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Techie1

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Everything posted by Techie1

  1. Chief constables "feel it is the right time.". CC Debbie Simpson and CC Shaun Sawyer The chief constables of Dorset and Devon & Cornwall Police have announced plans to explore further collaboration and closer working between the two forces. Both chiefs reveal they “feel that now is the right time” to explore whether a full merger between the two forces is possible. The police and crime commissioners from both areas have informed the policing minister of their support. Over the coming weeks a consultation with MPs and councils will begin. In a joint statement CC Shaun Sawyer, Devon & Cornwall, and CC Debbie Simpson, Dorset, said: “The strategic alliance has made significant progress helping us provide a more effective and efficient policing service to the residents of our three counties. “We now see this as a timely opportunity to progress this alliance further, including a potential aim to merge our resources and create a more resilient police force. “Policing has faced some significant funding challenges in recent years and we do not see this landscape changing. To preserve local, neighbourhood policing and deliver safeguarding within our communities, as well as an ability to respond to emergencies and emerging threats as effectively as possible, we view closer working as the only way forward.” Shared leadership is already in place across both forces with two DCCs sharing portfolio areas as well as operational commanders and heads of department in some areas. Police departments such as operations, roads policing and prevention as well as 17 other areas are also operating across three counties with a further 11 departments currently going through changes which will see them aligned. The forces also now share a number of support services such as Administration, Information Technology and Human Resources. The chief constables added: “We have been able to make this progress so far because of our staff’s hard work and conscious effort to work in collaboration. “Our officers across Dorset, Devon and Cornwall have similar policing styles, values and priorities with cultures based on delivering resilient and sustainable services to our communities. “We know working together has increased our resilience, streamlined our leadership and unlocked new capabilities in our support functions allowing us, where we can, to re-invest in our services. We feel that now is the right time to explore whether a full merger between the two forces is possible. “We realise there may be statutory obstacles to overcome and there is a lot of work to be done to understand the benefits and challenges ahead. We will also ensure that the views and feelings of the public are taken account of. "As a result, a decision is unlikely to be made quickly but we are absolutely committed to exploring the possibility of a merger in order to continue to provide a sustainable police service for all of our communities in the future.” View on Police Oracle
  2. Minister hints at better resourcing and pay. The government listens to the service and is keen to help officers, the Policing Minister says. Addressing the Police Superintendents’ Association Conference today, Nick Hurd said pay and resource complaints are being listened to. After beginning his speech apologising for the non-appearance of Home Secretary Amber Rudd, he addressed a number of topics including resourcing. On pay, he said: “We’re not deaf, even if we sometimes give the impression that we are. “The message we have heard very clear and constant is about stretch and strain and the pressure experienced police officers telling me they haven’t worked under these conditions before. “I’m standing here as a representative of the government who’s profoundly aware that police officers and a number of others have had to take their share of the burden […]. “There’s a limit to what we can reasonably ask of people.” But he added that there is “considerable concern being expressed by employers” about “sustainability”, which is why there has been a delay so far. He said there will be an announcement on pay imminently. Candid conversations about budgets will soon be held, he said, and hinted he will make some forces spend their reserves. PSAEW president Chief Supt Gavin Thomas had earlier called for a pay rise and for better resourcing. Mr Hurdalso promised a thorough review of resources and budgets, and other areas such as morale which he wrote to chief constables and police and crime commissioners about today. He said such a body of work had never been done before, and will shape the 2018/19 budget with an evidence base. Elsewhere he promised a total of £60 million funding for several projects, including funding for certain forces. His speech coincided with the announcement of a number of successful bids to the police transformation fund including a pilot to roll out video evidence in courts, £6 million to help digital policing in Cheshire, Essex, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Merseyside and £23 million over the next three years for the NCA, Regional Organised Crime Units, and some police forces to detect, monitor and disrupt organised crime groups. Responding to the funding announcements, Paddy Tipping, chairman of the Association of PCCs said: "The £60 million funding package announced by the minister will be invested across our regions and in local forces to ensure that our police can respond to the range of threats which pose harm to our communities. "This funding covers programmes that use innovative ways to keep our communities safe, by investing in digital policing methods and effective local partnerships to combat serious and organised crime, whilst protecting the most vulnerable members of our society." View on Police Oracle
  3. PC attacked just weeks into the job urges offenders to consider the consequences of their actions. Officer Clifford had to undergo surgery twice following the incident. A constable who was viciously attacked just weeks into the job has urged offenders to think on the ramifications of what they do. PC Sherry Clifford, a patrol officer in Evesham, Worcestershire, was assaulted only five weeks after completing her initial training. Her case has been highlighted by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, as part of a drive to reduce violence against officers. After being called to a fight in Evesham City Centre a man kicked PC Clifford in the face fracturing her jaw and causing her to lose two teeth. She also had to undergo two bouts of surgery. At first the constable was unaware of the severity of her injuries but six weeks of repeated trips to the dentist soon brought home the reality to her. She said: “I began to feel worried about being in the same situation again, I also felt frustration that it had happened to me so early in my career.” PC Clifford chose not to take any sick leave and says she would have been “frightened” to return the role had it not been for the support of her tutor and inspector throughout the recovery process. Her tutor referred her to the Police Federation who were able to provide additional support and in one-to-one sessions with her sergeant and inspector. They all agreed for her to attend further public order incidents in Worcester to relatively soon after the incident to “stop the fear setting in”. Now PC Clifford “wants the public to realise that every officer and member of staff has a family, a private life and wants to go back home safe.” She added: “I want offenders to think about the wider consequences, what if this was their sister or girlfriend? I want offenders to consider the person outside of the uniform. “It’s not okay to grab or push police officers, it’s not part of their job. “Police officers are often called upon in times of desperation so deserve more respect.” PC Clifford said that by sharing he story she hoped to promote an understanding that officers are “human not machines.” She added: “Hitting a police officer is a really shameful act, these are the people who are there to help." Earlier this year Police Oracle launched our BluePrint campaign which calls on the government to meet its obligation of protecting officers both in the job and when they have been forced out of the service because of physical injuries or mental trauma. View on Police Oracle
  4. Visit from Maggie, 11, whose father was killed on duty prompts announcement. Maggie Henry was made chief constable for a day A force has promised that anyone assaulted on duty will receive contact from a chief officer to check on their welfare. Bedfordshire Police has changed the policy and dubbed it ‘Maggie’s Law’ after the daughter of PC John Henry, killed on duty in Luton in 2007, spent at day at its headquarters. According to a statement from the force, 11-year-old Maggie Henry wants to help the force “look after our police officers, so that they can look after everyone else”. The chief officer team will now take the lead on checking that personnel who have been attacked get the support they need. Bedfordshire Police had already adopted the seven point plan on police assaults, first developed in Hampshire, which commits to treating assaulted officers as victims of crime. Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “Without question, an assault of any kind should never be considered ‘part of the job’. “Our workforce walks into danger when others walk away and sadly verbal and physical assaults are becoming commonplace – but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable. “Our officers should be afforded the support they need and deserve. This means they are treated the same way as any other victim of crime, they feel valued and that those who attack police officers are not dealt with lightly.” Bedfordshire Police Federation Chairman, Jim Mallen added: “Looking after officers and staff members who have been assaulted while doing their duty should be a primary consideration for police leaders. “The Police Federation brought into Bedfordshire the seven point plan and Maggie's law seems a natural extension to highlight to those assaulted that we care about them and will do our utmost to support them.” PCC Kathryn Holloway said she has raised the issue of short sentences for people who attack officers with the government. “I never want another family in this county to experience what Maggie Henry and her family have had to go through,” she added. “In my view, an attack on a police officer is not the same as an assault on any other member of the public, since police are standing on the front-line between those who keep the law and those who want to undermine it. “An attack on a single officer is an assault on society itself and should be met with the toughest penalty possible.” View on Police Oracle
  5. Techie1

    Change of Career

    Hi @Radu It might help to mention where you might apply for - e.g. which police forces are near you (if you don't mind sharing that!) Yes, if you pass all the recruitment stages and vetting, medical etc, you'll be offered a particular job in a particular area. Some forces start officers off in Response, others neighborhood, it may vary. You may get to specify your preferences for areas you want to work in, but no guarantees you'll get what you want - it depends on where they are short on officers. A lot of people advise don't work on the area you live (for safety reasons) although the chances of someone recognising you without your uniform on are probably low. As for the future, difficult to tell. Compulsory redundancy isn't a concept (yet) as you would not be an employee you would be a crown servant. However there has been talk of bringing in such options. But realistically, with officers retiring and officers being forced out after 30 years service in some areas, plus quite a few officers choosing to leave midway through service, hopefully you'll be ok!
  6. Techie1

    Advice about joining CoLP

    Recruitment Query Not Permitted On Your Account This has been posted in the wrong area of the forum. Your account does not have an active membership or a current Recruitment Pass. You must post your topic in the Recruitment Area or Force Specific Areas of our forum Recruitment Pass A Recruitment Pass can be purchased for 1 month (£3.95) or 3 months (£7.95) and is renewable. During its active period you will be able to create as many topics and make as many replies as you like in the Police Career & Training Areas and the Recruitment sections of our forum. CLICK HERE to purchase a Recruitment Pass Membership Plans You can purchase an annual Silver Membership Package for just £15 which will give you unrestricted access to the Recruitment Sections and to all of the Police Career & Training Areas. We also include access to the exclusive VIP areas. Click HERE to see all of the benefits of a Membership Package. We also have our Gold Membership which gives global Gold Membership across all four of our forums and is a one time lifetime fee and we even throw in a FREE mug. Forums included are www.police.community, www.ukpoliceonline.co.uk, www.policespecials.com and www.policeuk.com CLICK HERE to purchase a Membership Plan This thread has been locked as the original poster has posted this in an area of the forum where it is not permitted and their account does not currently have the required permissions.
  7. Chief inspectors and commander posts will still exist beyond 2018. Commissioner Cressida Dick has cancelled plans to abolish two ranks in the Met. Last year Police Oracle revealed the force planned to do away with chief inspector and commander posts in 2018. But its subsequently-appointed force leader has called a halt to the idea. A spokesman said “removing two ranks is not the best approach to achieve the outcomes we need”. Police Oracle also revealed that the force had already spent more than £27,000 on the promotion process for potential future chief inspectors before deciding to drop the ranks – with more than 229 officers having applied. The force spokesman said: “The commissioner has signalled very clearly that the Met will introduce flatter management structures and that she is increasing the pace of reform. "However, after extensive consultation, and due to the step-change to our operational context in recent weeks, she has concluded that removing two ranks entirely is not the best approach to achieve the outcomes we need at this time. “In the coming months we will see flatter leadership structures that empower officers to use discretion and make decisions in different units across the Met. “We will also continue to work closely with the NPCC lead on reforms to leadership structures and maintain our place at the forefront of this work.” Reducing the number of ranks in policing was a key recommendation from the College of Policing’s leadership review and the UK’s largest force appeared to be leading the way in implementing it. Met Fed branch chairman Ken Marsh welcomed the change of heart. “It wasn’t thought out very well to begin with, now the Commissioner has given it proper thought I think what will happen will be planned far better,” he said. On the potential for inspectors to gain promotion to chief inspector ranks again, he added: “They were in the process when it stopped, I’m pleased for them and inspectors will now be able to become chief inspectors.” View on Police Oracle
  8. Labour says visibility has rarely been lower and 'blame lies squarely at the government's door'. The number of people who believe police are "highly visible" in their community has fallen by almost half, statistics show. Just one in five (22 per cent) people said they feel officers are highly visible, according to the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales, which looks at the period from April last year to March this year. This compared with 39 per cent in April 2010 to March 2011, while the percentage of the public who said they "never" see police foot patrols has risen by more than half, from 25 per cent to 39 per cent. It follows a survey last year, which found that one in three people in England and Wales has not seen a bobby on the beat in their local area in the past year. The poll carried out for HMIC found 36 per cent of people had not seen a police officer or PCSO on foot in their areas in the past year - while just under a quarter (23 per cent) had seen uniformed personnel "once or twice". The watchdog warned of the "erosion" of neighbourhood policing as forces are forced to make further financial cuts. Labour's Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh said: "Bobbies on the beat don't just reassure the public they collect vital community intelligence and help to keep us safe. Savage cuts mean this tried and tested bedrock of British policing is being chipped away as police withdraw from neighbourhood policing altogether. "Police visibility has rarely been lower and the blame lies squarely at the Government's door. "The Tories shamefully accused the police of crying wolf over police cuts, but now the public are seeing the brutal reality; crime rising and fewer officers on hand to keep them safe." A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Effective policing is not just about the number of officers on the street but about accessibility - having a presence where people now live their lives and are at risk, for example online. "The latest data from the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that nearly two-thirds of the public believe that the police are doing a good or excellent job, and we encourage forces to be innovative, including making best use of technology in the way in which they engage so they meet the needs of all sectors of the community." Last month a number of anonymous former senior Met officers stressed the importance of Safer Neighbourhood Teams, the force’s “eyes and ears” on the ground. The officers claim the teams have been key to detecting signs of radicalisation and gang-related activity in the past. They explained that in 2007 every ward in every London borough boasted a team made up of a sergeant, two police constables and three community support officers. Now there are just three officers in each team, with each unit covering three or four wards. View on Police Oracle
  9. Five officers and a nurse were all attacked by pair in one evening. Five officers and a nurse were assaulted by the men throughout the course of the night. Northumbria Police has appealed for witnesses after an officer was knocked unconscious and four of her colleagues attacked by a pair of thugs. Police were called to Newcastle City Centre shortly after 3am on Monday August 14 to reports two men had punched and kicked members of the public and ran off. Two officers attended and a violent struggle ensued in which both officers were assaulted with one knocked unconscious. The pair were eventually detained and taken to Forth Banks station where a nurse and three detention officers were also assaulted. The force believes a number of people will have seen the attack on the officers and are appealing for witnesses. Four men in particular stopped to help the officers during the struggle but then left the scene without providing their details. Acting Chief Inspector Steve Wykes, of Northumbria Police said: “I’d like to thank the four men who came to our officer’s aid - it was brave of them to do so but they left before our officers could get their details. “I’d ask them to come forward and speak to us so we can thank them for their actions. The offender’s behaviour is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated by Northumbria police. “While I am pleased to report that the officers are not seriously injured this was an awful incident and the officers are receiving support. “I’d also appeal for anyone who was in the area of St Nicholas Street and Castle Stairs who may have witnessed the incident to contact police.” The officer who was knocked out was taken to hospital for her injuries but later released. Two men aged 25 and 36 years were arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer in the execution of their duty and are detained in custody helping police with their enquiries. View on Police Oracle
  10. Force is pressing ahead with scheme which some officers say is turning them away from the job. The mergers have already pushed control room staff to threaten strike action. A Metropolitan Police pilot scheme to merge London boroughs into single command units will continue despite it causing some officers to “hate” going to work. Towards the end of last year Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering all merged into one with Camden and Islington also combining. These Basic Command Units (BCUs) are overseen by a chief superintendent, with four superintendents each working under them. Vehicles, technology, personnel and buildings are shared between the boroughs within the units in an attempt to save the Met money. Back in November last year before the scheme was launched Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons, who is in charge of the pilot, said: “Change is important for the Met to remain operationally effective in the changing policing landscape.” The chairman of the London Assembly police and crime committee expressed concerns about the mergers and insisted the measure should not be “driven by cost cutting”. Now a number of officers working under the new arrangements appear to be unhappy about their new working conditions, voicing their concerns via social media. At the beginning of July a leaked paper appeared to imply the full programme of the controversial mergers will go ahead despite the pilots not yet being fully assessed. Later the same month control room staff threatened to go on strike during the Notting Hill Carnival over the stresses Pathfinder was putting them under and dangers it posed to the public. The PCS union said at the time: “We have been pushing for months for improvements to new ways of working that we feared would compromise the safety of staff and members of the public. “Members had been telling us about the increased stress of working the new ‘Pathfinder’ system and the risks they posed to the public.” The strike was eventually avoided after the Met provided “assurances” to increase the amount of staff by 135 and invest in new computer systems. Despite the issues and controversy caused by the pilot the force is determined to press ahead and denied rumours they were rolling back any of the units. A spokesman said: “The Basic Command Unit pathfinders, or test sites, in Camden and Islington (North Central Area Command Unit) and Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge (East Area Command Unit) are ongoing, after going fully live at the end of April 2017. “The pathfinders are a genuine test and the Met continues to learn from the way they are operating. “Each of the pathfinders have thrown up different challenges, and the Met are adapting the model to overcome these challenges. “Neither pathfinder site is being rolled back but we are making changes to make the model more efficient. “The purpose of the pathfinder sites is to test the model and make changes as necessary before we roll it out more widely. “The Mayor and the Commissioner will together, towards the end of 2017, consider the evidence from the Pathfinders and the views of stakeholders, before determining the manner of any further roll-out across London.” View on Police Oracle
  11. UCL project exploring evidence recreation working on veracity of 3D modelling. Dr Morgan is enthusiastic about the changes to evidence preservation the PhD work may be able to facilitate. Exact 3D printed replicas of evidence artefacts may hold the key to the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted in the near future. A project at University College London, conducted by PhD student Rachel Carew, is exploring the possibilities around recreating exact copies of pieces of evidence to prevent decay over time. This could help detectives working on cold cases in which the original piece of evidence has deteriorated. Dr Ruth Morgan, director of the centre for forensic sciences at University College London who is overseeing the project, says there may be a number of advantages in preserving evidence in this way. She said: “One of the benefits is being able to preserve an exhibit in its original state meaning we can look at it in ten or 20 years time and evaluate it with new technologies in a way that may not previously been possible. “We are trying to work out the best ways of creating really accurate 3D models which can then be used… we have a lot of people working on this and the work that’s going is aimed at getting the accuracy part of the process spot on. “Cold cases is an area with real potential benefits because often you are going back to exhibits collected many, many years ago. “It can be difficult to evaluate them in the way you would have at the time as there are a lot of factors that can impact features of evidence.” The technique may also enable evidence to be used in a different way in courtrooms, potentially bringing juries closer to pieces of evidence which would previously have remained untouched. However, Dr Morgan warned of the possible ethical and practical limitations, adding: “It is interesting how we will be able to explain to a jury what has been done with the models and there are interesting considerations which need to be taken into account. “For example, how do we preserve exhibits that may be from an individual? Say you were recreating somebody’s skull, you need to have a robust system in place to preserve integrity and the rights of the individual and it needs to be done appropriately.” In terms of how far away this technology is from being deployed in the field, Dr Morgan says the technology already exists but the study is about demonstrating its worth and veracity in practical use. She said: “The technology is there and it’s a case of ‘can we demonstrate the value’. “The quicker and more accurately it be done the better, I think we are talking about a year or two rather than ten or 20 years (for widespread use). “It’s a cool area for this PhD, which has literally just started, but there is a lot of good potential.” Dr Morgan has previously warned about the “knowledge gaps” around what forensic evidence means or is able to tell us and the work she is overseeing around 3D modelling may help create a wider understanding in this regard. View on Police Oracle
  12. A Police Oracle analysis reveals the amount of money being paid to private companies for agreements made by old force leaderships in the years before austerity hit. Many facilities, including Derbyshire's HQ and West Yorkshire's Carr Gate training centre, were built using the system, but several forces have had to shut police stations due to austerity Police forces are paying more than £135 million a year for debt taken out for buildings bought before austerity hit. An analysis by PoliceOracle.com has found that across 20 forces in England and Wales, some 31 individual private finance initiative projects are costing forces an average of £6.6 million each. While under the last Labour Government use of the schemes was the only way some could invest, the austerity years have left them with big bills often based on outdated policing plans. Private finance initiatives (PFI), first introduced under the Major Government, were a means of using private money to invest in public sector projects. They typically involve lengthy contracts which see the investors secure huge returns. No new schemes have been created since 2012, meaning that no current chiefs whose forces use them were in post when the contracts were being drawn up. Defunct police authorities signed-off the deals, which cost £135.3 million in the last financial year. In 2015/16 they cost £134.7 million. The Treasury estimates that due to the nature of the contracts the costs will continue to rise annually, but the Home Office supplied only £73 million in the latest police grant settlement towards them – exactly the same amount it has for the last three years. The money invested in the initiatives equates to more than twice the amount that is given to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Chiefs have recently started appealing to the government to curb the watchdog’s budget expansion and give it to them instead. Changing demand Greater Manchester Police built more premises than any other using the system, and is still paying for 16 police stations commissioned under former Chief Constable Mike Todd. Ian Wiggett, who was assistant chief of GMP until late 2015, told PoliceOracle.com: “The problem was that at that stage GMP was aspiring to have 8,000 cops, then all of a sudden austerity hit and a few years later, in quite a few of these buildings, you didn’t have the people to go into them. “Now they’re down to 6,000 [officers] and there was a big drop in police staff as well.” As an example of changing demand, he pointed to Stockport borough where a central police station was closed, and a new one opened on the outskirts of the town, but with officers then moving back into council offices in the centre. But he added: “I was in Cheshire when we did a new HQ there, that was a better bit of business as the estate was in a bit of a mess at the time and getting a PFI scheme was the only way to move, and there was a strong business case for it.” That scheme is forecast to cost £7 million in this financial year. Most of the deals are subject to extra, sometimes unforeseen, charges for things such as maintenance. Taking advantage In his recently released memoir Blue, Met Police Chief Superintendent John Sutherland recalls being charged £90 for a sink plug by a private contractor during his time as Camden borough commander. He calculated that to be an 8,900 per cent mark-up. Although the police station mentioned is not one of the Met’s PFI projects, Chief Supt Sutherland adds: “I could tell you endless tales of the same sort: hundreds of thousands and millions of pounds spent on plugs and things right across policing and beyond. “I don’t doubt there’s a dose of public sector cluelessness in the negotiation of these contracts. And I suspect that there’s no shortage of switched-on business people waiting to take advantage.” In 2013 Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill publicly lambasted his force’s PFI arrangements as “white elephants”, complaining that an empty custody suite and police station were being paid for to the tune of £2.1 million a year. He attempted to renegotiate the contracts and called for the government to intervene, failing on both counts. In 2016/17, the force paid £7.8 million in PFI contract costs. Asked about the issue now, a spokesman for Mr Underhill said: “The PCC was unable to renegotiate the contracts he inherited from the police authority, however, changes have been made to better utilise the buildings Dorset Police has across the geography. “He has asked the questions around re-negotiation but he is not able to change commercial contracts that he inherited. This is the case for police forces nationally.” Whether forces should adapt to their contracts or the changing nature of policing challenges is a question which could be asked by the public in 20 areas where PFI debts are being paid today. Success story One politician had more success than Mr Underhill in abolishing his force’s debt. In 2015 the then-Dyfed-Powys PCC Christopher Salmon was able to buy out a “stinking bad deal” on the barely used Ammanford Police Station, which was opened in 2001. He told Police Oracle this week that the building cost £3 million to construct and the force would have ended up paying £21 million for it, with the site eating 20 per cent of Dyfed-Powys' estate budget. “No sooner had they built the station than the policing model changed and it was the wrong station in the wrong place so it was only partly-used,” he said. “The problem with PFI contracts is that, in theory, you’re laying all the risk on the private sector and saying ‘here’s a payment that pays my mortgage and the maintenance cost of my house and I don’t have to pay anything for the next 30 years’, but in practice the private sector just prices up the risk and you end up paying an enormous amount for what you get.” Mr Salmon drafted in specialist consultants, and was able to announce in 2015 that he was saving more than £3 million by ending the contract. Tim Brain, who was ACPO finance lead and Gloucestershire chief constable in the early part of this century, said that under the previous system his force could have had to wait a decade for Home Office approval, whereas under PFI its new HQ could be built much more quickly. He said many schemes were sensible and necessary but some may have chosen bad deals. “For most forces they were the only show in town – if they wanted to get a capital project they had to get PFI,” he added. Asked whether the increasing cost and level Home Office grant shows that the government is not really protecting police budgets, he replied: “Police budgets aren’t being protected, it’s not true, they do themselves no service by claiming they are [but] PFI costs would always have increased over time so it may be yet another example.” The NPCC was approached to speak about PFI debt but a spokesman said they were unable to comment. A Home Office spokesman said: “The government has a duty to honour its long-term contractual commitments and support investments by police forces. There have been no Home Office-backed police PFI schemes since 2012.” Forces still paying PFI debt Force Cost in 2016/17 Schemes Met £29.9m Gravesend training centre and three south east London stations. GMP £13.9m 16 police stations. Sussex £11.2m Police custody provision. Norfolk £10.3m Operations and communications centre and Police Investigation Centres at Martlesham, Bury St Edmunds and Gt Yarmouth. Avon and Somerset £9.3m Black Rock, Valley Road, Portishead; Keynsham Police Centre, Ashmead Trading Estate, Ashmead Road, Keynsham, Bristol; Patchway Police Centre, Gloucester Road, Bristol; Bridgwater Police Centre, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater. Kent £9.1m Medway Police Station and North Kent Police Station. Dorset £7.8m Western Division HQ + joint fire and police station Cleveland £6.9m Urlay Nook Tactical Training centre and Custody facility Notts £4.4m Buildings costs and vehicle costs for 25 years. W Yorks £4m Wakefield and Leeds District Headquarters and the Force Training School at Carr Gate Suffolk £3.8m Police Investigation Centres at Martlesham, Bury St Edmunds and Gt Yarmouth. Derbyshire £3.6m Divisional HQ in Derby and Ilkeston Police Station. Glos £3.5m HQ and firearms centre. Wilts £3.4m Gablecross Police Station, Swindon. N Wales £2.9m St Asaph Divisional Headquarters and Custody Suite. TVP £1.8m Headquarters. Cumbria £1.2m Workington Police Station. Gwent £941k Ystrad Mynach Police Station. Durham £384k Urlay Nook tactical training centre. Total £135.3m (all info provided by forces/PCCs under FOI) Govt grant £73m View on Police Oracle
  13. More than £100,000 was raised for the Care of Police Survivors charity. Officers laying wreaths at The Beat memorial Hundreds of people gathered at the National Memorial Arboretum on Sunday to pay tribute to officers who died on duty. The Annual Service of Remembrance was held by charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS). More than 200 officers and staff rode into the event, having cycled hundreds of miles from various locations across the UK, on the Police Unity Tour. Riders arriving at the National Memorial Arboretum (COPS) Tour organiser Chief Superintendent Rob Atkins with other officers and supporters, started their journey at 6.30am on Friday in London. The cyclists stopped at various locations during the 180-mile journey, including Luton and Bedford, to pay tribute to fallen heroes. These included Bedfordshire officer, PC Jonathan Henry, who was murdered on shift in 2007 responding to reports of a stabbing in Luton town centre, and PC Daniel Gibb, from Bedford, who served in the Metropolitan Police. In 2010 on the way to work, his motorbike collided with a minibus. The riders met with more than 200 others in Tamworth, Staffordshire. The journey to the arboretum concluded with a memorial bracelet being presented to the families of fallen officers by each rider. More than £100,000 was raised for COPS, which supports the surviving families of lost officers. Chief Supt Atkins said: “The ride went really well and the weather was on our side. “Once we safely arrived at Tamworth in Staffordshire we were met by an impressive 200 plus riders. It was a good weekend and we’ve had some fantastic support.” He added that next year he hopes every force will be represented. View on Police Oracle
  14. Ciaran Maxwell, who had a list of targets including police officers, has been jailed for 18 years. Ciaran Maxwell has been jailed for 18 years A "committed" terrorist who infiltrated the British military has been jailed for 18 years for supplying bombs to dissident Irish republicans. Former Royal Marine Ciaran Maxwell stashed anti-personnel mines, mortars, ammunition and 14 pipe bombs - four of which were later used - in 43 purpose-built hides at eight locations in Northern Ireland and England. Bomb-making materials were found in barrels and buckets buried in the ground as well as an adapted Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) pass card, a PSNI uniform and a police stab-proof vest. The 31-year-old, who is originally from Larne in Co Antrim and was with 40 Commando based at Norton Manor Camp in Taunton, Somerset, at the time of the offences, pleaded guilty to preparation of terrorist acts between January 2011 and August last year, possessing images of bank cards for fraud and possessing cannabis with intent to supply. The Old Bailey heard that the father-of-one researched targets and discussed plans to attack police stations and officers. His plot, however, was foiled when members of the public stumbled across his weapons hides by chance. DNA evidence found on parts of the haul led them to Maxwell, who was on the national database due to his alleged involvement in an unrelated assault case. Maxwell's suspected involvement in the violent incident led to his DNA being stored on the database even though he was not prosecuted, and that was how detectives investigating mysterious arms dumps in Northern Ireland linked them to a serving Royal Marine in England. It was not the only piece of good fortune that led to Maxwell's terror plans being foiled. Police say the first two of his 43 weapons hides were discovered by accident in forest parks in Co Antrim - one by a dog walker, the other by a camper. Senior investigating officer Gillian Kearney, a detective chief inspector with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said: "I have no doubt the action of the public in this case has saved lives." Det Chief Insp Kearney outlined how DNA traces found on some of the weapons were linked to Maxwell. "He had been involved in an assault previously and his DNA was on the national DNA database," she said. How a terrorist managed to infiltrate the British military has raised questions around the vetting process of the Royal Marines. While Maxwell now faces 18 years behind bars, police fear weapons he constructed may still be in circulation, ready for deployment by dissident republicans. Four of his pipe bombs have already been used by the violent extremists in Northern Ireland - two detonated, without causing injury - but detectives acknowledge others might still be out there. PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: "We are quite clear Ciaran Maxwell had a link to a violent dissident republican group in Northern Ireland. "There is a strong likelihood that items associated with Maxwell have made their way into the hands of violent dissident groups in Northern Ireland and four of those items have been used, three in the last year. "There is no doubt that he knew these items were going to be used by violent dissident republican groupings." Detectives believe he essentially operated as a lone wolf, who despite links to the Continuity IRA, acted largely independently of that renegade organisation. Commander Dean Hayden, of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "There is no evidence to suggest Maxwell himself was directly involved in the deployment of the items but he was the bomb maker. "A significant number of dangerous items were prevented from getting into the hands of terrorists, hence the public relationship in fighting terrorism is crucial." Maxwell denied he joined the Royal Marines with the intention of infiltrating them from the outset, insisting his criminal exploits only started when his friendship deepened with an old acquaintance who was in the Continuity IRA. He claimed things then spiralled out of control and, as his lawyer put it, he got "in above his head". But detectives are not convinced by this explanation. Det Chief Insp Kearney said: "It's hard to say - we don't know that definitely. "Whatever his motivation was in joining the Royal Marines, quickly he became involved in the engineering of devices and very dangerous activity which made him a very dangerous individual." The lead detective said Maxwell used his military know-how to accumulate and construct the devices. "This was reflected in how methodical and organised he was in the way he stockpiled these things," she said. "It also gave him access to munitions and items that he could use to help him stockpile and further his activities. "I think this is very unusual and it is certainly the first case of its kind in recent years." Over five years, Maxwell, 31, stockpiled mortars, anti-personnel mines, pipe bombs, ammunition and handguns in hides as well as an image of an adapted PSNI pass card and uniform. He wrote a "to do" list on which he identified over 300 targets, including police and military buildings as well as named individuals in Northern Ireland and Britain. Maxwell joined up in September 2010 as a signaller and moved on to 40 Commando at Norton Manor Camp in Somerset in 2013, where he not only stole his colleagues' credit card details, but also a large amount of ammunition. He was about to be promoted to corporal when his double life was exposed. His efforts to build bombs began in 2011 and he sourced information and many of the components he needed from the internet. Terrorist documents and bomb-making guides, including the Irish Republican Army "Green Book", were found on Maxwell's media devices, along with potential targets. The Old Bailey heard he did a lot of his construction work while on leave in Northern Ireland in the home of his late grandmother. The finds in two parks near Maxwell's home town of Larne initially perplexed detectives. While they bore all the hallmarks of a dissident republican stash, the locations did not quite add up. Larne is a staunchly loyalist/unionist town and the last place one might expect to find a dissident arms dump. Maxwell grew up in Larne's small minority Catholic community and claimed he suffered sectarianism throughout his early life. In 2002, aged 16, he was subject to a brutal beating at the hands of loyalists - a separate incident to the one that resulted in his DNA being added to the database. While he claimed that left him dealing with post traumatic stress disorder, he denied it pushed him into adopting hard-line republican sympathies. His support for violent republicanism, he claimed, was fake - motivated by fear of dissidents who knew he was British serviceman. The discoveries at Carnfunnock and Capanagh forest parks last year sparked a major operation involving the Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), the South West Counter Terrorism Unit and PSNI. In August 2016, Maxwell was arrested at his base and a search of Powderham plantation in Devon revealed more weapons stashes. The hides, near his home of Exminster, contained more improvised explosive devices, chemicals, tools, electronic storage devices, hand-written notes and a small cannabis factory. He used the drugs to supplement his military income and had copies of bank cards stolen from his comrades to be used in a fraud. In total, police recovered 14 completed pipe bombs, two anti-personnel mines, two explosively formed projectiles (EFPs), 29 firing systems, 33 bomb initiators, two hands guns and a large amount of ammunition. They seized components for many more explosive devices as well as over 100kg of explosives in Northern Ireland and a smaller quantity in the south west of England. View on Police Oracle
  15. Police Now to hold conference today. Participants in a previous Police Now class Confidence in the police has increased by 17 per cent among young people in communities that have a neighbourhood police officer recruited and trained through the Police Now scheme. A survey commissioned by the charity in areas it operates found: a 10 pc increase in young people’s perceptions of how fairly the police treat people; a 13 pc increase in how helpful they are; an 11 pc increase in how friendly and approachable they are; a 10 pc increase of how good an understanding they have of key community issues. Independent survey data for Police Now and comparison wards was compared for the year prior to the posting of Police Now officers, against their first 15 months after training. Around 7,000 people were questioned in total, including around 1,000 youngsters. Police Now, which puts graduates into demanding neighbourhood policing roles, was established as an independent charity by the Met Police in August 2015. It is now a partner of almost half of forces in England and Wales, with more than 200 new officers being placed into wards in deprived communities this summer. At a conference organised by the charity today, Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick will say: “Police Now has been an enormously successful way to bring different people into policing. The people in the places that Police Now participants are working are not just more confident in the police but more trusting of each other.” Home Secretary Amber Rudd says in a report on the programme: “Through Police Now, officers and their local partners are changing the face of community policing in some of the country’s toughest neighbourhoods whilst strengthening the historic British principle of policing by consent. “Police Now continues to develop fresh approaches to police training and leadership development and is having a broader impact on the development of policing as a profession.” David Spencer, chief executive and co-founder of the initiative, said: “Police Now is bringing the best graduates into policing - our participants are changing lives and have an unparalleled opportunity to develop their leadership and problem-solving skills on the policing frontline. "We are incredibly proud of what our participants have achieved over the last two years.” Applications for the next round of Police Now open later this year. Red Snapper Learning, which shares a parent company with Police Oracle, is delivering some of the training for participants in this year’s programme. View on Police Oracle
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  17. More than 250 officers and support staff will be cycling for 180-miles. A previous ride Officers from across the country are preparing for a charity cycle ride in memory of police officers who have died in the line of duty. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick will give a contingent a send-off as they embark on the Police Unity Tour on Friday. Many will start the journey to the Police Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire by laying flowers in memory of fallen hero PC Keith Palmer in Westminster. The ride will then carry on to the National Police Memorial on the Mall where floral tributes will be laid. Riders will be joined by the families of the fallen officers, law enforcement officials from the USA as well as crew members. Cyclists will ride approximately 180 miles over three days to the National Arboretum, for a special ceremony on Sunday. Comm Dick said: "This is an important event in the police calendar and I am honoured to be involved. This year will be particularly poignant as we remember PC Keith Palmer who was killed in the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack. “Remembering all of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty reminds us of the dangers police officers face when doing their jobs and ensures those who have paid the ultimate price are not forgotten.” Riders all cycle for an individual officer depicted on an engraved bracelet, which at the conclusion of the ride they will have the opportunity to present to that officer’s family. The Police Unity Tour raises money for the charity UK Care of Police Survivors (UKCOPS), which directly supports the families and loved ones of officers killed in the line of duty. Watch the video below to see footage and interviews from the end of the 2015 edition of the tour. View on Police Oracle
  18. Roger Hirst will have oversight of two emergency services. Essex PCC Roger Hirst will be police and fire commissioner Essex PCC Roger Hirst has been granted responsibility for his county’s fire and rescue service. The Home Office announced the move, a first in England hailing it as “an important step” in its collaboration drive. The department also claimed that the change will bring greater accountability to the fire service. Conservative Mr Hirst, a former cabinet holder at Essex County Council, said: “By ensuring a more joined-up response to incidents, providing crime and fire prevention advice, creating community safety hubs, and sharing buildings we can improve how we work and generate significant savings which can then be reinvested back into front line services. “Essex has always been an innovative and forward thinking county as shown by the support we have received for this proposal. Together we can do more to improve the service we give to the public and help keep people safe.” He will take on the extra responsibility from October. The current Essex Fire Authority, which oversees the service, will be abolished. Policing and Fire Minister Nick Hurd praised the move. He said: “I want to see our emergency services continue to drive closer collaboration to encourage joint working, the sharing of best practice and more innovative thinking. “Having a directly accountable leader overseeing policing and fire will help both services enhance their effectiveness, maximise available resources, boost local resilience and improve the services delivered to the public. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to the local area." Several other PCCs have applied to take on similar responsibilities. View on Police Oracle
  19. He was rescued with only seconds to spare. Sergeant Mark Shepherd on duty Three police officers entered a house and faced down an aggressive Alsatian to save a man's life are to receive awards. Sgt Mark Shepherd and PC Michael LeFevre were first on the scene after being called to a house where the man who was believed to want to take his own life had locked himself in. The officers managed to barge their way into the home and within seconds they heard the man jump from a stool with a cord around his neck. Sgt Shepherd acted quickly and picked up the man's body to take the pressure off his neck. PC LeFevre took over supporting the man’s weight and Sgt Shepherd ran to the kitchen, grabbing a knife so the man could be cut down. But Sgt Shepherd was confronted by a very large and aggressive Alsatian so had to use a kitchen stool to create distance between them. They managed to get the man breathing and put him in the recovery position until an ambulance arrived. He was later detained under the Mental Health Act. Sgt Shepherd is now set to receive a Royal Humane Society Testimonial on parchment, and PC LeFevre, along with their colleague PC Steve Godden are to receive a certificates of commendation from the organisation. Sgt Shepherd told Police Oracle: “We experience a lot of attempted suicides but this is the first one where we’ve had to act in seconds. The adrenaline kicks in and you have to act fast.” The officers were sent a letter afterwards by the man’s wife thanking them, Sgt Shepherd added: “In a weird way I felt a bit embarrassed when I heard I received the award, but it’s nice to be recognised. “We never expect awards, we’re just doing the job and it’s what we signed up for. It feels good and I would do it all over again if I had the chance.” Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, said: “There is little doubt that, but for the swift action of these three officers, the man would have died. “They were on the scene rapidly, they broke in, found him. It was made even more difficult by the presence of the dog. Thankfully though they managed and he survived. “They richly deserve the awards that have been made to them.” The Royal Humane Society is a 200-year-old charity that grants awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and, also, for the restoration of life by resuscitation. View on Police Oracle
  20. New scheme launched by Prince Harry. Prince Harry being shown the work of the Headway charity A new scheme helping brain injury survivors is to be promoted in the custody arena by the Police Federation of England and Wales. The successful initiative launched by the Headway charity and HRH Prince Harry, will see people who have suffered brain injuries carry special ID cards - to help police identify who they are. Andrew Ward, custody lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “This is an excellent initiative which will particularly help custody officers and other operational police officers to identify those who might have had a brain injury. “It will enable them to give particular support and assistance to members of the public affected by this type of injury and act as a cue to seek an appropriate adult or further medical advice for those who have been detained. The Federation is proud to support this valuable and important scheme.” The Brain Injury Identity Card is supported by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Police Scotland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, NAAN and the NHS. Mr Ward, who also represents the police service on the National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN), added: “The scheme may also assist some of the thousands of police officers who are injured every year in the line of duty, many of them seriously.” Speaking at the launch to brain injury survivors, Prince Harry said: “This surely is a life-changing moment for people with a traumatic brain injury, whether or not they ever get arrested. This card is a saving grace for you guys and for the police as well. ” Headway chief executive Peter McCabe said: “The hidden effects of brain injury can often lead to misunderstandings and difficulties. Many people are assumed to be drunk as a result of having slurred speech or an unsteady gait, with attempts to explain the effects of their brain injury often being ignored. “The card is designed to help the police to identify survivors at the earliest opportunity, ensuring they receive suitable support and are diverted away from the criminal justice system where appropriate. It’s a simple solution to a tricky conversation.” View on Police Oracle
  21. To make it safer for the officer to get out the car?
  22. Cressida Dick said a 'very large number of plots' have been foiled in recent years. Ms Dick suggested some attacks were minutes away from being executed by terrorists. Photo: Photo Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire Police have thwarted five terror attacks in the last few weeks including some which were "very close" to being carried out, Britain's most senior officer has said. This year alone, the UK has been targeted by four terror attacks - three of which happened in London in busy and popular areas - which killed and injured scores of people. Speaking on Nick Ferrari's show on LBC on Friday Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said a "very large number of plots" have been foiled over the last few years. Pressed on exactly how many attacks have been thwarted, she said that in "just the last few weeks", five have been averted. "Overall I think it is well into the teens in the last couple of years, where we know people were intent on attacking and that has been stopped," she said. "In addition, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of arrests of people who are radicalised, and are either spreading hatred or supporting terrorism, or want to carry out a terrorist attack. "We have had a huge number of successful operations, together with the intelligence agencies and we work very closely with them and with colleagues overseas." Quizzed on how far-progressed the thwarted attacks were, Ms Dick suggested some of them were within minutes of being executed by terrorists. "Some of them were very close, we would say, to an attack - very close," she said. When asked if they were "within minutes" of being carried out, Ms Dick replied: "Yes." The Commissioner later clarified the five attacks which had been thwarted were done so over the last "three to four months". Branding the recent terrorist outrages as "horrific", Ms Dick said the police and authorities need people to talk to them about what is happening in their communities. She said violent extremism comes in "many forms" and there are "undoubtedly" examples of people who have carried out attacks who are "home-grown" or who may have travelled or been influenced by people overseas. "They are living in our communities and that is a problem for all of us," Ms Dick said. "The government has said they are going to review their strategy and I think there is going to be a huge focus in that on what we do to prevent people becoming radicalised, and what we do to prevent radicalised people becoming violent." View on Police Oracle
  23. Firm argues that the devices are not necessary or proportionate. Solicitors are seeking a complete ban on spit guard use by police in England and Wales. Police Oracle can reveal lawyers from Irwin Mitchell have launched an application for judicial review against all deployment of the equipment. They argue the National Police Chiefs’ Council should have halted use of the devices following the review of a 2012 case in which a disabled 11-year-old girl was hooded and put in leg restraints by Sussex Police. The IPCC criticised the force in a report about her treatment last year. Yogi Amin, an expert civil liberties solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “A number of police forces in the UK, including large forces such as the Merseyside Police and West Midlands Police, do not allow officers to use spit hoods on adults, let alone children with significant disabilities. “The IPCC’s findings following its investigation into the treatment our young client received at the hands of Sussex Police indicate a clear need for improvements in the way the force responds to disabled children and a full exploration of the policy on spit hood use – including the risks and alternatives – within all forces by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. “The police, of course, do a difficult and important job and it is right that they should have the equipment they need, but hooding someone is a serious decision. “Hooding children is a step too far, particularly in the absence of clear evidence that these devices are necessary or a proportionate means of protecting officers bearing in mind the alternative safe strategies available.” The solicitors want alternatives to be introduced which "protect officers rather than restrict detainees" a spokeswoman added. West Midlands Police is currently exploring whether to introduce the equipment, Chief Constable Dave Thomson told the Police Federation Conference in May. Chief constables were informed of the application for judicial review a few weeks ago and a QC from the Met Police’s legal team was assigned to provide an initial response. This website understands that the NPCC intends to fight the case, and expect the Police Federation and College of Policing, as well as spit guard manufacturers to become interested parties in the proceedings. In May, NPCC chairman Chief Constable Sara Thornton told PoliceOracle.com evidence was being gathered to support the guards’ deployment. Che Donald from the Police Federation said: “It is not right that officers get assaulted. Over half of police forces in the UK are now utilising spit guards in one way or another and there isn’t anything else that protects officers in the same way. “If you don’t spit you won’t have to wear one. And if there is not a spit guard and someone is spitting at a police officer, the officer is going to have to use physical force - which is more than likely to be on the head - and causes far more risk." He added nothing else is as effective and practical as using a spit guard. The case has emerged just after the Met, the biggest force in the UK, rolled-out the use of spit guards in all of its custody suites. The force said that an earlier, limited, trial of the equipment had been “successful” although it did not explain how it arrived at this conclusion. In a statement on the extension of its use, a Met Police spokesman said: “The Met has a duty of care to its officers and staff - the issue of spitting and biting is a real problem and a particularly unpleasant form of assault which rightly generates a lot of concern amongst officers. “Aside from the fact that as an employer the Met cannot expect its staff to be spat at, or think this is acceptable, some of the follow-up treatment required after such an assault can be prolonged and unpleasant.” View on Police Oracle
  24. Footage from the force of the cutting edge drone in flight. Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police’s 24-hour drone unit, the first in the UK, has finally taken off. The latest in drone technology has been trialed since November 2015 and now the operational unit has been created. Chief Superintendent Jim Nye said: “This is an historic step for the Alliance [of the two forces] and policing in the UK; Drone capability is a cutting edge way to support operational policing across Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. “This technology offers a highly cost effective approach in supporting our officers on the ground in operational policing. “Drones will aid officers as part of missing person searches; crime scene photography; responding to major road traffic collisions; coastal and woodland searches and to combat wildlife crime. “Drones can even help police track and monitor suspects during a firearm or terrorist incident, as it will allow officers to gain vital information, quickly, safely, and allow us to respond effectively at the scene. “Being the first police forces in the country to have a stand-alone, fully operational drone unit is a great source of pride for the Alliance, and proves that we continue to work hard to find innovative ways to adapt to the ever-changing policing landscape.” Drone Team Manager, Andy Hamilton, added: “It is fantastic to see both forces working together to lead the way in utilising new, cutting-edge technology. Having previously been a police officer for 30 years, I have seen how technology has changed and can help us become more efficient in what we are trying to achieve. “An example of this is historically, any aerial photos or videos have been captured by The National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter; this is not always the best use of resources. Instead of always sending a helicopter on an hour’s flight to take a few photos of a crime scene, we can now use a drone to carry out the same task. “Whilst drones will enhancing our roads policing function, I also see this technology being able to complement NPAS by allowing helicopters to be available for more serious incidents across the South West.” The Drone Unit is currently using a DJI Inspire drone equipped with a zoom camera and a thermal imaging to allow for operational use 24 hours a day. Thermal imaging in action The camera is HD/4K quality and can capture both video and still images. We have also purchased a smaller DJI Mavic to test its portability as it is smaller and lighter in weight. Chief Supt Nye said: “At present we have five officers trained across both forces. Over the next twelve months we are aiming to have a further 40 officers having completed their Civil Aviation (CAA) training, allow them to be fully accredited and enable them to operate the drone. “We will also be adding to the number of drones we have as the number of trained officer’s increases.” View on Police Oracle
  25. Home Office to make money available to help officers' mental health and wellbeing needs. Amber Rudd and Steve White at the Police Federation Conference in May A National Police Welfare Service will be launched with Home Office funds to provide dedicated welfare support for officers. Some £7.5 million will be given to a pilot for the service, to be run by the College of Policing, “working very closely” with the Police Federation of England and Wales. Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the move today in an editorial for Police Oracle. She wrote: “I’ve seen first-hand the commitment shown by you, our police officers. I am very aware that your uniquely challenging work can easily place stressful demands on you. The things you see, the dreadful stories you hear, the frightening situations in which you can find yourself must, in some cases, have an impact on someone’s personal wellbeing and their mental health. “It’s only right that policing does all it can to provide high quality support for officers and staff. I welcome the work already being done by forces and chief officers to promote officer health and wellbeing, but we also want to enhance the safety net of support available to you.” She added: “Today, I am awarding £7.5 million from the Police Transformation Fund over three years to pilot and - if it is successful - fund a dedicated national service to help provide enhanced welfare support, for any officer or member of staff who needs it.” Subject to it being successful, it will be rolled out to all 43 forces between 2018 and 2020. In January Police Oracle accused the government of failing to meet its obligation of protecting our officers both in the job and, particularly, when they have been forced out of the service because of physical injuries or mental trauma. Via our BluePrint campaign we called on the Government to acknowledge and protect our unique service, the best in the world as stated by politicians themselves, by introducing a Police Covenant. Much in the way the £10 million per annum Armed Forces Covenant accepts applications to support the armed forces community, we suggested a covenant could work in a similar way. Officers forced to retire, in need of modifications at home, physiotherapy, mental health assistance or families left with no father or mother would all be able to apply to the trust for grants. Police Federation of England and Wales chairman Steve White, said: “This is fantastic news for all officers and particularly our members whose work in high-stress situations has been exacerbated over the years because policing numbers have been cut to the bone. “Now they will have access to a properly funded welfare service offering specialist help which the Federation has been calling for for years. “While forces have tried hard to provide support, it has been very difficult in the current austerity climate to ensure good provision across the board.” The Fed’s welfare survey has highlighted many issues in this area, with 65 per cent telling it last year that they still went to work even though they felt they shouldn’t because of the state of their mental wellbeing. Mr White added: “We took proactive steps to better understand the issues that exist, but realised that our findings were likely to only be the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, it was important evidence which we used to push leaders to improve the support given to their staff. “We will continue to work with the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council to ensure that the scheme is a success and provides the support that is needed for the service.” View on Police Oracle