Chief Constable Sir Stephen House has approved the recommendation of the Armed Policing Monitoring Group that the national standing firearms authority should continue. In addition, having listened to concerns expressed by politicians and some members of the public and having assessed the current operational challenges faced by Police Scotland, the Chief Constable has directed that firearms officers attached to Armed Response Vehicles will now only be deployed to firearms incidents or where there is a threat to life.
Police Scotland’s Armed Policing Monitoring Group met on September 16 and reviewed updated intelligence and information including evidence on legally held firearms in Scotland, classified information on serious organised crime groups which operate across the country and the number of firearms deployments between April and August.
The Chief Constable’s decision took into consideration the concerns voiced by politicians and some members of the...
I have just blogged about Pride: the wonderful and inspirational new movie about the time when a group of gay men and lesbians supported some striking miners in South Wales in 1984. Please go and see this film. You will laugh, smile, cry and (maybe even) punch the air (I did).
At one point the film features a stirring and touching rendition of 'Bread & Roses', sung by Bronwen Lewis (a contestant on the Voice a couple of years ago). The film is all about the power of solidarity. This song punctuates the film with a (musical) note that the struggle for fairness and equality is not just about bread. It is about roses too.
As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,For the people hear us singing: "Bread and roses! Bread and roses!"
As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,For they are women's...
Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has today published the final version of new standards for all CPS prosecutors. This follows a consultation with the public, which demonstrated that draft interim standards published in April 2014 were largely in the right place.
Casework Quality Standards apply to all cases prosecuted by the CPS and set out the benchmarks of quality expected by the DPP in every major aspect of CPS work. The four standards also place greater emphasis on the quality of casework and replace the previous 12 Core Quality Standards. The Casework Quality Standards are:
Victims, witnesses and communities;
Casework preparation; and
Presentation in court.
Alison Saunders said: “I am grateful to those organisations and individuals who have taken the time to respond to our public consultation – with their help I am confident that we now have a clear set of standards against which both we and the public can measure our...
The case against a Birmingham man, charged with attending a terrorist training camp in Syria, has been discontinued.
Moazzam Begg, 46 and from Hall Green, will be released from prison where he has been on remand since March. His trial was due to start on October 6.
Police and lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service reviewed the new material, previously not known to the police investigation and concluded there was no longer a realistic prospect of gaining a conviction.
Assistant chief constable Marcus Beale says: “Terrorism investigations are often long and complex. This case was no exception.
“New material has recently been disclosed to police and CPS, which has a significant impact on key pieces of evidence that underpinned the prosecution’s case. Our criminal justice system − quite rightly – demands a very high standard of proof.
“I understand this is going to raise many questions. However, explaining what this newly revealed information is would mean discussing other aspects of the case...
he Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating West Yorkshire Police’s contact with a 22-year-old man who died in hospital eight days after being released from custody.
Ethaniel Butler was arrested in Leeds on 28 June and released on bail. He was later taken to hospital where he died on 6 July.
An independent IPCC investigation that began on 11 July will examine West Yorkshire Police’s contact with Mr Butler, his arrest and any use of force, the period he spent in detention at Elland Road police station, checks made during his detention and the adequacy of pre-release assessments.
The investigation will be overseen by the IPCC Commissioner for the West Yorkshire area, Kathryn Stone.
IPCC staff have met with members of Mr Butlers family and preliminary investigatory work has been carried out.
Ms Stone said: “I would like to extend my sympathies to Mr Butler’s family and also reassure them that the IPCC investigation will be...
A brave bobby who feared for his life after suffering catastrophic crush injuries when tackling a fleeing burglar is back fighting crime.
PC Pete McGinn was ground against a lamp-post by a car driven by career criminal Carl Anderson in June last year and left for dead in the road with multiple fractures to his legs and pelvis.
Fearing the worst, he asked colleagues administering first aid to tell his family he loved them − but thanks to their life-saving actions, and those of surgeons who pinned his shattered bones together during a six-hour operation, the married officer survived.
And the 45-year-old has now battled his way back to work after coming through a catalogue of operations and specialist physiotherapy.
He’s currently part of an Investigation Team at Sutton Coldfield keeping tabs on crime suspects and analysing intelligence reports.
“I was starting to go stir crazy at home…not to mention driving my wife mad,” joked Pete. “I’m only doing three...
Sergeant Demetrios Orros, 50 (25.09.1964), a serving Metropolitan Police Service officer based with the Safer Transport Command has been summonsed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 2 October charged with three counts of sexual touching.
The summons reads:
Between the following dates:
01/01/2011 and 30/09/2011
31/12/2012 and 01/02/2013
31/05/2013 and 01/07/2013
at a north London police station intentionally touched a woman aged 16 or over and that touching was sexual when she did not consent and you did not reasonably believed that she was consenting contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
The summons follows on from an investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards into an allegation from a member of police staff.
The offences are alleged to have occurred on duty.
We have quite a problem that has existed for years and whilst I knew things were bad, I hadn’t realised the extent of it until last week. The problem is – on sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act – that we haven’t got a barking clue what is going on, nationally because there are too many problems with the data.
We don’t know how many times these powers are used.
We don’t know which buildings people are taken to as a Place of Safety under the Mental Health Act.
We don’t know the specific outcomes from 136.
I could go on!?
In debates over the last year or so it has been claimed that the low ‘conversion rate’ of section 136 detentions to admissions is itself evidence that the police threshold for the use of this authority is too low. Last year it was claimed that just 17% of detentions by the police resulted in a patient’s admission to hopsital and it was barely higher the previous year, at 20%.
A question was posed to me on an email this week...