I was not sure whether or not the blog would be able to continue after the second major outage but it was clear that there was support for it to do so which was gratifying. I was also aware that with around 600 visits a day to the blog it was a worthwhile venture to continue with. Obviously it is attracting more than just O&B members but that is a good thing and I was amazed to see the wide divergence of cultures that looked in on the site with, at the last count, 67 different countries checking out the blog. These included Iran, Iraq, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Mexico, Nigeria, Botswana and many more. Of course it includes America, France, Spain and many other European countries so maybe our membership is more widely spread than thought!
With the invaluable support of Robin who has, yet again, burnt the midnight oil we are back, (as the song goes ‘Back for good this time’ – he said hopefully).
Robin has not only worked hard in the tech department restoring backups and dealing with the previous host company, he has also put his hand in his pocket for new support hardware, which is above and beyond so big thanks to him for his generosity.
There is quite a bit more sorting out to do which I will nervously do over time with fingers crossed in the hope I do not bring everything crashing down once again. The positive thing now is that we are not held to ransom by a commercial enterprise as the O&B Internet presence is now hosted by one of it’s members, (Robin), who oversees all the vagaries of it. This now includes the relay, the blog and the Old & Bold website where the Editor’s monthly newsletters are stored. The Surrey Constabulary website is still hosted commercially and maintained by me as a stand alone but part of the SPRCA.
In the couple of weeks in which we have been away a great deal has happened on the policing front and no doubt you are well aware. However, I would like to list a few of the more relevant issues in time order to the blog as a reminder and also to permit comments that you may wish to add that would otherwise be overlooked. If you wish to add other recent news that I have missed please feel free.
The Past Two Weeks In Review (click on any heading to read the full article):
12th October 2011
Dog ban for ex Metropolitan Police handler after deaths
A former Metropolitan (Met) Police handler has been banned from owning or keeping dogs for three years after two dogs died in a car during hot weather.
(I have my own views on this issue, which are not repeatable here although I will say that weak management must take a lot of the blame for allowing this appalling incident to happen)
Remembering former colleagues:
The Chief Constable regrets to notify staff of the death on 13th October 2011 of Alan William Pollock retired officer at the age of 59 years.
Alan joined the force on 7th October 1971. He retired on 6th October 2001, working as a Community Speed Officer at Godstone Traffic Centre.
Our late colleague is survived by his widow Mrs Elizabeth Pollock.
And not forgetting:
The Chief Constable regrets to notify staff of the death on 11th October 2011 of retired Inspector Denis Willson at the age of 97 years.
Denis joined the force on 9th February 1936 first stationed at Woking and retired on 12th February 1966 as Inspector based at Caterham.
He was the oldest Surrey Police pensioner.
Denis was a widower.
18th October 2011.
Temporary chief constable Jacqui Cheer – Temporary police chief vows to boost morale
The woman in temporary charge of Cleveland Police is adamant she is not taking over a force in crisis.
Temporary Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer intends to boost morale among officers during a “unique” period in the force’s history.
Mrs Cheer, who led the investigation into the murders of five women in the Ipswich area in 2006, has taken over the force while the investigation into suspended chief constable Sean Price continues.
She has been seconded to the £133,000-a-year role from Suffolk Police, where she was deputy chief constable.
It comes after the arrest in August of Mr Price and Deputy Chief Constable Derek Bonnard as part of the Operation Sacristy corruption probe. The pair have always maintained they have done nothing wrong.
Both men have since been bailed until April and suspended from their posts by Cleveland Police Authority.
(She has the right name for the job – I wonder if that is why she was chosen?)
19th October 2011
Clashes as police clear Dale Farm travellers’ site
(not a lot to say about this other than it was well overdue and a ridiculously expensive operation thanks to the ill considered weight put on the whole issue after ten years of legal argument )
20th October 2011
Police spies unit ‘crossed the line’, says Lord Macdonald
Former director of public prosecutions accuses Metropolitan police of ‘monumental misjudgment’ in allowing undercover officers to give false evidence
20th October 2011
Former Met police detectives cleared as retrial collapses
Two former Met officers cleared of 2000 conviction for robbing drug dealers and recycling narcotics through dealer.
One of the most significant police anti-corruption cases in modern times collapsed on Wednesday, after two former detectives, who had both served lengthy jail sentences, were cleared at a retrial.
Robert Clark and Christopher Drury were drummed out of the force in disgrace after being convicted in 2000 of robbing drug dealers and recycling the narcotics.
Their convictions were among the highest profile and most significant obtained by Scotland Yard in its long-running battle against corruption.
They walked free after a supergrass witness recanted her evidence, leaving Scotland Yard facing a potential bill for the former officers’ back wages and compensation running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Clark and Drury’s original convictions were quashed and a retrial ordered in 2010 by the appeal court, after it emerged the Crown Prosecution Service had failed to disclose material to defence lawyers at the original trial.
21st October 2011
Police knew in 2002 that Milly Dowler’s phone had been hacked by the News of the World but didn’t investigate
Police chiefs said officers were focused on finding Milly so did not investigate
Labour MP Tom Watson will reveal new details about ‘covert surveillance used by News Corp’ in LA today.
Detectives were aware at the time of Milly Dowler’s disappearance that her mobile phone was hacked by someone working at the News of the World, they admitted last night.
Surrey Police Chief Constable Mark Rowley said a call made from the paper to the operation room leading the investigation in 2002 made it clear her voicemail had been accessed.
But officers merely ‘focused on retrieving any evidence the NotW had that could assist in the investigation into Milly Dowler’s disappearance’ as that was the priority, Mr Rowley said.
No criminal investigation was launched into how the News International newspaper came by the information it provided.
As a result, Surrey Police never arrested or charged anyone in connection with the hacking,
21st October 2011
Police figures show 4% fall in crime
Crime in England and Wales fell by 4% in the year to June 2011, compared to the year before, police figures reveal.
Criminal damage offences fell by 12% and firearms offences 9%. But robberies were up by 3%, and theft by 5%.
The Association of Chief Police Officers welcomed the figures, but said the increase in robbery was concerning.
The parallel British Crime Survey, which collects wider experiences of crime, indicated the number of offences in England and Wales is stable.
Although recorded crime may be falling overall, both sets of figures show evidence of a rise in lesser offences.
The latest crime figures show increases in pick-pocketing and bag-snatches, theft of unattended property, shoplifting and bike theft.
This is also reflected in the British Crime Survey by rises in household theft including from sheds and gardens. These rose by 13% over the last year having generally remained steady for the last six years.
22nd October 2011
Scotland Yard calls in IPCC over claims undercover detective ‘lied on oath to protect secret identity’ in court
Scotland Yard has called in the police watchdog over allegations that an undercover officer lied under oath in a criminal trial to protect his identity.
It has been claimed that Detective Constable Jim Boyling gave evidence under a false name during the trial of environmental activists he had infiltrated.
After several days of mounting pressure, Scotland Yard has now caved in and announced the case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints
And a spokesman said the force is also reviewing similar allegations about a retired officer, with a view to referring it to the IPCC.
23rd October 2011
New Zealand wins 2011 Rugby World Cup
New Zealand ended a 24-year wait for the rugby World Cup when they battled to a tense 8-7 victory over France in the final at Eden Park on Sunday.
The All Blacks had not won the Webb Ellis trophy since they beat France in the inaugural tournament at the same venue in 1987.
The first half scoring was restricted to a try from All Blacks’ prop Tony Woodcock after a well-worked move from an attacking lineout.
Replacement flyhalf Stephen Donald kicked an early second half penalty to give the All Blacks an 8-0 lead before France stormed back when captain Thierry Dusautoir crashed over for a try, which was converted by Francois Trinh-Duc.
The French pressed to the very end, but New Zealand held on for a memorable victory.
25th October 2011
Policeman killed on M1 after helping stranded motorist
Tributes have been paid to a “dedicated” police officer who died after he was hit by a lorry while helping a stranded female motorist on one of the country’s busiest motorways.
Pc Mark Goodlad, 41, paid the ”ultimate sacrifice” after he was struck on the south bound carriageway of the M1 between Dewsbury and Crigglestone, West Yorks, late on Monday.
The traffic officer, a married father-of-one, was airlifted to hospital but died from his injuries a few hours later.
On Tuesday his force paid tribute to the “dedicated” officer, who had more than 10 years of service and “paid the ultimate sacrifice”.
Sir Norman Bettison, the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, paid tribute to his officer.
”People sometimes overlook the real essence of policing. We exist to protect the public from threat and harm,” he said.
”Sometimes it is about crime, sometimes disorder. Today, it was about the dangerous environment of the motorway.
”Pc Mark Goodlad was assisting a vulnerable motorist, who had broken down in that dangerous space. He was doing his job as his colleagues do day in day out.”
He added: ”Police officers put themselves at risk for others. Mark paid the ultimate sacrifice and we are all proud of him and are saddened by his loss.
”Our thoughts and sympathy are with Mark’s family. We shall try to be there for them as Mark was there for the public at large.”
Pc Goodlad, from East Yorks, was a Motorway Patrol Roads Policing officer and had been on the force for 10 years, West Yorkshire Police said.
26th October 2011
999 call handler sacked for ignoring 140 calls including rape and child abuse reports
A police officer who ignored dozens of 999 calls including reports of rape, child abuse and a break-in by a gunman as non–emergencies has been sacked.
The 58-year-old Metropolitan Police officer, who worked for one of Britain’s biggest 999 call centres, failed to send police to a number of life-threatening emergencies.
The ‘appalling and callous’ operator bungled more than 140 calls leaving victims in danger, including one woman who threatened to commit suicide and was merely told to go to her local police station if she wanted help.
26th October 2011
Knifeman stabs policeman and dog
A man is being held in police custody after a man, a police officer and a police dog received stab wounds.
The officer and the dog were injured when they tried to arrest a 21-year-old man suspected of stabbing another man in the stomach, police said.
Police were called to Oulton Road in Ipswich, Suffolk, where they found a man with a wound to his stomach.
A Suffolk Police spokeswoman said that officers tracked a suspect down and stopped him in a nearby road but when they tried to detain him using a Taser, the policeman was stabbed in the arm and the animal received a stab wound to its leg.
The force spokeswoman said: “Following information gathered, police tracked a man believed to be the offender and stopped him in Nacton Road.
“He was agitated, in possession of a knife and officers attempted to detain him by using a Taser.
“A police dog and handler were at the scene and in the attempts to arrest him, both the animal and the police officer were stabbed.”
The 21-year-old was arrested and taken into custody, she said.
The man with the stomach wound was taken to Ipswich Hospital and was said to be in a stable condition. The police officer was also taken to Ipswich Hospital.
The spokeswoman said the dog was at a veterinary clinic undergoing an operation.
(a shocking enough incident made even more shocking for me as the officer is a good friend who I had the pleasure of training on his first ever Initial Dog Training Course at Mount Browne 23 years ago. I have since spoken to Steve Jay and I am pleased to report that both he and his dog are making a good recovery. I am also pleased to report that due to the team’s brave actions they succeeded where all else failed)
See Also: Steve Jay and Aman
25th October 2011
Two Metropolitan Police assistant commissioners appointed
The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has appointed two new assistant commissioners at Scotland Yard.
Surrey Chief Constable Mark Rowley and Simon Byrne, Deputy Chief Constable at Greater Manchester Police, will take on the role for five years.
Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said they would bring huge levels of operational experience.
They join Britain’s largest police force which has more than 50,000 staff, including 32,000 officers.
They will be paid an annual starting salary of £181,455.
Mr Hogan-Howe said: “I am really pleased to be able to welcome them to the Met and
know that their appointment will help the Met deliver our aim of world-class policing that Londoners can be proud of.”
Kit Malthouse, chair of the MPA, said: “Both Mark and Simon excelled in interview and impressed the panel with their knowledge and experience.
“As assistant commissioners they will be expected to play a significant role within the Met, ensuring its officers make London a safer city for us all.”
Interviews were conducted by a panel of MPA members, with the commissioner, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Sir Denis O’Connor and Catherine Crawford, MPA chief executive, acting as advisers to the panel.
26th October 2011
Mark Rowley makes Met Police move
THE chief constable of Surrey Police is to leave the force for the Metropolitan Police in London.
Mark Rowley, who has been police chief in Surrey for the past three years, will now take up a position as assistant commissioner at the Met.
He paid tribute to the county’s force and said: “This position will be a huge challenge and I am privileged to be offered such a prestigious role in policing.
“I have been extremely proud to be a leader at Surrey Police since 2000 and its chief constable for the past three years.
“The force’s achievements throughout that time against a very challenging backdrop are remarkable.
“I know it will continue to go from strength to strength thanks to the excellent leadership from the existing chief officer group and senior leaders, and due to the quality of all of the officers and staff who, day by day, strive to keep Surrey one of the safest counties in the country.”
Peter Williams, chairman of Surrey Police Authority, said: “I want to congratulate Mark on his appointment.
“This is one of the most senior roles in policing and one befitting an officer of Mark’s high calibre.
“Mark showed great anticipation in leading the force into a radical change programme and leaves the force 200 PCs stronger.
“During his time with us in Surrey, Mark has delivered a significant reduction in serious crime and record levels of public confidence.
“The authority has every confidence that he will make a real difference at the Met and we wish him well.
“We now look towards the next chapter in the leadership of Surrey Police.”
A recruitment process will now start for the appointment of a new substantive chief constable.
In the interim period, deputy chief constable Craig Denholm will lead Surrey Police as its temporary chief constable.
See Also: Chief Constable Mark Rowley
A very brief overview of events during the past two weeks whilst we were away.
Today is the 1st November, All Saints’ Day, (La Toussaint), here in France. It is the day that the French take a bank holiday to honour the lives of their deceased relatives and all the saints. They visit special church services and place flowers on family graves. it is a common sight to see French people laying chrysanthemums or wreaths of immortelles (everlasting flowers) on the graves of loved ones. Chrysanthemums are indeed so closely linked to La Toussaint that the French never give them as a gift.
In France, it is also a popular period for a short autumn holiday. It is also an opportunity for many people to spend time with family members and close friends so perhaps it is a fitting time to re-launch the blog.
With the Chief Constable leaving Surrey and the ongoing Milly Dowler hacking saga I will continue with the daily update of the blog with interest to see what further events will unfold – ENJOY!
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