Sunday, September 23, 2007

Grampian Police chief constable says Police are too busy 'monitoring' and dealing with 'terrorism' to investigate crimes

The North-east's top cop has warned the days of expecting an officer to answer every crime call are over.

Grampian Police's chief constable said that kind of thinking belonged in the 1960s.

Colin McKerracher, new president of the police chiefs' organisation Acpos, said reports about less serious crimes will be dealt with by call centres rather than face-to-face by officers.

He said: "We have to find new ways of meeting the public expectations and that is, in some people's minds, set back in the 1960s, when you phoned the police, you would likely get someone on your doorstep within 20 minutes, no matter what your complaint."

"But now, with the extra demands of sex offender monitoring and counter-terrorism, we do not have the capability to get officers onto people's doorsteps in the same time we used to."

The chairman of Holyrood justice committee Bill Aitken said there the remarks were "very concerning" and he wants Mr McKerracher to face questions by MSPs.

Bob Gibb, a member of Torry Community Council, said: "I find this disappointing. You can't lose the police on the street, it makes such a big difference.

"You have to tackle the minor crimes, because otherwise it develops into bigger crimes."

"Call centres are no help at all for this."

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Birmingham Police hassle man for filming them hassling a young cyclist

Two Officers in Birmingham are seen in this video hassling a Birmingham man, Darren Pollard, who is filming them while they hassle a young cyclist.

Darren Pollard is in his own garden, is not breaking any laws, and yet the officers in this clip, feel it necessary to harass him, inventing the law as they go.

When the officers find out that they are incorrect, instead of offering any sort of apology, the simply walk away, while refusing to give their names.

Well done
Darren Pollard, you are a true defender of freedom from the Police State!

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This is what you pay taxes for

A YouTuber has made an appeal to help trace the identity of the officer shown in this clip, who is apparently riding around on a confiscated motorbike, without insurance, and while you and I, the British taxpayer, pay for him to do so.

This incident is believed to have taken place in the East Yorkshire area.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Policeman escapes jail despite punching a man so hard he fractured his eye socket

A policeman has escaped jail despite punching a man so hard he fractured his eye socket in Oceana nightclub.

Christopher Thatcher, 28 from Chessington, a serving police constable at Hammersmith Police station, was sentenced to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community at Kingston Crown Court on Thursday.

Thatcher was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to his victim.

Sentencing Thatcher and Walker, Judge Tilling told them "It is deeply regrettable that you became involved in an incident like this where the jury decided that you instigated the violence."

Thatcher and his flatmate David Walker had been on a night out with friends in Kingston at the time of the assault on November 18 last year.

Victims Adam Russell, 21 and Darren Stone, 21, were also out with five or six friends and arrived at Oceana nightclub about 9.30pm.

Between 10pm and midnight, Mr Russell went to the bar to buy a drink and was knocked by Thatcher, spilling his drink.

Mr Russell told Thatcher to "watch it", after which Thatcher walked away to the foyer of the nightclub, followed by Mr Russell.

After an exchange in the foyer, Thatcher swung a punch at Mr Russell, fracturing his eye socket.

Mr Russell's friend Darren Stone went over to break up the fight between the two men but the next thing he remembered was lying on the floor with a deep cut to his head after being punched by Walker.

Hammersmith police are now, incredibly, deciding whether or not he will lose his job.

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A police chase killed my son

Dianne Homer's son Neil was killed on 17 December 1995, just two days after his 20th birthday, by a police car being driven at 100mph.

The incident happened in Oldbury in the West Midlands at about midnight, after Neil had dropped his girlfriend off at her house.

"He was travelling back home and was stationary at some traffic lights," said Mrs Homer.

"The lights turned green and he moved forward, but a police car doing 100mph hit him."

Neil was given assistance at the scene of the crash by a doctor who was nearby, but he died three hours later.

"We went out looking for Neil and came across the accident," Mrs Homer said.

Mrs Homer said the police car had been chasing a car they had suspected of being stolen, which they had believed had pulled away from a burglary.

The officer in the passenger seat of the police car, Pc Robert Dallow, 41, was killed outright, and the driver, Pc Lezlie Collins, was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving, of which he served six weeks.

Pc Collins was also briefly reinstated in his job by a West Midlands police disciplinary hearing, which sparked furious protests from the Homer family, before later retiring from the force.

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PCSO Simon Purcell is a gun toting pervert

A PCSO has quit after his web profile on Facebook exposed him as a gun-toting pervert.

Fellow officers were stunned when they logged on to the social networking site to see 29-year-old Simon Purcell proudly brandishing an MI6 semi-automatic rifle.

The police community support officer went on to list his hobbies as “making sex toys for all the ladies” and “spying on doggers”. Other interests included “women, masturbation, any order I don’t mind.” Among his favourite films he put simply: “Porn”.

Describing his job, Purcell wrote on Facebook his daily mission was to “take down bad guys when there’s no paperwork or pie charts to do”.

The dad-of-one quit in disgrace as shocked police launched a probe into how he got hold of the black assault rifle. They found it had been deactivated and he was not breaking the law.

Yesterday Sussex Police confirmed: “Simon Purcell was allowed to resign as a police community support officer.”

A senior police source insisted that even before Purcell was allowed to resign he had been investigated for “very similar matters”.

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Two Durham Police Officers arrested on suspicion of theft

Two police officers have been arrested on suspicion of theft and accused of misusing police property.

The officers, who work in Durham Police surveillance unit, were picked up as they turned in for a shift at force headquarters at Aykley Heads last week.

Both have been suspended from duty pending further inquiries.

Details of the allegations are not being made public, but it is understood they relate to the use of police vehicles.

Both officers, who are not classed as detectives but routinely work in plain clothes, are alleged to have each taken an unmarked police car for their own use without permission.

The officers have been questioned on suspicion of theft relating to the petrol used during the alleged jaunts.

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Police officer racially abuses man, Assistant Commissioner finds no wrong doing

Anthony Housden, a black man, was arrested in July 2005 following an incident on a train and taken to Plumstead police station.

He was placed in an enclosed area, a holding cage surrounded by a mesh metal frame, where he was kept for about half an hour.

33-year-old PC Wayne Bell, an officer for seven years, told Mr Housden he was behaving like a badly behaved chimp, and imitated a monkey, in a racially abusive manner.

When PC Wayne Bell appeared before a misconduct panel over the chimp incident at Plumstead police station in July 2005 he was found guilty.

Another officer, PC Wakeling, was found guilty of misconduct by failing to report his fellow officer.

The case was then reviewed by Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman who found only one of three charges proved in PC Bell's case and substituted a financial penalty.

He found none of the charges proved against PC Wakeling.

Today the case took another twist and the officers' careers were placed in fresh jeopardy when High Court judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams ruled Mr Hayman's decision "fatally flawed" and quashed it at the request of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The judge said: "In reaching contrary conclusions the (Assistant Commissioner) clearly fell into error."

The errors he made were so fundamental as to make Mr Hayman's decision fatally flawed.

He had also exceeded his powers in the case of PC Wakeling, said the judge.

PC Bell was charged with committing a racially motivated offence contrary to the 1986 Public Order Act, but the prosecution was dismissed at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in March last year.

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Homeless artist threatened with ASBO, police "have no record"

A homeless street artist whose pastel drawings have captured the imagination of people living around Finchley Road says he has been threatened with an Asbo.

Rowland Matthews, 33, who has been living on the streets for three years, also says that his pastels have been confiscated by police.

He has been painting scenes from the Biblical story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt on the pavement for the past month.

But Mr Matthews says he was recently approached by police officers as he slept beside his paintings.

He said: “They told me I had to leave and not come back if I wanted to avoid getting an Asbo.”

And Mr Matthews said he was woken up last month by police as he slept near his sketches.

He said: “There’s horrible graffiti all over the walls and I’m lying next to my lovely art – but it’s my art they wash away.”

Mr Matthews is a former member of the Royal Horse Artillery.

A Camden police spokesman said: “We are unable to comment, as we cannot find any record of these events on our system.”

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People of Radcliffe, Lancashire, to be officially hassled by police

A high profile campaign of harassment of the people of Radcliffe has been launched.

Previously, people who were out and about, minding their own business, and not committing any criminal offences at all, were hassled by a team of staff from the council's "security services".

Under this latest initiative, those "security services" will now be joined by PCSOs, as well as real Police Officers, to hassle the law abiding people of Radcliffe.

The campaign, known as Operation Press, is mainly targeted at Bolton Road Park and the surrounding areas, though officers are also visiting Hutchinson Way.

Police are using the campaign to gather information about those citizens who they judge to be acting anti-socially (although not in breach of any actual law) and hand-held video recorders are being used to intimidate people, and record the identities of people who are not committing any criminal offences.

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Free parking in Fettes (Only for police office workers though)

Police Chiefs in Fettes, Edinburgh, have managed to persuade Council chiefs in the City to exempt two streets outside the Fettes Police HQ from being liable to pay parking charges, which are currently suffered by every other sector of worker in the area.

Business leaders said it was unfair to create special circumstances for the police.

Graham Russell, chairman of the Edinburgh branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "This is crazy. There is clearly a case of double standards here.

"Why should the police get preferential treatment when most residents have to fork out for parking, and businesses have to pay up to £1000 for permits just to park?"

Isabel Mackenzie, owner of the Connect card shop on Comely Bank Road, said: "The police have got their own way but it is no good for people who live around here or those visiting the shops."

It is thought the council will lose £250,000 a year by not charging for parking in the two streets.

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600 people die each year in state custody

Each year in England and Wales, 600 people die in state custody.

Data from the Forum for Preventing Deaths in Custody, includes deaths from suicides, murders and natural causes in prisons, police stations, immigration detention centres, young offenders' institutes and secure mental hospitals.

Overcrowding in prisons in England and Wales has coincided with an increase in the number of self-inflicted deaths this year. So far in 2007 there have been 68 cases compared with 46 at this point last year.

The mother of the youngest child to die in custody in the UK accused the government of doing too little to protect vulnerable inmates.

Carol Pounder's son, Adam Rickwood, was 14 when he hanged himself with his shoelaces while on remand at the Hassockfield secure training centre in County Durham in 2004.

The teenager had been restrained with a controversial "nose distraction technique" which involved him being punched in the face.

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2 PCSOs stand by as 10 year old drowns

Police Chiefs in Manchester have defended two Police Community Support Officers who watched on as a 10 year old boy drowned in a pond.

Jordon Lyon, who was 10 at the time of the incident, leapt into the water in Wigan, Greater Manchester, after his eight-year-old stepsister Bethany got into difficulties on 3 May.

Anglers managed to pull Bethany out but Jordon slipped from view before they could get to him.

The alarm was raised and the PCSOs arrived on the scene. Police said they could see no sign of Jordon in the water, so instead of jumping in an attempting to save the drowning boy, they radioed 'trained' officers for help.

The PCSOs did not try to rescue Jordon and they did not give evidence at the inquest held by deputy West Manchester coroner Alan Walsh.

In a statement after the hearing, Det Ch Insp Phil Owen, of Wigan CID, who led the investigation into Jordon's death, said: "PCSOs are not trained to deal with major incidents such as this."

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Police can use Taser torture weapons on children

Concerns have been raised for public safety as Taser torture guns are made available to more police officers in England and Wales. Officers in 10 forces, who are not firearms specialists, will be issued with the 50,000-volt Tasers. Amnesty International fears police using the weapons may not be properly trained.

Former Scotland Yard commander John O' Connor said he believed extending the number of officers using Tasers was dangerous because officers were not being properly trained. He said by giving out Taser guns "indiscriminately to untrained officers" there was a risk they would be used far too indiscriminately.

"What they should be doing is every single recruit that comes in should be firearms trained,"

There had been numerous deaths in the US because they have been misused.

In the UK, for export purposes Tasers are still legally considered to be torture technologies.

Police will be allowed to shoot children with Taser stun guns despite concerns they could trigger heart attacks.

Amnesty International say Tasers have been responsible for 220 deaths in America since 2001.

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Serving Dyfed-Powys Police officer Mark James Bretherick has admitted a charge of possessing an indecent image of a child

A serving Dyfed-Powys Police officer has admitted a charge of possessing an indecent image of a child.

Mark James Bretherick, 33, from Forden, near Welshpool, admitted before Swansea Crown Court downloading the image from the internet.

The police sergeant, who is currently suspended, will be sentenced next month after a probation report is prepared.

Judge Christopher Morton granted bail but warned him that did not mean a prison sentence would not be passed.

His barrister Michael Mather-Lees said Bretherick fully understood the powers of the court.

He was accused of downloading the category three indecent image between 20 October, 2005 and 8 March, 2006.

Bretherick had been due to stand trial on Monday but, following a day of legal wrangling, he admitted one charge of possessing an indecent image of a child on his personal laptop.

The court ordered that 17 other charges of possessing child pornography should remain on file and no further action taken.

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Stealing a handbag is 'not a crime'

A mother who had her bag snatched was told by police it was not a crime - because she chased after the thief and won her property back.

Sam McAlister was queueing in a coffee shop with her ten-month-old son when a woman grabbed the bag from the back of the pushchair as an accomplice distracted her.

Miss McAlister, 34, left her child with staff at the Starbucks cafe, whom she knew well, and set off in pursuit of the woman.

She confronted the thief in a nearby shop and was eventually reunited with her bag after a struggle.

But when she went to a police station to report the crime, she was told by an officer behind the desk that it was not a crime because she had got the bag back.

It was only when the former criminal barrister used her knowledge of the law that the case was passed on to a senior officer who decided to investigate.