Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Police: Pension scams destroy lives – don’t be next

Written by RSS Poster Crimestoppers

By Mike Broomfield, Head of Intelligence at The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Scammers are criminals and we’re clamping down on their activities. We’re helping to change the law regarding cold calling as well as introducing a range of measures to protect saver’s pensions. But you can protect yourself; here are five top tips to help you beat the scammers.

Pension scams destroy lives picture

If you think you’ve been scammed – act immediately

If you’ve already signed something you’re now unsure about, contact your pension provider straight away. They may be able to stop a transfer that hasn’t taken place yet. Then call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report it.

If you have doubts about what to do, ask The Pensions Advisory Service for help. Call them on 0300 123 1047 or visit the TPAS website at for free pensions advice and information.

If you’re aged 50 or over and have a defined contribution pension (a pension not based on your final salary), Pension Wise is there to help you...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
There are times we have all experienced the when you gotta go, you gotta go urge.  Most town centres can satisfy this need provided it`s within normal shopping hours.  But and it`s a big but, evenings are when many people have an overwhelming desire to rid themselves of the excessive fluids they have imbibed during a night out.  If the pub or restaurant is still open....problem solved.  After hours apart from wearing incontence pants a la Billy Connelly relief must be sought wherever the opportunity presents.  In York as in most town centres all public loos are closed after 6.00pm. Two gentlemen found out to their cost at the local magistrates` court that public bladder relief is legally if not alaways socially unacceptable.  Last year I commented on the similar situation in Chester.

It is totally unacceptable to me that town councils do not provide automated secure pay as you pee public lavatories. With technology allowing homes to be monitored remotely surely a similar  provision  could be profitably established in city centres so that late night revellers are not faced with embarassing decisions.

Police: PaCA – Section 140 MHA

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

This blog is part of the series which will cover, in detail, the amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 within the Policing and Crime Act 2017. This post is one of several which relates not the amendments themselves, but to the implications arising from them.

For background to the series, see the introductory post which outlines why I’m doing this and what other specific issues will be covered concerning laws that will come in to effect in the next few months. Current Home Office estimations of timescales suggest early May – but this is subject to a number of factors and may change.

It’s now a dozen years since I first read section 140 of the Mental Health Act 1983 – and  I recently met some senior mental health professionals who never ever read or even heard of it. I came across this neglected provision because I decided to read the Mental Health Act cover to cover, as well as the Code of Practice to the Act, in lieu of being able to get any police specific training at all for my first job working properly...

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Police: Identity fraud reaches record levels

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

A record 172,919 identity frauds were recorded in 2016 more than in any other previous year, according to Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service.

Identity fraud now represents over half of all fraud recorded by the UK’s not-for-profit fraud data sharing organisation (53.3% of all frauds recorded to Cifas), of which 88% was perpetrated online.

How fraudsters steal your identity

The vast majority of identity fraud happens when a fraudster pretends to be an innocent individual to buy a product or take out a loan in their name. Often victims do not even realise that they have been targeted until a bill arrives for something they did not buy or they experience problems with their credit rating.

To carry out this kind of fraud successfully, fraudsters need access to their victim’s personal information such as name, date of birth, address, their bank and who they hold accounts with. Fraudsters get hold of this in a variety of ways, from stealing mail through to hacking; obtaining data on the ‘dark...

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Police: Thomas Orchard

Written by RSS Poster Mental Health Cop

Today, a police custody sergeant and two detention officers have been cleared of manslaughter following a retrial at Bristol Crown Court. The trial follows the death, in 2012, of Thomas Orchard a 32-year-old man from Exeter who lived with schizophrenia who had been arrested and removed to a police station whilst in crisis. In terms of me covering these events on here, I want to put on record that I have had no involvement in any way with any process that followed the incident or any contact with any parties involved. What follows are only my own thoughts after following the investigation and trial process over the last five years.  It touches on the most difficult of issues: the criminal prosecution of police officers following the death of a vulnerable man.

The police received a call from a member of the public to the place where Mr Orchard was arrested under the Public Order Act.  He was restrained upon arrest and removed to a police custody suite. Upon entering custody, it was contended by the police officers who were cleared...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
"It`s not in the public interest to send you to jail."  The public interest aspect of sentencing often gets overlooked although it`s a prime consideration for the CPS in bringing charges per se and for all sentencers.  Whether or not such an argument would have been valid in this case  if the offender were male is another matter. 

Rotherham town council or whichever civic authority is involved has paid £1 to Her Majesty`s Courts and Tribunal Service for a local court building.  Is this a case of Peter paying Paul with tax payers` cash?  No doubt in a few years we will be told of some unusual conditions that enable somebody or other to make a few quid perhaps more easily than should have been the case. 

When our families were young my closest neighbours would gather in my garden every 5th November for our home grown fireworks display. Seems that innocent pastime sensibly conducted could have ended my being a magistrate if it were under today`s heavy handed application of legislation.  

The closure of magistrates`...

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Police: I Can Translate Policy Exchange-ese Into English (Sometimes)

Written by RSS Poster RetiredAndAngry

I saw a Tweet from Policy Exchange yesterday. To say that it irked me somewhat is putting it mildly.

policy exchange diversity

So, Police Constables and Sergeants are in the bottom 10 diverse occupations with a diversity rating of 0.11 (later).

I asked them what the diversity rating was for Inspectors and above;

@Policy_Exchange What is the figure for Police Inspectors and above then?

— Alan Wright (@Alanw47) March 12, 2017

They replied;

@Alanw47 we excluded any occupation with less than 50 observations in the data so probably sample size too small for us to cover here

— Policy Exchange (@Policy_Exchange) March 12, 2017

I couldn’t resist helping them out;

.@Policy_Exchange I might be able to help you out there

— Alan Wright (@Alanw47) March 12, 2017

At this point Ian Wiggett asked them a very good question;

@Alanw47@Policy_Exchange so how do we get from 6.4% to 0.11? What does the 0.11 refer to?

— Ian...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I think it can still be statistically accurate to comment that a majority of citizens has never appeared at a magistrates` court either as defendant or witness although it is likely that the trend is on the increase.  It is reckoned by some authorities that about one third of all men aged over 30 do have a conviction at the lower court although motoring offences are liable to be responsible for many. The statistics are just not kept officially.  On the other hand it is statistically accurate to note that availability of legal aid for defendants has been reduced drastically in the last decade. Also well known is the sentence reduction available to those appearing both in the lower and crown courts who plead guilty before trial thus ensuring that all things being equal there will be a reduction of one third in level of sentence.  Perhaps the major change in sentencing over the last twenty years has been the use of Sentencing Guidelines; a format imposed on all sentencers in what was seen by some as an overdue attempt to impose...

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Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
The House of Lords has again been in the news.  Indeed its very existence in its current form is no longer off the wall thinking.  It has been variously represented as being able to offer unbiased by party political protocols opinions reflecting those of the "people".  Its members have also been accused of belonging to a £300 per attendance sinecure where there is no conception of the forces operating within the common people. Yesterday was so called International Women`s Day and there was a corresponding debate in the upper house on that topical subject where "The noble Baroness, Lady Corston, recommended that, “Sentencers must be able to access timely psychiatric reports and fail to remand in custody/sentence if not available”. However, there is an issue in getting these reports as well as a lack of mental health referral places available, so judges or magistrates are likely to remand someone who is in the community and at risk of further offending due to their mental health issues rather than...

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Police: Don’t Go Changing

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

So much of the current talk in policing is of change.

Of the pressing need for reform.

And, truth be told, there is a great deal in this job that needs sorting out.

But, amongst all the conversations about things like modernisation and transformation, it seems to me that we’re in danger of missing something of fundamental importance.

Where is the talk about all that is precious in policing?

About the things that must never change? About the things you cannot put a price on, but that we cannot afford to be without?

Things like…

(1) The simple desire to make a difference

Ask most good Coppers why they joined and the answer will be a simple one. They just wanted to make a difference.

They still do.

It was never about money or status, recognition or reward. It was just about changing the world, one life at a time.

It still is.

(2) The privilege of public service

As the old wisdom suggests, ‘whoever wants to become great among you, must be your servant…’

That precious and old fashioned thing called duty. That...

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