Latest News

17 Jul 2024

Economy & Public Finance

Inflation holds steady

UK inflation held steady in June as price rises across the country stayed at the target level for the second month running. Inflation rose at 2 per cent in the year to June, partly driven by hotel prices going up, according to the latest official figures.

[ more...]

17 Jul 2024

Justice

Court delays lead to victims walking away - PCC

Crown court backlogs in Kent are causing victims to walk away from prosecutions, according to the county's police and crime commissioner.

Matthew Scott says the increased number of charges, insufficient court capacity and a shortage of staff are causing significant delays.

One victim, who had to wait five years from the time his abuser was charged to eventually being jailed, says the justice system "is in disarray", causing "turmoil" for survivors and their families.

[ more...]

17 Jul 2024

Justice

Rishi Sunak ‘risked breaching legal responsibilities over prison crisis’

Rishi Sunak was warned by senior civil servants a week before he called the election that he was at risk of breaching his legal responsibilities if he failed to take action over the prison overcrowding crisis, a leaked document reveals.

The advice, sent to the former prime minister on 15 May, said that failing to make an urgent decision on prison capacity would mean the criminal justice system in England and Wales reaching the point of “critical failure”.

[ more...]

17 Jul 2024

Economy & Public Finance

King's Speech: OBR handed beefed-up scrutiny role

The Government has put fiscal stability in the form of a Budget Responsibility Bill at the heart of the King's Speech.

The new bill will ensure a beefed-up role for the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The OBR will be handed responsibility under the bill for independently assessing all significant tax and spending changes.

[ more...]

16 Jul 2024

Justice

Drug dealers to be released up to 18 months early to ease overcrowding

Drug dealers are set to be released up to 18 months early from prison under Labour’s scheme to tackle the jail overcrowding crisis.

Possession of drugs with intent to supply class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin carries a maximum penalty of 16 years in jail.

Under the current rules, any drug dealer convicted of intent to supply can expect to be automatically released from jail halfway through their sentence with the remainder spent on licence in the community.

[ more...]

16 Jul 2024

Police Demand

Hotspot policing sees fall in crime, force says

Merseyside Police said latest figures showed serious violence was down almost 48% in the areas targeted and anti-social behaviour was down more than 18%.

Hotspot policing sees uniformed officers and PCSO's undertake high visibility foot patrols in targeted areas.

[ more...]

16 Jul 2024

Police Demand

Spiking to be made standalone criminal offence

Spiking a drink is to be made a standalone offence under a new law to be announced in the King’s Speech on Wednesday.

Yvette Cooper, the Home Secretary, and Dame Diana Johnson, the new policing minister, believe the move will help improve the investigation, prosecution and reporting of cases.

Currently, spiking can be prosecuted as an assault or under the Offences Against the Person Act, but it is not a specific offence.

[ more...]

Other Headlines

16 Jul 2024 -

Justice

Met fails to identify a single burglary suspect in more than 150 neighbourhoods for three years

Britain’s biggest police force has failed to identify a suspect in a single reported burglary in 166 neighbourhoods in the past three years, research has revealed.

Channel 4 Dispatches also found the Met failed to find a suspect in a single robbery, bike theft or vehicle crime in those areas over the same period.

Programme makers commissioned researchers to map police data from 2021 to 2023 for offences where no suspect had been found, focusing on areas with at least 50 unsolved crimes.

[ more...]

15 Jul 2024 -

Police Demand

Keir Starmer to target shoplifters and knife crime in King’s Speech

Sir Keir Starmer will force police officers to investigate shoplifting offences under £200 as part of a crackdown on crime in the King’s Speech.

A new Crime Bill will reverse a so-called “shoplifters’ charter” introduced in 2014, under which the theft of goods under £200 is considered “low value”, The Telegraph understands.

It will also close loopholes which allow the sale of ninja swords and samurai swords, the type of weapon which was used to kill 14-year-old Daniel Anjorin in London earlier this year.

[ more...]

15 Jul 2024 -

Police Finances

Crime commissioner calls for summer policing funds

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall has called for additional summer funding to tackle growing anti-social behaviour.

Alison Hernandez previously called for £17m from the government in 2019 to pay for the cost of policing summer visitors over three years.

At the same time the force was being given 8p per person, per day less than the England and Wales average in core funding.

The latest figures show that gap increasing to 10p per person per day.

[ more...]

15 Jul 2024 -

Police Finances

Thousands of prisoners to be released in September

Thousands of prisoners will be released early at the start of September, Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood has announced, after warning of the "total collapse" of the prison system and a "total breakdown of law and order" without urgent action to ease prison overcrowding. Under the plan, some prisoners will be released after they have served 40 per cent of their sentence in England and Wales, rather than the current 50 per cent.

[ more...]

10 Jul 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Ex-counterterror chief ready to take charge of stopping small boats

Neil Basu is the leading candidate to head the home secretary’s new border security command, which will aim to cut the number of migrants crossing the Channel

[ more...]

09 Jul 2024 -

Justice

No ‘quick fix’ to tackling prisons overcrowding crisis – Home Secretary

The Home Secretary has said there is no “quick fix” to tackling overcrowding in jails, as the new Labour Government considers releasing more prisoners early.

Yvette Cooper accused the Conservatives of leaving behind a “legacy” of “chaos” and crisis in prisons as ministers are reportedly deciding whether to free inmates after less than half of their sentence to ease pressure on cell space.

[ more...]

08 Jul 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Starmer appoints new cabinet

In his first speech outside Downing Street as Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer cautioned that, despite Labour's parliamentary majority, his aim of "rebuilding" Britain "will take a while". Sir Keir has confirmed his new cabinet - which will meet for the first time today - with Angela Rayner appointed as Levelling Up Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, Wes Streeting as Health and Social Care Secretary and Ed Milliband named Energy Secretary

[ more...]

08 Jul 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

'There's not a huge amount of money there', warns Reeves

New Chancellor Rachel Reeves has warned that the state of the economy means "there is not a lot of money there" for Labour to use to boost public service spending. Ms Reeves said that reform of the planning system was "front and centre" of Labour's plan to grow the economy. It is reported that Sue Gray, the PM’s Chief of Staff, has compiled a list of immediate issues facing the new government.

[ more...]

08 Jul 2024 -

Police Finances

New laws but no new funding announced

Drug dealers who exploit children will face punishment under a new law as part of a crackdown on crime planned by the new Labour government.

The king’s speech, due on 17 July, is expected to outline measures including a new offence of child criminal exploitation, Labour sources confirmed, among a series of new laws and reforms across the policing and justice system.

But despite Labour’s pledge to prioritise law and order and clamp down on antisocial behaviour, police chiefs have been told there is no prospect of new money for at least the first two to three years of the new government, the Guardian understands. Law enforcement leaders, who collectively have a £18bn budget, claim they face a shortfall of £3.2bn.

[ more...]

08 Jul 2024 -

Justice

Keir Starmer could let out 40,000 inmates early to ease prisons crisis

Sir Keir Starmer is expected to authorise emergency measures this week to automatically release criminals less than halfway through their sentence in an attempt to tackle the prisons crisis.

There are fewer than 700 spaces left in men’s jails in England and Wales, The Times has been told, before a critical week in the prisons overcrowding crisis.

[ more...]

08 Jul 2024 -

Justice

We have too many inmates and not enough jails, says Keir Starmer

Britain has “too many prisoners and not enough prisons”, Sir Keir Starmer said, as he suggested it was “impossible” to prevent more offenders from being released early.

The prime minister said the prison overcrowding crisis was another part of the system that was “broken”, along with the NHS, as he vowed to confront the problems left behind by the Conservatives with “raw honesty”.

Holding his first Downing Street press conference, Starmer also said there were no “overnight” fixes but suggested that longer term, prisoner numbers could be curbed and policies focused on early intervention for youths and rehabilitation to reduce reoffending.

[ more...]

08 Jul 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

British police to be deployed in Europe to fight people smugglers

Hundreds of police officers will be deployed across Europe to stop people smugglers as part of Sir Keir Starmer’s new UK Border Security Command.

Yvette Cooper, the Home Secretary, announced on Sunday the first steps in setting up the command by kickstarting the search from Monday for a former police, military or intelligence chief to head it.

It will also see up to 1,000 extra officers recruited by the National Crime Agency (NCA), Border Force and MI5 specifically to target smuggling gangs.

[ more...]

05 Jul 2024 -

Police Finances

CIPFA LASAAC looks to long-term local audit fix

CIPFA LASAAC has announced it is changing its approach to the huge backlog of English local authority audits, because the planned ‘backstop’ system for outstanding audits has been disrupted by the general election.

[ more...]

05 Jul 2024 -

Police Finances

Labour wins General Election

Sir Keir Starmer has led the Labour Party to a landslide General Election victory and will take over as the UK's Prime Minister. Labour crossed the line for a Parliamentary majority when than 150 seats were still to declare. Sir Keir said: "Today, we start the next chapter, begin the work of change, the mission of national renewal and start to rebuild our country." Rishi Sunak said the British people had delivered a "sobering verdict" with the Conservatives set for its worst electoral result in history. The Lib Dems have increased its number of MPs to record levels with party leader Sir Ed Davey declaring the result as its "best ever". The Green Party has also increased its number of MPs.

[ more...]

03 Jul 2024 -

Police Finances

‘Real danger’ convicted offenders may have to serve time at home

An incoming government may have to put convicted offenders under house arrest rather than jailing them because prisons are running out of spaces, a leading think tank has warned.

The Institute for Government (IfG) said the new ministers would have to introduce emergency measures within weeks or even days which would “increase the risk to the public” but were necessary because of the “real danger” of having no prison spaces for jailed criminals.

[ more...]

02 Jul 2024 -

Police Demand

Yvette Cooper: People feel police aren’t there, that no one is coming

One of Sir Keir Starmer’s first laws will be a crime and policing bill that will overhaul police standards, create a range of new criminal offences and scrap rules that allow shoplifters to escape punishment if stolen goods are worth less than £200.

Yvette Cooper, who is expected to be appointed home secretary on Friday if Labour wins the election, said that she would force the Home Office to take a more “active” approach to crime and policing.

The legislation, which would be introduced in Labour’s first King’s Speech on July 17, would set up a new police performance and standards unit in the Home Office.

[ more...]

02 Jul 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Next government set to benefit from fall in inflation and fuel prices

Britain’s next government is set to benefit from easing pressure on household finances after a slowdown in inflation in shops and a fall in fuel prices, but costs remain “too expensive” for many families. Figures from the British Retail Consortium show that annual UK shop price inflation slowed last month to 0.2 per cent, down from 0.6 per cent in May – the slowest pace since October 2021 – as retailers cut the prices of many of their key products, including butter and coffee.

[ more...]

01 Jul 2024 -

Police Demand

Teenagers ‘crying out’ for return of youth clubs in England, study finds

Young people are “crying out” for a return of youth clubs with three-quarters of 16- to 19-year-olds in England lacking ways to connect with youth workers, according to research from the National Youth Agency. More than half of people in their late teens are specifically calling for more youth work that offers “fun”, with older teenagers particularly hankering for more jollity and one in 10 said they have zero options to access youth work. Youth groups are urging the next government to inject up to £1 billion a year into services in England.

[ more...]

01 Jul 2024 -

Police Finances

UK economy grew more than estimated in early 2024

The economy grew by more than initially estimated in the first three months of 2024 as the UK emerged from recession, revised official figures show. Between January and March, the economy grew by 0.7 per cent the Office for National Statistics said. Figures released last month initially estimated growth had been 0.6 per cent.

[ more...]

01 Jul 2024 -

Police Finances

Crime commissioner says force needs extra funding

Lincolnshire Police needs an additional £15m of government funding in order to deliver the service, the county's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has said.

Marc Jones, who was recently re-elected for a third term, has repeatedly claimed the force is one of the worst funded in the country per resident.

He has also called for the police funding formula to be updated, saying it is based on outdated population figures.

A Home Office spokesperson said Lincolnshire Police’s funding was set to be increased by up to £9.2m in 2024-25.

[ more...]

01 Jul 2024 -

Justice

The prison and court systems are on the verge of collapse

The criminal justice system is close to collapse. Don’t take my word for it. “The entire criminal justice system stands on the precipice of failure,” warned the Prison Governors’ Association (PGA) this week, as it notified politicians that prisons in England and Wales are quite literally full. Meanwhile, two judges who ruled on legal aid cuts in February, concluded: “Unless there are significant injections of funding in the relatively near future, any prediction … that the system will arrive in due course at a point of collapse is not overly pessimistic.”

[ more...]

01 Jul 2024 -

Justice

Police abandoned investigation every 13 seconds without finding a suspect

The police abandoned an investigation every 13 seconds last year without finding a suspect, according to research.

An analysis of Home Office statistics shows that more than 2.3 million crime investigations by police in England and Wales were closed unsolved last year. This amounts to more than four every minute, and nearly 6,500 every day.

The number of crime investigations dropped without a suspect being found increased by 30 per cent from two years ago – nearly 550,000 – while the proportion rose to just under 44 per cent in the year ending December 2023

[ more...]

26 Jun 2024 -

Police Finances

Farmers 'at war' with countryside crime gangs

Farmers and landowners say they are "at war" with countryside crime gangs and need more help from specialist rural police officers.

One farmer told the BBC he faced “constant warfare” against balaclava-clad thieves breaking into his farmyard and also against gangs of illegal hare-coursers.

A new report by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) warns that police forces in England and Wales that cover large rural areas are "in crisis" and need more funding to fight back against the organised gangs.

[ more...]

25 Jun 2024 -

Justice

Jails to run out of space

Jails will run out of space within days, putting the public at risk, the body representing prison governors in England and Wales is warning political leaders. The Prison Governors’ Association says police officers will be unable to detain people because there will be nowhere to put them.

[ more...]

25 Jun 2024 -

Justice

UK Election: Criminal justice system at the point of no return. Where is the outrage?

The British criminal justice system is nearing collapse, plagued by backlogs, overcrowded prisons, budget cuts, and barrister strikes.

As highlighted in City A.M.’s first part of its coverage, the criminal justice system isn’t a priority in the General Election despite this crisis.

This indifference stems from a lack of understanding of the justice system’s mechanics and the misconception that it only affects “bad people.”

[ more...]

25 Jun 2024 -

Justice

Knife crime in the spotlight - what would parties do?

Within the past few weeks there have been stabbings in Bristol, Keynsham and Weston-super-Mare.

Between January to December in 2023, 1,485 incidents relating to knives or sharp objects were reported to Avon and Somerset Police, according to the Office of National Statistics. That works out to around four every day, and is an increase of 24% compared to the previous year.

So what would each political party do about the problem?

[ more...]

21 Jun 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Interest Rates held at 5.25%

Interest rates are expected to be held at 5.25 per cent for the seventh time in a row by the Bank of England on Thursday. Despite inflation hitting the central bank's target level, most economists have predicted rates, will not be cut. They believe the Bank will wait to see if inflation stays at 2 per cent in the coming months, with a first rate cut in the autumn now looking more likely than the summer.

[ more...]

21 Jun 2024 -

Police Demand

Acid attacks and corrosive substances crimes up 75%, figures suggest

Acid attacks and other crimes involving corrosive substances soared by 75% last year - but just 8% of offenders ended up in court, new data suggests.

The figures, obtained through freedom of information requests to all police forces in the UK, show 1,244 offences were recorded in 2023, up from 710 the previous year.

Of those, 454, or more than a third (36%) involved physical attacks, while 790, almost two thirds (64%), included threats of attacks, carrying corrosive substances or other serious crimes - such as rape or robbery - involving acids or alkalis.

[ more...]

21 Jun 2024 -

Justice

Prisons in England and Wales will be at ‘breaking point’ in July, governors told

Prison governors have been warned that jails will be so overcrowded by the second week of July that they will struggle to accept any more inmates, plunging an incoming government into an immediate crisis.

The heads of jails in England and Wales were informed by HM Prison and Probation Service officials earlier this month that data pointed to an “operational capacity breaking point” only days after the 4 July general election.

[ more...]

21 Jun 2024 -

Justice

Police unit secures hundreds of voluntary admissions

A dedicated police unit helped obtain 453 voluntary offence admissions from 76 offenders in 2023.

Suffolk Police's Operation Converter team works with individuals who have a history of offending.

It intervenes where an offender wishes to voluntarily admit further similar offences, and these are then taken into consideration during sentencing at court.

Det Insp Greg Moore, who leads the unit, said the main thing was "securing a resolution for the victim".

[ more...]

21 Jun 2024 -

Police Finances

Armed robbers among violent criminals to be released six months early

Armed robbers, drug dealers and violent offenders could be released from prison six months early under a scheme introduced this month to tackle the overcrowding crisis in jails.

Hundreds of criminals serving sentences of over four years will be released up to 180 days early to help ease the pressure on jails, which are projected to reach bursting point by the middle of July.

[ more...]

19 Jun 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK inflation falls to 2%

Inflation has reached the Bank of England's target for the first time in almost three years. Prices rose at 2 per cent in the year to May, down from 2.3 per cent the month before, official figures show.

[ more...]

19 Jun 2024 -

Police Demand

Revealed: Schools facing ‘national emergency’ of knife crime with four attacks every week

Schools are facing a knife crime “emergency” with four attacks on children or teachers each week, The Independent can reveal.

It comes amid concerns knife crime has dropped down the political agenda in the general election as Labour and the Tories focus on each other’s tax plans and Nigel Farage’s Reform UK tries to push immigration to the forefront.

Campaigners and families of victims have accused the main political parties of silence on the issue, with knife crime and how to tackle it noticeably absent from the leaders’ debates and interviews.

[ more...]

18 Jun 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Level of attacks on police is 'unacceptable'

A chief constable has said that between one and two police officers a day were being assaulted as they carried out their duties working for his service.

Chief Constable Nick Dean, the head of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said his officers were regularly abused and spat on.

Mr Dean has been awarded the King’s Policing Medal (KPM), as part of the King’s Birthday Honours, following more than 30 years of service.

He said working in front-line services has changed over the course of his career, and police officers now face "unacceptable" levels of assaults.

[ more...]

17 Jun 2024 -

Police Demand

Risk of domestic abuse will increase whether England win or lose in Euros, police say

Police have warned of a potential rise in domestic abuse as England play Serbia in their first game of the Euro 2024 football championship on Sunday.

The Metropolitan Police said a study from Lancaster University found there was a 38 per cent increase in domestic violence incidents when England lost a game between 2002 and 2010, and a 26 per cent rise when they won.

Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for domestic abuse, said she wanted to make victims of domestic abuse aware of the support available to them during the tournament and encouraged anyone who suffered abuse to report it to police immediately.

[ more...]

13 Jun 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK economy fails to grow during wet April

The UK economy failed to grow in April after particularly wet weather put off shoppers and slowed down construction. The official data is what most economists had expected and comes after the fastest growth in two years from January to March, ending the recession from the final half of last year.

[ more...]

12 Jun 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Call for tighter machete sale rules after murder

Fresh calls for tighter controls on the sale of machetes have been made by a group representing police officers after two 12-year-old boys were convicted of murdering a teenager.

Shawn Seesahai, 19, died in November after being set upon in an unprovoked attack on Stowlawn playing fields in East Park, Wolverhampton.

West Midlands Police Federation called for more measures around the marketing of machetes and other bladed instruments.

[ more...]

12 Jun 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

ACC Chris Davison: History of women in policing and pioneering female officer Edith Smith

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Davison discusses the history of women in policing, his personal connection to a pioneering female officer, and his journey to becoming a police officer.

He also shares his interests in heavy metal music, football, and gaming! Davison emphasizes the importance of integrity, doing the right thing, and looking after others as key characteristics of a police officer. He encourages individuals with diverse interests to consider a career in policing.

[ more...]

11 Jun 2024 -

Police and Crime General

West Midlands becomes knife crime capital of the UK

The West Midlands has become the knife crime capital of the UK with rates as much as a fifth higher than London.

The region overtook the capital in 2020/21, when the rate of knife crime was 18.3 per cent higher at 167 offences per 100,000 of the population to London’s rate of 137 per 100,000.

It has since risen to 180 offences per 100,000 of the population compared with London’s 165 per 100,000, making it 8.3 per cent higher than the capital.

[ more...]

11 Jun 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Conservative manifesto: 12 key policies analysed

The Conservatives have launched their 2024 election manifesto. The document, external sets out what the party's plans would be, should it win the election on 4 July.

Here are some of the most eye-catching pledges.

[ more...]

10 Jun 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Conservative’s police pledge to recruit 8,000 extra Police

The Conservatives have committed to recruiting an extra 8,000 new police officers over the next Parliament, funded through the removal of the student discount to the Immigration Health Surcharge, an increase in all visa fees of 25 per cent and a clampdown on tax avoidance.

[ more...]

10 Jun 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Labour to pledge no increase in 'big three' taxes in 'triple lock' promise

Labour will reportedly promise not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT for five years if the party wins the general election. Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves already said this week they will not put up the taxes, ahead of Labour's manifesto launch expected on Thursday, but Labour will take their pledge further and vow to cast a “triple lock” on the “big three” taxes over the course of the first term in power.

[ more...]

10 Jun 2024 -

Police Finances

Hunt rules out ‘expensive’ council tax revaluation

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has pledged that if elected a Conservative government would not undertake a council tax revaluation.

Writing in a national newspaper, Hunt promised the Conservatives would not ‘increase the number of council tax bands, undertake an expensive council tax revaluation or cut council tax discounts’.

[ more...]

10 Jun 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Met faces lowest staffing levels in decade, says chief

The Metropolitan Police is heading for its lowest staffing levels in a decade by March next year, commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has warned.

Britain's biggest police force has seen a shortfall partly due to inadequate funding and low recruitment, according to Sir Mark.

Plans to reform the force will have to slow down as the Met faces a budget hole of £400m in 2025-26, a document submitted to the London Policing Board said.

[ more...]

10 Jun 2024 -

Police Finances

Prince Harry given green light to appeal High Court ruling over police protection

The Duke of Sussex's High Court case against the Home Office is one of a number of high-profile legal battles he has launched in recent years.

[ more...]

10 Jun 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

‘Neither party seems serious’: IFS criticises Labour and Tory approach to fiscal rules

Neither the Conservatives nor Labour are serious about reducing the level of national debt, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has said, accusing both parties of avoiding the harsh reality of spending cuts after the election.

[ more...]

10 Jun 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Labour promises thousands of new prison spaces to ease overcrowding crisis

Labour has pledged to deliver 14,000 new prison places to tackle the overcrowding crisis if it gets into government.

The party has announced plans to unblock the planning system in order to expand the prison estate and ease capacity.

Prisoners have been let out of jail early in recent months as part of emergency measures to tackle a chronic shortage of spaces.

[ more...]

09 Jun 2024 -

Police Finances

Conservatives pledge to recruit 8,000 new police officers

The Conservative Party is promising to recruit 8,000 additional police officers over the next three years if they win the General Election.

Under the plans, the new neighbourhood police officers would also be given increased powers to seize knives and recover stolen goods.

The policing uplift programme would partly be paid for by increasing visa fees and removing the student discount to the Immigration Health surcharge, the party said.

[ more...]

06 Jun 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

‘There’s life in the UK economy’ as growth forecast upgraded

The UK economy will grow faster than expected this year and next, according to upgraded forecasts from the British Chambers of Commerce.

The BCC, a business and industry lobby group, said the economy would expand by 0.8 per cent this year, up from a forecast of 0.5 per cent, and by 1 per cent in 2025, compared with an earlier projection of 0.7 per cent.

The acceleration in growth comes after the economy performed better than expected at the start of the year, registering its fastest quarter of output growth since 2022 at 0.6 per cent. The UK briefly slipped into a technical recession at the end of 2023, but is now on course for a slight recovery where longer-term growth prospects “are unlikely to be strong”, said the BCC.

[ more...]

05 Jun 2024 -

Justice

Killers to get tougher sentences as Tories promise overhaul of law

Rishi Sunak is to pledge the biggest overhaul of homicide laws in a generation to ensure tougher sentences for domestic abusers. The move could also lead to the creation of US-style first and second degree murder.

The Conservative Party manifesto will promise to increase from 15 to 25 years the minimum sentence for murders that take place in the home, The Times has been told.

It will also commit itself to a wider review to ensure tougher sentences are given to killers such as Valdo Calocane, who fatally stabbed three people in Nottingham last year. He was charged with murder but allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility. Two of the families of Calocane’s victims said the proposals for US-style murder classifications would be a “seismic, important change”.

[ more...]

04 Jun 2024 -

Justice

Recognising and supporting female offenders who are victims of coercive control

The concept of coercive control has been recognised for more than 15 years, and coercive and controlling behaviour was introduced as a criminal offence in 2015; but research by Julia Pitman, justice policy, campaigns and research professional, highlighted key barriers the police face in recognising female offenders as victims of coercive control, including lack of officer skill and experience, and inadequate policy and guidance.

[ more...]

04 Jun 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Accountability is in danger if national watchdogs are compromised

As startling infringements on the independence of national public auditing authorities reflect a worrying global decline in democratic systems, INTOSAI and the OECD call for more hands on deck.

The auditor-general of Sierra Leone, Lara Taylor-Pearce, can lay claim to a formidable list of chartered accountancy and business management qualifications, a stellar and unblemished career of thirty-plus years in the private and public sectors and particularly in public financial management in Sierra Leone, and several national awards including the National Integrity Award and recognition as one of the country’s 50 most influential women.

At a global level, she has been a stalwart champion of auditor-general offices worldwide (collectively known as supreme audit institutions or SAIs). Within INTOSAI, the UN-associated organisation supporting SAIs around the globe, Taylor-Pearce has served as vice-chair of the governing board of the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) and as chair of AFROSAI-E.

[ more...]

04 Jun 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Tories’ slap in the face to shopworkers is future government’s win

Talk about a u-turn, and one that hasn’t quite settled in. Despite a monumental amendment in the Criminal Justice Bill that would have made attacking a shopworker a standalone offence, tabled by MP James Cleverly in April, Tory ministers have failed to keep their promise.

It was, in part, expected. That’s because the calling for a general election meant any legislation yet to be fully scrutinised would not become law unless it was passed in the so-called ‘wash-up’.

And with Rishi Sunak announcing a general election on 22 May before parliament was prorogued on 24 May, the wash-up period lasted a mere two days. With such limited time available, it meant bills more advanced in the parliamentary process made the cut.

So with the Criminal Justice Bill far from complete – with over 100 pages of amendments still left to debate – needless to say it wasn’t at the top of government’s list of priorities.

[ more...]

04 Jun 2024 -

Technology

Portable knife scanners to keep our streets safe

Portable knife scanners enabling police to detect weapons hidden on people at a distance are to be trialled on British streets.

Chris Philp, the policing minister, has said the Home Office is looking at versions of the technology developed by five different companies with a view to police officers trying it at knife crime hot spots by the end of 2024.

One model, already demonstrated to ministers and officials, uses radar imaging to detect weapons at a distance of 10ft. Developers say it can distinguish between knives and keys or mobile phones through people’s clothes.

[ more...]

03 Jun 2024 -

Police Finances

Monopoly supplier of Tasers is aggressively driving up prices, police chiefs fear

Police forces could be left defenceless because the monopoly supplier of Tasers is driving prices up so aggressively, policing leaders have warned.

US-based tech giant Axon, which has the only Home Office licence to supply Tasers, has the UK 'over a barrel' with its stranglehold over the market, a police and crime commissioner said.

And its latest model has proved so unreliable in training that Thames Valley Police had to scrap it and negotiate a new deal for older devices, the Mail can reveal.

[ more...]

03 Jun 2024 -

Police and Crime General

How London became a watch-theft ‘war zone’

On Rue du Mont Blanc in the heart of Geneva, watches stolen on Britain’s streets languish in safes, awaiting sale to unsuspecting buyers.

At least so says investigator Christopher Marinello, who has an open feud with Swiss auction house Antiquorum after it failed to return his British client’s £260,000 Richard Mille timepiece.

[ more...]

03 Jun 2024 -

Justice

Zara Aleena murder inquest: family blame ‘crumbling justice system’

The family of a law graduate who was sexually assaulted and murdered as she walked home have told her inquest how they were “tortured” by the thought that her death could have been prevented.

Zara Aleena’s family said her murder highlighted “the crumbling justice system [which is] meant to protect us”.

Aleena, 35, was killed after a night out in Ilford, east London, in June 2022, by Jordan McSweeney, who had been released on licence from prison nine days before.

[ more...]

03 Jun 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Chief Constable announces independent probe of journalist surveillance claims

Northern Ireland’s chief constable has announced an independent review to look at allegations of the police surveillance of journalists.

It comes after an Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) hearing in London sparked alarm.

The hearing was during an ongoing case examining allegations that investigative reporters Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney were subject to unlawful covert intelligence by the police.

[ more...]

30 May 2024 -

Prisons

Up to half of prisoners released early recalled within days at some jails

Up to half of prisoners released early have been recalled within days at some jails after breaching their licence or reoffending, The Telegraph understands.

More than 100 prisoners a month at some jails are being recalled, according to prison service sources. In one case more than 200 offenders were freed in one probation area with half recalled within a week.

[ more...]

30 May 2024 -

Technology

AI-generated identity: A new challenge for law enforcement

In the latest in a series of articles exploring the opportunities and challenges presented to police by the rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI), Chief Philip Lukens explores implications of synthetic identities, how they can be adopted and exploited for criminal use, and the strategies law enforcement needs to put in place to combat them.

[ more...]

30 May 2024 -

Police Demand

Gun crime in London has risen twice as fast as the rest of the UK

Gun crime in London rose twice as fast as the rest of the country last year, according to a Telegraph analysis of official data.

The number of gun offences has started to increase after a dip during the pandemic, when street crime plummeted due to multiple lockdowns.

Last year in London, gun crime increased by just under 20 per cent, from 1,009 offences in 2022 to 1,208 in 2023. This was double the rate of 8.8 per cent nationally.

[ more...]

30 May 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Reeves: No return to austerity

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said there will be no return to austerity under a Labour Government.

Experts have warned that local government could be left to shoulder the burden of public sector cuts in a new age of austerity, with a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank warning commitments by Labour and the Conservatives mean real-terms cuts will have to be made to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities without a higher overall spending envelope.

[ more...]

29 May 2024 -

Police Finances

Essex PFCC Roger Hirst on the importance of resources and funding

Roger Hirst, the re-elected Essex Police, Fire, and Crime Commissioner, discusses his plans for his new term of office.

He highlights the importance of delivering results and reducing crime, with a goal of a 40% decrease in crime over the next four years.

Hirst emphasizes the need for resources, funding, and improved capabilities for the police force. He also discusses the collaborative approach taken with the government and the evidence-led approach to finance.

[ more...]

29 May 2024 -

Police Finances

PCC launches legal action to force Home Office to introduce new funding formula

Lincolnshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones has fired the opening salvo in a case that could reach the High Court.

Mr Jones has launched the legal action to force the Home Office to introduce a new funding formula to assess how much each police force in England and Wales receives through a Government grant.

The current funding formula, said Mr Jones, uses old population statistics from 2013 and outdated metrics such as pubs per square mile.

Mr Jones has been at the forefront of the present Government’s review of the funding formula – which has now been completed and won widespread support from forces across the country.

[ more...]

29 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Labour vows to 'take back town centres from thugs'

Labour is pledging to put more police in communities and "take back our town centres from thugs and thieves".

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper repeated the party's promise of 13,000 officers and community support officers working in neighbourhoods in England and Wales.

The pledge involves hiring 3,000 new officers and 4,000 PCSOs.

[ more...]

28 May 2024 -

Police Finances

Vast majority of burglaries in some MPs’ constituencies go unsolved, say Lib Dems

More than nine in 10 burglaries go unsolved in some MPs’ constituency areas, the Liberal Democrats have revealed, as the party called for a response guarantee for victims.

The police area covering former justice secretary Dominic Raab’s Elmbridge constituency in Surrey – a Lib Dem target seat – had the biggest proportion of unsolved burglaries last year at 92 per cent.

[ more...]

28 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Norfolk Constabulary needs to improve response to emergency calls involving vulnerable people, says HMICFRS

However, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) identified areas where the force’s response to vulnerability could be improved, something which the constabulary said it is already addressing through the implementation of the Right Care Right Person initiative.

The review was commissioned by the then police and crime commissioner for Norfolk in January this year to examine how the force handles and responds to 999 calls.

It was commissioned following the deaths of four people at a house in Costessey in January after a 999 call, made an hour before police attended, was not responded to.

[ more...]

27 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Post Office scandal: Police to deploy 80 detectives for criminal inquiry

Police are planning to deploy 80 detectives for their criminal inquiry into the Post Office scandal, the Guardian has learned, but victims will face a long wait to discover if charges will follow.

The investigation will examine potential offences of perjury, and perverting the course of justice by Post Office senior leaders as well as the tech company Fujitsu.

Police have already started discussions with prosecutors about the investigation and potential criminal charges, which stem from the possibility that post office operators were wrongly prosecuted for stealing when bosses allegedly knew their computer accounting system could be flawed.

[ more...]

26 May 2024 -

Technology

'I was misidentified as shoplifter by facial recognition tech'

Sara needed some chocolate - she had had one of those days - so wandered into a Home Bargains store.

"Within less than a minute, I'm approached by a store worker who comes up to me and says, 'You're a thief, you need to leave the store'."

Sara - who wants to remain anonymous - was wrongly accused after being flagged by a facial-recognition system called Facewatch.

She says after her bag was searched she was led out of the shop, and told she was banned from all stores using the technology.

[ more...]

25 May 2024 -

Police Demand

Police promised to attend every violent shoplifting crime in UK - this is what happened

Checks by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) found most forces still failed to go to every violent incident or where a suspect was detained, although there were significant improvements on previous levels.

Police attended just 60 per cent of shoplifting cases involving violence against staff months after a promise officers would go to every crime scene.

Checks by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) found most forces still failed to go to every violent incident or where a suspect was detained, although there were significant improvements on previous levels

[ more...]

25 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Hundreds of children under 10 subject to stop and search in England and Wales

Hundreds of children under 10 faced stop and search by police last year, including some who were strip-searched, the Observer can reveal.

At least 432 children under the age of criminal responsibility were searched by the police forces in England and Wales in 2023, according to data.police.uk, an official site for open data on crime and policing.

Nearly a quarter of all the searches were conducted on those from black, Asian, or other minority ethnic backgrounds – disproportionately high compared with population representation.

The vast majority of the stop and searches – 79% – led to no further action from officers, either formal or informal. The highest number of searches on children under 10 was logged by Avon and Somerset police – at 117 – followed by Kent and the Metropolitan police.

[ more...]

25 May 2024 -

Police Demand

Vast majority of burglaries in some MPs’ constituencies go unsolved, say Lib Dems

More than nine in 10 burglaries go unsolved in some MPs’ constituency areas, the Liberal Democrats have revealed, as the party called for a response guarantee for victims.

The police area covering former justice secretary Dominic Raab’s Elmbridge constituency in Surrey – a Lib Dem target seat – had the biggest proportion of unsolved burglaries last year at 92 per cent.

By contrast, the new constituency of Killingworth in Northumberland had the least worst performance with police failing to solve 56 per cent of the burglaries in the area last year.

[ more...]

24 May 2024 -

Justice

Court backlog target in England and Wales no longer achievable, says NAO

The Ministry of Justice’s ambition to reduce the backlog in crown courts in England and Wales to 53,000 by March next year is no longer achievable, a parliamentary watchdog has said.

The MoJ set the target in October 2021 when the outstanding caseload was 60,000, but by the end of last year it had reached 67,573 – its highest level ever – according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report.

[ more...]

24 May 2024 -

Justice

Prisoners could be released after serving 43 per cent of sentences to tackle jails overcrowding

Criminals could be released from jail after serving only 43 per cent of their sentences under plans being considered to tackle the prison overcrowding crisis.

No 10 and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) are discussing the proposals to reduce the time that convicted offenders spend in jail as a way to avoid running out of places in prison.

[ more...]

23 May 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

The traumatised police officers flying to Peru to take psychedelics

They were gathered in the jungle, in a ceremonial wooden structure known as a maloca, and their immediate fate was in the hands of shamans dressed in brightly patterned robes. Summoned one by one, they each knocked back a shot of horrible-tasting dark sludge. ‘At that point,’ says Paul Haylock, ‘the nerves really did start to kick in. I’m thinking, “Is this really the right thing to be doing?”’

[ more...]

22 May 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK Inflation falls to 2.3%

UK inflation fell to 2.3 per cent in the year to April, official figures show. It marks a fall from 3.2 per cent in March, according to the Office for National Statistics, and is the lowest level in almost three years.

[ more...]

22 May 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

IMF warning of £30bn fiscal hole

The International Monetary Fund’s annual health check on the UK said “difficult choices” lay ahead because of a looming £30 billion hole in the public finances. In order to stop debt rising, the IMF said the UK Treasury may need to consider a range of potentially unpopular revenue-raising measures including widening the scope of VAT, road pricing, scrapping the triple lock on the state pension, raising more from inheritance tax and capital gains tax, and wider user charges for public services.

[ more...]

22 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Rishi Sunak announces UK general election for Thursday 4 July

Rishi Sunak has vowed to "fight for every vote" as he called an early UK general election for Thursday 4 July.

The PM made the announcement in a rain-soaked speech outside 10 Downing Street, as he bids to win a fifth term in office for the Conservatives.

The surprise move overturned expectations of an autumn poll, which might have given the Tories a better chance of closing the gap with Labour.

[ more...]

22 May 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Gen Z police recruits don’t want to work weekends, bosses told

Senior police officers have been told to adapt rotas for Gen Z recruits who don’t want to work overtime or weekends.

Chief Superintendent Rob Hay, the president of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS), told the group’s centenary conference that working demands must be altered if the service is to attract younger people.

Gen Z recruits, generally classed as those born since 1997, have a “different expectation” for work-life balance to older personnel, Hay said, and police needed to “understand how we can adapt”.

[ more...]

22 May 2024 -

Police Demand

Third of police forces won’t pause arrests to ease prison crisis

More than a third of police forces are defying advice to make fewer arrests as a row erupted over contingency measures to ease the prison overcrowding crisis.

Scotland Yard said that it would “never agree to pausing any necessary arrests” after temporary advice was issued to police chiefs last week to consider pausing “non-priority arrests” until there is enough capacity in prisons in England and Wales.

Chief constables were also urged to suspend operations that may trigger “large numbers of arrests” following two emergency measures introduced by the government that had a direct impact on frontline policing.

[ more...]

21 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

'Generation of investment needed to stop knife crime scourge', Met chief warns

A generation of investment is needed to stop scared young people in London and elsewhere from carrying blades, a Scotland Yard knife crime chief has said, as he warned that some teenagers are going out armed because they feel unprotected on the streets.

Met Commander Stephen Clayman, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on knife crime, said some knife carriers were carrying large “status” weapons to intimidate others as they tried to protect drug lines and gang territory.

[ more...]

21 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police force exits special measures

A police force once criticised for its failings has been taken out of special measures.

Staffordshire Police entered into an enhanced level of monitoring in June 2022, but can now return to routine inspections, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said.

Improvements including how the force identifies vulnerable people at the first point of contact and its investigation standards led to the decision.

Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police Chris Noble said it was "really positive news".

[ more...]

21 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Wiltshire Police taken out of special measures

A police force heavily criticised for a series of failures has made a significant improvement and has now been taken out of special measures by inspectors.

Wiltshire Police was downgraded by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in June 2022, after being found to be failing in most areas, including how it protects the vulnerable.

However, in a letter published earlier, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke said while "there is still more to do", he was "pleased with the progress" made by the force and it had now returned to routine monitoring.

He said: “I am reassured by the plans Wiltshire Police has in place to continue making improvements."

[ more...]

21 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Suella Braverman acted unlawfully by making it easier to criminalise protests, court rules

The former home secretary Suella Braverman acted unlawfully in making it easier for the police to criminalise peaceful protests, the high court has ruled.

She was found to have both acted outside her powers and to have failed to consult properly over regulations that would be likely to increase prosecutions of protesters by a third.

Hundreds of protesters have been arrested since the government redefined the sort of protest that could be restricted by the police, allowing it where there is merely a “more than minor” hindrance to people’s daily lives.

[ more...]

20 May 2024 -

Police Finances

Council tax in England increased 50 per cent faster than inflation between 98 and 23

Analysis of government and Office for National Statistics data has shown that council tax for an average home in England increased 50 per cent faster than inflation between 1998 and 2023. An interactive map shows how much council tax has risen in different areas and what the total amounts to over the last 25 years. The LGA said: “While council tax is an important funding stream, it has never been the solution to the long-term pressures facing councils, raising different amounts in different parts of the country – unrelated to need - and adding to the financial pressures facing households.”

[ more...]

20 May 2024 -

Police Demand

More than half of criminal damage reports not attended by police last year

Over half of criminal damage reports went unattended by police last year, new data has revealed.

Nearly 130,000 criminal damage incidents reported to police in 2023 did not result in an officer attending the scene.

Greater Manchester Police was found to be the force with the worst attendance rate, with 81 per cent of criminal damage reports going unattended last year.

[ more...]

19 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Schools in England send police to homes of absent pupils with threats to jail their parents

Some schools in England are sending police to the homes of children who are persistently absent, or warning them their parents may go to prison if their attendance doesn’t improve, the Observer has learned.

Headteachers say they are now under intense pressure from the government to turn around the crisis in attendance, with a record 150,000 children at state schools classed as severely absent in 2022-23. From September, all state schools in England will have to share their attendance records every day with the Department for Education.

[ more...]

19 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police losing confidence to do the job after officer convicted of assault in fare-evasion row

Metropolitan Police officers have warned they are losing the confidence to do their jobs after a colleague was convicted of assault for arresting a woman during a fare evasion row.

PC Perry Lathwood will be sentenced next month and could be sacked after a district judge ruled it had not been necessary for him to grab a woman by the arm and handcuff her when she refused to show a valid ticket while travelling on a bus in Croydon.

Mr Lathwood had been supporting Transport for London (TfL) staff who were carrying out ticket inspections when the incident happened in July last year.

[ more...]

18 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Pro-Palestine marches 'set to be banned' under new Home Office plans after police slammed

The Met Police have been criticised over their handling of the London pro-Palestine marches, with new plans to put them to a stop considered by the Home Office.

The Met Police are set to be given new powers to shut down pro-Palestinian protests as the Campaign Against Antisemitism slammed the "expensive shambles" of policing, according to reports.

New plans to amend sections of the Public Order Act are being considered by the Home which allows processions to be banned and public assemblies to be restricted, according to the Telegraph.

[ more...]

17 May 2024 -

Justice

Court cases delayed after pressure on prison places

Ministers have triggered a plan which allows the criminal justice system to delay court cases of some suspects because of overcrowding in prisons.

The emergency measure means some suspects will be released on bail, rather than sent to a cell, because their trial will be put off.

It comes as the prime minister was questioned over the scheme allowing for the early release of some prisoners.

Rishi Sunak insisted nobody deemed a public safety threat would be eligible.

[ more...]

17 May 2024 -

Justice

Almost 900 sexual offences committed by people on bail

Legal professionals also accuse the government of "a systemic failure to deliver on a core duty" - namely the protection of its citizens - as delays in justice leave people on bail "at risk of reoffending for extended periods".

[ more...]

17 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Thousands of police officers now specially trained to investigate rape and sexual offences

More than 4,500 officers have completed the new in-depth training – known as the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Investigative Skills Development Programme (RISDP) – more than doubling the Government’s target.

All fresh recruits will also undertake this new first responder training in rape and sexual offences.

The Home Secretary said it was “another significant milestone” in transforming the way the criminal justice system deals with rape and sexual offences.

[ more...]

17 May 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Met Police misconduct probes soar for first time in decades after Wayne Couzens' scandal

A record number of police officers were investigated for alleged misconduct at Britain’s biggest force last year after a series of scandals. Probes carried out at the Met Police grew by 80 per cent to 1,051 from 584 investigations in 2022.

The force hailed it as the “strongest crackdown” since the 1970s. The number of investigations that led to full misconduct hearings grew by 29 per cent in 2023 to 134 cases from 104 held in 2022.

[ more...]

16 May 2024 -

Technology

UK invests in 4 police vans with live facial recognition to cut knife crime

The UK government has announced investments in live facial recognition and research and development for remote scanning technologies as it attempts to curb an increase in knife crime in the Kingdom.

The government is allocating £4 million to combat knife crime, which includes over £500,000 to deploy four vans as mobile live facial recognition units. The announcement notes that 15 people were arrested in Croydon during December after being identified with real-time facial recognition.

Policing Minister Chris Philp suggests that the ability to identify more people on watch lists could result in more apprehensions of people committing knife crime.

[ more...]

15 May 2024 -

Police Finances

£4m boost to tackle knife crime

This will include the development of knife detection technologies and new mobile live facial recognition (LFR) units for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Home Secretary James Cleverly said new technologies are already “revolutionising” how the police fight crime.

The investment will see £3.5 million go into the research, development and evaluation of new technologies which can detect knives carried from a distance and hand-held or body-worn systems that can be operated by individual officers.

The Government also confirmed that the MPS will receive £547,863 to fund the refit and redeployment of four vans into new mobile LFR units to bolster efforts to address knife crime, which is rising in the capital.

[ more...]

15 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Young people buying large knives on Telegram and TikTok, police say

Young people are using sites such as Telegram and TikTok to buy large knives for use in attacks and intimidation, with some linked to Britain’s drug wars, police said.

Stephen Clayman, national lead for knife crime for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, made it clear on Tuesday that police want tougher action after a 7% year-on-year rise in knife offences, with a 20% rise in knife-point robberies.

Clayman, who is a commander in the Metropolitan police, said there were new trends in the supply of knives, with government and police scrambling to keep up.

[ more...]

14 May 2024 -

Prisons

Early release prison scheme causing 'high-risk' offenders to be let out, new report finds

An early release prison scheme, used to free up space in jails across England and Wales, is causing "high-risk" offenders to be let out, some of whom are a "risk to children", according to a new report.

The examination of HMP Lewes, by the chief inspector of prisons, found that "safe risk management" is being undermined.

The findings, published on Tuesday, were part of a wide-ranging inspection at the East Sussex prison in February, but some similar problems were highlighted in a parallel report into Chelmsford prison published last week.

[ more...]

14 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Newly elected Norfolk PCC Sarah Taylor: Addressing the need for visible policing presence

Sarah Taylor, the newly elected Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner, discusses her background and what led her to stand as a candidate.

She highlights the importance of a strong preventative focus in areas of policing and the need for more visible policing presence.

Sarah also expresses her interest in the criminal justice system and the role of the PCC in resolving issues with the backlog in courts and the CPS.

[ more...]

14 May 2024 -

Prisons

Early release prison scheme causing 'high-risk' offenders to be let out, new report finds

An early release prison scheme, used to free up space in jails across England and Wales, is causing "high-risk" offenders to be let out, some of whom are a "risk to children", according to a new report.

The examination of HMP Lewes, by the chief inspector of prisons, found that "safe risk management" is being undermined.

The findings, published on Tuesday, were part of a wide-ranging inspection at the East Sussex prison in February, but some similar problems were highlighted in a parallel report into Chelmsford prison published last week.

[ more...]

14 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Policing minister calls for officers to conduct more stop and searches

Police officers must carry out more stop and searches to address knife crime as the tactic is “not used nearly often enough”, according to the policing minister.

Chris Philp said that police forces cannot afford to “tiptoe around using these powers in an aim to appease”.

Officers need reasonable suspicion to carry out a stop and search. The latest government figures, in the year ending March 2022, show black people were five times as likely to be stopped as white people, with 27.2 stops per 1,000 black people against 5.6 per 1,000 white people.

[ more...]

13 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

‘It’s never been as dangerous to take illicit drugs’: NPCC Promising Practice Drugs event

In the first of a series of interviews looking at Illicit Drugs and Policing, Jason Harwin , KPM speaks with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Drugs lead Chief Constable Dr Richard Lewis and NPCC Drugs coordinator Mark Lay at the NPCC Promising Practice event at Canada House London on the 17th April.

With over 140 delegates from across Policing, the Home Office, APPC, Health professionals and wider law enforcement the event provided an opportunity to share practice, including responses to the increasing risks from illicit drugs.

[ more...]

13 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

PCC says role is 'key for scrutiny of police'

Merseyside's police and crime commissioner has said many members of the public are still unaware of what the role involves but are "pleasantly surprised" when they hear about what work is being done.

Labour’s Emily Spurrell won a second term with 152,640 votes at the recent local elections, but only 24% of the region's electorate turned out for the poll.

Ms Spurrell said the post was key “in terms of scrutiny and oversight of the police”.

[ more...]

13 May 2024 -

Technology

Science, data and technology in policing: A personal view

UK policing faces a continuing struggle to leverage the maximum effectiveness and efficiency out of the use of new technology, while accommodating concerns around ethics and human rights; Darren Scates, the Met Police Chief Digital Data and Technology Officer, looks at some of the particular challenges around the practical implementation and delivery of innovative technologies, and suggests steps the service could take to improve outcomes.

[ more...]

13 May 2024 -

Technology

Effective outcomes of Spotlight’s hotspot social media approach to violent crime could be used to tackle other issues

As part of a wider initiative to tackle violence in the night-time economy, West Yorkshire Police has used targeted social media campaigns appearing on mobile devices, with impressive results; as other forces look to learn from West Yorkshire’s success, Ch Insp James Kitchen spoke to Policing Insight’s Sarah Gibbons about the thinking behind the project, and how similar approaches could offer potential in tackling other challenges.

[ more...]

13 May 2024 -

Technology

UK police could get Ghostbusters-style backpack devices to halt ebike getaways

Police officers in Britain could be armed with Ghostbusters-style devices that fire electromagnetic rays to shut down the engines of ebikes being used in a crime.

Gavin Stephens, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said the weapon was in development and could be months away from being available, though it is expected to be longer than that.

He said it would be housed in a backpack, reminiscent of the equipment used in the Ghostbusters series of movies. It could tackle crime linked to newer vehicles such as electric bikes and electric scooters.

[ more...]

13 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police ‘not interested’ in dealing with shoplifting, says M&S chairman

The chairman of Marks & Spencer has claimed police are “not interested” in dealing with shoplifting after figures showed the majority of store thefts in some crime hotspots were going unsolved.

Archie Norman said retailers were being forced to spend “a lot of money” on trying to keep crime rates down, including installing new camera systems and store detectives.

Mr Norman said while shoplifting rates in M&S stores were down, he added this was “mostly” because of work by the retailer to tackle offences.

[ more...]

13 May 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

APCC Mental Health Lead marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week

To mark the start of mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), APCC mental health lead Lisa Townsend, said:

“Mental health is a key priority for all Police and Crime Commissioners, and Mental Health Awareness Week allows us to share local resources and to encourage society’s most vulnerable to access support at the earliest opportunity.

“As the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner’s national mental health lead, I have made it my priority to support those who struggle with their mental health by helping them gain access to the vital support they deserve.

[ more...]

12 May 2024 -

Police Demand

‘We can’t tackle drink-spiking alone’: Met teams up with London venues amid increasing reports

The bank of video screens looks like something straight out of a spy movie. Inside a secure room, dozens of images show footage of staircases, doors, the bar, booths and the dancefloor. This is Tiger Tiger London, a popular nightclub in the capital’s West End, and the CCTV operators are scanning for suspicious behaviour.

A floorplan on the wall has pins marking hotspots where clubbers have previously been sexually harassed, had something stolen, been injured or – the reason the Metropolitan Police has persuaded the club to open its doors to journalists – had their drink spiked.

“If something happens, a female welfare officer will go to that location straight off,” said Mark McEvoy of Novus Leisure, which owns the Tiger Tiger chain. “They’ll then take the victim away to the welfare room. The suspect, if we’ve identified them immediately, will be taken to another room. Police will be called. We’ll start then burning [copying] the CCTV [footage so] that by the time the officer turns up, we have everything ready to give them. Then it’s their job after that.”

[ more...]

12 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Shocking scale of ‘blatant’ racism in the Met as discrimination tribunals soar by 110 per cent

Racism is getting worse in Britain’s biggest police force, Black police leaders have warned, as new figures reveal that tribunals for racial discrimination have soared by 110 per cent in a year.

[ more...]

10 May 2024 -

Police Demand

'I'm not going out at night': Farmers fearful as criminal gangs drive machinery black market

The British countryside is being exploited by criminal gangs, bolstering a black market demand for farming machinery, according to the National Rural Crime Network.

Exports from the UK to Eastern Europe are becoming increasingly common.

Three months after Ukraine was invaded, £4 million worth of machinery was stolen by Russian soldiers - linked not just to military tactics, but to Western sanctions too.

Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: "When an economy goes onto a war footing, there tends to be a neglect for components and manufacturing of agricultural machinery.

[ more...]

09 May 2024 -

Technology

Training launched to help investigate criminal activity on dark web

The college says navigating the dark web can be “challenging for frontline teams”.

The new training, developed by the college’s Digital Intelligence and Investigation Programme, will help staff to:

Recognise the differences between the surface web, deep web and dark web;

Identify what can be found on the dark web;

Summarise how anonymising software works;

Recognise how the metaverse is used in conjunction with the dark web; and

Provide insight into the risks of the dark web and how to stay safe.

“The web, or surface web as it’s known, is made up of public-facing websites that can be searched for and accessed easily,” says the college.

[ more...]

09 May 2024 -

Police Demand

Rising knife crime in London is linked to austerity cuts to youth services – here’s the evidence

New data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows knife and gun crime in London rose sharply in the 12 months before December 2023.

The Metropolitan Police Service saw a 21% increase in knife or sharp instrument incidents across the capital between 2022 and 2023. Between January 2023 and January 2024, the rate of increase stood at 16%.

In January 2024, these alarming figures prompted actor Idris Elba to launch the Don’t Stop Your Future campaign. The aim was to raise public awareness and amplify the voices of those marginalised communities most affected in the capital. Elba called for a ban on zombie knives and machetes and, crucially, for better funding for youth services.

[ more...]

09 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Ian Wiggett on the changing makeup of the elected PCCs

Ian Wiggett from Policing Insight discusses the recent Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections in England and Wales with Bernard Rix. The main themes include the results of the elections, the makeup of the elected PCCs, and the potential impact of the new PCCs on policing priorities.

The conversation also touches on the diversity of the elected PCCs and the changes in the political landscape. Overall, the Labour Party performed well in the elections, but there were some surprising results in traditionally conservative areas.

[ more...]

08 May 2024 -

Prisons

Prisoners to be released 70 days early to ease overcrowding

Some prisoners will be freed up to 70 days early after ministers quietly extended an emergency early release scheme to alleviate the prison overcrowding crisis.

An email sent to probation and prison staff, obtained by The Times, said measures introduced less than two months ago had failed to ease pressure in men’s prisons in England and Wales.

It said that a scheme that allows prisoners to be set free before their release date will be extended from 35 days to 70 days from May 23.

[ more...]

08 May 2024 -

Technology

UK police using Chinese-made body-cameras to surveil the British public

Body cameras worn by UK police are being manufactured in China, despite increasing concerns over Beijing’s spying activities.

London-based Reveal Media supplies at least 12 UK police forces with body cams, including at least three forces with live facial recognition (LFR) technology – which can be used to scan the faces of members of the public in real-time as officers conduct patrols.

The cameras are manufactured by a subsidiary in China, while Reveal Media also supplies cameras from Shenzhen Eeyelog Technology Ltd – a Chinese firm which provides body cams to the Chinese government, according to the company’s website.

[ more...]

08 May 2024 -

Police Demand

Why are police not doing their jobs and tackling burglaries?

There can be few greater indictments of the state of British crime fighting than the story of a burglar jailed in a private prosecution because the local constabulary failed to investigate.

The offender had 105 previous convictions, including 33 burglaries. He was arrested by two detectives from a private policing company after he broke into a shop and made off with food and drink worth hundreds of pounds.

Even though he was caught on CCTV and the store manager called the police, the Met decided not to investigate and the case was taken up by TM Eye, a company founded by a former Scotland Yard detective chief inspector. My Local Bobby, part of the operation, provides uniformed staff and plain-clothes detectives to patrol shopping areas for retailers.

[ more...]

08 May 2024 -

Justice

Domestic abuse survivors ‘put in danger by early prison release of perpetrators’

Survivors of domestic abuse have been put in danger by ministers’ failure to give notice of the early release from prison of their abusers, a Home Office adviser has said.

Nicole Jacobs, the independent domestic abuse commissioner, criticised the lack of warning of a new policy to free prisoners up to 70 days early from full jails.

The government’s early release scheme designed to relieve the pressure in overcrowded jails had initially involved inmates having their sentences cut by up to 18 days. That was increased to between 35 and 60 in March and will rise again from 23 May, it has emerged.

[ more...]

07 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

APCC Summary of PCC Elections

Election results, 2024.

[ more...]

07 May 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Autumn statement ‘might not be held before general election’

Jeremy Hunt and his team are reportedly considering not holding another autumn statement before the next election, amid uncertainty about the public finances. It is understood the Chancellor may opt to include further tax-cutting pledges in the next Conservative manifesto, rather than holding a final so-called “fiscal event” which would require a detailed analysis of the public finances by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

[ more...]

07 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Labour gains 10 police and crime commissioners

Labour gained 10 police and crime commissioner posts from the Conservatives at last week’s elections for the 37 positions across England and Wales.

The Tories held onto 19 commissioner roles and Labour to seven, while Plaid Cymru retained its single PCC in Dyfed Powys.

Although Independents took 11 posts in the first PCC elections in 2012, their share declined sharply in 2016 and vanished in 2021, since then all commissioners have been party candidates.

[ more...]

07 May 2024 -

Police and Crime General

PCC Election bring increased diverstiy

The 2024 intake of those elected to hold policing publicly accountable in England and Wales is the most diverse since the role of Police and Crime Commissioner was created. Following last week’s elections, of the 37 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs), 13 are women – including the two first black women to be voted into office.

Labour gained 11 PCCs along with all five mayoral posts that have responsibility for policing in their areas, giving them oversight of 22 of the 42 England and Wales police force areas. Conservative PCCs were elected in 19 areas, and Plaid Cymru retained control in Dyfed-Powys. In all, 16 police forces will be overseen by newly elected PCCs or their mayoral equivalents. In areas where the mayor is responsible for police governance, they may appoint a deputy mayor to carry out this role.

The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s role and responsibilities have transferred to the newly created York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority Mayor, and the functions of the South Yorkshire PCC have moved to the new mayor of South Yorkshire.

[ more...]

01 May 2024 -

Police Finances

String of killings have put spotlight on adequacy of mental health care in UK

While the full picture of the Hainault attack is yet to emerge, the early briefings from the Metropolitan police were clear: a key line of inquiry, in terms of possible motive, was whether the suspect has a history of mental ill-health.

If the police hunches are correct, the tragedy may turn out to be the latest in a series of high-profile killings that have focused public attention on the adequacy of mental health treatment and care.

[ more...]

01 May 2024 -

Police Finances

Police federation renews call for more Tasers after London sword attack

The body representing rank and file police in London has renewed its call for every officer who wants a Taser to be equipped with one in the wake of the Hainault sword attack.

About 7,500 of the Met’s 34,000 police officers are currently trained to carry the non-lethal devices.

However, the incident in Hainault, north-east London in which two officers were wounded by a samurai sword-wielding assailant has led to calls for the number of Tasers to be increased.

[ more...]

29 Apr 2024 -

Justice

Shoplifters getting away with it in 250,000 unsolved cases

Nearly 250,000 shoplifting cases were unsolved in England and Wales last year, an increase of almost 50 per cent on 2022.

The number of unsolved shoplifting crimes has increased by 47 per cent since 2022, when 168,780 were unsolved.

Last year 248,314 shoplifting offences were closed without a suspect being identified, accounting for almost six out of ten (58 per cent) of all overall cases. This means that, on average, 680 shoplifting incidents went unsolved every day.

[ more...]

29 Apr 2024 -

Police Demand

Shocking map shows which UK police forces take longest to answer 999 calls

Police forces up and down the country are struggling with budget cuts, with average call response times also beginning to slip, new data show.

[ more...]

29 Apr 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

PM does not rule out July election

Rishi Sunak has not ruled out holding a general election in July. The Prime Minister has repeatedly said his “working assumption” is the election would take place in the second half of the year.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2024 -

Police Demand

Shoplifting offences soar to highest level in 20 years, new figures show

Shoplifting offences recorded by police in England and Wales have soared to the highest level in 20 years, figures have revealed, as retailers warn thieves have been given “free rein” by police.

A total of 430,104 offences were recorded in the year to December 2023, up 37 per cent from 315,040 in the previous 12 months.

This is the highest figure since current police recording practices began in the year ending March 2003, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

[ more...]

26 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Policing productivity to be boosted

The Home Office has announced that it is planning on saving 38 million police hours, so that they can focus on keeping the streets safe.

This comes in response to the Policing Productivity Review, which was published by the Home Office last autumn and plans on using new technology to meet recommendations made through the review. £230 million worth of investment will be injected over the course of the next four years to ensure that tech developments can reduce the amount of time that police officers spend in the office.

[ more...]

25 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Wales school stabbing: ‘Violent crime has reduced in UK’, reassures James Cleverly

‘Violent crime has reduced’, reassured the Home Secretary in the wake of the Wales school stabbing on 24 April.

Speaking from Italy, James Cleverly told PA reporters he had been “receiving updates about this terrible situation, and my thoughts are with those people who have been hurt, and their friends and family.”

“Violent crime has been reduced significantly because of the increase in police numbers that we’ve seen in the UK,” he added.

An arrest was made after two teachers and a pupil were stabbed at Amman Valley School, Carmarthenshire.

[ more...]

24 Apr 2024 -

Justice

Courts ‘should sit in pubs and libraries’ to bring justice to the people

Judges of all types could sit in pubs, church halls and libraries to reconnect the justice system with local communities, under a proposal being considered by The Times Crime and Justice Commission.

Dame Anne Rafferty, a former Court of Appeal and High Court judge, said reform was needed to restore public faith in the criminal justice system.

She proposed that public buildings could be repurposed as courts to expand the settings for a range of hearings and make the legal process more accessible. “The community can embrace justice and justice can position itself locally, as it always did and should still do,” Rafferty said.

[ more...]

24 Apr 2024 -

Prisons

‘Britain’s prisons are a tinderbox — one spark and it may kick off’

Britain’s overcrowded jails are a ­tinderbox that could ignite at any time, according to Nick Hardwick.

The former chief inspector of prisons fears that “we are very close to the conditions prior to the 1990 riots in Strangeways. It’s a dangerous time. You’ve got a general level of frustration, so if you get a spark, that’s when stuff will kick off.”

With prisons stretched to the limit, the government has had to adopt ­emergency measures, including releasing offenders 60 days early and delaying sentencing hearings. Yet there are still too many prisoners and too few staff in a crumbling prison estate.

[ more...]

24 Apr 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police recruitment and retention: The UK crisis

The evolving landscape of law enforcement in the UK faces a significant challenge in recruiting and retaining police officers. This concern focuses on whether the expectations of long-term service, reminiscent of past norms where officers served for 30 years or more, remain viable in today’s rapidly changing societal and professional contexts.

Such expectations are rooted in the profession’s history, yet they now confront a reality where the dynamics of work and life have fundamentally shifted.

[ more...]

24 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Labour: We’ll fund 13,000 more police officers

Labour has revealed plans to set up a national police savings body to buy police cars, IT equipment, forensic services and other kit to pay for 13,000 extra neighbourhood police officers.

The move is designed to tackle huge disparities between police forces on the cost of vital equipment.

Figures revealed in freedom of information requests submitted by Labour have found that the cost of patrol vehicles ranged from £12,500 for Staffordshire police to £22,361 in Cheshire. The cost of a high-performance vehicle in Merseyside was £55,000 — double the £27,000 paid by Lancashire.

[ more...]

23 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Knife arch used at under-18s music event

A mobile knife arch that was used at a music event in Devon at the weekend allowed officers to have an "open conversation" about knife crime, police have said.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the knife arch was used at an under-18s music event at The Foundry in Torquay on Saturday.

Officers said the arch, which looks similar to security scanners used in airports, was designed to deter knife crime.

[ more...]

23 Apr 2024 -

Technology

Can AI image generators be policed to prevent explicit deepfakes of children?

Child abusers are creating AI-generated “deepfakes” of their targets in order to blackmail them into filming their own abuse, beginning a cycle of sextortion that can last for years.

Creating simulated child abuse imagery is illegal in the UK, and Labour and the Conservatives have aligned on the desire to ban all explicit AI-generated images of real people.

But there is little global agreement on how the technology should be policed. Worse, no matter how strongly governments take action, the creation of more images will always be a press of a button away – explicit imagery is built into the foundations of AI image generation.

[ more...]

23 Apr 2024 -

Fire

Fire service bosses talked about wanting to 'kill' and harm female colleagues

The chief fire officer (CFO) and assistant chief fire officer (ACFO) of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service both sent messages suggesting they wanted to kill or harm female colleagues.

In the WhatsApp messages - which have been leaked to ITV News - the senior officers also use the words "lazy cow", "bint" and "useless" to refer to women in the service.

Several of the messages target Area Manager Jan Morris, who resigned from the service this year after reading what had been said about her.

[ more...]

23 Apr 2024 -

Police Demand

Centre for Police Productivity ‘will allow officers to spend more time on the frontline,’ says police chief

In a first for British policing, a new Centre for Police Productivity will use new tools to spot emerging crime trends and tactics to drive efficiency. The centre will work with police forces to develop new tactics before testing and sharing them to tackle crime early on and save officer time.

Coming out of the government’s independent Policing Productivity Review and created with government funding, the College of Policing will host the centre. It will complement the knowledge gained from the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction where police use evidence and knowledge to make informed decisions.

[ more...]

22 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police given new guidance to stop stalkers as minister says 'there is more we must do'

New legal guidance will make it easier for police to go after stalkers, after ministers admitted too many are slipping through the net.

Stalking Protection Orders were introduced four years ago and allow police to impose conditions on perpetrators not to approach or contact their victims.

But figures obtained under freedom of information laws by a victims' charity show some police forces have issued fewer than 10 per year.

[ more...]

22 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Crime and justice system is stretched to breaking point

As shoplifting, cybercrime, fraud, rape, knife crime and other offences soar but fewer crimes are solved, experts warn that punishment as a deterrent is in danger of falling apart

[ more...]

22 Apr 2024 -

Technology

European police chiefs call for end-to-end encryption roll out to include public protection measures

The Director General of the National Crime Agency and European Police Chiefs are calling for industry and governments to take urgent action to ensure public safety across technology platforms.

At a meeting in London this week, the 32 European Police Chiefs agreed a statement expressing their deep concern that end-to-end encryption is being rolled out in a way that undermines their ability to investigate crime and keep the public safe.

It will stop technology companies from seeing offending that occurs on their platforms. It will also hamper law enforcement’s ability to lawfully access data as part of investigations to prevent and prosecute the most serious crimes, such as child sexual abuse, human trafficking, drug smuggling, murder, economic crime and terrorism offences.

[ more...]

22 Apr 2024 -

Justice

Crime and Justice Commission set up to address most urgent issues facing the police and criminal justice system



The year-long Commission will draw up recommendations to address the challenges in areas such as knife crime, gangs and acquisitive crime; cybercrime, fraud and online harms; policing, including the culture of the police; violence against women and girls; terrorism; court back-logs and problems with legal aid. It is expected to produce a final report in April 2025.

Eighteen experts, including former police chiefs, business leaders, lawyers and academics, have been asked to join the Commission.

[ more...]

22 Apr 2024 -

Police Demand

Crime rate surging faster in rural than urban areas

Crime rates in rural areas are rising faster than in urban areas, new figures have revealed.

The amount of recorded crime has risen by almost a third in rural parts of England and Wales since 2011, compared to 24 per cent in urban areas.

New statistics revealed by the Labour Party show that rural areas have seen a total rise of 130,000 reported offences, including close to 30,000 more instances of criminal damage and arson.

[ more...]

21 Apr 2024 -

Technology

NCA warns tech giants like Meta are blinding themselves to child abuse

Facebook and other tech giants are putting “profit before safety” by introducing end-to-end encryption on their messaging platforms, the head of the National Crime Agency has warned.

Graeme Biggar, the NCA’s director-general, said US companies such as Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, have “consciously blinded themselves” to serious crimes, including terrorism and child sexual abuse, by the default addition of new privacy measures.

End-to-end encryption, which is already standard on some apps, such as WhatsApp and Telegram, stops anyone but the sender and recipient of a message from seeing it, making it impossible to detect potential offences.

[ more...]

21 Apr 2024 -

Justice

Stop crime victims in England and Wales paying thousands for court transcripts, say MPs

MPs from across the political spectrum have urged the government to remove a “barrier to justice” that sees crime victims in England and Wales forced to pay hundreds or thousands of pounds for transcripts of court proceedings.

Under the current system, those affected by crime – including the most serious sexual and violent offences – can face steep fees if they want to obtain written records from cases they were involved in.

Juliana Terlizzi, a victim of rape who waived her right to anonymity, said she was quoted £7,500 for a transcript from a 10-day crown court trial that resulted in the man who attacked and drugged her being jailed for 15 years. In other cases, the admin charges are reported to have been as high as £22,000.

[ more...]

21 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

‘Crime and justice system is stretched to breaking point’

Dame Sharon White was visiting the John Lewis shop in Glasgow when she saw a group of teenage boys scoping out the technology department, clearly looking for an opportunity to shoplift the headphones and gadgets.

“I found myself following them,” she says. “It was a slightly mad thing to do — we always say to our partners, keep yourself safe and distanced.” A security guard came over to speak to the potential thieves “and everything was fine but the next day they then stole from our John Lewis store in Edinburgh. They were just young kids, 15-year-olds.”

As chairwoman of the John Lewis Partnership, which also owns Waitrose, White never expected crime to be a top priority, but she says shoplifting has now become the “number one thing” for many stores.

[ more...]

21 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Less than half of the public trust police to solve crimes

Voters are losing faith in the police after a spate of scandals and a rise in offences including shoplifting and cybercrime, polling has revealed as The Times launches a groundbreaking year-long inquiry into the future of the criminal justice system.

The YouGov survey finds a devastating lack of confidence, with more than half of the public saying they do not trust the police to solve crimes and over a third saying they have no faith in the authorities to maintain law and order.

The Times Crime and Justice Commission, which will report next April, will take evidence from across the criminal justice system and draw up a radical blueprint for far-reaching reform. It follows The Times Education Commission and The Times Health Commission, the findings of which have been endorsed by both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer.

[ more...]

19 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Council tax arrears

Further coverage of Freedom of Information requests that revealed a 70 per cent rise in the total amount of council tax arrears over the last 5 years, with almost 600,000 residents referred to bailiffs have been reported. The LGA said: "Enforcement agents should only ever be used as a last resort. Before the situation reaches a stage where enforcement agents are involved, several letters should have been written, people should have been encouraged to apply for financial support, and efforts should be made to arrange new payment plans."

[ more...]

19 Apr 2024 -

Police Demand

Labour blames 'shoplifters' charter' for surge in retail crime

A "shoplifters' charter" has seen thefts rise significantly - to about one offence every minute - but police are charging fewer people, according to Labour.

The party said data showed a record 402,482 shoplifting offences in England and Wales in the year to September 2023.

However, offences resulting in a police charge fell from 20% to 15% between 2018 and 2023, according to a Freedom of Information request.

[ more...]

18 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Only 40% of people in England trust their police force, research reveals

Only four out of 10 people in England say they trust the police, with the UK’s biggest force, the Metropolitan police, getting the lowest confidence score, research has found.

The poll surveyed nine English regions, in eight of which female respondents had greater trust in the police than male respondents. But for the Met in London, hit by a succession of scandals, women trusted Britain’s largest force less than men.

The poll, which revealed significantly lower trust among ethnic minorities in policing than among white people, comes before a general election where law and order and crime are expected to be a big issue.

[ more...]

18 Apr 2024 -

Justice

Modern slavery helpline receives record number of calls in 2023, report finds

Calls made to an anti-slavery helpline have reached a record high, with the number of potential victims in the care sector rising by almost a third.

According to anti-slavery charity Unseen, the number of calls to the Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline in 2023 increased by more than 19%, up from 9,779 in 2022 to 11,700 last year.

Labour abuse remained the main form of exploitation up by 11% from 464 cases in 2022 to 516 in 2023.

[ more...]

18 Apr 2024 -

Technology

Students turning to cyberfraud as huge phishing site infiltrated, police reveal

University students have turned to cyber fraud to boost their income, police have said, as they revealed they have infiltrated a huge phishing site on the dark web responsible for scamming tens of thousands of people.

The site called LabHost was active since 2021 and was a cyber fraud superstore, allowing users to produce realistic-looking websites from household names such as the big banks, ensnaring victims around the world including 70,000 in the UK.

[ more...]

17 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Chief constables given powers to sack unfit officers

New measures laid in Parliament today (16 April 2024) will make it easier for police chiefs to sack rogue officers during misconduct hearings.

Police chief constables will be given the responsibility of chairing the hearings which decide on the removal of officers found guilty of police misconduct.

By giving these powers to chief constables, police leaders will be held increasingly accountable for their own officers and be able to influence any dismissal decisions impacting their own force.

[ more...]

17 Apr 2024 -

Justice

'Old-boy network' blocking police complaints - victim

One of the first known victims of murderer and serial rapist Iain Packer has claimed an "old-boy network" is preventing complaints about police conduct being properly investigated.

Magdalene Robertson, who complained about the officers who investigated her case, also said police were connected through groups including masonic lodges and golf clubs.

She told MSPs that police "do not want to be blamed" for problems with investigations and claimed the police watchdog Pirc deliberately caused delays.

[ more...]

16 Apr 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Changes to misconduct hearings set to come into force in May

New arrangements for misconduct hearings whereby Legally Qualified Chairs (LQCs) will be replaced by chief officers in presiding over hearings are set to come into force on May 7.

The Home Office reforms, put before Parliament on Tuesday, will allow chief constables to lead the proceedings and restore responsibilities chiefs held almost a decade ago before LQCs were brought in to provide independence to the process.

[ more...]

16 Apr 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Bailey Hints BOE May Be Able to Cut Rates Before Fed

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey hinted that the UK might be able to lower interest rates before the US, saying inflation dynamics in the two economies are diverging.

Bailey said on Tuesday that there is more “demand-led inflation pressure” in the US than seen in the UK after markets were spooked by surprisingly strong price data in America last week. He said there is “strong evidence” of UK price pressures retreating.

“The dynamics of inflation are rather different between Europe — I mean Europe geographically now — and in the US,” he said in an interview with the International Monetary Fund. In the UK “we’re still seeing the extension of the process of coming out of the big supply shocks, the impact of the war, the impact of coming out of Covid.”

[ more...]

15 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Police begin trawl through crime and terrorism reports after faulty mobile phone data used in police evidence

Police forces have begun trawling through crime and counter-terrorism intelligence reports after faulty mobile phone data is believed to have been submitted as evidence in criminal cases for over a year.

It is understood experts are now manually checking databases for information provided by O2, amid concerns the problem could cause trials to be further delayed or convictions challenged.

[ more...]

15 Apr 2024 -

Police Demand

Police officers fail to even show up to 7 in 10 car thefts in England

Police failed to show up to more than seven in 10 car thefts last year, shocking figures reveal today(TUES).

Some 30,900 vehicle thefts went unattended by officers in 2023, accounting for 72% of all cases during this period, according to research by the Liberal Democrats. The number of unattended incidents had also risen dramatically compared to previous years, up 32% from 2021 figures, which saw 22,979 unattended car theft incidents.

Of the 23 forces that responded to freedom of information requests, Cambridgeshire was the worst performing, with 1,156 incidents of car theft going unattended, accounting for 90% of all cases. Bedfordshire followed closely behind with 1,187 (88%) of incidents not attended by officers, responses show.

[ more...]

15 Apr 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

UK inflation hits two-and-a-half year low as meat prices fall

Price falls for some food items like meat, crumpets and chocolate biscuits helped drive inflation down to its lowest level in two-and-a-half years.

The rate consumer prices have been rising at fell to 3.2% in the year to March, down from 3.4% the month before, according to official figures.

Inflation has been falling gradually since it peaked at 11.1% in late 2022.

[ more...]

15 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

The Times view on trust in police: Bad Apples

What would a member of the public expect of the selection procedure for a future police officer? He or she would surely imagine that candidates for a force were interviewed in person and at great length, and that family and friends were contacted and visited to verify their backgrounds. And, of course, the recruitment process would include the most thorough background checks, with the merest hint of criminality — certainly in adulthood — being immediately fatal to an application. This would not be a one-off check but the start of a ­continuing process, tracking officers throughout their careers. This is what reasonable laymen would expect as a minimum. Yet the elements above cannot be taken for granted in selection procedures practised by some of the more than 40 forces that make up the police service in this country.

Despite the appalling scandals surrounding Wayne Couzens and David Carrick, former firearms officers in the Metropolitan Police, both of them prolific sexual predators guilty of the most heinous crimes, vetting of new officers remains porous. Bad apples can still slip into the barrel — and ones that go rotten may not be picked up.

[ more...]

15 Apr 2024 -

Justice

Higher workload for police officers correlates with victims withdrawing statements

Domestic abuse cases are widespread in countries across the world. In the United States, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. Across the European Union, at least two women are killed daily by an intimate partner or family member. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, partners or family members are responsible for nearly half of all female homicides.

Given the profound impact of domestic violence on individuals and society at large, and the potential risk of escalation of harm, domestic abuse cases in which a high risk of future harm has been identified are a high priority for law enforcement agencies. Despite that, across England and Wales, we see a steeply increasing number of domestic abuse cases that are closed because victims withdraw their complain.

In our recent CEP discussion paper, we explore the connection between the workload of police officers and the likelihood of victims withdrawing from high-risk domestic abuse cases, using the data from Greater Manchester Police spanning January 2014 to March 2019. Our findings reveal that an addition of 10 cases per officer per month is related to a 3 percentage point increase in the likelihood of victim withdrawal.

[ more...]

15 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Hard drugs ‘legalised by stealth’ as more than a third of offenders avoid prosecution

More than a third of people caught with class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin are being let off, analysis by The Telegraph has shown, sparking fears that they are being legalised by stealth.

Home Office data analysed by The Telegraph reveals that 39.2 per cent of people caught with hard drugs, other than cannabis, avoided a criminal record and were instead handed community resolutions or let off any action “in the public interest” last year. It represents a fivefold increase since 2016 when the proportion was just 7.5 per cent.

Community resolutions are supposed to be used only for “low-level” offences. However, MPs have warned that in the absence of government direction, police forces appeared to be crafting their own policies with first-time offenders not being prosecuted even for possession of class A drugs.

[ more...]

13 Apr 2024 -

Technology

How TikTok and Instagram make money from shameless influencers promoting crime in UK

Experts have revealed the ways social media networks TikTok and Instagram are profiting from having creators promoting a criminal lifestyle in the UK on their platforms.

A six-month Express investigation found one of Albania’s biggest online celebrities, Aleks Visha, rose to fame through live online tours of UK cannabis farms and boasts about his criminal exploits.

[ more...]

13 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Met Police knew about Westminster 'honeytrap' messages last year

The police were first made aware of suspicious messages targeting men at Westminster late last year - but did not warn MPs, the BBC has learned.

Many of those targeted in the alleged "honeytrap" scandal did not realise others had also been receiving messages until media reports in the past week.

It now emerges the Metropolitan Police began an investigation last year when Commons security staff were alerted.

[ more...]

13 Apr 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

PC shared footage of dead man with girlfriend

A North Wales Police officer who showed bodycam footage of a dead man to a colleague who was also his girlfriend while off duty would have been sacked if he had not quit the force.

A misconduct hearing was told that PC Matthew Roberts showed other bodycam footage to the Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) with whom he was in a relationship at the time.

The footage included the arrest of a man who claimed the former police officer "had aggravated or caused him a broken wrist" and the "forced removal of a female from private premises".

[ more...]

11 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Hot spot policing evaluation highlights crime reductions and cost savings, but warns of cultural challenges

An evaluation report into the UK Government-funded Grip programme and hot spot policing initiative designed to tackle serious violence has highlighted significant reductions in crime and potential savings, but has also warned that the approach is not a “quick fix” and requires commitment and buy-in from forces and leaders, as Policing Insight’s Sarah Gibbons reports.

[ more...]

10 Apr 2024 -

Technology

Rogue drones: Terror in the skies

There have long been warnings about the criminal and terrorist threat posed by drones, a risk that is increasing with the proliferation of cheap drone technology and the accessibility of explosives; against this backdrop, Policing Insight’s Andrew Staniforth looks at the concerns and recommendations regarding the use of drones highlighted in the latest report from the Counter-Terrorism Preparedness Network.

[ more...]

10 Apr 2024 -

Police Demand

Counter terror tactics help police snare 24 of London’s worst predators against women and girls

New counter-terror tactics have helped police to catch 24 of London’s worst predators suspected of crimes against women and girls in six months.

The Metropolitan Police has revealed a landmark pilot, which uses data to collate a monthly list of the suspected worst criminals targeting female victims, has already resulted in a string of arrests and convictions.

The scheme was announced last year after the troubled force was hit by a series of scandals and a savage review by Baroness Louise Casey who found that it was institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic.

[ more...]

10 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Shoplifting crackdown to include £55m for facial recognition tools in England and Wales

The government is investing more than £55m in expanding facial recognition systems – including vans that will scan crowded high streets – as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting.

The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offence of assaulting a retail worker.

[ more...]

10 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Champions League: Drones and thousands of police drafted in for games amid terror threat

Thousands of police have been drafted in for tonight's Champions League games in Paris and Madrid amid the terror threat.

Several posters emerged on social media alleging to be from the Al-Azaim Foundation - a media arm of an IS affiliate group.

They called for attacks on the four Champions League quarter-final ties that are taking place this week.

In response, security has been "considerably reinforced" in Paris ahead of tonight's game, as thousands of officers were drafted in to help with the security operation in Madrid across both nights.

[ more...]

10 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

South Yorkshire Police survey highlights 'low morale' among officers

More than 80% of South Yorkshire Police officers have experienced stress or low mood over the past year, according to a survey by their union.

A similar proportion felt financially worse off than five years ago, while 17% said they "never or almost never" had enough funds to cover essentials.

The Police Federation of England and Wales heard from 409 force officers for its Pay and Morale Report 2023.

The force said it hoped to create an "inviting and encouraging workplace".

[ more...]

10 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

More than 7,000 hate crime reports in first week of new law

Scottish police received more than 7,000 online reports of hate crimes in the first week after a controversial new law came into effect.

The force said this was a "substantial increase" - but that the impact on frontline policing had been minimal.

Police Scotland said the "vast majority" of the reports were anonymous and that no action was taken after they were assessed against the new legislation.

A total of 240 hate crimes and 30 non-crime hate incidents were recorded during the seven-day period.

[ more...]

10 Apr 2024 -

Justice

Shoplifting charges fall in parts of South East

The number of shoplifting offences leading to a prosecution has fallen in parts of the South East over the last five years, despite a rise in recorded crimes.

It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that assaulting a shopworker was to be made a separate criminal offence in response to a wave of retail crime.

Provisional Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) figures show offences leading to a court appearance fell in Surrey and Sussex between 2019 and 2023.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Police overtime bill soars by £100m despite drop in crime solving

Police sergeants are earning up to 150pc extra in overtime pay each year despite solving a lower proportion of crimes.

The overtime bill has soared by £100m in the past two years, with police forces spending more than £1bn on extra hours since 2020. Last year alone accounted for £412m, while between 2020 and 2021, the total spend was £311m.

The basic pay for a sergeant varies from £49,077 to £51,498, depending on experience. Taking an assumed average salary of £50,000, this means some are being paid 146pc more than their average salary in overtime pay.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2024 -

Justice

Judges to look at softer sentences for ‘deprived’ criminals

Judges have been told to consider more lenient sentences for offenders from “deprived” or “difficult” backgrounds.

The Sentencing Council, the official body responsible for setting guidelines for judges and magistrates, has for the first time spelt out “mitigating” factors relating to disadvantage that courts should consider before passing sentence.

The guidelines on “difficult and/or deprived background or personal circumstance” state that these factors include poverty, low educational attainment, experience of discrimination and insecure housing.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2024 -

Justice

Nearly 100,000 drug tests carried out to tackle root causes of drug driven crime

The expansion of testing on arrest across England and Wales has seen nearly 100,000 drug tests on suspects whose behaviour was believed to have been driven by their drug abuse.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police and Crime Commissioners need your vote next month

It’s fair to say that the creation of elected PCCs – that’s Police and Crime Commissioners – didn’t get off to the best of starts.

Introduced under the Coalition government, these new politicians were first elected back in 2012. Prior to polling day, then CEO of the Electoral Reform Society, Katie Ghose, warned that: “Those pulling the strings have not done their homework and as a result this election looks primed to degenerate into a complete shambles.”

[ more...]

07 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

‘Honour-based’ abuse in England increases 60% in two years

The number of “honour-based” abuse offences recorded by English police forces has increased by more than 60% in two years, figures suggest, with concerns voiced that increased polarisation is partly to blame.

Data from 26 out of 39 constabularies approached showed that there were 2,594 cases of “honour-based” abuse – which includes forced marriage, rape, death threats and assault – in 2022, compared with 1,599 in 2020.

The increase, which was even more pronounced since 2016 (up 193%) may be partly explained by more victims coming forward and improved identification of offences by police – but other factors are also believed to be at work.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

UK NPCC’s intelligence unit rolls out training to combat retail crime

Opal, the UK National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) intelligence unit on serious organised acquisitive retail crime, is set to enhance operations with the launch of training to combat its growth.

It aims to equip retailers and police forces with the knowledge to effectively refer intelligence on a national scale.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2024 -

Technology

How facial recognition technology has changed policing

The first year of live facial recognition technology has been the biggest breakthrough for crime detection since DNA, the Metropolitan Police chief leading its introduction has said.

In an exclusive interview with The Times, the Met’s director of ­intelligence, Lindsey Chiswick, said that the tool had been a “game-changer”, triggering an arrest every two hours of alleged criminals including rapists, burglars and robbers since it was introduced last April.

A Whitehall source said that it had been so successful that the government was planning to make a policy statement setting out its facial recognition strategy in May or June.

[ more...]

04 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

PCC elections and why complexity may hinder turnout on 2 May

Now that the electoral campaigns for Police and Crime Commissioners are firmly underway, it’s a good time to look at how it’s going and why it’s no surprise that voters aren’t that motivated to vote for them given how complex police governance has become.

There are 41 PCCs in England and Wales and they are all up for election by their local communities on 2 May. This is the fifth PCC election since the role was created in 2011. The first elections were held in 2012 and saw a paltry 15 per cent voter turnout. The reasons for this seem to be a combination of a gloomy and dark November election date that did not coincide with other elections and a lack of understanding or interest from local voters. Elections since then have had a better response and they always do better if they coincide with other local elections, as they do this year.

[ more...]

02 Apr 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Record number of police officers turning to food banks

Worried officers have proposed setting up food banks for police recruits, The Independent can reveal, as one in 10 admit to relying on handouts.

Figures show that record numbers of police are struggling with food poverty and turned to food banks last year as wages stagnated.

One in five police officers is missing meals to get by and almost 10 per cent have used a food bank in the last 12 months, according to a survey of more than 6,000 serving officers.

[ more...]

02 Apr 2024 -

Police Finances

Police translation costs hit £19m a year

ce spending on translation services has climbed to more than £19 million a year, new figures show.

On average, forces spent more than £450,000 each on translation and interpretation services in the most recent full financial year of 2022-23.

Campaigners have said taxpayers will be “lost for words” at the increasing sum.

[ more...]

01 Apr 2024 -

Police and Crime General

We need Interpol more than ever, says British candidate for top job

One of Britain’s most senior policing officials has revealed how he overhauled Interpol’s controversial red notice system as he burnishes his credentials to run the international law enforcement agency.

Stephen Kavanagh said that he had put in place new measures to prevent autocratic regimes from abusing Interpol alerts to detain dissidents.

The alerts, which are effectively “wanted” notices distributed among member states, have previously been used by Russia to try to arrest critics who have blown the whistle on corruption and human rights abuses.

[ more...]

01 Apr 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police and firefighters should get ‘same bereavement leave for miscarriages as NHS staff’

Police officers and firefighters should get the same bereavement leave following a miscarriage as NHS workers, a charity has said.

It comes after NHS England unveiled new guidelines that will give staff, including ambulance workers, paid time off work if they suffer a miscarriage before they are six months pregnant.

The Laura Hyde Foundation (LHF) is calling for the policy to be extended to all 999 workers.

[ more...]

31 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Rishi Sunak faces revolt over plan to criminalise homelessness

Ministers are facing a revolt from Conservative MPs over plans to criminalise homelessness that form part of the government’s flagship crime bill.

Under proposals due to be voted on by MPs before the general election, ministers intend to give police the powers to fine or move on “nuisance” rough sleepers.

But the move has infuriated dozens of Tory MPs on both the left and right of the party who have warned whips they will vote against the measures in the Criminal Justice Bill, which is going through the House of Commons.

[ more...]

31 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

How 'TikTok idiots' and 'wild' conspiracy theories are disrupting police investigations

"So, do we have a serial killer in the UK pushing people or drowning people in rivers, canals, lakes, etc?" a TikToker cheerfully asks, in a video that has attracted more than 300,000 views.

She uses mainstream media reports of unconnected women found dead in the water across the country, Google maps, and studies published online to add credibility to the baseless theory on her account, which has more than 90,000 followers and more than two million likes.

People have always been interested in "solving a mystery", says criminal psychologist Dr Amanda Vicary, but now people have access to tools they didn't 30 years ago.

[ more...]

31 Mar 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

‘Living hand to mouth’: Record number of police officers turning to food banks

Worried officers have proposed setting up food banks for police recruits, The Independent can reveal, as one in 10 admit to relying on handouts.

Figures show that record numbers of police are struggling with food poverty and turned to food banks last year as wages stagnated.

One in five police officers is missing meals to get by and almost 10 per cent have used a food bank in the last 12 months, according to a survey of more than 6,000 serving officers.

[ more...]

31 Mar 2024 -

Police Demand

Police in England and Wales fail to catch any car thieves in 100 neighbourhoods

Police failed to catch any criminals who stole a car in more than 100 neighbourhoods across England and Wales last year, analysis by the Observer has revealed.

A further 558 neighbourhoods with an average of at least one vehicle crime a week saw less than 2% solved, with a suspect caught and charged, according to figures published on data.police.uk, a site for open data on crime and policing.

In total, about 336,000 vehicle crimes across England and Wales, which includes thefts and break-ins, were closed without a suspect being identified – approximately 85% of all vehicle offences recorded. In some cases, police closed investigations into car theft in less than 24 hours.

[ more...]

30 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Police translation costs hit £19m a year

Police spending on translation services has climbed to more than £19 million a year, new figures show.

On average, forces spent more than £450,000 each on translation and interpretation services in the most recent full financial year of 2022-23.

Campaigners have said taxpayers will be “lost for words” at the increasing sum.

[ more...]

29 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Tory MPs plan for migrant crime league tables

The migrant nationalities with the highest rates of crime will be revealed in league tables under plans to be considered by ministers.

The proposal, backed by senior Tory MPs, would require the crime rates of each nation’s migrants in England and Wales to be published annually.

Ministers would present a report to Parliament each year detailing the nationality, visa status and asylum status of every offender convicted in English and Welsh courts in the previous 12 months.

[ more...]

29 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Hate crime law could damage trust in police - chief

A senior police officer has said new Scottish hate crime laws which take effect on Monday could risk damaging public trust in the force.

Ch Supt Rob Hay, from the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS), said people could feel "aggrieved" if they are reported under the legislation and have their details recorded, even if they have not committed a crime.

He also told the BBC the force has not been given any additional resources to cope.

[ more...]

29 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Post Office: Police urged to investigate BBC report's findings

Former sub-postmasters and politicians have called for the Post Office to face a police investigation after BBC News revealed the company knew of flaws in its Horizon IT system.

A document shows bosses and lawyers knew of issues in 2017, but kept arguing sub-postmasters were to blame.

MP Kevan Jones said "the police need to start looking at this" specific point raised in the BBC investigation.

The Post Office earlier said it would be "inappropriate to comment".

[ more...]

28 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Scotland's new hate crime law could be used to 'settle scores', say critics

There are fears innocent people could end up on police databases with controversial new hate crime laws in Scotland being weaponised to "settle scores".

Legislation is being introduced on 1 April criminalising threatening or abusive behaviour which is intended to stir up hatred based on certain characteristics including age, disability, sexual orientation, and transgender identity.

The rules will apply in people's private homes and online.

[ more...]

26 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Home Office loses appeal over quashing of transfer of Police and Crime Commissioner powers to West Midlands mayor

The Court of Appeal has rejected the Home Secretary’s appeal over a High Court judgment quashing the decision to abolish the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) role in the West Midlands and transfer its policing governance powers to the Mayor of West Midlands.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, who brought the legal challenge, said the election for the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands would now go ahead on 2 May 2024.

Mr Justice Swift in the High Court had rejected the Commissioner's contention that the consultation in December 2023 and January 2024 had not been undertaken with an open mind.

However, the judge allowed the challenge on the PCC's second ground, namely whether sufficient information was given in the consultation document to permit appropriate consideration and response.

[ more...]

26 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

PCC elections: make a difference to the future of firearms licensing

BASC has launched a contact platform to allow you to find out where your local Police and Crime Commissioner candidates stand on firearms licensing ahead of PCC elections on 2 May 2024.

In England and Wales, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are responsible for holding Chief Constables, who in turn are responsible for service delivery, to account. They also preside over the police budget and Policing Plan.

Consequently, PCCs play a vital part in ensuring your local police force fulfils its statutory obligations on firearms licensing and delivers the service in an efficient and effective manner, while protecting public safety.

[ more...]

26 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Angiolini Inquiry ‘an urgent call to action’, says NPCC chair

The chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) says the Angiolini Inquiry is an “urgent call to action”.

Responding to the recommendations in the Inquiry’s Part 1 Report, Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said: “The Angiolini Inquiry made for shocking and sombre reading, a view which I know is shared across policing.

“We must ensure there is nowhere to hide in policing for wrongdoers, that we lead a police service which the public, and especially women and girls, can trust to protect them and that we are uncompromising on the high standards our communities deserve.

[ more...]

21 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Bank of England says 'not yet' time to cut interest rates

The boss of the Bank of England has said it is "not yet" the time to cut interest rates leaving them unchanged for a fifth time in a row at 5.25%.

The widely-expected decision means the cost of borrowing remains at its highest level for 16 years.

Eight of the nine Bank rate setters voted to leave rates unchanged, with only one voting in favour of a cut.

The Bank has kept interest rates at a high level in a bid to slow the pace consumer prices have been rising at.

[ more...]

20 Mar 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Jeremy Hunt hints at October general election

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has hinted a general election could be held in October.

He told a Lords Committee the government's next spending review had to be completed before next April and "if the general election is in October that will mean it's very, very tight".

The latest date an election could legally take place is 28 January 2025

[ more...]

20 Mar 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Police face looming staffing crisis with one in five officers planning to quit

Policing is facing a “perfect storm”, with fears of a looming staffing crisis as figures reveal more than one in five officers is poised to quit the service.

A major survey of rank and file officers found 22 per cent are planning to resign in the next two years – up from 18 per cent the previous year and just 12 per cent in 2021 – in the wake of complaints of poor pay, declining mental health and low morale.

The stark figures from the Police Federation’s annual survey come after a record figure of almost 9,200 officers left forces last year, with one police figure warning: “They are feeling that it’s just not worth being a police officer any more. We have never known it so bad.”

[ more...]

20 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

How a shoplifting crime wave is forcing the retreat of self-checkout

On the shop floor of supermarkets there is one shoplifting tactic which has become so commonplace, staff have given it its own name.

The “banana trick” consists of putting an item through a self-checkout as a cheap fruit or vegetable product and walking out with a much more expensive item.

“Best life hack ever,” one TikTok user claims in a viral video, joking that they managed to get a TV and Playstation through a self-service checkout by logging them as grapes or bananas.

[ more...]

20 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

APCC Responds to banning of synthetic opoids

Following today’s Home Office announcement that new synthetic opioids are now under the strictest controls, in line with fentanyl, to prevent drug-related deaths in the UK and ensure anyone caught supplying these substances faces tough penalties, APCC Addictions & Substance Misuse Leads, David Sidwick and Joy Allen, said:

“We welcome the announcement that the government is banning a further 15 synthetic opioids as part of its action to prevent drug deaths. That it is regularly having to react as new synthetics become available, is a warning signal of the pace at which life-threatening drugs are being synthesised and finding their way into our communities, causing serious health harms, risk of overdose and contributing to drug-related crime too. Police and Crime Commissioners are very aware of this emerging threat, and deeply saddened by continuing reports of deaths linked to these drugs.

[ more...]

19 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Nicholas Hawkes, 39, becomes first in England to be jailed for cyber flashing

A man has been sentenced for cyber flashing in England for the first time.

Nicholas Hawkes, 39, from Basildon in Essex, was jailed for 66 weeks at Southend Crown Court today after he sent unsolicited photos of his erect penis to a 15-year-old girl and a woman on 9 February.

The older victim took screenshots of the offending image on WhatsApp and reported Hawkes to the police the same day.

Cyber flashing became a criminal offence in England with the passage of the Online Safety Act on 31 January. It has been a crime in Scotland since 2010.

[ more...]

15 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Dozens arrested during drugs raids by South West police

Three missing children have been found and dozens of vulnerable adults have got their homes back after a police operation to tackle drug crime.

Operation Scorpion involved police forces from across the west of England.

In Wiltshire alone more than 30 people were arrested and £24,000 in cash, two guns, and cocaine and heroin worth £36,000 was seized.

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson called the gangs' actions towards vulnerable people "despicable".

[ more...]

15 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Police seize XL bullys and over 600 weapons in week of raids on county lines gangs

Eight XL bully dogs and more than 600 weapons including guns, nunchucks and knuckledusters have been seized in a week of police raids on county lines drug gangs.

A total of 1,874 suspects were arrested across the country in the week ending March 10, with 245 drug dealing phone lines closed down.

Another 1,653 people who were being exploited by the gangs, just over half of them children, have been brought to safety.

[ more...]

14 Mar 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

Please, can we make this the last circus budget?

The period after most “fiscal events” ushers in a wave of disappointment. Last week’s budget is no exception.

Conservative MPs have realised that it will not transform the economy and their political prospects. Economists recognise that unreasonable assumptions about future policy flatter the public finances. And then there’s been the host of complaints from lobby groups, MPs, think tanks and trade bodies about all the wonderful policies the chancellor failed to deliver.

After the 2021 budget, I observed a growing trend of PR agencies and campaigners branding each overlooked budget policy as a “missed opportunity”. Since then, I’ve been collating these reactions. The sheer number of “missed opportunities” and the range of issues covered sheds light on the farce that budget days have become and the inflated hopes pinned on them as cure-alls for every social problem.

[ more...]

14 Mar 2024 -

Justice

Victim advocates play “invaluable” role in justice system – new research

A new report from the Victims' Commissioner spotlights the crucial role victim advocates play in supporting victims through the criminal justice process.

“Invaluable” advocates keep victims engaged in the criminal justice system for longer amid long waits for justice, says Victims’ Commissioner.

Advocates praised in extensive new first-hand testimony, with studies showing victims with advocacy support 49% less likely to withdraw from the criminal justice process.

Report highlights challenges facing the sector, including high caseloads exacerbated by Crown Court backlog.

[ more...]

14 Mar 2024 -

Justice

New extremism definition unveiled by government

Ministers have unveiled a new extremism definition under which certain groups will be blocked from government funding and meeting officials.

It will apply to, but not criminalise, groups that promote an ideology based on "violence, hatred or intolerance".

Communities Secretary Michael Gove said a surge in extremism since the Israel-Gaza war posed "a real risk" to the UK.

Civil liberties advocates, community groups and MPs have criticised recent government rhetoric on extremism.

[ more...]

14 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Over 700 investigations into Met officers after anti-corruption hotline launches

More than 700 investigations have been launched by Britain’s biggest police force after nearly 3,000 contacts to an anti-corruption hotline in the first 18 months of operation.

The figures for the Metropolitan Police were revealed on Thursday as the police anti-corruption and abuse reporting service was rolled out nationally.

A series of harrowing scandals, including the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens, and then-Pc David Carrick being unmasked as a serial rapist, led the Met to be the first force to start using the service in November 2022.

[ more...]

13 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

North Yorkshire Police praised for progress to tackle failings

Inspectors have praised North Yorkshire Police for the progress made after concerns were raised over its performance 12 months ago.

The force was told to make "urgent" improvements after an inspection by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

Now, following a fresh review, HMICFRS said the force had made advances in all the areas of improvement identified.

The force said it had "worked hard" to make the necessary changes.

[ more...]

13 Mar 2024 -

Police Demand

Thefts of historic stone and metal on the up across England - report

Thefts of historic stone and metal are on the rise, according to a new report by Historic England and the National Police Chiefs' Council.

It sets out how walls and paving slabs were stolen in Yorkshire and Cheshire, while granite troughs and fountains were taken in Kent and London.

Meanwhile, metal thefts from church roofs were particularly common during the Covid lockdowns, the report added.

Historic England said such thefts "rob us of our collective history".

[ more...]

13 Mar 2024 -

Police Demand

Mayor-PCC merger is unlawful, court hears

Plans to transfer policing powers in the West Midlands to the region's mayor are unlawful and will reduce "democratic accountability", the High Court has been told.

Simon Foster, the Labour police and crime commissioner (PCC) for the area, is taking legal action against the government's move to scrap his role ahead of elections in May.

His powers are set to be merged with those of the West Midlands mayor - a role currently held by Conservative Andy Street.

The Home Office, defending against the challenge, said its decision was taken "with an open mind following a lawful consultation and with regard to relevant information".

[ more...]

13 Mar 2024 -

Justice

Police chiefs adopt counter-terror approach to tackling VAWG

The framework was initially launched in December 2021 and set out the “immediate actions” policing committed to take to “build trust and confidence, relentlessly pursue perpetrators and create safer spaces”.

This revised framework, which covers the next three years, is the next step in ensuring policing is focused on outcomes that make a real difference to tackling the epidemic of VAWG.

In February 2023, the Home Secretary included VAWG within the Strategic Policing Requirement, which means that the national policing response to VAWG should be on par with terrorism and serious and organised crime.

[ more...]

13 Mar 2024 -

Police and Crime General

PCCs launch progress report on retail crime crackdown

A new report on how police forces in England and Wales are cracking down on retail crime has revealed successful initiatives on keeping stores safer.

Led by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne through her role as the Association of PCCs’ lead for retail and business crime, she accepted that “there is still more work to do”, and backed Labour’s call for a new offence in England and Wales for assaulting shop workers. She also pushed for more prolific shoplifters to be monitored with electronic tags.

[ more...]

11 Mar 2024 -

Technology

How ‘robocop’ police drones could soon be the first responders to 999 calls

A trial called Project Eagle X is testing remotely-piloted drones for emergencies in Norfolk - amid questions over privacy and their crime-fighting powers

[ more...]

11 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Gaza protests in London have cost more than £32 million in policing

The cost of policing Gaza-related protests in London has reached over £32 million, as major marches are planned across the capital on Saturday.

A Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) march will take place in central London, with this weekend being the fifth major demonstration of the year so far.

The group said it was expecting “hundreds of thousands of people” to march from Hyde Park Corner to the US Embassy.

[ more...]

11 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Home Office breaks pledge to fund sex-crime research after Everard murder

The government has failed to fund research into the escalation of sex crimes, despite promising to do so in the wake of the kidnapping, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

In 2021, the Home Office pledged to “take forward work looking at the escalation of sexual offending” as part of its plan to tackle violence against women and girls. The plan, which had the tagline “the safety of women and girls across the country is our priority”, was informed by 180,000 public submissions after Everard was killed by serving police officer Wayne Couzens.

[ more...]

11 Mar 2024 -

Prisons

Male prisons have just 238 spaces left as early releases begin

Fewer than 250 spaces are left in men’s jails in England and Wales, The Telegraph can reveal, as the Justice Secretary sanctioned the biggest early release scheme from prisons in nearly 20 years.

Alex Chalk announced emergency measures to release hundreds of burglars, shoplifters and violent criminals up to 60 days early to tackle the crisis.

He also unveiled plans to slash the number of foreign prisoners – now standing at over 10,000 – by refusing tourist visa applications from countries that fail to take back their criminals earmarked for deportation.

[ more...]

11 Mar 2024 -

Prisons

Nottinghamshire Police put in special measures by watchdog

Nottinghamshire Police has been put in special measures and told to "urgently produce an improvement plan" by a watchdog.

The move follows an inspection by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The force will now be subject to an "enhanced level of monitoring", known as the "engage" process.

[ more...]

07 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Budget: Chancellor announces funding for crime fighting technology and Violence Reduction Units roll out

Drones will be increasingly used as “first responders” when the public report incidents to emergency services, under plans announced by the chancellor in the spring budget on Wednesday.

Jeremy Hunt told MPs £230m would be set aside for police to spend on “time- and money-saving technology” such as unmanned flying vehicles and video technology.

The hope is that drones will provide accurate information on the potential scale of an incident reported by a member of the public who has called 999.

[ more...]

06 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Met police reform needs to start at recruitment

Dr Richard Carter suspects that the authoritarian nature of policing attracts people who are unsuitable for situations where empathy and human consideration are needed.

[ more...]

06 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Stand or deliver: Hunt to set out Budget choices

The chancellor will seek to appease a raft of powerful critics in the last Budget before the general election.

Jeremy Hunt is expected to set out plans aimed at reducing tax that will appease backbenchers demanding cuts in personal taxation while meeting demands from the International Monetary Fund for the UK to focus on long-term stability.

It follows a weekend of negotiations between the chancellor and the prime minister – with the PM making clear he thinks there is room to put more cash in the public’s pockets.

[ more...]

06 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Invest in public services instead of cutting taxes, government told

The government should avoid “prioritising politically driven tax cuts while decimating services” during Wednesday’s Budget, public sector unions have said.

[ more...]

04 Mar 2024 -

Justice

Police solve no burglaries in half of the country

Police have failed to solve a single burglary in nearly half of all neighbourhoods in England and Wales in the past three years despite pledging to attend the scene of every domestic break-in to boost detection rates.

A Telegraph analysis of police data shows that no burglaries were solved in 48 per cent of neighbourhoods – areas covering between 1,000 and 3,000 people – in the past three years.

[ more...]

04 Mar 2024 -

Economy & Public Finance

AI and drones in £800m Budget technology package

The Budget will contain an £800m package of technology reforms aimed at freeing up NHS and police time, the Treasury has announced.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said ahead of the 6 March announcement that there was "too much waste in the system".

As part of the reforms, AI will be used to cut NHS scan times by a third and the police will deploy drones to incidents such as traffic collisions.

[ more...]

04 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Chancellor targets second-home owners

The Chancellor is to launch a £300 million tax raid on second-home owners who make money from holiday lets. He will reportedly abolish a series of tax perks for landlords who rent out their properties to short-term holidaymakers rather than long-term tenants, arguing it will help tackle the housing shortage in coastal areas and holiday hotspots.

[ more...]

04 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Tax and spending cuts will backfire, economists warn Hunt

Leading economists have warned that Jeremy Hunt will “cost the country dear” if he gambles on pre-election cuts to tax and spending in this week’s Budget. Former Treasury advisers Dimitri Zenghelis and Anna Valero, backed by other economists, said the Chancellor should focus on the long-term national interest with measures to spur investment and growth.

[ more...]

01 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

Home Office evidence to the Senior Salaries Review Body Submitted

The Senior Salaries Review Body must consider evidence from a variety of sources when giving advice on pay, including the Home Office.

This document is the evidence submission from the Home Office and covers chief police officers in England and Wales

[ more...]

01 Mar 2024 -

Police Finances

LGA welcomes new police support for councillors

The Local Government Association (LGA) has welcomed news that councillors will for the first time have a named police contact to help with security issues.

The Government has committed £31m to improve security provisions for all locally elected representatives over the next year and to ‘protect the UK’s democratic processes from disruption’.

[ more...]

29 Feb 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Guernsey Police go on inappropriate behaviour course

Police in Guernsey are being given training to challenge discrimination in the workplace.

Guernsey Police said it was putting officers and staff on the Upstander Training Programme, which has been designed by the UK College of Policing.

The digital course aims to highlight what inappropriate behaviour is and how to challenge it while at work.

Police said the training would help maintain "a culture that is fair and equal".

[ more...]

28 Feb 2024 -

Police and Crime General

Transgender police only allowed to strip-search same biological sex

Transgender police officers will only be allowed to strip search suspects of the same biological sex under changes being considered by the Government.

Chris Philp, the policing minister, has ordered an urgent review of strip-search rules after it emerged that national police guidance allowed transgender officers to carry out intimate searches of people of the opposite biological sex.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has withdrawn the guidance, which allowed transgender men self-identifying as female or with gender recognition certificates to strip-search women. It is now conducting a “thorough” review of its rules.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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".

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

26 Feb 2024 -

Recruitment and Retention

Fact check: has Sadiq Khan really overseen a crime surge in London?

A London “under siege” with “criminals ruling the streets”. That’s not the plot of a comic book, but rather the picture that mayoral candidate Susan Hall painted of the capital in an article for the Express on Saturday.

Sadiq Khan, who as the mayor for London, also acts as police and crime commissioner for the city, is often targeted with accusations that he has allowed crime to spiral. But Guardian analysis of government data shows the reality is more nuanced.

According the Crime Survey for England and Wales, someone is actually less likely to be a victim of crime in London than they are across the country as a whole. In the capital, 14.9% of people experienced a crime either to their person or their household in the year ending September 2023, compared with 15.7% nationally. But what about different types of crime?

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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”.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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".

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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".

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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.

[ more...]

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

Share

Save

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.

[