones said:

“It was great to welcome the new Home Secretary to the APCC/NPCC Partnership Summit, in collaboration with the College of Policing. We're grateful for him attending after just four days in post. His words on working together and our combined duty to the public are important and welcome.

“Police and Crime Commissioners look forward to working closely with him and police colleagues to meet the public's expectations on combatting and reducing crime.

“I've known James Cleverly for years and I'm looking forward to working with him to continue to achieve, not only improvements in the policing and criminal justice system, but to ensure policing is match fit for whatever the future holds. This morning I have spoken to him about our first sit down meeting and about the part that PCCs are committed to doing to support him in making communities safer with a first-class police service across the UK."

[ more...]

20 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police officers face spike in criminals using imitation firearms

Police officers have seen a dramatic increase in the number of criminals using imitation firearms, official figures show.

Offences involving imitation weapons jumped by 13 per cent to 2,130 in the 12 months to March, up from 1,889 in the previous year. This means the use of such firearms has risen to its highest level since 2008, when 2,561 were used in offences, according to the police data.

Police chiefs believe the success in closing down other markets for weapons such as conventional and converted guns has fuelled demand for alternative sources, including 3D-printed firearms.

[ more...]

20 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Not illegal for Gaza protesters to climb on war memorial, says Met chief

The actions of pro-Palestinian protesters who climbed on to a war memorial were “inflammatory” but not illegal, the Metropolitan police commissioner said on Thursday, as the government said it would consider giving police new powers to prevent “offensive” demonstrations.

Video footage appears to show at least two pro-Palestinian protesters clambering on the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner, central London, on Wednesday evening, timed to coincide with a vote on calls for a ceasefire in Gaza in the Commons.

The video shows the protesters being spoken to by a police officer, and agreeing to come down.

[ more...]

20 Nov 2023 -

Police Demand

Self-checkouts to blame for middle-class shoplifting, says M&S chairman

Shoplifting is “creeping in” among the middle classes because of faulty self-checkouts, the chairman of Marks & Spencer has said.

Archie Norman said well-off shoppers were being tempted to walk out without paying for items when self-checkout scanners failed to properly register all their items.

Mr Norman said: “Nobody quite understands why this has happened, but shoplifting has become a global problem. We’re seeing this rise.

“It’s too easy to say it’s a cost of living problem. Some of this shoplifting is gangs. Then you get the middle class.

[ more...]

19 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Jeremy Hunt considers cuts to income tax and national insurance

Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are weighing up last-minute cuts to income tax or national insurance to boost economic growth and the Conservative Party’s electoral fortunes.

The prime minister and chancellor have taken the surprise decision to consider tax cuts for low and middle earners before the autumn statement on Wednesday, having been handed billions of pounds of additional spending power.

[ more...]

19 Nov 2023 -

Technology

Norfolk Police to pilot emergency 'first responder' drones

Plans to use drones as first responders to emergencies will be trialled by a police force next year.

Dubbed Project Eagle X, initial trials will take place in Norfolk because of limited access to the helicopters flown by the National Police Air Service.

If successful, drones would be stationed on buildings and operated remotely to scenes to give the police early information.

[ more...]

16 Nov 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Officer exodus: 4,500 leave policing in their probation period during flagship uplift programme

Almost 4,500 officers have left policing during their probation period since 2019, with ‘nonsensical’ policing degrees being singled out as a reason why new recruits are leaving in their droves.

Figures provided to LBC by over thirty police forces across England and Wales detail the number of people to depart within the first two years of their employment during the Uplift Programme, a scheme launched by the then Prime Minister Boris Johnson four years ago to add 20,000 police officers to Britain’s streets.

The findings illustrate a concerning picture about police retention across the country, with the failure to keep hold of new recruits exacerbating the staffing shortfalls highlighted by many chief constables.

[ more...]

16 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Cleverly takes swipe at Braverman, saying he will criticise police ‘in private’

James Cleverly has promised police chiefs that he will “praise in public” and “criticise in private”.

In a thinly veiled swipe at Suella Braverman, his predecessor, the new Home Secretary told delegates at a policing summit that he did not want a “relationship of conflict”.

Mrs Braverman was sacked on Monday, just days after publishing a newspaper column in which she accused the police of bias in the way they handled protests. Her comments were criticised as an attack on the operational independence of policing.

[ more...]

16 Nov 2023 -

Police Finances

How my local PCC helped me tackle shoplifting

West Sussex-based Jayesh Patel was at his wits’ end back in 2020 when - on top of the stress and supply issues caused by the pandemic - his store became a repeat target of known shop offenders.

Having previously been supportive, Jayesh found that as the problem escalated, the police became more distant - failing to attend the site or take a statement personally. “In the past five years before then, if I was experiencing shoplifting, they would come within that day or the next day and sit down with me and take the statement,” he says.

[ more...]

15 Nov 2023 -

Police Finances

Inflation falls to 4.6%

New data shows a sharp fall in UK inflation in the year to October, down to 4.6% It's the lowest rate since November 2021 - the fall is mainly down to lower energy prices.

[ more...]

15 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Inflation slows to 4.6% as government says pledge met

UK inflation fell sharply in October to its lowest rate in two years, largely due to lower energy prices.

Inflation, which measures the rate at which consumer prices rise, dropped to 4.6% in the year to October, down from 6.7% the month before.

The government says its pledge to halve inflation by end of the year has been met early.

[ more...]

14 Nov 2023 -

Police Demand

Pro-Palestinian marches every week until Christmas ‘unsustainable’, police warn

Met Police Federation chairman says combined impact of demonstrators and Just Stop Oil protests would strain force’s day-to-day resources.

[ more...]

14 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

James Cleverly new Home Secretary and David Cameron returns to cabinet

David Cameron has returned to the cabinet table for the first time in more than seven years on Tuesday after his recall to government.

Rishi Sunak met his new cabinet after a dramatic overhaul on Monday saw the former prime minister return to frontline politics.

He replaces James Cleverly, who was moved to be home secretary to take over from Suella Braverman.

[ more...]

14 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Contemporary protest and police operational independence

The UK Government’s efforts to influence policing’s operational response to protests have reached new levels in recent months, and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s comments on the issue would appear to have prompted her sacking; but Wrexham University’s Professor Peter Joyce and Dr Wendy Laverick of Hull University argue that policing independence in relation to protests has been threatened by Conservative governments for some time, and that a fundamental rethink of governance arrangements may be the only long-term answer.

[ more...]

14 Nov 2023 -

Police Finances

The Safer Streets Fund: £800k from the Home Office, making a ‘real difference’ in Ipswich

The Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Tim Passmore, recently talked to PolicingTV about how he and Suffolk Constabulary have used the additional “Safer Streets” funding that he and his team obtained from the Home Office.

“We’ve got around £800,000, and it really has made a difference to defined areas within Ipswich.”

“It has helped improve security, public trust and confidence.”

[ more...]

14 Nov 2023 -

Police Demand

Pro-Palestinian marches every week until Christmas ‘unsustainable’, police warn

Policing mass pro-Palestinian protests every weekend until Christmas is unsustainable and drags officers away from neighbourhood duties, the Metropolitan Police Federation has warned.

The federation, which represents rank and file police, said there was “no magic box of public order officers” the force could roll out to police the protests.

Last Saturday, Armistice Day, upwards of 300,000 demonstrators took to the streets of London to protest against the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

[ more...]

13 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Braverman sacked as Home Sec - replaced by Cleverly

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is reshuffling his cabinet, with Suella Braverman sacked as home secretary, James Cleverly replacing her and former prime minister David Cameron going into the Foreign Office in an unexpected return to government.

[ more...]

13 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Homeless tents destroyed during Met Police operation

Homeless people's tents in central London have been destroyed during a Met Police operation.

Refuse workers threw the tents into the back of their lorry on Huntley Street, Camden, at about 15:00 GMT on Friday.

Elodie Berland, who volunteers with outreach organisation Streets Kitchen, recorded the scene after being called there by some of the homeless men.

[ more...]

13 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police ‘failing to turn up to three in four shop thefts’

Police are failing to show up in three out of four cases where shop workers have detained criminals who were looting from stores.

New figures from Co-op reveal that retail crime is worsening ahead of the crucial festive season, amid growing concern over police inaction.

The supermarket said it has experienced almost 300,000 incidents of shoplifting, abuse, violence and anti-social behaviour this year across its 2,400 stores – up 43pc year-on-year.

[ more...]

13 Nov 2023 -

Police Demand

Police ‘fail to attend majority of thefts where shop staff detain culprit’

Police are failing to show up in three out of four cases where shop workers have detained criminals who were looting from stores.

New figures from Co-op reveal that retail crime is worsening ahead of the crucial festive season, amid growing concern over police inaction.

The supermarket said it has experienced almost 300,000 incidents of shoplifting, abuse, violence and anti-social behaviour this year across its 2,400 stores – up 43pc year-on-year.

[ more...]

13 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

James Cleverly: Protests and asylum fill new home secretary's in-tray

James Cleverly arrived at the Home Office pledging to run the department in his own style.

The role of home secretary is one of the biggest jobs in government, with responsibility for the police, immigration, and national security.

Asked if he wanted to distance himself from the rhetoric of his predecessor, Suella Braverman, he said: "I intend to do this job in the way that I feel best protects the British people and our interests."

[ more...]

11 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Sunak set to hit UK inflation target of 5%

Inflation is poised for a “seismic drop” to its lowest level in two years, figures are expected to show next week, which will result in Rishi Sunak hitting his target to halve the rate by the end of the year. The rate of price growth in the UK is expected to have fallen to 4.8 per cent in the year to October from 6.7 per cent in September, which would be the largest decline since 1992.

[ more...]

11 Nov 2023 -

Police Demand

Half of teenagers in England and Wales have witnessed or been victims of violence, study reveals

Half of all teenagers witnessed or were victims of violence in England and Wales last year, according to a landmark report by government advisers into what drives knife crime, bullying and gang rivalries.

The largest-ever survey in the UK of youngsters about the problem found “shocking and unacceptable” levels of youth violence, with 358,000 teenagers physically injured during the last 12 months.

The scale of the problem was also found to be undermining children’s education, with one in five teenagers admitting they had skipped school during the last 12 months because they felt unsafe, according to the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF).

[ more...]

10 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK economy stagnates between July and September

The UK's economy failed to grow between July to September compared to the previous three months, official figures show. Many economists had expected the UK to shrink over the period by around 0.1 per cent, but a stronger September meant the economy showed zero growth, according to the Office for National Statistics.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police must remain independent of politics, NPCC chair says

Police chiefs must be able to operate without political interference, one of the UK's most senior officers has said.

Gavin Stephens, the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) chair, suggested policing could be undermined if "public debate" influences decision making.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has accused the police of bias in their handling of pro-Palestinian protests.

The move left her facing calls from some within her own party to be sacked by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police chief defends right to operational independence amid protest row

One of the UK’s most senior police officers has spoken out to defend force chiefs’ rights to make independent operational decisions amid intense political pressure linked to Armistice weekend protests.

Gavin Stephens, who is chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said that political views could not be allowed to influence decision making.

His comments came after the head of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Mark Rowley, refused to ban a pro-Palestine protest in central London on Saturday, despite pointed public comments by the prime minister and home secretary.

[ more...]

09 Nov 2023 -

Technology

Beyoncé's Cardiff gig crowd was scanned for paedophiles

Facial recognition was used on crowds attending a Beyoncé concert in Cardiff to scan for paedophiles and terrorists.

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said searching for potential terrorists at such events had become normal since the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.

He said paedophiles were also targeted as "there would be very large numbers of young girls attending that concert".

Mr Michael described using such cameras as "entirely sensible".

[ more...]

09 Nov 2023 -

Justice

Poor treatment of victims highlighted in survey a ‘wake-up call’ for justice system, says Victims’ Commissioner

Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove said the statistics should serve as a “wake-up call” for all those involved in the justice system.

The findings were released ahead of her first speech in the House of Lords on Wednesday (November 8) in response to the King’s Speech.

They come as the landmark Victims and Prisoners Bill is set to return to Parliament.

Baroness Newlove used her speech to call for the Bill to be the “catalyst”, “to end the culture whereby victims’ entitlements are regarded as ‘optional’ extras or ‘nice to haves’, instead of a being a core part of delivering justice”.

[ more...]

09 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police must be allowed space to make difficult operational decisions

As a Service, we once again find ourselves facing a very difficult period and dealing with exceptional circumstances and tensions within our communities. There is a very real and tragic humanitarian crisis currently taking place overseas.

We join others across the world in condemning the terrorist attacks of Hamas and our thoughts remain with all involved.

A national policing response to the current conflict was quickly established by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), with support from the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC), even before the horrific severity of the initial attacks by Hamas became clear. This work links with, and functions alongside, established Counter Terrorism Policing structures, which continue to lead on protective security.

[ more...]

08 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Permanent youth worker to be based in missing persons unit

A permanent youth worker will be based at a county's missing persons unit following a pilot scheme.

Specialist youth workers carried out follow-up visits for every young person who had gone missing during a three-month period in Northamptonshire.

The county's police, fire and crime commissioner's office (OPFCC) said none of the 52 people who were visited went missing again.

[ more...]

08 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Criminal justice at the heart of the King's Speech

The King’s Speech will keep violent criminals locked up for longer and put victims front and centre of the criminal justice system.

Under the new package of legislation, which is at the heart of the government’s legislative programme for the year ahead, the worst offenders will not only be kept behind bars for longer, but also forced to face their victims in court and hear first-hand how their crimes have devastated lives.

Through the new laws, due to be set out later today, the government will build on the progress it has already made to keep our streets safer. Since 2010, in England and Wales, violent crime is down 52% and domestic burglary by 57%.

[ more...]

08 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Pro-Palestinian protest on Armistice Day will go ahead - Met chief

A pro-Palestinian protest on Armistice Day will go ahead, the head of the Metropolitan Police has said.

Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said "people should be very reassured that we're going to keep this away from the remembrance and armistice events".

[ more...]

06 Nov 2023 -

Justice

Baroness Newlove: There is far more legislation for prisoners than victims

Returning Victims’ Commissioner says blueprint for reform she left behind five years ago has largely been ignored.

[ more...]

06 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

£15bn windfall for the Treasury raises prospect of tax cuts

The Chancellor is facing renewed calls from Conservative colleagues to cut taxes after figures showed a multi-billion-pound improvement in the public finances since March’s budget.

[ more...]

06 Nov 2023 -

Police Finances

Just 1% of English councils published audited accounts by deadline

The early warning system designed to identify English councils in serious financial difficulty is in crisis, with hundreds of local authorities failing to meet the legal deadline to publish audited accounts covering £100bn of public spending.

The vast majority – 99% – of English councils did not have their 2022-23 financial accounts signed off by the deadline this year, which experts say is increasing the risk of financial irregularities and risky behaviours going undetected..

More than 900 sets of accounts for councils and other public bodies going back to 2017 remain unaudited. Ministers are considering an amnesty whereby incomplete past audits would be cancelled to clear the backlog.

[ more...]

06 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

West Midlands Mayor makes move for PCC police powers

The recently-passed Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill has created an avenue whereby Mayor Andy Street can ask to bring this area into his remit.

The Mayor for the West Midlands has formally requested to take over responsibility for policing in the area, in a move previously branded a "hostile takeover" by PCC Simon Foster.

Conservative Mayor Andy Street has written to the Home Secretary requesting a transfer of these powers, an option that became available after the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill was given royal assent on October 26.

[ more...]

06 Nov 2023 -

Prisons

Baroness Newlove: There is far more legislation for prisoners than victims

When Mancunian Helen Newlove first set foot into the House of Lords as a newly-enobled baroness, she admits she felt as out of place as Coronation Street’s Hilda Ogden might have done.

“It was a proud moment, but nerve wracking. I was surrounded by all these very clever people, intellectuals, academics who speak in a certain way. I thought how am I going to fit in? I’m Helen from the north and I live in a council house,” she says.

When asked her background, she would reply that she was the widow of Garry Newlove, who was murdered by being punched and kicked to death after confronting a gang of drunken youths vandalising her car. “It would stop the conversation,” she recalls.

[ more...]

04 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Hunt to set out spending plans

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to use the Autumn Statement to announce that public spending will not increase by more than 1 per cent a year for much of the next decade. It means that unprotected departments face real terms spending cuts in the coming years.

[ more...]

03 Nov 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Met had to give £60m back to Home Office after failing to meet its Uplift target

The Metropolitan Police had to return £60m funding to Government after the force failed to meet its uplift target. The Met was the only force not to meet its target by the deadline of March this year.

[ more...]

03 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

West Midlands mayor Andy Street calls for crime commissioner powers

The West Midlands mayor should be handed powers of the Police and Crime Commissioner after the next mayoral election, the current mayor says.

Conservative Andy Street has acted because "crime in this region has more than doubled... and I simply cannot allow it to go on any longer".

Mr Street, who has written to the home secretary, said currently police were not being properly held to account.

[ more...]

03 Nov 2023 -

Police Demand

Policing Israel-Palestine protests stretching Met resources, commissioner says

The Metropolitan police may have to seek support from other forces because of the pressure that managing protests over the Israel-Hamas conflict has had on the capital’s limited number of officers, the UK’s most senior officer said on Thursday.

Sir Mark Rowley told a meeting that since Hamas’s attacks on Israel on 7 October, successive weekend protests in central London had been policed by 1,000 officers, then 1,500 and then 2,000.

[ more...]

03 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Interest rates frozen

The Bank of England have frozen interest rates at 5.25 per cent for the second time in a row. The Bank of England warned that interest rates would have to remain high for “some time” to bring down inflation with a risk of the UK entering a recession.

[ more...]

03 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Exclusive: hundreds of UK police officers suspended for sexual offence allegations

Channel 4 reveals that hundreds of police officers have been suspended by UK police forces because of allegations of sexual offences.

The figures – released in response to freedom of information requests by Channel 4 News, come as police leaders say trust is being re-built and that alleged crimes by police – against women – are taken seriously.

But some women who’ve reported serving officers have told this programme that too often police perpetrators are getting away with it.

[ more...]

02 Nov 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Interest rates predicted to be held again

Interest rates are expected to be left unchanged as the Bank of England looks to balance the impact of higher rates on the UK economy.

Sluggish economic growth and signs that the country's job market is slowing down have led to predictions that rates will be held at 5.25%.

Rates had been hiked previously in a bid to slow the pace of price rises and are at the highest level for 15 years.

[ more...]

02 Nov 2023 -

Police Demand

Slowest police force takes 13 hours to attend priority calls

Victims of burglaries and domestic abuse are waiting up to 13 hours for the police to attend, new figures have revealed.

Data from police forces shows dramatically different response times across England and Wales.

Police took 13 and a half hours to respond to priority calls in Birmingham West last year, the longest wait in the country. It was 37 minutes in Bristol and Plymouth, according to figures disclosed in freedom of information requests by the Liberal Democrats.

[ more...]

01 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

National week of action to tackle personal robbery launched

Operation Calibre will target habitual offenders in known hotspot areas to take them off the streets and the transport system.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) says there will be focus on the different strands of education, engagement, prevention and enforcement, all of which are important in reducing personal robbery.

A national week of action will be conducted by forces across the country during the month of November.

[ more...]

01 Nov 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Cheshire volunteer police officers to be armed with Tasers

Volunteer police officers in a county are set to be armed with Taser stun guns.

Experienced Special Constables in Cheshire will now be able to train to use the devices following a change in legislation in 2022.

Volunteer officers, who have the same powers as paid officers, form "an integral and integrated part of frontline policing", the force said.

[ more...]

31 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Sunak tells police to prepare for terror attack as tensions rise over Israel-Hamas war

Police and security services have been told by Rishi Sunak to prepare for the prospect of a terror attack as tensions rise over the Israel-Hamas war. Yesterday the Prime Minister chaired an emergency meeting of Cobra at which ministers, police chiefs and security officials assessed the “accelerated” threat of domestic terrorism and the risk of public disorder.

[ more...]

30 Oct 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Public services in ‘perpetual state of decline since 2010’

Public services are crumbling and risk getting stuck in a perpetual state of crisis, a leading think tank has said.

In its annual report on the state of public services, the Institute for Government (IfG) said they were performing worse than before the pandemic and much worse than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

Funding cuts, a lack of capital investment and disruption caused by strikes have all contributed to the decline, the IfG said. Its report claimed that the government’s refusal to negotiate on public sector pay for months had extended the duration of strikes and brought more disruption.

[ more...]

30 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Police failing to solve majority of burglaries and car thefts

Three quarters of burglaries and car thefts went unsolved over the past year, analysis has shown.

Almost 6,000 crimes a day went unsolved in the year to June, up 10 per cent on the previous year. In total, 214,076 burglaries went unsolved across England and Wales in the year ending in June — up 6 per cent compared with the previous year. Seventy-six per cent of burglaries went unsolved in the year to June, with only 6 per cent of burglaries leading to a charge or a summons.

In all 107,451 car thefts were closed without a suspect identified over the same period, up by 20 per cent from the previous year. It means that 77 per cent of car thefts went unsolved in that period. Only 4 per cent of car thefts resulted in a charge or summons.

[ more...]

30 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Met to increase intelligence gathering in London schools amid Gaza tensions

UK ministers will hold an emergency meeting of its Cobra committee amid concerns that the Israel-Gaza conflict has raised the possibility of a domestic terrorist incident.

The home secretary, Suella Braverman, will meet national security officials and police at No 10 on Monday to assess the security risk after the deadly Hamas attack on Israel more than three weeks ago.

Oliver Dowden, the deputy prime minister, chaired a Cobra meeting on Thursday with figures from the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Office to discuss delivering aid to Gaza.

[ more...]

30 Oct 2023 -

Police Finances

Met revamping services to ensure 'victims have a voice'

The Met has unveiled a raft of new and expanded victim services in order to better support a group the force admits has been "let down in the past".

One of the new initiatives is My Met Service, which allows victims to give instant feedback through rating the officer they have spoken to.

This process, done via a QR code, email or SMS, will inform frontline training and be used as an avenue to recognise good work.

Currently in the pilot stage, this service is being rolled out across London boroughs including Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

[ more...]

30 Oct 2023 -

Police Finances

Miniature police station no bigger than a shed opens to tackle knife crime

A new police station believed to be the smallest in the country has been opened in Sussex to tackle a nationwide epidemic of serious knife crime and shoplifting.

The new station in Crawley, West Sussex, measures just 8ft x 8ft x 6ft and was announced in response to a spate of recent stabbings.

In February, an 18-year-old man died after being stabbed close to the town’s train station.

[ more...]

29 Oct 2023 -

Technology

Policing minister wants officers to double their use of facial recognition technology

Police are being encouraged to double their use of retrospective facial recognition software to track down offenders over the next six months.

Policing minister Chris Philp has written to force chiefs suggesting the target of exceeding 200,000 searches of still images against the Police National Database by May using facial recognition technology.

He also is encouraging police to operate live facial recognition cameras more widely.

[ more...]

27 Oct 2023 -

Police Finances

Further £42m awarded to PCCs through Safer Streets Fund

As part of the fifth round of Safer Streets funding, PCCs will receive cash injections to invest in a range of prevention activities to make public spaces safer and reduce the fear of crime.

The scheme will run from this month for an 18-month period until March 2025.

Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) joint national prevention lead, Festus Akinbusoye, said: “I am delighted that PCCs have secured a further £42 million of Safer Streets funding to complement their existing work targeting anti-social behaviour, VAWG and neighbourhood crimes.

“The APCC has been instrumental in the delivery of this opportunity, gathering the views of PCCs and sharing them with the Home Office to inform how best to spend this funding.

[ more...]

26 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

More than 30,000 hours of extra uniformed patrols help drive down ASB

Picture: Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock

These extra patrols, along with hundreds more arrests and stop and searches, were just one part of the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, launched six months ago.

The latest data from police and crime commissioners (PCCs) shows that since hotspot uniformed patrols have been rolled out in ten pilot areas, there have been more than 250 arrests, over 600 stop and searches and around 1,000 other enforcement actions such as community protection notices and public protection orders.

Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp said: “Anti-social behaviour ruins neighbourhoods and brings fear and misery to local people, be it people smoking cannabis in the street, intimidating gatherings in public spaces or acts of vandalism.

[ more...]

26 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Not all criminals will be forced to attend sentencing to avoid propaganda in court

Criminals will not always be forced to attend sentencing, the Justice Secretary has said, because of fears it could be used as propaganda.

Alex Chalk said that judges will have discretion to decide whether to force convicted criminals to come to court for sentencing under legislation expected to be announced in the King’s Speech next month.

[ more...]

24 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Police pledge shoplifting crackdown with facial recognition to make ‘hostile environment’ for thieves

Police have pledged to attend more shoplifting incidents and use facial recognition technology to catch thieves in a crackdown on Britain’s shoplifting epidemic.

The Home Office has announced a new action plan with retailers and police chiefs which they claim will create a “hostile environment” for shoplifters after it was revealed that offences have increased by 25 per cent in the past year.

[ more...]

24 Oct 2023 -

Prisons

Killamarsh deaths: Probation failings contributed to quadruple murder

A series of "very stark" failures by the probation service contributed to the murders of a mother and three children, a coroner has ruled.

Terri Harris, 35, her son John Bennett, 13, daughter Lacey Bennett, 11, and Connie Gent, 11, were murdered by Damien Bendall in 2021.

Bendall, on licence at the time, was managed by overworked and inexperienced probation officers, the coroner heard.

[ more...]

23 Oct 2023 -

Police Finances

Billions in local government pensions invested in fossil fuels - analysis

Billions in local government pensions have been invested in the fossil fuels industry, according to new analysis.

Environmental campaign groups Friends of the Earth and Platform London analysed data gathered through Freedom of Information requests.

The groups said they were able to analyse data covering 75% of the assets under management for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) – one of the largest schemes in the country – for the financial year 2021/2022.

[ more...]

23 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Drug-spiking reports rise fivefold but proportion leading to charges fall

Drug-spiking incidents reported to the police have increased five-fold in five years, yet the proportion leading to a criminal charge is falling, freedom of information (FoI) requests show.

Almost 20,000 reports of spiking were received in the past five years by 39 police forces that responded to FoI requests sent out by Channel 4 for a documentary.

Yet the proportion of the reports that were investigated and resulted in a criminal charge dropped from 1 in 25 in 2018 to 1 in 400 in 2022. Channel 4 found just 54 cases where a suspect had been arrested and referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

[ more...]

23 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Partnership to crack down on shoplifting

Centralised national intelligence team and action plan to bolster policing response

Policing, retailers and the Government have come together to set out further measures to tackle the rise in shoplifting, catch more prolific offenders and keep retail workers safe.

The Policing Minister Chris Philp chaired a meeting with senior police leaders and 13 of the UK’s biggest retailers today to launch the Retail Crime Action Plan.

[ more...]

22 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Police resist demands to respond to every case of shoplifting

Police chiefs are resisting demands to respond to every case of shoplifting despite a record surge in thefts from stores.

Ministers want police to investigate every crime – including shoplifting below £200 – where there is a reasonable line of inquiry. They are also demanding an emergency-level response when shop staff detain a thief.

However, police chiefs argue that it is “not realistic” for officers to respond to every case of shoplifting because of the demand.

[ more...]

22 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Police will pledge to attend every shop robbery

A new “zero-tolerance” plan will be agreed between ministers, police and retailers to crack down on shoplifting and the organised crime gangs fuelling the problem.

At a summit in Downing Street, police chiefs will unveil plans for how they intend to tackle shoplifting, which has soared by a quarter of the last year to reach more than 1,000 per day.

Police have been accused of not taking the crime seriously enough as the number of cases solved has fallen over the same period, with just one in eight shoplifters caught and charged.

[ more...]

22 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Gaps in law allowing ‘jihad’ to be shouted were ‘known to UK government’

Gaps in the law that would allow words such as “jihad” to be shouted at rallies were known to the government but not acted upon, Britain’s former head of counter-terrorism has revealed.

The comments from Neil Basu come as some ministers condemned police for their handling of weekend demonstrations in London, with the home secretary, Suella Braverman, due to meet the Metropolitan police commissioner on Monday.

In 2021 the Conservative government was told laws should be toughened in a report on tackling extremism co-authored by Sir Mark Rowley, now head of the Met, with the conclusions supported by counter-terrorism policing.

[ more...]

20 Oct 2023 -

Justice

More than 1,600 arrested in police blitz on county lines drug dealers

Officers seize class A drugs worth £1.2m, more than £1m in cash, 100 kilos of cannabis and hundreds of weapons, including 33 guns, 377 knives, crossbows, batons and knuckle dusters in a country-wide crackdown.

[ more...]

20 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Shoplifting hits record high of 1,000 offences a day

Shoplifting has hit a record high of 1,000 offences a day, an unprecedented 25 per cent increase in a year, official figures showed on Thursday.

Some 365,164 offences were recorded in the year to June 2023, up 24.6 per cent on the previous 12 months and higher even than the huge post-Covid jump of 24.4 per cent in 2021-22, according to the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the detection rate for shoplifters has fallen to a record low with just 18.2 per cent of offences being solved, less than half the 46 per cent when records began in 2016. The proportion of shoplifters charged has also collapsed in the same period, from 29.7 per cent to 14 per cent.

[ more...]

20 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Premier League considering £10m offer to police to let them put 'risk' matches into prime-time late TV slots

The Premier League is considering paying the police up to £10million - in what is being viewed as a controversial attempt to allow clubs to play 'risk' matches in lucrative late television slots.

[ more...]

19 Oct 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Government debt will rise to 140% of GDP, think tank forecasts

High levels of national debt will hurt the UK's ability to fund public services and respond to economic crises, a think tank has said.

Not in the last 300 years has there been as large a peace time increase in the amount of government borrowing, the Resolution Foundation said.

In the last 15 years alone there's been a trebling of the ratio of debt to a measure of economic output, called gross domestic product (GDP), the foundation's Built to Last report said.

[ more...]

19 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Shoplifting hits record high of 1,000 offences a day

Shoplifting has hit a record high of 1,000 offences a day, an unprecedented 25 per cent increase in a year, official figures showed on Thursday.

Some 365,164 offences were recorded in the year to June 2023, up 24.6 per cent on the previous 12 months and higher even than the huge post-Covid jump of 24.4 per cent in 2021-22, according to the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the detection rate for shoplifters has fallen to a record low with just 18.2 per cent of offences being solved, less than half the 46 per cent when records began in 2016. The proportion of shoplifters charged has also collapsed in the same period, from 29.7 per cent to 14 per cent.

[ more...]

19 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

More than 1,600 arrested in police blitz on county lines drug dealers

Police have arrested more than 1,600 suspects across the country in a blitz on county lines drug dealers.

For a week investigators targeted city gangs who exploit vulnerable youngsters to distribute drugs in towns and villages.

Police said they had shut down 250 county lines - the mobile telephone links gangs use to order and deliver their drugs to more rural areas.

[ more...]

18 Oct 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Food prices in first monthly fall for two years

Food prices saw their first monthly fall in two years in September, but fuel prices rose sharply, official figures show.

It came as the overall rate of inflation held steady at 6.7%, ending a run of three consecutive monthly falls.

The price of milk, cheese and eggs all decreased, easing the pressure at supermarket tills, the Office for National Statistics said.

[ more...]

18 Oct 2023 -

Justice

Early release of prisoners

Prisoners are to be released early from a fifth of the prisons in England and Wales in an attempt to ease the overcrowding crisis. Ministry of Justice figures show nearly half of them are technically 100 per cent full with fewer than 10 spare places.

[ more...]

17 Oct 2023 -

Justice

Victims forced to wait a decade for compensation from criminals as unpaid fines hit record £1.5bn

Victims are waiting up to a decade for court-ordered compensation from criminals, as outstanding fines and payments have hit a record £1.5 billion, official figures show.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data show that more than 50 per cent of the compensation that criminals have been ordered to pay their victims had not been handed over within 18 months and some victims had been waiting for more than 10 years.

The figure is even higher for the victims’ surcharge with 61 per cent unpaid after 18 months. The charge imposed on convicted criminals is paid into a central fund used to pay for victims’ services.

[ more...]

16 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Horse riders help Dorset Police tackle rural crime

A team of horse riders have been recruited to help tackle crime in the countryside.

Four Rural Mounted Volunteers will work with Dorset Police while out on their regular rides along bridleways, lanes and country roads, reporting suspicious activity to the Rural Crime Team.

Horses will wear reflective material, with riders wearing high-visibility jackets reading Police Volunteer.

[ more...]

16 Oct 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

‘Week of Action’ focus on investigator wellbeing helps to reduce detective shortfall

Concerns over the wellbeing of investigators – particularly those involved in sexual offence cases – has been raised in a number of reports and reviews, but recent efforts to focus on those issues has helped to significantly reduce the number of unfilled detective vacancies; ahead of next month’s Investigator Wellbeing Week of Action, Policing Insight’s Sarah Gibbons spoke to organiser Sarah-Jayne Bray about the aims of the event and the difference the renewed focus is making to officer and staff wellbeing.

[ more...]

16 Oct 2023 -

Prisons

Surge in number of women being jailed as overcrowding crisis grips prisons

Increasing numbers of women are being jailed, despite a government pledge to cut the number of female prisoners, as a wider overcrowding crisis grips the sector.

Some 3,604 women were behind bars at the beginning of October this year – up 15 per cent since January which amounts to nearly 500 more women. And the most recent Ministry of Justice data estimates that the number will surge to 3,800 by November next year.

The Prison Reform Trust said it was concerned the figures showed a reverse of a more than decade-long trend which saw the number of women in prison fall substantially from 7,418 in 2014 to 4,120 in 2022.

[ more...]

16 Oct 2023 -

Prisons

Alex Chalk to bring Texas-style justice to the UK

Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, has pledged to pursue Texas-style justice by sending fewer low-level offenders to prison and making them clean up graffiti and plant forests instead.

Writing in The Telegraph, he said the reform would end the “cycle of criminality” caused by a “merry-go-round of short sentences”.

However, the Government is also moving to head off claims that it is presiding over soft ­justice by tightening up rules to make sure rapists serve their sentences in full.

[ more...]

16 Oct 2023 -

Justice

Suspects and victims now waiting much longer for charge decision

Police investigations into many crimes are taking much longer than they did seven years ago, according to data that lays bare the creaking justice system.

The average time taken to bring a case to charge or summons rose from just over two weeks in 2016 to six weeks this year, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The situation is much worse for sexual offences, excluding rape, with the investigation time rising from an average of 110 days to 247 days.

[ more...]

16 Oct 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Bank of England has more ‘work to do’ to control inflation, says chief economist

The Bank of England has more “work to do” to ensure inflation is brought back under control, Threadneedle Street’s chief economist Huw Pill has said.

Raising the possibility of an increase in borrowing costs from the Bank, Pill said the fact that the headline measure of the cost of living was now falling was not enough to claim victory.

Speaking at an event in London, the Bank official – one of nine members of Threadneedle Street’s interest-rate-setting monetary policy committee – said persistent price pressures had to be met with a persistent response.

[ more...]

13 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Met Police: Communities traumatised by stop and search

A senior Metropolitan Police officer says stop and search, when done poorly, has traumatised communities in London.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said the force recognised it needed a "reset".

He added that the Met still believed the tactic was a "significant tool" in saving lives but that it could also reduce trust in the force.

[ more...]

12 Oct 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK economy returns to growth in August

The UK economy grew in August following a sharper fall in July as the education sector recovered from strike action, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics said the economy expanded by 0.2% in August, in line with forecasts.

Updated figures showed that July performed worse than originally thought.

But despite this, the ONS said overall the economy had grown "modestly" over the past three months.

[ more...]

12 Oct 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Shooting people requires trust

Chants of “no justice, no peace” at the Metropolitan Police is nothing new to a force all too used to its tactics being challenged by protesters. But when the battle cry emanates from within its ranks, it exposes the internal turmoil roiling the UK’s largest police force as the Met’s senior leadership precariously balances public opinion with officer morale.

Triggering this latest ferment was a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to charge an officer with murder for the shooting of Chris Kaba last year. Scores of armed police handed in their weapons in a show of solidarity for their colleague.

Downing their guns was itself cause for public concern, given what it said about the officers’ attitude towards the CPS and the Independent Office for Police Conduct, on whose evidence the charging decision had been made. Of more concern is the growing rift between the Met’s senior leadership and the officers on the front lines.

[ more...]

12 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Police don’t have time for every crime, Federation chief admits

The chairman of the Police Federation has said that the investigation of every crime “is not working” after revealing that officers failed to take forensic evidence from his car after a recent break-in.

Steve Hartshorn, who leads the staff association representing 145,000 officers in England and Wales, hit back at a recent pledge made by police chiefs to follow all reasonable lines of inquiry.

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, told delegates at the Police Federation’s annual conference, held virtually this year, that while police must make “difficult” operational decisions, the public “expects more than a crime number”.

[ more...]

12 Oct 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Interest rates expected to be held after small economic growth

The UK economy returning to growth in August has fuelled expectations that interest rates will be left unchanged again next month.

The economy grew marginally by 0.2% in August following a sharp fall in July.

Analysts described the figures as "lacklustre" and said higher borrowing costs and the higher cost of living was weighing on consumers and businesses.

[ more...]

12 Oct 2023 -

Prisons

Criminals facing sentences under six months ‘will be spared prison’

Criminals facing short jail sentences will be spared prison under measures to be announced next week to combat the overcrowding crisis.

On Monday, Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, is expected to set out “reforms” that aim to slash the number of offenders sent to jail for less than six months or possibly less than 12 months.

Judges and magistrates will operate under a “presumption” that criminals such as thieves and shoplifters facing shorter jail terms should instead be handed “robust” community sentences designed to rehabilitate them. Anyone guilty of sexual or violent offences will be excluded from the scheme.

[ more...]

11 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

‘Institutional racism applies to South Wales Police’, says chief constable

Addressing the National Black Police Association Conference, hosted by South Wales Police in Cardiff, Jeremy Vaughan acknowledged there were “people with racist attitudes” in the force.

“I have heard too many lived experiences of black and other ethnic minority officers to come to any other conclusion,” he said.

“Some racism is overt and blatant. Where we find out about it, I have been clear that our response should be swift and uncompromising.

[ more...]

11 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Braverman doubles down on ‘woke’ police crackdown: ‘People want officers on streets not policing pronouns’

Suella Braverman doubled down on her crackdown on “woke” policing as she called for officers to be “patrolling the streets, not policing pronouns”.

Addressing officers at the annual Police Federation of England and Wales Conference, the home secretary said she was fighting a “campaign against political correctness in policing”.

She said it was right that crimes should only be recorded when a criminal threshold has been reached, rather than when someone “claims to be offended”.

[ more...]

11 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police will ‘relentlessly pursue’ rapists and abusers under Labour government, says Shadow Home Secretary

She promised the Labour Party would ensure police relentlessly pursue the most dangerous perpetrators who pose a risk to women and would require forces to use counter-terror style tactics to get repeat serious offenders off the streets and keep women safe.

In her keynote speech to the Labour Party Conference on Tuesday (October 10), Yvette Cooper said she was “sick and tired of women who face abuse and violence being failed – generation after generation”.

And she was “sick and tired of the most serious perpetrators getting away with it”.

[ more...]

11 Oct 2023 -

Prisons

Judges told not to jail rapists as prisons are full

Convicted rapists and burglars will be temporarily spared jail from next week after judges were told that prisons are full.

Crown court judges have been ordered to delay sentencing hearings, The Times has learnt, as the prison population has reached bursting point.

Lord Justice Edis, the senior presiding judge for England and Wales, has ordered that sentencing of convicted criminals who are currently on bail should be delayed from Monday.

[ more...]

10 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Retailers losing £3.5m per day in stolen goods amid shop theft surge as cost of living crisis bites

It means shops across the UK are losing a shocking £3.5m worth of stock each day to theft, representing a 25% rise on figures from 2022.

According to the Centre for Retail Research, which has compiled these statistics, industry figures have noted a "big jump" in the number of people stealing from their stores, driven by the cost of living crisis and organised gangs.

The group's director, Professor Joshua Bamfield, warned LBC that these factors teamed with a light police presence, have emboldened shoplifters: "These days a lot of people come in, fill up a big bag with stuff, make no attempt to pay, and then leave the store. They don’t expect to see the police, security or anything at all - and that’s new.

[ more...]

10 Oct 2023 -

Police Finances

Just five 2022-23 audits published on time, says PSAA

Only five of 467 local government bodies had audit opinions on their 2022-23 accounts published by the 30 September deadline, PSAA said.

The body, which procures audits on behalf of authorities, found the incomplete opinions from last year has more than doubled the number of outstanding accounts to 918.

Steve Freer, chair of the PSAA, said: “It is now very clear that an extraordinary intervention of some sort is urgently required to put the system back on track.

[ more...]

09 Oct 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Ditch the autumn statement, Britain’s manufacturers urge Jeremy Hunt

Manufacturers have urged Jeremy Hunt to do away with the autumn statement, insisting that the constant “flip-flopping” on policy is holding back investment and is making the UK “uncompetitive”.

The chancellor gives two fiscal statements a year, the budget in the spring with a second statement in the autumn, which is an update on how things are going. However, Make UK, which calls itself the “voice of UK manufacturing”, has urged Hunt to return to a single annual fiscal statement.

It blamed “frequent changes to policies”, especially around investment and research and development incentives, for having “significantly hampered businesses’ investment plans”.

[ more...]

09 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Ministers urged to scrap knife-crime ‘ASBOs’ after Black men and boys disproportionately hit

Knife-crime ‘‘ASBOs’’ being trialled in the capital are disproportionately affecting young Black men and boys, new figures reveal, as experts call for the “highly discriminatory” scheme to be scrapped.

Court orders preventing individuals as young as 12 from carrying knives, known as Knife Crime Prevention Orders (KCPOs), were first introduced in London in a Metropolitan Police pilot scheme in 2021, with plans for a nationwide rollout in the future.

The orders can be handed to anyone police believe may be carrying knives and can include conditions such as curfews, restrictions on travel to certain areas and curbs on social media use – as well as requirements to attend educational courses or counselling.

[ more...]

09 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Police to target anti-social ‘hotspots’ after trials cut crime by 24pc

Hotspot policing to counter anti-social behaviour is to be rolled out to all 43 police forces in England and Wales by next April after it was found to reduce crime by more than a fifth.

The tactic – where officers are targeted on locations plagued by anti-social behaviour – has been trialled in 10 police forces, and has cut not only incidents of such behaviour by up to a half but also reduced overall crime by as much as 24 per cent.

[ more...]

05 Oct 2023 -

Police Finances

Press release: Rob Whiteman to retire as CIPFA CEO

Rob Whiteman has today announced his plans to retire in June 2024, stepping down from the role of CIPFA CEO that he has held for the past decade.

Under his leadership, the organisation has gone through significant transformation and tackled many initial challenges. It has seen strong growth in its international student numbers and advisory services while continuing to grow and support its UK membership, establishing itself as the leading global voice of sound public financial management.

Most recently, Whiteman announced an exciting new partnership with ICAEW, culminating in both Institutes signing a joint declaration to work closely together including an accelerated route for students to gain CPFA and ACA designations and dual membership.

[ more...]

04 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Make a citizens arrest: The public should tackle shoplifters as police 'can't be everywhere,' minister says

Chris Philp has urged members of the public to step in when they see thieves shoplifting by making citizen’s arrests.

He also called on retailers to instruct their security guards to intervene when it is safe to do so.

Speaking at a fringe event hosted by the Policy Exchange think tank at the Tory Party conference, Mr Philp said: “The wider public do have the power of citizen’s arrest and, where it’s safe to do so, I would encourage that to be used because if you do just let people walk in, take stuff and walk out without proper challenge, including potentially a physical challenge, then again it will just escalate.

[ more...]

04 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Wiltshire Police pledges to tackle shoplifting 'epidemic'

A police force is urging retailers to keep reporting shoplifters and has pledged to tackle an upsurge in the crime before Christmas.

Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said he has listened to shop-workers across the county and that "there is obviously a huge problem."

Roger Shakles runs Sewcraft, a sewing shop in Swindon, and said thieves were operating "in broad daylight".

[ more...]

03 Oct 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

'Thousands' of armed police may down guns if Chris Kaba murder suspect is named tomorrow

Public safety could be put at risk as "thousands" of armed police around the country are preparing to hand in their guns if the officer accused of murdering Chris Kaba is named by a judge.

This is according to police officers from three forces who have spoken to Sky News ahead of the Old Bailey hearing on Wednesday.

A serving Metropolitan Police firearms officer was charged last month with the murder of Mr Kaba, 24, who was shot by armed police in south London in September last year.

[ more...]

03 Oct 2023 -

Prisons

Prisoners will be sent to rented cells overseas amid overcrowding crisis

Foreign prison places are to be rented for offenders by the Government to help tackle the overcrowding crisis in British jails.

Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, announced on Tuesday that he will change the law to enable prisoners from UK jails to be transferred abroad to serve their time in rented cells overseas.

The move comes amid fears that Britain could run out of prison capacity in the face of an increase of up to 20,000 inmates by 2027, taking the total to 106,000.

[ more...]

02 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Shoplifting to be treated as ‘high-harm’ crime by new national police team

A specialist national police team will be set up to target shoplifting as a “high-harm” cross-border crime on a par with fraud, robbery and burglary.

The team of intelligence investigators will aim to identify and target organised crime gangs which are blamed for a surge in shoplifting which has increased by an unprecedented 37 per cent in a year.

Police forces across the UK and retailers will pool their intelligence to enable the team to map the gangs which target everything from jewellery to meat which they have been known to re-sell back to the supermarkets.

[ more...]

02 Oct 2023 -

Police Demand

Former children’s commissioner links knife crime surge to lockdowns

A surge in knife crime and pupil violence has followed the Covid lockdowns, a former children’s commissioner has said.

Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England during the pandemic, told The Telegraph the rise in violence was a “huge danger sign” ahead of her evidence session at the Covid Inquiry on Friday.

Speaking after the murder of 15-year-old Elianne Andam, who was stabbed on her way to school in Croydon, south London, last week, Ms Longfield said: “All of those that work with young people who are in areas of high violence say that the incidents that they see, they used to see once every three months or once every six months, now happen every two or three weeks and they are much more extreme.

[ more...]

02 Oct 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

I had to use lethal force in the Met. Today’s police marksmen face impossible choices

As a former Metropolitan Police marksman, I know what it is like to use lethal force. I know the burden of the split-second decision that can save or end lives. In 2005, when I shot and killed a suspected armed robber and drug dealer, Azelle Rodney, my life was in limbo for ten years, before I stood trial for murder and was eventually acquitted.

Despite the hardships, I’ve always said I would go back and do it all again. I have no regrets. I am proud of the work that my colleagues and I did: proud of the lives that we saved. However, I do fear for the future.

[ more...]

02 Oct 2023 -

Prisons

'A prison officer will get killed': Staff warn of chaos and violence inside flagship super prison

Drunken cell parties, fights, stabbings, prison guards with faulty equipment out of their depth.

Welcome to HMP Five Wells in Northamptonshire, where staff Sky News has spoken to claim all these events have taken place, and one guard told us assaults on staff are "a daily event".

Three prison guards have blown the whistle on life inside the state-of-the-art super prison run by security firm G4S. They say they are short-staffed, there are too many inexperienced staff, they are under-equipped and there is a culture that is allowing prisoners to run riot.

[ more...]

02 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Shoplifter: Police need to stop people like me

A persistent shoplifter has said the police need to do more to stop people like her stealing from businesses.

She said shoplifting was easy, and even the clothes she had on were stolen.

BBC News has spoken to shopkeepers blighted by shoplifting - as well as those who are committing crimes.

[ more...]

02 Oct 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Major UK retail bosses plead for staff protection as ‘violent criminals empty stores’

Almost 90 retail leaders, including the bosses of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Boots and WH Smith, have written to the government demanding action on rising retail crime, in which violent criminals are “emptying stores”.

The retailers, who also include the bosses of Aldi, Primark and Superdrug, call for the creation of a new UK-wide aggravated offence of assaulting or abusing a retail worker – as already exists in Scotland – which would carry tougher sentences and require police to record all incidents of retail crime and allow the allocation of more resources.

“The police consistently tell us that a lack of data about these offences means they have no visibility about the nature or scale of the issue,” the letter says.

[ more...]

29 Sep 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

British police moving to Australian force that ‘backs’ officers who shoot suspects

Recruits say they are relocating thousands of miles away after Chris Kaba scandal because colleagues are ‘thrown under bus’

[ more...]

28 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

UK's first consumption room for illegal drugs given go-ahead

The UK's first official consumption room for illegal drugs including heroin and cocaine has been approved by authorities in Glasgow.

The facility is backed by the Scottish government as a way to tackle the country's drugs deaths crisis.

The pilot scheme will be based at a health centre in the east end of Glasgow.

[ more...]

28 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

CPS declined to charge undercover police officer who deceived woman into 19-year relationship

The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue charges against an undercover police officer who deceived a woman into a 19-year relationship without even hearing evidence from the victim in the case.

The CPS, which says its fundamental role is to support victims and protect the public, was informed in 2014 that an undercover officer at Avon and Somerset police had used his undercover identity to deceive the woman, who was innocent of any crime, into a long-term relationship.

[ more...]

28 Sep 2023 -

Technology

Information Commissioner calls for end to the use of spreadsheets in FoI responses

Information Commissioner John Edwards has issued an advisory notice to all public authorities calling for an immediate end to the use of original source excel spreadsheets when responding publicly to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests.

He says alternative approaches should be used to mitigate risk to personal information.

The notice follows a number of recent high-profile personal data breaches at police forces in which personal information was included in spreadsheets that were shared as part of a FoI response.

The Police Service Northern Ireland inadvertently published the personal details of all its officers and staff on the internet when responding to a FoI request for the number of officers at each rank and number of staff at each grade.

[ more...]

28 Sep 2023 -

Technology

Police accused of misusing body-worn cameras

Police officers are misusing body-worn cameras by switching them off when physical force is used, deleting footage and sharing videos on WhatsApp with friends or colleagues, an investigation has found.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) describes body-worn cameras as a means of gathering evidence, ensuring police accountability and safeguarding both officers and members of the public.

However, a BBC investigation has found more than 150 reports of camera misuse in England and Wales, with cases to answer over misconduct, recommendations for learning or where complaints were upheld.

[ more...]

27 Sep 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

‘I was an armed police officer – I’d never encourage someone to join the police today’

The suspect was standing on the crest of the hill, armed with a handgun, waiting. He had fled after a carjacking on the A38 near Exeter.

“You can get out now,” the hijacker had told the driver, making his meaning clear by pointing a gun right at him.

The incident was reported and I was dispatched with a colleague to track the suspect down and bring him in. As an armed response sergeant with Devon & Cornwall Police, I was trained to know what to do in these and a thousand other situations.

[ more...]

26 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Met chief says anxiety led firearms police to refuse to carry weapons

The head of Scotland Yard has said anxiety led scores of firearms officers to refuse to carry their weapons after a colleague was charged with murder, with “significantly less than normal” armed police still on London’s streets.

Sir Mark Rowley said his force could provide credible firearms cover, but the continuing refusal to carry weapons by some meant “difficult choices” remained.

On Monday the Metropolitan police said some had started to return to their normal duties. The downing of weapons followed the charging of a firearms officer with the murder of Chris Kaba, who was unarmed when shot dead last September in south London.

[ more...]

25 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman orders review of armed policing after officer’s murder charge

Suella Braverman has ordered a review of armed policing after dozens of Metropolitan police officers stepped back from firearms duties after an officer was charged with murder over a shooting.

The home secretary said firearms officers have to make “split-second decisions” and “mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties”.

The review follows reports that more than 70 police marksmen said they want time to consider whether or not they wish to still carry a gun given their colleague is facing a murder charge.

[ more...]

25 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Chris Kaba: Ministry of Defence offers support to Met Police as armed police officers hand in their weapons

The Ministry of Defence has placed the army on standby to support the Metropolitan Police after armed officers handed in their weapons.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has launched a review after a growing number of Scotland Yard officers turned in their firearms following a force marksman being charged with the murder of Chris Kaba.

The MoD confirmed it will now assist the police with specific tasks when needed after the Met requested military support for counter-terrorism duties.

[ more...]

23 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Shoplifters cost charities £15m: Heartless criminals are targeting shops every day... and staff say there's no point telling police

Heartless shoplifters have stolen more than £15million of stock from charity shops in the past year, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The shocking figure comes from an exclusive poll of UK charities, which found that 80 per cent had seen an astonishing increase in thefts of items that had been kindly donated by the public.

More than half of those polled said they had witnessed an increase in abuse of staff and volunteers in the past 12 months.

[ more...]

22 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Laughing gas ban ‘could push young people towards giant canisters’ being sold on the web

A ban on laughing gas could leave young users at greater risk as they turn to more dangerous counterfeit markets, drug experts have warned.

Nitrous oxide, which is due to be banned by the end of this year and reclassified as an illegal class C substance, has become increasingly popular for recreational use among young adults and children since the pandemic.

A new law passed last week in parliament carries a sentence of up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine for the unlawful possession of whippits, the small silver canisters in which the substance is often supplied. The use of nitrous oxide will still be legal for medical reasons, as well as commercial purposes.

[ more...]

22 Sep 2023 -

Technology

Home Secretary urges Meta to reconsider encryption plans that could put children at risk from online predators

Meta has publicly announced plans to roll out end-to-end encryption on its Instagram and Facebook Messenger apps “imminently”, which Ms Braverman says will put children across the UK at risk of being targeted and groomed online by predators.

Currently, 800 predators a month are arrested by UK law enforcement agencies and up to 1,200 children are safeguarded from child sexual abuse following information provided by social media companies.

The Home Secretary has warned that if Meta proceeds with its plans, it will “no longer be able to detect child abuse on its platforms as they currently do”, and the National Crime Agency (NCA) estimates 92 per cent of Facebook Messenger and 85 per cent of Instagram Direct referrals could be lost – meaning thousands of criminals a year could go undetected.

[ more...]

22 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Co-op boss urges police to take shoplifting more seriously after £33m cost

The boss of the Co-op grocery chain has called on the police to take shoplifting more seriously and says he is frustrated by a lack of action against thieves who cost the business £33m in the first half of 2023.

Matt Hood, the chain’s managing director, said shoplifting was becoming a major issue for UK communities and cited a rise in what he called “shop looting”, where large amounts are stolen by organised gangs.

The Co-op has seen crime, shoplifting and antisocial behaviour jump 35% year-on-year, with more than 175,000 incidents recorded in the first six months of this year – or almost 1,000 incidents every day.

[ more...]

21 Sep 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Government borrowing rose to £11.6bn in August

Government borrowing was higher than economists had expected in August, new official figures show.

Borrowing - the difference between spending and tax income - rose to £11.6bn last month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

That was £3.5bn more than a year earlier and the fourth highest August borrowing since monthly records began in 1993.

[ more...]

21 Sep 2023 -

Police Demand

Childhood in care raises risk of entering English youth justice system eightfold

The largest ever study of care experience and the youth justice system in England has revealed that children who have lived in care are eight times more likely to have received a youth justice caution or conviction than those who have not.

Using data collated by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Department for Education, the study monitored the experiences of almost 2.3 million children born in England between 1996 and 1999. Their data was recorded between the ages of 10 – the minimum age of criminal responsibility in England – and 17.

[ more...]

21 Sep 2023 -

Police Demand

Rural crime officer numbers to double

The number of specialist police officers who tackle rural crimes like farm equipment theft and hare coursing is set to double, it has been announced.

It comes as Gloucestershire Police highlights rural crime and the measures it is taking to tackle it, during a week of action.

The force said rural crime was a "substantial concern for many communities” and cost the UK nearly £50m last year.

Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, Chris Nelson, said he has now funded "a doubling in the size" of the Gloucestershire Rural Crime Team.

[ more...]

21 Sep 2023 -

Police Finances

CIPFA issues urgent guidance to finance directors on s114 practice

CIPFA’s chief executive has issued urgent guidance regarding protocol around issuing a section 114 notice, “given the many complex local discussions taking place”.

In a written statement on LinkedIn, Rob Whiteman reiterated previous guidance that it is “reasonable” to not issue a notice whilst an authority is having ongoing discussions with the government “to remedy the proximity to an unbalanced budget by additional support, for example, a capitalisation direction”.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Frontline police leader calls on Whitehall to face up to true cost of crime

Police need the right resources to the job and be treated fairly, according to the leader of frontline officers.

In an exclusive interview with Public Finance, Police Federation chair Steve Hartshorn warned his officers were using warn-out patrol cars and out-dated technology while also being set an overly high bar for professional standards.

He challenged both the government and forces over ‘huge’ future costs, revealed officers are working as jailers and flagged fresh concern over data breaches.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2023 -

Police Demand

Rural crime officer numbers to double

The number of specialist police officers who tackle rural crimes like farm equipment theft and hare coursing is set to double, it has been announced.

It comes as Gloucestershire Police highlights rural crime and the measures it is taking to tackle it, during a week of action.

The force said rural crime was a "substantial concern for many communities” and cost the UK nearly £50m last year.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police stations to reopen in Hampshire and Isle of Wight thanks to £2m funding

Ten police stations will be reopening to the public across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight over the next 18 months.

The £2m scheme is part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s commitment to drive up police visibility and make police accessible to the public.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Surprise fall in inflation

In August, core inflation was 6.2 per cent in the 12 months to August 2023, down from 6.9 per cent in July. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said UK inflation would average 7.2 per cent in 2023. It said this would be the highest rate in the G7 group of major economies.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2023 -

Technology

Meta encryption rules mean 90 per cent fewer paedophiles being caught, warns NCA

Meta’s plans to encrypt users’ private messages will mean 90 per cent fewer paedophiles are caught on its social media sites, the National Crime Agency has warned.

Suella Braverman called on boss Mark Zuckerberg to overhaul proposals to introduce end-to-end encryption for messages between users, meaning they cannot be seen by Facebook or Instagram.

At the moment the companies can access such exchanges and use advanced software to scan for evidence of illegal content being shared, but encryption would stop this access.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2023 -

Technology

Response to open letter on retail crime

APCC lead for Business and Retail Crime, Sussex PCC Katy Bourne OBE responds to the open letter from the Association of Convenience Stores.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Shop workers urge police to help them combat ‘unprecedented’ theft and abuse

Shop workers have called on police officers to do more to help combat ‘unprecedented levels’ of theft and abuse which they say is blighting communities.

The coalition of businesses and staff claims they are not turning up to deal with violent attacks on workers because the criminal has already fled the scene.

In a letter to police and crime commissioners across the country, they said that ‘in the vast majority, if not all’ cases there will be CCTV footage available and urged forces to make it easier for them to pass on crucial evidence and boost efforts to find serial offenders.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Bank of England holds interest rates

As we're just hearing, UK interest rates have been left unchanged at 5.25% by the Bank of England.

The decision comes a day after figures revealed an unexpected slowdown in UK price rises in August.

The Bank had previously raised rates 14 times in a row to tame inflation, leading to increases in mortgage payments but also higher savings rates.

However, the latest move raises the prospect that this cycle of rate increases may have peaked.

[ more...]

19 Sep 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police officers suspended or on restricted duties

More than 1,000 Metropolitan Police officers are currently suspended or on restricted duties, the force has said, as it tries to root out rogue officers. The Met's Stuart Cundy said the number of affected officers was almost the size of a small police force, with one in 34 suspended or restricted.

[ more...]

13 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

PSA calls for government to 'get back behind policing'

At the annual conference of the association, taking place from the 11th to 13th September, Chief Superintendent Fotheringham will deliver his presidential address and will state that whilst he believes policing needs ‘fixing’, it must also be celebrated and calls for the government and others to ‘get back behind policing’.

The annual address will be delivered to Chris Philp MP, Minister for Fire and Policing, who will not be attending the conference in person but will instead provide a live virtual input.

Mr Fotheringham will focus on the fantastic work delivered by police officers and staff every day, citing the recent winners of the Police Bravery Awards, the recipients of the PSA President’s Awards which are presented on Tuesday evening, and the superintendents leading critical, complex investigations.

[ more...]

13 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Former Wiltshire chief constable appointed deputy at Ministry of Defence Police

Mr Pritchard said he was “proud” to have been given the opportunity to help lead the force.

It follows the appointment of Melanie Dales as chief constable in May.

She said: “I am delighted that Kier will be joining us as deputy chief constable. His breadth of senior leadership experience in policing will help strengthen the force as we continue to build our capability to serve defence, improve our culture, and evolve to face new challenges.

“We are all very much looking forward to welcoming Kier to the force and working with him in his new role.”

[ more...]

13 Sep 2023 -

Police Finances

Clearing audit backlog requires “uncomfortable trade off”

The government recently proposed auditors provide as much assurance as possible on previous accounts, some of which date back to 2015-16, but limit their opinions in certain circumstances to clear the current backlog of 520 accounts in time for new statutory deadlines.

Sarah Healey, permanent secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said the intervention is necessary to allow for a “system reset”.

Writing to Public Accounts Committee chair Meg Hillier, she said proposals could lead to more qualified opinions and disclaimers of opinions on accounts, indicating auditors lack confidence in a particular aspect of the accounts or are unable to give an opinion at all due to insufficient information.

[ more...]

13 Sep 2023 -

Police Finances

Prison overcrowding warning as inmate numbers rise

The chief inspector for Scottish prisons has warned the number of people in custody is projected to soar in the next year.

Wendy Sinclair-Gieben said inmate numbers had fallen during the Covid pandemic - but were on the rise again.

In her annual report she said they were likely to go above 8,000 over the coming year.

[ more...]

13 Sep 2023 -

Police Finances

Merseyside Police must cut £15m from budget by 2028, PCC says

Merseyside Police has "significant funding challenges ahead" and will need to make further cuts, the region's police and crime commissioner has said.

In a report, Labour's Emily Spurrell said she had approved £2.9m of cuts for 2023/24, but the force would need to save a further £15.3m by 2027/28.

She said Merseyside Police made cuts of about £3m in the last financial year and was "desperately underfunded".

The Home Office said it had pledged an extra £13.6m to the force this year.

[ more...]

13 Sep 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Dwindling reserves leave authorities exposed to higher interest rates

Many councils use reserves to fund capital spending to avoid the need for additional borrowing.

However, Michael Hudson, executive director of finance and resources at Cambridgeshire County Council, said the use of reserves to meet revenue budget pressures has restricted many authorities from doing this.

He told PF that as a result, authorities will be forced to borrow externally, which puts further pressure on finances, given interest rates are at their highest level in more than a decade.

[ more...]

12 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Retailers will now PAY police to stop shoplifters: Ten of UK's largest stores will fund £600K 'Project Pegasus' to scan faces of thieves on CCTV - as Co-op hires undercover guards amid claims the crim

Ten of Britain's top retailers have agreed to fund a police crackdown on shoplifting gangs - by paying cops to scan faces of thieves using CCTV.

High street giants including John Lewis, Co-op, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Next are among those reportedly pumping £600,000 into the operation, dubbed Project Pegasus.

In return, police forces will run CCTV images of suspected shoplifters through the national database, which includes the latest facial recognition technology.

[ more...]

11 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

CPS treatment of police officers is ‘dispiriting and unfair’

Sir Mark Rowley has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) claiming police officers are treated differently to members of the public when deciding whether to charge them with criminal offences.

The Met commissioner said “dispiriting and unfair” oversight of officers made them more hesitant when doing their jobs and was undermining their ability to confront dangerous criminals.

In a speech at the Policy Exchange in central London, Sir Mark said prosecutors and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) were too eager to take action against officers accused of dangerous driving when pursuing suspects, and he urged them to allow the police to get on with the job of policing.

[ more...]

07 Sep 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Met police losing more officers than it is recruiting

The Commissioner, giving evidence to the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, said recruitment has been challenging and his biggest concern now is that he’s losing more officers than he’s bringing in.

In April, the force was 1,000 short of its recruitment target of bringing in 10,000 new officers as part of the government’s uplift programme.

But Sir Mark hit out at the Home Office for not allowing him to have access to the money they hadn’t used as part of that.

[ more...]

07 Sep 2023 -

Police Demand

The shoplifting epidemic is a sign that Britain is on the verge of anarchy

Overwhelmingly, the people behind this aren’t stealing to survive; they’re members of highly organised gangs – and staff are terrified

[ more...]

06 Sep 2023 -

Technology

‘Deeply concerning’ Met Police data breach put officers at risk, commissioner admits

A Met Police data breach that saw the names and ranks of staff released has put officers at risk and made many “very nervous”, the police commissioner said.

Sir Mark Rowley said it was “deeply concerning” that the personal data of a “majority of people” at the organisation was leaked, with 47,000 Met employees told about the potential exposure of their photographs and details.

Sir Mark said: “It is deeply concerning. There was data to do with security passes and personal data relating to the majority of people at the organisation, which was breached.

“In most cases, the data breach won’t create extra risk, but in some cases, it definitely will do.”

[ more...]

04 Sep 2023 -

Police Finances

Police ‘need more money to investigate every crime’

Ministers cannot ignore the “huge costs” facing police forces amid a new crackdown on crime, the head of the Police Federation of England and Wales has said.

Steve Hartshorn has challenged the government’s insistence that forces have enough resources to investigate all “reasonable lines of inquiry”.

[ more...]

04 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

‘We don’t need police’: the New Forest village taking the law into its own hands



‘We don’t need police’: the New Forest village taking the law into its own hands

At the village with the most unsolved burglaries in the UK, shopkeepers are turning to vigilante-style tactics

Mark Townsend

@townsendmark

Sat 2 Sep 2023 13.36 BST

Within the genteel New Forest village of Lyndhurst, it was considered a crime of almost outrageous audacity.

On a busy Saturday afternoon in February, two vividly painted Moorcroft pottery charger plates were stolen in plain sight from the middle of the venerable antique store.

Yet it was the response from the owner of the Lyndhurst Antiques Centre that has, over time, become more notable.

Desperate for justice, Janine Stone didn’t turn to the police. Instead, the shopkeeper took matters into her own hands. A Facebook campaign demanding the pottery’s whereabouts – combined worth £750 – gained traction. Two days later, the plates were returned.

[ more...]

04 Sep 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Automatic sackings for criminal police officers

Police officers guilty of gross misconduct in England and Wales will now face automatic sackings. The change follows high-profile cases of officers committing rape and murder. Under the new system, chief constables or their deputies will chair misconduct panels hearing serious allegations against officers.

[ more...]

04 Sep 2023 -

Police Finances

Serious Violence Funding Allocations Announced

Funding allocations for 3 Home Office funded programmes:

- Violence Reduction Units

- the ‘Grip’ serious violence policing programme

- the Serious Violence Duty

[ more...]

02 Sep 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK economy made stronger recovery during Covid

The UK economy made a stronger recovery during Covid at the end of 2021 than previously estimated, according to sharply revised official figures.

Data has now revealed that the economy was 0.6% bigger in the final three months of 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels. The previous figures said that the UK economy was 1.2% smaller.

The Office for National Statistics said changes were mainly because it had "richer data" from its annual survey.

[ more...]

01 Sep 2023 -

Prisons

HMP Woodhill: Call for emergency measures at 'unsafe' prison

Inspectors have called for the high-security jail HMP Woodhill to be put into emergency measures amid attacks on officers and "chronic" staff shortages.

The prison, in Milton Keynes, was deemed to be "fundamentally unsafe" following an inspection in August.

Charlie Taylor, the chief inspector of prisons, has contacted Justice Secretary Alex Chalk to issue an urgent notification for improvement.

The prisons minister said there was an "urgent need for improvement".

[ more...]

01 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police fail to solve 90pc of crime

Police are failing to solve more than 90 per cent of crime, the highest on record, according to official figures.

The Home Office data show that the proportion of recorded crimes remaining unsolved by police has increased from 74.8 per cent in 2015 when officials started compiling the figures to 90.2 per cent in the year to March 2023.

The analysis of official figures, by the Labour party, also revealed that more than 6,000 criminals a day were getting away with offences as police failed to identify any suspects in the crimes.

[ more...]

01 Sep 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Domestic abusers will be electronically tagged on leaving prison under government pilot to protect victims

Domestic abusers will be forced to wear electronic tags on leaving prison or risk being sent back to detention under a pilot scheme launched by the government to protect victims.

Up to 500 people will be made to wear the devices, which can monitor their whereabouts, enforce a curfew and ban them from going within a certain distance of a victim's home.

[ more...]

31 Aug 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Rogue police guilty of gross misconduct can be sacked on the spot

Police will be automatically sacked if they are found guilty of gross misconduct or a criminal offence, under measures aimed at purging hundreds of officers who are unfit to serve.

Chief constables are also being given greater powers of dismissal and anyone who fails vetting faces being sacked immediately under the “zero-tolerance” reforms.

Chris Philp, the policing minister, told The Times that rogue officers had “nowhere to hide” under the changes, being brought in after failings were exposed by the cases of the predatory officers Wayne Couzens and David Carrick.

[ more...]

31 Aug 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police reject black applicants at higher rate than white, data reveals

Black people applying to police forces across England and Wales under a government recruitment drive had a significantly higher rejection rate than white counterparts, a new investigation has revealed.

An investigation by the Media Storm podcast acquired the data through freedom of information responses from 32 out of 43 police forces in England and Wales. In total, they reflect 181,175 applicants.

In 2019, the then prime minister, Boris Johnson, pledged to recruit 20,000 more police officers and in April this year Rishi Sunak announced the target had been hit.

[ more...]

31 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

New zombie knife police powers to tackle violence

The tightening of laws preventing the use of the so-called zombie knives will make a "big difference" to police, the prime minister has said.

Rishi Sunak believes giving officers more powers to seize and destroy such weapons with no practical use will make their jobs easier.

Zombie knives were first added to the government's list of prohibited offensive weapons in 2016.

Labour said a loophole allowing the sale of the knives online still exists.

[ more...]

30 Aug 2023 -

Police Finances

Every theft must be investigated, home secretary tells police

Police must investigate every theft and follow all reasonable leads to catch offenders, the home secretary has said.

Suella Braverman said it was "completely unacceptable" that criminals are often "effectively free to break certain laws".

She wants officers to use evidence from smart doorbells and dashcams to solve more lower-level crimes.

[ more...]

30 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Tory councillor arrested for ‘hate crime’ after sharing video criticising police

A Conservative councillor was arrested for an alleged hate crime after re-tweeting a video criticising how the police treated a Christian street preacher.

Cllr Anthony Stevens, 50, from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, told The Telegraph he was arrested at his home this month and escorted to a police station for questioning about tweets from his personal account, which has 76 followers.

One tweet involved a video showing how police had treated the arrest of Christian preacher Oluwole Ilisanmi in Southgate, London, in 2019.

[ more...]

30 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police officers to face quicker sackings for gross misconduct in England and Wales

Police officers guilty of gross misconduct in England and Wales will face automatic sackings, the government has announced.

The change follows high-profile cases of officers committing rape and murder.

The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, called the changes "a return to kangaroo courts".

[ more...]

30 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Nitrous oxide: Laughing gas ban could harm users, experts warn

The proposed ban of nitrous oxide could stop users seeking medical help in hospitals, health experts have warned.

In a letter to the government, seen by BBC Newsnight, 15 neurologists and related health experts say possession of the drug should not be criminalised.

Despite rising numbers of hospital patients suffering the effects of so-called laughing gas, they warn the ban could worsen the stigma around users.

The government has responded, saying it plans to go ahead with the ban.

[ more...]

29 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police chiefs issue warning to Home Secretary Suella Braverman following order to investigate every theft

Police chiefs have warned the home secretary they must have "operational independence" when deciding how to respond to crime.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) was responding to Suella Braverman's announcement that police forces in England and Wales must investigate every theft as part of a crackdown on crime.

The home secretary said it was "unacceptable" that crimes such as shoplifting, criminal damage and phone or car theft have been treated as "less important".

[ more...]

29 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Criminals must never feel that they are free to break the law

Whether it’s a break-in at your home, the theft of a car or a mugging – the criminals who are responsible should be hunted down and brought to justice. They must have no place to hide.

Victims of these awful crimes are failed when police simply don’t take an interest in following reasonable leads – instead just handing out a crime reference number. It’s completely unacceptable.

Crime, on a like-for-like basis, has fallen by over 50 per cent since 2010, including neighbourhood crimes like burglary, robbery and vehicle theft. There are so many examples of great work from police officers, but they must go further in pursuing all levels of criminals – and not just the big-time gangsters and drug dealers.

[ more...]

28 Aug 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police chiefs to get more powers to sack ‘rogue’ officers under Government plans

Police chiefs will have more powers to sack officers found guilty of wrongdoing under Government plans to reform the disciplinary system, it has been reported.

Proposals drawn up by policing minister Chris Philp will be unveiled this week as part of a “crime week” of policy announcements planned by Downing Street, according to The Telegraph.

Ministers hope the change will help rebuild public trust in the police which has been damaged by a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer and ex-Pc David Carrick being unmasked as a serial abuser and rapist.

[ more...]

28 Aug 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

One in eight police posts for rape case specialists in England and Wales unfilled

One in eight posts for police officers in England and Wales specialising in rape and serious sexual offences (Rasso) remain unfilled, figures obtained by the Guardian suggest.

The gaps in staffing come amid continuing concern over Rasso prosecution and conviction rates. There were 70,633 rapes recorded by police in the year to September last year but only 459 convictions in the 2022 calendar year.

The Guardian sent freedom of information requests to all 43 police forces in England and Wales asking them how many vacancies they had for specialist Rasso officers on 1 June. From the 23 usable responses, the proportion of unfilled posts ranged from zero to two in five.

[ more...]

24 Aug 2023 -

Police Finances

UK faces ‘heightened recession risks’ as interest rates bite

The UK economy is on course to shrink between July and September and could tip into recession, a closely-watched survey suggests.

The S&P Global/CIPS UK Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) found that rising interest rates and weaker household spending led to a sharp drop in demand for goods and services in August.

The index looks at key economic measures such as orders and employment.

[ more...]

23 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

London shopowners lock doors as shoplifting epidemic builds

Inside a menswear boutique in an affluent west London neighbourhood, shoppers admire madras shirts and slim-cut jeans under the watchful gaze of the manager.

LA Menswear, just off Chiswick High Road, is one of several businesses that have been targeted by thieves in recent weeks. Independent stores and chain brands have been hit by a wave of pickpocketing, burglary and shoplifters.

Whistles, the women’s contemporary fashion brand, recently posted a sign in its window alerting customers that it was open but “operating a locked door policy”.

[ more...]

23 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Almost half Crown Prosecution Service letters sent to public ‘below standard’

Almost one in every two letters the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) sends to people who have made complaints – including victims of crime – are not good enough, with many containing incorrect basic details or spelling mistakes, or lacking information about delays, according to a damning official report.

The watchdog for the CPS has urged the organisation to “act urgently to get a grip of this situation”, warning that mistakes undermine public confidence.

While some improvements have been made, the report states that overall, “the quality of letters has deteriorated” since the inspectorate last examined complaints in 2018. An inspection of 351 written responses from the CPS to complainants, about two-thirds of whom were victims of crime, found that only 66 were considered to be of “good quality”, about a third (32%) were “adequate”, while 49% did not meet the required standard.

[ more...]

23 Aug 2023 -

Technology

South Yorkshire Police 'deeply sorry' for data loss affecting up to 69 cases

South Yorkshire Police has apologised for losing data such as bodycam footage which could affect dozens of cases.

The force said it had referred itself to the Information Commissioner's Office following a "significant" and "unexplained reduction" in data.

This includes bodycam footage recorded by officers between July 2020 and May 2023. The force estimates around 69 cases could be affected.

[ more...]

18 Aug 2023 -

Police Finances

Two more forces braced for legal action after data breaches

Another two forces are investigating data breaches that led to sensitive information about officers being published on the internet.

In a joint statement, police services for Norfolk and Suffolk confirmed details of 1,230 officers had been put out in response to a Freedom of Information request on crime statistics.

A technical issue has led to some raw data belonging to the constabularies being included within the files produced in response to FOI requests.

[ more...]

18 Aug 2023 -

Police Finances

Curse of Kent police’s hub station strikes again

The administrators of a PFI police station are locked in a battle with the force that owns it.

In the latest stage of an expensive saga, Kent Police has told Alix Partners it wants to terminate the deal for the management of its North Kent hub station – a contract worth £5.5m a year.

The force wants to end the deal 13 years early, arguing key elements of the contract have not been met. It has now begun negotiation with Alix and the Home Office.

[ more...]

18 Aug 2023 -

Police Demand

Met wins battle with NHS over not attending mental health calls

The Metropolitan police has won its battle to stop attending most of the mental health calls it receives after a tense behind-the-scenes row with the health service, the Guardian has learned.

From 31 October the Met will start implementing a scheme that aims to stop officers being diverted from crime fighting to do work health staff are better trained for.

[ more...]

17 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

MPs and peers write to minister over 'brutal handcuffing of vulnerable children'

Better data over the use of restraints on young innocent people in care is needed to help bring an end to the "brutal handcuffing of vulnerable children", a cross-party group of MPs and peers has said.

In a letter to children's minister Claire Coutinho, the signatories said they are concerned at what they call the "worrying prevalence" of vulnerable children being restrained and handcuffed unnecessarily by secure transportation providers.

They wrote that there have been instances of "innocent children outside the custodial system" being restrained during transport, but organisers from the Hope Instead Of Handcuffs campaign said the exact number of such instances is not known due to a lack of data.

[ more...]

16 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Councils failing to crack down on anti-social behaviour, watchdog finds

Councils are frequently failing to use their powers to crack down on anti-social behaviour, a watchdog has found.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman criticised the failure of local authorities to act, saying incidents are too often left unchecked despite officers having "compelling evidence to justify taking enforcement action".

Cases include a person complaining about a neighbour's house party which lasted more than 13 hours.

[ more...]

16 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Cameras on UK roads catch drivers on phones for first time

Specialised free-standing cameras, which catch motorists illegally using their mobile phones, are being deployed in the UK for the first time.

They caught nearly 300 drivers breaking the law within three days of being introduced on the A30 near Launceston, Cornwall.

Previous trials have seen similar software mounted on vehicles or inside speed cameras.

[ more...]

16 Aug 2023 -

Technology

Norfolk and Suffolk police: Victims and witnesses hit by data breach

A total of 1,230 people, including victims of crime and witnesses, have had their data breached by Norfolk and Suffolk police forces.

The constabularies said the personal information was included in Freedom of Information (FOI) responses due to a "technical issue".

They said the data was hidden from anyone opening the files but should not have been included.

It included descriptions of offences including sexual and domestic assaults.

[ more...]

15 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

The level of fraud on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp is more than the number of robberies, burglaries, killings and knife crime combined

Scams on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are the source of more than one million cases of fraud every year, shocking figures reveal.

A Money Mail investigation has found that an estimated 16 per cent of all crimes recorded by the police in 2022 originated on platforms owned by social media giant Meta – more than double the number of robberies, burglaries, homicides and knife crimes combined.

That means every day, an average of 3,000 people fall victim to a scam that can be traced back to one of these platforms.

[ more...]

14 Aug 2023 -

Police Demand

Video doorbells: Police embrace them but do they cut crime?

It was a man trying to break into her home that turned Jessica Randle into a leading advocate for video doorbells.

Ms Randle had been napping in her living room in Phoenix, Arizona, when she heard a slight noise from outside that she chose to ignore.

Later, when she reviewed the automatic recording from the video doorbell on her phone she discovered that a burglar had tried to open her front door. He then walked off, most likely after seeing the camera.

[ more...]

14 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Chief constables not trusted to clean up police, watchdog warns

Chief constables should not be “judge and jury” in officer disciplinary cases, the watchdog has claimed in a rebuff of Sir Mark Rowley’s calls for more power.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) said that lawyers should still oversee gross misconduct hearings because of the previous failures of senior officers to address wrongdoing and root out predators.

Rowley, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, wrote in The Times last week that government inaction was hampering his reform agenda at Britain’s biggest police force, where he has promised to overhaul standards. Rowley, who took charge in September, has vowed to rid the Met of rogue officers after a series of scandals including the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving policeman in 2021.

[ more...]

11 Aug 2023 -

Police Finances

Police staff in England and Wales offered seven per cent pay increase, Unison confirms

If accepted, the increase proposed by the police staff employers would take effect from September 1 this year.

It means the hourly rate for the lowest paid police staff would rise from £10.62 to £11.46 an hour. That is an increase of £1,446 a year and would see the lowest annual salaries rise from £20,655 to £22,101, said Unison.

In addition, the police staff employers – the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the Home Office – are offering a seven per cent rise on payments to employees who are asked to be available for work outside their normal hours.

[ more...]

11 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Lawyers accuse Met chief of ‘power grab’ in misconduct cases

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Sir Mark Rowley was accused yesterday of a “disgraceful” slur against the independent lawyers who oversee police disciplinary cases after he said they were fundamentally soft.

John Bassett, a barrister representing the National Association of Legally Qualified Chairs (LQC), who oversee most gross misconduct cases, said that the Metropolitan Police commissioner had impugned their reputation and “undermined the independence of the process”.

The Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank-and-file officers, also hit back over Rowley’s calls for government to push through legislation that would give dismissal powers back to chief constables.

[ more...]

10 Aug 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Spending power to surge in London but plunge in other regions

The spending power of workers in some parts of the UK will still be below the level it was before the pandemic by the end of 2024, a think tank has warned.

Pay, after accounting for rising prices, is set to fall between 2019 and 2024 in regions like the West Midlands and East of England, said Niesr.

By contrast, it said London and parts of the South were "steaming ahead".

[ more...]

09 Aug 2023 -

Justice

Labour launches expert team to increase crime-solving

Labour is setting up an expert commission tasked with drawing up reforms to increase the number of crimes solved.

The Charging Commission will propose ways to help police and prosecutors bring more criminals to justice.

Home Office data show 2.4 million cases were dropped over evidential difficulties in the year ending March 2023.

[ more...]

09 Aug 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Warning UK set for five years of lost economic growth

The UK is set for five years of "lost economic growth", with the poorest hit hardest, a think tank has warned.

The National Institute for Economic and Social Research said a triple blow of Brexit, Covid and Russia's invasion of Ukraine had badly affected the economy.

It added that the spending power of workers in many parts of the UK will remain below pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2024.

The BBC has contacted the Treasury for comment.

[ more...]

06 Aug 2023 -

Justice

Half of crimes solved by police result in no charge, data reveal

Almost half of the crimes solved by police result in no charge against the offender, an analysis by The Telegraph has found.

Home Office figures show that the proportion of solved crimes that result in a charge have fallen from 63.7 per cent in 2015/16 – when the data were first recorded – to 51.8 per cent in 2022/23.

[ more...]

06 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police chief: How I’ll take on Just Stop Oil and drink-drivers

Donna Jones, the new chairwoman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, believes those who block roads and target sporting events need to be remanded in custody until they go on trial, or are sentenced, because the public “have had enough” of their antics.

She also revealed that some drink-drivers are being allowed to stay on the roads for up to six months before they were banned because of a continuing backlog in hearings at magistrates’ courts caused by the pandemic.

[ more...]

03 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Child sexual abuse probe 'obstructed' by asylum hotel staff

Staff at a hotel for asylum seekers obstructed a police investigation into a report that a man masturbated in front of a seven-year-old child, the BBC has been told.

Officers were blocked from entering the east London hotel and staff delayed providing CCTV - which was later automatically deleted, it is claimed.

The provider - Clearsprings - says it has robust safeguarding processes.

[ more...]

03 Aug 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Interest rates could remain above 5pc until 2026, Bank warns

The Bank of England has signalled that interest rates could remain above 5pc until 2026 in a move that will sharply raise costs for more than four million mortgage holders.

Policymakers voted 6-3 to raise interest rates by 0.25 percentage points to a 15-year high of 5.25pc as it admitted that higher wages and prices are becoming embedded in the economy.

Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, said it was vital that officials “make absolutely sure” that inflation fell “all the way back to the 2pc target”.

[ more...]

03 Aug 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Claim Met Police commander took LSD and magic mushrooms dismissed

Allegations that a senior Metropolitan Police officer who wrote the force's anti-drugs strategy took LSD and magic mushrooms have been dismissed by a tribunal panel.

Cdr Julian Bennett is also accused of regularly smoking cannabis before work, which is still before the tribunal.

The officer is facing a gross misconduct hearing and denies three allegations of discreditable conduct.

[ more...]

03 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Met Police shocked by increasing ‘ferocity’ of murders in London

Police are shocked at the increasing “ferocity” of murders in London, a senior officer has said, amid fears young killers are being desensitised by violent films, music, television and video games.

Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Cochlin, the Metropolitan Police’s lead on homicide, said a trend of unnecessary brutality had been building in recent years, with most of the 65 homicides in the capital this year committed with knives, including large “hunting” weapons and models designed for lethality.

[ more...]

03 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Devon and Cornwall Police: Ben Humphrey guilty of gross misconduct

A former special constabulary sergeant accessed police intelligence systems for non-policing purposes, a panel has heard.

Ben Humphrey served with Devon and Cornwall Police and had his case heard by a misconduct hearing panel in July.

It found him culpable of gross misconduct and concluded he would have been dismissed, if still serving.

The panel also said Mr Humphrey had not informed the police of a previous county court judgement against him.

[ more...]

02 Aug 2023 -

Police Finances

Missed bill payments back to winter levels

The number of people missing payments on essential household bills such as energy, phone and water is as high as it was over the winter, according to consumer group Which?. Even though prices have fallen back slightly, about 2.4 million households missed at least one bill payment in the month to mid-July and 770,000 failed to make mortgage or rent payments, according to its monthly online poll.

[ more...]

02 Aug 2023 -

Prisons

Lack of places could see 1,500 criminals avoid prison, warns Labour

More than 1,000 criminals could avoid prison this year due to a lack of places, the Labour Party has warned. According to the Government's own projections, the prison population is set to grow to 89,100 by this November, but there are only 87,573 operational prison places left - creating a shortage of 1,527 places

[ more...]

01 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Criminology in Policing: The ‘criminal mind’ – psychological explanations for crime

In the fourth of a new series of The Police Student focusing on Criminology in Policing, Policing Insight Academic Editor Dr Carina O’Reilly explores psychological theories for explaining crime – including the differences between cognitive and behavioural theories, the importance of cognitive learning and social learning theories, and how evaluating these and other theories can make you a better police officer and happier human!

[ more...]

01 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Shoplifters who commit repeat offences face jail with retail crime ‘spiralling out of control’

Picture: Federation of Independent Retailers

Latest figured from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) show almost two-thirds of crime being driven by repeat and prolific offenders.

According to The Times newspaper, the Government now plans to force judges to impose jail terms when sentencing repeat offenders for shoplifting, burglary, theft and common assault, using new legislation to be included in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

Currently, these offences do not necessarily result in a prison sentence, the way that two convictions for knife crime automatically do. The number of offences required for a prison sentence would vary according to the type of crime, according to The Times.

[ more...]

01 Aug 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Dorset Police use water scooters to patrol coast and rivers

Police are taking to the water on water scooters to tackle antisocial behaviour on Dorset's coast and rivers.

Two tactical watercraft will be deployed to increase patrols of almost 100 miles of coastline as well as inland waterways.

Dorset Police said it had received reports of a small number of people "abusing the coastline".

[ more...]

31 Jul 2023 -

Police Demand

More than 2,300,000 crimes were unsolved last year, new data reveals

New figures show police solved only 5.7% of crimes last year after 2.3 million cases were dropped without a suspect being found.

The Home Office figures for England and Wales cover the 12 months from April 2022 and show a small improvement on the year before.

The 5.7% represents the proportion of crimes that resulted in a charge or court summons.

[ more...]

31 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Co-op slams police for 'decriminalising' shoplifting as his staff left to fend for items

A prominent Co-op owner claims the police ignore shoplifting unless it meets strict criteria, which he says effectively decriminalises shoplifting.

Richard Inglis, the owner of a chain of Co-op stores, claims the police will only investigate shoplifting offences if the theft is over £200, there is clear CCTV and the criminal’s full name is known.

[ more...]

31 Jul 2023 -

Technology

Metropolitan Police to predict future crimes by mining indecent exposure data

Scotland Yard is to produce league tables on indecent exposure offenders in an attempt to stop sexual predators before their crimes escalate.

It is part of an innovative programme using technology and data to prioritise investigations against smaller pools of suspects who are inclined to be violent and cause the most harm.

The Met will become the first police force to use predictive data on suspects in lower level sex offences, such as indecent exposure, because they are “highly predictive of high harm”.

[ more...]

30 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

David Lammy says 'disappearing' neighbourhood policing is leading to increased crime

In a scathing review of neighbourhood policing in the UK, David Lammy explains why petty crime should be taken seriously as the cost of ignoring could lead to "far worse crimes".

Following police chiefs saying they will tackle ‘every single crime,’ David Lammy suggests to listeners that this would not be a waste of time explaining the “broken windows theory.”

“Broken windows theory,” David said, “was an idea coming out of the United States, pioneered by Rudy Giuliani the former mayor of New York.”

He explained: “New York was in a mess basically, it was in a mess because no one was dealing with anti-social behaviour, no-one was dealing with low-level crime… and that's why they coined the catchphrase broken windows.

[ more...]

28 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

BBC finds police BMWs at risk of exploding still on the roads

A "catastrophic" engine failure saw a police BMW catch fire and spin off the road, killing its driver. The fault had been known about for years. The officer's widow now wants answers. Why did no-one warn her husband of the risks? And why are these cars still on the road?

[ more...]

28 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Humberside Police chief hopeful progress will continue

Humberside Police has significantly improved, but people still want to see more bobbies on the beat, the force's outgoing chief constable has said.

Lee Freeman has been in the role since 2017 and will leave to take up a new job at the end of July.

Under his leadership, the force has gone from being in special measures to receiving an outstanding grade.

[ more...]

28 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Devon and Cornwall police force must end its 'high reliance' on issuing temporary firearms permits in wake of Plymouth shooting

A review into firearms licencing at Devon and Cornwall Police has found the force "must stop" its "extraordinarily high reliance" of issuing temporary permits for guns.

The police watchdog - His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) - was asked to carry out an urgent review by the home secretary following the mass shooting in Keyham, Plymouth in 2021, which left six dead including gunman Jake Davison.

Inquests into the deaths in February found Davison's victims were unlawfully killed and that there was a "catastrophic" failure in the management of the firearms unit which led to the 22-year-old having his gun returned to him just weeks before the attack.

[ more...]

26 Jul 2023 -

Police Demand

Plans to cut back on police attending mental health callouts

Police have laid out plans to drastically reduce the number of mental health callouts dealt with by officers, putting the onus back onto healthcare staff.

Some forces in England and Wales currently attend 80% of what a senior officer termed health and social care incidents, and this will be cut to between 20 and 30% within the next two years.

Patients detained under the Mental Health Act currently wait with police officers for an average of 12 hours before receiving medical care, but under the plans this will be cut to a one-hour handover window.

[ more...]

21 Jul 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Government borrows less than expected in June

The government borrowed less than expected in June, helped by higher tax receipts and a big drop in debt interest payments.

Borrowing - the difference between spending and tax income - fell to £18.5bn, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It is £400m lower than last June and below predictions by the government's independent forecaster.

[ more...]

20 Jul 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

London needs more black police officers, says murdered sisters' mum

The mother of two murdered sisters has called for more black police officers to be deployed in London's communities.

Mina Smallman was speaking at the launch of the Alliance for Police Accountability (APA), a group of bodies fighting racism and misogyny within the police.

Ms Smallman said action rather than words was needed to signify progress.

[ more...]

20 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Councils issue record number of fines for ‘busybody offences’ in England and Wales

A record number of on-the-spot fines were issued by councils for what have been dubbed “busybody offences”, with many cracking down on activities such as feeding birds, swearing and napping in public.

The seemingly bizarre nature of some of the fines issued under Public Spaces Protection Order legislation has seen them increase to 13,433 in 2022, up from 10,412 in 2019. More than 150 councils issued at least one penalty in 2022, according to a report.

[ more...]

19 Jul 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Interest rates: Sharp rise less likely after inflation surprise

Interest rates are predicted to rise less sharply after the UK saw a surprise drop in inflation in June.

The Bank of England has put up rates 13 times since December 2021 to try to cool soaring price rises, driving up borrowing costs for millions.

But experts say it is now under less pressure to do so after inflation fell sharply to 7.9% in June, down from 8.7% the previous month.

[ more...]

19 Jul 2023 -

Police Demand

Car insurance bills hit all-time high as police fail to crack down on car theft

Car insurance premiums have reached an all-time high as police forces fail to crack down on rising thefts.

British motorists are now paying £776 a year for car insurance on average – £222 more than 12 months ago and the highest level recorded, according to data from comparison site Confused.com and insurance broker Willis Towers Watson.

[ more...]

18 Jul 2023 -

Police Finances

Suella Braverman says risk of terrorism 'rising' as review says Islamist terror is primary threat

The risk from terrorism is "rising", Home Secretary Suella Braverman has said.

The cabinet minister was speaking as the government published a review of its counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, which has been updated for the first time in five years.

Ms Braverman said: "We now face a domestic terrorist threat which is less predictable, harder to detect and investigate; a persistent and evolving threat from Islamist terrorist groups overseas; and an operating environment where technology continues to provide both opportunity and risk to our counter-terrorism efforts.

[ more...]

18 Jul 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Met chief attacks Home Office for not letting him sack bad police

The head of Britain’s biggest police force has said he is frustrated with the Home Office for its slow progress at reviewing “perverse” rules that prevent him from being able to sack his own officers.

Mark Rowley, the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, which has some UK-wide responsibilities, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he had expected results from the review in May but was yet to see them.

The home secretary, Suella Braverman, announced the internal Home Office review in January. It was to consider putting police chiefs in charge of all misconduct hearings, sidelining the independent panels chaired by lawyers that have been criticised for hampering the removal of officers.

[ more...]

16 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

British families could be paid to take in Afghan refugees to reduce housing asylum seekers in hotels

British families could be paid to house Afghan refugees under plans being drawn up by Michael Gove to reduce the use of hotels for asylum seekers.

The Levelling Up and Housing Secretary is considering replicating the Homes for Ukraine scheme for up to 2,000 Afghans who worked for the British and have been granted the right to come to the UK in gratitude for their service but have yet to come to the UK.

The Afghans and their families are currently living in limbo in hotels in third countries such as Pakistan and Iran because there is no housing available for them in the UK.

[ more...]

14 Jul 2023 -

Police Finances

Police offered 7% pay increase

More than one million public sector workers, including teachers, police and doctors, have been offered pay rises of between 5 per cent and 7 per cent. Four education unions said the deal would allow them to end their dispute and will be recommending their members to accept the offer.

[ more...]

13 Jul 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Sunak agrees to public sector pay rises of at least 6% without raising budgets

Millions of public sector workers will be given a pay rise of at least 6%, but government departments have been told to fund the rise from within existing budgets.

Police officers, junior doctors and teachers in England are among those who would benefit after Rishi Sunak accepted all the recommendations of the independent pay review bodies.

The Treasury has ordered a range of measures for Whitehall departments to “reprioritise” their budgets.

[ more...]

13 Jul 2023 -

Police Finances

Police Remuneration Review Body report: 2023 England and Wales

Recommendations from the Police Remuneration Review Body on police officers’ pay in England and Wales.

[ more...]

12 Jul 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Using LGPS to fund private equity ‘may backfire’

The chancellor’s plans to force local government pension schemes to back private equity investments have been given a lukewarm reception from the sector.

Jeremy Hunt has outlined plans aimed at increasing UK investment including funds having to earmark 5% of investments in levelling up.

He used the annual Mansion House speech to also outline plans to compel pools to raise their investment level to at least 10% of funding to private equity in a bid to support high-growth, innovative technology companies.

[ more...]

10 Jul 2023 -

Justice

As few as one in seven caught with class A drugs are prosecuted for possession

As few as one in seven offenders caught with class A drugs such as cocaine are being prosecuted for possession, Home Office figures show.

The data reveals that the proportion being charged for possession of drugs other than cannabis has fallen from more than half (51.9 per cent) eight years ago to fewer than four in 10 (39.2 per cent) last year.

This, however, masks wide variations between police forces, with Surrey charging just 14.3 per cent or only one in seven offences for possession of drugs other than cannabis.

It has the lowest charge rate followed by West Mercia (15.7 per cent), West Midlands (17.4 per cent) and Hampshire (23.3 per cent). This contrasts with 66 per cent for the Met Police and more than 50 per cent for Humberside, Wiltshire, Staffordshire, North Yorkshire and Norfolk.

[ more...]

10 Jul 2023 -

Justice

Campaigners say ministers ‘too quick’ to celebrate increased rape convictions

Violence against women campaigners have accused ministers of being too quick to celebrate increased rape convictions while overall reporting rates remain low.

The justice secretary, Alex Chalk, said on Monday that the government was on course to exceed a target to reverse low conviction rates for rape by the end of this parliament.

He said “significant progress” had been made since the government’s 2020 end-to-end rape review, which revealed that the number of reported cases in England and Wales resulting in a prosecution had declined since 2016.

[ more...]

10 Jul 2023 -

Justice

Rape reform programme extended across England and Wales

Women who have made rape complaints have told BBC News that police and court systems are still "weighted in favour of the accused", despite a new programme piloted by 19 police forces.

Operation Soteria is being extended to all 43 police areas in England and Wales from Monday.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman wants police to "focus on the suspect", not on undermining the victim.

[ more...]

08 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

As few as one in seven caught with class A drugs are prosecuted for possession

As few as one in seven offenders caught with class A drugs such as cocaine are being prosecuted for possession, Home Office figures show.

The data reveals that the proportion being charged for possession of drugs other than cannabis has fallen from more than half (51.9 per cent) eight years ago to fewer than four in 10 (39.2 per cent) last year.

[ more...]

07 Jul 2023 -

Police Finances

Lincolnshire PCC welcomes extra £1.4m to tackle crime

An extra £1.4m will be given to Lincolnshire to help fight crime, it has been announced.

The government is providing the cash to the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) as part of a nationwide programme.

PCC Marc Jones said he had not yet decided how the money, available over the next 18 months, would be spent.

[ more...]

07 Jul 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Public being let down too often because forces failing to manage performance, inspectorate warns

Andy Cooke warned too many forces make decisions based on poor data or insufficient analysis of data.

The latest report from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found while forces have improved in several areas in recent years, trust and confidence in the police is at an “all-time low”.

Mr Cooke said forces must learn from each other after the report into police performance during 2021/22 also highlighted areas of “positive practice”.

[ more...]

07 Jul 2023 -

Police Demand

Devon and Cornwall Police sharing control room calls on social media

Real-time updates on calls received by a police control room will be shared on social media for 12 hours from 15:00 BST on Friday.

Devon and Cornwall Police is holding the 'tweetathon' to show the "significant demand" it faces.

It held a similar event in February when hundreds of incidents were shared.

Lucy Baillie, commander for contact and resolution, said it will show "the diverse range of calls" during "one of the busier times of the week".

[ more...]

07 Jul 2023 -

Police Finances

Lincolnshire PCC welcomes extra £1.4m to tackle crime

An extra £1.4m will be given to Lincolnshire to help fight crime, it has been announced.

The government is providing the cash to the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) as part of a nationwide programme.

PCC Marc Jones said he had not yet decided how the money, available over the next 18 months, would be spent.

He said: "I am confident this additional money can make a really positive impact."

[ more...]

04 Jul 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police chief becomes first to call for law change for positive discrimination to boost ethnic intake

John Robins, head of West Yorkshire Police, says ‘time has now come’ for a legal change to increase the number of black and Asian recruits

[ more...]

04 Jul 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police Scotland officers request 8.5% pay rise

Police Scotland's new chief constable Jo Farrell could arrive this summer and find herself slap bang in the middle of a pay dispute.

Associations representing all staff within the service have submitted an 8.5% pay claim for 2023/24.

If it's turned down, the Scottish Police Federation will ask its members to consider withdrawing "goodwill."

[ more...]

03 Jul 2023 -

Prisons

Ex-offenders could help cut UK labour shortages, says report



Ex-offenders could help cut UK labour shortages, says report

Good Jobs Project from ReGenerate aims to help ex-prisoners, neurodivergent people, asylum seekers and other groups into work

Tom Ambrose and agency

Mon 3 Jul 2023 06.00 BST

Unemployed ex-offenders are being overlooked for jobs and could help fill the 1.1 million vacancies in the UK job market, a report has claimed.

Britain is “facing one of the worst labour shortages in its history”, the year-long study said, arguing that the vast numbers of people commonly overlooked for jobs should be targeted.

The Good Jobs Project, led by the business charity ReGenerate, said homeless people, young people in or leaving care, refugees, those with mental health problems and over-50s are also not being given employment opportunities.

[ more...]

02 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman demands answers on Met Police Thin Blue Line badge ban

Suella Braverman has demanded an explanation from the Metropolitan Police over its ban on officers working at Pride wearing a badge that commemorates fallen colleagues.

The Telegraph understands that the Home Secretary was concerned after hearing that officers were instructed not to wear the Thin Blue Line badge in case it offended the LGBT+ community.

A source close to Ms Braverman said: “She has asked for more information to understand what’s happened.”

[ more...]

02 Jul 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Protests: Police powers to stop new tactics come into effect

New measures aimed at curbing protest methods often used by environmental groups have come into effect.

Police in England and Wales now have powers to move protesters who disrupt transport, while offenders could face three years in jail for tunnelling.

The Home Office says the Public Order Act 2023 will target "a selfish minority" but critics argue they threaten the right to protest.

[ more...]

01 Jul 2023 -

Police Demand

The minimum number of crimes repeat offenders commit before being jailed

Prolific thieves are being caught and convicted of stealing up to 50 times before they are jailed by the courts, figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have revealed.

Violent offenders are escaping jail until they have been convicted of up to 25 common assaults, while some are accruing as many as seven or eight repeat convictions for carrying a knife before they are given a prison sentence.

Other criminals are collecting more than 20 drug convictions before being jailed.

[ more...]

30 Jun 2023 -

Prisons

HMP Fosse Way: Government opens new prison in expansion pledge

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has opened a new prison as part of its pledge to create 20,000 jail places.

The Category C HMP Fosse Way in Leicestershire was named after a community consultation and replaces the former HMP Glen Parva.

The MoJ said the £286m facility has space for 1,715 inmates, who will be offered industry training to plug labour gaps after their release.

[ more...]

29 Jun 2023 -

Prisons

Surge in prison officer absences due to mental health reasons

The number of prison officers in England and Wales who took sick days for mental health reasons nearly doubled over five years.

Staff taking time off rose from 1,456 in 2016/17 to 2,879 in 2021/22, Ministry of Justice data obtained by BBC Radio Kent shows.

The Prison Officers' Association (POA) says long hours, violence and poor pay are causing staff burnout.

The government says it is providing extensive mental health support.

[ more...]

29 Jun 2023 -

Justice

Women victims have been ‘let down', Wiltshire Police admits

Wiltshire Police says it has "let down" women and girls who have been afraid to report violent crimes for "too long".

Det Supt Sarah Robbins, Wiltshire Police's lead on violence against women and girls (VAWG), said the force "will do better".

It comes after a survey found a third of women in Wiltshire who have been victims of crime have not reported it.

[ more...]

29 Jun 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Undercover policing unit tactics not justified, says report

The use of undercover policing tactics from the 1960s onwards was not justified and the unit should have been disbanded early on, a report says.

Ex-senior judge Sir John Mitting said most groups infiltrated by the Special Demonstration Squad posed no threat.

His report for the Undercover Policing Inquiry details tactics such as forming sexual relationships and using the names of dead children for cover.

[ more...]

29 Jun 2023 -

Police Finances

Essex crime commissioner provides funds for safer streets

Some £4m is to be spent on making more neighbourhoods in Essex safer, particularly for women and girls, the county's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) said.

Roger Hirst, PFCC, has allocated £3,953,923 of the force's £363.7m annual budget.

He has previously used government Safer Streets funding to support eight similar initiatives.

[ more...]

28 Jun 2023 -

Police Finances

Lincolnshire Police given extra cash to police RAF asylum centre

Lincolnshire Police has been given extra government money ahead of the arrival of asylum seekers at the former RAF Scampton base.

The force will receive £1.8m to allow extra officers to be recruited.

An additional £2m will be used towards developing digital technology and improving crime prevention measures.

The county's Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said he was grateful to the government and local MPs who had lobbied for the funding.

[ more...]

28 Jun 2023 -

Technology

Illegal trade in AI child sex abuse images exposed

Paedophiles are using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to create and sell life-like child sexual abuse material, the BBC has found.

Some are accessing the images by paying subscriptions to accounts on mainstream content-sharing sites such as Patreon.

Patreon said it had a "zero tolerance" policy about such imagery on its site.

[ more...]

28 Jun 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Sunak must honour pay rise for police, says Met chief

Rishi Sunak must honour the pay review recommendations for increasing police officers’ salaries, says Britain’s most senior policeman.

In an article for The Telegraph, Sir Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, warned that more officers could quit and the force could face a recruitment crisis unless the Prime Minister and his government accepted the recommendations “in full and without delay”.

He suggested officers’ low pay could also put public safety at risk as they would not be “at their best” in their “dangerous” jobs if they had money worries and were exhausted by having to take second jobs or work extra overtime to make ends meet.

[ more...]

26 Jun 2023 -

Prisons

Half of all prison officers do not feel safe, survey reveals

Half of all prison officers in England and Wales do not feel safe in the jails they work in, according to a large survey of staff.

More than 80 per cent of prison officers said staff morale was not good and a large majority do not believe their salaries accurately reflect the responsibilities of their job. Morale was at its lowest among staff who work in high-security men’s prisons.

The findings came in a survey of 6,582 prison staff that was carried out by the parliamentary justice committee.

[ more...]

25 Jun 2023 -

Technology

999 calls: Technical glitch fixed for most forces

Most police forces and other emergency services have confirmed they are able to receive 999 calls again, following a fault on Sunday morning.

Earlier, a nationwide technical issue meant calls were not being connected.

Some said they were still experiencing a "residual impact" so people should only use 999 in a genuine emergency.

[ more...]

25 Jun 2023 -

Police Demand

Police solve no thefts at all in most neighbourhoods

Theft has been “decriminalised” across two thirds of neighbourhoods in England and Wales over the past three years, a Telegraph investigation has found.

From 2020, not a single personal, vehicle or bike theft was solved by police in between half and two-thirds of the 30,100 neighbourhoods in England and Wales, according to an analysis of police data.

Bike thieves were the least likely to be caught with every reported bicycle theft remaining unsolved in 66 per cent of the neighbourhoods since 2020. Of around 184,400 thefts, 3,863 were solved.

[ more...]

24 Jun 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Mid-Bedfordshire Tory MP candidate asked to stand down as PCC

A police and crime commissioner (PCC) chosen as a Conservative parliamentary candidate has been asked to stand down by his local crime panel.

Festus Akinbusoye has been selected as the candidate for Mid Bedfordshire should MP Nadine Dorries resign.

Ms Dorries announced on 9 June that she would stand down but has yet to do so.

[ more...]

22 Jun 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Glastonbury Festival will go ahead with testing illegal drugs for impurities

Glastonbury is to go ahead with tests of illegal drugs to protect revellers from suspect or dangerous substances after the Home Office agreed to a compromise.

There had been fears that testing - said by festival organisers to be vital to prevent revellers from endangering their lives - could have to be abandoned after the Home Office hardened its stance earlier this month on on-site tests.

The “back-of-house” checks by contracted experts are widely used at summer festivals across the UK in agreement with the police to alert revellers to dangerous impurities or risks from illicit drugs.

[ more...]

21 Jun 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

College unveils 'radical' changes to police leadership training

Consistent national standards are being introduced for the first time and will be delivered through the college’s new National Centre for Police Leadership (NCPL). These will ensure “high-quality training” so everyone within the police service is equipped with the skills and knowledge to cut crime and deliver a better service for the public.

Introducing the reforms, the college’s chief executive officer, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, said: “This is the hardest time for policing I can remember in almost 40 years’ service and we cannot continue along this path. Something radical must be done.

“Policing must have high quality leaders at every rank and grade. We know about 80 per cent of officers and staff choose not to move beyond the rank of police constable so it cannot be right that leadership training is only given to those who seek promotion.

[ more...]

19 Jun 2023 -

Justice

Rape victims to meet prosecutors in effort to cut trial drop-outs

Rape victims will get a legal right to have face-to-face meetings with prosecutors ahead of their trial as part of the Government’s attempt to reduce drop-out rates.

The new duty for Crown prosecutors will be part of the victims’ code that is being enshrined in law under a Bill due to be considered by the Commons on Monday.

It is designed to ensure victims get a chance to raise any concerns or questions about their trials so they can be addressed and the necessary support provided to help guide them through the criminal justice system.

[ more...]

19 Jun 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman gives police 'full support' to ramp up use of stop and search

Suella Braverman has encouraged police chiefs to use stop and search powers more often to "seize dangerous weapons and prevent more knife crime attacks".

The home secretary's letter to 43 chief constables does not have any direct impact on how officers act, as the police are operationally independent of government.

But the latest intervention shows the Home Office wants to see an increase in officers using the controversial powers.

[ more...]

19 Jun 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Avon and Somerset Police 'institutionally racist', chief constable says

A chief constable says she believes her own force is "institutionally racist".

Sarah Crew said she came to that conclusion after applying a series of criteria to Avon and Somerset Police following a report into the local criminal justice system.

She said she was "in no doubt" that racism and racial bias were reinforced within systems across the force.

[ more...]

14 Jun 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police to be given clearer powers on slow-walk protests

Police in England and Wales are to be given clearer powers to stop protests deemed to be seriously disruptive, in a law approved by Parliament.

The House of Lords voted through the new regulations, despite an attempt to block them by an opposition peer.

The new law gives officers more leeway to intervene when protesters attempt to block roads with slow marching.

[ more...]

13 Jun 2023 -

Police Demand

Older people hired as ‘money mules’ by gangs as cost of living crisis bites

A growing number of people aged in their 50s and 60s are allowing their bank accounts to be used to move money illegally.

Fraud experts say that among the increasing number being recruited as “money mules” – those who allow their bank details to be used to transfer criminals’ cash – are older account holders, as well as business owners who use company bank accounts.

[ more...]

13 Jun 2023 -

Police Finances

Just Stop Oil Protesters Cost Met £4.5m

Just Stop Oil protesters are putting people’s lives at risk, Suella Braverman warned on Monday, as it emerged that they have cost the taxpayer £4.5 million in policing bills in just six weeks.

Opening a Commons debate to give police new powers to tackle the group’s slow-walking tactics, the Home Secretary said the roads belonged to the British people, “not a selfish minority.”

[ more...]

13 Jun 2023 -

Police Finances

Council tax triples since its introduction

Council tax bills have more than tripled to £2,000 since the charge was first introduced 30 years ago, with the fee for an average band D home increasing by 79 percent, according to research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance. An average band D bill when council tax was introduced in 1993 was £568 but has now reached £2,065, the research found. In response the LGA said that in recent years, the Government has relied on council tax raising powers to increase councils’ core spending power. An LGA spokesperson said: “Faced with the increased cost of providing local services and rising demand for support, councils have faced the tough choice about whether to increase bills to bring in desperately needed funding to protect services at the same time as being acutely aware of the significant burden that could place on some households."

[ more...]

12 Jun 2023 -

Police Finances

More than three million taken to court unable to pay their council tax

Figures obtained via Freedom of Information requests have revealed more than three million people have been taken to court for council tax debt in some of the poorest parts of the country. Since the pandemic, magistrates courts across England have handed out the equivalent of more than 4,500 debt orders a day in what campaigners say is the latest illustration of the cost of living crisis. Cllr Pete Marland, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: “Councils know how difficult the rising cost of living is for so many people and strive to recover unpaid tax as sympathetically as possible. Bailiffs should only ever be used as a last resort and before it gets to that stage, people will have been encouraged by their council to apply for financial support.”

[ more...]

12 Jun 2023 -

Justice

Fraud case delays in England and Wales double in eight years

Delays to fraud cases in England and Wales have doubled in eight years, prompting fresh criticism that not enough is being done to deliver justice.

The rise in delays came despite the number of fraud cases coming through the courts dropping to barely a third of 2014 levels, according to the analysis by the Criminal Bar Association (CBA).

In the final quarter of 2022, there were 447 fraud cases, which took on average a record 497 days to complete from charge. By comparison, it took 242 days on average for the 1,294 fraud cases that were completed between October and December 2014.

[ more...]

09 Jun 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Trust in police hanging by a thread, inspectorate says

Time is running out if the police and the government are to restore public trust in policing, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary has warned.

In his annual report, Andy Cooke said police forces were experiencing "one of their biggest crises in living memory".

"Atrocious" crimes committed by serving police officers had fuelled distrust, while too few criminals were being caught, he added.

[ more...]

08 Jun 2023 -

Police Demand

Every home burglary scene now attended by officers, say police chiefs

Officers in England and Wales have met a target to attend every domestic burglary scene, police chiefs have said.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) made the pledge in a new set of standards announced last year.

The NPCC's Deputy Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith said they wanted to end the "postcode lottery" on policing.

[ more...]

07 Jun 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK to have highest inflation in developed world this year, OECD warns

Britain will have the highest inflation of any major developed economy this year but should narrowly avoid recession, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said in its latest set of forecasts.

The Paris-based OECD - a club of rich countries - said that inflation in Britain will be higher in 2023 than nearly any of its other members save for Argentina and Turkey.

It warned that higher interest rates are likely to dampen economic growth and incomes in the coming months.

[ more...]

07 Jun 2023 -

Police Demand

Northumbria knife crime rise a concern - Kim McGuinness

A rise in knife crime in the North East is a "real concern", Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kim McGuinness says.

Across the Northumbria Police area, there were 60 more robberies where a blade was used last year compared to 2021, and 33 more threats to kill.

The statistics also show jumps in the number of rapes and attempted murders involving knives.

[ more...]

07 Jun 2023 -

Fire

Guiding lights: the benefits and challenges of being a PFCC

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs) remain in the minority in England and Wales, where the more common PCC model operates in most force areas aside from those with a Mayor.

Stephen Mold and Ben Adams are two of the five PFCCs currently governing both police and fire in Northamptonshire and Staffordshire. The model is also operational in North Yorkshire, Essex and most recently, Cumbria.

PFCC Mold believes overseeing fire “helps you to be a better PCC because it gives you an interesting perspective”.

PFCC Adams said: “While both services we

[ more...]

06 Jun 2023 -

Police Finances

Dorset Police ‘still in the dark’ over extra funding from Home Office to cope with floating asylum barge

Dorset Police is still in the dark about extra Government funding to help cope with an influx of male migrants due to be housed on a floating barge in the region in less than two weeks’ time, the head of the force has said.

David Sidwick, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, told i he has been given “verbal assurances” from the Home Office that more cash is on the way to help police the Bibby Stockholm barge, but that he has not yet received full details in writing.

Mr Sidwick said Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, agreed last week to provide funding for extra community police to patrol the area, but that a clash over additional resources beyond that has halted a full funding commitment.

[ more...]

06 Jun 2023 -

Police Finances

LUHC audit inquiry: how to solve the auditing crisis

Auditors should be allowed to draw a line under outdated accounts in order to clear the extensive current backlog of audited local government financial reports. And long-term structural challenges must be addressed to ensure the current crisis in auditing in England does not reoccur.

Those were some of the conclusions drawn by panellists at the second evidence session of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee’s inquiry into financial reporting and audit in local authorities.

[ more...]

05 Jun 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Officer dismissed for sharing images of people in custody

PC Owen Davies, of South Yorkshire Police, was dismissed without notice following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into operational images being shared without any policing purpose.

“Our investigation discovered that PC Owen Davies shared images of people in police custody using his personal mobile phone,” said the IOPC.

“He sent them, along with inappropriate and derogatory comments about the individuals, via WhatsApp to current and former colleagues.”

The officer’s personal mobile phone had been examined to identify any “operational policing images or images of concern” as part of a separate investigation into conduct allegations, the IOPC said.

[ more...]

05 Jun 2023 -

Technology

Why computer-generated child abuse is the next crime wave waiting to happen

Browse through the public image library of Openjourney, an artificial intelligence tool used to create computer-generated art, and you will find an impressive collage of hyper-realistic portraits, vivid science-fiction scenes and atmospheric landscapes.

The free software is one of a spate of AI programs to have exploded in use in recent months, allowing users to create computer-generated art in seconds with just a few words of instruction. Lifelike images of Pope Francis in a bright white puffer coat and apparent pictures of Donald Trump being arrested have been created and spread across the web this year.

While these viral images were amusing distractions, image-creation AI is also being exploited by those with darker motives.

[ more...]

04 Jun 2023 -

Police Demand

Police won’t look for ‘low risk’ missing persons

Police are to stop responding to thousands of missing persons reports in an effort to prioritise day-to-day crimes such as burglaries.

Overstretched officers will no longer seek patients who discharge themselves from hospital or children who repeatedly disappear from care facilities if the risk of harm is considered low.

In some cases, police have been called out to look for residents struggling to pay their energy bills after utility companies reported them missing and potentially suicidal.

[ more...]

04 Jun 2023 -

Police Demand

‘Axe under pillow’: paramedics urged to take police escorts to 1,200 dangerous homes

Paramedics are being told to take a police escort to more than 1,200 addresses for fear of attack, The Times can reveal.

The College of Paramedics said the figure was outrageous and called on courts to implement tougher sentences for assaults on paramedics.

Ambulance services have marked hundreds of addresses after violence towards crew. Notes on addresses include “patient keeps axe under pillow — serrated knife hidden round the house and is known to be a risk”, “shoots/throws acid”, and “patient is anti-ambulance”.

[ more...]

01 Jun 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Law Officers tour unit dedicated to tackling drug related violence

The Attorney was joined by Solicitor General Michael Tomlinson KC MP as they met staff at CPS West Midlands, including those who run the Serious Violence, Organised Crime and Exploitation Unit.

The team, the first of its kind, was launched in the West Midlands in July 2021. The Unit brings together a team of prosecutors and paralegal staff who have extensive experience of prosecuting cases involving serious gang-related violence, serious drug dealing offences, including county lines, as well as modern slavery and exploitation.

Nearly two years on from its launch, the Law Officers heard from unit staff about their work helping to protect local communities.

[ more...]

01 Jun 2023 -

Police Demand

Suffolk Police to scale back on mental health response

Suffolk Police is to scale back its response to mental health calls after similar action was taken by London's Metropolitan Police.

It comes amid concerns that police forces have become the default agency for those with mental health issues.

Partner organisations have been told of the force's plans to use the Home Office Right Care Right Person strategy.

The force said other organisations must make plans to cover the gaps.

[ more...]

01 Jun 2023 -

Justice

Indecent exposures soar - but prosecutions slump to new low

Indecent exposure reports by women have hit a record high in the wake of the Wayne Couzens scandal - but the proportion being charged by police has fallen to a new low.

Only one in 12 cases of indecent exposure are being solved by police, despite a 27 per cent increase in offences since the rape, kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard by Couzens, a serving Metropolitan Police officer. He was also subsequently found guilty of exposing himself to women before he killed her.

However, Home Office data analysed by The Telegraph showed that just 8.2 per cent of indecent exposure offences resulted in a charge, compared with 17 per cent in 2016 when records began.

[ more...]

01 Jun 2023 -

Fire

The future of PFCCs: strengthening the governance of fire

The English PCC model could be at the start of a shift towards absorbing fire governance within its remit.

In 2017, measures were introduced through the Policing and Crime Act enabling PCCs to take oversight of local fire services. To do so, Commissioners had to put forward a proposal to the Home Secretary including details on economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

It was also a prerequisite that the boundaries for the two services aligned. These severely limited the number of joint governance deals.

[ more...]

31 May 2023 -

Police Demand

More police visibility needed, says Ely councillor

Greater police visibility could help to rebuild trust with the Ely community after the deaths of two teenagers sparked a riot, a councillor has said.

Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, were killed in a collision in the Cardiff suburb on 22 May.

Their deaths led to rioting, resulting in nine arrests and 15 officers being injured.

[ more...]

31 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Time for police to stop attending every mental health call-out, says PCC

Lisa Townsend says the time has come for officers to stop attending every mental health call-out.

It comes after Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley announced that from September his officers will only attend health-related calls when a threat to life is feared.

Instead, the force will adopt a scheme known as ‘right care, right person’ (RCRP), which has been trialled by Humberside Police, and helped the force save an estimated 15,000 work hours a year by passing mental health calls to other services.

Ms Townsend, who earlier this month warned that the crisis in mental health was taking officers off the front line, says she believes all forces should follow suit, which would save thousands of hours of police time across the country.

[ more...]

31 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Volunteers give up over 12,000 hours to ensure safety of custody suits

Dedicated Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) have logged over 12,000 hours and delivered over 6,000 visits to police custody suites on behalf of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in the past year.

This Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), PCCs across England and Wales are celebrating the outstanding voluntary work and commitment of Independent Custody Visitors and the critical role they play in making police custody transparent and ensuring those detained by the police are treated fairly.

ICVs are members of the public who give up their own time to make unannounced visits to police custody suites. They independently deliver checks on detainees to see if they have been treated fairly, with dignity and are held in conditions that are safe.

[ more...]

30 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Police end emergency calls to mental health incidents

The Metropolitan Police will no longer attend the thousands of emergency calls each year related to mental health incidents, according to the force’s commissioner Sir Mark Rowley. The decision comes as The Met chief says officers are being diverted from their core role of fighting crime, with patients in need of medical experts instead.

[ more...]

30 May 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Re-vetting police officers will reveal those 'unfit to serve'

Re-vetting police officers will reveal "more individuals unfit to serve," a police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

As all forces are ordered to check staff, John Campion penned an open letter to offer reassurances following revelations of racism, homophobia and gross misconduct.

He said the "vast majority" of West Mercia officers were "brilliant" but he shared public "disappointment and anger" and acknowledged recent findings would "dent" confidence in police.

[ more...]

30 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

How Humberside police’s pioneering policy on mental health calls paid off

Where Hull leads, London follows. At least, that is the case when it comes to a radical new approach to policing that has led to the Humberside constabulary achieving the highest arrest and crime detection rates in the country – by refusing to attend most mental health calls.

When a letter from the Metropolitan police commissioner was leaked to the Guardian this week warning that from September his officers would no longer attend unnecessary mental health calls, Lee Freeman had a jolt of recognition.

The pioneering chief constable of Humberside police had issued a similarly blunt deadline to health partners back in 2019 when he decided far too much police time was being spent attending calls over concerns for welfare, mental health incidents or missing people.

[ more...]

30 May 2023 -

Police Demand

How Humberside police’s pioneering policy on mental health calls paid off

Where Hull leads, London follows. At least, that is the case when it comes to a radical new approach to policing that has led to the Humberside constabulary achieving the highest arrest and crime detection rates in the country – by refusing to attend most mental health calls.

When a letter from the Metropolitan police commissioner was leaked to the Guardian this week warning that from September his officers would no longer attend unnecessary mental health calls, Lee Freeman had a jolt of recognition.

The pioneering chief constable of Humberside police had issued a similarly blunt deadline to health partners back in 2019 when he decided far too much police time was being spent attending calls over concerns for welfare, mental health incidents or missing people.

[ more...]

24 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Harm caused by alcohol

Too few people experiencing alcohol problems are in treatment, with many experiencing barriers in getting help, according to a Public Accounts Committee report. The cross-party group said government data on the number of people struggling with alcohol problems is out of date, and that more needs to be done to ensure councils that provide treatment services have the resources they need to offer people help. Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils have seen £1 billion worth of cuts to their local public health grant over the last eight years, which goes to fund alcohol treatment services.”

[ more...]

24 May 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Fall in inflation

UK inflation has dropped to 8.7 per cent in the largest recorded fall since the cost of living crisis began, according to the Office for National Statistics. The drop sees inflation as measured by the consumer prices index fall below double digits for the first time since August 2022.

[ more...]

24 May 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK not heading for recession

The UK is no longer predicted to fall into recession this year, but tax cuts could still fuel inflation and result in a long period of high interest rates, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF now forecast the country’s gross domestic product to grow by 0.4 per cent this year, up from its April estimate of a 0.3 per cent contraction.

[ more...]

24 May 2023 -

Police Demand

England hospitals under-reporting sexual misconduct, say experts

More than 100,000 incidents of sexual violence and misconduct in NHS hospitals in England are not being recorded and investigated every year, experts have warned.

An investigation by the Guardian and the British Medical Journal found more than 35,606 “sexual safety incidents” were recorded by NHS hospitals in England over the past five years. The term covers a spectrum of allegations, from abusive remarks to rape, allegedly perpetrated by staff, patients and visitors.

[ more...]

23 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Commissioner’s focus on burglary investigation sees rates fall by 18%

Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster has welcomed new figures which prove her three-year plan to crackdown on burglary is delivering strong results.

Since the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner was elected by the public in May 2021, residential burglary rates across the county have fallen by 18 per cent.

Data shows 6,180 domestic burglaries were recorded between 26 June 2019 and 12 May 2021 which fell to 5,086 offences between 13 May 2021 and 31 March 2023 – a period representing the Commissioner’s time in office.

[ more...]

23 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Thieves using new tech to steal cars from driveways in seconds

Vehicle thefts soared by a quarter in England and Wales last year, the latest figures reveal.

Experts attributed the rise to sophisticated new technology that thieves are using to access and start cars by breaching their internal computer.

The Office for National Statistics recorded 130,389 vehicle thefts last year — an increase of 25 per cent compared with 2021. The figures are also influenced by the third national lockdown from January to March 2021, when crime rates fell.

[ more...]

22 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Drug driving now more widespread than drink driving

Drug driving has now become more widespread than drink driving, a new police report has revealed.

About eighty motorists each day are caught driving under the influence of drugs, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

However, many suspected offenders avoid prosecution because of delays in processing blood tests, the Daily Mail reported.

[ more...]

18 May 2023 -

Justice

Sir Mark Rowley: CPS ‘cherry-picking easy cases’, says Met chief

Britain’s most senior police chief has accused the Crown Prosecution Service of trying to boost conviction rates by “cherry-picking easy cases” to prosecute in court.

Sir Mark Rowley, the Met commissioner, said he believed that the CPS, which authorises charges in England and Wales, was “not taking on the harder cases” and instead selecting easier ones that were more likely to result in a conviction.

[ more...]

18 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

First national threat assessment of VAWG crimes issued to police chiefs

A summary document, published on Thursday (May 18), outlines the greatest threats to women and girls. These are domestic abuse, rape and serious sexual offences, child sexual abuse and exploitation and technology-enabled VAWG such as online stalking and harassment.

The in-depth 230-page intelligence document has been shared with all forces by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and will not be made public due to the sensitive information included.

The NPCC says it is “a key step in the police response to violence against women and girls (VAWG) and will guide forces as they relentlessly pursue abusers and deliver justice and support for victims”.

[ more...]

17 May 2023 -

Justice

End to intrusive 'fishing expeditions' of rape victims’ personal records



This will end “expansive fishing expeditions” for information that is often not relevant to the investigation and used to undermine the credibility of the victim, says the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

An amendment to the Government’s Victims and Prisoners Bill announced this week will set out clearly in law that police officers should only request material that is absolutely necessary and proportionate to ensure that vulnerable victims are not put off seeking vital support.

To ensure police are abiding by the new law, the Government will also publish a new “robust code of conduct” – with forces that fail to abide by the new rules to face consequences, including possible legal action.

[ more...]

17 May 2023 -

Police Finances

Local audit: backlog could reach 1,000 accounts this year

The number of outstanding local authority audits could reach more than 1,000 by the end of 2023 without “urgent and decisive action” to unblock the system, MPs have been told.

Director of local audit at the Financial Reporting Council, Neil Harris, told Parliament’s levelling up committee that the hundreds of existing delays have been caused by a “multiplicity of reasons”, and warned there is no one solution.

However, given the situation is, Harris said, “getting to a crisis stage now”, solutions need to be found.

[ more...]

16 May 2023 -

Technology

Proposed amendment to Online Safety Bill to address misogynistic abuse online

A proposed amendment to the Online Safety Bill would require social media firms to prevent online abuse and violence against women and girls.

A cross-party group of lords, led by former culture secretary Nicky Morgan, is backing the amendment, which would mean companies that failed to remove abusive misogynistic content and ban repeat offenders would face fines, while bosses could be jailed for persistent breaches.

Writing for The Telegraph, Tory peer Baroness Morgan of Cotes said social media companies at the moment “are failing women and girls”.

[ more...]

16 May 2023 -

Police Demand

PCC’s warning as crisis in care ‘takes officers off the front line’

Lisa Townsend said in February alone, Surrey Police officers spent 515 hours on incidents relating to mental health – the highest number of hours ever recorded in a single month by the force.

She said over the past seven years, the number of hours police in Surrey are spending with people in crisis has almost trebled.

Ms Townsend, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners lead for mental health and custody, said the “crisis in mental health care” is taking Surrey Police officers off the front line. During March, two officers spent a full week supporting a vulnerable person, taking them away from their other duties.

[ more...]

16 May 2023 -

Technology

Ministers looking at body-worn facial recognition technology for police

Ministers are calling for facial recognition technology to be “embedded” in everyday policing, including potentially linking it to the body-worn cameras officers use as they patrol streets.

Until now, police use of live facial recognition in England and Wales has been limited to special operations such as football matches or the coronation.

Prof Fraser Sampson, the biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner, said the potential expansion was “very significant” and that “the Orwellian concerns of people, the ability of the state to watch every move, is very real”.

[ more...]

15 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

PFEW helps three officers win £65,000 claim for damages for a misfeasance in public office

The Police Federation of England and Wales has successfully supported three members in their claim for compensation against the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), for subjecting them to unreasonable and unconscionable delays during an investigation. The investigation ran for 11 years.

Working closely with solicitors from Penningtons Manches Cooper, PMC, we pursued a claim for damages for a misfeasance in public office under the Human Rights Act that resulted in an award of £65,000.

[ more...]

14 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Crime chief accused of using police against Labour foes

A Conservative police and crime commissioner has been accused of using his influence to push for separate police investigations into his political opponents ahead of the local elections.

Steve Turner, PCC for Cleveland, has been accused of triggering two investigations into his opponents ahead of the elections on May 4. He and his wife, Andrea, were both trying to win council seats in Redcar in the Tees Valley.

[ more...]

14 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Brits hit by anti-social behaviour must be classed as victims, ministers told

Brits who suffer because of appalling anti-social behaviour must be classed as victims of crime, the Tories have been told.

Shadow Victims Minister Anna McMorrin and ex-Victims Commissioner Dame Vera Baird told the Mirror that “victims are being let down again and again and again” - and branded proposed laws to protect victims as “extremely weak”.

They said vulnerable people - including the elderly or unwell - who are repeatedly targeted by thugs who stamp on their flowers, smash cake at their window or throw beer bottles in their garden are not classed as victims so are not eligible for support.

[ more...]

13 May 2023 -

Justice

Rape charge rate progress 'not enough' - police boss

Only 8% of rapes reported to Avon and Somerset Police (ASP) are leading to charges being brought.

Although this is double the rate for the previous year, Chief Constable Sarah Crew has said it is "not enough".

According to figures from the 12 months to April 2023, 141 reported rapes led to charges, compared to 69 the year before.

[ more...]

13 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Power struggle over who should watch over police in England and Wales

The number of elected regional mayors has grown in recent years, but the role of police and crime commissioners (PCCs) has remained relatively obscure.

And now there are signs that PCCs are gradually being phased out.

Rishi Sunak's government wants to create more elected mayors - but is keen for them to take over, rather than run alongside, the role of PCCs.

[ more...]

12 May 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK saw sluggish growth at start of year

The UK saw weak growth in the first three months of the year and shrank during March as the economy was affected by strike action.

The economy grew by 0.1% between January and March the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The figure comes a day after the Bank of England said it was more optimistic about prospects for the UK and that the economy would avoid recession.

[ more...]

12 May 2023 -

Justice

Coronation: Royal fan held for 13 hours after being mistaken for protester

A royal fan who was mistaken for a protester and detained by police at the Coronation has spoken about her ordeal.

Alice Chambers was handcuffed and held for 13 hours when officers arrested Just Stop Oil protesters she happened to be standing near to on the Mall.

The architect told BBC Newsnight she was handcuffed, fingerprinted and questioned in a police station.

[ more...]

11 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Warning UK losing £2,300 per minute to fraud

People in the UK lost £1.2bn to fraud in 2022, the equivalent of £2,300 every minute, according to bank industry group UK Finance.

It said around three million scams took place - slightly less than the previous year - with frauds involving payment cards being the most common.

UK Finance said losses were not always reimbursed and urged tech firms to "share the burden" of covering costs.

[ more...]

11 May 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Bank of England interest rate increased 0.25 percentage points to 4.5%

The Bank of England has raised interest rates for a record-breaking 12th successive time, lifting the cost of borrowing to 4.5% and warning that inflation would be higher this year than it previously anticipated.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee said that there would be no recession this year, upgrading its economic growth forecasts by more than in any of its previous reports.

It is a dramatic change from only a few months ago, when it was predicting the longest-lived recession in modern British history.

[ more...]

11 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Force remodelling based on record officer numbers aims to future-proof service to public

With Warwickshire Police enjoying record officer numbers following the recent Uplift recruitment programme, and a strategic alliance with neighbouring West Mercia ending, the force took the decision to remodel its workforce and operations; Deputy Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith spoke to Policing Insight’s Sarah Gibbons about the aims for performance improvements, and how the changes could future-proof the service to the public.

[ more...]

11 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Anti-slavery helpline has busiest year ever as sex trafficking and forced labour reports hit record high

Calls to the anti-slavery helpline are at a record high as reports of forced labour, domestic servitude and sex trafficking soar.

More than 6,500 potential victims of modern slavery were identified last year – a 116 per cent increase compared to 2021. In 2022, 7,315 calls were made to the phone line, operated by the charity Unseen, from victims, local government officials, NHS workers, businesses and others. This was up by 16 per cent on the year before.

[ more...]

10 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Police funding plea amid growing concerns as migrant barge arrives in UK

Local politicians in Dorset have opposed plans to house some 500 asylum seekers on the vessel. Now Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick says the costs for policing of the barge must be covered by the government.

[ more...]

10 May 2023 -

Police Finances

Police funding plea amid growing concerns as migrant barge arrives in UK

Policing of a huge barge set to home around 500 asylum seekers should be funded by the government, a police commissioner is demanding.

It comes as the mayor of Portland, where the floating accommodation will be moored, suggested local women had expressed fears about their own safety. And a local MP voiced concerns for his constituents, asking "who is going to monitor these men who have only £9 a week to spend?"

[ more...]

10 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

They look like the police, but are they? The worrying rise of Britain’s pseudo-cops

Earlier this year, a video of a black teenager being pinned to the ground and handcuffed in a Superdrug in Chichester went viral. The video, posted by the 15-year-old’s mother, shows the boy lying face down on the floor, two adult men kneeling on top of him and yanking his arms behind his back. The video brings to mind other such clips of force used against black people that have proliferated online in recent years; but in this case, things were different. The two men restraining the teenager were not police officers but private security guards.

[ more...]

10 May 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

City of London Police first force to screen suspects for ADHD

The aim of the pilot is to help identify those with ADHD entering the criminal justice system at an early stage, allowing for a quick referral for diagnosis and get them the support they need.

This will give a better understanding of the crimes committed by those with ADHD and help prevent reoffending, the force said.

The checklist has been devised by qualified counsellor and therapist Sarah Templeton, chief executive officer of the charity ADHD Liberty, who has already worked in four English prisons.

She says the checklist helps ensure that there is a pathway to diagnosis with urgent cases being fast-tracked to an NHS provider of adult ADHD assessments.

[ more...]

09 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Police under ‘more and more pressure’ from Home Office to crackdown on protests before coronation arrests

Police are coming under “more and more” political pressure to crackdown on protesters using legislation they don’t fully understand, a former chief constable has said.

Senior officers are struggling to interpret new laws including the Public Order Act which came into effect on 3 May and have been left in an “uncomfortable” position due to political interference, said Sir Peter Fahy, the former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police.

A senior Metropolitan Police Service officer also told i police felt “under pressure” to implement new laws looking to restrict disruptive protests by outlawing tactics such as the use of lock-on devices.

[ more...]

09 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Coronation protests: MPs to examine policing of protesters

The Metropolitan Police's treatment of anti-monarchy protesters at King Charles' Coronation will be examined by MPs.

A committee will meet next Wednesday to discuss the protests, including the arrests of six people from anti-monarchy group Republic.

Sir Mark Rowley, head of the Met, has defended his officers and said there was a "concerning" threat to the event.

[ more...]

07 May 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Over 2,000 would-be police officers recruited to boost numbers have left during probation

Thousands of trainee officers recruited to boost police numbers left during their probation period, according to recent figures.

At least 2,012 trainees did not complete their probation, were fired or resigned, with some dismissed as unfit.

It comes after former chief inspector of constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor warned the 'sheer magnitude and speed' of the Government's recruitment campaign risked hiring people 'unsuited' to policing.

The officers were being trained as part of a 2019 Government pledge to recruit an extra 20,000 police officers throughout England and Wales by March this year.

[ more...]

07 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

The police are curbing free speech, and it’s not just at the behest of the right

For many, the coronation will have passed by in a blur of pomp, quiches, bunting, fireworks... and rain. But for the anti-monarchy campaign group Republic, things took an altogether more sinister turn.

Its chief executive and several other protesters were bundled into a police van yesterday after being arrested at a peaceful protest in Trafalgar Square. It followed a letter from the Home Office last week that informed them of new police powers to curb protest and harsher criminal penalties for protesters. “I would be grateful if you could forward this letter to members likely to be affected,” it ominously suggested.

[ more...]

05 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police Scotland officers ordered to shave off beards

Police Scotland is planning to introduce a new clean-shaven policy for frontline officers, according to correspondence seen by the BBC.

It means hundreds of officers will have to shave off their beards and moustaches by the end of the month.

Four are understood to be taking legal action in relation to the policy.

Police Scotland said it was necessary so officers and staff could wear protective FFP3 masks which require users to be clean-shaven.

[ more...]

05 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

‘Lower tolerance’ for disruptive protests in Windsor during coronation, say police

Disruptive protests in Windsor will be treated with a “lower tolerance level” during the coronation weekend, Thames Valley Police have said.

The force Assistant Chief Constable Christian Bunt said: “just a bit fewer than 1,000” officers will be deployed as part of their operation during the bank holiday weekend.

The officer said no pre-emptive arrests have yet been made, and the force is not expecting to use the new legislation banning serious disruption in Windsor during the coronation celebrations.

[ more...]

05 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Golden Orb: Coronation security a momentous effort, police say

More than 29,000 police officers will be deployed during the Coronation period, as part of one of the Metropolitan Police's greatest ever security challenges.

Firearms officers, dog handlers, mounted police and helicopters will all form part of the efforts to keep people safe on Saturday.

The operation, known as Golden Orb, will be one of the most significant and largest security deployments the force has led.

[ more...]

04 May 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Inflation reignites in UK as economy powers further away from feared recession

Inflation has reignited in the UK, pushed higher by the economy roaring back and emboldening businesses to pass on higher costs to customers via rising prices, a closely watched survey out today unveils.

S&P Global and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (PMI) for the country’s services sector climbed sharply to 55.9 points last month from 52.9 points in March.

The reading was above analysts’ expectations and a big upgrade from a preliminary reading of 54.9 points.

[ more...]

03 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Police go soft on knife carriers as charges drop to record low

The proportion of knife carriers being charged with possession by police has fallen to a record low, a Telegraph analysis of official figures shows.

The number of knife possession offences resulting in a charge has nearly halved in six years with fewer than a third ending up in court.

It comes as the number of knife offences has doubled to 26,500 over the same period, according to Home Office data for last year.

[ more...]

03 May 2023 -

Police Demand

Police get new powers to stop disruption

New powers that allow police to stop protesters blocking roads have been expedited amid concerns that Just Stop Oil, the environmental activist group, will target the coronation.

The Public Order Act received royal assent yesterday but new police powers to deal with protests and criminal offences created under the act were not due to come into effect for a couple of months. However, police will be given some of the powers from today.

[ more...]

02 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police reviewing how it treats indecent exposure after Wayne Couzens scandal

Police are to formally review whether they should take indecent exposure more seriously amid emerging evidence that people who commit such crimes can escalate their offending, the Guardian has learned.

It comes after it was revealed Wayne Couzens, the then-Metropolitan police officer who raped and murdered Sarah Everard, had committed a series of offences where he had exposed himself before the murder.

The review will be carried out by the College of Policing – which sets standards for forces in England and Wales – as forces contend with falling confidence among women after Everard’s murder and a series of other scandals.

[ more...]

01 May 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Snipers and vetting royal fanatics: how London is preparing

The bunting is being strung up, coronation quiches prepared and — up and down the country — thousands of street parties planned.

Behind the scenes in the capital, a huge security and logistical operation is advancing as police chiefs and transport bosses prepare for the biggest state event since Elizabeth II’s funeral.

The security operation, known as Golden Orb, is not as big as Operation London Bridge, the funeral plan, because the site map for the coronation is much smaller and focused on Westminster Abbey. However, it still requires a vast amount of resources and meticulous planning.

[ more...]

30 Apr 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Politicians have a point, police numbers really do affect the levels of crime

Police officers are back in the headlines – and for once not because of terrible misconduct.

The government announced mission accomplished last week on its manifesto commitment to recruit 20,000 extra coppers. Labour hit back, saying this was just reversing the government’s own cuts since 2010. The reality is somewhere in between: there has now been an increase in police numbers since 2010, but we’re talking 3,500, not 20,000, and forces have grown more slowly than the populations they police.

The focus of politicians on police numbers, rather than wider questions of good policing and the underlying causes of crime, often annoys experts, who point out that tackling crime is far more complicated than putting police officers on the streets. They’re right, of course, but, to defend the politicians for a second, police numbers do matter.

[ more...]

30 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Met police move to recover legal costs ‘will deter whistleblowers’

The Metropolitan Police have been accused of a “chilling” move to deter whistleblowers after deciding to pursue legal costs from a detective who brought an employment tribunal case.

Kam Sodhi, a homicide detective, claimed she was harassed on grounds of her race and sex and that she had been victimised by the Met. She took the case to an employment tribunal last year, where it was successfully defended by the force.

[ more...]

29 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police move the goalposts so they can ‘count fewer burglaries’

Fewer burglaries are likely to be solved following a shake-up in the way forces define the offence, a senior police leader has warned.

Since 2017, police in England and Wales have considered any domestic burglary to include not just the house but also outbuildings such as sheds and garages.

But a U-turn on that policy has prompted fears that victims will get “poorer service” from officers.

[ more...]

28 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police to get power to stop 'slow walking' climate protests

New legislation introduced on Thursday (April 27) would give officers the ability to intervene and stop the tactic, which is widely used by Just Stop Oil.

It is used to block roads in a way that does not involve sitting in the middle of the street to stop traffic, which is illegal.

Last year the group changed its approach and deployed the tactic widely after several activists were arrested for blocking roads.

[ more...]

28 Apr 2023 -

Justice

I will uphold Raab’s ‘very high standards’, says successor Chalk

The new Justice Secretary has pledged to demand “very high standards” of civil servants and expects “no let-up in tempo” despite the enforced resignation of Dominic Raab, his predecessor.

In his first interview, Alex Chalk, a successful prosecutor who jailed rapists, extremists and fraudsters, said the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was too critical a department to lower the standards expected of civil servants.

He said Mr Raab “did the right thing” by resigning after the independent inquiry into bullying allegations, paying tribute to his “huge intellect and industry”.

[ more...]

27 Apr 2023 -

Police Demand

Just what are the police for? Almost 600 burglaries per day went unsolved last year as violent crime surges

More than 200,000 burglaries – almost 600 a day – went unsolved by police last year, shocking new figures reveal.

Crime statistics published by the Government showed 77 per cent of cases were closed by police in England and Wales with no suspect identified.

It means that 209,424 domestic break-ins, or 574 a day, went unsolved, the analysis of official data by the Liberal Democrats revealed.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2023 -

Police Demand

Crime victims forced to wait hours despite urgent calls to police

Police are taking an average of five hours to respond to priority calls, risking time-sensitive evidence and witnesses being lost, figures show.

Gloucestershire police recorded the longest average response time last year, taking 18.5 hours to respond to grade-two incidents, according to freedom of information requests by the Liberal Democrats.

Forces aim to respond to these priority calls within about an hour because they relate to incidents that require an urgent response by police but with no imminent risk to life. The crimes include burglaries, domestic abuse and grievous bodily harm, where a suspect may still be in the vicinity or evidence is at risk of being destroyed.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

I left the police because I wasn’t allowed to fight actual crime

Like many before me, I became a police officer to fight crime. I wanted to catch criminals and lock them up. I wanted to make my local neighbourhood safer. Nothing felt better than putting away burglars, fishing knives out of waistbands, and knowing that in doing so I was making the streets safer.

When I started in the Metropolitan Police as a volunteer police officer, I had hoped to find a force dedicated to fighting crime. Yet the recruitment process was more of a half-baked attempt to identify bigots than any sort of test for crime-fighting aptitude.

As I progressed, becoming a regular officer, I witnessed an organisation in which too many senior leaders were more interested in reputation management than in protecting the public. The force’s systems were archaic – geared towards consuming officer time and slowing things down. And too often, we were required to deal with overspills from other agencies, particularly around mental health.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary surpasses recruitment target

A police force has surpassed a government target by recruiting more than 600 new officers since 2020.

The 2019 Conservative manifesto promised 20,000 additional police officers would be taken on in England and Wales by the end of March 2023.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Donna Jones said her force was set a target of 498, which she decided to increase to 600.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman to tell police to stop ‘pandering to political correctness’

The home secretary will call for police to stop “pandering to politically correct preoccupations” and focus on catching criminals.

Suella Braverman is due to deliver a speech on policing following the release of Home Office data at 9.30am on Wednesday, which will confirm whether the target to recruit 20,000 police officers has been met.

Opponents previously claimed that the government, which had until the end of March to reach the figure, was lagging behind its 2019 commitment to replace thousands of jobs cut during austerity measures.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2023 -

Police Finances

Parents reluctant to report missing children, report finds

Low trust and confidence in the Metropolitan police is making some parents and carers reluctant to report children missing, according to a report from the London Assembly.

Its police and crime committee says that instead, some parents are deciding to search for their children themselves.

The report says every incident of a missing child requires a full safeguarding response, but the committee’s investigation has found that this is ‘not always being delivered’.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police who get involved in trans rows undermine public trust, says Suella Braverman

Police who get involved in “contested” issues such as trans debates on Twitter or critical race theory by taking the knee are undermining public confidence, says Suella Braverman.

The Home Secretary said police needed to be “politically impartial” and stop “virtue signalling” so that they concentrated on “common sense policing” where they prioritised the fight against crime.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

How did the government meet its police pledge?

The government has reached its target to recruit 20,000 more police officers in England and Wales. It has employed 20,951 more officers since 2019 so the total is now 149,572.

This means the number of officers is about 3,500 higher than it was in 2010, when the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats began cutting police numbers.

But there are concerns that the rise hasn't kept pace with the increase in population since 2010 and that many experienced officers have left.

Many of the new officers are replacing the approximately 20,000 who left between 2010 and 2019.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Government hits manifesto target of recruiting 20,000 police officers in England and Wales

The government has hit its manifesto pledge to recruit 20,000 police officers, official figures show.

Home Office statistics published this morning show the total number of police officers recruited since the last election is 20,951 - bringing the total number to 149,572 in England and Wales.

The pledge was made in 2019 ahead of the 2010 general election, but critics have pointed to cuts to police numbers since then and said the government in fact missed the deadline to hit the target, which was set for March this year.

[ more...]

25 Apr 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Rishi Sunak to announce recruitment of 20,000 police officers since 2019

Rishi Sunak is due to announce that the government has successfully recruited 20,000 police officers since 2019, as critics point out that a similar number have been cut by Tory-led administrations since 2010.

In a statement, the prime minister said: “When I stood at the steps of Downing Street six months ago, I made clear that I would do whatever it takes to cut crime and make our communities safer. At the heart of that pledge is recruiting 20,000 additional police officers.

[ more...]

24 Apr 2023 -

Police Demand

Police in England on alert for polling day

Police forces have been alerted to the risk of a spike in disputes and confrontations at the forthcoming local elections amid new voter ID rules, according to the Association of Electoral Administrators. Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the LGA's People and Places Board, said: “Councils are working in innovative ways to highlight these changes. However, we remain concerned about the potential for electoral staff to be overwhelmed with inquiries and voter authority certificate applications now polling cards have been issued, and that some councils may struggle to recruit sufficient staff for polling stations.”

[ more...]

24 Apr 2023 -

Justice

Stalking: More than 80 arrests in NI after new legislation

More than 80 alleged stalkers have been arrested since new legislation criminalised the offence in Northern Ireland last year, police have said.

The new law, which brought Northern Ireland in line with other parts of the UK, was introduced in April 2022.

Under the new legislation, convictions for the most serious offences carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

[ more...]

23 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police force asks volunteers to help them catch rapists by trawling CCTV

A police force has asked volunteers to help them catch rapists by trawling through CCTV footage.

Sussex Police released a job advert inviting members of the public to play “a key role” in helping to investigate “serious sexual offences”.

The force, which has a budget gap of around £17m, has called for volunteers to work four-hour shifts to aid its pursuit of a broad range of criminals, The Mirror reports.

[ more...]

23 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police in UK face staffing crisis as Braverman set to announce 20,000 new recruits

Police forces are 30,000 officers short of what is needed to keep the public safe, it has been claimed. Poor pay, rising workloads and a ban on striking have seen record numbers quit, leaving a once-proud service in tatters. Home Secretary Suella Braverman is expected to announce this week that 20,000 have signed up after a high-profile recruitment drive.

[ more...]

20 Apr 2023 -

Police Demand

Police fail to attend more than 60pc of anti-social behaviour reports

Police are failing to attend more than 60 per cent of anti-social behaviour incidents, new data has shown.

The figures obtained through freedom of information requests found 860,000 incidents of anti-social behaviour went unattended by police last year, equivalent to more than 2,000 cases a day.

This represented 63 per cent of the total 1.25 million reports of anti-social behaviour by residents and businesses last year, the highest proportion on record.

[ more...]

19 Apr 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Gwent Police: Nine officers investigated over offensive messages

Six serving and three former Gwent Police officers are being investigated for allegedly sharing offensive messages.

A police watchdog investigation was launched after offensive messages were found on the phone of retired police officer Ricky Jones, who took his own life in 2020.

The messages were discovered by Mr Jones' family.

[ more...]

19 Apr 2023 -

Fire

Firefighters could face enhanced vetting in wake of ITV News reports on harassment and abuse

Frontline firefighters would undergo enhanced vetting under a change being considered by officials, a Home Office minister has said.

The development comes in the wake of an extensive investigation from ITV News, which uncovered widespread claims of sexual harassment and abuse of women at the hands of firefighters.

Last month, the Fire Inspectorate declared a "watershed moment," after discovering firefighters were suffering misogyny, racism and homophobia at a quarter of England's 44 fire services.

[ more...]

19 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police chief wants tougher action taken to deal with eco-protesters’ stunts

Police forces need to be more robust in dealing with eco-protesters who disrupt the lives of millions of law-abiding people, one of the country’s most senior officers has suggested.

Stephen Watson, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said forces had the power to tackle demonstrators and should do so “very, very quickly”.

Some police chiefs have been accused of being too soft with unlawful protesters, but the head of GMP said if activists targeted his region they should not expect to receive a “warm blanket and a cup of tea”.

[ more...]

18 Apr 2023 -

Police Finances

Sussex and Surrey Police forces reprimanded for recording calls

Two police forces have been reprimanded for recording more than 200,000 phone calls without people's knowledge.

The reprimand was issued to Sussex Police and Surrey Police following the roll-out of an app in 2016 that captured personal data, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said.

It included "highly sensitive information" relating to suspected crimes, the watchdog said.

Both forces said the breach was "regrettable".

[ more...]

18 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Stop and search: Four police forces to trial new order

Four police forces across England are to trial a new stop and search order aimed at tackling knife crime and serious violence.

They will introduce Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs), which will make it easier for officers to search high-risk offenders for weapons.

Forces in Sussex, Merseyside, Thames Valley and West Midlands will take part in the two-year trial.

[ more...]

18 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

PCC welcomes additional powers for officers to tackle knife crime

Sussex Police will be one of four forces taking part in a two-year trial of the new civil court powers alongside Merseyside Police, Thames Valley Police and West Midlands Police.

The SVROs are aimed at tackling knife crime and serious violence, allowing officers to stop, detain and search offenders who have previously been convicted of knife or offensive weapon offences.

They are also designed to help protect high-risk offenders from being drawn into further exploitation by criminal gangs.

[ more...]

18 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police and crime commissioner reassured by CSE progress

Improvements are being made to the way a police force deals with child sexual exploitation (CSE), its police and crime commissioner (PCC) believes.

John Campion, the PCC for the West Mercia force, said he had met with its chief constable, Pippa Mills, to discuss progress since an independent report into CSE.

It was published in 2022 and 13 of its 47 recommendations were for the force.

[ more...]

18 Apr 2023 -

Police Demand

Police operation sees 43 arrests in four weeks in Exeter

A police operation to tackle anti-social behaviour has seen 43 arrests in Exeter in four weeks, police have said.

Operation Loki was launched on 20 March in Exeter. Similar operations covered Torquay, Plymouth and Truro.

They are launching on different dates, with the latest beginning on 24 April in Falmouth.

[ more...]

17 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Birmingham shop manager starts 'wall of shame' to deter thefts

Some shopkeepers say they are spending thousands of pounds bumping up security amid a surge in shoplifting during the cost-of-living crisis.

Retailers in the UK spent more £722m on crime prevention last year.

Some in the West Midlands have resorted to posting their CCTV footage on social media, complaining police are not doing enough trace the suspects.

One has even started a "wall of shame" by putting up images of alleged offenders outside his shop.

[ more...]

17 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Other police forces have higher rates of sexual misconduct and racism claims than Met

Sexual misconduct and racism claims against officers are proportionally higher in some English forces than at the Metropolitan police, a Guardian investigation has found, as new figures also revealed starkly different approaches to recording.

Three forces – Essex, Suffolk and Staffordshire – had, by proportion, more officers under investigation due to allegations of racism than the Met, according to the snapshot of investigations covering the period of late January and early February.

[ more...]

17 Apr 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Thames Valley Police to get more neighbourhood officers

The number of neighbourhood police officers across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire is set to increase.

Thames Valley Police has confirmed it will allocate 150 additional officers, doubling the size of its neighbourhood policing teams, over the next year.

The force said there would be more visible patrols, with officers focusing on crime hotspots.

[ more...]

17 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Violence against women in UK soaring while trust in police plummets, worrying data reveals

The Metropolitan Police’s reckoning over the past few months has reverberated across forces up and down the country. Many of the harrowing revelations to have emerged involve abuses of a sexual nature by serving officers, leaving women’s confidence in those tasked with protecting them in tatters, according to new survey data. A significant majority now believe widespread reform is in order as a result.

[ more...]

17 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Inquiry begins after man falls to his death in London police Taser incident

An investigation has been launched after a man fell to his death from a balcony when he was Tasered by police following an hour-long standoff.

Officers from the Metropolitan police were called to a block of flats in Peckham, south London last week in an attempt to save the man’s life.

Police received a call showing concern for the man’s welfare, amid reports he was threatening to jump.

[ more...]

14 Apr 2023 -

Justice

'Women will be more at risk from their partners': Ex-victims' commissioner blasts Home Office for plans to stop police from recording 'trivial' neighbour rows and warns it could see rise in domestic v

Former Victims' Commissioner Dame Vera Baird has tonight warned that women could be at more risk from their abusive partners due to new rules for police officers which will stop them recording 'trivial' callouts.

Police will stop logging neighbour and domestic rows, Twitter spats and rude letters as offences under a major shake-up by the Home Office.

Chris Philp, the policing minister, believes removing the need to record 'trivial' incidents will save police 443,000 hours a year on bureaucracy and filling in crime reports.

[ more...]

12 Apr 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK to be one of worst performing economies this year, predicts IMF

The UK is set to be one of the worst performing major economies in the world this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It says the UK economy's performance in 2023 will be the worst among the 20 biggest economies, known as the G20, which includes sanctions-hit Russia.

The IMF predicts the UK economy will shrink this year, although this is a small upgrade from its last forecast.

[ more...]

11 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police in England and Wales less likely to face discipline under new complaints system

Police officers in England and Wales accused of violent and sexual misconduct are less likely to face disciplinary action under the revamped complaints system than the previous discredited regime, figures suggest.

An investigation by the Guardian and BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme found that only 8% of the 22,000 allegations scrutinised by local forces under the new system were referred for possible disciplinary proceedings in 2020-21, whereas 10% of the 21,000 allegations investigated under the old regulations were referred in the same year.

The new system was rolled out by the government at the start of 2020 in an effort to repair public confidence in the police, which had been damaged by a perceived lack of accountability. But the shake-up left local forces in charge of handling the vast majority of complaints against their own officers, with ministers and police chiefs at the time promising a greater emphasis on “learning from mistakes”, rather than punishment.

[ more...]

11 Apr 2023 -

Police Finances

Two-year IFRS 9 statutory override extension a ‘pragmatic’ move

The government has confirmed the two-year extension to the IFRS 9 statutory override (taking it to March 2025), allowing councils to record changes in the value of pooled investments in a special reserve rather than the revenue account.

A consultation was launched in August 2022 amid concerns the implementation of IFRS 9 from this April (when the previous override was set to end) could create volatility in setting council budgets.

The vast majority (91 out of 99) of respondents from local authorities supported a permanent override, with many expressing concerns that recording investment losses in revenue accounts could lead to budget cuts, and that local authorities already monitor investment risks through statutory codes.

[ more...]

09 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman accused of delaying attempts to clean up Met police

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has accused the home secretary of delaying attempts to clean up policing amid mounting frustration among senior officers that they remain unable to sack rogue officers.

Khan has written to Suella Braverman urging her to stop dragging her feet over pushing ahead with new laws that allow police chiefs to get rid of corrupt officers.

The mayor’s letter was sent hours after the head of the Metropolitan police, Mark Rowley, lamented on Thursday that it was “nonsensical” he did not have the power to sack staff who were offenders or who were feared to pose a risk to the public.

[ more...]

09 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police to set up Crimestoppers hotline for public to report criminal behaviour by officers

Police chiefs are to set up a national Crimestoppers hotline for the public to report corrupt, racist or misogynistic officers.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) said it wanted the anonymous reporting scheme to be established as soon as possible to tackle a crisis of public confidence in the police.

It hopes the move - modelled on a Scotland Yard Crimestoppers hotline that has already generated 350 intelligence leads on corrupt or racist officers - will demonstrate police forces are serious about rooting out criminality, racism and sexism.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2023 -

Police Demand

Police officers aren’t social workers. They need to return to fighting crime [opinion]

The list of what is wrong with our system of law and order is now so long that one hardly knows where to start. Prisons, and especially the remand system, are so overcrowded that judges are urged to think very carefully before sending anyone there. In Crown Courts in some areas there is a two-year time lag before potential inmates even come to trial. Barristers are so dismally paid that it is sometimes hard to find any to defend or prosecute a case.

And then there are the police. Even those of us who thought we had seen everything were stunned when Sir Mark Rowley, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, admitted that 161 of his 35,000 officers had criminal records. Perhaps now word has got round that a career in the police – most of whose officers are decent people doing what is often a very horrible job – is not what it used to be, the Met is having to recruit its former clients if it is to maintain numbers.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2023 -

Justice

Criminals in the south of England ‘get softer treatment than crooks in the North’

Criminals in the south of England get softer treatment from judges than those in the North, according to the first analysis of sentences challenged for being “unduly lenient”.

Convicted offenders in the south of England are almost a third more likely to have their cases referred to the Court of Appeal because victims, members of the public or the Attorney General believe they may be too lenient.

Data compiled by the Labour Party shows that in the south of England, 23.9 per cent of eligible cases are referred by the Attorney General, compared with 18.6 per cent in the North.

[ more...]

06 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Commissioner vows to clean up Met as force faces biggest crisis since 1970s

Scotland Yard is battling its biggest corruption crisis since the 1970s, its commissioner has warned, as new evidence emerged of the widespread bungling of sexual and domestic abuse claims against officers.

The review of past allegations was triggered by the David Carrick scandal, where the force missed repeated clues that the Metropolitan police firearms officer was a threat to women, while he attacked at least 12 victims over a 20-year period, committing 85 serious crimes.

In a letter released on Thursday to the home secretary and to the London mayor, the commissioner – Sir Mark Rowley – revealed that the force examined 1,131 past allegations of sexual or domestic violence by officers and staff against women from the last decade.

[ more...]

06 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Officers moved from serious crime to clean up Met Police

Serving Met Police officers have been taken away from tackling serious crime and terrorism and instead told to investigate wrongdoing in the force.

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said about 90 officers had been moved away from fighting serious and organised crime to the Met's professional standards team.

He told the BBC it was "nonsensical" he does not have power to sack officers.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2023 -

Police Demand

Most shoplifters and vandals escape arrest

Six in ten cases of street vandalism are dropped with no suspect being identified, figures have revealed.

Police recorded 51,033 cases of “criminal damage to a building other than a dwelling”, which officers use to record cases of vandalism in town centres. Of those, 29,391 cases were closed with no suspect identified. Only 3,907 cases — 7.7 per cent — resulted in a suspect being charged.

Vandalism was one of a range of offences that are going largely unpunished because of the failure to find suspects.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2023 -

Justice

Huge change to domestic violence laws planned as abusers to be charged even if they don’t live with their victim

The “living together” requirement has been struck from the descriptions of controlling or coercive behaviour offences.

This means victims still suffering abuse from an ex-partner or family member they no longer live with are better protected.

Safeguarding Minister Sarah Dines said: “This updated guidance will offer wider protection to victims and will support the police to bring more perpetrators to justice.”

Love Island star Malin Andersson, 30, who is a domestic abuse survivor, welcomed the announcement.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2023 -

Police Finances

PCC officially takes on responsibility for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s governance

Peter McCall officially became Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) on Saturday 1 April 2023, taking on the governance responsibility for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS).

[ more...]

03 Apr 2023 -

Police Finances

Audit headcount facing pressure as private sector expands

Inflation and private sector expansion will make it increasingly difficult for local authorities to recruit and retain audit and accounting staff.

Two industry surveys revealed expansion plans as firms focus on improving performance as margins squeeze.

The research commissioned by American Express also revealed chief executives believe finance roles will evolve to meet new demands such as sustainability.

Stacey Sterbenz, general manager, UK commercial at American Express, said: “With calls from finance leaders for greater digital and analytical skills to interpret and act on organisational data, it’s clear that the finance function is evolving in response to new challenges.

[ more...]

02 Apr 2023 -

Police Demand

Thousands of UK missing persons cases may be reinvestigated

Missing persons investigations going back decades and cases of unidentified remains across the UK will be freshly investigated under a new pilot scheme.

The programme, by the charity Locate International, will be limited initially to a small number of police forces. But the National Police Chiefs Council has said it could be extended nationwide, bringing in volunteer detectives from around the world to reinvestigate all 13,000 cold cases on the National Crime Agency’s UK missing persons unit.

“There is currently no dedicated, specialist service for families to turn to when a case remains unsolved or is not being progressed satisfactorily,” said Dave Grimstead, the retired police officer who founded the charity.

[ more...]

02 Apr 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Rishi Sunak to set out grooming gangs taskforce plan

Rishi Sunak is to set out plans for a police taskforce to tackle grooming gangs, as he said political correctness had hindered efforts so far.

Specialist officers will be sent to help local forces with their investigations, the government said.

It said ethnicity data will help ensure abusers do not evade justice due to "cultural sensitivities".

[ more...]

31 Mar 2023 -

Fire

Fire services: Shocking bullying and abuse widespread, report says

Staff at a quarter of fire and rescue services in England have reported alleged racist, homophobic and misogynistic behaviour in their ranks in the past five years, inspectors say.

Their report found bullying allegations in all services - and inspectors say this could be "the tip of the iceberg".

Cases include male firefighters telling a colleague they would rape her and a senior officer using a racial slur.

The government called the findings "deeply concerning".

[ more...]

31 Mar 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK economy grew at the end of last year

The UK economy performed better than previously estimated at the end of last year, revised official figures show.

It was previously thought the economy had not grown in the last three months of 2022, but new Office for National Statistics data shows it grew by 0.1%.

The latest figures confirm that the UK economy avoided falling into recession at the end of 2022.

The ONS said telecommunications, construction and manufacturing had all fared better than initially thought.

[ more...]

31 Mar 2023 -

Police Finances

UK’s economic crime plan ‘smoke and mirrors’ without new funding

The government’s three-year economic crime plan will amount to “smoke and mirrors” if it does not receive adequate funding, according to MPs and experts who have accused ministers of failing to provide enough investment.

The new strategy – launched by the home secretary, Suella Braverman, on Thursday after a nine-month delay – sets out what the public and private sectors should do to crack down on kleptocrats, money laundering, sanctions busting and fraud.

[ more...]

29 Mar 2023 -

Police Demand

Police given extra powers to test suspects for drugs

Police will be given the power to test suspects for all class-A drugs when they are arrested for crimes including theft, begging, domestic abuse and antisocial behaviour.

At present only heroin and cocaine are tested for, but under changes announced in the government’s antisocial behaviour strategy this will be widened to all class-A drugs, including Ecstasy and methamphetamine.

[ more...]

29 Mar 2023 -

Prisons

The jail where 18 female employees had relationships with prisoners

Eighteen female staff at a jail which has pioneered a liberal approach have had relationships with prisoners since it opened, data obtained under Freedom of Information laws has revealed.

The 18 women including full-time officers and contract staff at HMP Berwyn in north Wales have been sacked or resigned after their affairs were exposed during its first six years of operation. Three have been jailed for misconduct in a public office.

The prison which opened in 2017 as Britain’s second biggest with space for 2,000 offenders pioneered a liberal approach to create a more “domestic” environment to aid rehabilitation with cells rebranded as rooms, prison blocks known as “communities” and inmates provided with laptops when they arrive.

[ more...]

29 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Victims and prisoners bill introduced

APCC Joint Victims’ Leads Donna Jones and Sophie Linden, said: “It is good to see to see the introduction of this much anticipated Bill. It is a real opportunity, if delivered right, to put victims at the heart of the system and create approaches that deliver for them.

“We have been working closely with the Ministry of Justice to develop several key areas of the Bill, including code compliance and the duty to collaborate. We are clear that each partner must be effectively resourced in order to deliver upon the aims and objectives. We will continue to challenge the department and our partners to ensure this Bill delivers the best outcomes for victims.

“As PCCs we play a central role locally in monitoring performance through chairing our Local Criminal Justice Boards and are responsible for facilitating partnership conversations. We look forward to the Bill cementing our role and promoting partnership working to drive forward positive change.

“We are pleased to see the vital role of ISVAs and IDVAs recognised by the government, however, we would challenge the department through this Bill to press the judiciary to recognise the vital role these services play in supporting victims to attend court.

“We will be reviewing the Bill in detail over the coming days and closely engaging with it as it progresses through Parliament.”

[ more...]

28 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Michael Gove challenged over his cocaine use as he reveals ban on laughing gas

Michael Gove was challenged over his own history of cocaine use as he revealed plans to ban laughing gas on the streets of Britain.

The levelling up secretary said Rishi Sunak’s government would ban the sale of nitrous oxide, also known as “hippy crack”, to stop public places being turned into drug-taking “arenas”.

But Mr Gove – who has admitted taking cocaine on several occasions in the past – was challenged on his own drug use on Sky News politics show Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

[ more...]

27 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Laughing gas ban

The Government has announced that possessing laughing gas is to be made a criminal offence for the first time. An LGA spokesperson said: “The problems caused by nitrous oxide in our local communities are no laughing matter. Councils are concerned that not only does it lead to a plague of anti-social behaviour but there is growing evidence that it can cause serious health problems for those who use it.” The change is part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour which the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will announce today. The plans will also give police and councils additional powers to deal with people who are “causing nuisance” by blocking shop doorways, asking for money at cash machines or leaving their belongings on pavements.

[ more...]

27 Mar 2023 -

Justice

Anti-social behaviour plans

10 new pilot areas who will be given new powers to tackle anti social behaviour are due to announced by the Government tomorrow it has been reported. The new plans will see Police and Crime Commissioners given funding to ensure people responsible for offences such as graffiti and vandalism start repair work as soon as possible. It will also include a ban on nitrous oxide.

[ more...]

27 Mar 2023 -

Justice

Delays to rape trials in England and Wales ‘devastating’ for victims

Long delays and a massive increase in the rescheduling of rape trials are having a devastating impact on victims’ mental health and leading some victims to take their own lives, according to a major new report.

Data from a freedom of information request by Rape Crisis England and Wales has revealed that the number of rape trials that were “vacated” and “ineffective” – and as a result delayed – more than doubled from 2019-2020 to 2021-2022.

Data from HM Courts and Tribunal Service also shows that the number of trials that were postponed at least once increased by 133%, while the number of trials with three or more previous trial dates has almost doubled over the same time frame. There were five times as many trials that had been rescheduled six or more times.

[ more...]

27 Mar 2023 -

Justice

Police strip-searched children as young as eight

Children as young as eight are being strip-searched by the police, according to a report showing "deeply concerning" and "widespread" failures. It also found some children were strip-searched in the back of police vans, in schools and outside fast-food outlets.

The report by Children's Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza showed 2,847 children were searched in England and Wales from 2018 to mid-2022.

[ more...]

27 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Met Police boss defends his £200k-a-year HR chief accused of overseeing failings

Sir Mark Rowley has defended Clare Davies, his £200,000-a-year human resources chief, after whistleblowers claimed a catalogue of Metropolitan Police failings identified in the Casey review could be laid at her door.

Ms Davies, appointed an OBE for services to policing in 2017, was promoted by the new commissioner when he took over last year, becoming the Met’s chief people and resources officer.

But last week’s report by Baroness Louise Casey was extremely critical of the force’s HR operations, describing the Met as “an organisation that is incoherent and unstrategic”.

[ more...]

27 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Rishi Sunak says 'entirely reasonable' to ban laughing gas - despite experts advising against it

Does the government have an issue with listening to experts? That's the question Here's the Story put to the Prime Minister after he announced nitrous oxide (widely known as laughing gas) would be made a Class-C drug in a crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

It means possession could carry a prison sentence of up to two years, an unlimited fine, or both.

Rishi Sunak's decision to criminalise the drug is in direct opposition to advice given by his government's own experts, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), which advised against such a move.

[ more...]

24 Mar 2023 -

Police Finances

Sex offences up by a third in latest survey but true figure thought to be much higher

Sex offences have increased by 31 per cent – their biggest ever annual rise – government figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published data on sexual offences in England and Wales based on research from the crime survey, police figures and victim services.

Researchers found that for the year ending March 2022 there was an increase of 31 per cent from 147,835 to 193,566 police-recorded sexual offences compared with the previous year. It marks the biggest annual increase for the police-recorded figures.

[ more...]

23 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Scrapping the Met isn’t enough. There are radical – and proven – alternatives [opinion]

The Metropolitan police cannot be reformed: it must be given its final rites and buried for good. I made this argument in the first column I ever wrote for this newspaper, nearly a decade ago: the case is surely even more compelling now.

By finding “institutional racism, sexism and homophobia” within the force, Louise Casey and her review have underlined a basic fact: most of the capital’s population cannot trust the Met with their safety. It is, as Doreen Lawrence puts it, “rotten to the core”. It took the murder of her son for London’s police force to be first damned for “institutional racism” by the Macpherson report nearly quarter of a century ago. And yet nothing changed, aided by a culture of denial among politicians, such as the then-Labour justice secretary, Jack Straw, who said, a decade later, the judgment no longer applied.

[ more...]

22 Mar 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Veg shortages drive surprise jump in UK inflation

The cost of living unexpectedly increased last month after shortages of salad and vegetables helped push food prices to their highest for 45 years.

Alcohol prices in restaurants and pubs also drove up costs for households, as inflation jumped to 10.4% in the year to February from 10.1% in January.

Clothing costs, particularly for children and women, rose last month but fuel prices continued to fall.

[ more...]

22 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Met Police chief to be questioned by MPs after scathing review found institutional misogyny, racism and homophobia

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley will be questioned by MPs and City Hall today after a damning report found institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia within the force.

The author of the Met review Baroness Louise Casey will also be questioned by the home affairs committee in parliament and London Assembly's police and crime committee.

It follows heavy criticism for Britain's largest police force after harrowing details emerged in the report, which was commissioned by the Met after the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens.

[ more...]

22 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Starmer promises plans to cut violent crime and increase trust in policing

He will also pledge to halve serious violent crime and raise confidence in the police and criminal justice system in the wake of the damning report by Baroness Casey into Scotland Yard.

The Labour leader will claim Rishi Sunak’s Tories are “out of touch” and too detached with the reality of life in some of the country’s most deprived communities.

You can't defeat misogyny without robust policing, but you can't have robust policing without defeating misogyny

[ more...]

22 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

'You can’t catch criminals with crooked cops': Sussex PCC reacts to Casey report

Police and Crime Commissioners outside of London have pledged to enact reforms and hold their own forces accountable in light of the Casey report.

Several PCCs acknowledged in statements on Tuesday that Baroness Louise Casey’s review into the “institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic” Metropolitan Police force will impact public confidence in policing outside of the capital.

Sussex PCC Katy Bourne said: “When the Met sneezes, all other forces catch a cold because of its scale and impact in national headlines and public perception.”

[ more...]

21 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Rishi Sunak says trust in Met Police ‘hugely damaged’

Trust in the Metropolitan Police has been “hugely damaged” by the torrent of scandals involving its officers, the Prime Minister said on Tuesday.

Rishi Sunak was speaking after a damning report branded the force institutionally sexist, racist and homophobic.

Baroness Dame Louise Casey denounced a catalogue of failings at Scotland Yard in her landmark review, commissioned after the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met officer Wayne Couzens.

[ more...]

21 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Review into Metropolitan police finds systemic failures

A review by Baroness Louise Casey has found that women and children have been failed by the Metropolitan Police, with racism, misogyny, and homophobia at the heart of the force.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the BBC: "I want both my daughters to grow up in a society which - not only do they have trust in the police - but is fundamentally safe."

[ more...]

21 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Khan criticises Rowley’s refusal to describe Met as institutionally biased

Sadiq Khan has publicly clashed with the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, saying he disagrees with Sir Mark Rowley’s refusal to describe his force as institutionally misogynistic, racist and homophobic.

The mayor of London, one of two people who appointed Rowley, spoke as the fallout from Louise Casey’s bombshell report into Scotland Yard continued.

Labour attacked the government for complacency and Rowley insisted in a round of broadcast interviews he was committed to radical reforms.

[ more...]

21 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

All police forces need 'root and branch' review, says author of scathing Met report

A "root and branch" review of policing is needed across the entire country, Baroness Louise Casey has told Sky News, after the publication of her damning report about the Metropolitan Police.

Baroness Casey, who spent a year investigating the Met Police, said some of the issues she found in the London force such as racism and misogyny are national problems.

"There are some things there like vetting, like the cultural issues particularly around race and around women, I think that they are national issues," she said.

[ more...]

20 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police ‘failing to teach officers importance of free speech’

Police forces are failing to train officers on the importance of free speech while teaching them obscure pronouns, according to a report.

The Free Speech Union (FSU) said there was a “free speech crisis” in British policing and that forces were not emphasising the importance of freedom of expression to officers.

Officers are undergoing tens of thousands of hours of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) training in which they are told that gender is “culturally determined” and about the use of pronouns including “fae” and “faer”. At least one force still uses the “genderbread” diagram, which illustrates the notion that biological sex is irrelevant to an individual’s innate sense of gender.

[ more...]

20 Mar 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Laws could be changed to make it easier to sack rogue police officers

Laws could be changed to make it easier for police chiefs to sack rogue officers, the home secretary has said.

Suella Braverman said it was currently “very difficult” for chief constables to kick out officers who “fall short”.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has estimated that hundreds of officers in his force have been getting away with misconduct and even criminal behaviour, but he currently has no way of removing them.

[ more...]

20 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Devolution deal’ fails to deliver on policing’, says PCC

The deal, announced in last week’s Spring Budget, will see more powers and funding – as much as £1.5 billion – devolved to the West Midlands in the coming years. This will give local leaders “unparalleled control” over spending.

But Simon Foster said: “The Government’s Deeper Devolution Deal has failed to deliver on policing, community safety and criminal justice. The Government promised the deal would reduce homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime, within the worst affected areas by 2030.

“We submitted many proposals to the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, including how the criminal justice system could work better for policing and victims of crime, improve the prospects of turning around the lives of young people and increase retention of average speed enforcement fines and proceeds of crime, to enable them to be invested back into the West Midlands.

[ more...]

19 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Sarah Everard murder will harm women’s trust in police for generations, says top officer

Almost 25 years after the Macpherson inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence labelled the Metropolitan Police “institutionally racist”, the force is preparing for a far more damning verdict.

This week a report by Baroness Casey of Blackstock, brought in to investigate the Met after the rape and murder of Sarah Everard in March 2021, is expected to highlight rampant levels of misogyny, racism and homophobia in the UK’s biggest force, as well as a series of structural failings.

Now, on the eve of the release of her independent review, which followed a series of scandals at the Met, three female police chiefs have spoken about the impact it will have on policing.

[ more...]

19 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police gross misconduct threshold to be lowered in Casey review

Police officers accused of racism, misogyny and homophobia should face gross misconduct hearings so they can be kicked out of the force if found guilty, a damning report is expected to recommend.

Dame Louise Casey - who will publish her review into culture and standards in the Met on Tuesday - will accuse the force of being too tolerant of unacceptable behaviour in the past.

Police officers can only be dismissed if they are found to have committed gross misconduct rather than just misconduct.

[ more...]

19 Mar 2023 -

Justice

Anti-social yobs to face swift justice

The Prime Minister is to launch a new “immediate justice” strategy next week which will see anyone who commits anti-social behaviour such as graffiti or fly-tipping forced to clean it up within two days. Rishi Sunak is also thought to be considering plans to dock benefits and allow local communities to decide how people are punished.

[ more...]

17 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Metropolitan Police expected to be heavily criticised for being racist, sexist and homophobic in report

The Metropolitan Police is expected to be heavily criticised for being racist, sexist and homophobic in a report. Baroness Casey's review will be published on Tuesday.

She was appointed to review the force's culture and standards after the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens.

[ more...]

17 Mar 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Jeremy Hunt’s pension reforms ‘essential to keep officers fighting crime’

Jeremy Hunt’s pension reforms are a “game changer” which will keep officers fighting crime, the country’s most senior police commissioner said on Friday night – as Labour came under pressure not to reverse the Chancellor’s plans.

The chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) said Mr Hunt’s decision to scrap the rule, which means people must pay tax if their pension pot exceeds £1.07 million, is “essential” to persuading senior officers not to take early retirement.

And he warned that the previous system – to which Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to return – would “disincentivise officers from working longer”.

[ more...]

16 Mar 2023 -

Police Finances

Protest laws ‘put UK on a par with El Salvador’

The UK has been ranked among the worst nations in western Europe in which to participate in a peaceful protest, according to a report that warns of a “rapid decline in civic freedoms”.

Civicus, a global alliance of civil society groups, assessed the extent to which civil liberties were deemed at risk in almost 200 countries, placing them into five categories: open, narrowed, obstructed, repressed or closed.

For the first time the report has downgraded the UK to “obstructed”, making it one of the few democracies in the same tier as El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau, Timor-Leste and Liberia.

[ more...]

16 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

‘Hostile, authoritarian’ UK downgraded in civic freedoms index

The UK has been downgraded in an annual global index of civic freedoms as a result of the government’s “increasingly authoritarian” drive to impose restrictive and punitive laws on public protests.

The Civicus Monitor, which tracks the democratic and civic health of 197 countries across the world, said the UK government was creating a “hostile environment” towards campaigners, charities and other civil society bodies.

[ more...]

16 Mar 2023 -

Prisons

Fast-track plan to open jails will free up space for new convicts in secure units

Hundreds of jailed criminals are to be fast-tracked into open prisons to help tackle an overcrowding crisis.

Burglars, fraudsters, thieves and drug dealers are to be moved from secure “closed” jails to spend their last three months in open prisons before release. It aims to ease the pressure on jails which are now almost full after a 4,000-strong increase in inmates in just a year.

Open or “category D” prisons are designed for low-risk offenders to complete their sentences with minimal supervision and perimeter security. They are often not locked up in cells and can leave to work and spend time at home on temporary early release.

[ more...]

15 Mar 2023 -

Prisons

Dominic Raab’s parole board reforms may have set dangerous prisoners free

The Lord Chancellor changed the rules in July last year in an effort to ban Ministry of Justice (MoJ) staff from expressing a view on whether offenders should be set free from prison.

Raab wanted the power to offer a “single Secretary of State view” in high-profile cases, without the risk of being contradicted by prison or probation staff in their expert reports and evidence.

However, judges in the High Court on Wednesday found the rule change was unlawful and that it may have led to prisoners being released by mistake.

In a highly critical ruling, Lady Justice Macur and Mr Justice Chamberlain found MoJ guidance from July, which was updated in October, estimated it covered more than 12,000 Parole Board hearings.

[ more...]

15 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police set to launch eye test and those who fail may face £1,000 fine

Two thirds of drivers who use glasses or contacts are 'putting off' correcting their vision and risk a £1,000 fine for risking accidents, new data has shown.

Elderly and visually-impaired drivers are being warned they should get their eyes tested to avoid the risk of causing accidents on the road.

However, most people who need to get their eyes fixed are avoiding treatment, according to data from the Association of Optometrists (AOP).

[ more...]

14 Mar 2023 -

Technology

Commissioner questions police forces on drones

The biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner has written to police forces in England and Wales with a series of questions over their use drones.

Fraser Sampson said he is seeking to clarify and develop a picture of how police are using uncrewed aerial vehicles, and has asked them to provide the relevant information by the end of this month.

The questions in the letter cover issues such as details of the drones and supporting systems, including makes and models used by the forces and their partner agencies.

This reflects concerns raised in the commissioner’s recent warning about the widespread use of Chinese technology in policy surveillance cameras, and the Government’s efforts to cut the use of equipment made by some Chinese manufacturers in in its estate surveillance systems.

[ more...]

14 Mar 2023 -

Police Demand

Extra police patrols after second Walsall knife attack

A man has been taken to hospital with slash wounds after the second knife attack in Walsall in three days.

The victim, in his 20s, suffered slash wounds after being attacked with a machete and was being treated for his injuries which are not thought to be life-threatening.

He was assaulted by a group of men who fled the Pool Street scene just before 20:00 GMT on Monday.

[ more...]

13 Mar 2023 -

Technology

Sports Direct uses facial recognition cameras to catch shoplifters as campaigners say Mike Ashley's firm is using 'Orwellian surveillance'

One of Britain's biggest retailers is using controversial facial recognition cameras to identify thieves – amid claims police have given up arresting shoplifters.

Frasers Group, the owner of Sports Direct and fashion chain Flannels, has installed biometric cameras that scan the faces of shoppers and check them against a database of suspected criminals.

Staff at the retail empire – controlled by billionaire Mike Ashley – are alerted as soon as the artificial intelligence (AI) cameras, which are in at least 27 stores, identify an offender so they can either escort them from the shop or closely monitor them.

[ more...]

13 Mar 2023 -

Police Demand

Police to be banned from recording non-crime hate incidents because someone is offended

Police are to be barred from recording non-crime hate incidents just because someone is offended, under plans announced on Monday by Suella Braverman.

The Home Secretary has endorsed new guidance that requires officers to prioritise freedom of expression over offensive, controversial or derogatory language that upsets people.

Officers will be restricted to recording only incidents that are motivated by intentional hostility and pose a real risk of escalating into significant harm.

[ more...]

11 Mar 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Tories struggling to put more bobbies on beat as numbers fall in half of forces

Half of all police forces in England and Wales have fewer officers than when the Tories came to power in 2010, despite the recent uplift programme, analysis by the Telegraph can reveal.

The Government has insisted it remains on track to achieve its target of recruiting 20,000 new police officers by the end of this month.

But even with the influx of fresh bobbies, 22 out of the 43 forces remain worse off now in terms of officer numbers than before austerity.

[ more...]

10 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Devon and Cornwall police return to front desks

A police force is to reopen the front desk at 17 stations in an effort to improve public trust.

Will Kerr, who has been brought in as chief constable to get Devon and Cornwall police out of special measures, said that in policing “everything starts and ends in the local neighbourhood” and the move would make officers more accessible to the public.

[ more...]

10 Mar 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Hunt forecast to have £166bn of headroom for Budget tax cuts

Jeremy Hunt will have £166bn of headroom to cut taxes and invest in next week's Budget, according to one of Britain's leading economic think tanks.

The figure is nine times a prediction by the official spending watchdog in November, underscoring improvements in the economy after booming tax receipts and a sharp fall in energy prices.

[ more...]

08 Mar 2023 -

Technology

Home Office unable to say when emergency services network will launch

Replacement for Airwave system hit by fresh delays despite project already costing more than £2bn.

The Home Office is still unable to say when a planned communications system for Great Britain’s blue light services will be operational, despite spending almost £2bn on the project, the Whitehall spending watchdog has said.

[ more...]

07 Mar 2023 -

Fire

Firefighters vote to accept new pay offer

Firefighters have accepted a new pay offer, ending the prospect of strike action. The settlement is for a 7 per cent increase backdated to July 2022, plus an additional 5 per cent from July 2023.

[ more...]

06 Mar 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Hunt ‘has extra £30bn’ to ease cost of living crisis

Jeremy Hunt will find himself with an extra £30 billion to ease the cost of living crisis and resolve labour shortages, new research suggests. The Resolution Foundation thinktank said the Chancellor would benefit from borrowing being about £30 billion lower than anticipated this year, due to tax receipts recovering and a lower bill than expected for energy support.

[ more...]

03 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

UK ministers did not understand their own Covid rules, says ex-police chief

UK government ministers did not understand their own Covid lockdown rules, causing confusion and resentment among the police officers tasked with enforcing them, according to a former police chief.

Officers were criticised in 2020 and 2021 for their hardline interpretation of the regulations, which involved them monitoring people with drones, fining people going for walks with cups of coffee and handing out leaflets asking why people were outside.

Peter Fahy, the former chief constable of Greater Manchester police, said on Friday however that recent revelations in the Telegraph have underlined how difficult it was for officers to enforce the lockdowns.

[ more...]

02 Mar 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Political correctness ‘has created blind spot for Islamist extremists’

A focus on political correctness has created a “blind spot” for Islamist extremists to operate “under our radar”, the Home Secretary has said.

Speaking on Wednesday at a counter-extremism conference organised by Robin Simcox, the commissioner for countering extremism, Suella Braverman said the entire concept of political correctness should be eliminated.

In an excerpt from her speech, obtained by The Times, Ms Braverman said: “We have a blind spot in the system. It has allowed certain Islamist groups to operate under our radar.

“There can be no place for political correctness in our national security. In fact, I’d like to banish it altogether.”

[ more...]

02 Mar 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

More than 800 UK police officers seek jobs in Australia instead

More than 800 British police officers have applied for jobs in Australia with the promise of higher pay, better weather and greater respect.

Paul Papalia, police minister in the government of Western Australia, said there has been an “overwhelming” response from fed-up officers.

Recruits, who must have at least three years’ experience, will start on a basic salary of about £50,000 compared with £30,000 for a constable with five years’ experience in the UK.

[ more...]

01 Mar 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police forces need positive discrimination, says senior ethnic minority officer

Police chiefs should introduce positive discrimination in recruiting ethnic minorities to help combat institutional racism within forces, says Britain’s most senior ethnic minority policing leader.

Neil Basu, who was the UK’s counter-terror chief and led the police service’s strategic command training course for senior officers, said two-thirds of chief constables were either “too terrified” or did not care enough to acknowledge the police were institutionally racist.

He revealed one chief constable had even been told by his police and crime commissioner that he would be sacked if they came out and called their force institutionally racist.

[ more...]

01 Mar 2023 -

Police Demand

Calls for more police action as violence and abuse towards retail staff doubles

Violent and abusive attacks on retail staff have almost doubled since pre-pandemic levels, a new crime survey can reveal.

More than 850 incidents have been recorded daily in the UK between 2021 and 2022, which include racial and sexual abuse, physical assault, and threats with weapons.

This is a jump from the 450 attacks per day that happened in the year 2019 to 2020, before Covid hit.

[ more...]

27 Feb 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Jeremy Hunt handed £24bn spending boost before Budget

New figures show government departments are due to spend £24 billion less than the Treasury budgeted for last October. A breakdown of Whitehall spending shows big reductions in the budgets of the business department, and the levelling up department.

[ more...]

27 Feb 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Government hiding £28bn of ‘stealth cuts’ to public services, says report

A report by the New Economics Foundation has claimed the Government is hiding £28 billion of “stealth cuts” to public services over the next five years, and warns that a renewed austerity drive at next month’s Budget would further damage the economy.

[ more...]

27 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Young people aged under 18 are now legally banned from getting married in England and Wales

The legal age for marriage and civil partnerships in England and Wales rises to 18 today under a law to tackle the forced marriages of children.

The legislation, which has increased the legal age by two years, will protect vulnerable youngsters, ministers have said.

Under the law, those found guilty of causing the marriage of anyone younger than 18 will face a potential prison sentence of up to seven years.

[ more...]

27 Feb 2023 -

Police Finances

Police spend just 2pc of funding on fraud despite representing 40pc of all crime

Police forces are not doing enough in the fight against fraud, with just two per cent of funding spent on Britain's biggest crime, consumer advocates have warned.

Fraud represents 40pc of all crimes committed in Britain, more than any other. Yet an investigation has revealed that some forces only have a handful of officers to deal with it.

[ more...]

27 Feb 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Revealed: one in 100 police officers in England and Wales faced a criminal charge last year

Shocking figures obtained by the Observer show roughly one in 100 police officers in England and Wales faced criminal charges, including for sexual offences, last year alone.

An Observerinvestigation has found that the Police Federation, the staff association for police officers, received 1,387 claims for legal support from members facing criminal charges in 2022.

[ more...]

27 Feb 2023 -

Justice

Police drop 2million crime investigations and 325,000 probes into violent crime

Official data shows 2,136,930 crimes were logged as 'investigation complete – no suspect identified' by forces in England and Wales during the year.

It means more than 5,800 investigations a day were abandoned, a Labour Party analysis of Home Office data revealed.

[ more...]

27 Feb 2023 -

Justice

Police should be given power to charge suspects, say senior officers in England

The police, rather than independent prosecution lawyers, should have the power to charge suspects in most cases, three senior police chiefs have said, as they warned of a deepening crisis in the justice system.

[ more...]

27 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Police should be given power to charge suspects, say senior officers in England

The police, rather than independent prosecution lawyers, should have the power to charge suspects in most cases, three senior police chiefs have said, as they warned of a deepening crisis in the justice system.

The controversial change is being called for by the chief constables of the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire forces, respectively the second, third and fourth biggest in England after the Met, the Guardian has learned.

They say the Crown Prosecution Service should be stripped of having the sole power to authorise charges in most cases, helping to drag the justice system out of a worsening crisis. This would include for crimes such as domestic abuse, harassment, burglary, robbery, theft, knife crime, and violent crime.

[ more...]

26 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Car number plates are becoming too easy to clone, Government warned

Motorists are being wrongly accused of offences because it is too easy for criminals to clone number plates, according to an independent report for the Government.

The unpublished document for the Home Office, seen by The Telegraph, warned that the current system of regulation was too weak to prevent criminals and dishonest motorists from copying number plates to avoid detection by the country’s expanding network of 11,000 ANPR cameras taking 100 million pictures a day.

It stated that thousands of innocent motorists a year are at risk of being wrongly accused of not only driving offences, but also more serious crimes because of the ease with which their vehicle’s registration plate could be cloned by those seeking to avoid police detection.

[ more...]

25 Feb 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Revealed: one in 100 police officers in England and Wales faced a criminal charge last year

Shocking figures obtained by the Observer show roughly one in 100 police officers in England and Wales faced criminal charges, including for sexual offences, last year alone.

An Observerinvestigation has found that the Police Federation, the staff association for police officers, received 1,387 claims for legal support from members facing criminal charges in 2022.

The data also suggested that the number of officers facing criminal charges has skyrocketed by 590% since 2012. That year, just 235 claims were made for Police Federation legal support by its members.

[ more...]

24 Feb 2023 -

Technology

Policing in the metaverse – a new reality for law enforcement

New research suggests that by 2026, one in every four people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse to work, study, shop and socialise; Policing Insight’s Andrew Staniforth looks at what this will mean for law enforcement, and how organisations such as INTERPOL are playing a key role in preparing policing for a very different beat.

[ more...]

23 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Mental Health and Policing

The Home Secretary Rt Hon Suella Braverman has today, Thursday 23 February, written to Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners to set out details and timings of work by partners to address mental health demand.

APCC Lead for Mental Health Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Surrey, Lisa Townsend, said: “Police officers across the country are increasingly becoming the first port of call when someone is suffering mental health crisis when what they really need is proper medical intervention and support from health care professionals.

“This all too often results in our already over-stretched police officers, who are doing their best to keep our communities safe, being diverted away from their core duties.

[ more...]

22 Feb 2023 -

Police Demand

Police handling more mental health crises than ever

The police are dealing with increasing demands to intervene with people suffering mental health crises, freedom of information requests show. Some forces across England and Wales have experienced a tripling in mental health requests between 2019 and 2021.

[ more...]

22 Feb 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Pay rise of just 3.5pc for public sector in effort to halt strikes

Public sector workers should receive just a 3.5 per cent pay rise next year, ministers have declared, as they opened talks aimed at ending the current wave of strikes.

The figure emerged on Tuesday night in official submissions to the independent pay review bodies released by government departments and relating to the salaries of doctors, nurses, teachers and police officers in 2023-24.

The Treasury is understood to believe that going higher than this level would mean deeper spending cuts were needed - and that any increase above five per cent risks fuelling inflation further. Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, repeated his warning on Tuesday that inflation must be halved from 10 per cent in order to grow in the economy.

[ more...]

21 Feb 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK in surprise boost after record tax payments in January

The UK government recorded a surprise surplus in its finances in January despite "substantial spending" to help households with energy bills and one-off payments to the EU. The Government spent less than it received in tax during the month, resulting in a surplus of £5.4 billion, which comes ahead of the Budget set to be delivered next month.

[ more...]

21 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Home Secretary publishes Strategic Policing Requirement 2023

The SPR sets out the Home Secretary's view of what the current national threats are, and the national policing capabilities needed to counter those threats.

[ more...]

21 Feb 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Government sees surprise budget surplus in January

The UK government recorded a surprise surplus in its finances in January despite "substantial spending" to help households with energy bills and one-off payments to the EU.

The government spent less than it received in tax during the month, resulting in a surplus of £5.4bn.

Economists had forecast borrowing of £7.8bn, but record self-assessed income tax receipts boosted the UK's coffers.

[ more...]

21 Feb 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

3.5% pay rises recommended for NHS, police, teachers and judges - as union brands it 'a disgrace'



Ministers have recommended NHS workers, police officers, teachers and judges are all given a 3.5% pay rise for the next financial year.

Government departments have written to the independent pay review bodies of each sector to submit their evidence and say what figure is deemed affordable by them and the Treasury.

But a number of unions are calling for much higher pay awards for the last financial year before negotiations even begin for 2023/24, and the figure for the following 12 months may not meet expectations.

[ more...]

21 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Met Police boss Sir Mark Rowley says stop and search can cost trust

Stop and search in its present form "burns through trust", the Met Police commissioner has told a group of community leaders in south London.

Speaking at Ruach City Church, Brixton, Sir Mark Rowley also admitted the relationship with black communities was "amongst the worst, if not the worst".

Officers can carry out checks if they have "reasonable grounds" to suspect someone is carrying weapons or drugs.

Sir Mark said: "It has a value but it also has a cost if done badly."

[ more...]

20 Feb 2023 -

Justice

Domestic abusers to be more closely monitored

The Government has said the most dangerous domestic abusers will be monitored more closely and electronically tagged as part of a new crackdown. Police forces will be required to treat violence against women and girls as a national threat – making it as important to tackle as terrorism.

[ more...]

20 Feb 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Future of UK policing under threat unless officers given ‘fair’ pay increase, government told

Official submissions to pay board warn of rising resignations and frustration as police barred from striking

[ more...]

20 Feb 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Future of UK policing under threat unless officers given ‘fair’ pay increase, government told

The future of British policing will be under threat if the government continues to ignore calls for a “fair” pay increase, it has been warned.

Submissions to the official advisory board on police pay say that the benefits of Boris Johnson’s pledge to recruit 20,000 extra officers will be lost if members of the force, who are legally barred from striking, continue to resign at rocketing rates.

Documents seen by The Independent state that police officers’ pay has fallen by almost 17 per cent since 2010, with starting salaries plummeting from more than £33,000 to between £23,500 and £26,700 when adjusted for inflation.

[ more...]

20 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Black people seven times more likely to die after being restrained by police, analysis finds

Black people are seven times more likely to die than white people after being restrained by police, according to new analysis.

A report by the charity Inquest alleges that the British system for investigating deaths after contact with police fails black families and ignores the possibility that racism could be a factor.

It said that, between 2012/13 and 2020/21 there were 119 deaths involving restraint recorded by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

[ more...]

20 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Domestic abusers to be added to violent and sex offender register in new crackdown



The most dangerous domestic abusers will be recorded on the violent and sex offender register under new proposals aimed at better protecting the public.

Around 2.4 million people in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the last year, with around one in five homicides related to it, according to the Home Office.

Starting immediately, anyone jailed for 12 months or more for coercive control, including suspended sentences, will be placed on the violent and sex offender register.

[ more...]

20 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Calls for radical reform of gun laws after Plymouth shooting

Senior police officers, families of shooting victims and anti-gun campaigners have called for a “radical reform” of the firearms licensing system after an inquest jury found “catastrophic” failings allowed the Plymouth gunman, Jake Davison, to legally possess a shotgun that he used to kill five people.

Pressure is mounting on the UK government to overhaul the 50-year-old licensing legislation and ensure police forces are adequately funded to allow them to fully examine the suitability of gun owners.

Speaking after the inquest, relatives of his victims described the actions of Davison, who was fascinated with “incel” culture, previous mass shootings and serial murderers, as “pure evil” but said he had been given a “licence to kill” by Devon and Cornwall police. They also argued that the home secretary, Suella Braverman, would be “betraying” them if she did not change the system.

[ more...]

20 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman 'not satisfied' with Nicola Bulley police force

The Home Secretary has revealed she is "not wholly satisfied" with the police response over why Nicola Bulley's personal medical information was released.

Suella Braverman had demanded answers last week from Lancashire Constabulary over why it revealed that Ms Bulley, a mother-of-two, has struggled with alcohol and the perimenopause.

The force initially told the public in a press conference last Wednesday that the 45-year-old, who has been missing since January 27, has "individual vulnerabilities” which classify her as "high risk" -- without divulging any further details.

[ more...]

19 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Labour will reintroduce tougher Asbos with powers to make arrests

Labour have pledged to reintroduce a strengthened version of the Asbo that would allow police to arrest those engaging in anti-social behaviour.

The party said the “Respect Orders” would tackle serial offenders and help clean up high streets.

[ more...]

19 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Labour will reintroduce tougher Asbos with powers to make arrests

Labour have pledged to reintroduce a strengthened version of the Asbo that would allow police to arrest those engaging in anti-social behaviour.

The party said the “Respect Orders” would tackle serial offenders and help clean up high streets.

In 2014, the Government overhauled powers relating to anti-social behaviour, abolishing Labour’s anti-social behaviour orders (Asbo).

[ more...]

18 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Knife crime is growing faster in TORY controlled areas, figures reveal

New analysis shows eight of the ten police forces with the highest increases in knife crime are in areas with Conservative Party Police and Crime Commissioners.

Tory bosses this week mounted an ad campaign claiming Labour were soft on crime. But figures show knife crime in Surrey has increased more than tenfold over the last decade.

[ more...]

16 Feb 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Labour promises to recruit an extra 13,000 community police in crime crackdown

Labour will promise to recruit an extra 13,000 community police officers and PCSOs to tackle knife crime and drug dealing if elected.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is expected to announce the “neighbourhood policing guarantee” on Thursday.

Ms Cooper will also take aim at a deliberately “hands-off Home Office” culture which she will claim has been fostered by the Conservatives over the last 13 years.

[ more...]

16 Feb 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK inflation: Price rises slow but remain close to 40-year high

Overall UK price inflation fell for the third month in a row to 10.1% in the year to January from 10.5% in December.

The biggest factors in the rate slowing were decreases in fuel prices and the cost of dining out.

[ more...]

15 Feb 2023 -

Police Finances

British police forces 'shot through' with Chinese surveillance cameras, watchdog warns

Britain should be more concerned about Chinese-made CCTV cameras on the streets than spy balloons 60,000ft above ground, a watchdog has warned.

New findings from the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner (OBSCC) said British police forces are "shot through" with Chinese cameras, drones and other surveillance equipment.

The watchdog's survey also suggested bodies using the equipment were "generally aware that there are security and ethical concerns about the companies supplying their kit".

[ more...]

13 Feb 2023 -

Technology

Police ‘failing to use DNA powers’ that help to catch repeat offenders

Police forces are failing to use DNA powers that could catch repeat killers, rapists, robbers and burglars and prevent them committing further crimes, an official watchdog has warned.

A total of ten police forces have failed to make any applications in the past decade that would have allowed them to retain the DNA of freed suspects in serious “high harm” offences ranging from murder, sex offences and robbery to burglary and assault.

Under the powers, they can apply to the biometric and surveillance commissioner to retain the DNA of suspects for up to three years even if they have been arrested but not charged.

[ more...]

09 Feb 2023 -

Fire

UK Firefighters' strike postponed as union votes over new pay offer

Strike action by firefighters has been put on hold while union members consider an increased pay offer.

During talks on Tuesday, fire service employers put forward a revised offer, which includes a 7% pay rise backdated to July last year and another 5% from this July.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will now ballot members on the deal.

More than 80% of members who voted in a ballot in December backed strike action.

[ more...]

08 Feb 2023 -

Prisons

Police cells requisitioned to hold convicted prisoners

The government has been described as “chaotic” by a local police and crime commissioner after his West Midlands force was asked to accommodate 44 prisoners in its custody cells after running out of space in jails in the region.

The government’s request was made yesterday under new emergency measures, known as Operation Safeguard, that allow the Ministry of Justice to request police cells to house prisoners.

It is the first time that police cells will have been used for convicted prisoners since 2008. It is understood that a similar number of cells will be requested from police in northwest England in the next few days.

[ more...]

08 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Greater Manchester Police needs to urgently improve its custody services

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that Greater Manchester Police has a clear governance structure to provide strategic oversight of custody services.

[ more...]

07 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Crime hotspots ‘block progress on levelling up’

Rishi Sunak has been warned by an influential Conservative think tank that levelling up will succeed only if the government tackles the antisocial behaviour that is blighting “left behind communities”.

In new research, Onward highlighted low-level crime as the biggest barrier to revitalising town centres and other communities, warning that in some parts of the country public order offences were more than four times higher than in 2015.

The report highlighted Oldham, where a group of young people congregating around tram stops and harassing passengers had resulted in people avoiding public transport and one resident said that “you take your life in your hands for a £3.60 return”.

[ more...]

07 Feb 2023 -

Prisons

Prisoners set to be held in police cells due to overcrowding

Prisoners are set to be held in police cells within weeks, as plans to cut jail overcrowding were put into action.

Last year the government announced it had asked to use 400 cells, following a surge in overcrowding in male prisons and youth jails.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has given the National Police Chiefs' Council) 14 days to make cells in the north of England and West Midlands available.

[ more...]

06 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Just Stop Oil protests cost the Metropolitan Police £7.5m

Policing Just Stop Oil protests cost taxpayers £7.5 million in just nine weeks, new figures show.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman declared “enough is enough” as Metropolitan Police data obtained by the PA news agency revealed the daily cost of dealing with the environmental activists reached up to £630,000 last autumn.

The force said the money “could have been better used” tackling “priority crime” in local communities.

[ more...]

06 Feb 2023 -

Police Finances

Burglars are being allowed to ‘get away with it’ after only 1 in 25 crimes actually lead to charges

The Government has been accused of being “asleep at the wheel” on tackling crime after only 4 per cent of home burglaries led to a charge or summons last year.

Figures show that almost 96,000 burglaries went unsolved – without even a suspect being identified – in the first three quarters of 2022.

Of the 142,430 total recorded burglaries, 5,926 were solved by police, government data shows.

[ more...]

06 Feb 2023 -

Police Demand

Automatic bank transfer delays ‘could protect victims from fraud’

Police chief calls for ‘cooling off’ periods so customers can review transactions if they think they were scammed

[ more...]

06 Feb 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Synthetic opioids to be banned as government acts to stop drug deaths

On the recommendation of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), ten additional nitazenes, together with brorphine, will now be made Class A substances.

Their possession will now be illegal and anyone caught supplying the drugs will face up to life in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

The Home Office says these “highly dangerous” drugs are psychoactive substances that can be more potent than fentanyl.

[ more...]

05 Feb 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Hundreds of UK officers should never have been appointed, says police watchdog

Officers with prior convictions and close links with criminals are among hundreds who have joined the police in the last three years who should not have been allowed in, according to the head of the police watchdog.

HM inspector of constabulary Matt Parr also said that there was a real problem with misogyny within the police that had to be tackled, adding that most, if not all, serving female police officers had had to endure sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour from fellow officers. “The culture of misogyny within policing is something that is there, it’s real and it has absolutely got to be dealt with,” he said.

[ more...]

04 Feb 2023 -

Technology

Fraud set to be upgraded as a threat to national security

Fraud is to be reclassified as a threat to national security under government plans that will force police chiefs to devote more officers to solving the crime.

It will be elevated to the same status as terrorism, with chief constables mandated to increase resources and combine capabilities in a new effort to combat a fraud epidemic that now accounts for 30 per cent of all crime.

It will be added to the strategic policing requirement, which means that forces will be required by ministers to treat fraud as a major priority alongside not only terrorism, but also public disorder, civil emergencies, serious and organised crime, cyber attacks and child sexual abuse.

[ more...]

03 Feb 2023 -

Police Finances

Government set to fall short of Boris Johnson’s flagship Tory manifesto pledge to hire 20,000 police officers

The Government is set to fall short of its flagship 2019 manifesto pledge to recruit 20,000 police officers by more than 1,000, leaving police forces facing a £14m funding blackhole, i can reveal.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson promised to hire 20,000 extra officers under the Police Uplift Programme (PUP) by March 2023 in an attempt to reverse a decade of austerity cuts made by his Conservative predecessors.

[ more...]

02 Feb 2023 -

Police Demand

Policing chief says tackling retail crime is a priority

The government’s policing minister Chris Philp has reassured the Fed that tackling retail crime is a priority.

As part of the Fed’s political engagement strategy and commitment to raising awareness in the government of the scale of retail crime, national president Jason Birks wrote to Philp in December.

He invited the minister to attend a meeting of the All-Party Parliament Group on Retail Crime, of which the Fed is Secretariat, to hear at first hand the true extent of such crimes and the devastating impact they have on victims.

[ more...]

31 Jan 2023 -

Fire

Firefighters set to strike for first time since 2003

Firefighters are to go on strike in a row over pay after experiencing what they say is a cut in real-terms pay. Members of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) voted for action in a ballot that closed yesterday – resulting in the UK’s first nationwide fire service strike over pay since 2003.

[ more...]

31 Jan 2023 -

Fire

New powers to curb strike disruption passed by MPs

MPs have approved plans aimed at enforcing minimum service levels for some sectors during strikes. Under the bill, some employees, including in the rail industry and emergency services, would be required to work during industrial action. They could be sacked if they refuse.

[ more...]

31 Jan 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK only major economy to shrink in 2023 – IMF

The International Monetary Fund has said the UK economy will shrink and perform worse than other advanced economies as the cost of living continues to hit households.

[ more...]

30 Jan 2023 -

Justice

Domestic abuse charges in England and Wales halved since 2015, as offences doubled

The number of charges related to domestic abuse has halved since 2015, figures for England and Wales analysed by the Labour party have revealed, while similar offences recorded by police have more than doubled. Domestic abuse charges authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service have steadily declined from 82,158 in 2015/16 to 43,836 in 2021/22, the data shows.

[ more...]

30 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Vetting of officers should be done by independent body, police chief suggests

A police chief has suggested vetting should be taken out of the hands of forces and carried out by an independent body to stop rogue officers slipping through the net.

Marc Jones, chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APPC), said the idea “needs to be explored” while reforms are considered in the wake of the David Carrick case and a series of other scandals which have plunged the service into crisis.

[ more...]

30 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Fears over police 'marking own homework’ as complaint figures revealed

Up to 70 per cent of complaints dismissed internally by police forces have been upheld when reviewed by independent bodies, raising the question of whether forces should be allowed to “mark their own homework”.

It has emerged that in the case of hundreds of complaints rejected by forces over 12 months, including allegations of officer misconduct, the decisions were overturned when scrutinised by elected officials or the police watchdog.

An analysis by The Times reveals that nearly half of forces in England and Wales failed to investigate adequately a large percentage of such complaints in 2021-22.

[ more...]

26 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Met Police recruit 'functionally illiterate in English' in attempt to improve diversity

Applicants to the police who can barely write in English are being accepted by the Met in an attempt to improve diversity, one of His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has warned.

[ more...]

26 Jan 2023 -

Justice

Almost a third of victims drop out of prosecutions

Nearly a third of victims are dropping out of prosecutions, official figures show, amid a record rise in sex offences.

A record 1.4 million victims – 29.5 per cent of the total – withdrew from investigations largely because of court delays, low police conviction rates and fears over the trauma of reliving the crime in court, according to Home Office figures for the year to last September.

More than half of those who dropped out were victims of rape, other sex offences or violence. A record 67 per cent of rape vicitims withdrew from investigations, while more than half of those injured in violent assaults declined to proceed with a prosecution, leading to the collapse of the case.

[ more...]

26 Jan 2023 -

Police Demand

Sexual offences logged by police in England and Wales hit record high

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found a 22% increase in sex crimes in comparison to pre-COVID levels. Despite being logged, a charity worker warned those charged for sexual offences is at an "abysmal new low".

[ more...]

25 Jan 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Mayor of London proposes £14.2m to rebuild Met Police trust

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has set out a £14.2m proposal to "raise standards, improve performance and rebuild trust" in the Metropolitan Police.

It comes after David Carrick pleaded guilty last week to 49 offences over 18 years while he was a serving officer.

On Wednesday, Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said he expected two or three Met Police officers per week to face criminal charges in the coming months.

[ more...]

25 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

More police officers quit than joined workforce in the past month

More police officers quit than joined the service last month as the Government faces a struggle to fulfil its flagship policy on police recruitment.

[ more...]

25 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Government pledge to hire 20,000 police officers ‘on track’, Home Secretary says

More than 3,000 police officers need to be hired in less than three months in England and Wales if the Government is to hit its target to sign up 20,000 new recruits.

[ more...]

25 Jan 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Quickest way to level up is to stop the yobs

For residents of Oldham, antisocial behaviour is pervasive. The lack of safety in the town centre is palpable, day or night. Three of its police stations have gone, shops and restaurants have vanished, the market has emptied. As one local mother says: “There is not a chance you walk round Oldham town centre on your own.” Hopping on a tram to Manchester is no better: the carriages are likely to be empty — ridership stalled years ago — and it can feel just as threatening. According to another resident: “You take your life into your hands for a £3.60 return.”

[ more...]

23 Jan 2023 -

Police Finances

UK rape crisis centres forced to turn away victims as need rises and cash runs out

Rape crisis centres that provide support and counselling to victims are being forced to shut their waiting lists across the country because a lack of funding means they can no longer meet the demand.

Staff at centres from Scotland to Somerset have described waiting lists as long as 18 months for access to counselling, therapy and advocacy services, with some deciding to close lists altogether.

[ more...]

18 Jan 2023 -

Police Finances

Analysis: Police settlement leaves budgets tight

Police funding issues cannot be solved by relying on police and crime commissioners raising council tax, and experts have warned that the system creates a postcode lottery of services that threatens to leave some areas behind.

[ more...]

18 Jan 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Inflation drops slightly again

The annual rate of consumer price inflation declined to 10.5 per cent in December, from 10.7 per cent in November and further below the 41-year high of 11.1 per cent in October, according to data published on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics.

[ more...]

18 Jan 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Chancellor planning ‘slimmed down’ spring budget

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is planning a “slimmed down” spring budget with no immediate tax cuts, it has been reported. Boosting growth, bringing down inflation and reducing national debt were the government’s top priorities, reports suggest.

[ more...]

18 Jan 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

‘Levelling up’ phrase banned

Conservative MPs in key marginal seats have reportedly been told to not to use the phrase “levelling up” because no one knows what it means.

[ more...]

18 Jan 2023 -

Police Demand

Anti-social behaviour not solely a police issue, Surrey PCC claims

Tackling anti-social behaviour is not solely the responsibility of the police, Surrey's police and crime commissioner has said.

Lisa Townsend said the issue could have a "very high impact" on victims and blights communities.

Councils, mental health services and the NHS have important roles to play in dealing with the issue, she said.

[ more...]

18 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police chiefs could have power to sack corrupt officers under new review

Suella Braverman is preparing to make it easier for chief constables to sack corrupt or abusive officers as she said she was braced for more “shocking cases” to emerge in the coming weeks in the wake of the David Carrick scandal.

The Home Secretary announced an internal Home Office review would consider putting police chiefs in charge of all misconduct hearings, effectively sidelining the independent panels chaired by lawyers and set up in 2015 to hear cases but which have been criticised for hampering the removal of officers.

[ more...]

17 Jan 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

Inflation could fall rapidly as energy prices drop, says BoE

The Governor of the Bank of England has said there could be a “rapid” fall in inflation in Britain amid a drop in global energy prices over recent weeks, but warned that a shortage of workers could still pose major risks amid the cost of living crisis. Andrew Bailey told MPs on the Commons Treasury committee that the UK’s rate of inflation could fall back substantially this year after reaching the highest levels since the early 1980s during the autumn, after Russia’s invasion in Ukraine led to an increase in wholesale energy costs.

[ more...]

17 Jan 2023 -

Police Finances

Pay rises at fastest pace for over 20 years, but below inflation

Wages have grown at the fastest rate in more than 20 years, but are still failing to keep up with rising prices, official figures show. Regular pay, which excludes bonuses, rose at an annual pace of 6.4 per cent between September and November, marking the fastest growth since 2001 - excluding the pandemic, when people got big rises after returning to work from furlough.

[ more...]

16 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police defend big jump in officers in schools

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has defended a 43 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of officers based in UK schools. The Runnymede Trust race equality think-tank found there were 979 Safer Schools Officers in schools last spring, compared with 683 in 2021.

[ more...]

13 Jan 2023 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK economy beats expectations with November growth

The UK economy unexpectedly grew in November, helped by a boost from the World Cup, official figures show.

The UK's gross domestic product (GDP) - a key economic measure of services, construction and manufacturing output - rose by 0.1%.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said pubs and restaurants contributed to growth as people went out to watch World Cup games.

However, in the three months to November, the economy shrank by 0.3%.

[ more...]

13 Jan 2023 -

Justice

Judge can’t jail violent lorry driver because there’s no space in prison

A violent offender who was facing a prison sentence was spared jailed yesterday because the court had been told there was no room for him.

District Judge Stephen Leake told Medway magistrates’ court that he wanted to jail Fabian Greco, a lorry driver, for 18 weeks after he was convicted of attacking another trucker.

However, the judge said he would suspend the sentence for two years because it was his first offence and prisons were full.

[ more...]

11 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

Pay and Morale Survey finds policing rests on a knife edge

The Police Federation of England and Wales’s (PFEW) Pay and Morale Survey 2022 has revealed severe struggles faced by rank and file officers and a sense of deepening frustration with the Government for continuously failing to assist.

The survey found 9 in 10 police officers feel financially worse off than they were five years ago and nearly one in five officers plan on handing in their resignation as soon as possible or within the next two years due to reasons including unfair pay.

PFEW National Chair Steve Hartshorn said: “Police officers are reaching breaking point and are leaving the service in their droves as every element of their pay and conditions has been gradually eroded in the space of a decade.

[ more...]

11 Jan 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Ambulance strikes: public urged to only dial 999 for life-threatening emergencies

People in Wales have been urged to only dial 999 for life-threatening emergencies as around 1,500 ambulance workers go on strike for the second time in less than a month.

Paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff are staging a major walkout on Wednesday, picketing at 19 locations including in Wrexham, Cardiff, Pembroke Dock and Llandudno.

The Welsh Government say they have invited unions to discuss a one-off cash payment to NHS staff to try and break the deadlock.

[ more...]

11 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

‘We must change’: Met chief outlines sweeping plans to reform London policing

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said policing “must change” as he outlined sweeping plans for reform.

Sir Mark, who took over from Dame Cressida Dick in September last year, said the force has “a practical plan for turning things around” during a speech at the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Westminster on Tuesday evening.

It comes after a watchdog found that the force’s anti-corruption systems are not fit for purpose and a damning review of disciplinary procedures by Baroness Casey found officers and staff were getting away with misconduct and breaking the law, in a conduct system that is itself racist and misogynist.

[ more...]

11 Jan 2023 -

Recruitment and Retention

More than 80 per cent of Thames Valley Police officers ‘worse off’ financially than five years ago

The Thames Valley Police Federation says “a shocking 86 per cent” of officers feel ‘worse off’ financially now than they were five years ago.

And 19 per cent of Thames Valley Police officers ‘never’ or ‘almost never’ have enough money to cover all their essentials, according to the latest pay and morale report.

More than 1,200 Thames Valley Police officers responded to the Police Federation of England and Wales survey, which found that 97 per cent had seen living cost increases in the previous month and 86 per cent of respondents saying they were dissatisfied with their pay.

Thames Valley Police Federation vice-chair Aileen O’Connor said: “All we ask the Government to do is give each and every officer a meaningful and in line with inflation pay award so they can continue to live and work within the South East area of Thames Valley and to recognise they do a job like no other.”

[ more...]

11 Jan 2023 -

Technology

Nearly 40 Tory MPs join growing backbench revolt over online safety law

Nearly 40 Tory MPs have joined a major backbench rebellion over the Online Safety Bill with a demand that social media bosses should face jail if they fail to protect children from online harms.

Thirty-seven Tory MPs – enough to overturn Rishi Sunak’s Commons majority – have signed an amendment that would give Ofcom, the communications watchdog, extra powers to prosecute tech bosses and hold them criminally liable for breaches of their duty to protect children.

At least 10 former ministers, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Priti Patel and Dame Andrea Leadsom, are backing the proposals, due to be considered by the Commons next week.

[ more...]

10 Jan 2023 -

Police and Crime General

New powers for police to curb road activists after Just Stop Oil’s street protests

Police are to be given more powers to combat new tactics taken by protesters that are designed to cause maximum disruption.

Just Stop Oil’s most recent protests in the autumn involved slowly walking through streets in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, and Holborn, in central London, to bring traffic to a crawl.

Downing Street said that it was looking at what extra powers could assist police in stopping the tactics from causing disruption to people’s lives.

[ more...]

10 Jan 2023 -

Police and Crime General

£36m funding to protect domestic abuse victims through prevention

The total of £36 million will enable police and crime commissioners (PCCs) to increase the availability of domestic abuse perpetrator intervention schemes in their areas, such as behaviour change programmes, that aim to improve victim safety and reduce the risk posed by abusers.

Minister for Safeguarding Sarah Dines said: “I am fully committed to tackling domestic abuse and protecting victims from suffering the lasting impacts of these horrific crimes.

“Our vital Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Intervention Fund allows police forces to intervene early, and work with perpetrators to change their behaviour and reduce the risk they pose, in order to protect victims.”

[ more...]

09 Jan 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Record 40 per cent of chief constables are now women amid anti-misogyny drive

A record 40 per cent of Britain’s chief constables are now women as police leaders seek to drive sexism and misogyny out of the ranks.

19 of the 49 chief constable posts in England and Wales are held by women, nearly five times the number in 2019 when there were only four.

In the past two years four police forces - Merseyside, Avon and Somerset, Suffolk and North Wales - have made history by appointing their first-ever women chief constables.

[ more...]

08 Jan 2023 -

Justice

Police dealing with violent crimes behind closed doors, warn magistrates

Magistrates have accused police of undermining justice by dealing with violent offenders behind closed doors.

In a new report, the Magistrates’ Association said increasing numbers of more serious crimes, including repeat knife offenders, assaults on emergency staff, domestic abuse and even sex offences were being dealt with out of court by police officers without public scrutiny.

It warned the “inconsistent” use of out-of-court punishments risked undermining open justice as it included penalties such as fines and electronic tagging that were, in some cases, tougher than those allowed to magistrates.

[ more...]

07 Jan 2023 -

Police and Crime General

Labour promises more police on the beat as figures show 90% of crimes go unsolved

Yvette Cooper promises more bobbies on the beat today as new Home Office figures show two in five cases are dropped without a suspect even being identified.

And Labour analysis of the statistics which go up to June last year reveal that more than nine in ten crimes are now going unsolved.

In an exclusive article for the Sunday Mirror, the shadow Home Secretary says Labour is the new party of law and order.

[ more...]

05 Jan 2023 -

Police Demand

900,000 crimes committed by people on bail under Tories, analysis finds

Nearly 900,000 offences including murder, kidnap, and child rape, have been committed by people on bail in England and Wales since the Conservatives came to power, a new analysis has found.

The latest government figures show more than 20,000 offences were committed by those released from custody as they awaited a hearing, equating to 55 offences a day.

More than 7,200 sexual offences, including some committed against children as young as 12, were also committed by people on bail since 2010, of which 260 were committed in the last recorded year of 2021.

[ more...]

04 Jan 2023 -

Prisons

UK prisons spend £11m on diversity staff in two years

Prisons have spent more than £11 million on staff whose roles involve promoting equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in jails over the past two years, an investigation has found.

The number of diversity staff employed in the 103 public-sector prisons in England and Wales has increased by 7 per cent since 2020 to 145.

Examples of the staff’s responsibilities include ensuring prisons are run in line with the 2010 Equality Act, overseeing “equality-related training” for prisoners, setting equality plans, promoting the awareness of diversity and inclusion among prison staff and ensuring all employees take part in equality training.

[ more...]

04 Jan 2023 -

Police and Crime General

PDS signs Deloitte as digital forensics partner

The Police Digital Service (PDS) has taken on Deloitte as capability partner for the Transforming Forensics Programme.

They have agreed on a short term deal, which came into effect in early December and will expire at the end of March, valued at £2.3 million for the consultancy to support a defined set of capabilities and outcomes for the programme.

This involves workstreams on selective extraction and examination, automation, validation services and enduring capability, and the contract notice states that this could be a starting point for further services over the term.

[ more...]

30 Dec 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police: 1,800 officers recruited under Boris Johnson scheme ‘have resigned’

More than 1,800 police officers recruited under Boris Johnson’s manifesto pledge to increase numbers have reportedly already resigned.

Johnson had promised to add 20,000 police officers to forces in England and Wales by March 2023 in an attempt to address the austerity cuts introduced by his Conservative predecessors.

With just three months to go before the deadline, more than 15,000 officers have been recruited, according to the government.

[ more...]

29 Dec 2022 -

Police Demand

Countryside riders targeted by bike thieves amid record lows in police detection rates

Cyclists taking rides into the countryside are being mugged for their high-end bikes by crime gangs exploiting historic lows in police detection rates, cycling chiefs have warned.

Cycling UK, one of the biggest charities, said there was increasing evidence of criminals targeting cyclists travelling out of London to Kent and the Surrey Hills and who may have unwittingly given away their plans on Strava, the app used by riders to map routes and times.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said the phenomenon was “on the radar” of the three police forces - the Met, Kent and Surrey - after a series of incidents where cyclists have been attacked for their bikes.

[ more...]

29 Dec 2022 -

Police Demand

More than 96% of modern slavery crime reports do not result in charges, statistics reveal

More than 96 per cent of modern slavery crime reports in England and Wales do not result in charges, i can reveal.

Modern slavery is forced exploitation, which can include domestic servitude, forced labour, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and organ harvesting. It was made a designated offence in the UK in 2015.

Data obtained by i from 22 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales showed that on average just 3.2 per cent of modern slavery crime reports held by police resulted in charges.

[ more...]

29 Dec 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Loan shark campaign to be stepped up

As debt soars for many people in the West Midlands after an expensive Christmas and a cost of living crisis that refuses to ease, a campaign warning about the dangers of loan sharks is due to be stepped up in January.

Led by Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Tom McNeil, credit union CitySave, and the England Illegal Money Lending Team, it pushes for greater awareness of people who lend money illegally.

The campaign also raises awareness of the help that is available from legitimate and responsible lenders like credit unions.

[ more...]

29 Dec 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Watchdog launches probe after five Dorset Police officers are 'suspended for sending and receiving offensive WhatsApp messages

Five police officers have been suspended from the Dorset force for allegedly sending and receiving offensive WhatsApp texts. Colleagues reported the sergeant and four PCs for the inappropriate messages.

The officers are part of a crack anti-crime team in Bournemouth. They were suspended in July.

[ more...]

19 Dec 2022 -

Police Demand

Town halls to be given a new legal duty to make roads safer for women in the wake of Sarah Everard murder

Michael Gove is launching a massive crackdown on dark and unsafe streets after a spate of brutal murders of women after dark - including Sarah Everard.

Councils will be given a new legal duty to take the safety of women and girls into account with all new housing and planning projects.

It will mean new houses, streets and towns cannot be built unless they include things like street lights.

[ more...]

19 Dec 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Manchester Arena attack: Martyn's Law for venue security to cover all of UK

New legislation will be introduced to tighten security at venues in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing.

The new rules, dubbed Martyn's Law, will cover all of the UK and require venues and local authorities to have preventative action plans against terror attacks, the government said.

Martyn Hett was among 22 people killed in the 2017 attack and his mother Figen Murray has campaigned for the measures.

Draft legislation is due in early spring, the prime minister said.

[ more...]

19 Dec 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Recruitment surge is 'obvious danger' to standards, says ex-commissioner

A surge in police recruitment will “inevitably” lead to poor vetting, a former Metropolitan Police Commissioner has said, adding that such surges are an “obvious danger” to standards in any area of the public sector.

Lord Hogan-Howe’s warning against recruitment surges came as the House of Lords debated a new report by the Public Services Committee entitled “Fit for the future? Rethinking the public services workforce”.

The committee’s chair, Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top, urged for a “step change” in the Government’s approach to the public services workforce, including a focus on prevention services, career progression, training and technology, among other things.

[ more...]

17 Dec 2022 -

Police Demand

First-time drug users will not be prosecuted under police chiefs' plan

First-time users of cocaine and cannabis will avoid prosecution under a national blueprint being drawn up by police chiefs to treat it as a public health problem.

People caught in possession of illegal drugs, including class A and B, for the first time would no longer be prosecuted but instead would be offered the chance to undergo education or treatment programmes.

[ more...]

16 Dec 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Interest Rates Raised to 14-Year High

The Bank of England has raised UK interest rates to their highest level for 14 years as it battles to stem soaring prices.

It increased them to 3.5% from 3%, marking the ninth time in a row it has hiked interest rates.

The rise will mean higher mortgage payments for some homeowners and those with loans at a time when many people are struggling with the cost of living.

[ more...]

15 Dec 2022 -

Justice

Scathing report condemns police in England and Wales for ‘victim blaming’ in rape cases

A damning official examination into how police forces tackle rape has exposed persistent failings in the criminal justice system, including a failure to track repeat suspects, “explicit victim-blaming” and botched investigations.

The long-awaited independent report into the first year of Operation Soteria Bluestone – launched by the government after a catastrophic fall in rape prosecutions – also paints a picture of a over-worked, traumatised and inexperienced police workforce in England and Wales, which is struggling to cope with an increase in rape reports after years of austerity.

[ more...]

15 Dec 2022 -

Police Finances

Police forces in line for below-inflation funding increase

Under the provisional settlement, the Home Office said forces will receive an additional £287 million in cash terms from central government in 2023/24.

It will take overall spending to £17.2 billion – a 3.6 per cent cash increase on the current year, well below the rate of inflation, which remains above ten per cent although it is forecast to fall.

The figure assumes police and crime commissioners in England will take full advantage of their ability to raise the council tax precept to £15, bringing in £349 million.

[ more...]

15 Dec 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK interest rates raised to highest level for 14 years

The Bank of England has raised UK interest rates to their highest level for 14 years as it battles to stem soaring prices.

It increased them to 3.5% from 3%, marking the ninth time in a row it has hiked interest rates.

The rise will mean higher mortgage payments for some homeowners and those with loans at a time when many people are struggling with the cost of living.

[ more...]

15 Dec 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Half of black British police suffer racial incidents from colleagues, survey finds

More than half of Britain’s black police officers and staff suffered racial incidents from colleagues in the past year, a survey has found.

Those affected were much more likely to feel like outsiders and to want to leave, and many believed their bosses failed to punish wrongdoers, in effect creating a culture of impunity.

The survey was conducted for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) as it struggles to address a race crisis facing British policing, with black Britons having less confidence and trust in the service and being less likely to join.

[ more...]

14 Dec 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Price rises slow as petrol falls from record highs

Price rises slowed last month but the cost of living remains close to its highest level for 40 years.

UK inflation, the rate at which prices rise, fell to 10.7% in the year to November from 11.1% in October.

The drop was due to petrol prices falling from record highs, but was offset by price rises for alcohol in restaurants, cafes and pubs.

[ more...]

14 Dec 2022 -

Fire

London fire brigade put into special measures over misogyny and racism

London fire brigade (LFB) has been placed into special measures by the chief fire inspector after a report revealing incidents of misogyny, racism and bullying.

The watchdog moved the LFB into an enhanced level of monitoring on Wednesday, citing concerns about “culmulative evidence” from its last inspection and later of unacceptable behaviour within the brigade.

His Majesty’s inspector of fire and rescue services, Matt Parr, said: “We should recognise that London fire brigade’s recent cultural review was commissioned by the brigade, whose leadership has accepted its findings without reservation.

[ more...]

12 Dec 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Met officer ‘unaware’ her husband was drug dealer

The £70,000 Audi, penchant for Louis Vuitton and other hallmarks of a millionaire’s lifestyle seemed incongruous with Rasvinder Agalliu’s police constable’s salary.

She claimed that the funds came from her husband Julian’s work as a chef for professional footballers, but he was also a major drug dealer who used the Encrochat criminal app to trade in cocaine and cannabis.

Agalliu, a beauty queen who worked at the Metropolitan Police for more than 15 years, was sacked after a disciplinary panel rejected her claim that she did not know about his criminal activities. The case can be revealed after her husband, an Albanian who boasted to contacts about her job with the force, was found guilty on Friday for conspiracy to supply drugs.

[ more...]

10 Dec 2022 -

Police Demand

Burgers and coats: county lines gangs exploit hardship to recruit UK kids

Criminals are using burgers and warm coats to recruit hungry, cold children into “county lines” gangs in towns and cities across the UK, experts are warning.

Headteachers across the country say that the cost of living crisis is leading to increasing numbers of pupils being groomed by sophisticated gangs to run drugs from one city to other parts of the country.

With cuts to youth support and other public services in local areas, and problems recruiting enough school support staff due to low pay, many say they are fighting a losing battle to keep vulnerable children safe outside school.

[ more...]

10 Dec 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police watchdog was told to work as normal during sex offence inquiry

The Home Office knew for a month the head of the police watchdog was under criminal investigation for a sexual offence but he was told to keep working “as normal”, The Times has learnt.

Michael Lockwood, director-general of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), was ordered to resign last week by Suella Braverman when she found out he was accused of a sexual relationship with an underage victim.

One of her senior officials had been told on November 4 that Lockwood, 63, was facing a criminal inquiry. The IOPC said last night that he was advised to “continue in his role as normal”.

[ more...]

07 Dec 2022 -

Justice

First 24-hour rape helpline launched in England and Wales

A 24-hour support line launched on Wednesday aims to end the trauma for rape victims of being unable to access help when needed.

The government-funded line, run by the charity Rape Crisis England and Wales, will operate seven days a week.

"This is the service I needed," said Emily Hunt, who was unable to find help after she was raped.

[ more...]

06 Dec 2022 -

Police Finances

Diversity roles cost police £10m a year

Police are spending more than £10 million a year on staff who focus only on promoting equality, diversity or inclusivity in their forces.

On average each force in England and Wales employs five full-time members of staff in such roles, spending an average of £210,000 on their annual salaries.

In addition, police forces committed 24,100 staff days to “equality training programmes”, which cost the taxpayer a further £3.6 million.

[ more...]

06 Dec 2022 -

Justice

Met Police forensic scientist ‘put trials at risk’

A forensic scientist at the Metropolitan Police has been accused of jeopardising five separate rape investigations after “knowingly neglecting her duties”.

Ursula Collins, 43, “caused undue delay” when a man suspected of raping a 17-year-old girl was not identified for five years, a court was told yesterday.

[ more...]

05 Dec 2022 -

Fire

Christmas rail strikes to go ahead as union rejects offer from operators - as firefighters could become latest to walk out over pay

The RMT union has rejected an offer from train operators aimed at preventing strikes over the Christmas period, the union has announced.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said its proposed framework would have supported pay increases of up to 8%, covering 2022 and 2023 pay awards, while delivering much-needed reforms.

But the RMT, led by secretary general Mick Lynch, has turned it down.

[ more...]

05 Dec 2022 -

Police Demand

Toll of cyber-crime on businesses revealed in new research

Two in five manufacturers have been a victim of cyber-crime over the last 12 months according to new research.

One in five of 150 companies surveyed by manufacturers organisation Make UK reported substantial financial loss as the result of an attack, ranging from £50,000 to £250,000.

Virtually all respondents said cyber security measures were necessary for their company while two thirds said their importance has increased in the last year.

[ more...]

05 Dec 2022 -

Police Demand

I took my own stalker to court because police weren’t interested

It was only when Dr Marie Gerval took her car to the garage that she knew for certain she was being stalked. Fixed under the bonnet of the car was a tracking device.

The incident was part of what she sees as a wider campaign of stalking behaviour by Kelvin James, 58, a man she had employed as a handyman and briefly dated. “The experience has shaken all aspects of my life,” she said.

[ more...]

05 Dec 2022 -

Police Demand

A hundred violent crimes are 'screened' and shelved every day by police officers, data shows

More than 100 reports of violent crime are being screened out by police every day, a damning investigation has found.

It comes as forces face a mental health crisis that accounted for 571,000 days off work last year.

More than half a million reports were dropped overall last year following an initial assessment, data shows.

[ more...]

05 Dec 2022 -

Justice

New protections for children affected by domestic abuse - so victims can come forward 'with confidence'

Children who have been affected by domestic abuse will be treated as victims even if they were not present during violent incidents, it has been decided.

Under updated legal guidance, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says children will get automatic access to support such as mental health and safeguarding services.

Prosecutors will also be asked to specifically consider the impact domestic abuse has on children when making a charging decision.

[ more...]

05 Dec 2022 -

Justice

Nightclub spiking: Police apology after victim waits five months for test result

A woman who had been injected with morphine in a nightclub waited five months for test results after reporting the attack to the police.

Becca Collins, 20, said she was spiked while on a night out in Maidstone, Kent, on 30 October 2021.

She only received the result at the end of March, when she followed up her report.

[ more...]

02 Dec 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Only a third of black teenage girls trust the police

Black children and teenagers’ trust in the police is “alarmingly low”, with only a third of black teenage girls having confidence in policing, a report says.

Researchers said 36 per cent of young black people aged between 10 and 18 trusted the police compared with 75 per cent of white people of that age.

[ more...]

02 Dec 2022 -

Justice

Avoidable deaths in police custody: more can be done to protect lives says IAPDC

The Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAPDC) has today, 2 December 2022, published a report which brings together, for the first time, a wide range of policing practice across England and Wales to prevent deaths at the point of arrest, during and after custody.

The report finds that many police forces have forged partnerships with allied health and justice services to play to professional strengths, reduce inappropriate use of police time and prevent deaths in custody. However, practice is not uniform across England and Wales, with limited evidence that forces are sharing findings after a death, involving bereaved families in driving change or working with healthcare partners to provide effective support for vulnerable individuals following release.

[ more...]

02 Dec 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Rishi Sunak pledges police powers to tackle illegal protests

Rishi Sunak has said it is "completely unacceptable" that people were having their lives disrupted by a "selfish minority" who join illegal protests.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has met with police chief constables to discuss tactics used by some environmental protest groups, such as Just Stop Oil.

The prime minister said: "My view is that those who break the law should feel the full force of it."

[ more...]

01 Dec 2022 -

Police Demand

Domestic abuse victims report violence to police several times before action

Domestic abuse victims are reporting abuse to the police several times before appropriate action is taken, with those from black and ethnic minority backgrounds disproportionately dismissed and sidelined, according to new research.

The research has been carried out by the charity Victim Support – the country’s biggest provider of domestic abuse services. More than 1,000 women (1,004) who have experienced domestic abuse were polled, at least 150 of them women of colour.

The new data has been published to coincide with 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, led by civil society organisations and supported by the UN, which began on Friday.

[ more...]

30 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police stations closing at the rate of one per week, LBC reveals

Police stations across the UK have been shutting their doors at a rate of more than one per week since 2010, an LBC analysis has revealed.

LBC submitted Freedom of Information requests to all 43 police forces in England and Wales and found that since 2010, a date synonymous with the election of the Coalition Government and the onset of the austerity-era cuts, at least 663 police stations in England, Wales and Scotland have closed.

Across England and Wales, this equates to approximately four-in-ten stations closing over this period.

Alarmingly, despite this sharp decrease in the number of police stations across the UK, the Home Office appears to be unaware of the scale of the issue.

[ more...]

29 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Anonymous tip-off line launched for people to report corrupt or abusive Met Police officers

Britain's biggest police force has launched an anonymous hotline for people to report corrupt or abusive officers.

The Metropolitan Police has been heavily criticised over failures in both its anti-corruption and disciplinary procedures, which have left hundreds of unscrupulous officers and staff still serving.

It will be the first force in the UK to have a hotline of this kind.

[ more...]

29 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Investment to tackle ASB and violence against women and girls in Burton

Over £200k (£202k) is to be invested in tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Burton as part of the latest round of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund, following a successful bid by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office (SCO).

Round four of the Safer Streets Fund saw £750,000 allocated to areas in Staffordshire, including Burton, Stafford, Newcastle and areas of Stoke-on-Trent.

This funding is in addition to over £2 million already secured by the SCO through Safer Streets in rounds one, two and three.

[ more...]

28 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police urged to stop tiptoeing around Just Stop Oil protesters

Rishi Sunak will summon police chiefs to No 10 this week and urge them to take a more “robust” approach to managing disruptive Just Stop Oil protests.

He and Suella Braverman, the home secretary, want police officers to stop following a lengthy list of steps set out in a “conflict management” model before taking action.

[ more...]

28 Nov 2022 -

Fire

Cabinet minister rejects national misogyny and racism inquiry

A national inquiry into institutional misogyny and racism in the workplace has been rejected by the government.

The inquiry was called for by the authors of a damning report into London Fire Brigade's workplace culture.

It found "dangerous levels of prejudice against women" while those from minority backgrounds were "frequently the target of racist abuse".

[ more...]

28 Nov 2022 -

Fire

MPs call for inquiry into claims of bullying in UK fire services

The Home Office is facing demands from opposition MPs for a national inquiry into the culture of the UK’s fire services, as new details emerged from a damning report on London’s brigades that revealed widespread misogyny and racism.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats said the inquiry was necessary after the government overlooked previous warnings that fire brigades across the country were riven with bullying.

[ more...]

26 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

‘We failed victims’: top police officer turns focus to gender-based violence

One of the most senior figures in policing in England and Wales is calling for a new gold standard for gender-based violence investigations, saying women have been “systematically failed” by the criminal justice system. Andy Marsh, the chief executive of the College of Policing, said he wanted a new code of practice for the policing of violence against women and girls – the first since the police code of ethics was introduced eight years ago – saying the bond of trust between women and the police “must be mended”.

[ more...]

25 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Humberside police judged ‘outstanding’ five years after being ranked as failing

A police force has gone from being ranked as failing five years ago to being given the highest ever grades in the modern era by the policing inspectorate.

Humberside police has been judged as outstanding in six out of nine categories by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The chief constable of Humberside police, Lee Freeman, said one of his radical reforms was freeing up time for officers to fight crime by cutting the amount of mental health work done by police that was better managed by health professionals.

[ more...]

25 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Stalking super-complaint launched against police

Campaigners have launched a super-complaint against the police over their approach to stalking.

The National Stalking Consortium has claimed officers are failing to identify offenders, properly investigate crimes or protect victims. Only 5% of stalking cases in England and Wales result in a charge, it added.

Clive Ruggles, whose daughter Alice was killed by an ex-boyfriend who stalked her, said better training was needed so officers could "do the right thing".

A BBC Breakfast Freedom of Information request found that four police forces in England, out of 28 who responded, do not have a single point of contact for stalking, despite a government recommendation.

[ more...]

25 Nov 2022 -

Technology

Sharing pornographic deepfakes to be illegal in England and Wales

A planned new law would make sharing pornographic deepfakes without consent a crime in England and Wales.

Tackling the rise in manipulated images, where a person's face is put on someone else's body, is part of a crackdown on the abuse of intimate pictures in the Online Safety Bill.

This law would also make it easier to charge people with sharing intimate photos without consent.

[ more...]

24 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

'A £100 loan turned into nearly £1,000 a month'

Families struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living are being warned of the dangers of loan sharks.

The Stop Loan Sharks agency said more than half of victims it helped last year had borrowed to pay for essentials like food and fuel.

The warning comes as UK prices rise at their fastest rate in 40 years.

[ more...]

24 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Met Police PC’s husband ‘traded kilos of cocaine and cannabis through EncroChat’

A Metropolitan Police officer’s husband used the EncroChat system to trade large quantities of cocaine and cannabis including drugs packaged with the Hublot luxury watch brand, a court has heard.

Julian Agalliu, 47, is accused of being unmasked as a major supplier of class A and class B drugs when the encrypted phone network – popular with organised crime – was cracked by international law enforcement in 2020.

It is said he boasted to associates about being married to a Metropolitan Police officer and was even asked to seek inside information from her as the net closed in on the EncroChat system, Woolwich crown court heard.

[ more...]

24 Nov 2022 -

Technology

Police to text 70,000 victims in UK's biggest anti-fraud operation

Police will text 70,000 people to warn them they have been victims of a banking scam in the UK's biggest anti-fraud operation.

The Metropolitan Police have arrested an east London man accused of running an international service enabling fake phone calls to victims.

Victims lost thousands of pounds, and in one case £3m.

[ more...]

24 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Tackle the causes, not the symptoms, to stop section 114 notices

The public sector has faced some extremely harsh challenges over the past few years. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, local authorities had already been dealing with long-term funding challenges, coupled with rising demand for public services.

Now, as the pandemic recedes, soaring inflation and the energy crisis have left local authorities even more stretched.

The situation is not being helped by the government’s lack of a coherent economic vision and fears that savings will need to be made by public sector services.

[ more...]

23 Nov 2022 -

Police Demand

Kent Police: One third of non-emergency 101 calls unanswered

About one third of non-emergency calls to Kent Police went unanswered between February and August, figures obtained by the BBC show.

In July more than 55% of calls to 101 were not answered, with callers spending more than 15 minutes on hold.

Kent Police have received more than 296,000 calls this year so far with over 191,000 being answered. A Kent Police spokeswoman said the force was recruiting more call handlers.

[ more...]

23 Nov 2022 -

Police Demand

Stalking: Victim says police need new ways to tackle crime

A victim of stalking has said she was one of the "lucky ones" because she escaped with her life.

Chloe Hopkins, from Prestatyn, Denbighshire, was stalked for seven years between the ages of 18 and 25.

An obsessed person bombarded her with abusive messages online, driving her to depression and bulimia.

Stalking was made a specific offence 10 years ago, but with just 7% of stalking complaints resulting in a charge, Chloe said police need to find new ways to tackle the crime.

"We are all entitled to live our life freely, and peacefully and quietly without having someone thinking it's acceptable for them to keep doing this," she said.

[ more...]

21 Nov 2022 -

Police Finances

Council tax rises won't make police budget fears easier warns PCC

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has warned that increasing council tax payments wouldn’t even cover inflationary costs the force faces.

Emily Spurrell has joined with commissioners across the country to write to Home Secretary Suella Braverman MP, asking for greater financial support for police forces amid the autumn statement and cost of living crisis. Ms Braverman wrote to all police chiefs in England and Wales in September, which told them of the government’s expectation that they cut homicide and other serious crime, and neighbourhood crime by 20% which was met with anger in stations.

[ more...]

18 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Bigger council tax rises will not prevent more cuts to services, councils say

Increasing council tax bills next April will hit struggling residents, fail to lift the pressure on cash-strapped local authorities and will not prevent more cuts to key services, from social care to waste collection and libraries, local government leaders have said.

Average council tax bills could rise by as much as £100, to more than £2,000 for households in band D, from April, after the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, confirmed in the autumn statement that the cap on how much local authorities could raise rates would be relaxed.

Higher council tax bills will be expected to part-finance a planned cash injection for adult social care budgets of up to £7.5bn over the next two years, an announcement welcomed as a recognition by the government of the crisis engulfing the sector, but offering it only short-term respite.

[ more...]

17 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Autumn Statement 2022 predictions: What to expect in Jeremy Hunt’s announcement, from tax to pensions

Jeremy Hunt will unveil his Autumn Statement to the Commons tomorrow which will attempt to make over £50bn of savings.

The bulk of his measures are expected to be stealth tax rises, which will largely target income tax, national insurance and personal savings.

The Chancellor is also set to raise revenue by introducing a new tax on electric vehicles, allow local authorities to hike council tax, and delay the social care cap – all moves which are likely to anger Tory MPs.

[ more...]

16 Nov 2022 -

Police Finances

Rising energy and food bills tip inflation to highest level since 1981 at 11.1%

There has been a higher than expected leap in the rate of inflation, to a 41-year high of 11.1% last month, led by the latest rise in energy bills.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the increase, from 10.1% in September, as the cost of light and heating for homes rose further despite help from the government's energy price guarantee that limits wholesale charges for gas and power.

Food was cited as the other major element adding inflationary pressure during October, rising at the fastest annual pace since 1977.

[ more...]

16 Nov 2022 -

Police Demand

Knife crime rises 140% in a decade in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire

More than 100 serious knife crimes are committed every week in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, figures show.

Offences including robbery, assault and murder have more than doubled in the region in the past decade, according to the latest police data.

Campaigners claimed carrying a weapon had become as "normalised" among young people as using a mobile phone.

[ more...]

16 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Whiteman preparing for ‘very difficult’ Autumn Statement

Speaking to PF, Whiteman acknowledged the government has repeatedly trailed “tough decisions” on public spending and potential tax rises in recent weeks.

“There has probably been some media management having taken place and I assume that the cuts will not be quite as harsh as signposted, and indeed nor will some of the speculation about tax increases come through,” he said.

“However, clearly we are going to have a very difficult statement for public services.”

Whiteman described the “double whammy” facing the sector, with costs increasing by about 10% while demand has also increased at the same time.

[ more...]

16 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Fraud lead calls for extensive review of fraud governance

APCC Lead on Fraud and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Shelford has called for clarity around fraud governance following the publication of a ‘Progress on Fraud’ National Audit Office (NAO) report released today, Tuesday 15 November.

The report finds that the Home Office has taken limited action to improve its response to fraud since the last NAO report was published five years ago. For the Government’s Fraud Strategy to succeed the report states that the Home Office must be vigorous in leading a cross-government response that is informed by a thorough understanding of what works in combatting fraud.

APCC National Lead on Fraud and Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Mark Shelford, said: “It is the role of Police and Crime Commissioners to hold forces to account for their response to fraud and we play a fundamental role in protecting individual businesses and safeguarding victims, however this is not identified or acknowledged in the report.

[ more...]

15 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Rishi Sunak to raise minimum wage in boost for poorest

Rishi Sunak will announce a significant rise in the national living wage and give eight million households cost of living payments worth up to £1,100 as he prioritises support for the poorest over universal measures.

The Times has been told that the prime minister and Jeremy Hunt, his chancellor, will accept an official recommendation to increase the living wage from £9.50 an hour to about £10.40 an hour — a rise of nearly 10 per cent. The move will benefit 2.5 million people. One government source suggested that the increase could be even higher.

Sunak will also give those on means-tested benefits, such as universal credit, cost of living payments worth £650; disability benefit recipients £150; and pensioner households £300. The plans, which extend existing support, will result in some households benefiting from all three payments.

[ more...]

15 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Home Office’s ‘out-of-date’ grasp of fraud highlighted by watchdog

The Home Office has an incomplete and out-of-date grasp of the cost of fraud in the UK and a poor understanding of who commits the crime, a public spending watchdog has found.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said the current estimate of the cost of fraud to individuals being used by the government is based on data and prices from six years ago.

The NAO found that the Home Office had no reliable estimate of the cost of fraud to businesses, or how much firms spend on tackling the crime.

[ more...]

15 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Ten years of Police and Crime Commissioners

Tuesday 15 November marks exactly ten years since the first cohort of Police and Crime Commissioners were elected by local communities across England and Wales. Today, four of the 43 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are also responsible for fire governance in their area.

The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They are responsible for the totality of policing.

Marc Jones is the Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC). Launching the ’10 years of making a difference’ campaign earlier this year he said that PCCs were putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, working to cut crime and reducing reoffending. “We are more than ever holding the police to account for high quality policing and providing more transparency about how they deliver policing.”

[ more...]

11 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Recession looms as UK economy starts to shrink

The UK appears to be heading into recession after the latest official figures showed the economy shrank between July and September.

The economy contracted by 0.2% during the three months as soaring prices hit businesses and households.

A country is in recession when its economy shrinks for two three-month periods in a row. The UK is expected to be in one by the end of the year.

[ more...]

11 Nov 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Suella Braverman drops demand for police recruits to have a degree

Suella Braverman is to ditch a blanket requirement for all police officers to have degrees after a backlash from chief constables. The home secretary said there would still be a non-degree entry route to continue delivering “officers of the highest calibre”.

Her intervention comes after chief constables and police and crime commissioners said the degree requirement limited recruitment options. Since last year recruits have been required to have a degree or to join as an apprentice while they earn a qualification. The change has been criticised. The traditional route into the force did not involve higher education.

[ more...]

11 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Public spending cuts expected

The Government is planning to cut spending with reductions in budgets for schools, policing, transport and councils in the upcoming Autumn Statement, it has been reported. Reports suggest that the Government intends to slow increases in spending after 2025 from the planned 3.7 per cent to 1 per cent, leading to reductions in funding for non-protected spending areas.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Sunak warned UK public services will need £43bn a year to ‘stand still’

Rishi Sunak’s government has been warned that Britain’s creaking public services will require at least £43bn a year in additional funding just to “stand still” amid the fallout from soaring inflation.

The Trades Union Congress said next week’s autumn statement needed to protect both public services and workers’ pay from the highest rates of inflation since the early 1980s to avoid a further collapse in the quality of support for health, social care, education, justice, and the environment.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

NPCC and APCC pledge to help deliver ‘societal change’ to tackle VAWG

Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth, the NPCC’s lead for VAWG, said police cannot solve it alone as “it’s a societal problem that needs societal input”.

She said there is an “enormous responsibility in policing and beyond to ensure that women and girls’ safety is central to all our plans”, adding: “We are only going to be able to tackle VAWG if we work together and commit to making it a priority.”

While positive steps have been taken in tackling VAWG, the NPCC said there is a “clear recognition from policing that there is a long way to go”.

Recent reports from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) have highlighted some of the areas in which policing is still letting down the public and victims, and at their annual Partnership Summit both the NPCC and the APCC said they are “determined to take action”.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Just Stop Oil: Police chief says officers uphold ‘liberal democracy’ after Braverman demands crackdown

A police leader has defended the “absolutely appropriate” response to Just Stop Oil after Suella Braverman called for tougher action.

Chief constable Chris Noble, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for protests, defended the approach taken to days of disruptive action targeting the M25.

It came after the home secretary told a conference of police leaders it was their “duty to take a firmer line to safeguard public order” and accused them of an “institutional reluctance” to use their powers against protesters.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

‘Street savvy’ officers needed on the beat, says PCC

Andrew Snowden said the decision by the Home Secretary to re-think policing as a “degree only” career will ensure recruitment is about the “calibre of those who apply”.

Speaking on the opening day of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and National Police Chiefs’ Council Partnership Summit in London yesterday (November 9) Home Secretary Suella Braverman confirmed that she has asked the College of Policing to look at options for a new, non-degree, entry route, to complement the existing framework.

And she said she will “take the scissors to any red tape” that gets in the way.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police officer resignations have risen by 72% in the last year – we asked former officers why

Policing has long been known as a “job for life”. With low rates of leaving and high rates of loyalty, a career of 30 years or more was very much the norm. However, times have changed.

Government figures show that the number of voluntary resignations from the police service in England and Wales has increased by 72%, from 1,996 in 2021 to 3,433 in 2022. Voluntary resignations now account for 42% of all police leavers, compared to 33% in the previous year.

A decade ago in 2012, there were 1,158 voluntary resignations, accounting for just 18% of all leavers. In just ten years, voluntary resignations have increased by 196%.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2022 -

Justice

Police misconduct cases held up by legal stand-off with Home Office

Nearly 200 police officers accused of the most serious level of misconduct have not been allocated disciplinary hearings and cannot be dealt with, with many of them still working on full pay.

The police disciplinary system is plagued by delays because of a stand-off between legally qualified chairs, known as LQCs, who run the majority of hearings, and the Home Office. The LQCs are seeking indemnity against being sued by officers they dismiss, fearing they could face six-figure payouts in the civil courts. Until the Home Office agrees most of them have refused to take on new cases.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Public sector strikes could hinder police work, says Met chief

Police will be forced to provide further crucial care and health assistance during public sector strikes, which will hamper efforts to fight crime, Britain’s most senior officer has warned.

The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, claimed officers were having to spend more time keeping an eye on mentally ill and vulnerable patients in A&E departments instead of catching criminals.

The comments came days after nurses voted to stage strikes across the UK – for the first time in their history – in pursuit of a better pay deal.

[ more...]

10 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Autumn Statement predictions: What we know so far about Jeremy Hunt’s plans, from tax rises to spending cuts

Jeremy Hunt will unveil his long-awaited Autumn Statement on Thursday, which he has confirmed will include tax rises and spending cuts.

The Chancellor has admitted “we will be asking everyone for sacrifices” as he said everyone will have to pay higher taxes to get the country’s finances back on track.

He hopes the measures will bring down inflation, control soaring energy prices and “get our way back to growing healthily”.

[ more...]

09 Nov 2022 -

Police Finances

Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt: Households face threat of higher council tax

Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are weighing up plans that would increase council tax and pull more people into the top rate of income tax as they “think the unthinkable” to balance the books.

The prime minister and his chancellor are expected in next week’s budget to prioritise increasing benefits and pensions in line with inflation, which will cost £11 billion next year.

[ more...]

09 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Giving good counsel to councils over waste crime

Cash-strapped local authorities are at a real and metaphorical tipping point when it comes to tackling the criminal gangs exploiting loopholes in the law around the illegal dumping of waste.

They recognise there is a major problem for them but they can’t manage it without being able to measure it in the first instance, not to mention the fact that they also have to prioritise conflicting demands on the public purse during a cost of living crisis.

Even the Environment Agency (EA), which has pledged to get tough on waste crime and its perpetrators through deterrence and disruption strategies admits it does not know the full extent of the problem.

[ more...]

07 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Jeremy Hunt eyes raid on pensions and council tax hikes to plug £60bn fiscal black hole

The Treasury will this week submit plans to cut the deficit by as much as £60bn – more than previously thought necessary – to the UK’s budget watchdog, i understands.

Jeremy Hunt is set to cut spending by more than he increases taxes in next week’s Autumn Statement after Cabinet colleagues warned that tax hikes can only be a “last resort”.

But the Chancellor is also under pressure from senior Conservatives to limit public spending cuts as much as possible.

[ more...]

07 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Why PCCs are more accountable than regional mayors

This month marks 10 years since the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections in 2012. It is a moment for reflection on the lessons learned, what has been achieved and what the future will bring. I am a supporter of Police and Crime Commissioners and see the role as critical, not only to police accountability and strategic direction, but increasingly important in securing effective partnerships in the criminal justice system, providing good services for victims of crime, addressing wider community safety issues, preventing violence and reducing the harm caused by the criminal drug economy. I also want to see PCCs supporting a more joined up approach to planning for emergencies.

These are complex issues that are vital to the public. They require a focused, full-time effort, led by someone who is democratically elected and directly accountable to the people. Committees do not have the legitimacy or visibility to fulfil these functions. Appointed deputies, despite their abilities and efforts, do not have the crucial public mandate or the authority to effectively fulfil the role. That is why I am opposed to merging the PCC role into a mayoralty in the West Midlands. It is a commitment that I was elected on.

[ more...]

06 Nov 2022 -

Prisons

The state of prisons, examined from inside and outside

Re the article by Deborah Coles and Jessica Pandian (In Britain, a jail sentence is often a death sentence. What’s going on in our prisons?, 31 October), at the turn of the century I received a ridiculous five-year prison sentence for allegedly allowing heroin into a homeless project that I ran. Local police and some vociferous local residents didn’t like my ideas about expansion of provision.

[ more...]

06 Nov 2022 -

Police Demand

A cowed Britain is fast becoming incapable of enforcing its laws

From anti-social behaviour and crime to illegal immigration, members of the public have one simple yet unanswered question. How do we, the law-abiding many, let them, the criminal few, get away with it?

There is, of course, vast complexity in these issues. To take illegal immigration as an example, we must consider our deregulated labour market, the black economy, our free-to-use public services, a lack of data sharing between public agencies, poor enforcement, modest budgets, legal complexity, international human rights obligations, court processes, organised criminality and relations with other countries.

[ more...]

06 Nov 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Does the Uplift recruitment programme represent a missed opportunity to change the diversity mix?

In the fourth in our latest series focusing on police workforce development in England and Wales, Policing Insight’s Ian Wiggett looks at the unique opportunity offered by the Uplift recruitment programme to increase diversity, the relatively small change that has resulted, and the more noticeable shift in workforce profile to a service that has become younger and less experienced.

[ more...]

04 Nov 2022 -

Police Demand

Primary school children running drugs for gangs

Children of primary school age running drugs for gangs while young teenagers head up county lines operations has “become the norm”, according to Anne Longfield, the former children’s commissioner. A report by the Commission on Young Lives said that hundreds of thousands of children in England were at risk of violence, harm, crime and diminished life chances. Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said exploitation is a “significant, increasing concern”.

[ more...]

04 Nov 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Nine officers under investigation over ‘discriminatory language’ while on duty

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it has begun two investigations into the conduct of the nine Civil Nuclear Constabulary officers.

It said the investigations will look into allegations that these officers “openly engaged in conversations of a discriminatory nature and either used, or failed to challenge, offensive language”.

“All nine have been advised they are under investigation for potential breaches of the standards of professional behaviour amounting to gross misconduct,” said the IOPC.

[ more...]

03 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Ten million residents of England and Wales born outside the UK, 2021 census shows

An increase in migrants from Romania has helped push the number of people in England and Wales born outside the UK to ten million — or one in six of the population — for the first time.

Figures from last year’s census, released by the Office for National Statistics, showed that the number born in Romania and living in England and Wales had grown by 576 per cent since the previous census, from about 80,000 in 2011 to 539,000 in 2021. Working restrictions on those arriving from Romania had been lifted in 2014.

[ more...]

03 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Call to end use of gagging orders to silence victims of police misogyny

Police chiefs have been covering up the misogyny suffered by female officers and staff, and must stop using gagging orders to silence victims, the leader of rank and file officers has revealed.

Steve Hartshorn, chair of the Police Federation, which represents 130,000 officers up to the rank of chief inspector, said there should be a “hostile environment” for corrupt officers. He told the Guardian that chief constables bore the brunt of the blame for the crises that were sapping the legitimacy of policing.

His comments follow a report by the official policing inspectorate that warned that “hundreds if not thousands” of suspect officers had passed a defective vetting system and should not be out on the streets with huge powers over their fellow citizens.

[ more...]

03 Nov 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Bank of England expects UK to fall into longest ever recession

The Bank of England has warned the UK is facing its longest recession since records began, as it raised interest rates by the most in 33 years.

In warned the UK would face a "very challenging" two-year slump with unemployment nearly doubling by 2025.

Bank governor Andrew Bailey warned of a "tough road ahead" for UK households.

[ more...]

02 Nov 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police vetting lets in wrong people too often - report

Hundreds of police officers who should have failed vetting checks may be in the job in England and Wales, a damning report has found.

The police watchdog looked at eight forces and found decisions on officers which were "questionable at best".

One officer convicted of domestic abuse and one accused of sexual assault were among those accepted.

[ more...]

02 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Prevention lead appears on top policing panel

APCC Prevention Lead Festus Akinbusoye appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) on policing for the future today, Wednesday 2 November, where he addressed the deeply concerning findings in today’s HMICFRS report and spoke more broadly on issues facing policing and the vital role that commissioners play in setting local priorities.

National Lead for Prevention and Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, Festus Akinbusoye, appeared alongside Chair of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), Martin Hewitt and College of Policing Chief Executive, Andy Marsh.

The panel were rightly asked about the damning HMRCFRS report released today which highlighted a number of concerning findings around vetting, misconduct and misogyny in the police service.

[ more...]

01 Nov 2022 -

Police Finances

Treasury warns of tax rises to fill financial hole

The Treasury has warned of "inevitable" tax rises as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak seeks to fill a "black hole" in public finances.

Mr Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt met on Monday to discuss options for the financial statement on 17 November.

They agreed "tough decisions" were needed on tax rises, as well as on spending.

[ more...]

01 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Statutory instrument to implement first past the post

Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Marc Jones said:

“We strongly support the Government’s commitment to move future Police and Crime Commissioner and Mayoral elections to a First Past the Post system in line with other elections in England and Wales. The move also respects the outcome of the 2011 national referendum into the public’s preferred system of electing their representatives.

“As the public’s awareness of the important responsibilities that PCCs have over policing has increased, we have seen a welcome increase in voter turnout. However, a concerning amount of incorrectly completed ballots has remained an issue due to the confusion caused by the use of an unfamiliar voting system. The move to First Past the Post will be very positively received.”

[ more...]

01 Nov 2022 -

Police and Crime General

New scheme launched in Cheshire’s custody suites to prevent domestic abuse reoffending

Cheshire Constabulary is one of the first forces in the country to introduce a new ‘perpetrator programme’ in its custody suites to support those committing domestic abuse-related offences to change their behaviour and prevent reoffending.

The force stressed it has a zero-tolerance approach to domestic violence and the programme is not a replacement for punishment.

Instead, it aims to break the cycle of offending and abuse by working with the whole family that is affected.

[ more...]

31 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

It’s mad to record petty problems as crime, says police chief

Incivility and petty disputes are being routinely recorded as crime, warping statistics and scaring the public, one of the country’s most senior police officers has warned.

Sir David Thompson, chief constable of the West Midlands, told The Times that crime was being measured in a “completely mad way”. Verbal arguments between neighbours, and people’s fear of violence, were being recorded as criminal acts, which distorted the public’s view, he said.

[ more...]

31 Oct 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Not all officers need degrees, 16 police chiefs tell Home Secretary

More than a third of policing chiefs are urging Suella Braverman to ditch the blanket requirement for all officers to have degrees to stop forces missing out on veterans and older, experienced recruits.

Sixteen police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have written to the Home Secretary to warn her that recruits are spending so much time studying under the new all-graduate system that up to 10 per cent of their officers are stuck in classrooms rather than on the frontline fighting crime.

[ more...]

27 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Government criticised over renewed delay to online safety bill

The government has been criticised for endangering children by failing to pass its online safety bill, after it confirmed that the change of prime minister had caused yet another delay to the proposed legislation.

With no known date for when the bill will return to the Commons, internet safety groups warned that any further delay would continue to place children at risk.

[ more...]

27 Oct 2022 -

Justice

Police solve less crime than ever, even as offences soar

Police are solving the lowest proportion of crimes on record - as overall offences have hit a new high.

Only 5.4 per cent of all crimes resulted in a charge in the year to June, equivalent to just over one in 20 offences being solved, according to Home Office figures.

That represents a fall from 6.5 per cent in the previous year and is just a third of the charging rate of 15.5 per cent seven years ago, when records began.

[ more...]

27 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

Violence and rape drive recorded crime to a new high in England and Wales

The number of crimes recorded by police in England and Wales has hit an all-time high, with a big increase in violent and sexual offences.

A total of 6.5 million crimes were recorded in the 12 months to June, up from the previous record of 6.3 million in the year to March.

The figure is also up 12% compared with the year to June 2021, when crime levels were affected by COVID lockdown restrictions.

[ more...]

27 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

Organised crime fears after 10,000 Albanian men arrive on small boats

Britain’s borders are “overwhelmed” by Channel migrant crossings, Home Office officials admitted yesterday as they revealed that 10,000 Albanian men had arrived in small boats this year.

Dan O’Mahoney, clandestine Channel threat commander for Border Force, said that up to 2 per cent of the adult male population of Albania had travelled to the UK in small boats.

[ more...]

26 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Jeremy Hunt could be asked to delay fiscal statement

Rishi Sunak is considering a delay to next week’s planned statement setting out how the government will close a £40 billion black hole in the country’s finances, The Times understands.

The prime minister is expected to meet Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, today to discuss his proposals to increase taxes and squeeze public spending that are due to be unveiled to MPs and markets on Monday, which is Halloween.

But amid concerns that the plans will define his premiership, Sunak is considering postponing the update until next month to allow more time to scrutinise the options. The statement had been brought forward by the previous government from November 23 because of the market reaction to Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget.

[ more...]

26 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

James Cleverly defends return of Suella Braverman to Home Office

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has defended the re-appointment of Suella Braverman as home secretary just days after she was forced to quit the job.

Ms Braverman resigned last week after admitting two data breaches.

Labour said her return to cabinet undermined new PM Rishi Sunak's pledge to have "integrity and accountability" in his government.

Mr Cleverly insisted Ms Braverman had shown integrity by apologising for breaking the rules.

[ more...]

26 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Rishi Sunak reconsiders tax rises as budget delay saves £15billion

Rishi Sunak is reconsidering tax rises and major public spending cuts after a dramatic improvement in the state of the nation’s finances.

The new Prime Minister on Wednesday delayed the medium term fiscal statement from next Monday to November 17 to allow Jeremy Hunt to rework the plans.

An analysis to be published on Thursday shows that the fortnight delay is expected to shrink the size of the black hole in the public finances by up to £15 billion.

[ more...]

26 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK tax and spending plan pushed back by two weeks, says Hunt

A much-anticipated plan on the UK's tax and spending has been delayed by more than two weeks.

It was due on Monday, but Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said moving it to 17 November would mean it was based on the "most accurate" economic forecasts.

Mr Hunt had already scrapped his predecessor's plans for huge tax cuts. This had sparked market turmoil due to fears over how they would be paid for.

[ more...]

26 Oct 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

More than 15,000 Uplift officers recruited thanks to September surge

An extra 1,564 Uplift officers have been recruited over the last three months, according to Home Office figures which also revealed that women now make up 35% of the overall workforce.

The latest provisional data confirmed that a total of 15,343 Uplift officers have been recruited as of September 30 - up from 13,779 since June.

This increase is made up of 1,350 officers recruited between August and September, when the Uplift number rose from 13,993 to the latest total of 15,343.

[ more...]

24 Oct 2022 -

Justice

‘Everyone wants to get involved’: inside a new police approach to tackling rape

At 8am, in the glass and steel police centre in Bridgwater, Somerset, DI Richard Horsfall takes a swig from an enormous mug of tea and kicks off the team briefing. “Right then, let’s get going,” he says. “We’ve got a lot to get through.”

Three reports of rape have been made overnight. A man is in custody, and in little more than 12 hours he will have to be charged or released. “The clock is ticking,” says Horsfall. “It’s going to be a busy day.”

This is Operation Bluestone. Its “Al Capone” approach to catching rapists puts suspects – not victims’ credibility – at the centre of investigations, say police, and aims to “disrupt” them by whatever legal means possible.

[ more...]

23 Oct 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Hundreds of convicted criminals including sex offenders and paedophiles are working for police forces across the UK, data shows

The staggering scale of criminality in police forces can today be laid bare as figures show hundreds of serving officers and staff have convictions.

There are 284 workers across England and Wales with convictions for crimes including corruption, sex offences, violent assaults and possession of child pornography.

It comes after the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said last week 'hundreds' of rogue officers were getting away with misconduct and criminal behaviour in the force.

[ more...]

22 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

Just 6% of burglaries are solved by police - but over in Manchester, things have been a bit different

Early morning in south Manchester - and a prolific burglar known to police is arrested for a spate of thefts.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police were granted a warrant to enter and search the home of the man, who is believed to have stolen items from student accommodation.

Enough evidence was seized and examined to charge him on the same day. This was clearly a successful morning for GMP's officers - something they're witnessing more frequently - but across the country it's a rarity.

[ more...]

21 Oct 2022 -

Justice

Joint working between police and CPS sees rise in rape referrals

The latest quarterly statistics from the CPS show rape charges have increased to 72.8 per cent, with rape referrals from police forces up by ten per cent.

Max Hill KC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said the figures are already beginning to show the “benefits of better joint working” under its national blueprint for prosecuting rape and serious sexual offences.

It comes as police and the CPS commit to a new programme of joint working to drive improvements right across England and Wales.

[ more...]

20 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman quits and vote chaos add to turmoil for PM

A chaotic day in Parliament has left Liz Truss's survival even more uncertain after the sudden resignation of her home secretary and angry scenes during a fracking vote in the Commons.

Opposition MPs alleged some Tories were bullied and manhandled into voting with the government on fracking.

A minister denied the claim, but many Tory MPs ended the day feeling angry and let down by their own party.

[ more...]

20 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Liz Truss exit sets off another Tory leadership race

Liz Truss has resigned as prime minister after 45 days in office marked by turmoil, triggering the second Tory leadership election in four months.

Ms Truss said her successor would be elected by next week after a rebellion by Tory MPs forced her to quit.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said he would not run in the contest but other senior Tories are considering bids.

[ more...]

19 Oct 2022 -

Justice

Met chief: Barristers are adding to sex case backlog

Britain’s most senior police officer has accused defence lawyers of adding to the courts backlog by encouraging suspected sex offenders to plead not guilty.

Sir Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, said that there was as increasing trend of not guilty pleas that was notable in cases of rape and sexual assaults.

Rowley said that the recent strike by barristers over criminal legal aid fees had added to the backlog in the crown courts. The most recent Ministry of Justice figures show that the backlog has risen to more than 61,000 cases.

[ more...]

19 Oct 2022 -

Police Finances

Grant Shapps replaces Suella Braverman as home secretary

Grant Shapps has been appointed as the new home secretary, replacing Suella Braverman after her shock resignation.

The former transport secretary, who backed Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership race and has been critical of some of PM Liz Truss' policies, has been confirmed by Downing Street as now heading the Home Office.

Speaking outside No 10 after his appointment, he admitted it has been "a turbulent time" for the administration, but "the most important thing is to make sure that people of this country know that they have got security".

[ more...]

18 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

Police commissioners ‘given no detail’ of how 20% crime cut demanded by Truss and Braverman will work

Police and crime commissioners say they have been given no information on how the 20 per cent cut to murder and other crime types demanded by the prime minister and home secretary will work.

Liz Truss proposed the targets in July during her successful Conservative Party leadership campaign, when police sources lambasted the plans as “incoherent”.

The new home secretary, Suella Braverman, confirmed the government was pursuing the policy with a letter to all police forces in England and Wales last month.

[ more...]

18 Oct 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Recruitment Uplift ‘levelling up’ and ‘austerity 2.0’ will leave some forces struggling to hit targets

In this new article in our continuing series focusing on police workforce development in England and Wales, Policing Insight’s Ian Wiggett looks at the varying effects the Uplift recruitment programme has had on police officer numbers across different forces, and how potential new challenges around funding could significantly impact on some forces’ ability to meet both workforce and performance targets.

[ more...]

18 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

MPs back abortion clinic buffer zone law

Plans to enforce buffer zones around abortion clinics in England and Wales have been backed by MPs.

Under the proposed law, harassing, obstructing or interfering with any woman attending an abortion clinic would become a criminal offence.

Protesters found guilty of breaching 150-metre buffer zones around clinics would face up to six months in jail.

[ more...]

17 Oct 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police dismissals to be reviewed

The Home Office will launch a targeted review of police dismissals to raise standards and confidence in policing across England and Wales.

The internal review will be launched shortly and will help to ensure that the system is more effective in removing officers who are not fit to serve the public.

Baroness Casey’s interim report into the culture and standards at the Metropolitan Police Service, published today (Monday 17 October 2022) raises significant concerns, including that fewer officers are being dismissed, officers with multiple allegations made against them are still serving the public and police from ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in the misconduct system.

[ more...]

14 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Plea to tackle ‘toothless’ crime panels

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, has been urged to beef up the scrutiny system for elected police and crime commissioners after new research found the panels supposed to oversee their work are “toothless”.

PCCs are said to be running roughshod over “ineffective and impotent” police and crime panels, who are like “crocodiles with rubber teeth” and are powerless to hold them to account.

[ more...]

14 Oct 2022 -

Technology

Price cap proposed on how much forces can be charged for Airwave

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is proposing to restrict how much Motorola can charge for the emergency services to use Airwave because of the overrun on closing down the end of life radio network and delays in the ESN roll out which the company is also a major contractor for.

The provisional findings of the CMA’s review found that the Home Office and police forces appear to be "locked in with a monopoly provider" and this lack of competition is allowing Motorola to make around £160 million excess profits a year.

Motorola has rejected the provisional findings as being an "unfounded and incorrect calculation of “excess” profits, which is based on an arbitrary time period of the Airwave project."

[ more...]

13 Oct 2022 -

Justice

Lincolnshire Police: Dozens of sex offenders removed from register

Lincolnshire Police have removed 72 people from the Sex Offenders Register in the last five years.

Those sentenced to more than 30 months for a sex-related crime can be required to register with police for life.

But in 2010 the Supreme Court ruled offenders should have the opportunity to prove they had reformed and could apply to get their name removed.

[ more...]

13 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police forces shut down over 170 drug lines during national operation targeting county line drug dealing

Police forces have closed 172 county lines used by criminals to sell drugs across the country during a seven-day long intensification week, an increase of 65% from the previous intensification week when 104 lines were closed.

County Lines is the term used to describe drug dealing where mobile phones are used to supply drugs from large cities to towns and rural areas. County Lines are run by ‘Line Holders’ and the runners, often vulnerable people, deliver the drugs. The system of drug distribution leads to serious violence and exploitation.

Police forces across the country have taken part in the national county lines intensification week cracking down on drug traffickers.

[ more...]

13 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Inside the new Met police unit investigating officer abuse claims

The Metropolitan Police is investigating more than 600 domestic and sexual abuse allegations against its officers, the BBC has been told.

They are the focus of a specialist team established to restore public trust in the force following a number of scandals, including the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer. Their work is similar to fictional unit AC-12 in the BBC drama Line of Duty, but focusing instead on abusive cops, not "bent cops".

[ more...]

13 Oct 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Cost of living: Gloucestershire Police officers using food vouchers

Concerns have been raised over public safety as some police struggle to make ends meet due to the rise in cost of living.

It comes after a report revealed some Gloucestershire Constabulary staff were relying on food vouchers.

Councillor David Willingham said officers' work may be affected if they are worrying about their next meal.

[ more...]

12 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Recession risk rises as economy unexpectedly shrinks

The UK economy unexpectedly shrank in August, strengthening predictions that it will fall into a recession.

The surprise 0.3% drop came as factories and consumer-facing businesses struggled, according to official figures.

Analysts thought the economy would stall in August but not shrink as costs mount for businesses and households.

[ more...]

12 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Liz Truss says she will 'absolutely' not cut public spending - as top Tory suggests chancellor should consider more U-turns

Liz Truss has pledged not to cut public spending to balance the books in her first PMQs since the chancellor's contentious mini-budget - despite a leading economics-focused think tank warning the government is billions short of the sums needed.

The prime minister insisted she was "absolutely" not planning public spending reductions, but vowed that taxpayers' money would be used well.

It comes as cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested that Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng could ignore potential forecasts of low growth and rising debt in order to press ahead with his plans.

Ministers continue to be under pressure for the market turmoil that erupted after the government announced its £45bn package of unfunded tax cuts last month.

[ more...]

12 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police will be ‘more assertive’ if Just Stop Oil protest crosses line, says Met chief

Police have not fully clamped down on the Just Stop Oil protesters because their road blockages in London have not caused “serious disruption”, Scotland Yard’s commissioner has said.

Sir Mark Rowley said he was frustrated by the protest campaign, now in its 12th day, but the disruption had not met the legal threshold of disruption, which would allow officers to be more assertive.

Just Stop Oil protesters yesterday delayed an ambulance, a fire engine and cars carrying babies to hospital after they blocked traffic in west London. Drivers have taken action by dragging protesters from blockades.

[ more...]

12 Oct 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Metropolitan Police chief has concerns over rapid hiring of officers

The head of the Met Police has said he is reviewing recruitment targets after wondering if it is "wise" to speedily hire thousands of new officers.

The force is expected to bring in 4,557 extra officers by the end of March as part of the government's aim of hiring 20,000 more across the country.

Thousands of jobs were cut during austerity measures from 2010.

[ more...]

11 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Big and painful cuts needed to fix budget, says IFS

The chancellor will need to make "big and painful" spending cuts to put the country's finances on a sustainable path, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank has warned.

With a weaker economy and promised tax cuts, there will be a large shortfall in revenue, the IFS predicts.

It calculates the government would have to spend £60bn a year less by 2026-27.

[ more...]

10 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

The economy faces a perfect storm

We are inevitably going to be in a period of stagflation, and there is nothing government can do at this late stage,” says economist and former Cabinet secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell. It is a sobering analysis, especially for those who remember the last painful bout of stagnant economic growth and high inflation.

“[In the early 1970s], there was an underlying shock, not too different from what we have seen now, coming from commodity prices – and then wages started rising, and that spilled into inflation,” recalls Morten Ravn, professor of macroeconomics at UCL. Higher prices in turn stoked calls for further pay rises, creating a vicious circle.

[ more...]

10 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Kwasi Kwarteng brings forward economic plan to 31 October

Kwasi Kwarteng will bring forward his plan for balancing the government's finances by almost a month to 31 October, in a bid to reassure markets.

The fiscal statement is expected to detail how the chancellor intends to pay for £43bn of tax cuts and cut debt.

An independent forecast of how the economy will perform in coming years will be published at the same time.

[ more...]

10 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Leicestershire Police's new 'hate crime' officer is bombarded with racist abuse after introducing herself on social media - as force launches probe

A police force's new 'hate crime officer' faced a barrage of abuse after introducing herself online.

Sumaya Bihi announced her new role in a Twitter post on October 3, saying she was the 'Hate Crime Officer for Leicestershire Police'.

Tweeting from the 'Leicestershire Police Stay Safe' account, she invited users to contact her with 'queries or concerns' as she shared a photo of herself wearing a hijab.

[ more...]

10 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

No 10 rejects reports that Braverman could make cannabis class A

Downing Street has distanced itself from reports that Suella Braverman wished to reclassify marijuana as a class A drug amid sniping from parliamentary colleagues that the home secretary was failing to fall into line with government policies.

The prime minister’s spokesperson said on Monday that there were “no plans” to change the drug from class B, despite several reports claiming that those close to the home secretary said she supported the move.

“Our priority is on cracking down on illegal drugs and the crime they drive. We’ve launched a drug strategy backed by record investment to deliver a whole-system approach to tackling supply and demand,” the prime minister’s spokesperson said.

[ more...]

10 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

Cannabis prosecutions fall to record low as police accused of ‘decriminalisation by stealth’

Cannabis prosecutions have fallen to their lowest rate on record as police have been accused by the Home Secretary of decriminalisation by stealth in parts of the country.

Home Office data show the proportion of people charged for cannabis possession has fallen from 26 per cent seven years ago - when the data was first compiled - to one in six (or 16 per cent) in the current year to March.

In some police forces, it has dropped below one in 10, with Surrey charging just 6.4 per cent of cannabis possession offences, Thames Valley 7.7 per cent and Hampshire 8.4 per cent.

This comes despite an increase in the number of people taking cannabis to its highest point since 2007, with one in 12 of the UK adult population admitting having used the drug in the previous year.

[ more...]

09 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Economic advisor’s ideas to reduce spending

Radical ideas to reduce spending outlined by the Prime Minister’s economic advisor in 2010 could be considered as the Government look to find spending cuts of around £40 billion by 2026/27. Matthew Sinclair, an economic advisor to Prime Minister Liz Truss, published a book in 2010 titled How to Cut Public Spending (and Still Win an Election), which included suggestions such as freezing state pensions and slashing ‘non frontline’ NHS and school staff.

[ more...]

09 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman wants to make cannabis a class A drug

Suella Braverman is considering upgrading cannabis to class A amid concerns it has become a “gateway” drug for more harmful substances.

The home secretary has told allies she is on the “same side” as a group of Conservative police and crime commissioners (PCCs) who in recent days have called for the drug to be put on a par with cocaine.

A source familiar with Braverman’s thinking said she is strongly opposed to calls to decriminalise cannabis, which she believes sends a “cultural” and “political” signal that using the drug is “acceptable behaviour”.

[ more...]

08 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Chancellor’s public spending pledge

Kwasi Kwarteng, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will reportedly tell the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) that public spending will not rise by more than economic growth in future. The OBR’s official forecasts are expected to show that annual borrowing will be £110 billion at the end of the forecast period in 2026-27, according to the Resolution Foundation.

[ more...]

07 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Scottish Police officers settle with 5% pay deal

Officers and staff voted to accept the offer from the Scottish Police Authority after months of wrangling that led to a work to rule.

The Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland had offered a 5% pay increase, backdated to April 2022 – but still below the rate of inflation.

It brings to an end months of negotiations that started in May and included a 3.4% offer in July which was rejected.

[ more...]

07 Oct 2022 -

Justice

Victims suffer court backlogs as one London court's case delay is double that of Wales

Claire Waxman, Victims' Commissioner for the capital, warned barrister strikes over pay would cause even greater record backlogs and more pain to victims. There are 4,105 cases waiting at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London while just 2,110 are pending trial in Wales.

Ms Waxman has experienced the torment caused by a backlog - as she waited for a stalker, who has pursued her for two decades, to be convicted last month.

She said: "It takes over your entire life. You worry, you are anxious and stressed for weeks before the trial.

[ more...]

07 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Milk protests: Police arrest more than 100 people during weekend of environmental activism in London

More than 100 people have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police after a weekend of protests by environmental groups in the capital.

Officers in Green Park arrested two people from the Animal Rebellion group who were accused of stealing milk and damaging two shops in central London on Friday afternoon.

Stephen Bone, 40, of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, and Sofia Fernandes Pontes, 26, of Copenhagen Street, Islington, north London, were both charged in the early hours of Sunday with two counts of criminal damage and two counts of theft.

[ more...]

06 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

The police must focus on crime and criminals and not waste time filling in forms

A return to "old-fashioned, common sense policing" will help the public feel safer, said Suella Braverman. The Home Secretary told the Daily Express it was "wrong" chiefs stopped sending officers to every burglary.

And Ms Braverman said she wants officers to focus on “catching criminals, not filling in forms, telling people what to say on Twitter, or looking into so-called ‘non-crime hate incidents’.” She said anything that distracts officers from focusing on keeping people safe “or undermines that cause” is unwelcome.

[ more...]

06 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

We’re struggling to deliver good service, police officers admit

Rank-and-file officers have welcomed a pledge by police chiefs to attend every residential burglary but warned that they were “struggling to deliver” a service the government wanted to give the public.

All 43 chief constables of police forces in England and Wales announced yesterday that officers would visit each victim. Some forces already attend the scene of every home burglary but others do so only when victims are vulnerable or elderly, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said.

The move comes after the Daily Mail said a report found that 774 burglaries went unsolved every day. Separate Home Office data shows only 6.6 per cent of robbery offences and 4.2 per cent of thefts in England and Wales resulted in criminal charges last year.

[ more...]

06 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

Police-recorded hate crimes rise 26 per cent in a year

There were 155,841 offences recorded in the year to March, up 26 per cent from the previous year. This was also the biggest annual rise since 2017, according to Home Office data.

Forces recorded 109,843 race hate crimes, 8,730 religious hate crimes, 26,152 sexual orientation hate crimes, 14,242 disability hate crimes and 4,355 transgender hate crimes.

Some crimes are recorded as having more than one motivating factor.

[ more...]

06 Oct 2022 -

Police Finances

Local audit fees set to rise by 150% as Deloitte and BDO exit market

Audit fees in local government in England are expected to rise by 150% for the 2023/24 accounts according to the outcome of the procurement programme announced today by Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA).

The PSAA said that it understood that this “dramatic increase” in total audit fees would represent a “significant funding challenge” for local bodies already facing a range of financial pressures.

[ more...]

05 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

Make cannabis Class A drug, say Conservative police commissioners

A group of Conservative police commissioners is calling for cannabis to be reclassified from a Class B to a Class A drug.

This would put it in the same category as heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.

It would mean tougher penalties for possession, and potential life sentences for suppliers and producers.

Police and crime commissioners are elected to hold forces to account in England and Wales, but do not control criminal law or police operations.

[ more...]

05 Oct 2022 -

Justice

Victims ‘denied justice’ as only 3.5 per cent of burglaries end in charges

Burglary victims are being denied the “justice they deserve” as an average of 3.5 per cent of house break-ins resulted in criminal charges, figures reveal.

Police have recorded 1.76 million residential burglaries in England and Wales in the past five years — but 1.41 million victims had their case closed without the suspect being identified.

Just 1.7 per cent of break-ins reported to West Mercia police and Hampshire police ended with a suspect being charged in the year to March, according to data obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

[ more...]

05 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police in England and Wales pledge to attend every home burglary

Police chiefs in England and Wales have pledged to send an officer to every single burgled home.

The pledge commits forces to sending an officer to investigate every report of home burglary, regardless of location and what has been stolen.

All 43 forces agreed to the commitment at last week's meeting of the National Police Chiefs' Council.

[ more...]

05 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police to attend all home burglaries

Police chiefs' have today, Wednesday 5 October, announced that police will attend all home burglaries.

In response to the announcement, APCC Chair Marc Jones, said:

“We welcome the decision taken by police chiefs which will see police attend all home burglaries.

“As police and crime commissioners, we have been engaged with all policing bodies on this issue as we know that burglary is an incredibly invasive crime. We know how important prioritising action in this area is to the public.

“As part of this, we strongly support the view that the way in which crime is recorded must be reviewed. We must be transparent with the public and ensure the statistics reflect the true nature of crime occurring in our neighbourhoods.

“We also want to work with our partners to ensure that the role of our police service is made clear. The pressures on police forces, including from dealing with mental health issues, continues to have a profound impact on police resources, and this must be addressed if we are to ensure forces have the resources and ability to deliver on this commitment.

“PCCs will continue to hold forces to account, and we remain committed to investing in initiatives and schemes to prevent burglary and support victims in our local communities.”

[ more...]

05 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Questions over plan for police to attend all home burglaries

A police pledge to attend all home burglaries has prompted warnings that it could pile pressure on officers and risks becoming another “box-ticking exercise” unless “proper resources” are provided.

Police chiefs in England and Wales have promised forces will attend all residential thefts in a new set of standards they hope will result in more crimes being solved and more criminals prosecuted.

But some have questioned how the plan will work, warning that without proper resources it could put additional pressure on already stretched officers.

[ more...]

05 Oct 2022 -

Police Demand

Burglaries could fall by 60pc if officers visited every victim

Burglaries could be cut by up to 60 per cent if police forces go ahead with their pledge to visit every victim, research by The Telegraph shows.

Forces that have already made the commitment to send officers to every burglary have succeeded in slashing the number of house thefts by thousands a year.

Northamptonshire, which pledged to visit every burglary victim and set up two teams that sit within the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to achieve that, has slashed domestic break-ins across the county by 48 per cent since launching Operation Crooked - from 3,899 burglaries in 2018/19 to 2,007 in the 12 months to July.

[ more...]

04 Oct 2022 -

Police Finances

Audit costs will rise, authorities warned

The final list of firms that can sign off accounts has been confirmed by Public Sector Audit Appointments but fees will increase next year.

CIPFA and ICAEW backed the announcement but warned the cost increases would need to be looked at by the government.

Only six auditors will be competing for business out of 10 potential suppliers.

The PSAA said this was due to the challenging backcloth of a troubled audit profession, a turbulent market and a local audit system that is facing unprecedented difficulties including large volumes of delayed audit opinions.

But there was also a warning that work to improve the quality of accounts will need to happen as fees could increase by up to 150%.

[ more...]

04 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Experts warn Kwarteng against ‘sugar rush’ growth

Kwasi Kwarteng’s hastily rewritten speech at the Conservative Party conference was packed with mentions of growth and the need to bring down the UK tax burden, but commentators have expressed concern over his fiscal plans.

The chancellor received a standing ovation in the auditorium after making the speech just hours after announcing he had backtracked on one of the headline-making measures in his much-derided £45bn package of tax cuts: abolishing the top rate of income tax.

The chancellor was speaking to an audience that mainly consisted of party members who voted for Liz Truss. The audience outside the conference are, according to the latest opinion polls, less convinced.

The pound fell in value against the dollar and gilt yields shot up following his original announcement of the so-called Growth Plan nearly two weeks ago, forcing the Bank of England to announce it would buy billions of pounds of assets less than a week after it vowed to reduce its holdings.

[ more...]

04 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Kwasi Kwarteng's fiscal plan really will be published early

After 24 hours of confusion, the Treasury has confirmed that it has brought forward the publication date of long-awaited financial plans. The economic forecasts could be published later this month.

This is despite both Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and PM Liz Truss saying that the publication date is 23 November.

[ more...]

03 Oct 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Government to sit on OBR forecast for weeks

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng met with OBR chair Richard Hughes, and the Treasury confirmed they “discussed the process for the upcoming economic and fiscal forecast, which will be published on 23 November” alongside the Medium-Term Fiscal Plan.

The statement was released after Treasury select committee chair Mel Stride wrote to Kwarteng asking for the forecast to be published in the next few weeks, after Hughes confirmed in a letter to Stride that the first draft will be given to the chancellor on 7 October.

“It is clear from this and my earlier correspondence with him that a full forecast can therefore be provided by the end of October, and a meaningful forecast prior to then,” wrote Stride.

[ more...]

03 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Knife crime hits record high as one in six cases solved in London

As few as one in six crimes involving a knife, including murders, rapes and grievous bodily harm, are being solved by police as the number of offences hits a record high in parts of England and Wales.

Analysis of police data by The Telegraph revealed that seven police forces – a quarter of the total in England and Wales – saw knife crime hit a record high in the year ending March 2022.

[ more...]

03 Oct 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman pledges to 'hold police to greater account' with target to cut crime

Suella Braverman has pledged to "hold the police to greater account", as sources said the new Home Secretary believes that the concept of operational independence has been taken too far.

Mrs Braverman has signalled that she will "set direction" and "priorities" for forces as she draws up plans for a league table showing whether forces are meeting a new target to cut homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime by 20 per cent.

[ more...]

02 Oct 2022 -

Technology

New camera system helping Devon & Cornwall Police catch drivers using mobiles

A new camera system which uses AI to catch drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel is being trialled by Devon & Cornwall Police.

The technology, which can also detect whether drivers are wearing a seatbelt, is being rolled out across the two counties over the next two months.

The 'Acusensus' system is housed in a police van equipped with multiple cameras which record footage of passing motorists.

[ more...]

30 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Cost of PWLB borrowing increases significantly in wake of Treasury turmoil

The cost of local authority borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) has increased significantly following the financial uncertainty of the past two weeks.

On 28 September, fixed interest rates on a 1-year loan were 5.31%, compared to 3.98% on 14 September. This is a dramatic increase from interest rates of 1.17% seen at this time last year.

In addition, before chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced the mini-budget on 23 September, interest rates were set at 4.33%. The event introduced the biggest tax cuts in 50 years, which included the abolition of the 45% top rate of income tax.

[ more...]

30 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Police chiefs are to be told to send officers to every report of a break-in as part of new blitz on burglary

Police chiefs across Britain will be urged to send officers to every burglary, the head of police training has promised.

College of Policing boss, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, has vowed to write to every chief constable and crime commissioner, insisting it was ‘the right thing’ to attend every break-in.

Mr Marsh said that evidence showed that house visits reduced burglaries and discouraged raiders from targeting the same area more than once.

[ more...]

28 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

IMF urges UK government to reconsider tax-cutting plans

The International Monetary Fund has launched a stinging attack on the UK’s tax-cutting plans and called on Liz Truss’s government to reconsider them to prevent stoking inequality.

In rare public criticism of a leading global economy, the Washington-based fund said Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget risked undermining the efforts of the Bank of England to tackle rampant inflation amid the cost of living emergency.

It said a statement planned by Kwarteng for 23 November presented an “opportunity for the UK government to consider ways to provide support that is more targeted and reevaluate the tax measures, especially those that benefit high income earners”.

[ more...]

28 Sep 2022 -

Prisons

Call to re-sentence 3,000 prisoners trapped under indefinite jail terms

Almost 3,000 prisoners in England and Wales stuck behind bars under an abolished “irredeemably flawed” indefinite sentencing scheme should be re-sentenced, MPs and peers have said.

The indefinite nature of jail terms under the imprisonment for public protection (IPP) scheme has contributed to feelings of hopelessness and despair that has resulted in high levels of self-harm and some suicides among prisoners, according to the justice select committee.

It says that despite IPPs being scrapped in 2012, there remain 2,926 legacy prisoners. These include 608 who are at least 10 years over their original minimum tariff, of whom 188 were originally given a minimum sentence of less than two years.

[ more...]

28 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

A third of Thames Valley Police's 101 callers wait longer than 10 minutes

A third of people who called Thames Valley Police's non-urgent 101 line waited more than 10 minutes to be answered last month.

Its police and crime commissioner (PCC) Matthew Barber said it intends to employ more call handlers in what will be a "big increase" of staff.

In 2019, when callers had an average eight-minute wait to get through, he said its performance was "dreadful".

[ more...]

28 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Home secretary criticises Sussex force for 'policing pronouns'

A police force has been criticised by the home secretary for "policing pronouns" after it said it would not tolerate hateful comments about a child sex offender's gender identity.

Suella Braverman intervened after a row erupted about jailed Sally Ann Dixon.

Dixon had committed the crimes as a man, and some Twitter users objected to police referring to Dixon as a woman.

[ more...]

28 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Dropping Spending Review could create ‘riptide that drowns UK economy’

The government’s choice to not go ahead with a Spending Review this year means departments will need to make difficult decisions on services as inflation erodes their budgets, experts have warned.

[ more...]

27 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Barristers’ strike is ‘not a good reason’ to extend custody time

Judges wrongly blamed the government for not ending the barristers’ strike when deciding to release potentially dangerous offenders from custody, the High Court has heard.

A judicial review is taking place at the High Court that could determine whether or not suspects on remand, including for serious offences such as murder or sexual offences, should be released while trials are delayed by the strikes. A judgment is expected soon and, if the Crown Prosecution Service loses, dozens more suspects on remand could be released.

Prosecutors have been asking judges to allow suspects to be kept in custody beyond statutory limits while awaiting delayed trials, but judges in Leicester, Isleworth, Bristol, Manchester and Oxford have refused, stating that strikes are not a “good or sufficient reason” to delay release.

[ more...]

27 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Children as young as 9 arrested for dealing drugs, ITV News investigation finds

Children as young as nine years old are being arrested for dealing drugs in the UK, as police forces and charities warn the cost-of-living crisis could see more young people targeted by criminal gangs.

An ITV News investigation has found 5,425 children under 16 have been arrested for drug offences since 2018.

A Freedom of Information request to police forces in England and Wales also revealed some of the shocking ways that children were getting exploited by criminals, including:

a nine-year-old arrested in Derbyshire for drug dealing.

a 13-year-old in West Yorkshire arrested for supplying heroin and crack cocaine.

a 14-year-old in Liverpool arrested for producing their own cannabis.

a 15-year-old child in North Wales arrested for dealing heroin.

[ more...]

27 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Action expected by the Bank of England

The decline in the value of the pound has steadied due to market expectations that the Bank of England will intervene. The pound hit an all-time low versus the dollar of $1.0327 early on Monday but had settled around $1.0767 early on Tuesday.

[ more...]

27 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Government set to axe this year’s spending review

Millions of public sector workers face a two-year pay squeeze before the general election, after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said he would go further in cutting taxes. The Government has reportedly abandoned plans for a new spending review, despite forecasts that inflation may remain in double figures for the next year, meaning that public sector workers will have real-term pay cuts before 2024 and schools and hospitals will have to make tough choices about budgets.

[ more...]

27 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Dispersing homeless people fails to stop antisocial behaviour, finds study

Dispersing rough sleepers from town centres fails to stop so-called antisocial behaviour and wrongly criminalises homeless people, a study of 10 towns by criminologists has found.

Councils in England and Wales using public space protection orders (PSPOs) to levy £100 fines to control or ban behaviours such as drinking, pitching tents and sleeping in public simply see homeless people come back later, according to research by Sheffield Hallam University with recommendations for fairer treatment endorsed by Crisis, the homelessness charity.

The orders are also being wrongly used to target behaviour that could not be considered antisocial – such as being “in a position to beg” or sleeping at night – where a detrimental effect was unlikely. And in some cases homeless people have described physical and verbal abuse from enforcing officers.

[ more...]

26 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Pound hits record low after tax cut plans

The pound has fallen to a record low against the dollar as markets react to the UK's biggest tax cuts in 50 years.

In early Asia trade, sterling fell close to $1.03 before regaining some ground to stand at about $1.07 on Monday morning, UK time.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has promised more tax cuts on top of a £45bn package he announced on Friday amid expectations borrowing will surge.

The pound has also been under pressure due to strength of the dollar.

[ more...]

26 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Pay pain for workers as public sector squeezed

Millions of public sector workers face a two-year pay squeeze before the general election after Kwasi Kwarteng said he would go further in cutting taxes.

The government has abandoned plans for a new spending review, despite forecasts that inflation may remain in double figures for the next year. This means that public sector workers will have real-term pay cuts before 2024 and schools and hospitals will have to make tough choices about budgets.

[ more...]

26 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Pre-recorded evidence rolled out in courts in England and Wales

The use of pre-recorded evidence of victims and witnesses to crimes has been introduced at crown courts in England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice said that from Monday the technology would be available at a final 20 crown courts in Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, East Anglia, Essex, London and the south-east, marking the end of a national rollout.

The recording of evidence as close to the time of the offence as possible while memories remain fresh will help victims avoid the stress of giving evidence under the full glare of a live trial setting, which many find traumatic.

[ more...]

26 Sep 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Labour pledges 13,000 new officers in ‘return to neighbourhood policing’

Labour will hire an extra 13,000 police officers if it wins the next election, the shadow home secretary has said.

Yvette Cooper said on Sunday that a Labour government would recruit more police officers, PCSOs and special constables in an effort to cut crime and restore confidence in the police.

She told a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool that the party would also bring back the last Labour government’s focus on neighbourhood policing.

[ more...]

26 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Flawed legal IT system has mind of its own, warn staff

A £300 million technology upgrade for criminal courts has been described as a disaster by a senior judge who says it is “a car crash about to happen”.

The so-called common platform is a cloud-based system designed to replace outdated software programs in the criminal courts. It is meant to allow judges, the Crown Prosecution Service, the police and the prison service to find case details in one place.

Officials began introducing the platform two years ago. So far it has cost more than £300 million and is being used in 143 courts, about 60 per cent of all those in England and Wales.

[ more...]

26 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police must ‘catch real crooks — not wade into Twitter spats’

The police should focus on catching burglars and violent offenders rather than wading into social or political issues that are not criminal, the head of the College of Policing has said.

Andy Marsh said forces could lose their legitimacy by taking sides on contested issues. “Our new guidance on managing non-crime hate incidents, for example, is very clear: the police should not be involving themselves in spats on Twitter,” Marsh told The Sunday Telegraph. “It is not where the public want the police to be . . . We cannot pick sides on social issues, we have a job to do: to police without fear or favour, to prevent and detect crime.”

[ more...]

26 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Manchester: Police patrols stepped up around mosques after city centre disturbances

Patrols around mosques and Islamic centres in Greater Manchester are being stepped up after reports of a disturbance in the city centre, police have said.

Officers were called to reports of a disturbance involving a large number of people at an Islamic Centre in Sidney Street at around 11.20pm on Sunday night.

A man suffered a cut to his face while the walls of the building and a vehicle parked outside were vandalised with graffiti referring to ongoing protests in Iran.

[ more...]

24 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Home Secretary Suella Braverman tells police to stop symbolic gestures

The home secretary has written to police chiefs calling for change to the "culture and standards" in policing.

In a letter to forces in England and Wales, newly-appointed Suella Braverman said public trust had been shattered.

She said there is a perception that police "have had to spend too much time on symbolic gestures, rather than actually fighting crime".

[ more...]

23 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Ongoing clashes between Muslims and Hindus 'could spread all over Britain'

Ongoing clashes between Muslims and Hindus threaten to "spread all over Britain”, faith leaders have warned, after 100 protesters descended on a Hindu temple.

A crowd of Muslim demonstrators reportedly threw fireworks and missiles in the direction of police in the industrial town of Smethwick on Tuesday night as the disorder seen in Leicester over the weekend appeared to spread across the Midlands.

[ more...]

23 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Chancellor cuts income tax and stamp duty in bid to boost growth

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has unveiled the biggest package of tax cuts in 50 years, as he hailed a "new era" for the UK economy.

Income tax and the stamp duty on home purchases will be cut and planned rises in business taxes have been scrapped.

Mr Kwarteng said a major change of direction was needed to kick start economic growth.

But Labour said it would not solve the cost-of-living crisis and was a "plan to reward the already wealthy".

[ more...]

21 Sep 2022 -

Technology

Met hands out smartphones to keep tabs on officers

Every Metropolitan Police officer is to be issued with a work smartphone to help crack down on misconduct and improve their access to technology, The Times has learnt.

In a first for the force, the phones will be handed out before the end of the year under an initiative by Sir Mark Rowley, the new commissioner.

Until now thousands of officers in Britain’s biggest force have often had to use their own phones to communicate with each other, conduct basic investigations and collect evidence, such as video.

[ more...]

21 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Murder suspects set to be released from jail over barrister strike court delays

A quartet charged over the fatal stabbing of a 40-year-old man in his back garden are to become the first defendants accused of murder to be released from jail because of court delays from the barristers’ strike.

Justice Ian Pringle, Oxford’s most senior judge, on Wednesday refused to extend the amount of time the four can be kept inside after they reached the six-month remand limit.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Will Liz Truss's economic plans make us richer?

An article looks ahead to Friday’s mini-Budget, where the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will outline plans to deliver promises made by Prime Minister Liz Truss during her Conservative leadership campaign to cut taxes. The mini-Budget is expected to reverse a 1.25 per cent increase in National Insurance and scrap a 6 per cent rise in corporation tax at a cost of £30 billion. It is also reported a cut in the basic rate of income tax is being considered.

[ more...]

20 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Queen Elizabeth II funeral: Nation pays final farewell

The nation has paid a final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II, with a state funeral and military procession.

World leaders and foreign royalty joined King Charles III and the Royal Family in the congregation at Westminster Abbey.

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets as the coffin was taken to Windsor where she was laid to rest.

[ more...]

16 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Police take to rooftops and manholes ahead of funeral for massive security operation

The most complex security operation London has ever seen is under way.

The Queen is lying in state, and thousands of people are on the streets of the capital queuing to pay their respects, with many more to come.

In the hours and days ahead of the funeral on Monday, the Japanese emperor, kings and queens, the US president, and heads of state from across the globe will assemble in London. They will then all go to Westminster Abbey, which does not have any permanent security perimeter, for a very public funeral.

[ more...]

16 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Kwasi Kwarteng to deliver emergency mini-budget on 23 September

Kwasi Kwarteng will deliver his emergency mini-budget to bring in winter tax cuts for millions of people and set out more detail on energy support next Friday, according to sources.

Although normal politics has been paralysed by the death of the Queen, the chancellor and his team have been putting the final touches to the budget with the aim of announcing it once the country emerges from national mourning.

[ more...]

14 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Government ‘fiscal event’ to be held this month

The Government will announce plans to cut taxes as well as measures to mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis in a fiscal event before the end of the month. The Commons will not sit again until September 20 at the earliest, the day after Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral. It is due to rise again on September 22 for the Labour and Conservative party conferences. MPs will not return to Westminster until October 17

[ more...]

14 Sep 2022 -

Economy & Public Finance

Inflation falls to 9.9 per cent

Inflation has fallen to 9.9 per cent, the first time the rate has fallen in nearly a year. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed petrol prices dropped by more than 14p a litre in August, although the cost of food is still increasing.

[ more...]

14 Sep 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Chris Kaba: Armed police ‘threaten to step down over colleague’s suspension’

Firearms officers are reportedly threatening to hand in their guns after their colleague who fired the fatal shot that killed unarmed black man Chris Kaba was suspended.

Rapper Mr Kaba, 24, was fatally shot by police in Streatham Hill, south London, after a police chase on September 5.

On Monday, Scotland Yard confirmed that the officer in question had been suspended from frontline duties.

[ more...]

13 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Overseeing Queen's funeral will be biggest policing challenge in British history

Scotland Yard’s new Commissioner yesterday said masterminding the Queen’s funeral will be the biggest security operation in British history.

On his first day in office, Sir Mark Rowley acknowledged the scale of the task ahead as he said his first priority would be to enable mourners from all over the world to safely pay their respects to the Queen.

After becoming the UK’s first police chief to swear allegiance to King Charles III, Sir Mark said he would pour thousands of officers into the security operation to protect the one million people expected to descend on the capital over the mourning period.

[ more...]

12 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Police and football clubs meet to discuss resources over funeral weekend

Police and football clubs will continue urgent talks on Monday as the potential for wide scale postponements of matches this weekend looms large.

With officers from across the country set to be drafted into London to work on Monday’s funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and events surrounding it, resources will be stretched both in the capital and beyond.

[ more...]

12 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Extra officers drafted in to police London ahead of the Queen's funeral

Hundreds of extra officers have been drafted in to help support the huge policing operation following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a senior Metropolitan Police officer has said.

After the Queen died on Thursday, the Met Police said it initiated "well-rehearsed" policing plans.

About 10,000 police officers could be on duty every day in London as the nation continues to mourn the Queen.

[ more...]

08 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Domestic abuse: Forensic marker spray helps victims rebuild lives

A domestic abuse victim is slowly rebuilding her life thanks in part to a forensic marker spray she has been given by West Yorkshire Police. The gadget is to be used if her abuser shows up, and other police forces are under growing pressure to adopt similar measures.

Sarah (not her real name) found herself trapped in her own home during the first Covid lockdown.

Her abuser arrived one day "for a chat", she says, and she simply could not get rid of him. It was her flat, but he moved in and forced her into a relationship.

[ more...]

08 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Report calls for radical new approach to protect children exploited in County Lines

A new approach is urgently needed to ensure children who may be involved in County Lines drug dealing are safeguarded from the criminals exploiting them, according to a new report from Crest Advisory.

The study, funded by the Hadley Trust, says young people trafficked to deal drugs should be returned to their home area for a “crisis intervention” and calls for an end to the practice of ‘exile’ – in which children are placed in care a long way from where they live.

Researchers from Crest Advisory, the criminal justice consultancy, used police records, local intelligence, information from support agencies and interviews with staff to analyse the cases of 13 boys suspected of involvement in County Lines gangs in England.

[ more...]

08 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Michael Gove: Racism fears have made Prevent counter-extremism programme ‘inept’

Michael Gove has said the Government’s counter-extremism Prevent programme is “inept” and “inefficient” because of Whitehall fears of being branded racist or Islamophobic.

In his first policy intervention since stepping down, the former Cabinet minister said that, as a result, civil servants working on Prevent had not been given the “tools” to counter Islamist extremism.

This meant that organisations promoting extremism had received government funds because analysis of their ideology had not been properly undertaken.

[ more...]

07 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

New cabinet: Who is in Liz Truss's top team?

Prime Minister Liz Truss has appointed her new cabinet, hours after taking over at 10 Downing Street.

For the first time none of the great offices of state is held by a white man, with Suella Braverman as home secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor and James Cleverly as foreign secretary.

Here is a guide to the new faces and role changes.

[ more...]

07 Sep 2022 -

Technology

Northamptonshire Police deploy greener motorbikes in 'world first'

Police officers across a county will be the "first in the world" to ride a new fleet of three-wheeler petrol-hybrid motorcycles, a force has said.

Northamptonshire Police has boosted its road units with eight of the vehicles in a bid to be more environmentally friendly.

It has developed the bike over the last three years alongside a local firm.

[ more...]

07 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Court cases delayed until 2025 and criminals go free as barristers’ strike bites

Court cases are being delayed until 2025 and dangerous criminals released on to the streets as the barristers' strike starts to bite, MPs have been told.

Leaders of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) cited cases of lengthy trials that had been adjourned without a date for a restart and faced “little chance” of being listed before 2025.

They told MPs on the Justice Committee that judges had already ruled that defendants should be released from custody because of the time they had spent in jail awaiting trial because of delays in their cases.

[ more...]

07 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Justice system 'put at risk' by Ministry of Justice's data-sharing project

An IT project rolled out by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to make the sharing of information between courts, lawyers and police easier has been accused of putting the justice system “at risk”.

The UK courts’ Common Platform software system, a quarter-of-a-billion pound project, was rolled out in the past few years to provide a streamlined digital resource for legal professionals to access case information such as charges, evidence and results.

However, a report from the BBC’s Radio 4 File on 4 exposed that the project is now being accused of unlawful detentions and causing wrongful arrests, as whistle-blowers told the programme the system is faulty, unsafe and unfinished.

[ more...]

06 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Abuse inquiry must lead to nationwide learning, says Telford MP

The inquiry, led by Tom Crowther QC, concluded in July that more than 1,000 children were sexually exploited over at least 30 years in the Shropshire town amid “shocking” police and council failings.

Conservative MP for Telford, Lucy Allan, told the Commons she hopes the inquiry can be “disseminated right across the country”.

As MPs debated the findings, DUP MP for Strangford, Jim Shannon, said: “It is always very hard to listen to stories because they are really heart-rending, they are very personal and I think we all accept the issues are real for her and for her constituency.

[ more...]

06 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Grandfather, 81, left 'confused and bruised' by arrest after Bedfordshire Police go to wrong address

An 81-year-old grandfather has been left bloodied and bruised after police went to the wrong address to investigate reports of a disturbance in the early hours of Friday morning.

He was arrested after two uniformed officers came to his home in response to reports of a disturbance in Potton, Bedfordshire, at about 5am.

The elderly man was taken into custody and left with bruises and bloody wounds to his wrists and arms.

[ more...]

06 Sep 2022 -

Fire

Firefighters across UK set to vote on strike over pay, union announces

Firefighters across the UK are set to vote on whether or not they will strike over pay.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said 32,500 of its members across the UK will vote in the next few weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

The union said the move follows a 2% pay offer made in June, which has not been increased despite the soaring rate of inflation.

[ more...]

06 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Priti Patel resigns as home secretary ahead of Liz Truss cabinet reshuffle

Priti Patel announced on Monday, 5 September, that she will resign as home secretary ahead of a potential cabinet reshuffle by the new Conservative Party leader Liz Truss.

The cabinet minister tendered her resignation in a letter to the outgoing prime minister, Boris Johnson, saying that it is her “choice” to return to the backbenches.

[ more...]

06 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Court cases delayed until 2025 as barristers’ strike bites

Court cases are being delayed until 2025 and dangerous criminals released on to the streets as the barristers' strike starts to bite, MPs have been told.

Leaders of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) cited cases of lengthy trials that had been adjourned without a date for a restart and faced “little chance” of being listed before 2025.

They told MPs on the Justice Committee that judges had already ruled that defendants should be released from custody because of the time they had spent in jail awaiting trial because of delays in their cases.

[ more...]

05 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Watchdog considers whether police officers who got bravery awards for tackling samurai sword man acted too slowly

The police watchdog is assessing whether officers given bravery awards for tackling a man wielding a samurai sword could have stopped him stabbing two men.

Ali Bhatti, 33, was high on drugs when he knifed Irfan Malik, 39, in the chest and slashed another man after crashing a motorbike a mile from his home.

He called 999 three times to say he was armed with the weapon and wanted to kill members of the public on October 22 last year.

[ more...]

05 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Highway Code: 61% of drivers have not read new guidance, AA survey suggests

More than three-fifths of UK motorists have not read recent updates to the Highway Code, according to the AA.

The motoring group's survey of 13,327 members suggested 8,090 (61%) drivers had not read changes made in January.

Some 6,972 motorists had heard about the new rules but had not read them yet, while 1,118 drivers were completely unaware of the changes.

[ more...]

05 Sep 2022 -

Police Finances

Plans for £14.8m armed police facility in Stafford

A proposed armed police training facility would cost an estimated £14.8m.

The centre earmarked for Stafford would replace old blocks in poor condition and no longer fit for purpose, the Staffordshire police commissioner said.

Plans include a 50m indoor firing range and training rooms.

[ more...]

05 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Barristers start indefinite strike action over pay in England and Wales

Barristers in England and Wales are starting an indefinite, uninterrupted strike, in an escalation of industrial action over pay which began in April.

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) walkout is likely to worsen existing court delays, with tens of thousands of cases already waiting to go to trial.

The CBA wants a 25% rise in legal aid fees for representing defendants who could not otherwise afford lawyers.

[ more...]

04 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Police 'prepare for tidal wave of violent crime and civil unrest as the cost of living bites this winter': Chiefs draw up plans to deal with surge in gangland shootings, burglary and online fraud spar

Police are reportedly preparing for a 'tidal wave' of violent crime and public disorder as the UK battles an ever-worsening cost of living crisis fuelled by Vladimir Putin's energy war.

Chiefs are said to be drawing up contingency plans to deal with the potential fallout that may come as millions of Britons face financial hardship this winter.

The chiefs are concerned that 'economic turmoil and financial instability' has the potential to spark a rise in crime, specially 'acquisitive' offences, a leaked national strategy paper has revealed. Authorities fear the UK will see a tick in shoplifting, burglary, vehicle theft, online fraud, blackmail and other crimes that 'rely on exploiting financial vulnerability'.

[ more...]

03 Sep 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Third of police have less than 5 years on the job as experienced officers quit in droves

More than 43,000 of the 140,000 police in England and Wales have less than five years on the job, new HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke has revealed. He said the large number of recruits is the result of a Home Office drive to deal with a low of 126,300 full-time officers in 2019.

Another 20,000 are to be recruited by next year to fill gaps left by experienced officers leaving. Mr Cooke said inexperienced staff require “intensive” supervision from seniors at a time when serious crime rates are soaring.

[ more...]

02 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

New £15m armed police training facility for Staffordshire Police

The proposed new indoor facility will be built at the force’s headquarters in Stafford at an estimated cost of £14.8 million, subject to further scoping activity, replacing existing blocks which are old, in poor condition and no longer fit for purpose.

The training centre will provide specialist officers with a purpose-built soundproofed facility that meets national standards and their current and future needs, offering state-of-the-art facilities including a 50m indoor firing range and training rooms.

Staffordshire Police currently leases an outdoor range, but due to issues with the suitability and long-term availability of the site, a detailed review was conducted to understand the force’s future requirements and evaluate a range of alternative options to meet them. The review included practical options for sharing a facility with neighbouring forces, but these proved unfeasible.

[ more...]

02 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Thames Valley Police chief constable to retire next year

John Campbell, who has been chief constable since 2018, said: “At the end of March 2023, my term as chief constable concludes, and after four years in the post, over 13 years within the force and more than 35 years in the policing, I have decided it is the right time for me to retire.

“Making this announcement now allows plenty of time for a smooth transition to the new chief constable in the spring. I remain fully committed to leading the force over the next seven months.”

He added: “It has been an honour serving the communities of the Thames Valley, and I am immensely proud of the officers, staff and volunteers who work around the clock, every single day, to keep our communities safe.”

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02 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Victims-meet-abusers restorative justice plan ‘is dangerous’

A plan to encourage rapists and abusers to hold face-to-face meetings with their victims as part of an expansion of restorative justice has been condemned as dangerous by dozens of women’s aid groups.

Trauma experts and campaigners throughout Scotland have signed an open letter to the first minister Nicola Sturgeon warning that her plan will allow abusers to resume their manipulative hold over their victims, who may have struggled for years to escape a relationship. Signatories include academics from Strathclyde University and Glasgow Caledonian University, a Glasgow city council social worker and gender-based violence experts from NHS Lanarkshire.

In the letter, the groups say they are deeply concerned that the plan risks putting pressure on women to resume contact with abusers who may “thrive on secrecy, manipulation and shaming”.

[ more...]

02 Sep 2022 -

Technology

Four tech firms could be prosecuted for endangering children

Four tech firms face prosecution for endangering children online in the first-ever investigations into online harms by John Edwards, the Information Commissioner.

John Edwards revealed on Friday that the four social media and tech firms are being investigated for potential breaches of the children’s code that was introduced to protect children from inappropriate and harmful content unsuitable for their ages.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Edwards said that the four, if found guilty, could face fines up to £17.5 million or four per cent of their global turnover (whichever is higher), reprimands or enforcement notices.

[ more...]

02 Sep 2022 -

Technology

The police must stop arresting people over offensive memes

It’s time the police ended their investigations into people’s supposedly offensive online posts and focussed on preventing real crime.

In a film for The Telegraph, Steven Edginton explores whether the UK faces a free speech crisis after a string of arrests over online memes.

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01 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Child assaults: ‘If the police won’t do their job, we’ll do it for them’

Children as young as 11 have been subjected to brutal attacks by teenagers in a Lancashire town - with the assaults filmed and shared on social media.

Victims' mothers say police aren't doing enough to stop the group and have taken matters into their own hands.

The mother of one girl said she was told her daughter could have been one blow away from losing her life.

[ more...]

01 Sep 2022 -

Police Demand

Shoplifters being let off even when caught on CCTV stealing goods worth hundreds

Stores have been forced to recruit a private service to catch and prosecute the thieves because they say police fail to take shoplifters to court, even when they turn up at the crime scenes.

TM Eye, the private company set up by a former senior detective in the Metropolitan Police, has so far successfully prosecuted 130 shoplifters but, in one recent case, was blocked from doing so by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Even though the thief was caught on CCTV stealing £640 worth of perfume from a top London store and recorded confessing to the crime, the CPS decided it was not in the public interest for TM Eye to prosecute the alleged shoplifter.

[ more...]

01 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police officer prosecuted for having sex with drunk woman on duty 'was actually the victim'

A police officer accused of having sex with a drunk woman in his car while on duty was cleared of misconduct after a disciplinary panel accepted he was actually the victim.

Lee Cocking, 41, a former sergeant with Avon and Somerset Police, was charged with misconduct in public office following the incident in the early hours of Christmas Eve 2017.

He was found not guilty by a jury at Gloucester Crown Court but subsequently appeared before a police disciplinary panel accused of breaching professional standards.

[ more...]

01 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Police leaders reject claim they are ‘more interested in being woke than solving crimes’

Police leaders have hit back at claims they are “more interested in being woke than solving crimes” as prosecution rates stand at a record low.

A report by the Policy Exchange think-tank said officers should “consider the potential impact” of dancing or engaging with members of the public at protests and events.

It said recent polling found “the public were almost twice as likely to agree than disagree with the statement that ‘the police are more interested in being woke than solving crimes’”.

[ more...]

01 Sep 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Devon and Cornwall police chief preferred candidate revealed

A police boss from Scotland has been chosen as the next Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police.

Will Kerr, Deputy Chief Constable at Police Scotland, has been chosen by the Police and Crime Commissioner to take up the role.

PCC Alison Hernandez said Mr Kerr was an "exceptional strategic leader".

[ more...]

01 Sep 2022 -

Justice

Women dropping out of rape cases doubles in six years

The number of women dropping out of rape cases has doubled to four in ten in six years amid increasing court delays, figures show.

Home Office data shows that the proportion of rape victims deciding to withdraw their support for a prosecution has increased from 19.7 per cent in 2015 to 42 per cent in 2021 and 2022.

The drop out rate has contributed to a collapse in the number of rape investigations resulting in a charge from seven per cent in 2015/16 to 1.3 per cent, just one in 70.

[ more...]

01 Sep 2022 -

Police Finances

£24m to tackle root causes of female offending

It follows a recent report by the Justice Committee that warned limited progress has been made in developing alternatives to custodial sentences for women amid concerns that the female prison population may rise by a third in the next three years.

With more than 60 per cent of women in prison having experienced domestic abuse and 50 per cent having drug addictions, almost £21 million will be invested in women’s services to tackle the causes of female offending and cut crime.

A further £3.6 million will be allocated to help local services, such as mental health support and drug experts, work more closely to support female offenders. This will include funding local coordinator roles, who would help to bring government and third sector organisations together to provide a better service.

[ more...]

31 Aug 2022 -

Police and Crime General

New PM ‘must replace College of Policing and arrange review into training’

Think tank Policy Exchange acknowledged in its proposal the new PM will be “faced with a police service which has, over the last decade, lost its way”.

The paper’s author, ex-Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) detective chief inspector David Spencer, made 11 recommendations he said would help the Government ensure “the safety of its citizens from those who would commit crime and disorder”.

The College of Policing, which had an annual budget of £71 million in 2020/21, was established in December 2012 as the professional body for policing in England and Wales with locations in County Durham, Coventry, Harrogate and London.

[ more...]

31 Aug 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Home Secretary should reform failing police forces - think tank

The Home Secretary should use their powers to reform "failing" police forces and replace the chief constable if necessary, a report has found.

Policy Exchange, a centre-right think tank, says some common offences are "in essence almost entirely decriminalised" because policing has "lost its way".

The report's author, former detective chief inspector David Spencer, said significant intervention was needed.

[ more...]

30 Aug 2022 -

Police and Crime General

More than 30 arrested in Liverpool in crackdown on organised crime

Police in Liverpool have made more than 30 arrests in 24 hours as part of a crackdown on organised crime after the fatal shooting of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.

Merseyside Police made 32 arrests, carried out 66 stop and searches, executed 11 warrants and seized eight vehicles on Monday.

The action was part of Operation Miller, the force’s effort to tackle organised crime in the area.

[ more...]

30 Aug 2022 -

Prisons

Prisoners to get ‘pay’ rise that is double the rate being given to nurses

Prisoners are to get “pay” rises double the rate of those given to nurses, police officers and firefighters.

Offenders leaving jail will see their subsistence payment increase by 8.4 per cent, in recognition of the rising cost of living.

Their payout - which increases to £82.39 from £76 this month - is being linked to the Consumer Prices’ Index for the next three years.

It follows the lifting of 26-year freeze on the value of the handout, which increased from £46 to £76 last year. It was also renamed from the discharge grant to the subsistence payment.

[ more...]

29 Aug 2022 -

Justice

Court ‘chaos’ seeing criminals go free, victims’ commissioner warns, as barristers strike

Court “chaos” is resulting in criminals going free, the victims’ commissioner has warned, as barristers move to an all-out strike.

Record backlogs, which are already seeing cases scheduled late in 2024, are expected to be worsened significantly by a continuous walkout starting on Tuesday that will bring most crown court hearings to a halt in England and Wales.

The government has refused to negotiate with the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) through two months of escalating action over the payments for representing people who cannot afford defence lawyers.

[ more...]

29 Aug 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police take nearly 500,000 days off sick because of mental health woes

Police officers took a record 500,000 days off because of mental ill health, new data have revealed, as a former watchdog blamed the trauma of dealing with the sick and dying during pandemic.

Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from police forces showed that the number of days taken off because of mental ill health rose by nine per cent in a year, from 457,154 in 2020 to 497,154 in 2021.

An increase in mental health problems among their officers was reported by 24 of the 37 police forces that responded to the FoI.

[ more...]

28 Aug 2022 -

Justice

From crime to the courts: the biggest issues the UK’s new PM will face

Confidence in the police in England and Wales has been shaken by a series of scandals, recorded crime rising to a 20-year high and the proportion of offences leading to court action hitting a new low. In 2021-22, only 5.6% of offences led to a suspect being summonsed or charged, compared with 16% in 2014-15.

Offences at record highs include rape, up to 70,330 in 2021-22, all sexual offences (194,683) and stalking and harassment offences (722,574), despite the government’s tackling violence against women and girls strategy and apology to survivors in its rape review. The charge rate for rape was at a record low of 1.3%.

[ more...]

26 Aug 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Kent Police tries to stop 'poaching' of officers by the Met Police

A police force has launched a campaign to try to stop its officers being poached by the Metropolitan Police.

"Keep it Kent" has been launched after Kent Police said 70 officers expressed an interest in leaving the force to take up the Met's offer of a £5,000 joining bonus.

Kent Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said the numbers of officers wanting to transfer to the Met was "exceptional".

[ more...]

26 Aug 2022 -

Recruitment and Retention

Top policewoman Maggie Blyth fears misogyny row will silence banter

There is a risk that police officers will be scared of having “banter” because of the focus on inappropriate comments and behaviour on WhatsApp, according to the senior officer in charge of tackling violence against women and girls.

Maggie Blyth was appointed last year to co-ordinate police action on the issue after concerns sparked by the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Metropolitan Police officer.

Blyth, deputy chief constable of Hampshire Constabulary, said it was important to have a “call-out culture” within policing and “safe conversations” about behaviour that made colleagues feel uncomfortable.

[ more...]

23 Aug 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Civil Nuclear Police Authority joins PCC organisation

The Civil Nuclear Police Authority has jioned the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners as part of plans to extend the remit of the CNC to help other forces.

The government recently supported proposals to enable the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) to provide ‘special demand’ assistance to territorial forces, in line with BTP and MoD Police powers.

Ideas for expansion of the CNC to emerge from a consultation exercise included ‘backfilling’ specialist policing roles during the pandemic in order to free up territorial forces to support enforcement of health protection regulations.

[ more...]

23 Aug 2022 -

Police and Crime General

Return of the traditional police hat as force scraps baseball caps

Traditional police hats are to be reintroduced as a force is to scrap baseball caps that were a “backward step” for officers.

Lancashire Constabulary is to spend £40,000 bringing back traditional flat caps for all male officers with women given the option of wearing bowler hats with the force’s insignia on them.

Traffic officers will get white caps - to make them clearly visible - while community support officers will get caps with a blue band. Baseball caps will only be used when officers are deployed to tackle public order disturbances.

[ more...]

22 Aug 2022 -

Police Finances

£6m investment in strategy to ‘pull young people away from crime and violence’



The Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) and Home Office are jointly investing £6 million in an approach known as focused deterrence, which combines communicating the consequences of violence with support to help people move away from crime.

Research from the YEF shows that focused deterrence strategies have been highly effective – on average reducing crime by 33 per cent.

However, most of this evidence is international, which is why the YEF and Home Office are making a multi-million investment to build an evidence base in England.

[