News Headlines

Sterner sanctions introduced in updated misconduct guidance

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Transparency and Accountability Lead and Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie, said: “We welcome the updated guidance for police misconduct proceedings published by the College of Policing today.

“It is our priority as Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure that the public has the upmost trust in the police service, and we are committed to ensuring chief constables and all involved in the misconduct process are robustly tackling misconduct within police forces.

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Millions of public sector workers preparing to vote on strikes in what could be biggest wave of industrial action since 1970s

Millions of public sector workers are expected to vote on strike action over pay this autumn in what could be the biggest wave of industrial action since the 1970s.

The walkouts could see shortages in hospitals, fire stations, schools and on the transport network, if negotiations over pay rises cannot be resolved.

Unions say pay offers are not keeping pace with the soaring cost of living, but the government says it must tackle rising inflation and says hiking up pay now could result in prices increasing even more.

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UK wages hit by soaring inflation

Pay fell at the sharpest pace on record between April and June, official figures show, as soaring inflation continued to weigh on earnings.

Wages - when taking into account rising prices - fell by 3% on the year, said the Office for National Statistics.

Household budgets are being hit by soaring energy bills as well as higher food and fuel costs.

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Recruitment and Retention Police in Scotland agree to improved 5% pay offer

Police officers in Scotland have agreed to an improved pay offer weeks after rejecting an initial "derisory" offer of £565.

All ranks will get a 5% pay rise, backdated to 1 April, as well as a similar increase in allowances.

It was welcomed by Police Scotland's Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone.

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Police Demand County Lines: Cost of living crisis used by gangs to lure new recruits

County lines is the name given to drug-dealing networks connecting urban and rural areas, using phone lines, across the UK. Former gang members and those trying to support them claim the rising cost of living is being used by organised criminals to exploit those struggling to make ends meet.

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Police Finances PCCs fund first aid equipment in dog section vehicles

All dog section vehicles across the TVP and Hampshire force areas will now be kitted out with first aid equipment following funding from the two PCCs.

Defibrillators, awirway management equipment and equipment to deal with catastrophic bleeds will be among that provided by £48,992 worth of funding.

The two PCCs have said that dog handlers are often first on the scene of calls and that it is therefore important they have the equipment to make lifesaving interventions.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economy shrinks as outlook on recession darkens

The UK economy shrank between April and June as experts forecast a gloomy outlook with recession on the horizon.

The economy contracted by 0.1% in the second quarter of the year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This was partly due to Covid schemes like Test and Trace ending, retail sales falling and the Queen's Platinum Jubilee bank holiday in June, it said.

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Justice Almost 1.5m England and Wales crime victims opt not to pursue cases

Almost 1.5 million victims of crime in England and Wales have decided not to pursue their cases, feeding concern that public confidence in the criminal justice system has collapsed.

Home Office figures unearthed by Labour show there were 1,411,650 victims who did not support continuing action after they had reported a crime in the year to March 2022.

The figures come after the police’s official inspectorate said that a failure to stop thieves and burglars threatens police’s “bond of trust” with the public.

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Police Demand Burglaries dropped after 24 hours

The Metropolitan Police abandoned investigations into nearly 40 per cent of domestic burglaries within 24 hours last year, data seen by The Times suggests.

Britain’s biggest police force “screened out” 16,150 of 40,485 cases on the day the report was made, meaning officers had decided quickly that there were no fruitful further lines of inquiry.

The force also closed 10 per cent of robbery reports that day, more than 37 per cent of vehicle offences, 29 per cent of bike thefts and a quarter of cases of personal theft. Conversely the “screening out” rates for sexual offences were tiny, with just 67 of 14,899 reported crimes, or 0.4 per cent, abandoned in the same time period.

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Recruitment and Retention Fed calls for Home Office to end PRRB influence

The Police Federation has called for the Home Office to be stripped of the power to set terms of the Police Remuneration Review Body.

The first formal response to the government since the pay award urged the Treasury and Home Office to reset relations with officers – and opened the terms for negotiations with the new ministerial team.

It contained an analysis of how the flat 5% pay increase had impacted on officers.

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Police and Crime General Burglary, robbery and theft victims failed by police - watchdog

Most victims of burglary, robbery and theft in England and Wales are not being given the justice they deserve, the police watchdog says.

Her majesty's chief inspector of constabulary, Andy Cooke, calls current low charge rates "unacceptable and unsustainable".

Some forces tackle these crimes well - but many do not, his report says.

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Police and Crime General HMICFRS Finding time for crime report

APCC response to HMICFRS ‘Finding time for crime’ report - The police response to burglary, robbery and other acquisitive crime

APCC Joint Local Policing Leads and Police and Crime Commissioners Steve Turner and Jeff Cuthbert said: “Acquisitive crime makes up a significant per cent of crime and the profound effect it has on victims should not be underestimated.

“This is a comprehensive report which highlights fundamental areas for improvement when it comes to how police respond and investigate acquisitive crime such as robbery, burglary and theft.

“Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary’s labels the low charge rates across forces as ‘unacceptable and unsustainable’. As Commissioners we will continue to hold our forces to account and we will be monitoring these figures very closely going forwards.

“We will ensure these recommendations receive the necessary attention and action they require, with a view to supporting forces in their compliance of the victims’ code of practice.

“We know that prevention can also be key and as PCCs we are best placed to deliver on this locally. We will continue our work around funding services and initiatives to support all victims of crime and reduce crime in our communities.”

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Police and Crime General IS 'Beatle' Aine Davis charged with terrorism offences after returning to UK

Aine Davis, who was allegedly a member of an Islamic State cell known as The Beatles, has been charged with terrorism offences.

The British man was charged after he was deported to England by Turkish authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

The charges follow an investigation by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command.

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Police and Crime General Hate awareness course scrapped by Hampshire police chief

Sessions to educate people accused of committing hate crimes have been cancelled after an intervention from a police and crime commissioner (PCC).

Donna Jones, PCC for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, scrapped the course after a man was arrested for sharing an anti-LGBT post on social media.

The post showed Progress Pride flags in the shape of a swastika.

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Police Demand Armed police sent to heart attack patients as crisis-hit NHS buckles under surging demand

Armed police are being sent to save the lives of people in cardiac arrest because ambulances “can’t cope” with demand, The Independent can reveal.

Officers are spending up to a third of their time on non-policing matters, a watchdog has warned, including responding to mental health crises and transporting patients to A&E as ambulance services face a “chronic crisis situation”.

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Police Demand Revealed: The police forces sending officers to one in four burglaries

Police forces are sending officers to as few as one in four burglaries despite government calls to visit every one.

Constabularies that have pledged to send police to the scene of every break-in have cut burglaries by up to half and seen detection rates treble.

However, data obtained by The Telegraph under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws show that two forces, Northumbria and Avon & Somerset, last year visited just 26.3 per cent and 25 per cent of homes respectively.

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Police Finances Bank of England warns the UK will fall into recession this year

The Bank of England has warned the UK will fall into recession as it raised interest rates by the most in 27 years.

The economy is forecast to shrink in the last three months of this year and keep shrinking until the end of 2023.

Interest rates rose to 1.75% as the Bank battles to stem soaring prices, with inflation now set to hit over 13%.

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Fire Cumbria PCC Peter McCall to take control of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is to be taken over by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

It follows a decision from the Home Secretary as part of the Local Government Reform programme that will see power of the fire service transferred to Cumbria PCC Peter McCall.

Currently Cumbria County Council is responsible for the fire service, but from next spring this will change as the council is due to be replaced by two unitary authorities.

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Police and Crime General Drug deaths: Record number of fatalities in Wales

There has been a sharp increase in the rate of deaths from drug misuse in Wales, according to new figures.

There were 210 deaths recorded in 2021, compared with 149 in 2020 - an increase of 41% - Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed.

The figure was also the highest since records began in 1993, with the previous record being 208 in 2018.

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Fire Cumbria PCC Peter McCall to take control of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is to be taken over by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

It follows a decision from the Home Secretary as part of the Local Government Reform programme that will see power of the fire service transferred to Cumbria PCC Peter McCall.

Currently Cumbria County Council is responsible for the fire service, but from next spring this will change as the council is due to be replaced by two unitary authorities.

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Police Demand Make tackling bad officer behaviour top priority, Priti Patel tells new Met Police chief

Priti Patel has told the new head of Scotland Yard that tackling officers’ bad behaviour must be his first priority.

The Home Secretary met with Sir Mark Rowley, the incoming Metropolitan Police Commissioner, on Monday to spell out the need to restore trust in officers by cracking down on declining standards of behaviour and driving down neighbourhood crime.

Sir Mark is due to take charge of the Met at the start of next month when he will institute a 100-day plan to start turning round the force, which was placed under special measures by HM inspectorate of police in June.

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Prisons Charities warn against ministers getting powers to stop early release from jail

The rule change is part of measures introduced to protect the public and would allow ministers to override judges’ fixed-term sentences that set automatic release dates at halfway or two-thirds through offenders’ jail terms.

Instead, ministers will be able to refer offenders to the Parole Board so they can serve out their full prison sentences if they are deemed to have become a “significant public protection concern” and pose “a very high risk of serious harm”, according to the Telegraph.

It had been thought that the new power would only apply to criminals who were radicalised in jail and who had posed a threat if freed.

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Police Finances Derbyshire PCC secures £1m funding towards crime prevention

More than £1m of government funding has been secured to help tackle neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour in Derbyshire.

The money would be spent on free home security upgrades for 900 properties and programmes to support young people.

It would also go towards CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras in the county.

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Police and Crime General Hate policing makes us look clueless, Greater Manchester Police chief says

The police approach to recording non-crime hate incidents has at times “caused people to question whether we know what we’re doing”, one of the most senior chief constables has said.

Stephen Watson, who heads Greater Manchester Police, said that officers needed to be given the confidence to tell the public that some things were “just not a police matter”.

He welcomed new guidance by the national standards body, which emphasised that people contributing to social debate must not be “stigmatised simply because someone is offended”.

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Police and Crime General York and North Yorkshire to get mayor under £540m devolution deal

If councillors on North Yorkshire CC and York City Council back the deal the area’s 818,000 voters will elect a mayor in 2024.

The deal also includes £13m for new homes on brownfield land, £7m for green economic growth - subject to approval of an investment case - and the power to set up mayoral development corporations.

In addition, the new mayor will take on the powers of the police, fire and crime commissioner and the York and North Yorkshire local enterprise partnership will be integrated into the new mayoral combined authority that will be created under the deal.

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Police Demand Derbyshire PCC secures £1m Safer Streets funding towards crime prevention

More than £1m of government funding has been secured to help tackle neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour in Derbyshire.

The money would be spent on free home security upgrades for 900 properties and programmes to support young people.

It would also go towards CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras in the county.

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Police and Crime General Police watchdog 'concerned' by cases of child strip searches by Met officers

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it was so concerned by the force's delay in passing on the details, it would examine more cases to see if they were being handled properly.

The IOPC is investigating five of the most serious cases, including Child Q, and considering three more, and has asked the Met itself to review its own actions in another six.

Four Met officers are facing gross misconduct charges over Child Q, a 15-year-old black girl who was strip searched at her east London school on suspicion of carrying cannabis in December 2020.

The incident was widely condemned, with Child Q having been on her period and left traumatised.

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Police and Crime General Chief Executive Appointed

A new Chief Executive with nearly three decades of experience in the criminal justice system has been appointed.

Phil Golding, 44, will take up the prestigious role later this year after six years as head of the Law Commission – leading the commission through significant change.

Phil’s experience of the justice system stretches back to 1994 when he joined the then Lord Chancellor’s Department. Since then, he has progressed through the ranks via Ministerial Private Offices and various roles.

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Police and Crime General Strip-search policies in the UK should be subject to the same scrutiny we apply to stop and search

The recent story of Child Q, the 15-year-old black schoolgirl who was accused by her teachers of smelling of cannabis and subjected to a strip-search at her school in Hackney, London, without an appropriate adult present, has rightly elicited outrage.

The Metropolitan Police Service and the child’s school have apologised. Her headteacher has stepped down. Four police officers face gross misconduct charges and eight similar cases have since been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

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Police and Crime General Warning racism in police has been ‘taken out of canteens and put on WhatsApp’

Racism among police has been “taken out of canteens and put on WhatsApp”, a leading officer has warned after “vile” messages exchanged by officers were exposed in court.

Andy George, president of the National Black Police Association, said racism had not gone away in the past 20 years but had simply been pushed underground.

Speaking to The Independent, he asked: “How many times can we say it’s a few bad apples, we’ve dealt with them, things are great? There’s a wholesale systemic issue with culture.”

Fresh concerns have been sparked by evidence heard in the trial of three current and former Metropolitan Police officers, over jokes about rape, domestic violence, Muslims and racial minorities in a WhatsApp group containing Wayne Couzens.

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Recruitment and Retention What it’s really like to be a police officer: ‘We get called murderers and rapists’

It’s a Saturday night in Swindon and I’m racing with Wiltshire police, “blues and twos” wailing, to Wichelstowe, a residential estate on the southern edge of town, where a man has reportedly been stabbed in the stomach. Several 999 callers have described him as being half-naked and apparently mentally disturbed, but he is nowhere to be seen. Two patrol cars search while police dogs are brought in, but we don’t find him — neither do we find any blood.

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Police and Crime General Hundreds of children a year strip-searched by Metropolitan Police officers

Scotland Yard is strip-searching hundreds of children a year, according to analysis that will revive concerns about the force’s treatment of minors in the wake of the Child Q case.

Officers in London have strip-searched between 500 and 800 children each year between 2018 and 2021, research shows. Between 100 and 200 had “intimate parts” exposed in the process, according to an analysis for The Conversation online network.

There has been increased scrutiny of the issue after Child Q, a 15-year-old black girl who was menstruating, was strip-searched by officers after she was wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis at her east London school.

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Police and Crime General Police to modify sports car to teach young drivers

Devon and Cornwall Police has a new high performance sports car it will modify to teach young drivers about road safety.

In collaboration with a popular YouTube channel, officers are asking for ideas on which modifications to make.

The Ford Focus is a popular choice among young drivers and modified car enthusiasts, the force said.

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Justice Hampshire PCC criticises own force over social media arrest

A police and crime commissioner (PCC) has criticised her own force for sending officers to investigate an alleged offensive social media post.

It follows videos posted by political activist Laurence Fox showing Hampshire Constabulary officers attempting to make an arrest in Aldershot.

Donna Jones, PCC for Hampshire and Isle of Wight, said she was concerned about the "necessity" of the police response.

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Police Demand Commonwealth Games: West Midlands Police has 'had to make sacrifices'

West Midlands Police has had to make sacrifices to deliver the Birmingham Commonwealth Games but can still be depended on by victims of crime, the force's boss says.

Up to 3,000 officers will be working the Games, leaving some people concerned regular policing will suffer.

A car-jacking victim told the BBC she felt let down by police pressures.

But Chief Constable Sir David Thompson said support had been drafted in for the Games from other police forces.

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Recruitment and Retention Robyn Williams: Met must keep officer it sacked over abuse video

The Met Police has lost its bid to sack a senior officer previously dismissed and later reinstated for possessing a child abuse video.

In November 2019, Supt Robyn Williams was sentenced to community service for having the clip on her phone. She was dismissed by the Met four months later.

A tribunal later ruled she should be reinstated. The Met appealed against this decision but has been overruled.

The Met would "carefully consider the judgements", a spokesperson said.

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Police and Crime General League tables for police under Liz Truss plan to cut crime

Police will be told to cut murder, violence and crimes such as burglary by a fifth if Liz Truss becomes prime minister.

The foreign secretary said that her government would publish league tables showing how each force was performing against the national trend on a set of key crimes.

Chief constables who failed to achieve 20 per cent reductions would be hauled in front of ministers to explain how they intended to improve their figures. After attending a meeting of the National Policing Board, their plans would be published to allow local residents to hold them to account.

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Recruitment and Retention Record number of police officers quit with Boris Johnson’s flagship 20,000 pledge in danger

Boris Johnson's flagship police pledge is in danger as a record number of officers leave their jobs.

In his first speech as prime minister in July 2019, Mr Johnson vowed that he would put “another 20,000 police on the streets” by the end of March 2023.

New figures published on Wednesday show that just 234 extra officers were recruited between April and June this year, and the figure will now have to average 690 officers a month to hit the 20,000 target.

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Justice TV cameras to film in crown court

English legal history will be made today when television cameras broadcast from a crown court for the first time.

At the Old Bailey, Judge Sarah Munro QC is expected to be recorded sentencing Ben Oliver, of Bexleyheath, southeast London, for the manslaughter of his grandfather last year.

Broadcasters will now be allowed to apply to film in crown courts across England and Wales.

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Technology Privacy group complains of ‘unlawful’ facial recognition at convenience stores

According to the complaint made to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the surveillance system “uses novel technology and highly invasive processing of personal data, creating a biometric profile of every visitor to stores where its cameras are installed”.

The group said the independent grocery chain had installed the surveillance technology in 35 stores across Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Bristol, Brighton and Hove, Chichester, Southampton and London.

The safety of our colleagues and customers is paramount and this technology has made a significant difference to this, in the limited number of high-risk locations where it is being used

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Police Demand Two million unsolved cases closed by police

Nine in ten cases of bike theft and almost all those of theft from a vehicle were closed last year without a suspect having been identified, official figures have revealed.

A total of almost two million cases were closed by the police in the past year without a culprit having been identified.

The figure represents 40 per cent of all crimes that were assigned an outcome by police forces in England and Wales between April 2021 and March. They were recorded as “investigation complete — no suspect identified”, according to an analysis of official figures by the Liberal Democrats.

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Police Demand Liz Truss vows to bring back national crime targets for police

Liz Truss would return to national crime targets – pledging a 20% reduction in murders, other violence and burglaries within two years if she became prime minister – under a plan immediately condemned as a “failed approach” and political meddling.

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Technology Sex offenders using drones to target schools as criminal quadcopter use rises rapidly, police warn

Police are investigating evidence that paedophiles are using drones to watch and record children at school, after receiving reports of more than 300 suspicious flights in the last two years, i can reveal.

A total of 333 flights have been recorded over or close to school premises since October 2020. Schools have become the third most common location for reports to police of nuisance or suspect drone use.

Sex offenders are feared to be among those responsible, and the problem is part of a wider rapid increase in the use of quadcopters by criminals for offences from burglary to voyeurism.

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Police and Crime General Bobbies on beat ‘cut crime in 15 minutes’

Fifteen minutes of police patrols can reduce violent crime by 70 per cent, according to analysis that boosts the new Metropolitan Police commissioner’s case for more bobbies on the beat.

Proactive patrols in crime hotspots also resulted in significant drops in wider crime, as well as fewer calls to emergency services, researchers said.

Although police forces are spending more money on the latest artificial intelligence to predict crime patterns, the findings underline the effectiveness of old-fashioned policing.

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Justice Police forces must return phones to rape victims within 24 hours or face being named

Police forces that fail to hand back rape victims mobile phones within 24 hours are to be named and shamed.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, said the Government is determined that by 2024 no victim will have to wait more than 24 hours for their phone to be returned after being examined by police investigators.

The delays have been blamed for the collapse in convictions with as few as one in 70 rapes resulting in an attacker being brought to justice.

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Police and Crime General Children could be radicalised over summer break, Met police warn parents

The Metropolitan police force has taken the unprecedented step of writing to parents of school-age children, urging them to look out for signs of radicalisation because it fears the six-week summer holiday could lead to a rise in extremism.

Det Supt Jane Corrigan, of the Met’s counter-terrorism command and lead officer in the anti-terrorist Prevent programme, sent a letter to primary and secondary schools in London – the first time such a step has been taken – to distribute to parents last week. In it she expresses concern that children would be spending more time online during the summer holidays, and that this would create the risk they could come into contact with those attempting to radicalise young people.

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Prisons Jailed drug addicts will be given TVs and gym sessions if they go cold turkey

Drug and alcohol addicted prisoners will get special rewards such as gym sessions and TVs if they go cold turkey to kick their habit in jail.

Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, is to create 100 units within jails where offenders agree to regular drug tests and are rewarded with incentives such as extra gym time, in-cell TVs, additional family visits and cooking facilities if they stay clean.

The incentivised substance-free living (ISFL) units are part of a £120 million cash injection to promote an abstinence-based approach to rehabilitate addicts.

There are concerns that traditional methadone or other opiate treatments are leaving offenders “indefinitely” reliant on the drug.

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Justice UK rape victim left feeling ‘suicidal’ after five-year wait for case to come to trial

A rape victim who will have been waiting five years by the time her case comes to court has said navigating the justice process has had a worse impact on her mental health than the crime itself, leaving her feeling “suicidal”.

The woman, known as Debbie, recently had her case listed but it was pulled the day before she was due to appear in court. She now faces a further eight-month wait.

She is among thousands of victims, witnesses and defendants affected by the record-high backlog of 58,653 crown court cases in England and Wales, set to further increase this summer amid strikes by barristers.

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Police and Crime General Recorded crime in England and Wales at 20-year high as charge rate hits new low

Recorded crime in England and Wales has hit a 20-year high as the proportion of offences leading to court action fell to a new low, official figures show. Only 5.6 per cent of offences reported to police led to a suspect being charged or summonsed in 2021/22, down from 7.1 per cent the previous year and from 16 per cent in 2014/15, Home Office figures reveal.

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Recruitment and Retention Police Remuneration Review Body report: 2022

Accepts the PRRB’s recommendation in full to award a consolidated increase of £1,900 to all police officer pay points for all ranks with effect from 1 September 2022

Accepted the recommendation that the Police Constable Degree Apprentice minimum starting salary should be raised to pay point 0 (£23,556 with effect from 1

September 2022).

Accepted the recommendation to increase to London Weighting and the Dog Handlers’ Allowance by 5% with effect from 1 September 2022.

The Home Office will provide forces with additional funding for pay

over the Spending Review period of at least £70m in 2022/23, £140m in 2023/24 and £140m in 2024/25. This will mean funding allocations to policing this year of £17 billion,

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Police and Crime General Tackle street crime not Twitter jokes, Rishi Sunak tells police forces

Policemen should tackle street crime not Twitter jokes, Rishi Sunak said as he put a crackdown on sexual exploitation at the centre of his law and order approach.

The Tory leadership contender and former chancellor promised to create a new criminal offence for belonging to or facilitating grooming gangs, leading to tougher sentences.

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Police Demand Police force ‘losing hours’ to mental health calls – and plans to bill the local authority

A police force is to start sending bills to the local authority after revealing that officers spent more than 50,000 hours last year dealing with mental health related calls.

Bedfordshire Police said the demand from non crime related calls meant officers were unable to do the job they signed up for.

Festus Akinbusoye, the local Police and Crime Commissioner, said the force had received more than 10,000 calls for mental health related matters in 2021, equating to 53,000 police hours.

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Police Demand Police brace for UK crime rise linked to heatwave

Police are bracing for a spike in crime across Britain linked to the ongoing heatwave and the cost of living crisis.

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have been urging forces to make preparations for expected increases in vandalism, fights, theft, shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.

Calls to 999 and 101 are already said to be “going through the roof” across the country, without any clear cause.

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Police Finances Council tax revaluation announced for Wales

The Welsh Government today announced it will revalue all 1.5 million properties in the country under bold plans to modernise the council tax system.

Wales’s minister for finance and local government Rebecca Evans announced a 12-week consultation on a revised regime.

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Police and Crime General Cleveland Police improvements not happening quickly enough

Cleveland's police and crime commissioner (PCC) says he fears the force is not being quick enough to make improvements.

Steve Turner said he was not assured by information given to him and was concerned about the "pace of change".

Cleveland Police was placed in special measures in 2019 when it was the first in England or Wales to be rated as failing in all areas.

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Police and Crime General Mark Rowley’s Met Police will offer ‘more of the same’ on race, campaigners fear

The new Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley is unlikely to take a tough stance on tackling racism in policing, a former superintendent fears.

Mr Rowley, the former National Police Chiefs Council’s counterterrorism lead, retired from policing in 2018 but was confirmed to be returning as the Met Police’s chief on Friday.

However, Leroy Logan, 65, said he was not “enthralled” upon learning of his former colleague’s appointment, claiming he was “more of the same” and no different from his predecessor Cressida Dick.

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Police and Crime General Over 1,000 children in Telford were sexually exploited, inquiry finds

More than a thousand children in Telford were sexually exploited over decades amid the failure of authorities to investigate “emboldened offenders”, an independent inquiry into the scandal has concluded.

The three-year independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation (IICSE) found that abuse was allowed to continue for years and children, rather than perpetrators, were often blamed.

Issues were not investigated because of nervousness about race, the inquiry’s final report said, and teachers and youth workers were discouraged from reporting child sexual exploitation.

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Justice Car theft ‘effectively decriminalised’ because police solve so few break-ins

Scotland Yard has “effectively decriminalised” theft from cars, putting pressure on the new commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to take action.

An analysis by The Telegraph of Home Office data has shown that the Metropolitan Police solved just 0.5 per cent, 271 out of nearly 55,000 thefts from vehicles in London ast year.

Because of the size of the Metropolitan Police’s area, it accounts for nearly a quarter of all car thefts recorded by police in England and Wales.

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Police and Crime General Johnson accused of one last try to install ally Hogan-Howe in plum police job

Boris Johnson is attempting to install Lord Hogan-Howe as head of the National Crime Agency before he leaves No 10, The Times has been told.

The recruitment process for the post, one of the most prestigious in law enforcement, was reopened in May after Hogan-Howe, Johnson’s top pick, was overlooked. The prime minister is understood to have been unhappy that the former Metropolitan Police commissioner did not reach the final round.

The reopening of applications prompted a backlash because Hogan-Howe, 64, oversaw Operation Midland, Scotland Yard’s bungled child abuse investigation. He has supported the prime minister politically and took the unprecedented step in policing of backing him during the last Conservative leadership contest in 2019.

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Justice Prisoners denied access to forensic evidence in bid to prove their innocence

Prisoners convicted of serious crimes who may be the victims of miscarriages of justice are being blocked from access to crucial forensic information that could prove their innocence, experts have warned.

Campaigners are calling for legal reforms to provide improved access to evidence that may help prove the innocence of the wrongly convicted. They say a supreme court ruling in 2014 is effectively being used to deny access to police files and evidence.

The Law Commission, the statutory independent body that reviews the law in England and Wales, confirmed this weekend it is reviewing the law around criminal appeals.

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Police and Crime General New Met Police commissioner criticised for not addressing race or violence against women in statement

The new Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has been criticised for failing to mention violence against women or race in the statement addressing his appointment.

Leading charities in the women’s sector told The Independent the decision to appoint a new leader of Britain’s largest police force “means nothing” unless misogyny and racism within policing was explicitly “named”.

Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, said Sir Mark, the former National Police Chiefs Council’s counterterrorism lead, will be policing a city “where confidence in the police – especially among women and people of colour – has plummeted”.

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Justice Lawyers fear being sued over police misconduct hearings

Senior lawyers are blocking police misconduct hearings because of the risk of being sued by officers for “unfavourable” decisions.

The lawyers in charge of the disciplinary panels are refusing to take on new cases until the Home Office guarantees them the same immunity from legal claims as other courts and tribunals.

It follows cases where decisions to dismiss officers for gross misconduct face legal challenges that could expose panel members to six-figure damages claims for which they will be personally liable.

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Police Demand Car theft ‘effectively decriminalised’ because police solve so few break-ins

Scotland Yard has “effectively decriminalised” theft from cars, putting pressure on the new commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to take action.

An analysis by The Telegraph of Home Office data has shown that the Metropolitan Police solved just 05. per cent, 271 out of nearly 55,000 thefts from vehicles in London ast year.

Because of the size of the Metropolitan Police’s area, it accounts for nearly a quarter of all car thefts recorded by police in England and Wales.

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Police and Crime General Tom Pursglove MP is to serve as the new Policing Minister

Tom Pursglove MP is to serve as the new Policing Minister following the resignation of Boris Johnson and over 50 MPs

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Justice Sexual assault victims and survivors to continue to receive vital support in Norfolk

The Rowan Project received a cash-boost from the OPCCN in November 2020 to offer specialist support for victims of sexual abuse, sexual violence, rape, and recent and historic child sexual abuse.

The service officially launched in February 2021 – during the Covid-19 pandemic – as a two-year pilot scheme.

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Giles Orpen Smellie visited the charity in June to find out more about the project and how it has helped meet demand created by the pandemic.

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Police Finances Crime prevention project makes streets safer in three areas of Cleveland

Theft offences in some of the Cleveland’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods have dropped significantly following a £1m investment in crime prevention measures.

A successful bid by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) secured £1.034m from the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund. Cash paid for targeted work in Burn Valley, Hartlepool, Newport, Middlesbrough and South Bank, Redcar and Cleveland.

The project, which ran from 2020 to 2021 aimed to cut acquisitive – or theft-related – crimes such as burglaries and robbery.

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Police Finances Funding secured for additional ISVAs and IDVAs in Avon and Somerset

Following a successful bidding process working with Local Authority partners, the OPCC will receive an additional £706,608 over a three year period from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), which will then be awarded to Safe Link to employ three ISVAs and Next Link to employ three IDVAs.

This follows existing funding by the OPCC from the MoJ, meaning that across Avon and Somerset, there are now an additional 26 IDVAs and 12 ISVAs supporting individuals with lived experiences of domestic and sexual abuse.

The newly appointed ISVAs and IDVAs will have a particular focus on supporting those with protected characteristics specifically children and young people.

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Police and Crime General Get tough with fuel protesters, police told

Police have been urged to take a zero-tolerance approach to fuel campaigners amid fears that “go-slow” protests on motorways could continue throughout the summer.

Senior government sources said Priti Patel, the home secretary, expected forces to use new powers to prevent a repeat of yesterday, when convoys of protesters brought parts of the road network to a standstill.

The action mainly targeted motorways, with vehicles crawling at below 30mph along two lanes, leaving the outside lane free. Among roads affected were the M4 and Prince of Wales bridge over the River Severn, the M5 in Devon, the M32, the A38, the M180 in Lincolnshire, the A12 in Essex, the A92 in Scotland and the A64 near York.

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Police and Crime General Katy Bourne: Sussex crime commissioner says the Met is too big

The Metropolitan Police should look to downsize, according to the Sussex police and crime commissioner.

Conservative Katy Bourne, also the former chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said the Met had behaved "selfishly".

Her comments come amid a row over the Met's offering of £5,000 incentives to officers from outside forces.

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Police and Crime General Outstanding contributions to national pandemic policing response commended by chiefs

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said Operation Talla brought out the “professionalism, capability and reliability of the entire UK police service in response to a critical incident unlike any other in living memory”.

It added: “The objectives of Operation Talla sought to preserve life, maintain law and order, and prevent crime, all while maintaining the core policing service during a period of uncertainty, and assisting colleagues in the NHS as they fought the worst effects of this pandemic.

“These awards view the pandemic from a national perspective not often spoken about, commemorating those who led, shaped and delivered the national response – working to equip those on the front line.”

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Police and Crime General Government needs to act as policing is ‘in crisis’

Mr Hartshorn has spoken out after a week that saw three additional forces put under special measures by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, bringing the total to a record number of six.

The Metropolitan Police Service was placed into special measures on June 28, the first time since it was established in 1829. Other forces placed under special measures are Cleveland, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Wiltshire.

Inspectors said the MPS was being “closely scrutinised” having faced extensive criticism following the death of Sarah Everard, who was abducted and murdered by serving officer Wayne Couzens, and the Charing Cross police station scandal.

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Prisons Criminals leaving prison with job and accommodation are 10 times less likely to reoffend

Criminals who leave prison with a job, accommodation and bank account are up to 10 times less likely to reoffend, according to research by the think tank set up by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) said linking prisoners up with an employer, ensuring they did not end up rough sleeping or sofa surfing and “simple” support such as ensuring they could get to work and had a bank account, slashed reoffending rates from 64 per cent to 4.6 per cent.

The approach, established by charity Tempus Novo, sees prisoners mentored for two years to help them find and hold down a job. Just 16 per cent were unemployed after a year, compared with 65 per cent for all ex-prisoners.

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Recruitment and Retention Police officers facing an inquiry can quit and take a new job

Police forces are allowing officers under investigation for sexual misconduct and corruption to resign and take up public-facing jobs elsewhere, an investigation has found.

Since 2017, officers sacked for gross misconduct have been placed on the College of Policing’s “barred list”, which bans them from future jobs in policing. Details are also available to members of the public and prospective employers and can show up on enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks.

But officers who resign or retire while under investigation are merely placed on the police “advisory list’, which is made available only to other police forces, the Home Office, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. If an officer is sacked at the end of the investigation, they are moved to the barred list.

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Police Demand Police let 22,000 suspects roam free: Fugitives accused of murder, rape and violence fail to attend court, but officers 'are too busy' to arrest them

More than 22,000 crime suspects are on the loose after failing to appear in court, the Daily Mail can reveal today.

Fugitives accused of assault, rape and even murder remain at large, sometimes decades after their alleged offences.

Many are thought to be at their given addresses but police are too stretched to arrest them. The Mail investigation even managed to locate two suspects at their own homes.

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Justice Courts 'in limbo' as barristers strike for second week

Criminal cases in courts across England and Wales face further disruption as barristers enter a second week of strike action.

The walkouts began last week in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Members of the Criminal Bar Association have rejected a proposed 15% fee rise, saying some junior barristers currently make less than the hourly minimum wage.

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Police and Crime General Black parents back stop and search for drugs

Black and ethnic minority parents are more likely than their white counterparts to back stop and search to crackdown on cannabis, new research has found.

The study of more than 1,000 parents showed 80 per cent of black and ethnic minority families believed police should use stop and search to help remove cannabis from being sold or used on the streets, compared with 70 per cent of white parents.

They were also more likely to back a tough approach to cannabis by the Government and for schools to routinely test older children for the drug, according to the survey by Deltapoll for the think tank Civitas.

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Justice UK cost of living crisis putting strain on domestic abuse refuges, says charity

Refuges providing sanctuary to victims of domestic violence are facing severe strains as a result of the cost of living crisis, a charity has warned.

Rising prices are creating a greater demand for refuge spaces, as increased financial pressure acts as a trigger for abusive partners, while making it more costly for those already in refuge to leave, according to Hestia, a charity providing support to those fleeing domestic abuse in London and south-east England.

The charity’s referral line has had a 30% increase in requests for accommodation in the first three months of 2022, with the situation expected to worsen as inflation rises.

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Police and Crime General Met Police: Inspectorate has 'substantial and persistent' concerns

There are "substantial and persistent concerns" about the Metropolitan Police's performance, a letter from a police watchdog reveals.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has placed the force into a form of special measures, it emerged on Tuesday.

The letter, seen by the BBC, outlines various concerns, including about a "young" and "inexperienced" workforce.

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Police and Crime General Record number of UK police forces are failing and need intensive help

A record six police forces are currently judged as failing so badly that they need special help as a furious political row erupted over the placing of Scotland Yard into special measures.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary confirmed on Tuesday that the Metropolitan police had been placed into special measures as it waits for a new commissioner to reverse plunging public confidence.

But the full extent of one of the worst ever crises gripping policing across England and Wales is much more widespread and has not yet been made public.

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Police and Crime General Uniformed police not welcome at Pride in London, say organisers

Pride in London says uniformed officers should not march in the parade, following calls from LGBTQ+ campaigners to bar them due to Scotland Yard’s “homophobic” handling of the investigation into the serial killer Stephen Port.

The move came after the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said the case, which the independent police watchdog recently announced it was reinvestigating, showed that “institutional homophobia is alive and kicking in the Metropolitan police”.

Tatchell added that the case, as well as other recent revelations of homophobia, racism and misogyny in the force, meant Pride in London needed to take a stand on police officers’ participation in the parade.

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Recruitment and Retention Scottish police officers set to take action in pay dispute

Police officers have insisted public safety will not be compromised as they prepare to "withdraw goodwill" in a pay dispute.

The Scottish Police Federation (SPF) is set to begin its "most overt" action in a century at 17:00 on Friday.

Scottish officers are protesting about a "derisory" £565 pay rise offer.

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Police and Crime General Met Police put into a form of special measures

The Met Police has been placed into an advanced stage of monitoring, in what Home Secretary Priti Patel has described as "special measures".

Recently the force has been hit by a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard, the strip-search of Child Q and officers being caught exchanging offensive messages.

In February Dame Cressida Dick quit as commissioner.

Ms Patel said she backed the move taken by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.

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Technology How smart doorbells became the latest weapon in fighting crime

They may not look especially high tech but, last week, smart doorbells again proved their potential for solving serious crimes. Footage from a doorbell in Fitzwarren, Somerset, was crucial to the murder conviction of Collin Reeves, sentenced to a minimum of 38 years in prison last Tuesday for killing his neighbours Jennifer and Stephen Chapple.

The Reeves case is just the latest example of how evidence acquired via a smart doorbell is becoming as crucial to the police as DNA and phone data-tracing.

“The reach of digital evidence is massive,” says Dave Tucker, faculty lead at the national College of Policing. Smart doorbells are “a potential source of evidence,” he adds, “quite similar to CCTV.”

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Police and Crime General Stop Brexit Man: police swoop on Steve Bray and seize sound system

The activist known as Stop Brexit Man faces prosecution after police officers attempting to shut down his regular protest near parliament seized his equipment as controversial new protest laws came into force.

Steve Bray, a former coin dealer and unsuccessful Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, posted videos on Twitter showing officers approaching him near Parliament Square on Tuesday. His sound system was seized.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, which came into force on Tuesday, introduces an offence of intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance, in an attempt to crack down on disruptive guerrilla protests of the kind used by climate change activists.

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Police and Crime General Met Police put into a form of special measures

The Met Police has been placed into an advanced stage of monitoring, in what Home Secretary Priti Patel has described as "special measures".

Recently the force has been hit by a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard, the strip-search of Child Q and officers being caught exchanging offensive messages.

In February Dame Cressida Dick quit as commissioner.

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Police and Crime General Staffordshire Police: New model 'to boost emergency response'

A new policing model has launched in the hope of enabling officers to respond quicker to emergencies.

The plan from Staffordshire Police will see emergency response officers operating from the same ten local areas as neighbourhood officers and PCSOs.

Ch Const Chris Noble said it would enhance the officers' local knowledge.

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Technology 'Taking innocence from children': Two-thirds of youngsters exposed to harmful online content - but only 16% report it

The UK's communications regulator is calling on young people to help protect each other by reporting harmful content online.

Ofcom says two-thirds of youngsters aged between 13 and 17 see harmful content online but only 16% report it.

As it waits for the government's Online Safety Bill to go through parliament, it has called on young people to help tackle online harms themselves.

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Police and Crime General Staffordshire Police: New model 'to boost emergency response'

A new policing model has launched in the hope of enabling officers to respond quicker to emergencies.

The plan from Staffordshire Police will see emergency response officers operating from the same ten local areas as neighbourhood officers and PCSOs.

Ch Const Chris Noble said it would enhance the officers' local knowledge.

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Justice Barristers walk out of courts in strike over legal aid funding

Barristers will walk out of courts across England and Wales on Monday in a dispute over legal aid funding.

During the strikes, they will not accept new cases or take on work for colleagues whose cases have overrun.

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) said around 81.5% of its more than 2,000 members who voted in a ballot supported the action.

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Police and Crime General 'I thought I was going to die': Black schoolboy, 14, forced to ground in mistaken stop and search

The mother of a 14-year-old Black boy who was thrown to the floor and handcuffed by a group of police officers on his way home from school in a case of mistaken identity feared her asthmatic son would be the next George Floyd, and be killed while being restrained by the police.

De-shaun Joseph was stopped by police in south London on Thursday after officers said he matched the description of a suspect in a nearby robbery.

The officers, who were looking for a Black youth in a blue hoodie, handcuffed De-shaun, who was wearing a grey top over his school uniform, and forced him face-down to the ground outside Blackhorse Road tram station in Croydon.

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Economy & Public Finance ‘Tax gap’ estimated at £32bn in 2020-21

This would mean the government did not collect 5.1% of the tax it was due in theory – the same percentage HMRC estimated for 2019-20, and slightly higher than the record (since the measurement began in 2005-06) low 4.9% estimated in 2018-19.

In absolute terms, the latest tax gap was £2bn lower than in the previous year, but this was in line with the fall in the amount of tax HMRC believes should have been collected amid lockdown restrictions.

“On the face of it, the pandemic has not had a significant effect on the tax gap, although as HMRC themselves note, the estimates for 2020-2021 are subject to even more uncertainty than usual due to Covid-19,” said John Barnett, chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s technical policy and oversight committee.

“The figures suggest HMRC are still collecting about 95% of tax due, which compares well internationally.”

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Economy & Public Finance Inflation pushes up UK interest payments

Interest payments reached £7.6bn, up 70.4% from the same month last year, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The ONS said the rise was because of high Retail Prices Index inflation – this week it was revealed RPI inflation reached 11.7% year-on-year in May – to which about one-quarter of UK government debt is linked.

“On an accrued basis, this month saw the third highest debt interest payment made by central government in any single month and the highest payment made in any May on record,” the ONS said.

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Justice Detectives could get bonuses to boost crime-solving, says police watchdog chief

Detectives should be paid “bounties” to help boost crime-solving rates, the head of the police watchdog has said.

Andy Cooke, HM chief inspector of police and former Merseyside chief constable, said forces should consider offering bonuses to detectives to combat a national shortfall of up to 5,000 investigators.

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Economy & Public Finance UK inflation hits 9.1% as prices rise at fastest rate for 40 years

Prices are continuing to rise at their fastest rate for 40 years as food, energy and fuel costs continue to climb.

UK inflation, the rate at which prices rise, edged up to 9.1% in the 12 months to May, from 9% in April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The figure is now at the highest level since March 1982, when it also stood at 9.1%.

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Police Finances Auditing the auditors

Local audit is a vital part of public accountability and transparency, and timely publication of audited local authority financial statements is a very serious issue.

Without it, there is no proper independent assurance over the billions of pounds spent by local authorities.

Last year’s National Audit Office report on local audit timeliness found that in 2019-20, 55% of audits did not meet the extended statutory deadline.

The following year, Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) reported that only 9% of local audits were completed by the extended deadline of September 2021.

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Justice Survivors share views on PCC’s plan to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

Victims and survivors of violence have shared their views with Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner on plans to tackle VAWG across the region today.

Emily Spurrell hosted two focus groups to listen to the views of those who have first-hand lived experience of VAWG on how it can be best tackled.

The forums follow on from a VAWG Summit held in April when the PCC brought more than 80 specialists, including frontline staff and voluntary organisations together, to discuss the creation of a delivery plan for making our region safer for women and girls.

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Police Demand County lines: Inside the complex battle against drug gangs exploiting children

Police waging the relentless battle against dangerous crime gangs often arrest children for drug dealing. The BBC has been given rare access to a new team of prosecutors who have to decide whether these young suspects are criminals or victims. The choices they face are often complex and controversial.

CCTV footage captured the moment just before a teenager was gunned down in the street in the middle of the afternoon. Abdul Xasan, 19, was walking in the Hillfields area of Coventry in March 2020, when he was shot in the back. He died on the pavement.

His killer, who was armed with a pump action shotgun, was the same age as him. The car was driven by a 15-year-old accomplice. Both occupants were linked to the C2 gang in Coventry. Abdul was connected to a rival group, known as RB7. The day after the shooting, armed police arrested one of the suspects at his home.

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Justice Police fail to solve a single burglary in nearly half of the country

Police have failed to solve a single burglary in neighbourhoods covering nearly half the country over the past three years, a Telegraph investigation has found. Of more than 32,000 neighbourhoods analysed, 16,000 of them (46 per cent) had all their burglary cases in the past three years closed with no suspect caught and charged by police.

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Recruitment and Retention Police officers handed supermarket poverty vouchers in bid to prevent corruption

Police officers are using supermarket poverty vouchers amid warnings that the cost of living crisis could increase the risk of corruption in the ranks.

The Police Federation in Gloucestershire has handed out 120 vouchers in just three days to hard-pressed officers to help with food bills.

The organisation, which represents rank-and-file officers, claims that since 2010 its members have suffered a 20 per cent real-terms pay cut.

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Recruitment and Retention Police officers to have degrees added to crime-fighting arsenal

New laws mean from March any officer completing their three-year probation will have gained a graduate-level qualification

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Police Finances ‘Serious failings’ left children exposed to abuse in Oldham, finds damning review

Vulnerable children were left exposed to sexual exploitation in Oldham because of “serious failings” by the police and council, a damning independent review has found.

The report found there were multiple missed opportunities to prevent abuse stretching back to 2005, including offences committed by a council welfare officer who was later convicted of 30 rapes.

The review also suggested senior police and council officers may have misled MPs on the Commons home affairs select committee when denying wrongdoing over the “profound sexual exploitation” of a 12-year-old girl.

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Police and Crime General Black people in Merseyside twice as likely to be arrested - report

Black people in Merseyside are twice as likely to face arrest than white people, a police report has revealed.

A scrutiny meeting heard that black people across the region were 2.3 times more likely to be detained, which represented a downturn since 2019.

It comes after Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell agreed Merseyside Police was institutionally racist.

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Police and Crime General Ministers creating ‘hostile environment’ for protesters, say MPs

MPs and peers have accused ministers of creating a “hostile environment” for peaceful protests with its proposals for new policing powers.

The draft public order bill includes a new offence of “locking on”, which relates to demonstrators attaching themselves to something so they cannot be removed. It carries a maximum sentence of up to 51 weeks in prison.

The joint committee on human rights has said it is concerned the offence could encompass demonstrators who simply link arms with each other, and that it should be amended.

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Police and Crime General MPs warned over risks of decriminalising cannabis

David Sidwick, police and crime ccommissioner for Dorset, said the majority of his fellow PCCs are against the idea and it will only create more crime and public health problems.

He told MPs on the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into drug use: “The last time there was a state-sanctioned drug like this it was called Thalidomide.”

The panel also heard from senior police officers and other PCCs speaking about drug policy, policing and the law on illegal substances.

Panel members were asked for their opinions on decriminalisation and regulation of some drugs, notably cannabis, after they had taken evidence at previous hearings in favour of the move.

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Police Demand Met Police photo-sharing encourages knife-carrying, study finds

The Met Police practice of posting photographs of seized knives on social media could be encouraging knife-carrying, according to a new study.

The University of Strathclyde research also found that sharing such images risked creating "a culture of fear" and "perpetuating negative stereotypes".

London Assembly member Caroline Russell said the study's findings meant Mayor Sadiq Khan needed to take action.

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Justice Rape victims forced to wait three years for justice

Rape victims are being forced to wait more than three years on average for the first time, new Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data has revealed.

The figures, broken down into local police force areas, showed that rape victims in Nottinghamshire faced an average wait of 1,222 days - three years and four months - from reporting the offence to the verdict in crown court.

That comprised 736 days for the police and prosecutors to conduct the investigation and bring a charge before a further 486 days on average waiting for their case to be brought to court.

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Technology ‘Not enough’ being done to fight fraud

The police and crime commissioner for Avon and Somerset has said that “not enough” is being done to fight fraud, despite it being a bigger crime priority in recent years.

Mark Shelford told the Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud Committee that it was an “uphill struggle” to tackle fraud, which now makes up 40 per cent of crimes.

Pete O’Doherty, the National Police Chiefs’ Council Coordinator for Cyber and Economic Crime, City of London Police, echoed his points.

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Police Finances We need to talk about internal audit

CIPFA’s recent report, Internal Audit: Untapped Potential, lifts the lid on internal audit in public services. For some chief financial officers and chief executives, it will confirm the value and contribution of internal audit teams. The report found 87% of clients recognised the contribution internal audit makes, which is good news. However, for some leadership teams it might come as a surprise that internal audit can do more than provide a basic service at minimal cost.

Whatever the scope of your organisation, internal audit deserves attention. But, getting the most out of the function requires honest conversations and long-term planning. If the risks are not addressed, high quality internal audit in public services may become a thing of the past. Chief financial officers, chief executives, audit committee members and heads of internal audit need to talk about internal audit more. But what exactly should those discussions be about?

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Police and Crime General Met police ‘absolutely focused’ on criminal probe into blaze

The Met today said it was “absolutely focused” on the criminal investigation into the Grenfell fire on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the tragedy.

Scotland Yard said it has 180 investigators working on the case examining whether charges including corporate manslaughter and fraud can be brought in connection with the blaze which ripped through the building in north Kensington, killing 72 people, on June 14, 2017.

The probe was launched after it was revealed that the cladding on the tower was flammable and the roles of 36 companies which were involved in the refurbishment of the tower is being examined.

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Police and Crime General Police forced to apologise after smashing car window of man who accused force of racial profiling

Police have been forced to apologise after smashing the car window of a man who had accused the force of racial profiling.

Ryan Colaço’s window was shattered by an officer after he was wrongly stopped on suspicion of carrying drugs near Cannon Street station in central London during lockdown on 29 May, 2020.

The ,location manager for the television and film industry was pulled from the vehicle, put against a wall, then driven to a police station and strip searched, where nothing illicit was found.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economy shrinks as higher prices bite

The UK economy shrank again in April as businesses felt the impact of price rises and the NHS Covid Test and Trace operation was wound down.

The economy contracted by 0.3% in April after it shrank by 0.1% the month before, official figures showed.

April was the first time all main sectors of the economy - services, manufacturing and production - had shrunk since January 2021.

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Police and Crime General Officers should stop and search people who smell of cannabis says man taking over at watchdog as he issues 'common sense manifesto'

Police should stop and search people who smell of cannabis, the new policing watchdog chief declares today.

In a wide-ranging interview, Andy Cooke risks the wrath of senior colleagues by saying officers should crack down on the class B drug.

The Chief Inspector of Constabulary believes such action could curb drug-driving and other crimes.

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Justice Women are being jailed for their partner's crimes

Female protesters have raised fears the policing bill will increase officer violence towards them, warning the legislation could embolden some police officers to be more misogynistic and racist.

Campaigners told The Independent it is worrying that the controversial legislation was rolled out even when officers were being criticised for failing to stop violence against women in their own ranks.

The policing act, which became law in April, has been widely criticised by campaign groups. Opponents to it warn that the legislation cracks down on citizens’ right to protest and exacerbates over-policing and the criminalisation of marginalised communities.

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Justice Women are being jailed for their partner's crimes

The criminal justice system had long been accused of failing women before grainy CCTV footage emerged of Emma-Jayne Magson walking down a darkened street being attacked and pushed over by her boyfriend, James Knight.

Just hours later Magson killed Knight with a single stab to the heart in what she claims was an act of self defence. After twice having been convicted of the bodybuilder’s murder, the 29-year-old has launched an appeal against her life sentence by arguing that, as a victim of domestic violence, she should have been allowed to use “disproportionate force”.

It is the same “householder” defence that saw farmer Tony Martin finally walk free after he was jailed for shooting dead a teenage burglar at his Norfolk home in 1999.

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Police Finances Former head of ‘British FBI’ fears impact of Whitehall cuts on fight against crime

The former head of Britain’s equivalent of the FBI has said she fears ministers’ plans to cut civil servant posts could have a “devastating” impact on tackling serious and organised crime.

Speaking to Policing TV, Dame Lynne Owens, the former director general of the National Crime Agency (NCA), said she was keeping a “keen eye” on discussions about proposals to axe 90,000 jobs and how they may affect the agency she led for five years.

Owens, who retired last year, also revealed that she had not “ruled out” applying to become Metropolitan police commissioner in the future – despite deciding not to after Dame Cressida Dick resigned in February.

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Police Demand NSPCC says child cruelty offences rose by a quarter in a year

The number of child cruelty offences in England jumped by a quarter last year, according to police data collected by the NSPCC.

The child protection charity blames the stress many families felt during the pandemic for the rise, and backs recent high-profile calls for earlier help.

"This must be a priority for government," said NSPCC chief executive Sir Peter Wanless.

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Police Finances The local precept – from the cherry on top to a key funding ingredient

With policing resources under continuing pressure, the 2022/23 financial year is now underway, prompting renewed focus on how police forces are funded across the UK; in this second of two articles, Policing Insight’s Ian Wiggett focuses on the income raised locally by the forces of England and Wales through the policing precept.

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Police Finances We Need to Maximise Internal Audit’s Impact

The global order of the last 40 years is changing.

Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine is the biggest geo-political event since the Second World War. European security architecture is shifting before our eyes, with the historically militarily unaligned Baltic states Sweden and Finland now moving to join NATO to better protect themselves. The Western sanctions slapped on Russia in retaliation, as well as the West’s weapons pouring into Ukraine, have been equally unprecedented.

These changes are seismic and will have ramifications for a long time to come. The future is looking increasingly uncertain and volatile, but what does this mean for the public sector? How should it best guard against future challenges and mitigate any risk to its role in supporting communities with essential services?

Good decision making is central to ensuring the public body will be able to weather any storm – but this cannot happen without accountability, transparency and good governance arrangements in place. This is where internal audit plays a key role. CIPFA believes that internal audit is vital in supporting public bodies reach their goals. Better audit means better public services.

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Prisons £98m wasted on failed upgrade of offender tagging system, say auditors

A failed government plan to transform the system for electronically tagging offenders wasted £98m of taxpayers’ money, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has found.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said attempts to upgrade HM Prison & Probation Service’s (HMPPS) tagging system were abandoned in March after 11 years and a net spend of £153m.

Ministers still do not know if electronically tagging criminals is helping to cut reoffending because of failings in the system, the NAO report says.

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Technology Digital fingerprints of a million child abuse images made

Digital fingerprints of a million images of child sexual abuse have been created, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has said.

The UK charity, which is responsible for finding and removing such material online, said the fingerprints, known as hashes, would help companies and police find copies of the images.

It is hoped that by doing this, the reuse of the images can be prevented.

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Police and Crime General Met police did not consult us on children’s data project, say youth violence experts

Youth violence experts have said they had no involvement with a police scheme that collects children’s personal data, despite the Met claiming to have consulted them.

Project Alpha, involving more than 30 staff and launched in 2019 with Home Office funding, scours social media sites looking at drill music videos and other content. It has prompted concerns about racial profiling and potential privacy violations.

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Prisons Criminals must pass three new tests before transfer to open prison

Criminals will be barred from transferring to an open prison unless they pass three tough new tests, Dominic Raab will announce on Sunday.

The Justice Secretary is to shift the burden of proof onto serious offenders to justify why they should be allowed to move to the more liberal open prison regime in readiness for release.

The three steps – introduced from Monday – will require them firstly to prove that they are highly unlikely to abscond based on their adherence to rules and restrictions during their time in a closed prison.

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Police and Crime General Andy Cooke calls for greater police visibility

Andy Cooke, the former chief constable of Merseyside Police, said he wanted forces to re-evaluate their priorities amid personal concerns that too much time was being spent dealing with mental health issues and truanting children.

He said police should instead be attending every house burglary, and called for a return to having officers based within schools. Mr Cooke, 57, told the PA news agency: “Prioritisation is really important. But at the moment, the focus, in my own personal view, isn’t necessarily on some of the right things.”

Mr Cooke, who is two months into his role of trying to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces and fire services, said he wanted to see a return to neighbourhood policing in an attempt to deter criminals, build intelligence, and win back the trust of communities. “Neighbourhood policing isn’t about walking down streets kissing babies on the head and waving to shopkeepers, you’ve got to have an edge. The neighbourhood officers have got to be seen to be taking action against problems that are there, whether that’s through problem-solving, whether that’s through putting doors in to catch people.

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Recruitment and Retention Metropolitan Police takes recruits from neighbours with £5,000 signing-on fee

The Metropolitan Police has been accused of acting “selfishly” by poaching experienced officers from surrounding forces with a £5,000 payment.

Britain’s biggest police force announced the one-off inducement after it failed to meet its targets in the government’s uplift programme, which will deliver 20,000 new officers in England and Wales by the end of March next year.

The Met is struggling to recruit 4,500 officers, its share of the total.

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Justice Impact of online abuse and harassment revealed in new research from the Victims’ Commissioner

New research from the Victims’ Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, brings into sharp focus the impact online abuse has on its victims.

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Police and Crime General Metropolitan Police has real problems, Sadiq Khan says

Sadiq Khan has described the Metropolitan Police as a force facing "real challenges" and "real problems".

London's Labour mayor told Sophie Raworth on BBC One's Sunday Morning that evidence of "systemic sexism, racism, homophobia, discrimination, misogyny" had emerged in recent months.

While he "recognised the dedicated, decent, brave officers" on the force he said its new commissioner would need to work at restoring trust and confidence.

The role has yet to be filled.

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Police and Crime General Revealed: The quickest and slowest police forces for answering 999 calls

Police forces are routinely failing to answer "life and death" 999 calls within target times, new data shows.

Only one force in the UK - Avon and Somerset Police - is meeting the standard to answer 90% of 999 calls in under 10 seconds.

Forty-three police forces failed to meet it over the six months from November 2021 and April 2022.

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Justice Rape victims should not be treated as suspects, says data watchdog

Police and prosecutors should immediately stop collecting large amounts of personal data about rape and sexual assault victims, the UK's information commissioner says.

In a new report, John Edwards says many victims are treated as "suspects".

They are asked for an "extraordinary" amount of information, he says - such as medical records and school reports.

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Police Demand Avon and Somerset only police force meeting 999 call-answering targets

Just one police force in England and Wales is meeting its 999 call-answering target.

Home Office data shows Avon and Somerset Police is the only force answering 90% of 999 calls in less than 10 seconds.

Forty-three police forces in England and Wales failed to meet the standard from November 2021 and April 2022.

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Police Demand Police taking longer to attend and charging fewer suspects

BBC research indicates forces are taking an average of three minutes longer to attend serious offences in England and Wales compared with six years ago. And while the government has repeatedly said crime is a key priority, some forces are facing criticism for not investigating lower-level offences.

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Police and Crime General Safer roads, Safer Wiltshire – focused op targets drivers breaking law

Road safety is a key priority for Wiltshire’s communities. It’s also a key priority for Wiltshire PCC Philip Wilkinson in the latest police and crime plan – the strategic policing blueprint for the county.

And, yesterday, he was delighted to spend time with Wiltshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit for a targeted day-of-action on the county’s roads.

Officers from the team dealt with 140 motoring offences in just 12 hours during the special operation.

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Police and Crime General Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022: factsheets

Factsheets giving details of the different measures contained in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

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Police and Crime General Review into deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson calls for dedicated child protection teams

A review into the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson has called for dedicated child protection teams made up of police, healthcare staff and social workers to be set up in every local area.

The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel said the way child protection is approached in England needs to "change fundamentally".

Its national review found that the fatal abuses suffered by Arthur, six, and Star, 16 months, "are not isolated incidents", but reflective of wider problems with poor information sharing and weak decision-making.

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Police Finances Commissioner launches fund to make communities safer

Darryl Preston, Police and Crime Commissioner, has launched a new Safer Communities Fund to tackle local issues of crime and disorder.

Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) within the county will be able to bid for up to £5K for initiatives which provide a swift response to crimes such as anti-social behaviour, road safety, bike theft and fly tipping.

“People repeatedly raise with me their concerns about so called low-level crime,” Darryl Preston said. “It’s not low-level when it has such a big impact on the lives of so many.

“Everyone has a part to play in tackling and preventing local crime concerns – this is where CSPs come in.

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Justice APCC Joint Victims leads Donna Jones & Sophie Linden respond to the publication of draft victims bill

“Today’s announcement is welcomed by Police and Crime Commissioners. It enshrines the Victims’ Code into law, putting victims front and centre in the criminal justice system. We are pleased by the prominent role of PCCs in drawing together partnerships, ensuring the voice of victims is heard, and in monitoring compliance across the system locally. Each are critical areas of work.

“We look forward to working with partners to deliver quality services for victims under a new duty to collaborate. This is a real opportunity to assess need and work collaboratively to ensure we are delivering the very best services for victims.

“PCCs play a central locally in monitoring performance through chairing our Local Criminal Justice Boards. We look forward to working with our partners to closely scrutinise code compliance data to identify areas of challenge and success, putting victims first.

“We will be working closely with our colleagues in government on the pre-legislative scrutiny of this draft legislation and look forward to the Bill being introduced to Parliament at the soonest possible opportunity. Resourcing must match the demands placed upon PCCs, their offices, and the services we commission, to continue delivering the high quality of services that victims are entitled to receive.”

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Police Demand Police warning after rise catalytic converters thefts

Police have urged drivers to be vigilant following a rise in catalytic converter thefts, warning "it doesn't matter where you park".

In the West Midlands, the vehicle part has been reported stolen from easily accessible areas like hospitals, shopping centres and driveways.

The BBC has also seen footage of catalytic converters being taken from a car dealership.

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Justice Encouraging male victims to get support

Following a storyline on Eastenders, which sees Ben Mitchell experience a serious sexual assault by a friend, the PCC wants to raise awareness of the emotional, psychological and practical support available to male rape survivors through Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs).

SARCs offer a range of services including crisis care, medical and forensic examinations, emergency contraception and testing for STIs. They can also arrange access to an ISVA as well as referrals to mental health support and sexual violence support services in your local area.

If the victim is thinking about reporting an assault to the police, the centre can arrange for the survivor to speak to a specially trained police officer who can explain the next steps.

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Police and Crime General Welsh PCCs welcome plans for a devolved justice system

The four police and crime commissioners (PCCs) for Wales have welcomed the Welsh government’s proposals for a devolved justice system.

They said it would be “the logical next step in the devolution journey” with the work of policing and the criminal justice system “inextricably linked with a range of devolved responsibilities”.

A document published on Tuesday (May 24) by the Welsh government highlights the “increasing development” of a distinct Welsh justice policy based on “prevention through tackling social challenges and rehabilitation, instead of a more punitive approach”.

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Justice Raab promises to put victims ‘firmly at heart of justice system’

The Government has promised to put the “needs and voices” of victims “firmly at the heart of the justice system” with a series of legal reforms.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab is publishing draft legislation which could pave the way for the first victims’ law in a bid to provide better support and increase the conviction rate.

In an overhaul of the current provisions, prosecutors will be told they need to meet victims in certain cases before a trial to hear their views.

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Police Demand Police brace for unrest over cost-of-living crisis

Police forces have begun planning for disorder over the summer amid fears that the cost-of-living crisis and other pressures could trigger civil unrest.

Chief constables and policing organisations are sharing intelligence about potential disorder, a senior source said. They have also been assessing mutual aid, the process by which forces share officers to bolster their numbers during major incidents.

The policing source stressed that there was no “specific intelligence” about disorder but said that it was increasingly under discussion.

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Police and Crime General PCC’s response to National Police Chiefs’ Council Race Action Plan

PCC’s response to National Police Chiefs’ Council Race Action Plan..

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Police and Crime General 'It's crazy out there': Closure of youth clubs across UK 'pushing children to violence'

A father who lost his son to a stabbing says the closing down of youth centres across the country is "pushing children to violence".

Dwayne Roye, a community activist from Croydon, hosted his seventh annual football tournament today to raise awareness about knife crime.

During the past seven years, he's lost five close people in his life to knife crime.

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Justice 40% of violent crime victims drop out of justice system because police cannot convict attackers

Four in 10 of all violent crime victims end up dropping out of the justice system because police are unable to gather enough evidence to convict their attackers, official figures show.

Last year a record 1.3 million people abandoned their complaint to the police, including 800,000 victims of violent crime and 60,000 people who had suffered a sexual offence.

Labour accused the Government of letting down victims by repeatedly delaying the Victims Bill, which was promised in the Queen’s Speech more than a year ago but was not delivered on time.

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Police and Crime General Policing needs a 'back to basics' approach to solve falling prosecutions, says new police watchdog

As the new police watchdog, Andy Cooke makes no apologies about his "back to basics" agenda for forces. After all, his fictional detective hero was the straight-talking Flying Squad DI Jack Regan from the television series The Sweeney.

Mr Cooke, the former chief constable of Merseyside, a detective by trade and commander of Britain’s first "Matrix" gun and gang fighting unit, believes police forces need to get back onto the front foot so that they again instill fear in criminals.

He favours traditional methods that have lost currency in recent years: more covert policing, recruiting informants, neighbourhood policing "with teeth", identifying and targeting criminals via stop and search, and investigating or at least assessing every crime even if the value is under £50.

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Justice Scouring of rape victims' medical and school records delaying trials by up to nine months

Rape victims’ trials are being delayed for up to nine months by “tenuous” and “disproportionate” searches of their medical, council and even school records, a review by the Attorney General has found.

Some victims are waiting months while police and prosecutors carry out “intrusive” searches of “third party” records for personal details that turn out to be irrelevant to the trial.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Suella Braverman, QC, cited the case of a rape victim where searches of her carer’s records added nine months to the case yet the resulting evidence was “not relevant to the trial.”

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel in fresh bid to push through strict anti-protest measures

Priti Patel will tell MPs that “we do not make policy through mob rule in this country” as she urges them to give their support to the new public order bill.

It represents the home secretary’s latest attempt to introduce measures that have previously been blocked by the House of Lords as part of the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill.

The measures include introducing a new offence of obstructing major transport networks, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail, an unlimited fine, or both.

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Police and Crime General Cocaine users face random testing in crackdown plan

Recreational cocaine users face random testing and could lose their passports under plans to cut demand for Class A drugs in Britain.

Ministers are considering copying a colour-coded system that has reduced consumption in Hawaii since its introduction in 2004.

Under the system, individuals caught in possession of Class A drugs or who test positive for them would be assigned a colour, such as red, blue or green.

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Police and Crime General And in the blue corner … Dominic Raab on why boxing helps children toe the line and avoid crime

Competitive sports like boxing can stop children turning to crime, Dominic Raab has said, as he launched a £300 million bid to catch troubled teenagers teetering on the edge of criminality.

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Justice Secretary revealed how boxing and karate helped him overcome the loss of his father at the age of 12.

Speaking on a visit to a boxing scheme for deprived children in Blackpool, he said: “If a middle class boy from Buckinghamshire benefited from it, can you imagine what that formula will do for a working class kid in Blackpool or someone who comes from a working class home in Newham?

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Justice Street harassment law being blocked, adviser Nimco Ali says

The government's independent adviser on tackling violence against women and girls has suggested her calls for street harassment to be made a crime are being blocked.

Nimco Ali, a friend of Boris and Carrie Johnson, told the BBC's Political Thinking with Nick Robinson podcast that her plan had endured "pushback".

She also hinted the prime minister had not fully supported it.

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Police and Crime General Exclusive: Police officers investigating murders and rapes from home

Police detectives are investigating rapes and murders from home, including in areas with some of the worst crime rates in the country, The Telegraph has learned.

Several forces now have official “hybrid working” policies which allow officers to carry out inquiries without leaving their homes.

Simon Kempton, the national treasurer at the Police Federation, said that although many duties need to be done in person, there are “some, like detectives, that are still working at home”.

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Police and Crime General Football fans taking cocaine at matches face five-year bans

Football fans convicted of selling or taking class A drugs such as cocaine at matches could face five-year bans, the government has announced, in a bid to tackle rising violence and disruption.

The new rules, announced on Thursday by the policing minister, Kit Malthouse, could also see anyone convicted ordered to surrender their passports when their team is playing abroad.

Boris Johnson claimed the drug habits of “middle-class cokeheads” are driving crime across the UK, adding: “Their habit is feeding a war on our streets driving misery and crime across our country and beyond.

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Police Finances Inflation hits 9 per cent

UK inflation, the rate at which prices are rising, jumped to 9 per cent in the 12 months to April, up from 7 per cent in March. The rise came as millions of people saw an unprecedented £700-a-year rise in energy costs last month.

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Fire Home Secretary unveils ambitious plans for fire reform

The most comprehensive plans for fire reform in decades have been set out today in the government’s Fire Reform White Paper, which will help strengthen the emergency services and seek to ensure people feel safer in their homes.

Today (18 May), the Home Secretary visited Old Kent Road fire station alongside the Minister of State for Building Safety and Fire to announce the package which will build upon changes following the Grenfell Tower fire and findings from independent inspection reports.

The changes announced include the commencement of the Fire Safety Act 2021 which will make sure all blocks of flats are properly assessed for fire safety risks and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 which will help ensure people feel safe in their homes.

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Police and Crime General Bedfordshire PCC's bid to stop absent pupils 'falling prey' to gangs

Youth workers will visit the homes of pupils who are absent from school in a bid to prevent them "falling prey" to gangs, a police commissioner said.

Bedfordshire police and crime commissioner, Conservative Festus Akinbusoye, will pilot the scheme at six secondary schools in the county.

Mr Akinbusoye said 90% of young offenders had been "persistently absent from school".

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Police and Crime General Officers should use discretion over stealing to eat, says police watchdog

The cost of living crisis will trigger an increase in crime and officers should use their “discretion” when deciding whether to prosecute people who steal in order to eat, the new chief inspector of constabulary has said.

“The impact of poverty, and the impact of lack of opportunity for people, does lead to an increase in crime. There’s no two ways about that,” Andy Cooke said as inflation hit a 40-year high of 9%.

When asked how policing could avoid being seen as the arm of an uncaring state, he said forces across England and Wales were skilled in dealing with the tensions and dynamics of their communities.

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Police and Crime General Volunteer police officers to be armed with Taser stun guns

Volunteer police officers in England and Wales will be authorised to use Tasers, the home secretary is to announce.

Priti Patel will say in a speech to police that special constables should be able to use the electric stun guns if they complete the specific training.

The Home Office said it would ensure they are not "at a disadvantage" when facing attackers.

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Police Demand Alarm as leak reveals Prevent ‘carrying the weight’ for mental health services

Mental health campaigners have sounded the alarm over a leaked review of anti-extremism programme Prevent, which suggests those without extremist views are being referred to the programme to access faster mental health services.

Draft extracts of the leaked report by William Shawcross, seen by the Guardian, warn of a “serious misallocation of resources” and that the programme is being misused because of the strain on mental health provision.

“In my assessment, Prevent is carrying the weight for mental health services,” the report says. “Vulnerable people who do not necessarily pose a terrorism risk are being referred to Prevent in order to access other types of much-needed support. This is a serious misallocation of resources and risks diverting attention from the threat itself.”

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Police and Crime General PCC welcomes new laws on disruptive protesters

New laws planned to tackle protesters who block motorways and interfere with national infrastructure have been welcomed by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.

The powers were outlined in the Queen’s Speech and include a new criminal offence of protesters locking on and also tougher court orders against repeat offenders.

In recent years protesters repeatedly held up traffic on the M25 in Hertfordshire; targeted the Buncefield oil Depot in Hemel Hempstead and prevented lorries delivering national newspapers from the printing presses in Waltham Cross.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “I recognise and respect the right to protest as a corner stone of everybody living in a free country. But over the last few years Hertfordshire in particular, has seen a rise in protester activity purely aimed at causing maximum disruption to many thousands of people who are just trying to go about their everyday business.

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Prisons New airport-style security in prisons sees record level of drug seizures

Almost 20,000 attempts to smuggle illegal contraband behind bars have been intercepted since the latest cutting-edge technology was installed across the prison estate in England and Wales.

This includes X-Ray scanners, drug-trace machines and metal detection archways at the “most challenging prisons”, said the Ministry of Justice (MoJ.

“Over the past two years, more than 70 cutting-edge X-Ray body scanners have been installed in all closed male prisons, producing super sharp images of concealed contraband so staff can easily find and stop dangerous items from entering jails,” said the MoJ.

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Police and Crime General Home Secretary permanently lifts restrictions on police stop and search powers

The Home Secretary is to permanently lift restrictions on police in the use of stop and search powers. Priti Patel announced the changes in a letter to police forces, saying they are part of the Government’s strategy to tackle violent crime.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel permanently lifts restrictions on police stop and search powers to tackle violent crime

The home secretary is permanently lifting restrictions placed on police in the use of stop and search powers.

Priti Patel announced the changes in a letter to police forces on Monday, under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, saying they are part of the government's strategy to tackle violent crime.

The law gives police officers the right to search people without reasonable grounds when serious violence is expected.

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Police and Crime General Police chief suggests review into decriminalising drugs

A police chief has called on the government to look at the evidence around decriminalising drugs amid a rise in deaths.

Dyfed-Powys Police’s chief constable Richard Lewis said the issue should be seen as a public health problem rather than a criminal justice problem.

It comes after Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, faced backlash when he announced plans for a commission to consider decriminalising cannabis after visiting a “fascinating” marijuana farm in the United States.

Mr Lewis told the BBC it was “important that we do take evidence from other countries” to inform domestic policy.

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Police and Crime General UK police ‘are not thought police’, says new chief

Police forces are not “the thought police” and should focus on dealing with actual offences and keeping the public safe, the new HM chief inspector of constabulary has said.

Andy Cooke, who took over last month, said chief constables should avoid “politics with a small P” and remember there is a clear distinction between what is and is not a crime.

“We’re not the thought police, we follow legislation and we follow the law, simple as that,” he told the Times. “Policing is busy enough dealing with the serious offences that are going on, busy enough trying to keep people safe.”

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Police and Crime General Police support women feeling unsafe in Southampton after dark

Women have spoken about their experiences of sexual assaults and violence in and around city centre venues.

Police in Southampton have said tackling violence against women and girls is now their top priority.

The latest safety survey found that more than 80% of females feel unsafe in the city centre after dark.

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Economy & Public Finance Queen's Speech: Government to focus on 'growing the economy'

Boris Johnson has promised to get the country "back on track" as the government unveils its plans for the year ahead in the Queen's Speech.

The speech is expected to focus on boosting economic growth, but the PM will say that the UK cannot spend its way out of trouble and will need to grow the economy.

In all, 38 parliamentary bills are due to be unveiled.

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Justice Protesters who chain themselves to buildings could face six months in prison under Queen’s Speech plan

It will be illegal for protesters to lock themselves to buildings and large objects to make it harder for police to clear them under a new law being announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Demonstrations that “interfere with” infrastructure such as airports, railways and newspaper printing presses will also be outlawed, while anyone who blocks the construction of major transport projects such as HS2 could face six months in prison.

The law changes were originally introduced as part of the mammoth Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill but were struck out by the House of Lords.

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Justice Tougher punishments for animal cruelty crimes in England and Wales

Courts are set to be given powers to hand out tougher punishments for serious animal cruelty crimes, under proposed new sentencing guidelines.

Updated guidance in England and Wales will affect sentences for crimes like causing unnecessary suffering, tail docking and animal fighting.

Cruelty for money, as part of organised crime or particularly "sadistic" cases, will be considered the most serious.

It follows the maximum penalty being raised in 2021 to

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Prisons Hundreds of mentally ill prisoners denied urgent treatment in England

Hundreds of severely mentally ill prisoners in urgent need of hospital treatment are being left in prison cells due to bed shortages in secure NHS psychiatric units, an investigation has discovered.

Freedom of information (FoI) responses from 22 NHS trusts reveal for the first time that just over half of the 5,403 prisoners in England assessed by prison-based psychiatrists to require hospitalisation were not transferred between 2016 and 2021 – an 81% increase on the number of prisoners denied a transfer in the previous five years.

In some areas, the majority of mentally ill prisoners were not admitted, which could be the result of long delays or a trust refusing to take certain patients. Norfolk and Suffolk NHS foundation trust, which was rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission last month, only admitted 16 of 41 prisoners referred in 2021. Essex Partnership University NHS foundation trust only admitted 24 of 57 prisoners referred in 2021. Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS foundation trust only accepted 18 of the 38 prisoners referred in 2021.

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Police and Crime General Queen's Speech: New laws targeting protesters and bonfire of EU legislation among plans to be set out by govt

New laws to outlaw guerrilla-style climate protests that have caused misery for the public are being unveiled in a bumper Queen's Speech.

A new offence of "locking-on", targeting activists who lock or glue themselves together or to buildings, is planned by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Her crackdown comes in one of 38 new bills, which also include a bonfire of EU laws in post-Brexit reforms and levelling-up measures to revive town centres.

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Police and Crime General Queen's Speech: Government tries again to ban 'guerrilla' protests

The government will try again to ban what it calls "guerrilla protests" through new legislation announced in the Queen's Speech.

The Tories tried to introduce measures in its policing bill aimed at those who glue and lock themselves to structures, but it was rejected by the Lords.

The new Public Order Bill revives the policies, which could see some protesters facing up to a year in jail.

Critics have called the plan "an attack on the right to protest".

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Economy & Public Finance Inflation shock will last years, says former Bank of England chief

High inflation could remain until 2024 and will be a “massive shock to the system” for a generation, a former chief economist at the Bank of England has warned.

Andy Haldane, now a government adviser, said inflation had “surpassed my worst expectations” and was likely to exceed 10 per cent. He also said the Bank should have acted sooner than last autumn when raising interest rates.

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, admitted yesterday that the government “can’t do everything to help” but confirmed that he was preparing to do more. He told BBC Look East: “We are not the only country facing higher energy prices or higher inflation. We can do things to support people and we are going to do what we can. I wish I could make it completely go away, but I can’t.”

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Justice Domestic abuse victims to get information on partner’s criminal behaviour faster

Under new guidance, the police will have 28 days to disclose information about someone’s violent or abusive behaviour, down from the current guideline of 35 days.

This will mean victims and potential victims should have the information that could be critical to their safety faster, says the Home Office.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), commonly referred to as ‘Clare’s Law’, was implemented across all police forces in England and Wales in March 2014. It means that members of the public can ask the police for information on their partner’s criminal history and therefore know if their partner poses a risk to them.

Minister for Safeguarding Rachel Maclean said: “We have to make sure victims and potential victims of domestic abuse have all the protection and information they need to stay safe.

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Justice ‘I had to be broken to be fixed’: the courses trying to change abusive men

In this Zoom call, four men are looking at a list of family duties and marking which they do themselves and which they have been leaving to their partners. Earning money. School run. Laundry. Ironing. Cooking. Cleaning the bathroom. Buying school uniform. Putting children to bed …

Next, they discuss why that may be. “It’s just how we operate,” says one, a man who is no longer living with his partner, but spending a lot of time with her and their new baby. “She loves cooking. I don’t iron. She does iron …” He runs out of steam.

“The way I look at it, I’ve been married 20 years and you evolve into what you do,” says another. “That’s how you decide what your jobs are. I do cook a meal occasionally but 95% of the time, she does the cooking and plans the shopping because she knows what she needs to feed the family. I earn the money to pay for it.”

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Technology ‘Crypto muggings’: thieves in London target digital investors by taking phones

Thieves are targeting digital currency investors on the street in a wave of “crypto muggings”, police have warned, with victims reporting that thousands of pounds have been stolen after their mobile phones were seized.

Anonymised crime reports provided to the Guardian by City of London police, as part of a freedom of information request, reveal criminals are combining physical muscle with digital knowhow to part people from their cryptocurrency.

One victim reported they had been trying to order an Uber near London’s Liverpool Street station when muggers forced them to hand over their phone. While the gang eventually gave the phone back, the victim later realised that £5,000-worth of ethereum digital currency was missing from their account with the crypto investing platform Coinbase.

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Police and Crime General Partygate: Metropolitan Police fines ‘issued over No 10 Christmas party’

Metropolitan Police are believed to have begun issuing more fines to Downing Street staff over gatherings held in government offices during Covid lockdown curbs.

Scotland Yard is starting to hand out fines over a Christmas party held at No 10 on 18 December 2020, according to the Daily Mirror.

The festive bash, details of which first emerged at the end of last year and sparked the Partygate scandal, was said to have been attended by dozens of Boris Johnson’s staff.

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Police and Crime General First female MDP deputy chief constable appointed

She joined MDP in February this year as assistant chief constable, Nuclear and Marine, having spent two years as a commander in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Ms Dales said: “I am proud to take up post as the first female deputy chief constable of the MDP, based in the new headquarters in Cambridgeshire, which is the county where I began and have spent most of my policing career.

“Since joining the MDP, I have learnt so much about the unique capabilities of the force and our role in contributing to the Defence Plan and Defence Tasks.

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Economy & Public Finance Interest rate raised to 1% by Bank of England despite issuing warning of recession

The Bank of England has raised the base rate of interest to 1% - the fourth consecutive increase as it continues to move against surging inflation - despite issuing a warning about a recession ahead.

The Bank forecast that the UK economy will shrink later this year in the face of double-digit inflation and an unprecedented squeeze on household incomes.

In its first forecast since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Bank said it now expected the energy price crunch to leave a lasting scar, pushing up unemployment and contributing to weak or negative growth throughout 2023.

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Police and Crime General Backing for police in the battle over park benches

Phineas Harper questions the rationale behind removing park benches to reduce antisocial behaviour (Removing benches, blocking cycle paths: why are police interfering in the UK’s public spaces?, 2 May).

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Recruitment and Retention Cambridgeshire Police officers dismissed for having sex 'on a number of occasions' while on duty

Two police officers have been dismissed for gross misconduct after they "engaged in sexual activity" on a "number of occasions" while on duty.

The officers, who worked for Cambridgeshire Police, admitted the behaviour took place at "differing locations", a misconduct hearing was told.

The officers were referred to only as "PC A" and "PC B" during the hearing due to "concerns about their mental health".

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Police Demand Rape and other sex offences should be the biggest police priority, say public


he number of people wanting rape to be prioritised by police is greater than for any other crime, a new survey revealed on Tuesday in a new reflection of public concern about sex attacks on women.

The Ipsos Mori poll shows that 61 per cent of the public believe that rape and other sexual offences should be treated as a priority by the Met and other forces.

By contrast, only 40 per cent cited terrorism or organised crime as among the three types of offending that they think should be prioritised.

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Police and Crime General Nottinghamshire police boss Caroline Henry caught speeding five times

A police and crime commissioner (PCC) who pledged to crack down on speeding was caught breaking a 30mph limit five times in four months.

Conservative Caroline Henry, the PCC for Nottinghamshire, appeared before Nottingham magistrates earlier after previously admitting the offences.

The 52-year-old, who was elected in May 2021, was caught speeding in four locations around the county in March, May and June 2021.

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Police Demand Police fail to solve more than 500 burglaries a day

More than 500 burglaries are going unsolved every day, official figures show, as the proportion resulting in a charge has fallen to a record low of just one in 33.

Home Office data reveal that 241,736 burglary cases were closed in 2021, of which 190,895 had no suspect identified. That equates to 523 unsolved burglaries a day, or 3,661 every week.

It means that nearly 1.5 million burglaries have gone unsolved in the past six years amidst warnings that cuts to neighbourhood policing are leaving homeowners at the mercy of criminals.

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Justice Magistrates can dish out a year in jail from today as sentencing powers are doubled in bid to tackle courts backlog

Magistrates have had their sentencing powers doubled in a bid to tackle the courts backlog – but barristers warned yesterday the move could trigger a flood of appeals.

Criminals will now face sentences of up to a year from today for a single offence, compared with a previous six-month maximum at a magistrates’ court.

The plans are part of a bid to relieve the huge crown court backlog of cases built up over the pandemic. Until now, magistrates have sent cases to crown courts for sentences longer than six months.

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Recruitment and Retention Fewer than half of senior police leaders would recommend joining the service.

Fewer than four in 10 senior police leaders would recommend joining the service following a series of scandals that has left morale among officers at its lowest-ever point, the Telegraph can reveal.

A survey conducted among superintendent ranks found many long-serving officers lack motivation and feel betrayed by the despicable behaviour of colleagues who have brought shame on the uniform.

The abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met officer Wayne Couzens and revelations of appalling racism, misogyny and homophobia among some officers based at Charing Cross station in London, has rocked policing and left many senior cops disillusioned.

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Recruitment and Retention What's all this then? Britain's police forces are urged to 'decolonise' their training material in a bid to attract new recruits

Police forces have been urged to ‘decolonise’ their training material in a bid to attract new recruits.

The College of Policing, which sets guidance for the training of police officers, issued the call in a jargon-filled equality manifesto sent to forces nationwide.

It wants trainers to ‘review curriculums to ensure “decolonisation” of learning content’ and check that teaching methods ‘implement culturally sustaining pedagogy’.

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Recruitment and Retention UK's first 'Military to Police' scheme launched by Notts Police

The country’s first scheme to provide a direct pathway for military personnel to join the police service has been launched by Nottinghamshire Police with support from the College of Policing.

Currently, there is no specific national pathway for serving members of the Armed Forces to join the police – despite lots of military skills translating well into policing.

Nottinghamshire Police’s pioneering new Military Widening Access Course means serving military personnel will now be supported to transition into an exciting new career in policing.

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Justice Suspects charged in just 6% of reported crimes

Just one in 16 crime suspects were taken to court last year as the rate of offences that led to a charge fell to a new record low.

Suspects were charged or ordered to appear in court relating to 274,421 offences last year, just 5.8 per cent of all crimes reported to the police, according to Home Office figures.

It is the lowest rate since records began six years ago and was down from a 7.5 per cent rate in a year.

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Police and Crime General Black children over-policed in schools, report says

Black children are more likely to face tougher punishments at school because they are viewed as "less innocent" and more adult-like, a report says.

This process of "adultification" means black children can feel unsafe and over-policed at school, the Commission on Young Lives in England report says.

This can lead to black children being disciplined more harshly - including being more likely to be excluded.

The government said it had strengthened safeguarding guidance for schools.

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Police and Crime General APCC welcomes ‘first past the post’ in new Elections Bill

This means that the candidate who wins the most votes in each constituency is elected rather than the “confusing multiple voting systems” currently in use.

Marc Jones, chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said this is better understood by the public than the ‘supplementary voting system, and will make it easier for voters to express a clear choice at the ballot box.

“Whilst we have seen big increases in turnout for PCC elections, we know there has been confusion amongst the public who are having to use multiple voting systems,” he said. “This is demonstrated by the higher percentage of rejected ballots at PCC elections in comparison to other elections using first past the post.

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Police Demand Burglaries in Northamptonshire reduce by more than half as Burglary Team turns three-years-old

The number of home invasions across Northamptonshire has reduced by over 50% and commercial burglaries have gone down by nearly 60% since Northamptonshire Police’s dedicated burglary team was launched three years ago.

Operation Crooked is the Force’s campaign to reduce burglary - a focus for Northamptonshire Police since Chief Constable Nick Adderley joined in 2018.

As part of the operation, two Burglary Teams covering both the north and west of the county, sit within CID, and they ensure that every burglary victim in Northamptonshire gets a visit from the police.

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Police Demand Number of sex offences recorded by police hits new high

Police-recorded sexual offences reached their highest level in a 12-month period (183,587) in the year to December 2021. This was a 22 per cent increase on 2020 (150,748) and up 13 per cent from 2019 (163,067).

Numbers of crimes recorded were lower during lockdowns but there have been “substantial increases since April 2021”, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Some 37 per cent of sexual offences recorded (67,125) were rapes – a 21 per cent rise from 55,592 in the 12 months to December 2020.

The ONS said the latest statistics may reflect a “number of factors”, including the “impact of high-profile incidents, media coverage and campaigns on people’s willingness to report incidents to the police, as well as a potential increase in the number of victims”.

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Police and Crime General Terry Norton is new Hampshire and Isle of Wight deputy PCC

A new deputy police and crime commissioner has been appointed following the resignation of his predecessor.

Portsmouth councillor Terry Norton will cover the role across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

His appointment comes as his predecessor Luke Stubbs resigned after saying the number of women in some fire service departments should be reduced.

Mr Norton described his new role as "a huge honour and privilege".

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Police and Crime General APCC Portfolio responds to home affairs select committee report on spiking

Responding to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on spiking, Joint Leads for the APCC’s Addictions and Substance Misuse Portfolio, PCCs Joy Allen and David Sidwick, said:

“We were pleased to have contributed to the Committee’s important inquiry on spiking.

“The report includes several recommendations that could bring improvements to the way spiking incidents are reported and investigated, such as improved data collection by police forces, better access to forensic testing, and development of a national anti-spiking strategy to promote best practice.

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Justice Sexual offence victims face longest-ever court waits

Recent cases involving serious sexual offences have taken the longest time on record to go through Crown Courts in England and Wales, the BBC has found.

Exclusive data compiled by the BBC found such cases took an average of nine months to complete in 2021, with huge variations between regions.

Criminal barristers say the delays are due to funding cuts and a decision to reduce how many days judges could sit.

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Technology Metropolitan Police to monitor officers’ phones for signs of corruption

Britain’s biggest police force will root out rogue officers with new advanced technology that monitors their computer and phone messages, checks their movements on police premises and even tracks tasks such as photocopying.

The multimillion-pound investment aims to identify patterns of bad behaviour and misconduct in the Metropolitan Police, which has been rocked by a series of racism, sexism and corruption scandals.

Sir Stephen House, the acting commissioner, revealed that the software would use algorithms to monitor officers’ phones and computers for “alarming” key words.

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Police Demand Criminal arrests halve in a decade to record low, despite rise in offences

The number of criminals being arrested by police has halved in a decade to a record low despite increasing numbers of offences, new figures show.

The number of arrests has fallen every year from 1.3 million in 2010 to 632,000 in 2021, according to Home Office data.

This comes despite more than a million additional incidents being reported to the police during that period - up from 4.3 million in 2010 to 5.4 million in 2021.

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Police and Crime General Police constable faces disciplinary charges over domestic abuse cases

A police constable lied to his superiors about his handling of two domestic violence incidents, a tribunal has heard.

PC Edward Greevy, who was based at Southampton, is accused of not followed correct procedures during the cases.

In one instance the disciplinary panel heard he failed to check a baby for possible injuries.

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Police Demand Fans could be allowed to drink alcohol at their seats during football matches for the first time in almost 40 years under plans being drawn up by Government, despite police insisting it's 'madness'

Football fans are set to be allowed to drink alcohol while watching matches for the first time in 37 years, under government plans to be published this summer.

Ministers have agreed to review the current ban on alcohol consumption during matches, which has been in place in the top five tiers of English football, since 1985.

And they will sanction a pilot scheme to test the safety of drinking alcohol in view of the pitch, which could pave the way for at-seat drinking at the highest levels of the game for the first time in almost four decades.

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Police Demand A police station shuts every fortnight, as people ‘feel unsafe on their own streets’

A police station closes every fortnight, figures show, amid accusations that “criminals are getting away with it.”

At least 217 stations with front counters allowing the public to talk to officers have been shut down since 2015.

It represents a quarter of the total closed in the past seven years, with the south of England hardest hit. It leaves fewer than 600 police stations that are still open, down from nearly 1,300 a decade ago.

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Police Demand Online child sexual abuse at record high levels - with some exploited within minutes

Online child sexual abuse is at record high levels, according to exclusive figures given to ITV News.

An Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) report says the greatest threat to children online is self-generated content where perpetrators groom and coerce children into creating images and videos of themselves. The offender records that content and shares it on the web.

The IWF, which searches and removes vile abuse, says it has seen an “explosion” in this type of crime over the past two years, with an increase of 374%.

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Police Demand Stalking offences soar by 400 per cent in London

Stalking offences have soared by 400 per cent in London in just two years, police said.

Scotland Yard on Tuesday launched a new crackdown targeting offenders to coincide with a national awareness week.

Officers received more than 1,000 stalking reports this month, compared with 200 in April 2020.

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Police Demand Serious violence rose after lockdown restrictions ended

Serious violence increased by nearly a quarter after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were eased in England and Wales last year, a study suggests.

The 23% rise is the biggest since records began, say researchers.

Serious violence almost reached pre-pandemic levels last August, however, the Cardiff University report suggests 2021 levels were below previous years.

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Prisons NHS mental health crisis means women are being sent to prison instead of hospital, report warns

The NHS mental crisis means women are being sent to prisons instead of hospitals because the health service cannot cope, a report has warned.

Women with acute mental health problems are being remanded to prison “for their own safety” because of the lack of secure NHS beds to treat them, according to a report by the all party parliamentary group (APPG) on women in the penal system.

A survey of just three women’s prisons found dozens of cases of women being remanded to jail for their own safety because their acute mental ill health puts them at risk of harming themselves or others.

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Police and Crime General 'Astonishing': Crimes reported at royal palaces revealed, with hundreds going unpunished

Hundreds of crimes have been reported at royal palaces in the past three years including offences involving weapons, drugs, violence and robbery.

A total of 470 crimes were recorded at Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, St James's Palace and Clarence House - either inside or immediately outside the grounds - between 2019 and 2021, the Metropolitan Police revealed.

They included hundreds of thefts along with reports of arson and criminal damage, burglary, robbery, possession of weapons and violence against the person offences.

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Prisons Dominic Raab pushes to separate terrorists in jail and prevent extremist recruitment

Terrorism laws are to be strengthened to make it easier and quicker for convicted terrorists to be separated from the rest of the prison population, The Times has learnt.

Dominic Raab, the justice secretary, is expected to accept a series of recommendations from the terrorism watchdog next week to stop prisons becoming breeding grounds for extremism. He is also expected to announce the creation of new offences to target acts of terrorism being committed in jails in England and Wales that are going unpunished at present.

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Police and Crime General West Mercia Police 'must urgently improve custody services'

A police force is not providing good custody services and its care of detainees is poor, inspectorates say.

Food and drink were not proactively offered or provided by West Mercia Police and people's access to other care, such as washing, was "limited".

Information logs about officers' levels of force were "often inaccurate", the police inspectorate found.

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Police Demand Ambulance crisis forcing police to take patients to hospital

Police are transporting patients to hospitals as the ambulance service crisis worsens, officers have warned.

The National Police Chief’s Council has sent a warning about patient safety due to a lack of ambulances.

The caution comes as an NHS ambulance service began a pilot to use volunteers to take patients with less acute health needs to hospital, according to reports on Monday.

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Police and Crime General Met Police: Problems not just a ‘few bad apples’, says chief

Acting Met Commissioner Sir Stephen House has admitted cultural problems in the force are "not a few bad apples".

Sir Stephen, who is temporarily leading the Met after Dame Cressida Dick's departure, said there were efforts to root out unacceptable behaviour "as fast as possible".

Dame Cressida quit after losing the confidence of the Mayor of London.

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Economy & Public Finance Get the balance right: Tackling inflation in the public sector

Inflation is back. If you are under 35 years of age you were probably still in school when it was something that had to be taken seriously so it’s fair to say that corporate memories are fading.

A little bit of inflation can actually be desirable for the economy. It incentivises investment and allows the real value of debt to fall.

However, it is a very delicate balancing act. Once the inflation rate outpaces wage growth, workers experience a pay cut (in real terms).

How can treasurers in the public sector manage inflation challenges?

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Police and Crime General National Stop and Search learning report, April 2022

Stop and search is a legitimate policing tactic, and we recognise the value of having a power that allows officers to detain a person, who is not under arrest, to search them or their vehicle for an unlawful item. The powers have been described as an important tool in dealing with knife crime and drugs, in particular. However, its disproportionate use against people from a Black, Asian, or other minority ethnic background, [1] particularly young Black men, has been a concern for many years and it remains one of the most contentious policing powers.

This report brings together evidence from our work, stakeholder engagement and published research to highlight concerns about transparency, legitimacy, scrutiny, and disproportionality that must be considered and addressed by the police service and others. Our aim is to support change and improvement in policing practice to help increase public confidence.

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Police and Crime General Jacob Rees-Mogg calls for civil servants to return to the office

Civil servants must stop working from home and return to the office to ensure government buildings are at full capacity, ministers have been told.

Cabinet Office minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has written to cabinet colleagues urging them to send a "clear message" to the civil service about returning.

The FDA union said his comments were out of step with practice in the private sector.

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Justice Greater Manchester police ‘failed children in the past’, says chief constable

One of the UK’s biggest police forces has historically failed children and was “borderline incompetent” in the way it previously dealt with organised grooming gangs, its current chief constable has said.

Stephen Watson, the head of Greater Manchester police, last week apologised in person to three women who were victims of gangs in Rochdale more than 10 years ago. It came with “substantial” damages and after a long, attritional campaign to get the force to admit failures.

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Economy & Public Finance Britain could fall into recession this summer, say experts

Britain’s economy is at growing risk of falling into a summer recession amid the biggest squeeze on household incomes since the mid 1950s, as soaring inflation curtails consumer spending power, forecasters have said.

Economists said the double blow from slowing post-lockdown growth and rising living costs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could result in a fall in gross domestic product (GDP) for two consecutive quarters, which is the definition of a recession.

After a weaker-than-expected growth performance in February, and with the inflation rate reaching the highest levels since 1992 last month, City forecasters said UK GDP was now on track to grow by about 1% in the first quarter of 2022 before slipping into reverse this summer.

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Police and Crime General Staring can land you in prison as police crackdown on 'unhealthy sexual behaviour'

Last month Transport for London launched a new campaign, amid at tackling sexual harassment of women and girls which included upskirting, cat calling and staring.

Posters have now been place in tube stations across the capital stating: "Intrusive staring of a sexual nature is sexual harassment and is not tolerated."

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Technology Online child sex abuse up by 27 per cent in two years

Online child sex abuse has increased by 27 per cent in just two years, as the NSPCC called for tougher laws to combat “digital breadcrumbing” that signposts paedophiles to illegal content.

Police data obtained by the NSPCC through freedom of information laws shows the number of offences rose from 24,964 in 2018/19 to 31,600 in 2020/21.

These included 6,319 grooming offences - a new crime of sexual communications with a child - and more than 25,000 paedophiles caught with child abuse images.

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Police and Crime General Labour pledges to ‘restore’ neighbourhood policing

Labour has pledged to “restore” neighbourhood policing after warning that under the Conservatives the number of “bobbies on the beat” has fallen by a third, leaving the service “decimated”.

The party is highlighting figures from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), which it says show the number of neighbourhood officers or police community support officers (PCSOs) per 1,000 residents has been cut by around a third in 10 years in England and Wales.

In Cambridgeshire and Surrey there is only one neighbourhood officer or PCSO per 5,000 residents or more, the party said.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “Police out on the beat and visible in local neighbourhoods are vital for stopping crime and keeping communities safe.

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Economy & Public Finance Soaring petrol costs drive inflation to 30-year high

Prices are rising at their fastest rate for 30 years, driven by a sharp increase in petrol and diesel prices.

The UK inflation rate rose to 7% in the year to March, the highest rate since 1992 and up from 6.2% in February.

Prices are rising faster than wages and there is pressure on the government to do more to help those struggling.

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Economy & Public Finance Inflation hits 30-year high of 7% as effects of Russia's war in Ukraine begin to show

The annual rate of inflation shot up to a fresh 30-year high of 7% in March reflecting, for the first time, the immediate effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The largest contributors to growing inflation were increased fuel prices and energy bills, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The consumer prices index (CPI) rose from 6.2% in February and was higher than expected, with economists having predicted a rate of 6.7%.

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Economy & Public Finance Inflation hits 30-year high of 7% as effects of Russia's war in Ukraine begin to show

The annual rate of inflation shot up to a fresh 30-year high of 7% in March reflecting, for the first time, the immediate effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The largest contributors to growing inflation were increased fuel prices and energy bills, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The consumer prices index (CPI) rose from 6.2% in February and was higher than expected, with economists having predicted a rate of 6.7%.

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Police and Crime General Bedfordshire Police first force graded ‘outstanding’ at managing offenders

Bedfordshire Police has become the first force to be graded ‘outstanding’ for the way it manages offenders and suspects following an inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

Inspectors found that 72 per cent of those under Bedfordshire Police’s Integrated Offender Management scheme had stopped or reduced offending in 2020/21, including a 91 per cent reduction among known burglars. The approach is estimated to have saved society more than £2.3 million across all crime in that 12-month period.

Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said: “It’s fantastic to receive an ‘outstanding’ grade and is testament to our commitment to proactive prevention rather than just responding to crimes.

“By working with people caught in the cycle of crime and guiding them to help and support it not only saves society money, but ultimately reduces the number of victims.”

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Police and Crime General Job advert for new Metropolitan Police commissioner published with £293,000 salary

A job advert to find Dame Cressida Dick's successor as head of the Metropolitan Police has been published.

The advert says the successful candidate will be responsible for addressing "serious failings" within the force.

The appointment, for an initial five-year term, has an annual salary of £292,938. Applications close on 4 May.

Police Finances At least 40% of child-to-parent violence in UK unreported, study finds

At least 40% of child-to-parent violence and abuse incidents are unreported to police, according to research.

The study into the “hidden harm” commissioned by the London mayor’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) found that the rate of violence and abuse against parents and carers was highest among those aged 19-25, and 81% of perpetrators were male.

It found that 89% of victims of recorded incidents such as attacks, coercive control, financial abuse, threats, intimidation and harassment were a parent of the accused. Experts said figures were probably greater than those reported, and were expected to rise.

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Justice Rape prosecutions: Government needs 'more ambition and focus' to tackle 'shocking collapse' in numbers

The government needs "much more ambition and focus" to tackle the "shocking collapse" in rape prosecutions, a group of MPs has said.

Police forces in England and Wales recorded the highest number of rapes and sexual offences in a 12-month period in the year to September.

However, at the same time, the proportion of suspects being taken to court has fallen to a new record low.

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Police and Crime General Police offer GPS trackers to people with dementia

The force’s dementia safeguarding scheme has been using the technology on a limited basis since 2015 but will now offer them to 30 people it considers to be the most vulnerable, based on risk assessments.

According to data gathered by the University of East Anglia, 70 per cent of dementia sufferers are at risk of going missing at least once while 40,000 are reported missing for the first time each year. Some may go missing several times, the research found.

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Police and Crime General Councils could be stripped of anti-terror responsibilities in Prevent shake-up

Councils could be stripped of responsibility for Britain’s counter-terror programme under recommendations in a long-awaited review of Prevent.

William Shawcross, the former chairman of the Charity Commission leading the review, is expected to propose an independent network of Prevent professionals free from council control and with a greater focus on national security.

It follows growing criticism that the programme has failed to stop numerous terrorists in the past five years, including Ali Harbi Ali, the killer of Sir David Amess who was referred to Prevent but left unchecked after only one meeting to carry out the attack.

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Police Demand Shootings down 70 per cent and knife crime reduced as ‘disruption’ team targets OCGs

The Operation Naseby disruption hub was formed in April 2020 by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to “get under the skin” of local gangs after 25 firearms discharges had been recorded in the previous 12 months.

The “prolific impact” of the operation has seen 279 arrests, 297 vehicle seizures, 118 house searches and the recovery of nearly 50kg of drugs, and shootings are now down by 72 per cent, with just seven recorded in the past year and 15 in the year before.

Originally intended to be a standalone “six-week blitz” on organised crime, funding is now expected to see the taskforce “continue to the foreseeable future”, said the force.

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Police and Crime General Teachers say they no longer want police based in schools after Child Q outrage

Teachers said they no longer want police to be stationed in schools after outrage over the treatment of Child Q, as National Education Union members voted for the removal of the senior Met police officers involved in the case.

Delegates to the NEU’s annual conference backed a motion that said calling the police to deal with pupils “must be a last resort” for schools and teachers.

A succession of speakers told the conference that Child Q’s experience – where she was strip-searched by police at her school – was not an isolated case for black pupils, who were more likely to be affected by police stationed under the safer schools officer (SSO) policy.

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Police Demand Extinction Rebellion protests threaten Easter getaway... but police too helpless to stop them

Holidaymakers fleeing the capital for the Easter weekend face a double whammy of environmental protests and rail upgrade works as police admit they cannot help travellers plan their routes.

After a week of delays and cancellations at airports and ferry ports, Extinction Rebellion is planning to bring parts of central London to a standstill over the weekend.

The Metropolitan Police said it is unable to offer guidance to travellers because it does not have information about the nature of the protests.

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Police and Crime General Liberty threatens to sue government over ‘racist’ joint enterprise law

The human rights group Liberty is threatening to sue the government and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) over the bitterly contested law of joint enterprise, arguing that it is discredited and racist in the way the authorities pursue it.

Under the law, people present when a person is killed can be convicted of murder despite not committing any serious violence themselves, if they are found to have “encouraged or assisted” the perpetrator. Liberty is acting for the campaign group Joint Enterprise Not Guilty By Association (Jengba), which supports approximately 1,400 people in prison who believe they have been unjustly convicted of serious crimes perpetrated by somebody else.

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Police and Crime General Essex Police arrest 20 more people arrested over oil protests

Twenty more people have been arrested following protests at oil terminals in Essex.

Essex Police said it had now made a total of 192 arrests in relation to the demonstrations in Thurrock.

The protesters are demanding the UK government stops new oil and gas projects.

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Police and Crime General Offensive Weapons Act bans online sale and delivery to under 18s

Changes to legislation brought about by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 mean that from today (April 6) it is illegal for anyone under 18 to buy online and have delivered to residential premises corrosive substances used in so-called “acid attacks.”

The provisions also make it a criminal offence to possess a corrosive substance in a public place and introduce minimum custodial sentences for those convicted of a second or subsequent possession offence.

Chair of the NPCC Corrosive Substance Working Group DCC Kearton said the changes “reflect almost 5 years’ worth of police-committed, multiagency work”

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Police and Crime General Manchester Airport: Police could help tackle 'chaos', mayor says

Police and fire and rescue service staff could be drafted in to help tackle the chaos at Manchester Airport, the region's mayor has said.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is meeting airport bosses to discuss the "concerning" current situation.

Travellers have criticised long delays and missed flights over the weekend.

Mr Burnham said he would be seeking reassurance about what is being done to bring the situation under control, but will also offer his support.

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Police and Crime General Fines issued over Downing Street party the night before Philip’s funeral

Downing Street staff have been issued with fines by police over a party that took place the night before Prince Philip’s funeral, in the first decision by Scotland Yard that Covid laws were broken inside No 10 at the heart of government.

After the Guardian revealed that fixed penalty notices were handed out to those who attended a leaving do for an aide to Boris Johnson in the Cabinet Office in June 2020, sources said those who partied into the early hours in No 10 on 16 April 2021 had also been warned they would receive fines.

The event caused consternation due to the contrast between it and the Queen’s strict adherence to social distancing rules by sitting alone at the funeral of her husband of 73 years.

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Police Demand Officer ratios not enough to cut crime, think tank warns

Policing strength is behind major European countries and not enough to tackle crime, a political think tank has warned.

In what is a clear blow to the government, the influential Social Market Foundation think tank said 70,000 more officers are needed on top of the 20,000 Uplift intake. And it calculated the cost would be £8bn of expenditure by central government and Police and Crime Commissioners.

As crime experts are beginning to warn of an increase in offending due to the cost of living crisis, a cross-party think-tank calculated that England and Wales now have 228 police officers per 100,000 people.

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Economy & Public Finance Dame Cressida Dick: Metropolitan Police commissioner to leave her post on 10 April

Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick will leave her post on 10 April, it has been confirmed.

In a statement on Twitter, the outgoing head of Britain's largest force said it had been "a tremendous honour to serve the people of London and the UK".

Dame Cressida quit in a surprise move in February - but agreed to stay on until arrangements to find a replacement were finalised.

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Police and Crime General Leicestershire Police's former chief constable found dead at home

The recently retired chief constable of Leicestershire Police has died, the force has said.

Simon Cole, who held the position for 12 years, was found dead at his home address in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, this morning.

The 55-year-old announced his retirement in January before stepping down last week.

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Police Demand Anti-social behaviour: Two million police reports go unattended

Nearly two million anti-social behaviour reports have gone unattended by 34 police forces in England and Wales over the past three years, new figures show.

The figures were released to the Liberal Democrats, who accused the government of being "soft on crime".

They show that 55.2% of all anti-social behaviour incidents recorded between 2019 and 2021 were not responded to.

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Police and Crime General Over £200 million of fraud stopped by rapid scam response scheme

Branch staff at banks, building societies and Post Offices have worked with the police to stop £202.8 million of fraud through the Banking Protocol rapid scam response scheme since it launched in 2016, according to the latest figures from UK Finance. Last year £60.7 million was stopped through the scheme, 34 per cent more than in 2020.

The Banking Protocol is a UK-wide scheme, developed by UK Finance, National Trading Standards and local police forces. Branch staff are trained to spot the warning signs that suggest a customer may be falling victim to a scam, before alerting their local police force to intervene and investigate.

The latest figures, detailed in the table below, show that branch staff made 10,072 Banking Protocol calls to the police during 2021. The scheme led to the arrest of 162 suspected criminals last year, bringing the total number of arrests to 1,005 since the protocol began.

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Police Finances VRUS get multi-year cash and Humberside joins them

Areas tackling gangs, knife crime and other violent crime have a funding pipeline beyond the next election.

The Home Office has confirmed the 18 forces with Violence Reduction Units can put long-term plans in place after funding increases were confirmed with commitments until 2025.

And Humberside is also joining the scheme.

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Recruitment and Retention Support staff urged to reject 2.1% pay offer and consider strike action

Employers and the PRRB have been challenged by the staff side to put forward a recommendation for salary increases that reflects soaring living costs.

And one of the unions representing support staff revealed they are now considering strike action after being offered 2.1%.

It follows the government announcement slipped out on the final Parliamentary day before Westminster’s Easter recess that public sector workers should get a 2% pay rise – and employers must argue for a possible extra 1%.

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Police and Crime General New PFEW Chair announced

National Board member and Firearms & Taser Lead Steve Hartshorn has been confirmed as the second National Chair to be voted in by police officers in England and Wales.

Steve joined the Metropolitan Police in 1995, before moving to the Met’s Firearms Command. He became a Federation rep because he wanted to help colleagues that were going through a difficult time.

He said: “I feel incredibly honoured to have been elected the next National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales.

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Police and Crime General Met police officer charged with GBH after man paralysed by Taser

A Metropolitan police officer has been charged with grievous bodily harm after a black man was shot with a Taser and left paralysed from the chest down.

Jordan Walker-Brown was shot with the electronic device in May 2020 in Haringey, north London, leaving him with serious life changing injuries, including damage to his spinal cord.

The decision by the CPS to bring charges against the officer, who has not been named, follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) last year. The IOPC’s inquiry determined that there was an indication the officer may have committed grievous bodily harm.

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Police and Crime General Rotherham: Grooming gang detective cleared of misconduct

The last of 47 police officers to be investigated over their handling of historic allegations of child sex abuse in Rotherham has been cleared of misconduct.

Former Det Sgt David Walker had been accused of not following up tip-offs about grooming gangs in the town.

A misconduct panel found he had acted appropriately with any information.

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Police and Crime General Anti-social behaviour: Two million police reports go unattended

Nearly two million anti-social behaviour reports have gone unattended by 34 police forces in England and Wales over the past three years, new figures show.

The figures were released to the Liberal Democrats, who accused the government of being "soft on crime".

They show that 55.2% of all anti-social behaviour incidents recorded between 2019 and 2021 were not responded to.

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Justice Home Secretary’s plan to tackle domestic abuse ‘an important step forward’, says APCC

The plan aims to tackle perpetrators, prevent offences from happening in the first place and help all victims and survivors by improving the systems and processes that underpin the response to domestic abuse across society.

Government figures show around 2.3 million people in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the past year, and around one in five homicides were related to domestic abuse.

APCC joint victims leads, Donna Jones and Sophie Linden, said it was time to say “enough is enough” and to adopt a “whole system approach” to preventing domestic abuse from happening in the first place.

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Police and Crime General New register to list high-risk domestic abusers

The Home Office will today unveil plans for a register of domestic abusers that will require them to tell police when they change address or open a joint bank account. It will be modelled on the sex offenders register, targeting violent perpetrators who pose a big risk of reoffending.

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Police and Crime General Police officers to carry Tasers in Jersey

Uniformed police officers in Jersey will be allowed to carry Tasers, the states confirmed.

Members agreed to make the eight-month trial scheme permanent in a states meeting on Tuesday.

Officers who complete a Taser course to the national standard and complete their probationary period will be allowed to carry and use electric stun guns.

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Justice Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan

Domestic abuse is the most common form of violence against women and girls.

In England and Wales, 2.3 million people are known to have experienced it in one year, 1.6 million of them women. It is likely that we all know someone who is

being hurt in this way, at the hands of a person who is supposed to make them feel safe and secure. Despite being such a pervasive and insidious crime, it too

often goes unnoticed by others.

The COVID-19 pandemic made domestic abuse loom larger in the public’s

conscience. We must not lose that focus. Through this Plan, we will deliver the practical steps needed for the whole of society to say, ‘enough is enough’.

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Police Finances The Costs of the 2016 Police and Crime Commissioner Elections

This report continues the UK Government’s commitment to publishing the costs incurred in the delivery of Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Dyfed-Powys Police chief wants one Welsh force

Wales' four police forces should be scrapped and replaced with a single nationwide service, according to Dyfed-Powys Police's new chief constable.

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Police and Crime General Strip-search of teenage girl prompts new school guidelines

Tougher guidelines will be brought in for schools after the “hugely distressing” strip-search of a black schoolgirl.

Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, promised to set out a new policy “very soon” after the “appalling” incident involving a pupil aged 15, known as Child Q, who was wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis and removed from an exam hall at her school in Hackney, east London.

Teachers called police despite not finding drugs and two female officers searched the girl, who was menstruating, and told her to remove her sanitary towel.

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Justice Tip-off plan to expose wife beaters as Priti Patel prepares to announce national register of domestic abusers

Women will be alerted by the police if they buy a house or open a bank account with a convicted domestic abuser.

The move will be announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel this week under plans to tackle the growing problem of violence in the home.

It will involve the establishment of the first national register of domestic abusers.

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Justice Valerie's Law: MPs hear specialist support needed for black domestic abuse victims

MPs will debate a call for specialist support for black domestic abuse victims.

More than 106,000 supporters signed a petition for Valerie's Law, triggering a Commons debate.

The campaign is named after Valerie Forde, whose former partner murdered her and her baby girl, despite previously reporting him to police.

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Justice Partygate: Met Police to issue first fines, sources say

The first fines for breaches of Covid-19 lockdown rules as part of a police inquiry into government parties will be issued soon, the BBC has been told.

The Metropolitan Police will issue at least 15 fixed-penalty fines initially and could start on Tuesday, Westminster sources suggest.

The investigation of 12 events held across government began in January.

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Police and Crime General Commissioner supports Cambridge Street Pastors

Police and Crime Commissioner, Darryl Preston, is today (Sunday 27th March 2022) announcing that Cambridge Street Pastors are to receive £4,000 for new uniforms for volunteers.

The funding is available as part of the third round of Government’s Safer Streets Fund. In October 2021 Cambridgeshire was successfully awarded £471K from the Fund to tackle violence against women and girls.

Cambridge Street Pastor volunteers are trained to help those who wish to enjoy the Cambridge nightlife on Fridays and Saturdays and find themselves needing assistance. They also operate NightLite on Saturday nights at Downing Place URC, a place where people can rest, recover, wait in safety for a lift home or paramedics, recharge their phone or have a hot drink.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Five children strip-searched every day by Met Police

An average of five children per day are being strip-searched by the Metropolitan Police across the capital, figures revealed today.

Data released following the outrage over the treatment of Child Q showed that 5,279 children were subjected to the searches in the last three years.

A total of 3,939 — or 75 per cent — were from ethnically diverse backgrounds, while 22 per cent were white.

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Recruitment and Retention Police ‘burdened’ by lack of experienced officers

Inexperienced officers will make up nearly 40 per cent of the police workforce by next year, a report has warned.

Trainees brought in as part of a drive to replace the 20,000 officers lost to austerity cuts since 2010 were an “operational burden” on more experienced officers responsible for training them, the National Audit Office (NAO) said.

The police “uplift programme” will mean that at least 38 per cent of police officers nationally will have less than five years of experience compared with 12 per cent in 2014-15.

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Police and Crime General Rebuilding trust in the Met - London mayor sets out plan

London mayor Sadiq Khan has published a plan to restore the reputation of the Met Police after public trust in the force hit a record low.

The most recent figures indicate only half of London's population believe the Met does a good job.

Strategies to reduce and prevent crime, to offer victims more support, and strengthen the response to the drugs trade have also been outlined.

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Economy & Public Finance Spring Statement: Rishi Sunak seeks to combat cost-of-living squeeze

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out measures aimed at combating soaring energy, food and fuel prices, in his Spring Statement.

He cut fuel duty by 5p but resisted calls to scrap April's National Insurance rise of 1.25p in the pound.

He warned the UK's post-pandemic recovery had been blown off course by the war in Ukraine.

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Police and Crime General ‘Troubling’ findings over Met’s approach to police corruption, says minister

Criticism of the Metropolitan Police’s approach to tackling corruption within its ranks is “alarming”, the policing minister has told MPs.

A watchdog’s findings that the force’s procedures for rooting out corrupt officers and staff were “fundamentally flawed” and “not fit for purpose” were “troubling”, Kit Malthouse said.

The Met had not learned lessons from the notorious unsolved 1987 murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan and had a “degree of indifference” to the risks of corruption, according to damning conclusions published on Tuesday by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

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Justice Lenient sentences in domestic abuse cases send ‘a dangerous message’, warns Women’s Aid

Twenty-year old Chay Bowskill had subjected his partner Angel Lynn to “prolonged abuse” and chief executive Farah Nazeer said judges must send out “a clear message that domestic abuse will not be tolerated”.

She warned that lenient sentences in domestic abuse cases send “a dangerous message” about how seriously violence against women is treated.

Bowskill, from Leicestershire, was originally jailed for seven years and six months on January 26 after being convicted of kidnap, coercive and controlling behaviour, and perverting the course of justice, following a trial at Leicester Crown Court.

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Recruitment and Retention Police failing to bring in talent from black communities, says racism lead

The police have failed to "bring in enough talent from black communities and ensure they thrive," the lead for tackling racism within UK forces says.

Sir David Thompson, chief constable of West Midlands Police, told BBC Newsnight racist incidents involving officers had been damaging.

He added it was a shame the police were not "an employer of choice for many communities".

A plan on how best to solve the issue will be published in April.

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Technology Facial recognition technology 'will turn our streets into police line-ups', campaigners say

Campaigners have warned that new guidance from the College of Policing on the use of facial recognition technology means victims of crimes and potential witnesses could be placed on police watchlists.

The college said the new advice for forces in England and Wales will make sure use of facial recognition technology is "legal and ethical", but civil liberty groups branded it as an "atrocious policy and a hammer blow for privacy and liberty".

They claim it could mean people with mental health problems are placed on a list if sought by police.

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Police and Crime General Fraud warning as online shopping scams and auction cons dominate reports

Online shopping scams and auction fraud are the most reported types of fraud, according to figures from Which?

The consumer group has identified 12 "emerging fraud threats", and, even though online shopping scams and auction fraud are the most reported, investment frauds were responsible for the biggest losses.

The average investment fraud victim loses more than £50,400 to pyramid or Ponzi schemes, according to figures based on findings from Action Fraud reported in the latest Office for National Statistics crime survey for England and Wales.

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Police and Crime General Police trainees ‘run in face of conflict’

Trainee police officers are too scared to speak to the public, run away from violence and get their parents to try to get their birthday off, senior officers say.

The drive to appoint 20,000 officers has resulted in some recruits who are “surprised” they have to work weekends and lack confidence because of training shortfalls, it is claimed.

Ché Donald, the vice-chairman of the Police Federation, told The Times that recruits who “don’t have a scooby” were being hired. “You’ve got parents phoning up the chief inspector to say, it’s my son’s birthday tonight, he’s not going to work the night shift, you can put him on a day shift.”

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Recruitment and Retention Eight in ten police officers accused of domestic abuse keep their job

More than 1,000 police officers and staff accused of domestic abuse are still serving in law enforcement, it emerged yesterday, with eight out of ten able to keep their jobs after the allegations were made.

Police employees across the country were also more likely on average to avoid prosecution, with only 3.4 per cent of reports leading to a conviction. The conviction rate for the general public is about twice as high at 6.3 per cent.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that 1,080 of 1,319 police officers and staff who were reported for alleged domestic abuse during a three-year period were still working. The investigation analysed data from 41 forces across the UK.

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Police and Crime General County Lines: Hundreds arrested as police carry out fresh crackdown

Nearly 250 suspects have been arrested by the Met Police and dozens of county lines networks out of London have been smashed as part of a fresh crackdown.

The raids were part of the Met's ongoing Operation Orochi and ran from 7 March to 13 March.

They joined forces across the UK carrying out synchronised dawn raids seizing cash, drugs and firearms from properties used to run drug operations.

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Justice Tech bosses who cover up child sexual abuse on their platforms could face two years behind bars

Tech bosses face up to two years in jail if they cover up child sexual abuse on their platforms under proposed new laws to combat online harms.

The Online Safety Bill will place social media firms under a new legal duty to report child sexual exploitation and abusive content on their platforms to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

This will replace the current voluntary reporting regime, with firms that fail to do so facing multi-million pound fines by Ofcom, the watchdog, which has powers to impose penalties worth up to 10 per cent of the companies’ global turnovers.

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Recruitment and Retention Police forces lose 20% of officers during probation

Up to one in five police recruits are dropping out during their probation period, according to statistics that raise concerns about the government’s scheme to increase officer numbers.

On average, more than 9 per cent of recruits have left forces before becoming fully fledged officers, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) said.

In some force areas the attrition rate is far higher, however. In Northamptonshire, since April 2020, 19.3 per cent have left before completing probation.

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Police and Crime General New forensics technology can detect specks of blood on dark clothing within seconds

New forensic technology has been developed to spot specks of blood on dark clothing in a matter of seconds, which can quickly identify or eliminate suspects.

Traditional methods, which have been used for 100 years, involve hours of painstaking examination under a microscope - which could take days and even weeks.

Developed by the Metropolitan Police, the new infrared (IR) technology speeds up the process, spotting blood almost immediately in some circumstances, even if it is less than a millimetre in diameter.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Stalking: Five orders issued compared to 7,000 complaints

Only five stalking protection orders were issued in Wales last year despite more than 7,000 reported offences.

The number of reports more than doubled from 2020 to 2021 and campaigners want better education so police officers can recognise when an order is needed.

Stalking victim Sara Manchipp said she was "concerned about the message it's sending out".

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Police and Crime General Ex-Merseyside police chief to be new head of policing inspectorate

The new head of the policing inspectorate will be Andy Cooke, the former chief constable of Merseyside, the Guardian understands.

Cooke is said to have impressed in interviews for the post of Her Majesty’s chief inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) by pledging to get forces better focused on detecting more crime and locking up more criminals.

It is a position that impressed the home secretary, Priti Patel, although delivering on it will be trickier than promising it, some police leaders believe.

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Police Demand Merseyside drink-spiking reports treble in three months, police say

Reports of drink-spiking have trebled over the past three months in Merseyside, officials have said.

Nearly 200 cases were reported to police in February, compared with 68 in November, a report to Liverpool City Council has said.

There were four arrests from the 198 reports made, but all resulted in no further action being taken.

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Justice Criminal barristers vote for industrial action over legal aid funding

Ballot to refuse return cases in England and Wales from 11 April follows independent review’s recommendation of 15% increase

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Recruitment and Retention Britain’s only black chief constable calls for ‘positive discrimination’ in police forces

Police should introduce quotas to increase the number of ethnic minority officers, says Britain’s first and only black chief constable.

Calling for “positive discrimination”, Mike Fuller, formerly Kent’s chief constable and a non-executive director of the Home Office, said Northern-Irish style recruitment quotas for black and ethnic minority candidates could be seen by the community as “righting a wrong”.

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Recruitment and Retention Extramarital affairs should be a 'dangerous red flag' for police recruits

Extramarital affairs should be considered “dangerous red flags” when hiring police officers, the head of the watchdog has told the Times.

Michael Lockwood, director-general of the Independent Office for Police Conduct, said that vetting of recruits must be “more intrusive and diligent” in order to get rid of “baddies”.

“Many individuals are attracted to policing because of the power. Many of the people that are getting in can exhibit what I call ‘red flags’,” Mr Lockwood said.

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Police and Crime General Shropshire number plate cameras to catch speeding drivers

Number plate recognition cameras are to be used in Shropshire villages for the first time in a bid to catch speeding drivers.

The £40,000 scheme covers Pontesbury, Minsterley and Hanwood on the A488.

It has been jointly funded by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the parish councils.

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Police Finances Substantial progress made on CT readiness but 'gaps' left by lockdown

The police and other emergency services in London have made “very substantial progress” following the 2017 attacks on Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and outside Finsbury Park Mosque according to a major review by Lord Toby Harris

His 250-page report said the number of police officers in the Met was now on the rise, but thanks to the national “exodus” over the past decade or so, forces “will have a disproportionately high number of officers with limited experience”.

And he said youth provision, mental health services, and the voluntary and community sector remains in some cases “woefully” under-resourced.

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Police Finances Amendments to police pension schemes in England and Wales 2022

In November 2021, the Home Office published a consultation on Public Service Pensions: Police Pensions (Amendment) Regulations 2022, to enact the first phase of the McCloud remedy (prospective).

The Home Office has published a summary of responses to the consultation on proposed amendments to the Police Pension Scheme (England and Wales) 2015 regulations as part of the first phase, which will move all members (including those formerly protected) to the 2015 scheme (‘the reformed scheme’) on 1 April 2022 and close the legacy schemes to future accrual from 31 March 2022. This will mean that all members are treated equally in respect of any pensionable service accrued after 31 March 2022.

Having considered the responses, the Home Office will proceed with amending the Police Pension Scheme (England and Wales) regulations 2015. This is necessary to comply with the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices (PSPJO) Bill and the Court of Appeal’s ruling in 2018 in the McCloud/Sargeant litigation.

The consultation response included on this page also provides the updated equality impact assessment of any potential impacts on those with protected characteristics as a result of the proposed amendments.

Subject to the necessary parliamentary approval, the changes will come into effect from 1 April 2022.

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Justice Dominic Raab’s ‘meagre’ reforms will ‘prolong the trauma’ for thousands waiting for justice

Victims in 53,000 cases will still be waiting for justice in three years under Dominic Raab’s “meagre” plans to reduce “unacceptable” court delays, MPs have said.

MPs on the Commons public accounts committee said that the Justice Secretary’s aim to reduce the backlog by less than 8,000 cases to 53,000 by Mar 2025 was unlikely to end the delays to justice for victims, witnesses and defendants.

They said that since Mar 2020 alone, the number of cases waiting longer than a year had increased by more than 300 per cent – a quadrupling from 2,830 to 11,379.

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Police and Crime General Public trust in policing must be restored and rising fraud 'tsunami' tackled, Chief Inspector of Constabulary says

More funding is needed to tackle online safety for children and police must tackle fraud and restore public trust, according to a report by the Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

In his final annual report before retirement after 10 years in the job, Sir Tom Winsor said public trust in policing must be repaired and raises concerns over online crime.

Fraud is now the UK's most prevalent crime, but police treat it with an "indefensibly low priority", the Chief Inspector of Constabulary said.

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Police and Crime General Rush to recruit police officers risks hiring racists and criminals, warns watchdog

Boris Johnson’s promise to hire 20,000 more police officers has increased the risk of introducing misogynist and racist recruits, a police watchdog has said, amid concerns that a discriminatory culture exists in forces across England and Wales.

Sir Tom Winsor, in his ninth and final annual review, said that police must confront a series of problems, including the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s murder by a police officer, if damage to public confidence is be restored.

The report comes a month after Dame Cressida Dick’s resignation as Met commissioner which followed a damning inquiry by another police watchdog into a culture of violently misogynist, racist and homophobic messages at Charing Cross police station in central London.

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Police and Crime General State of policing: The annual assessment of policing in England and Wakles 2021

“The Report highlights the complex environment that policing operates in and recognises the fact that, over the last two years during the pandemic, policing faced extraordinary new challenges in keeping the pubic safe. On behalf of all PCCs and wider policing governance bodies I want to commend the courage and commitment of all our police officers and staff who have showed extraordinary bravery and resilience on behalf of us all..."

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Recruitment and Retention Police group says proposed licence to practise for officers would be ‘unnecessary and dangerous’

A proposed “licence to practise” for police officers in England and Wales is “unnecessary” and “fraught with danger” according to a group that represents 130,000 rank-and-file officers.

The Police Federation of England and Wales said it had “always been against the introduction” of the licence, which would be renewable every five years once officers demonstrate professional development.

It was one of 56 recommendations made by the Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales on Tuesday to redress a “crisis in policing” and instigate a root-and-branch overhaul to instil public confidence.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Policing 'more politicised' says Dame Cressida

Dame Cressida resigned last month after London Mayor Sadiq Khan made it clear he had no confidence in her plans to reform the service.

Speaking at a conference in Dublin to mark International Women’s Day, she reflected on the social changes in the force since she began her career nearly 40 years ago, walking the beat in London’s Mayfair and Soho districts.

She told the International Association of Women in Policing event: “Like many other services, we have seen a drop in confidence in our service and we have seen policing becoming more politicised.

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Justice ‘Pioneering approach’ to better support domestic abuse victims piloted

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) says the “pioneering approach” will better support victims of domestic abuse and help ensure they are not further traumatised by the court process.

The scheme is being piloted at family courts in North Wales and Dorset as part of the Government’s drive to tackle domestic violence and improve victim support.

The emphasis will be on “investigating and addressing” allegations of abuse before a case gets to court. This could include local domestic abuse professionals sharing risk assessments with the court to spare victims and other parties the trauma of having to unnecessarily repeat their experiences.

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Police and Crime General Taxi drivers and rail staff face criminal record checks under plans to tackle violence against women

Taxi drivers and rail staff are among transport workers who face criminal record checks under a government plan to protect women from violence.

All “public-facing” transport staff from ticket collectors to taxi and private hire drivers should be vetted for previous convictions or offences through the Government’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), says a Department for Transport (DfT) report.

It follows a survey commissioned by DfT that found nearly half (49 per cent) of women had felt threatened when making a journey on public transport and 46 per cent had seen women or girls subjected to verbal aggression.

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Police and Crime General Police must call out sexism in force, says chief taking on violence against women

Policing attracts some men who want “to exert and coerce” vulnerable people, the new national police lead on violence against women has admitted, as she urged officers to create a “call-out culture” to tackle sexist and misogynistic behaviour.

Deputy chief constable Maggie Blyth, who took up the post of national lead for violence against women and girls (VAWG) at the National Police Chiefs’ Council five months ago, said it was wrong to dismiss abusive, violent or sexist officers as a “few bad apples”.

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Police and Crime General Police and Crime Commissioner Review: Part 2

"Today, I am pleased to set out to the House a package of measures in support of this Government’s manifesto commitment to expand and strengthen the role of our directly elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs), and those mayors with PCC functions, including the findings from the second part of our internal review into the role of PCCs."

"Our two-part review will ensure PCCs can focus more sharply on local crime fighting, with stronger accountability to those they serve. As set out in the Government’s beating crime plan, PCCs allow the public’s voice to be heard on local policing and crime matters and hold chief constables to account for delivering what communities need. As such, PCCs continue to play a critical role in reducing crime and reoffending."

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Recruitment and Retention Police barred for sex abuse and domestic violence

A quarter of officers banned from policing because of gross misconduct were dismissed for sexual offences or domestic violence, new figures show.

A report by the College of Policing disclosed that 257 officers were placed on the barred list in the year to March 2021, meaning they must not be employed or appointed into the force.

More than a quarter of them were dismissed because they abused their position for sexual purpose or committed child sex offences, domestic abuse, sexual misconduct or harassment.

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Recruitment and Retention Rogue Met Police officers who travel to Ukraine to fight Russia could be prosecuted

Metropolitan Police officers have been warned they face disciplinary action if they travel to Ukraine to help fight the invading Russian army, according to internal posts seen by The Telegraph.

Police chiefs at the force have told officers that they could also be at “greater risk” than other volunteers and could become a “significant target” for Russian forces.

In a post on the service’s intranet, entitled: “The Met position on travel to the region,” officers are warned they also risk prosecution on their return.

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Police and Crime General Faith in police slides over failures on ‘basic’ crime

Police are losing public confidence because of a failure to grip an “explosion” in fraud and low-level crime such as burglary and car theft, a landmark report has found.

This week an independent review will call for the creation of a government agency as part of a rethink on crime prevention, linking current failings to the long-term erosion of public trust.

The Strategic Review of Policing, the most comprehensive police report in decades, will suggest the trend is being driven by a growing disparity between the volume of some crimes and the number of cases resulting in prosecution.

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Police and Crime General Police officers in half of British forces being investigated for exploiting powers for sexual purposes

Police officers in half of the forces around Britain are currently having their conduct probed due to allegations they wielded their power for sexual purposes, troubling new figures show.

The fresh data comes a year after Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, went missing while walking home in Clapham, southwest London, on 3 March 2021.

It later emerged Ms Everard had been kidnapped, raped and murdered by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, who was sentenced to a whole-life prison term in September.

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Police Demand Avon and Somerset police slam brakes on cycle crime spree

Maurine Sweeney’s bright orange racing bicycle was locked outside the café in Bristol for a matter of minutes before an opportunist made off with it.

For Sweeney, who had travelled from Denver, Colorado, it was a disaster. She was visiting with her husband, Richard, before she was due to compete in the over-70s category at the Masters Cyclo-Cross world championships in Ipswich.

What neither she nor the thief had anticipated was that Avon and Somerset police is the best force in the country for solving bike thefts.

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Justice Big rise in number of rape cases collapsing

The number of rape cases collapsing because victims drop out has risen sharply in six years, figures show.

The latest data suggests that in the 12 months to last September, 40 per cent of people who reported to the police that they had been raped dropped the accusation, despite a suspect having been identified. That equated to 25,759 people voluntarily withdrawing their allegation.

The rate was 77 per cent higher than in 2015, when less than 25 per cent of rape cases ended because the victim no longer sought further action.

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Justice Half of Nightingale Courts to close

Almost half of the Nightingale Courts temporarily set up to help manage the significant backlog of cases caused by the pandemic, are set to close, the Ministry of Justice has announced. Eleven of the centres will close but 12 will remain open in England and Wales for a further year to reduce waiting times for criminal trials. There are currently around 59,000 criminal trials waiting to go before a judge.

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Police Demand Expansion plans for drug-free wings in jails

Prisoners who go on drug-free wings and submit to regular testing could be given privileges such as pool tables, gym and work placements, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has revealed. As part of a strategy to promote abstinence from drugs for addicted criminals as a replacement for heroin substitute medication methadone, the major expansion will also offer counselling and therapy to offenders.

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Police and Crime General Troubled Greater Manchester Police 'still falling short'

Greater Manchester Police is still falling short of expected standards but has improved at recording crime, a new watchdog report said.

England's second-largest police force has been rated inadequate in three areas including investigating crime and how it responds to the public.

A review between February and November found the force was "not achieving the expected level of service".

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Police Demand Make sexual harassment a criminal offence to help tackle violence against women and girls, say 87% of UK women

60 per cent of women believe tougher sentencing for sexual assault and domestic violence would be ‘very effective’ in making the UK safer for women and girls

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Police Demand Child abuse images helpline sees number of calls double

The number of people contacting a helpline to stop them or another person viewing child abuse images online more than doubled last year.

A total of 165,225 people contacted Stop It Now! by phone or online with concerns about their own behaviour or that of someone close to them in 2021, up from 79,868 the previous year.

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Police Finances England and Wales police bosses will not admit to institutional racism in their forces

Police leaders in England and Wales will decide not to accept that their forces are still institutionally racist, as they try to battle their way out of a race crisis.

Chief constables began considering a public admission in December and have held a series of private meetings among forces to try to find agreement.

Multiple sources with knowledge of discussions say plans expected to be released in March by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) will contain no acceptance that institutional racism should be admitted.

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Police Finances Home Secretary launches £3million publicity campaign to curb violence against women

Women must no longer bear the responsibility for keeping themselves safe on the street, says Priti Patel as she launched her new strategy marking the anniversary of Sarah Everard’s murder.

The Home Secretary unveiled a multi-million pound publicity campaign that will urge people to report street harassment and other abuse of women whether by friends, relatives, work colleagues or strangers.

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Justice Rape victims ‘systematically failed’ in England and Wales, report finds

Rape survivors who report their attackers are being systematically failed by the criminal justice system resulting in an average wait of nearly two years before a trial begins, a damning official report has found.

A joint inspection by two government watchdogs has identified multiple failings in the process from reporting a rape to a possible trial and conviction of an assailant.

A lack of collaboration between police and prosecutors has led to months of delays and poor communication with accusers, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) said.

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Police and Crime General Police Commissioner sets budget to help Merseyside Police rebuild in the year ahead

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has set and approved a budget which will allow Merseyside Police to continue to rebuild during 2022/23.

The Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, held a special public budget meeting with the Chief Constable Serena Kennedy at her offices on Mather Avenue today at which the financial plans for the year ahead were consider and approved.

Over the last two years, the Commissioner and the Chief Constable have accelerated the force’s recruitment drive to bring 665 new police officers into the force – well ahead of Government targets.

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Police and Crime General Labour urges action on economic crime over Russia tensions

Labour is urging the government to fast-track plans to clamp down on economic crime, amid pressure over UK links to Russia.

Sir Keir Starmer called for long-promised legislation to be introduced in the coming days, adding there's "no reason to delay".

The Economic Crime Bill is expected to bring in new transparency measures for UK firms and property.

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Police and Crime General Cressida Dick: Mayor accused over handling of Met chief's exit

The mayor of London has been accused of not following due process over the resignation of outgoing Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick by her second in command.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House praised his boss and criticised Sadiq Khan for how she has been pushed out.

Calling for a review of events, he said: "I feel extremely sad. We've seen matters played out in the media."

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Justice Murderer posed as victim in 'disgusting, unsafe' exempt accommodation, MPs heard

Inadequate exempt accommodation regulations led to a murderer being mistaken for a victim, MPs heard as they called for laws to be "toughened up".

Carers or support staff are meant to be on hand to help residents within this style of housing, but this is not always the case.

Instead, Shadow Housing Secretary Lisa Nandy said "these shameless profiteers are leaving vulnerable people languishing in disgusting, unsafe housing".

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Recruitment and Retention ‘Betamax’ police forces failing to recognise the digital ‘crime challenges of today’

The police are so stuck in the past they are failing to keep up with modern crime, the chairman of a major strategic review will say on Tuesday, as he likened forces to Betamax video recorders operating in a world of “blockchain criminals”.

Sir Michael Barber, who has led a two-year independent review of policing in England and Wales, is due to present his full findings next month.

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Economy & Public Finance Inflation sends UK debt interest payments higher

Rising inflation led to government interest payments hitting a record high for the month of January, figures show.

Interest payments hit £6.1bn last month, the highest amount for a January since records began in April 1997 and up from £4.5bn last year.

The payments are pegged to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation - which reached 7.8% in January. January's interest payments were, however, below the all-time high of £9bn in June last year.

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Police and Crime General ‘Fundamental reform’ needed to solve ‘crisis of confidence in policing’

Sir Michael Barber, who is leading a review of policing, is expected to make the warning during a talk on Tuesday.

His comments come just weeks before the Police Foundation publishes the findings of his Strategic Review of Policing, which is set to make more than 50 recommendations for the future of forces in England and Wales.

Billed as the most comprehensive review of policing for a decade, Sir Michael hopes the report will mark a “fundamental turning point in the modernisation of a public service that matters deeply to us all.”

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Justice Rape figures recorded by police hit record high, but few cases ever end up in court

The low number of rape cases that end up in court has led to a "crisis in public trust", the director of public prosecutions (DPP) has said.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has today set out how it plans to boost the number of cases coming to court in an update on a five-year plan launched in July 2020.

Figures released earlier this year showed that in the 12 months to September 2021, only around 820 (1.3%) of the record 63,136 reported rape offences logged by police resulted in a suspect being charged.

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Recruitment and Retention West Midlands Police is hiring officers - and you could be paid £25k straight away

West Midlands Police is recruiting more officers to help crackdown on crime and boost the visible presence across the region.

The force is hiring full time PCSOs to serve as a "crucial link" between local communities and the police as officers deal with over 2,000 emergency call outs per day.

New recruits, spaced across eight neighbourhood policing units in the West Midlands, will earn between £24,546 and £26,169 per year.

Recruitment and Retention Fifty new graduate police officers join Lancashire Constabulary

Fifty new recruits have been sworn in as the latest degree level officers to join Lancashire Constabulary. Two ceremonies were held at Lancashire Constabulary HQ near Preston this week for officers who joined through the Degree Holder Entry Programme.

Mr Rowley said: "It's fantastic to officially welcome these new officers..they have been through a rigorous selection and training programme and I am immensely proud of what they have achieved so far."

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel approves ban on ‘harmful’ anti-vaxxer protests at schools

Anti-vaxxers will be banned from “harmful and disruptive” protests outside schools and vaccination clinics after Priti Patel accepted an amendment to a bill due to be debated in parliament this week.

An opposition motion to grant councils the power to take tougher action to dispel anti-vaxx campaigners was passed by peers in the House of Lords last month. On Monday, the home secretary signalled that she would not seek to strike out the amendment when the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill returns to the Commons this week.

The bill is undergoing “ping-pong”, whereby changes to the proposed legislation are debated by each house until MPs and peers come to an agreement.

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Police and Crime General Top deck detectives! Police take to top of undercover BUS to spot drivers using mobile phones then call in unmarked police cars with automatic numberplate recognition systems to dish out £200 fines an

Snooping traffic cops have taken to sitting on buses in a bid to spy on badly-behaved drivers using their mobile phones at the wheel.

Officers from Dorset Police hopped on a loaned-out double-decker to peer down into the vehicles of motorists driving around the seaside town of Bournemouth.

After spying someone breaking the law, they radioed colleagues parked up ahead in unmarked cars and they pulled the offenders over.

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Technology ‘Betamax’ police forces failing to recognise the digital ‘crime challenges of today’

The police are so stuck in the past they are failing to keep up with modern crime, the chairman of a major strategic review will say on Tuesday, as he likened forces to Betamax video recorders operating in a world of “blockchain criminals”.

Sir Michael Barber, who has led a two-year independent review of policing in England and Wales, is due to present his full findings next month.

But he will tell an event today that the British tradition of policing by consent is at serious risk and only fundamental reform can reverse the current crisis in confidence.

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Police Demand Postcode 'lottery' leaves some fraud victims nearly 50 times less likely to have cases solved

Victims of fraud and scams are nearly 50 times more likely to have their case solved in some parts of the country than others, a Telegraph analysis shows.

Official data shows that victims in North Yorkshire face just a one in a 500 (or 0.15 per cent) chance of their case being solved.

It is the force with the lowest charging rate and compares with a one in 15 (or 7.22 per cent) chance of a fraud prosecution in Dorset, the police force with the highest rate. That is 46 times higher.

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Police and Crime General Tougher UK gambling regulation needed to protect communities – councils and Police and Crime Commissioners say

The Government must toughen up regulations on the gambling industry to help protect communities and vulnerable people from gambling-related harm, councils and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are urging today.

Ahead of the publication of the Government’s white paper on the future of the Gambling Act, the Local Government Association and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) are calling for tougher powers for councils to determine where and how many gambling premises can open in their areas, alongside a crackdown on the current volume of gambling advertising and marketing.

Evidence shows that gambling and betting premises are typically located in more deprived areas, where residents may be more vulnerable to issues stemming from gambling and betting.

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Police and Crime General Dominic Raab reveals plans to create 4,000 new prison places

The justice secretary has revealed plans to create 4,000 prison places at 16 sites in a bid to deliver on the government's promise to increase capacity by the middle of the decade.

Dominic Raab's plans, which are subject to planning permission being granted, will involve building new wings and refurbishing old prison space.

The government wants to create 20,000 prison places by 2025.

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Police and Crime General Dedicated roads policing unit to return to Isle of Wight

In recent months the lack of a dedicated RPU team has attracted criticism from local MPs, coroners and council leaders. However, following a review by the constabulary, supported by police and crime commissioner Donna Jones, residents will now benefit from an enhanced roads policing service.

Ms Jones has committed to an additional 600 police officers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by 2023. As part of the officer uplift commitment for the next financial year, additional roads policing posts are being created across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This gives the force the capacity and flexibility to invest in this specialist area of policing on the Island.

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Police and Crime General No 10 asks Met Police not to publish photos from Downing Street lockdown parties

The Cabinet Office has told the Metropolitan Police not to publish 300 photos linked to a criminal investigation into Downing Street parties.

Scotland Yard received the request after aides at No 10 expressed concern that publication of the images could harm their reputations, The Times understands.

It means that hundreds of photos of the Downing Street parties — some of which are believed to include Boris Johnson — are unlikely ever to be published. In one photo, the prime minister is said to be pictured holding a can of beer at his birthday party in the Cabinet Room in June 2020.

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Recruitment and Retention Police morale is plummeting - and ministers are turning a blind eye

After more than a decade of pay caps and freezes, the Police Federation of England and Wales’s (PFEW) pay and morale survey reveals a worsening morale crisis in policing and acts as a health warning for anyone considering joining the service.

The survey results make clear the financial pressure on police officers and their families, and the stress this places on them just to make ends meet. Policing is a uniquely challenging profession with the growing demands and dangers officers face – the Government and police leaders can no longer bury their heads in the sand.

Police officers more than stepped up during the pandemic and faced rising levels of assaults and continually changing rules and legislation. The reward for their efforts – a zero percent pay award. Police officers heard the warm words of thanks, they saw government ministers queuing up on television to give thanks. Yet that thanks was quickly forgotten the moment it came to recognising their efforts in their salary.

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Police Demand Over a third of repeat knife offenders escaping jail despite strict ‘two strike and out’ laws

More than four in 10 repeat knife crime offenders are being spared jail despite “two strike and out” laws requiring immediate prison terms.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures showed 41 per cent avoided an immediate custodial sentence despite the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, which requires courts to impose a jail term “unless it would not be in the interest of justice to do so”.

They were instead handed suspended sentences, community service, fines, cautions or conditional discharges.

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Police and Crime General Cressida Dick called for spot checks on officer phones in bid to save job

Dame Cressida Dick suggested random spot checks of officers’ phones and social media accounts to uncover inappropriate police behaviour in a last-ditch effort to save her job, The Times has learnt.

The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police also called for an “urgent” review of the misconduct system after officers at Charing Cross police station escaped being fired following a misogyny and racism scandal.

Dick also told Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, she had launched an independent review on the Met’s policy of promoting officers after they went through the misconduct process.

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Police and Crime General We don’t want to say we’re institutionally racist, insists Met Police

The Metropolitan Police are resisting pressure for chief constables to declare that policing is institutionally racist, despite warnings that they cannot repair broken relations with the black community without the admission.

Police leaders have been in high-level talks about making the declaration to show black and minority communities that they accept that racism and discrimination are ingrained in the service, and will take radical steps to fix it.

The Times has been told that the Met is one of several police forces opposed to the admission in reforms by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). Helen Ball, an assistant commissioner and one of Dame Cressida Dick’s staunchest allies, spoke out against it at a meeting this month.

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Recruitment and Retention Zero pay award 'the last straw' for officer morale, survey shows

The Police Federation’s annual morale survey revealed the depth of dissatisfaction among rank and file officers and that included their relationship with senior command.

Of 29,587 officers who responded, 95 per cent said their treatment had a negative impact on their morale, while 93 per cent stated they did not feel respected by the government

But the urgent issue is pay. The zero per cent increase last year is now hitting even harder because of rising energy, fuel and food bills.

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Police Demand Seven in 10 Britons get text scams each month... but only 24 cases end up in court

Just 24 text scam cases have been prosecuted by police despite more than 70 per cent of people saying they get at least one a month, new data show.

The figures suggest that as many as 36 million are afflicted by text scams on their phones every month, with an estimated 6.5 million of those getting more than 10 every month.

However, the latest Home Office data shows only 24 text scam cases were charged for fraud by false representation in 2020 under the Fraud Act 2006. Eleven were prosecuted as the primary offence with only seven resulting in a conviction.

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Police and Crime General Proposal to change name of force to Leicestershire and Rutland Police branded ‘complete waste of resources’

A police boss is proposing to change the name of the force to include Rutland.

Rupert Matthews, the police and crime commissioner for Leicestershire and Rutland has started a survey asking for people’s views on reinstating Rutland into the name of the force.

If the change was to go-ahead, the force would be called Leicestershire and Rutland Police, instead of Leicestershire Police.

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Police and Crime General Khan ousted Cressida Dick to deflect from his own failings, says police union

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, ousted Cressida Dick as Met chief to deflect from his own failings, the chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation has said.

Ken Marsh, who leads the body representing rank-and-file officers in Britain’s largest force, claimed his members had no faith in Khan and needed to support any changes otherwise they would not work.

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Recruitment and Retention Met Police to drop requirement that applicants have lived in London


he Met Police will lift its requirement that applicants must have lived or studied in London to join the force as part of a new recruitment drive.

It comes as part a Police Uplift programme which will see an additional 1,800 officers recruited into the force by March 2023.

As part of the plans, the Met will temporarily lift its London Residency Criteria (LRC) - meaning those who wish to join the force do not need to have spent time living in London.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel to strip power of mayors to hire and fire police chiefs at will

Priti Patel is to introduce a new law that will prevent Sadiq Khan from summarily sacking or suspending the next Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

The Home Secretary is planning the legal change to prevent police and crime commissioners (PCCs) dismissing chief constables, including the Met Police Commissioner, for political or personal reasons.

The move was already being planned before the Mayor of London forced the resignation of Dame Cressida Dick amid concerns within the Government that a pattern has been emerging of Labour PCCs disposing of policing chiefs.

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Police Finances Reckless cuts resulted in rising levels of crime

There’s a well-known saying in team sport that the league table never lies. I therefore get deeply frustrated when my police officer colleagues are lambasted each time the Home Office releases crime statistic tables.

While politicians judge these tables similarly to those in sport, the reality is they don’t adequately reflect the fantastic work done by colleagues in preventing many number of crimes, time spent with victims, or in assisting vulnerable people.

I’d be the first to admit not everything has been rosy in the world of policing, and that from the recent headlines claiming police are solving the lowest proportion of crimes on record it’s no wonder the public questions our role. However, these figures don’t provide any context about non-crime issues, such as helping individuals suffering from mental health crises, or following time consuming procedures like the new CPS Guidance, which now adds 3 hours (on average) to every file for court, taking officers off the streets and back into the office.

While there is undoubtedly much work to do in improving criminal justice outcomes for victims, every failing of the criminal justice system should not be placed solely at the door of individual police officers; however, slow justice is no justice and will certainly impact on victims and their confidence in reporting crime.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economy rebounds with 7.5% growth last year

The UK economy rebounded last year with growth of 7.5% despite falling back in December due to Omicron restrictions, official figures show.

It was the fastest pace of growth since 1941, although it came after a dramatic 9.4% collapse in 2020 as the pandemic forced parts of the economy to shut.

In December, the economy shrank 0.2% as Omicron restrictions hit the hospitality and retail sectors.

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Police and Crime General Cressida Dick resigns as Metropolitan Police commissioner

A row is growing between the Home Office and London City Hall as Sadiq Khan is accused of playing politics over the ousting of Dame Cressida Dick.

Priti Patel, who is responsible for appointing the Metropolitan police commissioner, is furious that the mayor did not tell her he was withdrawing support from Dick and effectively forcing her out.

Home Office sources said it was “rude and unprofessional” that Khan did not inform Patel he was calling a crunch meeting with Dick to discuss her future. Dick did not attend the meeting at 4.30pm yesterday, having been told by Khan he did not have confidence in her plans to rid the Met of its toxic culture. She chose to resign instead.

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Recruitment and Retention Gross misconduct probe police officers avoid sack

Half of police employees who committed gross misconduct were not dismissed, analysis of three years of police watchdog reports shows.

Out of 118 cases where the standards breach was proven by force disciplinary panels, 55 led to the sack.

The panels were held after the Independent Office for Police Conduct found a case to answer for misconduct.

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Police and Crime General Pubs and bars sign up to Commissioner's safety training scheme to protect women from violence

New training is underway to equip pub, bar and transport workers in the city with the skills needed to support and protect women needing help in their venues.

The sessions, designed and delivered by the specialist charity Equation, are funded by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry through the Home Office’s Safety of Women at Night (SWaN) Fund.

They are part of a whole package of measures being employed in Nottingham to reduce women’s vulnerability on a night out. These include extra night patrols on the city’s tram and transport network and a ‘Safe Space’ facility with trained medical professionals for revellers needing urgent assistance or safety advice.

Commissioner Henry secured a grant of almost £250,000 in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham City Council.

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Police and Crime General Police to email 50 people in Downing Street party inquiry

The Metropolitan Police will email more than 50 people as part of its inquiry into lockdown parties at Downing Street and Whitehall.

A questionnaire will be sent to those alleged to have been at events on eight dates between May 2020 and April 2021.

It will ask for their account of what happened and "must be answered truthfully", the Met said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie are expected to be among the people being emailed.

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Police and Crime General GMP and Warwickshire have highest number of cancelled GATSO fines

More than one in six speeding offences detected by police forces in England and Wales is cancelled, new figures show.

The highest proportions of cancelled speeding cases during 2020/21 were in Greater Manchester and Warwickshire, both at 39%.

Wiltshire, which has no fixed speed cameras, saw the lowest proportion of dismissed cases, at just 2%.

According to forces number plate cloning is becoming a real issue in avoiding speed camera fines.

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Police and Crime General Domestic abuse survivor urges others to get police help

A woman who helped convict her former partner after he broke her ribs during a three-hour attack has urged people in abusive relationships to seek help.

Hannah Martin, from Northampton, was repeatedly assaulted by Hayden Wykes during their 18 months together.

The 32-year-old secretly contacted a police domestic violence unit after the assault left her wanting "to die".

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Police and Crime General Police watchdog still investigating 150 complaints Published19 hours ago

More than 150 complaints or allegations against former police officers involved in the Hillsborough disaster are still being investigated 33 years later.

Details emerged after the West Midlands branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers met the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

They were told 68 complaints and six misconduct cases involve staff and retired officers from West Midlands.

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Technology 'Increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks' prompt joint alert from UK, US, and Australia

Cyber security experts from the UK, US, and Australia are warning of a "growing wave of increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks" which could have "devastating consequences".

Chief executive officers and board members are being strongly encourages to familiarise themselves with the risks and "ensure their IT teams are taking the correct actions to bolster resilience".

KP Snacks confirmed last week that a ransomware attack was expected to lead to a shortage of several popular crisp and nuts brands on grocery store shelves.

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Police and Crime General British police deserve state of the art training

Ten years ago, as police minister, I drove work to establish the College of Policing. My ambition was to improve leadership, standards and professionalism in the service. Today, it is sobering to see that many of the challenges remain, and in some cases have increased.

Successive incidents have revealed troubling cultural issues in parts of the service which tarnish the reputation of policing and obscure the good, often brave, work done by the vast majority of committed officers. Every institution knows that the behaviour of a few can reflect badly on the whole. The time has long passed when these issues could be dismissed.

Quite apart from these concerns, the police service faces myriad challenges, from the way it engages with black communities and protects women, to the need to respond to ever changing crime threats and the advent of transformative technology. Meeting the growing demands facing this vital public service requires an exceptional generation of police leaders.

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Police Demand County line drug gangs target universities

County lines gangs are targeting university campuses and trying to take control of the student drug trade.

Vice-chancellors are alarmed that previously isolated incidents of gangs operating on campuses accelerated during lockdown when students were often confined to halls of residence and seen as a “captive market”.

Senior figures in the sector told The Times they were aware of students being intimidated into “cuckooing” — allowing their rooms to be used for storing and dealing drugs. They are also concerned that gangs organised lockdown parties in student accommodation blocks to begin offering recreational drugs to students.

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Police and Crime General Met Police officer who tasered girl, 10, should face gross misconduct proceedings, says watchdog

A Met Police officer who tasered a 10-year-old girl should face gross misconduct proceedings, a watchdog has found.

The officer fired the weapon at the youngster in southwest London following reports she was threatening a woman with garden shears and a hammer.

After the incident in January last year, the force said it had reviewed what happened and "no misconduct was identified".

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Police and Crime General Rise in use of force tactics against children by North Yorkshire Police

North Yorkshire Police is using a rising number of force tactics – including drawing stun gun devices – on children, figures reveal.

The Howard League said police forces across England and Wales should reduce the "worrying" rise in use of force incidents involving children.

Home Office statistics show North Yorkshire Police used force tactics on under-18s on 1,015 occasions in 2020-21 – with 16 involving children under 11.

This was up from 602 the year before, and 467 in 2018-19 – the first year such figures were recorded at police force level.

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Prisons Former prison governor admits sending WhatsApp messages to inmate

A female prison governor is facing prison after admitting sending WhatsApp messages to a prisoner.

Victoria Laithwaite was found to have sent messages to James Chalmers, an inmate who was sentenced in 2019 for his involvement in a violent burglary.

During a short hearing at Northampton Crown Court on Monday, Judge Adrienne Lucking QC said although the messages only gave a “snapshot”, they suggested a “wider relationship” between the pair.

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Police and Crime General County line drug gangs target universities

County lines gangs are targeting university campuses and trying to take control of the student drug trade.

Vice-chancellors are alarmed that previously isolated incidents of gangs operating on campuses accelerated during lockdown when students were often confined to halls of residence and seen as a “captive market”.

Senior figures in the sector told The Times they were aware of students being intimidated into “cuckooing” — allowing their rooms to be used for storing and dealing drugs. They are also concerned that gangs organised lockdown parties in student accommodation blocks to begin offering recreational drugs to students.

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Technology Porn sites will be legally required to verify users' age

Porn websites in the UK will be legally required to verify the age of their users under new internet safety laws.

The legislation, which is part of the draft Online Safety Bill, aims to give children better protection from explicit material.

The measures, to ensure users are 18 or over, could see people asked to prove they own a credit card or confirm their age via a third-party service.

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Technology Trolls could be jailed for online threats

Internet trolls who send death threats online and people who deliberately share dangerous disinformation about fake Covid cures could soon face a prison sentence, the government has said.

Ministers are creating criminal offences to make the law “fit for the digital age” as part of changes it is adding to the Online Safety Bill that it says will bring “a new age of accountability for tech”.

Nadine Dorries, the culture and digital secretary, said the government wants to be able to bring “the full weight of the law” against those who use the internet “as a weapon”.

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Police and Crime General Record reports of stalking during lockdown - but just one in 20 suspects charged

Record numbers of stalking cases were reported to the police during lockdown but just one in 20 resulted in a suspect being charged, worrying data uncovered by the Telegraph have revealed.

The pandemic saw a huge surge in the number of people being targeted by obsessive stalkers, especially online, with cases rising as much as 200 per cent in some areas.

Official crime statistics reveal there were almost 150,000 reports made to police forces in England and Wales between April 2020 and September 2021.

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Recruitment and Retention Police officers still being recruited without face-to-face interviews

Police officers are being recruited without face-to-face interviews, as a watchdog warned it left forces exposed to sexual predators joining without proper checks.

At least four forces - West Midlands, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Avon and Somerset - have continued to use special online centres set up during the pandemic to carry out assessments, pre-job checks and job offers.

One recruit said the first time he had any face-to-face contact with anyone from the force was when they came in to get fitted for their uniform.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel goes after the offenders who are spiking women’s drinks and getting away with it

Spiking is to become a specific criminal offence to prevent hundreds of offenders from escaping prosecution, Priti Patel has signalled.

The Home Secretary told MPs on the Commons home affairs committee that she had asked officials to establish how the Government could create a criminal offence to target the “appalling” increase in spiking using needles to inject people or lacing drinks with date rape drugs such as GHB.

It follows the disclosure that police received more than 1,300 reports of needle spiking in less than six months since the mode of attack came to the fore last year. This compared with 1,903 for the whole of 2019.

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Police and Crime General London mayor puts Met Commissioner 'on notice' over racist and sexist police messages

A "furious" Sadiq Khan has put the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick "on notice" after a shocking report revealed racist, misogynistic and homophobic messages sent by officers at Charing Cross.

The London Mayor told Ms Dick she most "drive out" the culture of racism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny within the force, as he sought urgent reassurance that such behaviour was not being repeated elsewhere in the Met.

“The mayor and the commissioner had a very frank discussion which lasted for well over 90 minutes," a spokesperson for Mr Khan said on Wednesday.

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Police and Crime General Police Scotland officers carrying Naloxone prevent 53 drug deaths

The drug, which counters the effects of overdose from opioids such as heroin, has been carried by officers as part of national trial project starting in 2021. During 2020, 1,339 Scots lost their lives as a direct result of drugs.

Drugs policy minister Angela Constance spoke to a joint meeting of Holyrood committees on Wednesday.

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Police and Crime General Drug seizures by police rise 21% during pandemic

The number of drug seizures made by police in England and Wales rose by 21% during the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.

Police and Border Force made a total of 223,106 drug seizures in the year to March 2021 compared with 183,646 the previous year, according to Home Office data.

A report, published on Thursday, described it as the third consecutive annual increase in seizures, “reversing a downward trend” over the decade.

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Police and Crime General Johnson and Patel’s claims about falling crime ‘misleading’, says UK watchdog

The head of the official statistics watchdog has reprimanded Boris Johnson and the Home Office for incorrectly saying crime has fallen by 14%, when this excludes the fastest-rising category of crime.

Sir David Norgrove, the head of the UK Statistics Authority, said he would be writing to the offices of Johnson and Priti Patel, the home secretary, to highlight what he called a “misleading” use of statistics.

Replying to a letter about the claims from Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson, Norgrove said Johnson and Patel had been incorrect to claim that crime was falling.

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Technology Block the social media trolls who refuse to provide ID, MPs demand

Anonymous social media users who fail to provide their ID should be blocked under the Government's duty of care plans to help curb online abuse, say MPs.

Social media firms should also face fines if they fail to prevent online abusers from setting up new accounts to continue harassing their victims, according to a committee of MPs.

The recommendation comes as the Government finalises its proposed new online harms Bill, due to be presented to Parliament this spring.

It follows petitions to Parliament backed by some 700,000 members of the public demanding verified ID be made a compulsory condition for opening a social media account. It included more than 500,000 who signed after racist abuse of England footballers after the 2020s Euros final at Wembley.

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Justice 1,000 days between rape offence and case completion in UK, data shows

The typical delay between an offence of rape and the completion of the resulting criminal case rose to 1,000 days in 2021 for the first time, figures have revealed.

The Ministry of Justice said the median time between offence and completion in rape cases was 1,020 days, or over two and a half years, in the first nine months of 2021, up by more than a quarter from the previous year.

The data, published in response to parliamentary questions from the shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry, also showed that 576 rape cases had been waiting for more than a year to come to court as of the end of September 2021, well over double the average of the previous five years.

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Police and Crime General Counterterror police will protect ferry passengers

Armed counterterrorism officers are to be deployed on British ferries for the first time this summer, The Times has learnt.

Firearms police from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) will be posted on cross-channel ferries from Dover and on passenger ships between Newcastle and the Netherlands.

While there is no known plot against British ferries, a senior counterterrorism source said that they were seen as extremely vulnerable as they were currently “completely unguarded”. Boarding passengers are not individually searched or given body scans unlike those on planes or Eurostar trains.

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Police and Crime General Neighbourhood Watch finds dwindling faith in police

The decline of the “bobby on the beat” has informed a slump in public confidence in police, the head of Neighbourhood Watch has told The Times.

In an annual poll commissioned by the charity, the number of respondents who believe that police do an excellent or good job dropped from 42 per cent to 33 per cent despite overall reductions in crime due to the pandemic.

John Hayward-Cripps, chief executive of the Neighbourhood Watch Network, said: “With the cuts to policing budgets over the past few years, many forces reduced their community policing presence to focus on other priorities. Given that our members have historically enjoyed a positive and close working relationship with local police officers, they have acutely felt this reduction in police focus.

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Recruitment and Retention App will record assaults on police to improve officer wellbeing

An app collecting data about assaults on officers is being trialled by the City of London Police.

The National Police Assaults Data app forms part of Operation Hampshire and will be rolled out to all forces in England and Wales.

There were 36,969 assaults reported on police officers in England and Wales in the 2020 to 2021 financial year – an increase of more than 20% on the previous year.

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Economy & Public Finance BoE expected to raise rates again

The Bank of England is widely expected to increase interest rates for the second time in two months this week as it continues to try to get inflation under control.

Consumer Price Index inflation hit 5.4% year-on-year in December – the biggest increase in 30 years, and far higher than the BoE’s 2% target.

At its last meeting on 16 December the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee voted to increase the bank rate from 0.1%, where it had sat since March 2020, to 0.25%.

It said at the time it expected inflation to remain “around 5% through the majority of the winter period, and to peak at around 6% in April”.

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Technology Airwave replacement by Emergency Services Network delayed another four years

An emergency service radio system that was due for replacement in 2019 will be used for another four years, costing the taxpayer a further £1.6 billion.

Airwave has supported police, ambulance and fire service communications since 2000 but the network is “reaching the end of its lifetime” and has “limited capability” to make the most of technological advances. However, the Emergency Services Network, its planned replacement, has been beset by delays.

The system, which will use the 4G mobile phone network to carry emergency service traffic, was supposed to have been introduced in 2017, with a full switch-over taking place in 2019. Instead, a contract obtained by Tussell, the public spending specialist, shows that support for the legacy Airwave system has been extended to 2026, with “significant setbacks and delays” involving ESN said to be the reason.

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Technology Facial recognition technology used to arrest fugitives in central London

Four wanted men were arrested by police using live facial recognition technology during an operation n over the weekend.

The suspects, including a 32-year-old man wanted for extradition for drug and violence offences, were detained on Saturday at various locations in Westminster, London by officers using the controversial technology.

The vehicle-mounted scanning system uses cameras and biometric software to check the identity of passers-by in real-time against a database of wanted or vulnerable individuals. Signs and notices are put in place to warn the public of the presence of the cameras and officers move in to make an arrest as soon as the system makes a match with its database.

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Police Demand Burglars go unpunished with only 5% of cases solved

The percentage of solved burglaries has nearly halved in seven years across England and Wales, and in some areas fewer than one in 30 crimes are reaching court, The Times has learnt.

Police solved just over 5 per cent of burglaries last year compared with nearly 9.4 per cent in 2015, analysis of official statistics reveals.

In total there were 268,000 burglaries between April 2020 and April last year, of which only 14,000 were solved while 243,000 cases were abandoned, largely because of evidential difficulties such as problems securing CCTV recordings or a failure to find a suspect. By comparison police solved close to 32,000 of 342,043 burglaries seven years earlier in 2014-15. That year more than 301,000 were not solved and more than 8,000 have not been assigned an outcome in government statistics. The statistics comprise residential and commercial burglaries.

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Police and Crime General Wiltshire Police 'Digi-dogs' trained to sniff out technology

A police force has two new recruits to help investigate cyber-related crime. The two springer spaniels have been specially trained to assist Wiltshire Police officers at crime scenes and in cases such as drug investigations.

The so-called 'Digi-dogs' are able to sniff out USB sticks, hard drives, and even mobile phone SIM cards.

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Technology UK warned to bolster defences against cyber attacks as Russia threatens Ukraine

UK organisations are being urged to bolster their defences amid fears cyber attacks linked to the conflict in Ukraine could move beyond its borders.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued new guidance, saying it is vital companies stay ahead of a potential threat.

The centre said it was unaware of any specific threats to UK organisations.

It follows a series of cyber attacks in Ukraine which are suspected to have involved Russia, which Moscow denies.

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Police and Crime General Met Police seeks limits to Sue Gray No 10 parties report

The Metropolitan Police has asked senior civil servant Sue Gray to make "minimal reference" to events they are investigating in her report.

Ms Gray's inquiry into lockdown parties in Downing Street had been due to be released this week.

But the Met has asked her to leave out details of parties they are investigating for Covid rule-breaking.

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Police and Crime General Killer cyclists may be classed like motorists

Cyclists who kill pedestrians could face prosecution in the same way as drivers.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, who is a keen cyclist, said the changes could come as soon as a consultation on updating road-safety laws had been completed. He said of the plans: “It’s to make sure we’re able to prosecute cyclists who, for example, cause death by their own dangerous cycling. The injuries and deaths that take place because of cyclists are also unacceptable.”

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Police and Crime General If the police aren’t doing their jobs, is it time for a law to protect the public if they intervene?

With fewer bobbies on the beat, people have been tackling crime themselves, but it's unclear how far they can go if they step in to help

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Police and Crime General PCSO made false report that his MPS tablet computer had been stolen

A PCSO has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice are falsely making a report that his force-issue tablet computer had been stolen.

Necati Mert Gulec, who is attached to the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC), appeared at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, 28 January where he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

On 9 August 2021, Gulec made a report to police that his MPS tablet had been stolen from him while off duty.

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Police and Crime General Domestic abuse rises sharply as cause of homelessness in England

The number of households being made homeless because they were fleeing domestic abuse has risen by more than a third in England since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest official figures.

Between July and September of 2021, 6,310 households were accepted as homeless by local councils because of domestic abuse, an increase of 13.7% from the 5,550 recorded in the same quarter last year, and up 34.3% from the 4,700 in the third quarter of 2019.

They accounted for nearly one in five households (17.3%) made homeless during the period, second only to those whose family or friends were no longer willing to accommodate them, which accounted for 30.4%.

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Police and Crime General Chief Constable of West Midlands Police to retire after Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

The Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police will step down from his post by the end of this year.

Sir Dave Thompson, who's been in charge of the force since 2016, announced his retirement this morning (27 January). He'll oversee policing the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July but he told ITV Central that'll be his last big job.

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Justice Only 6% of all crimes result in charge, as rape prosecutions hit record low

The proportion of crimes prosecuted in England and Wales has plummeted to a record low of 6 per cent, with only 1.3 per cent of rapes resulting in a charge.

At the same time, the number of sex attacks recorded by police have rocketed to record numbers, sparking accusations that “rape victims are being failed in ever-increasing numbers”.

New figures published by the Home Office on Thursday showed that in the year to September, figures fell for all types of offences.

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Police and Crime General Environmental activist tricked into relationship with undercover police officer Mark Kennedy gets £230,000 compensation

A woman deceived into a relationship with an undercover police officer has been awarded almost £230,000 after a tribunal ruled her human rights had been breached.

Environmental activist Kate Wilson, 41, started a relationship with Mark Stone in 2003 and had a "whirlwind romance" for nearly two years before breaking up.

She found out in 2010 he was a married policeman called Mark Kennedy - part of Metropolitan Police's public order intelligence unit - who was undercover to spy on activists.

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Police and Crime General £300,000 lost in scam involving people impersonating police officers

Between October 2021 and January 2022, more than 30 reports were received from members of the public who had either been visited or contacted by individuals claiming to be Police Scotland officers.

On each occasion, the victim was contacted by telephone from someone claiming to be from a bank fraud department and advised that their bank account had been compromised, said Police Scotland.

They were then requested to either transfer money remotely to another account online or attend at a bank and remove cash, which would later be collected by a police officer.

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Technology ‘Robocops’ better at spotting repeat criminals than police officers, study shows

The first AI system used by UK police to decide if criminals should be prosecuted or offered rehabilitation has proved algorithms are more accurate than human officers.

The scheme, run for five years by Britain’s most successful police force, found computer algorithms were better than experienced officers at identifying whether criminals were likely to reoffend after being caught.

The system, known as the Harm Assessment Risk Tool (HART) and deployed by Durham Constabulary, was used to rate offenders as being at low, medium or high risk of returning to crime.

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Police and Crime General Met to ask No 10 partygoers named by inquiry if they are guilty

Police will ask aides of Boris Johnson named in Sue Gray’s report as having attended parties during lockdown if they are guilty and therefore accept a fine under regulations passed by the government they work for.

Some could be asked in writing to accept or dispute Gray’s findings, while others will have to be interviewed under caution. The investigation is expected to take at least several weeks, with detectives prepared to expand their inquiry if further evidence emerges.

The Metropolitan police will take Gray’s evidence and ask those she finds to have attended gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall whether they have a reasonable excuse, sources say.

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Police Demand More offenders ‘will be let off without cautions’ under government reforms

More offenders will be let off without even a caution for “low-level” crimes such as drug possession, shoplifting and criminal damage under government reforms, says a former chief constable.

Dr Peter Neyroud, the chief constable of Thames Valley Police between 2002-07, said that the shake-up risked frontline police officers using community resolutions to “get rid” of cases rather than going through with a full caution.

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Police and Crime General Police seized 25% more cannabis in 2020 than 2019 as officers targeted people growing the drug during lockdown

Police forces in the UK seized 25 per cent more cannabis in 2020 than the previous year after taking advantage of stay-at-home orders to target people manufacturing and cultivating the drug, data has revealed.

Officers at 38 forces carried out at least 9,145 cannabis seizures in 2020 compared with 7,240 in 2019. Nearly 80 per cent of forces seized more cannabis during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic than the previous 12 months.

Police made at least 44,037 seizures of the Class B drug between the calendar years of 2015 and 2020, according to data obtained by i under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws.

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Police Demand More offenders ‘will be let off without cautions’ under government reforms

More offenders will be let off without even a caution for “low-level” crimes such as drug possession, shoplifting and criminal damage under government reforms, says a former chief constable.

Dr Peter Neyroud, the chief constable of Thames Valley Police between 2002-07, said that the shake-up risked frontline police officers using community resolutions to “get rid” of cases rather than going through with a full caution.

He said that officers would opt for “cheap and cheerful” community resolutions to get cases “out of the way” because the Government’s legislation enacting the changes created more bureaucratic “hoops than a game of croquet” around more effective alternatives that could rehabilitate offenders.

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Police Demand Premier League to meet with police to discuss rise in crowd disorder

The Premier League will meet with police this week to discuss concerns over increased incidents of crowd behaviour and disorder.

Last weekend there were incidents in two separate matches of objects being thrown at players while, overall this season, there has been an increase of 47 per cent in football-related arrests.

The number of cases is up to 802 from 547 in 2019-20, the last campaign from which comparable data is available due to behind-closed-doors matches.

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Police and Crime General Police to investigate Downing Street lockdown parties

The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into parties held in No 10 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Officers were looking into "potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations" in Downing Street and Whitehall since 2020, Commissioner Cressida Dick said.

She added that the investigation was launched after an internal inquiry led by civil servant Sue Gray passed information to the force.

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Police and Crime General More than 600 organised crime groups disrupted by ADDER projects

Over 600 organised crime groups have been disrupted and more than 13,000 people supported in drug treatment interventions delivered by outreach workers just one year on from the launch of the Project ADDER programme, which was set up to cut drug-related crime and harm in England and Wales.

The Home Office has revealed some early successes of the trailblazing project as the Minister for Crime, Policing and Probation, Kit Malthouse, gathered Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) representing ADDER areas from across England and Wales, at a meeting to underline the importance of cracking down on drug misuse and ensuring this threat receives the resource and focus it needs locally.

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Police Finances PCC supports prisoner construction project

Located in Hardwicke in Gloucester, the scheme sees prisoners released on temporary licence from Leyhill Prison help build affordable, eco-friendly housing pods that will be situated on various meanwhile use sites across the South West. The modular housing will provide accommodation for prison leavers and refugees, as well as act as refuges for domestic abuse victims.

The project, run by MMC Homebuilding Limited, has a number of aims including providing prisoners with transferable skills that will aid them in finding jobs when they leave prison and helping alleviate the national lack of affordable housing.

Finding suitable accommodation for offenders is a key factor in terms of reducing and preventing further offending. Sourcing and supporting individuals to live in suitable and settled accommodation on release from prison can reduce reoffending by up to 50%.

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Police and Crime General Is anti-social behaviour still seen 'as a bit of bother'?

Anti-social behaviour can devastate lives.?Yet BBC Panorama has found an important tool to help repeat victims is rarely being used.

What starts as nuisance can quickly escalate to a more serious crime.?

"I heard noises at the front of the house," says Paul, who has asked us to conceal his real identity. He saw more than 20 youths outside his house, some as young as nine.? "[They] began to throw big pieces of concrete at my house and myself."??

Paul's ordeal started last August after challenging a group who had climbed on a nearby roof. After that, he became a target.???

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Justice Police response to £3.9m fraud branded woeful

After having £25,000 stolen by fraudsters, 74-year-old Janet from Essex was told the police would not investigate her case.

BBC Radio 4's Money Box programme has discovered she is one of 69 known victims of one particular scam which has seen criminals steal £3.9m since 2018 - but only one of their cases has been investigated.

Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, Matt Parr, has described the police response as "woeful".

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COVID-19 No 10 police give 'extremely damning' evidence to Sue Gray over 'partygate'

Police officers who guard Downing Street have been interviewed by Sue Gray for the “partygate” investigation.

Members of the Metropolitan Police’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command who were on duty when a string of lockdown-breaking gatherings are alleged to have taken place have provided detailed testimonies about what they witnessed.

The statements, described by one source as “extremely damning”, are expected to form a key part of Ms Gray’s report, which is due to be published within days.

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Police Finances 'Croydon - this has to stop': Community unites to rid itself of being 'London's knife crime capital'

Last year was the worst on record for teenage murders in London. There were 30 in total, and five happened in Croydon - more than any other borough in the capital. But the community is fighting back. The killings have sparked the birth of a new movement.

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Technology Encryption: UK data watchdog criticises government campaign

A Home Office-backed campaign against the rollout of ultra-secure messaging apps by social media firms has been criticised by the UK data watchdog.

The No Place to Hide campaign says Facebook should abandon plans for end-to-end encryption in its Messenger app, saying it helps to hide child abuse.

But the Information Commissioner's Office argues the technology strengthens children's online safety.

A delay "leaves everyone at risk, including children," it told the BBC.

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Justice Crime victims left waiting almost two years for justice amid court backlogs

Victims are having to wait nearly two years for justice, with cases now taking more than 700 days on average to be completed amid court backlogs, official figures show.

With a crown court backlog of nearly 60,000 cases, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data revealed that the number of days that victims are having to wait from the time of offence to the completion of the trial has risen to 708 days for the three months to September 2021, the longest on record.

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Police and Crime General Police boss calls for closed-down stations to be reopening to repair public faith in the force

Police stations that closed during years of austerity should be reopened to bring back confidence in law enforcement, a police and crime commissioner said yesterday.

In March the Daily Mail revealed that more than half of Britain’s police stations had closed in the past ten years.

At least 667 facilities with front counters, at which people could talk to an officer, have been shut in England and Wales since 2010 to cut costs.

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Police Demand Fly-tipping: Government plans to tackle 'new narcotics' of waste crime

The government has announced plans to tackle what the head of the Environment Agency has called the "new narcotics" of fly-tipping and waste crime.

The proposals would see checks on who is able to handle and dispose of waste, as well as a digital tracking system.

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of rubbish, like mattresses and bags of waste, in parks, or on pavements.

There were 1.13 million fly-tipping incidents in England in 2020-21, a rise of 16% on the previous 12 months.

The cost, which includes clear-up and lost taxes, has been estimated to be £1bn a year.

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Police Demand Football arrests 'highest in years' & disorder on the rise - police

Arrests at football matches across the top five English leagues are at their highest levels in years, with fan disorder "getting worse", according to the UK's football policing lead.

The latest data covers the first half of this season - which has seen the return of fans to capacity stadiums after a year of lockdowns and restrictions.

There have been more than 800 football-related arrests in the first six months of the season, alongside more than 750 reported incidents of disorder.

Full Article

Technology GMP pilots immersive learning software to help officers tackle CSE

The interactive video software, which uses cutting-edge gamified simulation technology, gives learners the opportunity to take on the roles of both officer and investigator in a simulated CSE case.

The modules feature a combination of written content and videos on a range of topics from unconscious bias to recognising risk factors, conducting thorough searches of a missing person’s home and using the appropriate language policy.

Each module concludes with an interactive scenario in which the user is given decisions to make as part of a simulated investigation. Their choice dictates what happens next in the simulation, giving officers the opportunity to test potential decision-based outcomes around complex investigations to improve problem-solving and decision-making in a safe learning environment.

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Justice It’s high time that people caught with cannabis be spared jail, declare public

People caught with cannabis should be spared prosecution, says the public by a two-to-one majority, as they backed rehabilitation rather than punishment for drug possession.

Of the 2,000 adults polled, 45 per cent backed out-of-court disposals for cannabis possession, such as community resolutions, which do not bring a criminal record. Only 25 per cent were against.

There was a similar level of support for sparing shoplifters prosecution, with 43 per cent of those polled backing out-of-court settlements.

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COVID-19 Thousands of children have fallen off the radar during lockdown, warns Dame Rachel De Souza

Thousands of children have “fallen off the radar”, a government tsar has warned as she launches an inquiry to track down youngsters who are not in the classroom.

School attendance has dropped in the wake of lockdown and is a major “red flag”, according to Dame Rachel de Souza, the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Following two prolonged periods of school closures during national shutdowns, some youngsters have dropped off the school roll altogether, meaning they are not even captured by Department for Education (DfE) data.

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Police Demand ‘No evidence’ of women being spiked with needles on nights out, says ex-police chief

There is no evidence women were spiked on nights out through needles in the past few months, a former police chief has told MPs.

Paul Fullwood, who serves as the director for inspections and enforcement at the Government’s Security Industry Authority, told the Commons home affairs committee that the department found “no intelligence” of spiking through needles.

Reports of young women being spiked with drugs through needle injections in nightclubs and bars across the UK had soared between September and October 2021.

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Police and Crime General Met Police facing legal action over ‘failure’ to probe Downing Street Christmas party

The Metropolitan Police is facing legal action if it fails to investigate reports of the Downing Street Christmas party in 2020, according to campaigners.

The Good Law Project last week said it had put the force on notice that it would take legal action if it did not investigate the gathering.

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Justice Warnings over curfew risk for domestic abuse victims

Domestic abusers are being put on curfews which require them to stay at home with their victims, according to a report.

Inspectors raised serious concerns about the findings and said parts of the Probation Service’s electronic tagging programme required “urgent improvements” to keep people safe.

The Inspectorate of Probation report said: “Most concerningly, we saw incidences of curfew requirements being made that resulted in domestic abuse perpetrators being electronically curfewed to reside with potential victims.”

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Technology Facebook is ‘blindfolding’ police to paedophiles, says campaign pushed by Priti Patel

Priti Patel is backing a campaign that accuses Facebook of “blindfolding” police to paedophiles, as its encryption plans would mean 14 million child abuse reports could be lost each year.

The Home Secretary is supporting a hard-hitting public awareness campaign, entitled No Place to Hide, to alert parents to the dangers of end-to-end encryption in preventing police from tracking down potential abusers.

The adverts, backed with £500,000 Home Office funding and to run in newspapers and on radio and television, are aimed at winning over public opinion against encryption, which Meta, Facebook’s parent company, plans to extend across all its platforms.

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Police and Crime General House of Lords vote down government's attempt to control protests

The government's attempt to introduce laws to contain protests has been dealt a major blow after the House of Lords voted down a number of the controversial proposals.

The government had been moved to act after the disruption caused by eco-activists such as Insulate Britain.

But the Lords rejected several of the proposed powers, including:

• Allowing police officers to stop and search anyone at a protest "without suspicion" for items used to prevent a person being moved, known as "locking-on"

• Allowing people with a history of causing serious disruption to be banned by the courts from attending certain protests

• A proposal to make it an offence for a person to disrupt the operation of key national infrastructure, including airports and newspaper printers

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Justice Magistrates to get more powers to jail criminals for longer

Magistrates in England and Wales will have greater sentencing powers to enable them to take on more cases, under plans to clear court backlogs.

The government plans to let magistrates take on cases where the maximum sentence is a year, rather than the current six months.

It would allow magistrates to hear cases often held in Crown Court.

But criminal lawyers warn the plan may backfire, and defendants would still have the right to go before a jury.

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Police and Crime General Crime bill: Lords defeats for government's protest clamp-down plans

The government has suffered a series of defeats in the House of Lords over its plans to clamp down on disruptive and noisy protesters.

Opposition peers voted against a range of measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, with Labour calling some of the plans "outrageous".

Peers also voted to make misogyny a hate crime in England and Wales in another government defeat.

The bill will now go back to the Commons for MPs to have their say.

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Police Demand Failure to reduce road deaths linked to police cuts

There has been a 15% fall in how many officers are tasked with enforcing road laws full-time since 2016, according to figures obtained by BBC Panorama

The programme also found that nearly 50% of fixed speed cameras do not work.

Meanwhile, the number of people killed on Britain’s roads each year was stable between 2010 and 2019, following three decades of decline.

Full Article

Police Demand Police to use spy-in-the-sky technology to combat knife crime and stabbing hotspots

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said officers would use GPS data to "forensically identify" areas and blitz them with frequent high-visibility foot patrols over short periods. The Home Office scheme was piloted by Essex Police in 20 areas over three days. It led to a 74 percent drop in violent crime and 32 percent fall in street crime on days when the patrols visited.

Full Article

Police Demand Attacks on paramedics surge in past five years but almost half are not reported to police, figures show

Assaults against paramedics and emergency workers leapt by 30 per cent in the first year of the pandemic compared to five years ago.

Figures from nine of England's ten ambulance services show there were 11,548 physical assaults on staff between January 2018 and October 2021.

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Police and Crime General Psychiatrists warn of police and crime bill’s impact on young people

Hundreds of clinical psychiatrists and psychologists have warned that the police and crime bill reaching its final stages in parliament “will have a profound negative impact on young people’s mental health”.

“We cannot think of better measures to disempower and socially isolate young people,” they say in an open letter signed by more than 350 academics and clinicians and published online.

The intervention comes as the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill reaches the final stages of its journey into law. It has been widely opposed by human rights activists, racial justice groups, former home secretaries and parliament’s joint committee on human rights, which called the proposals “oppressive and wrong”.

Full Article

Police Finances Failure to reduce road deaths linked to police cuts


he failure to reduce road deaths over the past decade has been linked to a cut in the number of dedicated traffic police officers.

There has been a 15% fall in how many officers are tasked with enforcing road laws full-time since 2016, according to figures obtained by BBC Panorama

The programme also found that nearly 50% of fixed speed cameras do not work.

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Police and Crime General Protesters rally against ‘draconian’ police bill across UK

Hundreds of people marched across the country in "Kill the Bill" rallies, calling on the House of Lords to reject the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill which they say would restrict their right to protest peacefully.

Demonstrations took place in cities including London, Bristol, Coventry, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Plymouth on Saturday.

The action came ahead of a crucial vote on the bill by peers on Monday.

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Justice Criminals motivated by misogyny should spend longer in jail, says former justice secretary

Offenders whose crimes are motivated by misogyny should spend longer in jail, Sir Robert Buckland, the former justice secretary, has said.

Sir Robert is urging the Government to seriously consider an amendment to its policing bill due before the House of Lords on Monday, which would give courts power to treat misogyny as an aggravating factor in any crime and increase sentences accordingly.

The amendment is being championed by Baroness Newlove, a Tory peer and former victims’ commissioner, who has campaigned against injustice since her husband, Gary, was murdered after confronting a gang of drunken youths vandalising her car.

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COVID-19 COVID passes to be scrapped

COVID passes for certain events and venues are reportedly set to be scrapped this month as the Omicron Wave eases, with health secretary Sajid Javid telling MPs he shared their “instinctive discomfort” at the policy. Plan B guidance is set to be reviewed on 26 January, where work from home guidance could also be lifted.

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Economy & Public Finance Economy at pre-pandemic levels in November

Britain’s economy bounced back to pre-pandemic levels in late 2021, according to Office for National Statistics data. Gross Domestic Profit (GDP) had risen 0.9 per cent during the month of November 2021, meaning the economy was 0.7 per cent larger than in February 2020. However, the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is likely to have impacted this increase in December and into January 2022.

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Police Finances Gove closes tax loophole on second homes

Owners of second homes who abuse a tax loophole by claiming their often-empty properties are holiday lets will be forced to pay under tough new measures.

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Police Demand Police waste hours pixelating body camera footage instead of fighting crime

Police officers are wasting hours – even days – pixelating body worn camera footage over privacy fears, the policing minister has revealed as ministers pledged to investigate the problems.

Kit Malthouse said that officers had complained they were being distracted from frontline duties by having to spend time blurring the faces of people irrelevant to their investigation when preparing their evidence for court.

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Police and Crime General Successful bid to change name of Hampshire Constabulary

Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones has been successful in securing the government’s support for her bid to change the name of Hampshire Constabulary to include the whole police force area by adding, ‘Isle of Wight’ to the formal legal name.

The campaign, which started early in 2021 has taken a big step forward, following a letter from the the Minister of State for Crime, Policing and Probation, Rt.Hon Kit Malthouse MP.

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Police Demand Police to use spy-in-the-sky technology to combat knife crime and stabbing hotspots

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said officers would use GPS data to "forensically identify" areas and blitz them with frequent high-visibility foot patrols over short periods. The Home Office scheme was piloted by Essex Police in 20 areas over three days. It led to a 74 percent drop in violent crime and 32 percent fall in street crime on days when the patrols visited.

Full Article

COVID-19 Police face questions over how officers guarding Downing Street missed party Boris Johnson attended

The Metropolitan Police is facing demands for an explanation of how officers guarding 10 Downing Street could have been unaware of the “bring your own booze” garden gathering.

Baroness Jones is to write to the force and the national police watchdog to ask whether officers witnessed the event on 20 May 2020, and if so whether they reported it.

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COVID-19 Downing Street parties: Met rejects call for No 10 party inquiry despite mea culpa

The Metropolitan Police was refusing last night to open an investigation into the Downing Street party as experts said that possible legal breaches could be complicated by the fact it took place at Boris Johnson’s home residence.

The Met said its stance had not changed despite the prime minister’s admission in parliament yesterday that he had attended the garden drinks on May 20, 2020.

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Police Finances Former HMI appointed new head of police pay review body

Former HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham has been appointed as the new Chair of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) and the National Crime Agency Remuneration Review Body (NCARRB).

She will take up her appointment on 13 January, on a term of 3 years but leads a body which has little credibility left with the service due to a series of pay award recommendations which have been ignored by the Home Office.

The Police Federation and the Police Superintendents’ Association abandoned the review board last year in protest at the 0% pay rise and say they are now focused on deciding how they want a new negotiating system to work.

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Police Demand Police waste hours pixelating body camera footage instead of fighting crime

Police officers are wasting hours – even days – pixelating body worn camera footage over privacy fears, the policing minister has revealed as ministers pledged to investigate the problems.

Kit Malthouse said that officers had complained they were being distracted from frontline duties by having to spend time blurring the faces of people irrelevant to their investigation when preparing their evidence for court.

He admitted it was not clear where the guidance requiring it had come from, but he said he was investigating to see “whether it is actually needed”. The Attorney General Suella Braverman is also reviewing the problem to "minimise" the strain on police.

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COVID-19 Met police accused over failure to investigate No 10 lockdown parties

The Metropolitan police have been accused of “deferring to the powerful” by not investigating Downing Street parties held in apparent breach of lockdown rules.

The force on Monday said it was in touch with the Cabinet Office in light of “widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of the Health Protection Regulations at Downing Street on 20 May 2020”.

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Justice Dramatic fall in burglaries after police sent to scene of every break-in

Burglaries have been cut by up to a half and detection rates have trebled after police sent officers to the scene of every break-in.

All forces have now been urged by ministers to adopt the policy after Greater Manchester, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire constabularies publicly pledged to send an officer to every burglary.

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Police and Crime General Drink-spiking is at ‘epidemic’ levels in UK, campaigners tell MPs

Drink- and drug-spiking has reached “epidemic” levels in the UK and is now so common it can happen to anyone, campaigners have told a new parliamentary inquiry into the problem.

The home affairs select committee was told that up to 15% of women and 7% of men have been spiked with alcohol or drugs.

Hannah Stratton, a 51-year-old from Cornwall, told the committee that she was “violently ill” when her drink was drugged at a “quiet bar” in Newquay.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police face questions over how officers guarding Downing Street missed party Boris Johnson attended

The Metropolitan Police is facing demands for an explanation of how officers guarding 10 Downing Street could have been unaware of the “bring your own booze” garden gathering.

Baroness Jones is to write to the force and the national police watchdog to ask whether officers witnessed the event on 20 May 2020, and if so whether they reported it.

“This garden party raises big questions for the Met Police, as their officers must surely have monitored this gathering via their security cameras and been aware of the rules in place at the time,” the Green Party peer told The Independent.

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Prisons HMP Styal: Prisoner who had stillborn baby 'will never forgive jail'

A prisoner who gave birth to a stillborn baby in the toilet of a cell has said she "will never forgive the prison" for the "horror death".

Louise Powell, 31, who did not know she was pregnant, said she begged for an ambulance before her baby died at HMP Styal in Cheshire in 2020.

She told BBC Newsnight she was left alone when she was "crying for help".

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Technology Home Office backing of women’s safety app is insulting, campaigners say

Women’s safety campaigners have called the Home Office’s backing of an app that allows users to track their friends’ journeys home “insulting to women and girls”, arguing that it does nothing to tackle the issue of men’s violence against women.

The new app provides anyone walking home at night with a monitored route on their phone. If the walker moves more than 40 metres from the route or stops for more than three minutes, the app asks if they are OK. If there is no reply, nominated “guardians” – normally friends and family – receive a notification on their phones to say there has been a deviation. They can then check on the person in question and alert the police if they are unable to do so.

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Police and Crime General Police ‘turn a blind eye to colleagues who break rules’

Police officers and staff are said to have covered up more than 100 cases of misconduct by colleagues in an 18-month period, according to figures obtained by freedom of information requests.

Dozens of police have been accused of failing to act in cases where their colleagues behaved inapropriately, such as by making discriminatory comments or engaging in sexual misconduct.

Officers did nothing when two constables, who have since been jailed, took photographs of the bodies of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, who had been murdered, and sent them via WhatsApp.

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Police and Crime General Firearms holders face long wait for new gun licences as system grinds to a halt amid chaos

A number of police forces have stopped issuing new gun licences, it has emerged, amid claims the system has fallen into chaos.

“Untenable” delays to the processing system mean that in some areas, firearms holders are waiting more than six months for their five-year licence to be renewed.

Several forces including North Yorkshire, Thames Valley, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Hampshire have all announced temporary pauses to new licences in recent months.

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Police and Crime General ‘I wanted to present a human side’: West Midlands police’s artist in residence on building bridges

Stories of the disintegrating relationship between the police and young black people are endless, but an artist behind an unlikely new project hopes he can help break down barriers.

Kay Rufai was enlisted by West Midlands police last year to be their artist in residence – thought to be a first for a police force. He has spent several months taking photographs and film of officers and young, mostly black people who have had dealings with the police. The images were then presented to police in order to spark a conversation and “challenge their preconceptions”.

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COVID-19 Police failed to make use of ‘Covid dividend’ to take down drug gangs during lockdowns

Police failed to exploit a “Covid dividend” to take out gangland bosses as lockdowns freed up officers from their normal day-to-day demands, a new study has found.

The research project, by two leading crime think tanks, said there had been an expectation that forces could have been more “proactive” while policing during lockdowns, as the normal “reactive” daily demands of 999 calls and street crime fell dramatically.

It was anticipated that this “Covid dividend” would mean officers would be freed up to generate intelligence, pursue investigations, and interrogate leads particularly in tackling drug gangs which “often make up a substantial proportion of the open cases on an officer's desk,” said the researchers.

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Police Finances HMRC fraud squad marks £1bn milestone

A government anti-fraud team has recovered more than £1bn from tax offenders and criminals in the five years since it was set up, according to HM Revenue and Customs.

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Justice Colston Four case could be reviewed to avoid setting a dangerous legal precedent

Protesters cleared of toppling Edward Colston’s statue could have their case reviewed under moves being examined by ministers, the Telegraph understands.

Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, has powers to ask the Court of Appeal to determine if the law was applied correctly, to avoid setting a dangerous precedent for future cases.

However, she can only do that if it is referred to her by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). It is understood she is open to such a move and the CPS is said to be considering its options.

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Technology Report published on UK use of covert powers

The Investigatory Powers Commissioner, Sir Brian Leveson, has published his Annual Report on the use of covert investigatory powers by public authorities.

The report covers activity carried out by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO) throughout 2020. It details the first full year for Sir Brian as Investigatory Powers Commissioner, who took up the role in October 2019.

IPCO independently oversees the use of investigatory powers, ensuring they are used in accordance with the law and in the public interest. The Report outlines IPCO’s oversight of the use of these covert powers by more than 600 public bodies, including UK intelligence agencies, police forces and local councils. Inspection findings and recommendations are documented in the report, alongside errors and breaches.

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Police and Crime General ‘Alarming’: Police caught same man using phone while driving nine times in four years

A motorist was caught using his mobile phone while driving an incredible nine times between 2018 and 2021 according to a new investigation. The man was one of 932 people convicted more than once over the period for the offence which falls under the description of ‘driving while distracted.’

That offence, known as ‘CU80’ was also committed by twenty-seven drivers between three and five times over four years according to the figures from a Freedom of Information request to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

904 drivers were caught twice and 90,057 were caught a single time.

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Justice National survey to see how police understand experience of victim

Led by the Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme (VKPP), the new Voice and Experience of the Victim research project is asking officers and staff to take part in a national online survey to examine how experiences of vulnerable victims are understood within investigative practice.

It opened on 22 November 2021 and closes 28 January 2022. The survey will take around 20 minutes and is anonymous.

Hosted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), the VKPP was created to work with force violence and public protection (VPP) leads to identify current interventions and approaches to vulnerability and related serious violence, develop the evidence base and improve responses.

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Police and Crime General Edward Colston statue: Four cleared of criminal damage

Four people accused of illegally removing a statue of Edward Colston have been cleared of criminal damage.

Sage Willoughby, Rhian Graham, Milo Ponsford and Jake Skuse were charged after a monument to the 17th Century slave trader was pulled down and thrown into Bristol's harbourside last June.

It happened during a Black Lives Matter protest in the city.

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Police and Crime General London boroughs consider cannabis decriminalisation

Three London boroughs could be part of a pilot scheme aimed at diverting young people caught with a small amount of cannabis away from the justice system.

The targeted pilot would apply only to 18-24 year olds found in possession of a small amount of cannabis in three of London’s 32 boroughs.

Lewisham council commissioned a consultancy report into the negative impacts of low-level drug offences. The report recommended that the borough pilot pre-custody drug diversion for 18-24-year olds found in possession of a small amount of cannabis.

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Police Finances Council tax set to rise by £10 to help police forces hire new officers

Constabularies say increase is needed to help meet the cost of getting new recruits and to avoid cuts in services.

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Police and Crime General Officers and staff recognised in Queen's New Year's Honours List

Police officers, staff and volunteers from forces across the country have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

People of all ranks and several roles have been awarded honours in a year where we all continue to deal with the practical realities of living during a pandemic. Throughout 2021, policing has continued to play a valuable role in supporting communities and keeping people safe.

The 2022 list includes a total of 50 police personnel honoured for their extraordinary contributions to policing.

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Justice ‘I’ll put the fear of God into abusers’: Dominic Raab vows to help domestic violence victims

Victims of domestic violence will be given two years to report crimes as Dominic Raab said that he wants to put the “fear of God” into abusers.

The Justice Secretary said that victims would no longer be denied justice simply because they failed to report their domestic assault to police within the current six-month time limit.

Writing exclusively in The Telegraph, below, he said that the current rule meant that perpetrators in “too many cases” evaded punishment because by the time the victim had recovered and built up the courage to go to police, they were “timed out”.

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Police and Crime General Sadiq Khan to begin decriminalising drugs in London

Sadiq Khan is to begin decriminalising drugs in London and plans to end the prosecution of young people caught with cannabis, The Telegraph has learned.

Under-25s found with Class B drugs in some boroughs will be offered speeding course-style classes or counselling instead of arrest, under a pilot scheme to be launched.

The boroughs of Lewisham, Bexley and Greenwich will be subject to the rules of the new scheme, with police officers told not to arrest young people caught with cannabis, ketamine or speed.

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Police and Crime General Met Police are blasted for boasting about operation 'to make women safer on the streets' that involved randomly swabbing clubbers for drugs and led to just one woman being arrested

The Met Police have been slammed for their 'invasive' policing after officers took to the streets of London to carry out random drugs swabs on clubbers during a 'week of action' tackling violence against women.

Footage posted to social media by the force showed officers walking through Shoreditch, which has seen a spike in incidents where women and girls have been made to feel unsafe, and swabbing revellers to ensure a safe 'night time economy'.

The force revealed that the operation on the night saw one woman arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs after she was observed disposing of a suspicious package.

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Police and Crime General It’s not the police’s job to shut down political debate. They should stick to solving crime [opinion]

Aman gets a call from a police officer. He is told that, while he has done nothing criminal, his social media posts have offended someone, so the police have recorded them as a non-crime hate incident that may show up on criminal record checks. The officer warns that if he continues to “escalate” matters, the police may take criminal action against him, a message later reinforced by his superiors.

It may sound like something out of a police state. But this happened in Britain in 2019, in a case that led the high court judge who later ruled the actions of Humberside police force unlawful to warn them, “in this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi”. Despite there being no evidence that Harry Miller, the man in question, might ever stray into unlawful speech, the police took action that reasonably led him to believe that he was being warned not to exercise his right to freedom of expression on pain of potential criminal prosecution; they also opined to the press that Miller’s tweets were “transphobic”...

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Technology Drones may be used to help protect vulnerable women under plans to be presented to the Government

Vulnerable women walking home at night could be protected from stalkers and sex attackers by drones under plans to be submitted to the Government.

Women in fear of an attack will be able to use a phone app to summon a drone, which could arrive within minutes armed with a powerful spotlight and thermal cameras to frighten off any potential assailant.

The drone system will be initially trialled on a university campus to protect students and staff, but its inventors believe unmanned drones could ultimately take over many of the search and surveillance functions of police helicopters at a fraction of the cost.

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Police Demand Bobbies on the beat to return as police admit ‘mistake’ in neglecting low-level crime

Bobbies on the beat are being reintroduced by police forces after accusations that they have disregarded anti-social behaviour and minor thefts for nearly a decade.

Two of Britain’s largest forces, the Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Police, are deploying an extra 1,100 officers to restore neighbourhood policing which police chiefs admit has been decimated since 2012.

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Police Demand Domestic abuse services brace for surge in victims seeking help in first week of January

Domestic abuse services are preparing for a surge in victims coming forward for help in the first week of January after spending Christmas with abusive partners.

The new year often brings an increase in violence due to family confinement, higher alcohol consumption and money worries.

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Police and Crime General Let people express their views, Priti Patel tells police

Priti Patel will warn police to do more to protect freedom of speech after judges ruled that recording “non-crime hate incidents” risked interfering with people’s right to express their opinions.

The home secretary will try to enshrine in law a new code of practice that controls the way officers record such incidents after Harry Miller, a former PC, won a court battle over his right to tweet about transgender issues.

Police guidance had described non-crime hate incidents as when a victim, or anyone else, perceived prejudice “because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender”.

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Police Demand Sexual harassment rife in UK universities, warns staff union

Sexual harassment is “endemic” in universities and colleges, with one in 10 staff members saying they have experienced sexual violence in the past five years, according to a report.

Women were nearly two-and-a-half times as likely to experience sexual violence as men, while staff on insecure contracts, those with disabilities, LGBTQ+, or black, Asian or minority ethnic were also at greater risk, according to a survey of nearly 4,000 staff members by the University and College Union.

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Police and Crime General Police Federation chair John Apter suspended over sexual touching claims

The head of the police officers' association has been suspended after he was accused of sexual misconduct.

John Apter, the national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has also been suspended by Hampshire Constabulary.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it has started an independent investigation over four alleged incidents.

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Justice Investigate crime not hurt feelings, officers told as Priti Patel overrules police guidance

Police advice on non-crime hate incidents is to be overruled by Priti Patel, who believes forces should not investigate “hurt feelings”.

The Home Secretary has intervened to change the law and make police subject to a new code of practice to protect the right of people to speak out on contentious subjects such as transgender issues without facing the risk of criminal investigation.

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Police Finances Labour urged to vote down ‘draconian’ changes to crime bill

The Labour party has been urged to take advantage of a unique opportunity to vote down a raft of last-minute amendments to an already controversial crime bill, which human rights activists have described as “a dangerous power grab”.

The 18 pages of amendments to the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill were introduced by government peers in November, on the day nine members of the protest group Insulate Britain appeared in court charged with contempt.

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Police Finances Christmas curbs could be brought in within days, says Sajid Javid

The Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, has said fresh COVID-19 restrictions could be brought in before Christmas to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, with ministers set to make a decision in days. Government insiders reportedly expect an announcement to be made about whether social mixing will be curtailed ahead of the festive period, potentially including a cap on the number of families that can meet, or even hospitality closures.

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Police Finances Revised Prudential Code published

The new version of the code replaces wording which previously guided UK local authorities away from borrowing ‘in advance of need’.

The new iteration creates three new categories of investments.

New restrictions on borrowing are focused on just one of these categories – investments that are made ‘primarily for financial return’, including commercial property.

Richard Lloyd-Bithell, senior policy and technical manager at CIPFA, said: “There has been a lot of misrepresentation about the code revision’s wording recently.

“The new code does not introduce any new restrictions on councils borrowing for purposes core to their core aims, such as for housing and regeneration projects, or for treasury management purposes.

“What it does do is state that it is not prudent for authorities to undertake borrowing that has the main aim of producing commercial income.”

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Technology New cyber laws to protect people’s personal tech from hackers

Consumers will be better protected from attacks by hackers on their phones, tablets, smart TVs, fitness trackers and other internet-connectable devices thanks to a new world-leading law introduced today by the government.

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Police Demand Domestic violence and abuse peak on New Year’s Day four years in a row

New Year’s Day has seen the most domestic violence and abuse incidents for the last four years in the South Wales Police force area.

Many of these incidents happened in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

The highest number was on 1st January 2019 and 1st January 2020, with 162 reports of domestic violence and abuse incidents on both days.

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Technology Online crimes double as promised laws are delayed

Police have recorded almost twice as many offences that are carried out over the internet since Boris Johnson pledged to introduce “world-leading” laws to combat online harms, analysis has revealed.

More than 200,000 online crimes have been recorded by police this year, up from 114,000 two years ago when the prime minister’s election-winning manifesto promised to “legislate to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online”.

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Police Finances Police Provisional Settlement for 2022-23 Published

Core Funding, which is defined as the sum of Police Grant, Rule 1, the Welsh Grants and Ex-CLG funding has increased by 5.7%. The smallest increases in core funding were seen in City of London and Dorset with an increase of 4.8%, followed by Gloucestershire at 4.9%.

Today’s provisional settlement confirms what was announced in SR2021, that English PCCs, or their equivalents, will be able to increase Band D bills by as much as £10 without triggering a referendum. There remains no referendum mechanism in Wales.

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Police Finances APCC welcomes funding which will complete the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers

The Government has today published its Provisional Police Funding Settlement for 2022/23.

Commenting on the Minister of State for Crime and Policing's statement, APCC Finance Lead Roger Hirst said: "PCCs welcome this funding which will enable us to complete the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers. We are delighted that the uplift programme is fully funded which will mean that not only will we get the extra officers, but the necessary technology as well.

“This settlement will also enable policing to complete its shift towards a more prevention-based approach, getting crime down and tackling key areas like drug-driven violence and violence against women and girls. Additional resources given to projects like the Safer Streets Fund play a crucial role in this.

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Police Finances Priti Patel hands police £1bn funding increase to crack down on burglary and murders

Police have been told to crack down on burglary and neighbourhood crime in exchange for a £1.1 billion increase in funding.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, announced police funding will rise to £16.9 billion for 2022/23, a seven per cent cash increase.

Some £1.4 billion of the total has been earmarked for the Government’s national priorities of reducing neighbourhood crime, murder and serious violence.

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Technology Organised crime crackdown a success with 2,631 arrests

Operation Venetic ? dubbed the deepest ever into serious organised crime ? saw officers access Encrochat, a supposedly secure messaging service used by criminals. The National Crime Agency yesterday revealed 2,631 people have been arrested since the operation began in May 2020. Of these, 1,384 have been charged and 260 convicted already.

Police have seized 5,646kg of Class A drugs, 8,789kg of cannabis, 165 guns, 3,404 rounds of ammunition and almost £76million in cash. Gangs are also believed to have used the handheld devices to plot attacks on rivals, plan ways of enforcing drug debts and arrange for money to be laundered.

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Economy & Public Finance Inflation surges to 10-year high of 5.1pc

Inflation surged more than expected to its highest level in more than a decade last month as households faced an even greater squeeze on living costs.

The consumer price index rose 5.1pc in November on an annual basis, up from 4.2pc in October. The figure was above forecasts of 4.7pc and marks the highest level since September 2011.

Inflation has jumped by 3.1 percentage points in the space of just four months – the fastest rise on record.

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Economy & Public Finance Businesses to get more funding and possible furlough support if further lockdown is imposed

Businesses will be supported with new state funding, including a potential return to furlough, if Boris Johnson orders further lockdown restrictions to tackle the Omicron variant, The Times understands.

It has been told that Rishi Sunak will increase the Treasury’s business support package again if pubs, bars and restaurants are ordered to close. Senior government sources said it was too early to say whether such measures might be necessary but that officials were working on a range of options.

A Treasury source said: “If we do get to a position where we are telling businesses that they have to shut their doors then it is not unreasonable for them to expect additional government support. That could mean a return to the furlough scheme but depending on what, if any, further restrictions are necessary there might be other ways of providing that support.”

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Technology Online Safety Bill to outlaw financial scams and cyberflashing

Scam financial adverts, “cyberflashing” and encouraging people to self-harm on social media are all expected to be made illegal after a group of MPs and peers said they should be included in a new bill designed to “call time on the Wild West online”.

A parliamentary committee has recommended a number of changes to the long-awaited Online Safety Bill, which is designed to regulate internet companies and social media platforms.

Its proposals include a requirement on all pornography websites to demonstrate what they are doing to stop under-18s accessing their content, and making it illegal to send flashing images to someone with epilepsy if the intention is to cause a seizure.

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Police and Crime General Meddling with human rights law makes UK less secure, spies warn

The security services have warned ministers that plans to overhaul human rights laws could make it more difficult to fight terrorism at home and abroad.

Senior figures from GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 said moves to reform the Human Rights Act could make it harder for them to defend cases in the courts. Their stark warning was backed by Robert Buckland, the former justice secretary, who said his successor Dominic Raab should be “very careful” not to introduce changes that had the unintended consequence of making Britain less secure.

The concerns were voiced before the publication later this week of plans to amend the legislation that was introduced by Tony Blair in 1998. Raab is understood to be considering a new bill of rights or reform of the existing act. He is thought to want to remove the duty on British courts to adhere to European Court of Human Rights precedents.

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Police and Crime General Women need to be able to trust the police – how does Britain get to that point? [opinion]

After the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer earlier this year, a dam burst. Women came out on to the streets of Britain to protest against male violence, only to be met with police violence.

That dam is still flooding: at least 133 women in the UK have died at the hands of a man in 2021 so far. Countless more will have taken their own lives as a consequence of male violence. Women are tired of reading the names of the women killed by femicide each year, they are tired of reading about the increase in the reports of sexual violence and domestic violence, and they are tired of the failure of the criminal justice system to tackle the problem – as the virtual collapse of rape prosecutions over the past three years shows...

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Police and Crime General The police could soon seize the homes of Gypsies and Travellers – this is not who we are as a nation

If I began talking about children with hearts heavy from exposure to prejudice, separated from their parents and forced to leave their homes, you could be forgiven for thinking I was referencing my past. I was part of the Kindertransport, one of 10,000 Jewish or partly Jewish children brought to the UK by Sir Nicholas Winton in the lead up to the Holocaust.

Yet I am not talking about the fear of the unknown that I experienced aged six, as I boarded a train bound for the UK. No – I am talking about children in 2021 who are British citizens. Children from ethnic minority communities as old as the Church of England, yet who must fight to belong in the face of constant discrimination. Children who, because of a bill working its way through parliament, could see their worldly possessions wheeled away, their warmth and shelter seized, their parents potentially imprisoned.

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Police and Crime General The police bill is an unprecedented assault on our freedom – Priti Patel must be stopped [opinion]

Poor Boris Johnson. He faces a potential fine and up to 10 years in jail if he fulfils the promise he made in 2016 to lie in front of the bulldozers, in order to stop the third runway at Heathrow. This is because of the authoritarian, protest-crushing proposals contained in the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which Priti Patel, our most right-wing home secretary in generations, is currently taking through parliament.

The bill was withdrawn after the huge public outcry over the heavy-handed policing of the vigil marking the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer. It was then generally agreed that the bill’s punitive suppression of protests had no place in a supposed liberal democracy. But once the outcry had passed, Patel quietly re-introduced the bill – and with the government’s huge majority it has been progressing through parliament.

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Police and Crime General Police warn people less likely to comply with Covid rules after Christmas party scandal

Senior police officers have warned that public compliance with new Covid laws will be affected by the Downing Street Christmas party scandal.

Sources stated that anecdotal reports were coming in over terse exchanges between police and the public in recent days, and that officers fear any move to ban parties would prompt a significant backlash.

One senior police officer, speaking off the record, warned that if any new restrictions come in, the “public would try to comply … but would be rightly p****d off”.

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Police and Crime General Vulnerable children risk falling into crime ‘if schools do not reopen in January’

Further school closures will result in thousands of vulnerable children slipping through the net and being drawn into violent crime, drug dealing and sex abuse, campaigners have warned.

Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, has said he will do everything in his power to keep schools “protected and open”, but on Sunday was unable to guarantee that pupils would return to the classroom in January following the Christmas break.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economy stutters as health sector drives growth

The UK economy grew by just 0.1% in October, official figures show, despite a strong performance by the health sector and second-hand car sales.

A fall in people dining out and reductions in oil extraction and gas use meant growth came in lower than expected.

However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the services sector returned to pre-pandemic levels.

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COVID-19 England introduces Plan B rule changes

The Government have introduced their COVID-19 Plan B restrictions to help limit the spread of the Omicron variant. From Friday, face masks will be required in more public settings including theatres and cinemas; from Monday, people will be asked to work from home where possible and from Wednesday, the NHS Covid Pass will also be required for visitors to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people.

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COVID-19 Downing Street party: Police will not investigate due to 'lack of evidence'

The Metropolitan Police says it is not investigating allegations No 10 staff broke Covid rules in December of last year due to "an absence of evidence".

A video obtained by ITV shows No 10 aides joking about holding a Christmas party amid lockdown restrictions.

Following an angry backlash, the PM's former spokeswoman, who appears in the clip, stepped down from her role.

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Justice Landmark reforms for victims

Ministers have launched a consultation on a victims’ law for England and Wales, which aims to put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system and hold agencies to account. Performance scorecards are also expected to be published

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COVID-19 Neigh-bourhood watch: residents mount patrols on horseback

In response to a surge in rural crime in Wiltshire, members of the public with their own horses have joined a volunteer scheme with the police to patrol neighbourhoods and countryside areas on horseback.

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Police and Crime General Repeat knife criminals avoid prison sentence despite ‘two strikes’ policy

Almost half of all repeat knife crime offenders avoided a prison sentence last year, breaking the government’s “two strikes and you’re out” pledge.

Official statistics also show that almost one in five people convicted of a knife crime reoffend.

Last year’s reoffending figure — 18 per cent — was up from 12 per cent a decade ago, according to analysis by Steve Reed, Labour’s shadow justice secretary.

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Police and Crime General Landmark reforms for victims

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab set out plans for a first ever Victims’ Law that would guarantee greater consultation with them during the criminal justice process to ensure their voices are properly heard, and hold Agencies such as the police, Crown Prosecution Service and courts to appropriately account for the service they provide to victims.

Under plans set out in a consultation published today, victims’ views would be taken into better account at regular points during their case. Proposals include an explicit requirement for prosecutors to meet the victims of certain crimes before making a charging decision in order to understand the impact.

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Justice Four convicted offenders wrongly released because prison escorts misunderstood sentence

Senior judges have warned of a “growing problem” with potentially violent offenders being wrongly released from custody because privatised prison escorts fail to understand sentences.

Lord Justice Haddon-Cave, the senior presiding judge for England and Wales, highlighted concern among colleagues after it emerged that four convicted offenders were released from court earlier this year because custody officers misunderstood the sentences.

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Police and Crime General Record number of children in Britain arrested over terror offences

A record number of children were arrested on suspicion of terror offences in Great Britain in the last year, a development that investigators have linked to the shutdown of schools during the early stages of the pandemic.

Figures released by the Home Office show there were 25 such arrests of under-18s in the 12 months to September, the majority in relation to far-right ideology.

This was an increase from 17 arrests the previous year. Under-18s accounted for 13% of all terror arrests last year, up from 8%.

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Technology Five-year delay for new police computer as cost soars 68%

A replacement for the creaking police national computer has been delayed by five years, with costs soaring to £1.1 billion, amid warnings that there is a “risk” of relying on existing technology.

A report revealed that the new national law enforcement database was not expected to be available until at least 2025-26 and that its cost had increased by 68 per cent. It said this compounded the Home Office’s “miserable record of exorbitantly expensive digital programmes that fail to deliver”.

It meant that police forces must continue to rely on the computer, a 47-year-old system that stores all criminal records information and was used 133 million times in 2019-20.

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Technology Pilot scheme uses proceeds of crime to fight fraud

A pilot scheme launched by a major bank and the police is using the proceeds of crime to fight fraud and support victims.

The first tranche of money seized amounts to around £7 million, Lloyds Banking Group said.

It has joined forces with the City of London Police to use the proceeds of crime to invest in projects protecting against fraud and supporting victims.

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Prisons Prison league tables will rank how well jails get offenders off drugs and into jobs

Prisons will be ranked in national league tables on how well they get offenders off drugs and alcohol and into education and employment on release.

The “zero tolerance” plans announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his deputy Dominic Raab today come as part of a crackdown on drugs that has been at the centre of the Government’s so-called “crime week”.

It has included a focus on cutting middle class drug users, with Policing Minister Kit Malthouse yesterday suggesting dinner party guests should call the police if they witness their companions taking drugs.

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Police and Crime General Undercover police on Welsh trains target crime

Covert policing and more rail staff will be on trains across Wales this Christmas in a bid to tackle crime.

Sexual harassment, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crimes will be targeted through the British Transport Police (BTP) and Transport for Wales (TfW) scheme.

Passengers will also be reminded to wear face coverings on public transport, unless exempt.

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Justice County lines gang crackdown in drug policy overhaul

The Government has said it will dismantle 2,000 county lines gangs as part of a 10-year drugs strategy for England and Wales. It says this will see the largest ever increase in investment in treatment and recovery.

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COVID-19 Omicron cases rise more than 50 per cent a day

Latest figures show the UK has recorded a further 86 cases of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant taking the total to 246. This compares with a total of 160 the day before, a rise of more than 50 per cent. Meanwhile a further 43,992 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the UK.

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Police and Crime General Middle-class drug users could lose UK passports under Boris Johnson’s plans

Middle-class drug users are to be targeted as part of a 10-year strategy to be announced by Boris Johnson’s government with a heavy focus on war-on-drugs-era punishment.

So-called “lifestyle” users of class A drugs face losing their passports or driving licences under proposals designed to target wealthy professionals who the government will argue are driving exploitative practices with their demand.

Police officers will be handed powers to go through drug dealers’ phones and contact their clients with warnings about drug use in a bid to spook them into changing their behaviour.

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Police and Crime General Drug strategy to tackle 300,000 problem users, says PM

The government will aim to provide rehab for 300,000 drug users who carry out half of all thefts, robberies and burglaries, Boris Johnson has said.

The prime minister said the 10-year strategy for England and Wales would also tackle 2,000 county lines gangs.

The £300m gangs crackdown will be joined by the "largest ever investment in treatment", the government said.

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Police and Crime General Female-led police force asks men to 'do the right thing' to end harassment against women

Sussex Police has launched a campaign to help men recognise sexual harassment and misogynistic behaviour - and to call it out.

The "Do The Right Thing" campaign has been initiated by a force currently led by women.

It has the backing of local celebrities such as Fatboy Slim, actor John Simm, and cricketer Tymal Mills, who have recorded videos of themselves encouraging men to call out inappropriate jokes and acts of harassment, if and when they see them.

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Technology Young girls are ‘bombarded’ with sexual images online

Young people face a crisis of online sexual violence, with unsolicited sexual images becoming “dangerously normalised”, academics warn.

A study involving young people aged 12 to 18 found that most girls had received an image of male genitalia, often from adult men who were strangers.

More than half of the boys and girls who received unwanted sexual content online or had their image shared without their consent did nothing. A quarter told a friend. Only 2 per cent reported the incident to school authorities, 5 per cent to parents and 17 per cent to social media companies.

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Police and Crime General Ex-West Midlands crime commissioner says more children 'at risk' after 'lethal cocktail' of officer shortages and pandemic 'allowed neglect to happen'

A "lethal cocktail" of police officer and social worker shortages, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, "allowed neglect to happen," the former West Midlands police and crime commissioner has said about the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

The six-year-old boy from Solihull, West Midlands, was abused, neglected and killed by his father, Thomas Hughes, and his stepmother, Emma Tustin.

Tustin was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison and Hughes was jailed for 21 years after being convicted of manslaughter.

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Police and Crime General PCCs welcome national plan to cut drugs supply and demand, and invest in rehabilitation

The APCC’s Addictions and Substance Misuse portfolio has welcomed the Government’s new three-pronged strategy to tackling drugs in communities across England and Wales.

Joint portfolio leads Durham PCC Joy Allen and Dorset PCC David Sidwick said: “Police and Crime Commissioners recognise the public’s high levels of concern about drugs in our communities. We welcome this comprehensive, long-term strategy to tackle a problem that drives so much crime and anti-social behaviour.

Problem drug users often turn to crime to feed their dependence. Open drugs markets and the sight of drugs paraphrenia strewn about our parks and alleyways lead to people feeling less safe where they live. Many murders and acquisitive crimes are drugs-related and so we are pleased to see the Government giving these issues the attention the public expects.

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Justice Government action following murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

A major review into the circumstances leading up to murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has been launched by the Government to determine what improvements are needed by the agencies that came into contact with him in the months before he died.

The Government has separately commissioned four inspectorates, covering social care, health, police and probation to undertake an urgent inspection of the safeguarding agencies in Solihull to whom Arthur was known.

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Police and Crime General Justice Secretary seeks to bring in video evidence for all rape victims

Video evidence for rape victims will be rolled out nationwide, Dominic Raab has pledged.

The Justice Secretary said allowing victims to give their evidence in advance via video will not only reduce the trauma of going before a court, but it could also boost the prosecution rate and encourage early guilty pleas by the accused.

More than 1,500 victims have so far been allowed to give pre-recorded evidence after the process was trialled at courts in Harrow, Isleworth, Wood Green, Durham, Liverpool, Leeds and Kingston upon Thames.

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Police Demand Homophobic hate crimes hit record levels since beginning of pandemic

The police have urged victims of homophobic and transphobic abuse to come forward after figures showed the number of hate crimes hit their highest monthly level since the beginning of the pandemic. Reports of sexual orientation hate crimes recorded by police forces rose from an average of 1,456 a month from January to April this year to 2,211 on average from May to August.

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Recruitment and Retention Police recruits are quitting within weeks because they can’t cope with job, warns chief constable

New police recruits are quitting, some within weeks, because they are too young and inexperienced to cope with the demands of the job, a chief constable has warned.

Nick Adderley, Northamptonshire’s chief constable, said the new degree entry scheme for the police had the highest dropout rates because of recruits' lack of life experience and hardiness to handle the violence and pressures that frontline officers face.

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Justice Child abusers could be given life behind bars as government backs new plans for tougher sentences

Child abusers could face life behind bars as part of the government's proposed new crime legislation.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently going through Parliament, which would see an increase in maximum punishments for several child cruelty offences.

The tougher planned sentences could mean that anyone who causes or allows the death of a child or vulnerable adult in their care will face up to life imprisonment, instead of the current 14-year maximum.

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Justice Talking therapy plan to keep youngsters from violent gangs

Teenagers at risk of gang violence are to receive NHS therapy as part of a £14 million plan to reduce knife crime.

The Home Office scheme will examine whether providing highly intensive talking therapy to an at-risk child at a “teachable moment,” such as after they’ve been arrested or the victim of a violent attack, can help turn them away from serious gang violence.

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Police Demand Police chiefs summoned over dangerous streets

Police chiefs from Britain's seven highest murder regions are being hauled to a crisis meeting this week to tackle the spread of dangerous crime.

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Police and Crime General A quarter of police forces tell victims to collect their own evidence in bid to cut down on face-to-face visits

Police forces across the country are to ask crime victims to collect their own evidence in an attempt to cut down on face-to-face visits, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Twelve forces have signed up to use the program which allows officers to text or email a website link to victims asking them to upload evidence such as video clips or images.

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Police and Crime General Nine in ten people living in the countryside haven't seen a police officer for a week

Nine in ten people living in the countryside have not seen a police officer in their local area in the last week, research has found.

The startling findings were revealed in a survey of those living in rural areas which painted a damning picture of crime in the countryside.

Rural crime including thefts, burglaries and fly-tipping cost an estimated £43.3million last year with thefts of agricultural vehicles remaining stubbornly high at a cost of £9.1million.

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Police and Crime General Talking therapy plan to keep youngsters from violent gangs

Teenagers at risk of gang violence are to receive NHS therapy as part of a £14 million plan to reduce knife crime.

The Home Office scheme will examine whether providing highly intensive talking therapy to an at-risk child at a “teachable moment,” such as after they’ve been arrested or the victim of a violent attack, can help turn them away from serious gang violence.

The new initiative will be piloted in London, where £11.7 million will be ploughed into violence reduction units, children's services and the NHS to train people to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy to 1,800 young people aged 11-17 who are at risk of becoming involved in violence.

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Police and Crime General MI6 must adapt to new technology to survive, says spy chief

Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6, must become more open in order to do its secret work effectively. That's according to its chief, Richard Moore, in his first major public speech since taking on the role in October 2020.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum computing and digital technology have combined to completely transform the way human intelligence is gathered by spies, presenting MI6 with major challenges in the digital age.

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Police and Crime General Record number of knives taken off streets during week of action

Forty-two police forces across England and Wales, as well as British Transport Police, took part in this year’s Operation Sceptre between Monday November 15 and Sunday November 21.

Officers seized a total 936 knives, including machetes, swords and hunting knives, while a further 8,703 were either surrendered or found in sweeps. The operation saw 1,977 people arrested, of which 773 were related to knife crime offences.

Other forms of criminality such as supplying drugs were also identified, including large scale cannabis farms.

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Justice Ground-breaking pilot to safeguard domestic abuse victims

The pilot, called Project Shield, developed a new approach to ensuring vital information about the existence and conditions of victims’ non-molestation orders (NMOs) granted by the courts was easily accessible to safeguarding professionals and police officers.

Discussed in depth at a seminar hosted by North Yorkshire Police, attendees heard how solutions identified by the Project Shield team could be upscaled and rolled out nationally, so all police forces and safeguarding agencies could experience the same benefits. Vitally, they also heard how the national adoption of Project Shield could deliver a better level of service and safety to those who are most at risk of harm – the victims and survivors of abuse.

Chief Constable Lisa Winward said: “The new ways of working identified by Project Shield have enabled us to respond more effectively when victims report breaches of their NMO to us. Vitally it’s also allowed us to take early and decisive safeguarding action to prevent harm from occurring.

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Police Demand Teenager homicides 2021: London sees deadliest year in a decade, with 28 teens killed

A total of 28 teenage homicides have taken place in London so far in 2021 – making it the deadliest year in more than a decade.

This figure surpasses the 27 teenage homicides recorded in 2017, which had been the highest in recent years.

The previous peak was a record 29 teen homicides in the capital in 2008.

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Police Demand Nine in ten people living in the countryside haven't seen a police officer for a week

Nine in ten people living in the countryside have not seen a police officer in their local area in the last week, research has found.

The startling findings were revealed in a survey of those living in rural areas which painted a damning picture of crime in the countryside.

Rural crime including thefts, burglaries and fly-tipping cost an estimated £43.3million last year with thefts of agricultural vehicles remaining stubbornly high at a cost of £9.1million.

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Prisons Boris Johnson unveils great crime crackdown: Law and order package will focus on prison discipline, sex offences and drug use to reassure public that the PM is focused on tackling crime

Boris Johnson will order a crackdown on prison discipline, sex offences and drug use next month under plans to reassure the public that he is focused on tackling crime.

The Prime Minister will unveil a major law and order package as part of efforts to get back to bread-and-butter politics after weeks of turmoil triggered by U-turns and rows about sleaze.

The Government’s white paper on prisons will focus on improving discipline in jails.

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Police Demand A quarter of police forces tell victims to collect their own evidence in bid to cut down on face-to-face visits

Police forces across the country are to ask crime victims to collect their own evidence in an attempt to cut down on face-to-face visits, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Twelve forces have signed up to use the program which allows officers to text or email a website link to victims asking them to upload evidence such as video clips or images.

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Police and Crime General UK crime scandal: Police chiefs summoned over dangerous streets

Police chiefs from Britain's seven highest murder regions are being hauled to a crisis meeting this week to tackle the spread of dangerous crime.

The meeting on Thursday called by policing and crime minister Kit Malthouse has come as the nation was rocked by the death of 12-year-old Ava White in Liverpool after she was stabbed following a row with four teenage boys.

Already 2021 has been one of the worst years for knife killings on record with 27 deaths in London alone.

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Police Demand Electric scooters injure 130 pedestrians in a year

More than 130 pedestrians have been injured by electric scooters in the past year, figures have revealed.

Three riders of e-scooters were killed in the year to the end of June, while 199 were seriously injured in crashes. Thirty-seven pedestrians were seriously hurt, along with 15 cyclists who were involved in collisions with scooters. In total, scooters were involved in 931 accidents in the year, according to the Department for Transport figures.

The statistics represent the first full year since e-scooter trials started in July 2020. More than 40 towns and cities across the UK, including Manchester, and London, have started them in the last year. These will run until November 30 next year, at which point ministers will assess any nationwide rollout.

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Police Demand New research shows link between domestic abuse and vulnerability to radicalisation

Out of 3,045 people referred to the programme in 2019, 1,076 had a link to a domestic abuse incident, either as an offender, victim, witness or a combination of all three.

CTP said this is significantly higher than the prevalence of domestic abuse in the wider population, and the data “should not be ignored”.

Incidents ranged from a child witnessing domestic abuse in their household, to individuals with convictions for attempted murder.

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Police Demand Reports of wildlife crimes surged during the pandemic

Figures from 16 wildlife organisations behind the report, published on Thursday (November 25), show there was a surge in crimes against “treasured species” such as badgers, fish, birds of prey and marine mammals last year.

And while reports of wildlife crimes against many species rose by between 35 per cent and 90 per cent in 2020, they say convictions on key types of offences fell by more than 50 per cent.

The groups are now calling for improved recording and monitoring, better targeting of resources and enhanced use of expert police and prosecutors to tackle wildlife crime.

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Police Demand Domestic abuse crimes rose by 6% in past year

The number of domestic abuse crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in the year ending March 2021 increased by 6% on the previous year, new figures have shown.

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found the police recorded 845,734 crimes, up from 798,607 in the year ending March 2020

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Justice 'Andrew would be proud': Harper's Law will see criminals who kill police jailed for life

"Harper's Law" will be brought in after a two-year campaign by Lissie Harper, whose police husband Andrew was killed while responding to a burglary call in a tragedy that shocked the nation.

She was outraged at the sentences given to three teenagers responsible for his death in 2019.

Mrs Harper, 30, said: "It's been a long journey and a lot of hard work. I know Andrew would be proud to see Harper's Law reach this important milestone."

Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the Government is "on the side of victims and their families" and that it has the back of emergency workers.

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Justice Commissioner welcomes Harper’s Law

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer has today welcomed Harper’s Law, which will see people who kill emergency service workers in the line of duty given a mandatory life sentence.

Harper’s Law was a campaign run by Lissie Harper following the killing of her husband PC Andrew Harper, who was dragged to his death by a getaway car in 2019. Following a trial, three teenagers were jailed for PC Harper’s manslaughter.

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Justice HMICFRS identifies three areas where WMP 'requires improvement'

The latest police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that the force was “good” in five areas, “adequate” in three areas and “requires improvement” in three areas.

The three classed as “requires improvement” were investigating crime, supporting victims and protecting vulnerable people.

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said: “I am satisfied with some aspects of the performance of West Midlands Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but there are areas where the force needs to improve.

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Police Demand Number of people contacting NSPCC about child abuse hits record level

Figures show record numbers of people have contacted the NSPCC with concerns about child abuse. There were 4,735 calls about child sexual abuse or exploitation made to the charity in the six months to October – up by a third (36 per cent) from the same period in 2020.

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Police Demand The 2020 Euros saw a spike in domestic abuse – will it be the same for the World Cup?

Sharon Bryan, Head of Partnerships at the National Centre of Domestic Violence, says she is concerned about how next year’s World Cup in Qatar could impact on those already experiencing abusive relationships. This follows the LGA issuing warnings and advice surrounding domestic abuse ahead of England’s opening match against Croatia in the Euros.

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Prisons Ban prisons releasing inmates on Fridays as they're more likely to reoffend, urge Tory peers

Prisons should stop releasing inmates on a Friday because doing so fuels reoffending, drug addiction and homelessness, two Conservative peers have suggested.

More than a third of ex-offenders are currently set free just before the weekend, but as a result often struggle to access support services which are closed until Monday morning.

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Police and Crime General It’s time to rethink our counterterrorism strategy [opinion]

Investigators are still struggling to pin down the motive behind the Liverpool bombing. The bomber’s ethnicity and religious history have led people to assume he was motivated by Islamic extremism, but no clear evidence of this has been found. Rather, people are scratching around his background, history of mental health issues, failed asylum claims and religious conversion as possible explanations for his attempted act of terrorism.

While this confusing picture can appear anomalous, it is increasingly an important part of the threat we face. But it is not clear that we should consider it terrorism.

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Police Demand Police fear terror threats flying below radar as reports to extremism scheme fall by a fifth

Counterterror police fear potential threats may be flying below the radar because of the coronavirus pandemic, after the number of people flagged for radicalisation plummeted by a fifth in a year.

Senior officers had warned of a “perfect storm” for extremism, as lockdown left young and vulnerable people spending more time online amid a “rise in propaganda by all sides”.

But figures released this week showed that the number of people referred to the Prevent counter-extremism programme in the year to March had dropped by 22 per cent, to the lowest level in five years.

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Police and Crime General Violent crime against women gets the same status as terrorist attacks

Violence against women and girls will be elevated to the same status as terrorism under a proposed government directive, The Times has learnt.

Chief constables will be mandated to increase resources and combine capabilities in a drastic effort to drive up rape convictions, which have reached historically low levels.

Violence against women and girls is set to be added to the strategic policing requirement, meaning that police will be required by government to treat it as a major priority. It is an acknowledgement by ministers that there is an epidemic of violence against women that needs to be one of the most urgent national crimefighting priorities.

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Police and Crime General 'I'll never trust the police again': Ex-detective on 'deep-rooted' homophobia and racism within the force and why he's still waiting for an apology

When the 1999 Macpherson Report into the killing of Stephen Lawrence described the Metropolitan Police as “institutionally racist”, then Prime Minister Tony Blair said a change was on the horizon.

He promised the report would ‘bring in a new era of race relations’ alongside a ‘fundamental shift in the way British society deals with racism’.

Watching the Prime Minister's Questions from his home in Toxteth, Liverpool, 21-year-old Kevin Maxwell, who had been just 15 when Stephen was killed in 1993, believed those words.

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Justice Victims could gain independent appeal of parole decisions following Colin Pitchfork release

Victims could get a new independent right of appeal to challenge releases of criminals by the Parole Board after the recall to jail of Colin Pitchfork, the double child murderer, for approaching young women in the street.

Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, is considering proposals to refocus the board on “protecting the public”, which are likely to result in tougher rules to prevent the release of offenders such as Pitchfork, who raped and killed two teenage girls.

It could also see the Parole Board renamed to emphasise its refocussed role, with options already being canvassed such as “public protection” or “risk assessment” board.

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Police and Crime General Claims of ‘male brotherhood culture’ in policing rejected


olice chiefs have dismissed accusations of there being a “male brotherhood culture” in the service.

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales levelled the claim at policing figures during a crime conference in Westminster on Wednesday as she called on forces to lead the “fight” against sexist culture.

Dame Vera Baird told delegates: “You can change the culture”, adding: “I hope to see police as modern men proudly leading the fight against sexist culture, speaking out like the bystander project volunteers.”

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Police Finances Sarah Everard murder leaves women’s trust in the police almost halved

Trust in the police has plummeted after the killing of Sarah Everard, with a majority of those surveyed wanting government ministers to do more to prevent violence against women and girls.

Research published today found that 47 per cent of women and 40 per cent of men said that their trust in the police had declined as a result of Everard’s kidnap, rape and murder in March by Wayne Couzens, who was a Metropolitan Police officer at the time.

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Police and Crime General Stop and search: Home Office figures show police 'abused powers' in England and Wales last year

The use of stop and search went up by 24% in the year ending March 2021, according to the latest Home Office figures.

The data for England and Wales showed there were 695,000 searches carried out by the police, 11% of which resulted in an arrest.

The data also showed black people were seven times more likely to be searched.

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Police and Crime General Covid-19 causes fall in Prevent referrals, despite growing extremist threat to children

According to the latest Prevent statistics published by the Home Office on Thursday (November 18), the number of people being supported through the programme fell to 4,915 in the year ending March 31, 2021 – a drop of 22 per cent compared with the previous year (6,287).

The Government said this decrease was likely to have been largely driven by the effects of public health restrictions that were in place throughout the year to control the spread of Covid-19. This included school and college closures caused by the lockdowns, with the proportion of referrals received from the education sector (25 per cent) having fallen to its lowest level since 2016. The police made the highest number of referrals with 1,770 (36 per cent).

Despite this, young people under the age of 20 continue to make up around half (48 per cent) of Prevent casework, with these new statistics showing that the proportion of young people adopted for Channel counter-radicalisation intervention has increased year-on-year.

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Police and Crime General Commissioner hears over 5,000 cars seized in just six months during latest scrutiny session

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden has met with Chief Constable Chris Rowley and members of his Chief Officer Team as he continues holding the force to account.

As part of this regular scrutiny session, Andrew and his Deputy, Andy Pratt MBE heard about the issues that officers are tackling and how officers are dealing with them. Just one example of the work being done to get tough on crime was how in a year, over 5,000 cars were seized by officers in just six months this year, in relation to potential offences.

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Police and Crime General Offenders to be banned from drinking to cut alcohol-fuelled crime

For the first time, serious and prolific offenders will be tagged with devices which monitor alcohol levels in sweat if their probation officer thinks they will be more likely to reoffend when drinking.

The tag will help probation officers keep a closer eye on offenders’ behaviour and support them to turn their backs on crime. It will also provide offenders with the incentive to break bad habits as breaching the ban could see them back in prison.

Alcohol plays a part in 39 per cent of all violent crime in the UK and roughly 20 per cent of offenders supervised by the Probation Service are classed as having an alcohol problem. Around 12,000 offenders will wear such a tag over the next 3 years.

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Police Finances Government announces £550 million fund to tackle child exploitation online

The Government has announced a £555,000 fund for technology companies to find new ways to tackle child exploitation and abuse online. The safety fund will aim to stamp out child abuse without affecting a user’s rights to privacy and data protection in their communications.

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Recruitment and Retention Police officer numbers in London at highest level since 2010


he number of police officers in London has reached 33,000 for the first time in over a decade, new figures have revealed.

As of October 31, the Metropolitan Police Service had a total of 33,116 officers, the highest number since July 2010 when there were 32,995 officers.

The latest figures come as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan invites members of the public to have their say on his plans to tackle crime over the next four years.

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Police and Crime General ‘A pattern of fixation and obsession’: How the pandemic exacerbated stalking cases in the UK

In the quiet early hours of 18 June this year, 23-year-old Gracie Spinks was tending to her horse, Paddy, at the Blue Lodge Farm in Duckmanton, northeast Derbyshire. Moments later, she received a fatal stab wound to the neck.

Derbyshire man, Michael Sellers, whom Spinks had previously accused of stalking her, is suspected by police to have killed her before killing himself in an apparent murder-suicide. An inquest into Spinks’ and Sellers’ death is still ongoing.

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Police and Crime General IOPC 'concerned' so few complaints result in 'learning'

The Indepedent Office for Police (IOPC) conduct today (16 November) released its annual complaints statistics, the first published since moving to a new system of recording complaints in February 2020 under new regulations within the Policing and Crime Act.

These figures are what the Office of National Statistics defines as ‘experimental statistics’.

In 2020/21 67,732 complaint cases were logged and 36,365 of these were recorded formally, containing 109,151 allegations.

Between 1 April 2019 and 31 January 2020 forces recorded 28,223 complaints.

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Police Demand Almost 300 ‘spiking by injection’ reports received by police in two months

The police have received a total of 274 reports of people being “spiked by injection” over the last two months.

A total of 274 drink spiking incidents involving “some form of injection” have been reported to forces across the UK during the period, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said.

It comes amid nightclub boycotts and calls for greater action to tackle spiking.

Police have urged anyone who believes they have been a victim or witness to spiking “in any form” to contact their local force for help and insisted all will be “investigated and taken seriously.

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Police and Crime General Serious Fraud Office outgunned by UK firms

Some companies under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office are spending up to ten times more than Britain’s anti-fraud and bribery organisation on legal and investigation fees, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, leaving the fraudbusters outgunned and less effective.

Lack of funding, senior officials joining law firms representing the companies that the SFO is investigating and a perceived hesitation in prosecuting companies and executives all undermine the fight against economic crime, the bureau has found.

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Police and Crime General Serious Fraud Office outgunned by UK firms

Some companies under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office are spending up to ten times more than Britain’s anti-fraud and bribery organisation on legal and investigation fees, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, leaving the fraudbusters outgunned and less effective.

Lack of funding, senior officials joining law firms representing the companies that the SFO is investigating and a perceived hesitation in prosecuting companies and executives all undermine the fight against economic crime, the bureau has found.

The agency, which operates on a £52 million annual budget, has dropped 30 investigations since 2018, the year Lisa Osofsky assumed office as director, three of them over two days in October. In the five years preceding Osofsky’s appointment, the SFO dropped 13 cases.

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Justice People hear ‘drunk woman had sex’ rather than ‘man raped woman’

A woman who reported being raped by a stranger feels “let down by society” after a jury found the man not guilty despite compelling CCTV evidence.

Lucy, 30, who works for the NHS, said she felt the system was “rigged against victims” after she and her friend were allegedly raped at a hotel in Bristol following a night out.

In addition to hearing the accounts of the two women, the jury at Bristol crown court was shown CCTV from the hotel that showed the defendant in the corridor drunkenly trying to enter the rooms of random guests. He then went down to the lobby where he saw the two women enter the hotel after a night out, and followed them up to their bedroom. The women do not remember returning to the hotel but Lucy claims she awoke in the night to find a stranger on top of her friend. Afterwards, she claims he got on top of her and had sex with her as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

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Police Demand Fifteen times more child sexual abuse material found online than 10 years ago

Experts are finding fifteen times as much child sexual abuse material online as they were a decade ago, figures show.

The online safety organisation the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), said its analysts were facing a “tidal wave” of abuse material. It called on the government to ensure the online safety bill, intended to improve internet safety, was used to protect children.

IWF figures show that this year it has acted against a record amount of more than 200,000 websites containing child sexual abuse material. That is 15 times more than in 2011, when there were just over 13,000 reports of abusive content.

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Justice Fears over jail terms led to rape acquittals

The former head of a prominent justice charity has admitted being on a jury that acquitted a rape suspect because jurors were concerned about the length of sentence he might receive.

Frances Crook, who led the Howard League for Penal Reform for 35 years, posted on Twitter that she had twice served on juries that had cleared defendants because of “fear of the likely disproportionate prison sentence”.

Crook, 68, made the comments on Wednesday as MPs debated the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, despite the ban on jurors discussing cases or verdicts outside the jury room.

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Police Finances PCC urges region’s MPs to join him in fight for fairer police funding

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has written to the region’s MPs to ask them to join a cross-party campaign for fair funding for West Midlands Police.

Simon Foster’s letter comes as the government starts a review of how police funding is distributed between forces.

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Police and Crime General Parents told they may face police action as teachers targeted on TikTok

Teachers are being targeted by abusive and humiliating TikTok accounts set up by students, prompting a warning from schools that parents may face police action over offending posts.

Officials at the Department for Education have said they are engaging with the social media giant after headteachers complained of dozens of cases of teachers being targeted.

The Association of School and College Leaders, which represents most secondary school heads, said it had received mounting complaints from its members.

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Police and Crime General Cop26 police tactics creating atmosphere of fear, protesters say

Accumulated incidents of police intimidation, harassment and aggression towards activists at Cop26 are creating “an atmosphere of fear and repression” on the streets of Glasgow and have had a chilling effect on protest, campaigners and monitoring groups have said.

Organisers of Saturday’s Climate Justice march through Glasgow have also claimed that police risked “chaos” by failing to adhere to agreed arrangements, while Scottish immigrant groups and indigenous visitors have described their feelings of discomfort and threat prompted by “saturation policing” throughout the city.

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Recruitment and Retention GMP recruit first cohort of part time officers

The first ever cohort of part time officers for the force will be taking up the post of a regular police officer, working 20 hours a week on a job share basis - performing exactly the same role as other officers and work the same shift pattern.

Of the 28 new recruits, four are male and 24 are female.

The force said: “Policing is a 24 hour, seven-day-a-week responsibility which in the past has restricted some people applying to join the force, but it is hoped the new part time roles will open up policing as a career to suit a wider range of people.

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Police Demand Welsh Government urged to do more to stop spiking in clubs and bars

The Welsh Government is being urged do more to tackle spiking in Wales.

The Welsh Conservatives are asking the Government to provide bottle stoppers and drinks covers for free at hospitality venues.

The party is holding a debate in the Senedd today (10 November) after hundreds of reports of drinks being spiked across the UK, including several in Wales.

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Police Finances £5m awarded for new projects to keep women safe at night

The bids include initiatives such as drink spiking detection kits, a transport safety campaign and trained staff to support safe taxi journeys.

The fund was launched in July with up to £5 million available for projects and initiatives to improve the safety of women in public spaces at night. In all there were 22 successful bids from civil society organisations, local authorities, and PCCs across England and Wales.

Bedfordshire PCC Festus Akinbusoye, prevention lead at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), said: “No one should be made to feel scared or intimidated while they enjoy our vibrant British night-life. PCCs are committed to making our communities safer, including reducing violence against women and girls. This money will enable us to support practical solutions which make people feel safer and build an evidence base for what works.”

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Recruitment and Retention Met PC dismissed for Facebook posts

PC Joseph Thompson, based in the Roads and Transport Policing Command, had only recently finished his probation having joined the force in October 2019.

He faced a misconduct hearing to answer allegation that on 6 October 2020, he published homophobic and sexist posts on his Facebook in the context of the most recent presidential election.

In the posts PC Thompson expressed the view that attempts to achieve equality between men and women do not work and are not adopted by “real men”, and that “real men” are masculine and heterosexual.

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Prisons High demand for prison officers amid job vacancy surge

Prisons are facing difficulties recruiting enough officers amid a surge in job vacancies, a union has said.

This comes as job adverts have soared to a record high in the run-up to Christmas, according to recruiters.

Driving instructors, prison officers and forklift truck drivers are among the jobs in highest demand, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said.

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Police Finances PWLB borrowing crashed in October

Last month, authorities borrowed £282m from the PWLB, almost half the £522m financed in September, as long-term interest rates exceeded 2% for the first time since June.

David Blake, strategic director at local authority treasury advisors Arlingclose told PF that many local authorities fulfilled their borrowing needs in July and August, when rates dropped.

“Over The last four weeks or so, we have seen rates go up quite sharply, and it has put a lot of local authorities off,” he said.

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Police and Crime General New Surveillance equipment installed to prevent crime in Nottingham Park.

A new high-quality CCTV camera has been installed in a busy Nottingham park as part of a six-figure project to tackle crime and make people safer.

The camera has been fitted in Bridlington Street Playground in Nottingham to prevent and detect robbery and theft in the area and reassure park users.

It has been funded through the City’s Safer Streets project and will be live-monitored at Nottingham City Council’s existing CCTV control room based at Woodlands in Radford, which has direct access to Nottinghamshire Police via radio link.

The camera, which cost £3,500 to install, will help to deter crime as well as secure vital evidence for police investigations.

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Police Demand Insulate Britain protests target M56 and M25

Insulate Britain protesters blocked a road near the M56 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country.

About a dozen people joined the protest on the A538 Wilmslow Road, near Manchester Airport, with some gluing their hands to the road.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said 11 people had been arrested on suspicion of causing danger to road-users.

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Police and Crime General Met officers under investigation allowed on patrol, whistleblower claims

Met Police officers facing allegations of assault and harassment were allowed on patrol because of staff shortages, BBC News has been told.

A former internal investigations officer claims he was told the force did not have enough staff and restrictions needed to be eased.

He also said he witnessed interference in investigations during his work in 2017.

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Technology Coroner urges improved data-sharing by undercover police

Judge Mark Lucraft QC made a series of recommendations to prevent future deaths after earlier this year hearing the inquests into the 2019 terrorist murders of Cambridge graduates Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25.

In a report published on Wednesday (November 3), he laid out 22 areas of concern and proposed action he believes should be taken to prevent such an atrocity occurring again.

Ms Jones and Mr Merritt were murdered by extremist Usman Khan, 28, at an alumni event organised by prisoner education scheme Learning Together on November 29, 2019.

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Technology Labour peers urge greater scrutiny of plans for police camera drones

Two Labour peers have demanded greater parliamentary scrutiny of police plans to use surveillance cameras mounted on drones after it emerged that forces across England and Wales could deploy the technology.

Shami Chakrabarti, the former head of the civil rights advocacy group Liberty, has tabled an amendment to the police bill that would require the home secretary to approve the use of new “weapons, surveillance equipment or investigatory technology”. The amendment was due to be discussed on Wednesday night.

Last week the Guardian reported that police forces were seeking information about drone-mounted cameras capable of filming high-quality live footage from 1,500ft (457 metres) away, prompting civil liberties concerns.

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Police and Crime General Crisis-hit Metropolitan Police unveils plan to keep women safe on street

Scotland Yard has pledged to regain the trust of women after being buffeted by an unprecedented crisis in public confidence since the murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.

Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick on Wednesday launched an action plan that aims to tackle violence against women and girls. She has already promised to root out sexual misconduct and domestic violence by her own officers and staff.

She is seeking to repair a “precious bond broken” by recent scandals that have led to calls for her to resign.

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Police Demand Police warn of threat of pre-Christmas terror attacks in London

Londoners have been warned to be on alert to the potential threat of a pre-Christmas extremist attack, as Cressida Dick described the murder of Sir David Amess “a chilling reminder” of the continuing terrorist danger.

Writing in the Evening Standard, the Metropolitan Police commissioner said it was important the public showed the “courage and confidence” to report suspicious behaviour and said contacting police “won’t ruin lives, but it might just save them”.

The warning came with the number of counter-terrorism investigations across the UK at a record level, with 800 probes currently live, on top of 31 foiled plots since 2017.

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Police Finances Insulate Britain road protests cost £1m

Three days of Insulate Britain protests cost the economy almost £1 million, the High Court was told.

Environmental activists from the Extinction Rebellion offshoot have blocked major roads at least 14 times since September 13.

The first three days of the protests on the M25 and A20 on September 13, 15 and 24 were “incredibly dangerous” and “unpredictable”, lawyers for National Highways said in a submission to the High Court yesterday. They are applying for a nationwide injunction against the group.

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Economy & Public Finance Autumn Budget 2021: Key points at-a-glance

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled the contents of his Budget in the House of Commons.

Setting out the government's tax and spending plans for the year ahead, Mr Sunak said his plans were focused on the "post-Covid" era, and would pave the way for an "economy of higher wages, higher skills, and rising productivity".

Here is a summary of the main points.

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Police Finances Budget 2021: What has already been announced?

The Treasury has released a deluge of funding announcements, days before the chancellor delivers his Budget on 27 October.

Statements from the government setting out spending for transport, health and education have been put out in the past few days.

Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle is furious, telling MPs on Monday it was "not acceptable" to brief the media ahead of MPs and on Tuesday that the government was behaving in a "discourteous manner".

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Justice Victims in rape cases may be spared court ordeal

Dominic Raab has pledged to allow all rape victims to record their evidence in an attempt to boost prosecution rates.

Ministers angered campaigners for victims by agreeing this year to offer the possibility only for trials at three crown courts as part of a test of the plans.

However, Raab, the new justice secretary, told The Times that he would “certainly be looking to expand that right across the country”. He said initial tests had shown that the special measures had led to more guilty pleas because defendants were less likely to delay until the trial when deciding how to plead.

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Police Finances 'Trans criminals are not women': Home Secretary Priti Patel orders 'woke' police forces to stop recording offences as female crime statistics

Home Secretary Priti Patel has ordered ‘woke’ police forces to stop recording offences by trans women in female crime statistics.

Home Office officials are working with police forces on a new procedure for officers to record the sex of criminals to ensure crime statistics are ‘more accurate’.

The ban follows cases where violent and sexual offences by men who call themselves female were recorded as being committed by women, prompting concerns that the practice is warping official data.

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Police Demand Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour is not just a job for the police

Earlier this year, the Beating Crime Plan detailed the Government’s commitment to reduce crime, protect victims, and keep our communities safe. A new report sets out how Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across the country are committed to working with the Government, local authorities, and wider partners to improve how communities can report anti-social behaviour when it occurs and to ensure that action is taken.

‘ASB In Focus’, published today by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), showcases some of the initiatives and projects that PCCs have been leading on. Some of these projects are preventative: investing in police visibility, security measures, and youth activities. Many are collaborative: bringing partner agencies together to form taskforces and other teams to respond to incidents of anti-social behaviour and find effective solutions to hyper-local problems. And PCCs are also leading work to enhance help and support for victims of anti-social behaviour. This includes some PCCs taking greater ownership of the under-used Community Trigger process which, when promoted properly, provides victims with a means to have their cases reviewed where they are dissatisfied with the partnership response.

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Justice Rape victims can block ‘digital strip searches’ by refusing to hand over phones

Rape victims will be given a legal right to refuse to hand over their phones to police under new laws to end “digital strip searches” that have been blamed for plummeting conviction rates.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, on Monday put forward amendments to their policing Bill that any victim must be informed that refusal to hand over their phones will not automatically lead to a police investigation being dropped.

The amendments will also make it illegal for police to place “undue pressure” on a victim to agree to their phone being searched. Victims must also be told what information is being sought and what line of “reasonable” inquiry officers are pursuing.

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Economy & Public Finance Pay rises for 8 million as Rishi Sunak increases minimum wage to £9.50 an hour

Chancellor Rishi Sunak wants to make work pay by increasing the minimum wage to £9.50 and scrapping his public sector salary freeze. An estimated eight million workers, including more than five million nurses, teachers and police officers can look forward to receiving a salary hike next year. He also receiving a salary hike next year.

He also signalled an inflation-busting hike in the National Living Wage. The minimum hourly pay rate for employees aged over 23 will increase from £8.91 to £9.50.

Mr Sunak said: “The economic impact and uncertainty of the virus meant we had to take the ­difficult decision to pause public sector pay.

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Police and Crime General Hundreds of UK drink spiking reports in the past two months

Almost 200 drink spiking incidents have been reported to police forces across the UK over the past two months, the National Police Chiefs’ Council said on Friday.

The NPCC said there have been 198 confirmed reports of drink spiking in September and October across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus 24 reports of some form of injection.

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Police and Crime General Policing bill could undermine trust and ‘exacerbate violence’, ex-chiefs warn

Former police chiefs have warned parts of a controversial Bill could further undermine trust in forces and “exacerbate” serious violence.

The group of ex-police leaders, senior officers and advisers has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel to express their concerns about some of the proposals contained in the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill – which the House of Lords will continue to consider on Monday.

The Bill contains a raft of measures aimed at overhauling the criminal justice system as part of the Government’s efforts to make the streets safer.

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Justice Victims to get more time to report domestic abuse in England and Wales

Home Secretary Priti Patel has backed calls to change the law to give victims of domestic abuse more time to report a crime, the BBC has been told.

There is currently a six-month time limit for a charge to be brought against someone for common assault.

But Ms Patel has agreed to extend the timeframe to up to two years.

It comes after the BBC revealed 13,000 cases in England and Wales had been dropped in five years because the six month limit had been breached.

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Police Demand Hate crimes risk distracting police from focusing on serious offences, warns policing chief

A growing focus on investigating hate crimes risks distracting police from solving serious crimes including rapes and murders, a policing chief has warned.

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Police Finances Budget must end uncertainty, sector tells Treasury

Policing needs long term certainty on how much money it will have to tackle the huge increase in demand and retain experienced officers.

Ahead of next week’s Budget, police leaders warned the government there could be no repeat of the Comprehensive Spending Review which delivered a pay freeze that even its some of its own MPs have argued was a mistake.

Staff organisations and HM Inspectorate have warned that the single-year funding deal overseen by the Home Office is outdated.

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Police and Crime General As a chief constable, I’ve seen enough: it’s time to end the ‘war on drugs’

When I first met Andy, I got the sense that he hadn’t been born at all but rather quarried out of a mountainside: a big man with a warm smile who, as we spoke, was injecting medical-grade heroin into a line in his lower leg. As a serving chief constable, this was one of the more unusual introductions I’ve made with a member of the community.

Andy must have sensed my confusion at his apparent health and physical stature for a person on the heroin-assisted treatment programme in Middlesbrough, the first of its kind in England and Wales. “Heroin doesn’t make you skinny,” he said. “It’s just that heroin comes first and last and there’s never any money left for food. That’s why addicts are thin.”


If the “war on drugs”, first declared a full 50 years ago, has an established fighting front, it’s Andy’s home town of Middlesbrough. The latest statistics from 2020 show that 123 people died from drug-related deaths on Teesside – the highest number since figures have been collated, and one of the highest rates in the country. Across England and Wales, there were more than 4,500 drug-related deaths in the same 12 months.

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Police and Crime General North East 'county lines' crackdown arrests 28 and confiscates drugs worth £800,000

A Northumbria Police operation to tackle cross-border drug dealing has seen 28 people arrested, more than £800,000 worth of Class A drugs seized and a number of deal lines shut down.

Last week, Northumbria Police, Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) and other organisations across the country joined forces to take on the practice known as 'county lines' as part of a national intensification period which ran from Monday October 11 to October 17.

County lines involves dealers using mobile phones to help transfer class A substances from large cities to towns and rural areas.

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Police Demand Independent inquiry into historic child abuse allegations

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said Leicestershire Police officers "shut down" investigations into allegations of child abuse against Lord Janner "without pursuing all inquiries". It also criticised Leicestershire County Council's over the abuse. Current council leader Cllr Nick Rushton said the local authority accepted the report’s findings and apologised for previous failings.

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Police and Crime General Home Secretary Priti Patel tells MPs threat level against them now 'substantial'

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said MPs now face a "substantial" threat level - meaning an attack is "likely" - following the killing of Sir David Amess. Ms Patel said there had been a "change in risk" after an independent review by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre after the fatal stabbing of Sir David.

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Police and Crime General PM to lead Commons tributes to David Amess as family call for unity

Home secretary says MPs’ surgeries could get police protection but some raise concerns about deterring public

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Police and Crime General Britain faces ‘wave of terror attacks plotted by bedroom radicals’

Britain’s intelligence agencies have warned ministers of a potential new wave of terrorist attacks carried out by “bedroom radicals” bred during lockdown.

Officials believe the country is facing a new threat from “lone wolf” terrorists who were radicalised online while spending months at home, The Telegraph understands.

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Justice Huge rise in domestic abuse cases being dropped in England and Wales

Victims of alleged domestic abuse are seeing their cases dropped at a rapidly increasing rate, according to data obtained by the BBC.

Police have six months to charge common assault cases, including domestic abuse, from when the alleged incident took place.

Campaigners say this is unfair because of the complex nature of many cases.

Figures show 3,763 cases were dropped for this reason in the past year, compared with 1,451 four years earlier.

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Police and Crime General Police 'canteen culture' in WhatsApp groups can lead to officers 'abusing their position for sexual purposes'

The "canteen culture" that exists within the police in WhatsApp groups can impact the way officers conduct themselves, and in the worst cases can lead to them abusing powers for sexual purposes, a watchdog chief has warned.

Forces have been under the spotlight since the sentencing of serving Met Police constable Wayne Couzens, who is serving a whole-life term for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, who has come under huge pressure to resign in the aftermath of the sentencing, last week announced there would be an independent review of her force's culture.

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Police Finances Budget: Little room for more spending, says IFS

There is no room for big spending announcements for hard-pressed public services such as local government, the justice system and further education in this month's Budget, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says. The influential think tank has published new analysis, suggesting borrowing will be lower than forecast but the Chancellor will still have to keep a tight rein on spending, despite planning the biggest tax rises for more than 25 years.

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Police Demand UK cyber head issues ransomware warning

Cyber attacks which see hackers get inside computer networks and lock the owners out until they pay a ransom present "the most immediate danger" to UK businesses in cyberspace, the head of the National Cyber Security Centre has warned. Speaking at a Chatham House Cyber conference, Lindy Cameron said these types of attack posed a threat to everyone from major companies to local councils and schools, while warning that not enough organisations were prepared for the threat or tested their cyber defences.

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Recruitment and Retention Rogue police officers hard to force out, warns standards chief

Chief constables are getting stuck with rogue officers they would rather sack because of leniency at misconduct hearings, one of the country’s most senior policing figures has warned.

Andy Marsh, the head of the College of Policing, the standards body in England and Wales, said he had been “frustrated” as a chief constable at having to redeploy officers who were guilty of serious misconduct, including using racist terms. He said that independent chairmen and women who oversaw the majority of the most serious misconduct cases were more lenient than chief constables would be.

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Police and Crime General UK police chiefs to review all sexual misconduct allegations against officers

Police chiefs have been told to review all allegations of sexual misconduct, indecent exposure and domestic abuse involving their officers over the last two years.

The review comes after a fall in public trust over the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens while he was a serving Metropolitan police officer, and fears that forces were not doing enough to identify and stop offenders in their ranks.

The reviews – agreed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), which represents the leadership of local forces, at a crisis meeting last Friday – will cover hundreds of officers in the UK.

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Police Demand Record levels of hate crime 'paint bleak picture for equality in UK'

Record numbers of hate crimes are being recorded by police, with around three-quarters of reported offences being racially motivated.

New figures released by the Home Office "paint a bleak picture for equality in the UK", the chief executive of the Race Equality Foundation said.

There were 124,091 hate crimes recorded in the year to March 2021, with numbers rising each year since records began in 2011-12.

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Police and Crime General Anti-drugs spray on trial in pubs leaves cocaine users in sticky situation

Police are dousing pub and club lavatories with an anti-drugs spray that causes cocaine to stick to surfaces and adds a foul taste.

Durham is believed to be the first force in England to trial the spray to deter drug-taking in public, with the Essex, Merseyside and City of London forces considering following suit.

The clear substance is sprayed on surfaces that could be used by customers to cut and take drugs such as cocaine. The spray contains a powerful bittering agent which leaves a bad taste lasting for hours if a user tries to scrape drugs off a surface and take them.

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Prisons Children locked in cells for 23 hours a day despite inspectors calling policy ‘unacceptable’

Children are being locked in their rooms for 23 hours a day in a youth jail, despite watchdogs warning nearly a year ago that confining youngsters in their cells for such long periods is “unacceptable”.

A monitoring report into Oakhill secure training centre in Milton Keynes by Ofsted, the Prison Inspectorate and the Care Quality Commission warns that “widespread failings” are having a “significant impact” on the care and well-being of child inmates.

Records published by the centre, which currently holds 46 boys between the ages of 12 and 17, show that children have spent approximately 19 hours per day on average locked in their rooms - increasing to 23 hours on some days.

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Police and Crime General Uncooperative officers blocking Met reform, says ex-superintendent

The Metropolitan police shelved plans to reform its unit dedicated to protecting politicians and diplomats because of “resistant and uncooperative” officers, according to a former superintendent who was the force’s most senior woman of colour.

Nusrit Mehtab, who resigned in January last year, said the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command (PADP), where Sarah Everard’s killer, Wayne Couzens, once served, was “very male-dominated” and ripe for reform. The Met had had a chance to “put things right and they didn’t”, she added.

Mehtab is suing the Met alleging that a hostile and racist work environment forced her to leave. She claims the force harbours a culture that “enables and endorses people like [Wayne] Couzens to flourish”.

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Police Demand Two-fifths of police forces in England and Wales lack rape units

At least two-fifths of police forces in England and Wales do not have specialist rape and serious sexual offence (Rasso) units.

Campaigners against gender-based violence said the lack of such units was deeply worrying at at time of low public confidence in the police and with rape prosecutions running at historically low levels.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales has previously estimated 510,000 women are victims of sexual assaults or rapes in a year. Police recorded 55,696 rapes in the year to 2020-21 but only 3,539 were passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), leading to just 1,109 convictions.

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Police Demand Met police failing over rise in knife crime due to over-reliance on stop and search, study finds

Dame Cressida Dick has failed to get a grip on knife crime because of an over-reliance on stop and search at the expense of bobbies on the beat, a study by a Conservative think tank has found.

In a report backed by the UK’s former head of counter-terrorism, the Metropolitan Commissioner is slated for an “unusual and unjustified” strategy of relying on stop and search to stem record levels of knife attacks and deaths rather than neighbourhood policing and targeting drug traffickers.

It warned that the number of fatal stabbings in London doubled in the six years to 2019 when all knife crime offences increased by “only” 58 per cent, despite stabbing survival rates rising by 50 per cent.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel’s fury as Johnson blocks public sexual harassment law

Boris Johnson has infuriated the home secretary by overruling attempts to make public sexual harassment a crime. This has prompted concern at the Home Office that the prime minister views the issue as mere “wolf whistling”, rather than the aggressive targeting of women and girls going about their daily lives.

Sources say tensions have emerged between Johnson and Priti Patel, and other senior Home Office figures, after he blocked plans to make public sexual harassment a specific offence.

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Police Demand ‘Worrying’ increase in number of victims seeking support for hate crimes, charity finds

The number of people seeking support after experiencing a hate crime has jumped by almost 11 per cent in a year, driven by an increase in disability, sexual orientation and transgender-identity related crimes, a charity has warned.

Victim Support found that the “overwhelming majority” of hate crimes recorded were race and nationality-related (71 per cent), with a spike in referrals to the independent charity’s services following the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy.

The figures also showed a 22 per cent increase in the number of people seeking help for disability hate crimes and a 20 per cent increase in sexual orientation-related crimes.

Over the same period, the overall percentage of transgender identity-related crimes soared by almost 45 per cent compared to the previous year – although the numbers of such crimes remain lower than others.

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Justice Metropolitan Police worst force for solving sexual and violent crime

The Metropolitan Police is the worst force in England and Wales for solving sexual and violent crime with just one in 20 offences resulting in a charge, a new database shows.

The analysis, based on official police data, shows the proportion of sex and violent crimes where a suspect is charged has fallen from 14 per cent (one in seven offences) in just five years to five per cent, as of August 2020.

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Justice Metropolitan Police worst force for solving sexual and violent crime

The Metropolitan Police is the worst force in England and Wales for solving sexual and violent crime with just one in 20 offences resulting in a charge, a new database shows.

The analysis, based on official police data, shows the proportion of sex and violent crimes where a suspect is charged has fallen from 14 per cent (one in seven offences) in just five years to five per cent, as of August 2020.

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Justice Backlog of crown court cases denies women justice

The prime minister and the justice secretary have both said that they are anxious to improve the criminal justice system with reference to prosecutions and the time it takes to get offences concerning violence against women and girls to trial (Dominic Raab confuses meaning of misogyny in BBC interview, 6 October).

“Non-priority” cases backlogged in the crown courts are now listing into 2023-24. It is not good enough for victims of crime or defendants to have their lives on hold and to have to relive events in court months or even years after they took place.

Magistrates’ Association members hold the highest values of fairness, justice and the belief “that justice delayed is justice denied”. Many magistrates courts, after a period of fantastic commitment by volunteer magistrates throughout the pandemic, have little or no backlog of cases. We are well placed to stop sending cases to the crown courts if only our jurisdiction could be increased to a 12-month custodial sentence for a single offence. This would ease the burden on crown courts, speeding up justice for all.

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Police Demand Police forces are resolving fewer hate crime cases despite number doubling

Police forces across England and Wales have been accused of letting down victims, after exclusive figures showed they resolved fewer cases of hate crime in 2020 than five years ago. Reports of hate crime have more than doubled in the same period.

An investigation by ITV News and Liberty Investigates found that the number of hate crime cases in which officers identified a suspect and took action against them fell from 14,866 in 2015 to 14,398 in 2020 – despite the number of reports climbing to more than 100,000.

The Freedom of Information requests looked at how many cases ended with a conclusive outcome such as a caution, charge, summons, penalty notice or community resolution.

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Technology Women's safety: App will allow CCTV to monitor journey home

A new phone app is being developed to allow women to ask CCTV operators in a city to monitor them as they walk home.

The app is part of a £400,000 project in Lincoln to improve street safety in the wake of a number of attacks on women across the UK.

Other measures will include expanding the city's CCTV coverage and a training scheme for bar and door staff.

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Police and Crime General Charity seeks new police focus on domestic abuse

A domestic abuse charity has called for an amendment to a new policing bill to recognise the seriousness of violence against women and girls.

Refuge wants sexual violence, domestic homicide and domestic abuse specifically named as crimes that police and other public bodies must develop strategies to prevent.

It wants the bill's "serious violence duty" to include those crimes.

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Police Demand The importance of tackling gambling addiction as well as drugs and alcohol to prevent crime

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has welcomed plans to expand drug testing on arrest, and alcohol tagging on prison release, to prevent reoffending.

Dorset PCC David Sidwick and Durham PCC Joy Allen are the APCC’s Joint Leads for its relaunched Addictions and Substance Misuse portfolio.

Mr Sidwick said: “Police enforcement is only part of the picture to tackle addiction-related crime. Testing shoplifters and burglars for drugs when they are taken into custody means police can identify people who would benefit from drug awareness courses and treatment as part of their rehabilitation.

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Police and Crime General More than half of women in Merseyside feel unsafe using public transport at night

It has been revealed that more than half of women in Merseyside feel unsafe using public transport at night.

That is according to a recent survey by Merseyside's police and crime commissioner, which was carried out in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder.

The figures show that 54% of 1,500 women felt unsafe using public transport in at night and nearly 42% had concerns about using it during the day.

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Prisons Domestic violence: Scheme stops abusers writing to victims from jail

A scheme to stop jailed domestic abusers terrorising their victims from prison should be rolled out nationwide, a senior figure has said.

One woman, whose abusive ex enlisted other inmates to send her threatening letters, said she was left "terrified".

North Yorkshire Police has launched information-sharing in seven prisons to ensure victims cannot be contacted.

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Justice Rape convictions rates are 'disgracefully low' and there is a 'problem' with violence against women, Policing Minister Kit Malthouse admits

Rape conviction rates are "disgracefully low", Policing Minister Kit Malthouse has admitted, as he acknowledged that "there is a problem" with violence against women and girls.

Speaking ahead of Home Secretary Priti Patel's conference speech on Tuesday morning, Kit Malthouse told Sky News the government will "redouble our efforts" to make public spaces safer for women.

The policing minister also admitted that "too many feel unsafe in the public realm" and said the government has "apologised profoundly" for the drop in rape convictions.

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Prisons Short jail terms fail to prevent reoffending, says former England and Wales magistrate

Criminals in England and Wales are being jailed for short terms that fail to prevent reoffending because of a lack of awareness and availability of community-based sentencing, a leading former magistrate has said.

Rather than jailing or fining someone, magistrates have the alternative of imposing a Community Sentence Treatment Requirement (CSTR), which can be for mental health problems, or alcohol or drug dependency.

However, short custodial terms are being handed out “by default”, according to John Bache, former national chair of the Magistrates Association. They fail to achieve the objectives of sentencing and impact offender’s families, he added, even driving children to follow in their footsteps in some cases.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel: Middle-class drug users will be named and shamed

Priti Patel is to introduce drug testing on arrest across all 43 police forces in England and Wales under a crackdown on recreational use and to prevent offenders’ habit spiralling into violent crime.

Setting out the £15 million plan in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, the Home Secretary said it would better identify those breaking the law through drug use, but also those who were dependent and need help to kick their addiction.

Anyone testing positive after arrest for “trigger” crimes such as theft, fraud or drug possession would be required to be assessed for treatment. Those who refuse face prosecution with a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail or a £2,500 fine.

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Police and Crime General Sarah Everard murder: Met launches standards review to 'rebuild public trust'

An independent review is set to be carried out into the Met Police's standards and culture after the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who has rejected calls to resign, said it would be led by a high profile person.

The force has faced questions ever since Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer, killed the 33-year-old.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was a "massive job" to do in restoring women's confidence in the police.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel to outline measures to stop activists blocking motorways

Courts will get new powers to stop climate activists blocking Britain's motorways, the home secretary will say.

Priti Patel will unveil the Criminal Disruption Prevention Orders aimed at stopping some activists attending demos, at the Conservative conference.

A Tory Party source said it will target people with a "history of disruption", or those likely to commit crime.

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Police Demand Police urged to take indecent exposure offences more seriously

Indecent exposure must not be dismissed by police as an isolated offence but should be seen as a possible precursor to more serious sexual crimes, one of the country’s most senior female officers has said.

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Police Demand Every active police officer ‘should be re-vetted’, says ex-Met chief

Every police officer in the country could be re-vetted in the wake of the Wayne Couzens scandal, police leaders have said.

There are growing concerns that the system intended to weed out corrupt and dangerous officers is not as effective as it needs to be and should be overhauled.

Public confidence in policing has been rocked by the appalling actions of Couzens, who used his police position to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard.

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Police Demand Covid pass breaches 'should not be police priority'

Cracking down on people with fake Covid passes should not be a priority for police officers over serious crimes, a police and crime commissioner has said.

Dyfed-Powys Police commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said there were concerns about the "practicality" of policing passes.

Covid passes could become mandatory in Wales from 11 October if the Senedd passes proposals on Tuesday.

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Police and Crime General Police & Local Authorities given extra £23.5m for safer streets

Police forces and local authorities across England and Wales, are to receive a share of £23.5million to make public spaces safer for all through projects to help women and girls feel safer on our streets as part of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund.

Created with the objective of tackling local acquisitive crimes like car theft and burglary, the latest round of the Safer Streets Fund has a particular emphasis on the safety of women and girls. The investment will go to police forces and local authorities across England and Wales as well as the British Transport Police to spend in the 21/22 financial year.

Crimes which take place in public places such as sexual harassment disproportionately affect women. Recipients of funding have submitted bids for innovative plans to increase the safety of public spaces, including projects which emphasise changing attitudes and behaviours in local communities.

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Justice Police must take women’s complaints more seriously and not dismiss flashing as ‘trivial’, says Labour peer

Police forces in the UK must take women’s complaints more seriously in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, a Labour peer has said.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, who chairs the Working Group on Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland, said officers must not treat incidents of harassment or flashing as trivial.

Her comments came after Ms Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer, was sentenced to a whole-life order for her kidnap, rape and murder on Thursday. The Metropolitan Police has faced criticism for allegedly failing to act on “alarm signals” spotted by Couzens’ colleagues in the force, which included a string of flashing incidents.

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Police Finances Grant Thornton fined £2.3m over Patisserie Valerie audit work

Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has been sanctioned by the Financial Reporting Council for failures in its audits of Patisserie Valerie before the café chain company collapsed, showing “a serious lack of competence”.

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Police Demand County lines drug gangs will be eliminated in two years, says policing minister

County lines drug operations will be eliminated in the next two years, the policing minister has pledged.

Kit Malthouse told the Roads Policing Conference on Wednesday that officers will help bring an end to the drug gangs "peddling misery".

County lines drug gangs operate across the UK. Dealers, often children, run drugs, taking buses or trains from cities into rural towns and villages.

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Justice Police say charging M25 climate protesters ‘difficult’

Police have claimed it is “very difficult” to bring charges against environmental activists after 27 members of Insulate Britain were arrested for blocking a roundabout at a junction with the M25.

Lisa Townsend, Surrey’s police and crime commissioner, said the police were receiving “an enormous amount of flak” over their response but she insisted officers were “doing their utmost to prevent the disruption”.

It comes after the same junction was targeted twice in six hours. On Wednesday morning, police arrested 11 people who had glued themselves to the road on a roundabout at junction 3, the Swanley Interchange in Kent, at about 7.30am.

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Police and Crime General Defence industry tapped for e-scooter advice on hard stop devices

The defence industry has been asked to share ideas on developing new equipment to stop offenders using e-scooters to commit crime.

Arms companies, police suppliers and tech developers were invited to explain if it is possible to make a portable device that officers can deploy against offenders moving at speed on the bikes.

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) issued a call to market on whether the need for a stopping device could be met.

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Police Finances Ministry of Justice unveils plan to build two prisons housing 3,430 inmates in Essex

Two large prisons holding 3,430 inmates could be built on land around an RAF air base in Essex, according to Government plans.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has published proposals for the new jails at Wethersfield air base in Braintree.

The site will hold category B and category C adult male prisoners in two prisons that each have a total capacity of 1,715, according to documents setting out the plans.

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Police Finances Labour revives Blair’s policy on crime

Labour will be “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”, the shadow home secretary has said as he announced the party is readopting Tony Blair’s slogan as part of efforts to restore Labour’s reputation on law and order.

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Police Finances Tories have ‘defunded the police’, says shadow home secretary

The Conservatives were accused of “defunding the police” through a decade of cuts in a speech on Tuesday by the shadow home secretary which aimed to reposition Labour as the party of law and order.

Nick Thomas-Symonds told delegates at the party’s annual conference that he would not follow demands, usually attributed to the Black Lives Matter movement, to take money away from existing police forces.

But he said that successive Tory governments have cut cash payments to forces for more than 10 years.

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Police Demand Police fear they may have to guard petrol pumps if fuel crisis does not ease

Police officers fear they could be drafted in to guard the pumps if the fuel crisis is not resolved in coming days.

Forecourts across the country have witnessed ugly scenes as motorists queuing for petrol have clashed.

In one incident in Welling, south-east London, a man appeared to pull a knife on another driver as tensions boiled over. There have been violent scenes elsewhere, with drivers accusing each other of jumping queues or taking too much fuel.

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Police and Crime General "Quick law" during pandemic harmed police legitimacy says chief

CC Thompson told the force’s strategic policing and crime board today (28 September) that “quick law isn’t always great law”, as he was asked about the impact of the pandemic on policing.

The chief addressed the issue of £10,000 “superfines”, introduced by the Home Secretary Priti Patel to penalise those hosting large gatherings. A third-year Nottingham Trent University student was one of the first to pay a fine in full in January this year.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council advised forces in November 2020 to stop issuing the fines due to fears they would be challenged in court.

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Police and Crime General Police body armour may be redesigned to make it 'less intimidating'

Police body armour is being redesigned in an attempt to look less intimidating in the latest bout of political correctness.

MPs have reacted furiously to the proposal with one labelling the proposal as "woke".

An official request asking for assistance in "improving public perception of policing" was issued by the Government's Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

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Police and Crime General Vaccine passports could be mandatory at indoor and outdoor venues under revived scheme

The prospect of vaccine passports being used at indoor and outdoor venues in England this winter has been raised again by the Government.

The plans seemed to have been put on the backburner but on Monday night the Government launched a consultation, asking the public for views on the use of vaccine passports this autumn and winter if Covid-19 cases threaten to overwhelm the NHS.

The Plan B proposals also open the door to the number of venues being widened beyond nightclubs, music venues, outdoor festivals, concerts and sports events.

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Police and Crime General Labour invokes Tony Blair with ‘tough on crime’ and anti-social behaviour push

Labour is to invoke Tony Blair's "tough on crime" message and promise a crackdown on antisocial behaviour if it is elected.

In a speech to the party's conference, Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, will accuse the Tories of being “soft on crime and soft on causes on crime”.

The comments are a knowing reference to Mr Blair's claim New Labour would be "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime".

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Technology PCC takes on national economic and cyber crime role

He will spearhead the APCC’s work to ensure the police tackle online crime, fraud, harassment, hacking, economic crime and identity theft.

Mr Shelford said: “One in ten people fall victim to fraud and one in three become a repeat victim. It is because of such figures that I was inspired to take on the role of APCC lead for economic and cybercrime, because I feel that this is an area of work where I can make the most difference to the lives of residents of Avon and Somerset and beyond.

“I want to make sure that the profile type of this life destroying crime is raised, we need to get a grip of it and protect vulnerable people from harm.”

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Police and Crime General Surrey commissioner welcomes strong message as injunction gives police more powers

The Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend has welcomed news of a High Court Injunction that will give police more powers to prevent and respond to new protests expected to take place on the motorway network.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps applied for the injunction after a fifth day of protests were held by Insulate Britain across the UK. In Surrey, four protests have been held since last Monday, leading to the arrest of 130 people by Surrey Police.

The injunction granted to National Highways means that individuals staging new protests that involve obstructing the highway will face charges of contempt of court, and could see time in prison while held on remand.

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Police and Crime General Scotland: Warnings instead of prosecution for Class A drug users

People caught with Class A drugs in Scotland could be given a police warning instead of facing prosecution. Officers can already issue a formal warning for possession of lower category drugs.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain told MSPs this would now include Class A drugs in a bid to address the underlying causes of Scotland's drugs death crisis. The Conservatives said the move amounts to "de facto decriminalisation" of deadly substances.

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Police Demand Ministers plan legal action to stop Insulate Britain disrupting motorways

Priti Patel and Grant Shapps are seeking a court injunction to stop environmental protesters from targeting major motorways after five days of tailbacks and damaging headlines for the government.

The home secretary and the transport secretary have asked National Highways and the Government Legal Service to submit an application later this week.

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Police and Crime General Burglars and drug dealers have records wiped clean under plans to get them into work

Thousands of burglars, fraudsters and drug dealers are to have their criminal records wiped clean under government plans to help them find work. Criminals who have served prison sentences of more than four years will no longer have to tell employers about their past crimes, as part of the Ministry of Justice’s rehabilitation plans in its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

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COVID-19 Regional COVID-19 restrictions could return as local health chiefs get new powers

Councils and regional health chiefs have been given new powers to implement COVID-19 safety measures to use if the NHS in their areas become overwhelmed during the winter. These include enforcing mask wearing and social distancing in public spaces, buildings and transport and allow councils to close individual premises or events.

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Police and Crime General Knife crime reduction trial fails to result in a single court action

A Metropolitan Police trial aimed at stopping people as young as 12 from carrying knives has not resulted in a single court action during its first weeks. Knife Crime Prevention Orders have been piloted by using the courts to impose restrictions on people they believe are “on the cusp” of violence.

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Police Demand Fraud soars but police abandon 22,000 cases

More than 22,000 fraud investigations were dropped by police last year despite a surge in online scams during the coronavirus pandemic, official figures have revealed.

The number of cases reported to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, soared by a third as criminals exploited the Covid-19 pandemic to target victims online.

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Police Demand Noisy neighbours spark 67% rise in police complaints

More than half of all police forces across England saw a surge in noise nuisance complaints during last year’s lockdown, with claims that years of cuts have left councils struggling to deal with antisocial behaviour. Figures from Freedom of Information data compiled by Labour found that the average rise in complaints across the forces which responded was 67 per cent, with some forces having received thousands more complaints last year than in 2018. Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said councils were doing all they could to tackle persistently disruptive behaviour, but needed resources: “Dealing with increased reporting of noise nuisance has added to the pressure on council environmental health teams that are already overstretched. The Spending Review must commit to additional investment in regulatory services.”

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Justice Ministry of Justice overhaul as prison population predicted to hit nearly 100,000

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is being overhauled in anticipation of a “bow wave” of more than 20,000 extra jailed criminals who will push the prison population to a post-war high of nearly 100,000 by 2026.

Analysts at the department, now headed by Dominic Raab, have calculated that the recruitment of an extra 20,000 police officers, a potential post-pandemic crime rise and longer jail sentences will see prisoner numbers rise by nearly a quarter to a record 98,700 in five years’ time.

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Police Demand Bereaved families forced to clean up crime scenes as police 'offer no help'

Rape victims and bereaved families are being left "traumatised" by having to clean up crime scenes in their homes, the Telegraph can reveal.

Relatives of murder victims have told of the "distressing task" of cleaning up blood stains left from an attack after police failed to follow protocol.

Dame Vera Baird QC, The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, described the failure as "appalling and wholly preventable".

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Police Finances Millions of us have been scammed, so why has anti-fraud spending been cut 99pc?

HM Revenue & Customs spending on scam warnings has fallen 99pc – from £242,000 in 2020 to £3,000 for the year to date, a Freedom of Information request lodged by Telegraph Money has revealed.

This is despite the number of reports of criminal gangs posing as the tax office to lure victims – known as “phishing” scams – doubling to more than a million a year.

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Police Demand Police must prioritise reducing violence on women, says watchdog

Reducing violence against women and girls should be treated as an equal priority to countering terrorism, a police watchdog has said. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services called for "fundamental cross-system change" after identifying continuing failings and major inconsistencies between police forces in how they tackle the issue.

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COVID-19 Wales introduces COVID passes for events

People will have to show a NHS COVID Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events in Wales from next month, the First Minister announced today.

The measure is being introduced to help control the spread of coronavirus in Wales. First Minister Mark Drakeford said that cases were currently very high in Wales but the alert level will remain at zero for the next three weeks.

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Police Finances Sunak to impose ‘tighter’ fiscal rules

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will reportedly tighten fiscal rules to help reduce borrowing, after Covid-19 support measures saw national debt spike.

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Police Demand Forces given funding boost to increase roll out of Hotspot Policing

Police forces are to be given extra money to tackle violent crime this autumn using intensive, high-visibility police patrols.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel skips conference . . . and row over police pay

Priti Patel faces a deepening rift with police officers over a pay freeze after she avoided a public appearance and defended the decision in a video.

The head of the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) said it was “disappointing” that the home secretary had not attended their conference and accused ministers of failing officers.

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Police and Crime General First Past the Post to be introduced for all local mayoral and PCC elections

Today, Minister for the Constitution and Devolution Chloe Smith has announced measures to apply the tried and tested system of First Past the Post to the election of council and ‘metro’ mayors across England, and to Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales.

In this May’s London Mayoral elections, the Supplementary Vote system saw hundreds of thousands void, wasted or blank votes cast, reflecting voter confusion and the complex system. Supplementary Vote also means that a ‘loser’ candidate can win on second preferences. In 1931, Winston Churchill described transferable voting as “the decision is to be determined by the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates.”

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Justice Dominic Raab Replaces Robert Buckland as Justice Secretary

Boris Johnson has fired a string of cabinet ministers - and promoted new faces to replace them - in a major reshuffle.

The prime minister sacked under-fire Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and moved Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to the justice department.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel keep their jobs.

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Police Finances Developers' levy needed to support blue light services

Roger Hirst, APCC’s Finance Lead & PFCC for Essex: “The system as it stands does not account for the additional pressure on local services that comes from significant new developments. As communities grow, the result is that the emergency services’ capacity over the area is slowly diluted. This is not sustainable.”

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Police Demand Mental health: 'There's no emergency service for mental health'

Police are dealing with daily calls from families and friends who fear a loved one may be suicidal and do not know where to turn, mental health experts have warned.

The number of 999 and 101 calls to Gwent Police increased by a third between January and July.

However, more than half of calls did not report crimes, with many calls relating to mental health.

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Police Demand Number of children groomed to send sex abuse images of themselves doubled during first half of this year, charity says

Children are increasingly being groomed or coerced by adults into sexually abusing themselves on camera.

MPs have warned of a 'disturbing' rise in so-called 'self-generated' child sexual abuse material, especially during the pandemic.

In the first six months of 2021, the Internet Watch Foundation recorded a 117 per cent increase in abusive images and videos created using webcams or smartphones.

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Justice Nearly one million victims of crime abandon trials even when suspects are identified amid dwindling faith in justice system and logjam in the courts

Fed-up victims of crime are refusing to proceed with prosecutions in nearly a million cases as faith in the justice system dwindles, according to shocking new figures revealed in The Mail on Sunday.

Records show the number withdrawing cooperation has been rising year-on-year since 2014-15 when it accounted for just under seven per cent of all offences.

The level now stands at a staggering 21.8 per cent – or 945,000 cases – in the year to March 2021 for England and Wales.

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Police and Crime General Policing bill will deepen racial and gender disparities, say experts

A new policing bill that will be debated this week risks deepening racial and gender disparities in the justice system while forcing professionals to betray the trust of vulnerable people, hundreds of experts and a report have warned.

In a letter to the home secretary, 665 GPs, nurses, social, youth and outreach workers and teachers have warned that the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill is “oppressive” and would force frontline professionals to betray the trust of vulnerable people and become complicit in surveillance, ahead of a debate in the House of Lords this week.

A separate report has said it will put vulnerable young women at further risk of threat further violence, abuse and exploitation.

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Technology Tech giants make it impossible to stop terrorists

The Metropolitan Police commissioner has accused tech giants of making it harder to identify and stop terrorists.

The tech giants' focus on end-to-end encryption was making it "impossible in some cases" for the police to do their jobs, Dame Cressida Dick wrote in the Telegraph on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Home Secretary Priti Patel launched a new fund for technologies to keep children safe.

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Police and Crime General Patel faces widening revolt over policing bill’s restrictions on protest

The home secretary, Priti Patel, is facing a growing revolt in parliament and the country over plans to restrict the fundamental right to protest, as controversial legislation that would increase police powers enters the House of Lords this week.

More than 350 organisations, including human rights groups, charities and faith bodies, have written to Patel and justice secretary Robert Buckland this weekend complaining that the measures would have a “profound impact” on freedom of expression, and represent “an attack on some of the most basic democratic rights of citizens”.

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Recruitment and Retention Almost half the Police Uplift Officers have been Recruited

In total, 9,814 police officers have been recruited across all 43 police forces in England and Wales. The recruitment is helping to increase diversity within the communities that the officers serve.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economic growth slows sharply in July

The UK economy grew by just 0.1% in July as the last Covid restrictions were lifted in England.

It was the economy's sixth consecutive month of growth, but the increase was much lower than in the previous month, which saw 1% growth.

Arts, entertainment and recreation activities helped the rise, but the "pingdemic" kept many workers at home.

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Police and Crime General Wiltshire PCC criticises Stonewall trans policy on women-only areas

A police and crime commissioner has said trans women should not be allowed to use "private enclosed spaces such as women's prisons and female toilets".

Wiltshire PCC Philip Wilkinson was criticising the policies of LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall.

He said he would not support promoting a "narrow ideology that is exclusive, divisive and potentially dangerous".

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Technology ‘Make social media firms legally responsible for tackling fraud’

Social media companies should be made legally responsible for removing scam adverts from their networks and protecting users from fraud, the head of a policing body has said.

James Thomson, chairman of the City of London Police Authority Board, will tell an audience, including security minister Damian Hinds on Thursday that tougher measures to tackle internet fraud should be included in the Online Safety Bill

He also wants fraud to be made a national priority across all local police forces in the UK, in the same way that tackling county lines drugs gangs has been a focus in recent years.

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Justice New survey reveals low victim confidence, as Victims’ Commissioner warns victims remain an “afterthought”

Victims are losing faith in the criminal justice system according to a new survey of victims, which suggests less than half of victims would report to the police again based on their experience of the justice system.

- Survey finds just 43% of victims would report a crime again based on their previous experiences of the criminal justice system. Just half would attend court again, down from 67% in 2020.

- Ethnic minorities are less likely to feel like they were treated fairly and respectfully by police.

- 66% of victims told the Commissioner they had to wait too long before their case came to court; only 9% of victims thought the courts dealt with cases promptly.

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Police and Crime General Cressida Dick ‘to get two more years’ as Met Police chief

The head of the Metropolitan Police is expected to be given a two-year contract extension within days despite a string of controversies.

Dame Cressida Dick’s position has been questioned after a sharp rise in teenage murders in London, allegations of institutional corruption at Scotland Yard and the arrest of a serving police officer for the murder of Sarah Everard.

Though the deal has yet to be finalised, Dick, 60, is thought to have Home Office support to stay on as Britain’s most senior police officer. Sources said that the extension could be announced as early as Monday.

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Police and Crime General 999 Day: Heroic emergency services honoured for life-changing work

Heroic workers in the emergency services are being honoured for their life-changing work on 999 Day.

The national celebration - also known as Emergency Services Day - recognises both NHS and 999 workers for their hard work.

It is estimated that approximately two million people either work or volunteer across the six main branches: Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance, NHS, maritime and Search and Rescue - according to the event's site.

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Technology Police and Government are using social media influencer tactics, study says

Police and Government agencies in the UK have adopted similar tactics to social media influencers and used targeted advertising to tackle crime, a recent report has found.

The study, published by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR), showed that the National Crime Agency had carried out a six-month “influence operation” to tackle cybercrime involving surveillance, direct intervention and targeted online advertising messaging.

Researchers also found a Government Communication Service training podcast which claimed that the Home Office used the purchasing data of people who had recently bought candles to target them through their smart speakers with fire safety adverts.

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Technology Priti Patel launches hunt for tech wizards to protect public from child abusers and terrorists

Priti Patel has launched a worldwide hunt for tech wizards to crack Facebook’s encryption, so Britons are protected from child abusers and terrorists.

The Home Secretary is to pay the brightest industry brains through a new fund to develop technology that will prevent sex abusers and terrorists from hiding their crimes under the cloak of end-to-end encryption on social media platforms.

Security chiefs say Facebook’s encryption plan will deny the company itself and law enforcement investigators access to the content of communications between paedophiles and terrorists, leaving thousands of children at risk of sexual abuse and Britain more open to terrorist plots.

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Police and Crime General Federation to meet with Lords on law change for quicker end to disciplinary probes

The Federation will be lobbying House of Lords members next week for a change in the law which would rein in lengthy and damaging police disciplinary investigations.

Representatives will be meeting with peers on 14 September at New Scotland Yard to propose an amendment to the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill to protect the mental health and welfare of police officers under investigation.

As part of our Time Limits campaign, we have been pressing for the urgent need for police disciplinary investigations to conclude in an appropriate timeframe, ideally within 12 months of an allegation being made.

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Recruitment and Retention Updated police uplift figures

In total, 9,814 police officers have been recruited across all 43 police forces in England and Wales. The recruitment is helping to increase diversity within the communities that the officers serve.

In all, 6,033 female officers have been recruited since April 2020, making up more than 4 in 10 new recruits, while 1,557 (11.3%) of the new recruits are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

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Police and Crime General New online map allows public to report unsafe areas to police

The public will be able to tell police about areas where they feel unsafe by reporting the locations on a new online map.

StreetSafe, a new digital pilot, will allow people to anonymously log areas of concern - such as poorly lit walkways, or places they have experienced harassment.

The data will then be collected and used to make areas safer, such as through night-time patrols or the installation of better street lighting.

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Police and Crime General Let us carry guns on patrol, urge half of Police Scotland officers

More than half of Scotland’s police officers want to be able to carry a handgun on patrol.

The Scottish Police Federation (SPF), which represents rank-and-file officers, said that its research showed that those on the front line felt vulnerable while carrying out their duties. Of the nearly 1,700 staff surveyed, 53 per cent rated handguns in the top five items of personal protective equipment to which they would want access routinely. Almost 60 per cent said they would like firearms training.

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Economy & Public Finance Chancellor launches vision for future public spending

The Chancellor has today (7 September) launched Spending Review 2021 (SR21), which will conclude on 27 October 2021 alongside an Autumn Budget and set out the government’s spending priorities for the Parliament.

The three-year review will set UK government departments’ resource and capital budgets for 2022-23 to 2024-25 and the devolved administrations’ block grants for the same period.

When added to what we have already provided to invest in our future, our plans – including the additional funding for health and social care announced today (7 September) – mean core departmental spending will grow in real terms at nearly 4% per year on average over this Parliament. By 2024-25 that means that core departmental spending will be £140 billion more per year in cash terms than at the start of the Parliament.

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Police and Crime General All frontline police officers could receive enhanced first aid training to treat bomb blast and shrapnel injuries, Manchester Arena inquiry told

All frontline police officers could receive enhanced medical training to help them treat bomb blast and shrapnel injuries.

The development arose on Tuesday at the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena bombing atrocity of 2017.

A counter-terrorism expert said the National Police Chiefs' Council was 'actively looking' at providing further first aid for response officers.

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Police and Crime General Police chiefs and Federation criticise ‘vague’ and ‘statistically insignificant’ IOPC Taser review

A recent Independent Office for Police Conduct report made a raft of recommendations based on a review of 101 cases of the police use of Taser over a five-year period; but the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Police Federation have both criticised the report for being ‘vague’, ‘statistically insignificant’ and failing to engage with policing, as Policing Insight Editor Keith Potter reports.

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Police Demand Police hit out at 999 timewasters as man demands lift from officers after missing bus

A police force has revealed some of its most ludicrous requests from members of the public calling 999 in non-emegency situations.

Essex Police criticised the callers who have abused the service, saying that dealing with such calls results in delays in responding to people in genuine need of help.

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Police and Crime General Wiltshire looks to reverse station closures due to shared space failure

Wiltshire’s estates team is about to begin a review of its stations because current arrangements are not fit for purpose.

The force’s new Police and Crime Commissioner has ordered the force to re-look at station provision after concerns from the Fed and the public.

Philip Wilkinson said: “I’ve asked the Chief Constable, and his leadership team, to conduct an immediate review of operational police estate in Salisbury and the south of the county.”

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Police and Crime General Roy Wilsher appointed as new inspector of police and fire service

Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced the appointment of Roy Wilsher OBE QFSM as a new inspector of police and fire and rescue services at the independent inspectorate HMICFRS.

Mr Wilsher will take up the dual role of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in England and Wales and Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities in England. He will primarily oversee inspections in the eastern region, covering fire risk assessments across the East Midlands and East of England.

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Police and Crime General Federation calls for sustainable, long-term funding for policing

According to The Telegraph, the Government is planning to persuade highly-trained professionals from the private sector – especially in fields such as cyber security and digital technology – to volunteer their time and skills during periods of increased demand.

Retired officers, or those who have left the service early, could also be retained for a period to bolster numbers, especially in experienced ranks.

PFEW national chair John Apter said: “Yet again we find out about a proposed piece of government policy through the media, and we have not seen any details on the reserve capability of volunteer officers.

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Police and Crime General Nitrous oxide: Patel orders Laughing gas review to decide on potential new law

The unlawful possession of laughing gas could be made a crime in England and Wales. Ministers have asked independent advisers to review the harm caused by nitrous oxide.

Usually sold in small silver canisters and inhaled, it is the second most-used drug among young adults.

Home Secretary Priti Patel wants the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to review the harm caused by nitrous oxide.

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Police and Crime General New online map allows public to report unsafe areas to police

The public will be able to tell police about areas where they feel unsafe by reporting the locations on a new online map.

StreetSafe, a new digital pilot, will allow people to anonymously log areas of concern - such as poorly lit walkways, or places they have experienced harassment.

The data will then be collected and used to make areas safer, such as through night-time patrols or the installation of better street lighting.

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Recruitment and Retention Wiltshire's new PCC urged to step in to end long hours culture

A newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner has been urged to meet his force’s Fed reps in a bid to end what they have described as a "long-hours culture."

Mark Andrews, Wiltshire’s Federation Chair, called on Philip Wilkinson to meet him "as soon as possible" to help re-examine force policy on shift patterns.

Mr Andrews claimed already exhausted officers are working draining 12-hour shifts on weekends.

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Police and Crime General Twenty-four forces join new Transforming Forensics Rape Response Project

Twenty-four police forces from England and Wales have been selected to join the Transforming Forensics (TF) Programme’s new £5m Rape Review Response Project (RRRP), part of its Digital Forensic Capability workstream.

The 24 forces were selected from a longlist of 33, following a rigorous, independently assured, two-stage assessment process. This means that TF will work with more than half of all forces and England and Wales, and all nine NPCC regions, to improve how they respond to rape and other serious crimes.

The project will provide a range of new digital services and portable tools, enabling forces to take technology to victims, examine mobile and digital devices at crime scenes, and give investigators faster access to the right digital evidence.

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Police Finances Police fight plan to share cash with public services

Elected officials will be able to divert a police force’s funding to other areas, such as mental health trusts, under a government proposal.

Ministers say it would let elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) ease demand on policing by funding areas such as domestic abuse initiatives and specific NHS projects.

However, the plan prompted anger from police leaders who said forces were already underfunded and that it would be wrong for them to prop up struggling public services.

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Police Demand Contactless payment rise to £100 sparks concern about crime - so how can you protect yourself?

The limit on contactless payments will rise from £45 to £100 from October 15, in a bid to get people to spend more in shops.

It is the second time in less than two years the limit has been increased - in March 2020 the limit on contactless payments was increased from £30 to £45 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The increase had already been announced by the government earlier this year, but banks had not yet decided when to implement it.

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Police and Crime General Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner says 'some services can’t function in a gender neutral way'

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire Marc Jones has supported an article that criticises the role LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall plays in helping the police.

The article by the Daily Mail details Surrey Police Commissioner Lisa Townsend expressing her opinion that the police should stop working with Stonewall.

Ms Townsend says in the article that Stonewall has "a dangerous ideology that threatens the safety of our women and girls", and that she has had many messages from women who are "frightened that female-only spaces, including women's refuges and toilets, are being opened up to people who 'identify' as women, even if they have male genitalia."

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Police Finances Actuaries call for economic growth link for public pension contributions

Currently, the discount rate used in the valuation of unfunded public service pension schemes to set employer contribution rates, is set at 2.4% above inflation.

However, in response to a consultation which concluded last week, pension body, the Association of Consulting Actuaries said the current methodology will “almost inevitably” overestimate or underestimate the value.

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Police Finances Service cuts may expose rural youth to county lines

A lack of funding for rural youth work in England is leaving young people exposed to the dangers of county lines drug-dealing gangs, it is claimed.

The amount spent per head on youth work for 11- to 19-year-olds in rural England, £47, is 25% less than in urban areas, and half the level a decade ago.

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Justice ‘Confused’ police are failing victims of domestic violence

Domestic abuse prosecutions have halved in three years and forces are failing to use measures designed to protect victims, watchdogs have said.

Women are subject to an “epidemic” of violence and abuse and officers are not seeking enough protection orders or ensuring that breaches are punished, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the Independent Office for Police Conduct and the College of Policing warned a in joint report.

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Justice A duty to protect: Police use of protective measures in cases involving violence against women and girls

On 19 March 2019, the Centre for Women’s Justice made a super-complaint to HMICFRS.

This super-complaint is about the police’s alleged failure to use protective measures to safeguard women and girls. It sets out concerns about four tools the police can use/are involved in:

- Pre-charge bail

- Non-Molestation Orders

- Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders

- Restraining Orders

The CWJ is concerned the police aren’t using these tools enough and in the right way.

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Recruitment and Retention 100 new PCSOs funded by Welsh Government

The Welsh Government have announced additional funding to provide a further 100 Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs) to tackle crime and support communities.

Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, and the Welsh Government’s Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, have announced an extra £3.7m for additional PCSOs across Wales, bringing the total budget to over £22m.

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Police and Crime General Female PCs might have survived Dale Cregan ambush if both had Tasers, says police chief

Two female PCs murdered in a gun and grenade ambush might have survived if they had both been issued Tasers, according to the chief constable who became the first to give the weapon to every frontline officer.

Nick Adderley, now the chief of Northamptonshire police, was in command of police constables Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone when they were killed by the wanted gangster Dale Cregan.

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Police and Crime General Surrey rejects PCC's criticism of "divisive" LGBT rights group

Stonewall is a LGBT rights charity that a number of police forces subscribe to receive guidance on issues around diversity.

But one force's PCC has publicly criticised Stonewall’s support of the right of transgender women to access female only spaces, calling it a "dangerous ideology that threatens the safety of our women and girls".

Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend told the Daily Mail: “Stonewall, which has drifted so far from its original mission is now a threat to women and risks putting feminism back 50 years.

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Police Finances Chief constables seek Home Office review of crime recording as ‘ludicrous’ rules distort figures

Chief constables have called for a Home Office review of crime recording because the “ludicrous” rules would count a threat involving a potato peeler as a knife crime.

Nick Adderley, the chief constable of Northamptonshire, said that police had to record incidents that were far below the prosecution threshold, distorting the crime figures. He said that if a child picked up a potato peeler during an argument with a parent this would be recorded as a knife-related crime even if they did not threaten to use the utensil.

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Police and Crime General Extinction Rebellion blocks busy junction in day one of new London campaign

Extinction Rebellion protesters have blocked one of Covent Garden’s busiest junctions on the first day of the group’s latest wave of protests targeting London.

At about midday on Monday, activists from the group chained themselves together to block the roundabout at Long Acre as a van pulled up with a pink table structure. It was quickly assembled and hundreds of other activists streamed to the roundabout.

Activists said the 4 metre-high structure, emblazoned with the slogan “Come to the table”, is intended to stay in place for the duration of Extinction Rebellion’s planned fortnight of protest, which the group has said will target the City of London to highlight the role of high finance in the climate crisis.

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Police Demand Federation calls for urgent action to tackle underfunded mental health services

National chair John Apter spoke out after figures obtained by the BBC through a Freedom of Information request showed that up to 4.500 people in mental health crisis were unlawfully held in police custody during the course of a single year.

The figures emerged from a report commissioned by Theresa May’s government and given to ministers in 2018.

Mr Apter said: “It is deeply frustrating to see more headlines revealing members of the public in mental health crisis are being kept in police cells when they absolutely shouldn’t be as they are patients – not prisoners.

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Economy & Public Finance Government borrowing shrinks in July

Government borrowing fell in July compared with a year earlier as the removal of most Covid restrictions in England gave the economy a boost.

Borrowing - the difference between spending and tax income - was £10.4bn, official figures show, which was £10.1bn lower than July last year.

However, the figure was the second-highest for July since records began.

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Police Demand ‘There should be a public outcry’ over levels of young Black and Asian stab victims, says PCC Festus Akinbusoye

Policing Insight Publisher Bernard Rix’s Policing Friendship Tour recently caught up with Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye, to walk and talk about the policing challenges facing the county including the disproportionality in the number of Black and Asian stabbing victims and offenders, the importance of stop and search – done properly and lawfully – and the task of tackling county lines drugs.

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Justice Sentences for violent and sexual crimes fall sharply in England and Wales

Average sentence lengths for violent and sexual offences in England and Wales fell steeply last year as the Covid pandemic also led to a huge slowdown in the number of people dealt with by the criminal justice system.

The average custodial sentence length for violent crimes fell by 22% to 18.5 months and the figure for sexual offences fell by 12% to 52 months, the lowest figure since 2011, according to official figures.

Sentence lengths fell in all categories, except for public order offences and “miscellaneous crimes against society”, which both increased slightly.

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Recruitment and Retention Chiefs order welfare checks for ex-Afghan conflict personnel

Welfare leads across the country have begun work to identify former Armed Services personnel who have been affected by the withdrawal of Allied troops from Afghanistan.

Force leaders have ordered check-ins with officers who joined up after serving in the Afghan conflict and may be experiencing mental health episodes as a result of the country’s collapse.

Focus is on single crew officers on late shifts, people in high-pressure roles such as custody teams and those working in outlying stations.

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Police Finances Coercive control: Male victims say they aren't believed

A man who reported his female partner to the police for coercive control has said not being taken seriously felt like another form of gaslighting.

Craig said his former partner "robbed me of my independence and slowly undermined my confidence". He also said that police concluded no further action was possible after he reported her and she was not charged.

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Economy & Public Finance Tory cuts to English youth services fuelling crime, says Keir Starmer

Cuts to youth services in England amounting to £660m over the past decade have fuelled antisocial behaviour and violent crime, Keir Starmer will say on Monday.

The Labour leader said his experience as a former director of public prosecutions showed that youth workers, youth centres and other services aimed at young people were a key plank of early intervention against the causes of crime.

He highlighted analysis from the House of Commons library showing cuts to youth services in England since 2011 under successive Conservatives governments were steepest in the most deprived areas.

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COVID-19 Self-isolation ends for double-jabbed and under 18s

People in England and Northern Ireland who have had two COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be required to self-isolate if they have contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. Instead of having to go into quarantine for 10 days, they are now advised to take a PCR test, but this is not compulsory.

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Recruitment and Retention Policing degrees need to recognise existing experience while developing new skills and thinking

The requirement for UK police recruits to either be graduates or achieve a degree as part of their training is still a subject of much debate; but University of Sunderland lecturers Dr Jerry Pearson and Adrian Smiles – both former serving officers – believe one area of the PEQF that needs to be addressed is delivering a degree qualification which recognises the skills and experience of those serving officers who are currently non-graduates.

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Police and Crime General Schoolchildren to be offered lessons on consent after murder of Sarah Everard

Schoolchildren will be offered lessons on consent following the murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of a police officer in March.

The campaign group Reclaim These Streets and social enterprise Shout Out UK have teamed up to develop the lessons as they say the "current provisions are not enough".

The new lesson plans will cover a range of topics, including consent and its relationship to the law, myths relating to sexual harassments and assault and online harms.

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Police Demand Visit every burglary victim, ministers tell police forces

Ministers want an officer sent to the scene of every burglary to boost public confidence in the police.

Senior government sources said that this would significantly reduce burglaries because officers would be able to build a picture of offenders’ trends and tactics and take preventive action.

By visiting every victim they would also be able to spot safety lapses. Half of all burglaries happen because a householder has left a window or door open.

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Economy & Public Finance Sunak pledges ‘no return to austerity’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged there will be “absolutely no return to austerity” in the upcoming Spending Review, as the UK recovers from Covid-19.

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Police and Crime General Damian Hinds to be security minister after Johnson U-turn over Priti Patel

Boris Johnson has made former cabinet minister Damian Hinds his new security minister, after deciding not to let Priti Patel take on the brief.

Less than 24 hours after the home secretary was reported to be adding security to her responsibilities, No 10 made an official announcement that Hinds would take the job.

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Police and Crime General Campaign will target middle-class drug users

Middle-class drug users need to “connect themselves with the violence” of the drugs trade, the policing minister has said.

Kit Malthouse said that a new government strategy to crack down on illegal drug use will target recreational users to “illustrate the impact” of their demand for Class A substances, such as cocaine, LSD and ecstasy.

The strategy to be published in the autumn will seek to change the “perceived acceptability” of taking drugs.

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Police and Crime General Consult on damages for crime victims with convictions, court tells government

The public should be consulted on whether crime victims should be barred from getting compensation if they have an unspent conviction, judges say.

The High Court ruling against the justice secretary follows a legal challenge by a woman who was sexually abused aged eight but denied damages.

Kim Mitchell, who committed a minor public order offence 30 years later, waived her anonymity and said the rule was unfair and needed to be changed.

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Police and Crime General Home Office 'relaxes' conditions attached to S60 stop and search

Conditions attached to the use of Section 60 stop and search powers which were introduced by Theresa May in 2014 when she was Home Secretary have been scrapped by the current government.

The best use of stop and search scheme was announced by Mrs May in her statement to Parliament on 30 April 2014.

The scheme for participating forces introduced a number of measures designed to create greater transparency, accountability and community involvement in the use of stop and search powers.

Following the announcement in Boris Johnson's Beating Crime Plan on 27 July this year, the voluntary conditions relating to section 60 within this scheme are now no longer in place, the Home Office has confirmed.

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Police and Crime General Award offers chance for exchange with US university on race in policing

The US-UK Fulbright Commission, the National Black Police Association (NBPA), and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) today launched a new award aimed at furthering research into policing and criminal justice.

The Fulbright-Stephen Lawrence Scholar Award in Policing will give a UK officer or staff the chance to conduct research in a three-month programme hosted by three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission awards scholarships to American and British students who want to study across the Atlantic or others who want to carry out research in each other's countries.

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Police and Crime General Assault on front-line prison workers ‘de-facto decriminalised’, warns report

Assaults on front-line workers in Britain’s prison system have been “de-facto decriminalised”, a new report has claimed.

One in four staff has been physically attacked at work over the last year, with one in ten having been assaulted twice or more in the same period, the research by trade union Community showed.

The report, called Keep Us Safe, said that prisons are facing a worrying “spike in violence”, with assaults on prison staff in England and Wales increasing by 247 per cent since 2010. This equates to 21 prison officers being physically assaulted every single day, the report claimed.

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Police Finances Police awarded £11.3m for programmes to prevent domestic abuse crimes

The Home Office has awarded £11.3 million to 25 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales, to go towards domestic abuse intervention programmes.

The programmes focus on interventions encouraging behaviour change to help stop perpetrators from committing domestic abuse, with the ultimate aim of preventing further crimes from being committed.

Funding will also focus on key areas such as stalking prevention and supporting adolescent perpetrators.

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Police Demand Catalytic converter thefts drop as people take action to protect their vehicles

Reports of catalytic converter thefts across the UK have dropped by 57 per cent, as people opt to forensically mark their vehicles.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economy grows by 4.8% but misses forecasts

UK economic growth rose by 4.8 per cent between April and June, according to official figures, slightly short of Bank of England forecasts of a 5 per cent rise in GDP over the period when most of the economy reopened from lockdown.

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Police and Crime General Derbyshire hijacks staff computers to highlight vulnerability concerns

Officers and staff at Derbyshire Constabulary have been told they have “let down” the victims of murders and their families and that “drastic changes” are needed in the way the force operates.

When logging on to their work computers this week, all employees are being greeted with a new screensaver featuring the word ‘vulnerability’ and the faces of four people who died following contact with the force.

The first was Gracie Spinks, who was stabbed to death in June by a former colleague who subsequently took his own life. The screensaver also depicted Helen Hancock and her partner Martin Griffiths, who were both murdered by her former husband on New Year’s Day 2020.

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Justice Rape victims face postcode lottery in the fight for justice

The prospect of rape victims getting justice is half as likely in some regions compared with others, analysis of statistics shows. Victims of rape also have to wait twice as long for a prosecution in some counties.

The 94.4 per cent rape conviction rate in Gloucestershire is the highest in England and Wales. In Warwickshire, a neighbouring county, the proportion of convictions is 46.7 per cent, the lowest rate.

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Technology 'Paradigm shift' in digital investigation as MPS announces new collaboration

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is to transform the way it deals with crimes involving computers, smartphones and other devices after announcing a collaboration deal with a major developer of digital investigation software.

The force has teamed up with Magnet Forensics, a developer of digital investigation software, which has created a new product that can speed up digital and data analysis investigations by a factor of three and enable non-technical investigators to take on more cases.

The rapid proliferation of digital devices and data relevant to investigations has put pressure on police agencies worldwide, creating backlogs in digital forensics labs, delaying cases and putting justice at risk. The highly technical nature of traditional digital forensics tools limits collaboration between digital forensic examiners and non-technical investigators, who have the full context of cases.

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Police and Crime General Possession of dangerous items banned in homes

In an effort to tackle violent crime, a ban on a wide range of knives, weapons and firearms came into force from 14 July.

This means that some articles that were previously legal to own in the home are now illegal. It’s now an offence to keep items such as knuckledusters, flick knives, throwing stars, zombie knives, telescopic truncheons and push daggers in your home.

The law will also change on safe retailing for buying knives in store and online. This provision will commence later in the year.

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Police Demand Surge in young criminals serving life sentences as gangs seek to ‘overkill’ their rivals

The number of young criminals serving life sentences has increased by more than 50 per cent in under a decade amid rising youth violence.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data show the number of criminals aged 25 or younger sentenced to life with a tariff of at least 15 years in jail rose from 917 to 1,394 between 2013 and 2020, an increase of 52 per cent.

That means that in just seven years, almost 500 more young men and women have been sentenced to at least a decade and a half in prison, according to the figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws by criminologists at Royal Holloway and Cambridge University.

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Police Demand Decriminalising drugs is the only way forward - William Hague

When most people think about drugs as an issue in politics, the habits of individual politicians are probably at the front of their minds. My own attempt as Conservative leader to frame a “zero tolerance” policy collapsed when more than a third of my shadow cabinet admitted to once taking drugs themselves. David Cameron was bedevilled for a while with such questions about his past.

More recently, as public attitudes have changed, popular leaders have been able to breeze through the issue with a quick confession, from Boris Johnson’s admission that he tried cocaine at university — but “it achieved no pharmacological, psychotropical or any other effect on me whatsoever” — to Barack Obama’s “I inhaled: that was the point”.

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Police Demand County lines drugs gangs could go back to public transport as crowds return


ounty lines drugs gangs could move back to using public transport to move crack and heroin as trains and coaches get busier in the coming months.

Restrictions linked to the pandemic last year forced drugs couriers to use cars as coach services stopped and train services were reduced, making them more identifiable and increasing the risk of being caught.

Police are now monitoring whether the gangs will return to trains and coaches as passenger numbers increase again, allowing them to blend in with crowds while moving consignments of illegal drugs.

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Police and Crime General Best use of stop and search scheme

The best use of stop and search scheme was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in her statement to Parliament on 30 April 2014.

The scheme introduces a number of measures designed to create greater transparency, accountability and community involvement in the use of stop and search powers.

Following the announcement in the Beating Crime Plan on 27 July 2021, the voluntary conditions relating to section 60 (pages 2 and 6) within this scheme are no longer in place.

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Police Finances Thousands of pupils ‘easy prey for gangs’ when schools reopen

Ministers are completely unprepared to deal with the sharp rise in exclusions, and the subsequent exploitation of thousands of children, that could happen when schools reopen next month, the former children’s commissioner has said.

In a stark warning about the potential number of children who have fallen “off grid” since the start of the pandemic, Anne Longfield said that tens of thousands more children could be exploited by gangs and criminals because the state had failed to keep track of them.

In an interview with the Observer, she said she was concerned that a rise in the number of children apparently home schooled during the pandemic would also put significantly more children at risk. She said the scale of the problem would only become apparent with the return of schools in September, but warned the state was “absolutely not” equipped to deal with the problem.

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Police Demand Now for the next UK pandemic: financial fraud

When a customer walked into a branch of TSB and asked to transfer £250,000 to a new fixed-income investment account, the staff went through their usual procedures. Was the customer sure he wanted to do this? He was adamant. An experienced investor, he showed them that the investment scheme was run by a firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). When the branch manager emerged for further checks, the customer became irate. He was frustrated that TSB’s workers did not trust his judgment.

So, in line with his wishes, the bank transferred the funds.

Three months later, as the first interest payment became due on the investment, it turned out that the firm no longer existed. The customer had been the victim of a sophisticated scam.

Police and Crime General West Midlands Police probe 75 hate crimes ahead of season return

The UK's first dedicated football hate crime officer is already investigating 75 hate crimes, police said. PC Stuart Ward took on the role for West Midlands Police in January.

Ahead of the return of the football season, the force said it would be cracking down on abuse at matches and on social media.

"There has been a national rise in hate crime linked to football over the last few years and there are absolutely no winners from it," PC Ward said.

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Police and Crime General Police taser children aged 10 and 87-year-old pensioner amid sharp rise in officers firing devices

Children as young as 10 and an 87-year-old pensioner have been tasered by police amid a sharp rise in officers firing the devices in the last three years.

A Sky News investigation has revealed details of incidents where officers have fired the 50,000-volt stun guns at minors and elderly people between 2018 and June this year.

The findings come amid calls for the UK to ban the use of Tasers on under-18s.

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Police and Crime General The Policing Bill stands up for the rights of those whose lives are disrupted by protest

Fairness belongs to the silent majority, not those who shout the loudest.

As the Policing, Sentencing and Courts Bill makes its way through the House of Lords the clamour from the so-called “Kill the Bill” brigade is rising.

But the legislation does not seek to smother the legal and legitimate right of free speech – a freedom hard-won and cherished in the United Kingdom. Instead it will strengthen police powers to tackle non-violent protests and allow them to take a more proactive approach towards highly disruptive demonstrations.

I hope it will tip the balance back in favour of the majority of the population who want to go about their daily lives without the disruption, nuisance and fear caused by the illegal activity of a few.

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Police and Crime General Drug-sensing tags aim to cut crime

Criminals who offend to fund their drug addiction could be forced to wear monitors as a way of making them stop.

Ministers are exploring technology that would enable a device to sense when an illegal substance has been taken, sources have told The Times.

They would be similar to ankle tags that track offenders, or a medical patch, and would be an attempt to slash reoffending for drug-related crime and tackle soaring drug use in prisons.

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Police and Crime General 'We are no better off': Revisiting the riots sparked by Mark Duggan shooting 10 years on

What began as a peaceful protest in London, over the killing of Mark Duggan, quickly turned into chaos.

Rioting spread through cities across England.

Cars and buildings were torched and roads barricaded. Missiles were thrown at police and crowds of people stormed their own communities, with looters helping themselves to everything and anything they could get their hands on...

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Police Finances Council tax ‘scandal’ sees people in deprived areas pay higher rates than London’s wealthiest streets

Residents of towns such as Burnley and Hartlepool pay around two per cent of the value of their property each year in council tax while people living in Kensington and Westminster pay just 0.1 per cent.

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Police Finances One-year funding is holding back fight against fraud says HMIC

HM Inspectorate’s repeat inspection found fraud continues to be treated as a low-priority or victimless crime by forces despite demands for change from the watchdog and victims of crime.

Although improvements have been made, the big problems remain unchanged it said.

City of London Police’s role as the national lead force for fraud is clearer than it was in 2019, and there is now a three-year national policing strategy for tackling fraud.

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Recruitment and Retention We deserve better – police urge Priti Patel to increase ‘unfair’ pay

Police bosses have renewed pleas for pay increases, telling Home Secretary Priti Patel that officers “deserve better”.

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) chairman Martin Hewitt has written to Ms Patel off the back of heavy criticism and concern over a staff wages.

Last week police representatives marched on Downing Street after it was announced that officers who earn more than £24,000 will be subject to a pay freeze this year, compared with NHS staff who will receive a 3% increase, and firefighters and local government workers who will receive 1.5%.

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Police and Crime General Drug-related deaths hit record high in England and Wales after rising for eighth year in a row

Drug-related deaths in England and Wales have reached their highest levels since records began as they rose for the eighth year in a row, figures show.

There were 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

It was the highest number since records began in 1993 and up 3.8% from the previous year.

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Police and Crime General Consultation could see anti-overdose spray issued to all frontline officers

A new consultation launched today (August 3) looks to amend current regulations to allow naloxone to be supplied and administered by a wider group of people regularly coming into contact with drug users.

Currently, while naloxone can be legally administered by anyone during an emergency, its supply is tightly controlled and is available only through prescription.

Aside from an emergency situation, it is only commissioned drug treatment services that are able to obtain and supply naloxone to individuals without a prescription or other written authorisation. This consultation seeks to change that.

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Police and Crime General Staffordshire roll out body armour for all its police dogs

Staffordshire Police has become one of the first forces in the UK, and the first in the West Midlands region, to roll-out body armour for its police dogs.

The lightweight armour is custom-made to better protect police dogs – both general purpose dogs and drugs dogs - and will give them protection against knives, bullets, spikes and impact from blunt objects.

The armour was chosen after the force evaluated different types – for their protection level, durability and design. They have been produced following feedback from extensive trials conducted by UK police forces.

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COVID-19 Assaults on police in England and Wales rise above 100 a day during pandemic

A major increase in attacks on police has been recorded during the pandemic, according to official figures revealing that there were more than 100 assaults on officers in England and Wales every day.

With senior police figures warning that officers have faced deliberate spitting and coughing since the start of the crisis, it has emerged that there were 36,969 assaults on police in the year that followed the outbreak in March 2020. It represented a 20% rise on the previous year.

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Police and Crime General Victims feel let down by police despite Boris Johnson’s action on crime

Seven in ten who reported an offence say officers were indifferent or uncaring about them or their family.

Their experience made them less confident about the ability of police to keep them safe.

One senior Tory MP said the “alarming” response showed that forces must work to earn public support.

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Police and Crime General Prosecutions for violent crime fall to lowest level in a decade

The proportion of people charged with violent crime has fallen to the lowest level in ten years, official figures show.

Last year only 6.8 per cent of reported crimes involving violence led to a suspect being charged.

The Home Office statistics, which run to March, showed that more than nine out of ten of all recorded crimes did not lead to a charge.

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Police Demand Proportion of frontline officers lowest in a decade, says Labour

New statistical analysis conducted by the Labour Party has found huge gaps in the police workforce with the proportion of officers working on the front line the lowest in a decade.

The party said its research found there were 8,433 fewer officers, 7,633 fewer police community support officers (PCSOs), and 7,502 fewer police staff than in 2010.

More than 10,000 officers and PCSOs have been lost from neighbourhood policing since 2015, while the proportion of frontline officers is at its lowest level in a decade.

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Police and Crime General IOPC publishes figures on deaths during or following police contact for 2020/21

The Independent Office for Police Conduct today published its annual report on deaths during or following police contact in 2020/21.

Published for the 17th year, the statistics provide an official record setting out the number of such deaths, the circumstances in which they happen, and any underlying factors. Figures across the different categories can fluctuate each year, and any conclusions about trends need to be treated with caution.

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Police and Crime General Macpherson report: 22 years on

The home affairs select committee's report examines progress against some of the most important Macpherson report recommendations made following the unprovoked racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

The committee has called for a number of recommendations including achieving a police workforce that is representative of the population by 2030 and maintaining an institutional focus on structural imbalances that lead to unequal outcomes for individuals of different ethnicities.

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Police and Crime General Walking and cycling investment

New changes to the Highway Code will give pedestrians greater priority over cars at junctions and crossings, the Transport Secretary has announced. The Department of Transport said the changes, along with an extra £338 million to boost cycling and walking, will help to sustain the increase in active travel during the pandemic.

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Police Finances Criminals to be guaranteed accommodation when they leave prison

Criminals are to be guaranteed accommodation when they leave prison as part of a £20 million plan to reduce reoffending.

They will be housed in bedsits or hostels organised by the probation service in a bid to prevent them returning to crime.

Some 18,000 prisoners - or 30 per cent of those released - were in unsettled accommodation, rough sleeping or homeless last year, with a 50 per cent greater chance of reoffending than those who had secure housing.

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Police and Crime General Government's review into the role of PCCs: Part two

Responding to the announcement of Part Two of the Review, APCC Chair Marc Jones said:

“Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) welcome Part Two of the Government’s review into the role of PCCs, which was launched on Wednesday (27 July).

“PCCs have engaged constructively with the Review throughout, and it has provided an important opportunity to build on the learning and developments since the role was created nine years ago.

“We are already working closely with government and policing partners in delivering on the recommendations of Part One of the Review, and today we welcome the start of the second phase of the process of unlocking the full potential of the PCC role, with a strong focus on developing our role across criminal justice, reducing reoffending, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and prevention.

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Prisons Manchester attack plotter Hashem Abedi refusing to participate in prison deradicalisation programme

ITV News understands that Hashem Abedi, the Manchester Arena bomb plotter, is refusing to co-operate with a deradicalisation programme in prison - and is being held at a Separation Centre away from other inmates over concerns he could radicalise other prisoners.

Our cameras were given unprecedented access to HMP Frankland in County Durham and HMP Full Sutton near York where Abedi and some of the country's most dangerous criminals are being held.

The Separation Centre at HMP Frankland, where Abedi is an inmate, is reserved for the most radical terrorists - a 'prison within a prison'. It has never been seen before on camera until now.

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Recruitment and Retention Government nearly half-way to recruiting 20,000 more officers

The government is nearly half-way to delivering on its pledge to put 20,000 additional officers on the streets by 2023, figures released today (28 July) show.

An extra 9,814 police officers have been recruited across all 43 police forces in England and Wales, where they are already having an impact in tackling crime and keeping communities safe.

The latest figures follow the launch of the government’s Beating Crime Plan yesterday (27 July), aimed at reducing crime, protecting victims and making the country safer.

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Police and Crime General Charles attends Staffordshire police memorial dedication

Police officers and staff who died on duty have been commemorated in a monument that has been unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum.

The Prince of Wales was among those at a dedication ceremony at the £4.5m memorial and garden created at the Staffordshire site, where a minute's silence was held.

He paid tribute to the "valour and sacrifice" of those who had died.

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson says stop-and-search policy ‘kind and loving’ way to get weapons off streets

Boris Johnson has defended his plan to expand blanket stop-and-search powers for police forces – insisting it was a “kind and loving” way to get dangerous weapons off the streets.

The prime minister also said he wanted to see more “chain gangs” of people found guilty of antisocial behaviour out cleaning the streets in hi-vis jackets.

Campaigners have condemned the plan to widen the power to stop and search people without suspicion, deemed by many experts to be both “ineffective” and racially disproportionate.

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson pledges to target drug abuse in anti-crime push

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to cut crime by tackling drug misuse and using electronic tagging on more burglars after release.

The government is also proposing that every neighbourhood in England and Wales should have a named police officer for residents to contact.

Mr Johnson said his efforts to make society safer would be "unstinting".

But the Police Federation, representing rank-and-file officers, said fighting crime needed greater investment.

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Police and Crime General Government launches new crime beating plan

“Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) welcome the Government’s new plan, published today, to reduce crime, protect victims and keep our communities safe. These priorities are at the heart of everything that PCCs do.

"We are pleased to see the strong end-to-end focus of the plan – from tackling serious violence and high harms, to driving down neighbourhood crime, to tackling anti-social behaviour. We know from the victims and community groups that we speak to, that these crimes destroy lives, and it is imperative that we work together at a local and national level to tackle them. We are particularly encouraged to see the strong focus on Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), which for too long has been neglected. PCCs already work closely with local authority partners and community groups to tackle ASB but we want to do more and go further. We would like to use the platform of the Beating Crime Plan to galvanise local and national partners to come together to stop ASB in its tracks – ensuring we use all the powers available to us to tackle perpetrators, support victims and invest in local communities, and where we need more powers – to make the case to Government for them.

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Police and Crime General Damning letter highlighting police anger delivered to Downing Street

National Chair John Apter has written a forthright letter to Downing Street expressing how our membership feels towards the Government, demanding it overturns its zero percent pay award decision and calling for a fairer pay review system, not influenced by government.

The action follows last week’s National Council meeting where those present voted through a motion of ‘no confidence’ in the Home Secretary and agreed to walk away from the ‘not fit for purpose’ Police Remuneration Review Body.

The letter states: “This is about much more than money, though for many the offer of a zero per cent pay rise, after all the police has been through in helping deal with the pandemic, was the final straw.

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COVID-19 Isolation exemption on the way as daily testing rolled out to forces

Frontline emergency service workers, including in policing, told to isolate by the Covid-19 app or by NHS Test and Trace will be able to continue working if they test negative in new daily testing scheme.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said new testing sites will be allocated for frontline police and fire services to ensure “critical staff can continue their vital work”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Our brave police officers and fire fighters have shown throughout the pandemic that they have worked tirelessly to keep us safe and serve their communities.”

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson pledges to to target crime and anti-social behaviour

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested electronic tagging on more burglars after release, and wider use of public "chain gangs", as measures to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.

The government is also proposing that every neighbourhood in England and Wales should have a named police officer for residents to contact.

The PM said it meant victims could speak to someone who knew the area.

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Police and Crime General PCC’s plan to tackle anti-social behaviour is top priority

Tackling and preventing anti-social behaviour is a top priority for Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen.

The PCC is committed to reducing the levels of anti-social behaviour responsible for causing residents of County Durham and Darlington great concern, alarm and distress and she is determined to work with partners to develop local solutions to local problems.

Signalling this commitment, the Commissioner will shortly be appointing an Anti-Social Behaviour Champion who will spearhead multi-agency action to address persistent anti-social behaviour and enabling victims to instigate a Community Trigger to seek redress.

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Police and Crime General Emergency mental health patients to get help within hour under NHS England plan

People arriving at A&E suffering a mental health crisis will receive urgent help within an hour under a new plan to bring in treatment targets for those with psychological and psychiatric problems.

NHS England wants to introduce five new waiting time standards specifying how long those in need should have to wait for care, in a drive to reduce what are often long delays.

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Police Demand Big Falls in Crime Figures – Drugs Are An Exception

The Office for National Statistics has today released the latest crime statistics which show that there has been an overall fall in the number of recorded crimes over the 12 month period from March 2020 to March 2021.

Within South Yorkshire most areas of crime have fallen over the 12 month period – some significantly – though with some exceptions.

There have been large decreases in theft (-32%), residential burglary (-25%), robbery (-24%) and knife crime (-19%). Other crimes including sexual offences and overall crime have also fallen.

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Police and Crime General Police declare no confidence in Priti Patel after wage freeze

Rank and file officers have announced they have no confidence in Priti Patel, the home secretary, after the government froze police pay.

The head of the Police Federation of England and Wales said the move was the “final straw” for officers and said they were angry with the government and would no longer support the pay body responsible for setting police wages.

Patel confirmed yesterday that officers earning more than £24,000 would be affected by the freeze. Those earning less will be given an annual rise of £250.

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Economy & Public Finance Chancellor facing 'difficult' spending review

Public services could face a £17bn funding cut in the spending review, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.

The IFS said that the chancellor's existing spending plans would mean up to £17bn less was spent on public services per year than was planned pre-COVID.

The economists warned Rishi Sunak has 'very little room for manoeuvre' in his forthcoming spending review due to permanent economic damage done by the pandemic and rising debt interest costs.

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Police and Crime General Aiding self-harm online to be crime

Encouraging self-harm online will be criminalised and people convicted of cyberflashing will be forced to sign the sex offenders register under proposals being put to ministers.

In a report published today, the Law Commission said it wanted to address “the harms arising from online abuse” by tightening laws on cyber-behaviour.

Commissioners said that existing legislation was “ineffective at criminalising genuinely harmful behaviour” but “in some instances disproportionately interferes with freedom of expression”.

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Recruitment and Retention Statement from John Apter, National Chair and Alex Duncan, National Secretary

“We are the undisputed and unequivocal voice of policing, particularly for rank and file officers, so it is vital that we speak up for our members.

“Police officers have been on the frontline of this pandemic for 18 months and will now see firefighters and local government workers in England given a 1.5 per cent increase while they receive nothing. This is further evidence that not all public services are treated equally by this Government, and some are valued more than others.

“The current pay system for policing is not fit for purpose. We are forced to enter into an inherently unfair process from the start, with the odds weighted firmly in favour of the Government where, it seems, a decision has already been made when they set the parameters for the pay review body.

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Police Demand Response times will be slower due to ‘pingdemic’, warns police and crime commissioner

Response times will rise due to the “pingdemic”, a police and crime commissioner has warned.

Steve Turner has called on the Government to review the self-isolation rules for workers after Cleveland Police was forced to cancel annual leave and rest days for some officers to fill gaps caused by staff contacted by the NHS Test and Trace app.

In one incident five officers were reportedly forced off-duty after they came into contact with a prisoner who tested positive for Covid-19.

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COVID-19 COVID-19: Two jabs needed to enter nightclubs from September

The Government has said people attending nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather in England will need to be fully vaccinated from the end of September. Latest figures show 35 per cent of 18 to 30-year-olds have not had their first vaccination. In the UK, there were 39,950 cases of coronavirus recorded on Monday, and another 19 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

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Police and Crime General Public street harassment could be made illegal in England and Wales

Public street harassment is likely to be criminalised under plans being drawn up by the government as part of its long-awaited strategy to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) for England and Wales.

The use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in cases of sexual harassment and abuse in higher education settings could be also be banned after a review.

It had been briefed that home secretary Priti Patel would not look to introduce a new street harassment law – called for by campaigners and the government’s own adviser.

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COVID-19 Covid: Isolation rules loosened for critical workers

Some fully vaccinated people in critical roles in England will be able to continue working even if told to self-isolate after being in close contact with someone who has Covid.

Instead those eligible - including NHS and care staff - will be able to take daily tests, the government said.

A list of critical workers is due to be published, but the PM said it included food, utility and border staff.

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COVID-19 Police commissioners fear ‘freedom day’ will unlock summer of ‘endless New Year’s Eves’

Police are bracing to deal with chaotic celebrations likened to “New Year’s Eve over and over and over again” as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Forces across England have been reporting increases in violence and anti-social behaviour linked to pubs and bars in recent weeks, and Euro 2020 was the worst football tournament on record for crime.

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Police Finances HO Stats: Police funding for England and Wales 2015 to 2022

This publication brings together previously published police funding figures for England and Wales into a single definitive publication for the last seven years.

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Justice Police and CPS in rape case blame game - report

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service are involved in a blame game over a drop in rape prosecutions, a watchdogs' report has said.

CPS figures for 2019-20 show 1,439 suspects were convicted of rape or lesser offences in England and Wales, the lowest level since records began.

This is down from 1,925 the previous year despite a rise in reports of rape.

The review by the police and CPS watchdogs calls for an urgent shift in the way rape cases are investigated.

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Justice Police chiefs want criminal inquiry into Matt Hancock leak

Officials investigating the leak of CCTV that led to Matt Hancock’s resignation raided two homes and seized computer equipment yesterday. Elected police chiefs said the investigation should become a criminal inquiry.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is looking into a data breach after footage of Hancock kissing an aide was leaked, said that two raids were carried out in the south of England. Elected police and crime commissioners said the investigation should be referred to the police because it was a serious security breach.

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Fire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners making a difference

As the Government prepares to consult on plans to change how fire services are governed, a new report sets out how Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs) are already delivering efficient and effective fire and rescue services in parts of England.

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Economy & Public Finance Price rises speed up again as economy unlocks

The UK inflation rate hit 2.5% in the year to June, the highest for nearly three years, as the unlocking of the UK economy continued.

The Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation rose from 2.1% in May, the Office for National Statistics said, driven by higher food and fuel costs. The rate is higher than the Bank of England's 2% inflation target for a second month.

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Police Finances Ban on knives, firearms and offensive weapons comes into force

Cyclone knives, spiral knives and ‘rapid-fire’ rifles are among those covered by the ban, all of which have been associated with serious violence in communities across the country.

A new legal definition of flick knives, banned since 1959, also takes effect, resulting in more of these bladed weapons being outlawed.

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Police and Crime General Home Secretary hosts first Police Covenant Board meeting

Home Secretary Priti Patel, together with senior policing leaders including the chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), will join the first Police Covenant Board meeting to oversee the implementation of the Police Covenant today (July 14).

Delivering on the Government’s manifesto commitment, the Police Covenant will provide officers with long term-support and protection to carry out their duties, with a focus on health and wellbeing, physical safety and support for families.

Police forces across the country will be given a unified set of standards to adhere to protect the physical and mental health of officers. The National Police Wellbeing Service is working with forces to ensure the new standards are attainable.

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Technology Police should use BWV cameras to record witness statements, urges report

Currently, there is no requirement for witness statements to be recorded and in most cases the only record is the written statement – usually drafted by a police officer as directed by the witness.

The new report argues that this age-old practice fails to convey important information about how the police interview with the witness is conducted, which can unduly influence their statement.

BWV cameras are widely used by police forces in the UK and are increasingly used as evidence in court. In their report, the authors say that there are “good grounds” for requiring their use to record witness interviews, in addition to their use by officers to record arrests or other events during police operations.

However, the authors caution that more research is needed into the emotional impact of BWV camera footage and called for courts to be alert to how this might adversely influence people’s judgment.

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Fire Councils reject APCC call to take over fire services

Councils will “strongly oppose” any proposals for Police and Crime Commissioners to take control of fire and rescue services.

England's most powerful council leaders made clear they won’t relinquish power or budgets to PCCs despite their claim to have government support.

The blunt warning came after the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners published a report arguing they were best-placed to improve services.

The report coincided with the start of a government consultation on oversight of fire services.

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Justice Crime victims 'hesitant' to report them over court delays

A victim of crime says some people are put off reporting incidents because of delays in getting justice.

More than 57,000 trials are yet to be heard in crown courts across England and Wales due to a backlog made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is despite investment by the UK government to reduce the backlog.

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Police Demand Police forces deal with record number of football-related incidents after Wembley final

Police forces across the country dealt with more than double the number of football-related incidents following the Euro 2020 final compared to any previous tournament matches.

The overwhelming majority of forces across England and Wales, including British Transport Police, saw an increase in demand overnight in relation to Sunday's England v Italy fixture.

There were at least 875 incidents overall. This is more than double the number of incidents recorded in relation to matches at previous tournaments - including England's World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia in 2018, when there were 335.

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Technology Forces urged to use new body-worn video policy

The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is urging more forces to utilise new guidelines which enables them to release body-worn video footage easier.

Last year National Chair John Apter raised his concerns to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) over the public sharing selective video clips of police interactions on social media and the damaging impact it can have on public confidence and criminal justice processes.

As a result, John worked with the then NPCC lead on body-worn video Chief Constable Andy Marsh and the NPCC issued new policy to forces November last year, but further improvements need to be made in this area.

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Police and Crime General PCCs back call for huge investment in drug treatment

Police and Crime Commissioners have backed calls for a whole system response to illegal drug use and its multi-billion pound cost.

Reducing illegal drug demand rather than focusing on arresting people with dependency issues is the only way to reduce the UK’s drug problem, a government-ordered review has found.

In the second part of her report, Dame Carol Black said central government had to lead a radical change of approach to problem drug users that viewed them as having a chronic health problem that needs long-term treatment.

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Police Demand New protest laws could put extra pressure on forces, ministers warned

New laws limiting protest will be difficult to enforce and are unneeded, senior policing figures have warned.

The Police Crime and Sentencing Bill, which passed its third reading by MPs earlier this week, did not alter pans to give forces more powers to break up demonstrations.

The legislation includes giving officers new powers to set time limits on protests and intervene if they are judged to be too noisy.

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Police and Crime General After Sarah Everard’s murder, police must take flashing more seriously

Police will be told to take offences such as indecent exposure and street harassment more seriously in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder.

Wayne Couzens, a serving firearms officer, abducted the 33-year-old as she walked home in south London in March. Her body was found 50 miles away in woodland in Kent after a search lasting a week. Couzens pleaded guilty to her murder on Friday, having already admitted rape and kidnapping.

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Police and Crime General ‘Target rape like county lines crime’

A county-lines-style crackdown on rape, sexual offences and violence against women is needed to improve “indefensible” prosecution rates, the police watchdog has said.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services said that the “relentless focus” on pursuing offenders who use young and vulnerable people as drug mules must be applied to female violence.

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Technology Competition body may investigate Airwave replacement company

Motorola’s position as owner of the police and emergency services Airwave system and a key supplier for the hugely delayed Emergency Services Network could be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The CMA says it is particularly concerned that Motorola could stand to make excess profits of around £1.2 billion in the period from 2020 to 2026 because Airwave was supposed to have been switched off by 2019.

As it stands the company will continue billing forces until 2026 while the massively over-budget ESN continues to overrun.

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Police and Crime General Leicestershire PCC bans staff from contact with Black Lives Matter

The police and crime commissioner for Leicestershire has said he has banned his staff from communicating with Black Lives Matter groups.

In a diary-style article for Conservative Home, Rupert Matthews wrote that on his third day in office he told his staff not to have any contact with BLM.

The subject had come up during an online staff meeting in which contact with activists from BLM was on the agenda.

“Why are we meeting an organisation that wants to defund the police, has put police officers in hospital, and desecrated the cenotaph in London?” he wrote.

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Police Demand UK facing ‘tsunami’ of fraud, experts warn MPs in plea for swift action

The UK is facing a worse threat from fraud than during the 2008 financial crisis and the Government’s efforts to fight it are falling far short, MPs have heard.

In a damning evidence session in Parliament expert David Clarke said there is a “major tsunami” of fraud coming, and the UK has created a “haven for fraudsters”.

Mr Clarke, who is a former City of London Police officer and now chair of the Fraud Advisory Panel, said a minister should be appointed to an economic crime portfolio in order to produce more accountability.

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Police and Crime General New cross-government unit to tackle drug misuse following major independent review

A new drugs unit will be set up to help end illegal drug-related illness and deaths, the government has announced today.

The Joint Combating Drugs Unit will bring together multiple government departments – including the Department of Health and Social Care, Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Education and Ministry of Justice – to help tackle drugs misuse across society.

This joint approach recognises that treatment alone is not enough and wider support, including with housing and employment, is essential to aid recovery.

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Police and Crime General ‘Staggeringly high’ number of people with autism on UK Prevent scheme

A “staggeringly high” number of people with autism are referred to the government’s anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, a terror laws watchdog will say, calling for discussion about terrorism cases in which the disability features.

Jonathan Hall QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, will say autism and terrorism has not received much public attention due to “a very real and respectable fear that making any sort of link will lead to stigma”.

But in a speech as part of the thinktank Bright Blue’s Ludgate lecture series online, he will argue that the criminal justice outcome may not always be the right one for people with autism and needs scrutiny.

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Justice Rape victims still face police phone trawl, says commissioner

Proposals for England and Wales mean people who claim to have been raped will still face pressure to hand over their phones to police and prosecutors, says the victims' commissioner.

The government's apology to rape victims has been "undermined" by the move, Dame Vera Baird told the BBC.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill sets limits to police access to victims' phone data.

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Police and Crime General The Policing Bill will leave officers in an impossible position

Policing in Britain today is an extremely difficult job. It is one that has been put under increasing pressure by rising street violence, cuts to policing and other public services, and most recently, the imposition of quickly changing — highly restrictive — Covid regulations.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which returns to parliament today, has been heralded by the government as a gift to officers, intended to relieve these enormous pressures. In reality, it contains dangerously oppressive components that will increase the politicisation of the police, pile even more pressure on front-line officers and put at risk the democratic legitimacy of British policing.

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Police and Crime General New Hampshire police and crime commissioner Donna Jones pledges 600 additional officers

The new police and crime commissioner for Hampshire has pledged to add 600 more officers to the force by the end of 2023.

Donna Jones, who won the role for the Conservatives at the elections in May, said it was her "number one priority" when she appeared for the first time in front of the county's police and crime panel which scrutinises her work.

Commissioner Jones told members: “My vision as your commissioner, as a parent, and as a citizen is that Hampshire and Isle of Wight are places children and elderly people can walk the streets without fear.

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Police and Crime General Radical action needed to tackle crime epidemic against women and girls

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said the police have made vast improvements over the last decade in how they respond to these crimes – but while this progress should continue, fundamental system-wide change is needed, and the police cannot achieve this alone.

HMICFRS said there is an epidemic of offending against women and girls – for example, an estimated 1.6 million women in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the 12 months to March 2020 – and a whole-system approach is needed to tackle it, involving not only the police but also other partners such as the Crown Prosecution Service, health, social care and education.

The inspectorate’s findings are from its interim report, released now to help inform the Government’s violence against women and girls strategy, with its final report to be published in September.

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Economy & Public Finance State pension predicted to rise by 8%

Retired people could see a bumper rise in the state pension next year, according to official forecasters.

Predictions suggest that the link with earnings growth could mean an 8% rise in the amount paid from April 2022.

That would cost the government £3bn more than previously expected, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

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Police and Crime General Counter-terror police team up with Netmums amid ‘worrying’ increase in child terrorism arrests

Arrests of under-18s for terrorism offences have almost trebled in the past year, with a “worrying” increase in the number linked to right-wing extremism.

Chief Superintendent Nik Adams, CTP’s national coordinator for Prevent, said these trends were “incredibly concerning”.

The ground-breaking partnership with the popular parenting website comes after a survey of Netmums users showed that only 28 per cent know how to spot the signs of radicalisation – even as the targeting of children by extremists online reaches record levels.

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Police and Crime General Protests, pet thefts and sex crimes: MPs want changes to the policing bill

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill allows the police to put conditions on certain protests as well as making changes to sentencing and introducing powers to more closely monitor terrorism offenders.

But new laws to crack down on noisy protests as part of the Bill were not requested by senior police officers.

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COVID-19 Masks will become personal choice, says minister

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has said England will enter a period without legal restrictions where the public will have to exercise “personal responsibility” including on face masks.

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Police and Crime General Government defeats attempts to remove protest curbs from controversial reforms


ttempts to scrap “dangerous and draconian” curbs on protests have been voted down by Government MPs.

Labour and Liberal Democrat efforts to amend the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill fell short after their proposal was rejected in the voting lobbies of the House of Commons.

As part of efforts to overhaul the justice system, the Government has proposed a raft of changes in the Bill amid protests outside in Parliament Square.

These changes include plans to give police in England and Wales more powers to impose conditions on non-violent protests judged to be too noisy and thereby causing “intimidation or harassment” or “serious unease, alarm or distress” to the public.

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Police Demand NPCC reveals alternatives to arresting rough sleepers

New guidance, issued to all 43 forces in England and Wales, urges a collaboration between police forces, local authorities and third sector organisations to tackle homelessness.

Although the number of arrests for ‘vagrancy’ are falling, the number of people sleeping on the streets is increasing.

The coronavirus pandemic revealed the number of people sleeping rough - or at risk of doing so - was much higher than previously accepted.

Councils sourced emergency accommodation for 37,430 people in England by January 2021 and 5,010 people in Wales were accommodated between August and December 2020.

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Police Finances Launch of healthcare in custody police tenders

BlueLight Commercial, in collaboration with 13 police forces, has announced the launch of seven new tenders over the next four months, for the provision of healthcare services in custody. These latest tenders have an estimated contract value of £36m, over an average five-year contract term.

The 43 police forces of England and Wales, spend approximately £21m per year on healthcare services in custody and our pipeline indicates that a further 5 Forces will need to tender next year, 7 in 2023 and up to 9 forces will need to tender in 2024.

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Police and Crime General Survivors demand action on ‘epidemic’ of child sexual abuse affecting millions in UK

Child sexual abuse is an “epidemic” affecting millions of people in the UK, survivors have said.

Patrick Sandford, who was abused by a schoolteacher at the age of nine, said society needed to “get real and wise up” about the scale of the issue.

“It’s an epidemic,” he told The Independent. “We are talking of millions of people walking around and trying to live with this.”

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Police and Crime General Get on board to help snare the train perverts, passengers told

Sexual predators are boarding trains with the sole intention of targeting female passengers, according to the first woman to be placed in charge of policing the nation’s railways.

Lucy D’Orsi, the chief constable of the British Transport Police (BTP), has urged commuters to create a “hostile environment” for perverts by reporting any incidents of leering, groping or other unwanted sexual behaviour.

“There are people who go from A to B, get a return train and come back immediately,” she said. “That’s not normal. We also know that there are people who go onto the network and are on it for a long time. If you’re on a journey for 12 hours, what are you doing?”

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Police and Crime General Policing bill ‘is harmful to democracy’

Priti Patel’s plans to curb protest have “dangerous and harmful implications” for democracy, former senior police officers have said.

They claim that the proposed legislation, which sparked widespread demonstrations including a riot in Bristol in March, will subject officers to “even greater political pressure” and potentially lead to more violence.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which returns for debate in the Commons today, introduces new powers for police to restrict protests and increases sanctions on those who breach such conditions. It will bring static protests in line with marches by allowing the police to impose time limits and maximum noise levels.

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Recruitment and Retention Frontline policing at risk from all graduate plans, warns top crime commissioner

Priti Patel has been urged to abandon all-graduate police plans as officers would rather serve alongside former soldiers when breaking up a night-time brawl than people with “expressive dance” degrees.

Marc Jones, the incoming chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said plans to make policing an all-graduate profession risked weakening the frontline by deterring older, experienced recruits like former soldiers.

Under the plans, devised by the College of Policing but yet to be formally mandated by the Home Secretary, recruits will be required to have a degree or join as an apprentice for three years and study for one while on the job.

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Police and Crime General Mobile phones could be banned from schools in England as early as January

Mobile phones will be banned from schools in England as soon as January under plans being considered by the Government, i can reveal.

The news came as the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, weighed in behind ministers to support a ban.

Last week, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson launched a consultation on behaviour in schools which will look at “creating mobile phone-free” days.

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Fire Grenfell prompts creation of building safety regulator

A new regulator will be set up with the power to prosecute property developers that do not meet safety standards, the government has announced.

The new safety regime is designed to prevent any repetition of the Grenfell Tower disaster, which killed 72 people in 2017.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick will unveil the plans in the government's Building Safety Bill on Monday.

The new system would reassure "the vast majority" of residents, he said.

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Police and Crime General Police breached 'fundamental rights' at Sarah Everard and Kill the Bill protests, parliamentary inquiry finds

Police breached "fundamental rights" in their handling of the Sarah Everard vigil in London and Kill the Bill protests in Bristol, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

The Metropolitan Police and the Avon and Somerset force committed "multiple failings" in their response to the two events, according to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy and the Constitution (APPGDC).

Their report claims that both forces wrongly applied coronavirus lockdown laws and "failed to understand their legal duties in respect of protest".

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Recruitment and Retention Third of chief constables are now women as police arrest ‘macho canteen culture’

A third of chief constables are now women, as police leaders say forces have become less The Sweeney and more Line of Duty.

Fifteen of the 46 UK forces including British Transport Police are now headed by a woman, the highest since records began and up from just four in 2019, according to an analysis by The Telegraph.

There are also an additional two female assistant commissioners in the Metropolitan police, who are of chief constable rank in a force headed by Dame Cressida Dick, Britain’s most senior officer.

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Technology Police chief accuses Facebook of putting profit before child safety

Facebook is putting profit before child safety with its plans to introduce end-to-end encryption, says the police chief in charge of fighting child abuse.

Simon Bailey, the chief constable who leads for the National Police Chiefs’ Council on child protection, will say on Wednesday that the encryption plans will "turn the lights off" for investigators seeking to expose child abusers online.

He will say it means offenders will be free to upload, share and view indecent images in the knowledge that police and other law enforcement agencies will struggle to detect them because of encryption.

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Police and Crime General Taser use to be curbed over lack of training and scrutiny

Police face new restrictions over the use of Tasers after their watchdog found training gaps and a lack of scrutiny, The Times has learnt.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) wants forces to review the circumstances in which they deploy Tasers and raised specific concerns about their use against children and vulnerable adults.

While the death of the former footballer Dalian Atkinson has brought attention to the matter, there has been a series of controversial cases in recent years. Police deployed the stun guns on 32,000 occasions in the year to March 2020, double the number from two years earlier and a fivefold increase compared with a decade ago.

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Police and Crime General Government adviser to urge more focus on health of users

An independent review into the UK's drug policies is likely to recommend a more health-based approach, the BBC understands.

"Health-based" approaches to drugs put a greater focus on treatment and recovery services for addicts.

The second part of the Dame Carol Black Review is set to be released early next month.

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Police and Crime General Police hand out just 75 Covid-19 fines for quarantine breaches since traffic-light system came into force

A leading travel body has urged the Government to scrap the traffic light system after it emerged just 75 police fines have been handed out in England and Wales for quarantine breaches since the programme came into effect.

Latest data from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) showed that 71 people in England have been issued fixed penalty notices for breaches of international travel rules since the traffic light system was introduced on 17 May, while a further four were handed police fines in Wales.

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Justice “The family and criminal court system retraumatises victims”, according to a new report

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner is calling for urgent long-term funding and more dedicated specialist court support after a new report revealed that 89 per cent of domestic abuse survivors don’t get any support when they go through the family courts.

The report also found that 71 per cent of domestic abuse survivors don’t get any support in any court at all including magistrates or crown courts.

Nicole Jacobs said it was time that Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors (IDVAs), who support and guide domestic abuse victims through the justice system, were seen as being an integral part of the family courts and criminal justice system.

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Police Demand Violence against retail employees rises

Violence against retail employees has risen over the past five years, with even more reports during the pandemic, according to HAC report. Article features interview with a shop owner who is very disappointed with police response.

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COVID-19 Police issuing almost 70 Covid fines a day despite lockdown easing

Police are still issuing almost 70 Covid fines every day despite major relaxations in lockdown rules, according to NPCC data.

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Police Demand Fake delivery scam texts soar in pandemic with 60% of Britons targeted

Fake delivery scams have soared during the pandemic with more than 60% of Britons reporting receiving at least one such text in the past year, research from the consumer rights group Which? has revealed.

The scams are so prevalent that even entirely new mobile numbers, which have not been shared, are receiving fraudulent texts within days of new accounts being created.

Thanks to the pandemic, e-commerce has boomed in Britain, in turn making fake deliveries a fruitful avenue for scammers seeking to trick unsuspecting shoppers into handing over personal details and draining their bank accounts. The texts, which usually claim that a package has missed its delivery window or requires a fee to be paid, are often the first toehold in an attack chain that can result in victims being tricked into draining their entire bank accounts.

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Police and Crime General Manchester Police officers would not report crimes to their own 'abysmal' force

Manchester police officers have warned that they "would not report a crime to their own force" owing to serious failings, an investigation has found.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said its "abysmal" track record on recording crime was "unforgivable" and had given criminals the upper hand because they are "literally walking the streets not being arrested".

The warning comes after GMP, one of the country's largest forces, was placed in special measures in December after an external report found it had failed to record 80,000 crimes in a 12-month period and had closed cases without proper investigation.

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Recruitment and Retention Greater Manchester Police: Dozens of officers ask to leave troubled force

More than 150 officers have applied to leave troubled Greater Manchester Police and transfer to a neighbouring force, the BBC has discovered.

A Freedom of Information request from Newsnight showed 155 officers have requested switches to Lancashire Constabulary so far this year.

GMP is in special measures after inspectors found it failed to investigate 80,000 crimes in a year.

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Police and Crime General Greater Manchester’s £27m crime recording system ‘doesn’t work’, says police chief

The new chief constable of Greater Manchester police has not ruled out scrapping the beleaguered force’s £27m crime recording system as it faced fresh accusations of failing victims.

The second largest police force in England and Wales launched the computer system only two years ago but it remains beset by problems, according to serving officers.

Stephen Watson, who took over as chief constable three weeks ago, said he had commissioned a review of the Integrated Operational Policing System (iOPS) but that “the information that I do have tells me that it doesn’t work”.

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Police Demand New criminal offence needed to address ‘shocking’ rise in violence against shop workers, say MPs

The Home Affairs Committee said the “patchwork of existing offences” for prosecuting incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff is not adequate to address the escalating nature of these crimes.

In a report published today (June 29), the committee also calls for a much stronger policing response to tackle the problem, which it says is becoming “endemic in British society”.

Committee chair Yvette Cooper said policing leaders “must step up and make this a priority for local forces”.

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Economy & Public Finance Javid to update MPs on lifting restrictions

New Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid will today update MPs on when the remaining coronavirus measures will be lifted in England, coming less than 48 hours after it was announced he would take over following Matt Hancock's resignation. Boris Johnson has said the restrictions will ease on 19 July, but has also promised a data review to see if this can happen two weeks earlier on 5 July, with the Commons expected to be given the details of this review.

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Police and Crime General Probation services return to public control in England and Wales

Probation services in England and Wales will return to public control, seven years after Chris Grayling's changes that were later labelled as "flawed".

The former justice secretary's 2014 reforms saw the management of low-risk and medium-risk offenders contracted out to private companies.

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Police and Crime General Two thirds of public concerned by plans to ‘criminalise protest’, polling shows

Two thirds of British people would be concerned by government plans to “criminalise protest”, polling shows.

Research seen exclusively by The Independent suggests that two thirds of the population also agreed with the statement that people “have the right to attend a protest to stand up for what they believe in”.

It comes as the government backs a suite of controversial protest laws that would increase police powers to impose restrictions.

Last week, parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights said proposals to restrict demonstrations on the basis of noise were “oppressive and wrong”.

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Police and Crime General Independent Review of Prevent launches online engagement events

The Independent Review of Prevent is reviewing the government’s strategy for supporting people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and making recommendations for a future approach.

The Independent Reviewer of Prevent wants to hear from as wide a range of people as possible to help inform his final report and today announced plans for virtual public engagement events.

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Police and Crime General Update on Coronavirus FPNs issued by police – June 2021

Police in England and Wales have processed a total of 117,213 fixed penalty notices for breaches of Coronavirus restrictions up to 20 June 2021.

The latest provisional figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council show that 2,010 fines were processed in the latest reporting period.

The total processed in England is now 105,329 and 11,884 in Wales.

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Police Finances Crime victims can now submit their own evidence to police online

The system, approved by the Mayor of London, means photographs, doorbell and dashcam footage, and CCTV material, can be uploaded.

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Economy & Public Finance Inflation to rise above 3 per cent this year, warns Bank of England

Inflation will rise above 3 per cent this year but the unexpected surge will prove “transitory”, the Bank of England warned as Rishi Sunak played down concerns about rising prices.

The central bank had expected inflation to peak at 2.5 per cent this year but solid consumer demand and a rapid pick-up in energy prices has taken it by surprise. Inflation will climb from 2.1 per cent and “exceed 3 per cent for a temporary period”.

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Technology Police make UK's biggest ever cryptocurrency seizure as they confiscate £114m

About £114m of cryptocurrency has been seized by UK police as part of a money-laundering investigation.

The Metropolitan Police said the confiscation was the largest of its kind in the UK, and one of the largest in the world.

Last year, US authorities said they had seized around $1bn (£718m) worth of Bitcoin connected to darknet market place the Silk Road, which was shut down in 2013.

The Met did not say which cryptocurrencies they seized, but revealed the operation was carried out by their Economic Crime Command team in connection with money-laundering offence

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COVID-19 Dozens of police officers caught breaching coronavirus restrictions during pandemic, new figures show

More than 160 police officers in the UK have been caught breaching coronavirus restrictions during the pandemic, Sky News can reveal.

One police constable failed to self-isolate despite having COVID symptoms, while several officers were fined for attending parties that broke lockdown rules.

At least 167 officers were found to have breached coronavirus restrictions since March 2020 - but the actual number is likely to be much higher as nearly half of UK police forces failed to say how many had flouted the measures.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel plans to curb police chiefs from speaking out on policy

Police officers face having their ability to comment on government policy constrained under plans being drawn up by Priti Patel.

The home secretary is concerned about officers, especially senior ones, commenting on politics, The Times has been told. She has instructed officials to work on ways to draw a “brighter line” between policing and policymaking.

While Patel’s allies insist that she does not want to stop police officers voicing opinions, she is said to believe it is too often unclear that the government sets policy, not the police.

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Police and Crime General Police make UK's biggest ever cryptocurrency seizure as they confiscate £114m

About £114m of cryptocurrency has been seized by UK police as part of a money-laundering investigation.

The Metropolitan Police said the confiscation was the largest of its kind in the UK, and one of the largest in the world.

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Prisons MPs seek MoJ answers over Rainsbrook youth jail contract extension

Ministers and officials are coming under increasing pressure from MPs to explain why a private firm was granted a two-year extension to run a youth jail despite long-term concerns about its performance, a year before the facility was in effect shut down.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced last week that all children at Rainsbrook secure training centre are to be removed after the US-based contractor MTC failed to address problems raised by inspectors and by the justice secretary, Robert Buckland.

The future of the site is yet to be determined and officials are looking at alternative uses.

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Police and Crime General UK introducing three laws that threaten human rights, says UN expert

Boris Johnson’s government is introducing three pieces of legislation that will make human rights violations more likely to occur and less likely to be sanctioned even as averting climate catastrophe depends on these rights, the UN special rapporteur for human rights and the environment has said.

“These three pieces of legislation are shrinking civic space at a time when the global environment crisis demands that people’s voices be heard,” said David Boyd.

He was referring to the policing bill, which proposes changes to enforcement and sentencing, the covert human intelligence sources bill, which protects undercover state agents from prosecution for crimes, and plans to weaken judicial review, the process to challenge ministerial decisions, including on the environment.

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Police and Crime General PCC victims’ service commended for work during pandemic

A victims’ support service which has adapted its services to help victims of crime during the Coronavirus pandemic has been commended by Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Dwyer.

Cheshire CARES (Cope and Recovery Enhanced Service) is the county’s flagship victims’ support service which offers support to all victims of crime in Cheshire. It is funded by the PCC.

Like many services, when the pandemic broke out in March 2020, Cheshire CARES quickly adapted its service model so it could offer an increased number of victims support via the telephone or online.

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Prisons Continued influence

Six months on, Michael Drury and Caroline Mair examine the UK’s policing and law enforcement capabilities in Europe post-Brexit...

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Justice Police Commissioner welcomes independent report into police response to domestic abuse

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today welcomed an independent report into the police service’s proactive response to prevent domestic abuse and protect victims during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emily Spurrell responded after the release of the report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) which said the pandemic had put domestic abuse victims at greater risk, but praised the police for making good use of technology and working with partners to find new ways to support victims.

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Economy & Public Finance Government borrowing eases in May

Government borrowing fell in May compared with the same month last year, with the economy in recovery mode after lockdown measures eased.

Borrowing - the difference between spending and tax income - was £24.3bn, official figures show, which was £19.4bn lower than May last year.

However, the figure was the second-highest for May since records began.

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Police and Crime General New protest bill may breach human rights, say MPs

The Government should drop its "disproportionate" plan to ban noisy protests in England and Wales, a parliamentary committee has warned. The Joint Committee on Human Rights said the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill could undermine freedom of expression, under proposals to introduce powers to deal with demonstrations involving only one person.

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Police Finances Hampshire Police first with Common Platform and SJS

Hampshire Police is the first force in England to use a new management system for SJP cases. Anyone in the county responding to an SJP charge, such as a traffic offence, will be able to enter their plea digitally. This means they can resolve their case quickly, fairly and efficiently without going to court.

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COVID-19 Anti-lockdown Westminster protest

Three police officers have been injured and 14 people arrested during an anti-lockdown protest in central London.

The Met Police said protesters were becoming "obstructive and hostile" towards officers during the demonstration in Westminster earlier.

The force said people were arrested for offences including assaulting an emergency service worker, public order offences and obstructing the highway.

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Police Finances Serious funding to prevent violent crime

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner has launched a new fund to divert young people from a life of crime and help protect the most vulnerable from harm.

The Serious Violence Fund aims to prevent young people in Cleveland from getting involved in serious violent crime such as knife crime – or becoming victims – by taking part in positive activities to fuel their interests and ambitions.

The PCC has called for community projects working with the Under-25s to submit applications for funding to support their activities. Successful applications will:

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Police Finances Safer Streets funding will not tackle VAWG issues, says sector

The group or organisations say they are "seriously concerned that the design of this fund will do very little to tackle male violence and increase women’s safety, and could in fact cause further harm”.

In March 2021 the government announced a further £25 million would be invested into the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund during the 2021/22 financial year, following the killing of Sarah Everard.

Round Three of the Safer Streets Fund was launched on 3rd June 2021 to improve the safety of public places, with a focus on reducing VAWG crimes. Police and Crime Commissioners, Local Authorities and the British Transport Police are invited to bid for funding to: reduce VAWG and increase women and girls’ feelings of safety in public spaces; build the evidence base for ‘what works’ on reducing VAWG crimes; and improve national and local data on VAWG crimes.

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Police and Crime General Drop 'disproportionate' plan to ban noisy protests, government told

The government should drop its "disproportionate" plan to ban noisy protests in England and Wales, a parliamentary committee has warned.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would also introduce powers to deal with demonstrations involving only one person.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said the legislation could undermine freedom of expression.

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Justice Lord Burnett: ‘Waiting years for trial, not knowing what’s going on, it’s deeply damaging’

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, is talking about delays in sex cases, like the one which over three years ruined the life of Lady Nourse.

"Put yourself in the position of a complainant or a defendant waiting years for trial. You don’t know what’s going on for all that time. It’s just deeply damaging to people," he says.

He is visibly frustrated at such delays, which contributed to what Lady Nourse confessed to The Telegraph was her own sense of "massive injustice".

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Justice PreviousNext Trial juries should be cut in numbers to clear crown court backlog, Lord Chief Justice says with some trials listed for 2023

Reducing the size of trial juries could help clear the backlog of crown court cases, the Lord Chief Justice has suggested.

Lord Burnett of Maldon, the most senior judge in England and Wales, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the Covid-19 pandemic had led to 'deeply damaging' delays in the justice system.

He said the coronavirus crisis had exacerbated a backlog of crown court cases caused by years of budget cuts.

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Technology New tool for under-18s to report nude photos of themselves online

Under-18s who want nude pictures or videos of themselves removed from the internet can now report the images through an online tool.

The service - from the Internet Watch Foundation and Childline - aims to help children who have been groomed, or whose partners have posted photos of them online.

The IWF will examine the images and try and remove them if they break the law.

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Justice ‘Insult to injury’: Rape survivor says government’s review doesn’t go far enough and historical cases must be reopened

A rape survivor whose case was not prosecuted has said a government review has added “insult to injury” for victims.

Bonny Turner waived her right to lifetime anonymity to reveal how the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to charge a man who “confessed” to raping her in a Facebook message.

After failing to overturn the decision in a series of appeals, she said ministers’ apology for years of failings was “little comfort”.

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Police Demand 'Urgent action' needed to tackle fly-tipping, says National Farmers' Union

"Urgent action" is needed to tackle fly-tipping in rural communities, according to the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

New figures from the Environment Agency suggest that farmers are the group of people who are most affected by fly-tipping, with the NFU adding that the rising number of incidents is having a devastating impact on farming businesses across the country.

NFU Deputy President, Stuart Roberts, said: “This survey has again thrown into sharp focus the extensive problems fly-tipping is causing.

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Police and Crime General For the silent majority, police failure to come down hard on Extinction Rebellion will be a surrender to mob rule

Next weekend Britain will witness a watershed moment in the culture war dividing society that will help gauge which side is likely to emerge victorious.

The battleground will be not only the streets of London, where activists will stage an "uprising" against the "mainstream media", but also your local supermarket or newsagent, where they will try to persuade, intimidate, or simply prevent you from buying your daily newspaper.

Extinction Rebellion (XR), which was set up to raise awareness of climate change, is planning a "spicy" day of protests and is appealing for "arrestables" to come forward – in other words protesters who will set out to get arrested for breaking the law.

A spokesman for Extinction Rebellion said: "We carry out civil disobedience so, yes, we will be doing things that are breaking the law. We will be giving more details next week."

It will be a litmus test for police forces who have previously acted as spectators during similar protests, when they have allowed roads to be illegally shut, printworks to be blockaded and statues to be toppled or desecrated.

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Justice One third of convicted sex offenders across England and Wales avoid prison

Ministers are facing demands to explain why thousands of convicted sexual offenders across England and Wales have avoided prison.

An Observer investigation found that adults convicted of sexually assaulting children under 13, or of engaging in sexual activity with underage teenagers, are among those who have not been jailed.

An Observer analysis of thousands of convictions shows that between 2013 and 2020, 14,530 of the 44,721 adults sentenced for sexual offences were given suspended or community sentences – almost one in three. Just over 60% were immediately sent to prison, with the rest dealt with in other ways, such as conditional discharges and fines.

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Police and Crime General Anti-corruption tsar vows to tackle Met police over Daniel Morgan cover-up

Boris Johnson’s anti-corruption tsar has piled renewed pressure on Cressida Dick after describing the findings of an inquiry that called the Metropolitan police institutionally corrupt as “horrifying”.

The prime minister’s anti-corruption champion, John Penrose MP, said it was vital that new measures be considered in the wake of last week’s bombshell report into the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan to prevent police closing ranks in the future.

Last week, an independent inquiry set up to review the notorious death of the private detective in 1987 accused Scotland Yard of decades of cover-up, corruption and incompetence. It concluded that the Met had been more interested in protecting its reputation than solving the murder.

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Police and Crime General "There is no evidence of endemic corruption in any UK police force" says GMP's new chief

The new chief constable of Greater Manchester Police has declared the country’s forces to be free of corruption - at least when it comes to the ‘traditional’ definition of the word.

Chief Const Stephen Watson, who stepped into the role in March, was responding on BBC Radio 4 to questions around the murder of Daniel Morgan, who was found dead with an axe embedded in his head in a Sydenham pub car park in March 1987.

A report by an independent panel, released on Tuesday, accused the Met of ‘a form of institutional corruption’ for concealing or denying failings over Britain’s most-investigated unsolved murder.

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Police and Crime General Police slammed for ‘double standards’ as huge crowds allowed to take over London

Police have been criticised for letting thousands of football fans party on the streets despite the pandemic.

Scenes of Scotland supporters gathering en masse in Leicester Square have been contrasted with the heavy-handed approach seen at other events including the vigil held in memory of Sarah Everard in March.

Angry campaigners have been quick to point out the differences in policing the two sets of crowds, with the Met favouring a much more hands-off approach last night.

Lockdown rules have been significantly relaxed in the three months between the events but gatherings of more than 30 are still banned and cases are higher now than they were in March.

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Police and Crime General PCC joins partners for official opening of Sexual Assault Referral Centre in County Durham

Today (Saturday 19th June), marks the official opening of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre in County Durham.

The Durham Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Joy Allen was joined by Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary Jo Farrell, NHS England and local authority representatives for the opening.

The official opening has been postponed for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic but under current regulations the site could be opened safely outdoors.

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Police and Crime General Security failures raised death toll in Manchester Arena bombing

Police and security failures on the night of the Manchester Arena bombing cost lives and the Islamic State-inspired attacker should have been identified as a threat, a public inquiry has found.

Sir John Saunders, its chairman, yesterday outlined missed opportunities to stop Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people when he blew himself up in the aftermath of a pop concert in May 2017.

The failures included officers from British Transport Police disappearing for a two-hour meal break, including a five-mile drive to buy a kebab. Fifteen minutes before the blast a security steward “fobbed off” a member of the public who reported concerns about Abedi, and police had opportunities to spot him before the attack.

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Justice Scorecards for prosecutors and police to judge rape case success

Police and prosecutors will be scored on their handling of rape cases for the first time under plans to reverse the declining rate of those that reach court.

The “scorecards” will be published every six months to show how each part of the criminal justice system is performing across England and Wales.

Ministers have set a target to return the volume of rape cases resulting in suspects being charged to 2016 levels. The Crown Prosecution Service completed 4,643 prosecutions then but that fell to 1,490 by last year.

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Police and Crime General Police to crack down on drones flown dangerously

Police in the UK are being given new powers to crack down on people flying drones irresponsibly or illegally, with dedicated teams on the lookout for those breaking the rules.

Police working for Operation Foreverwing can now confiscate drones being flown dangerously.

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Police Finances PSAA proposals ‘pay lip service’ to smaller audit firms

Proposed reforms by local audit administrator Public Sector Audit Appointments will fail to bring smaller companies into the sector, according to a senior partner at a 60-strong accountancy firm.

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Police and Crime General £36 million contract for new MOD Police Patrol Craft

A £36 million contract has been awarded to Marine Specialised Technology to deliver 18 new police patrol craft for the MOD and Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) Forces.

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Police and Crime General Former Asian senior police officer says it is a nonsense to claim institutional racism has vanished

An officer who became Scotland Yard’s highest-ranking ranking Asian woman says it is a nonsense to claim institutional racism has vanished from the police and the UK.

Parm Sandhu, who resigned as chief superintendent after 30 years with the Metropolitan Police in 2019, told i the Government’s recent and controversial race report flew in the face of her lived experience of racism at work.

The report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities in March drew criticism when its chair, Dr Tony Sewell, said it found no evidence of institutional racism.

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COVID-19 Lockdown easing in England delayed to 19 July

The Prime Minister has announced the final stage of easing lockdown restrictions in England is to be delayed until 19 July, meaning most remaining curbs on social contact will continue beyond 21 June, when they had been due to be lifted. Boris Johnson said there would be a review after two weeks and he was "confident" the delay would not need to be longer, while the gap between vaccine doses for over-40s in England will be reduced from 12 to eight weeks and the target to offer all adults a first dose will be brought forward to 19 July.

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Police and Crime General Victims of police domestic abuse 'feel silenced'

UK police forces have received more than 800 allegations of domestic abuse against officers and staff over the last five years, BBC research has revealed.

Just 43 cases - about 5% of the total - were prosecuted.

Victims of domestic abuse have told the BBC they do not believe their complaints were properly investigated.

The National Police Chiefs Council said there was "no place in policing for people who abuse others".

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Technology Nine national recommendations made regarding police officers’ use of WhatsApp messaging system

Nine recommendations have been made to all police forces in England and Wales to ensure a consistent approach to the use of WhatsApp for work purposes by police officers following a review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

During an IOPC investigation it became apparent that Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers were using the instant messaging application from their personal devices to discuss work related matters including sharing operational information and sensitive documents.

This prompted the IOPC to carry out a review of whether the 43 forces in England and Wales, together with nine organisations with law enforcement, investigatory powers or operational roles, were using WhatsApp or any other instant messaging platform, and if so how they were being managed.

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Police and Crime General HMICFRS strategy

Today [15 June] we published Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) strategy 2021-25. This document explains what HMICFRS aims to achieve as we fulfil our statutory objectives, and how we will continue to go about using our powers, insight and influence to best effect.

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Police and Crime General Review of ‘effectiveness and efficiency’ of IOPC to be brought forward

Speaking to the House of Commons this afternoon (June 15), Priti Patel said: “There can be no confidence in the integrity of policing without confidence in the police watchdog. The IOPC has made good progress since it was formed in 2018, but questions remain about its ability to hold the police to account.

“In particular, profound concerns exist around the handling of the IOPC’s investigation into Operation Midland. The issues raised by Daniel Morgan’s independent panel further reinforce the need for a strong police watchdog.

“I am therefore announcing today that I am bringing forward the next periodic review of the IOPC to start this summer. This will include an assessment of the IOPC’s effectiveness and efficiency.”

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Police and Crime General Telling schoolgirls to wear shorts to prevent upskirting ‘fuels victim blaming’

Girls should not have to wear shorts under their uniform to protect against upskirting, the Education Select Committee has heard, as Ofsted's chief warns it fuels victim blaming.

Female pupils are being wrongly encouraged to take steps to ensure that their male peers are unable to take pictures of their underwear without them knowing, Conservative MP Tom Hunt told the meeting on Tuesday.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector of schools, responded that encouraging girls to take steps to cover themselves rather than clamping down on those who upskirt was putting blame at the doors of victims rather than perpetrators.

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Technology Children’s access to online porn fuels sexual harassment, says commissioner

Curbs on children’s access to online pornography need to be brought in urgently to stop the spread of an activity that is partly to blame for normalising sexual harassment in schools, according to the new children’s commissioner for England.

Dame Rachel de Souza is urging governments and tech companies to introduce age verification checks. She warned that access to hardcore pornography was shaping children’s expectations of relationships and was partly to blame for thousands of testimonies of sexual harassment by schoolchildren published on the Everyone’s Invited website over the last few months.

The testimonies prompted Ofsted to carry out a review of what was happening in schools. Its report, published last week, revealed that inspectors found sexual harassment and online sexual abuse to be a routine part of pupils’ lives.

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Police and Crime General Public do not want virtue-signalling officers, new police chief says

The level of “woke” policing has passed a “high water mark” of tolerance from the public – who would rather see officers catch burglars, the new head of England’s second largest force has said.

Stephen Watson, the new chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), believes the public is “fed up” and that the impartiality of officers could be undermined by responses to campaign groups including actions such as taking the knee or wearing their pins, badges or rainbow shoelaces.

On whether he would take the knee in uniform, Mr Watson told The Daily Telegraph: “No, I absolutely would not. I would probably kneel before the Queen God, and Mrs Watson, that’s it.”

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Economy & Public Finance Lockdown easing in England to be delayed by four weeks

Most coronavirus rules will remain in place in England for another four weeks after the planned 21 June unlocking, government sources have told the BBC.

Senior ministers have signed off on the decision to delay the lifting of all legal restrictions on social contact.

That could mean capacity limits for sports, pubs and cinemas will remain, and nightclubs would stay closed.

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Police and Crime General ‘Innovation led’ force partnership to increase officer efficiency and visibility

The “cutting-edge” technology will give officers greater access to up-to-date information at touch of a button, including details on people or places officers are dealing with.

Common tasks such as recording of statements, registering instances of sudden death and vehicle ticketing will also be automated.

Previous processes meant officers often had to return to a ‘base location’ to complete administrative tasks via a desktop computer.

As well as enabling greater interaction with the public, the two forces say the technology means officers have both the correct resources and skills to tackle crime in an increasingly digital-focused world.

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Police and Crime General Police forces 'failing to protect stalking victims'

New powers to protect stalking victims are not being used by some UK police forces, a BBC investigation has found.

Stalking protection orders (SPOs) were introduced in January last year to make it easier for victims to get support.

Despite a rise in stalking offences during lockdown, some police forces had not issued a single order.

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Police and Crime General Police lose Patel’s texts on night of Extinction Rebellion print site protest

Priti Patel repeatedly contacted senior police officers after the country’s biggest newspaper printing plant was blockaded by climate change activists.

The home secretary’s text messages to officers were deleted in an IT “glitch” and no record was made of the telephone conversations.

A report by Hertfordshire police said that there had been “significant political pressure” after Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked the entrance to the Newsprinters site in Broxbourne, where newspapers including The Times are printed.

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Police and Crime General Covid: Police feel betrayed over vaccinations priority, Priti Patel told

Police officers feel a "deep sense of betrayal" that they were not prioritised for vaccination, the Police Federation chairman has said.

John Apter said he pressed the home secretary to ensure officers were moved up the vaccine priority list.

Ministers lobbied the vaccine advisory body but Priti Patel said the government had to accept its decision not to make police an exception.

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Police and Crime General Home Secretary at the Police Federation conference 2021

The Home Secretary's speech to the police federation.

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Police and Crime General Wiltshire Police in 'precarious position' without PCC

An independent panel said Wiltshire Police will be in a "precarious situation" without a police and crime commissioner (PCC) at its helm.

Jonathon Seed was voted into the role for Wiltshire Police in May but was unable to take the position due to a historical driving conviction.

Without a PCC, no one has authority to fire or hire the Chief Constable.

Chief executive of the office of police commissioner Kieran Kilgallen will be made an interim PCC until 19 August.

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Police and Crime General MPs call for drug safety testing amid fears of rise in UK festival deaths

Women whose children died at festivals after taking drugs have urged the UK government to support “life-saving” substance-checking services after an influential parliamentary committee warned it was concerned there would be a surge in youth drug deaths this summer without action.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee last month called on the home secretary to introduce widespread drug-checking services after it reviewed the evidence and heard “compelling” arguments that it saved lives.

Janine Milburn, the mother of Georgia Jones, who died aged 18 at the Mutiny festival in Hampshire in 2018 after taking dangerously high-strength MDMA, said she believed her daughter might still be alive if there had been drug-checking services.

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Recruitment and Retention Ex-GMP chief Ian Hopkins joins board of police recruitment agency

Former Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has joined the board of a firm that hires retired cops back to police forces as temporary staff, including GMP.

It is understood Mr Hopkins, who stepped down in December as GMP were placed in special measures, is now no longer on the force’s payroll after several months during which he continued to be paid despite not being in post.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has declined to provide details of the financial terms of his departure, saying that they would be published 'in due course'.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel may have influenced police response to XR blockade of printing press, court hears

The home secretary may have influenced the police response to an Extinction Rebellion protest at a Rupert Murdoch-owned printing works, a court has heard.

A trial at St Albans Magistrates’ Court has been told of multiple calls from “the home secretary” to the chief constable of Hertfordshire Police during the blockade in September.

The defence argues that such interference would contradict the fundamental principle of operational independence for police in the UK, which the government has previously committed to protecting.

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Police and Crime General G7 Summit: Thousands of additional police arrive in Devon and Cornwall

Thousands of extra police officers have begun arriving in Devon and Cornwall ahead of the G7 summit.

The 5,000 mutual aid officers, from forces across the UK, will assist during the event at Carbis Bay Hotel between 11 and 13 June.

They have been arriving in police vans and on coaches and are being treated to a cream tea on arrival.

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Police Demand Insurance fraud cases up by 10 percent thanks to COVID-19

Covid has sent insurance-claim fraud up 10 per cent and it will get worse as households and businesses suffer more financial stress, according to Aviva. The firm uncovered more than 12,000 instances of deceit worth £113million last year.

Whiplash accounted for 60 percent of all detected cons in 2020 and even though road traffic fell markedly during the lockdowns, Aviva said cash-for-crash claims grew 20 percent. On Monday the Ministry of Justice introduced reforms aimed at curbing whiplash fraud.

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Police and Crime General Assaults on officers ‘a stain on society’ says Chair

The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales has responded to new crime figures which show a 26 per cent rise in assaults against emergency workers.

John Apter said: “We have seen a consistent increase in violence against emergency workers during the pandemic with the vast majority of these assaults being against police officers. At the same time other crime types have fallen.

“This increased level of violence is not just a one off. It is becoming the new norm which is completely unacceptable. Violence in our society is not just a policing issue, all parts of Government and society itself must work together to combat this alarming increase. Part of this is ensuring those responsible for attacking police officers face a suitable deterrent in Court. The sentencing guidelines have been changed, so we need judges and magistrates to use these powers to set an example to those who are assaulting our colleagues, those responsible must spend time in prison. This unjustified violence is a stain on society and needs to be dealt with robustly.”

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Police Finances Millions more funding for projects to make our streets safer

Forty areas?across England and Wales have?today?been awarded a total of £18.3 million?to make our streets safer through projects to crack down on neighbourhood crimes like burglary, vehicle theft and robbery.

The money, from the government’s Safer Streets Fund, will go towards measures proven to cut crime, including simple changes to the design of streets such as locked gates around alleyways, increased street-lighting and the installation of CCTV.?

The third round of the Safer Streets Fund also opens today, providing another opportunity to bid from a fund of £25 million for the year?2021/22.

This next round of funding will?go beyond?essential environmental measures like improved street lighting?and?encourage police to?secure innovative bids for?plans primarily focused on helping make women and girls feel safer on the streets, as well as projects which could include an emphasis on changing attitudes and behaviours?in local communities.

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Police and Crime General Taskforce set up to stop 'most severe' child sexual abuse images and videos being shared online

The new team of “highly trained analysts’ has been launched by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) following record numbers of reports of illegal online content.

The taskforce will assess and grade millions of the most severe images and videos of child rape and sexual torture.

IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves OBE said it will be “a major step forward for internet safety”.

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Prisons Prison officers take dogs to work to cut prisoners' stress

Prison officers are taking their dogs to work in a bid to defuse tensions and help inmates during the pandemic.

Visits to prisons were suspended for months as the coronavirus pandemic hit and there were fears for inmates' mental health due to strict Covid restrictions.

At Parc Prison, Bridgend, officers said the dogs helped lighten the atmosphere

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Police and Crime General ‘Troubling rise’ in assaults on officers despite drop in recorded crime

Assaults were up 26 per cent in the four weeks to April 11, according to latest figures from forces in England and Wales.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said the rise is thought to be driven by increases in common assaults on police officers, including suspects spitting on officers while claiming to be infected with Covid-19.

NPCC chair Martin Hewitt said the assaults were “unacceptable”.

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COVID-19 Lockdown easing debate intensifies

Environment Secretary George Eustice said the Government could not rule out a delay to the planned lockdown easing. Some scientists have called for the easing to be postponed for a few weeks while business leaders say any lockdown extension would be hugely damaging to the economy.

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Economy & Public Finance Sunak seeks tech business tax deal

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has reportedly urged US President Joe Biden to agree a deal on the taxation of tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. Finance ministers from the G7 group of leading industrialised nations, including the UK and US, will meet in London on Friday.

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Police Demand Crackdown urged as criminals exploit 3,000 children a year

‘Peter Kyle, the shadow minister for justice, says that gang leaders were exploiting young people at “record levels”.

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Police Demand Crackdown urged as criminals exploit 3,000 children a year

More than 3,000 children are criminally exploited every year, figures show, as calls were made for a crackdown on the “Mr Bigs” who abuse them. Many of the youngsters are forced to transport drugs along county lines, the method by which urban gangs push narcotics into market towns and villages.

Statistics show that the number of children exploited into county lines has increased fivefold since 2017, to 1,391. Hundreds more children are being used in the sex trade or for domestic servitude, says an analysis of the national referral mechanism, which identifies victims of modern slavery. The number of referrals last year for children who suffered criminal exploitation was 3,231.

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Justice Rape victims face two-year wait for move to pre-record evidence

Plans to offer all alleged rape victims the opportunity to pre-record evidence will not be in place for another two years, The Times understands.

Ministers are set to disappoint campaigners by announcing a limited pilot of the proposals over fears that technology in courts would not cope with an immediate nationwide introduction.

The review is also understood to call for further restrictions on character evidence in the cross-examination of alleged victims. That would mean that allowing the prosecution to cross-examine complainants about their sexual history would be all but abolished.

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Police and Crime General Third of police officers ‘felt unsafe’ dealing with public in lockdown, study of force reveals

A third of officers covering one of the largest police areas in England felt unsafe dealing with the public during coronavirus lockdowns, according to a new study.

The research, by the University of Portsmouth, also found that 35 per cent of officers working in different ranks and roles within Hampshire Constabulary said they had been abused or threatened by a member of the public during lockdowns.

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Police and Crime General Officers could face ‘criminal consequences’ for unacceptable use of social media, warns police watchdog

Unacceptable use of social media could result in officers facing “criminal consequences”, the police watchdog has warned.

Data from i’s FoI investigation highlighted a series of racism complaints linked to comments made on social media, and offensive memes and images shared with colleagues on WhatsApp.

Between July 2017 and February 2020, West Yorkshire Police issued four officers with final written warnings for posting racist material on social media and group chats.

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Police and Crime General Officers accused of sexual abuse must face investigation, says police chief

All serving police officers accused of domestic or sexual abuse should face misconduct hearings as well as criminal investigations, according to the most senior police officer for domestic abuse in England and Wales.

Last month it emerged that nearly 150 women have come forward with claims of rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse by ex-partners in the police force. Louisa Rolfe, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead on domestic abuse, said she was “horrified” by the allegations and “doubly horrified” at reports they had not been properly investigated.

She said forces must ensure there was “no conflict of interest [and] investigators have no connection with the perpetrator” if a report of abuse was made against a serving officer.

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COVID-19 75 per cent of new COVID-19 cases are Indian variant

Up to three quarters of new coronavirus cases in the UK could be the variant first identified in India, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Cases of the variant have risen by 3,535 to 6,959 in the last week, with yesterday’s total number of cases standing at 3,542. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England “may need to wait” for the lifting of all restrictions on June 21.

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Police Demand Thousands of girls ‘failed’ by police and social services

Police and social services have been accused of failing to protect thousands of girls as young as 11 at risk of sexual abuse. Research by The Times found that children known to be at risk of abuse have gone missing more than 55,000 times in the UK over the past three years.

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Police and Crime General Health workers ‘fear that flagging child abuse will breach data laws’

Health professionals are failing to tell police about child rape victims because they fear it will breach data protection requirements, one of the country’s most senior police officers has said.

Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, said the failure to share information with police was one of the most significant obstacles in tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE).

He accused agencies, including sexual health clinics, of being overly cautious and not passing on intelligence about grooming and abuse when they should. Local authorities had also failed to share critical information, which meant that children at risk of exploitation had been housed with potential abusers, he said.

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Technology College moves to end victims' fears over mobile phone data

New advice has been issued to officers on how to access data from mobile devices in a bid to avoid evidence being rejected by the courts.

The College of Policing has warned forces must take a consistent approach when examining data from mobile phones and other digital devices to balance the rights of individuals with the need to carry out thorough independent investigations.

The College’s latest Authorised Professional Practice ensures investigations comply with legislation and balances people’s rights to privacy against the absolute right of all individuals to a fair trial.

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Police Finances £500m scale of Covid-19 council tax hit revealed