News Headlines

Budget 2020: Chancellor must raise taxes in first Budget, says IFS

The new chancellor must raise taxes in his first Budget or break the government's rules on borrowing, a leading economic think tank has warned.

Rishi Sunak is under pressure to increase spending on the NHS, social care and schools.

He has also inherited a fiscal target from his predecessor Sajid Javid to bring spending in to balance by 2022.

Full Article

Domestic abuse laws should extend to children – report

Children should get support under forthcoming domestic abuse laws designed to protect victims, campaigners have said.

The charity Barnardo’s called on the Government to expand its plans for the Domestic Abuse Bill so it “explicitly recognises the impact of this crime on children”.

Its report also called on ministers to ensure the Bill includes a “statutory duty on public authorities to commission specialist domestic abuse support for all victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse”.

Full Article

MI5 boss Andrew Parker asks tech firms: Create a way to let us read suspects' secret messages to stop UK terror attacks

The director general of MI5 has called on tech companies to create methods which would allow the security services to access the secret, encrypted messages of people suspected of plotting terrorist attacks in the UK.

Speaking to ITV, Sir Andrew Parker says while the real world is regulated and policed, he finds it "mystifying" the same does not apply to cyberspace, calling it "a wild west, unregulated [and] inaccessible to authorities."

Some messaging apps use end-to-end encryption, which means the content of messages can only be read by the sender and recipient, and cannot be intercepted by a third party - such as security services.

Full Article

Other Headlines

Technology More people seeking help to stop sexual feelings towards children

A helpline for people concerned about their own sexual feelings towards children says the number of calls its has received has doubled.

Stop It Now! is an anonymous helpline and website which tries to help people understand the reasons for their illegal behaviour and how to get support.

The organisation says 94,342 people in the UK asked for help via its website and helpline last year - a 119% increase from the previous year, when more than 43,000 made contact.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Forensic science failures putting justice at risk, says regulator

Innocent people are being wrongly convicted and criminals are escaping justice because of the failure of the forensic science system to meet basic standards, the regulator has said.

Delivering a stark message before the release of her annual report on Tuesday, the forensic science regulator, Dr Gillian Tully, told the Guardian the service had been operating “on a knife-edge” for years.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Automatic release of about 50 terrorists to be stopped by new law

About 50 terrorists will no longer be automatically released halfway through their sentences as emergency legislation becomes law later this week.

The government has rushed The Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill through parliament - days before the previously scheduled release of the next offender is due to take place.

The bill cleared the Commons earlier this month and was backed unamended in one sitting by peers in the Lords.

Full Article

Police Demand UK venues could face legal duty to provide protection from terrorism

The owners and operators of businesses and public spaces such as concert halls, shopping centres and parks will be legally bound to protect such venues from terrorism under a new statutory duty proposed by the government.

The so-called “protect duty” reflects proposals put forward by the family of Martyn Hett, who was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing attack in 2017.

Home Office officials are to launch a consultation on legally forcing organisations to increase physical security at venues and train staff to respond to terrorist attacks, as well as putting in place incident response plans – and how failure to comply would be enforced.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Labour backs positive discrimination to close racial gap in policing

The racial imbalance that has existed in policie forces needs a radical change in the law to allow positive discrimination in favour of ethnic minority recruits, Labour has said.

New research shows the “race gap” in policing has grown in the last two decades and Labour’s policing spokesperson, Louise Haigh MP, said the move was needed to make police forces less white and speed up the “glacial” pace of change.

Full Article

Police and Crime General MI5 chiefs ‘do not trust’ Priti Patel with their secrets

The civil war in the Home Office erupted again last night with claims that intelligence chiefs at MI5 do “not trust” Priti Patel.

Officers in the security service have reduced the volume of intelligence they show to the home secretary and regularly “roll their eyes” at her interventions in meetings, it was claimed.

Sources said that Patel has not attended a weekly meeting with security officials from different Whitehall departments for several months, and that she was informed of some issues later in the decision-making process.

Full Article

Recruitment and Retention PSNI gets delayed 2.5% pay deal

Officers in Northern Ireland have been awarded a backdated 2.5% pay increase which had been left unsigned due to a lack of a minister.

Northern Ireland’s Department for Justice has announced a police pay deal has been signed off thanks to the devolved government being up and running again with a ministerial team in place.

Full Article

Technology US continues fight to stop UK using Huawei kit

America’s top cyber-security official has said that the Trump administration has not given up its fight to stop the UK using Huawei for its 5G networks.

Robert Strayer, the US deputy assistant secretary for cyber and communications, told the BBC he did not believe the UK government’s decision to give the Chinese firm limited access was final.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Soft-touch Britain: Offenders spared jail despite committing same offence dozens of times

Convicted criminals are being spared jail terms despite committing the same serious offence dozens of times, new figures revealed last night. Police data released in Parliament showed courts gave suspended sentences and community penalties to offenders with long records of knife crime, assault and burglary.

Tory MP Philip Davies, who obtained the information by tabling a series of Commons Written Questions, said the statistics showed the legal system had been “hijacked” by soft-touch judges and magistrates. “These figures will leave people wondering what on earth a criminal has to do in this country to get put in jail,” the senior backbencher said.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Government's terror laws adviser raises fears over reforms

Keeping prisoners behind bars for longer could "expose them to worse influences" than if they were released, the government's terror laws adviser has said.

Jonathan Hall QC raised doubts about the "effectiveness" of legislation being rushed through parliament after the Streatham and London Bridge attacks.

He questioned whether keeping "non-risky prisoners" in jail for longer would really "protect the public" in an analysis of the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill, which has completed its journey through the Commons and will be debated by the House of Lords next week.

Full Article

Technology Social media firms will face suspension of their services within months if they host 'harmful' videos

Social media firms will face multi-million pound fines and the suspension of their services for showing “harmful” videos under a crackdown by Ofcom in just seven months time.

The Government has quietly handed Ofcom powers to investigate, fine and disrupt video-sharing and live streaming platforms to protect children from “harmful” content including violence, child abuse and pornography.

The legal requirement to protect children from any video content that “impairs their physical, mental or moral development” will come into effect in September as part of an EU-wide directive that Britain has agreed to enact as part of the withdrawal agreement.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK Budget date kept at 11 March

The government will not be changing the date of the Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced. It will go ahead as previously scheduled on 11 March.

There had been speculation that the Budget could be delayed after Mr Sunak replaced Sajid Javid following his resignation last week.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Housing Secretary confirms new support for survivors of domestic violence

Councils are being given a boost (£16.6m)to provide essential, life-saving support in safe housing for survivors of domestic abuse and their children, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed today (17 February 2020).

Seventy-five projects across England will share over £16 million, helping up to 43,000 survivors have access to the help they need as they move towards a safe future, free from domestic abuse.

The new funding will enable victims and their children to stay safe, recover from the trauma, and access safe permanent rehousing where needed.

Full Article

Police Demand Police ‘must be out on the street’ to beat violent crime

POLICE must be more visible on the beat and focus on violence, says research out today. The public are concerned officers have abandoned town centres, said the Police Foundation study.

They fear the ­service is being forced to plug gaps for other areas, such as mental health, and this is hitting the fight against crime. Police chiefs should prioritise emergency response, violent and sexual crime, organised crime and terrorism, researchers were told. Just 16 per cent of people said they saw an officer on foot patrol last year – down from 39 per cent in 2010.

Full Article

Technology Charities and police struggle to combat rise in online sexual crime

The numbers recorded across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have risen from 729 in 2013 to 1,216 in 2019.

The figures, obtained by the Press and Journal under freedom of information legislation, relate to serious matters like rape, the sharing of indecent images of children and public indecency.

The force says such crimes have been under-reported historically, and believes the rise can partially be attributed to more victims having the confidence to come forward.

Full Article

Technology Thousands of drivers a day sent on smart motorway and speed courses

A record number of people took driver awareness courses for motoring offences rather than fines and penalty points last year, in part because of a surge in offences on smart motorways.

Figures show that almost 1.5 million drivers — more than 4,000 a day — opted for a course to avoid points and a possible ban. The number of courses taken has more than tripled in the past nine years.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Measures to prevent crime could begin as early as nursery, experts say

Persistently naughty children from primary school upwards and their parents should be given professional support to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour further down the line, experts said.

People who engage in antisocial behaviour throughout their lives tend to start acting out earlier on in childhood, which is when they should be given help, authors of a new study said.

Their research, launched on Monday, suggests that the brains of people who engage in lifelong antisocial behaviour may be smaller and structured differently to those without such a history.

MRI scans on adults aged 45 who had persistently engaged in stealing bullying, lying, aggression or violence throughout their lives revealed a thinner cortex and smaller surface area in certain brain regions.

Full Article

Police Demand The number of burglars being brought to court has almost halved to four per cent in four years

Burglars are ending up in court in just four per cent of cases, almost half the rate of just four years ago, Home Office data reveals.

More than eight in ten burglaries across England and Wales are closed without police identifying a suspect, with only 4.4 per cent of offences resulting in a charge or a summons in 2018/19.This is down from 7.6 per cent in 2015/16.

The figures will add to growing concerns at the failure of police to investigate so-called low-level but high volume crimes following reductions in police officer numbers of 22,000 since 2012.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Budget may be delayed, says Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

The government's budget may be delayed, a cabinet minister has said. It had been set for 11 March, but the timetable was thrown into doubt after the surprise resignation of former Chancellor Sajid Javid on Thursday.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the date would be a matter for Mr Javid's replacement, Rishi Sunak. He told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme: "The guy's only been in place for a few days, let's give him a few days to decide on the date."

Full Article

Police and Crime General Hell-on-Sea: how a drugs gang took over a sleepy Devon town

Retired couples and a smattering of teenagers bunking off school watch the grey swell of the Channel under a pale winter sky. The gaudy amusement arcades of penny-pushers and flashing gambling machines are almost completely deserted. The bored-looking staff in the ice-cream parlours and takeaways gaze into their phones, waiting for customers.

Dawlish on the south Devon coast is everything you might expect of a seaside resort in February. Yet this ostensibly sleepy West Country town was the nerve-centre of a violent gang from the north-east who over a decade built a brutal drug empire worth at least £1m while also preying on vulnerable young women who fell under their spell.

Full Article

Police and Crime General British woman repeatedly trafficked for sex after Home Office failures

A young and highly vulnerable British sex trafficking victim was re-trafficked by county lines drug gangs on multiple occasions after the Home Office repeatedly refused to fulfil its legal obligation to provide her with safe accommodation.

On 2 January this year, the Home Office replied to the hospital, saying the woman’s complex mental health needs made her a danger to herself and others and that there were no appropriate safe-house places available.

Hours before she was due to be discharged on to the street, a high court judge forced the Home Office to act, and 24-hour support was found.

Full Article

Technology Met Police's controversial facial recognition cameras correctly identify just one in three women - and black people are far more likely to be wrongly flagged up than white people

Controversial facial recognition cameras used by Britain's biggest police force correctly identify only a third of women, an official report admits.

A review of the technology by Scotland Yard also reveals that two in three men are accurately identified, while black people are far more likely to be wrongly flagged up than white people.

Critics say the findings underline their concern that the system will lead to innocent people being wrongly stopped and searched by police, while genuine suspects are not identified.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Khan announces over £55m of funding to tackle causes of crime

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, nnounced that £55.5m of new funding will be available for tackling the underlying causes of violent crime in the capital.

The funding announcement brings the total additional amount the mayor has invested in tackling violent crime in this year’s budget to £100.6m.

Around £25m of the new funding will go to the Young Londoners Fund, which supports projects aimed at providing positive opportunities for disadvantaged young people and helping steer them away from crime.

Full Article

Police Demand Knife crime ‘epidemic’ fuelled by cuts, committee says

It found that inequality within communities and difference in opportunities provided across the country makes some young people vulnerable to the draw of violence and gangs.

It also said that school exclusion should be the last step in a long line of disciplinary measures, and schools should be held accountable for their exclusions.

The Youth Select Committee urged the Government to develop long-term funding plans of at least five years to develop effective ways of helping and reaching young people at risk of getting involved in knife crime.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Economy beats gloomy forecasts to be third-fastest growing in G7

Britain had the third-fastest growing economy in the G7 group of advanced nations last year even though it stagnated in the final quarter.

Official figures show that the economy beat expectations to grow by 1.4 per cent last year. The UK outperformed France, Germany and Italy, which grew by 1.3 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), growth picked up to 0.3 per cent in December alone. The annual 1.4 per cent growth rate meant that Britain was behind only the US and Canada, which posted growth of 2.2 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK economy saw zero growth at the end of 2019

The UK economy saw no growth in the final three months of 2019, as manufacturing contracted for the third quarter in a row and the service sector slowed around the time of the election.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the car industry had seen a particularly weak quarter.

The ONS figures also showed the economy grew by 1.4% in 2019, marginally higher than the 1.3% rate in 2018.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Finance settlement pulled for new terror law

Local government minister Luke Hall tweeted: ‘Such swift action to protect the public means we will now hold the vote on the #localgov settlement as soon as possible after recess.

‘Confirming this funding as soon as possible remains a priority and we laid the final material in the House last week to help to give councils the certainty they need to deliver vital services.’

The Local Government Association had been fighting proposals to restrict council tax rises to 2% without the holding of a referendum, but the latest policy proposals in the final settlement are largely unchanged from earlier plans.

Full Article

Police Demand Emergency terror law presented to Parliament

Emergency legislation designed to end the release of people convicted of terrorism offences halfway through their sentence has been presented to Parliament.

The measures - which would apply to England, Scotland and Wales - were drawn up after the attack in Streatham, south London, earlier this month.

MPs will consider all stages of the Terrorist Offenders Bill, before the Commons goes into recess. The bill will then move to the Lords in time, ministers hope, for it to become law by 27 February.

Full Article

Technology Facial recognition: 'No justification' for Police Scotland to use technology

A report said the software would be a "radical departure" from the current practice of policing by consent.

The report from the justice sub-committee on policing was published as part of their inquiry into the advancement of live facial recognition.

It highlighted the technology was "known to discriminate against females and those from black, Asian and ethnic minority communities". The report added: "The use of live facial recognition technology would be a radical departure from Police Scotland's fundamental principle of policing by consent."

Full Article

Technology Met police deploy live facial recognition technology

The Metropolitan police have been accused of defying the warnings of its own watchdogs by beginning operational use of facial recognition CCTV, despite a scathing assessment of its effectiveness from the expert hired to scrutinise its trials.

Commander Mark McEwen, the Met’s lead on crime prevention, said Stratford had been chosen because it had been the scene of “public space violence”, and that there was support from the community for the police to use “whatever tactic we can to deal with violence”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Derbyshire residents ‘fear reporting drug crimes will lower house prices’

Police have criticised residents of a market town for failing to report drug crimes out of fear that it could lower house prices.

Melbourne, south Derbyshire, has been ranked one of the best places to live in the UK and the average home sells for more than £300,000.

The town boasts an attractive Georgian marketplace surrounded by bistros, boutiques and art galleries. One of Britain’s top arts and crafts festivals is held there each September.

Full Article

Recruitment and Retention Gwent Police commence training of police staff investigators

Gwent Police has recruited 15 new Police Staff Investigators who are now commencing their initial 16-week training period.

The PSIs who will take two years to become fully accredited, have designated powers from the Chief Constable and can carry out searches, interviews and other duties but cannot make an arrest.

They are required to have successfully passed the PIP Level 1 and 2 exam - the same as a DC – and will be paid between £25,566 and £30,195 for a 37-hour week.

Full Article

Fire Imprisoned by cladding: The flat owners who cannot sell

Thousands of people in the UK are living in flats they cannot sell, because the outside wall is covered in cladding. Sometimes it's combustible, like the material that turned Grenfell Tower into an inferno.

Since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, in which 72 people died, cladding has become a national concern. Highly combustible "aluminium composite material" (ACM) cladding spread the Grenfell fire at terrifying speed. The most recent government figures show that 450 buildings are covered in it, 356 of which are residential.

Full Article

Police Demand 'Grave concern' as police swamped with 500,000 mental health call-outs in a year

Police were deluged with nearly 500,000 call-outs to deal with mental-health crises in the last 12 months.

Data uncovered by think tank Parliament Street shows incidents have rocketed by

20 per cent since 2016.

he Metropolitan Police had most mental health call-outs in 2019 with 39,584.

Full Article

Recruitment and Retention Police recruitment: Officials say Boris Johnson's 20,000 target is too low

Home Office and police officials say the target is not high enough because so many are set to leave the service.

It comes as campaigners say officers need a starting salary of £24,000 or more for the original target to be met.

Current figures show that only one in 10 candidates who applies to join the police is successful - meaning half a million would have to apply to reach the 53,000 goal.

Full Article

Police Finances Rape victims to benefit from government funding boost

The move will increase the money available – up from £8 million to £12 million per year – to total £32 million over three years for a range of services including tailored face-to-face support and counselling.

Nationally more than 160,000 sexual offences were recorded by police last year, and this funding will ensure help for victims is available in all 42 of the country’s Police and Crime Commissioner areas.

Today’s (7 February 2020) announcement will also see a £1 million investment to recruit more Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) across the country, who provide advice and support for victims, acting as the link between police, support services and criminal justice agencies.

Full Article

Recruitment and Retention Federation report calls for ‘fair’ pay for all officers

In a report submitted on Friday (February 7) to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) – the independent team that recommends to the government what pay increase police officers should receive – the two staff associations warn that ahead of an increase in numbers, it is more important than ever that officers are “paid a fair wage for the unique job they do”.

Other parties who are expected to make submissions to the PRRB include the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the Home Office and the Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association.

Full Article

Technology Mobile operators clash on 'notspots' costs

An agreement to share network equipment in order to improve phone coverage in rural areas has hit a stumbling block over costs.

Rival operators are unhappy at the price BT-owned EE is asking them to pay to share its equipment.

O2's chief said the fees being sought by its rival "may undermine the viability of the project".

Full Article

Technology Spies to run cybercrime hotline after scandal at Action Fraud

British spies are designing a hotline for businesses that fall victim to cybercrime after failings at Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre, The Times can reveal.

The National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of GCHQ, is planning to launch the phone line by March next year, promising to make it easier for companies to report online crimes.

Full Article

Prisons Why UK prisons are 'incubators' for terrorism

Another terrorist, released early from prison, bent on violence, shot dead on the streets of London.

Prison certainly had not deradicalised either Streatham attacker Sudesh Amman, nor the London Bridge attacker Usman Khan.

It may have made matters worse. Both went from plotting, reading, considering acts of terror - to violently acting them out.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Innocent are left with enormous bills after cutbacks in legal aid

Tens of thousands of people have been left out of pocket after being acquitted of serious crimes over the past four years because the government ended the reimbursement of legal fees.

More than 120,000 acquitted defendants have had to pay significant legal bills after Whitehall cut legal aid, official figures obtained by The Times reveal.

Since 2014, when a means test for criminal legal aid was introduced, more than 126,000 defendants have paid for lawyers in crown court trials and been acquitted. They accounted for a third of crown court trials over that period.

Full Article

Police Finances Apprentice levy ‘failing small firms’

Reforms to vocational training are failing young people and small and medium companies, according to a poll by the Federation of Small Businesses.

The apprenticeship levy has made it harder to access entry-level training and is not providing enough support for smaller companies, its critics say.

More than one in four small companies that employ apprentices say that changes introduced three years ago have been counterproductive.

Full Article

Technology BT will build UK’s emergency network using Huawei kit despite security concerns

BT will use Huawei kit to build a telecoms network for Britain’s emergency services despite government advice that it could pose a security threat.

The much-delayed £9bn Emergency Services Network (ESN) is designed to provide the benefits of mobile internet to 300,000 first responders.

This weekend, BT insisted kit from embattled Chinese telecoms giant Huawei could be used in the network, despite Britain’s cyber spy agency warning against “any” kit from the “high risk vendor” being used in critical national infrastructure.

Full Article

Police Demand Rape victims waiting almost three years to see suspects charged

Rape victims are being forced to wait, on average, more than two and a half years to find out if their attackers will face charges, amid accusations that the police are wasting time gathering evidence they do not need.

Lengthy delays, which have soared by a staggering 64 per cent over the last decade, are contributing to plummeting conviction rates, with many victims preferring to withdraw their complaints rather than endure an agonising wait for justice.

Police investigations into sexual offences often become bogged down as detectives are forced to trawl through vast amounts of digital data - including social media exchanges between the two parties.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Knife crime among top threats to British children, survey says

Knife crime will be among the biggest threats to the safety of British children over the next decade, according to a new survey.

Mental health problems and dangers online make up the rest of the top three concerns among parents polled for the children's charity Barnardo's, with the latter encompassing the likes of grooming and self-harm content.

Social media platforms have come under increased pressure to crack down on graphic images of self-harm since teenager Molly Russell took her own life after viewing such content on Instagram.

Full Article

Police Finances Funding formula is 'deeply flawed', says Surrey PCC

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Surrey, David Munro, has written to the Home Secretary calling for the current police funding formula to be urgently reformed following last week’s government settlement.

PCC Munro said the announcement was good for getting more officers on the streets over the next year but warned Surrey’s residents are being short changed by receiving the lowest percentage increase in overall funding in the country at 6.2 per cent.

The figure takes into account the combination of central government grant allocated to Surrey Police and the maximum amount the PCC could raise through the council tax precept for policing.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Child sexual exploitation: ‘Everything we said was viewed with suspicion’

Parents of children sexually exploited by criminal gangs can be blamed for not preventing abuse, report finds.

The report draws on semi-structured interviews and focus group sessions with 32 parents or grandparents whose children were sexually abused outside the home.

Their testimony makes disturbing reading: lengthy delays in any action taken; not being listened to by social workers; feeling that their child had not been helped; and that they were often viewed as bad parents, or even possible abusers themselves.

Full Article

Technology South Yorkshire Police faces questions over involvement in facial recognition trials

It is understood the force provided photographs of three serious offenders and a vulnerable missing person as part of the trial.

A spokesperson for British Land, which owns Meadowhall, admitted the company had not put up signs warning visitors that the technology was being used.

“In 2018 we operated two short trials of facial recognition technology (FRT) at Meadowhall. The number of individuals with access to this database was strictly limited,” they said.

Full Article

Fire Grenfell witnesses demanding immunity from prosecution before testifying

Witnesses involved in designing and choosing materials for the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower are applying to claim “privilege against self-incrimination” to protect themselves from the prospect of prosecution, the inquiry into the disaster has been told.

Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said on Wednesday that he had been invited to ask Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC for an undertaking that “nothing said by a witness in answers to questions in the inquiry will be used in furtherance of a prosecution against them”.

Full Article

Police Finances Mayor of London doubles council tax rise for policing fund

London's mayor has nearly doubled a planned rise in council tax he says will raise £16m more to fight crime.

A London household in Band D will pay £332 to City Hall next year, a 3.6% increase from £320.51 last year. In December Sadiq Khan proposed to increase on council tax by 2%.

The fund will pay to fast-track an extra 600 police officers next year.

Full Article

Recruitment and Retention Gwent Police fast-tracks civilians to become investigators

Crimes will be investigated by civilians who are being fast-tracked by Gwent Police to help ease workloads.

They will have powers similar to detectives who have worked their way through the ranks but will not be able to make arrests.

The force denied it was policing "on the cheap" and said the first 15 trainees would play supporting roles.

Full Article

Technology Facial recognition could be 'spectacular own goal', police warned amid accuracy concerns

Facial recognition could be a “spectacular own goal” for police if it fails to be accurate and effective, the government has been warned.

MPs raised concerns about the technology after the Metropolitan Police announced the start of live deployments in London.

Only eight arrests were made as a result of facial matches in almost three years of trials in the capital, which saw a high rate of “false positive” alerts wrongly flagging innocent people as wanted criminals.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Call to close teenage sex 'loophole' for faith leaders and coaches

A cross-party group of MPs has called for a change in the law that allows adults in positions of trust, from sports coaches to faith leaders, to legally have sex with children aged 16 and 17 in their care.

At present, the law allows only for adults in certain jobs to be prosecuted, such as teachers and social workers. Roles that fall outside this definition of “position of trust” include private tutors, driving instructors and coaches in after-school clubs, as well as vicars, imams and other religious leaders.

Full Article

Technology Unacceptable number of road deaths as ‘cameras have replaced officers’

The number of officers involved in policing the roads has fallen by 24 per cent since 2012. Some forces have seen even more dramatic declines. In Northamptonshire, the number of roads officers has fallen by 83 per cent.

Mr Bangham, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for Roads Policing, said there were 1,784 road deaths last year.

“Five people a day are dying on our roads. That cannot be right. Twice as many people die on our roads than through homicide,” he added.

Full Article

Technology Huawei set for limited role in UK 5G networks

The UK has decided to let Huawei continue to be used in its 5G networks but with restrictions, despite pressure from the US to block the firm.

The Chinese firm will be banned from supplying kit to "sensitive parts" of the network, known as the core.

In addition, it will only be allowed to account for 35% of the kit in a network's periphery, which includes radio masts.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Extinction Rebellion protesters have charges dismissed after police witness goes on holiday during trial

A judge has dismissed all charges against five Extinction Rebellion protesters after a police officer due to give evidence in their case went on holiday.

Deputy District Judge Vincent McDade accused the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of “abject failure” over the blunder.

Full Article

Police and Crime General New powers for the police to enforce drone laws

The government has acted to give police forces across the country new powers to tackle the misuse of unmanned aircraft, including drones, as the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill has its second reading in Parliament today (27 January 2020).

The legislation will give the police new powers to land, inspect and seize drones if an offence has been committed and a warrant is secured.

Drone users could also face an on the spot fine for certain offences such as failing to provide evidence that they have the correct permissions and exemptions if found to be flying their device too high or too close to buildings, or failing to provide evidence of competency or registration.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police chiefs admit failures on diversity 21 years after pledge

Police chiefs have admitted they have been too slow to boost diversity in the ranks and still have a long way to go, almost 21 years since a landmark report into race and policing triggered promises of radical change.

The admission came as a study found that black police officer numbers barely increased since the middle of the last decade, rising by 86 officers across the 44 forces of England and Wales between 2007 and 2018.

Full Article

Technology 'Name and shame' forces who do not sign up to national ICT systems

Forces who sign up to national ICT systems and then pull out at the last minute should be named and shamed, according to an academic who leads on the government’s digital transformation strategy.

Professor Mark Thompson who has advised the government on how to digitize large public services such as the NHS, told delegates at last week’s Police ICT summit in Manchester that the lack of a central body driving through much needed police ICT changes was a problem

Full Article

Police Finances Launch of Safer Streets Fund

A new £25 million scheme to tackle burglary and theft in crime hotspots has been launched by the Policing Minister.

The Safer Streets Fund will open this week for bids from police and crime commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales to fund initiatives aimed at stopping these offences happening in the first place.

The fund is specifically designed for areas that need to tackle theft, robbery and burglary – known as acquisitive crimes.

Full Article

Police Demand Police attend more than 2,000 domestic violence cases across the UK every day

Most incidents (111,670) were in the North West, followed by the South East (107,692) and Yorkshire and Humber (94,499).

Domestic violence incidents now account for 14 per cent of crimes dealt with by police.

Murders, violent attacks, rapes, sexual assaults, harassment and stalking are included as domestic abuse crimes in the Office for National Statistics data.

It also showed referrals of suspects from domestic abuse-flagged cases to the CPS for a charging decision fell 11 per cent from 110,653 to 98,470 from the previous year.

Full Article

Police Demand Knife crime reaches ten year high in Wales and England

The number of knife crimes being dealt with by the police and courts is the highest in a decade, official figures show.

There were 22,286 knife and offensive weapon offences formally dealt with by the criminal justice system in England and Wales in the year ending September 2019, according to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) statistics.

This is a three per cent rise on the previous year (21,553) and the highest since September 2009 (26,364).

Full Article

Police and Crime General Terrorism laws to get tougher within weeks, government vows

Terror offenders will face more time in jail and be monitored more closely as part of new laws being introduced within weeks, the government has said.

Automatic early release from prison will be scrapped for terror offenders while a minimum jail term of 14 years for serious crimes will be introduced.

The Home Office said a bill would be brought before Parliament by mid-March.

Full Article

Prisons Children in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, says report

Children are being held in “harmful” solitary confinement in prison with some let out of their cells for just 15 minutes a day, a damning report from jail inspectors said.

Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons, has called for a “major overhaul” of the policy of separating children in young offender institutions (HMYOIs). He said this in effect amounted to them being held in “harmful solitary confinement with little human contact and in conditions which risk damaging their mental health”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Home Secretary backs county lines crackdown

The Home Secretary joined Merseyside Police on a county lines raid funded by a new £25 million package of measures.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has backed police to step up their fight against county lines gangs as she welcomed the results of a recent crackdown.

British Transport Police (BTP) and Merseyside Police have made over 100 arrests during intensive operations that have taken place in the past 2 months. Officers have also made a number of seizures of weapons, phones, drugs and cash.

This action was funded by £5 million of Home Office money from £20 million that was previously committed by the Home Secretary to dismantle county lines.

Full Article

Police Demand Youth services suffer 70% funding cut in less than a decade

Spending on youth services in England and Wales has been cut by 70% in real terms in less than a decade, with the loss of £1bn of investment resulting in zero funding in some areas, according to research.

Analysis by the YMCA youth charity found that local authority expenditure on youth services dropped from £1.4bn in 2010-11 to just under £429m in 2018-19, resulting in the loss of 750 youth centres and more than 4,500 youth workers.

Full Article

Prisons Number of prisoners developing drug habit doubles in five years, says report

The drug problem in jails is becoming more serious with the number of inmates developing an addiction behind bars more than doubling in five years, new research suggests.

The proportion of prisoners who said they had experienced a problem with illegal substances rose from around 6.4% to about 14.8%.

And almost 15% of inmates said they were drawn to drugs after being sent to jail, said the report by the Reform think-tank.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Multi-agency taskforce to tackle ‘waste crime’ launched

A taskforce has been set up to tackle “waste crime” such as dumping hazardous materials on private land and false labelling so waste can be exported.

The Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) will bring together law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency.

Environment secretary Theresa Villiers said the taskforce will “crack down” on the criminals responsible for waste crime, which she called “a scourge on our environment”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Dangerous drivers who cause death face life imprisonment under new longer sentence regime

Dangerous drivers who cause deaths on the roads face life imprisonment under Boris Johnson’s plans for longer sentences.

The maximum sentence for causing death by speeding, racing or using a mobile phone will be raised from 14 years to life, making the offence equivalent to manslaughter.

A separate offence, causing death by driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, will also rise from 14 years to life.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Ban on stalkers contacting victims while police investigate

New measures are set to come into force which hope to protect victims of stalking at "the earliest opportunity".

From Monday officers will be able to apply to magistrates for a Stalking Protection Order (SPO) - blocking alleged perpetrators from contacting or approaching their victims while a probe into their behaviour continues.

The measures have been introduced in a bid to take a tougher stance on stalkers.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police force wants someone to run eBay account for £20k-a-year to flog seized goods — almost as much as new cops earn

Items previously sold include a Cartier Santos watch for £4,750 and a Panasonic camera for £972 but the force now needs an administrator to list property and arrange postage and packaging. The salary ranges from £19,359 to £20,619 — just shy of the £22,380 starting constables are paid.

The employee must “describe items honestly, to maintain the integrity of Sussex Police”. The 37-hour-a-week job is described as an “exciting opportunity” and is a fixed-term contract running until December.

Full Article

Fire Dozens of social housing blocks still covered in Grenfell-style cladding

There are still 91 social housing buildings covered in Grenfell-style ACM cladding over two years after the tragedy, official figures have shown.

According to government data just one private tower block has received full funding for removal of the cladding despite a £200m pot created last summer to fund such work.

The government had initially provided £400m for local authorities and housing associations to remove the dangerous cladding after the Grenfell Tower fire in which 72 people died.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance MoJ civil servant jailed for £1.7m fraud

A Ministry of Justice civil servant has been jailed for a “sophisticated” fraud worth £1.7m.

Allan Williams created a £7m purchase order in 2017 for a bogus IT company that he set up.

Sopra Business Consulting Ltd was sent monthly payments which Williams, 37, later transferred to his personal bank account.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Knife offences hit 10-year high as number jailed falls, official figures show

Knife offences have hit a ten-year high but the number given jail sentences has fallen, according to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures.

The number of offences for knife and offensive weapons rose by three per cent to 22,286, the equivalent of 60 a day and the highest number since 2009 when there were 26,364.

The increase was driven by knife possession offences which hit 14,135, the highest number since figures were first compiled in 2009.

Full Article

Fire Fire services: 999 callers waiting longer than five years ago

The fire service’s average response times to serious fires is more than half a minute longer than it was five years ago, according to the latest Home Office figures.

The average total response time to “primary fires” in England (more serious fires that tend to harm people or cause damage to property) was eight minutes and 49 seconds between 2018-19. This response time is 11 seconds longer than last year’s and 33 seconds longer than in 2013-14.

Although total response times to fires have increased gradually over the past 20 years, the figures plateaued from 2014 up until last year, when they started to rise once again.

Full Article

Police Demand Chief constable denies shutting child sex inquiry

A chief constable has been named as the senior police officer who allegedly claimed that an investigation into child sexual exploitation had to close because there were not enough staff.

Dave Thompson, the head of West Midlands police since 2016, confirmed yesterday that he was identified in a damning report into how the authorities in Manchester failed dozens of children who were systematically groomed and abused by gangs of men.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Fall in inflation raises prospects of interest rate cut

The UK's inflation rate fell to its lowest for more than three years in December, increasing speculation that interest rates could be cut.

The rate dropped to 1.3% last month, down from 1.5% in November, partly due to a fall in the price of women's clothes and hotel room costs.

December's inflation rate was the lowest since November 2016.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Paedophiles 'escaped justice' as victims let down by police

A "network of paedophiles brazenly abusing young people" was allowed to escape justice and reoffend, Greater Manchester's mayor has said.

His comments come as a report criticised the "appalling failings" of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) during a 2004 police investigation into the sexual exploitation of children within the Manchester care system.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police errors may have let abusers of up to 52 children escape justice

Up to 52 children may have been victims of a sex abuse scandal in Greater Manchester, with most offenders getting away with their crimes because of errors by police and children’s services, the Guardian has learned.

Some of the police officers involved in the 2004 case are still serving and the police watchdog has been called in to re-examine if there was any wrongdoing.

The revelations came as an independent report found that the police investigation into child sexual exploitation failed vulnerable girls in care after being shut down prematurely — partly because senior officers prioritised solving burglaries and car crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 90 online abuse crimes against children recorded a day, NSPCC estimates

Ninety cyber crimes a day have been recorded against children since the introduction of Government plans to tackle online harms, the NSPCC estimates.

The charity predicts that more than 25,300 child abuse image and sexual grooming offences have occurred since the Online Harms White Paper was released in April 2019, plans which aim to make the UK one of the safest places to be online.

Based on police data from April to June 2019, it estimates an average of one online abuse offence against a child was recorded every 16 minutes in England and Wales in little over nine months.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Revealed: UK concealed failure to alert EU over 75,000 criminal convictions

The UK has failed to pass on the details of 75,000 convictions of foreign criminals to their home EU countries and concealed the scandal for fear of damaging Britain’s reputation in Europe’s capitals, the Guardian can reveal.

European trust in the UK on security issues sank to a new low on Tuesday night after details emerged of the apparent cover-up, which prompted calls for an investigation in the UK and a warning from one senior MEP that a Brussels inquiry was inevitable.

Full Article

Police and Crime General More than a million Britons buying cannabis illegally to treat illness

Nearly a quarter of a million people with arthritis, 100,000 cancer patients and 50,000 multiple sclerosis sufferers are among 1.4 million unwell Britons who are being forced to buy cannabis illegally to treat their symptoms.

A landmark YouGov poll of more than 10,000 people has found that almost 3 per cent of the adult population uses cannabis to treat a medical condition, with usage across all age groups, social classes and genders.

More than half are using the drug every day and the average spend is £163 a month. This means patients are spending more than £2.6 billion a year on black market cannabis.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Nearly half charged with London knife deaths were previous blade offenders

A total of 379 suspects were charged with knife crime homicides between the start of November 2016 and the end of October 2019.

Some 173 of those charged in that period (46%), had previously committed a knife offence, according to data released by the force.

Police Demand Police leaders to start bidding for more Taser from today

Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales can start bidding today (Monday 13 January) to equip more of their officers with Taser as part of a Home Office drive to give police more powers and tools to tackle crime.

This follows the Home Secretary’s commitment to put more officers carrying Taser on our streets through a £10 million ringfenced fund, allowing them to better protect themselves and others from harm.

Bidding will open on a new online platform launched by the Home Office, where forces will decide how much funding they apply for based on the threat and risk in their local area.

Full Article

Technology MI5 chief dismisses US warnings about risk Huawei poses to intelligence sharing

The head of MI5 has said he has no reason to think Britain’s intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States will be damaged if the Chinese tech giant Huawei is given access to the UK’s 5G network.

The government has come under intense pressure from the US administration not to allow Huawei a role in building 5G network amid fears that granting a Chinese firm access to the communications network could be a security risk.

Full Article

Police and Crime General UK Somalis 'racially profiled' over FGM

Parents are wrongly being arrested and having their children taken into care due to the stigma around female genital mutilation (FGM), members of the UK Somali community have told the Victoria Derbyshire programme. They say figures suggesting tens of thousands of girls are at risk in the UK are inaccurate.

"Social services with the police came to the house, removed our children and arrested my wife. We didn't know what the allegations were - nobody said anything, nobody asked us anything, it was just really a shock," said Yusef - not his real name.

Full Article

Prisons Prison staff misconduct investigations rise by third

Investigations into alleged misconduct by prison staff have risen by a third in a year, figures have revealed. More than 2,500 charges were investigated in 2018-19, up from 1,894 the previous year.

Alleged "breach of security" - which can include bringing contraband into jails - and use of "unnecessary" force contributed to the rise. The Prison Service said action was taken against the "small minority that engaged in inappropriate behaviour".

Full Article

Police and Crime General ‘Martyn’s law’ security checks at venues win government backing

Airport-style security checks could be introduced across public venues after the government backed a campaign by the mother of a Manchester Arena attack victim.

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett was one of the 22 people who died in the 2017 attack, has lobbied for stronger anti-terror security measures.

Brandon Lewis, the security minister, said Boris Johnson was “100%” behind the proposals for bag searches and metal detectors at big venues such as concert and sport arenas.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Home Office overhauls police complaints and discipline process

Today the Home Office is introducing legislation that will shake up how complaints made against the police are handled and improve the discipline system for officers.

The changes, which will come into effect on 1 February, ensure that complaints can be dealt with quickly, effectively and proportionately, not just for the benefit of the public but also for the police.

Full Article

Prisons Hundreds of allegations of abuse against child prisoners are revealed as serious restraint incidents triple

Campaigners warn that troubled youngsters are being failed by system that is starved of resources – amid a surge in cases of children suffering injuries and struggling to breathe after being restrained.

Hundreds of children are alleged to have been abused and neglected in prison over the last three years amid a dramatic rise in young offenders being injured.

There were more than 550 allegations of child abuse or neglect made against staff in England’s seven child prisons between 2016-17 and 2018-19, according to figures obtained through freedom of information (FoI) requests to local councils by charity Article 39.

Full Article

Prisons Prisoner dies after throat slashed in privately run jail in southeast London

A prisoner has died after his throat was slashed inside a privately run jail in southeast London.

Scotland Yard said the man, who was in his 40s, was attacked at HMP Thameside in Greenwich in the early hours of Sunday.

He was discovered suffering a slash injury to his throat and died at the Serco-run facility, which opened in 2012 and holds around 1,200 inmates.

A man in his late 30s has been arrested on suspicion of murder, police said.

A spokesman said: "Police were called at 02:37hrs on Sunday, 12 January to HMP Thameside in Greenwich after an inmate was discovered suffering from a slash injury to his throat.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK GDP: Pound slips on unexpectedly weak growth figures

Sterling has slipped following news that the economy shrank unexpectedly in November, extending earlier losses against the dollar.

The UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 0.3 per cent during the month as the manufacturing and production sectors declined more than expected. The figure was expected to be flat.

Full Article

Technology County lines: Call to review 'criminal abuse' of pay-as-you-go phones

The government has been urged to consider imposing restrictions on pay-as-you-go mobile phones to prevent county lines drug gangs using them.

Current rules that allow people to buy the phones anonymously are being exploited by drug dealers, the policing watchdog for England and Wales said.

It called for a Home Office review of the "criminal abuse" of mobile phones. The Home Office said it was investing £20m to further disrupt county lines activity.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police fail to reveal evidence in most cases, says watchdog

Police are failing to comply with evidence disclosure rules in 80 per cent of cases, a watchdog has revealed, highlighting continuing concern over potential miscarriages of justice.

The latest report from HM Inspectorate for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) found that although the police “almost always” used the correct disclosure forms, they were completed in full in only about 20 per cent of cases.

Lawyers described the findings as a demonstration of “ongoing failings in core evidence-gathering and analysis”.

Full Article

Technology British police struggling to catch paedophiles because their 'computers are too slow'

British police are struggling to catch paedophiles and find victims of child sexual exploitation because their computers are too slow to use essential software required to identify and analyse images of abuse, according to a technology partner.

Griffeye, which works with police forces across the UK, said years of budget cuts mean "the majority" of UK forces lack the cash or essential hardware powerful enough to use cutting edge artificial intelligence software which is now routinely being applied in the US and other countries.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police leaders support calls for fewer and bigger forces

Britain’s anti-slavery tsar and a former commissioner of Scotland Yard have added to mounting pressure on the government to overhaul the police force system.

Several senior policing figures today call for the 43 forces in England and Wales to be replaced with fewer, larger forces to tackle organised crime including county lines drug dealing, cybercrime and modern slavery.

Full Article

Police and Crime General CPS prosecutes 50 assaults on emergency workers each day

Between November 2018 and 2019, 19,771 offences were charged under the Act, which created a specific offence of attacking an emergency worker. Of the total, 14,372 were assaults by beating, 5,362 common assault and 36 were attempted assaults. There was also one case of aiding/abetting an assault.

The CPS figures relate to the number of offences charged, rather than individual defendants.

Nine out of every ten assaults took place against police officers. These invariably occurred when the attacker was intoxicated on drink or drugs and being arrested for an unrelated offence. Spitting was one of the most common forms of assault, but the violence perpetrated was wide-ranging and included kicking, punching, head-butting, slapping and biting.

Full Article

Police Finances Facial recognition at South Wales derby 'a step too far', says police chief

One of the most senior policing figures in Wales has warned that the use of facial recognition technology at the country’s biggest football derby this weekend could create miscarriages of justice.

Arfon Jones, a veteran Welsh police officer and the North Wales police and crime commissioner, has expressed grave concern about the deployment of the surveillance technology at Sunday’s clash between Cardiff City and Swansea City.

Full Article

Police Finances 'Infrastructure revolution' in March Budget

Chancellor Sajid Javid has set 11 March as the date for his first Budget - the first since the general election.

Mr Javid says billions of pounds will be invested "across the country".

The Treasury will "prioritise the environment", he said and reiterated a plan to make use of low borrowing rates to spend on public services.

John McDonnell, Labour's shadow chancellor, said he doubted whether the government would deliver on its investment or climate goals.

Full Article

Police Demand Overhaul outdated system of 43 separate forces, urges head of National Police Chiefs’ Council

Ministers must seize the opportunity to restructure the UK’s 43-force system as part of a forthcoming review of criminal justice, one of Britain’s most senior police officers has told The Times.

Martin Hewitt, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said that now was the right time to rethink policing priorities and set out proposals addressing the national impact of having dozens of force areas.

Mr Hewitt called on the government to include policing in the royal commission on criminal justice set out in the Queen’s Speech.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Children filming themselves in graphic sexual videos for 'likes' online in growing trend

A third of child sex abuse images are originally posted online by children themselves, it has emerged – with warnings of a growing trend where minors share graphic footage for “likes”.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said the past year has seen a “significant change” in the amount of self-generated images, which are mostly taken by girls aged between 11 and 13.

A record of 260,400 web pages were reported in 2019, of which 132,700 showed children being sexually abused.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police team up with universities for blitz on county lines drug gangs posing as students before trying to recruit hard-up undergraduates

Police are teaming up with universities to stop county lines gangs infiltrating campuses to sell drugs.

Officers have already caught some criminals signing up for courses as a front. They also fear the gangs are recruiting hard-up students on the promise of making money.

Jon Aspinall of North Wales Police said students have been found with ‘large quantities of drugs and cash’.

Full Article

Police Finances Councils paying a private police force millions of pounds a year

Councils are paying a "private police force" millions of pounds a year to do the job of normally associated with bobbies on the beat, the Telegraph can reveal.

The team of uniformed officers, who often patrol with search dogs, have been given delegated powers from the police which allows them to issue fines and carry out searches.

The security firm Parkguard, which describes itself as part of the “extended policing family”, estimates that it now works across a fifth of a capital as well as in areas of Essex and Hertfordshire.

Full Article

Police Demand Stop and search failing in knife crime crisis

The Metropolitan Police commissioner’s policy of intensifying stop and search has been called into question after Times analysis showed no correlation with reductions in knife crime.

The use of blanket orders that allow officers to stop members of the public without cause for suspicion has increased by more than 800 per cent since Dame Cressida Dick assumed the role in 2017.

Some London boroughs that have seen huge increases in the use of section 60 orders have seen a rise in knife attacks in the past year, others have seen a fall and the one borough that used fewer orders also saw a fall.

Full Article

Police and Crime General The police chief who believes arrests aren’t the key to fighting rising crime

“I am not in a place that’s just ‘lock everyone up’,” says Martin Hewitt, Britain’s most senior police chief.

“We are part of a system that is designed to protect people, to stop people being victimised and equally to stop people offending. I would in every circumstance prefer to be in a prevention space than arresting and prosecuting.”

The chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) strikes a markedly different tone to Boris Johnson’s new government, which has pledged to create thousands more prison places and keep offenders in jail for longer.

Full Article

Police Demand Police forces record thousands of hate incidents each year even though they accept they are not crimes

police forces are recording thousands of hate incidents even though they accept that they are not crimes.

More than 87,000 ‘non-crime hate incidents’ have been recorded by 27 forces in England and Wales over the past five years, when the national policing body introduced its Hate Crime Operational Guidelines.

The guidelines state that an incident - perceived to be motivated by hostility towards religion, race or transgender identity - must be recorded “irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element” and can even show up on an individual’s DBS check, despite them not committing a crime.

Full Article

Police Finances Troubled Families programme gets £165m cash boost

The government's Troubled Families project is getting £165m in funding to ensure it continues for another year.

Launched by David Cameron in 2012, the scheme targets families with multiple and complex social and health issues. Existing support for the project was due to run out later this year, prompting speculation about its future but Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said it had proved a success in transforming lives and relieving the burden on public services.

The programme was set up by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government in response to the 2011 riots in English cities, at a cost of £448m.

Full Article

Police Finances Police fear return of targets as price of 20,000 recruits

Government plans for a “target culture” in policing have been criticised by police chiefs.

One of Boris Johnson’s highest-profile election pledges was to recruit 20,000 extra police officers to combat violent crime.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Bill Skelly, the chief constable of Lincolnshire police, who is involved in negotiations with the Home Office, said the government was “going down the road of targets”, which would create “unintended or perverse consequences”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Young boys in county lines drug gangs ‘are victims, not criminals’

Young boys forced to work for county lines drug-running gangs must be seen as exploited victims and not criminals, the police chief heading the national response to modern slavery has said.

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said that girls being sexually exploited would be seen as victims but it was less likely that the authorities would regard boys pressed into working for drugs gangs as victims rather than criminals.

He called for more to be done to stem the huge rise in referrals of children for safeguarding from exploitation under modern slavery legislation. He said that austerity measures had contributed to the increased exposure of youngsters to county lines drugs gangs.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Voters tell Boris Johnson they prefer public services to tax cuts

Most voters want more cash for public services before tax cuts, insisting Boris Johnson should make good on his promise to end austerity.

Polling for The Times by YouGov found that 57 per cent believed it was more important to increase spending on services such as the NHS and schools than to cut their taxes, against only 16 per cent who felt the opposite.

Among those who voted Conservative last month, 54 per cent wanted increased spending, with 22 per cent preferring tax cuts, after Mr Johnson overturned the traditional party order by winning the support of working-class voters in the north and Midlands.

Full Article

Police Finances Police pay millions to tackle claims from their own staff

The region’s police forces have paid out millions to tackle compensation claims lodged by their own officers and staff in recent years, The Northern Echo can reveal.

An investigation uncovering unsafe practices and dangerous incidents linked to forces across the country found that scandal-hit Cleveland Police has spent the equivalent of £640 per employee dealing with such claims.

The spend per employee for the beleaguered force is the highest in the country, almost triple that of the Metropolitan Police and more than the total for Durham Constabulary, Northumbria and North Yorkshire Police.

Full Article

Technology Tech bosses face court if they fail to protect users

Social media executives will face fines and the threat of criminal prosecution for failing to protect people who use their services under plans to regulate tech giants in Britain for the first time.

The government is to publish next month its response to a consultation on policing social media companies such as Facebook and Google after Britain leaves the European Union.

Ministers want to place the companies under a statutory duty of care, which will be enforced by Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog.

Full Article

Police Demand Thousands of children under 14 have been investigated by police for sexting

More than 6,000 children under 14 have been investigated by police for sexting offences in the past three years, including more than 300 of primary school age, the Guardian has learned.

Figures disclosed by 27 police forces in England and Wales revealed 306 cases of children under 10, including some as young as four, being investigated on suspicion of taking or sharing indecent images of themselves or other minors since 2017.

In one case, a nine-year-old boy was recorded on a police database for sending a naked selfie to a girl on Facebook Messenger. In another, a nine-year-old girl was recorded as an “offender” for sending images to someone on Instagram.

Full Article

Police Demand Police given extra £35m to stop young being drawn into gangs

A £35m-a-year scheme to tackle violent crime “by understanding its root causes” is being extended.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, is spending a further £35m on violence reduction units, insisting she “will not tolerate criminals drawing vulnerable young people into a life of violence”.

The money will go to 18 police and crime commissioners in England and Wales to fund early intervention teams for another 12 months.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Burglaries rise by 68% in Boris Johnson’s seat

Boris Johnson’s constituency has the fastest rising rate of burglary in England and Wales, with the number of break-ins in Uxbridge and South Ruislip soaring by 68% in a year.

The Sunday Times has analysed street-by-street crime data for the past two years showing the prime minister’s seat in west London has experienced the sharpest rise in break-ins during this period.

There were 692 burglaries in the 12 months to November 2019 in Uxbridge, up from 412 a year earlier.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Grooming ‘epidemic’ as almost 19,000 children identified as sexual exploitation victims in England

Almost 19,000 children have been sexually groomed in England in the past year, according to official figures that have prompted warnings of an “epidemic”.

Campaigners say the true figure is far higher and accused the government of failing to tackle child sexual exploitation, despite promises made after high-profile cases in Rotherham and Rochdale.

More than 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation were identified by local authorities in 2018-19, up from 3,300 five years before.

Full Article

Police Finances Police face legal action over retention of murder victims' body parts

The families of murder victims are taking legal action against police for secretly retaining the body parts of their relatives.

In the landmark legal action which could lead to a multi-million pound payout hundreds of families could be awarded compensation after police kept relatives’ organs without their consent, long after investigations into their deaths ended.

Bereaved mother Janine Aldridge, whose newborn baby, Leah, was murdered in 2002 by the child’s father, Andrew Ashurst, is the first to take legal action and is suing Greater Manchester police (GMP).

Full Article

Police Finances Extra south Wales funding to tackle violent crime rise

Almost £900,000 will be allocated to south Wales to tackle a rise in violent crime, as part of a £35m pot being spent by the Home Office

The funding is given to run an agency of police, councils and health boards to cut violent crime, which has risen by 35% in some areas.

Almost 40,000 violent crime incidents were recorded in the area last year.

Full Article

Police Finances West Yorkshire to receive extra £3.3m to tackle violent crime

West Yorkshire is to get an additional £3.3m from the Government to help tackle violent crime across the region.

The cash - from a £35 million pot - has been allocated to the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to continue running West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit.

Full Article

Police Finances Additional £35 million for Violence Reduction Units

Police and crime commissioners will receive an additional £35 million to continue funding specialist teams to tackle violent crime in their area.

Eighteen police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will receive an additional £35 million to continue funding specialist teams to tackle violent crime in their area, the Home Secretary has announced today (29 December 2019).

Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) bring together different organisations including police, local government, health, community leaders and other key partners to prevent serious violence by understanding its root causes.

Full Article

Fire London’s first ever woman Fire Commissioner retires after 32 year service

Today the Brigade’s first ever woman Commissioner Dany Cotton leaves London Fire Brigade after 32 years. Her long career has seen her break new ground for women in the fire service and open up the discussion around mental health issues in the emergency services.

She joined the Brigade at the age of 18 and at that time was just one of 30 female firefighters in London. Within 12 years, Dany became the UK’s first female station officer and from there, steadily rose through the ranks to become London fire Commissioner in 2017.

Full Article

Police Demand Domestic violence kills 15 times as many as terrorism in Britain

Domestic violence kills 15 times as many people in Britain as terrorism, say campaigners who want the police to be given more money to tackle the problem.

The huge disparity is highlighted in figures obtained from official sources by victims’ rights campaigners, who say the police budget for combating domestic violence must be ringfenced, as it is for terrorism.

Official figures show there were 1,870 domestic murders in England and Wales between 2000 and 2018, compared with 126 that were terrorism-related. The vast majority of domestic murder victims were women. In addition, campaigners say an estimated 400 victims of domestic violence a year take their own lives.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Treasury to rip up public spending rules in cash boost for north and Midlands

The Treasury is planning to rip up decades-old public spending rules in an effort to boost economic wellbeing in the north and the Midlands.

Under proposals being drawn up before the spring budget, ministers will reassess how officials calculate the value for money of government investments in transport infrastructure, business development and initiatives such as free ports.

Investment decisions would be less focused on overall national economic growth and, for the first time, Whitehall resources would be allocated on the basis of improving the wellbeing of people in the north, or narrowing the productivity gap with the south.

Full Article

Technology Police take over drug dealers’ phone numbers and text users in new fight against county lines gangs

Police are seizing control of drug dealers' phone numbers and texting users themselves in an attempt to combat county lines gangs.

Officers in Sussex have become the first in the country to test a pioneering new tool that allows them to get phone lines turned over to their control

Drug dealing telecommunications restriction orders (DDTROs) mean that officers can disrupt the flow of messages between dealers and users, and therefore the flow of drugs.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Revealed: thousands of children in care placed in unregulated homes

Thousands of children in care are increasingly being placed in homes that are illegal or unregulated, in what critics have labelled a national scandal, a Guardian investigation has found.

A lack of places to house vulnerable children in the UK is prompting a surge in placements that are less safe. These include those that are unregulated or not registered with Ofsted.

MPs, the police, charities and the children’s commissioner warn that children accommodated in these homes are at risk of exploitation from sexual predators and drug gangs.

Full Article

Police Finances Police 'waste' £1.5million on electric cars that they admit are useless for chasing criminals because they 'can't go fast enough or far enough without a battery change'

Police have spent millions of pounds on electric cars they admit are useless for chasing suspects or rushing to help victims.

Forces around the country have bought at least 448 environmentally-friendly vehicles to help them meet green energy targets.

But almost all of the cars and vans are being used in non-emergency situations or by chiefs to get to work.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance State Opening: Queen to outline PM's Brexit and NHS agenda

The Queen is to set out the Conservative government's agenda for the year ahead following last week's decisive election win.

Legislation to take the UK out of the EU on 31 January will be among more than 20 bills announced during Thursday's State Opening of Parliament.

Other measures include guarantees on extra health service funding and longer sentences for violent criminals.

Full Article

Technology Online child sexual abuse: Don't do what I did

After spending time on adult chat sites, a stranger sent "Ben" a file that contained indecent images of children. He looked at all the images but didn't call the police because he didn't want to "get into trouble".

A year later he was arrested and was later prosecuted. He served a seven month prison sentence.

It is illegal to go online and look for child sexual abuse material. It's also illegal if you view, download or share the material with someone else.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Bank of England keeps interest rates on hold

The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold at 0.75% but indicated it may cut the cost of borrowing if global economic growth fails to recover or Brexit uncertainties persist.

It said the UK economy was expected to pick up from its current weakness.

However, the Bank said it would monitor companies' and households' reactions to Brexit as well as global growth.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 7-2 in favour of keeping the official rate on hold.

Full Article

Fire London Fire Brigade 'slow and wasteful', according to inspectors

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been "wasteful" and "slow to implement changes" needed after the Grenfell Tower fire, a watchdog has said.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found firefighters missed training and attended too many false alarms.

The LFB saw the report six weeks ago and commissioner Dany Cotton stood down earlier than had been planned.

Full Article

Prisons HMP Littlehey had 'chronic' heating and boiler issue

Clifford was held at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire before his death in December 2017 and his family previously raised concerns over conditions.

An inspection in July found over two years the problems "had a negative impact on the living conditions". HMP Littlehey is refurbishing its heating and hot water system.

The report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons said the jail near Huntingdon, which houses more than 1,000 male sex offenders, was safe and respectful.

Full Article

Police Demand Rape convictions: Justice system near 'breaking point', says watchdog

A review of record low rape conviction rates has found a justice system "close to breaking point" because of cuts.

The Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (CPSI) said a "damning" number of cases are lost during "under-resourced" police investigations.

But it rejected claims prosecutors unfairly select the cases they charge.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Direct entry superintendents scheme 'paused' for 2020 by CoP

There will be no forces participating in the College of Policing-backed direct entry scheme for superintendents next year due to low levels of interest.

The CoP confirmed that the scheme, which offers direct management entry to candidates with no previous policing experience, had been ‘paused’ while forces concentrate on the 20,000 new recruit uplift.

Last year only two forces participated in the direct entry superintendents scheme - Avon and Somerset and Dyfed Powys. The single direct entry post at Avon and Somerset was fulfilled via a deferral.

Full Article

Fire Incoming London fire chief to prioritise rebuilding trust of Grenfell community

London Fire Brigade’s (LFB) incoming commissioner says “reaching out” and rebuilding the trust of the Grenfell community will be his first priority when he takes on the role next year.

Andy Roe, who will replace Dany Cotton as London Fire Commissioner on January 1, faced questions from London Assembly members following the publication of a “damning” report into the LFB.

The review said the brigade – the country’s largest fire service – had been “slow to implement changes” following the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017, which left 72 people dead.

Full Article

Police Demand Rape charges fall as police delay cases

Delays in investigating rape cases are contributing to a fall in the number of suspects charged with the offence, the prosecutors’ watchdog has said.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate said that in one case police took so long to record a video interview with an alleged child victim of rape that the youngster had forgotten much of the incident by the time the interview took place. No charges were brought.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Boris Johnson to announce new laws to ban train strikes, toughen prison sentences and stop landlords evicting their tenants this week

Boris Johnson will announce new laws to ban train strikes, toughen prison sentences and stop landlords evicting their tenants when he sets out his policy agenda this week.

The Prime Minister has drawn up an expanded Queen's Speech which will present more legislation than that announced in October. It will include a mix of policies designed to appeal to the right and laws which are meant to bolster Mr Johnson's One Nation credentials.

The Queen will deliver the speech on Thursday, just over two months since the last one. No 10 officials said it would repeat all of the previously announced legislation, with a raft of new measures promised in the Conservative manifesto.

Full Article

Police and Crime General General election 2019: Hart gets Welsh post in government reshuffle

Boris Johnson is carrying out a limited reshuffle of his government after urging newly elected Tory MPs to "change our country for the better".

Simon Hart has been named as Welsh secretary, replacing Alun Cairns, who quit at the start of the election.

And Nicky Morgan stays as culture secretary, despite standing down as an MP. She is taking a peerage and will sit as a cabinet minister in the Lords.

Opposition parties said she had been "rewarded for political sycophancy".

Full Article

Police and Crime General SFO charges former Serco directors with fraud

Former finance director of Serco Home Affairs Nicholas Woods and Simon Marshall, its former operations director of field services, have been charged with fraud by false representation and false accounting. Mr Woods has been additionally charged with false accounting in relation to the 2011 statutory accounts of the company’s subsidiary Serco Geografix Ltd (SGL).

In July this year, SGL was fined £19.2 million over its electronic monitoring contract with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) after an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). It followed claims that Serco had charged the Government for electronically monitoring offenders who were allegedly either dead, in jail or had left the country.

The SFO said Mr Woods and Mr Marshall had both been “charged with fraud by false representation and false accounting in relation to representations made to the MoJ between 2011 and 2013”.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance OBR deficit prediction ‘sobering warning’ for new government

Revised Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts show that Britain’s deficit is likely to be £20bn higher in each year to 2023-24 than was projected in March 2019.

Economists have said the figures will be a “sobering warning” for the new government and will mean tax rises are needed in order for it to meet its own fiscal rules.

The overall deficit, the OBR said, will be £33.3bn by 2023-24 – up from a previous estimate of £13.5bn in March 2019.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Taser survey sent to all Leicestershire officers

Leicestershire Police and Leicestershire Police Federation are running a joint survey to find out how many officers in the county want to carry taser.

The survey was emailed to all Leicestershire officers today (16 December) and will act as a guidance on how many officers in the force need to be trained in the use of taser.

Officers are asked if they have been assaulted in the past two years and if they would feel safer on duty if they were carrying a taser. Currently around 400 Leicestershire Police officers carry one.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Only 12 per cent of motorists think they will be stopped for drink driving

The UK is bucking the European trend of reducing drink-driving deaths and the British public are one of the most likely to think they can get away with driving while over the legal limit, according to a report by the European Union Transport Safety Council.

The AA and the RAC both said there is likely to be a link between these findings and the reduction in the number of road traffic officers.

Jack Cousens, Head of Roads policy at the AA, said: “In the last decade we’ve seen the number specialist road traffic officers reduce by a third which meant that essentially those people drink driving think they can, and do, quite easily get away with it.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Boris Johnson pledges to get tough on serious criminals

Boris Johnson has said the criminal justice system “isn’t delivering” as he promised tougher sentences for terrorists, sex offenders and violent criminals if the Conservatives are re-elected.

The Prime Minister’s pledge comes amid growing anger in government following a series of high profile failings in which criminals freed early went on to commit further offences.

Joseph McCann was this week jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years after he was mistakenly freed from prison to go on a rampage in which he raped or sexually assaulted 11 women and children.

Full Article

Police and Crime General The Lib Dems have the most radical approach to crime and justice

From the off, the Conservative party hardline approach on crime and justice under Johnson’s premiership became clear: 20,000 new police officers on the streets was one of his first pledges, followed by increased use of stop and search, prison expansion, more Tasers, and longer jail sentences – all of which have ended up in the manifesto.

So, clearly, tough on crime. But what about the causes of crime? Very little on offer. The manifesto briefly mentions a prison education service focused on work and a new approach to drug addiction treatment to reduce drug deaths.

Full Article

Police Demand Forces praised for 'impressive' response to child offenders

Figures from the Howard League for Penal Reform show that police officers have focused resources on more complex cases to reduce child arrests by more than 70% in eight years.

The charity said the change was due to determination by chief constables and their teams to rethink the response to young people offending.

Data from more than 40 police forces show that they made 70,078 arrests of boys and girls aged 17 and under in 2018, down from almost 250,000 in 2010. Over the same period, the number of children in prison was reduced by 63.

Full Article

Police Demand General election 2019: Conservatives 'see highest rise in Twitter abuse'

The abuse of candidates on Twitter has escalated during the election campaign, research suggests, with Conservatives seeing the biggest rise.

Abuse spiked after TV debates, a study by the University of Sheffield found - with abuse of Tories rising and Labour and Lib Dem levels remaining stable.

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn received most, followed by Tory leader Boris Johnson. Others have reported being threatened with sledgehammers and targeted by abusive graffiti and vandalism.

Full Article

Police Demand Police cuts blamed as fraud cases fall

Prosecution of white-collar crime has fallen by almost 30 per cent since 2014, according to figures released today.

Analysts blame cuts to police numbers driven by austerity for the fall in the number of cases of fraud, money laundering, cybercrime and insider trading being prosecuted.

Ministry of Justice figures show that there were 9,415 prosecutions in 2014 compared with 6,670 last year. The number of cases fell by 14 per cent last year alone, from 7,790 in 2017. Over roughly the same period, reported fraud and cyber offences across the UK rose by more than 8.5 per cent to 693,418.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Chief constable's challenge to policing degree scheme rejected

The Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Bill Skelly has been denied a full judicial review of the College of Policing’s plan to impose the Police Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) on all forces which means that new recruits will either have a degree or agree to study for one once they are appointed.

With the full support of Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, Mr Skelly had asked for a Judicial Review for a stay of implementation of PEQF until the summer of 2023.

“I wanted to give time for a legitimate evaluation of the new system being imposed across the country and for the results to be assessed and any adjustments made,” he said.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Labour election win risks violent crime wave, claims Priti Patel

AJeremy Corbyn Government would lead to 52 more murders a year and a violent crime epidemic, the Tories have claimed.

In an article for The Daily Telegraph, Priti Patel, Home Secretary, claims Labour’s opposition to police use of stop and search would lead to fewer criminals being caught and more weapons on the streets.

Citing an analysis by the Conservative research department, she said the increase in weapons could mean up to 4,000 extra violent assaults a year, nearly 150 more sex assaults and 52 more murders, equivalent to one a week.

Full Article

Technology Internet referral officers join forces to take down jihadist content

Specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police-based national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) joined other specialists from nine countries at a Europol event aimed at bringing down websites that show extremists how to build IEDs and use chemical weapons.

The joint action was co-ordinated at Europol’s headquarters in the Hague and involved the EU’s own specialist unit the European Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU).

It mainly targeted manuals and tutorials explaining how to build improvised explosive devices (IED) and use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Wildlife crime now 'too complex' for non specialist police

From illegal hunting to importing banned species and egg collecting, wildlife crime is on the rise and the investigations that follow are not simple.

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said: “Wildlife law has been amended so many times in response to new wildlife crime threats that it is too complex for non-specialist police and prosecutors to apply effectively and for the public to fully appreciate.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Force visited by 'Wellbeing Wagon' at officer welfare event

Humberside Police held its wellbeing conference last Friday, which included a visit from a ‘Wellbeing Wagon’, in an effort to improve officers’ mental and physical health.

The van, which is part of the National Police Wellbeing Service - also known as Oscar Kilo - has been parking in front of police stations and officers are encouraged to go for a check-up during their work hours. Visitors are able to have their blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and psychological wellbeing checked by professional welfare staff. They can also receive financial support as well as being signposted to external relevant health services.

Full Article

Police Demand Officers have to upload domestic abuse reports onto 13 systems

Police Scotland officers who attend domestic violence incidents have to upload the details manually onto 13 separate force systems.

This is despite the fact that Scotland is a national force and many officers are equipped with mobile electronic notebook technology to record details of the incidents at the scene.

Supt Stevie Dolan, of Police Scotland told a police technology event at Motorola today that although operating as a national force since 2013, Police Scotland still has eight separate crime systems as a legacy from its former eight-force structure.

Full Article

Police Finances Knife crime 'fuelled' by brutal Tory cuts to youth services across Liverpool

Brutal Tory cuts to youth services have fuelled knife crime in Liverpool according to campaigners.

In the last ten years, under Conservative leadership, the city has lost 84 council employed youth workers - cutting from 110 to just 26.

The youth service budget was also slashed by more than two thirds from £6,431,000 in 2009 to £2,023,000 in 2019.

Full Article

Police and Crime General London Bridge attack: Boris Johnson says some prisoners can't be deradicalised

Boris Johnson has said the "grim reality" is that "some people can't be rehabilitated" in prison.

The PM called for longer sentences and an end to automatic release after convicted terrorist Usman Khan killed two people on London Bridge on Friday.

The father of Jack Merritt, one of the victims, says he would not wish his son's death "to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences".

Labour have accused Mr Johnson of using the attack for political ends.

Full Article

Technology FaceApp may pose 'counterintelligence threat' says FBI

The FBI said FaceApp and other mobile applications developed in Russia pose a "potential counterintelligence threat".

The comments were made in a letter to US Senator Chuck Schumer after he called for an investigation into the app.

The face-editing tool went viral earlier this year but prompted privacy concerns.

The FBI comments come amid rising US concern that products made by foreign tech firms could pose security risks.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Election promises on police must be genuine, chief says ‘We’ve been failed before’

Police boss John Apter delivered a defiant election message saying: “We have been failed so many times in the past – if the safety and security of the public is a priority this must change.” The serving officer, the national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has demanded backing from the very top of government and more financial support for tens of thousands of rank-and-file officers.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 'Tis the season to improve officer wellbeing

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has teamed up with a range of partners to provide advice and offers to improve police officer wellbeing in the run-up to Christmas.

The advent calendar launched online on Saturday 1 December and will run until Christmas Eve – the idea is that a new door is unlocked each day to reveal a message or offer. The first day contained an offer of a loan from No1 CopperPot to help officers cover the cost of Christmas. Subsequent offers will include money off family days out, foreign trips, meals and advice about staying mentally and physically healthy during what can be an especially stressful time of year.

Full Article

Prisons Education in jails 'must not be undermined by London Bridge attack'

Academics and former staff at a prison-based education project have voiced support for the initiative, saying its message should not be undermined, after staff were attacked during an event to celebrate its work.

“Learning Together insists on seeing the best in people. It is unflinching in saying that – no matter someone’s past – everyone has something to contribute.

“The classes reflect this: students from unis and prisons learning alongside one another in genuinely mutual exchange.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General County lines gangs turning to guns in Britain’s drug turf wars

County lines drug dealers in Britain are increasingly using firearms when supplying heroin and crack cocaine, an EU report said yesterday.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said there was a strong link between firearms and illegal drugs in a report revealing that Europeans were spending at least £30 billion a year on cannabis, cocaine and other substances. Its study highlighted intimidation and violence linked to county lines as gangs protect their markets.

The report said some British forces had highlighted concerns about “increasing firearms use related to county lines, the supply of primarily heroin and [crack] cocaine from the capital and big cities to provincial towns”.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance General election 2019: Tory and Labour spending plans 'not credible' - IFS

Neither the Conservatives nor Labour are offering "credible" spending plans ahead of the general election. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said it was "highly likely" the Tories would end up spending more than their manifesto pledges.

Labour, it warned, would be unable to deliver its spending increases as it has promised. Neither party was being "honest" with voters, IFS director Paul Johnson said. The Liberal Democrats' manifesto, he said, would involve lower levels of borrowing than under Labour or the Conservatives, but would still be seen as "radical" in "most periods".

However, he added that, given the uncertainty around Brexit, it was difficult to determine what the exact effects of the three parties' offers would be.

Full Article

Police Demand Domestic abuse: Big rise in reports to police in Wales

There has been an 83% rise in domestic abuse-related crimes recorded in Wales over the past four years, official figures have shown.

North Wales Police has seen the biggest rise, with 11,327 crimes recorded last year, up from 4,798 in 2015-16.

The force said the rise was partly due to efficient crime recording and better promotion of victim support services.

Across all four Welsh forces, domestic abuse reports rose from 18,960 in 2015-16 to 41,532 in 2018-19.

Full Article

Police Demand 28% rise in cases places intolerable strain on forces

The National Chair of the Police Federation has called for a review of what he has called a ‘growing mental health crisis’ as new figures revealed police officers dealt with 28% more cases in the last four years.

An Institute for Government Performance Tracker 2019 survey found the number of mental health incidents involving police officers rose from 385,206 to 494,159 between 2014-18 and there was also an 13% increase in the number of individuals taken to a place of safety by officers under the Mental Health Act.

Chair John Apter said: “This country is in the grip of a growing mental health crisis and my colleagues are at the very forefront of trying to protect and support vulnerable people. These figures show we have reached beyond tipping point, and we would welcome a wider public investigation into these important issues.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Labour pledge to boost staffing at violence reduction centres

Labour would significantly increase staffing at 18 violence reduction units in an effort to clamp down on gang warfare and crime, the party has announced.

The shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, said that if Labour came to power there would be about 20 extra officers employed at each of the government-funded units, which bring together police, local government, probation, health and community leaders.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Police force spent £23,000 on gender-neutral caps - only to get rid of them 18 months later after public outcry

A police force spent £23,000 on gender-neutral 'Burger King' caps to replace traditional helmets only to get rid of them 18 months later following a public outcry.

Northamptonshire Police introduced the US-style 'bump hats' in May 2017 to attract more transgender officers, claiming that 'gender-based headgear' was acting as 'a barrier to the non-binary transgender community'.

But they were largely scrapped in November last year after critics said they made officers 'look like Jimmy Krankie' and replaced with the traditional helmets that have been a symbol of British policing for more than 150 years.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police urge people to download location app What3Words

Police in North Yorkshire have urged people with a phone to download the What3Words app to help locate them in an emergency.

Emergency services across the country have praised the What3Words app for its ability to provide precise locations anywhere in the world.

North Yorkshire Police Road Policing Group highlighted an incident this evening when they used the app to reach a man whose car had turned onto its side.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Labour pledges to rebuild police service

Labour committed to recruit 2,000 more frontline officers than have been planned for by the Conservatives if it wins the general election. The party also pledged in its manifesto to enforce the laws protecting police and other emergency workers from violent assault.

Labour committed to invest in a modern workforce that would tackle the rise in violent crime and cybercrime.

Funding is a critical issue and Labour’s solution will be to work with Police and Crime Commissioners to reform police funding to share new resources fairly.

The policy is squarely aimed at regions in the North of England that have argued they are disadvantaged against forces in the South East and will depend on how much extra funding police forces get.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Economists warn of deficit rise as borrowing hits 5-year high

UK borrowing has risen to a five-year high as political leaders have laid out large spending plans, official figures have shown.

The Office for National Statistics has said that borrowing in October 2019 was £11.2bn - £2.3bn more than in October 2018.

Borrowing in the current financial year has reached £46.3bn, £4.3bn more than in the same period last year and already exceeds the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast of £40.6bn for the whole of 2019-20.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Priti Patel to double maximum jail sentences for assaults on police officers

Priti Patel is to double the maximum sentence for assaulting a police officer and other emergency service workers to two years to combat a surge in attacks on frontline staff.

It will be part of a major review of the way the criminal justice system deals with assaults on police and emergency workers following evidence by The Telegraph showing the average jail term for the offence is just two months.

The Government has already raised the maximum from six to 12 months but it has failed to stop the “tide” of attacks on police that earlier this year saw Thames Valley police constable Andrew Harper killed when he went to investigate a burglary.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Drug dealers sentenced after residents took action

Drug dealers who were exposed when disgruntled residents put up fake street signs have been jailed.

The east London residents commissioned artists to create "drug dealers only" parking spaces and "crack pickup" points last September, sparking a police investigation.

A total of 23 men have now been prosecuted over the drugs trade.

Full Article

Police and Crime General General election 2019: Plaid promises extra 1,600 police

Plaid Cymru has pledged an extra 1,600 police officers, saying it could be delivered by handing criminal justice powers to politicians in Wales.

Liz Saville Roberts said the party would spend an extra £50m to provide an extra two officers for each community.

The party also promised to ban the use of "highly inaccurate" facial recognition technology.

Full Article

Police and Crime General General election 2019: Norfolk Police chief complains about leaflet

A police force has complained about its chief constable's comments being used in an election leaflet, claiming it compromises his impartiality.

Norfolk Police's Simon Bailey said he was "disappointed" to see his interview about cuts in a leaflet for Norwich South Labour candidate Clive Lewis.

The force complained to the Electoral Commission who said it was "not within our remit".

Labour has apologised to Mr Bailey for using his image without permission.

The chief constable's comments appeared under a banner claiming Norwich was being "wrecked" by the Conservative Party.

The leaflet quoted a headline from an October 2015 newspaper story in which he spoke about cuts to policing in Norfolk.

In response to the leaflet, Mr Bailey said: "As a police officer you must be impartial. Policing is strictly non-party political and we carry out our duties without fear or favour.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Humberside most improved force in terms of morale survey shows

Humberside Police has the most improved morale of any force in England and Wales according to the Police Federation Annual National Pay and Morale survey 2019, released today.

The survey was introduced in 2014 by the National Police Federation to give officers the opportunity to highlight how they were feeling and concerns they had working in the service.

The findings are significant for Humberside. Three years ago an internal staff survey showed that the majority of officers felt disconnected from the force and its leadership following changes in management and two highly critical HMIC reports.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance General election 2019: PM puts corporation cuts on hold to help fund NHS

Planned cuts to corporation tax next April are to be put on hold, Boris Johnson has told business leaders, with the money being spent on the NHS.

The rate paid by firms on their profits was due to fall from 19% to 17%.

But the PM told the CBI conference the move could cost the Treasury £6bn and the cash would be better spent on the "nation's priority".

Full Article

Prisons Freed prisoners killing themselves at a rate of one every two days

The number of people who took their own life while on supervision after leaving prison has increased sixfold since 2010 to a rate of one every two days, fresh analysis seen by the Guardian shows.

There were 153 self-inflicted deaths among those on post-custody supervision in 2018-19, compared with 24 in 2010-11, Ministry of Justice data analysed by the charity Inquest reveals, although this is partly down to improved recording.

The suicide rate among people leaving prison in 2018-19 was 212 per 100,000, while for people serving community orders and suspended sentence orders (who are under supervision but have not been jailed), the rate falls to 132 per 100,000, Inquest said. The rate for prisoners is about 83 per 100,000 and among the general population it is about 14 per 100,000.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Fewest suspects in court for 50 years while crime goes up

The number of suspects facing courts has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years despite a rise in recorded crime, official figures published yesterday disclose.

Ministry of Justice data also showed that the number of criminals given an immediate jail sentence on conviction fell to its lowest level in a decade. The average length of a jail sentence rose to 17.4 months, the highest in the past ten years, from 13.5 months in June 2009.

Full Article

Police Finances Met criticised as cost of policing arms fair doubles to £2.4m

Campaigners have accused the police of taking an “increasingly authoritarian” attitude towards peaceful protest as it emerged that the cost of policing an international arms fair in London more than doubled to £2.4m.

Data obtained under freedom of information laws also showed that the Metropolitan police deployed twice as many officers – 5,609 – over a 13-day period covering the DSEI fair in September as during the event’s previous staging, in 2017. More than 120 protesters were arrested in the run-up to and during this year’s convention.

Full Article

Police and Crime General County Lines drugs dealing 'under-reported' in North East

Exclusive: The senior officer in charge of policing the movement and transportation of drugs in the UK has told ITV News Tyne Tees County Lines on the transport network is 'under-reported' in the North East.

The National Police Chiefs' Council's (NPCC) Detective Inspector Stuart Liddell, of the National County Lines Coordination Centre, said he wants to encourage the public, transport companies and police officers to recognise the "risk indicators" associated with young people travelling on the network and to report anyone they believe could be involved in County Lines drugs gangs.

Full Article

Police Finances Severe flooding becomes election campaign issue

Opposition parties have criticised Boris Johnson’s handling of flooding emergencies in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

This is despite the prime minister convening a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee for this afternoon, which had still not taken place by the time this story was published at 5.15pm.

More than 1,000 homes have been evacuated, about 500 flooded and the Environment Agency still has five ongoing severe warnings, five days after some areas had a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Inflation falls to three-year low as energy prices fall

UK inflation rose at its lowest pace in almost three years last month as the energy cap kept a lid on the price of electricity, gas and other fuels, according to official statistics.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said consumer prices rose 1.5% in October, against 1.7% in September.

Energy regulator Ofgem lowered price caps last month.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK wage growth slows as unemployment falls

UK wage growth slowed down in the three months to September, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Unemployment dropped by 23,000 to 1.31 million over the same period, while the number of people in work also fell.

Average earnings excluding bonuses increased by 3.6%, compared with 3.8% growth in the previous month.

Full Article

Police Finances Police violence scandal: 59 brave police officers attacked every day

Analysis reveals 59 officers a day are beaten, punched or spat at, as lawlessness grips towns and cities. Nearly 20,000 incidents have occurred since the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act came in a year ago today. Frontline officers have suffered horrendous injuries. Some still need medical attention, have post-traumatic stress disorder or had to quit their job.

West Yorkshire Police recorded 1,514 assaults between November 13 last year and August 31 – a rate of five a day and an annual increase of almost 10 per cent.

Full Article

Technology General election 2019: Labour Party hit by second cyber-attack

The party says it has "ongoing security processes in place" so users "may be experiencing some differences", which it is dealing with "quickly".

The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack floods a computer server with traffic to try to take it offline. The BBC's Gordon Corera has been told Monday's attack was not linked to a state.

Earlier, a Labour source said that attacks came from computers in Russia and Brazil. Our security correspondent said he had been told the first attack was a low-level incident - not a large-scale and sophisticated attack.

Full Article

Police Finances GDP monthly estimate, UK: September 2019

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the value of goods and services produced in the UK. It estimates the size of and growth in the economy.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Slavery offences soar as county lines are targeted

Modern slavery offences nearly doubled last year as police increasingly accepted that county lines drug couriers were victims rather than criminals.

The Metropolitan Police recorded 1,284 crimes under the legislation, a rise of 82 per cent on 2017.

The figures mirrored the national picture. The National Crime Agency said in March that almost 7,000 potential victims of trafficking and modern slavery were reported to the authorities in 2018, a rise of 80 per cent over two years.

Full Article

Police Finances Thousands of UK workers' pay to rise as living wage increases

More than 210,000 workers in Britain are to receive a pay rise after the charity behind the living wage increased the national minimum hourly rate by 30p to £9.30.

The Living Wage Foundation, which sets the voluntary measure, said London workers’ basic hourly rate will also rise, by 20p to £10.75, compared with the government’s “national living wage” of £8.21 for workers aged 25 years or older.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK GDP: Britain ducks recession but annual growth weakest since 2010

The UK has dodged a recession despite seeing the biggest year-on-year slowdown in nearly a decade.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the 0.3% growth for the third quarter signalled the economy "slowing".

That's because the 0.3% figure puts annual GDP at 1% - down from the 1.3% calculated at the end of the second quarter.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Cambridgeshire PCC resigns after complaint referred to IOPC

Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has resigned today after a complaint was submitted against him.

An investigation into the allegation has been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Cambridgeshire PCC Jason Ablewhite, who was elected to the role in 2016, was the county’s second ever elected PCC.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance General election 2019: Labour and Tories to unveil economic plans

Labour has promised an "irreversible shift" of power and investment to working people outside the south-east of England, if they win the election.

John McDonnell will pledge £150bn for schools, hospitals and housing on top of existing spending plans to be paid for through borrowing.

The shadow chancellor says he will move Treasury staff out of London to ensure the regions get a fair share of it.

Chancellor Sajid Javid said Labour's plans were "fantasy economics".

Full Article

Police Finances Council finance settlement timing “up to new government”

The government has confirmed that the timing of the 2020/21 local government finance settlement will be a matter for the incoming government following December’s general election.

Last year, the government agreed to publish the provisional settlement earlier than usual – around 5 December, following criticism of the normal timetable in a review published by HM Treasury director general Andrew Hudson.

However, these plans have been thrown off track by Parliament’s decision last month to hold a general election on 12 December.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police concerns over paedophile hunter grow as numbers of prosecutions relying on evidence from vigilante groups soars to four a week

Police have expressed concerns about online paedophile hunters after prosecutions relying on evidence from vigilante groups soared to four a week.

Senior police officers have criticised groups who pretend to be children online in a bid to snare child sex abusers.

They have even suggested they can go beyond the law and could be guilty of crimes such as blackmail, extortion and varying forms of violence. Freedom of Information data has revealed the numbers of people convicted of child grooming offences have increased five-fold between 2013 and 2018 from just 68 to 359.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Extinction Rebellion cases suspended after police ban ruled unlawful by High Court

Nine Extinction Rebellion cases were suspended at court in the wake of the High Court challenge where judges deemed a London protest ban unlawful.

The cases were due to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this morning, but have now been sent back to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for “review of evidence”.

Today’s cases were all related to public order offences, which occurred before 14 October, when police banned Extinction Rebellion protests across London.

Full Article

Police Finances UK police staff vote to accept 2.5% pay rise

Police staff members in England and Wales have voted to accept an improved pay offer, lifting wages by 2.5% for the year 2019-20.

Trade union Unison announced on 4 November 2019 that 93% of eligible members had voted in favour of the new pay deal, which will see a 2.5% increase on all pay points, backdated to 1 September 2019.

The agreement will see additional increases for staff in the lowest pay bracket, increasing yearly pay from £17,262 to £17,799, equivalent to a 3.1% rise

Full Article

Police and Crime General Boris Johnson plans to hand police new stop and search powers to target serial knife offenders in desperate bid to crack down on stabbings

Boris Johnson is set to hand police new stop and search powers to target serial knife offenders.

They would allow officers to stop thugs with convictions for knife offences and other violent crimes. The move is part of a major law and order crackdown likely to form a central plank of the Tory manifesto.

Mr Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel are determined to restore the party's reputation for being tough on crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Care homes accused of being too quick to call police on children

Vulnerable children in care homes across the country are still being taken to court for damaging residential facilities or assaulting care staff, Guardian research shows – a sign the state has failed, according to one prominent MP.

Government guidelines say police should not be used for low-level behaviour management or matters a “reasonable parent” would not call the police about.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Grenfell: Jacob Rees-Mogg urged to resign over 'unforgivable' comments

Jacob Rees-Mogg is facing calls to resign after he suggested it would have been "common sense" for Grenfell Tower residents to ignore "stay put" advice from firefighters and leave the burning building.

The leader of the House of Commons has said he was "profoundly" sorry for making the controversial remarks in a radio interview.

On Monday, he told LBC's Nick Ferrari: "It seems to me that that is the tragedy of it, that the more one's read of it over the weekend about the report and about the chances of people surviving, if you just ignore what you're told and leave, you are so much safer.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police could face hundreds of claims over climate arrests

The Metropolitan Police could face hundreds of claims for false imprisonment if the High Court rules that its ban on protests by Extinction Rebellion was unlawful.

More than 400 activists were arrested after the Metropolitan Police imposed the ban during the second week of the “October Rebellion”, a mass demonstration across London that was organised as part of the group’s campaign for action on climate change.

Full Article

Police Demand Justice system 'may not cope' with impact of Boris Johnson's 20,000 extra police officers, MPs warn

The justice system may be unable to cope with the consequences of Boris Johnson’s pledge to hire 20,000 extra police officers, MPs have warned.

The Public Accounts Committee said civil servants could not predict the full impact of the uplift, which is expected to lead to more prosecutions and prison sentences.

“Given the operational and financial pressure that court, prison and probation services are already under, it is far from certain the Ministry of Justice will have the capacity and capability to cope with a significant rise in demand,” its report concluded.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance General Election 2019: Public spending 'to rocket' in next parliament

Government spending is likely to head back towards 1970s levels over the next parliament whichever party wins the general election, research suggests.

Think tank the Resolution Foundation said both Labour and the Conservatives were planning big increases in the size of the state.

The 1970s are often described as a period of economic turmoil for the UK, with public spending soaring during the decade.

Technology Police to use facial recognition drones to help find the missing

Police Scotland has unveiled a new aerial drone system to help in searches for missing and vulnerable people. The remotely-piloted aircraft system (RPAS) can see things we can't to try to work out where people are.

It uses advanced cameras and neural computer networks to spot someone it is looking for - from "a speck" up to 150 metres away. Its recognition software is compact enough to be run on a phone, with the technology learning as it goes.

Full Article

Police and Crime General UK terrorism threat downgraded to 'substantial'

The UK's terrorism threat level has been downgraded from "severe" to "substantial", the Home Office says. Home Secretary Priti Patel said the UK was still at "a high level of threat" and an attack could "occur without further warning".

The terrorism threat is now at its lowest since August 2014. Substantial is the third of five ratings at which the threat level can stand.

The separate terrorism threat level for Northern Ireland remains "severe". Ms Patel said in a statement on Monday that terrorism remained a "direct and immediate" risk to the UK's national security.

Full Article

Police Finances Third of promised police funds to be kept back for recruitment

Police forces will not receive one third of the money the government announced it would provide to fund the first wave of new officers, the Guardian has learned.

The Home Office will retain some £16.3m for “recruitment programme costs”, out of £45m announced to fund the first 2,000 officers by April 2020.

The decision was contained in official letters sent to forces last week, informing them how much money they would receive. The Home Office said the £16.3m would be used for advertising and key investments to support the biggest police recruitment drive in decades.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Primary school students getting self-defence classes for knife attacks

Children as young as seven are being taught self-defence classes at school to prepare them for knife attacks.

Copenhagen Primary School in Islington, North London, said youngsters were being equipped with survival techniques to tackle a "fear culture" which prevents parents from allowing them to leave their homes.

Full Article

Police and Crime General MPs warned to not go out alone or after dark during general election

Politicians fighting the general election have been told to take unprecedented security precautions by their parties and police. Those seen as most at risk are being equipped with security alarms amid fears that a winter poll dominated by Brexit could turn violent.

Many have also been advised not to campaign after dark or alone, and not to enter people’s homes even if the weather is bad, as the country heads towards what is expected to be the most fiercely fought and unpredictable election in recent times.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police to be given powers to arrest travellers and seize caravans if they camp illegally on private or public land

Police will be given power to arrest travellers and seize their caravans if they set up illegal campsites on private or public land.

Tough new laws will make it a criminal offence to occupy any land without permission with the intention of setting up home there. Under current law, trespass is a civil matter which means owners face long and costly legal battles to remove unwelcome visitors.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has drawn up proposals that would give police power to act instantly to remove the offenders and their property.

Full Article

Technology Police ‘yet to justify’ facial recognition

A legal code of practice is needed before facial-recognition technology can be safely deployed by police forces, the data regulator has said.

The technology scans CCTV footage of the faces of passersby to try to identify wanted criminals. Police chiefs believe its use could cut crime rates and it has been trialled by the Metropolitan Police and South Wales police.

However, analysis by academics of six trials found that the technology mistakenly identified innocent people as “wanted” in 80 per cent of cases.

Full Article

Police and Crime General MPs urge compulsory refunds for victims of bank transfer fraud

Financial companies should be required by law to refund victims of bank transfer scams, and should consider reimbursing the many thousands defrauded since 2016, according to a report from MPs.

They also said retailers and other companies that suffer data breaches that lead to fraud should be forced to pick up the bill for the costs of reimbursing customers and issuing new bank cards.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 'There is no upside' for UK's national security after Brexit, former head of MI5 says

Lord Jonathan Evans, who was director-general of the Security Service from 2007 to 2013, said it was “absolutely vital” to remain ties with Europol and European Union (EU) countries.

“I find it very hard to see any security upside from Brexit. It seems to me that our task is to minimise the downside," he told a debate held by the Policy Exchange think-tank in London.

Lord Evans, who sits as a crossbench peer, said Britain’s “security interests remain international and globalised, because that’s where the threats come from”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 'Life changing' Domestic Abuse Bill faces further delays due to general election

A domestic abuse charity and leading campaigners have expressed their frustration that a December general election has halted the progression of a Domestic Abuse Bill.

SafeLives said the timing is 'hugely frustrating' after all the hard work that has been put into the bill over such a long period of time.

The bill has already faced parliamentary delays following the prorogation of the House a few months ago. Former president of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, called for the Domestic Abuse Bill to be brought back before MPs when Parliament was prorogued.

Full Article

Police Demand Prisons in 'appalling state of crisis' warns report

MPs on the Criminal Justice Committee have warned that safety, security and decency are all lacking in prisons across the country.

The committee condemned the lack of a clear plan for reform and long-term strategy to "reverse the fortunes" of prisons and called for more detailed plans to meet the pledges made.

The report said: "Too often, prisons are identified as needing extra support, but their performance continues to decline.

Full Article

Police Demand Mental Health: police detentions up 30% in five years

The number of times police have detained someone under the Mental Health Act has risen by nearly a third in Wales over the last five years.

Better support is needed to avoid a "revolving door" where the same people are repeatedly detained and released, an assembly committee has said. They said work was needed to find out what was behind the increase.

The Welsh Government said it had provided extra investment to improve access to crisis and out-of-hours care.

Full Article

Police and Crime General General election: UK set to head to polls as MPs back pre-Christmas election

Voters are set to head to the polls on 12 December after MPs supported a pre-Christmas general election.

The House of Commons voted by an overwhelming majority of 438 to 20 in favour of an election in little more than six weeks' time.

It would be the first December election since 1923 and dominated by debate over the UK's delayed departure from the EU.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Football policing needs new approach, says radical pilot

A project backed by the English Football League and six police forces is trialling new methods to control match days based on the science of crowd behaviour.

The ENABLE project is based on research and methods trialled over the last four years. It is scaling up to provide evidence over the next two seasons. The team involved say it could deliver a less hostile experience for fans and lower the costs of policing games.

Full Article

Police Demand Met police accused of 'degrading' treatment of disabled XR activists

The Metropolitan police’s advisers on disability have accused the force of “degrading and humiliating” treatment of disabled activists during the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in London this month.

A formal complaint by the Met’s disability independent advisory group says members are “disappointed and angered” the force failed to engage with them over the policing of the protests, and the Met may have caused “irreparable damage” to relations with disabled people.

Full Article

Police and Crime General UK intelligence services step up monitoring after death of Isis leader

British intelligence agencies are engaged in heightened monitoring of subjects of interest after the death of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to safeguard against the possibility of revenge attacks in the UK.

The response covers about 3,000 people in the UK and abroad who are believed by MI5 to have connections to Isis or who could be inspired by the group to launch terrorist attacks in Britain.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Grenfell Tower report – section by section: the 1,000 pages of damning criticism on failures that compounded tragedy

Spanning around 1,000 pages, the first official report into the Grenfell Tower fire delivers conclusions more damning than many survivors and bereaved families would have dared expect.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick was dogged by controversy following his appointment to lead the investigations but his criticisms of the authorities and the construction of the building on Monday appeared to ease fears of a whitewash among those touched by the tragedy.

Dozens of survivors and grieving relatives were handed the report, which weighs around 4kg, on Monday morning to allow them to digest the findings ahead of the formal publication on Wednesday.

Full Article

Police Demand Overhaul exclusions to beat knife crime, say MPs

Too many excluded pupils get only a couple of hours teaching each day, says the report. There is evidence this leaves them at risk of being drawn into knife crime, it adds. Ministers warned that "simple causal links between exclusions and knife crime cannot not be drawn".

However, research by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime found only a third of councils were able to confirm they had space for newly excluded pupils in their pupil referral units (PRUs).

Full Article

Police Demand Violence against MPs is a 'price worth paying' to get their way on Brexit say majority of both Leavers and Remainers in 'genuinely shocking' survey

Violence against MPs is a 'price worth paying' to get the Brexit result they want, say a majority of both Leavers and Remainers in a 'genuinely shocking' survey.

The study, based on polling by YouGov, found 71% of Leavers in England, 60% in Scotland and 70% in Wales believed violence towards MPs was a 'price worth paying' for Brexit.

Among Remainers, 58% in England, 53% in Scotland and 56% in Wales considered violence towards MPs was a 'price worth paying' for Britain to stay in the EU.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Error found in UK public finances, official statistics body admits

The UK budget deficit is £1-£1.5bn less than what had been previously reported after a statistical error, the Office for National Statistics has said (ONS).

Britain's official statistics agency reported earlier this week a year-to-date budget deficit of £40.3bn, excluding public-sector banks.

The ONS now says there was "an error in the measurement of local government social benefits".

A corrected version will be published early next week.

Full Article

Technology Police forces’ response to cyber crime ‘too varied’

The prevention and investigation of cyber-related crime is undermined by inconsistencies in local policing, a new report has warned.

Too much variation across the 43 forces operating across England precluded an effective response to the threat of cyber-dependent crime, according to an investigation carried out by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.

It said a national policing response should be established to tackle these offences, which are estimated to cost the UK £1.1bn each year.

The inspectorate said there were effective working arrangements between law enforcement agencies, and a well-established national strategy for dealing with the threat from cyber-dependent crime.

Full Article

Technology Police database flagged 9,000 cybercrime reports as 'security risk'

Thousands of reports of cybercrime were quarantined on a police database instead of being investigated because software designed to protect the computer system labelled them a security risk.

The backlog at one point stretched to about 9,000 reports of cybercrime and fraud, some of them dating back to October last year. The reports had been made to Action Fraud and handed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), run by the City of London police.

They were added to a database called Know Fraud where they are supposed to be processed, assessed and distributed among investigators.

Full Article

Fire ‘Flawed’ Safety Test Leaves Thousands At Risk Of Grenfell-Style Fire, Government Warned

Thousands of people are at risk of a Grenfell-style fire because of a “flawed” test that stated a type of cladding covering hundreds of tower blocks is safe, the government has been told.

Fire safety experts have called for all HPL cladding to be “urgently” removed as they raised major concerns with a parliamentary committee over the laboratory tests of the material.

HPL - or high pressure laminate - is thought to be covering 440 tower blocks that house 26,000 people.

Full Article

Police Finances Stop and search up by almost a third in England and Wales

The number of stop and searches carried out by police officers in England and Wales has increased by 32% in a year, official figures have shown.

In the 12 months to March 2019 there were 370,454 stop and searches conducted by forces under section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace), up from 279,728 in the previous 12 months.

The rise follows a downward trend in the use of the power between 2010 and 2018, although only 15%, or 58,251, of people who were stopped and searched were arrested.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Extinction Rebellion: Met Police’s London-wide ban on protests was unlawful, court hears

The Metropolitan Police’s London-wide ban on Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests was “an abuse of power”, High Court judges have heard.

Scotland Yard imposed a blanket ban across the capital last week, after XR’s ”autumn uprising” action shut down areas around Parliament and the Bank of England, and targeted London City Airport and government departments.

The ban made any assembly of more than two people linked to the action – which ended on Saturday – illegal.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Call for cross-border enforcement inquiry after Essex freight deaths

A public inquiry into cross border enforcement and people trafficking has been called for by Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett following the deaths of 39 people in Essex.

The bodies of 38 adults and a teenager were discovered dead inside a refrigerated container in Grays, Essex. The 29-year-old man who was driving the lorry has been arrested and is being questioned by Essex Police. The National Crime Agency is supporting the operation. Police Service Northern Ireland officers have searched two addresses in County Armagh linked to the case.

Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills of Essex Police said: "Please appreciate we are in the early stages of what is likely to be a lengthy investigation."

Full Article

Police and Crime General Ageing prison population 'sees officers working as carers'

The warning from the Prison Officers' Association (POA) has come as new figures revealed the oldest prisoner in England and Wales was 104 years old.

The data showed there were 13,617 inmates aged above 50 out of a prison population of 82,710 in June 2019. The Prison Service said it was working to meet the needs of elderly prisoners.

More and more inmates were frail, incontinent or had dementia, the POA said.

Full Article

Police Finances Schools and councils call for help to tackle County Lines gangs

The demand for more help from local authorities and the leaders of academy schools has followed a week-long police operation that resulted in 292 children being safeguarded after being pulled into drug gangs.

Schools and care services called for better co-ordination and funding to tackle the fast-moving gangs who use children to courier drugs across the country, often using the rail network.

It followed the national operation, led by the National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs’ Council, which resulted in 652 men and 91 women arrested. The week of action also resulted in 389 vulnerable adults and 292 children being placed with local safeguarding teams.

Full Article

Police Finances The cost of policing fracking protests in Lancashire revealed

A new report has revealed it cost nearly 12 million pounds to police protests at the Lancashire fracking site, before shale gas extraction was halted due to earth tremors.

The National Audit Commission reveals there's been slow progress in establishing a UK Shale gas industry. Plans to have 20 wells fracked by 2020 are well behind schedule.

Opposition from protesters and public concern over environmental impacts have long thwarted the ambitions of energy companies.

Full Article

Police and Crime General MPs call for consultation on 'decriminalised personal drug use'

MPs on the health and social care committee have called for a radical change in policy approach after concluding that the UK drugs policy is failing.

Police leaders backed the call for better education, prevention and better partnerships but stopped short of supporting any move towards legalisation.

The committee ended its invesitgation into illegal drug use with the claim that the number of drug-related deaths has now risen to the scale of a public health emergency.

In England in 2018 there were 2,670 deaths directly attributed to drug misuse, an increase of 16% since 2017. The report concluded that if other causes of premature death amongst people who use drugs were included, the figure would approximately double.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK government borrowing up by a fifth over past six months

Public sector borrowing has risen by a fifth during the first half of the financial year, official figures show.

Borrowing for the six months to September has now hit £40.3bn, up £7.4bn from the same period in 2018.

In the month of September, borrowing was £9.4bn - slightly lower than expected but still up from £8.8bn last year.

Full Article

Police Finances Extinction Rebellion protests cost Met police £37m so far

Protests by Extinction Rebellion have cost the Metropolitan police £37m so far this year but Britain’s most senior officer has said she is against a ban on the climate emergency group’s campaign of disruption.

Dame Cressida Dick said the fortnight-long autumn demonstrations, which ended last week, cost at least £21m, a figure expected to rise by several million. It comes on top of the £16m spent on policing the group’s protests in April.

Dick said the total so far was higher than the £15m spent every year on the Met’s violent crime taskforce, which tries to reduce the number of stabbings and other violent crime in London.

Full Article

Police Finances Cloudflare embroiled in child abuse row

Cloudflare helps websites deliver content faster but some of its clients are known to host illegal content.

The company insists it is powerless because it does not actually host the offending sites. Campaigners say Cloudflare's services make it easier for clients to avoid detection by "hiding" their locations.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK population forecast to reach nearly 70 million in the next nine years

The population of the UK is projected to increase to just under 70 million within the next nine years, according to official figures released today.

Almost three-quarters of population growth is because of net migration, with the remainder due to more births than deaths.

Projections from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the population rising from 66.4 million in the middle of last year to 69.4 million in mid 2028.

Economy & Public Finance World economy is sleepwalking into a new financial crisis, warns Mervyn King

The world is sleepwalking towards a fresh economic and financial crisis that will have devastating consequences for the democratic market system, according to the former Bank of England governor Mervyn King.

Lord King, who was in charge at Threadneedle Street during the near-death of the global banking system and deep economic slump a decade ago, said the resistance to new thinking meant a repeat of the chaos of the 2008-09 period was looming.

Giving a lecture in Washington at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund, King said there had been no fundamental questioning of the ideas that led to the crisis of a decade ago.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police arrest 743 in blitz on 'county lines' drugs gangs

Police have made a record number of arrests in a week-long push to tackle so-called county lines drug gangs. Officers arrested 743 people and seized drugs worth over £400,000, 12 guns and dozens of other weapons.

The operation, by forces across England and Wales, resulted in the "disruption" of 49 "deal lines", police said. Senior officers say better co-ordination between police forces means they know more than they've ever done about the gangs and their activities.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Boris Johnson Confirms Agreed Brexit Deal

We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control — now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime and our environment #GetBrexitDone #TakeBackControl

Full Article

Police Finances Knife crime hits record high in England and Wales

Knife crime in England and Wales reached an unprecedented high in the year to June, increasing by 7% on the previous 12 months, according to figures.

Police-recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument rose to 44,076, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, the highest figure recorded since 2010-11 when comparable data began.

Almost half the offences were stabbings, 43% were robberies and the figures also included rape and sexual assault.

In the 12 months to June there were 235 knife murders and 412 attempted murders, while the total number of homicides recorded by the police fell by 5%, from 719 to 681 offences.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Tories hope to thwart Labour with election promise of 25,000 more police

Boris Johnson is preparing to promise significantly more police officers than the 20,000 recruits already planned as part of the Conservative manifesto.

A secret cabinet committee of eight ministers, led by Mr Johnson, met for the first time on Monday to discuss preparations for the next election.

The ministers were told that polling showed that on law and order the Tories were “streets ahead” of Labour. Plans for an extra 20,000 officers by 2022 had been favourably accepted.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Watchdog endorses police use of tactical force against moped thieves as legitimate

Police watchdogs have endorsed the tactic of knocking moped thieves off their motorbikes as a "legitimate use of force" for officers with specialist training.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has issued guidance to "support" them in carrying out their duties - and ensure that "any dangerous situations created by police pursuits are brought to an end as swiftly as possible."

The new guidance covers use of alternative tactics, weighing up the severity of the suspected offence, and the likelihood of causing injury to the riders, others and themselves, the IOPC said. It also reinforces that the use of the tactic must be authorised.

The manoeuvre was launched by the Metropolitan Police in 2018 in a blaze of publicity amid efforts to tackle offenders riding motorcycles and mopeds.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Knife crime epidemic sweeps our schools - including boy, 4, caught with blade

The horrific extent of the knife crime epidemic has been exposed by police figures showing there are five weapons-related incidents at schools every day.

In a worrying trend for parents and teachers, a child as young as four was found carrying a knife and dozens of incidents involved youngsters too young to be prosecuted.

Weapons seized by police include a terrifying - and potentially deadly arsenal - from zombie to kitchen knives, a sword and meat cleaver, knuckle dusters, a taser, and even a firearm.

Knives have been involved in 1,260 incidents since April 2017 - equivalent to five cases for every day of the English school year - according to data obtained by Freedom of Information requests

Full Article

Police and Crime General Conservatives’ ‘crackdown on foreign criminals’ would affect 10 people a year, figures show

A new law the home secretary claimed would crack down on foreign criminals and “make our country safer” currently applies to an average of 10 people a year, figures reveal.

Priti Patel said the government would increase the punishment for breaching deportation orders to “deter foreign criminals from returning to the UK”.

But official statistics analysed by The Independent show that only a handful of people have been convicted of the crime in recent years.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Hate crimes recorded by police up 10%

There has been a 10% rise in hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales. There were a record 103,379 offences in 2018-19, Home Office figures show. The Home Office said the increase was largely driven by better recording by police but charities said the figures were "the tip of the iceberg".

Hate crimes are offences motivated by hostility towards someone's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

Race hate crimes accounted for around three-quarters of offences (78,991) and rose by 11% on the previous year.

Transgender hate crime went up 37% to 2,333. For sexual orientation the rise was 25% to 14,491, for disability 14% to 8,256 and for religion 3% to 8,566.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Evidence failings cause twice as many criminal cases to collapse

The number of collapsed criminal cases has almost doubled in four years, with murder and rape trials halted over failures to disclose evidence to defence lawyers.

Figures from the Crown Prosecution Service show that on average last year about two criminal cases a day were dropped because of delays in bringing them to court or an abuse of process.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Domestic abuse bill not enough to save ‘life-saving’ services, campaigners warn

The domestic abuse bill announced by the government does not do enough to tackle cuts to “life-saving” services which are pushing increasing numbers of domestic abuse victims into homelessness, campaigners have warned.

Boris Johnson’s first Queen’s Speech since becoming prime minister included a commitment to reintroducing the legislation, which was dropped because of his unlawful suspension of parliament last month.

Andrea Simon, of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: “The bill does not adequately provide for life-saving services for victims of domestic abuse. They need to give them much more money. In many cases, refuges are running on their reserves to keep open.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Extinction Rebellion: Police ban London protests

In a statement issued on Monday evening, the Metropolitan Police said demonstrators protesting in the capital after 21:00 BST could be arrested.

Extinction Rebellion said it would "let Trafalgar Square go" but added that the "International Rebellion continues". The protests, which began last Monday, have seen more than 1,400 arrests.

A number of demonstrations have been staged across the capital by the group, which is calling on the government to do more to tackle climate change. The protests were due to last two weeks.

On Monday evening, police began clearing protesters from Trafalgar Square, some of whom had glued themselves to the ground as they refused to leave.

Full Article

Police Finances Helen’s Law: First of a raft of crime bills from Queen’s Speech enters Parliament

Murderers who withhold information about where their victims are buried and paedophiles who refuse to disclose the identity of children pictured in indecent images in their possession will both face longer sentences as part of a new Bill.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Complaints statistics report show police forces now use more timely and proportionate way for handling most complaints

For the first time in a decade police forces in England and Wales are handling more complaints through local resolution rather than using lengthy and complex investigations, data released by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) today shows.

The most common type of allegation made in a complaint remains ‘other neglect or failure in duty’ category, such as how officers responded to or investigated incidents. These allegations accounted for 41% of all the allegations recorded in 2018/19; continuing a rise seen in the two previous reports. This year the number of allegations per 1,000 employees fell from 274 to 264.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance PM seeks to thrust law and order on to agenda in Queen’s speech

Violent and sexual criminals as well as foreign national offenders who return to the UK will face drastically heavier penalties under measures that will form the centrepiece of a Queen’s speech aimed at wresting the agenda away from the delicate Brexit negotiations.

With just days to go before the deadline for Boris Johnson to clinch a last-ditch Brexit deal in Brussels, the Queen will on Monday set out his government’s priorities for a new session of parliament, including 22 new bills.

But with MPs deadlocked over Brexit, few at Westminster believe a general election will be long in coming – and the Conservatives hope the policies will form the basis of their campaign.

Full Article

Police and Crime General PC Andrew Harper: More than 800 people expected to attend funeral for 'hero' Thames Valley Police officer

More than 800 people are expected to attend the funeral of a “hero” police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

His wife, who he married just weeks before his death, family and friends are to attend his funeral at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford on Monday.

Flags across Thames Valley Police’s area will be flying at half-mast and all officers will be paying their respects.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Extinction Rebellion activists stage protest at Bank of England

Extinction Rebellion activists have blocked a major junction in London’s financial district, as the movement switched its focus towards companies funding and profiting from the climate emergency.

About 100 demonstrators walked into the roundabout outside the Bank of England in the City and sat down in the road at 7am on Monday.

In a statement, the group said: “Extinction Rebellion this morning are disrupting the system bankrolling the environmental crisis.

“The day of disruption, which will target financial institutions, seeks to highlight the far greater disruption faced by those living in the environments systematically being destroyed by UK-backed companies.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Mourners line the streets to pay respects to PC Andrew Harper

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets of Oxford to pay their respects to PC Andrew Harper.

The city centre fell silent as the funeral procession , led by mounted police, travelled through on its way to Christ Church Cathedral.

Hundreds of Thames Valley Police officers also flanked the route and bowed their heads as cortege passed.

More than 800 people were expected to join PC Harper's family and friends to say their final goodbyes at the funeral service on Monday, October 14.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police trial AI that 'spots child abuse cases 10 times faster' than existing systems

Gloucestershire Constabulary has become the first police force in the UK to use new AI-driven data-analytics technology to identify potential victims of child abuse.

Developed by British defense company BAE Systems, the technology is claimed to be ten times faster than the existing process.

A pilot scheme in Gloucestershire had the machine learning technology sift through three years of historic data in four hours, highlighting leads and identifying ‘key indicators of potentially harmful situations’.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Queen's Speech: What is it and why is it important?

The government has suspended Parliament to allow a Queen's Speech to take place.

For a government to lose the vote that follows the speech would be highly unusual. But it is possible and could have serious consequences.

So, what exactly is the Queen's Speech and what would happen if MPs rejected it?

Full Article

Police and Crime General Home Office announces first wave of 20,000 police officer uplift

The government has today confirmed the police officer recruitment targets for every police force in England and Wales for 2020-21.

Strengthening police numbers is a priority for the government, which is providing £750 million to support forces to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers onto our streets by the end of 2020-21, the first stage in this new uplift. This is thanks to the additional funding announced by the Chancellor in the Spending Review.

The Home Secretary set out her vision for policing yesterday (8th October) when she chaired the second meeting of the National Policing Board, involving representatives of frontline officers and police leaders.

Full Article

Police Demand Thousands of serious crime suspects being released by police without restrictions, new research shows

Thousands of suspects - including some accused of serious violent crimes - are being released by police without any restrictions, potentially putting victims and the public in danger, according to new research.

The number of people being released under investigation (RUI) after being questioned by police has dramatically increased, leaving victims, witnesses and suspects "in limbo" and waiting months or even years for justice, a Law Society of England and Wales study found.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Welsh police forces to recruit new officers in first wave of 20,000 uplift

UK Government confirms recruitment target across the four forces in Wales.

Find out more by following the link.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Extinction Rebellion could disrupt Queen opening Parliament

The Extinction Rebellion protest could force the Queen to abandon carriage trip to open Parliament, police have suggested.

Officers have told those leading the demonstration that state opening cannot take place if they are camped on the streets as Scotland Yard admitted that they have “contingency plans”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police battling Extinction Rebellion admit they are spending less time with victims of REAL crime

Overstretched police in London admit they are spending less time with victims of real crime as it takes hours to arrest hundreds of attention-seeking eco protestors holding raves, breastfeeding in the street and waving around giant octopuses.

The Government today took the extraordinary step of calling in 500 officers from 43 other police forces in England and Wales as they try to round up the Extinction Rebellion mob bringing chaos to the centre of the capital.

Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said the scale of operation was having a big impact on policing in other areas of the capital.

He said: 'We haven't stopped policing, we never will, but it does mean that some activities beyond the normal responses are affected.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance No-deal Brexit would push borrowing above £100bn, IFS warns

A no-deal Brexit would see government borrowing rise to almost £100bn a year and overall debt reaching levels not seen since the 1960s, a leading economic think-tank has warned.

Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) predicted a mini-boom in public spending, funded by the extra borrowing, to help soften the blow if the UK crashes out of Europe without a deal.

But the boom would likely be followed by bust as the government struggles to cope with the consequences of a smaller economy and higher debt on its funding of public services, the IFS said.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Boris Johnson’s spending spree threatens to leave no cash for tax cuts

Boris Johnson is planning to spend as much on public services as Jeremy Corbyn promised at the last election and cannot afford the tax cuts he pledged in the Tory leadership campaign, a think tank has warned.

The prime minister’s proposed spending spree would mean Sajid Javid, the chancellor, overshooting the government’s borrowing limit by £5 billion in 2020-21, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which said that the government was “adrift without any fiscal anchor”.

Full Article

Police Demand Warwickshire and West Mercia Police split 'would create intolerable public risk'

The alliance was due to end on Tuesday but Warwickshire Police sought Home Office intervention, claiming it had not had enough time to split services.

MP Priti Patel said the two should remain united for a further six months. She added there would be a "severe" impact on Warwickshire if it ended without agreed terms. The forces have been sharing services, including IT and forensics, since 2012.

But West Mercia Police said it was subsidising Warwickshire - a claim the force refutes - and wants to pull out.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Counter-terror police running secret Prevent database

Counter-terror police across the UK have been running a secret database containing details of thousands of individuals referred to the government’s controversial anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, the Guardian can reveal.

The National Police Prevent Case Management (PCM) database is managed centrally by national counter-terrorism policing headquarters. It is accessible to all police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Home Office are able to request data from it, according to documents sent to the human rights group Liberty and seen by the Guardian.

Full Article

Police Demand The places knife crime is rising fastest

The rate of knife attacks in some regional towns and cities is higher than in many London boroughs, BBC analysis of police figures suggests.

Overall, London remains the most dangerous part of England and Wales - but data, obtained from 34 of the 43 police forces, shows the rate of serious knife crime offences rising sharply in some areas outside London, and outstripping some of the city's boroughs in places like the city of Manchester, Slough, Liverpool and Blackpool.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Gangs use autistic teenagers as drug mules by exploiting loneliness

Autistic children as young as 12 are being targeted by gangs and forced to sell class-A drugs, experts warn.

Violent groups take advantage of autistic children’s desire “to be liked and accepted” to convince them to act as mules, trafficking drugs between towns, cities and the countryside, a system known as county lines.

Paul Mckenzie, a youth worker who runs Groomsafe, a support network for families damaged by county lines, has worked with about 20 young people with autism and other special educational needs who have had to sell drugs in the past two years.

“A lot of them have been like square pegs in round holes all their lives because no one has taken an interest in them or made them feel they belong"

Full Article

Police Finances Priti Patel pledges police unit to tackle county lines

The home secretary has announced a new team within the British Transport Police to tackle county lines gangs.

The criminal networks deliberately target children and vulnerable adults to courier drugs from cities to users across the country.

Priti Patel said the government would invest £20m into identifying and dismantling the gangs.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Criminals who assault police officers face automatic jail sentences

Criminals who assault police officers face automatic jail sentences under plans being drawn up by the Government.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, is considering new legislation that would mean that anyone who attacks an officer and causes a set level of harm would be sent to jail.

She signalled the new crackdown at the Conservative party conference, declaring: “We will ensure that anyone who assaults a police officer receives a sentence that truly fits the crime, to make the thugs who would attack an officer, think twice.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Lord Harris: Boris Johnson's investment in our police could be too little and too late

The Prime Minister has promised us another 20,000 police with recruitment supposed to start this month. But what will this really mean? With today’s oral question in the House of Lords I hope to get some answers.

Police numbers have fallen every year since a Conservative-led Government took office in 2010.

Indeed, in the nine years up to March this year, forces in England and Wales lost 20,564 officers. With his usual desire for alliterative self-aggrandisement Johnson will no doubt want us to call them “Boris’s Bobbies”, but that will not alter the fact that the new officers will not even replace those that have been lost under his two Tory predecessors.

Full Article

Police Finances IFS: Johnson’s tax plans will cost economy billions

The prime minister’s plans to cut revenue received from National Insurance contributions and higher income tax would cost billions a year, a think-tank has said.

Boris Johnson has said he wants to raise the threshold for the top income tax rate from £50,000 to £80,000, which would cost £8bn a year, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The prime minister has not specified how much he wishes to raise the NICs threshold to, but if it was raised to match the current income tax personal allowance of £12,500 it would cost would cost the economy £17bn a year, the IFS calculated.

Full Article

Police and Crime General England's most deprived areas named as Jaywick and Blackpool

Eight of the 10 most deprived neighbourhoods in England are in Blackpool, according to new statistics. Seaside village Jaywick, in Essex, has been named the most deprived area overall for the third time in a row since 2010.

Blackpool took the next eight slots while Middlesbrough had the largest share of the most deprived areas. Government officials ranked 32,844 neighbourhoods. The MHCLG's Index of Multiple Deprivation looks at levels of income, employment, education, health and crime as well as housing services and living environment.

Full Article

Police Finances London Bridge terror inquest: £1m in taxpayer’s money to defend public bodies

Public bodies spent nearly £1 million of taxpayers’ money on senior lawyers at the inquest into the London Bridge terror attack deaths while the families of the victims were denied legal aid.

The Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service and other state agencies that were criticised for their handling of the atrocity racked up £781,784 in legal fees funded by the public purse.

Full Article

Police Demand Youth services ‘decimated by 69 per cent’ in less than a decade amid surge in knife crime, figures show

Spending on youth services in England has been decimated by 69 per cent in a decade and is set to reach its lowest point in a generation next year, new figures show.

Campaigners have issued fresh warnings that austerity is pushing more children and young people into street violence after an analysis of figures revealed average spend on youth services per local authority plummeted from £7.79m in 2010 to a planned expenditure of just £2.45m next year.

Nearly a third of local councils have planned cuts that would see their spending on youth services decline by 80 per cent since 2010-11, while the vast majority of local authorities (83 per cent) are set to cut their funding in half over a nine-year period, the data shows.

Knife crime has meanwhile surged, with 43,516 offences reported to police last year across England and Wales – excluding Greater Manchester Police, which records data differently – marking the highest since comparable records began in 2011.

Full Article

Police Finances Government urged to rethink police funding

Police and local government leaders have called for a rethink of how policing is funded.

The current system of precepts and top-ups is not creating the secure, long-term revenues stream needed to fight crime and modernise forces, according to a police and crime commissioner, a government finance expert and a former government adviser.

The call came despite the announcement of an extra £750 million by the Government to fund the recruitment of an extra 20,000 police officers.

Full Article

Police Finances Robbery rise blamed on police cuts and rise in smartphone use

A new report says the wide use of smartphones and cuts to police patrols are behind the rise.

It also found some 269,000 young people were involved in or at risk of violence last year. The Home Office said it was funding a police recruitment drive and helping officers to use their powers.

From 2010 to 2014, offences were on the decline almost everywhere. Since then, however, there have been small increases in five countries - and a 33% rise in England and Wales, which researchers said was "significant" because robbery acted as an "entry point" for violent crime.

Full Article

Police Finances Home Office ‘manipulates’ crime figures by ditching fraud cases

The Home Office is manipulating crime figures by telling the national anti-fraud service to dismiss tens of thousands of legitimate cases, two former police chiefs have told The Times.

Ken Farrow and Steve Wilmott said that Action Fraud, which was exposed by an undercover Times investigation last month for failing victims, is wrongly omitting to record cases of identity theft as crimes.

The decision to dismiss these cases, made by the Home Office, means that up to 50,000 reported frauds every year are not included in official statistics and the criminals are not pursued.

Full Article

Police and Crime General ‘Wasteful’ Treasury slammed for impact on services

There is "much cause for concern" in how the Treasury's approach affects public services, analysis by a leading think tank has found. Spending and accountability are “often not adequately lined up”, information is "not used properly" to inform decisions and the government does "too little" to understand the impact of spending on metropolitan or county areas, the Institute for Government said.

It added spending is "planned wastefully" and the government does not explain its intentions clearly, with the Treasury’s current ways of working contributing "strongly" to these problems.

Full Article

Technology Home Office to fund use of AI to help catch dark web paedophiles

The government has pledged to spend more money on the child abuse image database, which since 2014 has allowed police and other law enforcement agencies to search seized computers and other devices for indecent images of children quickly, against a record of 14m images, to help identify victims.

Earlier this month, the chancellor, Sajid Javid, announced £30m would be set aside to tackle online child sexual exploitation, with the Home Office releasing more information on how this would be spent on Tuesday.

National Crime Agency statistics showed 2.88m accounts were registered around the world on child sexual abuse sites on the dark web last year, with at least 5% believed to be in the UK.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Domestic violence killings reach five-year high

The number of people killed as a result of domestic violence in the UK is at its highest level in five years.

Last year, 173 people were killed in domestic violence-related homicides, according to data obtained by the BBC from 43 police forces across the UK - an increase of 32 deaths on 2017. One criminologist described them as "invisible victims of knife crime". It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government was "fully committed" to tackling domestic abuse.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Priti Patel pledges boost for law and order

The home secretary told senior police officers yesterday that she is “ashamed” at the lack of support for officers in an attack on the Conservative government’s record since 2010.

In her first major speech to police since becoming home secretary, Priti Patel also admitted that it would take more than a “sticking plaster” to heal the years of damage in relations between the police and the government. Ms Patel said she recognised that the police had been “overworked and undervalued” by the previous Conservative administration and insisted that she wanted to reset the relationship.

Police officer numbers in England and Wales fell by more than 21,000 to 122,404 between 2010 and 2018. In the past year they rose to 123,171. The number of PCSOs has fallen from 16,918 in 2010 to 9,547 this year and special constables from 15,505 to 10,640.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Strategic Review ‘must shine a light into every corner of policing’

A comprehensive examination of policing aimed at improving the future of the service is ‘much welcomed and long overdue’ says the National Chair of the Police Federation.

The independent policing think tank The Police Foundation has launched its Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales. Along with other key policing partners, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) will be contributing to the review which is expected to have an impact similar to the 1962 Royal Commission which laid the basis for today’s police service.

Chaired by Sir Michael Barber, it will look at how crime and other threats to public safety are changing and assess the ability of policing to respond, setting out a long-term strategic direction for the service so it is better able to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police can’t do what public expects, admits Chief Superintendent Paul Griffiths

Policing is in crisis and officers are no longer able to deliver the service the public expects, a senior officer said as he gave his backing for an independent strategic review.

Chief Superintendent Paul Griffiths, head of the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA), told The Times that officers across the country were under unprecedented pressure.

He lent his support to a new root-and-branch review of the state of policing in the UK, which will be carried out by Sir Michael Barber, a former adviser to Tony Blair, with the support of police chiefs and public bodies including the Cabinet Office, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Mr Griffiths, who will announce the review at PSA’s annual conference today, welcomed the promised recruitment of 20,000 officers but said that the present landscape was the worst he had seen in a career spanning more than 25 years.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Boris Johnson’s pledge to recruit 20,000 extra officers will fail ‘unless half a million apply to join police’

Up to half a million people will have to apply to become police officers over the next three years in order to meet Boris Johnson’s 20,000 target, a senior officer has said.

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), warned that because of the number of officers who retire or leave every year, 50,000 new officers may have to be hired in total.

Speaking at the Police Superintendents’ Association conference, he said that only one in every 10 applicants currently becomes a police officer in England and Wales, meaning 500,000 hopefuls would be required at the current rate.

“It is a huge number but I think we will get that ratio down considerably over time by doing some things with how that process works,” Mr Hewitt told journalists. “We’re looking at every stage of how you recruit, train and develop people ... the important point is that we get the right people.”

Full Article

Police Finances Senior officer suggests austerity fuelled surge in violent crime

Funding cuts to police and public services that previously helped stop people, especially the young, from offending has helped fuel the surge in violent crime, a police chief has said.

Supt Darius Hemmatpour of Scotland Yard’s violent crime task force, said stabbings and other life-threatening attacks in London spiked after 2017, and suggested that austerity was a factor.

Speaking at the Police Superintendents’ Association annual conference he said: “Austerity has obviously impacted on individual families and households... Public sector services were cut. There comes a point that services previously available were no longer there... People on the edge of criminality may have previously had an intervention that may have diverted them away, but with the loss of those services, that intervention was not there.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Boris Johnson criticised over Brexit speech in front of West Yorkshire police officers

The Prime Minister was condemned as having used the student officers as an "inappropriate" backdrop as part of a "political stunt" when he made a speech which ended up referencing a possible general election and criticising Jeremy Corbyn.

Around 35 officers had been standing behind his lectern, in front of an old-style police box, for at least 20 minutes before the speech at West Yorkshire Police's operations and training complex in Wakefield began.

Mr Johnson had finished his speech and had answered a number of questions from journalists seated behind the officers in the audience, when it became clear a policewoman standing behind his right shoulder was not feeling well.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Campaign to recruit thousands of police officers

A national campaign is underway to recruit 20,000 extra police officers across the UK. It's part of a £750 million government project to reassure communities that crime-fighting IS a priority. John Ryall reports.

Contributions by Kit Malthouse MP, Policing Minister; Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner; Matt Webb, Sussex Police Federation; Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, Brighton Kemptown, Lab; and Luke Williams, recruit.

Full Article

Police Finances Chancellor needs an extra £5bn to cover spending promises, says IFS

The chancellor will need to find an extra £5bn of spending next year to meet the government's recent pledges, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.

A new report, published by the IFS ahead of tomorrow's Spending Round, finds an extra £5bn is needed just to avoid cuts to other public services.

It estimates that pledges on schools, police, NHS, defence and overseas aid will require at least £9bn more next year compared to this year.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Moped crime in London more than halves a year after police started ramming suspects off their bikes

The number of moped crimes in London have more than halved from 20,973 to 9,723 after Scotland Yard started ramming in to suspects, the force revealed.

Police began using their cars to stop suspected criminals in November 2018, after the number of thieves using scooters to target pedestrians rose dramatically.

Since then the spate of offenders using mopeds in the capital has dropped from 20,973, between June 2017 and July 2018, to just 9,723 in the year until June 2019.

Full Article

Police Demand Police 'dealing with more mental health incidents'

The number of mental health incidents dealt with by police has risen by more than a quarter in four years, figures obtained by BBC Radio 5 Live show.

While there were 385,206 incidents flagged as mental health-related in 2014, in 2018 that figure was 494,159, a rise of 28%.

Police chiefs have said the issue is affecting the amount of time officers can focus on fighting crime. The Home Office said it is working to "relieve the burden on officers".

Full Article

Police Demand 'Police officers taken off beat to deal with mental health calls'

Supporting mental health patients can occupy police officers for "10 to 12 hours" before doctors can make an assessment, a chief constable has said.

Specialist support for mental health-related calls costs Welsh police £1.2m a year - but Mark Collins said a "true cost" is the loss of PCs on the beat. "All the time we are dealing with mental health matters we are taking officers off the street," he said.

Full Article

Police Finances Change law on police bail to stop domestic and sexual abuse victims being put at risk, government told

The government must change the law to ensure domestic and sexual abuse victims are not put at risk after reporting attacks, an MP and campaigners have said.

A letter seen exclusively by The Independent warned that changes made by the Conservatives had caused a steep drop in the use of police bail – and thousands of alleged sex attackers and violent criminals were released without any restrictions.

Labour MP Sarah Champion, who wrote the letter, said the changes had endangered survivors and could discourage them from reporting crimes to the police.

Full Article

Police Finances Nick Ferrari's Call For Tasers Backed By 13 Senior Police Chiefs

Nick Ferrari has written to Priti Patel, asking her to provide ring-fenced budget so that all police officers can be armed with a taser.

Signatories of the letter include John Apter, the head of the Police Federation - the voice of the police - seven Police and Crime Commissioners, three Chief Constables and Lord Stevens, the former Met Police Commissioner.

Full letter avaliable on the LBC website.

Full Article

Police Finances Javid pledges spending review cash for schools, NHS and police

Chancellor Sajid Javid has promised increased spending on priority areas of schools, police and health.

Setting a 4 September date for the 12-month spending round - earlier than previously planned - he said there would be no "blank cheque" for departments.

Mr Javid said he would stick to the current borrowing rules, limiting the scope for extensive spending increases.

Labour called the move a "one-off pre-election panic-driven stunt budget".

Full Article

Police Finances Novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury cost taxpayers a staggering £30m

THE Novichok poisoning plot in Salisbury cost police a staggering £12million, new figures have revealed. It brings the total clean-up bill picked up by taxpayer after two declared major incidents to a whopping £30million.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Four-year-old among 1,000 children caught with knives in schools

A four-year-old was among more than 1,000 children caught carrying knives in schools last year, police figures show.

A total of 1,144 knife possession offences in schools, where the suspect was a child, were recorded in England, Scotland and Wales over 12 months.

The figures, obtained from police forces through Freedom of Information requests by 5 News, also revealed weapons seized by officers included machetes, hunting knives and a samurai sword.

Dyfed-Powys Police were called to one school in Wales by teachers concerned that a four-year-old had a knife.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police co-operation will fall away in hard Brexit

Sixty years of improvements in police co-operation across Europe will “fall away” if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the garda commissioner has said.

Drew Harris said that the UK would lose “access to a lot of the EU’s criminal justice treaties” and that police did not have the resources to control the border if checkpoints were reinstated after Brexit.

“The criminal justice treaties the UK is presently a member of will fall away for the United Kingdom and that is not going to simplify policing,” Mr Harris said yesterday at an event in Dublin to announce a new organisational structure for the garda force.

Full Article

Police Finances Government's budget surplus shrinks in July

The UK posted a smaller-than-expected budget surplus in July as government spending increased.

A growing wage bill and higher spending on goods and services was behind the lower surplus, which fell to £1.3bn.

Analysts had been expecting a £2.7bn surplus, which would have been less than the £3.6bn booked last year.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Kent Chief Constable on why he’s issuing Tasers to all officers, including Special Constables

EXCLUSIVE: Kent’s Chief Constable Alan Pughsley discusses his decision to issue Tasers to all police officers in the county – including, in a national first, to Special Constables, the first of whom are already undergoing training.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Durham to issue Tasers to every frontline officer

The force said the move is designed to offer more protection to both the public and the police. All frontline officers who wish to carry one will be equipped with the upgraded X2 Tasers following intensive training in the safe use of the devices.

Over the next 12 months, the new model will be rolled out across the force, replacing the original X26 which has been used for the last 14 years.

On Tuesday (August 20), Northamptonshire Police said it would offer the devices to an additional 338 officers, equipping every officer in response, neighbourhood and proactive teams with Tasers.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Chicken Connoisseur YouTuber: Knife crime warnings racist

A YouTube star, famous for his reviews of chicken shops, has criticised the government's decision to feature knife crime warnings on takeaway boxes.

Elijah Quashie - better known as the Chicken Connoisseur - told BBC's Wake Up to Money that the approach was too simplistic to solve a complex problem.

"I can see the racist connotation. I'm not sure if I'd say racist, or stereotype but it's in that bracket."

The government said its chicken shop adverts were part of a wider campaign.

Full Article

Police Finances Wild West Britain: Police chief wants to arm all his officers with Tasers

A chief constable is fighting back against violence in lawless Britain by arming all his officers with Taser stun guns. Nick Adderley of Northampton Police, said “enough is enough” and pledged to tackle the scourge of violent assaults with the 50,000-volt weapons for frontline staff.

Mr Adderley’s force will become the first in Britain to issue Tasers as standard, in a move backed by his police and crime commissioner. Speaking exclusively to the Daily Express last night, he said: “I can’t sit here and preside over a situation where my officers are exposed to increasing levels of violence when at my disposal is equipment that could save an officer’s life. Enough is enough. Mine will be the first force to issue a Taser to every officer who wants one.”

Full Article

Police Finances Chief: I cannot sit idly by as my officers are exposed to increasing levels of violence

A chief admitted policing “hasn’t moved with the times” after ordering the issue of Tasers to every frontline officer in his force in response to a "sickening trend" of attacks on the emergency services.

Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley, who served in the Royal Navy before joining the police, said the decision to issue the weapons was not taken lightly.

But he said he was "not prepared to wait" as police personnel were facing deadly threats from people with “no respect for the law”.

CC Adderley said the weapons would be issued to all officers who want one.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Eurofins Scientific: Cyber-attack leads to backlog of 20,000 forensic samples

A cyber-attack on the UK's biggest forensic services provider led to a backlog of 20,000 samples, the BBC has learned.

Eurofins Scientific was targeted by a "highly-sophisticated" ransomware virus in June, which led British police to suspend work with the company.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) is now clearing the backlog, which includes blood and DNA specimens.

Full Article

Police Finances Knife crime curfew plan for 12 year olds

Children as young as 12 could face curfews under Home Office plans to tackle knife crime.

Courts in England and Wales will get extra civil powers to tackle concerns about people suspected of carrying bladed weapons and serious violence.

The knife crime prevention orders (KCPOs) can be imposed by magistrate and youth courts on anyone who police believe is carrying a knife.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police Scotland scour social media amid fears of Brexit unrest

Scottish police officers are searching social media for information on potentially disruptive protests over Brexit.

Police Scotland has retained 400 extra officers to deal with domestic unrest and stand ready for deployment in Northern Ireland, where the combination of a hard border and sectarian unrest would be particularly volatile.

In a report to be presented to the Scottish Police Authority on Wednesday, Will Kerr, deputy chief constable for local policing, said: “The Brexit contingency planning team are fully aware of the potential civil unrest. Police Scotland’s Brexit intelligence officers continue to monitor social media sites in order that Police Scotland can prepare and respond to any potential protests.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police Scotland spend £7m on Brexit contingency planning

Police Scotland have spent more than £7m on planning for Brexit.

The figure has been released in a Brexit contingency planning report due to be discussed by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) this week. It also states that civil unrest is one of the biggest potential issues facing policing post-Brexit.

It comes as leaked government documents appear to show that Britain faces shortages of fuel, food and medicine, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Full Article

Police Demand Boris Johnson’s pledge to increase police numbers by 20,000 still won’t be enough to undo austerity cuts, warn senior officers

Boris Johnson’s pledge to recruit 20,000 new police officers will fail to undo the damage caused by years of Conservative budget cuts, senior officers have warned.

Analysis by The Independent suggests that more than 46,000 will have to be hired to meet the target and replace officers leaving the service over the next three years.

Doubts have been raised over when such ambitious targets can be reached, with more than half of forces failing to meet current recruitment targets.

Full Article

Police Demand Drink drivers escaping prosecution as officers have to drive more than an hour to police station

Drink drivers are getting away with breaking the law because police are having to drive them up to an hour and 45 minutes to the nearest custody cells, it has been warned.

An investigation by the Daily Telegraph has found that officers across England and Wales routinely have to drive suspects for more than an hour before they can process their arrest after a third of all custody suites were closed down.

As well as fears that drink drivers are escaping prosecution as they have sobered up on the journey to the station, it has been warned that officers are opting to drive suspects home or simply giving them a ticking off to save time.

Those living furthest from stations say that they are “forgotten towns” where criminals can do as they please.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police officer on frontline life: 'I've been spat on, bitten and kicked'

PC Andrew Harper was killed while attending a burglary on Thursday - the third serious attack against an officer on the job in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, a Met police constable was stabbed in the head just days before a West Midlands Police officer was run over with his own vehicle.

But are police officers facing more violence? The BBC's Ella Wills spoke to one serving officer, who asked not to be named, about life on the frontline.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Putting more people in prison is not the way to cut crime [opinion]

Boris Johnson wants to restore his party’s ‘tough on crime’ reputation.

The new home secretary, Priti Patel, has said she wants criminals “to feel terror”, and recruitment will begin shortly for 20,000 more police officers.

In a less-publicised move, Boris Johnson is also considering whether to scrap plans to abolish short-prison sentences.

But if the ultimate aim of a tough stance is to cut crime – and thereby make the public safer – then this would be a foolish move.

Full Article

Police Finances Most cases reported to National fraud centre ‘not investigated’

Staff working for the government-funded fraud reporting line mislead callers by saying their cases will be investigated when most are dismissed, an investigation by a national newspaper has suggested.

A journalist from The Times went undercover at Action Fraud, the body set up to deal with reports of fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The newspaper said that most cases reported to the centre, funded by the Home Office, were dismissed, either by the call centre employees or by an algorithm.

Full Article

Police Finances Extra police recruits ‘need to be bobbies on the beat’

Almost all of the promised 20,000 police recruits must be used to tackle the “total collapse” of neighbourhood units in the last decade, a former Metropolitan Police chief has said.

Richard Walton called for between 16,000 and 18,000 of the officers to become “bobbies on the beat” and make community policing the priority.

In a report for the Policy Exchange think tank, the former head of Scotland Yard counterterrorism said that Boris Johnson’s pledge “represents a dramatic shift in policing policy after eight years of cuts to police budgets and police officer numbers”. He said the cuts had been accompanied by rising levels of serious and violent crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Reading police boss wants more female BAME officers

A new police chief has said she hopes to inspire more women from black and Asian communities to become officers.

Supt Bhupinder Rai said BAME women had an "understanding" and a "subconscious knowledge" which could help tackle honour-based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

She said she would like to see officer numbers return "to pre-austerity" levels to reduce violent crime.

Full Article

Prisons Prisons: Boris Johnson pledges £100m to boost security

Prisons in England and Wales are to receive £100m to improve security and cut crime, the government has said.

Airport-style security - such as X-ray scanners and metal detectors - would be introduced in more prisons, it added.

PM Boris Johnson said stopping weapons, drugs and phones getting into jails would prevent them becoming "factories for making bad people worse".

Full Article

Police Demand Police are deterred from chasing criminals by 'over-bearing' inquiries into complaints by watchdog, say ex-counter-terror chiefs

Police are being deterred from chasing or searching criminals because of fears complaints will tie them up in lengthy and unnecessary investigations by overzealous watchdogs, two of Britain’s top anti-terror officers have warned.

In a report on the future of policing by think tank Policy Exchange, they cite cases where officers have been under investigation for up to 10 years, sometimes on frivolous complaints, only to be cleared at the end but with their careers tarred by the allegations.

Full Article

Police Demand Drug crime mapped: Gangs operating away from home cities

Drug crime is increasing in many small towns and villages even as it falls significantly in city centres.

Police data shows drug crimes in England and Wales have fallen by more than 50,000 in the past five years.

But national averages hide a major shift in where drug crimes are being committed.

Full Article

Prisons Criminals must get the sentences they deserve, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson ordered a review into the sentencing of violent and sexual offenders yesterday as he attempts to rebuild the Tories’ reputation as the party of law and order before a possible early general election.

In an attack on his predecessor’s policies to restrict prison numbers, the prime minister said the public wanted to see criminals serving the sentences they deserved and promised that the “punishment must truly fit the crime”.

His proposals were questioned by prison reform groups who accused him of “stoking up public anxiety” about sentencing.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Law and order: Extra £85m for CPS to tackle violent crime

The Crown Prosecution Service will receive an extra £85m over the next two years, to help deal with a rise in violent crime in England and Wales.

It comes as Boris Johnson launches a review of sentencing of some dangerous and prolific offenders.

He said dangerous criminals must be taken off the streets and punishments "fit the crime" if the public was to have confidence in the justice system.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Sweeping powers to impose curfews and alter the law under no-deal Brexit

Ministers will have draconian powers to bring in curfews, redirect food supplies and even change the law without consulting parliament in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Senior civil servants in Whitehall have discussed plans to use the sweeping authority of a little-known law to deal with any unexpected consequences of a disorderly departure from the European Union.

The legislation grants ministers emergency powers to deal with any event that threatens to cause “serious damage” to the UK.

Full Article

Police and Crime General ‘Chicken shop’ gangs use free food to recruit children

Street gangs are recruiting children who are excluded from school by approaching them in fast-food restaurants with offers of a free meal.

Members of so-called “chicken shop gangs” keep watch on school-age children who meet in cheap food outlets during the daytime. Once they accept free food, children may be offered money to perform tasks such as keeping a lookout and, once they agree, can be intimidated if they refuse further requests.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Crime: What has Boris Johnson promised on law and order?

Since becoming prime minister just over a month ago, Boris Johnson has made a number of law-and-order announcements affecting England and Wales.

But what exactly is being proposed?..

Full Article

Prisons Boris Johnson pledges £2.5bn for 10,000 new prison beds and boosts stop-and-search powers

Boris Johnson will this week seek to burnish the Conservatives’ credentials as the party of law and order with plans for 10,000 new prison places and a shake-up of police stop-and-search powers to combat knife crime.

The prime minister today unveiled plans for a renewed prison-building programme as part of a domestic policy blitz to position his party for an autumn general election.

After the announcement that an extra 20,000 police will be hired to crack down on violent crime, Mr Johnson hopes that his £2.5bn prison reforms will underline a determination that those who fall foul of the law are punished.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police minister defends plan to extend stop-and-search

The police minister, Kit Malthouse, has insisted that a new wave of stop-and-search operations should not increase community tensions as the government unveiled a series of anti-crime measures.

Both Boris Johnson, the prime minister, and Priti Patel, the home secretary, announced in separate comment articles in Sunday newspapers a lifting of restrictions on police carrying preventive stop-and-search operations under so-called section 60 powers – in another apparent sign of a looming general election.

Johnson, writing in the Mail on Sunday, said the time had arrived to “come down hard on crime”. In the Sun on Sunday, Patel said she would ensure police had “the resources and the powers they need” to protect people.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Home Secretary Priti Patel: 'Stop and search works'

Home Secretary Priti Patel has spoken to the BBC about government plans to expand stop and search powers.

A pilot scheme allowing police to stop and search someone when they believe a crime may – rather than will – be committed, will be extended to all 43 forces across England and Wales

She said: "Stop and search works. We hear again and again from police that [they] need to be empowered."

Full Article

Police and Crime General Boris Johnson risks triggering riots with rollout of blanket stop-and-search powers, Diane Abbott warns

The expansion of blanket stop and search powers that let police challenge people without reasonable suspicion could provoke unrest, the government has been warned.

More than 8,000 officers will now be able to impose “section 60” laws on areas where they think violence could break out after Boris Johnson lifted restrictions on their use.

The Home Office described the crackdown as a “pilot”, but admitted that it had not waited for results to come back from seven areas that initially tested the change to roll it out across all 43 forces in England and Wales.

Full Article

Prisons Boris Johnson lays down the law: Rapists and murderers 'to serve more of their sentences behind bars' as PM vows to make punishments for violent criminals 'fit the crime'

Violent and sexual offenders could serve more of their sentences behind bars following an urgent review of sentencing policy ordered by Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister said dangerous criminals must be taken off the streets and punishments 'truly fit the crime' if the public was to have confidence in the justice system.

The move follows a series of announcements over the weekend in which Mr Johnson promised to 'come down hard' on crime.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance U.K. Economy Unexpectedly Shrinks for First Time Since 2012

The U.K. economy shrank for the first time in more than six years in the second quarter, delivering a blow to newly installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Gross domestic product fell 0.2% following a solid 0.5% advance in the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday. Economists had expected output to be unchanged. In June alone, the economy stagnated. The pound fell after the report, sliding to $1.2117 as of 10:17 a.m. in London.

Full Article

Police Demand Sharp rise in women caught carrying knives

Knife possession offences involving women in England have increased steeply since 2014 - rising by at least 10% every year, police figures show.

Some 1,509 offences were recorded in 2018 - an increase of 73% over the last five years - data obtained following freedom of information requests shows.

Youth workers say some women carry weapons for gangs as they are less likely to be stopped by police.

Full Article

Fire Schools in fire callouts had no sprinklers

Sprinklers were missing from every one of the 57 schools that called out London firefighters to tackle a blaze this year, fire service leaders said yesterday.

London Fire Brigade has reiterated calls for sprinklers to be made mandatory in all schools. At present they must be fitted only if a building inspector deems them necessary.

Charlie Pugsley, the brigade’s deputy assistant commissioner for fire safety, said: “It is shocking that we have been campaigning for a number of years to make sprinklers mandatory . . . and yet this year every school fire we have been called to has had no sprinklers.

“Sprinklers are the only fire safety system that detects a fire, suppresses a fire and can raise the alarm.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Young offenders get little help to make a fresh start

Youth workers are having to pass notes under locked cell doors to help jailed teenagers prepare for release because of the need to keep violent inmates apart, a watchdog says.

In other cases they can contact youngsters about their future only by talking through flaps in cell doors.

The length to which some members of youth offending teams have to go is disclosed in a report on resettlement, published today, which says that young offender institutions are largely failing to prepare teenage inmates to lead safe and law-abiding lives on their release.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Keyless cars can be stolen in ten seconds

New cars can be stolen in as little as ten seconds because of security flaws in keyless entry systems.

A study published by What Car? today said that thieves could quickly open and start at least two models using a “relay” device. Home Office figures record that 111,999 vehicles were stolen in 2017-18, up 49 per cent in four years.

Many new cars are opened and started using a fob. Thieves can use two relay boxes — one near the car and another close to the house where the fob is usually kept — to extend the radio signal from the fob to make it appear to be within range of the vehicle. The thieves can then open the doors and start the engine.

Full Article

Police Finances Chancellor fast-tracks Spending Round to free up departments to prepare for Brexit

Sajid Javid said the Treasury will carry out an accelerated exercise to ensure departments and devolved administrations have the financial certainty they need to deliver their plans on public services next year.

The Spending Round, which is due to complete in September, will support the commitments made by the Prime Minister since he came to office including the recruitment of 20,000 extra police officers and his ambition for additional funding for schools, as well as delivering the government’s promises on the NHS.

This will ensure the Government continues to keep borrowing under control and debt falling by meeting the existing fiscal rules.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Brexit: no deal would harm UK security, senior officer warns

The UK’s safety and security would suffer from a no-deal Brexit and no amount of planning and preparation can erase the risk, Britain’s head of counter-terrorism has said.

The Scotland Yard assistant commissioner, Neil Basu, said key crime-fighting tools would be lost and their replacements would not be as good.

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview in which he also warned that boosts to police and security service numbers were no longer enough to combat terrorism, he said: “We can make them [the damaging effects] less, but they would be slower systems. Those systems and tools were developed in the EU for very good reason. They were very good. We had just signed up to biometric sharing.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Government urged to impose 'calorie tax' on unhealthy food

Health campaigners are urging the government to introduce a new “calorie tax” to tackle childhood obesity, diabetes and cancer.

A levy on companies producing processed food with high levels of fat and sugar would encourage them to create more nutritional snacks, according to campaign groups Action on Sugar and Action on Salt.

Their call for further tariffs, which is backed by the Liberal Democrats, comes after Boris Johnson vowed during the Tory leadership campaign to freeze so-called “sin taxes”, which include levies on alcohol, tobacco and soft drinks.

Full Article

Police Demand Courts ‘will struggle to cope’ with work from beefed-up police force

Boris Johnson’s pledge to recruit 20,000 extra police officers will be a waste because there are insufficient lawyers to bring suspects to trial, senior former prosecutors say.

One former government law officer said that without additional crown prosecutors, the government would be forced to build large holding pens for suspects as they were processed through the courts.

Criminal lawyers argue that trying to push significantly more defendants through the courts would result in many being freed as they could not be prosecuted within a reasonable time.

Full Article

Police Demand Retiring police could be offered pension incentives to stay on in bid to hit 20,000 officer target

Police officers about to retire could be offered pension incentives to retain them and help hit Boris Johnson’s target of 20,000 extra police in three years.

A working group of senior police chiefs will consider expanding a scheme pioneered by Scotland Yard to combat a shortfall of experienced officers taking on cases including murder, rape and other serious crime.

Rather than taking permanent retirement, officers are offered the chance to return to their post at the same rank and salary with the added bonus of first being able to draw a six-figure lump sum from their pension.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Has Greater Manchester gone soft on crime?

New figures suggest you're unlikely to be caught, with only one in 15 crimes reported in Greater Manchester ending in a charge, and fewer still in a conviction or jail sentence.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Crime: Violence reduction scheme 'should be mandatory'

The Cardiff academic and former surgeon behind a globally recognised violence reduction scheme has said it should be mandatory in Wales.

Under the "Cardiff model", A&E units record anonymised data when someone is injured in an incident and then hand it on to police.

It became mandatory for A&E departments in England in 2017, but not in Wales.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police could be allowed to mount 'emergency' stop and searches in knife crime hotspots for up to 48 hours

Police could be allowed to mount “emergency” stop and searches in knife crime hotspots for up to 48 hours as part of a proposed major expansion by Boris Johnson.

The changes, expected to be unveiled within the next fortnight, could wipe away all the restrictions placed on officers’ use of stop and search in 2014 by then Home Secretary Theresa May over concerns it disproportionately targeted ethnic minorities.

Ministers are expected to expand nationwide schemes being trialled in seven police forces which enable officers to search people without reasonable suspicion in places where they believe serious violence may occur.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Victims’ defender: ‘People say it feels like being raped many times in public’

Only a tiny number of people who distribute “revenge porn” are being brought to justice, the victims’ commissioner has warned, after an investigation by The Sunday Times revealed that up to 95% of cases do not end in a suspect being charged.

More than 3,056 cases were recorded by police last year, an increase from 1,355 in 2015-16, according to data obtained under freedom of information laws from 32 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales.

However, the proportion of cases resulting in a charge fell from about one in seven in 2015-16 to one in 13 in 2017-18 and one in 20 in the year to April.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Home Secretary Priti Patel: I want criminals to feel terror

The new home secretary, Priti Patel, has said she wants criminals to "literally feel terror" at the thought of breaking the law.

In her first interview in the role, Ms Patel told the Daily Mail she hoped more officers on the streets would make criminals fearful.

She also distanced herself from past comments supporting the death penalty.

Full Article

Police Finances Donald Trump’s state visit cost Met Police £3.5 million, figures show

Donald Trump's first state visit to the UK cost the Metropolitan Police nearly £3.5 million, official figures show.

The US president was met by tens of thousands of protesters in the capital before he attended a D-Day commemoration service in Portsmouth.

Figures show the force's total costs came in at £3,419,905, with more than 6,300 officers deployed across the three-day visit.

The Met spent just under £3 million policing the president's previous visit to the UK in 2018. The total cost of that four-day trip came in at more than £14.2 million to forces across the UK.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Cannabis farm found in ex-police station in Bristol

A cannabis farm containing about 100 plants has been found at a former police station in Bristol.

The discovery was made by a telephone engineer who was called out to the building on Clanage Road on Thursday.

He said: "It looked like a very good set-up with plastic sheeting all along the floor."

Avon and Somerset police confirmed it sent two officers to the building at about 09:30 BST.

Full Article

Prisons 18,000 prisoners are treated like ‘battery hens’

More than 18,000 prisoners are being “cooped up like battery hens” in overcrowded cells, according to figures released yesterday.

Three in five men’s prisons are holding more inmates than they are certified to look after despite the overall numbers in jails remaining broadly stable at about 82,700.

An analysis by the Howard League for Penal Reform said that thousands of prisoners were being housed in overcrowded conditions, fuelling violence and undermining attempts to turn them away from crime. Most prisoners in such conditions have to share cells designed for one person, while some sleep three to a cell meant for two.

Full Article

Police Demand MPs call for police in schools to cut youth violence

Schools in areas with a higher risk of youth violence should be given dedicated police officers, say MPs.

The Home Affairs Committee criticised the government's current violence reduction strategy as "completely inadequate".

It called on the new prime minister, Boris Johnson, to take "personal responsibility" for tackling knife and gun crime among young people.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Boris Johnson snubs Robert Buckland’s call for suspected sex offenders to stay anonymous

Boris Johnson has distanced himself from Robert Buckland, his new justice secretary, after he called for those suspected of serious crimes to be granted anonymity but only if they had a reputation to protect.

Downing Street made little effort to disguise its irritation at Mr Buckland’s intervention in The Times, which critics said would usher in a two-tier justice system that went against the principle of open justice.

Mr Buckland had backed a campaign by Sir Cliff Richard and Paul Gambaccini to ban the naming of those arrested on suspicion of rape and other sexual offences. He said that there was “merit” in extending this to all serious crimes.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Recruiting police officers an 'absolute priority', says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has pledged to hire up to new 6,000 police officers by this time next year as he attempts to meet his target of recruiting 20,000 in three years.

His vow came after he returned to London from Northern Ireland and opened the first meeting of the National Policing Board, set up to lead the recruitment drive.

The board, announced by the prime minister last week when he unveiled his police recruitment promise, will be chaired by Home Secretary Priti Patel and will meet four times a year.

Full Article

Police and Crime General £1m boost to sports projects that keep young Londoners out of violent crime

Sport projects keeping young Londoners away from violent crime are to receive a £1.1 million boost to help children “turn their lives around”.

City Hall is giving the cash to local groups as it draws on the expertise of coaches and sports workers to propose solutions to capital’s violent crime epidemic.

The fund will be available to projects helping those at risk of exclusion or getting involved in violence and crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Millennials? They aren’t much cop at police work

As police forces prepare for the government’s ambitious recruitment drive, they have identified a formidable new challenge: hiring millennials.

The Home Office has been told that rookies have been “wrapped in cotton wool”, are routinely shocked that police are expected to work nights and weekends and “do not like confrontation”.

Police officers and staff told the Front Line Review that such expectations “may be a generational phenomenon related to people who have recently reached adulthood — a ‘millennial thing’ — and not unique to policing”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Thousands of boys carrying knives as study highlights link to truancy

More than 17,500 boys aged 14 have carried or used a knife or other weapon, according to research for the Home Office.

A judge who jailed two boys after the death of another 17-year-old boy has condemned a “warped culture” in which possessing a knife is seen as “cool and aesthetically pleasing”.

A report looking at people born in 2000 and 2001 said that about a third of those who said they had carried a knife had also been attacked.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Recruitment of 20,000 new police officers to begin 'within weeks'

The recruitment of 20,000 new police officers in England and Wales will begin within weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

The College of Policing welcomed the pledge but warned of "logistical challenges", partly because of concerns of a lack of instructors for training.

It is "not just getting people through the doors", its chief executive said.

Forces in England and Wales lost more than 20,000 officers between September 2009 and September 2017.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Sajid Javid: What should we expect from new chancellor?

As a teenager in the 1980s, Sajid Javid, the UK's new chancellor, was an ardent admirer of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the country's first female premier. He even has a portrait of the "Iron Lady" in his office.

So as he packs his things at the Home Office ready for the move to Treasury, that may be one of the things he takes with him, along with the sense that, like her, he is breaking new ground.

He was the first home secretary from an ethnic minority when he took the post last year. Now he will be the UK's first chancellor from the immigrant community...

Full Article

Police Finances Have police numbers dropped?

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to recruit an extra 20,000 police officers in England and Wales.

That would almost reverse the reduction in police numbers since the Conservatives came to power.

Between March 2010 and March 2018, police forces in England and Wales lost 21,732 officers - a drop of 15%, according to Home Office figures.

Full Article

Police Finances Crime could rise unless police numbers increase, says Sajid Javid

Crime could rise unless the Government increases police numbers to combat violence, Sajid Javid admitted, as he disclosed it would take three years to deliver on a pledge for an extra 20,000 officers.

“If we don’t get police numbers right, that would mean more coming years,” the Home Secretary told the Commons home affairs committee, as he was pressed by its chair Yvette Cooper to accept that fewer officers had led to rising crime."

Full Article

Police Finances Boris Johnson becomes new British prime minister – latest news

Aside from Brexit

On crime: he promises 20,000 more policemen

On the NHS: he promises hospital upgrades and more money

One social care: he promises the government "will fix" the problem with a clear plan.

On education: he promises to level up per pupil school funding, as previously trailed during his campaign. He goes on to say that all these promises are his "personal responsibility". "Nevermind the backstop, the buck stops here", he adds.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Why are graduates competing to be prison officers?

The government-backed Unlocked Graduates scheme trains university leavers to work as prison officers. But how much difference can they make in prisons where staffing levels are low, and it's a rush even to do the bare minimum?

In a packed lecture theatre at the University of Suffolk, a man in a smart suit is telling his life story.

Peter Yarwood says he first went to prison as a 15-year-old, addicted to heroin and alcohol. He used to rob to fund his habit and spent two decades in and out of custody - until he met somebody who helped him to turn his life around.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Government offers 'inflation-busting' pay rises

Chancellor Philip Hammond has handed public sector workers a pay rise that is above the UK's 2% inflation rate.

The move comes just days before Theresa May leaves office, which could lead Mr Hammond to resign as chancellor.

The deals will affect almost one million public sector workers from prison officers to dentists.

Teachers will get a 2.75% salary boost, the equivalent to £1,000 extra a year, for those on an average salary.

Full Article

Police Finances Home Office scheme rejects 70% of bids for cash to steer kids away from knife crime

The Home Office rejected over 70% of bids for cash to divert children away from knife crime and violence, as demands for resources to combat rising serious violence outstripped the available funds.

Ministers have denied funds to dozens of projects for vulnerable young people that bid for cash from the flagship ‘Early Intervention Fund’.

The Home Secretary announced the £22m fund last spring to make funding available for “critical support” to “steer young people away from serious violence”. But the department has rejected over 70% of the 111 bids received from Police and Crime Commissioners for the projects.

Full Article

Police Finances Public sector pay rise: May gives £2bn to teachers, police and armed forces

Two million public sector workers including police officers, soldiers and teachers are to be given above-inflation pay rises, the government will announce next week.

On Monday the Treasury will unveil the biggest public sector pay rise for six years, at an estimated cost of £2 billion, amid concerns that the private sector is pushing ahead on salaries.

Police officers will receive a 2.5 per cent pay rise across the board, soldiers 2.9 per cent and teachers and other school staff 2.75 per cent. Dentists and consultants will get 2.5 per cent and senior civil servants 2 per cent.

Full Article

Police Finances Theresa May to 'go for broke' on pay award in parting gift to police

Theresa May’s leaving present to under-resourced policing could be the biggest pay rise in six years, it has emerged. One of the Prime Minister’s final acts in office is expected to be the announcement next week of a £2bn inflation-busting bonanza for public sector workers.

The Treasury will reportedly unveil a 2.5% rise for police officers before the former Home Secretary’s tenure in 10 Downing Street comes to an end on Tuesday. Two million workers will receive increases although the Treasury is expected to say that, barring some extra funding for schools, the money will have to come from existing budgets.

Full Article

Technology Halt to facial recognition technology trial urged as MPs question its legality

Policing is facing more pressure to halt controversial trials of facial recognition technology as MPs argue lack of legislation calls into question their legal status.

Days after forces won unequivocal Home Office backing for continued testing, the Commons Science and Technology Committee challenged the accuracy and bias of the testing.

At the launch on Monday of new computer tools aimed at helping police fight online child abuse, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it was right for forces to "be on top of the latest technology”.

But yesterday the committee members urged the government to stop the trials until a framework for the “proper use, provision and regulation of biometrics and forensics” has been established.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance No deal Brexit ‘will create £30bn black hole’

A no-deal Brexit would blow a £30 billion annual hole in the public purse as the economy shrinks and tax receipts collapse, driving the national debt above £2 trillion for the first time, the government’s budget watchdog has warned.

Using the International Monetary Fund’s least-worst scenario of the impact of a no-deal and no-transition Brexit on October 31, the Office for Budget Responsibility said that the government would have to borrow roughly an extra £30 billion for each of the next four years, loading an extra £272 billion to the national debt by 2024.

If a deal is struck there would be room to borrow more than has been planned. The government could borrow an extra £25 billion a year and still keep debt falling as a percentage of GDP, the OBR said.

Full Article

Police Finances Home Office scheme rejects 63% of bids for cash to steer kids away from knife crime

The Home Office rejected 63% of bids for cash to divert children away from knife crime and violence, as demands for resources to combat rising serious violence outstripped the available funds.

Ministers have denied funds to dozens of projects for vulnerable young people that bid for cash from the flagship ‘Early Intervention Fund’.

The Home Secretary announced the £22m fund last spring to make funding available for “critical support” to “steer young people away from serious violence”. But the department has rejected over 63% of the 111 bids received from Police and Crime Commissioners for the projects.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Home Secretary announces plans for a police covenant

Home Secretary Sajid Javid will today announce his intention to establish a police covenant demonstrating his recognition of the bravery and commitment of police officers.

Speaking at the Police Federation’s Bravery Awards in London later today he will lay out plans to establish a covenant to recognise the sacrifice made by those who are working, or have previously worked, in policing.

The Home Secretary will also give his backing to plans for the Police Federation to extend their support to Special Constables, which will give the volunteers the option of the same protections as their colleagues.

Full Article

Technology New emergency services system ‘failing to deliver savings’

Cost benefits of a new emergency services communication system are “rapidly evaporating”, MPs have said. A communication system for all 107 emergency services in England, Scotland and Wales has been beset by delays and is increasing in cost, according to a Public Accounts Committee report out today.

The ‘Emergency Services Network’, which will include 4G mobile data capabilities, was announced as replacement for the existing radio-based system in 2015 and with a completion date of December 2019. But the project was ‘reset’ in September 2018 meaning contracts with private contractors had to be renegotiated, growing the bill to £9.3bn – £3.1bn above the original business case. The new completion date is December 2022.

Full Article

Police Finances CIPFA launches drive for ‘easier to understand’ public accounts

A survey launched by CIPFA is seeking views about the problems citizens face when looking at local authority accounts. The institute wants people to be able to hold authorities to account better by simplifying financial statements which show how their tax is spent.

Full Article

Police Finances Doctors, teachers and police to share in £4bn-a-year pension boost

Employees in all of the main public sector pension schemes will have their retirement savings boosted after a landmark ruling, the Government has confirmed.

Younger staff in the NHS, civil service, local government, teaching profession, police, Armed Forces, judiciary and fire service will benefit, Elizabeth Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury, said in a written statement.

The Supreme Court ruled in June that the Government had to accept an earlier judgment that it had discriminated against the workers when it changed public sector pensions in 2015. Only older staff were allowed to stay in the more generous versions of the schemes.

Full Article

Police Finances ‘More clarity required’ despite pension ruling

UK public sector pension fund administrators remain in the dark despite the government accepting defeat in a landmark pension ruling, PF has learned.

Workers from local government, the civil service, NHS and more will be impacted by a supreme court ruling that found pension changes from 2015 were discriminatory based on age, the government has confirmed.

The government had an appeal upheld by the court and could now pay out billions to remedy the situation, as valuations on public sector pensions were paused pending the legal process.

Despite the concession from the government, fund administrators still lack clarity due to the large variety of schemes in play, according to Neil Sellstrom CIPFA advisor for pensions and treasury management.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Forget the spending review, we should be talking about taxation

The question over whether the incoming government will conduct a spending review in time for the start of the next financial year is technically still live, yet it is fast becoming a truth universally acknowledged that it is unlikely to go ahead. Recent newspaper reports suggest our likely next PM Boris Johnson is preparing to set an emergency Budget in September.

However, before Mr Johnson unleashes his flurry of promised tax cuts he would do well to heed the warning from the Institute for Government this week that the UK’s “inefficient” tax system is fast becoming unsustainable.

Council tax and business rates currently account for 9% of national tax revenues, according to the IfG’s analysis, the same proportion as corporation taxes. By comparison income tax brings in just over a quarter of tax revenues and VAT a fifth.

The case for greater fiscal devolution and reform of council tax has been made repeatedly by those championing local government in recent years. But while a tourist tax might make a nice pay day for plenty of places around the country, local taxation should not be considered in isolation from the wider system.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 'Poverty link' to youth violence - London mayor

New figures from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan show what he says is a clear link between poverty in the capital and the rise in serious youth violence.

The data shows that the poorest areas of London are most likely to experience the highest levels of serious crime among youngsters.

The data comes amid fears that the end of the school year could see a rise in knife crime across major cities.

Mr Khan says he is funding 43 summer projects for vulnerable youngsters.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Allowing criminals not to declare convictions is 'a kick in the teeth', say victims' groups

Killers, robbers and some sex offenders who have spent years in prison will no longer have to tell prospective employers as the Justice Secretary says he wants to "remove the stigma of criminal convictions.”

David Gauke is proposing to abolish the rule requiring offenders jailed for four years or more to disclose their sentences to prospective employers for the rest of their lives. It would mean that at least 6,000 of these offenders would have the slate wiped clean over the course of a decade.

The plans triggered a row on Sunday as victims’ groups claimed they were a “kick in the teeth,” further tilting the balance of justice in favour of offenders.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK 'scarily' exposed to next major downturn, economists warn Save

The UK’s recession-fighting tools are already almost exhausted leaving the economy ill-prepared to battle the next slump if and when it arrives, economists have warned.

Interest rates are too low to be cut significantly, while the Government is already heavily indebted from heavy borrowing in the financial crisis and the years since.

This means urgent work is needed to find tools which could be used to stimulate the economy in another crunch, said the Resolution Foundation.

Technology Automated facial recognition trials backed by home secretary

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has given his backing to the police in their trials of facial recognition cameras.

The surveillance software, which is designed to help spot suspects in public spaces, has been trialled by several forces, including the Met.

Civil liberties campaigners have criticised the technology, which is the subject of a legal challenge.

But Mr Javid said it was important that police made use of the latest tools to help them solve crimes.

Full Article

Police Finances Police leaders urge next PM: reverse cuts to tackle violent crime

Police leaders have written to the two Conservative leadership candidates to say whichever of them becomes prime minister should make providing more money to police and youth services their first priority.

The letter from 10 Labour police and crime commissioners overseeing the four biggest forces, and others across England and Wales, was sent to Boris Johnson, who has said he wants to hire an extra 20,000 police officers, and Jeremy Hunt, who has said policing cuts have gone too far.

Since 2010, police funding and officer numbers have fallen under the Conservatives, while provision of youth services has dramatically declined.

Police Finances Damian Green: local authorities avoid care home developments

Local authorities are increasingly reluctant to allow care homes and retirement homes to be built in their areas because they can’t afford the social care costs associated with that demographic, Conservative MP and former deputy prime minister Damian Green has said.

The chair of the all-party parliamentary group on longevity, who has produced his own policy paper suggesting a solution to the social care funding crisis, said it was a “quiet secret” that local authorities – who have to fund social care costs – try to avoid applications for homes for older people.

He also warned that unless all parties agree to seek a cross-party consensus on social care funding, a political crisis triggered by an “enormous scandal” will force them to act.

Full Article

Technology London cop illegally used police database to monitor investigation into himself

A serving Metropolitan police officer who illegally accessed a police database to monitor a criminal investigation into his own conduct has pleaded guilty to crimes under the UK's Computer Misuse Act.

Sergeant Okechukwu Efobi, of Byron Road, Wealdstone, Harrow, was ordered to complete 150 hours of community service and pay a total of £540, comprising a £90 victim surcharge tax and £450 of prosecution costs.

Efobi, who remains employed by the Met and is currently on restricted duty, had been accessing a police database to view details of suspects in an ongoing criminal investigation.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance CIPFA backs alternative tool for measuring councils’ financial resilience

Another model aimed at measuring the financial sustainability of councils has joined a crowded field, with the claim that more than a third of councils are at risk of failure in the next decade.

Accountancy firm Grant Thornton this week launched its Financial Foresight model, built on central government data, combined with population projections and sector insights.

It shows that in 66% of councils, spending on services is outstripping income and that the imbalance between expenditure growth and income growth will see local authorities reducing their reserves by 84% by 2028.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK nears recession as Brexit deadline looms

Recent economic data have shown further weakness in manufacturing sectors in most of the major economies, including Germany where growth is now negative. Amid this generally sluggish global backdrop, one big advanced economy looks in more danger of recession than most others. That country is the UK, where economic activity data have been plummeting as the next Brexit deadline approaches on October 31.

According to the latest Fulcrum nowcasts, UK activity growth has fallen to minus 0.8 per cent, compared with plus 1.0 per cent as recently as mid May (see box). Since then, economic data have revealed downward steps in the annualised growth rate on five successive occasions.

As in other countries, some of these drops have come from the industrial sector, with business surveys and official industrial production releases both contributing towards significant declines in estimated activity growth. However, two Brexit-related developments have hit UK industry particularly hard.

Full Article

Technology Speeding and dangerous drivers to be targeted by Britain’s first traffic drone

Speeding and dangerous drivers are to be targeted by Britain’s first traffic drone which was previously used on the battlefield and against terrorists.

The Metropolitan Police revealed yesterday that it will deploy the £80,000 drone to catch dangerous, careless or speeding motorists.

The Aeryon Skyranger drone which can carry night vision cameras as well as zoom lenses was developed for tactical surveillance by the military, has been deployed in war zones across the middle east and is now used by 20 armed forces around the world.

Motoring organisations said the deployment of military-grade technology against drivers would “raise eyebrows” but could be cost effective as a deterrent.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Decriminalising cannabis will be good for health and help fight crime

Most politicians studiously avoid talking about drug reform, particularly Conservatives, because it has always been a no-win scenario for us. This is because it always provokes quite a hostile reaction from the more Right-wing media, and because most Conservative members and voters (unlike Labour and Liberal Democrats) are pretty resistant to any notion of reform. The tough talk of cracking down and prohibition is held tightly, too, by social conservatives, despite the overwhelming evidence that it has failed to improve matters for individuals, families or their communities by almost any measure that would constitute success.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Policing resources at dangerously low levels, ex Scotland Yard chiefs warn

British policing resources have been "drained to dangerously low levels", five ex-Met Police chiefs have warned.

The former commissioners, who ran London's police force from 1993 to 2017, said cuts had "contributed to the feeling of lawlessness" generated by knife crime and county lines drugs.

They called for a royal commission on policing and the possible ending of the "fragmented" system of 45 area forces.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Public fear streets are lawless, say police chiefs

The public have lost confidence in the police and fear that Britain has descended into lawlessness because of knife and drug crime, five former heads of Scotland Yard warn today.

The former commissioners have united to condemn the “emasculation of British policing” under Theresa May and urge her successor to make law and order a priority.

Their intervention added to the sense of urgency over the issue as Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the Tory leadership race, faced pressure to explain how he would fund a pledge to recruit 20,000 police officers.

Full Article

Police Finances Boris Johnson promises to boost police numbers by 20,000 in £1.1bn move if he becomes prime minister

Boris Johnson has pledged to boost police numbers by as many as 20,000 within three years if he becomes prime minister.

The Tory leadership favourite said he would expand the service to more than 140,000 officers by mid-2022 if he wins the race for Number 10.

Former London mayor Mr Johnson said the £1.1 billion move would focus on rural areas that have seen the biggest funding reductions.

Full Article

Technology UK: GCHQ/MI5 admit illegally spying on millions

The domestic spy agency MI5 and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intelligence gathering unit have been forced to admit in court that they are acting illegally in their use of bulk data, gathered by intruding into the lives of millions of innocent people. MI5 “has been unlawfully retaining innocent people’s data for years.”

Their admissions were the result of a court case brought by the civil rights organisation Liberty. The basis of Liberty’s case against the spy agencies is that government surveillance practices breach human rights law.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Riots will hit streets after Brexit and UK will be ‘unstable’ for years, EU report warns

A secret EU report has painted a grim and worrying picture of life in Britain after Brexit – with violence on the street and ‘instability’ for decades.

The report by intelligence officials also claims that there will be independence referendums in Scotland and Northern Ireland within 18 months of Brexit.

The report, by senior intelligence officials, also warned there may be violence in the event of ‘no deal’ or a second referendum.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Bureaux de change: Crackdown on drug gangs money laundering

Bureaux de change and currency transfer businesses are to be raided by police in a week-long crackdown on suspected drugs money laundering.

They hope targeting the cash will reduce street violence linked to disputes between gangs by disrupting their activities.

Police say 12 businesses in London will be raided on Tuesday - the first day of the operation

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Met police flag up 700 welfare and abuse cases a day over five years

New fears have emerged about the scale of abuse suffered by children and vulnerable adults after Scotland Yard revealed its officers were raising concerns with the safeguarding authorities on average 700 times a day.

Figures obtained by the Guardian show referrals relate to a range of alleged and suspected abuses, including sexual exploitation, forced marriage and bullying.

Data released under freedom of information (FoI) legislation shows that nearly 1.3m records were created in the capital over the past five years – an average of about 700 a day – informing local safeguarding authorities about officers’ concerns for children and vulnerable adults.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Hunt: More cops after cuts went too far

Jeremy Hunt criticised his own party’s cuts to the police last night in a ‘digital hustings’ with rival Boris Johnson.

The foreign secretary said the Conservatives had been faced with ‘difficult decisions’ in balancing the nation’s budget following the 2008 financial crisis but told the audience: ‘I think the reduction in police numbers went too far.’

He vowed he would increase officer numbers if he became prime minister but declined to be drawn on exact figures.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Crime solving rates 'woefully low', Met Police Commissioner says

Too many crimes are being left unsolved, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner has said.

During a speech about the future of policing in England and Wales, Cressida Dick admitted that national detection rates for some offences were "woefully low".

"The courts are emptying, not filling," she said, adding "It's not good and I'm not proud of it."

Full Article

Police and Crime General Nearly £5 million of funding to tackle serious violence

Sajid Javid today (Wednesday 26 June) announced that the remaining £3.3 million of the £22 million Early Intervention Youth Fund would be distributed to 10 areas to support projects for young people to prevent them getting drawn into crime and to help them make more positive life choices.

The Home Secretary also revealed there will be an additional £1.5 million of funding for the third year of the Anti-Knife Crime Community Fund, which will go towards small community projects to reduce knife crime. The fund has already supported 115 projects over the 2 years it has been running.

Full Article

Fire Gap in fire service’s capacity could cost lives in terror attack, report warns

A “serious gap” in a fire service’s terror response due to an industrial dispute could put lives at risk, according to independent inspectors.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said it has “particular concerns” about the Greater Manchester service’s ability to respond to terrorist attacks.

Inspector of fire and rescue Zoe Billingham said the service has not had the capability to respond to some terror-related incidents since before Christmas because of an industrial dispute.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police letting off sex offenders and thieves who say they are sorry

Rapes, burglaries, child sex offences and assaults were among tens of thousands of offences that did not go to court but were dealt with by using “community resolutions”.

About 112,000 offenders a year avoid a criminal record for offences including possession of weapons, cruelty to children and theft, according to the BBC’s shared data unit. Community resolutions are restorative justice measures that involve paying damages or apologising. Although the offender does not get a criminal record, the resolution offence remains on the police national computer and can still be used if more offences are committed.

Full Article

Police Finances Prison to pilot scheme: The rehabilitation project lowering reoffending

More than 400 people whose crimes would normally attract a jail term of up to a year have instead served their sentences outside prison.

The scheme, known as an enhanced combination order, has been running in three court districts since 2015.

The rehabilitation order has led to a 20% reduction in the number of short-term jail sentences in those areas.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Liverpool teenagers 'paid money to stab other youths'

Teenagers are being offered up to £1,000 by gang leaders in Liverpool to stab other youngsters, the BBC has learned. They told the BBC Beyond Today podcast bounties were being offered by "elders" who wanted to avoid carrying out the attacks themselves. The claims have been linked to at least one recent stabbing.

Merseyside Police said it was aware organised crime groups used violence to settle disputes. In a statement the force did not directly address the teenagers' claims.

Full Article

Police Demand London mayor Sadiq Khan attacks police cuts after four murders in four days

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he is "incredibly concerned" about a recent spate of murders in the capital - placing the blame for rising violence on "massive cuts" to police resources.

The Metropolitan Police has stepped up patrols after four people were killed in as many days - and Mr Khan said officers from the "overstretched" force worked 12-hour shifts over the weekend.

He said officers were working "incredibly hard" to tackle violent crime, but reiterated his call for more funding from the government.

Full Article

Police and Crime General South Yorkshire police to change approach to football after heavy criticism

South Yorkshire police is to change its approach to policing football after an internal review following its operation at the Sheffield derby in March, which was heavily criticised by supporters as heavy-handed, violent and dangerous.

Some supporters at the match between Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United complained that they had been held in a crush outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles at Hillsborough, and that police officers had indiscriminately hit people caught in the crush with their batons.

The change of policy to “a more community style of policing, and engagement with fans” is due to be launched at a meeting of the force’s football policing officers on 5 July, according to an internal email seen by the Guardian. Sent by Paul McCurry, a superintendent in the force’s Sheffield local policing unit command team, the email invites officers to a full day “continuous professional development” session, and explains: “The purpose of this event will be to formally launch a new approach to policing football and other crowded events across South Yorkshire.

Full Article

Police Finances £15m police bill for Grenfell Tower inferno investigation

The police investigation into the Grenfell Tower tragedy has already cost more than £15 million as survivors and families of the 72 victims come together to remember their loved ones two years after the tower block inferno.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police force seeks volunteers to view indecent images in forensics unit

West Midlands police have defended their decision to use volunteers for forensics work that would involve viewing indecent and distressing images after being warned that it was “a disaster waiting to happen”.

The force was criticised after advertising unpaid roles in its digital forensics team, with an advert that warned volunteers would “routinely come across distressing imagery including indecent images, fatal road traffic accidents, live CCTV footage recovery of incidents”.

The force said it was looking for people to commit at least 16 hours a month to the role and said that a criminal record was not a barrier to volunteering.

Full Article

Police Finances Council to fund its own bobbies on the beat

A council in the Midlands is planning to use its own money to put more police officers on the beat.

At a time of concern about the falling number of bobbies and cuts to police budgets, Walsall council plans to join a scheme under which it will pay for more officers across the borough.

The Patrol Plus scheme has been operating in London since 2008 and has been called “buy-one-get-one-free” policing since the force provides one officer for every one paid for by councils.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Rough sleeping: Arrests fall as police brand law 'archaic'

Police have criticised a law allowing beggars and rough sleepers to be arrested, as figures reveal they are using their powers less.

Arrests under the Vagrancy Act have halved over two years, data obtained by the BBC suggests.

Forces have said they are "moving away" from the "archaic" law which charities say "criminalises" the homeless.

Full Article

Technology Dark net drug sales on the rise in England

The number of drug takers in England obtaining drugs on the dark net has more than doubled in the past five years, according to The Global Drugs Survey.

According to its data, the number of drug users in England obtaining drugs on the dark net has gone up from 12.4% to nearly 28.6% in the past five years. This is not a nationally representative sample.

"The police are limited in what they can do and ill-equipped to deal with issues on the dark net."

Full Article

Police Finances Home Secretary Sajid Javid pledges £1bn to put an extra 20,000 bobbies on the beat after admitting there is a link between budget cuts and soaring crime rates

Sajid Javid admitted yesterday that he had changed his mind on the link between police numbers and crime and pledged to put up to 20,000 more bobbies on the beat.

Last year, the Home Secretary and Tory leadership candidate claimed in a TV interview there was no connection between the rise in crime and a fall in police numbers.

But yesterday he said: ‘What I’ve realised is that you do need many more police resources.’

Full Article

Police Finances Donald Trump's £40m visit is most expensive ever and will 'overstretch' police

Donald Trump’s state visit will be by far the most expensive in British history – costing taxpayers an estimated £40million in security costs.

The operation to protect the President and his entourage of at least 1,000 people includes policing the 250,000 protesters set to take to the streets to show their fury at the red carpet being rolled out for him.

Up to 10,000 officers will be drafted into Central London, leaving places across Britain without the “service they deserve”.

Full Article

Police Finances Report raises alarm over police detention of vulnerable suspects

Police officers detained and interviewed vulnerable suspects without an appropriate adult present more than 100,000 times last year in England and Wales, according to a charity report.

The failure by officers to provide assistance, chiefly to those with mental illness, autism or learning disabilities, leaves them at risk of miscarriages of justice, the National Appropriate Adult Network (Naan) has warned.

The survey, which reveals marginal improvements on similar research four years ago, reinforces calls for the Home Office to create a statutory duty to provide help for vulnerable adults in police stations.

Full Article

Police Finances Police and crime commissioners: engagement protocols

Guidance on how police and crime commissioners and their partners might engage with each other to improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system has been published on the gov website.

Full Article

Prisons Prisoners must not be released early to save money, says former Met Commissioner

Some offenders have been released far too early from jails, potentially to save money, says a former Met Police Commissioner who has called for a review of automatic release of prisoners half way through sentences.

Lord Stevens, who led the Met Police from 2000 to 2005, said: “There have been instances where people have been released from prison very very early and far too quickly.

“There needs to be an argument about whether this is done because of trying to save money and the problems in prisons of violence rather than actually ensuring that people are serving sentences they should be.”

Full Article

Police Finances Home Office to scrap 101 non-emergency number charges

The move will make the number free of charge for all members of the public, including victims of crime, from April 2020.

The Home Office will invest £5 million a year to fund the service, which receives around 30 million calls annually.

Callers to the 101 number are connected to their local police force, or a force of their choice, and charged 15p a time.

Full Article

Police Finances Treasury ‘must do better’ on Whole of Government Accounts

The spending watchdog has called for “further progress” on the level of information given by departments for the Whole of Government Accounts.

Total government expenditure for 2017-18 reached £815bn for the year ending March 31 2018, according to the WGA released yesterday.

It also showed the UK government’s income in 2017-18 was £760.9bn – compared to £720.8bn in 2016-17. Its expenditure was £814.8 billion – expenditure in 2016-17 was £760.7 billion.

Full Article

Police Finances Council tax ‘only regressive tax in the UK’

The UK’s taxes on the whole are progressive – with council tax being the only one that is regressive, an economic think-tank has said.

Direct taxes including income tax and National Insurance Contribution work alongside benefits to reduce inequality, the Institute for Fiscal Studies claimed in a briefing note today.

Council tax, however, is markedly regressive as it is not linked to income, with the poorest tenth of the population paying 8% of their income on council tax, while the next 50% pay 4-5% and the richest 40% paying 2-3%.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police arrest 586 people in county lines crackdown

Nearly 600 suspected members of county lines drugs gangs have been arrested across the UK in the past week, the National Crime Agency has said.

Police forces led by the National County Lines Coordination Centre also seized cocaine worth £176,780; £312,649 in cash; and 46 weapons.

The NCA estimates there are about 2,000 city-based gangs exploiting young people to sell drugs in smaller towns.

Full Article

Technology Police facial recognition surveillance court case starts

The first major legal challenge to police use of automated facial recognition surveillance begins in Cardiff today.

Ed Bridges, whose image was taken while he was shopping, says weak regulation means AFR breaches human rights.

The civil rights group Liberty says current use of the tool is equivalent to the unregulated taking of DNA or fingerprints without consent.

Full Article

Prisons Probation service: Offender supervision to be renationalised

The supervision of all offenders on probation in England and Wales is being put back in the public sector after serious failings with the part-privatisation of the system.

It reverses changes made in 2014 by then Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

The National Audit Office said problems with the part-privatisation had cost taxpayers nearly £500m.

All offenders will be monitored by the National Probation Service from December 2020.

Full Article

Police Finances Knife crime prevention being ‘seriously hampered’ as councils left in dark about youth offending funding

Efforts to tackle soaring levels of knife crime and county lines activity are being “seriously hampered” because funding for doing so has not yet been announced by central government, council leaders have warned.

Local authorities are still waiting to hear how much money they will receive to tackle youth offending this year – more than two months after they had to set their budgets.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, told The Independent this was making it “extremely difficult” for councils to plan the services that support young people and keep them out of the justice system.

Full Article

Technology Government finally admits 'multitude of problems' with Airwave replacement

A former UK top cop has urged ministers to guarantee that the extra funds needed for a "critical" overhaul of the Emergency Services Network used by forces will not be taken from police budgets.

Ex-Met Police Commissioner Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe ramped up the pressure on the government after it acknowledged a "multitude of problems" with a replacement for Airwave.

The National Audit Office, which has already warned the target date of 2022 may not be met, also fears the delayed project is set to go over budget by at least £3.1 billion – while the Home Office predicts the final cost will be £9.3bn.

Full Article

Police Finances New emergency services radio system to be at least £3bn overbudget and three years late as Home Office failings blasted by NAO

An overhaul of the communications system used by the UK’s emergency services will be at least £3bn overbudget and three years late, a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed.

The Emergency Services Network was created to replace the current system Airwave, but the Home Office has already delayed its delivery by three years until 2020 when it decided to “reset” the programme in 2017.

Originally due in 2019, the Home Office forecasts the ESN will cost £9.3bn, 49% more than initially planned, with £1.4bn just being spent on extending the old Airwave system.

Full Article

Police Finances Spend £2.7bn more to tackle organised crime, says NCA chief

The government needs to find an extra £2.7bn to tackle the growth in serious and organised crime that is causing “staggering” damage to the United Kingdom, according to the director general of the National Crime Agency.

Lynne Owens is due to make the direct challenge to ministers on Tuesday as she launches the agency’s annual national strategic assessment mapping out dangers from cyber crime, child sexual exploitation, drugs and other serious and organised crime.

The NCA, which was set up by the Conservative government in 2013, says there are at least 181,000 people linked to serious and organised crime in the UK – twice the size of the British army.

Full Article

Police and Crime General MPs' latest plan to crack down on gangs and knife crime: Encourage teenagers to try group singing, boxing, and martial arts instead

Boxing and martial arts should be harnessed to help fight knife crime and gang violence, a report has recommended.

The Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee said sporting and cultural activities were being overlooked by ministers in favour of arresting and imprisoning young people.

Taking part in activities could also be key to solving social problems in health, education and urban regeneration, it said.

Full Article

Police Finances Organised crime: NCA says its budget needs to double

Organised crime poses such a threat to the UK that an extra £3bn will be needed to fight it over the next three years, the National Crime Agency says.

Its head Lynne Owens says this includes more than doubling the NCA's annual budget from £424m to nearly £1.1bn.

In a speech, she warned the public will "feel the consequences" if the government does not find the cash.

Full Article

Police Finances Agency calls for £2.7bn investment to combat organised crime

The UK needs £2.7bn to tackle the “chronic and corrosive” blight of organised crime, the National Crime Agency has warned.

Launching its National Strategic Assessment yesterday, the agency said that there are 181,000 offenders linked to organised crime in the UK – a group twice the size of the British Army.

To tackle this threat there must be investment of £2.7bn over the next three years to crack down on those who profit from crimes such as child sexual exploitation and drug trafficking and fraud, according to NCA director general Lynne Owens.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police in talks with Home Office to review Public Order legislation

Police are calling for changes in the law to prevent copycat tactics being employed in the wake of climate protests that put Britain under siege.

Scotland Yard is in discussions with the Home Office to review the current Public Order legislation with fears Extinction Rebellion will be replicated by other groups.

The Met also called for a stronger punishment of those who break the law, with summary only charges for offences, including breaching conditions imposed under the Public Order Act, obstruction of a highway and obstruction of police, leaving magistrates with limited sentencing powers.

Full Article

Police Finances New emergency services radio system to be at least £3bn overbudget and three years late as Home Office failings blasted by NAO

An overhaul of the communications system used by the UK’s emergency services will be at least £3bn overbudget and three years late, a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed.

The Emergency Services Network was created to replace the current system Airwave, but the Home Office has already delayed its delivery by three years until 2020 when it decided to “reset” the programme in 2017.

Originally due in 2019, the Home Office forecasts the ESN will cost £9.3bn, 49% more than initially planned, with £1.4bn just being spent on extending the old Airwave system.

Full Article

Police and Crime General PTSD 'at crisis levels' among police officers

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among police officers in the UK is far more common than was ever thought, a new survey suggests. One PC describes his battle with the medical condition.

Lee Jackson is the kind of police officer who runs towards danger, the sort who is not afraid to break down doors or break up fights.

A Taser-trained response officer at Durham Police with over 19 years' service, he's dealt with almost every crime imaginable and was once three minutes from death after becoming impaled on a broken car aerial while investigating a car crash.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Children at risk of gangs and violence to be given more support

Children at risk of being targeted by gangs or violent crime will be given extra support as part of a £2m government scheme.

Young people in England in danger of criminal or sexual exploitation will be given access to experts across education, health, social care, police and the voluntary sector.

The Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme aims to support children who could fall victim to threats such as gangs, county lines drug dealing, online grooming, sexual exploitation, trafficking or modern slavery.

Full Article

Technology Facial recognition wrongly identifies public as potential criminals 96% of time, figures reveal

Facial recognition technology has misidentified members of the public as potential criminals in 96 per cent of scans so far in London, new figures reveal.

The Metropolitan Police said the controversial software could help it hunt down wanted offenders and reduce violence, but critics have accused it of wasting public money and violating human rights.

The trials have so far cost more than £222,000 in London and are subject to a legal challenge and a separate probe by the Information Commissioner.

Full Article

Police Finances Police granted funding boost for action on serious violence

The Home Secretary has allocated police forces the final part of a dedicated £100 million fund to tackle serious violence.

Sajid Javid announced that £12.4 million will be distributed to 18 forces dealing with high levels of violent crime. It comes after £51 million was announced for the forces ahead of Easter for additional officer deployments, improved intelligence, and short-term operational actions such as targeting habitual knife carriers.

The announcement comes ahead of the first meeting of a new ministerial taskforce on serious youth violence, chaired by the Prime Minister, in Downing Street today.

Full Article

Police Demand Rising knife crime linked to council cuts, study suggests

Places in England that have seen the biggest council spending cuts to youth services are likely to see the biggest increases in knife crime, a study says.

Research by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime showed the average council cut real-terms spending on youth services - such as youth clubs - by 40% between 2014/15 and 2017/18.

And the four worst-hit areas have seen some of the biggest knife crime rises.

Full Article

Police Demand Youth club closures put young people at risk of violence, warn MPs

Youth club closures are putting young people at greater risk of violence, according to a committee of MPs which has found that English councils have slashed funding on youth services by 40% on average in the last three years.

After a bank holiday weekend which began with news of the fatal stabbing of 15-year-old Tashaun Aird and continued with the killing of an 18-year-old in south London, the 28th knife fatality in the capital this year, the all-party parliamentary group on knife crime revealed new data from more than 100 councils showing cuts to youth services of up to 91%. It claimed areas that had suffered the largest cuts to spending on young people had seen bigger increases in knife crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Why are rape prosecutions falling?

Recorded rape offences have been rising in England and Wales, but the proportion of offences making it to court has fallen significantly over the past few years.

Police and prosecutors are asking complainants in rape cases to agree to hand their phones over or face the prospect of prosecutions being dropped - something victims' commissioner Baroness Helen Newlove has said is "unlikely to do anything to help reverse the fall in prosecutions for rape and sexual violence".

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decides whether cases investigated by the police go to trial. In September 2018, it said the proportion of reported rapes being prosecuted had reached their lowest level in a decade.

Full Article

Police Demand 'Why must we pay to report crime?' – Baroness Newlove queries 101 service and says anti-social behaviour out of control

Victims of anti-social behaviour are being forced to pay to report offences to the police, Baroness Newlove warns today as she criticises the authorities for dismissing the offences as “low level”.

Lady Newlove, the Victims’ Commissioner, says police and councils have “a culture of viewing anti-social behaviour as not important” and fail to use powers introduced to prevent everyday crimes.

She says “depressingly, little has changed” since her husband, Garry, was kicked to death 12 years ago when he confronted teenagers vandalising her car, and questions why callers to the low-priority 101 phone line are charged, when 999 calls are free.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Rape victims among those to be asked to hand phones to police

Victims of crimes, including those alleging rape, are to be asked to hand their phones over to police - or risk prosecutions not going ahead.

Consent forms asking for permission to access information including emails, messages and photographs have been rolled out in England and Wales.

It comes after a number of rape and serious sexual assault cases collapsed after crucial evidence emerged.

Full Article

Fire Gloucestershire Council boss 'in bid to discredit PCC'

A council boss has been accused of organising a campaign to discredit a police and crime commissioner's move to take over the local fire service.

A leaked email from Gloucestershire County Council's Peter Bungard, seen by the BBC, includes plans to use taxpayers' money to fund a PR campaign to show the PCC "is out of touch".

Full Article

Police Demand Tories 'in denial about scale of violent crime'

The Conservative Party is in "denial" about the scale of violent crime, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has claimed.

Analysis of official crime statistics by his party suggested there has been a doubling of attempted murders since the Tories came to power in 2010.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded 523 attempted murders in April 2010 to March 2011 in England and Wales, but in October 2017 to September 2018 there were 1,040 - a 99 per cent increase.

Full Article

Police Demand Eight out of ten Merseyside Police officers say there aren't enough of them to do their jobs properly

Over three quarters of Merseyside Police officers have said there aren't enough of them to properly do their job.

The situation is so bad that most officers now say they have felt stressed, suffered form low moods, anxiety and other difficulties in the last year.

The statistics were revealed in the Police Federation of England in Wales' annual Welfare Survey.

Full Article

Police Demand Greater Manchester Police chief: 60% of crimes not investigated

About 60% of crimes reported to one of the UK's largest police forces are not fully investigated because of a lack of resources, its chief constable said.

Greater Manchester Police's Ian Hopkins said budget cuts mean officers have to prioritise more ruthlessly than ever.

He said about 600 offences a day, such as thefts from vehicles, were being "screened out" and not pursued because "we don't have enough officers".

Full Article

Police Demand The new prison drug strategy

Earlier this month, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) published its new Prison Drugs Strategy.

There have, of course, always been drugs and drug misusers in prison but over the last six or seven years, with the advent of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), the best-known of which are synthetic forms of cannabis such as “Spice”, the problem has become much worse.

The use of NPS has been seen as one of the two critical components of the prison safety crisis (the other being the unprecedented cuts in staffing levels). As the new strategy puts it:

Full Article

Police Demand ‘Less talk, more action!’ Police chief attacks May for 'distrubing' rise in knife crime

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation in England and Wales, which represents nearly 120,000 rank and file officers, accused the Prime Minister of “still failing to accept the harsh reality plastered over the front pages and filling the news bulletins”. There were 285 murders in England and Wales in 2017/18 where the method of killing was by a knife or sharp instrument - the highest number since records started in 1946. In the year to September, police recorded around 1.5 million "violence against the person" offences - a jump of nearly a fifth on the previous 12 months.

Full Article

Police Finances Lord Coe blames record knife crime on ‘strangled’ funding of community sports

Chronic under-investment in youth services has been linked by the Conservative peer Lord Sebastian Coe to the surge in knife crime in major cities.

The former Olympic champion accused politicians of failing to realise that failure to spend on grassroots sports facilities would fuel “big problems in our inner cities”.

Knife crime has reached its highest level in England and Wales since records began, and 26 people have died from stab wounds so far this year in London alone.

Full Article

Police Finances Government accused of 'sitting on hands' a month after £100m promised

Chancellor Philip Hammond been accused of breaking his promise to policing with only half of £100 million being made available to fight the knife crime scourge.

Rank and file officers called for a complete overhaul of the police funding formula, arguing what is being offered is “loose change”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the government continues to “bury its head in the sand over the impact of austerity” and had “sat on their hands for more than a month”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Met detective 'predicts' fatal stabbing areas in London

A murder detective believes he has found a way of forecasting where deadly knife attacks are likely to take place.

Det Ch Insp John Massey trawled through records of knife crimes in London over a 12-month period and found a link with fatal stabbings the following year.

More than two-thirds of the killings in 2017-18 occurred in neighbourhoods where someone had been attacked with a knife the year before.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police drugs policy of ‘test, not arrest’ condemned as back-door legalisation

Police are backing a growing number of “test, not arrest” schemes in which young people can have their illegal drugs tested — but face no prosecution for possessing them.

The move was condemned this weekend as a sign of the police being “soft on drugs”. Critics warned that it would pander to a generation of young people “who thought it was OK to take drugs” and for whom drug-taking had in effect been legalised.

David Jamieson, the police commissioner for the West Midlands, said he was backing and part-funding pop-up tents and caravans outside clubs in Birmingham on Friday and Saturday nights where drugs could be tested for lethal contaminants.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police accused of abusing easier stop and search

Police have been accused of abusing stop-and-search powers, days after the home secretary, Sajid Javid, made it easier for officers to use the controversial measures.

Campaigners claim that the Metropolitan police are frequently misusing section 60 orders, which allow officers to search anyone in an area for a limited period if serious violence is anticipated.

Two weeks ago Javid made it easier for police in England and Wales to search people without reasonable suspicion under section 60 in an attempt to tackle knife crime.

Full Article

Technology Technology companies must do more to prevent crime, home secretary to say

Technology companies must do more to help prevent crimes, the home secretary is to say.

Sajid Javid will demand the industry gets better at creating products which make illegal activity harder to commit.

He will point out how moped crimes have been almost halved across the UK after the introduction of new anti-theft devices – and call on design firms to follow suit in putting such prevention at the heart of new products and services.

Full Article

Police Finances IMF's Lagarde says further Brexit delay will 'hinder' UK growth

Further uncertainty over Brexit will hinder growth in the UK economy, the head of IMF has told the BBC.

Speaking ahead of the agreement of an extension to Article 50, Christine Lagarde warned that businesses and investors will remain hesitant in the coming months.

She said any prolonged uncertainty would have a "negative impact".

Full Article

Police and Crime General Firefighters will tackle blazes... and crime on the streets of Devon

A new type of supercop is on the streets of Devon after firefighters were given powers of arrest in a controversial scheme aimed at boosting police reach in rural areas. Seven firefighters have qualified as special constables and will be known as community responders with dual policing and firefighting responsibilities.

The pilot scheme was criticised by the Police Federation and Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which warned that the blurring of lines between the two roles risked creating conflict in duties. National plans to merge certain police and fire service resources have rarely come to fruition, although Cornwall uses “tri-service responders” who cover fire, policing and paramedic duties.

Full Article

Prisons G4S shares soar on possible £3bn Canadian bid

Shares in G4S - which runs UK prisons and botched security arrangements at the London Olympics - have jumped as much 30% after a Canadian rival admitted it was considering a takeover.

Garda World, a privately-owned company, has until 8 May to table a formal offer.

There was no immediate comment from G4S, which last month reported a 63% fall in full-year profits.

Full Article

Police Finances PMQs: Theresa Villiers and Wayne David on police funding

Two MPs used their questions at PMQs to address funding for the police in their areas.

Conservative Theresa Villiers criticised London Mayor Sadiq Khan for closing down Barnet police station, while Labour's Wayne David accused the PM of failing to give accurate figures on police funding in Gwent.

Full Article

Prisons Criminals with dyslexia could get more lenient sentences under new guidelines

Criminals with a wide range of mental health conditions and learning difficulties could receive more lenient sentences under guidelines being issued to judges and magistrates.

Conditions ranging from schizophrenia to post traumatic stress disorder, and low IQ to dyslexia, ought to be taken into consideration when a court is deciding what punishment to hand out, according to proposals being introduced by the Sentencing Council.

As part of the guidelines, judges will be asked to assess what extent a person's condition or disability might have played in them committing their offence.

Full Article

Technology Zain Qaiser: Student jailed for blackmailing porn users worldwide

A student who made hundreds of thousands of pounds blackmailing porn website users with cyber attacks has been jailed for more than six years.

Zain Qaiser from Barking, London, used his programming skills to scam visitors to porn sites around the world.

Investigators have discovered around £700,000 of his profits - but his network may have made more than £4m.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance The price of Brexit has been £66 billion so far, plus an impending recession — and it hasn't even started yet

The damage to the UK economy due to Brexit has cost £66 billion ($86 billion) so far, and left the United Kingdom teetering at the brink of a new recession, according to economic data published last week.

An analysis by S&P Global Ratings analyst Boris Glass found that the decline of the pound, increase in inflation, erosion of household spending power, decline in house prices, and weak exports led to a 3% reduction in GDP. "That translates into average forgone economic activity of £6.6 billion (in 2016 prices) in each of the 10 quarters since the referendum," Glass said in a research note.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Officers attacked after attending bogus 999 call

Four police officers were savagely attacked in the line of duty by a knifeman who lured them with a bogus 999 call, a court has heard.

Alex Traykov, 20, allegedly used the alias Solomon to report of a fight in Islington, north London, on the evening of October 6 last year.

When the officers arrived at the address in Liverpool Road, Traykov opened the door wearing a black hoodie with a large kitchen knife behind his back, the Old Bailey heard.

Full Article

Police Finances Bedfordshire Police chief leaves with 'underfunding' message

The chief constable of Bedfordshire Police has said the issue of police funding "must be addressed", as he announced he is leaving the post.

Jon Boutcher has led the force since 2015 and said he was leaving it "with a heavy heart".

Mr Boutcher highlighted the issue of police funding and said the "consequences of previous budgetary decisions" were now being felt.

The Home Office said it increased fund for Bedfordshire by £8m this year.

Full Article

Prisons We have to rethink the way we use prisons

The House of Common Justice Select Committee has just published a hard-hitting report urging the government to overhaul its prisons and probation strategies.

Although the report, “Prison population 2022: planning for the future” is supposedly focused on ensuring that we have enough prison capacity over the next three years, its conclusions and recommendations go much further than this limited remit.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Brexit: Police warn MPs and campaigners not to inflame tensions

Politicians and campaigners should take care not to "inflame" tensions in the UK caused by Brexit, a senior police chief has warned.

Chairman of the National Police Chief Council (NPCC), Martin Hewitt, said people should think carefully to avoid inciting others to violence.

Police have 10,000 officers ready to deploy at 24 hours' notice as part of possible no-deal Brexit preparations.

However, police chiefs said the measures were only a precaution.

Full Article

Police and Crime General The teenage hackers who've been given a second chance

Step inside the offices of Bluescreen and you'll find some of the UK's most talented teenage hackers, dragged from a world of crime to fight for the other side.

These young computer experts have swapped the confines of their bedrooms for a fairly ordinary looking cyber security company in Plymouth.

Bluescreen employs hackers the authorities have deemed worthy of a second chance, who pit their wits against some of the anonymous online criminals they used to see as brothers in arms.

Full Article

Police Finances Police resourcing: on a knife edge

The horrific spate of UK knife crime has put greater focus on policing and its resources than for several years. Is the drop in police numbers to blame? How many officers do we need? How much will this cost? Is the £14bn in the 2019-20 funding settlement enough?

But when it comes to police budgets, I believe we are asking the wrong questions.

The mission of policing has become cloudy. For decades, the Peelian principles of preventing crime and disorder held firm. For home secretary Theresa May our mission was to cut crime – “nothing more, nothing less”. However, for all forces, the aim is to maintain security and keep communities safe, extending their duty way beyond crime.

Full Article

Police Demand Calais child refugees waiting 10 times longer to join family in UK

Some police forces are actively seeking reasons to drop investigations into fraud, a watchdog's report has warned.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services said an "inconsistent" approach to policing fraud in England and Wales left the public at high risk of scams.

One officer told its inquiry the crime was not considered a priority because it does not "bang, bleed or shout".

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police believe one attacker responsible as fifth person stabbed in 'random attacks' in north London

Police says five "random stabbings" in north London could be linked as they investigate "just one individual perpetrator".

It follows the stabbing of a man by an attacker matching the description of a knifeman who injured four people in one night in the area. The culprit in all five stabbings is thought to be a tall, skinny black male wearing a hooded top.

The latest victim, aged in his 30s, was left with life-threatening injuries when he was stabbed in Aberdeen Road, Enfield, north London at about 5am on Tuesday.

Full Article

Police Demand Hospitals treat up to 21 children a day as knife crime epidemic sweeps Britain, data reveals

Hospitals are treating up to 21 young victims a day wounded in knife or weapon attacks, according to data released under Freedom of Information laws.

Nearly 8,000 children and young people aged eleven to 25 years old last year attended hospitals with assaults from weapons, largely for knife wounds, according to the figures obtained by the all party parliamentary group on knife crime.

The group said it provided a glimpse into the true scale of the cost of the knife crime epidemic, dwarfing the 1,000 that the NHS has said are subsequently admitted to hospital after being stabbed with a knife or sharp instrument.

Full Article

Police Demand Calls for every Met frontline officer to carry Taser

All front line officers on Britain's biggest force should carry Tasers to counter the risk of becoming "victims themselves" from the spiraling number of assaults, a new report urges.

The weapons offer greater protection with evidence showing they can play a "significant role" in keeping officers safe, the London Assembly has been told.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Schools and NHS could be held accountable over youth crime

Teachers, NHS workers and police officers could be held accountable for failing to spot violent crime among young people under government plans announced on Monday.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has launched a consultation to assess whether there is a "public health duty" to report concerns over children at risk.

He said he will use "all the tools" at his disposal to end violent crime.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Minimum wage rates rise, but bills go up too

Two million UK workers on minimum wages are now receiving a pay rise - but a string of household bills have also increased.

Workers aged 25 and over on the National Living Wage will receive £8.21 an hour from Monday, up from £7.83 - a 4.9% rise.

Pay rises also take effect for younger workers on minimum wages.

Full Article

Police Demand Knife crime: More stop and search powers for police

Police in England and Wales are being given greater stop and search powers to tackle rising knife crime.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is making it easier for officers to search people without reasonable suspicion in places where serious violence may occur.

It comes after fatal stabbings rose last year to the highest point since records began.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Council taxes to rise by 5% but service cuts ‘still needed’

The average council tax bill in England is to rise by almost 5 per cent, the second-largest increase in ten years.

Figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government showed the levy on a typical Band D property going up by £78 to £1,750 from next week — a rise of 4.7 per cent.

This is largely explained by councils struggling to cover social care because of austerity cuts, an ageing population and insufficient mental health provision.

Full Article

Police Finances Cuts have left officers retreating from streets, says outgoing police chief

Government cuts left police retreating from the streets, solving just one in 10 offences and “really struggling” to deal with routine crime, the leader of Britain’s police chiefs has said.

Sara Thornton steps down this weekend as chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, after a four-year tenure during which her and her colleagues battled to get the government to recognise cuts were leading to fewer officers and resources to fight crime.

In an interview to mark her departure as NPCC chair and after 33 years of policing, Thornton told the Guardian she wanted to see an end to the blame culture when policing goes wrong and for a recognition that officers were dealing with some of society’s worst problems and not “running libraries”.

Full Article

Police Finances Whiteman: Local government finance needs to be more transparent

Local government audit is “in need of improvement”, CIPFA’s chief executive has told MPs.

There is a “big gap” between local audit and central government intervention in struggling councils, Rob Whiteman chief executive of CIPFA has told the Public Accounts Committee today.

Whiteman said the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government should have an “oversight brief” in order to create more transparency about finances in the local government sector.

Full Article

Technology Three-unique-words 'map' used to rescue mother and child

Three seemingly unconnected words have helped rescue a mother and daughter after a car crash in remote rural Somerset.

The "coordinates" - "weekend", "foggy" and "earphones" - allowed police to exactly pinpoint their location.

An algorithm developed by start-up what3words divides the world into 57 trillion nine-sq-m (97-sq-ft) areas and gives each a unique three-word address.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Knife crime: Tony Blair says police losing knife crime battle

Police are currently "losing the battle" against knife crime, former prime minister Tony Blair has told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

He urged current prime minister Theresa May to hold a Cobra emergency committee meeting and act with a determination "to do whatever it takes".

The number of crimes related to knives and other offensive weapons reached a nine-year high in 2018, figures show.

Full Article

Prisons Drugs smuggled into Guys Marsh prison in dead rats

Drugs, tobacco and mobile phones were smuggled into a prison stuffed inside dead rats.

The items were sewn inside the bodies of three rats found by officers in early March in the grounds of HMP Guys Marsh near Shaftesbury, Dorset.

It was the first recorded instance of rats being used in that way, the Prison Service said.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Second woman is investigated by police over transphobic comments

A second woman is being investigated by the police following allegations that she made transphobic comments on social media, the Telegraph can reveal.

Womans' rights campaigner, Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, has been interviewed by two separate police forces after being accused of committing a hate crime by Susie Green, who runs a charity helping transgender children.

The news comes after it emerged that devout Catholic, Caroline Farrow, had been asked to attend an interview by the Surrey force, for allegedly using the wrong pronoun to refer to Ms Green's transgender daughter.

Ms Keen-Minshull, a mother of four, said investigating people because of their legally held views was a complete waste of police time.

Full Article

Police Demand Tackling knife crime must top to-do list

There’s a palpable frustration in Westminster, and across the country as a whole, that Brexit, or more specifically, the lack of progress and uncertainty around Brexit, is a deeply unhelpful distraction from what are a number of serious and growing domestic concerns.

At a time of such uncertainty, it would be all too easy for us to take our foot off the pedal of domestic politics. Let’s be clear though: marking time in such a way would do a great disservice to the people we represent.

The urgency of the tasks at hand require action now, and while those of us in Parliament may for some time yet be preoccupied with the B-word, that is all the more reason for us to put our trust in local leadership and experience, providing those who are better placed on the ground with the tools and resources they need to make headway. Tackling the scourge of knife crime should be the top of the to-do list.

Across the country, it’s an issue that has united families and communities in grief. While cold statistics can never convey the brutal reality of this problem, they can help contextualise it. Last year, 726 people were murdered in the UK, 285 with a knife or bladed weapon, the highest level since records began. In 2018 we witnessed more fatal stabbings than at any other time since the Second World War, and the number of youth stabbings has doubled in the last five years alone.

Full Article

Police Demand Birmingham mosques on heightened alert after attacks

Security has been stepped up at mosques across Birmingham after five were targeted during an "abhorrent" spate of vandalism. CCTV footage has been released after the mosques had their windows smashed in the early hours of Thursday. The motive for the attacks remains unknown, West Midlands Police said.

Mosques across the world are also on alert for the first Friday prayers since the New Zealand terror attack, in which 50 people were killed.

Full Article

Police Demand Hackney death: Met 'too stretched to investigate' murder case

The daughter of a man who died inside a betting shop has claimed the Met Police "being too stretched" affected the outcome of the murder investigation. Babatunde Awofeso, 53, died on 4 April after being punched at a Betfred branch in Upper Clapton Road, Hackney.

Colleen Awofeso, from Devizes in Wiltshire, says she is confused by a suggestion from City of London Police that CCTV inside the Betfred shop was "corrupt" and irretrievable. This appears to contradict comments in an email, seen by the BBC, sent by a Betfred employee who said the CCTV was working on the day Mr Awofeso died.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Taser offered to all Kent officers in police assault fight-back

With assaults against officers rocketing, a south east force is fighting aggression and violence “head on” by permitting all public-facing officers to train to carry Taser.

The news comes with knife crime in Kent increasing by 152 per cent between 2010 and 2019 – the largest increase in England and Wales during that time. There were also 1,112 assaults on police officers in 2017 and 2018 - more than 20 a week.

Currently, the force relies upon specially-trained Taser teams deployed to assist colleagues during times of need, but this radical move means all officers in a public-facing role can take on the training and accreditation programme to carry the weapon.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police Federation confirms cyber attack

The Police Federation has confirmed its computer systems suffered a malware attack. PFEW says the incident happened on March 9 and it was able to respond quickly to the alert from its cyber-security systems. Experts quickly reacted to isolate the malware to stop it spreading to PFEW branches, it says.

The incident was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office and the National Crime Agency (NCA), which is now leading a criminal investigation into the matter.

Full Article

Police and Crime General MPs advised to travel in groups to avoid abuse over Brexit

A deputy speaker of the House of Commons has advised MPs they should take a black cab or travel home together to avoid the risk of intimidation or abuse, as public tensions rise over the Brexit process.

Lindsay Hoyle, a long-serving Labour MP, emailed all colleagues on Wednesday to say the Metropolitan police had been “left in no doubt” it had to ensure that “members of parliament can vote in parliament without fear”.

“Personally, I have never felt this level of tension during my time in the house and I am aware that other colleagues feel the same,” Hoyle wrote. “Many colleagues have already been subject to widely publicised abuse and intimidation.”

He advised MPs to take “simple steps” such as travelling home by taxi or with colleagues, and he said most had already taken security measures at home such as installing panic buttons.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police warn Brexiteers planning 'go slow' protests on motorway

Police have warned Brexiteers planning “go slow” protests on Britain’s motorways that they could face prosecution.

Pro-Brexit campaigners aim to cause gridlock using a convoy of slow-moving vehicles, targeting between 30 and 40 locations over the weekend.

One page in Somerset is targeting the A303 near Taunton, but just seven people have confirmed their attendance.

Other roads targeted are the M25, M6 and M1, which is partially policed by Derbyshire Police, which said it has "been made aware of the protest" and is "liaising with organisers.”

Full Article

Police Demand Drug gangs fuel rise in British children forced into modern slavery

County lines drug gangs are fuelling a rise in the number of British children being forced into modern slavery, with cases more than doubling in a year.

National Crime Agency (NCA) figures showed the number of modern slavery cases involving UK minors went from 676 in 2017 to 1,421 in 2018.

Nearly two-thirds of last year's cases were linked to labour exploitation, which includes by county lines and other criminal gangs.

Full Article

Fire New homes built by Persimmon missing fire safety barriers

Homes built by one of the UK's largest developers were constructed without essential barriers to slow the spread of fire.

Regulations dictate the flame-resistant material must be installed in roof spaces and wall cavities.

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes found it was missing from some properties on estates in south-west England.

It has written to more than 1,000 people to say their homes need to be checked.

Full Article

Police Finances Knife crime: Government's extra £100m police funding is a 'short-term fix'

The government's recent announcement of additional money to help fight knife crime is "nowhere near enough" and only a "short-term fix" according to the chairman of the Police Federation.

John Apter spoke to Sky News at the end of Operation Sceptre, the annual week-long national drive against knife criminals, which has seen many hundreds of weapons taken off the streets.

Last week, the chancellor announced an extra £100m emergency funding package to allow police to mount more operations against violent crime.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK employment at highest since 1971

The number of employed people in the UK has risen again, to a new record number of 32.7 million people between November and January, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

That is the highest figure since records began in 1971.

Unemployment fell by 35,000 to 1.34 million in the period, putting the rate below 4% for the first time since 1975.

The figure is 112,000 lower than a year ago, giving a jobless rate of 3.9%, well below the EU average of 6.5%.

Full Article

Technology Hated and hunted

Fabian is world renowned for destroying ransomware - the viruses sent out by criminal gangs to extort money.

Because of this, he lives a reclusive existence, always having to be one step ahead of the cyber criminals.

He has moved to an unknown location since this interview was carried out.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Lord Winston calls for cycling licences to improve road safety

Lord Winston has renewed calls for cyclists to require licences and insurance.

The government ruled out the proposal in 2018, saying the cost and complexity would outweigh the benefits.

The Labour peer's concerns were echoed by others in the House of Lords worried about "hoodlums in Lycra".

Full Article

Police and Crime General Paedophiles caught by vigilantes face tougher charges

Paedophiles caught in undercover stings by vigilantes are to face tougher charges under new rules being introduced by prosecutors.

Scores of potential sex abusers have been snared by so called paedophile hunters who pose as children online in order to catch them as they try to groom youngsters.

But there has been mounting concern that those who are prosecuted are being treated too leniently because there is no actual child victim involved.

However the Crown Prosecution Service has announced that offenders who are duped by the police or vigilantes are now to be charged as if there is an identifiable child victim.

Full Article

Fire Fireman Sam is putting women off joining the fire service because 'most of the job is nothing like it is portrayed'

Fireman Sam is putting women off joining the fire service because “most of the job is nothing like it is portrayed”, a female chief has said.

Senior fire officer Alex Johnson believes the CGI firefighting idol and images of men rushing into burning buildings does little to encourage gender equality.

She is campaigning to attract more women into the 999 service with just 5.2 per cent of firefighters in England women. In 2017 there were 1,838 female firefighters compared to 33,782 male firefighters.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 'Like a war': the struggle for space that pushes young Londoners to violence

"Round here we’ve got Third Set, in Shepherd’s Bush you have 12 Anti who are currently beefing Third Set. 12 World are beefing 12 Anti. Then you get in to Ladbroke Grove and you got Ten Eleven. Then you’ve got Mozart.”

This is just one corner of a bewildering jigsaw of gang rivalries in west London, described by Colin Brent, a youth worker at the Bollo Brook youth centre in south Acton. “You can have Acton beefing Acton, Bush beefing Bush. Bush beefing Acton. Young people don’t even know whose side they’re supposed to be on any more.”

Full Article

Police Demand Modern slavery referrals rocket

Referrals of potential victims of modern slavery made by councils have soared tenfold in five years, new figures have shown.

Latest National Crime Agency statistics showed the number of council referrals of suspected victims of modern slavery to the national referral mechanism (NRM) has risen from 131 in 2013 to 1,306 in 2018.

Full Article

Police Demand Knife and weapon offences reach highest level since 2009

The criminal justice system dealt with the highest number of knife and offensive weapon offences in nearly a decade last year, official figures have shown.

In 2018, 21,484 knife and offensive weapon offences were recorded, the most dealt with since 2009, when 25,103 offences were registered, according to the Ministry of Justice.

The figures come after the chancellor, Philip Hammond, handed an extra £100m to police forces in England and Wales after a spate of fatal stabbings led to a renewed focus on the response to knife crime and fresh debate over police resources.

Full Article

Police Finances Philip Hammond to tackle Britain’s knife crime epidemic with £100m funding package

It is a major victory for Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who demanded the cash after the surge in knife killings this year.

Chancellor Philip Hammond had offered a new package of £50 million but Mr Javid held out for more.

Some £80 million of the funding will be new money from the Treasury.

Full Article

Police Finances Funding cuts hamper knife crime prevention in England, say schools

Schools and colleges say funding cuts are hampering their efforts to prevent knife crime, according to a report commissioned by Ofsted that calls for “local community safety partnerships” to tackle the problem.

The Ofsted report, based on a survey of secondary schools, further education and pupil referral units in London, found huge variations in how the schools dealt with the problem of knives carried by pupils, as well as a lack of information-sharing between schools, local authorities and the police.

The report also concluded that schools need to follow more carefully Department for Education guidelines on the use of exclusions, and called for authorities to “challenge schools and multi-academy trusts when exclusions do not appear to be in line with statutory guidance”.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Spring Statement: Hammond promises 'deal dividend'

The chancellor has pledged to spend a £26.6bn Brexit war chest to boost the economy, if MPs vote to leave the European Union with a deal.

Philip Hammond vowed to free up more money to cut taxes and spend on public services in a "deal dividend".

However, he said these spending plans were based on a smooth Brexit.

Full Article

Police Finances Outgoing NAO chief questions ministerial accountability

The relationship between ministers, accounting officers and civil servants is currently not working, the outgoing auditor general of UK’s spending watchdog has said in his last speech in the role.

Some ministers “see themselves more or less as chief executive officers but without the qualifications”, National Audit Office head Amyas Morse told an event on accountability at the Institute for Government think-tank’s offices this morning.

The comptroller said this meant ministers sometimes made decisions prioritising a project “close to their hearts” – when they should be held accountable but are not – which “has led to the abandonment of good practice”, he said.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Knife crime may be an emergency but no one can agree how to stop it

The surge in knife crime, described by senior police officers as a national emergency, has prompted calls for troops to be deployed and fuelled a political row about government cuts.

The Guardian article continues with several FAQs with regards to knife crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Youth offending team funding ‘halved’

Funding to help local authorities keep young people away from serious crime has been halved since 2010, an umbrella group has said.

Youth justice grants, which fund council youth offending teams, have tumbled from £145m in 2010-11 to £71.5m in 2018-19, according to the Local Government Association.

Councils have already set their budgets for 2019-20 but are still awaiting their allocations for youth justice grants, making it “extremely difficult” to plan services aimed at preventing gangs and violent crime, the LGA said.

Full Article

Police Demand Knife crime: Operation Sceptre begins amid surge in violence

A week-long crackdown on knife crime begins across England and Wales today, as officers continue to battle a surge in violence.

There have been 39 fatal stabbings in Britain since the beginning of the year, and several victims have been teenagers.

For the next seven days, police will run Operation Sceptre, using surrender bins, stop-and-search and weapons sweeps in a concerted crackdown on knife crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Farm turns round violent teenagers

Handing axes, saws and fire-lighting equipment to children excluded from school may seem risky, but is proving effective at a farm in Essex.

Teenagers removed from school for unmanageable or violent behaviour are being given a second chance and gaining vocational qualifications through hard graft: mucking out pigs, chopping wood or fixing old vehicles. They also develop nurturing skills by looking after rabbits, chickens and miniature ponies and growing vegetables.

Full Article

Police Demand Knife crime rising more steeply outside London, police figures show

Knife crime is rising at a much steeper rate in the home counties and rural provinces than in London, police figures show, amid signs that the growing use of blades is spreading from the cities to the shires.

Guardian analysis of official statistics shows a 45.7% average increase in knife-related offences in 34 English and Welsh counties since 2010, compared with an 11% rise in the capital.

Full Article

Police Finances Knife crime: Chancellor rejects calls for emergency fund

The chancellor has rejected calls to set up an emergency fund to tackle knife crime in England and Wales.

Senior officers and police and crime commissioners have called for more money to pay for additional officers following a spate of fatal stabbings.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the government must listen to police leaders following talks on Wednesday.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Knife crime: Javid in strategy talks with police chiefs

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is to meet police chiefs from seven forces most affected by violent crime.

It follows a spate of fatal teen stabbings which has prompted a debate about falling police numbers.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said there is "obviously" a link between violent crime and falling police numbers.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Women who fell for police spies say they were victims of 'co-ordinated rape'

A woman who found out her partner was a policeman paid to spy on her group of activists has said she is the victim of a "conspiracy to rape".

Rosa and another woman have spoken of feeling betrayed after falling in love with men who turned out to be spies.

An ongoing public inquiry into undercover policing has seen several women get apologies and compensation.

Full Article

Police Finances Police back ‘shooting galleries’ for drug users

Senior police officers are backing plans to create a national network of drug consumption rooms, known as “shooting galleries”, where addicts are provided with drugs such as heroin, paid for by the state.

At least 10 chief constables are known to support the idea of shooting galleries being set up in their areas, which they hope will stop addicts committing crime to feed their habit.

Full Article

Prisons Probation: 'Rushed' reforms cost MoJ extra £500m, report says

Problems with the partial privatisation of the probation system in England and Wales have cost taxpayers almost £500m, the government spending watchdog says.

Under the changes, introduced when Chris Grayling was justice secretary, firms were given contracts to supervise low and medium-risk offenders.

The National Audit Office says reforms were "rushed" and warns more people are being returned to jail for reoffending.

Full Article

Technology Instagram grooming of children as young as five triples

The number of children targeted for grooming and abuse on Instagram has more than tripled - with some of the victims as young as five years old.

Figures obtained by the NSPCC suggest there were 5,161 reports of sexual communications with a child recorded in just 18 months.

Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram were used in 70% of those incidents.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Decriminalise sex work to protect us from crime, prostitutes say

Prostitution should be decriminalised in the UK to make it safer for vulnerable women, a sex worker organisation has said.

The English Collective of Prostitutes is calling for the removal of laws relating to consensual adult sexual behaviour, arguing that the legislation forces sex workers to operate alone, leaving them vulnerable to crime and reluctant to report violence to the police because they fear arrest.

Full Article

Police and Crime General The hairdressers spotting signs of abuse

When Kerri McAuley feared for her life after being attacked by her abusive boyfriend, it was her hairdresser she confided in. She was killed in early 2017. Now, a new campaign to help hairdressers and beauticians spot the signs of domestic abuse has been launched.

Full Article

Prisons Corrupt prison staff smuggling drugs into jails

Organised crime gangs intimidated staff to smuggle drugs into a prison where more than a dozen employees were suspended, a report reveals today.

The report blames staff corruption for some of the smuggling of mobile phones, drugs and other contraband into prisons in England and Wales.

It adds that the issue of corrupt staff aiding criminal behaviour is a problem that is “under-recognised” and not acknowledged openly.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Union and NBPA in joint pledge to improve race equality

Lack of progress in black, Asian and minority ethnic representation since Macpherson has brought demands for policing and government to agree an action plan to reverse claims of “deeply worrying” damage being inflicted to the credibility of the service.

Britain’s biggest union and the National Black Police Association have issued a joint pledge calling for forces and the Home Office to improve race equality in the wake of damning evidence of a dramatic fall in proportions of BAME staff over more than a decade.

UNISON research reveals a drop of nearly a third in the proportion of BAME police community support officers in England and Wales – down from 14 per cent in 2005 to 9.5 per cent in 2018. BME representation among the general public is currently 14 per cent, ONS figures show.

Full Article

Police Finances Troubled families youth crime funding doubled

The funding available through the Troubled Families programme for takling youth crime has been doubled, housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire has announced.

A £5m fund for intervening early with families and children was launched in October last year.

Mr Brokenshire said yesterday the fund has been increased to £9.8m “due to the quality of the bids received”.

The funding has been allocated to 21 areas most affected by youth crime, including ten in London.

Full Article

Police Finances Up to 4,000 crime victims win right to compensation as ministers lift ban on "same roof" claims

Up to 4,000 crime victims who have been denied compensation for decades because they lived under the same roof as their attacker will be able to claim the awards after the Government scrapped a 55-year old ban.

Justice ministers will today (Thursday) announce they are abolishing the 55-year-old “same roof” rule, which has prevented victims of violent crimes that took place before 1979 from receiving compensation if the perpetrator was someone they lived with at the time of the incident.

The bar was introduced in 1964 to ensure offenders did not benefit from financial awards made to victims they shared a home with.

Full Article

Police Demand Police chief says knife crime spate is 'national emergency'

Police chiefs have described the recent spate of knife crime in the country as a national emergency and are calling for action to stop the bloodshed.

There have been 17 homicides in London so far this year, six of which happened in nine days. Five people were stabbed on Tuesday, four of whom were attacked in less than eight hours and one who died.

In Birmingham three teenagers have died in knife attacks in the space of two weeks, and 269 knife crimes have been recorded so far this year. Hazrat Umar, 17, was killed in Bordesley Green on Monday; Abdullah Muhammad, 16, died in Small Heath last week; and seven days earlier Sidali Mohamed, 16, was stabbed outside a college in Highgate.

Full Article

Police Demand Catapult crimewave hits Kent as attacks double in space of two years

Catapult attacks have soared across Kent, with people, animals and property targeted.

A total of 80 offences involving catapults were recorded in 2018, almost double the number just two years earlier.

Last week a man was left with severe facial injuries when a group targeted him while he was driving, and days before that another man was hit as he tried to stop someone stealing a scooter.

Full Article

Police Finances 2052 is 'shock' date police service will finally represent population it serves, MPs told

BAME representation in policing is half what it should be and will not catch up until the year 2052, MPs have been warned.

Forces in England and Wales are "so slow" in their current rate of progress with a third still without a single black female officer and their ranks swelling by just 34 individuals in the last decade, a national debate in Westminster was told.

Full Article

Police Finances City of London police took £29m from insurers and banks

City of London police received almost £29 million in funding from banking and insurance trade bodies over the past five years in an arrangement that has been attacked as a “serious conflict of interest”.

The force, Britain’s leading constabulary for investigating economic crime, received £17 million from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and a further £11.8 million from UK Finance, the banking industry group, between 2013 and 2018, The Times can reveal.

The funding was used to run units to fight insurance fraud and card and payment crime. The industry groups said that consumers ultimately benefited from the police having extra resources to tackle financial scams.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police chief appointed to anti-slavery role

A senior police officer has been announced as the government's new anti-slavery commissioner.

Sara Thornton, who currently chairs the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), will begin the role in May.

She will be responsible for giving independent advice on tackling modern slavery over the next three years.

Full Article

Police Finances £9.8 million fund to confront knife crime and gang culture

Community-backed projects in 21 areas across England will each receive a share of £9.5 million to help families who are vulnerable to the devastating effects of knife crime and gang culture, Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP confirmed today (22 February 2019).

The Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund will enable keyworkers, community groups, teachers and other professionals working with children and young people at risk, to intervene early and help stop them from becoming drawn into gang crime, serious violence and the youth justice system.

A further £300,000 will also be available for local authorities across England to train frontline staff on how to tackle childhood trauma. This follows evidence that many who are vulnerable to serious violence and youth crime have experienced childhood trauma that has affected their mental health and confidence.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Tough laws on cannabis don’t cut teenage use

A global study of 100,000 young people has found no evidence that teenage cannabis use is higher in countries with more liberal drug laws or lower in countries that have tougher controls.

The research, which suggests that teenagers pay little regard to the law when choosing whether or not to take the drug, is likely to be seized on by campaigners who advocate the decriminalisation of cannabis in Britain.

The study, by Alex Stevens, professor of criminal justice at the University of Kent, used data from the World Health Organisation to examine cannabis use by teenagers in 38 countries, including the UK, America, Russia, France, Germany and Canada. Professor Stevens said: “The harms and costs of imposing criminal convictions on people who use cannabis do not seem to be justified by an effect in reducing cannabis use.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Stephen Lawrence: How has his murder changed policing?

Twenty years ago, an inquiry into the death of teenager Stephen Lawrence called for an overhaul of police procedures and attitudes towards race. But how much has changed?

This article covers historical 'institutional racism' as well as incident reporting (police recorded crime and crime survey), stop and search, arrests, and police headcounts; by ethnicity.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Met Commissioner: Why 'myths and stereotypes' are holding back a 50-50 gender split

Society is still 20 years behind in a “laughable” scenario that expects to see men in charge, the woman at the head of UK policing claimed today.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick claims “myths and stereotypes” are responsible for the service's inability to reach a 50-50 gender split.

Britain's highest-ranking officer said that even she has encountered sexism in the “not too distant past” when it comes to the public expecting to see male rather than female officers.

Full Article

Technology Clicking on terrorist propaganda even once could mean 15 years in prison under new law

Anyone who views terrorist propaganda once online can be jailed for up to 15 years under new laws that have sparked human rights concerns.

MPs had urged the government to scrap plans to criminalise viewing “information useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”, which goes further than much-used laws that made physically collecting, downloading or disseminating the material illegal.

A United Nations inspector accused the government of straying towards “thought crime” with the proposal, which originally stated that people would have to access propaganda “on three or more different occasions” to commit a terror offence.

Full Article

Police Finances British style of policing 'on its knees and facing extinction' because of cuts

Budget cuts are putting the police and public at risk as more and more officers are forced to work alone, according to the Police Federation.

A survey for the organisation, which represents rank and file officers in England and Wales, suggested almost 90% of respondents believed there were not enough of them to manage demand, while 76% of officers in front line roles were "often or always" working alone.

It also found that of the 18,000 who took part, almost every officer had been exposed to at least one "traumatic experience" in their career, with 62% saying they had experienced at least one in the last 12 months.

Full Article

Police Finances Are there more police now?

With some violent crimes like those involving knives rising, attention has turned to whether there are enough police officers on the streets.

Between September 2009 and September 2017, police forces in England and Wales lost more than 20,000 officers - a drop of 15%. Numbers of officers consistently fell during that period.

Annual figures which use March as a snapshot have been published for decades and those suggest that 2017 saw the lowest number of police officers since 1981.

Full Article

Police Demand PFEW survey finds officers stressed, exhausted, traumatised and often working alone

The shocking level of lone working has emerged from the results of the latest Demand, Capacity and Welfare Survey from the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) in which 76.1 per cent of respondents from relevant frontline roles including neighbourhood, response, roads policing, operational support and investigations, indicated that they are often or always single-crewed.

PFEW’s National Vice-Chair Ché Donald, said: “When officers work alone they are undoubtedly exposed to increased risk – for them and the public, not to mention the detrimental effect on their overall health and wellbeing. It’s quite simple – policing is dangerous in every sense – single-crewing is not safe for anyone.

“Forces are having their hands forced as they struggle to meet the increased demands placed on them, but this false economy of single crewing merely creates the illusion of public safety. Quite simply this is not sustainable and officers are suffering.”

Statistics show that the police workload has increased significantly over the past five years. During 2013/14 there were, on average, 35 crimes for every constable but by 2017/18 that figure had risen to 51.

Full Article

Police Finances Staff associations claim 15 per cent pay rise as officers struggle to make ends meet

Years of below-inflation pay awards have left more than a third of police officers struggling to make ends meet, with almost half worrying about their finances ‘almost every day’, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) claims.

In a joint submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) with the Police Superintendents Assocation (PSA), the PFEW says constables’ incomes are currently over 18 per cent below where they should be as a result of an erosion in pay since 2010. And sergeants’ pay is up to 19.4 per cent lower.

The PFEW and PSA are proposing a five per cent uplift in pay for police officers this year, followed by five per cent rise in both 2020/21 and 2021/22. However, if the PRRB does not recommend a three-year deal, they propose a rise of 6.2 per cent for 2019.

Full Article

Police Finances NPCC recommends three-year pay-deal for officers

Police chiefs have recommended a three year pay deal to give officers a larger pay increase upfront. In its annual submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body, the National Police Chiefs’ Council puts forward two options and also suggests on-call allowances for federated ranks increase from £15 to £20 per day.

Full Article

Police Finances Hammond £5bn short of 'austerity is ending' target, says thinktank

Philip Hammond must find an extra £5bn in this year’s Whitehall spending review to reverse planned cuts and meet his claim of ending austerity, a leading thinktank has revealed.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies told the chancellor that funds pledged in last year’s budget to boost NHS spending, defence and international aid failed to safeguard local councils and some of the worst-hit government departments from further shortfalls.

The thinktank said a minimum of £2.2bn would be needed to freeze all budgets and protect them from inflation, but ministers would need to find an extra £5bn to allow departments to maintain services in line with the UK’s rising population.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Violent crime is not at record levels

Fullfact have challenged the assertion that Violent crime is at record levels. They state that "Incorrect. Several reliable sources indicate that overall violent crime in England and Wales is far lower now than it was in the 1990s. Police figures show violent crimes at their highest recorded level, but these are unreliable."

Full Article

Police and Crime General Women 'victims in 63% of romance scams'

Victims of romance scams - the majority of whom are women - lost an average of £11,145 each last year, according to new figures.

The data, from police reporting centre Action Fraud, showed that £50m was lost in these scams in 2018 when fraudsters pretend to be romantically attached.

Fraudsters trick victims into sending money or gather enough personal information to steal their identities.

Full Article

Fire Firefighters trained as specials in 'worrying' national first

Plans to train firefighters to respond as police officers have been branded “worrying” and “gimmicky” by a local police federation.

The hybrid role, which the Fed claims will cost £200,000, will see seven Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service firefighters trained to have the same powers as special constables.

The move, which intends to speed up response times in rural areas, will mean the crew, known as Community Responders, will be responsible for reacting to both fire and police incidents.

Full Article

Fire Greater Manchester budget has £1m 'hole' due to moor fire funds delay

Greater Manchester's fire service budget has a £1m "big black hole in it" because the government has not decided if 2018's moorland fires spending can be reclaimed, the mayor has said.

Soldiers and extra firefighters were used to fight the Saddleworth Moor and Winter Hill blazes in June and July.

Mayor Andy Burnham has asked to be allowed to recoup funds spent on the response under the Bellwin Scheme.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police warn paedophile hunters after five arrested in Leeds

Police have warned paedophile hunters to stop confronting suspected child abusers after five people were arrested on suspicion of wrongly imprisoning members of the public.

Three men and two women were taken into custody in Leeds on Monday on suspicion of assault, public order offences and false imprisonment.

The suspects have been released on bail pending further investigation, and West Yorkshire Police have used the arrests to remind self-styled vigilantes to leave the job of confronting suspected abusers to them.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Doreen Lawrence: Knife crime plans criminalise children

The mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence has criticised a new scheme by the government to tackle knife crime.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced plans for Knife Crime Prevention Orders last week, targeting suspects aged 12 - even if they don't have a blade.

But Baroness Lawrence said there were better ways to deal with knife crime than "criminalising" children.

Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack in south-east London in 1993, aged 18.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police to get new powers to evict travellers from private land, Sajid Javid announces

Police are to get tough new powers to crackdown on illegal traveller sites on private land including a potential new criminal offence of trespass.

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, will today unveil a series of new legal measures to make it easier for police officers to intervene and remove travellers from private land.

He will also announce he is considering making it a criminal offence for travellers to trespass on private land when setting up an encampment.

Full Article

Technology Crime prediction software 'adopted by 14 UK police forces'

At least 14 UK police forces have made use of crime-prediction software or plan to do so, according to Liberty.

The human rights group said it had sent a total of 90 Freedom of Information requests out last year to discover which forces used the technology.

It believes the programs involved can lead to biased policing strategies that unfairly focus on ethnic minorities and lower-income communities.

Full Article

Technology Police raids target 'hundreds of UK web attackers'

UK police have seized more than 60 computers and other gadgets suspected of being used to carry out web attacks.

The raids were part of an international operation targeting customers of Webstresser, which Europol calls the "world's biggest marketplace" for distributed denial of service attacks.

The site was shut down and its suspected operators arrested in April.

Full Article

Police Finances Trump's UK visit cost police forces more than £14 million

Policing Donald Trump's four-day visit to the UK cost more than £14.2 million, according to figures obtained by the Press Association.

The US president flew in to swathes of protests as he met the Queen at Windsor Castle, was hosted by Theresa May and played golf in Scotland.

With thousands of officers drafted in from every force in Great Britain, policing July's trip cost in excess of £14,258,966, according to police figures released under Freedom of Information laws.

Full Article

Police Finances Government 'pauses' pension cost cap action pending legal decision

The government has suspended plans to take any further action to rectify the public pension cost cap breach while it awaits a legal decision.

In December the Police Federation cautiously welcomed Court of Appeal judgements which declared changes to judges’ and firefighters’ pensions were discriminatory on the grounds of age.

The decision reversed alterations made to firefighters pensions which also affected police officers.

Full Article

Technology UK police forces using ‘discriminatory’ algorithms to predict crime Read more at:

Police forces in the UK are using algorithms and other types of predictive software based on “biased data,” human rights organisation Liberty has claimed.

A minimum of 14 police forces in the UK have previously used, are currently using or are planning to use the programs, which are used to assess a person’s likelihood of committing or falling victim to crime and where it could be committed, it reported.

The algorithms are developed using historical data gathered using biased policing practices, with the danger of artificially intelligent (AI)-driven programs ‘learning’ from the information and perpetuating bias in future autonomous predictions, according to a report from the organisation.

Full Article

Technology Free InLinkUK phone kiosks used for thousands of street drug deals

Twenty years after mobile phones made them redundant, phone boxes are back. And no one is more grateful than your local drug gang.

A new generation of phone and internet points being installed across Britain is being used for thousands of drug deals, according to police.

As the kiosks offer free phone calls to UK numbers, including mobiles, they enable people to call dealers’ phones, order “two brown and one white” — slang for heroin and crack cocaine respectively — and give a location.

Full Article

Fire More than half of care homes fail fire safety inspection

The majority of care homes inspected in a major fire safety audit failed basic checks, it has emerged, triggering concerns that the lives of elderly people are being put at risk.

Of the 177 homes inspected by the London Fire Brigade (LFB), 101 – 57% – were issued with a formal notification instructing them to address safety concerns.

The brigade said it believed the findings would be repeated if similar inspections were carried out across the country.

Full Article

Police Finances Sajid Javid cuts funding for knife crime programme

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has secretly reduced funding for a scheme to help children escape knife crime, despite a sharp rise in the number of murders and stabbings.

In July, Javid had said that he was doubling the £11m that was allocated to the early intervention youth fund to £22m. This was part of a “public health” approach to combating knife crime and other offences.

While on a recent visit to the West Midlands, however, the policing minister Nick Hurd quietly announced that the funding had been reduced to £17m. Louise Haigh, Labour’s shadow policing minister, described the move as “shameful”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Minor convictions from youth should stay secret, judges rule

Minor historical convictions and cautions given to children may no longer have to be disclosed during background checks when they seek work with children following a Supreme Court ruling.

Judges found yesterday that the way criminal records are disclosed is disproportionate and infringes human rights. The ruling was a defeat for the Home Office, which challenged a Court of Appeal ruling in favour of people who said their lives had been unfairly damaged by reprimands received children or minor offences committed years ago.

Supreme Court judges said it was disproportionate that all convictions had to be disclosed if a person had more than one. They said it was also disproportionate that those issued to juveniles had to be disclosed.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Drink-drive limit laws are too lenient, says police chief

The drink-driving limit should be reduced to stem road deaths and injuries, the head of the Police Federation said.

John Apter, who represents rank-and-file officers, said that the law was far too generous and added to strain on police. “We can’t even respond to 999 calls at the moment, let alone target drink-drivers,” he said. He voiced similar fears about the drug-driving limit.

West Midlands police, the country’s second largest force, was warned yesterday that offenders were escaping justice because the force has 302 breath-testing kits between more than 6,500 officers. Northamptonshire, with a quarter of the officers, has 400 kits.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Supreme Court rejects government appeal on criminal records scheme

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of three people who claimed their lives were blighted by past minor criminal convictions.

The judges found the way the criminal records are disclosed to employers infringed human rights.

The government will have to consider reform of the system, said BBC legal affairs correspondent Clive Coleman.

Full Article

Police and Crime General The white stuff: why Britain can’t get enough cocaine

The moment Dan (not his real name) realised he had a problem with cocaine, he had been off work for a week, sick with flu. His phone buzzed. It was his cocaine dealer, calling to check he was OK. When Dan, one of his favoured customers, hadn’t been in touch to buy the cocaine he usually took several times a week, the dealer knew something was wrong.

“I don’t like thinking about that,” Dan says, shaking his head as we sit in a London pub. Now 36, Dan estimates he has spent £25,000 on cocaine. Lines in the pub on a Friday night after work. Lines on a Wednesday evening at a friend’s house while earnestly discussing 90s hip-hop. Lines at house parties, weddings, birthday parties and for no reason at all, other than that cocaine – the white powder that makes no one a better version of themselves, but that many of us continue to do anyway – is everywhere and freely available.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Children as young as 11 in 'county lines' drug networks selling heroin and crack

Up to 10,000 children as young as 11 are being exploited by “county lines” drug networks, the National Crime Agency has warned.

Criminal gangs are targeting youngsters to run the schemes, worth nearly £1million a year, a shock report warned

County lines typically involves city gangsters branching out into smaller towns or rural areas to sell heroin and crack cocaine – often using youngsters as couriers because they are less likely to arouse suspicion.

Full Article

Technology Home Office tracks debit card use to ‘spy’ on asylum seekers

The Home Office has been accused of “spying” on asylum seekers after it emerged that it secretly monitors their debit card use to track their whereabouts.

Officials use purchases made outside a person’s “authorised” city — the place where they are given temporary housing — to argue they are fraudulently living elsewhere, so are not destitute enough to qualify for emergency aid or shelter.

The surveillance takes place through Aspen cards, a government-issued debit card rolled out two years ago to make it easier for asylum seekers to buy food and basic supplies. More than 27,000 of these cards are now in use.

Full Article

Police Demand On patrol with armed police as workload grows [video]

Armed police are tested to the limits each day but the numbers of officers has fallen over the decade.

Senior police leaders have said a rise in gun crime and a looming recruitment shortfall are leaving some specialist armed officers "stretched".

In 2015, the government set aside funds for 1,500 new armed officers by 2020 - but only 812 have so far been hired.

Full Article

Police Demand Police chiefs' concern over 'shortage of armed officers'

Senior police leaders have said a rise in gun crime and a looming recruitment shortfall are leaving some specialist armed officers "stretched".

Figures have shown crimes of possessing firearms rose by 87% in England and Wales over the past five years.

In 2015, the government set aside funds for 1,500 new armed officers by 2020 - but only 812 have so far been hired.

A police union leader said he had "great concern" that the risk to the public could be increased.

Full Article

Police Demand Victims can wait 9 days for police to reply to 999 calls as officer numbers fall

Response to priority 999 calls has hit three hours, with one victim of a violent attack waiting nine days, in another case a burgled homeowner had a five-day wait.

Figures show police failed to respond to more than 3,000 calls a day within target times, typically 15 minutes for a 999 “emergency” and an hour for a “priority” call.

The stats, from 21 of 43 police forces in England and Wales, were obtained under freedom of information rules.

Full Article

Police Demand Crime figures: Murder rate is highest in a decade

A record number of knife crimes pushed the murder rate to its highest level in a decade as the proportion of offences resulting in a charge fell to a new low.

Official figures released yesterday showed that knife crime rose in most police force areas, although London and other urban areas including Merseyside, West Yorkshire and the West Midlands were hit particularly hard.

The number of murders recorded in England and Wales rose by 14 per cent to 737 — the most since 2008 — driven partially by a 10 per cent rise in knife killings to 276.

Full Article

Police Finances Khan announces £85m to tackle violent crime

Sadiq Khan has announced he will be using £85m of city hall funding to tackle violent crime.

Last year, the Metropolitan Police used £15m of additional city hall funding to create the new Violent Crime Taskforce. This led to nearly 2,500 arrests and the removal of more than 1,000 dangerous weapons from London’s streets.

This year the commissioner of the Met plans to use the additional funds to give local policing teams access to additional officers to help them crack down on violence and burglary.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Crime figures: Violent crime recorded by police rises by 19%

Violent crime recorded by police in England and Wales has risen by 19%, latest figures show.

The number of homicides - including murder and manslaughter - has risen from 649 to 739, an increase of 14%, and the highest total since 2008.

Robbery went up by 17%, as did recorded sexual offences, according to the Home Office data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Full Article

Police Finances Police Grant Report England and Wales 2019/20

As of 24.01.2019, Mr Nick Hurd submitted the Police Grant Report for England and Wales 2019-20.

My rt hon Friend, the Home Secretary, has today laid before the House, the Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2019/20 (HC 1896) for the approval of the House. The Report sets out, my rt hon Friend, the Home Secretary’s determination for 2019/20 of the aggregate amount of grant that he proposes to pay under section 46(2) of the Police Act 1996.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Reality Check: Is crime up or down?

The BBC has done a 'reality check' on the crime rates in England and Wales.

'Whether crime is rising or falling is hugely important. It can affect how much is spent on policing and other related services, even how people vote. But working out what is happening is not an exact science.'

Full Article

Police and Crime General Knife crime hits record high as police chief warns carrying a weapon has "become the norm" in areas of the UK

Knife crime has hit its highest level on record as a police chief warned that carrying a knife has “become the norm" in parts of the UK.

Homicides also rose by 14% to their highest for more than a decade, partly fuelled by an increase in fatal knife attacks, official figures reveal.

Nick Hurd, the policing minister tried to reassure the public by saying the statistics showed “the chances of being a victim of crime remained low,” suggesting it is largely gang-related crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General County Lines: London drugs gang in Swansea jailed

A gang member who forced an orphan to leave London and deal heroin and crack cocaine in Swansea has been sentenced.

Convicted child rapist Jerome Tarek Wallis took the 15-year-old from his home before driving him 200 miles away to the Welsh city in July last year.

Swansea Crown Court heard the teenager was also threatened with violence and made to deliver drugs to addicts.

Full Article

Technology Massive increase in web pages of child abuse being identified and removed from the internet

More than 100,000 web pages of children being abused were removed from the internet last year - a third more than in 2017.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which says its vision is to "eliminate child sexual abuse imagery online", looks into reports made by members of the public who have stumbled across images they think might be illegal.

It also proactively searches for offending sites.

Of the material taken down last year as a result of the IWF's work, 1,300 pages showed abuse of infants or babies and more than 40,000 depicted abuse or sexual torture of children under 10.

Full Article

Prisons HMP Bedford inmate caught rats in his cell during inspection visit

An inmate at a jail that was subject to urgent measures was witnessed catching and killing rats in his cell during an inspection, it has emerged.

The chief inspector of prisons, Peter Clarke, issued an urgent notification protocol – the most severe course of action at his disposal – over HMP Bedford last year.

In a damning report on the dire conditions at the prison published on Tuesday, Clarke said standards had continued to decline despite two years of prison service efforts to improve it.

Full Article

Technology WhatsApp is failing to stop paedophiles sharing child abuse images, say police

WhatsApp is failing to stop paedophiles sharing child sex abuse images and grooming children and should face new laws unless it takes urgent action, says the UK’s top police officer for child protection.

Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs Council’s lead on child protection, singled out the Facebook-owned messaging app after evidence that paedophiles have set up groups on the site with titles such as ‘Only Child Pornography’, ‘CP’ and ‘Gay Kids Sex Only.’

Full Article

Police and Crime General Black police paid less as ethnic pay gap widens, Met figures show

The pay gap in the Metropolitan police between white officers and their black and Asian counterparts has widened in the past year despite promises to close the divide, new figures have shown.

A Met study of average wages found that black and Asian police officers working in London were paid £1.80 an hour less than their white colleagues last year, compared with £1.52 in 2017. All 37 senior officers on salaries of £100,000-plus were white, it found, while ethnic minority officers received fewer and smaller bonuses than their colleagues.

The report, which looked at the pay of 37,257 Met employees, of whom 6,349 are Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), found the gap was even worse when all staff – not just police officers – were taken into account. On average, it said, BAME staff receive £2.05 less per hour than the average white member of staff, a mean pay gap of 9.67%.

Police Demand Crime prevention budgets ‘slashed’ under Tories

Crime prevention budgets have been cut by more than a half since 2010, an analysis from Labour has revealed.

Between 2009/10 and 2017/18, spending on crime reduction by councils has been cut by almost 60%, falling from £363m to £154m.

Over the same period, the number of council employees working on crime reduction has fallen by more than a third, from 120,334 to just 77,720.

Full Article

Prisons Wales hands out more jail terms despite falling crime, survey reveals

Offenders living in Wales and England have more chance ending up behind bars than any other country in Western Europe, new research reveals.

And Wales tops an ‘unwanted’ list – ahead of its UK neighbour – for having the highest proportion of its population serving time in jail with an emerging justice system “quite different” from England.

Sentencing figures show there were 154 prisoners for every 100,000 people in Wales, a higher proportion than England – which has the second-highest imprisonment rate with 141 prisoners per 100,000.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Dangerous foreign criminals roam free as police squad shrinks

Hundreds of dangerous foreign criminals are feared to be at large on the streets of Britain because Scotland Yard’s elite extradition unit has failed to locate and deport them.

The squad was able to arrest just one in three of the 958 foreign criminals who were suspected to be in the UK in 2017.

The problem was brought into sharp focus two years earlier when Alice Gross, 14, was murdered by Arnis Zalkalns, a Latvian builder who had been able to move to Britain in 2007 despite a string of convictions, including for firearms offences, sexual assault and killing his wife.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Mock trial aims to keep teenagers on right side of law

“I swear when I get my hands on him I’ll kill him. I’ll poke him properly.”

This was the dramatic confession of Michael Keegan, 18, at Liverpool crown court this week. Keegan had originally pleaded not guilty to stabbing Thomas Smith, 14, but cracked in the dock and admitted knifing the teenager he was trying to recruit into a “county lines” drug-running operation.

The U-turn was a victory for 15 teenagers, who had spent the week acting as trainee detectives at Merseyside police in a groundbreaking initiative aimed at preventing vulnerable young people from falling into a life of crime.

Full Article

Technology UK’s largest police force spends over £200,000 on facial recognition trials that resulted in no arrests

Britain’s largest police force has spent more than £200,000 on controversial facial recognition trials that resulted in no arrests, figures reveal.

A freedom of information request by The Independent showed six deployments by the Metropolitan Police resulted in only two people being stopped, and then released.

Critics called the force’s use of facial recognition a “shambles” and accused authorities of wasting public money.

Full Article

Police Demand Nineteen forces could take on direct entry recruits

As many as 19 forces could take on direct entry personnel later this year.

Recruitment windows for both superintendents and inspectors with no previous policing experience opened on Monday January 7 and will close at midnight on February 18.

However, just two forces are participating in direct entry at superintendent level in 2019. They are Avon and Somerset and Dyfed-Powys.

Full Article

Police and Crime General South Yorkshire Police applicants must photo tattoos

A police force recruiting new officers has asked applicants to send photos of their tattoos with their applications.

South Yorkshire Police issued guidance to people interested in joining the force as a police constable.

The Sheffield Star reported that the force said tattoos would "not necessarily" prevent someone from being successful, but there were guidelines around what is and is not acceptable.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Finn's law passes latest parliamentary hurdle

Legislation to give police dogs and horses extra protection has become a step closer to becoming law

The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill, named "Finn's Law" after a police dog from Hertfordshire brutally stabbed while protecting his handler, passed unopposed at second reading.

German Shepherd Finn was stabbed in the head and chest while responding to reports of a robbery in Stevenage back in 2017.

Full Article

Police Demand West Midlands Police 'fails to record 16,600 violent crimes'

West Midlands Police is "failing victims" and not recording more than 16,600 violent crimes each year, a watchdog has said.

The force was rated inadequate by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, who said victims felt let down and not believed.

Only 78.2% of violent crime and 89.2% of sexual offences reported were recorded, it found.

The force said it had made "substantial progress".

Full Article

Police Demand Crime victims wait half an hour for police to respond to 999 calls as response times double

Victims of crime are having to wait up to 30 minutes for police to attend 999 calls as response times have doubled in some forces, figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph reveal.

Police admit the delays reduce the chance of solving crimes such as burglaries and robberies and give criminals more chance to escape.

In some cases, have-a-go heroes have been told to let criminals go because of the delays while one force had to suspend 101 non-emergency calls last year to enable staff to cope with demand for 999 emergencies.

Full Article

Police Demand Javid and Hammond team up to tackle £14bn of economic crimes

The home secretary and chancellor are to launch a joint assault on fraud, bribery, corruption and money laundering.

Sajid Javid and Philip Hammond will chair a new taskforce that will work with senior figures in the financial sector to tackle economic crime. This is a broad category covering a range of illegal activity, with the Home Office estimating its scale to be at least £14.4bn a year.

Javid said: “We need to take action on all fronts to target the corrupt fraudsters who are lining their pockets with dirty money and living luxury lifestyles at the expense of law-abiding citizens.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police quiz dad after baby fed hot sauce

The father of a newborn baby was "shocked" to be confronted by police after posting on social media that he accidentally fed his son chilli sauce.

Paul Dawson, from Stockton, was out with his partner and five-day-old Ben on 5 January when the mishap occurred.

Forgetting he had been eating spicy chicken wings, Mr Dawson put his knuckle in Ben's mouth to pacify him.

Cleveland Police said officers visited Mr Dawson after a member of the public complained about his Facebook post.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police chiefs to brand county lines gang bosses 'slave drivers' to disrupt their use of children to deal drugs

Police are to brand county lines gang leaders as “slave drivers” to disrupt their use of children to sell drugs.

Police chiefs believe the stigma of being taken to court as a slave master or trafficker of children is more likely to deter gang bosses than just being prosecuted under drugs laws.

Anti-slavery legislation also enables police to get court orders banning gang leaders from associating with any child under 18 and limiting them to one phone that police can regularly examine.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Man shot dead was lawfully killed, inquest jury rules

Rank-and-file have spoken out in defence of the agonising split-second decision no armed officer ever wants to make in the wake of an “out-of-control” man shot dead by police.

Officers who had gone to work “to do their job” ended the day having to use lethal force on a 24-year-old brandishing knives and threatening to kill colleagues during a stand-off.

Josh Pitt – fatally shot in the chest from close range after his fiancee said he had attacked her – was lawfully killed, an inquest jury has ruled.

Full Article

Prisons Prison sentences of less than six months should be abolished, says minister

Prison sentences of less than six months should be abolished in England and Wales because they are less effective at cutting reoffending than community penalties, prison minister Rory Stewart has suggested.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the politician said the move would ease pressure on prisons while criticising short jail terms for being “long enough to damage you and not long enough to heal you”.

According to official figures. the prison population has doubled in England and Wales since the early 1990s, growing from 40,000 to more than 80,000 in 2018.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Ten charged in county lines drugs crackdown following 14 deaths

Ten people have been charged in a county lines drugs crackdown launched after 14 drugs-related deaths in a Cumbrian town.

Police set up Operation Horizon in the wake of the deaths in Barrow-in-Furness.

A total of 22 people were arrested as Class A drugs and thousands of pounds in cash were recovered.

The raids took place this week in Barrow, Coventry and London to disrupt the supply chain from other parts of the UK.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Sajid Javid to crack down on asylum claims by migrants crossing Channel

Migrants attempting to seek asylum in Britain by crossing the Channel in boats face tougher rules that could bar them from the UK, Sajid Javid warned last night.

The Home Secretary said Britain had the right under international and domestic legislation to reject migrants who failed to claim asylum in the first safe country they reached including France.

He told MPs that he wanted to send a “clear message” as a deterrent to migrants that “if you have passed through a safe country - and that includes France - that we would seek to make your claim inadmissible and you should think twice about making that journey.”

Full Article

Technology Elected police chiefs accused of ignoring organised crime

Police and crime commissioners are focusing resources on offences such as speeding and theft rather than serious organised crime, the head of the National Crime Agency has warned.

Lynne Owens said that police were falling behind in the fight against online child abuse and modern slavery and that refocus was needed because there was a “real risk” that gangsters were escaping justice.

Full Article

Technology Artificial intelligence tool used to catch people who lie to the police

The groundbreaking software analyses the wording of a victim's statement in order to identify tell tale signs of fake reports.

Spanish police, who have been using the tool, found it was successful in more than 80 per cent of cases helping them to identify 64 false reports in just one week.

Developed by experts at Cardiff University, VeriPol, uses a combination of automatic text analysis and artificial intelligence to recognise when somebody has been lying or exaggerating to the police.

Full Article

Police Demand Most police forces fail to meet fingerprint evidence standards

Less than 10% of police forces have met basic quality standards for fingerprint evidence, the government’s forensic science regulator has warned.

All UK forces were ordered three years ago to ensure their laboratories met international standards for analysing prints found at crime scenes. But only three forces have complied, with almost every force missing a deadline set by the regulator to gain accreditation by November.

Police forces that have failed to obtain accreditation, which include the Metropolitan police and Greater Manchester police, will have to declare this in court, prompting concerns that cases could collapse as a result of unreliable evidence.

Full Article

Technology ‘Minority Report’ plan to spot criminals condemned

Police plans to predict and prevent future crimes by deploying controversial Minority Report-style technology to harvest data on millions of people are “ethically unacceptable”, experts warn.

The National Analytics Solution (NAS) will use artificial intelligence to analyse police data and predict who will commit crimes such as stabbings. In future it could be widened to trawl social media posts, medical records and school and council records, according to a proposal by West Midlands police.

The system, which may ultimately be rolled out across the country, has been likened to that employed by “future crime” detectives in the dystopian Tom Cruise film Minority Report. In future, it may also cover “non-criminal matters”.

Full Article

Police Demand Universities spending millions to ensure budget-strapped police forces still patrol on campus

Universities across Britain are paying the police to protect their students from crime.

More than £2m has been paid out to 17 police forces over the last three years by 27 universities, and a further £1.2m allocated to current academic year. The figures were unearthed after freedom of information request.

Northampton University has earmarked £775,000 over the next three years for one sergeant and five constables.

Full Article

Prisons Criminal gangs apply for jail jobs to smuggle drugs, say police

Police say there is growing evidence that members of organised criminal gangs are getting prison service jobs to smuggle banned items.

A senior officer has told the BBC he has "strong suspicions" this is happening, but links are hard to prove.

Ministers admit it "can happen" but say better search techniques will help.

Full Article

Police Finances Crime hit residents are paying £126 a week for private security patrols

Residents living near a crime-hit retail park are paying a private security firm to patrol their streets.

Around 60 people living near Princess Alice Retail Park in Sutton Coldfield have chipped in to pay private security guards £126 per week to police the area.

The community initiative started on December 17 and neighbours opted for a five-week trial period with security firm Innovative Security Solutions.

They provide regular patrols and ensure residents feel reassured in their own homes.

Full Article

Police Finances Crime hit residents are paying £126 a week for private security patrols

Residents living near a crime-hit retail park are paying a private security firm to patrol their streets.

Around 60 people living near Princess Alice Retail Park in Sutton Coldfield have chipped in to pay private security guards £126 per week to police the area.

The community initiative started on December 17 and neighbours opted for a five-week trial period with security firm Innovative Security Solutions.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Mental health: target to boost staff numbers by 21,000 set to be missed

Ministers are on course to miss their target of increasing the number of mental health staff by 21,000 by 2020, according to NHS workforce figures obtained by Labour.

A year after the government made the pledge, NHS mental health trusts in England had employed just 1,524 extra personnel, according to statistics collected by NHS Digital.

The very small rise is a setback for Theresa May’s plans to dramatically improve mental health care in order to reduce treatment delays, introduce new waiting times and reduce unmet need. Mental health chiefs and staff groups are worried that staffing problems will undermine those ambitions.

Full Article

Police and Crime General British Transport Police officers bear brunt of assaults Save

Police tasked with protecting the travelling public appear to be bearing the brunt of acts of random violence targeted at officers.

New figures reveal that more than 12 British Transport Police officers a week are being assaulted, with many suffering serious injuries.

That compares to around ten assaults a week against officers serving with the other 43 police forces in England and Wales.

Full Article

Technology Social media platforms ‘should intervene more to tackle anti-Semitism’

Social media platforms need to take more responsibility in tackling online anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

The chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust said the abuse should be treated in the same way inappropriate sexual images were, with offending material immediately removed.

Calling for internet giants to intervene when needed, she described anti-Semitism on social media as “pretty relentless”.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Government: Start preparing for no-deal Brexit

Ministers are ‘ramping up’ planning for a no-deal Brexit as the prospect becomes more likely.

Downing Street said businesses and citizens should immediately prepare for leaving without a deal.

Brexit secretary Steve Barclay said: ‘The Government’s priority remains to secure a deal, but we need to recognise, with 14 weeks to go, that a responsible Government is preparing for the eventuality that we leave without a deal.’

The MJ revealed in October that local authorities were being warned to prepare for up to three months of disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with resilience forums asked to prepare for ‘reasonable, worst case scenarios’ - which could include runs on banks, petrol and food.

One council chief executive said: ‘I am more worried about civil unrest than I was during the original referendum.

Full Article

Police and Crime General The mothers learning the signs of radicalisation

A new scheme, funded by the government's counter-terrorism Prevent programme, is teaching mothers the signs of radicalisation to help them safeguard their children.

Those attending volunteer to do so - they have not been referred and it is not in response to any particular threat.

Shabnam Mahmood has been to meet those taking part in Bradford, for the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

Full Article

Police and Crime General BTP officers and senior staff member at centre of recruitment probe

British Transport Police officers and staff could face criminal charges over allegations about “recruitment irregularities”.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct announced the conduct of a senior staff member had been referred to the watchdog regarding allegations of fraud and data protection offences linked to a recruitment process.

BTP also referred the conduct of four officers who were responsible for reviewing that recruitment process when it became clear there may be irregularities involving and a fifth officer for their actions during that review.

Full Article

Police Demand Police use of Tasers has rocketed by 50 per cent amid a year of crime as shocking figures show 18,000 officers were injured in the line of duty last year

Police use of Tasers has rocketed in the past year with officers resorting to the weapons more than 17,000 times in 12 months, new figures show.

Officers in England and Wales fired the electric charges on 2,000 occasions, an increase of around a 100 on the previous year.

Police drew the weapons to protect themselves on 12,000 occasions, with 7,500 incidents involving an armed assailant, new Home Office statistics show.

Full Article

Police Finances Factsheet: Provisional Police Funding Settlement 2019-20

The Home Office has published the provisional police funding settlement for 2019-20. This sets out the total amount of money going into policing next year, including how much each individual Police and Crime Commissioner in England and Wales will receive.

The Government is proposing a total settlement of up to £14 billion, which is an increase of up to £970 million compared to 2018/19.

This includes;

-Government grant funding for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs)

-Flexibility for PCCs to raise additional money locally from council tax-

-Government funding for additional pension costs

-Funding for counter-terrorism policing

-Funding for national priorities, such as tackling serious and organised crime

Full Article

Police Finances Police funding settlement announced by Government

Following a delay due to the 'meaningful vote' debate, Nick Hurd, the Minister for Policing, today made a statement announcing the police funding settlement.

Speaking in the Chamber, the Minister announced an increase in funding had been agreed, allocating up to £14billion to the police for 2019/20. This represents an increase of up to £970million on this year's funding.

Full Article

Police Finances Police funding: Government pledges extra £300m

Police forces in England and Wales are set to receive an extra £300m to help pay for pension expenses and other costs, ministers have announced.

Since 2010, central government funding to police forces has been cut by almost a third, in real terms, leading the number of officers to fall by 21,000.

Police and Crime Commissioners, who represent the public, say the stretched service is struggling to cope.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police use force disproportionately against black people in England and Wales, figures suggest

Police are using force disproportionately against black people in England and Wales, statistics released for the first time suggest.

Figures released by the Home Office showed that 12 per cent of incidents involving the use of force that were recorded by police were against black people, who make up only 3.3 per cent of the population.

Black people were involved in proportionally more incidents that involved armed police using guns, at 26 per cent, and 20 per cent of people involved in Taser incidents were black in 2017-18.

White people, who constitute 86 per cent of the population in England and Wales, experienced under three-quarters of use-of-force incidents.

Full Article

Police Finances London homicides now highest annual rate for a decade

London’s homicide rate has reached its highest level in a decade as police chiefs brace themselves for a government announcement about whether they will get the extra funding they believe is vital to tackle rising violent crime.

The Metropolitan police said they were called to the fatal stabbing of a teenager in south-east London on Tuesday night, taking the tally to 131 deaths, the highest level since 2008, with three weeks left of this calendar year.

London’s total this year includes at least 75 stabbings and 13 shootings.

Full Article

Police Demand London homicides now highest annual rate for a decade

London’s homicide rate has reached its highest level in a decade as police chiefs brace themselves for a government announcement about whether they will get the extra funding they believe is vital to tackle rising violent crime.

The Metropolitan police said they were called to the fatal stabbing of a teenager in south-east London on Tuesday night, taking the tally to 131 deaths, the highest level since 2008, with three weeks left of this calendar year.

London’s total this year includes at least 75 stabbings and 13 shootings.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Mentally ill will no longer be held in police cells after terrified patients as young as 11 were locked up in custody

Police cells should no longer be used to detain the mentally ill, an official review has said.

Every year hundreds of disturbed and vulnerable people are locked in police stations because no bed can be found for them in a suitable hospital.

Now a review of the Mental Health Act – the law used to detain people with mental illness – has concluded that the practice should be abandoned by 2023/24.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Survey reveals 'alarming' attitudes of Britons on rape

An "alarming" proportion of adults in Great Britain remain confused about what constitutes rape, campaigners say.

A third of people surveyed for the End Violence Against Women coalition said there had to be physical violence for sexual activity to count as rape.

A third of males and 21% of females said it would not usually be considered rape if a woman had flirted on a date.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Back PM for the sake of our security, urges Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid said yesterday that MPs faced the most important decision since the Second World War next week as he insisted that Theresa May’s Brexit deal was the best option available.

Opening the second day of debate on the withdrawal agreement, the home secretary claimed that the deal delivered a solid foundation for security co-operation with EU partners, in a clear indication that there is much yet to be agreed.

He later confirmed that the future partnership declaration “does not guarantee” the future of three European databases that track criminals, suspects and missing persons.

Full Article

Police and Crime General HMICFRS: Forces still ‘failing some victims of crime’ over crime data integrity

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) looked at the two forces as part of a rolling programme of inspections across England and Wales.

Of particular importance was the recording of domestic abuse crimes as they often involve victims who are particularly vulnerable.

Based on crime reports from October 2017 to March 2018, HMICFRS estimated that Dyfed-Powys fails to record over 3,300 reported crimes each year as it records 87.8 per cent offences.

Gwent Police did slightly better, with an estimated recording rate of 90.5 per cent, but this meant that around 5,100 crimes were not being recorded per annum.

Full Article

Police Demand Drink-fuelled violence at train stations has more than doubled in two years

The number of violent offences fuelled by alcohol at Britain’s railway stations over the festive period has more than doubled in the past two years, new figures show.

There were 189 cases between November 24 2017 and January 2 compared with the same period two years earlier, according to British Transport Police (BTP) data.

Violence is often directed at other passengers or station staff and frequently results in injuries and arrests.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Help officers under attack, urges Met chief Cressida Dick

The public should “get involved and do something physical” if they see police officers being attacked, the Metropolitan Police commissioner has said.

Last month a video of an assault on two officers in London was shared thousands of times online. A suspect is seen launching a flying kick at a female officer, while her colleague is punched by another man. A passing driver posted the footage on Twitter with the caption “south London at night . . . lol”.

Full Article

Police Finances Sadiq Khan says London police numbers will plummet without increased funding

The number of police officers in London will plummet to the lowest level in more than 15 years if funding is not urgently increased, Sadiq Khan has warned.

Should further savings be demanded by the Home Office, Mr Khan claimed there could soon be as few as 26,800 officers working in the Metropolitan Police - the fewest since 2002.

The London mayor is due to meet Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday to discuss police funding for 2019-20, but as it stands the Met is required to make a further £335 million worth of savings by 2022, the mayor's office said.

Full Article

Police and Crime General PCSO punched in face as 100 youths surround police in County Durham

Police have told parents to "take responsibility for your children" after officers were surrounded by 100 teenagers, with some throwing bricks and letting off fireworks.

A Police Community Support Officer was punched in the face during the fracas in Stanley, County Durham.

Body camera footage shows uniformed officers being quickly surrounded after responding to a report of a "vulnerable female" at the bus station.

Full Article

Police Finances Police in England and Wales could get £600m funding boost in wake of street violence spike

Police forces across England and Wales could see a funding boost of more than £600m next year as part of the government's efforts to find more money for frontline policing.

Sky News understands that Home Secretary Sajid Javid has cut a deal with Chancellor Philip Hammond and James Brokenshire, the communities secretary, to double the amount that local authorities can add to council tax bills for policing.

It is thought that ministers have provisionally agreed to allow local authorities to increase the precept charge on council tax bills from £1 a month to £2 a month from April 2019 - or £12 to £24 annually.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Ministers criticised after plans for council tax rise to fund police

Ministers have been accused of a financial sleight of hand over plans to allow a council tax increase to pay for extra police funding, in a move Labour said would hit the poorest hardest without providing enough extra funding.

Forces across England and Wales were set to benefit to the tune of £450m, it emerged on Friday, and there have been suggestions the government could hand over a further £170m when it decides on police funding for next year. Police have been dealing with years of shrinking budgets and a pension shortfall of about £420m.

Full Article

Police Demand Line 18: £3 million per day county lines drugs business fuelling knife crime

Drugs runners are operating 2,000 "county lines" routes from big cities into smaller towns and the countryside, according to new figures obtained by Sky News.

We can also reveal that the business is worth over £3 million a day.

Sky News has obtained exclusive access to people involved in this ruthless trade, from wholesalers to drugs mules

Full Article

Police Demand Police ignore third of all crimes after a single call

Britain’s biggest police force is dismissing about a third of all crime reports after only one telephone call with the victim, it can be revealed.

Burglaries, low-level assaults, criminal damage, theft and affray are all on a list of crimes that can be dismissed without being investigated under a policy secretly introduced by the Metropolitan Police last year.

The Met, which used to send a police officer to every crime if requested by the victim, assesses 37 per cent of reports over the telephone, according to a report.

Full Article

Police Finances Wiltshire Police receives further £3million from Government for Novichok incidents

The Government has pledged a further £3million to Wiltshire Police to cover the ongoing costs of the Novichok related incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury.

Latest projections show the operational costs for the force are expected to reach nearly £11million, with the Government having reimbursed £6.6million previously this further £3million brings the total costs reclaimed to £9.6million.

PCC Angus Macpherson has said that he fully expects all costs associated with the operation to be met centrally by the Government.

Full Article

Police Demand County lines and youth cuts blamed as knife crime rises

Knife crime in Wales increased by 25% in the space of a year according to the latest figures from police forces.

There were 1,228 knife crimes - which is any crime which involved the use of a blade - from July 2017 to June 2018 - up from 986.

Youth workers have said cuts in services for young people and the growth in "county lines" drugs networks are to blame.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Philip Hammond and Bank of England to set out analysis of Brexit economic impact

Chancellor Philip Hammond is due to set out the government's analysis of the economic impact of Brexit.

The Bank of England (BoE) will also deliver its assessments on Wednesday as Theresa May heads to Scotland to press the case for her agreement with Brussels.

Downing Street has said the Treasury's papers will cover a "range of scenarios".

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police forced to pull child sexual exploitation ad campaign amid 'victim blaming' complaints

A police force has removed an "insulting" child sexual exploitation campaign from social media after accusations of victim blaming.

North Yorkshire Police posted a series of "deliberately hard-hitting" images on social media as part of a new campaign to target child sexual exploitation.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police officers slam decision to allow teen filmed smashing car with zombie knife to walk free from court

Police officers have slammed a judge’s decision to allow a teenager filmed trying to smash into a car with a zombie knife to walk free from court.

Scotland Yard superintendent Roy Smith was among those to hit out at the ruling, which sparked outrage across the country, saying: “it does not provide any form of deterrent”.

Local units across the capital joined him in condemning the decision, with Camden Police writing on Twitter: “If nothing else, it simply sends the wrong message.”

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Philip Hammond: UK will be ‘a bit’ poorer after Brexit

Theresa May’s Brexit deal will leave the UK worse off than staying in the EU “but not by much”, the chancellor admitted today.

Philip Hammond said that the economic impact was only part of the consideration as he urged MPs to back the prime minister’s plan in two weeks’ time.

A new Treasury forecast published later is expected to say that GDP will be between 1 and 2 per cent lower in 15 years, making the UK £40 billion poorer if Mrs May’s deal is adopted, says The Daily Telegraph. Under a no deal it estimated that the UK would be £150 billion worse off.

Full Article

Police Finances PMQs: Conservative MP asks about the National Police Funding settlement and police resources.

Conservative MP, Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet), asked about the National Police Funding settlement and police resources.

The Prime Minister said that she recognises Villers's concern but that the government has protected police funding and that alongside council tax precept flexibilities there is an extra £460m to the police. The PM said that the government will "Continue to insure that the police have the resources they need to cut crime and keep our communities safe but of courser there is also a role for Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, as operational leaders and elected local representatives to decide how best to deploy resources to manage and respond to individual crimes and indeed to local crime priorities".

Full Article

Police Demand Mental health: Five people called Met Police 8,655 times in 2017

Five people racked up 8,655 calls to the Metropolitan Police in 2017 - costing £70,000 to answer.

What did the top five repeat callers have in common? Mental health problems.

A watchdog for police forces in England and Wales released the figure to show how police have become the "default" service to deal with mental health.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service claims the broader mental health system is "broken".

Full Article

Police Finances Government money to tackle organised crime ‘insufficient’

Government funding for tackling serious and organised crime is “by no means enough” compared with its cost to the UK, a criminologist has said.

Serious and organised crime affects more citizens and causes more deaths in the UK each year than all other national security threats combined, the Home Office’s ‘Serious and Organised Crime Strategy’, published last month, said.

The Home Office committed £48m for 2019-20 to tackle organised crime as part of the strategy.

Full Article

Technology Social media giants ‘failed to report terror activity for years’

Social media companies did not report any suspicious terrorist activity on their platforms to the police for four years, the UK’s former head of counterterrorism has disclosed.

Sir Mark Rowley, who headed Britain’s anti-terrorism police until January this year, said their failure to pass on information had been “wholly irresponsible” and put lives at risk.

He led the police investigations into attacks including the Manchester Arena bombing that claimed 22 lives, the Westminster Bridge attack in which PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death, and the London Bridge attack in which eight people died. Sir Mark said: “In nearly four years leading police counter-terrorism efforts, I saw zero proactive reports of suspicious behaviour to us by any of these companies. This is irresponsible.

Full Article

Technology Kent Police stop using crime predicting software

Computer software intended to predict where and when crimes would occur has been scrapped by a police force.

Kent Police was the first force in England and Wales to introduce the "predictive policing" system in 2013.

It said a new approach to policing which "places victims and witnesses at its centre" had led it to "evaluate alternative options".

Officers said the software had been "really useful" for "proactive" policing.

Full Article

Police Finances Police get funding boost to fight organised crime in Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire police will receive a £4.6 million funding boost to fight organised crime and gang violence.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has approved a special grant application from Bedfordshire police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kathryn Holloway.

The additional funding will support the force to disrupt gang activity in and around towns in the force area.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Commission for Countering Extremism launches call for evidence on extremism in England and Wales

The independent Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) has today (Thursday 22 November) called on the public to share their views, experience and evidence on extremism and its impact for a first-of-a-kind study.

The Commission, announced by the Prime Minister after the terror attacks of 2017, has launched a 10-week Call for Evidence, inviting firsthand accounts of the harms extremists inflict on individuals, communities and our society.

The evidence, which will be treated sensitively and in the strictest of confidence, will feed into a wide-ranging study of extremism to be published in spring 2019.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Let police stop and search, urges mother who lost son

A mother whose teenage son was killed a year ago has criticised campaigners who try to “tie the hands of the police” over stop-and-search tactics.

Sharon Kendall, 38, said that campaigners resisting an increase in use of the tactic should “look at all the murdered teenagers’ faces”. Jason Isaacs, her son, was 18 when he was stabbed in the street in Northolt, west London, last November. The apprentice carpenter died in hospital three days later.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Let police stop and search, urges mother who lost son

A mother whose teenage son was killed a year ago has criticised campaigners who try to “tie the hands of the police” over stop-and-search tactics.

Sharon Kendall, 38, said that campaigners resisting an increase in use of the tactic should “look at all the murdered teenagers’ faces”. Jason Isaacs, her son, was 18 when he was stabbed in the street in Northolt, west London, last November. The apprentice carpenter died in hospital three days later.

Full Article

Police Finances New unit to analyse evidence of dangerous driving caught on motorists´ cameras

A new police unit will be created to analyse evidence of dangerous driving caught on camera by other road users.

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced that the “back office unit” will be among 50 proposed new measures in a two-year plan to protect vulnerable road users and combat road rage.

It will allow police forces to handle video and photographic evidence captured on road users’ devices such as dash cams.

Full Article

Police Demand Growing number of men reporting domestic violence to police, ONS figures reveal

Record numbers of men are reporting domestic abuse by their partners to police - as the proportion of women victims turning to police has fallen, official figures have revealed.

The proportion of male victims who told police about their domestic abuse increased from 10.4% in 2014-15 to 14.7% this year as charities said more men were shaking off the stigma of talking about their suffering.

However, the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed it coincided with a sharp drop in the proportion of women victims reporting their abuse to police, down from 25.8% to 18.4% over the same period.

Full Article

Police and Crime General More cancelled rest days on the cards after tri-force fall out

Frontline officers face having more rest days and holidays cancelled to plug the gaps following failed attempts to fix a tri-force.

Avon and Somerset Police pulled out of the collaboration with Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Police after it was unable to reach an agreement on how future working arrangements could be improved.

Excessive hours, continually backfilling vacancies and a “haphazard” approach to HR functions were some of the issues which the respective federations said were “too large a task to solve”.

Full Article

Police Finances Brexit ‘stretching government to breaking point’

The process of extracting the UK from the European Union will stretch the system of government “beyond breaking point”, a leading academic has warned.

Jim Gallagher, visiting professor at the University of Glasgow and a research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, told the Scottish Affairs Committee that Brexit was “one of the least ordered pieces of public policy” he had witnessed.

“Brexit was always going to be an almost impossible challenge for any government and for any set of intergovernmental relations,” he said yesterday.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 'Legal highs': Street dealers now main source of supply after ban

The sale of so-called legal highs has gone underground after a blanket ban came into force, a report says.

While the ban has led to a "considerable reduction" in use of the drugs, street dealers are now the main source of supply.

Now officially known as new psychoactive substances (NPS), they mimic the effects of other drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.

Full Article

Police Finances 'There must be a fair settlement for officers' says chief

Officers should be given a pay rise as they struggle to make ends meet, the NPCC lead for pay and conditions has acknowledged.

Thames Valley Chief Constable Francis Habgood, who is retiring in March, says the government cannot continue to reject the independent police remuneration review body’s recommendations.

In areas like Thames Valley, where the cost of living is high, CC Habgood says some officers are clearly feeling the strain.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police need public support to arrest violent offenders

Police officers could start letting violent suspects go if they do not get the backing of the public, a federation leader has warned.

The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, Ken Marsh, spoke out after video footage appearing to show two officers locked in a violent struggle as they tried to make an arrest was shared thousands of times on social media.

The footage, taken in south London on Saturday, appeared to show a male officer being dragged around in the road as he tries to stop a suspect in a white tracksuit running away.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Chief: Stop and search core part of British policing

A chief says forces are better at delivering stop and search now than ever before.

Bedfordshire Chief Constable Jon Boutcher told Police Oracle the tactic was a “core part of British policing” which he wants to see used more often within his force.

Last week MPs asked questions about stop and search after signals from government it wanted to remove bureaucracy from its use – after years of discouraging police from carrying out stops.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police chief blasts our ‘broken society’: Witnesses refuse to help WPC attacked by thug

Thugs with "no respect for society" are attacking officers while people watch on, a police chief warned last night. Ken Marsh, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said forces may even let criminals go if the public does not "stand up for what is right" and prevent yobs from viciously attacking them.

Full Article

Police Demand Hartlepool: The town where ‘police don’t come out’

After eight years of spending cuts affecting public services, the government has said austerity is coming to an end.

But what has the effect of less money been on local communities?

The BBC has been following officers in one of England's poorest towns to investigate how budget cuts impact police on the front line.

Full Article

Police Demand UK 'wholly' unprepared to stop devastating cyber-attack, MPs warn

Ministers are failing to act with “a meaningful sense of purpose or urgency” in the face of a growing cyber threat to the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI), a parliamentary committee has warned.

The joint committee on national security strategy said at a time when states such as Russia were expanding their capability to mount disruptive cyber-attacks, the UK’s level of ministerial oversight was “wholly inadequate”.

It urged Theresa May to appoint a cybersecurity minister in cabinet to take charge of the efforts to build national resilience.

Full Article

Police Demand 'A lost generation': How austerity has created vacuum being filled by drug gangs exploiting children

Austerity and rampant drug dealing have created a “lost generation” of children living in fear of violence across the UK, police and former gang members have said.

There are fears the recent spate of bloody street stabbings in London, where 20 teenagers have been killed so far this year, will not be the last if funding to police and public services is not urgently increased.

Knife crime stands at a record high, but Home Office-funded research has found that authorities in many areas do not understand how gangs operate or how social media is fuelling violence.

Full Article

Police Demand Police warn of 'growing' illegal rave problem as numbers soar

Police chiefs have warned illegal raves are a "growing problem" after forces revealed they are tackling hundreds across Britain each year.

More than 680 reports of unlicensed music events were recorded last year - up 9% on the previous 12 months - amid a rise in nightclubs shutting down, a Sky News investigation has found.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said illegal raves were "inherently unsafe" and officers had to consider the safety of residents when deciding whether to shut events down.

Full Article

Police Finances Raise speeding fines to £130 and put the money into supporting work on road safety, demands top police chief

Motorists who are caught speeding would face bigger fines and higher fees for driver awareness courses under controversial proposals from a policing chief.

Alison Hernandez, who takes the lead on road safety for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), is lobbying Ministers to hike the cost of both Penalty Charge Notices and National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) sessions by as much as £30. If adopted, fines could soar from around £100 to as much as £130 and the cost of an average four-hour NDORS course rise from £90 to £120.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Welsh violence tackling scheme rolled out in United States

A pioneering Welsh scheme will be used to help unearth trouble "hotspots" and cut violent crime in the United States.

The Cardiff Model for Violence Prevention anonymously gathers details at A&Es about incidents, revealing problem areas unknown to police.

The US Department of Justice said more than half of violence is unreported which has made prevention difficult.

Full Article

Fire MPs raise fears over fire service governance

MPs have rallied against proposals to transfer governance of a fire service to the West Midlands mayor.

An early day motion has been tabled over fears that proposals could lead to lack of expertise when holding the authority to account.

The motion, tabled by Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham, criticised plans to transfer governance of the West Midlands Fire Service from the Fire Authority to the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Full Article

Police Demand More police needed to deal with knife crime, says Sajid Javid

More police officers are needed across the country to tackle knife crime, the home secretary admitted yesterday.

Sajid Javid said it was his personal mission to get knife offending under control and urged police to make full use of their powers to stop and search people on the street for weapons. However, ministers have no plans to loosen the restriction on when officers can use the power, as was suggested by one senior police officer.

Full Article

Police Finances Chiefs were told about pension payments changes, claims Treasury

The government continues to insist that chief constables were told about imminent pension changes that the service worries could cost 10,000 officer post.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Elizabeth Trust has repeated the claim that upcoming pension changes were announced by the government years ago.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police in talks to scrap 'reasonable grounds' condition for stop and search

Police chiefs want to trigger an expansion of stop and search by lowering the level of suspicion an officer needs against a suspect to use the power, the Guardian has learned.

They want to scrap the requirement that “reasonable grounds” are needed before a person can be subjected to a search, amid mounting concern over knife attacks.

Senior officers have held talks with advisers to the home secretary, Sajid Javid, within the last fortnight to discuss the issue. It would fuel the debate about police discrimination against minority ethnic communities, civil liberties and the role stop and search has to play in tackling violent crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Four-fifths of people believe police austerity cuts have made Britain's streets less safe, new poll reveals

Almost 80 per cent of people believe police force spending cuts have made them less safe on the streets of Britain, an exclusive survey has shown.

Some four-fifths of those questioned in a survey said swingeing cuts enforced during a near-decade of austerity driven by the Conservatives have damaged public safety.

In a worrying omen for Theresa May, an even larger proportion of Tory voters were of the view that spending reductions have had a negative impact – potentially undermining the Conservatives’ traditional claim to be the party of law and order.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Whitehall confirms £22m for domestic abuse survivors

Over 60 projects are set to receive a multi-million pound injection of cash in order to help survivors of domestic abuse, the Government has confirmed.

The £22m in funding, announced on Saturday, will go to 63 projects across England which will be delivered by councils working alongside other organisations.

The money will provide over 2,200 new beds in refuges and other safe accommodation, access to education, and tailored employment and life skills guidance to help abuse survivors.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Ministers will not scrap 'reasonable grounds' stop and search rule

The government has ruled out changing stop and search rules to allow police to use the power without reasonable grounds to suspect wrongdoing, while saying they want to “reduce bureaucracy” over such operations.

The statement from the junior Home Office minister Nick Hurd follows the revelation in the Guardian that police have been in talks with advisers to the home secretary, Sajid Javid, about loosening the rules because of worries about an increase in knife attacks.

Full Article

Police Finances Home Secretary announces recipients of Early Intervention Youth Fund

29 projects endorsed by Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales will receive £17.7 million over 2 years to divert children and young people away from violent crime.

The projects will include work with children and young people at risk of criminal involvement, organisations safeguarding those at risk of gang exploitation and county lines, or who have already offended to help divert them into positive life choices.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Knife crime: Should stronger stop and search powers be used?

A series of stabbings on the streets of London has led to a renewed focus on knife crime and how to reduce it.

One power available to the police is stop and search, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid has recently emphasised its importance in tackling violence:

"If stop and search means that lives can be saved from the communities most affected, then of course it's a very good thing," he told the annual Police Superintendents' Conference in September.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Stop and search doesn't solve knife crime, so why not try something new? [opinion]

Stop and Search is to modern policing what bloodletting was to ancient medicine. An ineffective ‘cure’, which, in the absence of alternatives, gets tried again and again, despite its propensity to make the situation worse. Each failure causes its proponents to double down and call for more...

A thought provoking piece, calling for a different approach to knife crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Fewer than 1 in 100 theft offences are being solved by police, analysis shows as police criticised over priorities

Fewer than one in 100 thefts in some police force areas are being solved, an analysis shows, prompting criticism of police priorities.

While the number of thefts from people have doubled to 100,000 fuelled by the boom in mobile phones, the proportion where the offender was caught and charged have halved since 2014/15.

Full Article

Police Finances Sajid Javid hints at cash injection for London police amid surge in violence

The home secretary has told Sky News the police need more funding to help tackle knife crime as he hinted the chancellor would be stumping up the cash in the coming weeks.

Sajid Javid said he was "deeply worried" about the spiralling violence and said he was in discussions with the chancellor to make sure the police had the financial resources they needed.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Sajid Javid says police to get new 'stop and search' powers to combat rising knife crime

Police are to get enhanced powers to stop and search suspects in an attempt to combat the surge in violent crime and knife attacks, Sajid Javid has revealed.

The Home Secretary said he wanted police to be more confident to use stop and search, sweep away bureaucracy and make it easier to deploy powers that senior officers say are vital in the fight against crime.

Some police chiefs say constables have become reluctant to use the power as they fear being accused of racism.

Full Article

Police Finances Government ordered to repay £1m to trafficking victims after High Court ruling

The government has been ordered to repay £1m to human trafficking victims after the High Court ruled cuts to their support payments were unlawful.

It follows a successful challenge by two claimants, a 19-year-old asylum seeker and a victim of sex trafficking, against the cuts.

Their case was supported by charities for victims of trafficking.

Full Article

Police Demand Axing train guards could help 'county lines' drug gangs recruit youngsters, security minister fears

A Home Office minister has voiced fears that removing guards from trains could boost county lines drug gangs.

Ben Wallace is concerned that driver-only trains will mean guards can no longer spot children carrying heroin and cocaine.

Mr Wallace has ordered officials to work with the Department for Transport to see if the move will worsen the county lines menace where city gangs groom boys and girls as young as 12 to carry cocaine and heroin to market towns and seaside resorts.

Full Article

Police Demand Force cuts push police ‘to the edge’

Reductions in police numbers and funding have “severely dented” public confidence in the service, MPs say.

Financial pressures have left police struggling to provide an effective service, risking serious consequences for public safety, according to a report by the Commons public accounts committee.

Officer numbers have fallen by 21,300 over the past decade; those remaining are taking longer to charge suspects and making fewer arrests. Forces are increasingly called on for non-criminal incidents amid cuts in other public services. Public confidence that the police will respond to calls is “breaking down”, the report says.

Full Article

Police Finances Policing minister offers no assurance over pension cuts shortfall

Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, has given no indication that the Government will meet the anticipated £160 million loss to budgets due to pension changes as further increases are modelled in council tax Precepts.

Mr Hurd would only commit to saying that he will be bringing his Review of Police Funding settlement for 2019/20 to parliament in early December, as he did last year.

He failed to offer any promise of help with the coming deficit while responding to an urgent question posed by Louise Haigh, Shadow Minister for Policing, on Tuesday (November 6) in the House of Commons.

Ms Haigh said the Government had chosen to “sneak out” the cuts due to pension rule changes in September this year, resulting in an estimated £165 million loss to budgets in 2019/20 and £420 million in 2020/21.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Election of new NPCC Chair

Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt has been appointed to lead the National Police Chiefs’ Council from April 2019.

Current Chair Sara Thornton will leave the post in March 2019 after serving a four year term.

Chief constables were invited to apply for the post of Chair of NPCC in October. Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt applied for the post and, in accordance with election rules, has been appointed.

AC Hewitt began his policing career with Kent Police in 1993 and transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service in 2005. He is currently responsible for frontline policing which includes local policing and specialist crime commands across London.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Third of drug rehab centres close in just five years

Almost a third of publicly funded drugs rehab centres have closed in the last five years, Sky News has learned, amid warnings that a lack of support for addicts will lead to increased levels of crime.

In April 2013 there were 195 publicly funded rehab centres in Britain, according to figures obtained by private drug rehab provider UK Addiction Treatment Centres.

Now there are just 139. During that time, there were £60m of cuts.

Full Article

Police and Crime General London violent crime could take 'a generation' to solve

It could take a generation to solve London's violent crime problem, the city's mayor has warned.

Two teenage boys and two men have been stabbed to death in the city in the last five days, including 15-year-old Jay Hughes.

Mayor Sadiq Khan told the BBC's Today programme to "really make significant progress can take up to 10 years".

Full Article

Police Demand Catching online paedophiles should be lower priority than violent crime, Cressida Dick says

Britain’s most senior police officer has said catching paedophiles who view indecent images of children online should be a lower priority than rising violent crime.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said “stretched” forces are unable to respond to the rising number of demands put on them, amid a surge in stabbings and shootings.

Speaking as two teenagers were knifed to death in under 24 hours in London, she said her top priorities were violent crime and terrorism.

Full Article

Police Demand Non-crime incidents are 'absolutely central' to policing mission, analysts argue

Policy advisors are urging police and crime commissioners to consider pooling budgets with local authorities, health and social services to help address spiralling demand from mental health, vulnerable persons and drug related incidents.

Although “major shifts” in demand have left police facing “unprecedented pressures”, the service should not turn its back on missing persons and mental health workload but instead needs to “improve [its] ability to tackle the causes of demand”, policy insight and research company Crest said.

Full Article

Police Demand Forget deserving issues and focus on basics, police told

Police should focus on catching thieves and violent criminals and not incidents where no offence has been committed, a senior officer has said.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton said forces are too stretched to deal with "deserving" issues, such as logging gender-based hate incidents.

Claims against dead people was also taking resources from tackling "today's crime today", she told a conference.

She called for a "refocus on core policing".

Full Article

Police Demand Organised crime costs UK £37bn a year - National Crime Agency

Serious and organised crime in the UK is costing the economy £37bn a year, according to the National Crime Agency.

Its latest report said around 4,600 serious and organised crime groups existed in the UK and their activities affected more citizens than all other national security threats combined.

The crimes they commit include child abuse, trafficking and drug dealing.

Full Article

Police Demand Tackling Serious and Organised Crime:Written statement

Sajid Javid's statement on tackling serious and organised crime.

Full Article

Police Finances Police to sue government unless it backs down over cuts

Police chiefs in England and Wales will take legal action in the high court against the government unless it backs down on plans to deduct hundreds of millions of pounds from their budgets, the Guardian has learned.

The unprecedented decision was taken by the National Police Chiefs Council, which sent a formal letter to the Treasury saying it will seek a judicial review of the government’s proposals.

It marks a new low in relations between police chiefs and the government. The NPCC represents police chiefs of the 43 local forces in England and Wales, and it has already hired a barrister to seek a judicial order forcing the government to climb down.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police demand rewrite of drug laws as cannabis arrests slump

Rank-and-file police officers called for a rethink on drug enforcement after they accepted for the first time yesterday that the present laws were not working.

The Police Federation’s board voted unanimously for a new policy on drugs, saying that 100 years of prohibition had failed. The intervention came as Sajid Javid, the home secretary, announced a review of the medicinal use of cannabis.

He ruled out relaxing the law against recreational use, however, after a call for decriminalisation by Lord Hague of Richmond, the former Tory leader.

Full Article

Police Finances Met Police to sell branded clothing and merchandise

The Metropolitan Police is to start using its brand to sell merchandise and clothes.

Proceeds from the sale of items bearing its logo will raise money for frontline policing, following years of budget cuts.

The range is set to include clothing, toys and games, stationery, homeware and souvenirs.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Stop and Search works, says Sajid Javid: Home Secretary to make it easier for police to tackle London violence

Sajid Javid today promised to make it easier for police to use stop and search as he called for a sweeping overhaul of crime-fighting methods.

The Home Secretary said he would “be looking at ways to reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency” in the deployment of the tactic as part of a raft of changes to improve the police’s ability to tackle a “worrying rise” in serious violent offending.

Full Article

Police Finances Funding announcement delay shows ‘disdain for police officers’

Philip Hammond heralded that “austerity is finally coming to an end” but the lack of any relief from impending budget cuts for forces caused anger and concern among police leaders.

With borrowing in the current year expected to be £11.6 billion less than previously reported, the Budget Statement included additional funding in the current year for defence, education and the rollout of Universal Credit, as well as almost half a billion pounds for local authorities to repair potholes.

The only announcement for policing was £160 million additional money in 2019/20 “to protect counter terrorism (CT) police numbers” and for future police CT funding to be “considered in the rounds” as part of a future spending review.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Budget 2018: Philip Hammond hails better borrowing figures

Chancellor Philip Hammond has used the Budget to ease the government spending squeeze as he declared that austerity was "finally coming to an end".

Against a backdrop of stronger tax receipts, Mr Hammond said borrowing this year would be £11.6bn lower than projected in March, at £25.5bn.

Borrowing is expected to fall over the next five years.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Budget income tax cuts 'to overwhelmingly benefit the rich'

Income tax cuts for millions of workers announced in Philip Hammond’s budget will “overwhelmingly benefit richer households”, analysis has found, with almost half set to go to the top 10% of households.

The analysis by the Resolution Foundation thinktank found that welfare cuts would continue to affect the poorest households, despite Hammond’s announcement that austerity was coming to an end.

Three-quarters of the £12bn in welfare cuts announced after the 2015 election remain government policy.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Budget 2018: A bit of a gamble, says IFS

The Budget has been branded "a bit of a gamble" by a respected economic research group.

The chancellor was able to promise more spending in his budget after forecasts for tax collection were raised, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said.

But those forecasts could easily change for the worse, leaving the chancellor in a tight spot, the IFS said.

The think tank also warned that many public services will continue to feel squeezed for some time to come.

Full Article

Police Finances Philip Hammond prepares last Budget before Brexit

Philip Hammond is preparing to present the last Budget before Brexit.

The chancellor is expected to announce a rise in spending on mental health in England and has also hinted at cash for universal credit welfare reforms.

He has admitted a change of approach, including an entirely new economic plan, will be needed if the UK and the EU cannot agree a deal by 29 March.

Labour is calling for more investment in public services to put an end to years of "failed austerity".

Full Article

Police Finances 2018 Budget Preview

The BBC's live coverage of the budget

Full Article

Police Demand Public support for cannabis legalisation at record high

The public now overwhelmingly backs the full legalisation of cannabis, according to a poll that suggests there has been a seismic shift in opinion since the government sanctioned medical use of the drug.

Almost two in three people say that they support legalisation, the Populus poll found. This is a radical turnaround from the last poll in May, when support and opposition were almost even, at 43 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.

In the intervening period the government has approved the medicinal use of cannabis after a public outcry over the case of Billy Caldwell. The 12-year-old boy was admitted to hospital in a life-threatening condition after the Home Office seized the cannabis oil that was helping to control his severe epilepsy. From Thursday nearly 80,000 specialist doctors will be allowed to prescribe cannabis medicines on the NHS.

Full Article

Police Demand Budget 2018: Mental health ambulances promised in drive for more dedicated treatment

Mental health services will get a cash injection of £2bn a year, as Philip Hammond promises more dedicated support in Monday's budget.

Special ambulances to treat people with conditions like depression, anxiety and PTSD are part of the new measures to ensure mental illnesses are treated as seriously as physical ones.

The vehicles look like normal cars and are designed to reduce stigma.

Full Article

Police Demand Investigate your own crimes, say police

A policeman has revealed that victims of petty crimes are being forced to carry out their own investigations due to a lack of officers.

Sergeant Simon Kempton said that officers can no longer look into reports of minor crime like bike theft.

He confessed that victims are now being urged to trawl websites like Gumtree, eBay and Facebook in a bid to track down their stolen possessions themselves.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Summary of Budget 2018: Key points at-a-glance

Philip Hammond has delivered his third Budget as chancellor. Here are the key points of his 72-minute speech.

Full Article

Police Finances Budget 2018: Extra £420m to tackle potholes

Local councils in England are to get an extra £420m to tackle a growing number of potholes.

Chancellor Philip Hammond will make the announcement in Monday's budget, alongside a £28.8bn fund to upgrade England's motorways.

But the Asphalt Industry Alliance has said more than £8bn would be needed for a one-time fix of potholes in England.

Labour criticised the move to invest heavily on major roads, arguing money should be spent on public transport.

Full Article

Police Demand A fifth of police forces are 'ignoring' fuel thieves in the face of budget cuts - telling petrol stations to make customers to pay up front

Thieves stealing from petrol pumps are being let off by almost one in five police forces.

At least eight forces in England and Wales have stopped pursuing fuel thefts and retailers accuse them of ‘routinely ignoring the crime’.

Driving off without paying, or ‘bilking’, is increasingly downgraded to a low-level offence that officers cannot afford to respond to.

Full Article

Police Finances Budget 2018: Labour urges Hammond to 'stump up cash'

Labour is calling for concrete action by the chancellor in Monday's Budget to end austerity not just "financial conjuring tricks" and "vague promises".

Philip Hammond must "stump up the cash" for schools, councils and social care, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said.

Theresa May has pledged that almost a decade of budget cuts, pay restraint and benefit freezes are nearing an end.

Labour has calculated that £30bn in extra spending would be required by 2023 to make this a reality.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 'Degrading strip search left me with PTSD'

A woman subjected to a "degrading" strip search by police in London is challenging a decision not to punish the officer who authorised it.

Koshka Duff was arrested after offering a legal advice card to a black teenager during his stop-and-search.

What happened left her with multiple injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the academic says.

Full Article

Fire Devon and Somerset Fire cuts could end 'cat up tree' rescues

A fire service is warning it may no longer be able to rescue cats and other animals as part of cuts to spending.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spent more than £345,000 on animal rescues between 2014 and 2016.

It has now been tasked with saving at least £7m in the next four years alongside similar cuts imposed on fire services across the country.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Whitehall announces £5m fund to fight knife crime

Local authorities are being given the opportunity to bid for funding to tackle youth and gang crime in high-risk areas.

The Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund will support frontline professionals working with children and young people to intervene earlier to help keep them away from gangs.

It will also support more in-depth work with parents and carers to help them fully understand the risk factors and dangers of their children becoming drawn into gang crime.

Full Article

Police and Crime General UK government must look into legalising cannabis, says former Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe

Former Metropolitan Police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe has called for an urgent review of the evidence supporting cannabis legalisation.

It marks a significant shift in the attitude of the ex-police commissioner, who backed tough laws against cannabis during his time leading Scotland Yard.

The veteran police officer of nearly 40 years was made a life peer last year.

Lord Hogan-Howe said the Home Office must now reconsider its position following the recent legalisation of cannabis in Canada and some US states.

Full Article

Police Demand Austerity harms hunt for sexual abuse gangs, says ex-prosecutor

Potential victims of grooming gangs are no safer now than when the issue became a national scandal almost a decade ago, according to the Crown Prosecution Service’s former lead on child sexual abuse and violence against women and girls.

Speaking after 20 men were found guilty on Friday of belonging to a gang that raped and abused girls as young as 11 in the west Yorkshire town of Huddersfield, Nazir Afzal said the government’s austerity programme had seriously undermined attempts to protect victims.

Full Article

Police Finances Warning as Philip Hammond rejects rise in police funds

Philip Hammond has dismissed calls for more money for the police, leading to warnings in government that the chancellor risks undermining the fight against terrorism.

Well-placed sources said a budget showdown last week between Hammond and Sajid Javid, the home secretary, “did not go well”.

Javid has demanded several hundred million pounds in three parts: money for general policing, a new pot of cash to fund counter-terrorism and greater leeway for local authorities facing a crime crisis to raise a local tax called the “precept”.

Figures released last week show that crime is rising around the country.

Full Article

Technology More than half of girls have been exposed to unwanted violent or graphic images, Girl Guides say

More than half of girls have been exposed to unwanted violent or graphic images, Girl Guides say.

Those as young as seven said they were worried about seeing "rude" pictures online, with older girls describing pressure to send naked pictures.

Submissions to an inquiry on the impact of social media on young people's health warn that girls are being coerced into sex acts because boys are copying what they see in pornography.

Full Article

Police Demand Homicide and knife crime up, new figures show

Statistics highlight short-sighted approach of government cuts, says PCC.

Police recorded crime has increased by almost a tenth, fuelled by rises in homicides, knife-related offences and theft, new figures show. Official figures show that forces in England and Wales registered a total of 5.6 million offences...

Full Article

Police Finances Force bids for £4.5m despite warning it will 'change what special grants are for'

Bedfordshire Police ask for extra cash to deal with gang crime and violence.

A police and crime commissioner has submitted an application for an emergency government grant in spite of an HMI's concern it could threaten the future of the bursary. Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has confirmed.

Full Article

Police Finances Northumbria police forced to make ‘unprecedented cuts’

A police chief has blamed real terms funding cuts from central government for having to make “unprecedented” cuts in his force’s officer and staff numbers.

Winton Keenen, chief constable of Northumbria Police, said that falls in funding had caused 1,000 job losses in his local force since 2010.

The force now has the lowest level of reserves it has ever had – and the lowest of any other force in the UK, Keenen said in an open letter.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Policing officials under criminal investigation over interest-free loans

Three senior officials at a Police Federation branch are under criminal investigation over their handling of funds, including receiving interest-free loans worth tens of thousands of pounds, the Guardian has learned.

An investigation has begun into the former secretary of the West Mercia branch Jamie Harrision, who has been suspended from his role with the federation.

The two others under investigation are the former chair Sgt Russ Yeomans and another official, Sgt Nigel Mortimer, who led on conduct for the branch.

Full Article

Prisons Chelmsford Prison sees nearly half of inmates fail drugs tests

Nearly half of prisoners failed drugs tests at a prison that holds large numbers of gang members, a report said.

HMP Chelmsford has one of the worst rates of drug use in the UK, according to HM Inspectorate of Prisons, with organised gangs responsible for supplying illicit items.

There are "significant concerns about safety" and levels of violence are far too high, inspectors said.

Full Article

Police Finances Ten thousand police at risk in £600m cash crunch

Up to 10,000 more police officers’ jobs could be cut because forces face a funding shortfall of nearly £600 million over two years caused by proposed pension changes, it emerged today.

Police chiefs have been told to find another £165 million in 2019-20 and up to £417 million in 2020-21 as a result of an overhaul of public service pension schemes announced recently by the Treasury.

Full Article

Technology Officers may no receive new ESN handsets in time for Airwave shutdown, says CC.

Officers are unlikely to receive new Emergency Service Network handsets before the current aeging system is switched off, a chief constable believes.

Forces will soon be able to give a test product a trial run whilst a "pick and mix" approach on the ground means they can choose which one they want to purchase even before the Airwave replacement is up and running.

Full Article

Police Finances 'Significant strain' on police budgets has made crime response worse, Home Office official admits

“Significant strain” on police budgets is causing the service given to the public to worsen, a Home Office official has admitted after senior officers condemned the impact of austerity.

Scott McPherson, director general of the crime police and fire group, said the department “absolutely recognises” the struggle to cope with budget cuts and plummeting numbers of police officers.

“The police are under significant strain and, with the resources they have, some of the performance measures we would like to be improving are getting worse,” he told the Public Accounts Committee.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK economy grows faster than expected in three months to August

UK GDP growth was stronger than expected in the three months to August thanks to the summer heatwave, official data on Wednesday showed.

The economy expanded by 0.7 per cent over the three months, according to the latest estimate from the Office for National Statistics.

That was higher than the 0.6 per cent consensus among City analysts.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance UK public finances are among weakest in the world, IMF says

Britain’s public finances are among the weakest in the world following the 2008 financial crash, according to a fresh assessment of government assets and liabilities by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Washington-based lender said a health check on the wealth of 31 nations found almost £1tn had been wiped off the wealth of the UK’s public sector – equivalent to 50% of GDP – putting it in the second weakest position, with only Portugal in a worse state.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Royal College of Psychiatrists to review opposition to decriminalising cannabis

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is to review its opposition to the legalisation of cannabis.

The organisation has been wary of moves to decriminalise the drug because of concerns of possible negative effects on users' health.

There is also an association between psychotic illnesses and high-strength varieties of the drug.

But it is now reconsidering its stance due to arguments that legalising cannabis would give the government the power to both regulate its strength and generate tax from its sale.

Full Article

Police Finances Insufficient and over-budget data programme could cost service £300 million, says chief

Home Office is 'not listening to me as a chief constable, nor are they listening to me as a crime operations lead for policing', says Durham boss.

An over-budget and late delivered database has spiralled in cost and could diminish police capability, a chief constable has warned.

Home Office plans for National Law Enforcement Data Programme would initially have seen the police national computer, police national database for intelligence, and automatic number plate recognition joined together.

Full Article

Police Finances NPCC: Cuts are making policing ‘ineffective’

Chief Constable Dave Thompson has warned that forces are having to make difficult choices that pursue “efficiency to the point of ineffectiveness” and they are failing to meet the expectations of the public.

In a strongly-worded blog, posted on Wednesday (October 10), Mr Thompson points out that “Policing is at the tipping point – and we’ve got to move on from here”.

Mr Thompson wrote: “Budget cuts and a hands-off government approach to aspects of policing have meant hard choices for chief constables with consequences for the public and our people. The public’s experience is policing that is less visible, less responsive and less proactive.”

Full Article

Police Finances Police cuts: Thin blue line gets thinner

Just six of Britain's cash-strapped police forces have officers on their front desks despite soaring violent crime, the Daily Express can reveal. Two years ago nine forces in England and Wales had manned counters.

But almost 700 fewer police staff and officers are now either dealing with the public at front desks or handling calls compared with 2016.

Last night critics of police cuts branded it a "scandal".

Since 2010, 600 police stations have shut their doors with victims of crime increasingly being urged to report crimes online because 999 and 101 lines are overwhelmed.

Only 2,411 officers – 1.9 percent of Britain's total police workforce of 122,407 – now deal with the public either face to face at stations or over the phone, with forces now increasingly reliant on backroom staff to deal with victims and witnesses.

Full Article

Prisons Synthetic pepper spray for prison officers in England and Wales

Prison officers in England and Wales are to be issued with canisters of a synthetic pepper spray to help deal with violence and disorder.

The chemical incapacitant known as PAVA has been trialed in four jails and will be carried by officers in all publicly-run prisons for men from 2019.

Prison officers welcomed the move.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police investigations being hindered by 'outdated' IT systems, officers warn

Criminal investigations in England and Wales are being hindered by "outdated" police IT systems, a survey of officers has found.

Only half of the officers asked believed they can rely on information held on their forces' computer systems, and just 65% could access a computer at work when they need to.

According to the Police Federation, which sponsored the survey of working officers, the answers "paint a damning picture of growing frustration on frontline policing".

Full Article

Police and Crime General Met police's use of force jumps 79% in one year

The Metropolitan police’s use of force has risen sharply in the last year, with black people far more likely to be subjected to such tactics than anyone else, the Guardian can reveal.

The UK’s largest police force deployed methods ranging from handcuffing to use of stun guns, CS spray, batons and guns 41,329 times in April to August of this year – 270 times a day on average – according to Guardian analysis of official figures. That compares with 23,118 in the corresponding period last year – a 79% rise – and 62,153 in the whole of 2017-18.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Sajid Javid 'taking UK down dangerous road' by expanding citizenship stripping

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, is taking the UK down a “very dangerous road” with plans to expand powers to strip dual citizens of their British citizenship, a leading human rights group has warned.

Suspected terrorists have previously had their UK citizenship taken away – most often while they are abroad – and the move does not require prior approval from a judge or parliament.

In his speech at the Conservative party conference, Javid proposed extending the reach of the power to cover serious criminals, citing child grooming gangmasters as an example.

Full Article

Technology Sajid Javid: Five Eyes spies to hunt down paedophiles

The world’s most powerful spy chiefs will be drafted in to hunt down paedophile gangs, under plans drawn up by Sajid Javid. The home secretary will chair a meeting of the Five Eyes intelligence partnership next year and has made tackling child sexual exploitation the top item on the agenda, ahead of fighting terrorism and Isis.

The Five Eyes combines British spies with their counterparts from America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and is regarded as the cream of the West’s intelligence agencies.

Javid is also acting as a link between GCHQ, the government’s listening agency in Cheltenham, and the big internet companies — such as Google, Facebook and WhatsApp — as he turns the screws on them to crack down on child sex abuse.

Full Article

Police Demand Police shelve one in four crime reports - including sexual assaults and burglaries

Police turned a blind eye to almost a million crimes last year, figures show.

On average one in four crime reports were shelved by police across the UK with little or no investigation, according to a report.

Offences such as sexual assault, violent attacks, burglaries and car thefts were dropped hours after being reported, often because they were deemed unsolvable.

Full Article

Police Finances Welsh government has 'disappeared' apprenticeship funding worth millions

The mystery of apprenticeship levy money which vanished over two years ago has been solved.

Former Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) Welsh lead Sam Roberts urged to Home Secretary to help her work out where two years of apprenticeship payments, which could total more than £5 million, had gone.

Documents for Gwent Police and Crime Panel (GPCP) reveal the capital was sent straight to the Welsh Government.

Full Article

Prisons Union chief: Prisons are crumbling, violent and understaffed

The president of the Prison Governors Association is to accuse the Government of failing to respond quickly enough to the jail safety crisis.

Andrea Albutt will claim “dis-investment” has contributed to the decline in standards that has hit much of the estate in England and Wales.

In a scathing critique, she will say: “A constant irritation of mine is that the Government do not have the humility to admit that they got their policy completely wrong this decade in our prisons.”

Full Article

Police Finances Police Federation begins legal action over 'derisory' two percent pay award

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is to begin legal action over the government's failure to implement a recommended pay rise for officers.

The body that represents 120,000 rank-and-file police has asked lawyers to start judicial review proceedings against Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

It follows the decision by the government to award a two percent pay rise from 1 September 2018, instead of the three percent suggested by the independent Police Remuneration Review Body.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Theresa May declares end of austerity

Theresa May has declared the age of austerity over with a message to voters that "there are better days ahead".

In her crucial keynote speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham, Mrs May said next year's post-Brexit Spending Review will set out a programme of increased investment for public services, as a mark that the decade of cuts following the financial crash is coming to an end.

Despite her speech, the Prime Minister, did not make any founding announcements with regards to police.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Traffic policing powers given to PCSOs

PCSOs will be given the power to stop and seize cars, require drivers to show licenses and authorise the use of traffic offence reports.

Lincolnshire Police has announced it is using the Antisocial behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 to give the uniformed police staff more powers.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Conservative conference: Middle-class drug users to be targeted - Sajid Javid

Middle-class drug users will be targeted as part of a crackdown on the causes of violent crime, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will announce.

He will use his Tory conference speech to launch a review of drug buyers and sellers - and how shifts in the market are linked to outbreaks of bloodshed.

Justice Secretary David Gauke will also announce a new financial crime unit to seize the assets of drugs "kingpins".

Labour says the proposals will not make up for cuts to public services.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Conservative conference: Middle-class drug users to be targeted - Sajid Javid

Middle-class drug users will be targeted as part of a crackdown on the causes of violent crime, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will announce.

He will use his Tory conference speech to launch a review of drug buyers and sellers - and how shifts in the market are linked to outbreaks of bloodshed.

Justice Secretary David Gauke will also announce a new financial crime unit to seize the assets of drugs "kingpins".

Labour says the proposals will not make up for cuts to public services.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Taking photos of 'spice zombies' is unhelpful, says council

Sheffield City Council has urged people to stop taking photos of "spice zombies", saying the drug can be "distressing".

It comes after images of people collapsed on street corners or slumped on benches after taking the synthetic cannabis substitute have spread online.

Full Article

Prisons MoJ launches taskforce to tackle ‘criminal kingpins’ dealing in prisons

The new Financial Crime unit, staffed by members of the police and prison service, will make sure that drug dealing in prisons is “no longer be profitable because we will find your assets and we will seize them,” David Gauke said.

The bank accounts are tracked via paper notes found in prison cells, which contain account details, or on phones seized from prisoners with instructions to make transfers.

Once discovered, the unit will then be able to freeze bank accounts and initiate criminal proceedings against those involved, as those transactions amount to money laundering, according to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

Full Article

Police and Crime General Merger bid for south west forces could be scrapped as PCC drops support

The first English merger of police forces for decades could be cancelled as one of the police and crime commissioners involved no longer supports making a business case for it.

Devon & Cornwall PCC Alison Hernandez says she has been told by the Home Office that the forces will not be able to create 40 extra officer posts as a result of the move.

The department will not let her area put up its council tax to Dorset levels and invest that cash in the front line, she said.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Chancellor calls early Budget to fit round Brexit talks

This year's Budget is to be earlier than usual to avoid clashing with the final stage of Brexit negotiations in November.

The date of the Budget, 29 October, also fits in with ministers' availability and official data releases, a Treasury spokesman said.

The Budget will also be a week after a high profile Brussels Brexit summit.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Labour Will Guarantee The Spy Cops Scandal Can Never Happen Again

A Labour government would pass new measures to guarantee that the so-called “spy cops” scandal, which saw undercover officers deceive women activists into long-term sexual relationships, can never happen again.

The plans, which will be announced by shadow home secretary Diane Abbott in her speech to the Labour party conference on Tuesday, include requiring all undercover police operations to obtain a warrant from a judge. Undercover officers would also face a time-limit on their investigations if Labour comes to power.

Abbott is expected to say today: “We know that in this country you generally need a warrant to enter someone’s home or intercept their telephone calls. So we will insist on time-limited, judicial warrants for any undercover policing.”

Full Article

Prisons Lindholme Prison: Policing perimeter 'virtually impossible'

The three-mile perimeter of a prison where drugs are readily available is "virtually impossible" to constantly police, a custodial manager has warned.

Packages containing the drug Spice and mini mobile phones are regularly thrown over the fence at HMP Lindholme, which is surrounded by public rights of way.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police 'aware' undercover officer was in relationship

Police have admitted for the first time that an undercover officer had a sexual relationship with an environmental activist with the knowledge of bosses.

Legal documents seen by the BBC reveal they knew about Mark Kennedy's relationship with Kate Wilson and allowed it to continue.

She was among several women he had relationships with while undercover.

Full Article

Technology New cyberweapons take fight to Isis

Britain’s military and security services tested a new arsenal of offensive cyberweapons against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, The Times can reveal.

GCHQ, the government’s listening post, and British armed forces personnel pioneered the use of fresh cyber-capabilities to spread malware to block jihadists’ access to data, according to interviews with present and former intelligence officers.

The operation also involved the dissemination of fake news to sow confusion among Islamic State’s supporters and techniques to disrupt the terrorists’ cash transactions. Measures that interfered with the group’s funding and logistics made it harder for it to pay its militants and buy weapons, ammunition, food and supplies.

Full Article

Prisons Call for lenient sentencing of ‘immature’ young offenders

Adult offenders under 25 should be treated more leniently by sentencing courts because they are still maturing, according to a report published today.

More than 140,000 adults aged 18 to 24 were sentenced in criminal courts last year and they should be treated as a distinct category of offender, the Howard League for Penal Reform says.

It calls for formal sentencing guidelines to help judges and magistrates understand young adults better and take account of the relationship between immaturity and blameworthiness, capacity to change and histories of being in care, the report says.

Full Article

Police Finances New command system drives force efficiency

Nottinghamshire Police has become the fifth UK force to adopt a next-generation command, control and communication system, found in some of the most hi-tech control rooms around the globe, to help to transform the way it operates.

It combines all of the functions required of a modern control room into a single unified software application, including multi-channel communications, contact management, command and control, radio dispatch, mapping and resource management. It can be hosted locally or in the cloud and can be deployed on fixed, web and mobile platforms.

Full Article

Technology 5G will make crime harder to investigate

Superfast 5G mobile networks, which are supposed to transform UK communications from 2020, could provide a boon to criminals by covering their tracks, experts say.

In its annual internet crime report, Europol said 5G posed challenges for police because of the ability of devices to download data simultaneously from multiple sources, such as wifi, network towers and satellites. “With current 4G technology, law enforcement is able to use the unique identifier assigned to a device ... but 5G replaces this with a temporary identifier.”

The European police agency said the difficulties were compounded because requirements of the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) prevented officers from using tools that previously enabled easier tracking.

Full Article

Police Finances No plans to cancel officer annual leave over brexit

Police chiefs have discussed embargoes on officer holiday next March but agreed they do not have enough information about potential threats to public safety.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) lead for operations Charlie Hall sad despite rumors officers will be banned from taking vacations in Spring 2019, there are no proposals to do so.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Stop and search makes crime more likely, report finds

The police tactic of stop and search is increasing the likelihood of crime rather than preventing it, finds a report that paints a bleak picture of young men and boys snapping under the pressure of relentless checks sometimes multiple times a day.

Based on in-depth interviews with young Londoners named on the Metropolitan police’s controversial list of gang suspects – the gangs matrix – the report (pdf) also raises concerns about how the police’s “gang nominal” assessment has an impact on the lives of those listed.

Full Article

Police Finances Badger culling cost forces more than £4m

Badger culling has cost forces more than £4million in the last year, figure from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs reveal.

In 2016 the operation, which aims to tackle bovine TB, cost police £3,029,998, but soared to £4,046,56 last year - a 33.5 per cent increase.

Full Article

Police Demand Kent police seek new recruits to quell post-Brexit unrest

Kent police has begun the “biggest recruitment drive in a generation” as it steps up its preparations for Brexit.

Kent’s police and crime commissioner, Matthew Scott, told The Sunday Times that by March 2019 the force will have 270 more officers than when he was elected in May 2016.

Later this week, it will be decided how many more officers Kent police will need in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Kent is likely to be at the sharp end of preparations because the county is home to ports including Dover, as well as the Ebbsfleet international rail terminal.

Full Article

Police Finances Skint police officers on payday loans to make ends meet claims police federation chairman

The chairman of the Police Federation says Theresa May is

carrying out a ‘personal attack’ on policing.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mirror, John Apter accused the PM of treating officers with contempt.

He said that because of low pay they were turning to payday loans and charities to make ends meet.

Full Article

Police Finances Public sector audit appointment body names new head

Public Sector Audit Appointments has named Tony Crawley as its new chief executive.

Crawley has a background in district audit and is currently a director at KPMG, focusing on local public audit. He will join PSAA in mid-October.

As chief executive, Crawley will lead PSAA’s work as the “appointing person” responsible for auditor appointments for nearly 500 local authorities and police bodies.

“I am very much looking forward to working with PSAA's Board, staff and partners to help promote the importance of local audit as we move into a new phase for the company,” he said.

Full Article

Police Finances Government rejects PCC pay review conclusions

Ministers have rejected several recommendations of an independent pay review for police and crime commissioners.

After six years without a pay increase of any sort for the elected representatives, the Home Office had asked the review group to assess if they should get one - but the government has now overruled most of what it recommended.

Full Article

Police Finances Police forces cannot keep 'limping on', says Shadow Policing Minister

Addressing the Police Superintendents’ Association conference today, Louise Haigh MP confirmed Labour’s commitment to a real-terms budget increase for police and 10,000 additional neighbourhood officers, whilst criticising the current administration.

She said: “The police service cannot keep limping on as it is and if you do not receive a significant funding settlement at the Comprehensive Spending Review this Autumn, the time will finally have come for us all to have an honest conversation with the public about what you can and can’t do.”

The former police officer said that the force was “unrecognisable” from when she served six years ago due to budget cuts, new types of crime and the added pressures from cuts in other public services.

Full Article

Police Finances Police funding: Ministers 'unaware of cuts impact'

Ministers do not know the impact that funding cuts have had on police forces, the UK's public spending watchdog says.

According to the National Audit Office, the Home Office does not know whether the police system in England and Wales is "financially sustainable".

It calls the approach to police funding "ineffective" and "detached" from the changing demands faced by officers.

Full Article

Police Finances Police 2% pay rise 'a punch on the nose', Cressida Dick says

The government's refusal to increase police pay by 3% in England and Wales is a "punch on the nose", the head of the Metropolitan Police has said.

Cressida Dick said she was "extremely disappointed" by the decision to give police a 2% rise, against the recommendation of an independent board.

She said it had impacted both morale and staffing.

Full Article

Police Finances Government ‘failing to ensure financial stability of police forces’

[For the corresponding PACCTS Briefing please refer to the Police Finances page]

Police forces in England and Wales are struggling to maintain an effective service as the government fails to ensure they are financially sustainable, according to the public spending watchdog.

Central government funding to police commissioners – at £7.7bn this financial year - has fallen by 30% in real terms since 2010-11, according to a National Audit Office report out today.

Police and crime commissioners in England and Wales have suffered a 19% real-terms reduction in total funding between 2010-11 and 2018-19, the analysis showed. Police also receive funding through a council tax precept.

Full Article

Prisons Rapist, Karen White, in women’s jail ‘was trans faker’

A rapist and paedophile who was transferred to a women’s prison after claiming to be female and assaulted four inmates there made no more effort to be a woman than wearing wigs and dresses, former neighbours say.

Karen White, 52, a former drag artist from Manchester previously known as Stephen Wood, then David Thompson, claimed to be transgender to the authorities. Despite knowing that White had undergone no physical changes and was a paedophile on remand for multiple rapes with a long record of sexual and violent offences against women, the authorities permitted a transfer to HMP New Hall, a prison near Wakefield with a mother-and-baby unit. White committed the assaults within days of the move and was transferred back to a men’s prison.

Full Article

Police Demand Policing 'on verge of crisis', says chief superintendent

Many areas of the police service in England and Wales are "on the verge of crisis", the president of the Police Superintendents' Association will warn.

Chief Superintendent Gavin Thomas will give a speech to the group's conference on Tuesday saying forces are "utterly reliant" on fewer staff working longer.

It comes a year after he warned policing faced a "perfect storm" due to budget cuts and rising crime.

Full Article

Police Demand Police plan for riots and crimewave if there is no-deal Brexit

Police chiefs are drawing up contingency plans to deal with widespread civil disorder at the country’s borders and ports in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a leaked report.

The bombshell document, prepared by the National Police Co- ordination Centre, warns that the “necessity to call on military assistance is a real possibility” in the weeks around Britain’s departure from the EU.

The report, which is due to be discussed at a meeting of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) next week, claims that “widespread leave embargoes” will be required. Some forces, such as Kent, are expected unilaterally to cancel rest days and leave immediately after March 29.

Full Article

Police Demand Met police dropped 30,000 criminal investigations in first 24 hours last year

The Metropolitan police are increasingly dropping investigations into serious crimes such as sexual offences, violent attacks and arson within hours of them being reported, the Guardian can reveal.

The UK’s largest force “screened out” 34,164 crimes without further investigation on the day they were reported in 2017, compared to 13,019 the year before. In the first five months of 2018, 18,093 crimes were closed in 24 hours, putting the number for the year on track to exceed last year’s total.

The figures, obtained under freedom of information rules, included a growing number of sexual offence cases that were closed in a day, rising from 20 in 2016 to 49 in 2017 and 32 in the first five months of 2018.

Full Article

Police and Crime General The growth of private policing is eroding justice for all [opinion]

Martock is a 4,700-population village on the edge of the Somerset Levels. Superficially, it does not look like somewhere positioned on the cutting edge of social policy, with faint echoes of the future as imagined by JG Ballard and Philip K Dick. But viewed from a certain angle, a scheme that has been running since April might suggest something close...

Full Article

Fire PCC thanks Norfolk public for response as fire governance consultation closes

For two months, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Lorne Green has been seeking views about his ‘A Case for Change’ proposals.

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) is currently governed by Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee which also oversees a number of departments including libraries, museums, archives and arts.

Under the PCC’s proposals, Lorne would become Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), taking on the governance of the fire service alongside that of fellow emergency service Norfolk Constabulary.

Believing this to be a much better way of working for a safer Norfolk, the PCC launched an eight-week public consultation on 11 July. That consultation officially closed at 5pm on Wednesday (5 September).

Full Article

Fire Deal secured between PCC and Hertfordshire County Council as fire services debate dropped

A deal has been agreed between a south east county council and the police and crime commissioner (PCC) after he dropped his business case to take over the running of the fire service.

In an announcement yesterday, an agreement was made to set up the Hertfordshire Emergency Services Collaboration Board, which will ensure the collaboration agreements can be delivered by all partners.

PCC David Lloyd had previously submitted his business case to the Home Office over the summer to potentially close fire stations in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, and move them into a joint station at the police offices in Welwyn Garden City.

Full Article

Technology Elite Flying Squad detectives use old school methods to catch cyber criminals, says Met

Scotland Yard's Flying Squad are going undercover to fight cybercrime, as police use "older ways" because they can't crack technology, the Head of the Met Police’s Organised Crime Command has said.

Criminals have “diversified” from risky armed robberies into online crime and trading commodities using cryptocurrency and police have become “heavily reliant” on technology to catch them, said Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Gallagher.

But the latest encryption software makes it difficult for the police to track users online, and the Met’s Flying Squad detectives have turned to tactics like going undercover and using informants.

Full Article

Fire Positive Deal Reached on Future of Police and Fire Collaboration

An agreement on the future collaboration arrangements between emergency services in Hertfordshire has been reached by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the County Council.

The formal arrangement means a number of principles which will strengthen joint working can now be pursued under the existing governance structure.

The next stage of the agreement will be to set up the Hertfordshire Emergency Services Collaboration Board, which will ensure the collaboration agreements can be delivered by all partners.

Full Article

Police Demand 100 homicides reflect ‘horrific scale of violence’ in London

The number of murders in London for the year currently stands at 100, ten of which were results of gunshot wounds.

This means that the number of non-terror related homicides between January and August has increased by 12 per cent in 2018 than the previous year.

Full Article

Police Demand 'We warned you this would happen' MPs tell Home Office to tackle police cuts

A Home Office minister compared drugs gangs who groom children to paedophiles in response to MPs who demanded the government step up its approach to Count Lines violence.

Labour's Stephen Doughty, MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, told Home Office minister Ben Wallace this week during a Westminster debate: "We warned you this was going to happen because of the cuts that were happening to police, because of the cuts to community services."

Full Article

Police and Crime General Two-thirds of girls and young women sexually harassed in public

Almost two-thirds of girls and young women have been sexually harassed in public, according to a charity's poll.

More than 1,000 girls and women aged 14 to 21 were asked about their experiences in public settings, including on transport, walking on the street, at school or in the workplace.

According to the poll, 66% said they had experienced unwanted sexual attention or sexual or physical contact in a public place.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Met chief Cressida Dick ‘all in favour’ of increased stop and search

Britain’s most senior police officer yesterday threw her weight behind plans to extend stop-and-search powers.

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, said that she supported the plans of Sajid Javid, the home secretary, to allow officers to stop anyone suspected of carrying acid without a good reason. At present police can do so only when they have evidence that a person is about to cause an injury.

Ms Dick told LBC radio: “I think an extension of the power to do this would be very helpful for us and I would be all in favour of it.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General New stop and search powers for acid and laser pointers 'mulled' by home secretary

Stop and search powers could be extended significantly under new plans from Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

He is reportedly planning to let police stop anyone suspected of carrying acid without good reason.

Laser pointers and drones would also be targeted as part of a crackdown on new types of crime.

Full Article

Technology A digital game or a powerful weapon against boardroom crime?

Artificial intelligence is being hailed as a powerful new tool for investigators in the most complex crimes. The Serious Fraud Office has given BBC News exclusive access to see the system it has been using.

In the boardroom at the Serious Fraud Office, an investigator is pointing to a giant computer screen that shows a pattern of green and blue dots.

As the investigator moves his mouse, the dots bounce around as if on elastic.

Full Article

Police Demand Police given more power to stop and search

Sajid Javid is planning a significant extension of stop-and-search powers in his latest challenge to Theresa May and her legacy as home secretary.

Mr Javid wants officers to be able to stop anyone suspected of carrying acid without a good reason. At present police can do so only when they have evidence that a person is about to cause an injury.

The home secretary is also pushing for police to be able to stop and search people carrying laser pointers or drones. The changes expand powers that Mrs May sought to curb before she became prime minister.

Full Article

Police Finances Video enabled justice scheme will not cost £720m as chiefs predicted

An initiative which will save officers hours of their time by allowing them to give evidence to courts remotely is up and running.

The video enabled justice scheme, which is being spearheaded by Sussex's Police and Crime Commissioner, has also been successfully launched in Kent with aims to eventually roll it out nationwide.

Full Article

Technology Lucy McHugh death: 'Challenge' over accessing Facebook information

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick believes detectives should have access to material from social media companies "within minutes".

The call comes after a suspect in the murder of Lucy McHugh, 13, was jailed for withholding his Facebook password from police.

The teenager was found stabbed to death in woodland in Southampton last month.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police to investigate leaked Labour antisemitism ‘hate crime’ dossier

Scotland Yard will investigate a leaked dossier of antisemitism allegations against Labour members after a former senior policeman said many constituted hate crimes.

The document with details of 45 Labour members accused of antisemitism was leaked to LBC.

It includes allegations that a Labour councillor inflicted “ten years of hell” on a child by calling him a “Jew boy”, while another member posted Facebook comments including: “We shall rid the Jews who are a cancer on us all” and “as for the Jews, red see [sic] ideal destination no need for gas chambers anyway as gas is so expensive and we need it in England”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Worth investigating a burglary? Police computer says no

A police force has begun using a computerised system to help it to decide whether officers should investigate burglaries in an attempt to save time and money.

Norfolk police are testing an algorithm designed to assess the “solvability” of a case from factors such as whether there is good-quality CCTV footage of the culprit or whether fingerprints were left at the scene.

The pilot scheme is the latest in a series of measures introduced by forces desperate to cut caseloads as a rise in violent crime adds to the pressure on their resources when the number of officers is falling. Burglary rose by 6.2 per cent nationwide in the year to July and less than 5 per cent of burglary cases resulted in charges. In Norfolk burglaries rose by an estimated 10 per cent in the year to March.

Full Article

Police Finances Pay rises will leave forces at risk of continuing budget deficit, warns chief

Pressures from the lifting of the long-running public sector pay cap will leave forces battling to meet major demands on the service as policing gets to grips with a new 'self-assessment' strategy.

The constant drive to deliver millions of pounds of spending reductions through efficiencies are set to leave annual police budgets with a "continuing" permanent shortfall, a chief as warned.

Full Article

Police Demand Three police forces will test eyesight of all drivers stopped

Drivers who fail to read a number plate from 20m (65ft) away when stopped by police will have their licences revoked immediately in a new crackdown.

Three forces in England are planning to test every motorist they stop in a bid to clamp down on drivers with defective eyesight.

Police say data from the tests will be used to improve understanding of the extent of poor driver vision.

Full Article

Technology Five-Eyes nations to force encryption backdoors

The governments of Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand have made the strongest statement yet that they intend to force technology providers to provide lawful access to users' encrypted communications.

At the Five Country Ministerial meeting on the Gold Coast last week, security and immigration ministers put forward a range of proposals to combat terrorism and crime, with a particular emphasis on the internet.

As part of that, the countries that share intelligence with each other under the Five-Eyes umbrella agreement, intend to "encourage information and communications technology service providers to voluntarily establish lawful access solutions to their products and services."

Full Article

Police Finances Government vows to continue fight against CSE with more funding and initiatives

Speaking at the headquarters of the NSPCC on Monday (September 3), Sajid Javid also pledged an additional £21.5 million investment in the fight against child abuse, including £2.6 million to child protection charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

His speech comes as the National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed a 700 per cent increase in industry referrals for child sex abuse images from 2012 to 2017.

Mr Javid said he was impressed by the progress Google, Facebook and Twitter have made in preventing terrorism content being posted on their platforms but wants to see the same level of commitment made for CSE material.

Full Article

Police Finances Britain's largest police force 'runs out of things to sell' after selling £1bn worth of property amid cuts

Britain's largest police force has “run out of things to sell”, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation has announced, as it emerged the force has sold more than £1bn worth of property over the past six years.

The Metropolitan Police said funding cuts have led them to "breaking point" with officers often forced to perform several roles at once.

"We've sold the Crown Jewels, so to speak. We've run out of things to sell. This is really, really, worrying for society," said Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation.

Full Article

Prisons Two prison officers go to A&E every day following inmate attacks, figures show

An average of two prison officers need to go to A&E every day after being attacked by inmates, new figures show, amid soaring levels of violence in jails and mounting pressures on staff.

Official data from operations reports, released by the Prison Officers’ Association (POA), shows 15 members of staff across jails in England and Wales went to A&E or were rushed straight to hospital last week following prisoner assaults. A further 18 were victims of unprovoked assaults which didn’t lead to serious injuries.

Full Article

Prisons Lax monitoring in jail let prisoners contact victims



High-risk prisoners were able to contact their victims without being detected because of failings at a jail, a watchdog report revealed.

In one case an offender who should have had his letters monitored had been able to regularly contact a vulnerable person.

The inspection at High Down in Banstead, Surrey, found that assessments of the monitoring of phone calls and mail were not routinely completed for new arrivals “enabling them to contact victims or potential victims without fear of being detected”.

Full Article

Prisons Hundreds of prison officers sacked for smuggling contraband into jail, new figures reveal

Hundreds of prison officers have been sacked for smuggling drugs and other illegal items into jails across England and Wales, new figures have revealed.

The number of staff caught bringing various drugs, mobile phones and weapons into prison for inmates has risen 57 percent since 2012.

Over the past six years, 341 prison officers have been dismissed, disciplined or forced to face judicial proceedings, according to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures

Full Article

Police and Crime General Boy Tasered by police in Coventry suffers cardiac arrest

A 17-year-old boy is in hospital after going into cardiac arrest when he was Tasered by police.

He was part of a group involved in a disturbance in Prior Deram Walk, Canley, Coventry, just after 21:30 BST on Saturday, West Midlands Police said.

Police Tasered the teenager in a bid to detain him, but he went into cardiac arrest and needed CPR. He remains in a serious but stable condition.

Full Article

Police and Crime General MPs to decide whether to make misogyny a hate crime

MPs will vote this week on whether to make misogyny a hate crime for the first time, as the campaign to compel police forces across the UK to recognise street harassment of women as a hate crime gathers momentum.

The Labour MP Stella Creasy has put forward an amendment to the upskirting bill – due to be debated in the Commons this Wednesday – that would add misogyny as an aggravating factor in England and Wales. This would enable courts to consider it when sentencing an offender and require police forces to record it.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Sajid Javid zeroes in on web grooming

Online child predators have become “as sophisticated as terrorists at hiding their tracks”, the home secretary Sajid Javid will warn this week.

In a speech tomorrow, he will describe how they switch from mainstream platforms to the dark web, saying: “[They] are using encryption and anonymisation tools to make their detection harder than ever before.

“They’re jumping from platform to platform, using the dark web and commercial sites, swapping aliases and endlessly creating and then deleting online accounts to try to avoid getting caught.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Local police stations copping it with 600 shut due to Tory cuts

Towns across Britain have had their police station axed due to harsh Tory cuts, leaving residents feeling unprotected from crimes such as burglaries and assaults.

Over 600 have shut across the country since 2010, and of those that remain, some have closed their front counters where crime victims can walk in and speak to officers in person.

Some squeezed forces have had to shut more than half their local stations in the eight years since the Tories came to power with their cruel austerity.

Full Article

Prisons Hundreds of prison staff caught smuggling banned items

Hundreds of prison staff have been caught smuggling drugs, weapons and mobile phones into jails, according to the Observer.

A Freedom of Information request by the paper found that 341 staff in England and Wales had been dismissed, excluded, convicted or cautioned by police in the past six years as a result.

Last year, there were 71 cases of staff smuggling - up from 50 in 2015.

Full Article

Police Finances Chief under fire for televised response to police cunts

A police chief has been criticised for his "weak" response to latest figures revealing one in three bobbies on the beat have been axed in England and Wales.

National Police Chiefs' Council lead for Local Policing, Chief Constable Simon Cole, was interviewed on Good Morning Britain by Jeremy Kyle and Kate Gerraway to discuss cuts and challenges faced by forces.

CC Cole explained in 2010 he had 2,300 officers but the numbers have since been "significantly reduced" and he is now aiming to push the figures back up.

Full Article

Police Finances Government grants extra £2.5 million for Novichok costs

The government has pledged a further 2.5 million to help cover the costs of Novichok related incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury.

Operation costs for Wiltshire Police are projected to exceed 10 million with the government so far handing the force £4.1 million.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Spice should be upgraded to Class A drug, say police and crime commissioners

A group of police and crime commissioners (PCC) have called on the government to reclassify the drug spice as a Class A substance.

In an open letter to the Home Office, more than 20 Conservative commissioners from across the UK warned the synthetic substance poses the “most severe” threat to public health in decades.

Spice is currently a Class B drug, and is illegal to produce, supply or import in Britain.

Full Article

Police Demand Merseyside Police 'failing' to check on sex offenders

High-risk sex offenders are not checked on enough by Merseyside Police and their locations are often unknown by officers, the police watchdog says.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said the force's sex offender unit, which is also responsible for child protection, was "seriously overstretched".

The inspection of its child protection highlighted "particular concern" with 98 overdue visits to sex offenders.

The force says it is addressing issues.

Full Article

Police Finances Council apologises for ‘failing’ disabled boy’s family

Doncaster council has admitted to ‘failing’ the family of a disabled boy after they waited three years for the council to provide them with the special adaptations their home required.

The family was first assessed by the council in 2014 as needing help with housing and were placed on its accessible housing register.

The boy, who is incontinent and cannot walk by himself, sleeps in a bedroom which is too small to store the special equipment he needs to move about. The parents have to carry him from room to room which puts them at risk of injury.

Full Article

Police Demand Police demand drug sniffer dogs at proposed club

Sniffer dogs must be used at a planned Cardiff super-club, police have said.

Live Nation (Music) UK wants to open a new music venue, Titan Warehouse, in Splott, big enough to hold 10,000 revellers.

But police are so concerned at the potential use of drugs, they are insisting drug-detecting dogs search clubbers as they enter.

Full Article

Police Demand BT figures show 3,000 calls a year from 'drug phone'

Many of the 3,000 calls a year from the most heavily-used payphone in a county are thought to involve drug deals.

BT suggested the payphone in The Meadows area in Nottingham could be being used a lot by tourists but people nearby said it was known as "the drug phone".

Just one call per day is made from the average BT payphone nationally.

Full Article

Police Demand Stop and search on rise as police tackle violence

Some police forces have dramatically increased their use of stop and search amid rising violence, analysis by The Times reveals.

Use of the controversial tactic leapt by 50 per cent in the Merseyside force area in the past 12 months while a third of all forces in England and Wales, including the Metropolitan Police, recorded an increase.

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a think-tank co-founded by Iain Duncan Smith, had called for a zero-tolerance approach to curb the “toxic cycle of serious violence”. It said that stop and search, which has been declining for years, should be ramped up and gang members forced to leave London.

Full Article

Police Finances Government announces new £2m 'county lines' unit to stop children being exploited by gangs

A new £2m "county lines" unit will aim to stop children being exploited by gangs, the Government has announced.

The hub set up by the Department for Education will provide funding and resources to local authorities struggling to tackle drug smuggling and child sexual exploitation.

Figures released last year by the National Crime Agency showed that over a third of police forces reported evidence of child sexual exploitation in relation to county lines, the phenomenon where children and young people are exploited by criminals and used to traffic drugs in rural areas.

Full Article

Police and Crime General ‘Harass the hell’ out of gang leaders, says Iain Duncan Smith

A dramatic increase in the use of police stop-and-search powers to combat rising gang violence has been called for by Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader.

A 148-page report by the MP’s think tank calls for a US-style “zero-tolerance” crackdown on criminals.

It accuses senior officers of all but abandoning “active policing” for fear of being accused of institutional racism and says “racial disparity” is a myth, despite moves to slash the use of stop-and-search powers over fears they were being used disproportionately against black people and other minorities.

Full Article

Police Demand Bobbies on beat slashed by a third

One in three bobbies on the beat in England and Wales have been axed in just three years as violent crime has surged.

A Sunday Times investigation found more than 7,000 traditional neighbourhood police officers, who protect communities and gather intelligence, have been reassigned to other duties or left jobs altogether since March 2015.

The number of police community support officers (PCSOs) has also fallen by 18% over the same time period to just over 10,000. Officers assigned to back-office and administrative roles have multiplied by a quarter in three years, despite ministers’ pledges to protect “frontline” policing.

Full Article

Prisons Loss of senior managers led to UK’s prison crisis

Hundreds of senior staff and management have left the Prison Service in the past five years without being replaced, new figures reveal, which has led to “dangerous” flaws in the system, according to campaigners.

The exodus of crucial experienced staff has coincided with record levels of assaults, suicides and self-harm in jails in England and Wales and forced the government to take action to increase prison officer numbers after almost a decade of cuts.

Full Article

Police Demand Thousands abandon 101 police calls over long waits

Tens of thousands of callers to the police non-emergency line have hung-up in frustration at long waiting times.

A total of 135,389 calls to Welsh police via 101 were abandoned or redirected last year - almost 14% of all calls.

Wendy Lewis, from Swansea, waited for 22 minutes while trying to get help for a young mother who was being harassed.

"In the end I gave up," she said. Police bosses said improvements had been made.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Javid backs use of spit hoods despite warnings from Met Chief

The Home Secretary and the UK’s most senior police officer have clashed over the use of spit hoods on suspects by front line police officers.

Commissioner Cressida Dick said the equipment that prevents people from spitting and biting officers should only be used in custody suites and not during arrests, despite support for them from Sajid Javid.

The decision comes after the Home Secretary said it was ‘ridiculous’ that the mesh hoods had not yet been adopted by all British forces in a speech at the Police Federation conference in May.

Over 30 of the 43 forces in England and Wales use spit hoods, with many including the British Transport Police, issuing them to frontline officers.

Full Article

Police Finances Welsh police forces promised apprenticeship levy cash

Police forces in Wales are set to get Home Office funding for training following a row over the UK government's apprenticeship levy.

It comes as a Welsh Assembly committee warned that the forces were paying £2m a year but got no cash back.

AMs said the money was "falling through the devolution crack" because training is devolved but policing is not.

The Welsh Government said the Home Office had promised funding for Welsh police apprenticeships from 2019.

Full Article

Police Finances NPCC considering changes to mutual aid stipends

Police chiefs are in talks over proposals to ensure every officer who works away from home receives an allowance, the federation says.

Police Federation for England and Wales lead for mutual aid Simon Kempton says thousands of officers have come forward to complain they are not getting hardship or away from home allowances and some federation members end up out of pocket working on mutual aid.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Rotherham abuse victim backs £13m fund to protect vulnerable children

Eleven local authorities across England are to share £13m to help create more positive adult role models for the most vulnerable children.

The money will be spent on schemes which aim to intervene early if a child is at risk of falling into abuse or crime.

The programmes will see more youth and charity workers, police officers and nurses made available to children in order to form a trusting relationship so they can report abuse.

Full Article

Police Demand Victims of crime put at risk as police abandon bail orders

Suspected rapists, domestic abusers and other violent attackers are routinely being released without constraints after a sharp fall in the use of police bail, The Times has learnt.

High-risk suspects are instead being “released under investigation” without conditions, such as not approaching their victims, prompting warnings that the public could be in danger.

Senior police figures and lawyers attributed the 90 per cent fall in use of police bail year on year to poorly planned government reforms that had been rushed through. One senior police officer said that the new rules on the granting of bail were “a disaster”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Rise in cocaine deaths prompts calls for government action

The government is facing calls to investigate what the opposition has described as a deeply worrying trend in the number of deaths from cocaine use, which has risen for the sixth year running.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics released earlier this month showed there were 432 deaths related to cocaine in England and Wales in 2017 compared with 112 in 2011, when numbers began to climb from 1.9 deaths per million of the population to 7.5 last year.

Full Article

Prisons Birmingham Prison: Government takes over from G4S

Birmingham Prison is being taken over by the government from the private firm G4S, after inspectors said it had fallen into a "state of crisis".

Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke described it as the worst prison he had ever been to.

Inspectors found blood, vomit and rat droppings on the floor, sleeping staff, cockroaches and an overpowering smell of drugs.

Full Article

Prisons Private v state: The UK's best and worst prisons

Since the 1990s, prisons across Britain have been turned over into the hands of private firms, which run them at a profit.

Rather than "governors", privately-run prisons have "directors" in charge. But the prisons must still face unannounced inspections by HM Prisons Inspectorate and receive recommendations based on the observations made.

The situation at the privately-run Birmingham Prison became so bad in August that the government was forced to take it back from G4S, to run it themselves for at least six months.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Officers and staff given money-saving tips that could boost pay by one per cent

Durham Constabulary’s officers and staff will receive help with their financial worries as part of a new campaign to increase workplace happiness.

Support including advice on mortgages and reducing household bills will be made available to all Durham Constabulary personnel after a staff survey highlighted financial pressure as an area of significant concern.

Assistant chief officer Gary Ridley believes that this advice can help officers generate a one per cent rise in their take-home pay if they change insurance providers and energy suppliers.

Full Article

Prisons Prisons minister Rory Stewart: I'll resign if drugs and violence don't go down

Prisons minister Rory Stewart says he will resign in a year if he hasn't managed to reduce drugs and violence levels in 10 target jails in England.

He made the promise as the government announced £10m to improve security and conditions at the jails.

New body scanners and sniffer dogs are to be introduced in the prisons, which are described as "challenging", in a clampdown on drugs and mobile phones.

Full Article

Police Finances Force designs its own device to 'drive effectiveness and efficiency'

The mobile device – named INK Biometrics (Identity not known) – scans suspects’ fingerprints and will confirm their identity within 60 seconds if they are known to police databases.

The MPS is the first British force to develop its own portable scanner. Officers took the “innovative step” of developing their own product and software to increase the number of devices – fewer than 100 in recent years – at a much lower cost.

Similar technology has been used by the MPS and other forces since 2012, but the new scanner is much cheaper, meaning 600 devices will be issued to frontline officers across the capital over the coming months.

Full Article

Police Finances Policing in parts of the UK is 'broken', says Police Federation chief

The new head of the Police Federation has warned that forces across the country are in crisis and the public are suffering as a result of falling headcounts and increasing crime.

John Apter said “policing in some places is broken” and the public would suffer as stretched resources force police to abandon investigations into some crimes they previously would have dealt with.

Apter took over as national chairman of the Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, at the start of August, as rates of violent crime began to spike and forces employed the fewest police officers in more than two decades – 122,404 at the end of March, according to the latest figures.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Anti-terror chief: Scots more open to Muslims

Scotland is not an Islamist target because of its success in integrating Muslims into the community, the country’s top counterterrorism officer has claimed.

Detective Chief Superintendent Gerry McLean, who heads Police Scotland’s organised crime and counterterrorism unit, said that Muslims tended to feel more part of society in Scotland than they did elsewhere in the UK.

The last terrorist attack in Scotland was at Glasgow airport in 2007. Five members of the public were injured but nobody died. In the past year England has had a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena, which killed 23 people including Eilidh MacLeod, 14, from Barra, and attacks at Westminster and London Bridge; these left 13 people dead and 100 injured.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Nearly 10,000 police officers have taken second jobs – survey

Almost 10,000 police officers have taken on second jobs in the past year, according to a pay and morale survey, amid warnings officers’ pay fell 18% in real terms.

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), which conducted the survey of 27,000 police officers, said the results made for “grim reading”.

The survey showed that about 7.8% of officers had taken second jobs this year, equivalent to about 9,500 officers, compared with 6.3% last year, or about 7,700. There were 122,404 officers as at 31 March, according to the Home Office.

Full Article

Prisons 12 incredibly petty payouts prisoners have won for 'lost property' costing taxpayers £1million

Prisoners have pocketed over £1million in compensation for lost or damaged property in the last five years.

More than 13,000 taxpayer-funded payouts have been made for clothing, trainers, DVD players and hair clippers.

In total, £1,075,594.80 has been paid out since 2013.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Officers need post-Brexit links

Senior figures at Police Scotland are desperate to ensure that their ability to fight crime is not harmed by Brexit. Detective Chief Superintendent Gerry McLean said the present levels of co-operation and communication with European forces were vital.

Mr McLean, who heads Scotland’s organised crime unit, said that as gangs increasingly operated across borders, police forces needed to as well. He added that attention had been focused on European arrest warrants and whether Britain would be able to use them after Brexit but the issue was much wider.

“We want to continue to enjoy the type of relationships we have and the opportunity to work alongside European law enforcement partners,” he said.

Full Article

Police Finances Police need support but too simple to blame lack of funding

Recently the Police Chief Constable for the West Midlands said that the police force offers ‘poor service’ to victims.

This admission came after a year which saw a rise in the number of opportunistic crimes such as car thefts being committed in the borough.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Call for new laws as drink-drive casualties reach four-year high

The government is being urged to introduce zero-tolerance laws as the number of drink-drive casualties reached a four-year high.

New figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) revealed an estimated 9,040 people were killed or injured in Britain in drink-drive accidents in 2016.

This is the highest number since 2012 and represents a 7% rise from the year before.

Full Article

Prisons Fresh meat among contraband items smuggled into prison – watchdog

The problem of drugs and mobile phones being smuggled into prisons is a well-documented one, but governors at an institution in Cheshire are having to contend with a different kind of contraband – fine food.

Some of the inmates at Thorn Cross open prison near Warrington have been receiving parcels of smuggled fresh meat and fish; including some delicacies, according to a watchdog.

A report [pdf] by the prison’s Independent Monitoring Board said: “The increasing amount of contraband entering the establishment is of concern … there have been incidences of mobile phones, sim cards, phone chargers, new psychoactive substances (NPS) and other substances and even fresh meat and fish.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police accused of giving tacit approval to 'cannabis clubs' across the UK

Police have been accused of giving tacit support to 'cannabis clubs' where paying members can meet and take the drug without fear of prosecution.

At least two Police and Crime Commissioners have visited or endorsed the clubs, of which there are 160 across the UK.

Despite the fact possession of cannabis remains illegal and can result in a maximum five year prison sentence, many forces no longer treat the offence as a priority, with some police leaders even calling for the law to be relaxed.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police commissioners warn Home Secretary a ‘no deal’ Brexit could pose substantial public safety risk 

Police and Crime Commissioners have written to the Home Secretary warning that a no-deal Brexit could pose a substantial risk to public safety.

Their letter warns that officers could face a “significant loss of operational capacity” if Britain crashes out of the EU next March without a deal. It also urged the Home Office to spell out its contingency plans.

We spoke to two signatories of the letter: Lord Bach, the Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, and Matthew Scott, the Commissioner for Kent.

Full Article

Police Finances Brexit: Police commissioners concern over 'no deal'

A no-deal Brexit poses a risk to the public because the UK would lose access to EU-wide security powers and databases, police leaders have warned.

Police and crime commissioners say law enforcement agencies "face a significant loss of operational capacity" if the arrangements stop.

They have asked the home secretary to confirm his contingency plans.

The Home Office says it will continue to make the case for the retention of the capabilities.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Privacy International and Liberty fight to unearth police use of intrusive mobile phone monitoring technology

Privacy International has today filed an appeal challenging police forces' refusal to disclose information on their purchase and use of IMSI catchers.  

IMSI catchers are surveillance tools which mimic mobile phone towers, tricking phones into connecting with them and revealing personal information. Some IMSI catchers can also intercept data, including the content of calls, text messages and internet traffic, and even edit your communications or block your service.

An IMSI catcher is able to gather data about everyone’s phone in its vicinity.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Bank of England raises UK interest rates

UK interest rate rises to 0.75% - the highest level since March 2009

Full Article

Police Finances Latest round of Transformation funding released

The Home Office has approved up to £70 million to finance initiatives aiming to join-up IT services and improve the sharing of specialist resources.

Another £42.7 million will go towards 15 projects led by individual forces.

The funding marks the latest round of successful bids to the Police Transformation Fund (PTF), which was launched in 2016 to encourage innovation in policing.

The Home Office said the money will help to “prepare police forces to adapt to the challenges of the future”.

Full Article

Fire Police commissioner's bid for fire service control slammed by county

Norfolk CC has said a bid by the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) to take control of the local fire and rescue service would put the public at risk and is based on a “misleading” business case.

Responding to a consultation on the proposal launched in June by PCC Lorne Green (Con), Norfolk described a claim of £10m savings as “speculative and misleading”, adding the plan would put the service at “significant financial risk”.

Full Article

Police Finances Home Office doubles youth crime prevention scheme funds to £22m

Government funding for a scheme to steer young people away from violence is to be doubled after a rise in crime.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is to now earmark £22m for the Early Intervention Youth Fund in England and Wales.

Police and crime commissioners can apply for money for projects run by youth and community groups.

Recorded crime went up by 11% in the 12 months to March - the highest level in more than a decade - amid rises in killings, knife offences and robberies.

Full Article

Police Finances Early intervention youth fund

On 9 April 2018, the government published its serious violence strategy setting out an ambitious programme of work to respond to increases in knife crime, gun crime and homicide.

The strategy set out our commitment to provide £11 million over 2 years for a new early intervention youth fund. We have now doubled the size of the fund and £22 million is now available. The fund is open to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales as lead bidders. PCCs must work with community safety partnerships (or local equivalent partnership) to bid for funding to support targeted early interventions and prevention activity.

Full Article

Prisons Lost in a system

A very serious and disturbing piece, following a prisoner with an addiction to drugs. The point about short staff is driven home in the 5th section of the article.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Sajid Javid orders research into ethnic origin of sex grooming gangs

The home secretary has ordered research into why men convicted of grooming-gang sex crimes are disproportionately of Pakistani origin.

Sajid Javid, whose own family roots are in Pakistan, said that establishing the “particular characteristics” of the perpetrators was “critical to our understanding” of offending in places including Rotherham, Telford and Newcastle.

He made the commitment in a letter to Sarah Champion, the Labour MP who was strongly criticised for stating that the country “has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Terror police boost security for MP Sarah Champion over criticism of Asian sex gangs

An MP who received death threats after condemning the sexual abuse of girls by groups of British Pakistani men has been given increased security amid fears that hard-left and Muslim opponents are trying to force her from office.

Sarah Champion was accused by activists in her Rotherham constituency of “industrial-scale racism” for highlighting the “common ethnic heritage” of most of those implicated in the town’s sex-grooming scandal.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Pay rises expected for public sector staff

The government is set to announce wage increases for about one million workers in the public sector, the BBC understands.

Last year the PM announced plans to lift the 1% cap - in place since 2013 - but deals were only confirmed for some NHS workers, prison staff and police.

Other professions - including the armed forces, teachers and doctors - are now expected to see an increase.

Full Article

Police Finances Financial management code of practice

The Government have updated their code of practice for financial governance arrangements for police forces. This was originally released on 24 October 2013.

According to the document ‘This Financial Management Code of Practice (FMCP) provides clarity around the financial governance arrangements within the police in England and Wales, and reflects the fact that the police have a key statutory duty to secure value for money in the use of public funds. It provides high level guidance to help ensure effective and constructive relationships in all financial matters. The FMCP sets the tone while promoting flexibility and avoiding overt prescription so that the detail of arrangements can be worked out locally.’

Full Article

Fire Government announces new standards for fire and rescue services

Addressing the Local Government Association’s Fire Commission yesterday, the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, announced a new approach to improve professional standards for fire and rescue services across England.

While some professional standards currently exist for fire and rescue services, they are inconsistently applied and the government believes they can be expanded. A Fire Standards Board will be created to ensure standards are nationally coordinated to a high level across the sector.

Full Article

Police Finances Police forces can't continue to subsidise 'multi-billion pound football industry', police chief says

A YORKSHIRE police chief has called for a “re-think” about who bears the costs of policing football matches, as new figures reveal the strain on the public purse.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, of South Yorkshire Police, said his force “can’t continue to subsidise clubs” by meeting so much of the cost of match-day policing. The cost of policing football matches across Yorkshire was £2.35m for the first half of the 2017/18 season, figures obtained by the BBC Shared Data Unit reveal.

Read more at:

Full Article

Police Finances Police to receive 2% pay increase in 2018 to 2019

Police officers will be awarded a pay rise of 2% in 2018 to 2019. This will mean that average pay for a police constable will now be more than £38,600 per year.

The increase will consist of:

a 2% pay increase for all police officer ranks

a 2% increase to the London weighting payment

a 2% increase to the dog handlers’ allowance

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police warn top grammar school headmaster that one of his pupils will be stabbed to death in next year as gangs recruit middle-class children in smart uniforms to become drugs mules

A grammar school headmaster has been warned by police that one of his pupils will be stabbed to death within 12 months because of the spread of drugs gangs.

Andrew Fowler is the first grammar school head to say that violent gangs are recruiting children from some of England’s best schools.

The students, who it is believed are less likely to attract the attention of police because of their smart uniforms, are groomed into becoming drugs couriers with threats of violence.

Police Demand Fewer rural residents have faith in local policing

Less than a third of countryside dwellers believe their local police force is doing a good job, a crime survey has found.

Only 27% of people in rural areas are satisfied with policing in their communities, according to this year’s National Rural Crime Survey.

A growing number of communities are feeling “frustrated at the way crime, deprivation and vulnerability is hidden by a picture postcard view of the countryside”, according to the Living On The Edge report.

Full Article

Police Finances Children affected by domestic abuse to benefit from £8 million fund

The Home Office has announced a new £8 million fund over the next 2 financial years to organisations in England and Wales to support children who are exposed to domestic abuse. – please note that this includes PCCs. The closing date for bids is 19 September 2018.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Forces approach College about change to recruitment plans

The College of Policing says it will "offer support" to forces who want to keep the current system for training police officers when its degree entry programme comes into place.

From the end of 2019, when the police education qualification framework is applied across policing, the organisation plans for the initial police learning development programme (IPLDP) to end.

Full Article

Police Finances Long-term fall in crime is over as statistics show spike in robbery and murder

The government has been warned it is “sleepwalking into a nightmare” as new figures show murder, robbery and stabbings increasing sharply in England and Wales.

The number of police officers has hit a record low, amid claims funding cuts have driven up violent crime and “encouraged” offenders.

Almost half of all criminal investigations have been closed with no suspect identified, and the proportion ending with someone being charged or summonsed to court fell to just 9 per cent in the year to March.

Full Article

Police Demand Homicide 'up for fourth year in a row'

The number of killings and murders in England and Wales has increased for the fourth year running, figures show.

Excluding terror attacks, there were 701 homicides in the 12 months to the end of March, 74 more than the previous year - a rise of 12%.

Homicide covers cases of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and infanticide. The data also showed knife crime was up 16%.

Full Article

Police Demand Brexit will trigger rise in hate crimes, warns police watchdog

The police watchdog has warned of a “real possibility” that Britain’s exit from the European Union next year will trigger a spike in hate crimes, as a victims’ group warned of a return to a climate of hostility such as that seen in the 1990s.

The report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found large-scale failings in the way hate crimes were dealt with, despite the issue supposedly being a priority.

Reforms promised after past concerns were raised have not been started, nor delivered upon, and a national policy to visit victims has been effectively ignored, HMICFRS found, although it also uncovered outstanding examples of police tackling the issue.

Full Article

Police and Crime General No-one charged 'for 9 out of 10 crimes'

Only 9% of crimes end with suspects being charged or summonsed in England and Wales, Home Office figures suggest.

In the 12 months to March, 443,000 crimes resulted in a charge or summons out of 4.6 million offences - the lowest detection rate since 2015.

Data also shows police closed nearly half (48%) of all cases because no suspect could be identified.

Full Article

Fire Heavy toll on firefighters as call-outs to move the obese soar to 900 a year

The number of calls to fire crews to help lift obese people from their homes has more than doubled in five years, figures revealed yesterday. Last year firefighters were called out 909 times to help move morbidly obese patients, compared to 426 times in 2012.

Between 2012 and 2017, the latest figures available show there were 3,873 callouts made to help the immobile and overweight in Britain.

One patient who had to be moved weighed 60 stones, according to West Midlands fire chiefs.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Council trials mobile phone detection technology

Norfolk County Council has become the first local authority to trial mobile phone detection technology in order to improve road safety.

The new system, which was developed by the Norfolk company Westcotec, will be used to identify mobile phone use from within a vehicle before activating a sign urging the driver to hang up.

‘Using a mobile phone whilst driving is an enormous distraction and apart from being illegal puts the lives of the driver, passengers and pedestrians at risk,’ said Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the council’s communities committee.

Full Article

Police Demand Have police lost control? Most Britons think criminals have no fear of the law as two thirds say they haven't seen an officer on their street in a year amid soaring crime levels

The majority of Britons say the police have lost control of the streets, according to a shocking poll.

According to the exclusive survey, 57 per cent of people say officers have surrendered control of our neighbourhoods and criminals have no fear of being caught.

Amid skyrocketing levels of crime, the poll also reveals that a quarter of the population don’t feel safe at night in their local area.

And it suggests that one of the biggest factors behind the recent surge in lawlessness is a lack of ‘bobbies on the beat’. An incredible 60 per cent of the public say they haven’t seen a police officer in their street in the past year. The poll will increase pressure on ministers to get a grip on the violent crime wave engulfing the UK.

Full Article

Police Finances 'Prisoners get better accommodation': British police drafted in to protect Trump moan about being forced to sleep in a sports centre with 300 stretcher beds, cold showers and no phone chargers

Police officers drafted in to handle Donald Trump's visit to the UK have hit out at the 'disaster zone' accommodation in which they've been put up.

Up to 10,000 police officers have been drafted in to protect the US President from mass protests and the threat of a terror attack when he visits Britain today.

But pictures posted by police online show some have been given camp beds in a gym hall in Essex while others have groundsheets placed on the floor of a squash court.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Brexit will hit public finances, conference hears

Day-to-day spending on public services will fall by 0.6% in real terms between 2020-21 and 2022-23, delegates at CIPFA’s annual conference heard this morning.

The Institute for Government’s Gemma Tetlow told her audience economists for and against Brexit were “fairly well aligned” on the view that the Brexit vote had caused a slow down in growth in the UK.

“The figures that were laid out in March by the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast spending that was consistent with borrowing falling for the next four years and that implied that day-to-day spending on public services would be set to fall by 0.6% in real terms between 2020-21 and 2022-23,” the IFG’s chief economist told the conference.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance CIPFA president: We can rebuild trust in public services

CIPFA has a great opportunity to “flip the negative narrative” and rebuild trust in public services, the institute’s new president said this morning.

In her opening address to the CIPFA conference in Bournemouth, Sarah Howard highlighted that “pervasive” negativity had taken hold.

“I see what appears to be a universal breakdown in trust – whether we look at central government, local government, NHS or the private sector – the examples are well known,” she said, singling out Brexit, funding problems at Northamptonshire County Council and the collapse of the outsourcing and construction giant Carillion.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Journalist warns conference of ‘de-anonymising’ people through data

Overlaying multiple data sets can ‘de-anonymise’ people leaving them vulnerable to abuse, an award-winning journalist has told the CIPFA conference.

Guardian and Observer journalist Carole Cadwalladr advised delegates the public sector should learn from the Cambridge Analytica scandal - the story she broke earlier this year.

She won the coveted Orwell journalism last month for her investigation.

“We must learn the lesson that Cambridge Analytica is teaching us,” she told the conference in Bournemouth today, in a session called Public expectations in the age of social media.

Full Article

Police and Crime General West Midlands police officer disciplined for comments caught on camera

A West Midlands police officer has been given a final written warning after he was filmed telling a black man: “You’d be the first one I’d shoot if I had a gun.”

The video, which was recorded on a mobile phone while police searched a property in Coventry on 24 August in 2017, also showed the officer asking a man if he was “going to go Black Lives Matter” on the patrol team. The video was later posted on Facebook.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Raab replaces Davis as Brexit Secretary

Minister of State for Housing and Planning Dominic Raab has been appointed Brexit Secretary after David Davis resigns from UK government.

Full Article

Economy & Public Finance Jeremy Hunt replaces Boris Johnson amid Brexit turmoil

Theresa May has launched a reshuffle of her top team after a string of resignations over her Brexit strategy plunged her government into crisis.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been named as the new foreign secretary after Boris Johnson quit, accusing Mrs May of pursuing a "semi-Brexit".

His departure followed that of Brexit Secretary David Davis and several junior figures.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock replaces Mr Hunt as health secretary.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Government plans renewed action to tackle hate crime

Police call handlers will be offered specialist training on how to give hate crime victims the vital support they need when reporting an incident.

The programme will help call handlers to effectively identify if a hate crime has been committed and provide a professional and empathetic response for people who may have suffered personal abuse.

Money provided by the Home Office will allow for the distribution of training resources to police forces, which will be delivered by the National Police Chiefs’ Council in partnership with Facing All The Facts, which tackles hate crime and hate speech across Europe.

Full Article

Police Finances Chiefs give overnight payment go ahead week before Trump visit

Officers providing mutual aid for the presidential visit will be paid the overnight allowance chiefs have agreed following accusations of delaying the decision.

Full Article

Police Finances Grenfell firefighters ran out of basic equipment, inquiry hears

Fire commanders trying to rescue residents at Grenfell Tower ran out of firefighters in breathing apparatus and basic equipment, including hose nozzles and door-breaking gear, the inquiry into the disaster has heard.

Watch manager Brian O’Keefe said it was the most harrowing incident he had ever been involved in, describing how firefighters risked their lives to save people by going up the burning building without proper equipment and how radio communications had failed. He revealed the anguish of colleagues who told eight people to stay in a 14th-floor flat for their safety, four of whom died.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Amesbury Novichok poisoning: Couple exposed to nerve agent

A man and woman found unconscious in Wiltshire were exposed to Novichok - the same nerve agent that poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, police say.

The couple, believed to be Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill at a house in Amesbury on Saturday and remain in a critical condition.

Police say no-one else has presented with the same symptoms.

Full Article

Police Finances PCC welcomes 'efficiency' of new joint role for forces

ACC Geoff Wessell has been appointed to oversee the delivery of 'shared' policing services for Warwickshire and West Mercia police.

Full Article

Police Demand Millions of children 'fending for themselves' and facing 'serious risk' at home

More than two million children in England are growing up in families where there are serious risks, the Children's Commissioner has said.

Anne Longfield's report states the dangers include domestic violence and living with parents who are alcoholics or have substance abuse problems.

The study into childhood vulnerability estimates that 2.1 million of England's 11.8 million children, nearly one in six, are living in families with risks so serious that they need some level of help.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Saddleworth Moor fire now being treated as arson along with other Lancashire blazes

The wildfire on Saddleworth Moor which crews have been fighting for more than a week is now being treated as arson.

Police say witnesses reported that people were lighting a bonfire on the moorland above Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, on the early evening of Sunday June 24 - around 50 minutes before the first 999 call.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Body Worn Video helps officers avoid 'trouble', researchers say

Researchers found a 'consensus' among officers that body worn video not only helps to 'tip the balance' for domestic abuse victims but also helps to protect police from allegations of misconduct and violent attacks from suspects.

The University of Leeds carried out a 12-month study with West Yorkshire and Cumbria police, where use of BWV is mandatory at domestic abuse incidents.

Full Article

Prisons Number of UK prison officers resigning soars amid increasing levels of violence and self-harm

The number of prison officers resigning from their jobs has more than doubled in the last two years amid soaring levels of violence and self-harm in UK jails.

Ministers have been accused of driving a crisis in prisons after an analysis of official figures revealed the number of officers leaving the role surged from 596 in 2015/16 to 1,244 in the 12 months to March 2018 – an increase of 109 per cent. One in 16 officers resigned last year, compared with one in 33 officers two years before and just one in 100 in 2009/10.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Number of special constables continues to plummet

The number of officers in the special constabulary has nearly halved in the space of five years. In March 2012 there were 20,343 special constables and that number has fallen dramatically to 12,601, according to Home Office figures from September 2017.

Full Article

Police and Crime General New neighbourhood policing guidelines published for public consultation

A public consultation on evidence-based guidelines for chief officers on how they should deliver, support and develop neighbourhood policing has opened.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) 2016 police effectiveness report that found neighbourhood policing was being eroded.

The report made a recommendation for the development of guidance setting out the essential elements which all forces should provide.

The resulting guidelines published have defined the features of neighbourhood policing as:

• being accessible to, responsible for and accountable to communities;

• engaging with communities to build trust and develop understanding of needs;

• collaborative problem solving with communities;

Full Article

Police and Crime General Scrap Gypsy, Roma and Traveller officer jobs says report

A charity has called for a review into whether the police gypsy and traveller liaison officer role may be breaching the Equality act.

The Traveller Movement’s (TM) report released last month, based on surveys and freedom of information requests to the 43 territorial forces, raised concerns travellers are being marginalised by an attitude among police officers that they are more likely to commit crime.

Of the 20 forces who told TM they have a dedicated GRT officer, 12 mentioned enforcement against unauthorised encampments and/or place GRT communities alongside thematic issues such as anti-social behaviour, gangs, youth violence etc.

The remaining eight focused on building positive relationships with gypsies and travellers.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Dashcam website turns all drivers into traffic police

A new website, to be launched tomorrow, will allow motorists and cyclists who film drivers flouting the law to upload their footage for police to assess.

An estimated 2.6m vehicles in Britain have dashboard cameras capable of filming the road ahead and capturing incidences of risky driving. With the number of traffic officers falling by nearly a third in 10 years, police forces are turning to evidence collected by the public to secure prosecutions.

Full Article

Police Finances Trump trip could cost Police Scotland £5m

A possible one-day visit by US President Donald Trump to Scotland in July could cost Police Scotland £5m.

Mr Trump is scheduled to have talks with Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street on 13 July.

It has been suggested the president may then visit at least one of his golf courses in Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police cuts hit London harder than other parts of UK, says Sadiq Khan

London was hit harder than any other part of the country by years of Conservative cuts to its police force, Sadiq Khan has claimed.

Citing new figures, the London mayor said that in 2010, when the Conservatives came to power nationally and started cutting government spending, the capital had 4.1 officers per 1,000 Londoners – but by 2016/17 that had dropped to 3.3 officers per 1,000 Londoners.

Full Article

Police Finances The lost children: 30,000 in gangs

More than 30,000 children aged between 10 and 15 now say that they are in gangs, according to research that will fuel concerns about the country’s violent crime epidemic.

Criminals are preying on young people by “taking the place of society”, Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner, said as analysis by her office showed that a total of 70,000 youths aged up to 25 were feared to be part of a gang network.

Senior police and experts have said that violence is out of control and children as young as ten are being groomed by drug runners. It is vital that middle-class drug users take responsibility for their contribution to the surge in violent crime, they say.

Full Article

Police Demand Durham police chief calls for legalisation of cannabis in UK

A chief constable has called for the ban on cannabis to be scrapped, arguing that it damages public safety, puts users in more danger, and gives millions of pounds to organised criminals.

Mike Barton, who leads the Durham police force, said people growing a couple of plants for personal use would not be subject to raids in his jurisdiction. Durham police are rated as outstanding in their effectiveness by the official police inspectorate.

His comments came after the former Conservative party leader William Hague last week said the war on cannabis had failed and the class-B drug should be legalised.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 'I'm a trade unionist, not a terrorist'

Dave Smith was one of hundreds of workers in the construction industry put on a 'blacklist' due to their trade union activities.

He says it destroyed his career by preventing him from getting and maintaining work.

The police has admitted it supplied information to the blacklist, from officers spying on workers.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Failing police help house burglars to ‘easy pickings’

There were more than 3,000 areas of England and Wales where no burglaries were solved last year, according to figures that intensify fears police are losing the battle against burglars.

Residents warn that many areas are becoming “easy pickings” for criminals because of a lack of police officers on the streets and inadequate investigations. The Police Federation warned that burglars were getting used to “never being stopped by police, never mind arrested”.

Full Article

Police Demand Police failing to solve two-thirds of knife crime as figures soar

Police are failing to solve 63 per cent of knife crimes committed against under-25s as stabbing incidents soar.

So far this year in London alone there have been 21 youth murders – while knife crime against young victims across England and Wales has surged by 69 per cent in the last four years.

Politicians and youth workers accused the government of failing to act on the rise in stabbings, and warned of the “disastrous” effect cuts to police and youth services were having on young people.

Full Article

Prisons Probation system 'a mess' despite reforms, say MPs

The system for supervising criminals in England and Wales is in a "mess" after reforms failed to meet their aims, MPs have said.

The Commons justice committee said it was "unconvinced" reforms could ever deliver an effective probation service.

In 2014 the system was partially privatised and monitoring extended to those who had served short jail terms.

Full Article

Police Demand Potential police chiefs may be put off by PCC pressure

The chief officer talent pool may be evaporating because the job offers less professional freedom than it used to, the HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary has said.

Sir Tom Windsor also told the Home Affairs Committee the detective shortage crisis can be blame at least partially on the fact his proposals to pay officers with specialist’s skills an allowance seven years ago were ignored.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police investigating child abuse suffer psychological harm

Police officers investigating child abuse are routinely being placed at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of the harrowing nature of the work, according to a study.

More than a third of police officers evaluated in the study were suffering secondary traumatic stress and other psychological consequences from child abuse cases.

Researchers from the University of Surrey and the University of Essex warned that the rate of serious stress was significantly above average and that the officers were experiencing the type of trauma that leads to PTSD.

Full Article

Police Finances Defence, schools and police set to miss out from big spending increases as Theresa May focuses on NHS

Defence, schools and police budgets are set to miss out on big spending increases because of Theresa May’s decision to pump £20billion into the National Health Service.

In recent weeks both Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, and Sajid Javid, the Home secretary, have signalled they want to see increases in their spending at the next spending review.

However Government figures have told The Telegraph that the Prime Minister's commitment to increase NHS spending by an average of 3.4 per cent from next March means that other key departments will have to settle for less.

Full Article

Police Finances Fewer than one in 20 street robberies and burglaries are being solved by police

Less than one in 20 street robberies and burglaries are being solved in the UK, shocking new figures have revealed.

Official police data shows that just four per cent of robberies and three per cent of burglaries were solved in England and Wales in 2017.

The figures will fuel concerns that there is a crisis in the nation's policing, with one MP describing London as 'the Wild West'.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Apple accused of blocking police with iPhone update

Apple will update its iPhone settings later this year to thwart spying technology that is used by police and intelligence agencies.

The update cuts off communication through the charging port when the phone has not been unlocked for an hour. It is expected to stop plug-in tools used by more than half of UK police forces to extract data from locked handsets. Civil liberties groups have criticised police for using tools from companies such as Cellebrite and Grayshift without a warrant to get data from witnesses, victims and suspects.

Full Article

Police Demand Number of terrorism-related arrests in UK reaches record level

The number of terrorism-related arrests in Britain hit a record high after a series of attacks around the country last year, official figures show.

In the year ending 31 March, 441 people were held on suspicion of terrorism-related activity, the highest number of arrests in a year since data collection started in 2001, and an increase of 17% on the 378 in the previous year.

The Home Office said the rise was partly due to a number of arrests made following attacks in London and Manchester last year. The number of terror-related arrests in Britain since the 9/11 attacks in 2001 has passed the 4,000 mark, standing at 4,182 at the end of March.

Full Article

Police Demand Rising crime is symptom of inequality, says senior Met chief

One of Britain’s most senior police chiefs has intervened in the debate about rising crime, saying social inequality is a cause that needs tackling and that those arrested and jailed tend to be people with less money and opportunity.

The Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Patricia Gallan told the Guardian that “children are not born bad” and called for a wider effort to deal with inequalities that leave people feeling like “they do not have a stake in society”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General MPs condemn UK cannabis laws after epileptic boy's medication seized

MPs have criticised the UK’s cannabis laws and called for urgent reform after a boy had his first epileptic seizure in 300 days because the government had ordered his doctor to stop prescribing him potentially life-saving cannabis oil.

Charlotte Caldwell, whose son Billy, 12, has scores of seizures every day without cannabis oil, by customs agents at Heathrow on Monday.

Caldwell was not cautioned for trying to “openly smuggle” the substance into the UK from Canada, but was instead invited to the Home Office to meet the minister of state, Nick Hurd, who told her it would not be returned.

Full Article

Police Demand Police chiefs warned over 'routine' failings

Chief constables in England and Wales have been warned there are "no excuses" for "routinely" identified failings.

Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, also criticised police investigations involving children, saying they were allocated to staff without the right skills or experience.

But Jane Kennedy, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner and a former Labour MP, called the comments "mean-minded".

She added they showed a "total failure" to understand the resourcing pressures.

Full Article

Police Finances Training costs of police apprentices set at £24,000

The cost of training and assessing each police apprentice will be up to £24,000.

The government has set the level of training and assessment that can be spent on the individuals at that amount.

The College of Policing originally wanted forces to be able to spend £27,000 on the new officers.

Full Article

Police Finances Northamptonshire County Council already more than £4m behind budget

Northamptonshire County Council is more than £4 million behind budget, just two months into the 2018/19 financial year.

A report to the authority’s cabinet yesterday revealed that a Period 1 finance report was showing an ‘adverse variance’ of £4.34m, prior even to the replenishment of the council’s General

Fund and reserve balances that were raided last year to set a balanced budget.

The cabinet papers say that such a variance normally ‘would not be a cause for alarm at this stage’, but that the county council’s financial situation was ‘not in normal circumstances’.

Full Article

Fire North Yorkshire PCC to take on responsibility for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for North Yorkshire Julia Mulligan’s proposal to take on responsibility for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has today been approved by the Home Secretary.

The PCC is set to join Roger Hirst of Essex, who became the country’s first police, fire and crime commissioner in October 2017, alongside other PCCs who have had their proposals to take on responsibility for their local fire and rescue services approved. These include Stephen Mold, PCC for Northamptonshire, John Campion, PCC for West Mercia, Matthew Ellis, PCC for Staffordshire, and Jason Ablewhite, PCC for Cambridgeshire.

Full Article

Police and Crime General State of Policing: The Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2017

This is Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary’s report to the Secretary of State under section 54(4A) of the Police Act 1996. It contains his assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of policing in England and Wales for the inspection year 2017.

This reporting period has seen the third complete cycle of PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) inspections. They consider the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces, and assess their legitimacy (that is, how they behave and treat people). These inspections give a comprehensive analysis of how each police force in England and Wales has performed.

This report also gives an overview of the findings from our child protection inspections and our specialist inspections, including our inspections of non-Home Office forces.

Full Article

Police Demand Teen critically injured after three London stabbings

A teenage boy has been critically wounded and two others injured in three unrelated stabbings across London.

The 17-year-old was found stabbed in Coles Crescent, Harrow, after police were alerted at 20:11 BST.

Two other men, both aged in their 20s, were injured in separate stabbings in Northolt, west London, and Brixton, south London.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Digital and social media firms should be forced to protect children from addiction, experts say

Social media and online gaming firms should have a statutory “duty of care” to protect children from mental ill health, abuse and addictive behaviour, a coalition of the country’s leading experts demands today.

Data amassed by charities, academics and doctors links children’s use of social media and gaming to a range of serious and lasting harms, many of which build gradually over time and go undetected by parents or teachers.

They accuse businesses such as Facebook and Snapchat of cynically targeting children as young as eight, using addictive “hooks” from the worlds of behavioural psychology and gambling to capture “new skins” to keep them logged on for as long as possible.

Full Article

Police Finances Train to become a detective in 12 weeks under new policing plans

Graduates will be trained to become detectives in just 12 weeks under a new plan to increase the number of investigators.

The move is part of a £350,000 fast-track training programme which could see detective numbers rise by up to 1,000 in the next five years.

It comes following a warning that England and Wales have a shortfall of 5,000 police investigators, something the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services described last year as a "national crisis".

Police Now, an independent charity operating in 25 forces areas in England and Wales, will get the £350,000 for the programme in addition to £2.8m already promised by the Home Office for 2018/19.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Police to get new hi-tec breathalysers to give instant roadside drink-drive readings

Police are to get new hi-tec breathalysers to give instant roadside drink-drive readings that can be used in court.

The aim of the new kits will be for a breath or blood test taken at the roadside to be good enough to secure a conviction.

A Department for Transport source said: “It means those marginally over the drink-drive limit will not have extra time to sober up and pass a later test at the station.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Violent crime: Is it getting worse?

The BBC have done a fact finding piece trying to establish where there has been a surge in serious crime in England and Wales.

Full Article

Police Demand Despite the headlines, levels of violent crime are stable

Hardly a day seems to go by without news of a terrifying and violent attack on the streets.

Figures for the year to December 2017 show a seven per cent fall in crime measured by the survey to 10.6 million offences, while recorded crime showed a 13 per cent rise to 5.5 million crimes.

Statisticans suggest that while, over the long term, crime has fallen from peaks in the 1990s, the fall has slowed in recent years and, in the short term, levels are more stable.

Full Article

Police Finances Mystery as £3m of Welsh police training cash 'disappears'

Nearly £3m of Welsh police forces' cash - used to train new recruits - has "disappeared" and neither the Welsh nor UK government can explain where it is.

The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said the funds had been lost in a dispute between the two administrations.

It fears recruits could be lost to England, where forces have received their share of the apprenticeship levy.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Ex-wives of undercover police defend Lush 'spycops' campaign

Two former wives of undercover police officers who deceived other women into intimate relationships have defended the campaign by cosmetics retailer Lush to highlight the misconduct of the police spies.

While married with children, their husbands had sexual relationships with campaigners when they infiltrated political groups. The husbands kept these relationships secret from their wives, who say they now feel betrayed.

Full Article

Police Demand Shock figures reveal violent crime is up 50% in parts of Britain

Striking fear into his victims, this machete-wielding masked raider personifies Britain’s violent crimewave.

The swaggering criminal forced staff at a shop in Bury to hand over the takings before fleeing with an accomplice.

The shocking image emerged last night as official figures revealed that violent crime is up in 42 of 43 police force areas – in some by more than 50 per cent.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Anti-terrorism plans 'will make thoughtcrime a reality'

Anti-terrorism proposals have been unveiled by the UK government that would make it an offence for people to publicly support a banned group even if they did not encourage others to do so.

The move has prompted the human rights group Liberty to accuse the government of trying to “make thoughtcrime a reality”.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Have we lost control of our streets? Alarm at surge in violent crime that blights Britain

Britain is reeling from a spate of savage crimes. It has left the public asking: “Are police losing control of the streets?” In recent days, the country has seen a wave of horrific attacks stretching frontline officers to the limit.

Cuts in police budgets of hundreds of millions of pounds mean there are now 121,929 officers in England and Wales – nearly 22,000 fewer than eight years ago, say rank-and-file leaders.

The Police Federation says ministers have ignored pleas to end budget reductions and bolster the number of frontline officers. Federation chairman Calum Macleod said: “Our previous warnings are coming to light as we see an increase in violent crime and victims of crime not getting the service they deserve and expect.”

Full Article

Police and Crime General Most programmes to stop radicalisation are failing

More than 95 per cent of deradicalisation programmes are ineffective, according to a study commissioned by the Home Office that raises questions about the government’s Prevent programme.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the so-called nudge unit formerly part of the Cabinet Office, examined 33 deradicalisation programmes across the country designed to safeguard vulnerable people from far-right and religious extremist threats. The Times understands that most were funded by or fell under the label of Prevent.

The study found that only two programmes were effective and that some projects were counterproductive. Some participants said that they restricted their freedom of speech. Until the BIT study, the 33 projects claimed a success rate of more than 90 per cent because they evaluated themselves.

Full Article

Police Demand Local police 'struggling with drug networks', says NCA head

The structure of policing is partly to blame for the "exponential" growth of drugs networks, the head of the National Crime Agency has told MPs.

Lynne Owens said each of England and Wales's 43 forces was focused on running their local services rather than co-ordinating across borders.

She said progress on serious organised crime was moving at "glacial speed".

Full Article

Police and Crime General At least murder rate is better than it was ten years ago, says Met chief Cressida Dick

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, has said that there were 100 fewer murders annually in London than over a decade ago as she called for “some context” around the recent surge in violence.

She told MPs yesterday that she regretted every killing but pointed out that the murder rate was lower than when she was a commander, dealing with youth violence.

Ms Dick told the parliamentary home affairs select committee that there were about 250 murders in London 12 years ago, compared with about 150 last year and 100 in 2016. According to official statistics the murder rate in 2006 was 172.

Full Article

Police Finances Policing for the future inquiry

The Committee resumes its inquiry into policing for the future and takes evidence from Chief Constables from a diverse set of forces to explore the current and future challenges of modern policing.

This is the first of a series of oral evidence sessions to be held in this resumed inquiry.

Full Article

Police and Crime General ‘Three strikes’ for viewers of terrorist content

Ministers are to introduce a “three strikes” law for people caught streaming terrorist content in a new counter terror bill to be published within days.

The move will close a loophole that allows some people to watch gruesome or inflammatory propaganda without fear of prosecution.

Under the plans, the offence of possessing information deemed useful to a terrorist will be widened to include material that is viewed online three or more times or streamed online.

Full Article

Police Demand Shoplifting reports in Wiltshire rocket by 14%

Shoplifting has risen by 14 per cent in the past year with more than than 4,000 incidents being reported to Wiltshire Police.

Retailers large and small in Swindon and the surrounding area are losing millions of pounds to these crimes.

According to the figures from, 4,210 incidents were reported between April 2017 and March 2018.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Bestival to provide drug testing in attempt to prevent deaths

People arriving at the Dorset festival will be able to test their drugs safely to reveal its strength in a bid to reduce deaths.

In May this year two people died at Mutiny festival in Portsmouth after taking drugs. Their deaths were blamed on a "dangerous high-strength or bad-batch substance" by festival organisers.

Full Article

Police and Crime General MI5 and police to get faster alerts on suspicious buys under terrorism plan

MI5 and police will be alerted to suspicious purchases more quickly under the Government’s new blueprint for tackling terror.

On Monday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will outline plans to work more closely with businesses to eradicate the “safe spaces” that are exploited by violent extremists.

He is expected say: “That includes faster alerts for suspicious purchases, improving security at crowded places across the UK, and reducing the vulnerability of our critical infrastructure.”

Ministers want firms to raise the alarm as quickly as possible if they have evidence of unusual transactions – such as someone stockpiling large amounts of chemicals or acting suspiciously when hiring a vehicle.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Abandoned son of police spy sues Met for compensation

A man whose father abandoned him as a child while working as an undercover police officer is suing the Metropolitan police for compensation.

The man, who has been granted anonymity, alleges in the lawsuit that he has suffered psychiatric damage after discovering at the age of 26 that his father was a police spy, and not the radical protester he had been led to believe.

On Monday in the high court, Mr Justice Nicol ruled against an attempt by the Met to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Full Article

Police Finances Home secretary Sajid Javid sets up battle with Treasury in call for new police money

Home secretary Sajid Javid today set up a battle with chancellor Philip Hammond in next year’s Budget as he called for increased spending on policing.

Javid will tomorrow announce funding for an extra 2,000 security services officers as the government tries to address a perceived increase in the threat from terrorism.

MI5, the domestic intelligence agency, will also be pushed to give neighbourhood police and even local government more information on potential terrorist threats.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Securing the future: counter-terrorism strategy published

The Home Office has released a response to 'the evolving threat of terrorism'.

Full Article

Police Finances Salisbury nerve agent attack 'cost police force £7.5m'

A nerve agent attack in Salisbury three months ago cost the police force £7.5m, according to the region's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

PCC Angus Macpherson described the police operation as a "massive effort" which involved 40 other UK forces.

He said Wiltshire Police "came to the fore" with more than 140 officers on duty at the height of the operation.

Full Article

Police Finances Lush 'intimidated by ex-police officers' over controversial campaign

Cosmetics company Lush has said it has taken its controversial campaign down from some shops due to "intimidation" of its staff by ex-police officers.

The company sparked outrage over its latest ad campaign that claimed police have been "paid to lie".

Lush said it would continue with the SpyCops campaign even despite not feeling "able" to have it in the windows of some of their shops.

Full Article

Police Demand Nine in 10 crimes are never solved as police forces buckle under brutal Tory cuts

Only 11.6% of all crimes were solved between 2016 and 2017 as our police forces buckle under the strain of brutal Tory cuts.

The shocking figure is a drop of 26% and statistics also revealed a postcode lottery on the number of cases officers are closing across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said the figures show austerity policies are impacting safety and justice in our communities.

Full Article

Police and Crime General The Met Police force owes its officers 189,000 rest days

Met Police officers racked up 189,000 cancelled rest days last year amid "unprecedented" demands on the force, the BBC has found.

Two terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire saw extra officers brought in to aid with the force's response.

Chair of the Met Police Federation, Ken Marsh MBE, said the situation had put a "massive strain" on staff.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Drug-testing facilities should be used at all UK festivals after Mutiny deaths, urge experts

All UK festivals should provide drug-testing facilities, experts and campaigners have urged, following the deaths of two young people believed to have taken high-strength ecstasy at a festival over the bank holiday weekend.

Five people have been arrested for drug-related offences after Georgia Jones, 18, and Tommy Cowan, 20, died at Mutiny Festival in Hampshire. Thirteen other people were taken to hospital, with one remaining critically ill.

Full Article

Police and Crime General 999 project faces axe over rising costs

The Home Office is considering abandoning a £1.2 billion project to modernise emergency services communications amid alarm over costs and delays.

Another option is to extend drastically the timetable for replacing the UK-wide radio Airwave system used by police, fire and ambulance services.

Both options would be a humiliation for the department which was warned two years ago by the National Audit Office of the “high risk” nature of the ambitious plan to upgrade emergency services communications.

Full Article

Police and Crime General Brexit deal on security is blocked by France

France is blocking Britain’s attempt to remain part of a European Union security system that helps to identify foreign criminals and is designed to keep the public safe.

The government wants a guarantee that it can continue to access and share vital DNA, fingerprint and vehicle information with other European countries after Brexit.

Ministers have said that Britain’s participation in the so-called Prüm Convention is “clearly in the national interest”. The system allowed French and Belgian authorities to identify the terrorists responsible for the Paris attacks in November 2015.

Full Article

Police Finances Sunak urges pension funds to offer £20bn infrastructure boost