Police trialling lie detector tests in Britain

Lie detector tests are being used to help officers decide whether to charge suspects in a groundbreaking scheme by a British police force.

Lie detector tests are being used to help officers decide whether to charge suspects in a groundbreaking scheme by a British police force.

Lie detector tests are being used to help officers decide whether to charge suspects in a groundbreaking scheme by a British police force.

The devices are for the first time being used by detectives for pre-conviction testing in the UK in a trial which could pave the way for their introduction across the country.

Hertfordshire police completed a successful pilot scheme last month in which 25 sex offenders were tested using polygraphs.

The scheme led to many of the “low level” offenders being reclassified as posing a more serious risk to children than originally thought.

The force has now been given a further 12 months to experiment with the devices while senior officers across Britain are investigating ways the technology could assist in solving cases.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has established a working group to advise forces contemplating using lie detectors.

Polygraphs are used routinely by police in the United States but they have never taken off among British police.

Until now, they have most prominently been used to settle domestic disputes on ITV’s daytime television programme The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Detective Chief Inspector Glen Channer, head of Hertfordshire police’s child protection unit, said lie detectors were a welcome addition to the force’s “armory of investigative techniques”.

He said the devices gave police better insight into the risks posed by offenders, enabling officers to prioritise certain cases over others to improve efficiency.

However, he insisted that the tests are never solely relied upon as evidence and were only carried out by accredited experts.

He told The Times: “It’s about as removed from the Jeremy Kyle view of lie detector testing as real policing is to Miss Marple.”

At least one other force is now considering trialling lie detectors in pre-conviction situations, it is understood.

The Ministry of Justice is expected to decide next year whether sex offenders should be required to take routine lie detector tests as a condition of their parole following several years of debate among ministers on the idea.

Police trialling lie detector tests in Britain

and: Police carry out lie detector study

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New Year Honours for the great, the good – and the Tory donors

Conservatives reward their corporate backers as financiers and City grandees dominate honours

A Conservative donor who made millions by short-selling banking shares and a property developer who was jailed for his part in one of Britain’s largest stock exchange frauds today both receive awards in the New Year Honours list.

New Year Honours List 2012:   

* Knights Bachelor
* Order of the Bath
* Royal Victorian Order, Royal Victorian Medal, and Colonial Police and Fire Service Medal
* Order of the British Empire, Civil – GBE, DBE, CBE
* Order of the British Empire, Civil – OBE
* Order of the British Empire, Civil – MBE
* Diplomatic Services and Overseas List
* Commonwealth
* Military Division
* Sundries

The inclusion of Paul Ruddock, whose hedge fund shorted shares in Northern Rock and Barclays during the financial crisis, and Gerald Ronson, who was convicted for his part in the 1980s Guinness scandal, led to calls from Labour for the way honours are handed out to be re-assessed.

Mr Ruddock, who has donated nearly £500,000 to the Tories under David Cameron, is knighted for his services to the arts. Alongside his work for Lansdowne Partners, which he set up in 1998, he is chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum and has helped raise millions of pounds for it.

But he was strongly criticised during the financial crisis for capitalising on falling banking stocks. Lansdowne, Europe’s fourth-largest hedge fund, is believed to have made close to £100m betting that shares in Northern Rock would collapse and also took “short positions” on Barclays, netting it £12m. The practice was blamed for undermining confidence in the financial system and is banned in France, Italy and Spain.

Mr Ronson is appointed CBE for philanthropy. But the property magnate is better known for his role in one of the largest stock market scandals in Britain. In the Guinness affair, four men were accused of acting to inflate the price of Guinness shares to make a takeover bid for rival drinks company Distillers. Mr Ronson was sentenced to 12 months in prison but served only six and was also fined £5m after being convicted on two counts of false accounting, one count of theft and of conspiracy to contravene the Prevention of Fraud Act 1958.

Now aged 72, Mr Ronson still runs the Heron Group but the award is for raising more than £100m for charities, including the NSPCC and the Prince’s Trust. Michael Dugher, Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, said: “David Cameron promised to clean up politics, but in office he has shown he is utterly out of touch with decent British people. At a time when millions of families are struggling to get by, it’s the Tories’ friends in the City who get the rewards.”

Also on the list is the cousin of Damilola Taylor’s killer, who was a drug dealer but turned around his life and works with young offenders. But Damilola’s father Richard Taylor, said he was “totally against” an OBE for Chris Preddie and called for stricter rules on who should be eligible.

“I don’t think honours should be given to such people,” he said. “To be honoured with such a prestigious award when there are hard-working people who have lost their loved ones doing similar work in the community isn’t right. I think they deserve it more.”

But Mr Preddie, the cousin of brothers Danny and Ricky Preddie who killed 10-year-old Damilola in 2000, said he hoped his story could become an inspiration to others. “For me, what counts is just trying to be positive. I hope [the OBE] shows the young people out there it doesn’t matter who you are or who your family are.”

New Year Honours for the great, the good – and the Tory donors

Tainted New Year Honours: Knighthood for Tory donor who made millions from credit crunch and CBE for jailed tycoon

New Year Honours 2012: Cousin of Damilola Taylor killers awarded OBE

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Surrey residents celebrate New Year’s Honours

Professor Christopher Snowden is among those to be knightedProfessor Christopher Snowden is among those to be knighted

Surrey residents celebrate New Year’s Honours

THE great and good from Surrey have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Scientists, entrepreneurs, charity workers and government officials are among 31 from the county who will be knighted or made CBEs, OBEs or MBEs at a ceremony early next year.

Professor Christopher Snowden, vice-chancellor of the University of Surrey, was knighted in the New Year’s list for his contribution to higher education and his services to engineering.

He had held the role since 2005, during which the Guildford university has retained its reputation in research and acquired the highest graduate employment rates of any English university.

He is also a patron of the Daphne Jackson Trust, which helps students with a background in science, engineering and technology to return to education after a career break.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey Sarah Goad JP is to receive the Royal Victorian Order.

Mrs Goad became the first woman ever to hold the role when she was appointed the monarchy’s representative in the county in 1997.

Peter Alastair Mills, 84, of Brockham Green, has been made an MBE for services to the conservation of church buildings and to the community in Dorking.

Mr Mills, a trained architect, has spent almost 55 years helping maintain church buildings across the south east as a chief architect for the Church of England, advisor for English Heritage and latterly as trustee of the Surrey Churches Conservation Trust.

He is a lifelong member of Dorking Scouts and Dorking Football Club, spent almost 20 years as a councillor at Mole Valley District Council and 35 years as a governor at Westcott, Ashcombe and St Martin’s schools.

He said: “Dorking is a wonderful area and I feel honoured to know that someone thought I had made a sufficient contribution to the town to be worthy of this recognition.”

Cobham resident Gerald Acher, CBE, LVO, will also become a Sir after receiving a Knights Bachelor for charitable services.

Sir Acher is the vice-chairman of Motability, which provides cars for disabled people, chairman of Heart of the City, and president of Young Epilepsy.

Discussing the knighthood, he said: “I received a letter in the post and I was absolutely thrilled. It is a tremendous privilege.

“I am grateful to my wife, who supports me through thick and thin with my activities.”

Dr John G Buchanan of Oxted will receive his knighthood for services to industry.

Dr Buchanan is chairman of Smith & Nephew plc, the UK’s largest developer of advanced medical devices.

Professor Joan White, from Ripley, has been awarded a CBE for her services to dance.

She was formerly the director of the Royal Academy of Dance and dean of the Faculty of Education at the Academy.

Professor White was appointed to the Academy on 1 August 1999 as a Director of the Academy and Dean of the Faculty of Education.

She was formerly senior lecturer director of undergraduate dance studies at the University of Surrey.

Paul Adrian Smith, from Guildford, was also awarded a CBE for his services to the media industry.

Mr Smith is the founder and chair of Celador Entertainment.

Celador has helped produce hit films and television shows including gameshow Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and the British blockbuster Slumdog Millionaire.

Ash Vale resident Rowena Dorothy Patrick said she was ‘stunned’ when she found out her good news of being made an MBE.

Ms Patrick, of Scotland Yard Farm has volunteered at the Burma Star Association, a charity which helps ex-servicemen and women who served in the Burma campaign during World War II, for the last 17 years.

Ms Patrick said: “I am overwhelmed by having this award and it is a huge achievement.

“I had to keep it a secret from my family when I was first told, it was tough because I was so happy about it.”

Susan Brenda Mills, an international relief and development worker from Tearfund in Chertsey, was made an OBE. The honour was given for her services to international development and disaster response.

Horsell resident Vic Laws, 69, was MADE an MBE for his contribution to the hospitality industry.

Delighted with the honour, Mr Laws said the award serves as recognition of the increasingly important role that consultants play in the catering sector.

The father-of-two, who has lived in Woking for 16 years, said: “It was a total surprise to me, it arrived the day I was just flying off to America, and I’m absolutely delighted.”

Susan Ann Sheward, 65, of Effingham, has been made an MBE for services to the endangered primates of Asia.

Mrs Sheward is the founder, chairman and director of the Effingham charity Orangutan Appeal UK, which raises around £350,000 each year towards the conservation of the severely endangered orangutan population in Malaysian Borneo.

She said: “I’m absolutely astonished to receive this award but also delighted because it will do so much to increase the profile of the Orangutan Appeal UK and what we can achieve.”

Monique Bateman, from Haslemere, was made an MBE for her services to naval families, following her work as director of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Childrens’ Fund.

The charity supports children who parents have served or are still serving in the Naval Service, helping with childcare, special needs education, days out and in-home support at times of crisis.

Over the last 12 months, more than 1,500 children have been directly helped by the charity.

A full list of honour recipients is below:

KNIGHTS BACHELOR
Gerald Acher, CBE, LVO. For charitable services. (Cobham, Surrey)
Dr John Gordon St Buchanan. Clair, chairman, Smith & Nephew plc. For services to Industry. (Oxted, Surrey)
Professor Christopher Maxwell Snowden. Vice-Chancellor, University of Surrey. For services to Engineering and to Higher Education. (Guildford, Surrey)

ROYAL VICTORIAN ORDER
Mrs Sarah Jane Frances Goad. Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey.

ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

CBE
Professor David Phillips, OBE. President, Royal Society of Chemistry and Professor of Chemistry, Imperial College London. For services to Chemistry. (Surrey)
Gordon Smith. Acting director, Debt Management and Banking, London, HM Revenue and Customs. (Guildford, Surrey)
Paul Adrian Smith. Founder and Chair, Celador Entertainment. For services to the Media Industry. (Guildford, Surrey)
James Garwood Michael Wates. Deputy chairman, Wates and chairman, CITB Construction Skills. For services to Construction and the Charitable Sector. (Godalming, Surrey)
Professor Joan White. Formerly director of the Academy and Dean of the Faculty of Education, Royal Academy of Dance. For services to Dance. (Ripley, Surrey)

OBE
Ms Pamela Elizabeth Alexander. Formerly chief executive, South East England Development Agency. For services to Regeneration. (Godalming, Surrey)
Graham Manly. Business Development director, Gratte Brothers Ltd. For services to the Building Services Sector. (Ashtead, Surrey)
Patrick Marsh. Head of Employee Relations, Diversity and Equality, UK Border Agency, Home Office. (Stoneleigh, Surrey)
Miss Susan Brenda Mills. International Relief and Development Worker, Tearfund. For services to International Development and Disaster Response. (Chertsey, Surrey)
Mrs Ronwen Smith. Formerly Headteacher, Linden Bridge School, Surrey. For services to Special Needs Education. (Surrey)
Roderick Guy Stone. Deputy Co-ordinator, Specialist Investigations, Missing Trader Intra-Community, London, HM Revenue and Customs. (Reigate, Surrey)
Paul Anthony Whitbourn. Head of ALB Transition Programme, EU/International Cross Border Health and Competition Policy, Department of Health. (Guildford, Surrey)

MBE
Mrs Monique Avril Bateman-Smith. Director, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Childrens’ Fund. For services to Naval Families. (Haselmere, Surrey)
Miss Ida Daphine Bell. Chairman, TALK, Surrey. For services to Stroke Survivors. (Guildford, Surrey)
Mark Bew. Board director, URS Scott Wilson (Worldwide). For services to the Construction Sector. (South Godstone, Surrey)
Michael Bonsier. Chairman of the Board of Governors, Coulsdon Sixth Form College. For services to Education. (Caterham, Surrey)
Alex Brychta. Illustrator. For services to Children’s Literature. (Surrey)
Miss Jennifer Anne Edwards. For services to People with Disabilities in Surrey. (Thames Ditton, Surrey)
Colin Henry. Chair of Governors, Christ’s College, Guildford, Surrey. For services to Education. (Guildford, Surrey)
Anthony Hyman Isaacs. Past president, Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal. For services to the Legal Profession. (Godalming, Surrey)
Maurice Victor Laws. Catering consultant. For services to the UK Hospitality Sector. (Woking, Surrey)
Peter Alastair Mills. For services to the Conservation of Ecclesiastical Buildings and to the community in Dorking, Surrey. (Betchworth, Surrey)
Ms Rowena Dorothy Patrick. For voluntary service to the Burma Star Association. (Ash Vale, Surrey)
Mrs Marion Price. For voluntary service to Surrey Learning Disability Partnership Board. (Surrey)
Mrs Susan Ann Sheward. Founder and Chair, Orang-utan Appeal UK. For services to the Endangered Primates of Asia. (Leatherhead, Surrey)
Ms Joanne Simpson. Head, Humanitarian Team, Pakistan, Department for International Development. (Surrey)
Frederick Ralph Woodhams. Laboratory Technician, City of London School. For services to Young People. (Guildford, Surrey)

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New Year Honours: Officers Rewarded

An extraordinary year for the Police Service has been acknowledged with a clutch of prestigious awards for officers of all ranks in the New Year Honours list.

The past 12 months have been a time of great challenge, from the ramifications of the phone hacking scandal to the worst disorder seen in a generation.

But 2011 rightly ended on a high note for a Police Service that has maintained the highest standards of excellence and professionalism throughout.

Leading a field of awards that has a theme of public service at its heart is recently retired South Yorkshire Chief Meredydd Hughes, who receives a CBE for his services to policing.

Those giving their time to serve in law enforcement governance are also recognised, with an OBE for Mark Burns-Williamson for his work as Chair of West Yorkshire Police Authority.

Mr Burns-Williamson is also Chairman of the Association of Police Authorities and has recently been assisting in the transition of governance to directly elected commissioners.

There were also OBEs for Det Supt Alan Caton of Suffolk Constabulary and Hugh Davies, Legal Advisor at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre, who is rewarded for his work with young people.

And Deborah Glass, well known for her work as Deputy Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, receives the accolade for her extensive service to law and order along with Anne Harrison, Head of Specialist Operational Support at the NPIA.

Those receiving the MBE include Sue Brace, President of the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity, PC Laurence Brown of the MoD Police and Beryl Hodgson, the former Chief Officer of Hampshire Special Constabulary.

Elsewhere, the QPM was awarded to several officers including CC Richard Crompton of Lincolnshire Constabulary, DCC Simon Chesterman of West Mercia Police and CC Nick Gargan, Chief Executive of the NPIA.

Other recipients include City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard, DC Anthony Jones of GMP, DCI Stephen Burns of the Met and Ch Supt Wendy Benson of the MoD Police.

The awards for police officers make up nearly 830 candidates selected for recognition this year. Of these, nearly three quarters are people who have achieved outstanding work – either paid or unpaid – within their communities.

Women make up 43 per cent of recipients and 12 per cent are from ethnic minorities.

New Year Honours: Officers Rewarded

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Police officers sacked over offensive Facebook comments

More than 200 complaints have been made against police officers for comments or photos posted on Facebook in the last four years.

Police officers sacked over offensive Facebook comments

In 2011, a 35-year-old Metropolitan Police constable, who was based in Islington, north London, was sacked after referring to another officer as a ”grass” and a ”liar’

At least two officers were sacked, seven quit and more than 150 faced other disciplinary action, figures from 41 of the 43 forces showed.

The details were revealed following a request under the Freedom of Information Act by the Press Association and a review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Here is a selection of some of the disciplinary actions faced by officers for their use of Facebook:

:: Two officers were dismissed without notice.

In 2011, a 35-year-old Metropolitan Police constable, who was based in Islington, north London, was sacked after referring to another officer as a ”grass” and a ”liar”.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said in June that the officer, who was based in Islington, north London, used deeply offensive language after being involved in a brief, casual relationship with a colleague which ended acrimoniously in April last year.

In 2009, an officer from the Hampshire force was sacked after posting a racist comment.

:: Seven officers resigned prior to being disciplined over complaints.

In 2010, two special constables from Dorset resigned prior to disciplinary hearings over the ”misuse” of Facebook.

One officer from South Yorkshire quit in September 2010 after being accused of improperly disclosing information and another from Cheshire resigned in October 2010 after being accused of harassing a former partner on Facebook.

In 2009, an officer from North Wales resigned after being accused of inappropriate conduct and another from Essex resigned during disciplinary action, both in relation to Facebook.

And in 2008, a Bedfordshire police officer resigned while under investigation for posting an inappropriate photograph on a personal Facebook page on June 7.

:: Pc Nestor Costa, of Devon and Cornwall Police, was fined three days pay in 2008 after he called for violence against suspects in custody on his Facebook page.

Under a video of a youth with a knife being tackled by officers in a police station, he wrote: ”Look at this stupid c***, hope he gets a good f****** shoeing in the cells.”

He also posted photographs, videos and comments on his Facebook page, writing: ”Let’s not be so soft on these c**** out there.”

:: Nine officers were given final written warnings.

These included one officer in Cumbria who, during September and October 2010, ”pursued a course of conduct which amounted to harassment of a colleague and which was conducted via text, email and Facebook entries”.

Officers in other forces posted offensive comments (one in Hertfordshire in 2010), inappropriate comments (in Lincolnshire, Surrey, West Mercia and Wiltshire in 2010, and one in Derbyshire in 2009), and derogatory comments (in Humberside in 2009).

Another officer, from the South Yorkshire force, received a final written warning in 2010 linked to another allegation regarding ”orders and instructions”.

:: A Staffordshire Police officer, who repeated a comment made by a well-known comedian, received a written warning in August 2009. No other details were given.

:: A Lancashire Police officer received a written warning in 2008 after posting comments on Facebook which implied he had abused his authority by assaulting members of the public during public order incidents.

:: A second officer from the same force was hauled before bosses in December 2009 for making inappropriate remarks on Facebook about the complainant’s wife. He was subject to ”management action”.

:: Two Nottinghamshire Police officers received the same punishment in 2009, one for engaging in a conversation on Facebook about a forthcoming police operation and another for publishing ”discontent about having to work over the Easter bank holiday”.

:: An officer from the Gwent force, who was given a written warning in 2009, asked a victim of crime to become a friend on Facebook. Two further officers, one in Lincolnshire in 2010 and another in Derbyshire in 2008, were also reprimanded for trying to contact crime victims and received words of advice and a written warning respectively.

:: Two officers from the North Wales force were also hauled before bosses and given advice in 2009 after revealing police business on Facebook.

Police officers sacked over offensive Facebook comments

Read also:  Manchester shooting: police apologise for failing to contact father before he read about death on Facebook

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Declassified Papers Show Riots Shock

Declassified Papers Show Riots ShockBeleaguered ACPO officers urgently drafted an unprecedented kit list as 1981 saw the worst disorder a generation had seen, papers released by the National Archives show.

Government documents made public under the 30-year rule lay bare the shock among both politicians and a Police Service that found itself ill-equipped to tackle the unprecedented violence in a number of British cities.

In events that have some striking parallels with the violence of August 2011, the papers reveal that – having been briefed by the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir David McNee on violence in Brixton and Southall – Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (pictured) was presented with a kit wish list.

As well as calls for a “heli-telly” – an aircraft fitted with cameras – it was suggested that baton rounds, water cannon and CS gas could also be deployed.

Of greater necessity, however, were riot shields, helmets and protected vehicles.

The deficiencies of basic kit have echoes of concerns raised in December 2011 by HM Chief Inspector Sir Denis O’Connor. He highlighted that policing the August disorder – the worst since 1981 – was compounded by a dearth of basic kit.

According to Contemporary Records Specialist Simon Demisse, the lack of equipment three decades ago underlined the unprecedented nature of the violence.

He added: “Rather than being a criticism of a lack of preparedness, this shows what a surprise it was for the Government to have to deal with such widespread disorder and how – for the first time in living memory –it had to consider the use of such equipment and force to keep the peace on the British mainland.

“Indeed Margaret Thatcher summarised the Cabinet meeting of July 9 by saying that what had happened might prove a watershed in British political life.”

The documents also show that the then Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw and the Prime Minister had ruled out using the Army under any circumstances in quelling the disorder – even if it ultimately meant arming the police.

But they did contemplate opening up Army camps as temporary prisons as custody numbers swelled – and they were adamant that offenders should face early trials.

Mr Demisse added: “Whitelaw and Thatcher are undoubtedly clear that ensuring social disintegration is minimal and that law and order are maintained is a primary concern.

“At the same time, though, they recognise that it is of paramount importance that the final frontier of a stable country – namely the line before the Army is deployed on its own streets – is not penetrated,” he concluded.

Declassified Papers Show Riots Shock

Read Also:  Thatcher ‘considered arming police’ during 1981 riots

Historian Lord Hennessy says there are “uncanny” similarities between the riots of 1981 and 2011

and:  Just like 1981: History repeats itself

According to Cabinet minutes from 9 July 1981, Willie Whitelaw, the Home Secretary, reported that civic and church leaders in Liverpool had “ascribed the root cause of the present unrest to a feeling of alienation among the young”.

The Home Office asked the Ministry of Defence to furnish the police with 50 riot guns and 5,000 baton rounds, but the Defence Secretary, John Nott, said he had “considerable reservations about whether we should… be issuing army weapons to police forces.” The move would, he claimed, weaken the RUC in Northern Ireland, which was also in need of replacement riot guns. In the end, Whitelaw settled for 50 guns and 4,000 rounds. As for water cannon, Nott wrote that there were “only four of the special water dispenser vehicles (which fire a slug of water capable of knocking over a rioter) and these are all in Northern Ireland where I think it would be prudent to assume they should remain.”

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Police pay for officers’ partners to attend awards ceremony

Felicity Parker, left, and Sgt Kelly Reed, right, from the Thames Valley Gay Police Association, receive a Diversity in Action Award from Home Secretary Theresa May

CASH-STRAPPED Thames Valley Police paid for police officers’ partners to go to a glitzy awards dinner – as it plans to cut more than 500 jobs.

The force was criticised last night for paying for four £120 tickets to the Jane’s Police Review awards at the London Hilton in Park Lane, so that the partners of four officers nominated for prizes could attend.

It is believed to be the first time it has paid for any partners to attend an event and comes as Thames Valley Police looks to save £52.9m over four years and cut 535 jobs.

Ninety-six of those are expected to be officers.

Police Review magazine paid for the nominated officers’ tickets.

Last night, TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign manager Robert Oxley said: “It is nice to reward police officers for their hard work and even better that sponsorship was found to pay for them to attend the presentation.

“However, it was unnecessary to use taxpayers’ money to send partners and senior officers to the event, too – especially as it was a glitzy night out at one of London’s most expensive hotels.

“Thames Valley Police have to find big savings in the coming years, cutting back on things like this would be a good place to start.”

Graham Hall, 71, who hit the headlines two years ago when he was turned away from the force’s Kidlington HQ when he tried to report a burglarly because there was a poker night going on and it was not a police station, said: “I don’t think it is fair.

“If a member of the public tried to do that and claim it on their expenses then they would be told what to do.

“I am quite appalled. If I had known about it I would have been kicking up a fuss.”

But Thames Valley Police spokesman Chris Kearney said: “While the sponsors pay for each nominee we take the view that it is important that each recipient is invited to bring a partner at the force expense.”

The force also paid for the tickets of Assistant Chief Constable John Campbell and Felicity Parker, from the Thames Valley Gay Police Association, which was presented with a Diversity in Action Award by Home Secretary Theresa May at the event last month.

TVGPA chairman Sgt Kelly Reed said: “I would ask the public to look at the hard time the police are getting financially.

“To begrudge them one night of recognition is sad. I would be really upset if I was told I was not worth it.”

The group, which has 215 members, was honoured for its work with officers and the community and use of social media like Twitter to spread messages.

The four other award categories Thames Valley was nominated for was: Community Police Officer of the Year; Police Community Support Officer of the Year; Student Officer of the Year; and Lifetime Achievement in Policing.

The officers did not win.

Police pay for officers’ partners to attend awards ceremony

Comment:
 
9:08am Fri 30 Dec 11
 
Your_Kidding says…
 
The force also paid for the tickets of Assistant Chief Constable John Campbell and Felicity Parker, from the Thames Valley Gay Police Association.
 
2010 figures show an Assistant Chief Constable receives £132,000+ a year and they still expect taxpayers to pay for a £120 ticket.
 
Surely it is time to stop these self congratulating award evenings.
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Police Aim To Sweeten Revellers

image captionOfficers with GMP have been aiming to forge a sweeter relationship with drinkers in Stockport in the countdown to the New Year – by handing out lollipops.

The initiative – launched under the Pubwatch initiative – aims to cut down on antisocial behaviour and stop rowdiness by pacifying those who have overdone the party season.

“Handling out lollipops may sound like a novelty idea but it has worked in other areas so we’ll suck it and see.”

The move follows a similar initiative carried out in Bolton District last year, which delivered positive results. Those involved in the latest scheme will be analysing its effectiveness in January, a police spokesman confirmed.

It is hoped that the sweetest of ideas will help seven venues to form positive relationships and focus the attention of revellers who might otherwise be arguing.

Security staff have been given a clutch of lollipops to hand out to patrons, while officers also have plenty of stock to distribute while they are on the beat.

Sgt Chris Roe, from the Stockport East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Handling out lollipops may sound like a novelty idea but it has worked in other areas so we’ll suck it and see.

“At this time of year people quite rightly want to go out, have a few drinks and enjoy themselves – we should all have a good time and party together safely.”

Police Aim To Sweeten Revellers

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Dogs sniff out £9.9m hidden cash

Labrador Retriever Buster with his handler Gavin Edwards at Gatwick AirportLabrador Retriever Buster with his handler Gavin Edwards at Gatwick Airport

Dogs which are used to fight against smuggling and the movement of drug money have sniffed out nearly £10 million in the last year.

The animals working for the UK Border Agency managed to pick up on the scent of £9.9 million of hidden cash. The money, which was detected by dogs stationed around the UK’s airports and ports, was seized by border officials in the last financial year.

Of the detector dogs used by the border force, there are 19 specially trained currency detector dogs which routinely check passengers and cargo and sniff out suspicious quantities of bank notes.

Labrador Retriever Buster has discovered tens of thousands of pounds and is only in the early stages of his career.

Within minutes of being deployed at Gatwick Airport, the two-year-old dog pointed his handler towards a woman who was found to have £8,000 in her hand luggage as she boarded a flight to Vietnam.

His handler Gavin Edwards, who affectionately calls him Buster Crimes, based on the name for American rapper Busta Rhymes, said: “Buster screens the passengers by sniffing their bags. If he finds a scent of money, he sits and indicates to me.

“We ask the passengers how much money they are carrying, depending on what they say, that person is then investigated by another officer. Depending on whether there are any relations to crime, we would then seize the money.”

Like other cash detector dogs, Buster has been loaned out to other agencies for raids on properties to locate hidden money.

While working on a house raid with HM Revenue and Customs, Buster discovered £34,000 hidden around the property of a person being investigated for tax fraud.

Currency detector dogs were first used in the UK in 1999. Initially two dogs were based at Heathrow Airport to search passengers’ baggage and freight leaving the country.

Dogs sniff out £9.9m hidden cash

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Britain’s violent streets

The police need to enforce law and order on a routine basis if our inner cities are to avoid a worldwide reputation for wanton armed violence.

Forensic police officers near the scene of the fatal shooting of Indian student Anuj Bidve on Ordsall Lane in Salford, near Manchester, on Boxing Day - Britain’s violent streets

Forensic police officers near the scene of the fatal shooting of Indian student Anuj Bidve on Ordsall Lane in Salford, near Manchester, on Boxing Day

By Telegraph View

 

There is something tragically familiar about the story of an innocent foreigner wandering into the wrong part of town to be killed by local hoodlums. Usually, however, it involves an unwary British traveller visiting a Third World country or a violent American city. In the case of Anuj Bidve, an Indian student at Lancaster University, the story has been reversed.

On Boxing Day, as he walked with friends close to the notorious Ordsall estate in Salford on his way to the centre of Manchester, he was shot dead in what appears to have been an unprovoked attack. We do not know precisely what happened and police investigations are continuing. But while our major cities have always had rough districts, avoided by locals, the very notion that a wrong turning on a British street can bring a visitor face to face with a gunman is truly shocking. When two British tourists were shot dead in a Florida resort this year in similar circumstances, we might have taken some comfort in the false belief that such an atrocity would not happen here.

Well it has; and we can no longer pretend that this country’s cities are among the safest in the world. The fatal stabbing of a young man in Oxford Street at lunchtime on Boxing Day was a further reminder of the casual way that certain groups in society now resort to weapons. Many belong to gangs and it would be no surprise to discover gang connections in both killings.

In Salford yesterday, armed officers were carrying out stop-and-search operations in the hunt for evidence. But the sad fact is that the police lost control of these estates many years ago – long before budget cuts that are now blamed for any outbreak of criminality. They need to enforce law and order on a routine basis if our inner cities are to avoid a worldwide reputation for wanton armed violence.

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No More Abstracting Electricity…

Police have been banned from charging their mobile phones at work in a bid to save money.

Police banned from charging their phones at work

Officers and civilian staff in Sussex have been told not to power up their personal phones, iPods and other electrical items at work in the hope of slashing electricity bills.

The force must find £50 million worth of savings from its overall budget by 2015 and has already cut energy bills by 10 per cent.

But the latest money-saver has angered some officers who have warned it risks morale for the sake of a “few pennies”.

Police forces across the country are having to find savings of up to 20 per cent and are examining all areas of activity to meet the cuts.

It emerged in October that police in Staffordshire had been told to make fewer arrests, handle more crime on the phone and not attend as many incidents in an effort to save money.

Officers were also urged to hand out more on – the – spot penalties and let low – level anti – social behaviour be handled by council workers.

And in August, Essex Police announced it was to close half of its stations to the public while none of those that remain would stay open 24 hours a day. The plan is aimed at saving £2.5 million a year.

A Sussex Police spokesman said the ban on charging phones had begun last month and hoped the force would be personal item free by the end of this month.

He said officers were supportive of the plans.

But one, who did not want to be named, said: “We are talking pennies here. It has not been well accepted.

“It must be better to have a happy workforce than one irritated by their bosses for the sake of saving a few quid.”

Earlier this year Sussex Police major crime unit merged with Surrey and talks are under way about merging forensics.

The spokesman said: “All areas are being reviewed to see where savings can be made with a particular focus on those areas where our customers will not be affected.

“As part of this work it was identified that there are a significant number of electrical items being used in the force which are not essential to the working environment.

“The removal of non-essential items will bring about savings on testing and energy usage, which we have already reduced by about 10 per cent.

“Any money saved in this area will be put back into front line services.

“This request was made to staff in November and the response has been very supportive.”

Police banned from charging their mobile phones at work

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Police farce: Thames Valley tops list of crime-hit forces…

88 thefts from patrol cars and two from its stations

  • Average of nearly one police station or patrol car in England and Wales broken into or firebombed every day
  • Thieves stole officers’ boots, helmets, CCTV cameras, cash, ink cartridges, a wheelbarrow, sword and even a bottle of cider in 2008-11

Thames Valley Police, which is responsible for the PM's Witney constituency, has been the victim of 90 separate crimes over the past three yearsThames Valley Police, which is responsible for the PM’s Witney constituency, has been the victim of 90 crimes over the past three years (file photo)

David Cameron’s local police force is the most crime-hit in Britain, new figures revealed today.

Thames Valley Police, which is responsible for the PM’s Witney constituency, has itself been the victim of 90 separate crimes over the past three years.

The force suffered 88 thefts from patrol cars and two from its police stations.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act also revealed that an average of nearly one police station or patrol car in England and Wales is broken into or firebombed every day.

Between 2008 and 2011, brazen thieves stole officers’ boots, helmets, CCTV cameras, cash, ink cartridges, a wheelbarrow, a Union Jack flag, a sword and even a bottle of cider.

Greater Manchester Police was the second most crime-hit force with 45 thefts from its patrol cars and ten burglaries from its stations.

Arsonists have also set fire to eight of the force’s police stations.

South Yorkshire Police emerged as the third most crime-hit, with 55 thefts from its patrol cars and four arson attacks against its stations.
An average of nearly one police station or patrol car in England and Wales is broken into or firebombed every dayAn average of nearly one police station or patrol car in England and Wales is broken into or firebombed every day. Pictured, Canning Circus police station in Nottingham after it was firebombed in August during the England riots

The force even had one of its patrol cars stolen from a school car park during an operation at Armthorpe Comprehensive School, near Doncaster.

Before the riots in August, a total of 27 forces across England and Wales reported 496 separate break-ins, thefts and arson attacks since the middle of 2008.

That is the equivalent of 1,010 crimes in total committed against England and Wales forces outside of London over the last three years.

The figures, which do not include those committed against the Met, means police forces enjoy just 27 crime-free days a year.

TOP OF THE CRIME-HIT COP SHOPS

1. Thames Valley: 90 crimes reported

2. Greater Manchester: 63

3. South Yorkshire: 60

4. Essex: 39

5. Cambridgeshire: 27

AND THOSE LEAST HIT…

1. Cumbria, Dorset and Northamptonshire: Both zero

2. Norfolk and Gwent: Both 2

3. Gloucestershire: 3

4. Durham and Surrey: Both 4

5. Cheshire: 5

Essex Police is the fourth most crime-hit force suffered 39 burglaries with thieves pinching a pair of officers’ boots and £1,000 worth of ink cartridges. 

Cheeky crooks also nabbed a Union Jack and a police flag from the flagpole outside Thurrock police station.

Bizarrely, burglars even made off with a wheelbarrow from Chelmsford police station earlier this year.

A raider even managed to steal a sword from Avon and Somerset Police. 

Red-faced chiefs at Lancashire Police admitted crooks stole three police hats and £2,000 worth of CCTV equipment from one of its stations.

One thief even swiped a confiscated bottle of cider from the back seat of a patrol car in October 2009.

Thugs targeted a rural beat officer’s home in Lancashire in November 2010 when they pushed a firework through his letter box while his family slept upstairs.

Marked police cars have also been targeted across England and Wales with thieves stealing helmets, a mileage book and even a gear stick knob.

Meanwhile, Cumbria Police, Dorset Police and Northamptonshire Police were the most respected constabularies, reporting no crimes against their property.

Norfolk Police reported only two incidents – one police vehicle break-in in May 2009 in Norwich and another in October 2009 in Wymondham.

Gwent Police reported one theft from its Rogerstone station in Newport – when a police bicycle was stolen.

Of the 55 FoI requests made, 28 forces, including the Met Police, refused to release the figures.

Police farce: Thames Valley tops list of crime-hit forces…

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