Techie1

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  1. Devon and Cornwall Police advertised for a "drone team manager". A police force is to launch a round-the-clock drone unit to help tackle crime. Devon and Cornwall Police advertised for a "drone team manager" to set up and manage an "operational and dynamic drone response" from nine policing centres across the two counties and Dorset. The force began trialling drones in November 2015 to test their operational effectiveness, using four DJI Inspire 1 devices with high-definition cameras to assist officers with police matters such as looking for missing people and taking crime scene photographs. Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for drones, said forces were "committed to embracing new technologies to deliver high-quality, cost- effective services and protection to the public". "Drones are one of a number of options that can deliver air support both now and in the future. "They have the potential to change the way we police by working with other technologies and updating traditional methods of foot and aerial patrols. "Trials and consultations are ongoing to develop more guidance for how the police service can use drones to help keep people safe." Mr Barry added: "Deploying drones is a decision for individual chief constables who ensure that they are used appropriately in the interest of public safety and efficient allocation of police resources." Around 21 police forces are experimenting with the technology. Chief Superintendent Jim Nye, strategic alliance commander for operations in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, said the drones would be a "significant piece of kit", which would provide an "opportunity to improve technology available to police to better do what we do". Earlier this year, Labour MP Nick Smith said police should consider using drones to track down off-road bikers who are "vandalising" the mountains of Wales. During Home Office questions in the Commons, he said: "Because off-road bikers often go where the police cannot, can the Home Office look into providing resources, agreement and licencing on the use of drones to help us tackle this problem?" View on Police Oracle
  2. Robot police were once sci-fi fantasy, but soon the real thing will be patrolling the streets of Dubai. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/03/20/real-life-robocops-will-soon-replace-human-police/
  3. The commissioner says government decided to allow practice so they should pay the bill. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire wants the government to foot the bill for policing protests against fracking. Clive Grunshaw says the government's decision to allow fracking to take place means they should bear the cost of protests against it rather than Lancashire Police. Fracking is the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into rock crevices underground in order to extract oil or gas and it has been met with fierce opposition from environmental campaigners. PCC Grunshaw says a force looking to make 25 per cent savings and having lost 800 officers to austerity can scarcely afford the cost of policing the protests. He said: “The decision to allow fracking in Lancashire is a decision made in Westminster, but the people of Lancashire are being asked to pick up the tab of policing the protests that go with it. “Costs are currently running to hundreds of thousands of pounds and likely to reach the millions – these are costs we are having to meet now out of our police budget. “However, the Government’s rules mean that Lancashire residents have to meet at least the first £2.6m. “Only after that threshold has been passed can we apply for additional support and even then, there is no guarantee the government will pay. “The site is off a main trunk road and the campaigners are putting themselves and our police officers at risk by some of the behaviour we have seen so the level of policing required is high. “The officers are caught in the middle, they are local people themselves there to ensure the right to peaceful protest is upheld along with the right of people to go about their daily business. “It’s a very difficult position for everyone to be in and one that is entirely of the Government’s making.” View on Police Oracle
  4. A police helicopter base serving Cambridgeshire is closing - but residents will now see fixed wing aircraft chasing criminals for the first time. http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/criminals-chased-police-aeroplanes-cambridgeshire-12758419
  5. PC Austin Jackson passed away yesterday. Almost £5,000 has been raised for the family of a police officer who was taken ill and died on duty yesterday. PC 2246 Austin Jackson who was a neighbourhood officer at Spinney Hill Police Station in Leicester, passed away aged 38. A fundraising page was soon launched for his wife and four children, and exceeded its £1,000 target in a matter of hours. It is on course to exceed that by five times within a day of being set up. The page says: “Please give as much or as little as you can to his family at this time and show your appreciation for this dedicated Bobby.” St Matthews Police colleagues said on Twitter that they were "blown away with the support, and all the kind donations" received. Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “Austin was always a professional and well-liked police officer who embedded himself in the St Matthew's community.‎ "He will be missed by his colleagues in the force, and I send my deepest condolences to his family." Leicestershire Police Federation chairman Tiff Lynch said: “We were shocked and saddened to hear that Austin had passed away yesterday. “He was a fine officer and our thoughts and sympathy are with his family, his colleagues and his friends.” The Fed is on hand if officers need support following PC Jackson’s death. South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa said on Twitter: “Sad to hear news of local police officer PC Austin Jackson passing away yesterday. Thoughts with his family and @LPSpinneyWard colleagues.” PC Jackson had served in the force since 2007. To view the fundraising page click here. View on Police Oracle
  6. Students at Cardiff University had their group chat interrupted by a police officer as he sent a selfie using Facebook Messenger http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/16/police-officer-goes-viral-sending-selfie-group-chat-helping/
  7. HMIC has raised red flag over the issue. Working as a detective needs to be restored as an attractive proposition again if chiefs want to address the national crisis in investigation skills, the chairman of the Police Federation National Detectives' Forum believes. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary recently warned that there is a critical shortage of investigators in many forces. Martin Plummer, who is also chairman of Cumbria Police Federation, told PoliceOracle.com: “It’s frustrating when you get the HMIC stating the obvious that we have been saying for a considerable length of time. “[But] it’s a very simple equation, if you have 10 people on a team carrying a workload and you reduce that down to six and you increase that workload and something, somewhere is going to give. “We’re now seeing ridiculous workloads, detectives trying to spin so many plates while everything is combusting around them, there’s no financial backing for protracted inquiries. “We still investigate the most serious crimes, still deal with the worst criminals, the burden of proof in courts rightly remains as high as it ever was. But detectives are increasingly being told 'sorry you haven’t got the time to do that', 'sorry we haven’t got the budget', or 'something else has come up and there’s simply no one else to do it'.” He said the days of most officers wanting to become detectives were long gone, with what he calls “the hardest job in policing” becoming one which people know they will be under increasing pressure from management, as well as CPS, other partners and potentially the IPCC. In its report, HMIC identified the excessive workloads of those remaining in detective roles as a problem for policing. Chiefs have asked the independent remuneration body to allow them to give specialist bonuses to detectives in order to address the issue. The Met’s submission to the body states: “We know that monetary reward is not the only lever available but to have no reward options to attract officers into a particular career path remains deeply problematic, particularly as the operational structure becomes flatter with decreased opportunity for rank progression.” Mr Plummer says he would support extra payments, but points out that the issue is not primarily about personal finances. “The way you can solve this is simply that you need a career as a detective to become once again popular and attractive,” he said. “If you look back to the day where we had a mainstream CID that mainstream CID had their specialisms, they weren’t asking for extra payments for added responsibility they loved what they did. They had the time and resources to get the results. “Where we are now is that the good will has been eroded over the years. Detectives saying they’re not prepared to take on extra cases I’ve got the IPCC knocking on the door, victims, witnesses wanting to know how their cases are going, the CPS wanting things done yesterday. The support and backing is not there. “I’m not saying they want a pat on the back, what detectives have always wanted is to bring criminals to justice,” he added. Responding to the HMIC report, the NPCC pointed out that having 32,334 fewer officers and a 22 per cent budget cut had been difficult as crime “changes”. National lead for crime operations CC Mike Barton said: “Difficult decisions are being made between resourcing neighbourhood teams, response units, specialist investigations, and digital and cyber-enabled crime. “Police chiefs around the country will be looking at their local assessment to consider the impact of resourcing decisions, which may have been hidden from view.” View on Police Oracle
  8. PC Kelly Ellis is one of an increasing number of UK police officers who are undertaking firearms training. Her friends have dubbed her Lara Croft - after the Tomb Raider action hero - but she says the training is the hardest thing she has ever done. Over three months, Dominic Casciani - reporting for the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme - had unique access to some of the new recruits being assessed in Cheshire. Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39260906
  9. Spanish Police have released striking pictures of a huge weapons haul seized from an organised crime group. It includes over 10,000 assault rifles, machine guns, pistols, revolvers, and 400 shells and grenades. The guns and ammunition were seized in January during an operation against firearms trafficking. Investigators also found an illegal workshop with machinery to manipulate and reactivate weapons, near Bilbao. Five people were arrested. Cash amounting to 80,000 euros (£70,000 / $85,000) was seized. The operation involved counter-terror police from Madrid, Bilbao, Valencia and Gerona. Europol, which supported the investigation, said the firearms were sold in Spain, France and Belgium. It said some of the weapons were deactivated, but did not comply with established standards. Criminals acquired the arsenal largely through auctions and other legal channels before reactivating it. The gang had been using a sports shop as a front for its distribution centre - which in reality sold firearms, weapon components and ammunition. A look inside Europol How Japan has almost eradicated gun crime Why US liberals are now buying guns too Police said the weapons would have had an easy journey onto the black market, and into the hands of terrorists or organised crime groups. Europol said firearms traffickers exploit legal loopholes and legislative differences between EU countries to divert guns from legal suppliers. Reactivating deactivated weapons is one of Europe's main sources of illegal guns. The agency said it had seen a significant increase in the number being supplied to criminals since 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39264664 Impressive haul! Good work there.
  10. Transport workers union leader accuses railways force of 'turfing staff onto the streets'. British Transport Police PCSOs are considering strike action over changes to their shifts. The TSSA union is balloting the force’s community support officers ahead of the imposition of a 1am shift finish which it says “jeopardises [their] safety” in London. According to a statement from the union, the force is attempting to save money by changing shift patterns – but the workforce wll not be able to get home by public transport as a result. The force employs 330 PCSOs, with half of them London-based, but the union says: “because they can't afford London housing, London PCSOs themselves depend on trains in and out of home counties to the commute to work.”. PCSOs voiced their concerns that the new rosters are not practical during BTP's staff consultation process, but the TSSA says a proposal to finish the shift at midnight to enable members to make the last train home was rejected and PCSOs will now finish at 1am on one in three of their shifts. General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: "BTP have made a sham of their own consultation process by ignoring the valid concerns of their staff who simply can't get home at 1am. Are they supposed to sleep at the station? “No employer should turf their staff out at 1am onto the streets of London with no way to get home. But that's what BTP, the very people charged with ensuring the public travel safely, are now doing to their own staff. Frankly, it beggars belief and it's causing a lot of unnecessary upset." The new rotas will be introduced from April. The union is calling for shifts to be put back to midnight or to end at 7am instead, and will be balloting members over the issue. Mr Cortes added: "Our PCSO members are professional police support staff dedicated to keeping commuters safe. So a failure by their bosses to protect them is insulting as is their unwillingness to negotiate with our reps over this easily resolvable issue.” He added he will be calling on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to intervene to help the PCSOs. BTP Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said: “It is disappointing to learn of this proposal by TSSA to ballot our PCSOs on plans for industrial action, which feels somewhat premature and excessive when we are still engaged in discussions with those few employees affected by our planned shift changes. “I must also contradict the suggestion that this is an exercise in cost-cutting by ruthlessly cutting shift allowances.” He added that the shift patterns were last reviewed in 2009 demand on the force has changed, and that staff had asked for a more reliable and consistent shift patterns. “In addition we have sought to ensure fewer officers and staff are working on their own across the national network, as well as build in sufficient capacity to minimise the impact of abstractions when officers are absent through training, court appearances, sickness and annual leave. “As the demand has changed, invariably it means the times of day we must be available to respond to incidents and manage large volumes of people travelling around the country must also change,” he said. There have been claims in the past that warranted police officers in London have resorted to breaking into property because of their shift patterns and inability to get to their homes outside the capital when they have gone off duty. View on Police Oracle
  11. Police in a Berkshire town have said they will not send out officers to deal with shoplifters who steal goods worth less than £100. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/10/police-tell-town-will-not-chase-shoplifters-steal-less-100/
  12. Fed says 'no one benefits' from system where demand is high and resource low. More than 60 per cent of police officers believe their workload is too high. The concerning, but not surprising, statistic was revealed in a survey which illustrates how officers face an increase in demand which is affecting the quality of their work. The Police Federation's recent welfare poll also highlighted an issue in proactive policing, with 70 per cent of respondents disagreeing or strongly disagreeing they have enough time to engage in such a thing. Police Oracle is highlighting different elements of the survey as part of its BluePrint campaign. The campaign wants the government to fulfil its duty of protecting officers both in the job, and when they have been forced out of the service due to physical injuries or mental trauma. Police Oracle is calling on the Government to acknowledge and protect our unique service by introducing a Police Covenant. The Fed has also launched Protect The Protectors with the organisation seeking a change in legislation so that officers who are assaulted in the course of their duties are afforded better protection. Jason Kwee, Chairman of the Fed's Health and Safety sub-committee, says one of the Peelian principles of policing is the ‘prevention of crime and disorder’. “One of the most effective ways to do this is with proactive patrols. I remember when there were sufficient staffing levels on the shift, a couple of officers would don their ‘civvy jackets’, take out an unmarked car and target specific areas or individuals. Unfortunately, such opportunities rarely exist anymore, with officers barely managing to cover the stacked calls and incidents that roll in on an average shift.” The survey found more than half the respondents (58 per cent) disagreed or strongly disagreed that they have enough time to do their job to a standard of which they could be proud. Mr Kwee said this was not surprising as officers are frustrated they do not always get the opportunity to give a consistent "gold standard service". “Policing is a proud vocation and officers come to work to give the best service to the community they serve. As with most things in life, if you focus on the quantity element, then the quality may suffer," he added. “With the constant pressure of incoming incidents, and the increasing lack of available resources, officers attending incidents will no doubt feel pressured to complete the current task as quickly as needed and to move on to the next incident. Unfortunately, no one benefits from this, especially the victims of crime.” As reported by Police Oracle last month, other headline figures from the demand survey included: 66 per cent of officers indicated their workload was too high 33 per cent admitted being the victim of an unarmed physical attack at least once per month over the last year 36 per cent reported being attacked with a weapon at least once in the last year 70 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed that they have enough time to engage in proactive policing 80 per cent acknowledged experiencing feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety, or other mental health and wellbeing difficulties 92 per cent of those indicated their psychological difficulties had been caused or made worse by work View on Police Oracle
  13. Philip Hammond said he will restore public finances to balance. The Fed, unions and the Mayor of London have criticised the Chancellor for not mentioning public sector pay or police funding in his Spring Budget. Philip Hammond sang the praises of unexpectedly strong UK growth figures, and introduced policies in health, education and tax today. He was delivering a statement in which he said his plan is: “To enhance our productivity and protect our living standards, to restore our public finances to balance, and to invest for our future.” But a lack of mention of police finances drew an instant rebuke from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. A statement from his office said: “Sadiq has warned that government’s refusal to fully fund London’s police service is putting the capital’s safety at risk. “Any further cuts would make it increasingly difficult to maintain the strategic target of 32,000 officers, making it harder to keep Londoners safe from growing security threats.” The government has insisted it is now protecting police funding, if PCCs increase council tax levels. Police Federation of England and Wales chairman Steve White said: "With no specific mention of emergency service finances we expect the government to uphold its promise to protect police budgets. “Leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, made the point today that the economy is not working for neighbourhoods due to the falling number of police officers. "Our officers are stretched beyond reasonable capacity, and we will continue to push this fact back to government. In order to protect the public, the police service must have the right investment.” Elsewhere unions which represent police staff criticised the lack of movement on public sector pay. Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The pay boost for Westminster politicians should’ve signalled a decent pay rise for the rest of the public sector, especially with inflation almost double the one per cent cap. “But without a mention from the Chancellor, public service employees will be feeling they’re the forgotten part of the ‘jam’ generation. Most are not managing at all. “There was nothing today to relieve their ongoing pay pain, and as wages rise elsewhere, public sector workers are being left further and further behind.” The PCS union, which represents Met Police staff, expressed a similar view. A statement from the union quoted Theresa May's first speech as Prime Minister in which she said: “If you’re from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people at Westminster realise […]. If you are one of those families, if you are just managing I want to address you directly.” General secretary Mark Serwotka said public sector employees are “just managing” and pledged to “fight to break the one per cent pay cap”. Police officer remuneration is now decided by an independent panel, but it takes note of overall public sector pay levels. View on Police Oracle
  14. Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale said he is 'incredibly proud' of his force. A chief constable has called on the public to “buck the negative trend” towards policing and show gratitude to the officers keeping them safe. Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale, whose force was rated good in last week’s PEEL effectiveness inspection, said his officers are putting themselves at risk every day to protect the public. “Wiltshire Police is a force that is ‘punching above its weight’,” he said. “You may not feel you see officers as much as you used to, we are in the position of having to work with fewer officers than we have had for decades. “These men and women who have sworn to protect and uphold the law continue to do so in times of significantly reduced resources, increased national security threat and against a backdrop of seemingly relentless criticism and negativity towards the service.” CC Veale admitted the demand for officers to help those in crisis is a “significant responsibility” which he did not experience when he joined the service 32 years ago, but said transforming the force was vital to improve its response to victims of crime. “Our change to a new Community Policing Model alongside investment in technology means that officers and staff are more mobile and will spend more time in their communities rather than being stuck behind a desk in a police station,” he said. “To be able to work through such challenges and still provide an independently assessed, high quality of service is testament to the outstanding efforts of the staff, officers and Special Constables who work here.” He also said despite shrinking budgets, his personal philosophy is to aim high and said he made “no apology” for blowing the force’s trumpet. “I am incredibly proud of my force which is made up of officers, staff and volunteers with unwavering dedication, commitment and enthusiasm,” he said. “They are the people who don’t get to see their families for days on end, or get to put their kids to bed, they work extended hours in all weathers, they are the people who run into the face of danger when the instinct is to run away. “I hope that you will help buck the negative trend towards policing and take any opportunity, however small, to show your gratitude to all the emergency services who help keep you safe. Tell me about your experiences, shake the hand of the next officer, PCSO or police staff member you see, tell these hard working people that you appreciate them.” View on Police Oracle
  15. Addicts would be given the drug to inject under supervision. Drug addicts could be given heroin paid for by the police under plans put forward by one police and crime commissioner. Durham PCC Ron Hogg, who along with Chief Constable Mike Barton has spoken out in support of decriminalisation, said he has now asked the region’s public health departments to examine ways to introduce Heroin Assisted Treatment. Although plans for a “fix room” are being developed in Glasgow, this would be the first of its kind in England following similar schemes in a number of European countries. “The aim would be to enable people who have become addicted to heroin to follow a programme that would stabilise their addiction in a controlled environment, and reduce their dependency on heroin until they stop taking it,” said Mr Hogg. “The aim of the initiative is to save the lives of addicts, shut down drug dealers and reduce acquisitive crime. Instead of stealing in order to fund their habit, and money flowing the organised crime gangs, addicts will be helped to recover.” The scheme would focus on the most prolific at-risk offenders who would be provided with pharmaceutical heroin, with Mr Hogg adding that it would save money in the long run through reduced costs to courts, prisons, the police and wider society. The number of reported drug misuse deaths involving opioids including heroin rose by 58 per cent in England over the last four years, with the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs recommending last December that the government should consider the provision of medically supervised drug consumption clinics in locations with a high concentration of injecting drug use. View on Police Oracle