The decriminalisation of hard drugs has been debated here and elsewhere for decades. My personal view is that the current so called "war on drugs" has failed and that the current legal situation has no long term future. Various small countries and US states have legalised the use of marijuana. It is likely that the first G7 nation, Canada, will follow suit. An interesting article was published last week in the Guardian a newspaper whose "liberal progressive" opinions are well known.
When we hear mental health professionals talking about someone going ‘down the forensic route’, they mean a patient with healthcare needs being managed under Part III of the Mental Health Act 1983. This Part of the Act includes all those sections from 35 to 55 and it covers a range of provisions for the criminal courts and the Ministry of Justice to manage those offenders who are thought to be seriously mentally ill and in need of treatment, whilst their case progresses through the criminal justice system.
So, if you don’t mind, we need to get rid of one really important issue very quickly, before talking about issues around forensic options: if the police or CPS are yet to prosecute someone for any alleged offence, Part III is of no application whatsoever to that patient, no matter what their ‘risk status’. There are plenty of people walking around in society today that I think are dangerous criminals and I’d prefer they were behind bars for my family’s and your safety, but until I can get evidence to prosecute...
When I joined 27 years ago, I had no family link to policing but like so many people I have met along the way I was attracted to α career in policing as it looked exciting, there was variety and I wanted to make α positive difference to people’s lives. As I have grown (much!) older, and I hope (a little) wiser, my core values have remained unchanged; a strong desire to protect vulnerable people, bringing a focus on intervention and to deliver through the talented teams I have the privilege of leading.
Our organisation is full of really talented people who care deeply about the public that we serve. This makes me really ambitious in terms of what we can achieve.
As you’d imagine, I have been considering what the forces ambition plan means to me and how through my portfolio areas I can deliver on my objectives, and the ones where I am working with fellow FET members.
My portfolio consists of Response, Force Contact, CMPG and Operations covering many important areas of delivery...
The NFIB also sent the City of London Police’s Disruptions Team the evidence they needed to take a fake website selling Rugby World Cup 2015 tickets offline, which they did successfully. The fraudsters changed hosts and got it up and running again, but the City of London Police which runs Action Fraud, disrupted it again preventing further victims.
I’m going to talk about two key aspects of my development plan for 2018-19 and I hope you will be able to see there is an operational focus to what I’m trying to achieve. I’ve tried not to just consider a year’s worth of activity but to try and embed some practices that will take us beyond this period.
Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann
2017 was an incredibly difficult year for the CT network; five terror attacks left behind numerous victims of these appalling crimes. It is with this in mind that I am asking officers and staff who work in my departments to do two things; to aim to be the best and to prepare for the worst. These objectives have been set for my departments but I think they are relevant for all of us.
Firstly, if I take aiming to be the best. This is about learning lessons from incidents and operations not only in the West Midlands but nationally and internationally where appropriate; making sure we learn from the experience of others and build best practice into our policies...
From time to time there are, in every walk of life, unheralded events which often are a more accurate indicator of the underlying situations behind those events than any number of statistical analyses or television interviews by those in authority. The closure of a third of magistrates courts in the last decade was justified by the Ministry of Justice on cost saving. But that`s not the message that the dozens of weasels in the MOJ press and PR department distributed. Efficiency was going to be improved without any significant downside. Travelling times for participants to, from and between the reducing available courts were manipulated, predictable detrimental effects of video court "justice" were ignored, communication problems were similarly held to be simply overcome. Add to the mix the limited possibility of legal aid for many? most? defendants and a system that once was held in high regard was seen from outside Petty France as crumbling before our very eyes. In Shropshire an example of a...
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has saved the public over £2.4m by taking down websites that trick people into calling premium rate phone numbers for services that HMRC provide for free.
Fraudsters had been creating replica versions of HMRC’s website and directing the public to call premium rate numbers advertised on them. These numbers were simply call forwarding services that connect callers to HMRC, but at a significant price.
HMRC said that specific tactics and costs on each website varied, but the maximum cost of a call was £3.60 a minute, capped at £36 per call. HMRC’s own 0300 numbers are mostly free or charged at the national landline rate.
HMRC successfully challenged the ownership of these fraudulent websites and had them taken down. Analysis has shown that had HMRC not taken this action then the public would have lost over £2.4 million.
Scams Awareness Month
This announcement from HMRC comes at the start of Scams Awareness Month organised by Citizens Advice which is...
2018/19 will be a significant year for Commercial Services. My team are leading, delivering or supporting lots of large WMP2020 projects as well as maintaining their commitment to business as usual.
WMP can only continue to operate effectively and efficiently if my team make sure all of our ‘assets’ are to the right standard, in the right place at the right time. Assets are our physical resources, be that vehicles, budget, equipment, buildings, systems, etc. That’s what my team do.
Neil Chamberlain, Director of Commercial Services.
The force is making a lot of changes at a fast pace which is both challenging and exciting. I recognise that at times over the last few months the high standards I expect from my services have not always been met and we may have let you down. That’s why for this year the focus is simple. We will get the basics right and we will support the force in driving improvement.
Last year, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published their Standards on the Mental Health of Adults in the Criminal Justice System. This involved NICE reviewing the best available evidence and practice around the contact that vulnerable adults have with the criminal justice system. Subsequently, NICE published what they call a ‘quality standard‘ – this is the subject of a comment piece in the recently published issue of Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry (volume 22, 2018).
I’ve just spent a whole week in Cornwall (picture above), trying really hard to step away from work – it’s been quite a busy few months during which I’ve had to do things which are quite new to all the work I’ve ever done on policing and mental health. I’ve also been consumed in the recent months that the net effect of what we’ve ended up doing to make the world a better place is merely making it worse. Not just slowing down how much worse it’s getting – but actually accelerating things in the wrong...