The message: “it’s not about the rights and wrongs of war, we just want to support those who serve our country and are injured in doing so” caught the public‘s imagination and became a focus for a huge ‘demonstration by donation’, as the public showed their support for the Armed Forces. Very quickly it became clear that the scale of the injuries being sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan needed a comprehensive and long term response, and the British public wanted to support us in this effort.
One of three people arrested over the alleged leaking of expenses claims by Cumbria's police and crime commissioner (PCC) will face no criminal action.
BBC NEWS 23 May 2013
The 47-year-old man, who works for Cumbria Police, was arrested in April after PCC Richard Rhodes used a chauffeur-driven car costing £700.
Another male police worker, 59, who was interviewed by detectives but not arrested, will also not face charges.
A woman staff member and a man who does not work for the force remain on bail.
Mr Rhodes, a Conservative, has already apologised for using taxpayers' money and has repaid the cash.
Cumbria Police said the cleared men were no longer suspended and would return to work shortly.
Meanwhile Mr Rhodes has been asked for more information about his expenses by the Home Affairs Committee.
He was asked to appear before the committee to give evidence, but said he was unable to do so for personal reasons
PCSO Kat Stock is currently working with Rudheath High School and Riverside Organic Farm to keep young teenagers who are at risk of offending out of trouble and off the streets.
26 May 2013 Winsford Guardian
They will be undertaking day to day farming activities including building fences and mucking out animals.
Kat said: “We are working very hard to give these youths something to look forward to and some legitimate work experience to help them in the future.”
I have been receiving numerous complaints about parking on and around Ways Green in Winsford, much of which had double yellow lines. This includes the very sharp corner of Weaver Street which has double yellow lines. I would ask any local residents and visitors to the area not to park on these lines. Even popping into the shop could land you with a hefty £30 fine.
The construction site down Ways Green is also causing numerous issues with large vehicles using the small roads.
I have been working with the roads liaison officer, local council and local residents to try to come to some resolution.
The main haul of dirt which needed to be removed from the site has now been completed and this should alleviate the problem
A report from MPs has criticised Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Hardwick for his "disruptive and costly" action to suspend Chief Constable Neil Rhodes.
23 May 2013 BBC NEWS
The report also condemns the failure of the county's Police and Crime Panel (PCP) to meet for two months because of "incompetent" legal advice.
The document has been published by the House of Commons' Home Affairs Committee.
Mr Hardwick has declined to comment.
The chairman of the PCP, Ray Wootten, announced on 16 May he was stepping down from the role.
The report - a register of PCCs' interests - highlights the lack of scrutiny in the role of some PCCs, including Mr Hardwick.
It described the suspension of Chief Constable Neil Rhodes by Mr Hardwick as potentially "disruptive and costly and damaging to the reputation of the police force".
Mr Rhodes returned to work after a successful judicial appeal in March, after being suspended in February.
The report adds: "The decision was overturned at judicial review by Mr Justice Stuart Smith who noted 'serious error' by the PCC."
Speaking about the suspension, Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, said: "It's a pretty good example, in our view, of what shouldn't happen."
Following Mr Hardwick's suspension of Mr Rhodes, the PCP waited two months before meeting.
According to the report, Mr Wootten cited legal advice from East Lindsay District Council as the reason for the decision.
'Get a grip'
"We could not believe the testimony, I'm afraid, that was given to us - and has been proved to have been inaccurate - that a lawyer sitting in East Lindsey District Council had said 'don't hold a meeting, don't let the public in and don't discuss it with the public'," said Mr Vaz.
"Frankly, this is all about the public," he said.
In a statement, East Lindsey District Council said: "The panel has explained that it was not desirable to hold a meeting to discuss the suspension of the temporary chief constable, whilst various legal and HR issues were still under investigation.
A POLICE Community Support Officer convicted of assault after a drunken nightclub brawl has been sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid work.
24 May 2013 North West Evening Mail
PCSO Lorna Brookes, of Settle Street, Millom, was also ordered to pay £50 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £400 in court costs within 28 days.
The 26-year-old also received a six-month ban from the Reflections nightclub in St George’s Terrace, where the attack took place.
Presiding magistrate Catherine Alexander, sentencing Brookes at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday, said: “The community can expect better behaviour from a PCSO.”
Brookes stood trial on May 7 and was found guilty of grabbing Caroline Leonard, causing bruising to her arm, during an altercation between two groups of women after midnight on February 17.
During the trial, the court heard Brookes had been “significantly impaired” after drinking six vodkas and two or three bottle of beer before the incident.
Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said at the sentencing: “The bench were satisfied that Brookes grabbed hold of Ms Leonard’s arm during the incident causing immediate pain.”
At the trial, the court heard Ms Leonard and her friend Yvette Haston were leaving the toilets when Brookes directed offensive remarks at them, resulting in an altercation.
A friend of Brookes then entered the toilet and attempted to punch Ms Haston, causing Ms Leonard to step between them to prevent further violence.
The defendant then grabbed Ms Leonard, who ended up on the floor.
At the sentencing Mrs Hine conceded Brookes was of good character and had no previous convictions or cautions.
Ms Kath McAteer, defending, said Brookes’s “instincts had taken over” and she had caused only “lesser harm” to Ms Leonard.
She said: “As for her personal situation, she has been suspended from her job while this case is going on, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
“Conviction will result in her losing her job and she will therefore have no income.”
Mrs Alexander told Brookes: “We accept that you are of previously good character but there are several aggravating factors.
“First of all this happened in a public place with other people there.
“You were under the influence of alcohol and the victim was not acting aggressively.”
Ministers are failing to properly monitor the salaries and professional standards of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), MPs have warned.
23 May 2013 BBC NEWS
The Home Affairs committee has published its own register of PCCs, claiming "no-one in government is keeping track" of them.
But chairman Keith Vaz said an official register was needed to guard against "maverick decision making".
The Home Office said it was up to voters to hold PCCs to account.
The report compiled by the Home Affairs Committee sets out the pay, weekly hours, other activities and staff costs for each of the 41 police areas in England and Wales.
The register suggested "a massive gap" between the salaries and types of second jobs carried out by PCCs.
Mr Vaz said: "The public cannot possibly judge whether their PCC is upholding the standards of the office and giving them a good deal unless they make a comparison with other PCCs."
'Electorate will judge'
The Home Office says it will consider the committee's findings.
"By law, police and crime commissioners have to publish a register of interests, including budgets and expenses, and the key elements will be displayed on the national police.uk website," said a spokesman.
"The local electorate will judge whether PCCs are making best use of public money and hold them to account at the ballot box."
In October 2012, people across England and Wales went to the polls to elect local commissioners. Turnout was as low as 12% in some areas, prompting a critical review by the Electoral Commission.
The PCCs' main role is to listen to public concerns on crime, and hold chief constables and the police force to account. The government hopes the new structure will increase the accountability of law enforcers.
By Jack Tappin Published on 24/05/2013 09:00
The latest addition to Haverhill’s police force has brought the town’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) up to full strength.
Steven Ridpath, 21, began work as a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) on Monday (20), bringing the number of police in the SNT up to five PCSOs and four police constables (Pcs) and three PCSOs and two Pcs covering St Edmundsbury Rural South.
PCSO Ridpath is covering the Chalkstone Estate with PCSO Mark Isaac, who is based at Samuel Ward Academy.
He goes into the role having already volunteered as a special officer and having worked at Tesco Haverhill, and now hopes it will serve as a stepping stone to one day becoming a Pc.
“This was something I always wanted to do,” he said.
“I’ve had my nine weeks of training in Ipswich and enjoyed that and now I’m looking forward to getting started.”
PCSO Ridpath is a budding thespian and has served in several performances by the Haverhill Centre Stage Company. “Having worked in Tesco and with Centre Stage means I know a lot of people and that helps to start a conversation and build up a rapport,” he said.
Fellow PCSO Lorna Chapman, who covers the Clements Estate, is now supported by Pc Cheryl Claydon, who was a response officer.
“PCSOs are well prepared with good communication skills as we have to use our mouths to get out of a sticky situation,” she said.
Kent PCC: You can't keep emphasis on the negative
Last updated Thu 23 May 2013 ITV NEWS
Responding to claims that scrutiny is needed to prevent PCCs from "maverick decision making" she said her appointment of Ms Brown was not maverick but "a manifesto promise".
"That was one decision I made, it didn't turn out as I wanted it to unfortunately," she added, "you cannot keep emphasis on the negative."
A councillor has attended a meeting with Thames Valley's police and crime commissioner (PCC) dressed as a chauffeur.
17 May 2013 BBC NEWS
Buckinghamshire town councillor Jon Harvey said he was making a 'humorous point' at the police and crime panel.
PCC Anthony Stansfeld has defended the use of a part-time officer as his driver on a salary of £12,000, saying it helps improve his efficiency.
The PCC's expenses are now to be independently reviewed.
Mr Stansfeld branded Mr Harvey's actions "pathetic" at the meeting in Woodgreen, Witney, Oxfordshire.
Mr Harvey said: "I have come to highlight the fact that our police and crime commissioner is spending quite a lot of money on a chauffeur during times of extreme austerity and so I thought I would make a somewhat humorous point by dressing as a chauffeur."
The independent audit of Mr Stansfeld's expenses follows concerns raised about him using public money to pay for a satellite office in Hungerford near his home and a support officer.
The officer is employed for an average three days a week as a driver and to undertake administrative duties. and also works for deputy police and crime commissioner David Carroll.
Mr Stansfeld has said the officer, who also works for deputy police and crime commissioner David Carroll. has been put in place to help the pair to undertake their duties efficiently.
The PCC claimed £15.30 and £7.20 in mileage for December and January respectively at a rate of 45p per mile.
He claimed £452.25 for 1,005 miles in February and £600.30 for 1,334 miles in March after the Hungerford office was made available for his use in February.
The PCC's office said mileage claims made between December and March related to Mr Stansfeld using his own car for official business.
Since April he has had the use of a five-year-old ex-force fleet Audi A5 previously scheduled for disposal.
A statement released on behalf of Mr Stansfeld said the Hungerford office was made available to increase his productivity and "reduce the amount of avoidable, non-productive time the PCC would otherwise spend travelling to his other office at Thames Valley Police Headquarters in Kidlington, near Oxford."
MPs criticise police inquiry into leak of commissioner's chauffeur bill
Lib Dem Tim Farron says it is 'wrong to seek to silence whistleblowers', as third arrest made in Cumbrian investigation
Helen Pidd, northern editor The Guardian, Thursday 18 April 2013
MPs have expressed concern over the arrest of three people in connection with a leak to the press about the Cumbrian crime commissioner's £700 chauffeur bill.
On Thursday police made the third arrest in their investigation, holding a 54-year-old man from Penrith on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
A Cumbria police spokeswoman confirmed that the investigation began following a complaint from the office of Richard Rhodes, who has been police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Cumbria since November.
Last week two police employees were arrested on suspicion of data protection offences and misconduct in a public office. They are currently suspended from the constabulary. The third suspect is not an employee of the force.
Tim Farron, president of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in the south Lakes, said: "Politicians of all colours regularly praise whistleblowers, and it is wrong to seek to silence whistleblowers in this case. Details of the expenses of public officials ought to be publicly available anyway, we shouldn't have to rely on leaks to find these things out.
"This information was in the public interest, and I'm sure could have been accessed by a simple FOI request. Most councils publish this information on a regular basis so why not the police commissioner? To arrest these staff members is high-handed, a threat to free speech and a very dangerous precedent."
Jamie Reed, Labour MP for Copeland in west Cumbria, wrote to the home secretary, Theresa May, on Thursday asking her to investigate what he said appeared to be "indefensible" behaviour on Rhodes's part.
He wrote: "It is widely reported that these arrests followed a complaint from the police and crime commissioner's own office to the chief constable. If true, this is clearly indefensible. Such an act would not only damage the office of the Cumbria police and crime commissioner beyond repair but, more importantly, damage the reputation of the Cumbria constabulary.
"As a matter of urgency, I ask that you determine the facts of this case as quickly as possible so that these matters can be resolved beyond doubt."
Reed told the Guardian: "This is a gravely serious matter which shakes public confidence in the police."
A police community support officer (PCSO) who tipped off criminals when cannabis factories had been discovered has been jailed for seven years.
3 May 2013 BBC NEWS
Oguz Batmaz, 27, of Sidcup, south-east London, admitted conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Southwark Crown Court heard he checked police computers to tell criminals what data detectives had on them.
He was placed under surveillance in 2010 after officers became suspicious.
Batmaz also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal class B drugs and a further charge of misconduct in a public office in relation to assisting to keep a person unlawfully at large.
He spent time with Wayne Farrell - a convicted drug dealer who had failed to return from prison leave in 2009 - and used his access to the police database to help the fugitive.
The court heard Batmaz was paid £5,000 to look for information for an associate using the police computer system and was also heard tipping off his accomplices about a cannabis factory discovered in Mayday Gardens in Blackheath.
Mark Auty, specialist prosecutor in the CPS Special Crime Division, said: "Oguz Batmaz was the prime mover in a drug dealing enterprise who routinely abused his position as a Police Community Support Officer to assist his criminal activities.
"Batmaz used his access to police computer systems to help his criminal associates, including Wayne Farrell, who had at the time absconded from prison, and Batmaz was fully aware of this, but declined to report it.
"As a result of video and audio surveillance evidence that clearly showed Batmaz and his accomplices were regularly involved in the supply of drugs, they now face punishment for their corrupt and criminal activity."
Commander Allan Gibson, from the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards, said: "Our investigation into an ex-PCSO exposed criminality and also highlighted very poor behaviour in a Safer Neighbourhoods Team, all who have now either left or been dismissed from the Metropolitan Police Service."
Eight others have also been sentenced, receiving jail terms of between six months to three years and four months, for offences including conspiracy to supply controlled drugs, stealing cannabis and conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, the Met said.
All convicted male prisoners are to be required to wear prison uniform for the first two weeks of their sentence under a shakeup of life in jail ordered by the justice secretary, Chris Grayling.
Alan Travis, home affairs editor The Guardian, Tuesday 30 April 2013
The changes, to be announced on Tuesday, will also mean prisoners losing automatic access to gym equipment and daytime television. They will be expected work a longer day than at present too.
The 4,000 offenders in privately run prisons will also lose access to satellite subscription channels, such as Sky Sports. Prisoners in all jails will not be allowed to watch daytime television in their cells when they should be working or engaging in purposeful activities. The change in the prison service's "incentives and earned privileges" scheme will mean that prison governors lose much of their discretion over which perks and privileges are available to reward good behaviour.
The changes, to be introduced into public and private sector prisons in England and Wales over the next six months, follows a review ordered by Grayling to ensure that life inside was not seen as a "soft touch".
Grayling said that under the new policy, the lack of bad behaviour would not be enough to earn privileges; instead inmates would have to work actively towards rehabilitation and help other prisoners.
The change will add a new "entry" level for all male prisoners for the first two weeks of their sentence in which their privileges, including access to private cash and wearing their own clothes, will be restricted.
Offenders returned to prison for breaching licence conditions will also be placed on the new entry-level for two weeks. Women prisoners will not have to wear a uniform.
The modern-day prison uniform often consists of grey trousers, grey sweatshirt and grey jumpers with prison-issue underwear and socks.
The Victorian uniform of white jacket, trousers and pill box hat all stamped with a broad arrow to signify crown property was abolished in 1922.
The G4S private prisons have led the way recently in allowing prisoners to wear their own clothes as a reward for good behaviour.
The existing three other privilege levels will be kept but a national standardised list of activities and items will be issued for governors to choose what is appropriate. Movement up the levels will depend on the positive engagement of the prisoner.
"At the end of the entry-level period, prisoners who do not co-operate with the regime or engage in rehabilitation will drop to basic level and stay there until they do. Those who do will move up to standard," said a justice ministry source.
Crime is not just police's problem, says chief inspector of constabulary
Doctors, judges, teachers and prison guards all have a role to play
Calls for technology to track criminals to prevent crimes happening
Tom Winsor says strategy would save money and reduce victims
Think tank calls for return to Tardis-style police boxes on Britain's streets
By James Tozer PUBLISHED: 09:00, 29 April 2013 | UPDATED: 01:55, 30 April 2013
Parents must do more to teach their children right from wrong to stop them becoming criminals, the police watchdog said yesterday.
In his first major speech as Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor said it was the duty of all parents and families to turn young people into law-abiding citizens.
He also accused mental health services of abdicating their duty to prevent crime, and warned that officers were frustrated with the soft sentences handed out to the criminals they catch
And he urged for persistent and dangerous offenders to be put in prison to prevent them committing further crimes.
Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank in Whitehall, Central London, Mr Winsor said: ‘Parents and families as well as schools must instil in children a strong appreciation of right and wrong and the reality and instincts to behave as responsible law abiding citizens.’
Asked about tackling persistent criminals, he said that officers must ‘make it as hard as possible to commit the crime in the first place’.
He added: ‘Many many police officers are extremely frustrated at the sentences that are sometimes handed out by the courts.’
He said officers must find ‘persistent prolific and dangerous offenders and take them off the streets’
‘If you have them locked up that’s a pretty good way of preventing crime,’ he added. Mr Winsor warned that officers were often left to deal with criminals with mental health problems because the police were regarded as the public service that would ‘never say no’.
As a result, officers’ time was wasted looking after people who should be in the hands of mental health professionals.
Mr Winsor, the former rail regulator, also complained that police were working with primitive equipment that was ‘next to useless’.
a case of UNLAWFUL ARREST
Before : THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE EADY Between : LORD HANNINGFIELD OF CHELMSFORD Claimant - and -THE CHIEF CONSTABLE OF ESSEX POLICE
this 2011 case shows the principle of The early morning raid challenged by a man with the resources to do it. LORD HANNINGFIELD was arrested by police constables who then searched his house and detained him at the police station using their BREAD AND BUTTER powers that you would think that they and their supervisors would know inside out!
and yet here we have a case that shows such actions as UNLAWFUL, the arrest was unlawful, the search was unlawful and yes, the detention at the police station was unlawful - WHY?
well because the law says The power of summary arrest may only be exercised if the relevant officer (in this case, Det Sgt Thomson) had reasonable grounds for believing that it was “necessary” to do so:
This is a 2011 case, so what is the relevance in 2013? The relevance is that such cases appear to be continuing on a regular basis, as can be seen in the national newspapers this year, last year and following on closely from the February judgement.
Why have other people not challenged their "unlawful arrests"? Undoubtedly further such "unlawful arrests" have quite probably occurred but who has the resources of Lord Hanningfield to mount a challenge? And who "could actually be bothered"?
An unarmed man shot dead by a police marksman as he sat in a car was wrongly suspected only weeks before of stealing a computer memory stick containing the names of 1,075 police informants.
By David ROSE 27 April 2013
The missing stick was stolen after a detective had taken it home. It held a mass of highly confidential data about police inquiries into drug trafficking – plus hundreds of real names and addresses of secret contacts who gave information about gangsters to police.
Father-of-two Anthony Grainger was questioned about the theft but formally cleared four months later. Meanwhile, the loss of the stick was exposing the informants to grave potential danger.
Now a Mail on Sunday investigation based on exclusive access to hundreds of pages of official documents has revealed that:
- Days after police decided they had no evidence against Grainger over the theft, they began six- weeks of covert surveillance called Operation Shire directed at him and two associates. It involved nearly 100 officers.
- Statements by the Operation Shire team reveal no sign that Grainger or the others had weapons or access to them. But on the morning of the incident, the 16-strong police armed response team involved in his shooting was briefed that he and his friends were highly dangerous and likely to fire at police if challenged.
- In the wake of his death, legal documents show, police searched Grainger’s house and those of his associates – and seized numerous computer memory sticks. None of them was the missing device.
The memory stick theft took place from a detective’s home in the Grotton area of Oldham in July 2011.
Ten months earlier, a similar stick containing sensitive Greater Manchester Police data had also gone missing. This prompted David Smith, the Deputy Information Commissioner responsible for policing and security issues, to make a formal recommendation that all such sticks should be encrypted.
But the second stolen stick, which was inside an officer’s wallet in his kitchen near an open back door, was not encrypted nor protected by a password.
Mr Smith described this as a ‘significant failing’.
He added: ‘The consequences of this type of breach really do send a shiver down the spine.’
As well as the names of informants, the stick contained details of police operations, names of officers involved in them, and those being targeted for arrest. The Information Commissioner’s Office has since fined the force £120,000.
Police watched Mr Grainger for weeks after he was cleared of suspicion regarding the memory stick theft
Mr Smith said: ‘In this particular case the data subjects would suffer from substantial distress knowing their sensitive personal data may be disclosed to third parties.’
If this has actually happened, they were likely to suffer ‘further substantial damage’, and be ‘exposed to physical harm’.
Police made the link between the stick and Grainger the month after it was stolen, when he put some Volkswagen Golf airbags up for sale on eBay. Grainger was working for his friend, Colin Waters, 42, who owned a car-breaking and spare parts business in Bury.
Why did the police think this significant? Because along with the memory stick, the officer from Grotton had lost the keys to his Golf. This was also stolen and not recovered.
Grainger had no convictions for violence, but he did have a record for car crimes, although he had committed all but one of them more than a decade earlier.
On September 29, Grainger and Waters were arrested and questioned about the memory stick at Chadderton police station.
Mr Waters said yesterday: ‘Anthony was a good friend. He lived in my house from 2009 until a short while before he was shot. We used to buy and sell parts all the time, and he put a lot of them up on eBay.
‘When the police interviewed us, all they wanted to know about was the memory stick. They claimed the airbags were from the same model as the VW stolen from the officer. But that proved nothing. We knew nothing about that stick, and we never had it.’
Westminster has been awash with speculation over who edited the Wikipedia entry of rising Labour star Chuka Umunna to include comparisons with President Obama.
By Andrew Pierce PUBLISHED: 22:44, 28 April 2013
Apparently the changes, designed to flatter the Shadow Business Secretary, were made from a computer at the very law firm where he was working before he became an MP in 2010. A coincidence, of course.
Now it seems Britain’s highest-paid councillor, the pompous Sir Merrick Cockell, has also had his online biography edited — to remove references to his legendary expenses.
Cockell, the leader of true-blue Conservative Kensington & Chelsea Council, is also chairman of the Local Government Association, on a combined salary for both jobs of £120,000. My mole at his town hall tells me that on March 25 the list of his expenses was taken off his Wikipedia entry by someone calling themselves ed17.
Conveniently, his many enemies kept a copy of the deleted words. It shows he spent £59.74 on a taxi from Heathrow Airport to the town hall and £129.53 on lunch with two people. His nickname, Pooter, which he hates, also vanished along with an article giving more details about his spending.
He lavished £60,000 on a Head of Office, and £40,000 on his PA; £115,000 on a Bentley with the number plate RBKC, which Cockell used to use to save on taxi fares; and £800,000 on creating four ceremonial roles, including a mace bearer, and decking their holders out in ruffs and silk coats.
Cockell is standing down as leader in May. Let’s hope his successor tries to save taxpayers’ money, rather than squandering it on vanity projects.
Pooter the council leader gains a reprieve
Andy McSmith's Diary 29 April 2013
In the UK’s wealthiest borough, the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, there is a blogger known only as The Dame who is remarkably well informed and frank about the important and self-important people who run the council – particularly its long-serving leader, Sir Merrick Cockell, whom the Dame delights in calling “Pooter”.
Her latest blog entry begins in style: “One of Pooter’s expensive pretensions was the appointment of a Head of Office at somewhere in the region of £55k a year…”
Until recently, you could pick up some of the Dame’s musings by accessing Sir Merrick’s Wikipedia entry, which also featured an exhaustive list of his expenses, until one afternoon about two weeks ago, when every reference to his expenses and his nickname was removed by one of Wikipedia’s editors.
Sir Merrick is standing down from the council leadership in May. Someone must have thought it was time to stop being beastly to poor old Pooter.
Drug dealer who says tattoos of naked women would endanger his life in Iraq is given human right to stay in UK
In the latest outrage under Labour’s Human Rights Act, Hesham Mohammed Ali won a tribunal appeal against moves to kick him out.
The 36-year-old former wrestling promoter based his case on his tattoos and the fact he is in a ‘genuine’ relationship with a British woman – despite having two children by different women with whom he now has no contact.
The court went to great lengths to consider the issue of Ali’s tattoos, which include an image of a half-naked Western woman on his chest.
Ali said people with tattoos in Iraq ‘get stoned or harmed’. Judge Jonathan Perkins described the issue as ‘problematic’.
He asked whether Ali had considered having the tattoos removed and heard evidence from an expert witness on whether Iraqi people were victimised for having body art.
However, the fact which ultimately swung the case in favour of the convict was Ali’s right to a ‘family life’, under Article 8 of human rights legislation.
Judge Perkins said he was not convinced the tattoos would prompt anything more than ‘curiosity’ in Iraq, but added that he was impressed by evidence from Ali’s British fiancee, Cy Harwood, 31, who met the criminal in 2005.
The judge ruled that Ali’s deportation would have a damaging effect on her and would be a breach of the couple’s rights. Ali has his fiancee’s name, surrounded by stars, tattooed on his hand.
His family life was protected despite the fact he never sees two children he fathered in the UK. He had a child with an Irish woman and then another son with a woman from Liverpool, but has no contact with either child, the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber was told.
The verdict renewed demands for the Government to end the rampant abuse of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is enshrined in UK law by Labour’s Human Rights Act.
Home Secretary Theresa May has vowed to change the law, but no legislation has yet been unveiled.
Tory MP Dominic Raab said: ‘It is bad enough a convicted drug dealer cheating deportation because he has a girlfriend. But it’s even worse that our elastic human rights laws consume government time and money fighting such ludicrous claims.
‘The shifting human rights goal posts have encouraged a “try it on” culture at taxpayers’ expense.’
Fellow backbencher Priti Patel said: ‘The right to family life has been completely abused in this case. It’s clear this individual has no regard for proper family life and the upbringing of his children, as he has no relationship with either of the mothers, let alone either of his children themselves.’
Ali was brought to Britain ‘irregularly’ by a people-smuggling gang in 2000 and has never been in this country legally. He made an asylum claim which was refused.
In November 2005 he was convicted of possessing Class A and Class C drugs, and fined. A year later he was convicted of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply – and jailed for four years.
Tardis Boxes For Police 'Could Cut Costs'
29 April 2013 SKY NEWS
Police boxes like the one from Doctor Who could encourage the public to report crime and save money, a think tank claims.
Police forces could save money by opening modern versions of the Tardis police box made famous by Doctor Who, according to a report by a think tank.
The centre-right Policy Exchange believes the public could be better served if officers left police stations and moved into shopping centres and post offices.
It claims the move would make it easier for the public to report crimes such as anti-social behaviour, only a third of which are actually reported to the police.
The boxes could also be used to take witness statements and for the public to discuss concerns and access information, the report said.
In London the number of people reporting crimes at police station front counters has fallen by more than 100,000 - almost half - since 2006, as people chose to report crime over the phone and online.
Faced with budget cuts of 20%, forces need to manage the police estate in a "smarter fashion" and become "more imaginative" with how they interact with the public, according to the report.
The report author, Professor Martin Innes, said: "The truth is that most crime is reported by phone, many stations are getting old and increasingly expensive to maintain and are often located in the wrong places, away from key population centres.
"Rather than just thinking about closing police stations, it might be more productive to engage local people in conversations about replacing outdated police stations with more local police offices."
Steve White, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: "This is something which has been happening around the country for many years.
"We support any initiative which directs funding to operational policing, however police stations are accessible to the public, all day and night, something which is not provided by local shops and businesses, therefore we hope this would be taken into account."
Sutton police station hands Wandsworth prison unwanted bikes to train prisoners
James Pepper 12:18pm Monday 29th April 2013
Unwanted bikes are being given to inmates for use in prison classes.
Dozens of unclaimed and untraceable bicycles at Sutton Police Station have been transported to Wandsworth prison where they will used by prisoners in bicycle maintenance courses.
In classroom and workshop sessions, prisoners will be shown how to dismantle and recondition bicycles which will then be given to charity or auctioned for charitable causes.
Police carried out lengthy checks but were unable to trace owners of the bicycles.
PCSO Matt Webb, of Sutton’s Safer Transport Team, who helped the prison officers load the lorry, said: "It’s good to know the bicycles are going to be well used with proceeds going to charity."
Prison officer Steve Tugwell commented: "It gives prisoners the
Call to open 'Tardis' police boxes
Apr 29 2013 Loughborough Echo
Police forces could save cash by shutting down old-fashioned stations and opening up modern versions of the "Tardis" police box made famous by sci-fi favourite Doctor Who, a centre-right think tank has said.
A better service could be offered to the public if the police left their out-of-date stations and moved into shopping centres and post offices, the report by the Policy Exchange added.
Faced with budget cuts of 20% in the age of austerity, forces need to manage "the police estate in a smarter fashion" and become "more imaginative" with how they interact with the public, the report argued.
In London, the number of people reporting crimes at front counters has fallen by more than 100,000 - almost half - since 2006/07, the Policy Exchange said, as people turn to other forms of communication, including over the phone and online.
Professor Martin Innes, report author, said: "The truth is that most crime is reported by phone, many stations are getting old and increasingly expensive to maintain and are often located in the wrong places, away from key population centres. Rather than just thinking about closing police stations, it might be more productive to engage local people in conversations about replacing out-dated police stations with more local police offices."
Fewer than one in eight crimes received by the Metropolitan Police in 2011/12 were reported at front counters, the report said. Placing officers in high street shops and offices will save the taxpayer money, the report argued, while making it easier for the public to report crime such as anti-social behaviour incidents, only a third of which are actually reported to the police.
The decline in front counter use means that some stations see fewer than seven visitors every day, the paper said, with one survey revealing that 20% of people attend stations to report lost property.
One of the South West's police and crime commissioner's is considering taking on a deal for the five police forces in the area.
3 May 2013 BBC NEWS
But the Avon and Somerset Police Federation said this could leave the forces open to allegations over deals.
Forces across England and Wales face funding cuts of up to 20% by 2015.
Martyn Underhill, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Dorset, said he was in discussions with a potential sponsor who is keen to make a regional sponsor deal.
This would include forces from Dorset, Avon and Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Devon and Cornwall.
Kevin Phillips, chairman of the Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said a sponsorships deal was tested by the force but scrapped for good reason.
"Once you start entering into sponsorships deals you start losing the independence of the police.
"Whilst I appreciate everybody is losing money and having to cut back, I still think it would be absolutely wrong if we start entering into sponsorship with private companies for the police service - this is privatisation through the back door."
Police forces are allowed to raise 1% of their budget through private funding. For Dorset this would amount to about £1m and £3m for Avon and Somerset Police.
Mr Underhill said: "In a funding crisis I have to try to find another way.
"If we get a reputable national company with no connection to policing or the criminal justice system this could be a way of actually increasing my budget, and at the end of the day getting more police officers on the street."
2 May 2013 - 9:17am | posted by John Glenday | 3 comments
Dorset police commissioner floats corporate sponsorship of vehicles & stations
Police cars patrolling the streets emblazoned with McDonald’s logos or Coca-Cola branding could soon be a common site after a police commissioner floated the prospect of securing additional funding via corporate sponsorship of stations and vehicles.
Martyn Underhill, police and crime commissioner for Dorset, said such drastic actions were required in a time of austerity to shore up badly depleted budgets saying: “You can’t keep asking the public for money – why can’t I go into a structured five-year sponsorship deal with a reputable company and actually put police officers on the street?"
Police forces across England & Wales face budget cuts of as much as 20 per cent by 2015 but rules allow them to source as much as 1 per cent of their budgets from private firms either via sponsorship or the gift of cars and equipment.
Brighton & Hove became the first force to benefit from a sponsored car after crime writer Peter James donated the vehicle in 2008 in return for being granted access to the force at work but the Metropolitan Police are the biggest beneficiaries – raking in £23m in sponsorship between April 2007 and March 2012.
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Essex has defended his decision to give a new chief constable a salary high on the national scale.
4 May 2013 BBC NEWS
PCC Nick Alston said Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Met Police Stephen Kavanagh was "exceptional".
To run his job openly Mr Alston has published details of the pay package.
Chief Constable Kavanagh will receive a salary 10% above the set rate, a 15% allowance and a housing subsidy making a total package of £192,000.
"I determined that I should seek the best chief officer I could attract," Mr Alston said.
"The base salary for chief constables is set by national regulations so I had no flexibility other than to consider a salary 10% above or below the set rate at my discretion."
Mr Kavanagh will receive a basic £148,000, an allowance of £22,000 and a housing subsidy of £7,000
"I have to set a remuneration package that I cannot change over the four years of the contract.
"There is no opportunity for subsequent progression or performance related pay," Mr Alston said.
Mr Alston added that he was influenced by pay structures in other parts of the country.
"Chief officers all over the country enjoy what many would see as very attractive allowances to cover various costs but chiefly cars and healthcare.
"In recent years Kent and Essex Police Authorities settled on a fixed rate of 15% on top of base salary
"I judged it right to offer the established figure to Mr Kavanagh to ensure he was neither at an advantage or disadvantage
Six men from the West Midlands have pleaded guilty to planning to bomb an English Defence League rally.
Five of them took a homemade bomb to an EDL rally in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, last June but arrived after it ended.
They were caught after their car was stopped and found to have no insurance.
Police and security services had no intelligence about the planned attack, although one of the would-be killers, Jewel Uddin, was under surveillance in relation to another terror plan.
After the hearing at Woolwich Crown Court, Assistant Chief Constable of West Midlands Police Marcus Beale said: "Their capability was clear"
"They created devices that would have certainly maimed and possibly killed people depending on how close they were.
"Their intent was very, very clear. In my view they were very dangerous."
Tommy Robinson, aka Stephen Lennon, leader of the EDL, said he welcomed the convictions.
On 30 June 2012, the EDL, an anti-Islamic group that says it supports peaceful protest, held a rally in Dewsbury, despite attempts by the Muslim community in the town to have it stopped.
Police estimated there could have been as many as 750 EDL supporters in attendance, as well as dozens of police officers and passers-by
* Dominic Casciani :Home affairs correspondent
Jewel Uddin was under surveillance because of his links to other identified extremists. But he wasn't being watched around the clock because 24-hour coverage only occurs when a suspect is thought to be planning an attack and is in the closing stages of their preparations.
The British police and MI5 don't have the manpower that the East German Stasi once had, so counter-terrorism investigators deal everyday with competing requests for resources for covert operations. Uddin was, in the jargon, a person of interest whom investigators wanted to better understand.
But given what they knew of his connections, did they make the right call? The case has inevitable echoes of 2004 when MI5 had come across a man from West Yorkshire on the periphery of another investigation. They never got to the bottom of who he was until he led the 2005 suicide attacks on London