News Headlines

Police recruits are quitting within weeks because they can’t cope with job, warns chief constable

New police recruits are quitting, some within weeks, because they are too young and inexperienced to cope with the demands of the job, a chief constable has warned.

Nick Adderley, Northamptonshire’s chief constable, said the new degree entry scheme for the police had the highest dropout rates because of recruits' lack of life experience and hardiness to handle the violence and pressures that frontline officers face.

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Child abusers could be given life behind bars as government backs new plans for tougher sentences

Child abusers could face life behind bars as part of the government's proposed new crime legislation.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently going through Parliament, which would see an increase in maximum punishments for several child cruelty offences.

The tougher planned sentences could mean that anyone who causes or allows the death of a child or vulnerable adult in their care will face up to life imprisonment, instead of the current 14-year maximum.

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Talking therapy plan to keep youngsters from violent gangs

Teenagers at risk of gang violence are to receive NHS therapy as part of a £14 million plan to reduce knife crime.

The Home Office scheme will examine whether providing highly intensive talking therapy to an at-risk child at a “teachable moment,” such as after they’ve been arrested or the victim of a violent attack, can help turn them away from serious gang violence.

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Police Demand Police chiefs summoned over dangerous streets

Police chiefs from Britain's seven highest murder regions are being hauled to a crisis meeting this week to tackle the spread of dangerous crime.

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Police and Crime General A quarter of police forces tell victims to collect their own evidence in bid to cut down on face-to-face visits

Police forces across the country are to ask crime victims to collect their own evidence in an attempt to cut down on face-to-face visits, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Twelve forces have signed up to use the program which allows officers to text or email a website link to victims asking them to upload evidence such as video clips or images.

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Police and Crime General Nine in ten people living in the countryside haven't seen a police officer for a week

Nine in ten people living in the countryside have not seen a police officer in their local area in the last week, research has found.

The startling findings were revealed in a survey of those living in rural areas which painted a damning picture of crime in the countryside.

Rural crime including thefts, burglaries and fly-tipping cost an estimated £43.3million last year with thefts of agricultural vehicles remaining stubbornly high at a cost of £9.1million.

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Police and Crime General Talking therapy plan to keep youngsters from violent gangs

Teenagers at risk of gang violence are to receive NHS therapy as part of a £14 million plan to reduce knife crime.

The Home Office scheme will examine whether providing highly intensive talking therapy to an at-risk child at a “teachable moment,” such as after they’ve been arrested or the victim of a violent attack, can help turn them away from serious gang violence.

The new initiative will be piloted in London, where £11.7 million will be ploughed into violence reduction units, children's services and the NHS to train people to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy to 1,800 young people aged 11-17 who are at risk of becoming involved in violence.

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Police and Crime General MI6 must adapt to new technology to survive, says spy chief

Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6, must become more open in order to do its secret work effectively. That's according to its chief, Richard Moore, in his first major public speech since taking on the role in October 2020.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum computing and digital technology have combined to completely transform the way human intelligence is gathered by spies, presenting MI6 with major challenges in the digital age.

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Police and Crime General Record number of knives taken off streets during week of action

Forty-two police forces across England and Wales, as well as British Transport Police, took part in this year’s Operation Sceptre between Monday November 15 and Sunday November 21.

Officers seized a total 936 knives, including machetes, swords and hunting knives, while a further 8,703 were either surrendered or found in sweeps. The operation saw 1,977 people arrested, of which 773 were related to knife crime offences.

Other forms of criminality such as supplying drugs were also identified, including large scale cannabis farms.

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Justice Ground-breaking pilot to safeguard domestic abuse victims

The pilot, called Project Shield, developed a new approach to ensuring vital information about the existence and conditions of victims’ non-molestation orders (NMOs) granted by the courts was easily accessible to safeguarding professionals and police officers.

Discussed in depth at a seminar hosted by North Yorkshire Police, attendees heard how solutions identified by the Project Shield team could be upscaled and rolled out nationally, so all police forces and safeguarding agencies could experience the same benefits. Vitally, they also heard how the national adoption of Project Shield could deliver a better level of service and safety to those who are most at risk of harm – the victims and survivors of abuse.

Chief Constable Lisa Winward said: “The new ways of working identified by Project Shield have enabled us to respond more effectively when victims report breaches of their NMO to us. Vitally it’s also allowed us to take early and decisive safeguarding action to prevent harm from occurring.

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Police Demand Teenager homicides 2021: London sees deadliest year in a decade, with 28 teens killed

A total of 28 teenage homicides have taken place in London so far in 2021 – making it the deadliest year in more than a decade.

This figure surpasses the 27 teenage homicides recorded in 2017, which had been the highest in recent years.

The previous peak was a record 29 teen homicides in the capital in 2008.

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Police Demand Nine in ten people living in the countryside haven't seen a police officer for a week

Nine in ten people living in the countryside have not seen a police officer in their local area in the last week, research has found.

The startling findings were revealed in a survey of those living in rural areas which painted a damning picture of crime in the countryside.

Rural crime including thefts, burglaries and fly-tipping cost an estimated £43.3million last year with thefts of agricultural vehicles remaining stubbornly high at a cost of £9.1million.

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Prisons Boris Johnson unveils great crime crackdown: Law and order package will focus on prison discipline, sex offences and drug use to reassure public that the PM is focused on tackling crime

Boris Johnson will order a crackdown on prison discipline, sex offences and drug use next month under plans to reassure the public that he is focused on tackling crime.

The Prime Minister will unveil a major law and order package as part of efforts to get back to bread-and-butter politics after weeks of turmoil triggered by U-turns and rows about sleaze.

The Government’s white paper on prisons will focus on improving discipline in jails.

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Police Demand A quarter of police forces tell victims to collect their own evidence in bid to cut down on face-to-face visits

Police forces across the country are to ask crime victims to collect their own evidence in an attempt to cut down on face-to-face visits, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Twelve forces have signed up to use the program which allows officers to text or email a website link to victims asking them to upload evidence such as video clips or images.

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Police and Crime General UK crime scandal: Police chiefs summoned over dangerous streets

Police chiefs from Britain's seven highest murder regions are being hauled to a crisis meeting this week to tackle the spread of dangerous crime.

The meeting on Thursday called by policing and crime minister Kit Malthouse has come as the nation was rocked by the death of 12-year-old Ava White in Liverpool after she was stabbed following a row with four teenage boys.

Already 2021 has been one of the worst years for knife killings on record with 27 deaths in London alone.

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Police Demand Electric scooters injure 130 pedestrians in a year

More than 130 pedestrians have been injured by electric scooters in the past year, figures have revealed.

Three riders of e-scooters were killed in the year to the end of June, while 199 were seriously injured in crashes. Thirty-seven pedestrians were seriously hurt, along with 15 cyclists who were involved in collisions with scooters. In total, scooters were involved in 931 accidents in the year, according to the Department for Transport figures.

The statistics represent the first full year since e-scooter trials started in July 2020. More than 40 towns and cities across the UK, including Manchester, and London, have started them in the last year. These will run until November 30 next year, at which point ministers will assess any nationwide rollout.

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Police Demand New research shows link between domestic abuse and vulnerability to radicalisation

Out of 3,045 people referred to the programme in 2019, 1,076 had a link to a domestic abuse incident, either as an offender, victim, witness or a combination of all three.

CTP said this is significantly higher than the prevalence of domestic abuse in the wider population, and the data “should not be ignored”.

Incidents ranged from a child witnessing domestic abuse in their household, to individuals with convictions for attempted murder.

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Police Demand Reports of wildlife crimes surged during the pandemic

Figures from 16 wildlife organisations behind the report, published on Thursday (November 25), show there was a surge in crimes against “treasured species” such as badgers, fish, birds of prey and marine mammals last year.

And while reports of wildlife crimes against many species rose by between 35 per cent and 90 per cent in 2020, they say convictions on key types of offences fell by more than 50 per cent.

The groups are now calling for improved recording and monitoring, better targeting of resources and enhanced use of expert police and prosecutors to tackle wildlife crime.

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Police Demand Domestic abuse crimes rose by 6% in past year

The number of domestic abuse crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in the year ending March 2021 increased by 6% on the previous year, new figures have shown.

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found the police recorded 845,734 crimes, up from 798,607 in the year ending March 2020

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Justice 'Andrew would be proud': Harper's Law will see criminals who kill police jailed for life

"Harper's Law" will be brought in after a two-year campaign by Lissie Harper, whose police husband Andrew was killed while responding to a burglary call in a tragedy that shocked the nation.

She was outraged at the sentences given to three teenagers responsible for his death in 2019.

Mrs Harper, 30, said: "It's been a long journey and a lot of hard work. I know Andrew would be proud to see Harper's Law reach this important milestone."

Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the Government is "on the side of victims and their families" and that it has the back of emergency workers.

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Justice Commissioner welcomes Harper’s Law

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer has today welcomed Harper’s Law, which will see people who kill emergency service workers in the line of duty given a mandatory life sentence.

Harper’s Law was a campaign run by Lissie Harper following the killing of her husband PC Andrew Harper, who was dragged to his death by a getaway car in 2019. Following a trial, three teenagers were jailed for PC Harper’s manslaughter.

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Justice HMICFRS identifies three areas where WMP 'requires improvement'

The latest police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that the force was “good” in five areas, “adequate” in three areas and “requires improvement” in three areas.

The three classed as “requires improvement” were investigating crime, supporting victims and protecting vulnerable people.

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said: “I am satisfied with some aspects of the performance of West Midlands Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but there are areas where the force needs to improve.

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Police Demand Number of people contacting NSPCC about child abuse hits record level

Figures show record numbers of people have contacted the NSPCC with concerns about child abuse. There were 4,735 calls about child sexual abuse or exploitation made to the charity in the six months to October – up by a third (36 per cent) from the same period in 2020.

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Police Demand The 2020 Euros saw a spike in domestic abuse – will it be the same for the World Cup?

Sharon Bryan, Head of Partnerships at the National Centre of Domestic Violence, says she is concerned about how next year’s World Cup in Qatar could impact on those already experiencing abusive relationships. This follows the LGA issuing warnings and advice surrounding domestic abuse ahead of England’s opening match against Croatia in the Euros.

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Prisons Ban prisons releasing inmates on Fridays as they're more likely to reoffend, urge Tory peers

Prisons should stop releasing inmates on a Friday because doing so fuels reoffending, drug addiction and homelessness, two Conservative peers have suggested.

More than a third of ex-offenders are currently set free just before the weekend, but as a result often struggle to access support services which are closed until Monday morning.

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Police and Crime General It’s time to rethink our counterterrorism strategy [opinion]

Investigators are still struggling to pin down the motive behind the Liverpool bombing. The bomber’s ethnicity and religious history have led people to assume he was motivated by Islamic extremism, but no clear evidence of this has been found. Rather, people are scratching around his background, history of mental health issues, failed asylum claims and religious conversion as possible explanations for his attempted act of terrorism.

While this confusing picture can appear anomalous, it is increasingly an important part of the threat we face. But it is not clear that we should consider it terrorism.

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Police Demand Police fear terror threats flying below radar as reports to extremism scheme fall by a fifth

Counterterror police fear potential threats may be flying below the radar because of the coronavirus pandemic, after the number of people flagged for radicalisation plummeted by a fifth in a year.

Senior officers had warned of a “perfect storm” for extremism, as lockdown left young and vulnerable people spending more time online amid a “rise in propaganda by all sides”.

But figures released this week showed that the number of people referred to the Prevent counter-extremism programme in the year to March had dropped by 22 per cent, to the lowest level in five years.

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Police and Crime General Violent crime against women gets the same status as terrorist attacks

Violence against women and girls will be elevated to the same status as terrorism under a proposed government directive, The Times has learnt.

Chief constables will be mandated to increase resources and combine capabilities in a drastic effort to drive up rape convictions, which have reached historically low levels.

Violence against women and girls is set to be added to the strategic policing requirement, meaning that police will be required by government to treat it as a major priority. It is an acknowledgement by ministers that there is an epidemic of violence against women that needs to be one of the most urgent national crimefighting priorities.

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Police and Crime General 'I'll never trust the police again': Ex-detective on 'deep-rooted' homophobia and racism within the force and why he's still waiting for an apology

When the 1999 Macpherson Report into the killing of Stephen Lawrence described the Metropolitan Police as “institutionally racist”, then Prime Minister Tony Blair said a change was on the horizon.

He promised the report would ‘bring in a new era of race relations’ alongside a ‘fundamental shift in the way British society deals with racism’.

Watching the Prime Minister's Questions from his home in Toxteth, Liverpool, 21-year-old Kevin Maxwell, who had been just 15 when Stephen was killed in 1993, believed those words.

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Justice Victims could gain independent appeal of parole decisions following Colin Pitchfork release

Victims could get a new independent right of appeal to challenge releases of criminals by the Parole Board after the recall to jail of Colin Pitchfork, the double child murderer, for approaching young women in the street.

Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, is considering proposals to refocus the board on “protecting the public”, which are likely to result in tougher rules to prevent the release of offenders such as Pitchfork, who raped and killed two teenage girls.

It could also see the Parole Board renamed to emphasise its refocussed role, with options already being canvassed such as “public protection” or “risk assessment” board.

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Police and Crime General Claims of ‘male brotherhood culture’ in policing rejected


olice chiefs have dismissed accusations of there being a “male brotherhood culture” in the service.

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales levelled the claim at policing figures during a crime conference in Westminster on Wednesday as she called on forces to lead the “fight” against sexist culture.

Dame Vera Baird told delegates: “You can change the culture”, adding: “I hope to see police as modern men proudly leading the fight against sexist culture, speaking out like the bystander project volunteers.”

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Police Finances Sarah Everard murder leaves women’s trust in the police almost halved

Trust in the police has plummeted after the killing of Sarah Everard, with a majority of those surveyed wanting government ministers to do more to prevent violence against women and girls.

Research published today found that 47 per cent of women and 40 per cent of men said that their trust in the police had declined as a result of Everard’s kidnap, rape and murder in March by Wayne Couzens, who was a Metropolitan Police officer at the time.

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Police and Crime General Stop and search: Home Office figures show police 'abused powers' in England and Wales last year

The use of stop and search went up by 24% in the year ending March 2021, according to the latest Home Office figures.

The data for England and Wales showed there were 695,000 searches carried out by the police, 11% of which resulted in an arrest.

The data also showed black people were seven times more likely to be searched.

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Police and Crime General Covid-19 causes fall in Prevent referrals, despite growing extremist threat to children

According to the latest Prevent statistics published by the Home Office on Thursday (November 18), the number of people being supported through the programme fell to 4,915 in the year ending March 31, 2021 – a drop of 22 per cent compared with the previous year (6,287).

The Government said this decrease was likely to have been largely driven by the effects of public health restrictions that were in place throughout the year to control the spread of Covid-19. This included school and college closures caused by the lockdowns, with the proportion of referrals received from the education sector (25 per cent) having fallen to its lowest level since 2016. The police made the highest number of referrals with 1,770 (36 per cent).

Despite this, young people under the age of 20 continue to make up around half (48 per cent) of Prevent casework, with these new statistics showing that the proportion of young people adopted for Channel counter-radicalisation intervention has increased year-on-year.

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Police and Crime General Commissioner hears over 5,000 cars seized in just six months during latest scrutiny session

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden has met with Chief Constable Chris Rowley and members of his Chief Officer Team as he continues holding the force to account.

As part of this regular scrutiny session, Andrew and his Deputy, Andy Pratt MBE heard about the issues that officers are tackling and how officers are dealing with them. Just one example of the work being done to get tough on crime was how in a year, over 5,000 cars were seized by officers in just six months this year, in relation to potential offences.

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Police and Crime General Offenders to be banned from drinking to cut alcohol-fuelled crime

For the first time, serious and prolific offenders will be tagged with devices which monitor alcohol levels in sweat if their probation officer thinks they will be more likely to reoffend when drinking.

The tag will help probation officers keep a closer eye on offenders’ behaviour and support them to turn their backs on crime. It will also provide offenders with the incentive to break bad habits as breaching the ban could see them back in prison.

Alcohol plays a part in 39 per cent of all violent crime in the UK and roughly 20 per cent of offenders supervised by the Probation Service are classed as having an alcohol problem. Around 12,000 offenders will wear such a tag over the next 3 years.

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Police Finances Government announces £550 million fund to tackle child exploitation online

The Government has announced a £555,000 fund for technology companies to find new ways to tackle child exploitation and abuse online. The safety fund will aim to stamp out child abuse without affecting a user’s rights to privacy and data protection in their communications.

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Recruitment and Retention Police officer numbers in London at highest level since 2010


he number of police officers in London has reached 33,000 for the first time in over a decade, new figures have revealed.

As of October 31, the Metropolitan Police Service had a total of 33,116 officers, the highest number since July 2010 when there were 32,995 officers.

The latest figures come as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan invites members of the public to have their say on his plans to tackle crime over the next four years.

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Police and Crime General ‘A pattern of fixation and obsession’: How the pandemic exacerbated stalking cases in the UK

In the quiet early hours of 18 June this year, 23-year-old Gracie Spinks was tending to her horse, Paddy, at the Blue Lodge Farm in Duckmanton, northeast Derbyshire. Moments later, she received a fatal stab wound to the neck.

Derbyshire man, Michael Sellers, whom Spinks had previously accused of stalking her, is suspected by police to have killed her before killing himself in an apparent murder-suicide. An inquest into Spinks’ and Sellers’ death is still ongoing.

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Police and Crime General IOPC 'concerned' so few complaints result in 'learning'

The Indepedent Office for Police (IOPC) conduct today (16 November) released its annual complaints statistics, the first published since moving to a new system of recording complaints in February 2020 under new regulations within the Policing and Crime Act.

These figures are what the Office of National Statistics defines as ‘experimental statistics’.

In 2020/21 67,732 complaint cases were logged and 36,365 of these were recorded formally, containing 109,151 allegations.

Between 1 April 2019 and 31 January 2020 forces recorded 28,223 complaints.

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Police Demand Almost 300 ‘spiking by injection’ reports received by police in two months

The police have received a total of 274 reports of people being “spiked by injection” over the last two months.

A total of 274 drink spiking incidents involving “some form of injection” have been reported to forces across the UK during the period, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said.

It comes amid nightclub boycotts and calls for greater action to tackle spiking.

Police have urged anyone who believes they have been a victim or witness to spiking “in any form” to contact their local force for help and insisted all will be “investigated and taken seriously.

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Police and Crime General Serious Fraud Office outgunned by UK firms

Some companies under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office are spending up to ten times more than Britain’s anti-fraud and bribery organisation on legal and investigation fees, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, leaving the fraudbusters outgunned and less effective.

Lack of funding, senior officials joining law firms representing the companies that the SFO is investigating and a perceived hesitation in prosecuting companies and executives all undermine the fight against economic crime, the bureau has found.

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Police and Crime General Serious Fraud Office outgunned by UK firms

Some companies under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office are spending up to ten times more than Britain’s anti-fraud and bribery organisation on legal and investigation fees, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, leaving the fraudbusters outgunned and less effective.

Lack of funding, senior officials joining law firms representing the companies that the SFO is investigating and a perceived hesitation in prosecuting companies and executives all undermine the fight against economic crime, the bureau has found.

The agency, which operates on a £52 million annual budget, has dropped 30 investigations since 2018, the year Lisa Osofsky assumed office as director, three of them over two days in October. In the five years preceding Osofsky’s appointment, the SFO dropped 13 cases.

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Justice People hear ‘drunk woman had sex’ rather than ‘man raped woman’

A woman who reported being raped by a stranger feels “let down by society” after a jury found the man not guilty despite compelling CCTV evidence.

Lucy, 30, who works for the NHS, said she felt the system was “rigged against victims” after she and her friend were allegedly raped at a hotel in Bristol following a night out.

In addition to hearing the accounts of the two women, the jury at Bristol crown court was shown CCTV from the hotel that showed the defendant in the corridor drunkenly trying to enter the rooms of random guests. He then went down to the lobby where he saw the two women enter the hotel after a night out, and followed them up to their bedroom. The women do not remember returning to the hotel but Lucy claims she awoke in the night to find a stranger on top of her friend. Afterwards, she claims he got on top of her and had sex with her as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

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Police Demand Fifteen times more child sexual abuse material found online than 10 years ago

Experts are finding fifteen times as much child sexual abuse material online as they were a decade ago, figures show.

The online safety organisation the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), said its analysts were facing a “tidal wave” of abuse material. It called on the government to ensure the online safety bill, intended to improve internet safety, was used to protect children.

IWF figures show that this year it has acted against a record amount of more than 200,000 websites containing child sexual abuse material. That is 15 times more than in 2011, when there were just over 13,000 reports of abusive content.

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Justice Fears over jail terms led to rape acquittals

The former head of a prominent justice charity has admitted being on a jury that acquitted a rape suspect because jurors were concerned about the length of sentence he might receive.

Frances Crook, who led the Howard League for Penal Reform for 35 years, posted on Twitter that she had twice served on juries that had cleared defendants because of “fear of the likely disproportionate prison sentence”.

Crook, 68, made the comments on Wednesday as MPs debated the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, despite the ban on jurors discussing cases or verdicts outside the jury room.

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Police Finances PCC urges region’s MPs to join him in fight for fairer police funding

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has written to the region’s MPs to ask them to join a cross-party campaign for fair funding for West Midlands Police.

Simon Foster’s letter comes as the government starts a review of how police funding is distributed between forces.

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Police and Crime General Parents told they may face police action as teachers targeted on TikTok

Teachers are being targeted by abusive and humiliating TikTok accounts set up by students, prompting a warning from schools that parents may face police action over offending posts.

Officials at the Department for Education have said they are engaging with the social media giant after headteachers complained of dozens of cases of teachers being targeted.

The Association of School and College Leaders, which represents most secondary school heads, said it had received mounting complaints from its members.

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Police and Crime General Cop26 police tactics creating atmosphere of fear, protesters say

Accumulated incidents of police intimidation, harassment and aggression towards activists at Cop26 are creating “an atmosphere of fear and repression” on the streets of Glasgow and have had a chilling effect on protest, campaigners and monitoring groups have said.

Organisers of Saturday’s Climate Justice march through Glasgow have also claimed that police risked “chaos” by failing to adhere to agreed arrangements, while Scottish immigrant groups and indigenous visitors have described their feelings of discomfort and threat prompted by “saturation policing” throughout the city.

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Recruitment and Retention GMP recruit first cohort of part time officers

The first ever cohort of part time officers for the force will be taking up the post of a regular police officer, working 20 hours a week on a job share basis - performing exactly the same role as other officers and work the same shift pattern.

Of the 28 new recruits, four are male and 24 are female.

The force said: “Policing is a 24 hour, seven-day-a-week responsibility which in the past has restricted some people applying to join the force, but it is hoped the new part time roles will open up policing as a career to suit a wider range of people.

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Police Demand Welsh Government urged to do more to stop spiking in clubs and bars

The Welsh Government is being urged do more to tackle spiking in Wales.

The Welsh Conservatives are asking the Government to provide bottle stoppers and drinks covers for free at hospitality venues.

The party is holding a debate in the Senedd today (10 November) after hundreds of reports of drinks being spiked across the UK, including several in Wales.

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Police Finances £5m awarded for new projects to keep women safe at night

The bids include initiatives such as drink spiking detection kits, a transport safety campaign and trained staff to support safe taxi journeys.

The fund was launched in July with up to £5 million available for projects and initiatives to improve the safety of women in public spaces at night. In all there were 22 successful bids from civil society organisations, local authorities, and PCCs across England and Wales.

Bedfordshire PCC Festus Akinbusoye, prevention lead at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), said: “No one should be made to feel scared or intimidated while they enjoy our vibrant British night-life. PCCs are committed to making our communities safer, including reducing violence against women and girls. This money will enable us to support practical solutions which make people feel safer and build an evidence base for what works.”

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Recruitment and Retention Met PC dismissed for Facebook posts

PC Joseph Thompson, based in the Roads and Transport Policing Command, had only recently finished his probation having joined the force in October 2019.

He faced a misconduct hearing to answer allegation that on 6 October 2020, he published homophobic and sexist posts on his Facebook in the context of the most recent presidential election.

In the posts PC Thompson expressed the view that attempts to achieve equality between men and women do not work and are not adopted by “real men”, and that “real men” are masculine and heterosexual.

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Prisons High demand for prison officers amid job vacancy surge

Prisons are facing difficulties recruiting enough officers amid a surge in job vacancies, a union has said.

This comes as job adverts have soared to a record high in the run-up to Christmas, according to recruiters.

Driving instructors, prison officers and forklift truck drivers are among the jobs in highest demand, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said.

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Police Finances PWLB borrowing crashed in October

Last month, authorities borrowed £282m from the PWLB, almost half the £522m financed in September, as long-term interest rates exceeded 2% for the first time since June.

David Blake, strategic director at local authority treasury advisors Arlingclose told PF that many local authorities fulfilled their borrowing needs in July and August, when rates dropped.

“Over The last four weeks or so, we have seen rates go up quite sharply, and it has put a lot of local authorities off,” he said.

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Police and Crime General New Surveillance equipment installed to prevent crime in Nottingham Park.

A new high-quality CCTV camera has been installed in a busy Nottingham park as part of a six-figure project to tackle crime and make people safer.

The camera has been fitted in Bridlington Street Playground in Nottingham to prevent and detect robbery and theft in the area and reassure park users.

It has been funded through the City’s Safer Streets project and will be live-monitored at Nottingham City Council’s existing CCTV control room based at Woodlands in Radford, which has direct access to Nottinghamshire Police via radio link.

The camera, which cost £3,500 to install, will help to deter crime as well as secure vital evidence for police investigations.

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Police Demand Insulate Britain protests target M56 and M25

Insulate Britain protesters blocked a road near the M56 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country.

About a dozen people joined the protest on the A538 Wilmslow Road, near Manchester Airport, with some gluing their hands to the road.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said 11 people had been arrested on suspicion of causing danger to road-users.

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Police and Crime General Met officers under investigation allowed on patrol, whistleblower claims

Met Police officers facing allegations of assault and harassment were allowed on patrol because of staff shortages, BBC News has been told.

A former internal investigations officer claims he was told the force did not have enough staff and restrictions needed to be eased.

He also said he witnessed interference in investigations during his work in 2017.

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Technology Coroner urges improved data-sharing by undercover police

Judge Mark Lucraft QC made a series of recommendations to prevent future deaths after earlier this year hearing the inquests into the 2019 terrorist murders of Cambridge graduates Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25.

In a report published on Wednesday (November 3), he laid out 22 areas of concern and proposed action he believes should be taken to prevent such an atrocity occurring again.

Ms Jones and Mr Merritt were murdered by extremist Usman Khan, 28, at an alumni event organised by prisoner education scheme Learning Together on November 29, 2019.

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Technology Labour peers urge greater scrutiny of plans for police camera drones

Two Labour peers have demanded greater parliamentary scrutiny of police plans to use surveillance cameras mounted on drones after it emerged that forces across England and Wales could deploy the technology.

Shami Chakrabarti, the former head of the civil rights advocacy group Liberty, has tabled an amendment to the police bill that would require the home secretary to approve the use of new “weapons, surveillance equipment or investigatory technology”. The amendment was due to be discussed on Wednesday night.

Last week the Guardian reported that police forces were seeking information about drone-mounted cameras capable of filming high-quality live footage from 1,500ft (457 metres) away, prompting civil liberties concerns.

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Police and Crime General Crisis-hit Metropolitan Police unveils plan to keep women safe on street

Scotland Yard has pledged to regain the trust of women after being buffeted by an unprecedented crisis in public confidence since the murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.

Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick on Wednesday launched an action plan that aims to tackle violence against women and girls. She has already promised to root out sexual misconduct and domestic violence by her own officers and staff.

She is seeking to repair a “precious bond broken” by recent scandals that have led to calls for her to resign.

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Police Demand Police warn of threat of pre-Christmas terror attacks in London

Londoners have been warned to be on alert to the potential threat of a pre-Christmas extremist attack, as Cressida Dick described the murder of Sir David Amess “a chilling reminder” of the continuing terrorist danger.

Writing in the Evening Standard, the Metropolitan Police commissioner said it was important the public showed the “courage and confidence” to report suspicious behaviour and said contacting police “won’t ruin lives, but it might just save them”.

The warning came with the number of counter-terrorism investigations across the UK at a record level, with 800 probes currently live, on top of 31 foiled plots since 2017.

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Police Finances Insulate Britain road protests cost £1m

Three days of Insulate Britain protests cost the economy almost £1 million, the High Court was told.

Environmental activists from the Extinction Rebellion offshoot have blocked major roads at least 14 times since September 13.

The first three days of the protests on the M25 and A20 on September 13, 15 and 24 were “incredibly dangerous” and “unpredictable”, lawyers for National Highways said in a submission to the High Court yesterday. They are applying for a nationwide injunction against the group.

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Economy & Public Finance Autumn Budget 2021: Key points at-a-glance

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled the contents of his Budget in the House of Commons.

Setting out the government's tax and spending plans for the year ahead, Mr Sunak said his plans were focused on the "post-Covid" era, and would pave the way for an "economy of higher wages, higher skills, and rising productivity".

Here is a summary of the main points.

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Police Finances Budget 2021: What has already been announced?

The Treasury has released a deluge of funding announcements, days before the chancellor delivers his Budget on 27 October.

Statements from the government setting out spending for transport, health and education have been put out in the past few days.

Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle is furious, telling MPs on Monday it was "not acceptable" to brief the media ahead of MPs and on Tuesday that the government was behaving in a "discourteous manner".

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Justice Victims in rape cases may be spared court ordeal

Dominic Raab has pledged to allow all rape victims to record their evidence in an attempt to boost prosecution rates.

Ministers angered campaigners for victims by agreeing this year to offer the possibility only for trials at three crown courts as part of a test of the plans.

However, Raab, the new justice secretary, told The Times that he would “certainly be looking to expand that right across the country”. He said initial tests had shown that the special measures had led to more guilty pleas because defendants were less likely to delay until the trial when deciding how to plead.

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Police Finances 'Trans criminals are not women': Home Secretary Priti Patel orders 'woke' police forces to stop recording offences as female crime statistics

Home Secretary Priti Patel has ordered ‘woke’ police forces to stop recording offences by trans women in female crime statistics.

Home Office officials are working with police forces on a new procedure for officers to record the sex of criminals to ensure crime statistics are ‘more accurate’.

The ban follows cases where violent and sexual offences by men who call themselves female were recorded as being committed by women, prompting concerns that the practice is warping official data.

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Police Demand Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour is not just a job for the police

Earlier this year, the Beating Crime Plan detailed the Government’s commitment to reduce crime, protect victims, and keep our communities safe. A new report sets out how Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across the country are committed to working with the Government, local authorities, and wider partners to improve how communities can report anti-social behaviour when it occurs and to ensure that action is taken.

‘ASB In Focus’, published today by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), showcases some of the initiatives and projects that PCCs have been leading on. Some of these projects are preventative: investing in police visibility, security measures, and youth activities. Many are collaborative: bringing partner agencies together to form taskforces and other teams to respond to incidents of anti-social behaviour and find effective solutions to hyper-local problems. And PCCs are also leading work to enhance help and support for victims of anti-social behaviour. This includes some PCCs taking greater ownership of the under-used Community Trigger process which, when promoted properly, provides victims with a means to have their cases reviewed where they are dissatisfied with the partnership response.

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Justice Rape victims can block ‘digital strip searches’ by refusing to hand over phones

Rape victims will be given a legal right to refuse to hand over their phones to police under new laws to end “digital strip searches” that have been blamed for plummeting conviction rates.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, on Monday put forward amendments to their policing Bill that any victim must be informed that refusal to hand over their phones will not automatically lead to a police investigation being dropped.

The amendments will also make it illegal for police to place “undue pressure” on a victim to agree to their phone being searched. Victims must also be told what information is being sought and what line of “reasonable” inquiry officers are pursuing.

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Economy & Public Finance Pay rises for 8 million as Rishi Sunak increases minimum wage to £9.50 an hour

Chancellor Rishi Sunak wants to make work pay by increasing the minimum wage to £9.50 and scrapping his public sector salary freeze. An estimated eight million workers, including more than five million nurses, teachers and police officers can look forward to receiving a salary hike next year. He also receiving a salary hike next year.

He also signalled an inflation-busting hike in the National Living Wage. The minimum hourly pay rate for employees aged over 23 will increase from £8.91 to £9.50.

Mr Sunak said: “The economic impact and uncertainty of the virus meant we had to take the ­difficult decision to pause public sector pay.

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Police and Crime General Hundreds of UK drink spiking reports in the past two months

Almost 200 drink spiking incidents have been reported to police forces across the UK over the past two months, the National Police Chiefs’ Council said on Friday.

The NPCC said there have been 198 confirmed reports of drink spiking in September and October across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus 24 reports of some form of injection.

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Police and Crime General Policing bill could undermine trust and ‘exacerbate violence’, ex-chiefs warn

Former police chiefs have warned parts of a controversial Bill could further undermine trust in forces and “exacerbate” serious violence.

The group of ex-police leaders, senior officers and advisers has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel to express their concerns about some of the proposals contained in the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill – which the House of Lords will continue to consider on Monday.

The Bill contains a raft of measures aimed at overhauling the criminal justice system as part of the Government’s efforts to make the streets safer.

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Justice Victims to get more time to report domestic abuse in England and Wales

Home Secretary Priti Patel has backed calls to change the law to give victims of domestic abuse more time to report a crime, the BBC has been told.

There is currently a six-month time limit for a charge to be brought against someone for common assault.

But Ms Patel has agreed to extend the timeframe to up to two years.

It comes after the BBC revealed 13,000 cases in England and Wales had been dropped in five years because the six month limit had been breached.

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Police Demand Hate crimes risk distracting police from focusing on serious offences, warns policing chief

A growing focus on investigating hate crimes risks distracting police from solving serious crimes including rapes and murders, a policing chief has warned.

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Police Finances Budget must end uncertainty, sector tells Treasury

Policing needs long term certainty on how much money it will have to tackle the huge increase in demand and retain experienced officers.

Ahead of next week’s Budget, police leaders warned the government there could be no repeat of the Comprehensive Spending Review which delivered a pay freeze that even its some of its own MPs have argued was a mistake.

Staff organisations and HM Inspectorate have warned that the single-year funding deal overseen by the Home Office is outdated.

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Police and Crime General As a chief constable, I’ve seen enough: it’s time to end the ‘war on drugs’

When I first met Andy, I got the sense that he hadn’t been born at all but rather quarried out of a mountainside: a big man with a warm smile who, as we spoke, was injecting medical-grade heroin into a line in his lower leg. As a serving chief constable, this was one of the more unusual introductions I’ve made with a member of the community.

Andy must have sensed my confusion at his apparent health and physical stature for a person on the heroin-assisted treatment programme in Middlesbrough, the first of its kind in England and Wales. “Heroin doesn’t make you skinny,” he said. “It’s just that heroin comes first and last and there’s never any money left for food. That’s why addicts are thin.”


If the “war on drugs”, first declared a full 50 years ago, has an established fighting front, it’s Andy’s home town of Middlesbrough. The latest statistics from 2020 show that 123 people died from drug-related deaths on Teesside – the highest number since figures have been collated, and one of the highest rates in the country. Across England and Wales, there were more than 4,500 drug-related deaths in the same 12 months.

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Police and Crime General North East 'county lines' crackdown arrests 28 and confiscates drugs worth £800,000

A Northumbria Police operation to tackle cross-border drug dealing has seen 28 people arrested, more than £800,000 worth of Class A drugs seized and a number of deal lines shut down.

Last week, Northumbria Police, Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) and other organisations across the country joined forces to take on the practice known as 'county lines' as part of a national intensification period which ran from Monday October 11 to October 17.

County lines involves dealers using mobile phones to help transfer class A substances from large cities to towns and rural areas.

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Police Demand Independent inquiry into historic child abuse allegations

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said Leicestershire Police officers "shut down" investigations into allegations of child abuse against Lord Janner "without pursuing all inquiries". It also criticised Leicestershire County Council's over the abuse. Current council leader Cllr Nick Rushton said the local authority accepted the report’s findings and apologised for previous failings.

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Police and Crime General Home Secretary Priti Patel tells MPs threat level against them now 'substantial'

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said MPs now face a "substantial" threat level - meaning an attack is "likely" - following the killing of Sir David Amess. Ms Patel said there had been a "change in risk" after an independent review by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre after the fatal stabbing of Sir David.

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Police and Crime General PM to lead Commons tributes to David Amess as family call for unity

Home secretary says MPs’ surgeries could get police protection but some raise concerns about deterring public

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Police and Crime General Britain faces ‘wave of terror attacks plotted by bedroom radicals’

Britain’s intelligence agencies have warned ministers of a potential new wave of terrorist attacks carried out by “bedroom radicals” bred during lockdown.

Officials believe the country is facing a new threat from “lone wolf” terrorists who were radicalised online while spending months at home, The Telegraph understands.

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Justice Huge rise in domestic abuse cases being dropped in England and Wales

Victims of alleged domestic abuse are seeing their cases dropped at a rapidly increasing rate, according to data obtained by the BBC.

Police have six months to charge common assault cases, including domestic abuse, from when the alleged incident took place.

Campaigners say this is unfair because of the complex nature of many cases.

Figures show 3,763 cases were dropped for this reason in the past year, compared with 1,451 four years earlier.

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Police and Crime General Police 'canteen culture' in WhatsApp groups can lead to officers 'abusing their position for sexual purposes'

The "canteen culture" that exists within the police in WhatsApp groups can impact the way officers conduct themselves, and in the worst cases can lead to them abusing powers for sexual purposes, a watchdog chief has warned.

Forces have been under the spotlight since the sentencing of serving Met Police constable Wayne Couzens, who is serving a whole-life term for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, who has come under huge pressure to resign in the aftermath of the sentencing, last week announced there would be an independent review of her force's culture.

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Police Finances Budget: Little room for more spending, says IFS

There is no room for big spending announcements for hard-pressed public services such as local government, the justice system and further education in this month's Budget, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says. The influential think tank has published new analysis, suggesting borrowing will be lower than forecast but the Chancellor will still have to keep a tight rein on spending, despite planning the biggest tax rises for more than 25 years.

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Police Demand UK cyber head issues ransomware warning

Cyber attacks which see hackers get inside computer networks and lock the owners out until they pay a ransom present "the most immediate danger" to UK businesses in cyberspace, the head of the National Cyber Security Centre has warned. Speaking at a Chatham House Cyber conference, Lindy Cameron said these types of attack posed a threat to everyone from major companies to local councils and schools, while warning that not enough organisations were prepared for the threat or tested their cyber defences.

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Recruitment and Retention Rogue police officers hard to force out, warns standards chief

Chief constables are getting stuck with rogue officers they would rather sack because of leniency at misconduct hearings, one of the country’s most senior policing figures has warned.

Andy Marsh, the head of the College of Policing, the standards body in England and Wales, said he had been “frustrated” as a chief constable at having to redeploy officers who were guilty of serious misconduct, including using racist terms. He said that independent chairmen and women who oversaw the majority of the most serious misconduct cases were more lenient than chief constables would be.

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Police and Crime General UK police chiefs to review all sexual misconduct allegations against officers

Police chiefs have been told to review all allegations of sexual misconduct, indecent exposure and domestic abuse involving their officers over the last two years.

The review comes after a fall in public trust over the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens while he was a serving Metropolitan police officer, and fears that forces were not doing enough to identify and stop offenders in their ranks.

The reviews – agreed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), which represents the leadership of local forces, at a crisis meeting last Friday – will cover hundreds of officers in the UK.

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Police Demand Record levels of hate crime 'paint bleak picture for equality in UK'

Record numbers of hate crimes are being recorded by police, with around three-quarters of reported offences being racially motivated.

New figures released by the Home Office "paint a bleak picture for equality in the UK", the chief executive of the Race Equality Foundation said.

There were 124,091 hate crimes recorded in the year to March 2021, with numbers rising each year since records began in 2011-12.

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Police and Crime General Anti-drugs spray on trial in pubs leaves cocaine users in sticky situation

Police are dousing pub and club lavatories with an anti-drugs spray that causes cocaine to stick to surfaces and adds a foul taste.

Durham is believed to be the first force in England to trial the spray to deter drug-taking in public, with the Essex, Merseyside and City of London forces considering following suit.

The clear substance is sprayed on surfaces that could be used by customers to cut and take drugs such as cocaine. The spray contains a powerful bittering agent which leaves a bad taste lasting for hours if a user tries to scrape drugs off a surface and take them.

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Prisons Children locked in cells for 23 hours a day despite inspectors calling policy ‘unacceptable’

Children are being locked in their rooms for 23 hours a day in a youth jail, despite watchdogs warning nearly a year ago that confining youngsters in their cells for such long periods is “unacceptable”.

A monitoring report into Oakhill secure training centre in Milton Keynes by Ofsted, the Prison Inspectorate and the Care Quality Commission warns that “widespread failings” are having a “significant impact” on the care and well-being of child inmates.

Records published by the centre, which currently holds 46 boys between the ages of 12 and 17, show that children have spent approximately 19 hours per day on average locked in their rooms - increasing to 23 hours on some days.

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Police and Crime General Uncooperative officers blocking Met reform, says ex-superintendent

The Metropolitan police shelved plans to reform its unit dedicated to protecting politicians and diplomats because of “resistant and uncooperative” officers, according to a former superintendent who was the force’s most senior woman of colour.

Nusrit Mehtab, who resigned in January last year, said the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command (PADP), where Sarah Everard’s killer, Wayne Couzens, once served, was “very male-dominated” and ripe for reform. The Met had had a chance to “put things right and they didn’t”, she added.

Mehtab is suing the Met alleging that a hostile and racist work environment forced her to leave. She claims the force harbours a culture that “enables and endorses people like [Wayne] Couzens to flourish”.

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Police Demand Two-fifths of police forces in England and Wales lack rape units

At least two-fifths of police forces in England and Wales do not have specialist rape and serious sexual offence (Rasso) units.

Campaigners against gender-based violence said the lack of such units was deeply worrying at at time of low public confidence in the police and with rape prosecutions running at historically low levels.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales has previously estimated 510,000 women are victims of sexual assaults or rapes in a year. Police recorded 55,696 rapes in the year to 2020-21 but only 3,539 were passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), leading to just 1,109 convictions.

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Police Demand Met police failing over rise in knife crime due to over-reliance on stop and search, study finds

Dame Cressida Dick has failed to get a grip on knife crime because of an over-reliance on stop and search at the expense of bobbies on the beat, a study by a Conservative think tank has found.

In a report backed by the UK’s former head of counter-terrorism, the Metropolitan Commissioner is slated for an “unusual and unjustified” strategy of relying on stop and search to stem record levels of knife attacks and deaths rather than neighbourhood policing and targeting drug traffickers.

It warned that the number of fatal stabbings in London doubled in the six years to 2019 when all knife crime offences increased by “only” 58 per cent, despite stabbing survival rates rising by 50 per cent.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel’s fury as Johnson blocks public sexual harassment law

Boris Johnson has infuriated the home secretary by overruling attempts to make public sexual harassment a crime. This has prompted concern at the Home Office that the prime minister views the issue as mere “wolf whistling”, rather than the aggressive targeting of women and girls going about their daily lives.

Sources say tensions have emerged between Johnson and Priti Patel, and other senior Home Office figures, after he blocked plans to make public sexual harassment a specific offence.

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Police Demand ‘Worrying’ increase in number of victims seeking support for hate crimes, charity finds

The number of people seeking support after experiencing a hate crime has jumped by almost 11 per cent in a year, driven by an increase in disability, sexual orientation and transgender-identity related crimes, a charity has warned.

Victim Support found that the “overwhelming majority” of hate crimes recorded were race and nationality-related (71 per cent), with a spike in referrals to the independent charity’s services following the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy.

The figures also showed a 22 per cent increase in the number of people seeking help for disability hate crimes and a 20 per cent increase in sexual orientation-related crimes.

Over the same period, the overall percentage of transgender identity-related crimes soared by almost 45 per cent compared to the previous year – although the numbers of such crimes remain lower than others.

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Justice Metropolitan Police worst force for solving sexual and violent crime

The Metropolitan Police is the worst force in England and Wales for solving sexual and violent crime with just one in 20 offences resulting in a charge, a new database shows.

The analysis, based on official police data, shows the proportion of sex and violent crimes where a suspect is charged has fallen from 14 per cent (one in seven offences) in just five years to five per cent, as of August 2020.

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Justice Metropolitan Police worst force for solving sexual and violent crime

The Metropolitan Police is the worst force in England and Wales for solving sexual and violent crime with just one in 20 offences resulting in a charge, a new database shows.

The analysis, based on official police data, shows the proportion of sex and violent crimes where a suspect is charged has fallen from 14 per cent (one in seven offences) in just five years to five per cent, as of August 2020.

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Justice Backlog of crown court cases denies women justice

The prime minister and the justice secretary have both said that they are anxious to improve the criminal justice system with reference to prosecutions and the time it takes to get offences concerning violence against women and girls to trial (Dominic Raab confuses meaning of misogyny in BBC interview, 6 October).

“Non-priority” cases backlogged in the crown courts are now listing into 2023-24. It is not good enough for victims of crime or defendants to have their lives on hold and to have to relive events in court months or even years after they took place.

Magistrates’ Association members hold the highest values of fairness, justice and the belief “that justice delayed is justice denied”. Many magistrates courts, after a period of fantastic commitment by volunteer magistrates throughout the pandemic, have little or no backlog of cases. We are well placed to stop sending cases to the crown courts if only our jurisdiction could be increased to a 12-month custodial sentence for a single offence. This would ease the burden on crown courts, speeding up justice for all.

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Police Demand Police forces are resolving fewer hate crime cases despite number doubling

Police forces across England and Wales have been accused of letting down victims, after exclusive figures showed they resolved fewer cases of hate crime in 2020 than five years ago. Reports of hate crime have more than doubled in the same period.

An investigation by ITV News and Liberty Investigates found that the number of hate crime cases in which officers identified a suspect and took action against them fell from 14,866 in 2015 to 14,398 in 2020 – despite the number of reports climbing to more than 100,000.

The Freedom of Information requests looked at how many cases ended with a conclusive outcome such as a caution, charge, summons, penalty notice or community resolution.

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Technology Women's safety: App will allow CCTV to monitor journey home

A new phone app is being developed to allow women to ask CCTV operators in a city to monitor them as they walk home.

The app is part of a £400,000 project in Lincoln to improve street safety in the wake of a number of attacks on women across the UK.

Other measures will include expanding the city's CCTV coverage and a training scheme for bar and door staff.

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Police and Crime General Charity seeks new police focus on domestic abuse

A domestic abuse charity has called for an amendment to a new policing bill to recognise the seriousness of violence against women and girls.

Refuge wants sexual violence, domestic homicide and domestic abuse specifically named as crimes that police and other public bodies must develop strategies to prevent.

It wants the bill's "serious violence duty" to include those crimes.

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Police Demand The importance of tackling gambling addiction as well as drugs and alcohol to prevent crime

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has welcomed plans to expand drug testing on arrest, and alcohol tagging on prison release, to prevent reoffending.

Dorset PCC David Sidwick and Durham PCC Joy Allen are the APCC’s Joint Leads for its relaunched Addictions and Substance Misuse portfolio.

Mr Sidwick said: “Police enforcement is only part of the picture to tackle addiction-related crime. Testing shoplifters and burglars for drugs when they are taken into custody means police can identify people who would benefit from drug awareness courses and treatment as part of their rehabilitation.

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Police and Crime General More than half of women in Merseyside feel unsafe using public transport at night

It has been revealed that more than half of women in Merseyside feel unsafe using public transport at night.

That is according to a recent survey by Merseyside's police and crime commissioner, which was carried out in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder.

The figures show that 54% of 1,500 women felt unsafe using public transport in at night and nearly 42% had concerns about using it during the day.

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Prisons Domestic violence: Scheme stops abusers writing to victims from jail

A scheme to stop jailed domestic abusers terrorising their victims from prison should be rolled out nationwide, a senior figure has said.

One woman, whose abusive ex enlisted other inmates to send her threatening letters, said she was left "terrified".

North Yorkshire Police has launched information-sharing in seven prisons to ensure victims cannot be contacted.

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Justice Rape convictions rates are 'disgracefully low' and there is a 'problem' with violence against women, Policing Minister Kit Malthouse admits

Rape conviction rates are "disgracefully low", Policing Minister Kit Malthouse has admitted, as he acknowledged that "there is a problem" with violence against women and girls.

Speaking ahead of Home Secretary Priti Patel's conference speech on Tuesday morning, Kit Malthouse told Sky News the government will "redouble our efforts" to make public spaces safer for women.

The policing minister also admitted that "too many feel unsafe in the public realm" and said the government has "apologised profoundly" for the drop in rape convictions.

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Prisons Short jail terms fail to prevent reoffending, says former England and Wales magistrate

Criminals in England and Wales are being jailed for short terms that fail to prevent reoffending because of a lack of awareness and availability of community-based sentencing, a leading former magistrate has said.

Rather than jailing or fining someone, magistrates have the alternative of imposing a Community Sentence Treatment Requirement (CSTR), which can be for mental health problems, or alcohol or drug dependency.

However, short custodial terms are being handed out “by default”, according to John Bache, former national chair of the Magistrates Association. They fail to achieve the objectives of sentencing and impact offender’s families, he added, even driving children to follow in their footsteps in some cases.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel: Middle-class drug users will be named and shamed

Priti Patel is to introduce drug testing on arrest across all 43 police forces in England and Wales under a crackdown on recreational use and to prevent offenders’ habit spiralling into violent crime.

Setting out the £15 million plan in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, the Home Secretary said it would better identify those breaking the law through drug use, but also those who were dependent and need help to kick their addiction.

Anyone testing positive after arrest for “trigger” crimes such as theft, fraud or drug possession would be required to be assessed for treatment. Those who refuse face prosecution with a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail or a £2,500 fine.

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Police and Crime General Sarah Everard murder: Met launches standards review to 'rebuild public trust'

An independent review is set to be carried out into the Met Police's standards and culture after the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who has rejected calls to resign, said it would be led by a high profile person.

The force has faced questions ever since Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer, killed the 33-year-old.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was a "massive job" to do in restoring women's confidence in the police.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel to outline measures to stop activists blocking motorways

Courts will get new powers to stop climate activists blocking Britain's motorways, the home secretary will say.

Priti Patel will unveil the Criminal Disruption Prevention Orders aimed at stopping some activists attending demos, at the Conservative conference.

A Tory Party source said it will target people with a "history of disruption", or those likely to commit crime.

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Police Demand Police urged to take indecent exposure offences more seriously

Indecent exposure must not be dismissed by police as an isolated offence but should be seen as a possible precursor to more serious sexual crimes, one of the country’s most senior female officers has said.

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Police Demand Every active police officer ‘should be re-vetted’, says ex-Met chief

Every police officer in the country could be re-vetted in the wake of the Wayne Couzens scandal, police leaders have said.

There are growing concerns that the system intended to weed out corrupt and dangerous officers is not as effective as it needs to be and should be overhauled.

Public confidence in policing has been rocked by the appalling actions of Couzens, who used his police position to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard.

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Police Demand Covid pass breaches 'should not be police priority'

Cracking down on people with fake Covid passes should not be a priority for police officers over serious crimes, a police and crime commissioner has said.

Dyfed-Powys Police commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said there were concerns about the "practicality" of policing passes.

Covid passes could become mandatory in Wales from 11 October if the Senedd passes proposals on Tuesday.

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Police and Crime General Police & Local Authorities given extra £23.5m for safer streets

Police forces and local authorities across England and Wales, are to receive a share of £23.5million to make public spaces safer for all through projects to help women and girls feel safer on our streets as part of the Government’s Safer Streets Fund.

Created with the objective of tackling local acquisitive crimes like car theft and burglary, the latest round of the Safer Streets Fund has a particular emphasis on the safety of women and girls. The investment will go to police forces and local authorities across England and Wales as well as the British Transport Police to spend in the 21/22 financial year.

Crimes which take place in public places such as sexual harassment disproportionately affect women. Recipients of funding have submitted bids for innovative plans to increase the safety of public spaces, including projects which emphasise changing attitudes and behaviours in local communities.

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Justice Police must take women’s complaints more seriously and not dismiss flashing as ‘trivial’, says Labour peer

Police forces in the UK must take women’s complaints more seriously in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, a Labour peer has said.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, who chairs the Working Group on Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland, said officers must not treat incidents of harassment or flashing as trivial.

Her comments came after Ms Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer, was sentenced to a whole-life order for her kidnap, rape and murder on Thursday. The Metropolitan Police has faced criticism for allegedly failing to act on “alarm signals” spotted by Couzens’ colleagues in the force, which included a string of flashing incidents.

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Police Finances Grant Thornton fined £2.3m over Patisserie Valerie audit work

Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has been sanctioned by the Financial Reporting Council for failures in its audits of Patisserie Valerie before the café chain company collapsed, showing “a serious lack of competence”.

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Police Demand County lines drug gangs will be eliminated in two years, says policing minister

County lines drug operations will be eliminated in the next two years, the policing minister has pledged.

Kit Malthouse told the Roads Policing Conference on Wednesday that officers will help bring an end to the drug gangs "peddling misery".

County lines drug gangs operate across the UK. Dealers, often children, run drugs, taking buses or trains from cities into rural towns and villages.

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Justice Police say charging M25 climate protesters ‘difficult’

Police have claimed it is “very difficult” to bring charges against environmental activists after 27 members of Insulate Britain were arrested for blocking a roundabout at a junction with the M25.

Lisa Townsend, Surrey’s police and crime commissioner, said the police were receiving “an enormous amount of flak” over their response but she insisted officers were “doing their utmost to prevent the disruption”.

It comes after the same junction was targeted twice in six hours. On Wednesday morning, police arrested 11 people who had glued themselves to the road on a roundabout at junction 3, the Swanley Interchange in Kent, at about 7.30am.

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Police and Crime General Defence industry tapped for e-scooter advice on hard stop devices

The defence industry has been asked to share ideas on developing new equipment to stop offenders using e-scooters to commit crime.

Arms companies, police suppliers and tech developers were invited to explain if it is possible to make a portable device that officers can deploy against offenders moving at speed on the bikes.

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) issued a call to market on whether the need for a stopping device could be met.

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Police Finances Ministry of Justice unveils plan to build two prisons housing 3,430 inmates in Essex

Two large prisons holding 3,430 inmates could be built on land around an RAF air base in Essex, according to Government plans.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has published proposals for the new jails at Wethersfield air base in Braintree.

The site will hold category B and category C adult male prisoners in two prisons that each have a total capacity of 1,715, according to documents setting out the plans.

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Police Finances Labour revives Blair’s policy on crime

Labour will be “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”, the shadow home secretary has said as he announced the party is readopting Tony Blair’s slogan as part of efforts to restore Labour’s reputation on law and order.

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Police Finances Tories have ‘defunded the police’, says shadow home secretary

The Conservatives were accused of “defunding the police” through a decade of cuts in a speech on Tuesday by the shadow home secretary which aimed to reposition Labour as the party of law and order.

Nick Thomas-Symonds told delegates at the party’s annual conference that he would not follow demands, usually attributed to the Black Lives Matter movement, to take money away from existing police forces.

But he said that successive Tory governments have cut cash payments to forces for more than 10 years.

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Police Demand Police fear they may have to guard petrol pumps if fuel crisis does not ease

Police officers fear they could be drafted in to guard the pumps if the fuel crisis is not resolved in coming days.

Forecourts across the country have witnessed ugly scenes as motorists queuing for petrol have clashed.

In one incident in Welling, south-east London, a man appeared to pull a knife on another driver as tensions boiled over. There have been violent scenes elsewhere, with drivers accusing each other of jumping queues or taking too much fuel.

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Police and Crime General "Quick law" during pandemic harmed police legitimacy says chief

CC Thompson told the force’s strategic policing and crime board today (28 September) that “quick law isn’t always great law”, as he was asked about the impact of the pandemic on policing.

The chief addressed the issue of £10,000 “superfines”, introduced by the Home Secretary Priti Patel to penalise those hosting large gatherings. A third-year Nottingham Trent University student was one of the first to pay a fine in full in January this year.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council advised forces in November 2020 to stop issuing the fines due to fears they would be challenged in court.

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Police and Crime General Police body armour may be redesigned to make it 'less intimidating'

Police body armour is being redesigned in an attempt to look less intimidating in the latest bout of political correctness.

MPs have reacted furiously to the proposal with one labelling the proposal as "woke".

An official request asking for assistance in "improving public perception of policing" was issued by the Government's Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

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Police and Crime General Vaccine passports could be mandatory at indoor and outdoor venues under revived scheme

The prospect of vaccine passports being used at indoor and outdoor venues in England this winter has been raised again by the Government.

The plans seemed to have been put on the backburner but on Monday night the Government launched a consultation, asking the public for views on the use of vaccine passports this autumn and winter if Covid-19 cases threaten to overwhelm the NHS.

The Plan B proposals also open the door to the number of venues being widened beyond nightclubs, music venues, outdoor festivals, concerts and sports events.

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Police and Crime General Labour invokes Tony Blair with ‘tough on crime’ and anti-social behaviour push

Labour is to invoke Tony Blair's "tough on crime" message and promise a crackdown on antisocial behaviour if it is elected.

In a speech to the party's conference, Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, will accuse the Tories of being “soft on crime and soft on causes on crime”.

The comments are a knowing reference to Mr Blair's claim New Labour would be "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime".

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Technology PCC takes on national economic and cyber crime role

He will spearhead the APCC’s work to ensure the police tackle online crime, fraud, harassment, hacking, economic crime and identity theft.

Mr Shelford said: “One in ten people fall victim to fraud and one in three become a repeat victim. It is because of such figures that I was inspired to take on the role of APCC lead for economic and cybercrime, because I feel that this is an area of work where I can make the most difference to the lives of residents of Avon and Somerset and beyond.

“I want to make sure that the profile type of this life destroying crime is raised, we need to get a grip of it and protect vulnerable people from harm.”

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Police and Crime General Surrey commissioner welcomes strong message as injunction gives police more powers

The Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend has welcomed news of a High Court Injunction that will give police more powers to prevent and respond to new protests expected to take place on the motorway network.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps applied for the injunction after a fifth day of protests were held by Insulate Britain across the UK. In Surrey, four protests have been held since last Monday, leading to the arrest of 130 people by Surrey Police.

The injunction granted to National Highways means that individuals staging new protests that involve obstructing the highway will face charges of contempt of court, and could see time in prison while held on remand.

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Police and Crime General Scotland: Warnings instead of prosecution for Class A drug users

People caught with Class A drugs in Scotland could be given a police warning instead of facing prosecution. Officers can already issue a formal warning for possession of lower category drugs.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain told MSPs this would now include Class A drugs in a bid to address the underlying causes of Scotland's drugs death crisis. The Conservatives said the move amounts to "de facto decriminalisation" of deadly substances.

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Police Demand Ministers plan legal action to stop Insulate Britain disrupting motorways

Priti Patel and Grant Shapps are seeking a court injunction to stop environmental protesters from targeting major motorways after five days of tailbacks and damaging headlines for the government.

The home secretary and the transport secretary have asked National Highways and the Government Legal Service to submit an application later this week.

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Police and Crime General Burglars and drug dealers have records wiped clean under plans to get them into work

Thousands of burglars, fraudsters and drug dealers are to have their criminal records wiped clean under government plans to help them find work. Criminals who have served prison sentences of more than four years will no longer have to tell employers about their past crimes, as part of the Ministry of Justice’s rehabilitation plans in its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

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COVID-19 Regional COVID-19 restrictions could return as local health chiefs get new powers

Councils and regional health chiefs have been given new powers to implement COVID-19 safety measures to use if the NHS in their areas become overwhelmed during the winter. These include enforcing mask wearing and social distancing in public spaces, buildings and transport and allow councils to close individual premises or events.

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Police and Crime General Knife crime reduction trial fails to result in a single court action

A Metropolitan Police trial aimed at stopping people as young as 12 from carrying knives has not resulted in a single court action during its first weeks. Knife Crime Prevention Orders have been piloted by using the courts to impose restrictions on people they believe are “on the cusp” of violence.

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Police Demand Fraud soars but police abandon 22,000 cases

More than 22,000 fraud investigations were dropped by police last year despite a surge in online scams during the coronavirus pandemic, official figures have revealed.

The number of cases reported to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, soared by a third as criminals exploited the Covid-19 pandemic to target victims online.

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Police Demand Noisy neighbours spark 67% rise in police complaints

More than half of all police forces across England saw a surge in noise nuisance complaints during last year’s lockdown, with claims that years of cuts have left councils struggling to deal with antisocial behaviour. Figures from Freedom of Information data compiled by Labour found that the average rise in complaints across the forces which responded was 67 per cent, with some forces having received thousands more complaints last year than in 2018. Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said councils were doing all they could to tackle persistently disruptive behaviour, but needed resources: “Dealing with increased reporting of noise nuisance has added to the pressure on council environmental health teams that are already overstretched. The Spending Review must commit to additional investment in regulatory services.”

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Justice Ministry of Justice overhaul as prison population predicted to hit nearly 100,000

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is being overhauled in anticipation of a “bow wave” of more than 20,000 extra jailed criminals who will push the prison population to a post-war high of nearly 100,000 by 2026.

Analysts at the department, now headed by Dominic Raab, have calculated that the recruitment of an extra 20,000 police officers, a potential post-pandemic crime rise and longer jail sentences will see prisoner numbers rise by nearly a quarter to a record 98,700 in five years’ time.

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Police Demand Bereaved families forced to clean up crime scenes as police 'offer no help'

Rape victims and bereaved families are being left "traumatised" by having to clean up crime scenes in their homes, the Telegraph can reveal.

Relatives of murder victims have told of the "distressing task" of cleaning up blood stains left from an attack after police failed to follow protocol.

Dame Vera Baird QC, The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, described the failure as "appalling and wholly preventable".

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Police Finances Millions of us have been scammed, so why has anti-fraud spending been cut 99pc?

HM Revenue & Customs spending on scam warnings has fallen 99pc – from £242,000 in 2020 to £3,000 for the year to date, a Freedom of Information request lodged by Telegraph Money has revealed.

This is despite the number of reports of criminal gangs posing as the tax office to lure victims – known as “phishing” scams – doubling to more than a million a year.

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Police Demand Police must prioritise reducing violence on women, says watchdog

Reducing violence against women and girls should be treated as an equal priority to countering terrorism, a police watchdog has said. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services called for "fundamental cross-system change" after identifying continuing failings and major inconsistencies between police forces in how they tackle the issue.

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COVID-19 Wales introduces COVID passes for events

People will have to show a NHS COVID Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events in Wales from next month, the First Minister announced today.

The measure is being introduced to help control the spread of coronavirus in Wales. First Minister Mark Drakeford said that cases were currently very high in Wales but the alert level will remain at zero for the next three weeks.

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Police Finances Sunak to impose ‘tighter’ fiscal rules

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will reportedly tighten fiscal rules to help reduce borrowing, after Covid-19 support measures saw national debt spike.

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Police Demand Forces given funding boost to increase roll out of Hotspot Policing

Police forces are to be given extra money to tackle violent crime this autumn using intensive, high-visibility police patrols.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel skips conference . . . and row over police pay

Priti Patel faces a deepening rift with police officers over a pay freeze after she avoided a public appearance and defended the decision in a video.

The head of the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) said it was “disappointing” that the home secretary had not attended their conference and accused ministers of failing officers.

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Police and Crime General First Past the Post to be introduced for all local mayoral and PCC elections

Today, Minister for the Constitution and Devolution Chloe Smith has announced measures to apply the tried and tested system of First Past the Post to the election of council and ‘metro’ mayors across England, and to Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales.

In this May’s London Mayoral elections, the Supplementary Vote system saw hundreds of thousands void, wasted or blank votes cast, reflecting voter confusion and the complex system. Supplementary Vote also means that a ‘loser’ candidate can win on second preferences. In 1931, Winston Churchill described transferable voting as “the decision is to be determined by the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates.”

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Justice Dominic Raab Replaces Robert Buckland as Justice Secretary

Boris Johnson has fired a string of cabinet ministers - and promoted new faces to replace them - in a major reshuffle.

The prime minister sacked under-fire Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and moved Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to the justice department.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel keep their jobs.

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Police Finances Developers' levy needed to support blue light services

Roger Hirst, APCC’s Finance Lead & PFCC for Essex: “The system as it stands does not account for the additional pressure on local services that comes from significant new developments. As communities grow, the result is that the emergency services’ capacity over the area is slowly diluted. This is not sustainable.”

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Police Demand Mental health: 'There's no emergency service for mental health'

Police are dealing with daily calls from families and friends who fear a loved one may be suicidal and do not know where to turn, mental health experts have warned.

The number of 999 and 101 calls to Gwent Police increased by a third between January and July.

However, more than half of calls did not report crimes, with many calls relating to mental health.

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Police Demand Number of children groomed to send sex abuse images of themselves doubled during first half of this year, charity says

Children are increasingly being groomed or coerced by adults into sexually abusing themselves on camera.

MPs have warned of a 'disturbing' rise in so-called 'self-generated' child sexual abuse material, especially during the pandemic.

In the first six months of 2021, the Internet Watch Foundation recorded a 117 per cent increase in abusive images and videos created using webcams or smartphones.

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Justice Nearly one million victims of crime abandon trials even when suspects are identified amid dwindling faith in justice system and logjam in the courts

Fed-up victims of crime are refusing to proceed with prosecutions in nearly a million cases as faith in the justice system dwindles, according to shocking new figures revealed in The Mail on Sunday.

Records show the number withdrawing cooperation has been rising year-on-year since 2014-15 when it accounted for just under seven per cent of all offences.

The level now stands at a staggering 21.8 per cent – or 945,000 cases – in the year to March 2021 for England and Wales.

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Police and Crime General Policing bill will deepen racial and gender disparities, say experts

A new policing bill that will be debated this week risks deepening racial and gender disparities in the justice system while forcing professionals to betray the trust of vulnerable people, hundreds of experts and a report have warned.

In a letter to the home secretary, 665 GPs, nurses, social, youth and outreach workers and teachers have warned that the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill is “oppressive” and would force frontline professionals to betray the trust of vulnerable people and become complicit in surveillance, ahead of a debate in the House of Lords this week.

A separate report has said it will put vulnerable young women at further risk of threat further violence, abuse and exploitation.

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Technology Tech giants make it impossible to stop terrorists

The Metropolitan Police commissioner has accused tech giants of making it harder to identify and stop terrorists.

The tech giants' focus on end-to-end encryption was making it "impossible in some cases" for the police to do their jobs, Dame Cressida Dick wrote in the Telegraph on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Home Secretary Priti Patel launched a new fund for technologies to keep children safe.

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Police and Crime General Patel faces widening revolt over policing bill’s restrictions on protest

The home secretary, Priti Patel, is facing a growing revolt in parliament and the country over plans to restrict the fundamental right to protest, as controversial legislation that would increase police powers enters the House of Lords this week.

More than 350 organisations, including human rights groups, charities and faith bodies, have written to Patel and justice secretary Robert Buckland this weekend complaining that the measures would have a “profound impact” on freedom of expression, and represent “an attack on some of the most basic democratic rights of citizens”.

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Recruitment and Retention Almost half the Police Uplift Officers have been Recruited

In total, 9,814 police officers have been recruited across all 43 police forces in England and Wales. The recruitment is helping to increase diversity within the communities that the officers serve.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economic growth slows sharply in July

The UK economy grew by just 0.1% in July as the last Covid restrictions were lifted in England.

It was the economy's sixth consecutive month of growth, but the increase was much lower than in the previous month, which saw 1% growth.

Arts, entertainment and recreation activities helped the rise, but the "pingdemic" kept many workers at home.

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Police and Crime General Wiltshire PCC criticises Stonewall trans policy on women-only areas

A police and crime commissioner has said trans women should not be allowed to use "private enclosed spaces such as women's prisons and female toilets".

Wiltshire PCC Philip Wilkinson was criticising the policies of LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall.

He said he would not support promoting a "narrow ideology that is exclusive, divisive and potentially dangerous".

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Technology ‘Make social media firms legally responsible for tackling fraud’

Social media companies should be made legally responsible for removing scam adverts from their networks and protecting users from fraud, the head of a policing body has said.

James Thomson, chairman of the City of London Police Authority Board, will tell an audience, including security minister Damian Hinds on Thursday that tougher measures to tackle internet fraud should be included in the Online Safety Bill

He also wants fraud to be made a national priority across all local police forces in the UK, in the same way that tackling county lines drugs gangs has been a focus in recent years.

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Justice New survey reveals low victim confidence, as Victims’ Commissioner warns victims remain an “afterthought”

Victims are losing faith in the criminal justice system according to a new survey of victims, which suggests less than half of victims would report to the police again based on their experience of the justice system.

- Survey finds just 43% of victims would report a crime again based on their previous experiences of the criminal justice system. Just half would attend court again, down from 67% in 2020.

- Ethnic minorities are less likely to feel like they were treated fairly and respectfully by police.

- 66% of victims told the Commissioner they had to wait too long before their case came to court; only 9% of victims thought the courts dealt with cases promptly.

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Police and Crime General Cressida Dick ‘to get two more years’ as Met Police chief

The head of the Metropolitan Police is expected to be given a two-year contract extension within days despite a string of controversies.

Dame Cressida Dick’s position has been questioned after a sharp rise in teenage murders in London, allegations of institutional corruption at Scotland Yard and the arrest of a serving police officer for the murder of Sarah Everard.

Though the deal has yet to be finalised, Dick, 60, is thought to have Home Office support to stay on as Britain’s most senior police officer. Sources said that the extension could be announced as early as Monday.

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Police and Crime General 999 Day: Heroic emergency services honoured for life-changing work

Heroic workers in the emergency services are being honoured for their life-changing work on 999 Day.

The national celebration - also known as Emergency Services Day - recognises both NHS and 999 workers for their hard work.

It is estimated that approximately two million people either work or volunteer across the six main branches: Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance, NHS, maritime and Search and Rescue - according to the event's site.

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Technology Police and Government are using social media influencer tactics, study says

Police and Government agencies in the UK have adopted similar tactics to social media influencers and used targeted advertising to tackle crime, a recent report has found.

The study, published by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR), showed that the National Crime Agency had carried out a six-month “influence operation” to tackle cybercrime involving surveillance, direct intervention and targeted online advertising messaging.

Researchers also found a Government Communication Service training podcast which claimed that the Home Office used the purchasing data of people who had recently bought candles to target them through their smart speakers with fire safety adverts.

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Technology Priti Patel launches hunt for tech wizards to protect public from child abusers and terrorists

Priti Patel has launched a worldwide hunt for tech wizards to crack Facebook’s encryption, so Britons are protected from child abusers and terrorists.

The Home Secretary is to pay the brightest industry brains through a new fund to develop technology that will prevent sex abusers and terrorists from hiding their crimes under the cloak of end-to-end encryption on social media platforms.

Security chiefs say Facebook’s encryption plan will deny the company itself and law enforcement investigators access to the content of communications between paedophiles and terrorists, leaving thousands of children at risk of sexual abuse and Britain more open to terrorist plots.

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Police and Crime General Federation to meet with Lords on law change for quicker end to disciplinary probes

The Federation will be lobbying House of Lords members next week for a change in the law which would rein in lengthy and damaging police disciplinary investigations.

Representatives will be meeting with peers on 14 September at New Scotland Yard to propose an amendment to the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill to protect the mental health and welfare of police officers under investigation.

As part of our Time Limits campaign, we have been pressing for the urgent need for police disciplinary investigations to conclude in an appropriate timeframe, ideally within 12 months of an allegation being made.

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Recruitment and Retention Updated police uplift figures

In total, 9,814 police officers have been recruited across all 43 police forces in England and Wales. The recruitment is helping to increase diversity within the communities that the officers serve.

In all, 6,033 female officers have been recruited since April 2020, making up more than 4 in 10 new recruits, while 1,557 (11.3%) of the new recruits are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

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Police and Crime General New online map allows public to report unsafe areas to police

The public will be able to tell police about areas where they feel unsafe by reporting the locations on a new online map.

StreetSafe, a new digital pilot, will allow people to anonymously log areas of concern - such as poorly lit walkways, or places they have experienced harassment.

The data will then be collected and used to make areas safer, such as through night-time patrols or the installation of better street lighting.

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Police and Crime General Let us carry guns on patrol, urge half of Police Scotland officers

More than half of Scotland’s police officers want to be able to carry a handgun on patrol.

The Scottish Police Federation (SPF), which represents rank-and-file officers, said that its research showed that those on the front line felt vulnerable while carrying out their duties. Of the nearly 1,700 staff surveyed, 53 per cent rated handguns in the top five items of personal protective equipment to which they would want access routinely. Almost 60 per cent said they would like firearms training.

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Economy & Public Finance Chancellor launches vision for future public spending

The Chancellor has today (7 September) launched Spending Review 2021 (SR21), which will conclude on 27 October 2021 alongside an Autumn Budget and set out the government’s spending priorities for the Parliament.

The three-year review will set UK government departments’ resource and capital budgets for 2022-23 to 2024-25 and the devolved administrations’ block grants for the same period.

When added to what we have already provided to invest in our future, our plans – including the additional funding for health and social care announced today (7 September) – mean core departmental spending will grow in real terms at nearly 4% per year on average over this Parliament. By 2024-25 that means that core departmental spending will be £140 billion more per year in cash terms than at the start of the Parliament.

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Police and Crime General All frontline police officers could receive enhanced first aid training to treat bomb blast and shrapnel injuries, Manchester Arena inquiry told

All frontline police officers could receive enhanced medical training to help them treat bomb blast and shrapnel injuries.

The development arose on Tuesday at the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena bombing atrocity of 2017.

A counter-terrorism expert said the National Police Chiefs' Council was 'actively looking' at providing further first aid for response officers.

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Police and Crime General Police chiefs and Federation criticise ‘vague’ and ‘statistically insignificant’ IOPC Taser review

A recent Independent Office for Police Conduct report made a raft of recommendations based on a review of 101 cases of the police use of Taser over a five-year period; but the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Police Federation have both criticised the report for being ‘vague’, ‘statistically insignificant’ and failing to engage with policing, as Policing Insight Editor Keith Potter reports.

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Police Demand Police hit out at 999 timewasters as man demands lift from officers after missing bus

A police force has revealed some of its most ludicrous requests from members of the public calling 999 in non-emegency situations.

Essex Police criticised the callers who have abused the service, saying that dealing with such calls results in delays in responding to people in genuine need of help.

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Police and Crime General Wiltshire looks to reverse station closures due to shared space failure

Wiltshire’s estates team is about to begin a review of its stations because current arrangements are not fit for purpose.

The force’s new Police and Crime Commissioner has ordered the force to re-look at station provision after concerns from the Fed and the public.

Philip Wilkinson said: “I’ve asked the Chief Constable, and his leadership team, to conduct an immediate review of operational police estate in Salisbury and the south of the county.”

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Police and Crime General Roy Wilsher appointed as new inspector of police and fire service

Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced the appointment of Roy Wilsher OBE QFSM as a new inspector of police and fire and rescue services at the independent inspectorate HMICFRS.

Mr Wilsher will take up the dual role of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in England and Wales and Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities in England. He will primarily oversee inspections in the eastern region, covering fire risk assessments across the East Midlands and East of England.

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Police and Crime General Federation calls for sustainable, long-term funding for policing

According to The Telegraph, the Government is planning to persuade highly-trained professionals from the private sector – especially in fields such as cyber security and digital technology – to volunteer their time and skills during periods of increased demand.

Retired officers, or those who have left the service early, could also be retained for a period to bolster numbers, especially in experienced ranks.

PFEW national chair John Apter said: “Yet again we find out about a proposed piece of government policy through the media, and we have not seen any details on the reserve capability of volunteer officers.

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Police and Crime General Nitrous oxide: Patel orders Laughing gas review to decide on potential new law

The unlawful possession of laughing gas could be made a crime in England and Wales. Ministers have asked independent advisers to review the harm caused by nitrous oxide.

Usually sold in small silver canisters and inhaled, it is the second most-used drug among young adults.

Home Secretary Priti Patel wants the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to review the harm caused by nitrous oxide.

Full Article

Police and Crime General New online map allows public to report unsafe areas to police

The public will be able to tell police about areas where they feel unsafe by reporting the locations on a new online map.

StreetSafe, a new digital pilot, will allow people to anonymously log areas of concern - such as poorly lit walkways, or places they have experienced harassment.

The data will then be collected and used to make areas safer, such as through night-time patrols or the installation of better street lighting.

Full Article

Recruitment and Retention Wiltshire's new PCC urged to step in to end long hours culture

A newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner has been urged to meet his force’s Fed reps in a bid to end what they have described as a "long-hours culture."

Mark Andrews, Wiltshire’s Federation Chair, called on Philip Wilkinson to meet him "as soon as possible" to help re-examine force policy on shift patterns.

Mr Andrews claimed already exhausted officers are working draining 12-hour shifts on weekends.

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Police and Crime General Twenty-four forces join new Transforming Forensics Rape Response Project

Twenty-four police forces from England and Wales have been selected to join the Transforming Forensics (TF) Programme’s new £5m Rape Review Response Project (RRRP), part of its Digital Forensic Capability workstream.

The 24 forces were selected from a longlist of 33, following a rigorous, independently assured, two-stage assessment process. This means that TF will work with more than half of all forces and England and Wales, and all nine NPCC regions, to improve how they respond to rape and other serious crimes.

The project will provide a range of new digital services and portable tools, enabling forces to take technology to victims, examine mobile and digital devices at crime scenes, and give investigators faster access to the right digital evidence.

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Police Finances Police fight plan to share cash with public services

Elected officials will be able to divert a police force’s funding to other areas, such as mental health trusts, under a government proposal.

Ministers say it would let elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) ease demand on policing by funding areas such as domestic abuse initiatives and specific NHS projects.

However, the plan prompted anger from police leaders who said forces were already underfunded and that it would be wrong for them to prop up struggling public services.

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Police Demand Contactless payment rise to £100 sparks concern about crime - so how can you protect yourself?

The limit on contactless payments will rise from £45 to £100 from October 15, in a bid to get people to spend more in shops.

It is the second time in less than two years the limit has been increased - in March 2020 the limit on contactless payments was increased from £30 to £45 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The increase had already been announced by the government earlier this year, but banks had not yet decided when to implement it.

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Police and Crime General Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner says 'some services can’t function in a gender neutral way'

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire Marc Jones has supported an article that criticises the role LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall plays in helping the police.

The article by the Daily Mail details Surrey Police Commissioner Lisa Townsend expressing her opinion that the police should stop working with Stonewall.

Ms Townsend says in the article that Stonewall has "a dangerous ideology that threatens the safety of our women and girls", and that she has had many messages from women who are "frightened that female-only spaces, including women's refuges and toilets, are being opened up to people who 'identify' as women, even if they have male genitalia."

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Police Finances Actuaries call for economic growth link for public pension contributions

Currently, the discount rate used in the valuation of unfunded public service pension schemes to set employer contribution rates, is set at 2.4% above inflation.

However, in response to a consultation which concluded last week, pension body, the Association of Consulting Actuaries said the current methodology will “almost inevitably” overestimate or underestimate the value.

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Police Finances Service cuts may expose rural youth to county lines

A lack of funding for rural youth work in England is leaving young people exposed to the dangers of county lines drug-dealing gangs, it is claimed.

The amount spent per head on youth work for 11- to 19-year-olds in rural England, £47, is 25% less than in urban areas, and half the level a decade ago.

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Justice ‘Confused’ police are failing victims of domestic violence

Domestic abuse prosecutions have halved in three years and forces are failing to use measures designed to protect victims, watchdogs have said.

Women are subject to an “epidemic” of violence and abuse and officers are not seeking enough protection orders or ensuring that breaches are punished, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the Independent Office for Police Conduct and the College of Policing warned a in joint report.

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Justice A duty to protect: Police use of protective measures in cases involving violence against women and girls

On 19 March 2019, the Centre for Women’s Justice made a super-complaint to HMICFRS.

This super-complaint is about the police’s alleged failure to use protective measures to safeguard women and girls. It sets out concerns about four tools the police can use/are involved in:

- Pre-charge bail

- Non-Molestation Orders

- Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders

- Restraining Orders

The CWJ is concerned the police aren’t using these tools enough and in the right way.

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Recruitment and Retention 100 new PCSOs funded by Welsh Government

The Welsh Government have announced additional funding to provide a further 100 Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs) to tackle crime and support communities.

Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, and the Welsh Government’s Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, have announced an extra £3.7m for additional PCSOs across Wales, bringing the total budget to over £22m.

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Police and Crime General Female PCs might have survived Dale Cregan ambush if both had Tasers, says police chief

Two female PCs murdered in a gun and grenade ambush might have survived if they had both been issued Tasers, according to the chief constable who became the first to give the weapon to every frontline officer.

Nick Adderley, now the chief of Northamptonshire police, was in command of police constables Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone when they were killed by the wanted gangster Dale Cregan.

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Police and Crime General Surrey rejects PCC's criticism of "divisive" LGBT rights group

Stonewall is a LGBT rights charity that a number of police forces subscribe to receive guidance on issues around diversity.

But one force's PCC has publicly criticised Stonewall’s support of the right of transgender women to access female only spaces, calling it a "dangerous ideology that threatens the safety of our women and girls".

Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend told the Daily Mail: “Stonewall, which has drifted so far from its original mission is now a threat to women and risks putting feminism back 50 years.

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Police Finances Chief constables seek Home Office review of crime recording as ‘ludicrous’ rules distort figures

Chief constables have called for a Home Office review of crime recording because the “ludicrous” rules would count a threat involving a potato peeler as a knife crime.

Nick Adderley, the chief constable of Northamptonshire, said that police had to record incidents that were far below the prosecution threshold, distorting the crime figures. He said that if a child picked up a potato peeler during an argument with a parent this would be recorded as a knife-related crime even if they did not threaten to use the utensil.

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Police and Crime General Extinction Rebellion blocks busy junction in day one of new London campaign

Extinction Rebellion protesters have blocked one of Covent Garden’s busiest junctions on the first day of the group’s latest wave of protests targeting London.

At about midday on Monday, activists from the group chained themselves together to block the roundabout at Long Acre as a van pulled up with a pink table structure. It was quickly assembled and hundreds of other activists streamed to the roundabout.

Activists said the 4 metre-high structure, emblazoned with the slogan “Come to the table”, is intended to stay in place for the duration of Extinction Rebellion’s planned fortnight of protest, which the group has said will target the City of London to highlight the role of high finance in the climate crisis.

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Police Demand Federation calls for urgent action to tackle underfunded mental health services

National chair John Apter spoke out after figures obtained by the BBC through a Freedom of Information request showed that up to 4.500 people in mental health crisis were unlawfully held in police custody during the course of a single year.

The figures emerged from a report commissioned by Theresa May’s government and given to ministers in 2018.

Mr Apter said: “It is deeply frustrating to see more headlines revealing members of the public in mental health crisis are being kept in police cells when they absolutely shouldn’t be as they are patients – not prisoners.

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Economy & Public Finance Government borrowing shrinks in July

Government borrowing fell in July compared with a year earlier as the removal of most Covid restrictions in England gave the economy a boost.

Borrowing - the difference between spending and tax income - was £10.4bn, official figures show, which was £10.1bn lower than July last year.

However, the figure was the second-highest for July since records began.

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Police Demand ‘There should be a public outcry’ over levels of young Black and Asian stab victims, says PCC Festus Akinbusoye

Policing Insight Publisher Bernard Rix’s Policing Friendship Tour recently caught up with Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye, to walk and talk about the policing challenges facing the county including the disproportionality in the number of Black and Asian stabbing victims and offenders, the importance of stop and search – done properly and lawfully – and the task of tackling county lines drugs.

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Justice Sentences for violent and sexual crimes fall sharply in England and Wales

Average sentence lengths for violent and sexual offences in England and Wales fell steeply last year as the Covid pandemic also led to a huge slowdown in the number of people dealt with by the criminal justice system.

The average custodial sentence length for violent crimes fell by 22% to 18.5 months and the figure for sexual offences fell by 12% to 52 months, the lowest figure since 2011, according to official figures.

Sentence lengths fell in all categories, except for public order offences and “miscellaneous crimes against society”, which both increased slightly.

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Recruitment and Retention Chiefs order welfare checks for ex-Afghan conflict personnel

Welfare leads across the country have begun work to identify former Armed Services personnel who have been affected by the withdrawal of Allied troops from Afghanistan.

Force leaders have ordered check-ins with officers who joined up after serving in the Afghan conflict and may be experiencing mental health episodes as a result of the country’s collapse.

Focus is on single crew officers on late shifts, people in high-pressure roles such as custody teams and those working in outlying stations.

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Police Finances Coercive control: Male victims say they aren't believed

A man who reported his female partner to the police for coercive control has said not being taken seriously felt like another form of gaslighting.

Craig said his former partner "robbed me of my independence and slowly undermined my confidence". He also said that police concluded no further action was possible after he reported her and she was not charged.

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Economy & Public Finance Tory cuts to English youth services fuelling crime, says Keir Starmer

Cuts to youth services in England amounting to £660m over the past decade have fuelled antisocial behaviour and violent crime, Keir Starmer will say on Monday.

The Labour leader said his experience as a former director of public prosecutions showed that youth workers, youth centres and other services aimed at young people were a key plank of early intervention against the causes of crime.

He highlighted analysis from the House of Commons library showing cuts to youth services in England since 2011 under successive Conservatives governments were steepest in the most deprived areas.

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COVID-19 Self-isolation ends for double-jabbed and under 18s

People in England and Northern Ireland who have had two COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be required to self-isolate if they have contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. Instead of having to go into quarantine for 10 days, they are now advised to take a PCR test, but this is not compulsory.

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Recruitment and Retention Policing degrees need to recognise existing experience while developing new skills and thinking

The requirement for UK police recruits to either be graduates or achieve a degree as part of their training is still a subject of much debate; but University of Sunderland lecturers Dr Jerry Pearson and Adrian Smiles – both former serving officers – believe one area of the PEQF that needs to be addressed is delivering a degree qualification which recognises the skills and experience of those serving officers who are currently non-graduates.

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Police and Crime General Schoolchildren to be offered lessons on consent after murder of Sarah Everard

Schoolchildren will be offered lessons on consent following the murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of a police officer in March.

The campaign group Reclaim These Streets and social enterprise Shout Out UK have teamed up to develop the lessons as they say the "current provisions are not enough".

The new lesson plans will cover a range of topics, including consent and its relationship to the law, myths relating to sexual harassments and assault and online harms.

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Police Demand Visit every burglary victim, ministers tell police forces

Ministers want an officer sent to the scene of every burglary to boost public confidence in the police.

Senior government sources said that this would significantly reduce burglaries because officers would be able to build a picture of offenders’ trends and tactics and take preventive action.

By visiting every victim they would also be able to spot safety lapses. Half of all burglaries happen because a householder has left a window or door open.

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Economy & Public Finance Sunak pledges ‘no return to austerity’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged there will be “absolutely no return to austerity” in the upcoming Spending Review, as the UK recovers from Covid-19.

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Police and Crime General Damian Hinds to be security minister after Johnson U-turn over Priti Patel

Boris Johnson has made former cabinet minister Damian Hinds his new security minister, after deciding not to let Priti Patel take on the brief.

Less than 24 hours after the home secretary was reported to be adding security to her responsibilities, No 10 made an official announcement that Hinds would take the job.

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Police and Crime General Campaign will target middle-class drug users

Middle-class drug users need to “connect themselves with the violence” of the drugs trade, the policing minister has said.

Kit Malthouse said that a new government strategy to crack down on illegal drug use will target recreational users to “illustrate the impact” of their demand for Class A substances, such as cocaine, LSD and ecstasy.

The strategy to be published in the autumn will seek to change the “perceived acceptability” of taking drugs.

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Police and Crime General Consult on damages for crime victims with convictions, court tells government

The public should be consulted on whether crime victims should be barred from getting compensation if they have an unspent conviction, judges say.

The High Court ruling against the justice secretary follows a legal challenge by a woman who was sexually abused aged eight but denied damages.

Kim Mitchell, who committed a minor public order offence 30 years later, waived her anonymity and said the rule was unfair and needed to be changed.

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Police and Crime General Home Office 'relaxes' conditions attached to S60 stop and search

Conditions attached to the use of Section 60 stop and search powers which were introduced by Theresa May in 2014 when she was Home Secretary have been scrapped by the current government.

The best use of stop and search scheme was announced by Mrs May in her statement to Parliament on 30 April 2014.

The scheme for participating forces introduced a number of measures designed to create greater transparency, accountability and community involvement in the use of stop and search powers.

Following the announcement in Boris Johnson's Beating Crime Plan on 27 July this year, the voluntary conditions relating to section 60 within this scheme are now no longer in place, the Home Office has confirmed.

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Police and Crime General Award offers chance for exchange with US university on race in policing

The US-UK Fulbright Commission, the National Black Police Association (NBPA), and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) today launched a new award aimed at furthering research into policing and criminal justice.

The Fulbright-Stephen Lawrence Scholar Award in Policing will give a UK officer or staff the chance to conduct research in a three-month programme hosted by three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission awards scholarships to American and British students who want to study across the Atlantic or others who want to carry out research in each other's countries.

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Police and Crime General Assault on front-line prison workers ‘de-facto decriminalised’, warns report

Assaults on front-line workers in Britain’s prison system have been “de-facto decriminalised”, a new report has claimed.

One in four staff has been physically attacked at work over the last year, with one in ten having been assaulted twice or more in the same period, the research by trade union Community showed.

The report, called Keep Us Safe, said that prisons are facing a worrying “spike in violence”, with assaults on prison staff in England and Wales increasing by 247 per cent since 2010. This equates to 21 prison officers being physically assaulted every single day, the report claimed.

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Police Finances Police awarded £11.3m for programmes to prevent domestic abuse crimes

The Home Office has awarded £11.3 million to 25 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales, to go towards domestic abuse intervention programmes.

The programmes focus on interventions encouraging behaviour change to help stop perpetrators from committing domestic abuse, with the ultimate aim of preventing further crimes from being committed.

Funding will also focus on key areas such as stalking prevention and supporting adolescent perpetrators.

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Police Demand Catalytic converter thefts drop as people take action to protect their vehicles

Reports of catalytic converter thefts across the UK have dropped by 57 per cent, as people opt to forensically mark their vehicles.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economy grows by 4.8% but misses forecasts

UK economic growth rose by 4.8 per cent between April and June, according to official figures, slightly short of Bank of England forecasts of a 5 per cent rise in GDP over the period when most of the economy reopened from lockdown.

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Police and Crime General Derbyshire hijacks staff computers to highlight vulnerability concerns

Officers and staff at Derbyshire Constabulary have been told they have “let down” the victims of murders and their families and that “drastic changes” are needed in the way the force operates.

When logging on to their work computers this week, all employees are being greeted with a new screensaver featuring the word ‘vulnerability’ and the faces of four people who died following contact with the force.

The first was Gracie Spinks, who was stabbed to death in June by a former colleague who subsequently took his own life. The screensaver also depicted Helen Hancock and her partner Martin Griffiths, who were both murdered by her former husband on New Year’s Day 2020.

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Justice Rape victims face postcode lottery in the fight for justice

The prospect of rape victims getting justice is half as likely in some regions compared with others, analysis of statistics shows. Victims of rape also have to wait twice as long for a prosecution in some counties.

The 94.4 per cent rape conviction rate in Gloucestershire is the highest in England and Wales. In Warwickshire, a neighbouring county, the proportion of convictions is 46.7 per cent, the lowest rate.

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Technology 'Paradigm shift' in digital investigation as MPS announces new collaboration

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is to transform the way it deals with crimes involving computers, smartphones and other devices after announcing a collaboration deal with a major developer of digital investigation software.

The force has teamed up with Magnet Forensics, a developer of digital investigation software, which has created a new product that can speed up digital and data analysis investigations by a factor of three and enable non-technical investigators to take on more cases.

The rapid proliferation of digital devices and data relevant to investigations has put pressure on police agencies worldwide, creating backlogs in digital forensics labs, delaying cases and putting justice at risk. The highly technical nature of traditional digital forensics tools limits collaboration between digital forensic examiners and non-technical investigators, who have the full context of cases.

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Police and Crime General Possession of dangerous items banned in homes

In an effort to tackle violent crime, a ban on a wide range of knives, weapons and firearms came into force from 14 July.

This means that some articles that were previously legal to own in the home are now illegal. It’s now an offence to keep items such as knuckledusters, flick knives, throwing stars, zombie knives, telescopic truncheons and push daggers in your home.

The law will also change on safe retailing for buying knives in store and online. This provision will commence later in the year.

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Police Demand Surge in young criminals serving life sentences as gangs seek to ‘overkill’ their rivals

The number of young criminals serving life sentences has increased by more than 50 per cent in under a decade amid rising youth violence.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data show the number of criminals aged 25 or younger sentenced to life with a tariff of at least 15 years in jail rose from 917 to 1,394 between 2013 and 2020, an increase of 52 per cent.

That means that in just seven years, almost 500 more young men and women have been sentenced to at least a decade and a half in prison, according to the figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws by criminologists at Royal Holloway and Cambridge University.

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Police Demand Decriminalising drugs is the only way forward - William Hague

When most people think about drugs as an issue in politics, the habits of individual politicians are probably at the front of their minds. My own attempt as Conservative leader to frame a “zero tolerance” policy collapsed when more than a third of my shadow cabinet admitted to once taking drugs themselves. David Cameron was bedevilled for a while with such questions about his past.

More recently, as public attitudes have changed, popular leaders have been able to breeze through the issue with a quick confession, from Boris Johnson’s admission that he tried cocaine at university — but “it achieved no pharmacological, psychotropical or any other effect on me whatsoever” — to Barack Obama’s “I inhaled: that was the point”.

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Police Demand County lines drugs gangs could go back to public transport as crowds return


ounty lines drugs gangs could move back to using public transport to move crack and heroin as trains and coaches get busier in the coming months.

Restrictions linked to the pandemic last year forced drugs couriers to use cars as coach services stopped and train services were reduced, making them more identifiable and increasing the risk of being caught.

Police are now monitoring whether the gangs will return to trains and coaches as passenger numbers increase again, allowing them to blend in with crowds while moving consignments of illegal drugs.

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Police and Crime General Best use of stop and search scheme

The best use of stop and search scheme was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in her statement to Parliament on 30 April 2014.

The scheme introduces a number of measures designed to create greater transparency, accountability and community involvement in the use of stop and search powers.

Following the announcement in the Beating Crime Plan on 27 July 2021, the voluntary conditions relating to section 60 (pages 2 and 6) within this scheme are no longer in place.

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Police Finances Thousands of pupils ‘easy prey for gangs’ when schools reopen

Ministers are completely unprepared to deal with the sharp rise in exclusions, and the subsequent exploitation of thousands of children, that could happen when schools reopen next month, the former children’s commissioner has said.

In a stark warning about the potential number of children who have fallen “off grid” since the start of the pandemic, Anne Longfield said that tens of thousands more children could be exploited by gangs and criminals because the state had failed to keep track of them.

In an interview with the Observer, she said she was concerned that a rise in the number of children apparently home schooled during the pandemic would also put significantly more children at risk. She said the scale of the problem would only become apparent with the return of schools in September, but warned the state was “absolutely not” equipped to deal with the problem.

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Police Demand Now for the next UK pandemic: financial fraud

When a customer walked into a branch of TSB and asked to transfer £250,000 to a new fixed-income investment account, the staff went through their usual procedures. Was the customer sure he wanted to do this? He was adamant. An experienced investor, he showed them that the investment scheme was run by a firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). When the branch manager emerged for further checks, the customer became irate. He was frustrated that TSB’s workers did not trust his judgment.

So, in line with his wishes, the bank transferred the funds.

Three months later, as the first interest payment became due on the investment, it turned out that the firm no longer existed. The customer had been the victim of a sophisticated scam.

Police and Crime General West Midlands Police probe 75 hate crimes ahead of season return

The UK's first dedicated football hate crime officer is already investigating 75 hate crimes, police said. PC Stuart Ward took on the role for West Midlands Police in January.

Ahead of the return of the football season, the force said it would be cracking down on abuse at matches and on social media.

"There has been a national rise in hate crime linked to football over the last few years and there are absolutely no winners from it," PC Ward said.

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Police and Crime General Police taser children aged 10 and 87-year-old pensioner amid sharp rise in officers firing devices

Children as young as 10 and an 87-year-old pensioner have been tasered by police amid a sharp rise in officers firing the devices in the last three years.

A Sky News investigation has revealed details of incidents where officers have fired the 50,000-volt stun guns at minors and elderly people between 2018 and June this year.

The findings come amid calls for the UK to ban the use of Tasers on under-18s.

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Police and Crime General The Policing Bill stands up for the rights of those whose lives are disrupted by protest

Fairness belongs to the silent majority, not those who shout the loudest.

As the Policing, Sentencing and Courts Bill makes its way through the House of Lords the clamour from the so-called “Kill the Bill” brigade is rising.

But the legislation does not seek to smother the legal and legitimate right of free speech – a freedom hard-won and cherished in the United Kingdom. Instead it will strengthen police powers to tackle non-violent protests and allow them to take a more proactive approach towards highly disruptive demonstrations.

I hope it will tip the balance back in favour of the majority of the population who want to go about their daily lives without the disruption, nuisance and fear caused by the illegal activity of a few.

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Police and Crime General Drug-sensing tags aim to cut crime

Criminals who offend to fund their drug addiction could be forced to wear monitors as a way of making them stop.

Ministers are exploring technology that would enable a device to sense when an illegal substance has been taken, sources have told The Times.

They would be similar to ankle tags that track offenders, or a medical patch, and would be an attempt to slash reoffending for drug-related crime and tackle soaring drug use in prisons.

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Police and Crime General 'We are no better off': Revisiting the riots sparked by Mark Duggan shooting 10 years on

What began as a peaceful protest in London, over the killing of Mark Duggan, quickly turned into chaos.

Rioting spread through cities across England.

Cars and buildings were torched and roads barricaded. Missiles were thrown at police and crowds of people stormed their own communities, with looters helping themselves to everything and anything they could get their hands on...

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Police Finances Council tax ‘scandal’ sees people in deprived areas pay higher rates than London’s wealthiest streets

Residents of towns such as Burnley and Hartlepool pay around two per cent of the value of their property each year in council tax while people living in Kensington and Westminster pay just 0.1 per cent.

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Police Finances One-year funding is holding back fight against fraud says HMIC

HM Inspectorate’s repeat inspection found fraud continues to be treated as a low-priority or victimless crime by forces despite demands for change from the watchdog and victims of crime.

Although improvements have been made, the big problems remain unchanged it said.

City of London Police’s role as the national lead force for fraud is clearer than it was in 2019, and there is now a three-year national policing strategy for tackling fraud.

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Recruitment and Retention We deserve better – police urge Priti Patel to increase ‘unfair’ pay

Police bosses have renewed pleas for pay increases, telling Home Secretary Priti Patel that officers “deserve better”.

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) chairman Martin Hewitt has written to Ms Patel off the back of heavy criticism and concern over a staff wages.

Last week police representatives marched on Downing Street after it was announced that officers who earn more than £24,000 will be subject to a pay freeze this year, compared with NHS staff who will receive a 3% increase, and firefighters and local government workers who will receive 1.5%.

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Police and Crime General Drug-related deaths hit record high in England and Wales after rising for eighth year in a row

Drug-related deaths in England and Wales have reached their highest levels since records began as they rose for the eighth year in a row, figures show.

There were 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

It was the highest number since records began in 1993 and up 3.8% from the previous year.

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Police and Crime General Consultation could see anti-overdose spray issued to all frontline officers

A new consultation launched today (August 3) looks to amend current regulations to allow naloxone to be supplied and administered by a wider group of people regularly coming into contact with drug users.

Currently, while naloxone can be legally administered by anyone during an emergency, its supply is tightly controlled and is available only through prescription.

Aside from an emergency situation, it is only commissioned drug treatment services that are able to obtain and supply naloxone to individuals without a prescription or other written authorisation. This consultation seeks to change that.

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Police and Crime General Staffordshire roll out body armour for all its police dogs

Staffordshire Police has become one of the first forces in the UK, and the first in the West Midlands region, to roll-out body armour for its police dogs.

The lightweight armour is custom-made to better protect police dogs – both general purpose dogs and drugs dogs - and will give them protection against knives, bullets, spikes and impact from blunt objects.

The armour was chosen after the force evaluated different types – for their protection level, durability and design. They have been produced following feedback from extensive trials conducted by UK police forces.

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COVID-19 Assaults on police in England and Wales rise above 100 a day during pandemic

A major increase in attacks on police has been recorded during the pandemic, according to official figures revealing that there were more than 100 assaults on officers in England and Wales every day.

With senior police figures warning that officers have faced deliberate spitting and coughing since the start of the crisis, it has emerged that there were 36,969 assaults on police in the year that followed the outbreak in March 2020. It represented a 20% rise on the previous year.

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Police and Crime General Victims feel let down by police despite Boris Johnson’s action on crime

Seven in ten who reported an offence say officers were indifferent or uncaring about them or their family.

Their experience made them less confident about the ability of police to keep them safe.

One senior Tory MP said the “alarming” response showed that forces must work to earn public support.

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Police and Crime General Prosecutions for violent crime fall to lowest level in a decade

The proportion of people charged with violent crime has fallen to the lowest level in ten years, official figures show.

Last year only 6.8 per cent of reported crimes involving violence led to a suspect being charged.

The Home Office statistics, which run to March, showed that more than nine out of ten of all recorded crimes did not lead to a charge.

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Police Demand Proportion of frontline officers lowest in a decade, says Labour

New statistical analysis conducted by the Labour Party has found huge gaps in the police workforce with the proportion of officers working on the front line the lowest in a decade.

The party said its research found there were 8,433 fewer officers, 7,633 fewer police community support officers (PCSOs), and 7,502 fewer police staff than in 2010.

More than 10,000 officers and PCSOs have been lost from neighbourhood policing since 2015, while the proportion of frontline officers is at its lowest level in a decade.

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Police and Crime General IOPC publishes figures on deaths during or following police contact for 2020/21

The Independent Office for Police Conduct today published its annual report on deaths during or following police contact in 2020/21.

Published for the 17th year, the statistics provide an official record setting out the number of such deaths, the circumstances in which they happen, and any underlying factors. Figures across the different categories can fluctuate each year, and any conclusions about trends need to be treated with caution.

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Police and Crime General Macpherson report: 22 years on

The home affairs select committee's report examines progress against some of the most important Macpherson report recommendations made following the unprovoked racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

The committee has called for a number of recommendations including achieving a police workforce that is representative of the population by 2030 and maintaining an institutional focus on structural imbalances that lead to unequal outcomes for individuals of different ethnicities.

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Police and Crime General Walking and cycling investment

New changes to the Highway Code will give pedestrians greater priority over cars at junctions and crossings, the Transport Secretary has announced. The Department of Transport said the changes, along with an extra £338 million to boost cycling and walking, will help to sustain the increase in active travel during the pandemic.

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Police Finances Criminals to be guaranteed accommodation when they leave prison

Criminals are to be guaranteed accommodation when they leave prison as part of a £20 million plan to reduce reoffending.

They will be housed in bedsits or hostels organised by the probation service in a bid to prevent them returning to crime.

Some 18,000 prisoners - or 30 per cent of those released - were in unsettled accommodation, rough sleeping or homeless last year, with a 50 per cent greater chance of reoffending than those who had secure housing.

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Police and Crime General Government's review into the role of PCCs: Part two

Responding to the announcement of Part Two of the Review, APCC Chair Marc Jones said:

“Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) welcome Part Two of the Government’s review into the role of PCCs, which was launched on Wednesday (27 July).

“PCCs have engaged constructively with the Review throughout, and it has provided an important opportunity to build on the learning and developments since the role was created nine years ago.

“We are already working closely with government and policing partners in delivering on the recommendations of Part One of the Review, and today we welcome the start of the second phase of the process of unlocking the full potential of the PCC role, with a strong focus on developing our role across criminal justice, reducing reoffending, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and prevention.

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Prisons Manchester attack plotter Hashem Abedi refusing to participate in prison deradicalisation programme

ITV News understands that Hashem Abedi, the Manchester Arena bomb plotter, is refusing to co-operate with a deradicalisation programme in prison - and is being held at a Separation Centre away from other inmates over concerns he could radicalise other prisoners.

Our cameras were given unprecedented access to HMP Frankland in County Durham and HMP Full Sutton near York where Abedi and some of the country's most dangerous criminals are being held.

The Separation Centre at HMP Frankland, where Abedi is an inmate, is reserved for the most radical terrorists - a 'prison within a prison'. It has never been seen before on camera until now.

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Recruitment and Retention Government nearly half-way to recruiting 20,000 more officers

The government is nearly half-way to delivering on its pledge to put 20,000 additional officers on the streets by 2023, figures released today (28 July) show.

An extra 9,814 police officers have been recruited across all 43 police forces in England and Wales, where they are already having an impact in tackling crime and keeping communities safe.

The latest figures follow the launch of the government’s Beating Crime Plan yesterday (27 July), aimed at reducing crime, protecting victims and making the country safer.

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Police and Crime General Charles attends Staffordshire police memorial dedication

Police officers and staff who died on duty have been commemorated in a monument that has been unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum.

The Prince of Wales was among those at a dedication ceremony at the £4.5m memorial and garden created at the Staffordshire site, where a minute's silence was held.

He paid tribute to the "valour and sacrifice" of those who had died.

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson says stop-and-search policy ‘kind and loving’ way to get weapons off streets

Boris Johnson has defended his plan to expand blanket stop-and-search powers for police forces – insisting it was a “kind and loving” way to get dangerous weapons off the streets.

The prime minister also said he wanted to see more “chain gangs” of people found guilty of antisocial behaviour out cleaning the streets in hi-vis jackets.

Campaigners have condemned the plan to widen the power to stop and search people without suspicion, deemed by many experts to be both “ineffective” and racially disproportionate.

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson pledges to target drug abuse in anti-crime push

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to cut crime by tackling drug misuse and using electronic tagging on more burglars after release.

The government is also proposing that every neighbourhood in England and Wales should have a named police officer for residents to contact.

Mr Johnson said his efforts to make society safer would be "unstinting".

But the Police Federation, representing rank-and-file officers, said fighting crime needed greater investment.

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Police and Crime General Government launches new crime beating plan

“Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) welcome the Government’s new plan, published today, to reduce crime, protect victims and keep our communities safe. These priorities are at the heart of everything that PCCs do.

"We are pleased to see the strong end-to-end focus of the plan – from tackling serious violence and high harms, to driving down neighbourhood crime, to tackling anti-social behaviour. We know from the victims and community groups that we speak to, that these crimes destroy lives, and it is imperative that we work together at a local and national level to tackle them. We are particularly encouraged to see the strong focus on Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), which for too long has been neglected. PCCs already work closely with local authority partners and community groups to tackle ASB but we want to do more and go further. We would like to use the platform of the Beating Crime Plan to galvanise local and national partners to come together to stop ASB in its tracks – ensuring we use all the powers available to us to tackle perpetrators, support victims and invest in local communities, and where we need more powers – to make the case to Government for them.

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Police and Crime General Damning letter highlighting police anger delivered to Downing Street

National Chair John Apter has written a forthright letter to Downing Street expressing how our membership feels towards the Government, demanding it overturns its zero percent pay award decision and calling for a fairer pay review system, not influenced by government.

The action follows last week’s National Council meeting where those present voted through a motion of ‘no confidence’ in the Home Secretary and agreed to walk away from the ‘not fit for purpose’ Police Remuneration Review Body.

The letter states: “This is about much more than money, though for many the offer of a zero per cent pay rise, after all the police has been through in helping deal with the pandemic, was the final straw.

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COVID-19 Isolation exemption on the way as daily testing rolled out to forces

Frontline emergency service workers, including in policing, told to isolate by the Covid-19 app or by NHS Test and Trace will be able to continue working if they test negative in new daily testing scheme.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said new testing sites will be allocated for frontline police and fire services to ensure “critical staff can continue their vital work”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Our brave police officers and fire fighters have shown throughout the pandemic that they have worked tirelessly to keep us safe and serve their communities.”

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson pledges to to target crime and anti-social behaviour

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested electronic tagging on more burglars after release, and wider use of public "chain gangs", as measures to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.

The government is also proposing that every neighbourhood in England and Wales should have a named police officer for residents to contact.

The PM said it meant victims could speak to someone who knew the area.

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Police and Crime General PCC’s plan to tackle anti-social behaviour is top priority

Tackling and preventing anti-social behaviour is a top priority for Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen.

The PCC is committed to reducing the levels of anti-social behaviour responsible for causing residents of County Durham and Darlington great concern, alarm and distress and she is determined to work with partners to develop local solutions to local problems.

Signalling this commitment, the Commissioner will shortly be appointing an Anti-Social Behaviour Champion who will spearhead multi-agency action to address persistent anti-social behaviour and enabling victims to instigate a Community Trigger to seek redress.

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Police and Crime General Emergency mental health patients to get help within hour under NHS England plan

People arriving at A&E suffering a mental health crisis will receive urgent help within an hour under a new plan to bring in treatment targets for those with psychological and psychiatric problems.

NHS England wants to introduce five new waiting time standards specifying how long those in need should have to wait for care, in a drive to reduce what are often long delays.

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Police Demand Big Falls in Crime Figures – Drugs Are An Exception

The Office for National Statistics has today released the latest crime statistics which show that there has been an overall fall in the number of recorded crimes over the 12 month period from March 2020 to March 2021.

Within South Yorkshire most areas of crime have fallen over the 12 month period – some significantly – though with some exceptions.

There have been large decreases in theft (-32%), residential burglary (-25%), robbery (-24%) and knife crime (-19%). Other crimes including sexual offences and overall crime have also fallen.

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Police and Crime General Police declare no confidence in Priti Patel after wage freeze

Rank and file officers have announced they have no confidence in Priti Patel, the home secretary, after the government froze police pay.

The head of the Police Federation of England and Wales said the move was the “final straw” for officers and said they were angry with the government and would no longer support the pay body responsible for setting police wages.

Patel confirmed yesterday that officers earning more than £24,000 would be affected by the freeze. Those earning less will be given an annual rise of £250.

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Economy & Public Finance Chancellor facing 'difficult' spending review

Public services could face a £17bn funding cut in the spending review, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.

The IFS said that the chancellor's existing spending plans would mean up to £17bn less was spent on public services per year than was planned pre-COVID.

The economists warned Rishi Sunak has 'very little room for manoeuvre' in his forthcoming spending review due to permanent economic damage done by the pandemic and rising debt interest costs.

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Police and Crime General Aiding self-harm online to be crime

Encouraging self-harm online will be criminalised and people convicted of cyberflashing will be forced to sign the sex offenders register under proposals being put to ministers.

In a report published today, the Law Commission said it wanted to address “the harms arising from online abuse” by tightening laws on cyber-behaviour.

Commissioners said that existing legislation was “ineffective at criminalising genuinely harmful behaviour” but “in some instances disproportionately interferes with freedom of expression”.

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Recruitment and Retention Statement from John Apter, National Chair and Alex Duncan, National Secretary

“We are the undisputed and unequivocal voice of policing, particularly for rank and file officers, so it is vital that we speak up for our members.

“Police officers have been on the frontline of this pandemic for 18 months and will now see firefighters and local government workers in England given a 1.5 per cent increase while they receive nothing. This is further evidence that not all public services are treated equally by this Government, and some are valued more than others.

“The current pay system for policing is not fit for purpose. We are forced to enter into an inherently unfair process from the start, with the odds weighted firmly in favour of the Government where, it seems, a decision has already been made when they set the parameters for the pay review body.

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Police Demand Response times will be slower due to ‘pingdemic’, warns police and crime commissioner

Response times will rise due to the “pingdemic”, a police and crime commissioner has warned.

Steve Turner has called on the Government to review the self-isolation rules for workers after Cleveland Police was forced to cancel annual leave and rest days for some officers to fill gaps caused by staff contacted by the NHS Test and Trace app.

In one incident five officers were reportedly forced off-duty after they came into contact with a prisoner who tested positive for Covid-19.

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COVID-19 COVID-19: Two jabs needed to enter nightclubs from September

The Government has said people attending nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather in England will need to be fully vaccinated from the end of September. Latest figures show 35 per cent of 18 to 30-year-olds have not had their first vaccination. In the UK, there were 39,950 cases of coronavirus recorded on Monday, and another 19 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

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Police and Crime General Public street harassment could be made illegal in England and Wales

Public street harassment is likely to be criminalised under plans being drawn up by the government as part of its long-awaited strategy to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) for England and Wales.

The use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in cases of sexual harassment and abuse in higher education settings could be also be banned after a review.

It had been briefed that home secretary Priti Patel would not look to introduce a new street harassment law – called for by campaigners and the government’s own adviser.

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COVID-19 Covid: Isolation rules loosened for critical workers

Some fully vaccinated people in critical roles in England will be able to continue working even if told to self-isolate after being in close contact with someone who has Covid.

Instead those eligible - including NHS and care staff - will be able to take daily tests, the government said.

A list of critical workers is due to be published, but the PM said it included food, utility and border staff.

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COVID-19 Police commissioners fear ‘freedom day’ will unlock summer of ‘endless New Year’s Eves’

Police are bracing to deal with chaotic celebrations likened to “New Year’s Eve over and over and over again” as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Forces across England have been reporting increases in violence and anti-social behaviour linked to pubs and bars in recent weeks, and Euro 2020 was the worst football tournament on record for crime.

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Police Finances HO Stats: Police funding for England and Wales 2015 to 2022

This publication brings together previously published police funding figures for England and Wales into a single definitive publication for the last seven years.

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Justice Police and CPS in rape case blame game - report

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service are involved in a blame game over a drop in rape prosecutions, a watchdogs' report has said.

CPS figures for 2019-20 show 1,439 suspects were convicted of rape or lesser offences in England and Wales, the lowest level since records began.

This is down from 1,925 the previous year despite a rise in reports of rape.

The review by the police and CPS watchdogs calls for an urgent shift in the way rape cases are investigated.

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Justice Police chiefs want criminal inquiry into Matt Hancock leak

Officials investigating the leak of CCTV that led to Matt Hancock’s resignation raided two homes and seized computer equipment yesterday. Elected police chiefs said the investigation should become a criminal inquiry.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is looking into a data breach after footage of Hancock kissing an aide was leaked, said that two raids were carried out in the south of England. Elected police and crime commissioners said the investigation should be referred to the police because it was a serious security breach.

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Fire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners making a difference

As the Government prepares to consult on plans to change how fire services are governed, a new report sets out how Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs) are already delivering efficient and effective fire and rescue services in parts of England.

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Economy & Public Finance Price rises speed up again as economy unlocks

The UK inflation rate hit 2.5% in the year to June, the highest for nearly three years, as the unlocking of the UK economy continued.

The Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation rose from 2.1% in May, the Office for National Statistics said, driven by higher food and fuel costs. The rate is higher than the Bank of England's 2% inflation target for a second month.

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Police Finances Ban on knives, firearms and offensive weapons comes into force

Cyclone knives, spiral knives and ‘rapid-fire’ rifles are among those covered by the ban, all of which have been associated with serious violence in communities across the country.

A new legal definition of flick knives, banned since 1959, also takes effect, resulting in more of these bladed weapons being outlawed.

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Police and Crime General Home Secretary hosts first Police Covenant Board meeting

Home Secretary Priti Patel, together with senior policing leaders including the chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), will join the first Police Covenant Board meeting to oversee the implementation of the Police Covenant today (July 14).

Delivering on the Government’s manifesto commitment, the Police Covenant will provide officers with long term-support and protection to carry out their duties, with a focus on health and wellbeing, physical safety and support for families.

Police forces across the country will be given a unified set of standards to adhere to protect the physical and mental health of officers. The National Police Wellbeing Service is working with forces to ensure the new standards are attainable.

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Technology Police should use BWV cameras to record witness statements, urges report

Currently, there is no requirement for witness statements to be recorded and in most cases the only record is the written statement – usually drafted by a police officer as directed by the witness.

The new report argues that this age-old practice fails to convey important information about how the police interview with the witness is conducted, which can unduly influence their statement.

BWV cameras are widely used by police forces in the UK and are increasingly used as evidence in court. In their report, the authors say that there are “good grounds” for requiring their use to record witness interviews, in addition to their use by officers to record arrests or other events during police operations.

However, the authors caution that more research is needed into the emotional impact of BWV camera footage and called for courts to be alert to how this might adversely influence people’s judgment.

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Fire Councils reject APCC call to take over fire services

Councils will “strongly oppose” any proposals for Police and Crime Commissioners to take control of fire and rescue services.

England's most powerful council leaders made clear they won’t relinquish power or budgets to PCCs despite their claim to have government support.

The blunt warning came after the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners published a report arguing they were best-placed to improve services.

The report coincided with the start of a government consultation on oversight of fire services.

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Justice Crime victims 'hesitant' to report them over court delays

A victim of crime says some people are put off reporting incidents because of delays in getting justice.

More than 57,000 trials are yet to be heard in crown courts across England and Wales due to a backlog made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is despite investment by the UK government to reduce the backlog.

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Police Demand Police forces deal with record number of football-related incidents after Wembley final

Police forces across the country dealt with more than double the number of football-related incidents following the Euro 2020 final compared to any previous tournament matches.

The overwhelming majority of forces across England and Wales, including British Transport Police, saw an increase in demand overnight in relation to Sunday's England v Italy fixture.

There were at least 875 incidents overall. This is more than double the number of incidents recorded in relation to matches at previous tournaments - including England's World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia in 2018, when there were 335.

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Technology Forces urged to use new body-worn video policy

The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is urging more forces to utilise new guidelines which enables them to release body-worn video footage easier.

Last year National Chair John Apter raised his concerns to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) over the public sharing selective video clips of police interactions on social media and the damaging impact it can have on public confidence and criminal justice processes.

As a result, John worked with the then NPCC lead on body-worn video Chief Constable Andy Marsh and the NPCC issued new policy to forces November last year, but further improvements need to be made in this area.

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Police and Crime General PCCs back call for huge investment in drug treatment

Police and Crime Commissioners have backed calls for a whole system response to illegal drug use and its multi-billion pound cost.

Reducing illegal drug demand rather than focusing on arresting people with dependency issues is the only way to reduce the UK’s drug problem, a government-ordered review has found.

In the second part of her report, Dame Carol Black said central government had to lead a radical change of approach to problem drug users that viewed them as having a chronic health problem that needs long-term treatment.

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Police Demand New protest laws could put extra pressure on forces, ministers warned

New laws limiting protest will be difficult to enforce and are unneeded, senior policing figures have warned.

The Police Crime and Sentencing Bill, which passed its third reading by MPs earlier this week, did not alter pans to give forces more powers to break up demonstrations.

The legislation includes giving officers new powers to set time limits on protests and intervene if they are judged to be too noisy.

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Police and Crime General After Sarah Everard’s murder, police must take flashing more seriously

Police will be told to take offences such as indecent exposure and street harassment more seriously in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder.

Wayne Couzens, a serving firearms officer, abducted the 33-year-old as she walked home in south London in March. Her body was found 50 miles away in woodland in Kent after a search lasting a week. Couzens pleaded guilty to her murder on Friday, having already admitted rape and kidnapping.

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Police and Crime General ‘Target rape like county lines crime’

A county-lines-style crackdown on rape, sexual offences and violence against women is needed to improve “indefensible” prosecution rates, the police watchdog has said.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services said that the “relentless focus” on pursuing offenders who use young and vulnerable people as drug mules must be applied to female violence.

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Technology Competition body may investigate Airwave replacement company

Motorola’s position as owner of the police and emergency services Airwave system and a key supplier for the hugely delayed Emergency Services Network could be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The CMA says it is particularly concerned that Motorola could stand to make excess profits of around £1.2 billion in the period from 2020 to 2026 because Airwave was supposed to have been switched off by 2019.

As it stands the company will continue billing forces until 2026 while the massively over-budget ESN continues to overrun.

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Police and Crime General Leicestershire PCC bans staff from contact with Black Lives Matter

The police and crime commissioner for Leicestershire has said he has banned his staff from communicating with Black Lives Matter groups.

In a diary-style article for Conservative Home, Rupert Matthews wrote that on his third day in office he told his staff not to have any contact with BLM.

The subject had come up during an online staff meeting in which contact with activists from BLM was on the agenda.

“Why are we meeting an organisation that wants to defund the police, has put police officers in hospital, and desecrated the cenotaph in London?” he wrote.

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Police Demand UK facing ‘tsunami’ of fraud, experts warn MPs in plea for swift action

The UK is facing a worse threat from fraud than during the 2008 financial crisis and the Government’s efforts to fight it are falling far short, MPs have heard.

In a damning evidence session in Parliament expert David Clarke said there is a “major tsunami” of fraud coming, and the UK has created a “haven for fraudsters”.

Mr Clarke, who is a former City of London Police officer and now chair of the Fraud Advisory Panel, said a minister should be appointed to an economic crime portfolio in order to produce more accountability.

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Police and Crime General New cross-government unit to tackle drug misuse following major independent review

A new drugs unit will be set up to help end illegal drug-related illness and deaths, the government has announced today.

The Joint Combating Drugs Unit will bring together multiple government departments – including the Department of Health and Social Care, Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Education and Ministry of Justice – to help tackle drugs misuse across society.

This joint approach recognises that treatment alone is not enough and wider support, including with housing and employment, is essential to aid recovery.

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Police and Crime General ‘Staggeringly high’ number of people with autism on UK Prevent scheme

A “staggeringly high” number of people with autism are referred to the government’s anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, a terror laws watchdog will say, calling for discussion about terrorism cases in which the disability features.

Jonathan Hall QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, will say autism and terrorism has not received much public attention due to “a very real and respectable fear that making any sort of link will lead to stigma”.

But in a speech as part of the thinktank Bright Blue’s Ludgate lecture series online, he will argue that the criminal justice outcome may not always be the right one for people with autism and needs scrutiny.

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Justice Rape victims still face police phone trawl, says commissioner

Proposals for England and Wales mean people who claim to have been raped will still face pressure to hand over their phones to police and prosecutors, says the victims' commissioner.

The government's apology to rape victims has been "undermined" by the move, Dame Vera Baird told the BBC.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill sets limits to police access to victims' phone data.

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Police and Crime General The Policing Bill will leave officers in an impossible position

Policing in Britain today is an extremely difficult job. It is one that has been put under increasing pressure by rising street violence, cuts to policing and other public services, and most recently, the imposition of quickly changing — highly restrictive — Covid regulations.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which returns to parliament today, has been heralded by the government as a gift to officers, intended to relieve these enormous pressures. In reality, it contains dangerously oppressive components that will increase the politicisation of the police, pile even more pressure on front-line officers and put at risk the democratic legitimacy of British policing.

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Police and Crime General New Hampshire police and crime commissioner Donna Jones pledges 600 additional officers

The new police and crime commissioner for Hampshire has pledged to add 600 more officers to the force by the end of 2023.

Donna Jones, who won the role for the Conservatives at the elections in May, said it was her "number one priority" when she appeared for the first time in front of the county's police and crime panel which scrutinises her work.

Commissioner Jones told members: “My vision as your commissioner, as a parent, and as a citizen is that Hampshire and Isle of Wight are places children and elderly people can walk the streets without fear.

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Police and Crime General Radical action needed to tackle crime epidemic against women and girls

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said the police have made vast improvements over the last decade in how they respond to these crimes – but while this progress should continue, fundamental system-wide change is needed, and the police cannot achieve this alone.

HMICFRS said there is an epidemic of offending against women and girls – for example, an estimated 1.6 million women in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the 12 months to March 2020 – and a whole-system approach is needed to tackle it, involving not only the police but also other partners such as the Crown Prosecution Service, health, social care and education.

The inspectorate’s findings are from its interim report, released now to help inform the Government’s violence against women and girls strategy, with its final report to be published in September.

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Economy & Public Finance State pension predicted to rise by 8%

Retired people could see a bumper rise in the state pension next year, according to official forecasters.

Predictions suggest that the link with earnings growth could mean an 8% rise in the amount paid from April 2022.

That would cost the government £3bn more than previously expected, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

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Police and Crime General Counter-terror police team up with Netmums amid ‘worrying’ increase in child terrorism arrests

Arrests of under-18s for terrorism offences have almost trebled in the past year, with a “worrying” increase in the number linked to right-wing extremism.

Chief Superintendent Nik Adams, CTP’s national coordinator for Prevent, said these trends were “incredibly concerning”.

The ground-breaking partnership with the popular parenting website comes after a survey of Netmums users showed that only 28 per cent know how to spot the signs of radicalisation – even as the targeting of children by extremists online reaches record levels.

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Police and Crime General Protests, pet thefts and sex crimes: MPs want changes to the policing bill

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill allows the police to put conditions on certain protests as well as making changes to sentencing and introducing powers to more closely monitor terrorism offenders.

But new laws to crack down on noisy protests as part of the Bill were not requested by senior police officers.

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COVID-19 Masks will become personal choice, says minister

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has said England will enter a period without legal restrictions where the public will have to exercise “personal responsibility” including on face masks.

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Police and Crime General Government defeats attempts to remove protest curbs from controversial reforms


ttempts to scrap “dangerous and draconian” curbs on protests have been voted down by Government MPs.

Labour and Liberal Democrat efforts to amend the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill fell short after their proposal was rejected in the voting lobbies of the House of Commons.

As part of efforts to overhaul the justice system, the Government has proposed a raft of changes in the Bill amid protests outside in Parliament Square.

These changes include plans to give police in England and Wales more powers to impose conditions on non-violent protests judged to be too noisy and thereby causing “intimidation or harassment” or “serious unease, alarm or distress” to the public.

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Police Demand NPCC reveals alternatives to arresting rough sleepers

New guidance, issued to all 43 forces in England and Wales, urges a collaboration between police forces, local authorities and third sector organisations to tackle homelessness.

Although the number of arrests for ‘vagrancy’ are falling, the number of people sleeping on the streets is increasing.

The coronavirus pandemic revealed the number of people sleeping rough - or at risk of doing so - was much higher than previously accepted.

Councils sourced emergency accommodation for 37,430 people in England by January 2021 and 5,010 people in Wales were accommodated between August and December 2020.

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Police Finances Launch of healthcare in custody police tenders

BlueLight Commercial, in collaboration with 13 police forces, has announced the launch of seven new tenders over the next four months, for the provision of healthcare services in custody. These latest tenders have an estimated contract value of £36m, over an average five-year contract term.

The 43 police forces of England and Wales, spend approximately £21m per year on healthcare services in custody and our pipeline indicates that a further 5 Forces will need to tender next year, 7 in 2023 and up to 9 forces will need to tender in 2024.

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Police and Crime General Survivors demand action on ‘epidemic’ of child sexual abuse affecting millions in UK

Child sexual abuse is an “epidemic” affecting millions of people in the UK, survivors have said.

Patrick Sandford, who was abused by a schoolteacher at the age of nine, said society needed to “get real and wise up” about the scale of the issue.

“It’s an epidemic,” he told The Independent. “We are talking of millions of people walking around and trying to live with this.”

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Police and Crime General Get on board to help snare the train perverts, passengers told

Sexual predators are boarding trains with the sole intention of targeting female passengers, according to the first woman to be placed in charge of policing the nation’s railways.

Lucy D’Orsi, the chief constable of the British Transport Police (BTP), has urged commuters to create a “hostile environment” for perverts by reporting any incidents of leering, groping or other unwanted sexual behaviour.

“There are people who go from A to B, get a return train and come back immediately,” she said. “That’s not normal. We also know that there are people who go onto the network and are on it for a long time. If you’re on a journey for 12 hours, what are you doing?”

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Police and Crime General Policing bill ‘is harmful to democracy’

Priti Patel’s plans to curb protest have “dangerous and harmful implications” for democracy, former senior police officers have said.

They claim that the proposed legislation, which sparked widespread demonstrations including a riot in Bristol in March, will subject officers to “even greater political pressure” and potentially lead to more violence.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which returns for debate in the Commons today, introduces new powers for police to restrict protests and increases sanctions on those who breach such conditions. It will bring static protests in line with marches by allowing the police to impose time limits and maximum noise levels.

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Recruitment and Retention Frontline policing at risk from all graduate plans, warns top crime commissioner

Priti Patel has been urged to abandon all-graduate police plans as officers would rather serve alongside former soldiers when breaking up a night-time brawl than people with “expressive dance” degrees.

Marc Jones, the incoming chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said plans to make policing an all-graduate profession risked weakening the frontline by deterring older, experienced recruits like former soldiers.

Under the plans, devised by the College of Policing but yet to be formally mandated by the Home Secretary, recruits will be required to have a degree or join as an apprentice for three years and study for one while on the job.

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Police and Crime General Mobile phones could be banned from schools in England as early as January

Mobile phones will be banned from schools in England as soon as January under plans being considered by the Government, i can reveal.

The news came as the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, weighed in behind ministers to support a ban.

Last week, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson launched a consultation on behaviour in schools which will look at “creating mobile phone-free” days.

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Fire Grenfell prompts creation of building safety regulator

A new regulator will be set up with the power to prosecute property developers that do not meet safety standards, the government has announced.

The new safety regime is designed to prevent any repetition of the Grenfell Tower disaster, which killed 72 people in 2017.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick will unveil the plans in the government's Building Safety Bill on Monday.

The new system would reassure "the vast majority" of residents, he said.

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Police and Crime General Police breached 'fundamental rights' at Sarah Everard and Kill the Bill protests, parliamentary inquiry finds

Police breached "fundamental rights" in their handling of the Sarah Everard vigil in London and Kill the Bill protests in Bristol, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

The Metropolitan Police and the Avon and Somerset force committed "multiple failings" in their response to the two events, according to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy and the Constitution (APPGDC).

Their report claims that both forces wrongly applied coronavirus lockdown laws and "failed to understand their legal duties in respect of protest".

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Recruitment and Retention Third of chief constables are now women as police arrest ‘macho canteen culture’

A third of chief constables are now women, as police leaders say forces have become less The Sweeney and more Line of Duty.

Fifteen of the 46 UK forces including British Transport Police are now headed by a woman, the highest since records began and up from just four in 2019, according to an analysis by The Telegraph.

There are also an additional two female assistant commissioners in the Metropolitan police, who are of chief constable rank in a force headed by Dame Cressida Dick, Britain’s most senior officer.

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Technology Police chief accuses Facebook of putting profit before child safety

Facebook is putting profit before child safety with its plans to introduce end-to-end encryption, says the police chief in charge of fighting child abuse.

Simon Bailey, the chief constable who leads for the National Police Chiefs’ Council on child protection, will say on Wednesday that the encryption plans will "turn the lights off" for investigators seeking to expose child abusers online.

He will say it means offenders will be free to upload, share and view indecent images in the knowledge that police and other law enforcement agencies will struggle to detect them because of encryption.

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Police and Crime General Taser use to be curbed over lack of training and scrutiny

Police face new restrictions over the use of Tasers after their watchdog found training gaps and a lack of scrutiny, The Times has learnt.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) wants forces to review the circumstances in which they deploy Tasers and raised specific concerns about their use against children and vulnerable adults.

While the death of the former footballer Dalian Atkinson has brought attention to the matter, there has been a series of controversial cases in recent years. Police deployed the stun guns on 32,000 occasions in the year to March 2020, double the number from two years earlier and a fivefold increase compared with a decade ago.

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Police and Crime General Government adviser to urge more focus on health of users

An independent review into the UK's drug policies is likely to recommend a more health-based approach, the BBC understands.

"Health-based" approaches to drugs put a greater focus on treatment and recovery services for addicts.

The second part of the Dame Carol Black Review is set to be released early next month.

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Police and Crime General Police hand out just 75 Covid-19 fines for quarantine breaches since traffic-light system came into force

A leading travel body has urged the Government to scrap the traffic light system after it emerged just 75 police fines have been handed out in England and Wales for quarantine breaches since the programme came into effect.

Latest data from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) showed that 71 people in England have been issued fixed penalty notices for breaches of international travel rules since the traffic light system was introduced on 17 May, while a further four were handed police fines in Wales.

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Justice “The family and criminal court system retraumatises victims”, according to a new report

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner is calling for urgent long-term funding and more dedicated specialist court support after a new report revealed that 89 per cent of domestic abuse survivors don’t get any support when they go through the family courts.

The report also found that 71 per cent of domestic abuse survivors don’t get any support in any court at all including magistrates or crown courts.

Nicole Jacobs said it was time that Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors (IDVAs), who support and guide domestic abuse victims through the justice system, were seen as being an integral part of the family courts and criminal justice system.

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Police Demand Violence against retail employees rises

Violence against retail employees has risen over the past five years, with even more reports during the pandemic, according to HAC report. Article features interview with a shop owner who is very disappointed with police response.

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COVID-19 Police issuing almost 70 Covid fines a day despite lockdown easing

Police are still issuing almost 70 Covid fines every day despite major relaxations in lockdown rules, according to NPCC data.

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Police Demand Fake delivery scam texts soar in pandemic with 60% of Britons targeted

Fake delivery scams have soared during the pandemic with more than 60% of Britons reporting receiving at least one such text in the past year, research from the consumer rights group Which? has revealed.

The scams are so prevalent that even entirely new mobile numbers, which have not been shared, are receiving fraudulent texts within days of new accounts being created.

Thanks to the pandemic, e-commerce has boomed in Britain, in turn making fake deliveries a fruitful avenue for scammers seeking to trick unsuspecting shoppers into handing over personal details and draining their bank accounts. The texts, which usually claim that a package has missed its delivery window or requires a fee to be paid, are often the first toehold in an attack chain that can result in victims being tricked into draining their entire bank accounts.

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Police and Crime General Manchester Police officers would not report crimes to their own 'abysmal' force

Manchester police officers have warned that they "would not report a crime to their own force" owing to serious failings, an investigation has found.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said its "abysmal" track record on recording crime was "unforgivable" and had given criminals the upper hand because they are "literally walking the streets not being arrested".

The warning comes after GMP, one of the country's largest forces, was placed in special measures in December after an external report found it had failed to record 80,000 crimes in a 12-month period and had closed cases without proper investigation.

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Recruitment and Retention Greater Manchester Police: Dozens of officers ask to leave troubled force

More than 150 officers have applied to leave troubled Greater Manchester Police and transfer to a neighbouring force, the BBC has discovered.

A Freedom of Information request from Newsnight showed 155 officers have requested switches to Lancashire Constabulary so far this year.

GMP is in special measures after inspectors found it failed to investigate 80,000 crimes in a year.

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Police and Crime General Greater Manchester’s £27m crime recording system ‘doesn’t work’, says police chief

The new chief constable of Greater Manchester police has not ruled out scrapping the beleaguered force’s £27m crime recording system as it faced fresh accusations of failing victims.

The second largest police force in England and Wales launched the computer system only two years ago but it remains beset by problems, according to serving officers.

Stephen Watson, who took over as chief constable three weeks ago, said he had commissioned a review of the Integrated Operational Policing System (iOPS) but that “the information that I do have tells me that it doesn’t work”.

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Police Demand New criminal offence needed to address ‘shocking’ rise in violence against shop workers, say MPs

The Home Affairs Committee said the “patchwork of existing offences” for prosecuting incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff is not adequate to address the escalating nature of these crimes.

In a report published today (June 29), the committee also calls for a much stronger policing response to tackle the problem, which it says is becoming “endemic in British society”.

Committee chair Yvette Cooper said policing leaders “must step up and make this a priority for local forces”.

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Economy & Public Finance Javid to update MPs on lifting restrictions

New Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid will today update MPs on when the remaining coronavirus measures will be lifted in England, coming less than 48 hours after it was announced he would take over following Matt Hancock's resignation. Boris Johnson has said the restrictions will ease on 19 July, but has also promised a data review to see if this can happen two weeks earlier on 5 July, with the Commons expected to be given the details of this review.

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Police and Crime General Probation services return to public control in England and Wales

Probation services in England and Wales will return to public control, seven years after Chris Grayling's changes that were later labelled as "flawed".

The former justice secretary's 2014 reforms saw the management of low-risk and medium-risk offenders contracted out to private companies.

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Police and Crime General Two thirds of public concerned by plans to ‘criminalise protest’, polling shows

Two thirds of British people would be concerned by government plans to “criminalise protest”, polling shows.

Research seen exclusively by The Independent suggests that two thirds of the population also agreed with the statement that people “have the right to attend a protest to stand up for what they believe in”.

It comes as the government backs a suite of controversial protest laws that would increase police powers to impose restrictions.

Last week, parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights said proposals to restrict demonstrations on the basis of noise were “oppressive and wrong”.

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Police and Crime General Independent Review of Prevent launches online engagement events

The Independent Review of Prevent is reviewing the government’s strategy for supporting people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and making recommendations for a future approach.

The Independent Reviewer of Prevent wants to hear from as wide a range of people as possible to help inform his final report and today announced plans for virtual public engagement events.

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Police and Crime General Update on Coronavirus FPNs issued by police – June 2021

Police in England and Wales have processed a total of 117,213 fixed penalty notices for breaches of Coronavirus restrictions up to 20 June 2021.

The latest provisional figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council show that 2,010 fines were processed in the latest reporting period.

The total processed in England is now 105,329 and 11,884 in Wales.

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Police Finances Crime victims can now submit their own evidence to police online

The system, approved by the Mayor of London, means photographs, doorbell and dashcam footage, and CCTV material, can be uploaded.

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Economy & Public Finance Inflation to rise above 3 per cent this year, warns Bank of England

Inflation will rise above 3 per cent this year but the unexpected surge will prove “transitory”, the Bank of England warned as Rishi Sunak played down concerns about rising prices.

The central bank had expected inflation to peak at 2.5 per cent this year but solid consumer demand and a rapid pick-up in energy prices has taken it by surprise. Inflation will climb from 2.1 per cent and “exceed 3 per cent for a temporary period”.

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Technology Police make UK's biggest ever cryptocurrency seizure as they confiscate £114m

About £114m of cryptocurrency has been seized by UK police as part of a money-laundering investigation.

The Metropolitan Police said the confiscation was the largest of its kind in the UK, and one of the largest in the world.

Last year, US authorities said they had seized around $1bn (£718m) worth of Bitcoin connected to darknet market place the Silk Road, which was shut down in 2013.

The Met did not say which cryptocurrencies they seized, but revealed the operation was carried out by their Economic Crime Command team in connection with money-laundering offence

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COVID-19 Dozens of police officers caught breaching coronavirus restrictions during pandemic, new figures show

More than 160 police officers in the UK have been caught breaching coronavirus restrictions during the pandemic, Sky News can reveal.

One police constable failed to self-isolate despite having COVID symptoms, while several officers were fined for attending parties that broke lockdown rules.

At least 167 officers were found to have breached coronavirus restrictions since March 2020 - but the actual number is likely to be much higher as nearly half of UK police forces failed to say how many had flouted the measures.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel plans to curb police chiefs from speaking out on policy

Police officers face having their ability to comment on government policy constrained under plans being drawn up by Priti Patel.

The home secretary is concerned about officers, especially senior ones, commenting on politics, The Times has been told. She has instructed officials to work on ways to draw a “brighter line” between policing and policymaking.

While Patel’s allies insist that she does not want to stop police officers voicing opinions, she is said to believe it is too often unclear that the government sets policy, not the police.

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Police and Crime General Police make UK's biggest ever cryptocurrency seizure as they confiscate £114m

About £114m of cryptocurrency has been seized by UK police as part of a money-laundering investigation.

The Metropolitan Police said the confiscation was the largest of its kind in the UK, and one of the largest in the world.

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Prisons MPs seek MoJ answers over Rainsbrook youth jail contract extension

Ministers and officials are coming under increasing pressure from MPs to explain why a private firm was granted a two-year extension to run a youth jail despite long-term concerns about its performance, a year before the facility was in effect shut down.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced last week that all children at Rainsbrook secure training centre are to be removed after the US-based contractor MTC failed to address problems raised by inspectors and by the justice secretary, Robert Buckland.

The future of the site is yet to be determined and officials are looking at alternative uses.

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Police and Crime General UK introducing three laws that threaten human rights, says UN expert

Boris Johnson’s government is introducing three pieces of legislation that will make human rights violations more likely to occur and less likely to be sanctioned even as averting climate catastrophe depends on these rights, the UN special rapporteur for human rights and the environment has said.

“These three pieces of legislation are shrinking civic space at a time when the global environment crisis demands that people’s voices be heard,” said David Boyd.

He was referring to the policing bill, which proposes changes to enforcement and sentencing, the covert human intelligence sources bill, which protects undercover state agents from prosecution for crimes, and plans to weaken judicial review, the process to challenge ministerial decisions, including on the environment.

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Police and Crime General PCC victims’ service commended for work during pandemic

A victims’ support service which has adapted its services to help victims of crime during the Coronavirus pandemic has been commended by Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Dwyer.

Cheshire CARES (Cope and Recovery Enhanced Service) is the county’s flagship victims’ support service which offers support to all victims of crime in Cheshire. It is funded by the PCC.

Like many services, when the pandemic broke out in March 2020, Cheshire CARES quickly adapted its service model so it could offer an increased number of victims support via the telephone or online.

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Prisons Continued influence

Six months on, Michael Drury and Caroline Mair examine the UK’s policing and law enforcement capabilities in Europe post-Brexit...

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Justice Police Commissioner welcomes independent report into police response to domestic abuse

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today welcomed an independent report into the police service’s proactive response to prevent domestic abuse and protect victims during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emily Spurrell responded after the release of the report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) which said the pandemic had put domestic abuse victims at greater risk, but praised the police for making good use of technology and working with partners to find new ways to support victims.

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Economy & Public Finance Government borrowing eases in May

Government borrowing fell in May compared with the same month last year, with the economy in recovery mode after lockdown measures eased.

Borrowing - the difference between spending and tax income - was £24.3bn, official figures show, which was £19.4bn lower than May last year.

However, the figure was the second-highest for May since records began.

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Police and Crime General New protest bill may breach human rights, say MPs

The Government should drop its "disproportionate" plan to ban noisy protests in England and Wales, a parliamentary committee has warned. The Joint Committee on Human Rights said the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill could undermine freedom of expression, under proposals to introduce powers to deal with demonstrations involving only one person.

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Police Finances Hampshire Police first with Common Platform and SJS

Hampshire Police is the first force in England to use a new management system for SJP cases. Anyone in the county responding to an SJP charge, such as a traffic offence, will be able to enter their plea digitally. This means they can resolve their case quickly, fairly and efficiently without going to court.

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COVID-19 Anti-lockdown Westminster protest

Three police officers have been injured and 14 people arrested during an anti-lockdown protest in central London.

The Met Police said protesters were becoming "obstructive and hostile" towards officers during the demonstration in Westminster earlier.

The force said people were arrested for offences including assaulting an emergency service worker, public order offences and obstructing the highway.

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Police Finances Serious funding to prevent violent crime

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner has launched a new fund to divert young people from a life of crime and help protect the most vulnerable from harm.

The Serious Violence Fund aims to prevent young people in Cleveland from getting involved in serious violent crime such as knife crime – or becoming victims – by taking part in positive activities to fuel their interests and ambitions.

The PCC has called for community projects working with the Under-25s to submit applications for funding to support their activities. Successful applications will:

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Police Finances Safer Streets funding will not tackle VAWG issues, says sector

The group or organisations say they are "seriously concerned that the design of this fund will do very little to tackle male violence and increase women’s safety, and could in fact cause further harm”.

In March 2021 the government announced a further £25 million would be invested into the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund during the 2021/22 financial year, following the killing of Sarah Everard.

Round Three of the Safer Streets Fund was launched on 3rd June 2021 to improve the safety of public places, with a focus on reducing VAWG crimes. Police and Crime Commissioners, Local Authorities and the British Transport Police are invited to bid for funding to: reduce VAWG and increase women and girls’ feelings of safety in public spaces; build the evidence base for ‘what works’ on reducing VAWG crimes; and improve national and local data on VAWG crimes.

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Police and Crime General Drop 'disproportionate' plan to ban noisy protests, government told

The government should drop its "disproportionate" plan to ban noisy protests in England and Wales, a parliamentary committee has warned.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would also introduce powers to deal with demonstrations involving only one person.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said the legislation could undermine freedom of expression.

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Justice Lord Burnett: ‘Waiting years for trial, not knowing what’s going on, it’s deeply damaging’

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, is talking about delays in sex cases, like the one which over three years ruined the life of Lady Nourse.

"Put yourself in the position of a complainant or a defendant waiting years for trial. You don’t know what’s going on for all that time. It’s just deeply damaging to people," he says.

He is visibly frustrated at such delays, which contributed to what Lady Nourse confessed to The Telegraph was her own sense of "massive injustice".

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Justice PreviousNext Trial juries should be cut in numbers to clear crown court backlog, Lord Chief Justice says with some trials listed for 2023

Reducing the size of trial juries could help clear the backlog of crown court cases, the Lord Chief Justice has suggested.

Lord Burnett of Maldon, the most senior judge in England and Wales, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the Covid-19 pandemic had led to 'deeply damaging' delays in the justice system.

He said the coronavirus crisis had exacerbated a backlog of crown court cases caused by years of budget cuts.

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Technology New tool for under-18s to report nude photos of themselves online

Under-18s who want nude pictures or videos of themselves removed from the internet can now report the images through an online tool.

The service - from the Internet Watch Foundation and Childline - aims to help children who have been groomed, or whose partners have posted photos of them online.

The IWF will examine the images and try and remove them if they break the law.

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Justice ‘Insult to injury’: Rape survivor says government’s review doesn’t go far enough and historical cases must be reopened

A rape survivor whose case was not prosecuted has said a government review has added “insult to injury” for victims.

Bonny Turner waived her right to lifetime anonymity to reveal how the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to charge a man who “confessed” to raping her in a Facebook message.

After failing to overturn the decision in a series of appeals, she said ministers’ apology for years of failings was “little comfort”.

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Police Demand 'Urgent action' needed to tackle fly-tipping, says National Farmers' Union

"Urgent action" is needed to tackle fly-tipping in rural communities, according to the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

New figures from the Environment Agency suggest that farmers are the group of people who are most affected by fly-tipping, with the NFU adding that the rising number of incidents is having a devastating impact on farming businesses across the country.

NFU Deputy President, Stuart Roberts, said: “This survey has again thrown into sharp focus the extensive problems fly-tipping is causing.

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Police and Crime General For the silent majority, police failure to come down hard on Extinction Rebellion will be a surrender to mob rule

Next weekend Britain will witness a watershed moment in the culture war dividing society that will help gauge which side is likely to emerge victorious.

The battleground will be not only the streets of London, where activists will stage an "uprising" against the "mainstream media", but also your local supermarket or newsagent, where they will try to persuade, intimidate, or simply prevent you from buying your daily newspaper.

Extinction Rebellion (XR), which was set up to raise awareness of climate change, is planning a "spicy" day of protests and is appealing for "arrestables" to come forward – in other words protesters who will set out to get arrested for breaking the law.

A spokesman for Extinction Rebellion said: "We carry out civil disobedience so, yes, we will be doing things that are breaking the law. We will be giving more details next week."

It will be a litmus test for police forces who have previously acted as spectators during similar protests, when they have allowed roads to be illegally shut, printworks to be blockaded and statues to be toppled or desecrated.

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Justice One third of convicted sex offenders across England and Wales avoid prison

Ministers are facing demands to explain why thousands of convicted sexual offenders across England and Wales have avoided prison.

An Observer investigation found that adults convicted of sexually assaulting children under 13, or of engaging in sexual activity with underage teenagers, are among those who have not been jailed.

An Observer analysis of thousands of convictions shows that between 2013 and 2020, 14,530 of the 44,721 adults sentenced for sexual offences were given suspended or community sentences – almost one in three. Just over 60% were immediately sent to prison, with the rest dealt with in other ways, such as conditional discharges and fines.

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Police and Crime General Anti-corruption tsar vows to tackle Met police over Daniel Morgan cover-up

Boris Johnson’s anti-corruption tsar has piled renewed pressure on Cressida Dick after describing the findings of an inquiry that called the Metropolitan police institutionally corrupt as “horrifying”.

The prime minister’s anti-corruption champion, John Penrose MP, said it was vital that new measures be considered in the wake of last week’s bombshell report into the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan to prevent police closing ranks in the future.

Last week, an independent inquiry set up to review the notorious death of the private detective in 1987 accused Scotland Yard of decades of cover-up, corruption and incompetence. It concluded that the Met had been more interested in protecting its reputation than solving the murder.

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Police and Crime General "There is no evidence of endemic corruption in any UK police force" says GMP's new chief

The new chief constable of Greater Manchester Police has declared the country’s forces to be free of corruption - at least when it comes to the ‘traditional’ definition of the word.

Chief Const Stephen Watson, who stepped into the role in March, was responding on BBC Radio 4 to questions around the murder of Daniel Morgan, who was found dead with an axe embedded in his head in a Sydenham pub car park in March 1987.

A report by an independent panel, released on Tuesday, accused the Met of ‘a form of institutional corruption’ for concealing or denying failings over Britain’s most-investigated unsolved murder.

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Police and Crime General Police slammed for ‘double standards’ as huge crowds allowed to take over London

Police have been criticised for letting thousands of football fans party on the streets despite the pandemic.

Scenes of Scotland supporters gathering en masse in Leicester Square have been contrasted with the heavy-handed approach seen at other events including the vigil held in memory of Sarah Everard in March.

Angry campaigners have been quick to point out the differences in policing the two sets of crowds, with the Met favouring a much more hands-off approach last night.

Lockdown rules have been significantly relaxed in the three months between the events but gatherings of more than 30 are still banned and cases are higher now than they were in March.

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Police and Crime General PCC joins partners for official opening of Sexual Assault Referral Centre in County Durham

Today (Saturday 19th June), marks the official opening of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre in County Durham.

The Durham Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Joy Allen was joined by Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary Jo Farrell, NHS England and local authority representatives for the opening.

The official opening has been postponed for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic but under current regulations the site could be opened safely outdoors.

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Police and Crime General Security failures raised death toll in Manchester Arena bombing

Police and security failures on the night of the Manchester Arena bombing cost lives and the Islamic State-inspired attacker should have been identified as a threat, a public inquiry has found.

Sir John Saunders, its chairman, yesterday outlined missed opportunities to stop Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people when he blew himself up in the aftermath of a pop concert in May 2017.

The failures included officers from British Transport Police disappearing for a two-hour meal break, including a five-mile drive to buy a kebab. Fifteen minutes before the blast a security steward “fobbed off” a member of the public who reported concerns about Abedi, and police had opportunities to spot him before the attack.

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Justice Scorecards for prosecutors and police to judge rape case success

Police and prosecutors will be scored on their handling of rape cases for the first time under plans to reverse the declining rate of those that reach court.

The “scorecards” will be published every six months to show how each part of the criminal justice system is performing across England and Wales.

Ministers have set a target to return the volume of rape cases resulting in suspects being charged to 2016 levels. The Crown Prosecution Service completed 4,643 prosecutions then but that fell to 1,490 by last year.

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Police and Crime General Police to crack down on drones flown dangerously

Police in the UK are being given new powers to crack down on people flying drones irresponsibly or illegally, with dedicated teams on the lookout for those breaking the rules.

Police working for Operation Foreverwing can now confiscate drones being flown dangerously.

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Police Finances PSAA proposals ‘pay lip service’ to smaller audit firms

Proposed reforms by local audit administrator Public Sector Audit Appointments will fail to bring smaller companies into the sector, according to a senior partner at a 60-strong accountancy firm.

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Police and Crime General £36 million contract for new MOD Police Patrol Craft

A £36 million contract has been awarded to Marine Specialised Technology to deliver 18 new police patrol craft for the MOD and Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) Forces.

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Police and Crime General Former Asian senior police officer says it is a nonsense to claim institutional racism has vanished

An officer who became Scotland Yard’s highest-ranking ranking Asian woman says it is a nonsense to claim institutional racism has vanished from the police and the UK.

Parm Sandhu, who resigned as chief superintendent after 30 years with the Metropolitan Police in 2019, told i the Government’s recent and controversial race report flew in the face of her lived experience of racism at work.

The report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities in March drew criticism when its chair, Dr Tony Sewell, said it found no evidence of institutional racism.

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COVID-19 Lockdown easing in England delayed to 19 July

The Prime Minister has announced the final stage of easing lockdown restrictions in England is to be delayed until 19 July, meaning most remaining curbs on social contact will continue beyond 21 June, when they had been due to be lifted. Boris Johnson said there would be a review after two weeks and he was "confident" the delay would not need to be longer, while the gap between vaccine doses for over-40s in England will be reduced from 12 to eight weeks and the target to offer all adults a first dose will be brought forward to 19 July.

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Police and Crime General Victims of police domestic abuse 'feel silenced'

UK police forces have received more than 800 allegations of domestic abuse against officers and staff over the last five years, BBC research has revealed.

Just 43 cases - about 5% of the total - were prosecuted.

Victims of domestic abuse have told the BBC they do not believe their complaints were properly investigated.

The National Police Chiefs Council said there was "no place in policing for people who abuse others".

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Technology Nine national recommendations made regarding police officers’ use of WhatsApp messaging system

Nine recommendations have been made to all police forces in England and Wales to ensure a consistent approach to the use of WhatsApp for work purposes by police officers following a review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

During an IOPC investigation it became apparent that Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers were using the instant messaging application from their personal devices to discuss work related matters including sharing operational information and sensitive documents.

This prompted the IOPC to carry out a review of whether the 43 forces in England and Wales, together with nine organisations with law enforcement, investigatory powers or operational roles, were using WhatsApp or any other instant messaging platform, and if so how they were being managed.

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Police and Crime General HMICFRS strategy

Today [15 June] we published Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) strategy 2021-25. This document explains what HMICFRS aims to achieve as we fulfil our statutory objectives, and how we will continue to go about using our powers, insight and influence to best effect.

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Police and Crime General Review of ‘effectiveness and efficiency’ of IOPC to be brought forward

Speaking to the House of Commons this afternoon (June 15), Priti Patel said: “There can be no confidence in the integrity of policing without confidence in the police watchdog. The IOPC has made good progress since it was formed in 2018, but questions remain about its ability to hold the police to account.

“In particular, profound concerns exist around the handling of the IOPC’s investigation into Operation Midland. The issues raised by Daniel Morgan’s independent panel further reinforce the need for a strong police watchdog.

“I am therefore announcing today that I am bringing forward the next periodic review of the IOPC to start this summer. This will include an assessment of the IOPC’s effectiveness and efficiency.”

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Police and Crime General Telling schoolgirls to wear shorts to prevent upskirting ‘fuels victim blaming’

Girls should not have to wear shorts under their uniform to protect against upskirting, the Education Select Committee has heard, as Ofsted's chief warns it fuels victim blaming.

Female pupils are being wrongly encouraged to take steps to ensure that their male peers are unable to take pictures of their underwear without them knowing, Conservative MP Tom Hunt told the meeting on Tuesday.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector of schools, responded that encouraging girls to take steps to cover themselves rather than clamping down on those who upskirt was putting blame at the doors of victims rather than perpetrators.

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Technology Children’s access to online porn fuels sexual harassment, says commissioner

Curbs on children’s access to online pornography need to be brought in urgently to stop the spread of an activity that is partly to blame for normalising sexual harassment in schools, according to the new children’s commissioner for England.

Dame Rachel de Souza is urging governments and tech companies to introduce age verification checks. She warned that access to hardcore pornography was shaping children’s expectations of relationships and was partly to blame for thousands of testimonies of sexual harassment by schoolchildren published on the Everyone’s Invited website over the last few months.

The testimonies prompted Ofsted to carry out a review of what was happening in schools. Its report, published last week, revealed that inspectors found sexual harassment and online sexual abuse to be a routine part of pupils’ lives.

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Police and Crime General Public do not want virtue-signalling officers, new police chief says

The level of “woke” policing has passed a “high water mark” of tolerance from the public – who would rather see officers catch burglars, the new head of England’s second largest force has said.

Stephen Watson, the new chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), believes the public is “fed up” and that the impartiality of officers could be undermined by responses to campaign groups including actions such as taking the knee or wearing their pins, badges or rainbow shoelaces.

On whether he would take the knee in uniform, Mr Watson told The Daily Telegraph: “No, I absolutely would not. I would probably kneel before the Queen God, and Mrs Watson, that’s it.”

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Economy & Public Finance Lockdown easing in England to be delayed by four weeks

Most coronavirus rules will remain in place in England for another four weeks after the planned 21 June unlocking, government sources have told the BBC.

Senior ministers have signed off on the decision to delay the lifting of all legal restrictions on social contact.

That could mean capacity limits for sports, pubs and cinemas will remain, and nightclubs would stay closed.

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Police and Crime General ‘Innovation led’ force partnership to increase officer efficiency and visibility

The “cutting-edge” technology will give officers greater access to up-to-date information at touch of a button, including details on people or places officers are dealing with.

Common tasks such as recording of statements, registering instances of sudden death and vehicle ticketing will also be automated.

Previous processes meant officers often had to return to a ‘base location’ to complete administrative tasks via a desktop computer.

As well as enabling greater interaction with the public, the two forces say the technology means officers have both the correct resources and skills to tackle crime in an increasingly digital-focused world.

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Police and Crime General Police forces 'failing to protect stalking victims'

New powers to protect stalking victims are not being used by some UK police forces, a BBC investigation has found.

Stalking protection orders (SPOs) were introduced in January last year to make it easier for victims to get support.

Despite a rise in stalking offences during lockdown, some police forces had not issued a single order.

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Police and Crime General Police lose Patel’s texts on night of Extinction Rebellion print site protest

Priti Patel repeatedly contacted senior police officers after the country’s biggest newspaper printing plant was blockaded by climate change activists.

The home secretary’s text messages to officers were deleted in an IT “glitch” and no record was made of the telephone conversations.

A report by Hertfordshire police said that there had been “significant political pressure” after Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked the entrance to the Newsprinters site in Broxbourne, where newspapers including The Times are printed.

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Police and Crime General Covid: Police feel betrayed over vaccinations priority, Priti Patel told

Police officers feel a "deep sense of betrayal" that they were not prioritised for vaccination, the Police Federation chairman has said.

John Apter said he pressed the home secretary to ensure officers were moved up the vaccine priority list.

Ministers lobbied the vaccine advisory body but Priti Patel said the government had to accept its decision not to make police an exception.

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Police and Crime General Home Secretary at the Police Federation conference 2021

The Home Secretary's speech to the police federation.

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Police and Crime General Wiltshire Police in 'precarious position' without PCC

An independent panel said Wiltshire Police will be in a "precarious situation" without a police and crime commissioner (PCC) at its helm.

Jonathon Seed was voted into the role for Wiltshire Police in May but was unable to take the position due to a historical driving conviction.

Without a PCC, no one has authority to fire or hire the Chief Constable.

Chief executive of the office of police commissioner Kieran Kilgallen will be made an interim PCC until 19 August.

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Police and Crime General MPs call for drug safety testing amid fears of rise in UK festival deaths

Women whose children died at festivals after taking drugs have urged the UK government to support “life-saving” substance-checking services after an influential parliamentary committee warned it was concerned there would be a surge in youth drug deaths this summer without action.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee last month called on the home secretary to introduce widespread drug-checking services after it reviewed the evidence and heard “compelling” arguments that it saved lives.

Janine Milburn, the mother of Georgia Jones, who died aged 18 at the Mutiny festival in Hampshire in 2018 after taking dangerously high-strength MDMA, said she believed her daughter might still be alive if there had been drug-checking services.

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Recruitment and Retention Ex-GMP chief Ian Hopkins joins board of police recruitment agency

Former Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has joined the board of a firm that hires retired cops back to police forces as temporary staff, including GMP.

It is understood Mr Hopkins, who stepped down in December as GMP were placed in special measures, is now no longer on the force’s payroll after several months during which he continued to be paid despite not being in post.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has declined to provide details of the financial terms of his departure, saying that they would be published 'in due course'.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel may have influenced police response to XR blockade of printing press, court hears

The home secretary may have influenced the police response to an Extinction Rebellion protest at a Rupert Murdoch-owned printing works, a court has heard.

A trial at St Albans Magistrates’ Court has been told of multiple calls from “the home secretary” to the chief constable of Hertfordshire Police during the blockade in September.

The defence argues that such interference would contradict the fundamental principle of operational independence for police in the UK, which the government has previously committed to protecting.

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Police and Crime General G7 Summit: Thousands of additional police arrive in Devon and Cornwall

Thousands of extra police officers have begun arriving in Devon and Cornwall ahead of the G7 summit.

The 5,000 mutual aid officers, from forces across the UK, will assist during the event at Carbis Bay Hotel between 11 and 13 June.

They have been arriving in police vans and on coaches and are being treated to a cream tea on arrival.

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Police Demand Insurance fraud cases up by 10 percent thanks to COVID-19

Covid has sent insurance-claim fraud up 10 per cent and it will get worse as households and businesses suffer more financial stress, according to Aviva. The firm uncovered more than 12,000 instances of deceit worth £113million last year.

Whiplash accounted for 60 percent of all detected cons in 2020 and even though road traffic fell markedly during the lockdowns, Aviva said cash-for-crash claims grew 20 percent. On Monday the Ministry of Justice introduced reforms aimed at curbing whiplash fraud.

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Police and Crime General Assaults on officers ‘a stain on society’ says Chair

The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales has responded to new crime figures which show a 26 per cent rise in assaults against emergency workers.

John Apter said: “We have seen a consistent increase in violence against emergency workers during the pandemic with the vast majority of these assaults being against police officers. At the same time other crime types have fallen.

“This increased level of violence is not just a one off. It is becoming the new norm which is completely unacceptable. Violence in our society is not just a policing issue, all parts of Government and society itself must work together to combat this alarming increase. Part of this is ensuring those responsible for attacking police officers face a suitable deterrent in Court. The sentencing guidelines have been changed, so we need judges and magistrates to use these powers to set an example to those who are assaulting our colleagues, those responsible must spend time in prison. This unjustified violence is a stain on society and needs to be dealt with robustly.”

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Police Finances Millions more funding for projects to make our streets safer

Forty areas?across England and Wales have?today?been awarded a total of £18.3 million?to make our streets safer through projects to crack down on neighbourhood crimes like burglary, vehicle theft and robbery.

The money, from the government’s Safer Streets Fund, will go towards measures proven to cut crime, including simple changes to the design of streets such as locked gates around alleyways, increased street-lighting and the installation of CCTV.?

The third round of the Safer Streets Fund also opens today, providing another opportunity to bid from a fund of £25 million for the year?2021/22.

This next round of funding will?go beyond?essential environmental measures like improved street lighting?and?encourage police to?secure innovative bids for?plans primarily focused on helping make women and girls feel safer on the streets, as well as projects which could include an emphasis on changing attitudes and behaviours?in local communities.

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Police and Crime General Taskforce set up to stop 'most severe' child sexual abuse images and videos being shared online

The new team of “highly trained analysts’ has been launched by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) following record numbers of reports of illegal online content.

The taskforce will assess and grade millions of the most severe images and videos of child rape and sexual torture.

IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves OBE said it will be “a major step forward for internet safety”.

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Prisons Prison officers take dogs to work to cut prisoners' stress

Prison officers are taking their dogs to work in a bid to defuse tensions and help inmates during the pandemic.

Visits to prisons were suspended for months as the coronavirus pandemic hit and there were fears for inmates' mental health due to strict Covid restrictions.

At Parc Prison, Bridgend, officers said the dogs helped lighten the atmosphere

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Police and Crime General ‘Troubling rise’ in assaults on officers despite drop in recorded crime

Assaults were up 26 per cent in the four weeks to April 11, according to latest figures from forces in England and Wales.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said the rise is thought to be driven by increases in common assaults on police officers, including suspects spitting on officers while claiming to be infected with Covid-19.

NPCC chair Martin Hewitt said the assaults were “unacceptable”.

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COVID-19 Lockdown easing debate intensifies

Environment Secretary George Eustice said the Government could not rule out a delay to the planned lockdown easing. Some scientists have called for the easing to be postponed for a few weeks while business leaders say any lockdown extension would be hugely damaging to the economy.

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Economy & Public Finance Sunak seeks tech business tax deal

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has reportedly urged US President Joe Biden to agree a deal on the taxation of tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. Finance ministers from the G7 group of leading industrialised nations, including the UK and US, will meet in London on Friday.

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Police Demand Crackdown urged as criminals exploit 3,000 children a year

‘Peter Kyle, the shadow minister for justice, says that gang leaders were exploiting young people at “record levels”.

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Police Demand Crackdown urged as criminals exploit 3,000 children a year

More than 3,000 children are criminally exploited every year, figures show, as calls were made for a crackdown on the “Mr Bigs” who abuse them. Many of the youngsters are forced to transport drugs along county lines, the method by which urban gangs push narcotics into market towns and villages.

Statistics show that the number of children exploited into county lines has increased fivefold since 2017, to 1,391. Hundreds more children are being used in the sex trade or for domestic servitude, says an analysis of the national referral mechanism, which identifies victims of modern slavery. The number of referrals last year for children who suffered criminal exploitation was 3,231.

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Justice Rape victims face two-year wait for move to pre-record evidence

Plans to offer all alleged rape victims the opportunity to pre-record evidence will not be in place for another two years, The Times understands.

Ministers are set to disappoint campaigners by announcing a limited pilot of the proposals over fears that technology in courts would not cope with an immediate nationwide introduction.

The review is also understood to call for further restrictions on character evidence in the cross-examination of alleged victims. That would mean that allowing the prosecution to cross-examine complainants about their sexual history would be all but abolished.

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Police and Crime General Third of police officers ‘felt unsafe’ dealing with public in lockdown, study of force reveals

A third of officers covering one of the largest police areas in England felt unsafe dealing with the public during coronavirus lockdowns, according to a new study.

The research, by the University of Portsmouth, also found that 35 per cent of officers working in different ranks and roles within Hampshire Constabulary said they had been abused or threatened by a member of the public during lockdowns.

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Police and Crime General Officers could face ‘criminal consequences’ for unacceptable use of social media, warns police watchdog

Unacceptable use of social media could result in officers facing “criminal consequences”, the police watchdog has warned.

Data from i’s FoI investigation highlighted a series of racism complaints linked to comments made on social media, and offensive memes and images shared with colleagues on WhatsApp.

Between July 2017 and February 2020, West Yorkshire Police issued four officers with final written warnings for posting racist material on social media and group chats.

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Police and Crime General Officers accused of sexual abuse must face investigation, says police chief

All serving police officers accused of domestic or sexual abuse should face misconduct hearings as well as criminal investigations, according to the most senior police officer for domestic abuse in England and Wales.

Last month it emerged that nearly 150 women have come forward with claims of rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse by ex-partners in the police force. Louisa Rolfe, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead on domestic abuse, said she was “horrified” by the allegations and “doubly horrified” at reports they had not been properly investigated.

She said forces must ensure there was “no conflict of interest [and] investigators have no connection with the perpetrator” if a report of abuse was made against a serving officer.

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COVID-19 75 per cent of new COVID-19 cases are Indian variant

Up to three quarters of new coronavirus cases in the UK could be the variant first identified in India, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Cases of the variant have risen by 3,535 to 6,959 in the last week, with yesterday’s total number of cases standing at 3,542. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England “may need to wait” for the lifting of all restrictions on June 21.

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Police Demand Thousands of girls ‘failed’ by police and social services

Police and social services have been accused of failing to protect thousands of girls as young as 11 at risk of sexual abuse. Research by The Times found that children known to be at risk of abuse have gone missing more than 55,000 times in the UK over the past three years.

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Police and Crime General Health workers ‘fear that flagging child abuse will breach data laws’

Health professionals are failing to tell police about child rape victims because they fear it will breach data protection requirements, one of the country’s most senior police officers has said.

Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, said the failure to share information with police was one of the most significant obstacles in tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE).

He accused agencies, including sexual health clinics, of being overly cautious and not passing on intelligence about grooming and abuse when they should. Local authorities had also failed to share critical information, which meant that children at risk of exploitation had been housed with potential abusers, he said.

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Technology College moves to end victims' fears over mobile phone data

New advice has been issued to officers on how to access data from mobile devices in a bid to avoid evidence being rejected by the courts.

The College of Policing has warned forces must take a consistent approach when examining data from mobile phones and other digital devices to balance the rights of individuals with the need to carry out thorough independent investigations.

The College’s latest Authorised Professional Practice ensures investigations comply with legislation and balances people’s rights to privacy against the absolute right of all individuals to a fair trial.

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Police Finances £500m scale of Covid-19 council tax hit revealed

Government support will not cover the half-billion-pound scale of lost council tax receipts in the year following the outbreak of Covid-19 – leaving councils facing service cuts – according to sector figures.

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Recruitment and Retention London ‘won’t get 3,000 more police’

London Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden told her London Assembly confirmation hearing that it will be “quite a stretch” for the Met to receive the 6,000 extra officers it desires out of the 20,000 national uplift.

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson threatens tougher sentences for dog theft

Dog thieves and owners who abandon their pets when they return to the office after the pandemic could face tougher sentences under plans being considered by the government.

Dognapping, which soared during lockdown, could be prosecuted under animal welfare laws instead of the Theft Act 1968. Ministers believe this will ensure that the emotional attachment between owners and their pets is considered in more cases.

Boris Johnson, who owns a white Jack Russell cross called Dilyn, has said that dog theft can “cause huge pain and grief to the victims”.

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Police Finances Government urges against travel to eight COVID-19 areas

The Government is advising people not to travel into and out of places hit hardest by the COVID-19 variant first identified in India unless necessary, it has emerged. Health officials said it was spreading quickest in Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside. Residents in the affected areas are also asked not to meet indoors.

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Police and Crime General Call to stop e-scooter trials until rules are clear

Ministers have been urged to ban e-scooters until manufacturers and retailers make them safe and the public understands the law.

Matthew Scott, Kent’s police and crime commissioner (PCC), has written to Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, warning him that the government risks “losing control” of e-scooter usage in the UK unless all trials are halted.

He said “inconsiderate riders” were becoming an increasing danger on roads and pavements across the country since trials were launched in more than 50 cities last summer.

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Police and Crime General Calls for review of police stop-and-search powers

Campaigners have called for a crackdown on stop-and-search powers amid fears they could be extended under a controversial policing Bill.

A year on from the death of George Floyd in the US, there have been demands for an overhaul of the stop-and-search policy in the UK which allow police to search people and vehicles for drugs or weapons without a warrant.

Thousands of people in the UK took part in protests prompted by Mr Floyd’s murder on May 25 last year.

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Technology Bodycams for farmers as they fight rural crime

Farmers across Wales are turning to technology to fight rural crime - including wearing bodycams.

A recent survey by NFU Cymru found that 31% of farmers had invested at least £1,000 in crime prevention measures in the last five years.

In north Wales, police are working with the farming community to launch Future Farms Cymru, a scheme using technology to tackle thefts on farms.

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Technology Wrongly deleted police records recovered, Government confirms

Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said in a written statement to the Commons that the information wrongly deleted from the database, linked to cases where no further action was taken, along with DNA and fingerprint records, has been reinstated.

While police chiefs continue to investigate the impact of the loss, Mr Malthouse said: “To date, we are not aware of any law enforcement operations that were significantly adversely affected by this incident.”

In total 209,550 offence records were wrongly deleted, which were associated with 112,697 individuals’ records, along with 195 full fingerprint records.

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Recruitment and Retention South Yorkshire Police set for first female chief

The next chief constable of South Yorkshire Police is set to be a woman for the first time.

Deputy Chief Constable Lauren Poultney has been named the preferred candidate to replace Stephen Watson, who left to lead Greater Manchester Police.

Ms Poultney, who has been a police officer for 23 years, was named temporary Chief Constable on 19 May.

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Police and Crime General ‘Racist’ blanket stop and search powers must be repealed, super-complaint says

A super-complaint has been launched against powers to stop and search people without suspicion in areas chosen by the police, amid allegations of ineffectiveness and racism.

The Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA), a network of 160 organisations, is calling for section 60 stop and search laws to be repealed as numbers rocket in England and Wales.

The controversial law allows police to search people without suspicion in specified areas where violence is anticipated.

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Police and Crime General Further £500,000 to support victims of terrorism

Cruse Bereavement Care, the Peace Foundation, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Victim Support will each receive £125,000 to ensure a range of victims’ needs are supported. This builds upon the £500,000 originally awarded to these organisations last year.

Since these services were launched in October 2020, they have provided vital support to those affected by terror attacks. The additional funding will mean that victims can continue to access support, including a 24/7 national contact centre and caseworker support, mental health and bereavement services, and facilitated peer support.

We recognise a victim as anyone who has suffered harm, including those who have been injured by, witnesses to, bereaved, responded to or otherwise affected by a terrorist attack. These services will support those affected by domestic and overseas terrorist attacks, and their family members.

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Technology Security agencies and police beef up iPhone-cracking contracts

Dozens of security agencies and police forces in the UK are using iPhone cracking tools provided by a controversial technology company to hack into devices owned by the public, amid an ongoing row over app encryption and public safety.

Cellebrite, an Israeli digital forensics company which was criticised for selling its technology to Saudi Arabia, Russia and China, helps governments hack into phones without a need for the user’s pin using a cable and a special computer program. It can also retrieve deleted messages and app data, including a person’s detailed location history.

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Police and Crime General More money needed to tackle inequality, says Merseyside police chief

More money needs to be ploughed into tackling inequality as a way to cut crime, Merseyside police’s first female chief constable has said, arguing that “policing is a larger partner [in society] than just locking up the bad people”.

Serena Kennedy, who took over the role last month, said she agreed with her predecessor, who said that if he was given £5bn to reduce crime, he would put £1bn into law enforcement and £4bn into tackling poverty.

Andy Cooke made the unusually frank comments about the relationship between deprivation and offending as he stepped down after 36 years with the force, the last 11 under a Conservative government that has been accused of widening inequality.

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Justice Fewer than one in 60 rape cases lead to charge in England and Wales

Fewer than one in 60 rape cases recorded by the police last year resulted in a suspect being charged, analysis of Home Office figures seen by the Guardian reveals.

While there were 52,210 rapes recorded by police in England and Wales in 2020, only 843 resulted in a charge or a summons – a rate of 1.6%.

The figures will increase pressure on the government to deliver radical proposals to overhaul the treatment of rape by the criminal justice system in a long-awaited end-to-end review into how rape is investigated and prosecuted in England and Wales.

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Police Finances Special Grant Guidance Reviewed

Police and crime commissioners can apply to the Home Office for special grant funding to meet additional costs that would be incurred from policing unexpected and exceptional events within their areas. The guidance has been revised.

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Recruitment and Retention New Northumbria Police detectives will tackle crime gangs at the 'highest level'

New detectives are being recruited to bring down the organised crime bosses that bring misery to our streets.

Northumbria Police has become the latest force to launch a Graduate Detective Programme, which gives people the opportunity to get a job solving crimes, without spending time as a bobby on the beat first.

And today the force's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has revealed that the detectives are needed to tackle the Serious Organised Crime Groups that plague the region.

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Prisons New concerns over probation officer numbers after reunification

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) workforce quarterly statistics are not normally the most exciting read. But today’s edition will have found a wider readership than usual. With the reunification of the probation service just five weeks away (D Day is 26 June), there are mounting concerns about whether the new service will be sufficiently staffed.

Last week, probation inspectors raised concerns about the long-standing shortages of probation officers, noting that Southern regions in particular, both National Probation Service and CRCs, have consistently struggled to attract sufficient numbers of qualified probation officers with the vacancy rate as high as 35 per cent in some areas. The inspectors highlighted that HMPPS has committed to recruiting 1,000 trainee probation officers in 2020/2021, with 443 already started in July 2020 and further intakes planned throughout 2021, but pointed out that it will take several years for them to complete their training.

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Police and Crime General Proposed measures over Traveller communities could leave officers in a 'very difficult position'

The measures have been put forward by the Government as part of its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as part of efforts to overhaul the justice system, cut offending and make streets safer. It includes laws which would give police more powers to tackle unauthorised encampments which interfere with the ability to use land.

However, Janette McCormick, who leads the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s work in this area, warned the proposed measures could leave officers in a “very difficult position”, adding: “The concern is that decision making and to use that criminal power will be pushed back on to the officers by the very way that the nature of the legislation is drawn up.

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Police Demand ‘You can’t block the M5’: police prepare for mass protests at Cornwall G7 summit

Activists are expected to disrupt next month’s G7 summit in Cornwall by blocking main roads into the county, trying to obstruct convoys carrying world leaders and perhaps even targeting a cruise ship that will be anchored off the coast as extra accommodation for police officers.

Devon and Cornwall police are preparing for thousands of protesters to head to the far south-west of Britain for the 11-13 June event, which is centred on the seaside village of Carbis Bay and the towns of St Ives and Falmouth.

The force said on Thursday it has identified more than 30 groups planning protests, marches, demonstrations or direct action – and accepted there were bound to be others it did not know about.

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Police Finances ‘A step in the right direction’ – sector responds to local audit proposals

Government proposals on local audit have gained a qualified welcome from the sector – but questions still remain, say experts.

Yesterday, the government proposed that the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority, announced as a replacement for the Financial Reporting Council last year, will be strengthened with new powers to oversee the local government audit system.

Additionally, the government confirmed that a liaison committee to oversee the governance of the new audit arrangements and ensure they are operating effectively.

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Police Finances Report makes case for Annual Proportional Property Tax system

A think tank has argued council tax and stamp duty should be scrapped and replaced with an Annual Proportional Property Tax (APPT).

In a new report, Bright Blue said the current property taxation system in England is 'distortive and regressive'. It concludes that APPT would be the best replacement on both economic and political grounds.

Under the proposals, local authorities would be given the freedom to impose separate APPT tax rates from central Government to fund public services.

It also recommends a 25% surcharge for second home owners and a Development Levy set at 20% for the market price of new developments.

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Police and Crime General Federation still delaying investigations, says IOPC

The Home Affairs Committee meeting today (Wednesday 19 May) scrutinised the impact of recent reforms to the police conduct and complaints system since their implementation in February 2020.

On the panel quizzed by MPs was Michael Lockwood, IOPC Director General, Claire Bassett, IOPC Deputy Director General, Operations, Kathie Cashell, IOPC Director, Strategy and Impact.

Yvette Cooper put to the panel: “We've seen obviously the figures of big improvements in timeliness. We've also heard responses at different stages of the inquiry of people complaining about police forces, police officers or the police Federation, resisting or adding delays to the processes.

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Police Finances Government announces new local audit leader

The Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority, announced as a replacement for the FRC last year, will be strengthened with new powers to oversee the local government audit system.

ARGA would provide annual reports on the state of local audit and take over responsibility for the updated Code of Local Audit Practice - the guidelines councils are required to follow, the government said today.

Local government minister Luke Hall said: “It is essential that we have an effective and transparent local audit system that ensures value for money for the taxpayer.

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Economy & Public Finance Johnson forced to rethink his plan to end social distancing

Boris Johnson has shelved a planned announcement of an end to social distancing rules as the faster-spreading Indian variant forces a rethink.

The prime minister will no longer announce next week that fines for not wearing face masks will end next month, or that businesses will no longer be compelled to keep people at least a metre apart.

His spokesman said that there was no “set time” for any announcement as scientists attempt to assess the danger posed by the variant.

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Justice Women being arrested and criminalised after reporting violence and abuse, say MPs

Thousands of women are needlessly arrested and detained in custody each year before being released without charge, MPs have said.

A report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in the Penal System says this includes cases where women were victims of crimes, or were arrested while visibly distressed, as well as when there were fears about their mental health.

Researchers found almost 100,000 arrests of women are made in England and Wales every year - with 37,000 estimated to lead to no charges being pressed.

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Police and Crime General Police warn 'those who blatantly disregard' remaining Covid rules will be fined

Police have warned that "those who blatantly disregard" the rules will be fined as Covid restrictions relaxed on Monday.

As pubs and restaurants opened their doors again to allow groups of six to be served inside, police chiefs warned they would take action against anyone breaking the rules.

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “The police will continue to play our part in helping the UK beat the virus and will take any necessary action against those who blatantly disregard the remaining restrictions. Anyone attending or organising large illegal parties or unlicensed music events can expect to be fined.”

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Police Demand Met police preparing for ‘trouble and violence’ in London as lockdown restrictions ease

Police patrols across London will be stepped up to combat anti-social and illegal behaviour as lockdown restrictions ease during ‘critical phase of the pandemic’.

Everyone in the UK is willing on the return to normality.

To be able to see and hug our loved ones, travel in the UK and abroad, and - most importantly for many - be able to enjoy a pint indoors.

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Justice Rape victims in England and Wales to give video evidence to boost convictions

Rape victims in England and Wales will be able to provide their evidence on video prior to a trial to help improve conviction rates, it is understood.

The plans form part of a review, led by the justice secretary, Robert Buckland, and the home secretary, Priti Patel, aiming to reduce stress on survivors.

The government review to be unveiled next month is considering a plan for rape survivors to pre-record their evidence, including cross-examination, to spare them the trauma of appearing in person in court.

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Recruitment and Retention Graduates lack ‘life experience’ and ‘hardiness’ to cope with front line, police chief warns

Graduate-only entry to the police risks an influx of recruits who lack the “life experience” and “hardiness” to cope with the increasing violence that frontline officers face, a chief constable has warned.

Nick Adderley, chief constable of Northamptonshire police, said the plans to make policing a graduate-only profession from June 23 could create a “perfect storm” of inexperienced officers facing rising violence.

Police forces are currently nearly half way through a major recruitment of 20,000 new officers, which coincides with the full introduction of graduate entry, either through taking qualifications as part of apprenticeship or joining as a graduate.

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Justice Rape victims will have their phones returned by police within 24 hours as part of new Government drive to increase convictions for sex attacks

Rape victims will have their phones returned by police within 24 hours as part of a new Government drive to increase convictions for sex attacks, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

A review led by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, due to be published next month, will recommend a raft of measures that shift the focus from the credibility of rape victims towards the suspect's behaviour.

A report by the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham last year concluded that police forces were taking 'excessive amounts of personal data' from victims' phones amid warnings that cases were being dropped due to the intrusive demands.

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Police and Crime General New rule changes could close loopholes and stop catalytic converter thefts

Campaigners are pushing to introduce tougher rules on the selling of scrap metal to prevent the upsurge in catalytic converter crimes.

Sources have said the new rule could see tougher restrictions on the sale of precious metals found in converters such as palladium and rhodium to deter criminals stealing the parts. New rules may also see scrap metal dealers forced to keep records on the sale of parts so thieves can be tracked down.

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Police Demand Lockdown crime and future trends: reasons to be less cheerful?

The latest crime figures for England and Wales, covering the calendar year 2020, have been published by the Office for National Statistics. At the same time, the Home Office has released new data on ‘outcomes’ - showing how many offences have led to people being charged or cautioned. Crest Advisory and data science specialists Justice Episteme, in a project known as Poliscope, have also issued the first national forecasts of crime for the next two years, based on figures from the website. Our Head of Strategy and Insight, Danny Shaw, highlights the key points from the three sets of data

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Justice More than one in four criminal cases collapse as victims give up

A record number of criminal cases collapsed last year as more than a million alleged victims dropped out before trials began, adding to concerns about delays in the crown courts.

Official figures released yesterday showed the problem was of particular concern in rape cases, with more than 44 per cent of alleged victims giving up before a trial began. The rise in the collapse of criminal cases in England and Wales prompted claims that the government was “failing to protect victims and keep the public safe”.

The Home Office figures showed that overall last year 26.4 per cent of criminal cases collapsed because alleged victims “did not support the action”. Of more than 4.5 million recorded crimes last year, more than 1.3 million alleged victims dropped out before trial. The percentage of collapsed cases is the highest on record. The figure doubled in five years. The dropout rate for sexual offences was 34.6 per cent, or 61,000 victims.

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Police Demand Online fraud up 70pc during Covid pandemic

Online fraud rose by up to 70 per cent during the pandemic as families were forced to go online to shop and bank, official figures have revealed.

While nearly all other crimes fell in the year to December 2020 because of the pandemic, fraud overall was up by four per cent, but by far more with scams by criminals operating online.

Official data shows fraud is now the most common offence in England and Wales, with people who turned to buy their goods online during the pandemic among the biggest victims. Shopping and auction fraud offences rose to 86,984 cases in 2020, a 38 per cent increase on 2019.

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Police Demand Sex offences and violent crime set to rise by a fifth

Sexual offences and violence are due to increase by a fifth over the next two years compared with pre-pandemic levels, according to a forecast.

Drugs offences and public order crimes, including harassment, violent disorder, affray and being drunk and disorderly are also likely to rise, the analysis predicts.

Burglary, which has been in decline since the mid-1990s, is expected to fall by nearly a third and robbery is also set to decrease.

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Police and Crime General IOPC investigates over 1,500 officers and staff in first two years

Figures published today (13 May) show since the IOPC replaced the Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2018 the watchdog has investigated 1,504 people.

From April 2018 to March 2020 there were 1,435 investigations carried out, and 1,504 people were investigated for their conduct. 503 (33 per cent) had no case to answer and 364 (24 per cent) faced other action, such as management advice.

Misconduct was proven in 181 of the other 311 cases (58 per cent) that went to misconduct proceedings.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economic bounceback set to outpace peers after big 2020 decline

The 9.8% contraction was the UK’s worst in 100 years and larger than almost all of its peers, with Spain the only major economy to perform worse, according to a paper by ratings agency S&P Global.

The agency forecast 11% growth cumulatively over 2021 and 2022 for the UK, compared with 8.7% for the EU.

“All things going well, despite Brexit, the UK’s GDP growth should outpace that of most of its peers,” the agency said.

A stringent lockdown was partially to blame for the decline in activity, the agency’s paper said.

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Police and Crime General Watchdog asks police to investigate council accounts

The national watchdog said it will interview officers and members at Porthcawl Town Council to understand the reasons behind decisions made regarding the council’s accounts for 2019-20.

South Wales Police has been called in amid concerns that some parts of the interviews could be beyond the watchdog’s jurisdiction.

A council statement said: “Audit Wales have now arrived at a position where they will need to interview members and staff of the council to gain a complete view of certain events and decisions.

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Technology Tech playing growing role in UK domestic abuse cases, experts say

Domestic abuse cases requiring specialist support because technology has played a key role have soared over the last year, the largest specialist provider of domestic abuse investigation services in England and Wales has warned.

Complex tech abuse cases involve perpetrators using multiple accounts and devices to abuse, control and monitor their partners using a range of tech as well as sophisticated malicious software.

Refuge, which on any given day supports over 7,000 women and children across its services, said the average number of complex tech abuse cases for the period April 2020 to May this year were up 97% compared with the average number in the three months before the outbreak of the pandemic.

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Police Demand Violent crime falls sharply during Covid lockdown - study

Covid-19 restrictions led to the sharpest fall in violent crime for at least 20 years, a report suggests.

Violence was down by a third in England and Wales in 2020 compared with the previous year, according to research by Cardiff University.

"From a violence perspective, 2020 was the safest year on record," said co-author Prof Jonathan Shepherd.

But the report also found that the easing of restrictions was "accompanied by rapid increases" in violence.

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COVID-19 COVID-19 inquiry promised within a year

The Prime Minister has committed to holding a “full, proper” public inquiry in the next year into the Government’s handling of the pandemic. He said such an inquiry was “essential” and pledged to hold one within this session of Parliament.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel faces little resistance as Tories sweep police elections

Priti Patel has consolidated her power over policing after the Conservatives won 70 per cent of elected police and crime commissioner posts, including 11 gains.

Policing experts said that the result, which one PCC called a “blue tsunami”, meant that the home secretary would encounter little resistance from PCCs when implementing her agenda. There are no independent PCCs in England and Wales, compared with 12 nearly a decade ago when the elections were introduced and there was emphasis on keeping party politics out of policing.

PCCs oversee the strategic direction of forces, control budgets and have the power to hire and fire chief constables. Conservatives now have the posts in 29 of 41 police force areas.

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Police and Crime General Salisbury Novichok-poisoned officer suing Wiltshire Police

An ex-police officer who was poisoned in the Salisbury Novichok attack is suing his former force.

Det Sgt Nick Bailey was the first person to enter the home of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, the target of the nerve agent, in March 2018.

Lawyers acting for Mr Bailey, who left Wiltshire Police last October, lodged the High Court case earlier this month.

In December, Mr Bailey's wife Sarah tweeted that he was still "fighting for part of his pension".

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Police and Crime General Attacks on 999 workers unacceptable, Gwent Police chief says

A police chief has called for stiffer sentences for assaults on emergency service workers, saying penalties often "don't go far enough".

New figures show attacks including biting and spitting were, on average, 10% higher a month during the pandemic.

Gwent Police Chief Constable Pam Kelly's spoke out at the launch of a campaign by Wales' emergency services, condemning abuse suffered by staff.

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Technology Corrupt police officer Kashif Mahmood caught after gangster group was hacked

A corrupt policeman who stole drug money for an organised crime group is the latest criminal to be convicted with the help of intelligence from an encrypted messaging service hacked by police.

PC Kashif Mahmood, 31, carried out fake stops on cars he knew to be carrying hundreds of thousands of pounds in drug money at the behest of an international syndicate.

Encrochat, a messaging network favoured by gangsters that was hacked by French police, was used by those running the enterprise. A total of 1,500 arrests have been made as a result of the breakthrough, with the seizure of more than 100 guns and drugs worth hundreds of millions of pounds on the street.

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Pensions Queen’s Speech: government introduces McCloud remedy bill

The Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill, announced during the Queen’s Speech yesterday, aims to reform pension arrangements and increase the mandatory retirement age for the judiciary.

Changes to public services pensions in 2015 meant that older members could stay in their existing pension schemes but a subsequent court ruling judged this to be discriminatory against younger workers.

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Police and Crime General APCC Election Results (Updated)

Polls closed at 10pm on Thursday 6 May 2021 for elections for 35 Police and Crime Commissioners; four Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners; and three Mayors. Counting of votes is taking place across England and Wales, with different policing areas due to announce their results at different times.

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Police and Crime General COVID lockdowns exacerbated racist policing in the UK, say experts

A Collision of Crises: Racism, Policing and the COVID-19 Pandemic shows that in response to the pandemic, the UK government introduced unprecedented police powers under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations and the Coronavirus Act (2020). But according to CoDE, the policing of the pandemic reflects historical patterns, resulting in the greatest impact on racially minoritised communities, with new police powers adding to and exacerbating pre-existing forms of racist policing.

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Police and Crime General West Midlands Police get creative tackling youth crime in Coventry by appointing artist in residence

Kay Rufai is taking the law into his own creative hands. The filmmaker, poet and playwright has been signed up by West Midlands Police to become its first artist in residence.

He is charged with building better connections with young people and tackling youth violence in Coventry through arts and culture, in a project entitled Barriers to Bridges.

“I’m someone who loves to embark on challenges to improve my growth, both personally and professionally,” he said. “When I came across this opportunity to take on a creative residency and work with young people, it stood out as a perfect opportunity to learn more about the structures and practices that already exist and use my creative skillsets to bring about care-based approaches to policing.”

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Police and Crime General Cressida Dick considered sending all-female police support units to the Clapham Common vigil

Dame Cressida Dick has insisted the Metropolitan Police took a “reasonable and sensible” approach at the Sarah Everard vigil – but admitted she had considered deploying all-female police support units to the event.

Thousands of people – predominantly women – gathered on Clapham Common on 13 March to honour the memory of the 33-year-old, whose disappearance and death sparked a national outcry.

The peaceful demonstration went ahead despite the organisers, Reclaim These Streets, formally calling off the event due to a High Court ban issued the previous day, and the Met faced a storm of criticism after it descended into chaos when officers started to disperse crowds from the bandstand.

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Recruitment and Retention Record number of women to govern policing across England and Wales

More than half of the police forces in England and Wales are to be governed by new Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs); Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs); and deputy mayors for policing – including a record number of women.

Last week’s elections saw turnouts of well above 30% in most areas. Some areas recorded turnout in the mid-40s. Voters returned 22 brand new Commissioners and mayors. In addition, Cheshire’s PCC John Dwyer returns to a role he served between 2012 and 2016.

A further 18 PCCs, PFCCs, and Mayors were re-elected, bringing the total to 29 Conservatives, 11 Labour, and 1 Plaid Cymru. All will take up their roles, which include holding their police forces to account and setting policing priorities on the public’s behalf, from Thursday 13 May.

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Police Finances Welsh police force failing to record thousands of crimes each year including violence and domestic abuse

A Welsh police force is failing to record thousands of crimes each year with violence and domestic abuse often going unrecorded, a damning report has found.

Dyfed-Powys Police is only recording 87.6% of all reported crime meaning an estimated 4,400 crimes are not recorded each year, according to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)

More worryingly the figure drops where violent crime is concerned. Here only 85.4% of offences are being recorded – some involving domestic abuse or vulnerable victims.

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Police Finances Facebook’s encryption will cost lives in fight against terror and crime

Neil Basu, Britain’s most senior counterterrorism officer, smiles wryly when asked if he wants to be the next Metropolitan Police commissioner. “I get asked this a remarkable amount actually. I’ve been a career detective. I’ve been a detective chief inspector on a murder squad, the greatest detective job there is — as every TV show will tell you.” The question hangs in the air as I anticipate a typical evasive answer from someone in his position.

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COVID-19 PM confirms lockdown roadmap will progress on 17 May - indoor hospitality and household mixing to return

Boris Johnson has confirmed a major easing of COVID-19 restrictions in England will go ahead from next week.

At a news conference later today the prime minister will say that from 17 May, meetings of six people, or two households, will be allowed to take place indoors for the first time since January.

Indoor hospitality will also be able to reopen, foreign holidays will no longer be restricted, and according to Cabinet minister Michael Gove, people will be able to hug loved ones again.

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Police and Crime General Jonathon Seed: Conservative PCC candidate barred after offence emerges

A candidate running to be Wiltshire's next Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has been disbarred after a historical driving offence emerged.

Jonathon Seed was the Conservative Party's candidate to replace fellow Tory Angus Macpherson.

A party spokesperson confirmed Mr Seed had been disbarred, while Mr Seed told the BBC he had withdrawn himself.

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Police Demand Police warn of terror attack threats as crowds return to potential targets after lockdown

Police have warned that terrorists’ capabilities and intention to commit attacks in the UK “have not changed” during the coronavirus pandemic, as potential targets become more crowded after lockdown.

Four plots, two classified as Islamist and two extreme right-wing, have been foiled since March 2020.

They bring the total number of thwarted attacks in the past four years to 29, with 18 Islamist, 10 extreme right-wing and one classified as “left-wing, anarchist or single-issue terrorism”.

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Police and Crime General Disbarred Jonathon Seed wins Wiltshire PCC race

A fresh Police and Crime Commissioner election will be held after a disbarred candidate won.

Conservative candidate Jonathon Seed gained 100,003 first and second preference votes in the Swindon and Wiltshire election.

News of an historical driving offence which made him ineligible did not emerge until Sunday after polls had closed.

Wiltshire Police said it was assessing how to proceed.

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Police and Crime General The new Police and Crime Commissioners elected in Wales

Wales' four Police and Crime Commissioners have been elected.

The results were announced on Sunday afternoon as the last of the counting came to an end after Thursday's elections.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections use the Supplementary Vote system, which means voters mark on the ballot paper their first choice and can – if they wish – mark on the ballot paper their second choice too.

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Police and Crime General The 2021 police and crime commissioner elections: The platforms, the profiles and the challenges ahead for PCCs [opinion]

As the dust slowly settles on the 2021 police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections, and those in post start to implement their manifestos, Professor Peter Joyce (Wrexham Glynd?r University) and Dr Wendy Laverick (University of Hull) take a closer look at the election process – who fought on what issues, how the parties fared, the profiles of those now in office, and what the challenges will be for PCCs going forwards.

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Police Demand UK taskforce to tackle rising number of pet thefts

A taskforce has been set up by the government to look into tackling the “deplorable” crime of pet theft, which has soared during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In March, DogLost, a UK charity that helps victims of dog theft, recorded a 170% increase in the crime, from 172 dogs reported stolen in 2019 to 465 in 2020.

The taskforce will look into what is contributing to the rise in dognapping, and recommend solutions to tackle the problem. It will be made up of officials from the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice as well as the police, seeking input from animal welfare groups and experts.

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Recruitment and Retention The best part of my role? Talking with members and helping them through tough times

National Chair, John Apter explains how it’s the small things that can often make the most difference...

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Recruitment and Retention Only one in 70 newly hired police officers is black despite pledges to build bridges with minority communities

Just one in 70 newly hired police officers in the past year was black, according to official statistics which suggest Britons of African and Caribbean descent are still underrepresented in the police.

Ministers and police leaders have vowed to build better relationships with minority groups in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests which exposed mistrust of police officers among some communities. The Liberal Democrats have accused the Government of “failing woefully” to build a diverse police force.

An extra 8,771 officers have joined the police in England and Wales following ministers’ drive to pump billions of pounds of investment into the public services after the era of austerity.

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Technology Online Safety Bill ignoring 'epidemic of scams' faced by the UK, experts warn

New laws must be used to make sure online platforms protect their users from scams, the government has been warned.

Seventeen consumer and business groups and authorities have said scams should be included in the proposed Online Safety Bill, which could be announced in next week's Queen's Speech.

The inclusion would protect consumers from an "avalanche" of scams that are causing "devastating financial and emotional harm", they said.

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Police and Crime General Live Election Results from the APCC

Polls closed at 10pm on Thursday 6 May 2021 for elections for 35 Police and Crime Commissioners; four Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners; and three Mayors. Counting of votes is taking place across England and Wales, with different policing areas due to announce their results at different times.

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Technology First national digital forensics services purchasing system is now live

The new system is an eagerly anticipated advancement in digital forensics. The scope, quality standards and structure of the DPS have been built by forces, for forces to meet future digital forensic service requirements for policing and law enforcement and is fully endorsed by Digital Forensics Marketplace Operations Group.

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Police and Crime General Gangland ‘factories’ turn £100 starting pistols into deadly weapons

Scotland Yard wants tougher laws on the sale of starter guns after discovering workshops converting the £100 sports devices into deadly weapons.

Athletics associations are being encouraged to move away from the use of blank-firing pistols and police and the National Crime Agency (NCA) are pushing for reforms in the law that would limit their availability, the Metropolitan Police said yesterday.

A gun is seized “at least every day” by police in London, and seizures increased from 366 in 2019 to 443 in 2020, driven in part by a continuing investigation into organised crime after the penetration of EncroChat, an encrypted communications network.

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Pensions Unions talk up judicial review over McCloud reforms

The Public and Commercial Services Union said the Treasury’s proposals to fund additional costs resulting from McCloud would effectively “steal” benefits from scheme members.

The proposals, published in February, give eligible scheme members a seven-year window in which they must choose whether they accrue benefits under their original pension scheme or through the new one introduced as part of the reforms.

However, the union said that the proposals would see scheme members foot the bill, which could see employees miss out on reduced contributions and increased benefits.

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COVID-19 1m plus rule could end from 21 June, says PM

There is a "good chance" the one-metre plus social distancing rule will end on 21 June in England, the Prime Minister has said. Boris Johnson said the results of the vaccine rollout are "really starting to show up in the epidemiology”, but any change would depend on the data.

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COVID-19 Boris Johnson nearly halfway to reaching goal of 20,000 more police officers on Britain’s streets

The latest Police Uplift Programme data shows nearly 9,000 of the 20,000 new police officers have been recruited.

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Police and Crime General The Police Crime Prevention Academy delivers Designing out Crime qualification to 11 Police Forces

Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCO’s) representing eleven police forces are amongst the latest to undertake the accredited Level 5 Diploma in Crime Prevention – Designing Out Crime, delivered by the Police Crime Prevention Academy.

All Fifteen Designing Out Crime Officers who undertook the accredited qualification in March 2021 are newly appointed DOCO’s who will be in a unique position to influence their managers and partner agencies in seeking sustainable reductions in crime and helping to make local communities safer.

Bedfordshire Police, Leicestershire Police, North Wales Police, South Wales Police, Surrey Police, Kent Police, Dorset Police, Avon and Somerset Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, West Midlands Police and the British Transport Police were all represented at the recent national delivery of the Level 5 Designing Out Crime qualification, which provides the learning and application that’s required for this specialist role.

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Police and Crime General Police use of emergency powers to retain DNA ‘responsible and proportionate’

The Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner says he is satisfied that emergency powers granted to the police under the Coronavirus Act 2020 for retaining fingerprints and DNA profiles have been “used in a responsible and proportionate manner”.

Professor Fraser Sampson said he has seen nothing to indicate that the police have applied the provisions “in anything other than the manner intended – necessarily, temporarily and proportionately”.

Section 24 of the Act enabled the Secretary of State to make regulations allowing the police to keep fingerprints and DNA profiles for six months on grounds of national security when there was no other statutory basis for keeping them. The police could do so without carrying out a detailed review of the risk posed by an individual nor the making of a National Security Determination (NSD) by a chief officer.

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Economy & Public Finance Government announces ‘levelling up’ white paper

A ‘levelling up’ white paper will be published later this year with the aim of clarifying the government’s agenda and ensuring public spending organisations are able to drive “meaningful change”.

Reducing regional inequalities was a central promise of the current government’s 2019 election manifesto. However, so far ‘levelling up’ initiatives have been limited to infrastructure funds, which have faced allegations of being designed to favour Conservative constituencies rather than meeting genuine economic needs.

The white paper will articulate “how bold new policy interventions will improve opportunity and boost livelihoods across the country” during the economic recovery from Covid-19, a statement from Downing Street and the Cabinet Office said.

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Police and Crime General Government makes progress on tackling fraud and economic crime

The government has today published an update on its progress in tackling economic crime and delivering on its ambition to ensure the UK remains a transparent, safe and open place for global business.

The Economic Crime Plan, launched in 2019 following approval by the Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB), set out an ambitious programme of work to tackle fraud and money laundering and set out how the UK’s public and private sectors would work together to improve our response to economic crime.

The statement of progress today is published following a meeting of the ECSB in February. It sets out how the government has worked through the coronavirus pandemic to tackle economic criminals and disrupt hostile actors.

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson says he understands fans’ feelings after Old Trafford invasion

PM responds to questions about fans protesting at MU Stadium, where six officers were injured: “I don’t think it’s a good idea to have disruptive behaviour, demonstrations of that kind. But on the other hand, I do understand people’s strength of feeling.”

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Police and Crime General BBC report on the increase of Asian hate crime in the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As footballers boycott social media over hate crimes, the abuse directed at Spurs star Son Heung-Min has focused attention on racism suffered by people of Asian background.

Community leaders say such abuse has increased dramatically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the US, Congress has just enacted a hate crime bill giving specific protection to Asians.

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Police Demand Boris Johnson promises crackdown on theft of pets after rise in dognapping

PM promises to crack down on dognapping after a rise in the crime. Campaigners want stolen pets to be legally recognised as members of the family.

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Police Demand Police fail to solve one million burglaries over past five years

Almost one million burglaries have gone unsolved in the last five years, according to crime stats unearthed by the Lib Dems.

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COVID-19 Quarantine for Covid contacts could be scrapped

People may not need to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone with Covid, if a new trial is successful.

The government-backed research will trial giving people daily lateral flow tests for seven days - instead of quarantining for 10 days. So long as they test negative all week, they can carry on with their lives.

It comes as the foreign secretary said the country was "in a good position" to end almost all restrictions on 21 June.

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson wants planning reforms to feature in Queen’s Speech

Boris Johnson has signed off more than 25 bills to be presented in the Queen’s Speech next week as he seeks to flesh out his coronavirus recovery plan, it emerged last night.

The new legislative programme will feature planning reforms, a post-Brexit state aid regime and a long-awaited bill to reform social care.

The prime minister has told aides that he wants the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the government’s legislative agenda for the next 12 months, to provide a plan for Britain’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

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Police and Crime General Asian hate crime in UK increases during pandemic

As footballers boycott social media over hate crimes, the abuse directed at Spurs star Son Heung-Min has focused attention on racism suffered by people of Asian background.

Community leaders say such abuse has increased dramatically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the US, Congress has just enacted a hate crime bill giving specific protection to Asians. The number of such crimes reported to police in London alone tripled at the start of the pandemic. But campaigners and police agree many go unreported.

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Technology Police reveal details on the chilling death threats sent through social media

Police have revealed they are dealing with a record number of chilling death threats every year where criminals use Facebook to broadcast their murderous intentions.

The social media platform sees an estimated 670 horrifying threats to murder and mutilate people posted every year, which the police are then called in to investigate.

Victims have logged on to Facebook to find they have been threatened with knife and gun murders, torture, arson attacks and even bombs.

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COVID-19 New modelling ‘optimistic’ third wave may not happen at all

A new model has been reported to show the risk of a "third wave" of COVID-19 cases in the UK has been diminished due to the vaccination programme. The modelling by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is due to be presented to the Government’s SAGE Committee.

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COVID-19 More than 15 million people now fully vaccinated as UK reports 14 more deaths

More than 15 million people across the UK have now had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

It means a large proportion of the elderly and most vulnerable are fully inoculated against COVID-19.

A further 372,304 second jabs were administered on Saturday, bringing the total to 15,329,617.

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Police and Crime General Police fail to solve one million burglaries over past five years

Almost one million burglaries have gone unsolved in the last five years, amid warnings that cuts to neighbourhood policing are leaving homeowners at the mercy of criminals....

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COVID-19 The Covid fines paint a bleak picture of pandemic policing that’s going to get worse [OPINION]

When the government handed the police powers to detain and fine people under emergency coronavirus regulations last year, anti-racists warned that some communities would be disproportionately affected.

I was among them – as were a cluster of grassroots groups, which wrote, on the day the Coronavirus Act was introduced to parliament: “We believe increased police and immigration officer powers will only be used to target those already targeted by law.”

Unfortunately, our predictions have been proved right, with parliament’s joint committee on human rights concluding last week that every single Covid fine issued under the law in England should be reviewed amid concerns they were “discriminatory and unfair”.

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Police and Crime General Force schools to report epidemic of sex abuse to police, say campaigners

Ministers are under pressure to make schools legally bound to share reports of the sexual abuse of pupils with the police.

There is no requirement for schools to pass on allegations of sexual abuse of children in their care. The Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA), the chairman of the education select committee and lawyers working with abuse victims are calling for an urgent change in the law.

Since the novelist Louis de Bernières wrote last month about the “hell” he endured as a young boy at a Kent boarding school in the 1960s, hundreds of readers have shared their experiences. Most feature physical or sexual abuse.

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COVID-19 Thousands head to UK's first club night in more than a year for coronavirus safety pilot event

Clubbers have returned to the dancefloor after more than a year's wait - for a COVID safety pilot event in Liverpool.

Some 6,000 partygoers are expected at the First Dance event, which stretches across two-nights from Friday at the city's warehouse nightclub Circus.

Ticket-holders have not needed to socially distance or wear face coverings, but they did need proof of a negative COVID test result before being allowed in.

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COVID-19 Covid-19 infections in UK back to late summer levels - ONS

Coronavirus infections in the UK are back to levels seen at the end of last summer with around one in 1,000 people infected, ONS data suggests.

In the week to 24 April, infections fell in all four nations of the UK and were 20 times lower than in January.

It comes as a new UK study has found very small numbers of people have been admitted to hospital with Covid several weeks after having one vaccine dose.

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COVID-19 Record rate of online Covid vaccine bookings

The NHS reported a record rate of online bookings after offering jabs to those aged 40 and 41 yesterday, with 120,000 people signing up before 9am.

Those in the current cohort for vaccination were able to use the national booking system from 7am.

On Monday, when booking opened to 44-year-olds, there were almost 300,000 bookings throughout the day and on Tuesday, when 42 and 43-year-olds were included, there were just over 400,000.

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COVID-19 Covid-19 vaccine offered to people aged 40 and over in England

People aged 40 and over in England are now able to book their Covid jabs, NHS officials say.

Text messages will be sent to 40 and 41-year-olds, directing them to the national booking service. Meanwhile, about 22 million people in the UK are living in areas that have not reported any Covid deaths that happened in April, BBC analysis shows.

Since the vaccine rollout began in December, about 34 million people have had at least one dose in the UK.

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Police and Crime General Police handlers to receive first aid training to help their dogs injured in line of duty

Britain's police dog handlers are to receive free first aid training to help save the lives of their injured four-legged partners.

With an estimated 250 police dogs injured in the line of duty every year, experts, charities and police forces have teamed up for the first-ever nationwide campaign to provide the UK’s 1,500 police dogs greater support in critical moments of need.

Experts from Dog First Aid Training will provide a free virtual course for police dog handlers that will teach them how to immediately treat blunt force trauma injuries, burns and identify the signs of shock.

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Police Finances Cipfa Publishes the Role of the CFO in Policing Document

An overview of the roles of the PCC's CFO and the chief constable's CFO within policing, with particular focus on how the two CFOs can work together to achieve the best outcomes.

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Police Finances Grahame Morris MP: Replace council tax with a proportional property tax

The current system is broken. Councillors should put pressure on their parties to support long-term sustainable reform, writes the Labour MP and former shadow communities minister.

My preferred option for moving forward is replacing council tax and stamp duty with a proportional property tax set at 0.48% of a property’s value.

The tax would see every property owner paying a flat 0.48% of the value of their property, with the burden moving from renters to landlords. Around 76% of households would stand to gain under this system, seeing a reduction in the amount of tax they pay on their primary residence. To protect those in expensive properties from unduly large rises in property tax, the increases will be capped at £100 per month and it will be possible to defer paying the tax until someone sells their home.

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COVID-19 Social distancing not needed at big events, Boris Johnson to be told

Social distancing for large events can be scrapped from June 21, Boris Johnson will be told next week after initial results from a pilot scheme found no spike in Covid cases among attendees. ...

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Recruitment and Retention Hire soldiers to benefit from tax breaks, police forces urged

Police forces should use tax breaks to target former soldiers in their bid to recruit 20,000 more officers, policing leaders have said.

John Apter, chairman of the police federation, is urging police forces and the Government to exploit new rules that exempt firms and public sector bodies which employ military veterans from paying National Insurance contributions during the first 12 months of their employment.

The new tax relief came into force on April 6 and is available to every employer - regardless of when a veteran left the regular Armed Forces. The tax break can be used as long as a veteran has not been employed in a civilian capacity for any period since they left military service.

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Police and Crime General Anti-protest curbs in UK policing bill ‘violate international rights standards’

Anti-protest curbs contained in the new policing bill are disproportionate, hand subjective powers to officers and the home secretary, and violate international human rights standards, MPs and peers have been told.

Giving evidence to the joint committee of human rights on Wednesday, lawyers said that if the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill was passed as it stands, it would have a “chilling effect” on the right to protest.

Jules Carey, the head of actions against the police and state team at Bindmans solicitors, said the provisions “clearly violate international human rights standards, and they constitute a savage attack on the right to peaceful assembly”.

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COVID-19 Lockdown fines should be reviewed, say MPs

All fixed penalty notices for coronavirus lockdown breaches should be reviewed, according to a cross-party parliamentary committee. The Joint Committee on Human Rights, which is made up of MPs and peers, said it had "significant concerns" about the validity of fines, the inadequacy of the review and appeal process, the size of the penalties and the criminalisation of those who could not afford to pay.

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Police and Crime General Fall in registered suicides amid pandemic inquest delays

Registered suicides in England fell in 2020 as inquests were delayed during the coronavirus pandemic, provisional figures show.

Some 4,902 suicides were registered across the country last year – giving a provisional rate of 9.9 suicide deaths per 100,000 people, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This is a fall from 2019, when the rate was 10.8 suicide deaths per 100,000 people.

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Recruitment and Retention Mark Roberts becomes Cheshire Police's new chief constable

Force boss Mark Roberts has assumed his duties this week after previous incumbent Darren Martland retired on Friday, April 23.

The married dad-of-two was formerly the deputy chief constable of South Yorkshire Police and served in Cheshire as assistant chief constable between 2014 and 2017.

He said: “I am delighted and proud to be the new chief constable of Cheshire Police and look forward to working with our officers and staff, the police and crime commissioner and local partners to deliver an outstanding service to all our communities in Cheshire.

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Police and Crime General Police launch anti-knife crime strategy following spate of teen stabbings

Police are to launch a major anti-knife crime campaign today, after a series of fatal teenage stabbings. Operation Sceptre is a week-long national initiative to encourage people to dispose of knives in specially designated weapons binds. Officers will also conduct weapons sweeps, deploy knife arches and carry out extra patrols in violence hotspots.

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Economy & Public Finance Time to replace fiscal rules, think-tank says

The government’s “arbitrary” fiscal rules are not fit for purpose and should be replaced by a more flexible framework, according to a leading research institute.

Analysis from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research shows fiscal rules have limited use because they do not account for unforeseen circumstances.

Institute director Jagjit Chadha said responding to uncertainty is one of the main reasons for governments to spend money – a factor emphasised over the past year during the response to Covid-19.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to pose difficult questions of our policymakers, now is the time to consider the role of fiscal policy,” he told a press conference.

“It simply makes no sense to be in thrall to arbitrary rules that do not match society’s broader needs.”

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Police and Crime General All-female team create new guide to support safer public spaces

A new guide to help local authorities create safer journeys for women has been published.

The guide, which was developed by an all-female team of transport planners in Atkins, sets out six areas that local authorities can focus on to improve the safety of public spaces, with particular focus on creating safer first and last mile journeys for women.

This includes improving visibility through low to the ground planting and the removal of walls and barriers. It also recommends providing digital wayfinding apps and active building frontages to provide ‘eyes on the street’.

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COVID-19 Scrap social distancing in June to give people control of their lives, say scientists

An open letter signed by 22 leading scientists and academics has said that social distancing should be abolished in June to allow people “to take back control of their own lives”. It says “a good society cannot be created by obsessive focus on a single cause of ill-health”, and calls for all restrictions to end on 21 June.

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Police and Crime General Database of abusive men promised within a year

Ministers are to take steps towards introducing a national register of men who harass women, saying they can set up a database modelled on the sex offenders’ register within a year. A list of abusive men is reported to be part of a “perpetrators strategy” to be promised this week by the Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, to persuade MPs to pass the Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill.

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COVID-19 Half of UK population has had first jab - and more than 12 million fully vaccinated

More than half the UK's total population has now had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

The number of initial inoculations stands at 33,508,590, while the population is estimated to be 66,796,807.

A further 119,953 first doses were given on Friday, while 448,139 people received a second one.

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Economy & Public Finance UK Borrowing

Public sector borrowing in the year to March reached the highest level since records began at the end of World War Two, with £303.1 billion needed according to the Office for National Statistics. The furlough scheme alone has cost almost £60 billion, with Test and Trace, the health service, vaccines and support schemes adding to the total.

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Police Demand Catalytic converter theft

Theft of catalytic converters stolen from cars has risen by 6,760 per cent in four years, rising from 57 call outs in 2017, to 3,910 last year, according to the AA. Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said councils need greater enforcement powers to tackle the issue.

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Police Finances Bristol police admit protest ban under Covid powers was unlawful

Avon and Somerset Police will pay damages to four protestors arrested at the Colston statue-toppling after admitting the protest ban under Covid powers was unlawful.

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Police Finances Government proposes extension to audit fee deadline

Under current local audit regulations, oversight body Public Sector Audit Appointments must publish its fee scales the month before the start of the financial year.

However, a government consultation proposes moving the deadline to 30 November each year, in a bid to ensure that auditing costs included in budgets are more accurate.

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Police Demand Priti Patel 'draws up plans for police league tables measuring success cutting serious crime' – but senior officers warn proposals risk a return to 'target culture'

Priti Patel is reportedly drawing up plans for police league tables to measure the success of forces in cutting serious crime.

Police forces across England and Wales could soon be compared using figures for crimes such as murder, serious violence and online crime, according to the Times.

Ministers are reportedly keen to see the result of the Government's pledge to hire 20,000 police officers across the country.

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COVID-19 Brit Awards to have live audience as part of COVID-19 event trials

The Brit Awards will go ahead with a live audience at London’s O2 Arena next month, in the latest addition to the Government’s Events Research Programme, which examines how venues and events can reopen safely after the pandemic. The 4,000-strong audience won't need to wear masks or be socially distanced, but will need a negative COVID-19 test. Meanwhile, the Express reports that a pilot scheme at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre for the World Snooker Championship recorded no follow-up cases of COVID-19, paving the way for a gradual reopening of other events.

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COVID-19 Jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty of murder

A US jury has found a former police officer guilty of murder over the death of African-American George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year.

Derek Chauvin, 45, was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last May.

The widely watched footage sparked worldwide protests against racism and excessive use of force by police.

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Economy & Public Finance Rising fuel costs drive UK inflation to 0.7 per cent in March

The UK inflation rate rose to 0.7 per cent in the 12 months to March, up from 0.4 per cent in February, pushed up by the increased cost of fuel, transport and clothes.

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Police Demand ‘Shocking’ rise in young girls coerced into filming own sexual abuse

Eighty per cent of self-generated child sexual abuse content identified by the IWF in 2020 involved girls aged 11 to 13.

IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves OBE said the scale of the problem was “appalling”.

‘Self-generated’ material now accounts for almost half of all online child sexual abuse identified by the IWF.

Predators groom, bully, and coerce their victims into filming their own sexual abuse on internet-enabled devices, often in the child’s own bedrooms in their family homes, said the IWF. The images and videos of this abuse are then shared widely online.

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Police Finances HMRCFRS Consulting on New Framework

HMICFRS launches consultation on their proposed 2021/22 policing inspection programme and framework.

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COVID-19 Some forces 'broke the law' over self-isolation, HMICFRS finds

Some police forces may have broken the law by failing to follow self-isolation rules after staff came into contact with someone who had coronavirus symptoms, a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has found.

Amid “confusion” over the requirements and concerns about the “potential adverse effect of losing resources”, some instigated their own regimes which were contrary to national guidance or may have broken the law, the report said.

Some forces “did not appear to follow the national requirement for self-isolating for test, track and trace. Forces sometimes saw self-isolation as unnecessary and possibly resulting in relatively large numbers of staff being told to isolate within some teams.

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Police and Crime General Undercover officers 'encouraged to sleep with activists'

Senior police officers "encouraged or tolerated" undercover officers having sexual relationships with activists they were sent to spy on, a tribunal has heard.

Metropolitan Police is being sued by an environmental campaigner who had a long-term relationship with an officer she believed was a fellow activist.

They had met while working together at a community hub in Nottingham. Kate Wilson, 41, said the deception had breached her human rights.

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Police and Crime General First responders – help shape our new investigation guidelines

The College of Policing is developing new guidelines based on evidence from research and the experiences of officers and staff at all stages of an investigation.

We want to hear from police officers, staff and volunteers who are first responders, to ensure the guidelines are based on the most up-to-date and relevant evidence.

Our investigation guidelines practice evidence survey is aimed at first responders who conduct initial investigations or are involved in the follow-up investigation process. By sharing your experience you will contribute to building the evidence base for policing and help ensure the guidelines support forces in the most effective way possible.

The scope of the guidelines sets out the focus and approach to development of the guidelines. The scope was subject to consultation with stakeholders, practitioners and the public, and was agreed upon by an independently chaired committee.

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COVID-19 Police struggle to control crowds after COVID-19 hospitality rules relaxed

COVID-19 rules making people eat and drink outside pubs and restaurants have left police in an impossible position, it was claimed yesterday, with officers unsure how to manage large crowds. It comes as the first weekend since restrictions were eased, combined with good weather, saw thousands of people enjoy their first taste of socialising since before Christmas.

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Police Demand One in five Welsh farmers victims of crime last year

A survey by NFU Cymru found that one in five Welsh farmers was a victim of crime in 2020. Theft offences made up half of those crimes.

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COVID-19 Police plea for pub punters to stick to rules as customers pile into beer gardens

Patrols are being ramped up this weekend, with more officers in town and city centres to ensure revellers adhere to Government guidance.

New rules mean that up to six people can meet outside at a pub for a drink, however, social distancing is still a requirement, table service is in place and masks must be worn when indoors.

A spokeswoman from West Midlands Police, said: “The easing of restrictions marks another encouraging step towards a return to ‘normal’ life however, we can’t become complacent and risk undermining what we’ve achieved so far.

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COVID-19 Pfizer boss says people may need additional vaccines beyond their second dose

People are "likely" to need a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine within 12 months of getting the first two, Pfizer's chief executive has said.

Dr Albert Bourla said a booster jab could be necessary "somewhere between six and 12 months" after the second one - and every year thereafter.

"A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed," he told CNBC.

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Technology Covid facemasks leave police struggling to compile e-fit profiles

Police are struggling to identify criminals because the widespread use of face masks in the Covid pandemic means they can no longer rely on e-fits to track suspects down....

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Police and Crime General Government aiming to reverse several Domestic Abuse Bill changes made by peers

The Domestic Abuse Bill aims to put an end to the so-called “rough sex defence”, recognise children as victims of domestic abuse and criminalise in England and Wales threats to share intimate images of another person without their consent.

Other reforms contained within the legislation include the first legal Government definition of domestic abuse, which would include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical behaviour.

The Government also made a concession in the Lords over recording misogyny as a hate crime. It confirmed police forces from the autumn will be asked to record and identify any crimes of violence, including stalking and sexual offences, where the victim believed it to have been motivated by “hostility based on their sex”.

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Recruitment and Retention Record number of women among candidates contesting PCC and Mayoral elections

A record number of women are bidding to be Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in the elections on May 6.

With the deadline to stand having now past, analysis of the lists of candidates show that in England 30 women are standing in 35 seats, while in the four PCC elections in Wales there are eight female contenders.

In addition, in the three city areas where the Mayor has been given PCC-like powers over policing, ten women will be on ballot papers, including the former Coronation Street actress, Labour MP Tracy Brabin, in West Yorkshire. It adds up to 48 female candidates, almost a quarter of the total.

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COVID-19 Rapid Covid testing in England may be scaled back over false positives

Senior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London.

Boris Johnson last week urged everyone in England to take two rapid-turnaround tests a week in the biggest expansion of the multibillion-pound testing programme to date.

However, leaked emails seen by the Guardian show that senior officials are now considering scaling back the widespread testing of people without symptoms, due to a growing number of false positives.

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COVID-19 Pubs and bars face being punished for Covid rule-busting queues

Scores of people lined up outside pubs around the country as they reopened for business in line with second step of lockdown easing...

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COVID-19 England gets third jab as Moderna rollout begins

England is giving out its first doses of the Moderna jab, the third Covid-19 vaccine in the nation's rollout.

It will be available at 21 sites, included the Madejski Stadium in Reading and the Sheffield Arena.

Along with the Pfizer jab, it offers an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for under-30s, after concerns about a possible link to very rare blood clots.

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Economy & Public Finance Commission calls for abolition of Spending Reviews

The government’s Spending Review is “not workable” and needs to be abolished, according to an independent commission. Spending Reviews are “spun" documents”, designed to support the political messages the government wishes to make, rather than presenting information in a consistent format, a report from the Commission for Smart Government said.

It said that the reviews should be replaced by a new plan for government developed at the start of each parliament.

The report said: “Past Spending Reviews have suffered from not being connected to any clear strategic view of government’s priorities and does not produce workable, reliable plans which make best use of spending.”

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Police and Crime General Preventing young offenders signing up for a life sentence

Living in poverty, suffering with mental health difficulties, or feeling lonely. These are the signs that criminal gangs look out for in the search for new recruits to exploit.

And the pandemic has only heightened the numbers of vulnerable teenagers available to be preyed upon.

The National Youth Agency, the national body for youth work in England, has revealed that gang activity and exploitation have continued during lockdown, and that youth services are now working with more young people that were not previously known to the police or youth offending teams.

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Recruitment and Retention Almost a third of chief constables quit before police and crime commissioner elections

Almost a third of chief constables are being replaced as a series of senior officers leave before next month’s police and crime commissioner elections.

In the biggest shake-up to policing in years, some of the most experienced chief officers have already said they are leaving. Others will await the outcome of the May 6 elections of police and crime commissioners (PCCs), who have the power to fire them.

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COVID-19 Police cannot tackle all Covid breaches as crime returns to pre-pandemic levels, senior officer warns

Police will not be able to respond to all breaches of coronavirus restrictions as crime rises towards pre-pandemic levels, a senior officer has warned.

Police leaders expect a rise in violence, including stabbings, and all types of offences as coronavirus restrictions are gradually eased in England.

The national lockdown that ended on 29 March caused a dramatic reduction in crime, similar to that seen at the beginning of the pandemic last year.

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Police and Crime General Security services and police to face questions over London Bridge attacker

The security services and police are to face questions over whether they missed the chance to stop a convicted terrorist out on licence with an electronic tag who stabbed two people to death.

On Monday, the inquests open into the deaths of Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, who were killed in the November 2019 attack at Fishmongers hall, near London Bridge at a prisoner rehabilitation conference.

The event was to mark the fifth anniversary of Learning Together, an educational rehabilitation initiative run by the Cambridge Institute of Criminology, for which Merritt was a course coordinator and Jones was a volunteer.

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Police and Crime General Britain may seek Republic’s help to tackle sectarian violence in Northern Ireland

Downing Street is considering intergovernmental talks over rising tensions in Northern Ireland despite concerns that involving Dublin would further inflame unionist anger.

Boris Johnson has not ruled out travelling to the province if the disorder continues but any visit might be delayed until the official mourning period for the Duke of Edinburgh has concluded.

It comes amid increasing concern in government at the spectre of sectarian violence after more rioting on Friday led to 14 officers being injured.

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COVID-19 Domestic abuse surged in lockdown but only three UK police forces areas have enough specialists to cope

Only three police force areas have enough domestic violence specialist advisers to protect the most vulnerable victims, according to a report for the Government....

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COVID-19 Police cannot tackle all Covid breaches as crime returns to pre-pandemic levels, senior officer warns

Police will not be able to respond to all breaches of coronavirus restrictions as crime rises towards pre-pandemic levels, a senior officer has warned.

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Police and Crime General Stop and search 12-year-olds: Call for police to crackdown on knife crime

Officers will gain new powers to stop adults with convictions for knife and other weapons offences with the introduction of Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs), but the highly influential think tank argues police must also be able to search young people.

Polling by YouGov found 73 percent of British adults think the orders should apply to people as young as 12, with 88 percent saying 14 years old should be included. Only two percent thought it should apply only to those aged 18-plus.

Andy Cook, chief executive of the CSJ said that “children and young people are just as capable of knife crime as adults”.

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Police and Crime General Home Secretary Priti Patel has say on police and crime commissioner election

THE Home Secretary said she was ‘going to need the help of Conservative police and crime commissioners (PCCs)’ in her battle to keep the public safe.

In a video message, Priti Patel spoke about the recruitment of 20,000 police officers, with more than 6,000 already on the beat since 2019’s General Election.

She said: “We’ve provided tasers to police forces across the country and invested £65 million to end county line drug gangs.

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Police Finances Cost of rising crime is nearly £100bn a year, ministers told

The “cost of crime” to individuals and businesses has soared to almost £100 billion a year, according to analysis of government figures.

A sharp rise in murders, serious assaults, rape and robbery has driven the estimated total financial costs incurred by individuals each year in England and Wales to £72.5 billion. This is up from £50.1 billion in 2015-16.

Costs incurred from crimes against businesses have more than doubled from £8.7 billion in 2015-16 to £22.8 billion in the year last to September.

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COVID-19 Twice-weekly lateral flow coronavirus tests now available for free in England

Everyone in England can now get twice-weekly COVID tests for free under a new effort to keep the journey out of lockdown on track.

Ministers hope regular use of the rapid lateral flow tests will become a habit and help keep cases low as the economy reopens.

The tests will be available from locations such as pharmacies, workplaces and community spaces - and can also be ordered for home delivery.

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Police and Crime General Mothers of knife crime victims urge people to anonymously report details to the police

The mother of a knife crime victim who said that he did not expect to see his 21st birthday because of escalating violence in London has urged people to anonymously report suspicious friends to the police. ...

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Police and Crime General The key points from Welsh Labour's manifesto

Much of Welsh Labour's manifesto is about what the party has done, as well as what it plans to do.

Each page of pledges is met with a page of what Labour lists as its achievements in government - the party is running on the shape of the last 22 years as much as anything else.

Labour's pitch to voters for the 2021 election is not a plan for a radical overhaul of the system of devolution, or the health service or social care.

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Police and Crime General Ex-police reveal bribes and threats used to cover up corruption in 70s London

One of London’s most senior police officers, described by a colleague as “the greatest villain unhung”, was believed to be involved in major corruption in the 1970s but never prosecuted, according to a new documentary on police malpractice.

Former officers who exposed corruption at the time describe how they were threatened that they would end up in a “cement raincoat” if they informed on fellow officers and were shunned by colleagues when they did.

The fresh revelations come from half a dozen former officers from both the Metropolitan and City of London police forces, including one who has admitted receiving payments.

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Police and Crime General Greater Manchester Police find another 6,155 'missing' crimes - as top cop makes pledge to get it sorted

Greater Manchester Police has uncovered 6,155 crimes that weren't properly recorded in the last four months.

The offences, which have now been properly registered, were found as part of a 'due diligence' review launched after the force was plunged into crisis in December.

Today the force revealed 6,000 police officers have received refresher training designed to ensure cops put victims first as well as record and investigate crimes properly - with a further squad of 70 checkers - as part of a programme of modernisation to drag GMP out of 'special measures'.

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Justice Drug gangs pose as slaves to dodge jail

Albanian gangsters who have cornered the market for cannabis in the UK using farms protected with booby traps are escaping prosecution by claiming to be slaves, The Times can reveal.

Specialist “gardeners” smuggled into the country illegally are set up in fortified houses and warehouses protected by hidden barbed-wire mesh and staircases rigged to fall beneath intruders.

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Police and Crime General No 10 says mayor of London's cannabis review a 'waste of time'

Downing Street has condemned a planned review by the mayor of London into the decriminalisation of cannabis as a waste of time, saying the issue is not in his remit, and that the government has no plans to change the law.

Sadiq Khan has said that if he is re-elected on 6 May, he will set up an independent London drugs commission to examine the potential health, economic and criminal justice benefits of decriminalising the class-B drug.

The Labour mayor believes there is widespread public support for a more relaxed approach to decriminalisation, citing polls showing more than half of the UK – and nearly two-thirds of those in the capital – support legalising cannabis for adult recreational use.

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Police and Crime General West Midlands Police form new units to bring down city gangs - how they will operate

West Midlands Police is creating two new squads in their fight to bring down the gangs terrorising the city.

Extra officers have been brought in to form two specific units to tackle Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) and Urban Street Gangs (USGs).

One team will focus on the gangs operating in central Birmingham while the other will target those based in the east.

Working alongside neighbourhood police teams, the units will be the lookout for people and vehicles linked to gangs and organised crime and raid addresses.

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Police and Crime General Schoolboys risk 'unfair judgment' in rape culture row

The police should not "pronounce guilt without evidence" when it comes to the school rape culture row, a former home secretary has said, as he warned of "unforeseen and dangerous consequences".

David Blunkett has said that "identity politics" must not be allowed to create an environment in which schoolboys were unfairly judged, following accusations of sexual harassment sweeping British private schools.

Mr Blunkett, Labour education secretary from 1997 to 2001, said the view that there was a "rape culture" in many British schools and colleges was "shocking".

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Recruitment and Retention Female police officers outnumber male PCs at British force for the first time in boost for gender equality

Women outnumber men for the first time at a British police force.

Wiltshire Police has 1,140 female officers and staff compared to 1,101 male employees, a report revealed.

All but one of the force’s 63 civilian staff hired between 2019 and last year were female.

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Police Demand Lockdown brings alarming rise in modern slavery

Reports of sexual and criminal exploitation have risen alarmingly during the pandemic, according to new data measuring the scale of modern slavery and trafficking in the UK.

Cases of sexual exploitation, which includes people held captive in brothels and coerced into prostitution, rose by a quarter in 2020 compared with the previous year. Nearly a quarter of cases involved children.

Criminal exploitation, which includes forced shoplifting and forced begging, increased by 42%, with a fifth of potential victims said to be minors. Dozens of cases referred to drugs-related activity involving county lines gangs, where youngsters are used to transport narcotics and money.

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Police and Crime General Met police criticised for arrest of two observers at 'kill the bill' protest

Civil liberties campaigners have criticised the Metropolitan police after two independent legal observers were among 107 people arrested following a march through central London on Saturday.

Protesters gathered on Saturday night in London, Bristol, Manchester and several other cities in opposition to a bill that critics say will limit the right to protest.

In London, thousands marched from Hyde Park to Parliament Square, where speeches were given against the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, which passed its second reading in parliament last month.

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COVID-19 Sunset clause planned to head off vaccine certificate revolt

Vaccination passports could be imposed on the public for less than a year, according to plans being drawn up by Downing Street to head off a Tory revolt.

Boris Johnson will give the green light on Monday to the development of a system of “vaccine certification” as he looks to reinvigorate the economy.

Ministers believe the scheme may be essential in reopening venues such as theatres and stadiums which rely on large crowds.

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COVID-19 Coronavirus passports can get people 'back to doing things they love', culture secretary says

COVID passports could be introduced as a way of ensuring people can get "back to doing the things they love", the culture secretary has said.

Oliver Dowden made the comments as more than 70 MPs sent a warning shot to Prime Minister Boris Johnson by forming a major cross-party campaign against the use of such passports within the UK.

Mr Dowden said cabinet minister Michael Gove is conducting a review into whether "we could make a COVID status certification work".

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Justice Crime victims to be told when perpetrators leave prison

Crime victims are to be told when an offender leaves prison as part of a new code that has come into force in England and Wales.

The Victims' Code ensures access to extra information and support, such as enabling victims of rape to choose the gender of their police interviewer.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said it gave victims a "simplified and stronger set of rights".

A consultation on a new victims' law will take place later this year.

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Police and Crime General ‘Culture of misogyny’ entrenched in police over domestic abuse cases, commissioner tells Priti Patel

A “culture of misogyny” is entrenched in the police, and a wide-ranging review into how they deal with domestic abuse cases must be carried out, the UK’s domestic abuse commissioner has warned.

In a letter to the home secretary, Priti Patel, seen by The Independent, Nicole Jacobs said there is a “persistent” lack of confidence among women to report domestic abuse and sexual assault to the police, and that this hinders bringing “dangerous, serial perpetrators to justice”.

Her comments come amid mounting anger over the violence against women and girls, after the tragic death of Sarah Everard saw women sharing personal stories of sexual harassment and assault in public spaces.

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Police and Crime General 'Rule of Six' almost unenforceable, complain police chiefs

Police chiefs have warned ministers that the rule of six is virtually unenforceable because of the two household concession.

As councils began a clear-up of litter left by people who packed into parks and beaches during Tuesday’s heatwave, policing sources told The Daily Telegraph that enforcing the rules had been made “very, very difficult” by the decision also to allow two households to meet outside.

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Police Demand Stop and search mostly used for drugs possession says Commission

Stop and search is used mostly for suspicion of drugs possession rather than carrying knives and rates of use of the police power should be analysed at smaller geographic levels to avoid inaccurate claims relating to Black people.

The Government ordered independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report published today said that police and government messaging on the use of stop and search needs to be clearer.

It said successive Home Secretaries going back to Amber Rudd in 2017 had clearly stated that the purpose of the tactic was to “take knives off the streets.” But it says there is a “disconnect between this narrative” and what is seen on the ground.

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Recruitment and Retention Survey reveals toll of pandemic on mental health of emergency workers

Three in five police officers say their mental health has worsened over the course of the pandemic, according to a new survey conducted by Welsh mental health charity Mind Cymru.

The data, taken from a survey of more than 250 staff and volunteers across police, fire and ambulance services in Wales, has laid bare the scale of poor mental health within the emergency responder communities with just under one in four police officers rating the current state of their mental health as “poor”.

Worst hit were ambulance staff with only one in three (33 per cent) reporting their current mental health as very good or good compared with two in five police (44 per cent) and almost one in two (49 per cent) survey respondents working within the fire service.

Ambulance staff were the most likely (72 per cent) to say their mental health has worsened since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, compared with police (56 per cent) or fire (61 per cent). Staff and volunteers within the ambulance service were also more likely to rate their current mental health as poor or very poor.

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Police Demand Police struggle to fight rise in scam messages from criminal gangs

Graeme Biggar, the Director General of the National Economic Crime Centre has suggested police and law enforcement are losing the war on criminal gangs behind a surge in scam messages during the pandemic. Mr Biggar said cyber fraudsters were “finding it too easy” to plague the public with millions of fake texts, emails and calls.

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Police Demand School abuse claims could be the 'next national scandal'

Police have said sexual harassment and assault claims made by school pupils on a website may be the “next child abuse scandal that engulfs the nation”. A police helpline is to be set up to report incidents, following the posting of thousands of allegations, most of them about the behaviour of other pupils.

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Police and Crime General Protest laws move UK towards paramilitary policing, says former chief

Ex-Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton warns measures on protests in the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill would see Britain move towards “paramilitary policing”.

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Police Demand County lines gangs have changed tactics during pandemic

Young people are at risk of increasing exploitation from criminals as the country marks a year since the first national lockdown, according to a National Youth Agency report. It says county lines gangs have changed tactics during the pandemic, including targeting vulnerable young people where they live; increased and more creative use of social media platforms to groom young people stuck at home, and exploiting a lack of sufficient support in more rural areas for children to seek help.

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Police and Crime General Next phase of Supporting Families programme launched with £165m

Local authority leaders have welcomed the next phase of the Government’s programme to support vulnerable families which has been launched with £165m behind it.

The newly named ‘Supporting Families’ programme, previously known as the ‘Troubled Families’ programme, includes work to support people to leave abusive relationships, get the right joined-up support for those with mental health issues and help people to find work.

The programme, which began in 2012, assigns families a dedicated keyworker, who brings local services together to resolve issues at an early stage, before they develop into more significant problems.

Recruitment and Retention UK police forces deploy 683 officers in schools with some poorer areas targeted

More than half of police forces have officers working in schools, but there are concerns the practice leads to criminalisation of young people and that school is no longer a “safe haven”.

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Recruitment and Retention Axing PCSOs one of hardest but most important decisions of chief's tenure

Announcing his retirement, Norfolk’s Chief Constable Simon Bailey has defended his decision to axe PCSOs from the force.

“The move away from the model of policing with PCSOs now means we’ve got more officers tackling crime and serious organised crime than we’ve ever had and they are doing it to devastating effect.”

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Police Demand At your service: the fraudsters openly advertising tailor-made online scams

UK Finance says online fraud is rising, with criminals openly advertising their ability to create scam websites and apps which trick people into making payments by purporting to be HMRC or the NHS.

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Police and Crime General ‘Inevitable’ third Covid-19 wave will not change the plan, vows Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson and Chris Whitty have both said that Britain will suffer another surge of coronavirus as restrictions are eased.

The prime minister last night told Conservative MPs that a third wave coming from Europe was “inevitable”.

However, he insisted that “we are prepared” and there was “no reason to deviate” from the unlocking road map he set out last month. He hailed the success of the vaccine rollout as a reason to persist with the existing timetable even if cases rise again.

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Police Demand £34.5m stolen in pandemic scams

More than 6,000 cases of Covid-related fraud and cyber-crime have been recorded by the UK's police forces during the pandemic.

The Action Fraud team said £34.5m had been stolen since 1 March 2020. It covers activity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not Scotland.

In a related development, the National Cyber Security Centre has told the BBC it is tackling about 30 "significant attacks" a month against the country's pandemic response infrastructure.

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Police and Crime General Have your say on the future direction of the College

The new chair of the College of Policing board, Nick Herbert (Lord Herbert of South Downs), has – almost a decade on from the establishment of the professional body for the police in England and Wales – launched a fundamental review of the College’s work.

While we have made considerable progress in recent years in strengthening our connection with day-to-day policing, more needs to be done to ensure that the College meets its potential and that its work and role within policing is valued across the service.

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Police Demand Coronavirus: Domestic abuse an 'epidemic beneath a pandemic'

A massive increase in appeals for help over the past year from those suffering domestic abuse has exposed the scale of the problem, say campaigners.

Refuge says it recorded an average of 13,162 calls and messages to its National Domestic Abuse helpline every month between April 2020 and February 2021.

That is up 61% on the average number of monthly contacts at the start of 2020.

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COVID-19 'Less than a fifth' of police officers and staff have received Covid-19 jab

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) did not publish precise figures but said it had become clear in “operational meetings” that less than a fifth had been given the vaccination.

Latest figures from the Government suggest that around half of adults in the UK have had their first jab.

National chair of the PFEW John Apter said: “While we all hope we are seeing the beginning of the end of this pandemic, the threat is far from over. This horrible virus continues to claim many lives.

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Police and Crime General PCC Review: Few surprises in part one ‘stock take’, but local government and fire reforms could bring major change

Following the Home Secretary’s confirmation last week of the recommendations of part one of the police and crime commissioner review, Paddy Tipping, Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, spoke to Policing Insight Editor Keith Potter about the implications of the review for PCCs, and what the second stage of the process could mean.

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Recruitment and Retention Fears of police exodus after officers spend year ‘picking up pieces’ of rushed Covid laws

Police have been left to “pick up the pieces” of hastily written and badly communicated laws through a year of the coronavirus pandemic, officers have said amid warnings of a looming exodus when restrictions ease.

They accuse the government of failing to properly consult on changes to coronavirus laws, introducing them too quickly for police to immediately enforce, confusing the public with gaps between guidance and law and overexaggerating how strictly restrictions would be policed.

There are fears of an “exodus from policing” after the end of the pandemic, with many officers saying they are “sick and tired” of juggling the competing demands of coronavirus laws and normal crime.

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Police and Crime General Misogyny is ‘ingrained in police decision-making’, former officers claim

Former police officers, including ex-chief constables, have spoken out against alleged sexism and male violence against women in UK police forces.

In recent weeks, police have been on the receiving end of public anger for multiple reasons. After the murder of Sarah Everard, the accused’s force was then pictured manhandling protesters at a vigil for the victim, while a different officer avoided jail despite being filmed attacking a woman.

Now, to add to the mix, forces around the country have been accused of operating teams where misogyny is ‘ingrained in decision-making’.

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Police and Crime General Ballot papers could be quarantined at local elections

Counting at the May elections could be delayed in England because ballot papers will need to be quarantined due to COVID-19 safety precautions. New suggested guidance from Lawyers in Local Government - a group which represents council solicitors - “recommends that ballot papers will be quarantined for 24 hours prior to being handled by staff”.

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Police and Crime General Alarming rise of abuse within modern slavery system

Child rapists, people who pose a threat to our national security, serious criminals and failed asylum seekers will find it harder to take advantage of modern slavery safeguards under changes to be announced this week.

This follows an alarming rise in people abusing our modern slavery system by posing as victims in order to prevent their removal and enable them stay in the country.

National Referral Mechanism referrals, the government’s system for identifying victims of modern slavery, more than doubled between 2017 and 2020 from 5,141 to 10,613.

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Fire COVID-19 shows need to reform, fire service told

The pandemic has shown that “significant” reform of the fire service in England is needed “now more than ever”, according to the chief inspector of fire and rescue services. Sir Thomas Winsor found there were too many “barriers impeding the efficiency and effectiveness of services” and said that more needed to be done to address “outdated” and inflexible working arrangements.

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Police and Crime General Thieves, robbers and burglars to be fitted with GPS tags

Prolific burglars, robbers and thieves are to be tagged with GPS trackers in a bid to stop them reoffending.

Offenders will be automatically tagged for up to 12 months after being released from prison, under a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) pilot.

Gwent, Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Humberside and West Midlands police forces are all taking part.

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Police Finances Safer Streets fund doubled to £45m in wake of Sarah Everard death

The Safer Streets fund, which provides neighbourhood measures such as better lighting and CCTV, is to be doubled to £45 million as part of a series of "immediate steps" to improve security and “give assurance” to women and girls in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death. Following a meeting of the Government's Crime and Justice Taskforce, Downing Street said undercover police could also be sent to clubs, bars and popular nightspots to relay intelligence about predatory or suspicious offenders to uniformed officers, in pilots of so-called Project Vigilant, rolled out across the country.

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Police Finances Half of local audits late as NAO calls for reform

The National Audit Office has demanded "clear leadership from government" in ending delays to council audits after confirming that less than half of council financial audits for 2019-20 were completed on time.

Fifty-five percent of audit opinions were not issued by the 30 November 2020 deadline , despite the deadline being extended four months due to the pandemic by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, an NAO report out today reveals, describing the delays as “concerning”.

The 45% completion rate is down from 57% in 2018-19 and 95% in 2015-16.

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Police and Crime General Anger over plans for plainclothes police officers to patrol bars and clubs to safeguard women from predatory men

Plans for plainclothes police officers to patrol bars and nightclubs to safeguard women from predatory men have sparked anger.

Ministers announced the controversial plans in response to mounting criticism the government is not doing enough to tackle violence against women in the wake of the tragic disappearance and death of Sarah Everard.

Measures for plainclothes police officers to monitor hospitality venues once they reopen when lockdown measures are eased have been bitterly criticised and mocked on social media.

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Police and Crime General Police fear super-strong drugs will cause summer of chaos

A summer of bedlam lies ahead, police and drug experts have warned, as the strongest ecstasy pills yet to be tested head for the country’s festivals.

A combination of stronger drugs, pent-up demand to party and reduced drug tolerance because of 12 months of abstinence could cause mayhem, MPs were told.

A criminology professor said festivals should be introducing “lost adult” sites to help people cope this summer with the particular psychological impacts of being in large crowds after months of social isolation.

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COVID-19 Third wave of Covid in autumn is inevitable, says ONS chief Sir Ian Diamond

The national statistician has warned of a further wave of Covid-19 infections in autumn despite strong early evidence of vaccine protection.

Sir Ian Diamond, head of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said that although the case rate was the lowest since September it was still much higher than last summer when the first lockdown was lifted.

The latest ONS survey found that the infection rate in England was 0.37 per cent, equal to about 6,000 cases a day, compared with 0.04 per cent last summer when it was deemed safe enough to lift the first lockdown.

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Police and Crime General 8 times women were let down by the police – here are their stories

The killing of Sarah Everard has struck a chord with many women of all ages, prompting them to tell their own stories – and it makes for grim reading. A survey from UN Women UK has revealed that 97 per cent of women aged 18-24 said they had been sexually harassed, while 80 per cent of women of all ages said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces....

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COVID-19 Reform urged for outdated council tax that hits poor hardest

The current council tax system is a “wealth tax” on poorer parts of Britain and is in urgent need of a comprehensive overhaul, according to a coalition of academics and thinktanks from across the political divide.

The crudity of the system means there are eight parliamentary constituencies in which the average household pays no more than 0.2% of their home’s value in council tax. However, there are 41 constituencies in the north and Midlands in which the average household’s council tax burden is 1% or higher.

In Easington, County Durham, when the charge is measured against the average cost of a home, some are paying as much as three times the rate of council tax.

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Police and Crime General Where are elections happening on 6 May and why do they matter? [OPINION]

Elections may be the last thing on Britons’ minds as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and the prospect of summer holidays beckons.

But in just a few weeks most of the country is facing polls which could have a fundamental impact not only on the political direction of the 2020s but on the future of the UK itself.

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Economy & Public Finance Council Tax hikes to see some baseline household bills exceed £2,000 for first time

People living in band D council tax properties in the north east and the south west of England could see their bills exceed the £2,000 mark for the first time, a survey has suggested.

Local authorities across the UK are set to raise the amount of tax they claim in April, with research from the Daily Mirror suggesting two thirds of all major UK councils will put a 5 per cent increase on the levy going into the new financial year.

The chancellor gave local authorities the ability to add a 5 per cent hike in the budget, up from the previous cap of 2 per cent unless a higher rate was agreed by a referendum.

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Police and Crime General Women share their fears of walking alone

Women "will be worried and may well be feeling scared" after the disappearance of Sarah Everard, the head of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick has said.

On social media, in WhatsApp groups and in Zoom calls across the country, women have been talking about the case of the 33-year-old, who went missing in Clapham, south London, on 3 March.

A Met police officer continues to be questioned on suspicion of murder and kidnap after human remains were found during the search for her.

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Police and Crime General Sexual harassment of women in street could become new offence

A new law to protect women against public sexual harassment is being considered as Priti Patel reassured women they were safe to walk the streets after the disappearance of Sarah Everard....

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Technology Capgemini wins £600 million contract with Met Police

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has awarded a strategic IT infrastructure contract to services provider Capgemini, with the aim of improving the user experience of its internal platforms.

The contract is said to be worth £600 million and will run for five years, with the option to extend for an additional two years if needed.

The MPS is looking to improve its IT infrastructure services within the Pegasus Programme, a digital policing programme to procure new key IT suppliers for the police.

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Police and Crime General Firearms licensing

The Home Office guide on firearms licensing law was last revised in April 2016. It is intended to assist consistency of practice between police forces by providing them with comprehensive guidance, and also to encourage an understanding among firearms users and the general public of the considerations involved.

You can also read the legislative changes that have been made since the guidance was last published in April 2016.

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COVID-19 MPs condemn Government’s ‘staggering’ cost of programme that failed to stop spread of Covid-19

The Government’s vast £23bn Test and Trace system has made “no measurable difference” on the Covid pandemic and failed to prevent two national lockdowns, MPs have concluded.

In a damning report on the performance of the NHS Test and Trace (NHST&T) scheme, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has accused the Government of treating the taxpayer like an “ATM machine”, branding the sums of money spent on the programme as “staggering”.

It is the latest attack aimed at the Government’s test and trace system, which had been previously heralded by Boris Johnson to be “world-beating”.

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Police and Crime General Domestic abusers to get GPS tags on release from jail in London

Domestic abuse offenders who have served a prison sentence will be tagged with a GPS tracking device in London under new a pilot project.

Up to 200 perpetrators of abuse-related offences, such as stalking, harassment, physical abuse, sexual abuse and coercive control will be fitted with the devices from Tuesday as part of their release conditions.

The pilot, which is running across every London borough as part of a programme announced by the London mayor’s office, has been launched in collaboration with probation services after consultation with the Violence Against Women and Girls initiative.

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Police and Crime General Pressure grows on Priti Patel to call inquiry after 'botched' probe over false 'VIP paedophile ring' claims

Priti Patel is under growing pressure to order an inquiry into the ‘Nick’ scandal after a former home secretary branded a watchdog probe as ‘botched’.

Michael Howard was one of six former home secretaries who yesterday signed a joint letter demanding a fresh investigation into Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP inquiry and the subsequent probe that cleared five detectives.

In the unprecedented intervention, they said confidence in the police has been seriously damaged by the handling of false claims of an Establishment paedophile ring.

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Police and Crime General Warning over photo ID law change for UK-wide and English elections

Changing the law to force people to show photo ID to take part in UK elections will be catastrophic for ethnic minority communities, increasing barriers to access and in effect disenfranchising them, equality and democracy campaigners have warned.

Boris Johnson’s government is expected to introduce a bill in the spring to make photo ID mandatory from 2023 for all UK-wide and English elections. But critics argue it is unnecessary, given low levels of voter fraud in the UK, and will disproportionately impact ethnic minority and working-class communities.

There was only one conviction for “personation” fraud, which voter ID is meant to prevent, in the UK in 2019.

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Economy & Public Finance A tale of two Budgets?

The chancellor’s Budget last week was never going to deliver what local government needs – a sustainable long-term finance solution that addresses the multiple issues of soaring adult social care costs, unsustainable business rates and increasingly ludicrous council taxes.

Instead, it offered a quick fix to bail out the economy until September – hopefully seeing the country through the worst of the pandemic – and a promise to start getting the UK’s bank balance back on track.

Councils, fresh from the finance settlement, will have to wait until the second half of the year to see if the chancellor searches down the back of the Treasury sofa for a top up, as Mr Sunak continues on the long tradition of short-term, piecemeal, bid-based funding for the sector.

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Police Finances Police to be given £30m extra funding pot to tackle violence hotspots

Police are set to be given an extra £30m to target violence hotspots to crack down on murders, knife crime and other serious offences.

The government funding pot will be made available to forces in parts of England and Wales which are "most affected by serious violence", according to the Home Office.

The money is subject to approval by the department once police chiefs submit plans on how to spend it.

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Police and Crime General West Midlands Fed say officers still at risk

Last month West Midlands Police released a video of a PCSO whose arm had become wedged in a vehicle after attempting to grab the keys as the driver tried to make off.

Tim Rogers is West Midlands Federation’s deputy secretary and national lead on driver pursuits.

Following the release of the video of the incident, which took place in January 2020, Mr Rogers criticised the way Personal Safety Training doesn’t cover vehicle tactics and said officers were at risk when trying to extract someone from a vehicle.

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Justice Call for vulnerable victims to give video evidence amid courts backlog

Up to 10,000 vulnerable victims facing long delays for trials should be allowed to give evidence by video in an attempt to stop them falling out of the system, according to the victims’ commissioner for England and Wales.

Dame Vera Baird warned of a collapse in confidence in the criminal justice system and an exodus of complainants if unprecedented trial delays were not urgently addressed.

She accused the government of not being sufficiently ambitious in its efforts to tackle a backlog of more than 50,000 criminal cases at crown courts in England and Wales.

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COVID-19 UK Covid deaths and infections fall by a third in a week with 236 fatalities and 5,947 cases in last 24 hours

The number of Covid deaths and infections in the UK has fallen by a third in a week with 236 fatalities and 5,947 cases recorded in the last 24 hours.

It is the biggest week-on-week drop since the second wave peak of the pandemic. Last Friday, 8,523 cases and 346 deaths were reported.

The dropping death toll raises hopes Brits are past the darkest time of the virus.

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COVID-19 UK 'well-equipped' to stay ahead of Covid variants, says top scientist

A top scientist says the UK is "well-equipped" to stay ahead of Covid variants amid hopes for a better summer.

Professor Sharon Peacock, head of the Covid-19 Genomics UK scientific body, says new strains of coronavirus are “very unlikely to send us back to square one”.

Instead, the scientist is hopeful that things will be better by summer with vaccines adapting quickly to different variants.

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Economy & Public Finance Cautious continuity Budget indicates a lack of post-Covid vision [OPINION]

The chancellor’s Budget promised much. This was the opportunity for Rishi Sunak to plot the UK’s way out of the economic challenges posed by Covid-19 and Brexit. In the event, so much had been leaked in advance that there were few surprises. Indeed, the most surprising element in the speech and accompanying documents was the overall sense that not much had happened.

Brexit was not mentioned once in the Budget ‘red book’. The government has clearly decided the economy will adjust now the transition period is finally over: companies that go to the wall will simply be part of the restructuring necessary now a sea of paperwork separates Dover and Calais – and, indeed, Holyhead and Dublin. New opportunities may await exporters, but the chancellor did not explicitly announce policies to help them.

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Recruitment and Retention Entry requirements barrier to BAME recruitment, says Lincolnshire

Those wishing to join the police must hold a level 3 qualification (or higher) which is equivalent to two A Levels or possess a policing qualification.

Lincolnshire Police, like many other forces, is pushing to take advantage of the uplift to diversify its workforce.

“The difficulty we have with that when trying to recruit from migrant communities is we know from fact based research that the areas of the highest social deprivation, which are predominately along the east coast, including Boston and Spalding, people do not have the right level of qualification to apply to join police,” said DI Lee St Quinton. “It’s very difficult, that's a key barrier for us.”

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Police and Crime General Police and intelligence services foil three terror attacks since beginning of pandemic

The Home Office’s quarterly release of statistics relating to the police’s use of powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 revealed there were 185 arrests for terrorism-related activity in the year ending December 31, 2020 – 97 (34 per cent) fewer than in the previous 12-month period and the lowest annual total since 2011.

But despite the reduction in the number of arrests, largely attributed to an overall reduction in crime since the beginning of the national lockdown in March last year, the number of terror plots stopped by CTP and its intelligence partners has risen to a total of 28 since March 2017. Eighteen were Islamist related, nine right-wing terrorism and one left, anarchist or single issue terrorism (LASIT).

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Police and Crime General Boris Johnson plans advertising campaign to turn middle class off weekend cocaine

Boris Johnson is planning a public information campaign to crack down on middle-class drug use by making snorting cocaine as socially unacceptable as drink-driving, The Times has learnt.

A government PR blitz will use billboards, posters and television and radio adverts in an attempt to change people’s attitudes to recreational drugs. They will carry graphic details to highlight how wealthy cocaine users are helping to fuel Britain’s growing epidemic of violent crime and gang warfare.

The prime minister wants to imitate previous government public awareness campaigns that successfully changed attitudes, such as the “THINK!” adverts combating drink-driving and promoting road safety.

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Economy & Public Finance Sunak’s Budget focuses on growth – but little mention of public services

A new £12bn national infrastructure bank was announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak in a Budget billed as being pro-business but offering little for public services.

Mr Sunak announced a series of measures to help the national economy bounce back, including £1bn for town deals, and the locations of eight freeports. He also announced a further business rates holiday, for which councils will be compensated.

And there was extra support for towns, with £1bn for 45 new town deals, and the National Infrastructure Fund being asked to produce a report on how infrastructure can best support economic prosperity and quality of life in towns, focusing on transport and digital infrastructure in particular.

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Police and Crime General County lines drug gangs exploit middle?class children of busy working parents

Middle-class youngsters are being groomed to work for county lines drugs gangs that exploit the “emotional neglect” of parents working long hours, according to a report.

The gangs are targeting “children from affluent backgrounds” as well as girls, young women and university students via social media, experts told researchers at Nottingham University.

Dealers have adapted to lockdown measures by posing as delivery drivers and are enrolling at universities for the sole purpose of supplying drugs to students, the interim Policing County Lines: Impact of Covid-19 report found.

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Recruitment and Retention Police told to boost BAME recruitment to be representative of population

More than a quarter of forces do not have a single black officer, with almost 40 per cent having one or fewer.

Police forces have been told to step up minority ethnic recruitment after a report showed it will take 90 years for them to be fully representative of the black and minority ethnic (BAME) population....

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COVID-19 Police Federation boss in Devon and Cornwall demands 500 more officers to cope with millions of staycationers flocking to South West after Covid lockdown

A police chief has demanded an extra 500 police officers to cope with the millions of staycationers who will descend on Devon and Cornwall in the summer after lockdown ends.

Families across the country are already planning staycations and days out after Boris Johnson announced Britain's roadmap out of lockdown.

From April 12, Britons can stay in self-contained holiday cottages - with Devon and Cornwall among the most popular destinations.

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Justice Pre-recorded evidence could save time and cases, MPs told

Members of the Justice committee were told that the courts system needs to make a more radical use of video justice and evidence centres – even after the pandemic is over – to speed up cases and improve outcomes.

Innovations including pre-recorded evidence, virtual bail hearings and making more use of video links could reduce the number of delayed cases and encourage more people to give evidence in complex cases.

Action is needed as the case backlog in December was 59,000 cases and the number of cases that collapse has doubled in four years, according to the Law Society.

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Prisons Drug dogs to detect new versions of Spice to stay one step ahead of criminals

Prison drug dogs are to be trained to sniff out new and emerging strands of the psychoactive substance known as Spice as part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to tackle violence and disorder behind bars.

In the past year alone more than 100kg of illegal drugs, including Spice, have been detected by drug dogs in England and Wales. But the efforts of some suppliers to outwit detection by changing the chemical make-up of Spice makes it difficult for dogs to find.

The current price of psychoactive substances ranges from £130 to £1,000 for an A4 sheet of impregnated paper. Smaller pieces of impregnated paper, credit card-sized, can range from £40 to £100 based on recent intelligence.

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Recruitment and Retention HMI Zoë Billingham to step down after 12 years

Zoë Billingham was appointed to the then HMIC in September 2009.

She announced her decision on social media stating: “After 12 immensely rewarding years I’m hanging up my…. (whatever HMIs hang up…?) in September.”

Ms Billingham was the author of the most recent report in to Greater Manchester Police that found “serious cause for concern” due to the force not recording one in five of all reported crimes. The highly critical report led directly to the resignation of Chief Constable Ian Hopkins.

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Justice Activists win fight to declare throttling a crime

Abusers who throttle their partners will face five years in jail after ministers bowed to campaigners to include it in the government’s Domestic Abuse Bill.

It will make non-fatal strangulation and suffocation a criminal offence amid concerns that many perpetrators receive lenient sentences because they are charged only with common assault.

Robert Buckland, the justice secretary, said that the bill would be expanded to make threats to disclose naked and intimate images with the intention to cause distress a criminal offence.

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Police and Crime General Unison call for election safety measures

The Government needs to implement strict measures in May’s local elections to keep staff safe, trade union Unison urged today.

Unison called for action and assurances to ensure polling stations do not become hotspots for infection in a letter to communities secretary Robert Jenrick and the Local Government Association (LGA).

Councils were told by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government last week that they would need to buy equipment for the protection of staff, voters and others at polling stations, postal vote openings and counts.

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Police and Crime General Election campaigning allowed from 8 March

Individual activists will be allowed to deliver leaflets and canvass voters outdoors from 8 March in the run up to the English local elections.

The new Government guidance will allow one-to-one campaigning outdoors as long as it is conducted in a COVID-secure way.

Campaigners have been reminded of the need to be socially distanced, wear face coverings and sanitise their hands.

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Economy & Public Finance 'Now is not the time for tax rises', say MPs

Now is "not the time for tax rises" as they could undermine the UK's economic recovery from Covid - but they may be needed at a later date, MPs have said.

Ahead of the Budget announcement on Wednesday, a Treasury Committee report says public finances are on an "unsustainable long-term trajectory".

It says some tax rises may not harm recovery, but advises against others.

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Recruitment and Retention PM has 'no doubt' about strong jobs recovery

The prime minister says he has "no doubt" there will be a strong jobs-led recovery from coronavirus.

Mr Johnson said it had "been expensive" to look after everyone during the pandemic and the chancellor would be "frank" about state of the economy in Wednesday's Budget.

45 Conservative MPs have urged Mr Sunak to cut business rates in England to help "save the High Streets".

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Recruitment and Retention Apprenticeships levy 'has failed on every measure', says HR body

Employer investment in training has fallen since the introduction of an apprenticeship levy, an HR body says.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said since the levy was introduced in 2017, apprenticeship starts have fallen and fewer have gone to young people.

"On all key measures the apprenticeship levy has failed," its boss said. The chancellor is set to announce an additional £126m for traineeships in England at his Budget on Wednesday.

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Police and Crime General West Northamptonshire Council gets ready to launch

West Northamptonshire Council has launched a campaign to ensure local residents and businesses are prepared for its launch on 1 April 2021.

Northamptonshire currently has eight councils, one county and seven district, however, this will change from next month, with Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire councils merging to form the unitary West Northamptonshire Council.

The county’s four other districts (Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough) will merge to form the new unitary North Northamptonshire Council.

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Police and Crime General Drug drivers are escaping prosecution in 'geographical lottery' where some police ration test kits to one per patrol

Dangerous drug drivers are escaping prosecution and putting lives at risk because some police forces ration testing kits issued to officers to just one a day, a Government-funded study has revealed....

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Police and Crime General "Disgusting" figures show 97% of police accused of racism face no action

Shocking discrepancies in the way police forces deal with allegations of racism by their staff are today laid bare after a Mirror investigation.

New data shows that thousands of police officers and staff have been investigated in England and Wales over the past five years, but only a fraction faced disciplinary action.

And huge gaps are evident between individual forces - with one upholding nearly half of complaints while 12 others did not uphold a single one.

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COVID-19 Government seeks to retain lockdown limits on protests

Concern over the government’s limitation of the right to protest during lockdown continues to mount after it emerged that the home secretary, Priti Patel, is eager to grant police greater powers to control demonstrations once the Covid restrictions are lifted.

In a letter to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) Patel wrote that although she appreciates protest is “a cornerstone of our democracy” she wanted to know how the Home Office could help police ensure protests in the future do not impact on “the rights of others to go about their daily business”.

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COVID-19 Age not job prioritised in second phase of Covid jab rollout

Vaccinating people in order of age is the fastest way to cut Covid-19 deaths in the next phase of the rollout, say experts advising the UK government.

People in their 40s will be next, once the current phase is completed. Priority based on jobs would be "more complex" and could slow down the programme, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said.

Unions representing teachers and police have criticised the decision, saying it could disrupt children's education.

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Prisons Prisons should trial free cannabis, says UK's former chief drug adviser

Proposals for prisons to trial a free scheme providing cannabis to inmates to ascertain whether it reduces violence, overdose deaths and addiction to stronger drugs have been backed by the UK government’s former chief drug adviser.

Prof David Nutt, from Imperial College London, said he was fully supportive of the idea and that he was considering a study on reducing prisoners’ drug dependence with cannabis in an ongoing trial.

“The idea of drug testing in prisons was not at all thought through when it was introduced in 1996,” said Nutt, chair of DrugScience, which advocates for evidence-based drug policy.

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Police and Crime General 'Martyn's Law' would 'minimise terror risk'

New anti-terrorism legislation in memory of a Manchester Arena bombing victim should "protect people and be proportionate", the justice secretary has said as a consultation is launched.

Building on "Martyn's Law", the new Protect Duty will require public places and venues to improve security.

It follows a campaign by Figen Murray, mother of Martyn Hett who died in the 2017 attack.

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Police Finances Police stop-and-search powers 'should be suspended'

Police powers to stop and search people in a specified area should be immediately suspended, Justice says.

The human rights group says stop-and-search is key in the disproportionate representation of black people in the criminal-justice system.

Its report asks the Home Office for an independent evaluation of "the impact and effectiveness of these searches".

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Economy & Public Finance Judge throws out council LOBO fraud claim against Barclays

A high court judge has thrown-out a legal challenge tabled by eight local authorities against lender Barclays Bank over historic Lender Option Borrower Option loans.

Councils in Leeds, Greater Manchester, Newcastle, North East Lincolnshire, Nottingham, Oldham, Sheffield and Newham launched action to cancel the loans taken out between 2006-2008.

The councils claimed that Barclays had committed fraud by making the loans while wrongly implying that the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) – on which the loans’ repayments were based – was being set honestly.

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Police and Crime General Police Covenant ‘not worth the paper it’s written on’ following vaccine snub

The chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation says the Prime Minister and Home Secretary have shown unforgivable contempt for police officers by snubbing them for any level of priority for the Covid-19 vaccine.

“This shows exactly what they think of us,” said Ken Marsh, adding that the Government’s upcoming Police Covenant was “not worth the paper it’s written on”.

“It’s absolutely disgusting – they don’t give a damn about us,” said Mr Marsh. “Police officers are catching and dying from Covid-19 because of their job and yet we are still not being given the protection the vaccine offers. It’s like we don’t exist.

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Police and Crime General West Yorkshire police and crime commissioner warning over lack of victim services funding

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said he broadly agreed with the proposals outlined in a policy paper by Dame Vera Baird QC that has been submitted to the Government.

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Economy & Public Finance New legislation extends proxy voting in local elections

The Government has introduced new measures to ensure people needing to self-isolate will still be allowed to vote in the upcoming local elections.

It has made an amendment to emergency proxy voting rules to enable anyone self-isolating or shielding due to COVID-19 to access an emergency proxy vote up to 17:00 on election day.

Minister of state for the constitution & devolution, Chloe Smith, said: ‘These elections can and will be delivered in a COVID-secure way and the extended proxy voting rules are a key part of this.

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Economy & Public Finance Sunak is planning 'giveaway' budget next week to inject the UK with a post-lockdown boom after No10's slow road to freedom - with help for motorists, hospitality firms and the housing market

Rishi Sunak will use a giveaway budget next week to pave the way for a post-lockdown boom.

Help for motorists, hospitality firms and the housing market is expected to be among a string of eye-catching policies.

The Chancellor is set to shelve plans for tax rises, including a threatened 5p increase in fuel duty that would have hit millions of drivers.

He is also poised to announce further VAT and business rate cuts for the hospitality and tourist industries, continue the stamp duty holiday and extend the jobs furlough scheme.

Recruitment and Retention Action needed to end 104% rise in resignations, experts warn

The Police Foundation’s annual conference was told there has been a 104% increase in officers quitting the service since 2015.

Leavers told a study by the University of Plymouth that their reasons included a lack leadership, not feeling valued, lack of career direction and lack of autonomy.

Dr Sarah Charman, a Reader in Criminology at the university, revealed there have been 2,363 resignations in the year to March 2020. That compares to 1,158 in 2011/12 and the number has increased every year since.

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Recruitment and Retention Over and out: Understanding the rise of voluntary resignations from the police service

Policing in the UK is witnessing a ‘steep and troubling’ rise in the number of officers resigning early in service, citing poor leadership and management, organisational injustice and exhausting working patterns among the reasons for leaving: Dr Sarah Charman – a panellist at this week’s Police Foundation workforce conference – and Dr Stephanie Bennett, both of the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth, explore the key reasons why officers leave mid-service.

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Recruitment and Retention Police uplift programme still not attracting enough Black recruits

Police forces are still failing to attract enough Black recruits despite making good progress with other under-represented minorities, one of the country’s most senior officers has said.

The Government’s uplift programme to recruit 20,000 additional officers by March 2023 is currently well on target, with more than 7,000 successful applicants already drafted in.

But while forces are doing well in attracting female officers and those from Asian backgrounds, they are struggling to attract applicants from Black, African and Caribbean communities.

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Justice Better status for victims would restore faith in justice system [OPINION]

Today I am publishing a paper setting out my ambitions for the government’s long-awaited Victims’ Law.

Our civilised society has a duty to treat victims of crime well. For the state to prosecute and uphold the rule of law, victims must have the confidence to report crimes and to testify in court.

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Police and Crime General Bank-funded police arrest 122 fraudsters

A specialist policing unit funded by banks arrested 122 fraudsters last year amid a huge rise in money launderers using members of the public as so-called “money mules”.

The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) recovered 18,175 credit card numbers and seized £2.6 million of assets in 2020 by targeting organised criminal gangs responsible for the vast amount of fraud in the UK. The total was £1 million more than had been seized the previous year.

Last year the unit’s investigations led to 54 criminals being jailed for fraud, figures handed to The Times reveal.

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COVID-19 Boris Johnson unveils plan to end England restrictions by 21 June

A new four-step plan to ease England's lockdown could see all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21 June, if strict conditions are met. Shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality could reopen on 12 April in England under plans set out by the PM.

From 17 May, two households might be allowed to mix in homes, while the rule of six could apply in places like pubs.

It requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage.

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Economy & Public Finance Budget 2021 rumour round-up: Corporation tax ‘hike expected’

A rise in corporation tax and extensions to the Universal Credit uplift and furlough scheme are among potential government Budget moves being reported in the national press. PF rounds up the rumours.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will use next week’s Budget to raise corporation tax over the next three years, in bid to help cover expanded Covid-19 support schemes, according to reports.

The Budget will see corporation tax be lifted by one percentage point to 20% this year, to help pay for the extension to the furlough scheme, VAT cut for hospitality and retail and business rates holiday, according to the Times.

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Prisons Police commissioner wants to give free cannabis to prisoners in bid to cut crime behind bars

A police commissioner has called for jails to trial giving free cannabis to prisoners in a bid to cut crime behind bars.

North Wales Plaid Cymru commissioner Arfon Jones, a former police inspector, said the radical idea could reduce prison violence and prevent overdose deaths in prisons.

Mr Jones said that if justice authorities were serious about reducing harm and violence in prisons 'they should be addressing the causes'.

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Police and Crime General Police should carry drugs overdose antidote, says senior officer

The overdose antidote naloxone should be made available to all police officers in areas where there is a clear need, the police chiefs’ drug lead has urged after successful pilot schemes.

North Wales police and Police Scotland are trialling having beat officers carry naloxone nasal sprays that can be used to treat opiate overdoses, and West Midlands police have extended their pilot scheme, with a rollout due to be announced.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council’s drugs lead, Jason Harwin, a deputy chief constable with Lincolnshire police, told the Guardian that he was championing the use of naloxone by officers in areas where they may encounter people who have overdosed on opiates.

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Police and Crime General Merseyside Police apologise over incorrect 'offensive' claim

Merseyside Police has apologised for claiming "being offensive is an offence" as part of a campaign to encourage people to report hate crime.

The force came under fire over the weekend after the message appeared on a billboard in Wirral.

It has since clarified that while hate crime is an offence, "being offensive is not in itself an offence".

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Police and Crime General Police should carry drugs overdose antidote, says senior officer

The overdose antidote naloxone should be made available to all police officers in areas where there is a clear need, the police chiefs’ drug lead has urged after successful pilot schemes.

North Wales police and Police Scotland are trialling having beat officers carry naloxone nasal sprays that can be used to treat opiate overdoses, and West Midlands police have extended their pilot scheme, with a rollout due to be announced.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council’s drugs lead, Jason Harwin, a deputy chief constable with Lincolnshire police, told the Guardian that he was championing the use of naloxone by officers in areas where they may encounter people who have overdosed on opiates.

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Pensions NARPO calls for swift action on age-related pension discrimination

The National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) has urged the Government to ensure the retired are treated the same as those of working age, when resolving pension discrimination.

This follows the 2018 Court of Appeal’s judgment that found the Government had discriminated against public sector workers in their policy of transitional protection, which was part of the 2015 reforms to public service pension schemes.

Following this case, the Government said it would be adopting a ‘deferred choice underpin’ approach, offering affected members a choice between legacy and reformed scheme benefits.

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COVID-19 Boris Johnson to focus on 'data, not dates' for lockdown easing

Boris Johnson says it is "absolutely right" to take a "data not dates" approach to leaving lockdown, stressing England will ease measures "cautiously".

The prime minister said he would set out "what we can" in a road map for easing restrictions on Monday.

"We want to be going one way from now on, based on the incredible vaccination rollout," he said.

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Justice Data lays bare strain on criminal justice system in England and Wales

The pressure put on the criminal justice system during the Covid-19 pandemic has been laid bare by official statistics that show the number of people dealt with in England and Wales fell by nearly a quarter amid evidence that the bottleneck has forced staff to carefully select which cases can be heard.

Data released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) showed the number of people being prosecuted or handed out-of-court disposals fell by 22% in the 12 months to September 2020, compared with the same period a year earlier.

The figures also showed a 25% drop in the number of offenders convicted and a similar decrease in the number of people sentenced. While the government highlighted the unprecedented difficulties posed by the public health crisis, Labour blamed ministers.

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COVID-19 Police facing 'increasing resistance' to Covid-19 enforcement

Greater Manchester Police has dealt with more than 1,200 Covid-related incidents in a single week with a “resurgence” of large group gatherings despite lockdown rules. Officers say there is evidence of greater “resistance” to police enforcement.

Speaking at a weekly press conference for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Bev Hughes, deputy mayor for policing and crime, said 280 fixed penalty notices had been issued in the past week, including 55 £800 fines of which 32 were handed out at a mass gathering in Salford.

She said: “The police everywhere are feeling that there is a lot more resistance now to intervention by the police. If they are called to a house, the householders are reluctant very often now to let them enter to check on what is happening and I think that is going to be an increasing trend.”

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Police and Crime General Dozens of drink and drug-drivers arrested in police crackdown

More than 40 people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influrence of drugs or alchol during a two-week crackdown in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Police are now urging people to be wary of the consequences of driving under the influence, after 43 people were arrested.

The force has increased proactive checks in response to community concerns of an increase in reckless behaviour by some motorists during lockdown.

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COVID-19 Covid lockdown to continue until cases drop below 1,000 a day

Lockdown is unlikely to be eased significantly until daily Covid cases are in the hundreds, compared with more than 10,000 a day now, The Telegraph understands....

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Police and Crime General Almost 30 modern slavery victims found every day in the UK last year, figures reveal

Home Office figures show 7,576 potential slavery and trafficking victims were referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) – the UK’s apparatus for identifying and supporting victms – between January and September last year.

That is the equivalent of 28 every day, and was an increase of 4.2 per cent on the same period in 2019 – despite fears the coronavirus pandemic could push slavery networks and their victims further underground.

Almost half the referrals during 2020 concerned children aged 17 or under, or adults exploited as children.

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Police and Crime General BLM UK to fund 'people's tribunal' for deaths in custody

Black Lives Matter UK has announced £45,000 of funding to the United Families and Friends Campaign to set up a “people’s tribunal” for deaths in custody.

The coalition group of family members who have lost loved ones in state custody, formed in 1997, is so far the largest recipient of Black Lives Matter UK’s initial round of funding.

Black Lives Matter UK announced last month its plan to release more than £100,000 to black-led organisations across the country. The campaign group received £1.2m in donations via a GoFundMe appeal, following widespread protests last summer.

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Police and Crime General Metropolitan Police’s top black female officer: My brother was stopped and searched

The UK’s most senior black female police officer has revealed her brother was stopped-and-searched by colleagues as she defended the controversial tactic.

Metropolitan Police Commander Dr Alison Heydari spoke publicly about the incident as she said the Met was in “listening mode” and working hard to engage young black men who are disproportionately targeted by stop-and-search.

Commander Heydari was responding to comments by retired Superintendent Leroy Logan who last week criticised Mayor Sadiq Khan and Scotland Yard’s approach to knife crime — claiming it had left young black men feeling alienated.

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Justice Packs for domestic abuse victims delivered by Bedfordshire's PCC

Emergency Support Bags include sim cards to make calls, clothing, food vouchers and a wifi-enabled tablet to access 24hr support from partners.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, Kathryn Holloway, has announced that the charity she governs - the Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust - has been awarded over £14,000 by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to help support individuals fleeing domestic abuse.

The idea first came about when Bedfordshire's Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner were thinking of new ways of helping victims of domestic abuse that were fleeing the family home, and this coincided with the OPCC bidding into a pot of money the MoJ had released for domestic abuse during Covid-19.

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Police and Crime General Sadiq Khan considering more police in schools

More police officers could be placed in some London schools when they fully reopen to help prevent a surge in violent crime, Sadiq Khan has revealed.

Met Police school safety officers have already been working at certain schools in areas of high violent crime.

The London mayor said in some cities around the world that have already come out of a Covid-19 lockdown, there had been a surge in violent crime.

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Police and Crime General Time to ask the fundamental questions about the police workforce of the future

The Police Foundation’s Strategic Review of Policing is exploring the sort of UK police service stakeholders need and expect over the coming years; ahead of next week’s conference on The Future Police Workforce, Foundation Director Rick Muir highlights some of the key questions that need to be considered.

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Economy & Public Finance ‘Mean’ strings attached to government support for ailing councils

Many capital projects are likely to be put on hold due to conditions on the “exceptional” support offered to struggling councils last week, finance experts have predicted.

The £96m promised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to Luton BC, Bexley LBC, Peterborough City Council and Eastbourne DC through capitalisation directions will enable these authorities to borrow government money normally only permitted for capital spending to ease pressure on their revenue budgets.

Other councils including Slough BC, Wirral MBC, Woking BC, Nottingham City Council and Croydon LBC, which declared a section 114 notice in December, are still locked in talks with the ministry over their requests for capitalisation directions.

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Police and Crime General Seven out of 10 young adults think police will treat them differently if they are from deprived area

Seven out of 10 young adults think that the police were treat them differently if they come from a deprived area or if they are a person of colour, according to a new study conducted by a leading criminal justice charity in the UK calling for police to divert young adults into support and reduce the number of arrests for low-level crimes.

The report, released by UK charity Revolving Doors Agency, found that over half of young adults did not think that the police consistently act in line their own beliefs and values (54%) or would act compassionately towards them (53%). The problem was found to be exacerbated for young adults with mental health needs, disabilities or long-term health conditions.

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Economy & Public Finance ‘Jackie Weaver’ phenomenon forces ministers 'to make parish councils by Zoom permanent'

Parish councils held by Zoom are set to be allowed to continue indefinitely as a result of the ‘Jackie Weaver’ phenomenon which has hugely increased interest in their meetings....

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Prisons Covid: Prisoners like 'caged animals' in lockdown jails

Prisoners in England's jails have been locked in their cells for more than 90% of the day to keep them safe from Covid-19, the prisons watchdog says.

And the extra restrictions, which began in March, have led to a decline in their mental and physical health and a rise in drug taking and self-harm.

"It's being imprisoned while you're in prison," one inmate told inspectors.

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COVID-19 Teachers and police set to be given Covid vaccine priority after over-50s

Teachers and police are expected to be given priority for vaccines once the over-50s have been offered Covid jabs, The Telegraph can disclose.

Britain is on course to hit targets to offer all those in the top four priority groups – including everyone over the age of 70 – their first dose of the vaccine by Monday.

But research suggests that hospital pressures will not ease significantly until the end of March, once all over 60s and younger people with health problems have had their first jab.

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Economy & Public Finance UK economy suffered record annual slump in 2020

The UK economy shrank by a record 9.9% last year as coronavirus restrictions hit output, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.

The contraction in 2020 "was more than twice as much as the previous largest annual fall on record," said ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow.

In December, the economy grew by 1.2%, after shrinking by 2.3% in November, as some restrictions eased.

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Police and Crime General Commitment to place new police officers in schools reiterated at Mayor's closed policing meeting

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester held a closed meeting with Trafford council this week to discuss policing, following the city-region’s police force being placed into special measures.

The meeting came after local calls for Mayor Andy Burnham to set out an action plan to bring Greater Manchester Police ‘up to scratch’ in Trafford.

Conservative members of the council criticised the fact that the meeting was held in private and felt members of the public, especially those who were victims of unrecorded crime, should be able to observe and participate.

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Technology Cumbria Constabulary rolls out new digital evidence system in UK first

The Axon Interview system was rolled out across the Constabulary in September following a successful pilot period in south Cumbria. The new system captures video recordings of all witness, victim and suspect interviews carried out as part of investigations by Cumbria officers.

The single system replaces two separate DVD-based systems, which would record only audio. The introduction of Axon’s digital interview recording system is the first outside of the US and links in seamlessly with the constabulary’s body-worn video (BWV) and Citizen capability. Axon says the new system ensures absolute transparency for all interviewees and offers flexibility via mobile kits, meaning officers can carry out interviews with people at a mutually convenient location if they are unable to attend a police station.

The system, which is fully complaint with Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, has integrated data lifecycle management functionality ensuring that evidence is managed throughout an investigation until a point where it becomes obsolete, leading to it being deleted.

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Technology Devon and Cornwall Police trialled high-tech cameras

Devon and Cornwall Police has become the first force in the world to install high-tech cameras in custody cells that monitor a detainee’s movement, pulse and breathing.

The ground-breaking technology called Oxevision has been developed by a company called Oxehealth, a spin-off company formed from a partnership between Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The cameras allow detainees to be monitored remotely, and can alert to potentially risky activity such as self-harm or significant health issues allowing for early intervention.

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Technology Metropolitan Police scan 13,000 faces to catch one suspect

The country’s biggest police force made only one arrest after scanning more than 13,000 people with facial recognition technology.

The biometric surveillance was wrong on seven of the eight occasions it picked out a face in the crowd to Metropolitan Police officers.

The Met and other forces have heralded facial recognition as a fantastic crime-fighting tool but privacy campaigners say that the intrusion is too great given the low success rate.

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Police Finances £125 million allocated to councils to support domestic abuse victims and their children

Councils across England have been allocated £125 million funding to provide support for victims of domestic abuse and their children, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing Eddie Hughes announced today (12 February 2021).

The funding will help ensure victims and their children who need it are able to access life-saving support such as therapy, advocacy and counselling in safe accommodation, including refuges.

The money will fund a new duty on councils to ensure victims and their children are able to access life-saving support in safe accommodation – a key part of the government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Bill.

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Police and Crime General Dame Cressida Dick may go within year in wake of Operation Midland fiasco

Dame Cressida Dick may step down as Metropolitan Police Commissioner within a year amid the continuing furore over her force’s handling of the catastrophic Operation Midland inquiry.

Lady Brittan, the widow of former home secretary Leon Brittan, has launched a withering attack on the Met Police, accusing its leadership of lacking a "strong moral compass" and a culture of "cover up and flick away".

She stopped short of naming Dame Cressida, but said the "buck stops" with the "leadership of the force" in its decision to raid her London and country homes over false allegations of a murderous Westminster paedophile ring made by a fantasist.

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Police and Crime General Majority of £10,000 lockdown fines contested or ignored

Police in England issued 196 of the fines, with two handed out in Wales, to organisers of gatherings of more than 30 people including raves, parties and protests between August and December 20.

According to snapshot figures from early January, of those 196 issued in England five had been paid, 53 were being formally contested, 42 had been ignored, and 96 still had time left to pay in the 28-day payment period.

The data from criminal records office Acro, that administers the fines, were given to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

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Justice Revenge porn threats could become illegal

Campaigners have welcomed moves to make the threat of sharing naked, sexual or explicit pictures and videos of another person with consent a criminal offence.

Ministers are thought to broadly support plans to criminalise those who threaten to leak sex tapes or other explicit content of their partners.

During a debate in the House of Lords this week, it was said a change in the law "would protect millions of women and victims of domestic abuse".

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Justice Revenge porn threats could become illegal

Campaigners have welcomed moves to make the threat of sharing naked, sexual or explicit pictures and videos of another person with consent a criminal offence.

Ministers are thought to broadly support plans to criminalise those who threaten to leak sex tapes or other explicit content of their partners.

During a debate in the House of Lords this week, it was said a change in the law "would protect millions of women and victims of domestic abuse".

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Police and Crime General Police must focus on keeping vulnerable young adults out of the criminal justice system, says new research

Chief Constable Jo Shiner says policing must be able to “identify and respond empathetically” to the vulnerabilities of young adults after new research shows more than half of 18 to 25-year-olds do not think the police understand them or the challenges they face.

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Police and Crime General An inspection of the effectiveness of the Regional Organised Crime Units

"In this inspection, we examined how effectively and efficiently the Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) tackle the threat from serious and organised crime (SOC).

SOC remains one of the greatest problems for policing in the UK and overseas.

Our last inspection report on ROCUs was published in 2015; Regional Organised Crime Units – A review of capability and effectiveness. Since then, the ROCU network has made substantial progress in some areas.

We wanted to see how well ROCUs led the response to SOC while working with local police forces and other law enforcement agencies.

We found evidence of some good work, but we also found some inconsistencies. We make six recommendations."

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Justice Victims of crimes 're-traumatised' by system

When Tracey Hanson's son, Josh, was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack in 2015, it was the start of a tough journey through the criminal justice system.

She said she was "passed from pillar to post" throughout and the impact stays with her today.

Experiences like hers - and others who have been victims of crime - is driving a fresh call from Labour for a "Victims' Law" to strengthen their rights.

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Police Demand Rise in child abuse online threatens to overwhelm UK police, officers warn

The vast, and growing, volume of child abuse material being created and shared online is threatening to overwhelm police efforts to tackle it, senior officers have told the Guardian.

And the situation is likely to worsen, National Crime Agency (NCA) child abuse lead Rob Jones warned, if social media sites such as Facebook press ahead with further encryption of messaging services.

Law enforcement against online child abuse in the UK was “the best in the world by some distance”, Jones said. “But we are arresting and dealing with more offenders than ever, the numbers are growing and growing, as are the number of children being safeguarded.”

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Justice Parole hearings to be held in public for first time after John Worboys scandal

Parole hearings to decide whether prisoners are safe for release are to be held in public for the first time.

The government said a blanket ban on public hearings will end later this year, although the “vast majority” of cases are expected to remain private because of sensitive information.

The move will enable anyone to request an open hearing, before the Parole Board decides whether it would be in the interests of justice.

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Police Finances Forces with most violent crime get extra £35.5m for VRU work

The Home Office announced the Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) at 18 forces in England and Wales are getting extra funding.

The forces, including the Met, West Midlands, Bedfordshire and Kent, are also sharing a £2m winter contingency fund package.

It is the third year that the forces have been given extra money for the units, bringing the total invested in them to more than £105m.

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Police Finances Met Federation could seek compensation over COVID-19 cases

The Metropolitan Police Federation has revealed it is considering legal action against the government to compensate frontline officers who caught COVID-19 while on duty.

Met Federation Chair Ken Marsh told Police Oracle that court action is possible following the Health Secretary Matt Hancock announcing on live TV that frontline officers will not be getting the vaccine unless they are classed as vulnerable.

So far, five members of the force have died from COVID-19 including a custody officer last month.

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Police and Crime General Police accuse government of betrayal over vaccine snub

Police have reacted with anger accusing the Government of betrayal after Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said officers would not be given priority for the coronavirus vaccine.

Senior officers have been lobbying ministers for weeks to get men and women on the frontline vaccinated as soon as possible to protect them from the virus.

It was thought their pleas had been heeded by Government who recognised the dangers police officers faced when carrying out their vital duties.

So they were taken by surprise on Monday when Mr Hancock announced in the House of Commons that the police would not be given priority in the roll out and would have to wait until after groups 1 to 9 had been treated, meaning it could be months before young frontline officers are vaccinated.

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Police and Crime General COVID-19: Pandemic fuelling rise in online sex crimes against children, charity says

The coronavirus pandemic is "fuelling long-term changes" to the threat posed by online sexual abusers, with children now facing "significant new risks", according to the country's leading children's charity.

The warning from the NSPCC comes as analysis of the latest crime trends shows a 17% rise in online sex crimes against children in the months after the first COVID-19 lockdown.

The Home Office offence data reveals there were 17,699 online child sex offences recorded by police in England and Wales between April and September last year.

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Police Demand Police 'overwhelmed' by tide of online child abuse

Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey said big tech firms such as Facebook need to accept greater responsibility and do more to prevent the uploading, sharing and viewing of child abuse images as too many parents still have a “laissez-faire attitude” to what their children do in their bedrooms.

“I don’t think their role in all this has been truly appreciated because without them the abuse wouldn’t be able to take place in so many cases,” he said.

“It’s the big market leaders that actually bear responsibility for making sure the internet is a safe place for our children and for our grandchildren to go. And ultimately at this moment in time it’s not safe.”

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Police and Crime General Home Office to plough extra £35m into tackling serious violence

The funding announcement comes after a spate of fatal stabbings in London last week.

A man in his 20s was killed and another critically injured in an incident in Kilburn in the northwest of the capital on Saturday, while investigations are continuing into a flurry of unconnected stabbings in south London since Friday evening in which a 22-year-old died and 11 other people were wounded.

The Home Office is committing £35.5 million to help Violence Reduction Units (VRUs), which support projects that carry out preventative work with children and young people, to battle the “horrors” of physical attacks.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “VRUs play a vital role in preventing young people from being dragged into the horrors of serious violence, and this funding will enable them to continue this crucial work.

“I will continue to back our police with the resources and powers they need to cut crime and make your community safer.”

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Police and Crime General ‘Teenagers will keep dying on our streets’ unless response to gangs is a ‘national priority’, warns Children’s Commissioner

In her latest report published at the weekend, Anne Longfield said the threat of gang exploitation shows no sign of abating and the response to youth violence must now be a “national priority”.

The Children’s Commissioner concludes that two years on from her last report into this issue, and a year after the Prime Minister promised to “cut the head off the snake” of County Lines, thousands of children are still not being kept safe.

She says the vast majority of local authorities do not have a sufficient grip on the drivers for youth violence in their areas, nor do they have a cogent strategy to reduce risk factors in vulnerable cohorts.

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Technology UK’s enemies trying to ‘tear society apart’ via social media

Britain’s enemies are attempting to use social media to tear the “fabric of society apart”, one of the country’s top generals has warned.

In a candid interview about cyberwarfare, Gen Sir Patrick Sanders said the threat was not like that seen in films where power plants are targeted.

Speaking to the Sky News Into the Grey Zone podcast, the head of Strategic Command said: “In some respects, the most important, most relevant use of cyberspace is that the real power is in influence and not in sabotage.

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Police Demand More than 213,000 children in England at risk of serious violence

More than 213,000 children in England aged 11 to 17 are at risk of being “dragged into serious violence”, according to research from crime and justice consultancy Crest Advisory.

Almost 40 per cent of those at risk live in ten local authorities, with proportionately more in Middlesbrough, Manchester and northeast Lincolnshire than anywhere else.

The findings are contained in a report, Violence and Vulnerability, published on Friday (February 5), which also highlights an innovative way of mapping connections between young people who may be involved in violence.

The technique, known as ‘Social Network Analysis’ (SNA), shows the links between 57 young people and the violent incidents they witnessed or were involved in, as well as where they go to school.

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Justice Domestic abuse victims stalked as family courts share refuge addresses with ex-partners, commissioner warns

The family courts are putting domestic abuse victims and children at grave risk by sharing the secret addresses of shelters with the abusive ex-partner they are fleeing, and some survivors are suffering stalking as a result, London’s independent victims’ commissioner has warned.

Domestic abuse refuges, which house many women at risk of murder if they remain at home with their abuser, are located in secret locations and have strict security measures to ensure their residents remain safe.

Claire Waxman, London’s independent victims’ commissioner, told The Independent recent family court judgments have resulted in shelter locations being handed to abusive ex-partners which has led to victims enduring stalking and harassment.

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Justice Covid-19 pandemic sparks justice chaos: Rapists and thugs go free as 79% more cases fail after record number of victims and witnesses pull out of trials because of delays

Record numbers of victims and witnesses are dropping out of court cases because of Covid delays.

Prosecutors have seen a 79 per cent rise in legal proceedings ending with no conviction due to the withdrawals, figures obtained by the Daily Mail show.

It has resulted in rapists and violent criminals going free. In some cases, victims have committed suicide because their attacker will not face court for years.

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Economy & Public Finance Budget 2021: Council tax centralisation could hurt local democracy

Chancellor Rishi Sunak needs to think very carefully about the potentially damaging consequences of scrapping council tax and replacing it with a new national property tax, says Jessica Studdert deputy chief executive at think tank New Local.

As speculation grows as to the contents of next month’s Budget, one idea that has been mooted by the Treasury is scrapping council tax and combining it with stamp duty into a new national property tax.

On first glance, there might appear to be a logic to this – both taxes have failed to keep pace with the distortions of growing and increasingly geographically polarised property values.

There is an apparent 'levelling up' electoral gain to be had by shaking up who wins and who loses from the current distribution.

But the consequences of swallowing up the one remaining form of local taxation into the Treasury black hole would have dire consequences for local democracy and local services, and risks replacing one form of unfairness with another.

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Economy & Public Finance £15m ‘uplift’ for Covid-19 elections

In a delivery plan published today, constitution minister Chloe Smith confirmed the additional funding, which comes on top of £16m for the police and crime commissioner elections which the government had previously committed to cover.

The government added that any additional election costs should be a “priority” for the £1.55bn Covid-19 funding allocated to councils for the next financial year.

Smith said: “This package of funding will support returning officers to secure venues and staffing and run Covid-19 secure elections.

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Technology Digital summit success

Our biggest event to date saw the NEP team facilitate this year’s Police Digital Summit – a virtual first for this annual gathering.

The theme of Maximising the Digital Opportunity was embraced by the hosts, who invited the NEP to produce the conference using Teams Live – technology that is being rolled out across all forces.

Over the course of three days, the Police ICT forum offered officers, staff, government and tech industry colleagues the opportunity to attend up to different 34 sessions and hear from a total of 68 experts in their fields.

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Police Demand Knife crime surge prompts fears of 'eruption' of violence after lockdown is lifted

Knife crime surged by 25 per cent after the first lockdown, official figures show, prompting warnings there could be an “eruption” of violence once the current Covid- 19 restrictions are lifted.

The number of knife offences increased by 25 per cent to 12,120 offences in July to September 2020 when compared with the previous quarter, despite a year-on-year decrease of three per cent, according to crime data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Between July and September, there was also a 13 per cent rise in “threats to kill” offences involving a knife, up from 1,124 offences to 1,270, when compared with the same period last year.

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Police and Crime General Thousands of possible human trafficking victims being detained by UK authorities

Thousands of potential victims of modern slavery or trafficking have been detained by the UK government during the last two years.

The figures from Women For Refugee Women and After Exploitation are the result of a Freedom Of Information request regarding the number of people detained in prison-like settings despite signs that they could be trafficking victims.

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Police and Crime General Undercover police smash county lines drug gang

A county lines gang that was using children to carry drugs worth millions of pounds has been broken up by the police in an operation that has so far led to the conviction of 72 people.

Officers from Northamptonshire police said that they had dismantled 18 county lines after a two-year undercover operation.

The operation is believed to be one of the largest against such organisations. County lines drug dealing involves urban criminal gangs taking over provincial drug markets, often exploiting young and vulnerable people. The county line is the mobile phone line used to take orders.

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Economy & Public Finance Government announces additional £40m to help victims of domestic abuse and rape

The government has unveiled an additional £40m to help victims of domestic abuse and rape during the Covid crisis.

Domestic violence has risen during the pandemic as lockdown measures have trapped victims at home with abusive partners and exacerbated pre-existing patterns of abuse.

Some £16m of the funding will go towards hiring more independent sexual violence and domestic abuse advisers – who provide emotional support and criminal justice advice – across the UK.

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Police Finances Extra £40m to help victims during pandemic and beyond

It comes as charities have reported a 200% increase in calls and people accessing webchat services since the first lockdown, with some victims feeling at greater risk of harm or deciding to report abuse for the first time.

The new investment will allow support organisations to recruit more staff, keep helplines open for longer and adapt to remote counselling where necessary – ensuring help remains available for those who need it.

Crucially, £16m will fund the recruitment of more independent sexual violence and domestic abuse advisers across the country. They provide emotional and practical support for victims, while guiding them through the criminal justice process which many can find daunting.

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Police and Crime General Election campaigning could 'open up' as restrictions ease

Campaigning for 6 May's English local elections could begin once Covid-19 restrictions start to be eased, Tory chair Amanda Milling has suggested.

In a letter to councillors and MPs, she said she expected activity to "open up... closer to the election period" - expected to begin in early April.

No 10 has said it wants the polls for more than 120 councils and key mayoral contests to go ahead as planned.

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Police and Crime General We will continue ‘disproportionate’ stop-and-search

The Met will continue to carry out “disproportionate” stop and searches of young black Londoners in an attempt to save lives, Scotland Yard’s second most senior officer warned today as he hit out against claims of discrimination.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House said officers were paid to use their brains and needed to focus “where the problem lies”.

That meant they would inevitably end up with an ethnic imbalance in stop and search because “young black men are dying on the streets of London and are being stabbed on the streets of London and, candidly, are also stabbing on the streets of London.”

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Recruitment and Retention Two police forces are slammed for using actors in 'embarrassing' diversity recruitment campaign

Two police forces have been criticised for mounting an 'embarrassing' diversity recruitment campaign which resorted to hiring actors to pose as ethnic minority and gay officers.

A series of posters released by Hampshire and Essex Police features black and ethnic minority 'officers' alongside the proud slogan, 'We Value Difference'.

But the only difference in the photos of the actors used by the two constabularies is the cap badges which have been swapped using photo trickery to distinguish them.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel vows to make communities safer with £20m boost to tackle crime

The Home Secretary said: "This unprecedented recruitment programme is about delivering real and meaningful improvements for the public, for victims or those who live in fear of crime, and ultimately society as a whole.

"In addition to boosting the police presence on our streets, we must also take action to stop criminals in their tracks.

"That is why I launched a fund last year to improve security in areas blighted by crimes including burglary, robbery and theft.

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Police and Crime General Coronavirus vaccine 'denied to police officers after Welsh Government intervention'

Coronavirus vaccinations were denied to police officers after what was understood to be a last-minute intervention by the Welsh Government.

One serving officer with South Wales Police, who wished to remain anonymous, said the vaccines were set to be offered to staff based in the Vale of Glamorgan last weekend.

It is understood that these vaccines were due to be given to the police officers as the batches were set to expire but that the Welsh Government intervened and insisted they be given to people in the top four priority groups as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

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Police Finances Operational officers put in for 3% pay rise despite pay freeze

The joint submission by the Police Federation and Superintendents’ Association to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) said a 3% rise should be in recognition of the incredible efforts made by police officers during the COVID-19 crisis.

The submission also calls for a bonus payment in line with many key workers in the private sector.

Many police families had been hit hard and PSA National Secretary Dan Murphy said officers already had enough stress from the job.

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COVID-19 Covid: 'Virus going in right direction but not fast enough'

Scientists behind a study tracking coronavirus in England say there are signs of a "shallow decline" in infection levels but they remain high.

And with not all regions seeing the same downward trend, pressure on health services is likely to continue.

Just under one in 60 people had the virus between 6 and 22 January according to researchers, with the trends "going in the right direction".

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Economy & Public Finance LGA fears over government threats to slash grant

Local Government Association (LGA) staff have been warned to cut costs after the Government threatened to slash its top-slice grant.

Ministers want to cut the grant for sector led improvement – currently £19.2m – by £5m and to open up the improvement process to competition from the private sector.

Local Government minister Luke Hall was poised to sign off the new funding before he was persuaded to hold fire. According to local government sources, ministers have questioned why the LGA has a monopoly, and why the bill for sector led improvement has not gone down during the pandemic as travel and hotel costs were cut out.

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Police and Crime General Quarter of police spat or coughed at by someone 'infected with Covid', survey reveals

A quarter of police officers have been spat or coughed at by someone said to be infected with Covid-19 in the past six months, a major study has revealed.

Nearly a third said members of the public had also threatened to deliberately spit or cough at them after claiming they had the virus, according to the Police Federation’s biennial survey of more than 12,000 frontline officers, exclusively revealed today by The Telegraph.

More than half (55 per cent) said they had been physically attacked over the past 12 months.

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Recruitment and Retention Government meets 6,000 Uplift target two months early

Statistics from the Home Office revealed the government has passed its target to recruit 6,000 new officers two months early.

Since the Uplift campaign was launched in March an additional 6,620 officers have joined forces across England and Wales.

Also released were figures for the entire police workforce across England and Wales. These figures show that as at 30 September 2020, the workforce had 216,155 (FTE) officers, staff and PCSOs – a total increase of 5.5% on the previous year.

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COVID-19 Covid-19 aid schemes hit by ‘eye-watering’ levels of fraud, says National Crime Agency

Emergency Covid-19 schemes are being subjected to an “eye-watering” level of fraud, one of Britain’s most senior crime fighters has warned.

Graeme Biggar, of the National Crime Agency, said that there would be “substantial” losses for the taxpayer related to criminals targeting multibillion-pound taxpayer support such as the wage furlough and the bounce back loan schemes.

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COVID-19 Quarantine hotel plans set to be announced

Some travellers coming to England will have to quarantine in hotels amid concerns about new Covid variants, the government is expected to announce.

Boris Johnson will discuss proposals with ministers later, but a decision may not be announced until Wednesday.

Most foreign nationals from high-risk countries are already denied UK entry, so the new rules will mainly affect returning UK citizens and residents.

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COVID-19 Pandemic is 'levelling down' the South, report warns

The economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic will make it four times harder to level up the North and Midlands, a new study has revealed.

Cities Outlook 2021, published by Centre for Cities, warns the pandemic also risks levelling down prosperous places in southern England. It highlights that 634,000 people outside the Greater South East now need to find secure, well-paid jobs to level up the country, compared to 170,000 last March.

The report found Birmingham, Hull and Blackpool face the biggest levelling up challenge, while London, Crawley and Slough are among the prosperous places of concern due COVID-19’s potential long-term impact.

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COVID-19 Councils back postponement of May local elections

Senior council figures have urged the Government to postpone the local elections planned for May, according to a new poll.

The survey by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) reveals that councils are overwhelmingly concerned about their ability to deliver a May poll. Instead, 69% of council officials believe an autumn timetable is more achievable.

Those responding to the poll call on the Government to provide additional ring-fenced funding to make elections safe, and greater expansion of postal voting.

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Economy & Public Finance Government must use 2021 to get levelling up back on track

Urgent action is needed to level up Northern cities and towns – and prevent parts of the South being levelled down, writes the chief executive of Centre for Cities.

After many difficult months there is reason to hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight and our lives could soon return to some form of normality. A speedy vaccination programme could mean that by summer restaurants, shops and pubs can re-open and, despite what some commentators have said, the benefits of face-to-face interaction mean many people will return to their offices.

But the scaling down of the public health crisis will mean a scaling-up of economic crisis – primarily repairing the damage Covid-19 has done to the national economy and the economies of our cities and towns.

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Justice CPS 'incapable or unwilling' to reverse collapse in rape charges, victims’ commissioner says

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is “incapable or unwilling” to reverse a continuing collapse in rape charges, says the victims’ commissioner, on the eve of a critical High Court action against it that starts on Tuesday....

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Police and Crime General Fraud epidemic 'is now national security threat'

Fraud has reached epidemic levels in the UK and should be seen as a national security issue, says think tank the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

The scale of credit card, identity and cyber-fraud makes it the most prevalent crime, costing up to £190bn a year.

UK intelligence agencies should play a greater role in responding, the RUSI argues in a report.

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Police and Crime General English council chiefs back postponement of May local elections

A further postponement to this year’s local elections, in the wake of the continuing difficulties caused by the Covid pandemic, is backed by the vast majority of senior council figures across England, the Observer can reveal.

Only 11% of the senior officials dealing with the forthcoming elections believe they should go ahead in May as planned, despite the government’s determination to press ahead. More than two-thirds (69%) believe the huge set of elections should now take place in the autumn, according to the most comprehensive survey of council chief executives, leaders and officers in charge of organising elections to be conducted on the issue.

A further 14% called for a shorter delay to the summer and 6% backed a postponement beyond this autumn, according to the analysis by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU). Of the more than 350 officials who responded, two-thirds said they were “very concerned” about holding elections in May.

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Fire Firefighters’ Covid response ‘prevented and delayed’ by health and safety row, report finds

Firefighters were prevented from carrying out roles supporting the response to coronavirus because their “hands were tied” by union lobbying over safety protections, a report has found.

HM Inspectorate of Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said “restrictive” working arrangements agreed between employers and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) had “prevented or delayed” some humanitarian deployments.

An inspection of how England’s 45 fire services responded to the pandemic accused the FBU of urging firefighters not to volunteer to support the NHS Test and Trace system or the Covid-19 vaccination programme. The FBU denied the allegations.

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COVID-19 Priti Patel 'working to get jabs to front-line roles'

Ministers are working to ensure police and other front-line workers are moved up the priority list for the Covid vaccine, the home secretary has said.

Priti Patel told the BBC there was "a lot of work taking place in government right now" on the issue.

The committee advising the government on vaccines has also said it will consider factors like exposure risk and occupation in the rollout's next phase.

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COVID-19 £800 house party fines to be introduced in England

Fines of £800 for anyone attending a house party of more than 15 people will be introduced in England from next week, under new Covid measures. These will double for each repeat offence to a maximum of £6,400.

At a No 10 news conference, Home Secretary Priti Patel said there remained a "small minority that refuse to do the right thing".

"To them my message is clear. If you don't follow rules then the police will enforce them," she said.

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COVID-19 Emergency worker assaults most common coronavirus-related crime

Assaults on emergency service workers were the most common coronavirus-related crimes prosecuted in the six months following last spring’s lockdown, latest figures show.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it charged 1,688 such offences between April 1 and September 30 last year.

Many of these involved police officers being coughed and spat on – with others kicked, bitten and hit with heavy objects – after stopping suspected rule-breakers, said the CPS.

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Police and Crime General Suicides by officers under investigation 'avoidable', says Fed

Lengthy investigations where officers are potentially isolated from colleagues, berated in the media without the opportunity to tell their side of the story and left with the fear of losing their career can put an immense strain on an officer's mental health.

Federation Conduct and Performance Lead Phill Matthews said there's been a number of suicides by officers who are under investigation. "It's something we're trying to progess because its certainly something we've recognised," he said.

When an officer is served with a misconduct notice carrying out a risk assessment and providing support is the force’s obligation but in reality the process is “patchy”, the Federation says.

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Police and Crime General £148m to target county lines drug gangs and treat addiction

Police have shut down more than 550 county lines and arrested nearly 3,500 people connected with the drug dealing gangs in just over a year.

The Home Office revealed the crackdown as it announced a £148 million package to cut crime and tackle issues around illegal drugs. It also gives more resources to police to tackle organised urban criminal gangs, which take over provincial drug markets, often exploiting young and vulnerable people. The county line is the mobile phone line used to take drugs orders.

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COVID-19 Nine police officers who had breakfast together inside cafe fined for breaching lockdown

Nine police officers who had breakfast together inside a cafe have been fined for breaching COVID lockdown rules on duty.

The officers, from the Metropolitan Police, were fined £200 each and told to "reflect on their choices."

They were spotted by IT manager Brian Jennings walking past the cafe near their base beside the River Thames at 9am earlier this month, a week into the latest lockdown.

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Technology 'Outrageous' that data deleted from main UK police computer database, PM Johnson says

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday it was “outrageous” that hundreds of thousands of police records had been deleted due to a human coding error with the Police National Computer.

A piece of software to weed out records from the database that the computer had no legal right to hold went haywire because of faulty coding and began to automatically delete hundreds of thousands of other records, the Home Office said.

“Of course it is outrageous that any data should have been lost but at the moment ... we’re trying to retrieve that data,” Johnson told parliament, adding that the Home Office (interior ministry) hoped to restore the deleted information.

“We don’t know how many cases might be frustrated as a result of what has happened,” Johnson said.

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COVID-19 One in four UK young people have felt 'unable to cope' in pandemic

Young people are in danger of giving up on their futures and on themselves, with a quarter saying they feel unable to cope with life, one of the UK’s leading charities has said.

The Prince’s Trust long-running annual survey of young people’s happiness and confidence returned the worst findings in its 12-year history.

“The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on young people’s mental health and wellbeing,” said Jonathan Townsend, the trust’s UK chief executive. “Many believe they are missing out on being young, and sadly we know that the impact of the pandemic on their employment prospects and overall wellbeing could continue far into their futures.”

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Justice 'Grave concerns' for justice, warn watchdogs

Four criminal justice watchdogs for England and Wales have warned they have "grave concerns" about the impact of court backlogs caused by the pandemic.

The inspectorates for policing, prisons, probation and prosecutions say issues it has caused could damage the criminal justice system for years.

It comes after figures revealed the backlog in the crown courts has reached 54,000 unheard cases.

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COVID-19 Half a million police officers and teachers could jump the queue for Covid-19 vaccine if they are given priority in phase two of inoculation rollout, says Nadhim Zahawi

More than half a million police officers and teachers could jump the vaccine queue if they are given priority in phase two of the rollout.

Hundreds of thousands of shop workers could also be added to the list, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said yesterday.

He added those who come into close contact with the public as a result of their jobs should be considered for priority access.

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Police and Crime General Decriminalise drugs, former officers urge

Former senior police officers are campaigning for the decriminalisation of drugs as a key starting point to reduce Scotland’s shocking drugs death tally.

Insisting that the “war on drugs” has failed, the former officers, among them a retired chief inspector, believe that urgent and radical reform is required to punish crime lords and to prevent the harm that their drug-dealing does to individuals and communities.

Under the banner of the new Leap Scotland (Law Enforcement Action Partnership) Simon McLean, a retired crime squad detective and undercover vice officer, said that the organisation advocated an holistic approach in which “decriminalisation and regulation go hand-in-hand”. Users would be helped with the best possible service provision, extending to new facilities, such as safe consumption rooms.

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Justice CPS response to the Joint Inspectorates' report on the pandemic and the Criminal Justice System

A CPS spokesperson said: “We are pleased this report commends our effective response to the pandemic, including our commitment to staff wellbeing which is a top priority for the CPS.

“Safely reducing the backlog of court cases is vital so we can ease pressure on prosecutors and continue to deliver justice. We are working urgently with partners to achieve this.”

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Police and Crime General Top police officer laments rate of stop and search on young black men

There is “widespread dissatisfaction” with the police among black communities with it being clear young black men are being disproportionately stopped and searched at an “eye-watering” rate, a former senior police chief has said.

Mike Cunningham, who retired last month as chief executive of the College of Policing which sets standards for law enforcement, said stop and search was the “totemic” issue and called for “humility” from police leaders faced with sustained criticism after a tumultuous year. He said law enforcement had achieved a lot but had much more to do on the issue.

In an interview to mark his retirement from policing after 32 years, including stints as chief constable of Staffordshire and HM Inspector of Constabulary, Cunningham told the Guardian: “It is absolutely starkly clear that there is a widespread dissatisfaction with policing from black people. And, I don’t think anybody should try to dress that up and say, ‘it isn’t real, it’s a mistake, it’s a perception’. Something more needs to be done.”

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COVID-19 Officers get 'left-over' vaccine while others told to turn down offers

Officers from some forces are taking up local NHS trusts on their offers for spare vaccines. The Metropolitan Police is however reportedly instructing officers to decline if offered externally.

Officers from Lincolnshire, Sussex and West Midlands are accepting ‘left-over’ doses of the Covid-19 vaccine when offered externally.

A spokesperson from West Midlands Police said: "A number of police officers have been approached and offered unsolicited vaccinations which would otherwise have been disposed of at the end of the day at various vaccination sessions.

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Technology Home Secretary launches investigation into 400,000 missing police records

Home Secretary Priti Patel has launched an internal investigation into the accidental deletion of hundreds of thousands of police records, amid claims it took 48 days to identify the error.

Home Office minister Kit Malthouse said the loss of Police National Computer (PNC) data was “unacceptable”, expressed optimism about its recovery and pledged to return to the Commons to update MPs when he knew more about the impact of the incident.

He was unable to give a guarantee that no criminal case could be compromised by the loss of police records, but ruled out any criminal intent behind the “human error” and defective code which led to the deletion of a significant number of fingerprint, DNA and arrest history records.

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Police and Crime General Fewer than one in 10 police officers fired after gross misconduct finding

Fewer than one in 10 British police officers found to have potentially committed gross misconduct by the watchdog are dismissed, the Guardian can reveal.

Figures released by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) show 641 officers in England and Wales may have so seriously breached standards that they were liable to be sacked between 2015 and 2020, but just 54 (8.4%) were fired after disciplinary action was conducted internally.

Another 848 officers were found to have a case to answer over possible misconduct, but in total only 363 of the misconduct claims have so far been upheld following IOPC recommendations.

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Police and Crime General Families of citizens dying after contact with police still await justice

Relatives of people who have died after contact with the police have told of their distrust in and dissatisfaction with the ability of the complaints system to help deliver justice.

“I feel the IOPC is there to shut families up and make us believe there is a thorough investigation,” said Carla Cumberbatch, sister of electrician Darren, who died at the age of 32 in July 2017 after he was punched up to 15 times, beaten with a baton, sprayed with CS gas and Tasered multiple times by officers.

They had been called to a bail hostel in Nuneaton, west Midlands, while he was experiencing a mental health crisis – behaving “irrationally” in a toilet bloc, according to the coroner.

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COVID-19 Shed parties and illegal races: UK police crack down on Covid-19 rulebreakers

Police have issued fines to coronavirus rule breakers including those who held a party in a garden shed and a group of more than 40 people who gathered for illegal car racing.

In the 10th month of the pandemic, police have clamped down on those clearly breaking the rules, with forces being asked by government to increase enforcement as the death toll from the virus mounts.

Police in Swansea issued fines after finding eight people partying in a garden shed in Sketty that housed a bar.

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COVID-19 PSNI faces legal challenge on powers of entry under Covid laws

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is facing a potential legal challenge over whether officers have the power to enter private homes to enforce Covid regulations without a warrant.

Loyalist activist Jamie Bryson issued pre-action correspondence to the Department of Health and the PSNI on Sunday. He has also notified the Department of Justice as a noticed party to his challenge.

Pre-action correspondence is the first step toward potential judicial review proceedings. It gives respondents a set period to remedy issues raised by an applicant.

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Police and Crime General GMP to provide a named contact officer to every resident

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has committed to providing every resident with a named officer they can contact in what Mayor Andy Burnham has described as “a significant enhancement of GMP’s neighbourhood policing offer."

The mayor also announced external advisors have been brought in to address concerns about the iOps computer system, which has been beset by technical problems and linked to the failure to record crime which resulted in GMP being put onto special measures last month and the resignation of chief constable Ian Hopkins.

Mr Hopkins resigned after a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found GMP failed to record more than 80,000 crimes in the space of a year.

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Police and Crime General GMP to provide a named contact officer to every resident

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has committed to providing every resident with a named officer they can contact in what Mayor Andy Burnham has described as “a significant enhancement of GMP’s neighbourhood policing offer."

The mayor also announced external advisors have been brought in to address concerns about the iOps computer system, which has been beset by technical problems and linked to the failure to record crime which resulted in GMP being put onto special measures last month and the resignation of chief constable Ian Hopkins.

Mr Hopkins resigned after a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found GMP failed to record more than 80,000 crimes in the space of a year.

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Economy & Public Finance Treasury in property tax rethink

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is believed to be rethinking property taxes – including council tax and business rates – in a bid to balance the books post-COVID.

The move comes amid rising calls for change, including a report from think tank Onwards on changing the finance system and 10-minute rule Bill on scrapping business rates, launched by Conservative backbencher Kevin Hollinrake.

The 3 March Budget is expected to continue to fund existing support during the latest COVID lockdown, but any return to normality would also see the Chancellor starting to claw back his financial position through tax rises.

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Fire Grenfell survivors in multimillion pound lawsuit

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have launched a legal claim worth millions of pounds.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Kensington and Chelsea LBC are among the organisations the lawsuit claimed ‘contributed’ to the disaster.

A personal injury claim on behalf of Grenfell residents and relatives was lodged at the High Court shortly before Christmas against 22 defendants.

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Economy & Public Finance Forget local government, the whole country needs a fair funding review

With the future of business rates under review and council tax reform reportedly attracting the interest of the Treasury the government has some fundamental questions to answer, writes LGC deputy editor Sarah Calkin.

The case for reforming council tax is growing ever louder. That it is a regressive tax, hitting those in lower value homes proportionately harder than those in higher ones, is not disputed.

Meanwhile, as the property values that council tax bands are based on turn 30-years-old this year their relationship with the reality of local property markets grows ever weaker. As the only locally-set tax – albeit within the strict confines of centrally-determined referendum limits – the casual observer may assume councils are quite attached to it.

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Police and Crime General Police get new powers to stop and search knife offenders without a reason

Police are to get new powers to stop and search up to 15,000 knife offenders a year without needing any reason to do so, under new laws to be unveiled this month....

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Economy & Public Finance Make May elections in England more Covid-safe, Labour urges

Labour has urged ministers to make May’s elections in England more Covid-secure, after the emergence of a Cabinet Office document that warned the pandemic could severely hamper the process and put millions off voting.

The paper raises the possibility that even if coronavirus infection levels are relatively low, it could be difficult to attract enough election staff, and that safety fears may “disenfranchise large proportions of [the] community”.

Labour is calling for safeguards such as the possibility of spreading voting over several days, or having an all-postal vote, options that have been prepared for elections to the Scottish parliament, also due to take place on 6 May.

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Prisons Covid strikes down 69 judges amid chaos in courts and jails

The criminal justice system is facing its biggest crisis of the pandemic as soaring numbers of infections tear through prisons and the courts.

There were confirmed Covid outbreaks in 76 of England and Wales’s 117 prisons at the start of last week, including all those in London, leaked official figures show. Prisoner infections were up 46% in a week to Monday 11, with 498 prisoners testing positive.

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Police and Crime General Stronger powers for police to evict travellers who build illegal camps

Priti Patel is set to give the police new powers to evict travellers who build encampments on private and public land and refuse to leave.

The home secretary will shortly announce plans that will make it a criminal offence to trespass with the intention of settling.

People found in breach of the new laws will face fines of up to £2,500 or a three-month prison sentence.

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Technology Technical issue resolved after '150,000 police records lost'

The government is assessing the impact of a "technical issue" that led to 150,000 records being deleted from police databases.

The error, first reported in the Times, saw data including fingerprint, DNA and arrest histories wiped after being accidentally flagged for deletion.

The Home Office said the lost entries related to people who were arrested and then released without further action. But Labour said it presented "huge dangers" for public safety.

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Police and Crime General Lincolnshire Police child protection 'needs action'

Government inspectors say a police force still has inconsistent supervision of cases involving children.

A National Child Protection Inspection of Lincolnshire Police highlighted the failings in its third report on child care and safety in three years.

Progress in some areas had been slowed by coronavirus, the report said. The force said it had robust plans in place to deliver the best service for keeping children safe.

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Technology Over 400,000 crime records could be affected by police computer error

More than 400,000 crime records could have been affected by a data blunder, with records for serious offences supposed to be kept forever accidentally deleted and police fearing criminals may not be caught, a letter from a senior officer reveals.

The records were accidentally deleted due to a coding error on 10 January, and the incident affects fingerprints, DNA, and arrest records on the police national computer (PNC).

The Guardian has learned that records related to serious offences, meant to be kept “indefinitely”, have been affected and police have already suffered what they term as “near misses” for serious crimes.

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Economy & Public Finance Second Covid-19 lockdown hurts UK GDP

The UK’s economy shrank by 2.6% in November, as a result of the second English lockdown, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS said November’s contraction was the first month of decline in six months, since April’s record 20% contraction at the beginning of the first national lockdown.

GDP in November was 8.5% below pre-Covid-19 levels in February, and overall, the economy has fallen 8.9% in the 12 months to November, the ONS said.

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Economy & Public Finance LGA to call in conspiracy theory experts

The Local Government Association (LGA) is to talk to university experts to help councils counter a rising tide of conspiracy theories.

A meeting of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board was yesterday warned the QAnon myth, which includes wild allegations of a child sex ring, had gained ‘significant traction’ among conspiracy theorists in the UK, with 35% of 18-24-year-olds agreeing that secret satanic cults featuring influential elites exist.

The meeting heard that conspiracy theories were ‘taking hold across the whole political spectrum’ and advocates were a ‘very broad church,’ with COVID-19 having ‘put wind in their sails’.

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Police Demand The mental health effects of Covid will last for a decade

In the normal course of his work as a GP Gavin Francis would expect to spend about a third of his time dealing with the mental ill health of his patients. The pandemic has changed that. “Consultations about mental health vary from week to week, but are commonly at double what they were before the pandemic,” he says.

From his position at the grass roots of the response to Covid-19 Francis has witnessed the spread of the virus at a community level. Some days every call he has taken was about loneliness, self-harm and the contagion of mental health problems.

In a memoir of the past year he describes panic and anxiety as “the virus’s dark refrains, a second pandemic leaching into everyone’s lives”. When I ask how long he expects this to last he is unequivocal. “For years.”..

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Police and Crime General Domestic abuse victims can 'Ask for Ani' at pharmacies as codeword for needing help

Domestic abuse victims will be able to "Ask for Ani" at pharmacies nationwide as part of a codeword scheme to indicate they need help.

From Thursday, anyone who is suffering domestic abuse will be able to ask for support without their abusers or other members of the public knowing, The Daily Telegraph reports.

As soon as they "Ask for Ani" they will be led into a private consulting room where they will be put in touch with the police, relevant support services or helplines.

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Police and Crime General 'High bar' for postponing local elections in England, MPs told

There should be a "high bar" for postponing local elections in England this year, a minister has told MPs.

Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith said the position would be kept "under review".

She said work was under way to ensure people could cast their ballots in a "COVID-secure" way - but Labour has raised concerns a "lack of preparation" could force people to "choose between their health and their right to vote".

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Police and Crime General PCCs welcome domestic abuse pharmacy codeword scheme

The Home Office have teamed up with UK pharmacies to launch a domestic abuse Ask for ANI codeword scheme, and PCCs have today lauded it as "lifeline" for victims during lockdown.

Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) has been developed by the Home Office to allow domestic abuse sufferers to signal they need emergency help to a chemist.

It is being rolled out this month to help victims who have been left isolated by the lockdown and found it more difficult to ask for help.

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Recruitment and Retention Former Policing Minister Nick Herbert appointed Chair of the College of Policing Board

John Apter said he was looking forward to developing a constructive relationship with Lord Herbert of South Downs after he was appointed by the Home Secretary today as Chair of the College of Policing Board.

Mr Apter said: “I look forward to meeting Lord Herbert and developing a constructive relationship on behalf of our members. The College of Policing is such an important part of policing so it’s essential we work closely with them on behalf of the 130,000 police officers we represent.”

Lord Herbert replaces outgoing Chair, Christine Elliott and was Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice across both the Home Office and Ministry of Justice. He was previously Shadow Minister for Police Reform, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, and a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

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Police Demand West Midlands Police see 'staggering' rise in domestic abuse cases

Over Christmas, police in the West Midlands said they were called to a "staggering" 1,250 incidents of domestic abuse. The force said it was a 60% increase on the same period last year.

Between Christmas Eve and 29 December, West Midlands Police made 191 arrests, which it said accounted for almost 30% of the force's total arrests.

Birmingham MP Jess Phillips told the House of Commons on Thursday refuges were under huge pressure. Escaping domestic abuse is specifically listed by government as one of a handful of "reasonable excuses" for leaving home during the latest lockdown.

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Justice Home Secretary to introduce 'Kay's Law' reform to better protect victims

New laws to reform pre-charge bail will provide better protection for victims and witnesses in cases of violent and sexual offences, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced today (Thursday 14th January).

The Home Office has published its response to a consultation on pre-charge bail, which allows police to release a suspect from custody subject to conditions, while they gather evidence or await a charging decision.

The new measures will ensure a system where individuals are not held on bail for unreasonable lengths of time, whilst enabling police to impose strict conditions on more suspects in high-harm cases, including most cases of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

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COVID-19 Retail giants clamp down in bid to halt coronavirus growth

John Lewis became the first big retailer to suspend its click-and-collect service yesterday amid pressure on shops to do more to help to contain the virus.

The chain said that it was acting after a “change in tone” from government, adding that it wanted to help the national effort by removing reasons for non-essential travel.

Tesco, Asda, Aldi and Waitrose joined Morrisons and Sainsbury’s in banning shoppers without masks from stores unless they have a medical reason. Supermarkets in England will be spot-checked by council staff to ensure that they are Covid-secure.

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Police and Crime General Police under fire for outdoor coronavirus clampdown

Police were accused of trying to stop people enjoying themselves during the lockdown yesterday as members of the public said it was “incredibly unclear” what they were allowed to do outside.

Essex police caused anger after issuing a Facebook post saying they had “cause to speak with” a number of men, all aged over 30, after they were spotted hunting the animated characters on the mobile app Pokemon Go.

The social media post came attached with guidance from Essex council about abiding by lockdown rules.

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Police and Crime General Public figures should lead way in obeying Covid rules, says police chief after Boris Johnson bike ride

Senior police have criticised Boris Johnson for his seven-mile bike ride, saying it would encourage the public to push the boundaries of lockdown rules.

Dame Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, said the prime minister did not break the law when he travelled from Downing Street to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday. However, she added that anyone in public life should be a “role model”.

Other senior officers said that Mr Johnson had not acted within the “spirit” of the rules amid confusion about how far people should travel from their homes for daily exercise in England.

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Economy & Public Finance Council chiefs call for mental health services funding

Local authority leaders have urged the Government to ensure that councils’ mental health services receive the funding they require to meet ‘unmet demand’ in response to a landmark reform of mental health laws.

The Government today published the long-anticipated Reforming the Mental Health Act white paper, which builds on the recommendations made in 2018 by Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act.

The white paper stressed the importance of empowering individuals to have more control over their mental health treatment. It also promises to deliver parity between mental and physical health services.

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Economy & Public Finance ‘Dismay’ over continuing lack of detail on UKSPF

Senior councillors have expressed growing alarm that almost a fortnight after UK completed its exit from the EU they are still in the dark on vital details of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund intended to replace EU funding for the regions.

A meeting of the Local Government Association’s people and places board yesterday also heard that the government had yet to set up a promised taskforce bringing central and local government to co-design the fund while there are concerns that rather than devolving more powers to councils, the fund could end up drawing existing responsibilities away from them as it covers a wider remit than current EU funds.

A paper prepared to Tuesday’s meeting warned of an “urgency” to the issue as current EU funding winds down, with all funding programmes completed by the end of 2023.

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Economy & Public Finance Extra cash made available for self isolation support

An extra £20.4m is to be provided by the government to extend the current self isolation support grants scheme to the end of this financial year after many councils reported running out of the discretionary funding provided so far.

Just over half of the funding is to go towards extending the national £500 scheme to support those on in-work benefits required to self-isolate while councils will also be handed an additional £10m of discretionary funding. This is paid to those on low-incomes required to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace who could suffer financial hardship as a result of not being able to work but who do not meet the criteria for the separate £500 payment.

However, there are still understood to be concerns in the sector that the £500 national scheme is not capturing all those in need as the eligibility criteria too tight, and this is putting pressure on discretionary budgets.

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Police Demand Mental Health Act reforms aim to tackle high rate of black people sectioned

Reforms to the Mental Health Act will help tackle the disproportionate number of black people sectioned, the government has announced.

Black people are more than four times more likely to be detained under the act and more than 10 times more likely to be subject to a community treatment order.

The package of reforms includes piloting culturally appropriate advocates so patients from all minority ethnic backgrounds can be better supported to voice their individual needs and allow sectioned people to nominate family members to represent their best interests if they are unable to do so themselves.

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Police Demand Online child sexual abuse material soars to record levels

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said it processed a record number of reports of online child sexual abuse in 2020.

The IWF, the UK charity responsible for finding and removing images and videos of child sexual abuse from the internet, has also seen a dramatic 77 per cent increase in the amount of ‘self-generated’ abuse material as more children, and more criminals, spend longer online in 2020.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, chief executive of the IWF, warned that children were at greater risk of being approached or groomed by strangers online than ever before.

The coronavirus pandemic forced many people to work and learn from home in 2020, and the IWF saw a surge in public reports to its hotline.

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Recruitment and Retention Detective shortage leads forces to target January blues for recruits

Forces across the country have used the traditional January window when people consider career changes to launch recruitment drives for detective roles.

Two approaches are being made; tempting current officers to move forces or going to the wider public for direct entry training through fast-track programmes.

Cheshire Constabulary is among those to opt for the fast track approach, for the first time, enabling new recruits to opt for the role of trainee detective constable. The force is opening the opportunity for the Uplift trainees that are part of the national recruitment programme.

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Police Finances Khan proposes 9.5% rise in GLA precept

Proposals from London mayor Sadiq Khan would see annual bills rise by more than £31 on average in 2021-22, with £15 to help fund the Metropolitan Police and £15 for Transport of London subsidies for children and over 60s.

The remaining £1.59 per-household would go towards helping the fire service respond to changes recommended by the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

However, in order to implement the proposed increases for TfL, the GLA requires approval from the government to amend its referendum limits as the increase would be greater than its current 2% limit before a referendum was required.

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Economy & Public Finance Tax reforms 'would raise more than wealth tax'

In a presentation to the Local Government Association’s annual finance conference, David Phillips, associate director at the IFS, warned that a wealth related levy could harm the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

He said that trying to capture tax on people who have saved during the pandemic could have a dampening effect on the economy, as the recovery will be reliant on the public spending money.

Phillips said: “Rather than trying to introduce a new wealth tax for a long-term boost to government revenues, it actually makes sense to reform some of the existing taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax, council tax, inheritance tax, so they are actually more efficient, fairer, and raise more for the long-term.”

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Recruitment and Retention Hampshire police boss admits all-white senior team is ‘not OK’

The chief constable of the police force where five policemen were sacked for “abhorrent” racist language has said “it is not OK” that her senior officers are all white.

Olivia Pinkney of Hampshire police said she was very aware that her senior leadership team “look the way they do” and admitted that she was concerned by the lack of diversity. The highest-ranking black officer in the county is a chief inspector.

Ms Pinkney criticised her own force after detectives in a serious organised crime unit were sacked for racist and sexist language.

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Police Demand Police in England and Wales face crime targets in return for 20,000 new officers

Crime will have to be cut by up to 20% under radical plans drawn up by the government and discussed with police chiefs, the Guardian has learned.

However, senior officers believe it would be a return to Whitehall setting “targets”, which were derided by the Conservatives when the last Labour government used them.

Ministers want to bring down rates of homicide, serious violent crime and a whole host of other offences across England and Wales. The reductions would be in return for government providing the money for 20,000 new officers, about the same number cut since 2010 after the Conservatives slashed police budgets.

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Police Demand Police driving ambulances amid delay in 999 response

Police are being deployed to drive ambulances and a lack of staff is delaying answering of 999 calls as emergency services start to buckle under the strain of coronavirus.

A senior police source said there were fears that some areas could see a “999 service only” because of the number of staff off sick amid an escalation in infections. The disclosure will strengthen calls by the Police Federation for officers to be prioritised for vaccines.

In some areas, entire shifts of 999 call-handling staff have been “wiped out” by cases of Covid-19.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel wants police to explain unpopular decisions

The home secretary is preparing to force police chiefs and police and crime commissioners to do more to explain controversial operational decisions.

This month Priti Patel will publish the recommendations of a review into PCCs, which were introduced by David Cameron in 2012 to make the police more accountable.

The recommendations include drawing “brighter” lines on what constitutes operational independence and moving to first past the post for PCC elections after the next polls in May.

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COVID-19 2.6 million jabs given to 2.3 million people - but UK is warned vaccine 'not a free pass' to ignore rules

More than 2.6 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been given to almost 2.3 million people, the health secretary has said, as an NHS boss warned the jab is "not a free pass" to ignore national guidance.

Matt Hancock told a Downing Street news conference that the government was on track to achieve its pledge of offering a vaccine to the top four priority groups by the middle of February, a total of nearly 15 million Britons.

Asked whether this was a possibility, Mr Hancock said people should be focusing on sticking to the current rules "as they are".

"The NHS, more than ever before, needs everybody to be doing something right now - and that something is to follow the rules," he said.

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COVID-19 New exercise restrictions in England 'under active consideration'

A ban on people in England walking or exercising with anyone from outside their household is under “active consideration” sources have told the Guardian, although the health secretary, Matt Hancock, on Monday evening insisted that he did not want to have to tighten the rules.

Discussions have taken place in government about returning to the rules of March 2020, which limited people to one form of outside exercise a day – such as a run, walk, or cycle – either alone or only with people you live with.

However Hancock said he hoped that the current rules, which allow people to exercise with one other person, would remain. “We are seeing large groups and that is not acceptable,” he said. “This is one of those rules where if too many people keep breaking it then we are going to have to look at it. But I don’t want to do that because for many people being able to go for a walk with a friend, especially if they live alone, is their only social contact.

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Police Finances Coronavirus (COVID-19): emergency funding for local government in 2020 to 2021 and additional support in 2021 to 2022

Allocations of additional funding to local authorities in financial year 2020 to 2021 and additional support for local government in financial year 2021 to 2022.

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Police and Crime General Police chief pledges major crackdown on burglaries - 'we ignore them at our peril'

Northants Chief Constable Nick Adderly said his force would “hit hard” sex offenders, those who peddle drugs, commit burglaries and engage in anti-social behaviour. His pledge comes after the public were ignored for too long. Former naval officer Mr Adderley said forces, including his own, had not paid enough attention to victims of crime and the people they served...

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Police and Crime General Tough crackdown on Covid rule-breakers 'essential' as over 100 cars turned away from beauty spot

A police boss says a new get tough approach is essential to crack down on Covid rule-breakers who are putting lives at risk.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones spoke out after “selfish” people flouted the regulations and flocked to beauty spots across the region.

On Friday, two people had to be rescued by the North East Wales Search and Rescue (NEWSAR) team after becoming "disorientated" in severe weather conditions during a walk up Moel Famau on the Flintshire border.

The pair had gone for a walk from home but they raised the alarm by phoning the policing after losing their bearings as conditions deteriorated rapidly due to snow and poor visibility.

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Police Finances Police start crackdown on Covid rule-breakers

Police are toughening enforcement of the lockdown as government scientific advisers fear that public neglect of restrictions could keep infections high for months.

A record death toll and level of infections were recorded yesterday as figures suggested that people are leaving home far more often than last spring.

Boris Johnson made a fresh plea last night for people to follow the rules as the government began a television campaign to urge people to stay at home. “Our hospitals are under more pressure than at any other time since the start of the pandemic, and infection rates across the entire country continue to soar at an alarming rate,” the prime minister said. “I know the last year has taken its toll — but your compliance is now more vital than ever.”

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COVID-19 More fines expected for lockdown breaches as home secretary warns of tighter enforcement

"Strong enforcement" of coronavirus restrictions is needed to control the spread of the disease, the home secretary has warned.

Priti Patel said police forces should focus their resources on people who "are clearly breaking" lockdown rules to "safeguard our country's recovery from this deadly virus".

Government sources have told Sky News this will mean that "more fines will be issued, and quicker".

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Fire Cladding flat owners told not to talk to press

Flat owners applying to a fund to help pay to remove flammable building cladding will be told not to talk to the press without government approval.

A draft agreement, uncovered by the Sunday Times, says that even where there is "overwhelming public interest" in speaking to journalists, the government must be told first.

The government said the wording was "standard".

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COVID-19 Covid: arrivals to UK will need to show a negative test before entry

International travellers will need to show a negative Covid-19 test before being allowed into the UK, the government has announced, in a significant toughening of border controls to try to stem the spread of new coronavirus variants.

The new rules will take effect next week and apply to returning UK nationals as well as foreign citizens. Passengers will need to produce a test result taken less than 72 hours before boarding planes, boats or trains to the UK, and could be fined £500 in border spot checks without a negative result.

Arrivals will still need to quarantine for 10 days, even with a negative test, unless they are coming from one of the limited number of countries deemed low risk on the government’s travel corridor list.

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Justice Letter to Commissioners for Domestic Abuse and Victims about coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Home Secretary writes in response to a joint letter of 4 November regarding support for victims of domestic abuse during the period of new measures to counter COVID-19.

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Police and Crime General New Nottinghamshire police team armed with guns to prevent serious crime

For the first time outside of the armed response unit, specially trained officers will be armed with weapons as part of the new new roads crime policing team to target serious criminal activity across Nottinghamshire.

Armed police will be used in the force’s operational support department to predominantly to prevent criminals bringing weapons and drugs into the county and keep the area safe.

Officers will work alongside Operation Reacher teams who work in each of the county’s neighbourhoods to support local anti-crime initiatives.

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Police Finances Commissioner launches Council Tax Precept Consultation

Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall is seeking the views of the people of Cumbria to help to maintain and improve policing services which includes an increase in the policing part of the council tax.

The police council tax precept is an essential part of the council tax that contributes alongside a central government grant to the total funding available to provide policing, community safety and victims’ services.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: “Over the last three years working with the Chief Constable and with your support as council tax payers, we have been able to improve the policing service here in Cumbria and make a real difference in tackling crime in our communities.

“Funding for policing does not all come from government grant alone and it is not enough to allow us to recruit further officers, deploy dedicated officers into the community where you want to see them, and pay for our existing service, without an increase in council tax. The government has recognised this and is allowing Police and Crime Commissioners to increase the council tax precept by up to £15 per year for a Band D property."

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Police and Crime General From threat to threat: UK community policing and counter-terrorism

The announcement in November of a multi-million pound counter-terror centre for the UK which brings together police and the security services was rightly welcomed; but as Policing Insight’s Andrew Staniforth reports, moving forwards the relationship between community policing and counter-terrorism will be crucial to negating the wide array of terrorist and extremist threats...

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Police and Crime General Met police take hard line on Covid rule breakers

Britain’s biggest police force is taking a new hardline approach to coronavirus lockdown breakers by actively stopping people on the street and requiring them to explain themselves.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police will also routinely hand out fines to anyone found at illegal gatherings such as parties or raves. Previously enforcement action was generally limited to the event’s organisers.

People found not wearing a mask when they should will not be “reasoned with” but fined, the force said.

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COVID-19 People drank more alcohol, exercised less and ate less healthily during first lockdown

Britons drank more alcohol, ate fewer fruit and vegetables and exercised less during the first national lockdown, a study has suggested.

Younger people, women and those who are overweight were more likely to have adopted unhealthy lifestyle choices last spring, the research by the University of East Anglia (UEA) shows.

The study of more than 1,000 people also indicates that women drank alcohol more frequently, but men consumed greater quantities of it in one sitting.

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Technology Criminals publish stolen council data online

Data stolen from Hackney LBC in a cyber attack has been published online by the criminals responsible.

The ‘serious cyber attack’ last year affected the council's IT systems and services.

Experts supporting the council said the data was not visible through search engines or on any widely available public forum.

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Police Finances OECD says public will not accept austerity post-Covid-19

Unprecedented stimulus measures taken by governments to fight the pandemic have changed the public perception of spending and debt, meaning sharp tax hikes or spending cuts would risk popular backlash, the OECD’s chief economist has said.

Laurence Boone told the Financial Times that public officials will struggle to argue for austerity during the recovery from Covid-19, and may not be in a position to pay for certain measures – such as those to combat climate change.

“People are going to ask where all this money has come from,” she said, referring to the programmes rolled out by governments to address the coronavirus pandemic.

She said countries should continue to use higher spending and low taxes to help their economies throughout the recovery period, taking a lesson from the last global financial crisis.

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Justice MoJ fails to hit financial management targets

The Ministry of Justice failed to meet either of its financial management targets outlined in the 2015 Spending Review, according to the National Audit Office.

In its departmental overview of the ministry, the NAO said that two five-year targets of savings had not been met by the end of 2019-20.

In 2015, the MoJ was asked by the Treasury to produce overall savings of 15% by the end of last financial year, but spending rose by £1.3bn in 2019-20 compared with 2015-16, the NAO said.

The increase in spending was in part down to unanticipated increases in demand for services, the review said.

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Police and Crime General North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones to stand down

North Wales' Police and Crime Commissioner has announced plans to step down.

Arfon Jones became only the second person to hold the post in North Wales when he was elected back in 2016.

He was due to stand in the 2020 Police and Crime Commissioner election but that was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former police inspector and county councillor says that the decision to retire at the end of his current term was one he reached only recently.

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Technology Researchers use NCA data to model predatory offending during pandemic

Researchers at the University of Birmingham are using data on sex offenders’ crime patterns compiled by the National Crime Agency (NCA) to assess how their behaviour has changed in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19 will enable the team to examine extensive data on sex offenders collated by the Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS) of the National Crime Agency.

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Recruitment and Retention Police applications jump 100,000 after promise for more officers on streets

More than 100,000 people have applied to join the police as ministers promise more officers on our streets.

The Home Office will today launch the next stage of the recruitment drive to hire 20,000 additional bobbies by 2023. More than 6,000 have already joined the force and similar numbers are being targeted again this year. The Government is increasing its funding to more than £15billion in 2021-22 – up by £636million from this year.

Police have received more than 107,000 applications since the programme began, said the National Police Chiefs Council.

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Police and Crime General Police chief calls for power of entry into homes of suspected lockdown breakers

The government should toughen the lockdown by giving officers the right to force entry into homes of suspected law breakers, a policing leader has said.

David Jamieson, the police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands police, England’s second biggest force, said: “For the small minority of people who refuse entry to police officers and obstruct their work, the power of entry would seem to be a useful tool."

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COVID-19 Police to get tough on lockdown breakers - huge penalties expected

Huge penalties are expected for people who ignored the latest coronavirus restrictions as police become less tolerant over rule breakers.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced England will be going into its third national lockdown as cases of the novel virus reach record-breaking figures. All schools will remain closed until at least February.

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Police Finances Borrowing from PWLB jumps following rate cut

In October 2019, the Treasury raised the PWLB rate by one percentage point, which led to monthly borrowing dropping as low as £40m in November.

However, the rate rise was reversed at the Comprehensive Spending Review and in December more than 40 PWLB loans, averaging £5.9m each, were agreed, according to figures from the Debt Management Office.

David Whelan, managing director of public sector treasury at Link Group told PF: “Local authorities sat on their hands, and had not borrowed much, since the rate increase was announced.

“Following the rate reduction, they have now gone in and borrowed quite a lot.”

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COVID-19 Covid has exacerbated inequalities

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has released its first report of the year, titled Deaton Review of Inequalities: a New Year’s message.

The report outlines how Covid has not only highlighted inequalities in Britain, but how it has also made them worse.

The report focuses on key areas such as income, employment and education to objectively demonstrate that those from poorer backgrounds are worse off as a result of Covid, than those who are from privilege.

The report found that graduates were less likely to be out of work because of Covid, falling just 7% when compared to non-graduates who saw employment rates rise by 17% over the same period, showing that there is still a gap between those that go to university and those that don’t. Non-graduates are also more likely to have lost out on income due to an inability to do their job from home, having to choose between their health or their income.

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Police Finances Former CIPFA presidents receive New Year honours

Gardner, who was auditor general of Audit Scotland from 2012-2020 and CIPFA president in 2006, was awarded a CBE for her services to the Scottish public sector.

She had worked at Audit Scotland since its inception in 2000 and was also chair of CIPFA in Scotland in 2001.

Roberts, who was CIPFA president in 2016, was awarded an OBE for his services to local government and public sector finance.

He was appointed as one of two finance commissioners to help advise at Northamptonshire County Council in 2018, after the council issued two section 114 notices.

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Recruitment and Retention Prime Minister commits to uplift in public sector jobs

The Prime Minister has committed to continuing to invest in public sector jobs as the country aims to “build back better” after the Covid-19 pandemic.

2020 saw record numbers of nurses recruited with 13,313 new nurses joining the NHS in England, taking the total figure up to 299,184.

41,000 trainee teachers were recruited last year, with every teacher in the country receiving an above-inflation pay rise.

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Recruitment and Retention Three quarters of police officers say they are not paid enough to deal with coronavirus hazards

Almost eight out of 10 police officers in Gloucestershire feel they are not paid enough to deal with all the added complications the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to their jobs.

A survey carried out by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) found that 79 per cent of Gloucestershire Police officers felt they did not receive a fair wage to deal with the hazards they have faced this year.

It comes as the pandemic has introduced new responsibilities to policing, such as enforcing lockdown rules, while coping with the added risk officers face of contracting the virus.

Police and Crime General Visitors turned away from Brecon Beacons after 'hundreds of vehicles' arrive

Police have been stopping visitors trying to "enjoy the snow" at the Brecon Beacons after hundreds of vehicles arrived at the national park despite Wales being in lockdown.

One man drove nearly 200 miles from Hertfordshire to walk up Pen-y-Fan, while a minibus of mixed households had travelled to the area from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, according to Dyfed-Powys Police.

Officers issued fixed penalty notices for some breaches, though many people listened to advice and returned home after seeing police in the area, a spokesman said.

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Police and Crime General Organised crime driving ‘epidemic’ of dog snatching

Demand for dogs skyrocketed in lockdown and has risen again in the run-up to Christmas. Prices have soared as a result.

Organised crime is exploiting the situation by smuggling puppies from abroad and stealing dogs in the UK.

Dog thefts are now believed to be at an unprecedented high, with puppies stolen for immediate sale and adults taken for forced breeding on puppy farms.

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Economy & Public Finance Tory MPs pressure government to overhaul ‘regressive’ council tax

A new group of Tory MPs that includes a former local government minister is urging the government to overhaul the "regressive system" of council tax, as part of a wider campaign for a rethink on property taxes.

The group of 30-plus MPs who have signed up for the Property Research Group (PRG) since its launch a week ago is led by Michael Gove’s parliamentary private secretary Kevin Hollinrake, who represents Rishi Sunak’s neighbouring constituency of Thirsk & Malton.

Other MPs in the PRG include former local government minister Simon Clarke and Andrew Mitchell, a former chief whip.

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COVID-19 Testing rolled out to areas at ‘significant risk’ of moving into Tier 3

Local authorities in the worst-affected Tier 2 areas will now be offered community testing in addition to Tier 3 areas, the Government has announced.

Councils at high risk of entering Tier 3 will be invited to submit community testing proposals to help drive down COVID-19 transmission rates, although those already in Tier 3 will continue to be prioritised.

One in three individuals with COVID-19 do not display symptoms and are potentially infecting people unknowingly. Community testing can help identify those showing no symptoms so that the chain of transmission can be broken.

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Economy & Public Finance Sunak extends furlough and loans schemes to bolster economy

The Chancellor will keep the furlough scheme running until April and extend government loan guarantees for firms in a double boost for struggling workers and businesses....

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Police and Crime General Redmond proposal for oversight body rejected

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has rejected the proposal of a new audit oversight body as outlined in the Redmond Review.

The review, published in September, called for a new body – the Office of Local Audit and Regulation – oversee local authority audit.

However, in its response, published today, the department said it is not currently persuaded that a new arms-length body is required.

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Police and Crime General Greater Manchester police to be placed in special measures

Greater Manchester police (GMP) are to be placed in special measures after inspectors expressed “serious cause for concern” when the force failed to record a fifth of all reported crimes.

Last week Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) criticised GMP for failing to report 80,000 crimes in the year to 30 June.

“Victims of crime are too often being let down by Greater Manchester police. The service provided to victims, particularly those who are most vulnerable, is a serious cause of concern. This is extremely disappointing given that HMICFRS has been urging Greater Manchester police to improve in this area since 2016,” said the HM inspector of constabulary, Zoë Billingham.

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Police Finances Police funding set to rise as Home Office unveils provisional settlement

The Home Office has announced a police funding package that could see overall budgets rise by more than £600 million compared to last year.

A total of £15.8 billion is being made available for policing for 2021/22. The package includes more than £400 million to recruit 20,000 extra officers by 2023, building on the success of the first year of the uplift which has already delivered almost 6,000 additional police officers.

The funding settlement also aims to provide additional resources to tackle serious violence and increase the number of specialist officers tackling terrorism and serious organised crime, including child sexual abuse and drug trafficking.

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Fire Post-Grenfell cladding inspections find other fire risks

Fire safety inspections have uncovered hundreds of blocks of flats in England and Wales with faulty or missing fire prevention measures, the BBC has found.

Flat owners have been looking for evidence of unsafe cladding in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people in 2017.

But many of the inspections have revealed problems inside the buildings. The government said it was introducing the biggest improvements to building safety for 40 years.

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Economy & Public Finance Interim exit cap guidance allows relaxation on ‘compassionate’ grounds

Councils can seek to exempt employees facing redundancy from the new £95,000 public sector exit cap if they would face “genuine hardship” or their exit is “necessary” for “urgent workplace reforms”, ministers have agreed.

Guidance published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government today says until the introduction of regulations to bring the cap in line with the Local Government Pension Scheme, councils may also ask ministers to relax the cap where an exit was agreed before it came into force on 4 November but was delayed, as long as that was not the fault of the employee.

Councils will have to submit business cases requesting exemptions for consideration by the communities secretary and Treasury ministers, either on an individual basis or in “bulk” where 20 or more staff are being made redundant at the same time.

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Technology New GCHQ cyber force will track down paedophiles

The new National Cyber Force will use offensive hacking techniques to take down paedophile groups and stop them sharing illegal images, the director of GCHQ revealed yesterday.

Jeremy Fleming said the unit of cyber-hackers, a joint initiative between GCHQ, the military and MI6, would not be restricted to targeting terrorists and hostile states. He said that the NCF would work with law enforcement to tackle global paedophile groups causing the most harm.

“They can help to disrupt those criminals,” he said. “That might be denying access to a mobile phone or a particular bit of infrastructure, it might be undermining their network such that they can’t store and promulgate dreadful, sexualised images of children.”

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Police and Crime General North Wales Police forensic officers set “gold standard” for road crash investigations across UK

North Wales Police have been hailed as a role model for the rest of the UK’s forces in the way they investigate serious road crashes and their use of high-tech methods including drones.

The region’s police and crime commissioner, Arfon Jones, said he was proud they had been named as the lead force for a new accreditation system after setting the “gold standard” for forensic investigations.

The constabulary has received extra funding of £2 million to head up the new Forensic Collision Investigation Network as the host force.

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Recruitment and Retention Unconscious bias training ineffective and has 'negative consequences'

Police forces could end unconscious bias training for officers after the Government announced it would be scrapping the courses for civil servants and urged other public sector employers to do the same.

Cabinet Office minister Julia Lopez said that the training was being scrapped because it is ineffective and can have “unintended negative consequences”.

Several forces including the Met have used unconscious bias training for its senior officers and staff to help improve diversity.

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Police and Crime General UK and Switzerland sign new police co-operation agreement

A new Police Cooperation Agreement between the UK and Switzerland has been signed which will further intensify joint UK-Swiss efforts to tackle crime.

The agreement was co-signed by UK Security Minister James Brokenshire and Swiss Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter in a virtual signature ceremony today (15 December 2020).

It builds on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by UK and Swiss Ministers in July 2019, which signalled the shared intention to explore more formal arrangements in order to further enhance co-operation between law enforcement partners in the future.

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Technology Devices 'improve morale' by cutting end of shift paperwork

The introduction of mobile devices to Police Scotland has improved officer wellbeing by reducing the time they have to spend at the end of their shift completing paperwork, independent academic research has found.

The officers interviewed as part of the study said they felt they were being "invested in" by being given kit that is positively changing the way they work.

Since the roll out in 2019 nearly 11,000 response, community and specialist officers out of a total force strength of 17,241 have been equipped with the technology as part of their operational duties.

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Police Finances Sadiq Khan announces £22.5 million for cuts-stricken Met

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that City Hall will provide £22.5 million to protect frontline policing from the financial strain of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The money will come from Greater London Authority reserves and will cover half of the £45.5 million in cuts facing London’s police over the next year.

The remaining half will be met in part by delaying a proposed move to bring forward the recruitment of 600 additional officers that was scheduled for 2021/2022, though City Hall claims the Metropolitan Police has exceeded its recruitment target for this year.

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COVID-19 Anti-vax protestors clash with police outside Parliament as ministers plunge London into Tier Three

Anti-vaxxer protesters have massed in London amid angry scenes as it was confirmed the capital will be put into Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

The ill-timed march was organised by StandUp X, using the encrypted Telegram messaging service favoured by IS extremists.

Over 16,500 people are supporters of the group and scenes at Parliament Square showed crowds being met by police.

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Police and Crime General Chief constable of Dyfed-Powys Police announces retirement

Mr Collins started his policing career as a Special constable with Sussex Police in 1985, he returned to his home force in 1987 and continued to volunteer on the front line until joining the Metropolitan Police in 1991 and then rising through the ranks across a number for forces.

Mr Collins said: “I couldn’t have hoped for more as a chief than the time I have spent back in my home force, something that was unimaginable during my time as a Special Constable here more than 30 years ago.

“It hasn’t all been easy and there have been some challenges. Having gone from a force that others aspired to be, to one which appeared to have lost some direction and focus, there have been tough calls to be made on resourcing, structure and our broader model for policing the safest, yet most rural communities in England and Wales.

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Police Demand More officers to be on the roads as South Yorkshire police launch two new units

Police in South Yorkshire are set to get tough on criminals by setting up some specialist new units expected to tackle major problems head on.

It will see a new roads crime unit created to spotlight criminals known to target South Yorkshire by travelling in from West Yorkshire on the M1 or over the Pennines from Greater Manchester.

A second unit will act as a mobile bolster to neighbourhood police, able to provide support where and when it is needed. That will allow neighbourhood officers to focus on the jobs they are intended to do, allowing the whole police machine to operate more effectively.

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Police and Crime General How the British government is trying to crush our right to protest

Not content with ambitions to limit judicial review, “update” (that is: weaken) the Human Rights Act, and pass laws that would insulate various agents of the state from accountability for human rights violations, the government is now, according to press reports last week, planning to introduce a new law that will limit our right to protest.

For a government that claims to be concerned about free speech and “cancel culture”, cracking down on protest isn’t a great look.

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Police and Crime General Home Secretary orders GMP chief to send crime victims "recovery plan"

Home Secretary Priti Patel has written to the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins telling him to send her his recovery plan “at the earliest opportunity” following a scathing HMICFRS report on the service his force provides to victims of crime.

In the letter sent jointly to CC Hopkins and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, the Home Secretary says she is “deeply concerned” by the report’s findings which she said would further erode the confidence and trust the public has in the force.

The Inspectorate report published last week found the force did not record an estimated 80,100 crimes reported to it between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020. This amounts to approximately 220 crimes a day.

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Police Finances Rape and sexual assault: 'Money needed' to speed up investigations

Police and prosecutors need more resources as sexual assault and rape investigations are taking longer, a charity that supports victims has said.

New Pathways said some cases took "years" to go through the courts. One victim urged people to make the most of the support available, rather than "let things spiral".

The UK government said a review of how rape and serious sexual offences were dealt with was due to be published by the end of the year.

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Police and Crime General Britain should be 'very worried' about no deal with EU, ex-Europol chief warns

Britain should be "very worried" about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, a former head of Europol has warned.

Speaking exclusively to Sky News, Max-Peter Ratzel said he believed British national security was at risk, and urged leaders to come to an agreement on security co-operation even if there is no deal.

"I would be worried. I would be very worried. I'm worried as a European as we lose part of our competence, but I'd be even more worried if I was British," he said.

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Recruitment and Retention Chris Haward confirmed as new Lincolnshire Police chief

A new chief constable has been chosen for Lincolnshire's police force. Chris Haward will take up the £160,000-a-year post later this month after being confirmed by a police and crime panel earlier.

Mr Haward said he was "absolutely delighted" to be selected and was looking forward to "some exciting challenges". He will take over the force's top job from Bill Skelly, who announced his retirement in June.

Mr Haward, who spent his childhood in Zambia and Botswana, said "diversity, fairness and equality" were of paramount importance to him.

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Technology Face-recognition cameras to catch shoplifters raise fears over privacy

A supermarket chain‘s extension of facial-recognition technology in its stores has prompted outrage among privacy campaigners.

The system, which has been installed in outlets across the south of England from 2018, alerts staff if someone who has a record of “theft or antisocial behaviour” enters a store.

The supermarket said that the trial of the technology was implemented to reduce shoplifting and abuse against staff but privacy advocates said that they had “serious concerns”.

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Police and Crime General Government must take 'urgent' action to ensure police access to EU crime data

Police chiefs have “no idea” what resources they will have access to next month, while Brexit negotiations hang in the balance, MPs have warned. As a no-deal Brexit looms, calls have been made for the Government to “urgently explain” what is being done to avoid a “security downgrade” if access to criminal databases is lost.

The changes could have “major operational impact” on investigations, according to police chiefs.

It has emerged that the Government will “actively delete” 40,000 alerts on dangerous criminals and wanted suspects on December 31.

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Technology McLaren to lead City of London drive against cyber fraud

The Square Mile’s force has confirmed this week that it has appointed Angela McLaren as the first-ever Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for economic and cyber-crime.

The move will be a blow for Police Scotland where she was the executive lead for Organised Crime, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence.

Her promotion is a significant step forward after a long career in Scotland. Previous posts for her included Organisational Development and Corporate Governance and prior to this she played a significant role in the development of the force’s Policing 2026 Strategy.

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Police and Crime General Mayor’s office fails to state confidence in Greater Manchester Police's Chief Constable after damning report

The mayor’s office has repeatedly refused to say whether it has confidence in the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police after a damning report found the force was failing to record one in four violent crimes.

It also cast doubt over the Chief’s long-term future at the helm of the force and criticised the fact he has not fronted up any interviews today.

Responding to the report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate, Andy Burnham part-blamed its blistering findings about the force’s treatment of victims on the delayed roll-out of the troubled iOPS computer system - while also insisting crime has fallen significantly during his tenure.

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Police and Crime General New surrender scheme starts to keep dangerous weapons off the streets

The surrender scheme marks an important development in the government’s commitment to tackling serious violence and strengthening police powers to take action against it.

Under the scheme, offensive weapons that will soon be prohibited as well as rapid firing rifles, which fire at a rate closer to semi-automatic rifles, can be surrendered to the police. Lawful owners will be able to claim compensation for the items in most cases.

This follows the Offensive Weapons Act which bans possession of dangerous and offensive weapons in private. The list of weapons includes zombie knives, cyclone knives, knuckledusters, death star knives, flick knives, gravity knives, batons, disguised knives, push daggers and other offensive weapons. It was already illegal to possess a knife or offensive weapon in public.

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COVID-19 350 South Wales Police officers and staff told to self isolate this week

In the last seven days 350 staff from South Wales Police have be asked to self isolate.

The huge figure shows the huge impact widespread community transmission of the virus is having on key public services as the virus continues to grow in Wales.

Covid-19 is more prominent in Wales than any other part of the UK with more than 320 cases of the virus for every 100,000 people compared to 149 in England.

People who are isolating are able to claim a £500 to help with loss of earnings if they cannot work from home.

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Technology Northamptonshire Police to expand ANPR network

The force has awarded a £823,000 contract to QRO Solutions, a subsidiary of security and surveillance systems group Petards, to provide an enhanced and extended fixed ANPR camera infrastructure on many strategic arterial and rural roads within the county.

Delivery and installation is set to commence immediately, with the bulk of the contract being completed in the first half of 2021.

The expanded camera network is part of a wider strategy to strengthen crime fighting and links several initiatives, including the establishment last year of the road crime team to focus on denying criminals the use of the roads.

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Police and Crime General Met police to compensate child slavery victim arrested after reporting ordeal

The Metropolitan police is to pay £15,500 to a victim of slavery who tried to report his traffickers but was instead arrested for immigration offences and sent to a detention centre.

The man, referred to in court as KQT, was 15 when he was taken by traffickers from Vietnam through Russia to the UK in a refrigerated lorry. He was arrested on arrival and placed in foster care, but shortly after was collected by his traffickers and forced to work on a cannabis farm, where he was locked inside a storeroom and only fed one meal a day. In January 2018, he escaped his captors and walked into a police station to report his ordeal.

Instead of treating him as a potential victim of child trafficking, police officers instead detained him under immigration powers. He was then taken to Brook House immigration removal centre at Gatwick airport, where he was detained for 22 days until lawyers secured his release. KQT has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome and depression.

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Police and Crime General Banning the use of Taser on under 18s is not ‘real world’ policing

The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has responded to calls for the use of Taser to be prohibited on under 18s by telling critics to ‘live in the real world.’

John Apter reacted on behalf of 130,000 rank and file PFEW members after Unicef UK demanded that the government ban their use on children in a report on youth justice.

The recently released Unicef UK report suggested Taser and spit-hoods were ‘increasingly being used by police forces on children’ and recommended they were prohibited.

The report also called for the Home Office to assess the reasons for the disproportionate use of Taser on BAME children in England.

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Police and Crime General APCC chair gives evidence to Lords' Constitution Committee

The Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Paddy Tipping has told a House of Lords committee that police officers have not always had sufficient or timely enough information to effectively enforce Covid-19 regulations.

Appearing before the Constitution Committee, looking into the impact of the pandemic, Mr Tipping said:

“The simpler the messages, the better it was. So right at the beginning of lockdown it was Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives. It was a message we all got, and we all understood. There was unanimity between policing it and the general public. As we’ve moved forward the messages have got more diffuse, more difficult, and much harder for frontline officers to police.

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Police and Crime General Police bail reforms left crime victims feeling unsafe, finds report

Victims have been left unprotected and a suspected paedophile left free to strike after government changes to bail plunged parts of the criminal justice system into chaos, an official report has found.

The report from the police and prosecution inspectorates found damage was caused to the confidence of domestic abuse victims, whose alleged attackers were left free without restrictions while cases came to court.

The reforms to bail introduced in 2017 by the government had noble motives. They were meant to stop innocent suspects languishing on bail for years and were triggered by outrage over the treatment of DJ Paul Gambaccini, who was wrongly accused of child sexual abuse.

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Police and Crime General One in five domestic abuse survivors not able to repay debt with victims owing average of £3,272

One in five domestic abuse survivors are left not able to repay debt with victims of financial abuse in debt owing an average of £3,272, a new study has found.

Refuge, the UK’s largest provider of shelters for domestic abuse victims, found a quarter have a credit rating which has been damaged.

One in four survivors of financial abuse in debt has wracked up debts in excess of £5,000 - with researchers saying a substantial chunk of personal debt in the UK could be the direct consequence of economic abuse.

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COVID-19 First person receives Pfizer jab in UK

A UK grandmother has become the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer Covid-19 jab as part of a mass vaccination programme.

Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, said it was the "best early birthday present". She was given the injection at 06:31 GMT - the first of 800,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that will be dispensed in the coming weeks.

Up to four million more are expected by the end of the month. Hubs in the UK will vaccinate over-80s and some health and care staff - the programme aims to protect the most vulnerable and return life to normal.

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Police and Crime General Race disparity in focus

A new report which showcases how Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are tackling concerns raised by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups (BAME) in their areas has been published.

‘Race Disparity In Focus’, compiled by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, features the work of 20 cross-party PCCs from across England and Wales. It contains details of initiatives such as:

- Positive action to improve workforce representation and diversity in police officer recruitment

- Tackling disproportionality in the experience of BAME individuals in police custody

- Examining the fairness of FPNs for those who break the Coronavirus rules

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Police and Crime General Would-be partners of dangerous domestic abusers secretly warned by police

Women at risk of entering relationships with serial domestic abusers are being secretly warned by police in London, senior officers have revealed.

The Metropolitan Police has been messaging potential victims on WhatsApp since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, having previously contacted them in person.

At a press conference on Thursday, Acting Detective Superintendent Will Hodgkinson said officers were using social media to respond to people requesting information under a criminal records disclosure scheme.

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Economy & Public Finance Pandemic complications hit audit performance

More than half of local authority audit opinions for 2019-20 missed the extended 30 November deadline, according to oversight body Public Sector Audit Appointments.

Of the 486 local authorities in England, 265 opinions (55%) were not published by the deadline, a 12-percentage point rise on last year, where 43% of opinions were delayed beyond the 31 July deadline.

PSAA said that Covid-19 has posed practical challenges for bodies in producing accounts and working papers, and for auditors carrying out their testing.

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Police Finances Will the covid crisis transform local public services?

Across the world the covid crisis has prompted public sector leaders to make significant short term changes in how their organisations operate. Many commentators suggest that there is a once in a generation opportunity to build on these successes to reconfigure public services.

So what of the UK? Has the virus changed local public sector leaders’ ambitions for transforming their organisations, individually and together? That’s what we wanted to discover when we interviewed a range of local public sector leaders as part of the RSA’s ‘Bridges to the Future’ reflections.

Almost everyone we spoke to saw the crisis as a major opportunity to develop much more effective local public services.

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Recruitment and Retention West Midlands Police named one of the UK's most inclusive employers

The Top 50 UK Employers List said the force was ranked second in the list of the country's leading companies and public bodies.

The table sees organisations ranked in terms of their performance in a range of areas concerning diversity and inclusion.

Paul Sesay, CEO and founder of Inclusive Companies, said: "This isn't simply about building a list, but recognising organisations who are brave, innovative, and see diversity and inclusion as a smart way to grow their business.

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Police and Crime General Police could be made to pay compensation for letting victims down

Police could be taken to court and have to pay compensation under plans to create a powerful new watchdog to hold the criminal justice system to account.

A report commissioned by Dame Vera Baird, the Victims' Commissioner, recommended that she should have powers to bring legal action for breaches of the Government's new Victims' Code.

In an exclusive article for The Telegraph, Dame Vera said thousands of victims were being let down by the failure of police and courts to fulfil their obligations under the code, which spells out 12 key rights.

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Police and Crime General Call for free legal help to protect rape victims' data

Rape victims should get free legal help to stop "excessive personal information requests", a report has concluded.

The study, led by Loughborough University, surveyed 586 victims with most claiming the criminal justice process was "insensitive and unfair".

Victims in England and Wales have no right to legal aid, although there is some access allowed in Scotland.

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COVID-19 UK approves use of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine - rollout to begin next week

The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use.

It has been given the go-ahead by the health regulator MHRA and will be rolled out from early next week.

Studies have shown the jab is 95% effective and works in all age groups. The government has secured 40 million doses of the vaccine, which needs to be refrigerated at -70C (-94F).

Economy & Public Finance 'Serious disruption' risk at Channel post-transition period

A group of MPs have warned of the "risk of serious disruption and delay" at Channel crossings when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee said the government was "taking limited responsibility" for national readiness ahead of the looming deadline.

And it said the necessary systems would not be in place in time, regardless of whether an EU trade deal is agreed. A government spokeswoman said they were "making significant preparations".

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COVID-19 Shoppers return to stores under England's new tier system

Shoppers have returned to stores across England, after non-essential retailers opened their doors at the end of a four-week national lockdown.

A tiered system of Covid-19 rules has now come into force in the nation - to "safeguard the gains made during the past month", the government said.

More than 55 million people are in the strictest two tiers and cannot mix indoors with those in other households.

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COVID-19 MPs to vote on tougher tiers for England

MPs will vote later on the government's proposals for stricter tiers across England after a debate in the Commons.

More than 55 million people will enter the two toughest tiers from 00:01 GMT on Wednesday if the plans are approved.

A number of Conservative MPs have criticised the Covid-19 restrictions, saying the "wheels are coming off the government's arguments" to impose them. But with both Labour and the SNP abstaining from the vote, the measures are expected to pass.

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Police and Crime General Pandemic has left legacy of child abuse and neglect, Ofsted warns

The chief inspector of schools and children’s services in England has warned of an emerging safeguarding crisis, with many vulnerable pupils still not back in the classroom, child protection referrals down and fears that abuse may be going undetected.

In her fourth annual report as head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman said the invisibility of vulnerable children as a result of the Covid pandemic should be “a matter of national concern”, and she called on all agencies involved to pull together to tackle the most urgent cases.

Although schools remained open to vulnerable pupils during the first national lockdown, attendance was low and Spielman warned that local authorities would be dealing with “a legacy of abuse and neglect”.

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Prisons Investing in yet more prison places is not the way to cut crime

With the dismaying announcement that the government plans to fund 18,000 more prison places by 2026, we are forced to ask, once again, why crime prevention fails to get the same emphasis as punishment.

Last Wednesday, the chancellor announced more than £4bn in capital funding – spread over four years – largely dedicated to funding these new prison places in England and Wales. This makes it clear that the government is clearly pressing ahead with a much more authoritarian stance on crime and punishment.

As per the government’s official projections, the expectation is that the prison population will rise from 79,235 (in September 2020) to 98,700 by September 2026. It costs approximately £37,000 a year for a prison place (excluding the initial building costs required to house such an influx), which equates to around £666m for an extra 18,000 places. Set against a backdrop of broadly stable crime rates, and for a government publicly committed to returning to what it calls fiscal sustainability, this makes very little economic sense.

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Police and Crime General Police to crack down on drink and drug driving this Christmas

Police chiefs warn that anyone getting behind the wheel after a festive drink or two faces the prospect of ending up behind bars this Christmas.

Police are set to increase their activity targeting those who choose to drink or take drugs and drive as the annual Christmas roads policing operation launches tomorrow (Tuesday 1 December). Officers will be out in force across the UK to ensure road users and the wider community are kept safe from harm this festive season.

Information published by the road safety charity Brake shows that even when someone is only just over the legal limit they are still six times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than someone who has drunk nothing.

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COVID-19 'People blatantly ignoring restrictions' - police break up large-scale illegal parties

Several police forces in England have said they have handed out multiple fines after breaking up a number of large-scale illegal parties over the weekend.

Police were called to at least four locations, including a university hall of residence in Nottingham where up to 200 people were discovered at one gathering.

Nottinghamshire Police said in a statement: "Officers were called to flat in Pilcher Gate, Nottingham, shortly before 10.30pm last night and issued £200 fixed penalty notices to 21 people found inside.

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Police and Crime General Expand heroin-prescribing scheme ‘across country’, police chiefs’ drugs policy lead says

Heroin-assisted treatment should be rolled out “across the country”, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s drugs policy lead has said, after the UK’s first fully fledged programme showed “very promising” results in its first year.

The treatment sees the most at-risk and entrenched users – many of whom are homeless, in poor health, and driven to commit crimes to feed their dependency – given medical-grade heroin (diamorphine) two or three times per day in a safe setting alongside access to a range of other services including health and housing, often breaking a cycle of years of disengagement.

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COVID-19 Police issue 2,000 fines for lockdown breaches in England

Officers in England handed out 1,977 fines for breaches of Covid lockdown rules in the first two weeks of November, according to new police data.

The largest number of fines were issued in north-west England which, along with Leicester, has now been under the longest period of restrictions.

Greater Manchester Police has handed out the most tickets (309) since the lockdown began on 5 November.

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COVID-19 UK regulator to assess Oxford coronavirus vaccine in 'first step' towards roll-out

A roll-out of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK could be a step closer after the regulator was formally asked by the government to assess the jab.

The referral to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) "marks a significant first step in getting the vaccine approved for deployment" if it meets safety, efficacy and quality standards, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

It comes a week after the MHRA was asked by the government to assess the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

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Recruitment and Retention Police recruitment drive will push 20,000 more criminals into jail, Ministry of Justice says

The police recruitment drive will see 20,000 more criminals locked up in prisons by 2026, pushing the jail population to an all-time high, according to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ)....

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Police and Crime General ‘Increasing trend’ for local resolution as police forces implement new complaints system

As police forces in England and Wales continue to implement “significant reforms” to the complaints system, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has today (November 26) published the final statistics for complaints recorded under the old system.

The police complaints system changed on February 1, 2020, as a result of regulations introduced by the Government under the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

The changes are intended to simplify the complaints system, making it easier to navigate and putting a greater emphasis on handling complaints in a reasonable and proportionate manner.

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Economy & Public Finance Sunak unveils a Spending Review for jobs, public services and infrastructure

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £4bn levelling up fund as part of a Spending Review which he claimed offered ‘huge investment’ in jobs, public services and infrastructure.

The fund will see councils bid for up to £20m each to fund roads, railway stations, museums and art galleries. He said: ‘Projects must have real impact. They must be delivered within this Parliament.‘And they must command local support, including from their Member of Parliament. This is about funding the infrastructure of everyday life.’

It comes in addition to the £100bn green recovery fund and a refresh of the Green book to shift the bias away from investment in the South East.

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Economy & Public Finance Millions face cut in value of workplace pensions

Millions of retirees will see the future value of their pension cut owing to a planned change in the way payments are calculated from 2030.

Many of those with so-called defined benefit workplace pensions see their pension payments increase each year in line with the rising cost of living.

The way this annual rise is calculated is expected to become less generous from February 2030.

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Economy & Public Finance Rishi Sunak warns 'economic emergency has only just begun'

The "economic emergency" caused by Covid-19 has only just begun, according to chancellor Rishi Sunak, as he warned the pandemic would deal lasting damage to growth and jobs.

Official forecasts now predict the biggest economic decline in 300 years. The UK economy is expected to shrink by 11.3% this year and not return to its pre-crisis size until the end of 2022.

The government's independent forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) expects the number of unemployed people to surge to 2.6 million by the middle of next year.

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Economy & Public Finance Public sector pay increase for low earners

Public sector worker wage increases will be limited to the poorest paid, the chancellor has announced this afternoon.

As part of the Spending Review, Rishi Sunak said 2.1 million people earning less than the median salary of £24,000 will receive a pay increase of at least £250 while one million nurses, doctors and other NHS staff will also receive a pay rise.

However, pay will be frozen for the rest of the public sector.

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Economy & Public Finance £2.9bn 'restart programme to help unemployed'

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a three-year £2.9bn ‘restart programme’ to help more than one million people unemployed for more than a year find work.

Today’s Spending Review settlement also includes £1.6bn in 2021/22 for the Kickstart scheme, which will provide more than 250,000 fully-funded new six-month job placements for under 25s who are claiming out-of-work benefits.

The Spending Review, which Mr Sunak said represented a ‘huge investment in jobs,’ came as new figures revealed the number of employees on payroll fell by 782,000 (2.7%) between March and October.

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Police Demand Domestic abuse offences increased during pandemic

The number of domestic abuse offences recorded by police in England and Wales has increased during the pandemic.

But the Office for National Statistics said such offences gradually rose in recent years so it cannot be determined if it was related to the pandemic.

Police recorded 259,324 domestic abuse offences between March and June - 7% up on the same period in 2019.

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Police and Crime General Officer suicides exceed deaths on duty according to latest ONS figures

169 officers in England and Wales have committed suicide between 2011 and 2019, according to ONS figures. The Federation says mental wellbeing should now be taken as seriously as physical safety.

Data from the most recent Office for National Statistics bulletin on suicides by occupation show there have been a total of 169 serving officers who took their own life between 2011 and 2019 - an average of around 21 deaths a year.

The officer safety review by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing, published in September, highlighted the 92 deaths on duty between 2008 and 2019 - an average of around eight deaths a year.

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Police Demand Police rely on dashcam videos as ‘cops in cars’ are cut

Police are increasingly turning to dashboard camera videos captured by motorists to prosecute dangerous drivers amid a drop in the number of dedicated “cops in cars”, according to research.

A study shows that the number of videos submitted to police has risen more than tenfold in three years.

The research, based on data released under freedom of information laws, shows that police forces are on course to obtain more than 32,500 videos from drivers this year alone, up from 2,612 in 2017.

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Police Demand Fifth of crimes involved domestic abuse in first England and Wales lockdown

One in five offences recorded by police during and immediately after the first national lockdown in England and Wales involved domestic abuse, figures have revealed.

Police recorded more than a quarter of a million offences flagged as domestic abuse-related from April to June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The 259,324 offences represent a rise of 7% from the same period in 2019, and an 18% increase from two years ago.

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Police Finances APCC chair committed to 'getting a good deal for policing' from Spending Review

Ahead of his statement, the Chancellor has insisted he is not planning a return to “austerity” and would continue to support the economy as it sought to recover from the fall-out from the pandemic.

Unusually, because of the economic uncertainty caused by the virus, most government departments will receive only a one-year spending allocation rather than the usual multi-year settlement.

APCC chair Paddy Tipping, the police and crime commissioner for Nottinghamshire, said: “We’ve got to make the case. We’ve got to make sure that there are sufficient police officers, that numbers continue to grow, because we want to bring crime down. And that’s really important right now because we are living through exception times where Covid had affected everyone’s lives. So it’s about fighting crime and it’s about keeping our people safe in their communities.

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Recruitment and Retention Pay freeze for millions of UK workers ‘a kick in the teeth’, say unions

The chancellor vowed to protect low-paid workers on Wednesday as he pressed ahead with a wages freeze that will hit more than 2 million public sector workers.

To the dismay of public sector unions, Rishi Sunak said he would “pause” pay rises for workers including firefighters, police, teachers and local authority staff as he outlined Whitehall spending next year.

However, a million NHS doctors and nurses will receive an annual increase next year, and 2.1 million public sector workers who earn below the median average wage of £24,000 will receive a £250 increase.

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COVID-19 UK setting up vaccine centres ready for rollout

The NHS is setting up coronavirus vaccination centres across the UK in preparation for any jab being approved, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

People will be vaccinated at sites around the country, as well as in hospitals and by GPs in the community.

The government has also officially asked the medical regulator to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

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Economy & Public Finance Free rail travel for domestic abuse victims extended

Train companies are extending a scheme offering free travel to those fleeing domestic abuse in Great Britain until the end of March next year.

The "Rail to Refuge" scheme is a joint initiative involving rail operators and the charity Women's Aid.

The companies provide free tickets for women, men and children travelling to refuge services. Charities dealing with domestic abuse have reported a surge in appeals for help since the start of the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Arrests at anti-lockdown protests across England as police officers injured in attacks

Dozens of people have been arrested as protesters staged anti-lockdown demonstrations across England, with some police officers injured after being assaulted.

Police criticised "extremely selfish" demonstrators who flouted COVID-19 laws after protests were held in Liverpool, London, Bournemouth and Basildon in Essex.

In Liverpool, 13 people were arrested as protesters moved around the city centre on Saturday afternoon, including a 36-year-old man who was detained on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker after an officer was pushed to the chest.

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Economy & Public Finance Brexit ‘could hurt fraud prevention’

Brexit could lead to a lowering in fraud prevention standards, according to the head of counter fraud and investigation at the Government Internal Audit Agency.

Speaking during a session of this week’s PF Live conference, Neil Green said that when the transition period ends in January, uncertainty and disruption could cause an increase in fraud.

He added that the situation could be even worse if the UK fails to agree a deal on future cooperation with the EU. He said: “Historically, the EU only gives money when expenditure is proven.

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COVID-19 PM sets out 'tougher' post-lockdown tiers for England

Gyms and non-essential shops in all parts of England will be allowed to reopen when lockdown ends next month, the prime minister has announced.

Boris Johnson told the Commons that the three-tiered regional measures will return from 2 December, but he added that each tier will be toughened.

Spectators will be allowed to return to some sporting events, and weddings and collective worship will resume.

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COVID-19 Strengthened tier system for England after lockdown

A tougher three-tiered system of local restrictions will come into force in England when the lockdown ends on 2 December, Downing Street has said.

Boris Johnson is expected to set out his plan - including details of how families can see different households at Christmas - to MPs on Monday.

More areas are set to be placed into the higher tiers to keep the virus under control, No 10 said.

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Fire EWS1 cladding offer ‘fails to help nearly 2m people’

A new deal to free almost 500,000 flats from Britain’s building safety crisis “doesn’t really solve anything”, lenders said yesterday.

The government said owners of 431,000 flats in buildings without cladding would no longer need an “external wall system” (EWS1) safety certificate to sell or obtain a new mortgage, under an agreement with the bodies representing surveyors, banks and building societies.

A fairer, faster process to replace the certificate has been the aim of a campaign by The Sunday Times. It would help end a scandal that has left thousands trapped in unmortgageable homes, threatening to paralyse the housing market.

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Police and Crime General Rise in cop attacks sees Police Scotland chiefs double staff self-defence and safety sessions

Police chiefs are doub­ling staff self-defence and safety sessions following a rise in attacks on cops.

Officers and frontline workers will now spend two days instead of one learning about protecting themselves in areas including custody suites.

It comes amid a major push to clear a 20-month training backlog — partly caused by the suspension of courses during the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Lockdown working, insists Matt Hancock as cases start to flatten

Coronavirus cases have levelled off across England, raising hopes that the lockdown will reduce infections.

Two sets of figures yesterday, for England and for the UK, showed that infections had largely stopped rising and may have started to fall. The health secretary said that Britain was reaching the “peak of the second wave”.

Matt Hancock welcomed figures for England from the Office for National Statistics showing that infections had levelled off, and UK-wide government data suggesting that daily cases were starting to fall.

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Police and Crime General Criminals are allowed to serve sentences ‘working from home’

Thousands of criminals have been let off unpaid work sentences and others are being allowed to “work from home”, The Times has learnt.

Burglars, thieves and other offenders who started unpaid work were unable to continue because of the lockdown in March. The remaining hours on their sentences have been written off.

Other criminals ordered by judges to do unpaid work, an alternative to prison, have been allowed to do it at home, making masks and greetings cards from materials sent to them in boxes.

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Economy & Public Finance Sunak mulls public sector pay freeze for millions

Millions of public sector workers in England could face a pay freeze next year, the BBC has learned.

The 5.5 million affected include key workers lauded for their service during the pandemic, from the armed forces and police, to teachers and civil servants.

But it is expected that NHS workers would be exempt from a freeze, to reflect efforts during the pandemic. The Treasury is trying to bolster public finances after a huge rise in spending to fight coronavirus.

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Police and Crime General Undercover police say sex with activists ‘like sampling drugs’

A former undercover police officer has defended colleagues who slept with women from political groups they targeted by comparing it to sampling drugs while investigating dealers.

The officer, whose cover name was Peter Fredericks, told the undercover policing inquiry that the officers had no choice but to deceive the women.

The former officer described being recruited as a Metropolitan Police detective in the early 1970s and being put to work for a specialist unit then known as the Special Operations Squad.

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Economy & Public Finance Backlash over chancellor's 'cruel' expected public sector pay freeze

Freezing pay for millions of public sector workers has been described as a "cruel body blow" by unions.

Around four million public sector workers are set to be hit with a pay cap as Rishi Sunak looks to rebuild the public finances, according to reports which the Treasury has not denied.

Unison said the freeze would hurt workers who "remain at the heart of the fight against COVID-19".

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Economy & Public Finance Pay freeze for public sector workers would be a 'kick in the teeth'

Representatives of police officers across the country are urging the Government to step back from imposing a pay freeze on police officers and other key public sector workers.

Following speculation that Chancellor Rishi Sunak may freeze the pay of more than five million public sector workers in his Spending Review announcement next week, the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) warned the Government against such a move.

PFNI chair Mark Lindsay said: “In the midst of a pandemic, a pay freeze or pay cap would be seen as penalising key workers who are doing their level best in these most trying of circumstances.

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Police and Crime General ‘No reason why all forces cannot move towards a greener fleet’

On Wednesday (November 18), the Prime Minister outlined his Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, including ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030.

And Martin Surl, the APCC lead for the environment and sustainability, said they welcomed the Government’s initiative along with “the challenge it presents”.

“It is important the public sector takes the lead, and policing is increasingly recognising the critical role it has to play and the opportunities to make progress,” said Mr Surl.

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Police and Crime General More than 10,000 blades taken off the street after nationwide crackdown on knife crime

A nationwide police crackdown on knife crime has produced "staggering" results, according to police chiefs, with more than 10,000 bladed weapons taken off the streets.

In the capital alone, officers arrested more than 1,000 people as part of Operation Sceptre.

In all 43 police forces across England and Wales, police stepped up activities to try to drive down violent crime.

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Police Finances Funding boost for rape and domestic abuse support

Nearly £11 million will go towards a range of services offering practical and emotional help – allowing organisations to recruit more staff, adapt to remote counselling methods during the pandemic and keep helplines open for longer.

In addition Ministers have today announced a further £7 million will go towards a range of innovative programmes aimed at perpetrators – designed to prevent domestic abuse from happening in the first place.

It comes as charities have reported a sharp increase in demand during the pandemic, including a 46% rise in calls, with some victims feeling at greater risk of harm or deciding to report abuse for the first time.

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Police and Crime General Police cannot be allowed such broad power to commit crime

The government’s move to put previously secret guidelines relating to the authorisation of criminal conduct by police and other agencies on a statutory footing through provisions to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 is broadly to be welcomed.

There are, however, some concerns about such capabilities in the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill as it offers legitimacy to the practice.

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Police and Crime General Priti Patel 'broke ministerial code with her behaviour towards staff' according to leaked bullying investigation and will get a written warning

Boris Johnson will not fire Priti Patel as Home Secretary over allegations of bullying despite an official report saying she broke ministerial rules, it was reported today.

The long-awaited probe into the Cabinet minister's bahaviour at three departments ruled she 'had not met the requirements of the ministerial code to treat civil servants with consideration and respect'.

Ms Patel faces allegations she belittled colleagues and clashed with senior officials, with the investigation launched in march

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COVID-19 Police told to levy £10,000 ‘super fines’

Police have been told to resume handing out £10,000 “super fines” for breaching restrictions on gatherings after they were stopped due to concerns over fairness.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) contacted forces on Friday to suspend the fines after being made aware of “inequalities” in how much people would end up paying.

The super fines are issued by police suspecting a breach of restrictions on gatherings of more than 30 and people can either choose to pay the £10,000 or take the matter to court. Magistrates are likely to means-test the fine and it is expected that few people would be deemed wealthy enough to afford £10,000.

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Police Demand Domestic Abuse victims urged to keep seeking help during national lockdown

The country’s policing lead on domestic abuse reaffirms that it remains a police priority throughout the lockdown period.

Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Domestic Abuse (DA), says people facing violence or controlling behaviour at home should report their experiences to police or seek advice and support from a domestic abuse services or charities. She reiterated that officers will attend calls for help, arrest perpetrators, and prosecute them, despite the additional pressures on the service due to Covid-19.

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Police Finances Majority of fines handed out for coronavirus breaches are unpaid in some parts of England

In some parts of England, more than three in five fines handed out to those who have breached coronavirus restrictions have gone unpaid, new data shows.

Nine forces saw that 60% or more of issued fines given to coronavirus rule-breakers went unpaid within 28 days between 27 March and 21 September, according to figures from the criminal records office ACRO obtained by the Press Association (PA).

It comes a day after it emerged that police forces were told last week to stop issuing "super-fines", over concerns the £10,000 fixed penalty can be challenged in court.

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Recruitment and Retention College of Policing's online assessments found to reduce racial disparity among candidates

Earlier this year it emerged that during a four-force pilot of the Day One assessment centre, the system developed to replace Police SEARCH, white candidates passed at almost twice the rate of black candidates.

Analysis of results of the new online system found that a higher percentage of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) candidates were successful compared with previous assessment processes.

The percentage of white, female and male candidates who have been successful was found to be very similar to the success rates of these groups in previous assessment processes.

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Fire Grenfell Tower insulation firm behaved 'dishonestly'

A former employee from the company which made the combustible insulation used on Grenfell Tower in west London has admitted behaving unethically.

Jonathan Roper of Celotex told a public inquiry that the work he did to get the insulation approved for use on high rise buildings was "dishonest".

He added that he felt "incredibly uncomfortable" with what he was being asked to do at the time. Celotex says following disciplinary processes, staff have left the company.

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Police and Crime General Lockdown 'causing drugs gangs to recruit locally'

"County lines" gangs could be using children in care across north Wales to distribute drugs to get around lockdown restrictions, it is claimed.

The urban gangs use young people to expand their markets for drugs like cocaine and heroin into smaller towns.

But research for the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner suggests fewer children are being sent from larger cities.

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Police and Crime General Police to treat drug overdose victims with antidote spray

An emergency antidote to treat drug overdose victims will be carried by police officers as part of efforts to tackle Scotland’s drug-deaths emergency.

Naloxone, the nasal spray, counters the effects of overdoses from opioids such as heroin.

It can provide extra time for the ambulance service to arrive on scene and take over emergency medical treatment.

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Police and Crime General Second lockdown 'will deepen sex work crisis'

The second national lockdown is going to push sex workers "even deeper into crisis", according to a campaign group.

The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) has called for state support for workers in the coronavirus pandemic.

It said people were having to choose between risking their health by working or seeing their family go hungr