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Police: Leveson review proposes sweeping efficiency reforms for justice system

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

Proposals include penalties for private security firm delays, longer court hours and more use of technology

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2015/1/22/1421959957921/Serco-prison-van-leaving–011.jpg


Private security firms that delay delivering prisoners to court should be subject to stiff financial penalties, according to a judge-led review of the justice system.

Sir Brian Leveson’s recommendations for improving efficiency of the country’s outdated criminal proceedings include proposals for extending the hours of magistrates’ courts, expanding the use of video technology and providing more body cameras for police officers. Parliament, it is suggested, may also want to consider when defendants should have the right to opt for more expensive jury trials.

The report, commissioned by the lord chief justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, will be a challenge for the Ministry of Justice given that it calls for transitional funds for transferring to new systems of...

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Police: Home Office–A Rule Unto Themselves? Surely Not

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

From Retired and Angry Blog

I won’t bore you for long today.

Basically, I made an FOI request to the Home Office asking for copies of Risk Assessments and Impact Assessments in relation to the previously announced 5% cut to Police Budgets.

They were due to answer today.

This is the response I have been given;

We are considering your request. Although the Act carries a presumption in favour of disclosure, it provides exemptions which may be used to withhold information in specified circumstances. Some of these exemptions, referred to as ‘qualified exemptions’, are subject to a public interest test. This test is used to balance the public interest in disclosure against the public interest in favour of withholding information. The Act allows us to exceed the 20 working day response target where we need to consider the public interest test fully.

The information you have requested is being considered under the exemption in section 35 (1)(a) of the Act, which provides that information can be withheld if...

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Police: More PCCs want tax hike to fund policing

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

Bedfordshire’s Olly Martins and North Wales’ Winston Roddick want to increase precept amount – but Dyfed Powys’ Christopher Salmon wants to reduce it.

A Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has become only the second in England to propose a referendum on increasing the chunk of council tax that goes towards funding the police.

Bedfordshire’s Labour PCC Olly Martins’ plan for a council tax precept hike of almost 16 per cent is likely to prove controversial since it goes well beyond the government imposed cap of 2 per cent – meaning a vote must be held.

He is consulting residents to find out whether they want to pay more for policing – and he says the cost of holding a referendum can only be justified if he can be “reasonably confident” the public will say yes.

A 15.8 per cent increase, amounting to an extra 48p per week for an average council tax Band D household, would fund an additional hundred police officers, Mr Martins (pictured) said.

He said it would also help fund increased management of...

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Police: Past our limit: Met Fed’s anti-cuts campaign

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

Hard-hitting approach follows similar public awareness drive in Essex.


The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation fears it will take an officer being killed or seriously injured for cuts to be halted.

Following yesterday’s launch of the Met Fed’s CutsHaveConsequences campaign, Chairman John Tully told PoliceOracle.com that something in the police service will break unless changes are made.

The three-month campaign – which includes a hard-hitting video (below) – follows on from a similar drive in Essex, aimed at informing the public of “dangerous” changes to policing.

“This is very much a London campaign but I know many other federations are thinking of doing something similar,” Mr Tully said.

“A national campaign would probably have had more impact but may lose some locality which is important in getting the message across. We are contacting all London MPs, assembly members and the Home Office to raise our concerns, and we urge the public to do the same.”

The video...

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Police: ‘Politicians stupid to claim credit for falling crime’

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

Former Home Office minister Norman Baker airs outspoken views on crime rates, drugs and tackling online child abuse in an interview with PoliceOracle.com.


It is “stupid” for politicians to claim credit for falling crime, former Home Office minister Norman Baker (pictured) has said.

The Liberal Democrat, who quit his role in government amid a clash with the Home Secretary, said that since crime appeared to be falling across the world governments could not claim overall credit.

He revealed he takes a dim view of politicians who claim their interventions had prompted crime rates to fall, saying: “I thought it was a bit stupid when people did say that, whether in this government or the previous government.

“You can take steps, but for the government to say we have brought all crime down is probably over-egging it.”

Crime was falling everywhere, he said “and no one has got to the bottom of why”.

“I’m not saying governments aren’t without influence,” he added, “but...

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Police: Charlie Hebdo: Gun attack on French magazine kills 12

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

Gunmen have shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in an apparent militant Islamist attack.
Four of the magazine’s well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers.
A major police operation is under way to find three gunmen who fled by car.
President Francois Hollande said there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity”.
The masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles in the office and exchanged shots with police in the street outside before escaping by car.
They later abandoned the car in Rue de Meaux, northern Paris, where they hijacked a second car.

Death threats
Witnesses said they heard the gunmen shouting “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and “God is Great” in Arabic (“Allahu Akbar”).
The number of attackers was initially reported to be two, but French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve later said security services were hunting three...

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Police: Police cuts are here to stay, says head of watchdog

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

Sir Tom Winsor

Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor said forces had mainly “done well” with 20% cuts in the past four years, and more savings were likely.

Newly-knighted Sir Tom said a “smaller service” would have to “work smarter”.

In December, the chief of the Met Police warned public safety would be at risk unless radical measures were taken to deal with funding cuts.
But speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend, Sir Tom said: “Austerity is here to stay.
“The police have already made, and done it well in the main, cuts of 20% in the last four years and they are facing cuts of a further 5% next year.
“There will inevitably be a time where they can’t take any more but let us remember that measured crime has fallen dramatically – but so have the demands made on the police.”
‘Working smaller’
Asked if there was room for further cuts, Sir Tom said: “In some respects there are further efficiencies to be obtained, that is undoubtedly the case.
“They [police forces] need...

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Police: China: Fake cops guard government building

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

No doubt this story will give the present Home Secretary plenty of ideas – although in some senses, it’s already happening… Frown

A local government in north-eastern China has admitted to using security guards to pose as police officers, it’s been reported.

Despite the practice being illegal in China, the Jiamusi city government in Heilongjiang Province issued security guards with police uniforms and even assigned them a rank, Xinhua news agency reports. China’s People Police Law stipulates that police insignias and uniforms are for the exclusive use of the police force. But local government official Zhang Hongbin says the “officers” were brought in to cope with the growing number of complaints filed by the public. “Thousands of petitioners forcibly enter the city government building every year. The situation was out of control sometimes, even when guards were wearing police uniforms,” he says.

The government in Jiamusi had been using fake police officers since 2001, according to Xinhua. One guard...

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Police: Bin lorry deaths: Glasgow crash killed five females and male

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

The six people who were killed by an out-of-control bin lorry in Glasgow city centre included five females and one male, police have confirmed.
The bodies have been removed from the scene and formal identification will take place later. The council bin lorry has also been removed.
Police said 10 others, including the driver, were injured.
The bin lorry crashed in George Square after careering from nearby Queen Street at about 14:30 on Monday.
Of the 10 casualties, four have since been discharged, while six others remain in hospital. Two casualties are in an Intensive Therapy Unit.
The bodies of the victims were removed from the scene overnight in a fleet of private ambulances.
A police investigation is continuing to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the crash.
It is known that the lorry struck a pedestrian outside the Gallery of Modern Art (Goma), then mounted the pavement and travelled hundreds of metres, hitting several others, before crashing into the Millennium Hotel outside Queen...

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Police: Gunman kills two New York police officers

Written by RSS Poster Surrey Constabulary Blog

A gunman has shot dead two police officers sitting inside a patrol car in New York before killing himself.

The head of the New York police said the men had been “targeted for their uniform”. The gunman then ran into a subway station where he shot himself.

Earlier he had shot and injured his ex-girlfriend and had posted anti-police messages on social media.

President Barack Obama – who is on holiday in Hawaii – said he condemned the killings “unconditionally”.

“Officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day,” he said in a statement.
The killings come amid widespread dissatisfaction in relations between police and African Americans.

The gunman was a black man – named as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28 – while the two police officers, Liu Wenjin and Raphael Ramos, were Asian and Hispanic respectively.

Earlier this month, a grand jury decided not to indict a New York officer for the chokehold death of...

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Latest Surrey Constabulary Blog Stories

Leveson review proposes sweeping efficiency reforms for justice system
Home Office–A Rule Unto Themselves? Surely Not
More PCCs want tax hike to fund policing
Past our limit: Met Fed’s anti-cuts campaign
‘Politicians stupid to claim credit for falling crime’

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