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.
Story: Islington Gazette Pic: Dieter Perry, May 25, 2013
Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Stellar Anderson had only been in the job for six weeks when she and her colleague, PCSO George Shippey, received an emergency call to a disturbance in Islington.
They ran to the address and found a scene of carnage; two families involved in a massive fight, a man lying on the floor bleeding heavily and a woman on the rampage brandishing a baseball bat.
Without thinking of their own safety, the pair headed for the heart of the scrap.
PCSO Shippey took down a thug who was trying to attack the bleeding man on the ground, while PCSO Anderson managed to get the baseball bat off the woman before she could hit anyone.
Both officers were commended for their bravery.
PCSO Anderson said: “The call came through on radio and we headed to the scene – it looked like a big family feud.” Weapons were being used and there was blood everywhere.
“I saw a woman with a massive bit of wood in her hand. She turned around and started shouting – luckily I managed to get it off her.
“Some of them tried to get away in the car, so we took their details and kept the scene safe until the regular officers arrived.
“I wasn’t scared – the training kicks in and you just know what needs to be done. You just want to stop anyone getting hurt.
“It’s really nice to get the award, but it was pretty nerve-wracking getting up in front of all those people.”
Hertfordshire Constabulary calls for St Albans Police Station's front desk to close
8:32am Wednesday 22nd May 2013 Zoe Forsey
The front desk at St Albans Police Station may be closed in a bid to save cash.
Hertfordshire Constabulary has proposed cutting the service, meaning that residents will have to make enquires over the phone or go to Hatfield or Watford police stations.
The proposal will see front desks across the county close, with only custody stations offering the service.
Politicians from across St Albans have hit out against the plan.
Martin Leach, leader of St Albans Labour party, said: "How much money are they actually going to save by doing this?
"When you factor in the amount of public money that has been spent on a commissioner and his aides you start to think that they’ve got the wrong priorities. It just seems odd."
Chris White, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, has said he will write to Hertfordshire's police and crime commissioner, David Lloyd, to demand a full consultation on the plan.
He said: "There was a plan to get rid of large police stations and get the police closer to residents in shop fronts in various parts of the district.
"The closure of the front desk by contrast is the worst of all possible worlds - the police will become remoter than ever and yet continue to occupy a valuable building in central St Albans which could have been sold off to provide more money for policing."
Published on 24/05/2013 16:09 Ilkeston News|
A long-serving member of an Ilkeston Safer Neighbourhood Team will bid a fond farewell this week — as she bids to become a fully-fledged Pc
Jennifer Hobson has been patrolling the streets of Larklands and Gallows for the past four years as a PCSO and briefly worked on Cotmanhay and Shipley View beat.
She leaves the post on Friday, May 24, to start training as a police constable in Derbyshire in June.
During her time as a PCSO, she has been involved in a wide variety of projects.
PCSO Hobson said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed serving the local community. I hope I have provided reassurance for the residents and a valuable visible presence for the neighbourhood area.
"I have met some lovely people in the last four years, both residents and partner agencies, and I will miss working in the neighbourhood I have grown to know very well but also look forward to the challenges ahead."
For more information about Ilkeston Safer Neighbourhood Team visit www.derbyshire.police.uk
Stourport police station to move to Civic Centre
5:42pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in The Shuttle
STOURPORT police station could close and be relocated to the Civic Centre according to money-saving plans announced by West Mercia Police today.
The plans, set out in a new policing model, include suggestions to close Bewdley police station, in Kidderminster Road, as well as a small police base in Comberton, in Queen Elizabeth Road.
Chief Constable David Shaw and Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore announced the force needed to save £20.1 million by 2015 and plan to do this by closing stations and bases.
Stourport plans could see West Mercia Police working with local authorities to share facilities at the Civic Centre while the station, in Bewdley Road, closes.
Despite the planned closure of Bewdley station, services are unlikely to be affected as officers already respond to incidents in the town from Kidderminster and there is currently no staffed front desk.
Plans also include reducing the number of police patrol bases from 30 to 11 across the West Mercia force area, closing 11 police buildings entirely and enabling officers to be stationed at schools, community centres or shopping centres.
Mr Shaw said: “We can no longer afford to have as many police buildings as we do. Buildings provide no protection but people do.”
Mr Shaw stressed that no stations would close until alternative services had been provided.
Mr Longmore said: “I hope people understand the very difficult financial situation the police are in and that changes have to be made to make better use of the funding that’s available.
“By looking at the police estate we can save £1.5 million which is the equivalent of 30 police constables or 51 PCSOs.”
Face-to-face policing at risk at St Albans station
Debbie White Thursday, May 23, 2013
THE future of face-to-face help at St Albans police station in the city centre is under threat as there are moves to axe the counter service as a cost-cutting measure.
There are fears that the station on Victoria Street will become a “half empty office block” after revelations that there are plans to close the front desk by late summer.
St Albans district councillor for Clarence, Chris White, has accused Herts Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Lloyd of “sneaking in” the proposed closure of the community service.
A letter sent to councillors by Herts Police warning about the proposed closure explained that costs had to be cut because of a reduction in government funding.
As a result, the police want to remove the front counter at all stations apart from the custody stations at Hatfield, Hoddesdon, Stevenage and Watford.
The letter suggests that an alternative to speaking to an officer over the counter would be to encourage vistitors to instead use an emergency phone at the entrance of the station, which links directly with the force’s communication room.
However the proposal has been blasted by Cllr White, who said that a phone could not replace a person.
He said that if the plan came to fruition it would make “the police remoter than ever, and yet continue to occupy a valuable building in central St Albans which could have been sold off to provide more money for policing”.
Lib Dem parliamentary hopeful Sandy Walkington said: “This feels like another example of our city being diminished. Our hospital was downgraded, Oaklands College was moved out of the city centre and we need to make a stand before everything is taken away.
“It’s another way that St Albans is gradually closing as a centre of significance.”
The proposed axing follows the closure of the Harpenden police station’s counter service two years ago, and the recent closure of the London Colney police station – both cost-cutting measures which were criticised by residents.
Sandy added: “I haven’t seen any additional officers on the ground, so it seems to be a convenient excuse for the police to cut this service. People have the right to expect that they can talk to someone at the station.”
A spokeswoman for Herts Police said the proposal was to close front counters only, “not police stations”.
Felixstowe: PCSO thankful for public’s support after heart attack
Matt Bunn email@example.com Sunday, May 26, 2013 2:30 PM
A police community support officer who suffered a heart attack while on duty in Felixstowe has thanked the public for their support since his incident.
PCSO Steve Butcher is now back patrolling the town’s streets after undergoing a bypass operation at Papworth Hospital.
And the 59-year-old said he was overwhelmed by the support he received while in hospital and since returning to full-time duty.
Mr Butcher, of Felixstowe, said: “I had messages of support with cards being sent to me from individuals in Felixstowe when I was in hospital.
“When I came back, I had been inundated with messages, which have been greatly appreciated.
“The police service has been very good to me as well, so I am genuinely very grateful to Suffolk police and people in Felixstowe.”
Mr Butcher was near Barclays bank in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, on November 10 last year when he said he felt a sudden tightness in his chest and became nauseous.
After seeing doctors in Felixstowe, he was transferred to Ipswich Hospital for tests which revealed he had suffered a minor heart attack. He was later taken to Papworth Hospital for an operation.
Mr Butcher has been a PCSO for seven years, after previously serving as a police constable for 30 years.
After he had surgery at the hospital, he returned to light duty in March and he was able to work more hours from April.He is now back on full time duty
Mr Butcher added: “I am very positive about it.
“I don’t have any negative feelings about it at all, in fact I feel like I have been given extra time.
“Since I have been back I have been able to speak to a gentleman who is older than me who is looking to go to Papworth for a similar thing.
“I have now been able to give him the confidence in the results and it has given him great comfort.”
Anger at plans to cut police services in Letchworth
Chandni Tanna Thursday, May 16, 2013 5:00 PM
A DISTRICT councillor has hit out at Hertfordshire Constabulary after it announced it is planning to reduce the number of police stations offering front office counter provision.
If proposals are given the go ahead, Letchworth Police Station, which is currently open two days a week, could be one of the stations hit by the plans.
Cllr Gary Grindal, of North Herts District Council, said it was outrageous the constabulary was considering closing the front office.
He said: “We have always argued for the desk to be open all the time. People want to have a place to go to speak to staff and police officers if they have a problem. Letchworth residents want a police presence in the town.”
The proposal is to offer a front counter service from custody stations only.
A spokesman for the constabulary said: “The greater use of the phone and mobile data has meant we are already seeing a change in the way we interact with the public.
“We have also seen a significant increase in the number of people using our online services. Footfall has continued to reduce and of those who do use the front counter provision only a small number actually require face to face contact.”
The spokesman said the removal of a front counter service does not mean police stations will be closed, and there are no plans to reduce the number of officers and PCSOs patrolling the towns and surrounding areas.
PCSO in drowning woman drama
Monday, May 27, 2013 By Jenna Thompson
A PCSO has spoken of the dramatic moment he jumped into a drain to save a drowning woman.
Steve White, 53, rescued the woman after she became fully submerged under the water in Holderness Drain, near Harleston Close, in east Hull
He said: "Her head and face were completely submerged under the water.
"I knew the seconds were ticking away and we couldn't wait any longer, so I had to go in."
Senior officers have said his actions saved the 46-year-old woman's life.
The Humberside Police helicopter, police dogs and a large number of officers were drafted in to search for the woman, who was reported as missing on May 19.
PCSO White, who covers the Bilton Grange and Longhill estates, was patrolling the area on his bike when he decided to join the search.
"I heard on the radio that a woman was missing in the area and there was real concern for her safety. I wasn't far away, so I biked towards the drain, where the search was concentrated," he said.
"As I got close to the drain, I heard an officer in the helicopter say they could see her in the water and I was the nearest officer.
"When I got there, I could barely see her because the bank was so steep and the nettles were so high.
"When I did see her, I thought she was dead. She wasn't moving at all. I tried to find something to extend to her so I could pull her out, but she was making no effort to let me help her at all.
"I couldn't reach her and I was trying to urge her to come towards me, but she wouldn't."
PCSO White was joined by Sergeant Lauryn Landeg on the banks of the water, but the woman did not respond to their efforts to help her.
He said: "Her head started to go under the water and I knew we had to act quickly. I was being told not to enter the water, but I couldn't wait any longer.
Gwent Police boss Ian Johnston's concern over crime stats
10:07am Saturday 18th May 2013 Natalie Crockett
GWENT'S Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston told NATALIE CROCKETT the force may not be recording crime properly.
POLICE in Gwent may not be recording crimes properly in a bid to lower crime figures, the Police and Crime Commissioner claimed.
Gwent's PCC Ian Johnston said he is concerned officers are not classifying incidents correctly, which means recorded crime statistics do not give a true picture of what is happening on the streets.
He believes in some cases officers are logging incidents as less serious ones, which are not recorded as crimes, because of pressure from above.
He said something like an argument in the street or a fight that should be categorised as a public order offence may instead be being classed as being drunk and disorderly.
This is not registered on the quarterly crime statistics, which gives the picture that crime rates are lower then they actually are, he said.
Mr Johnston said: "Cops do as they are told because it is a disciplined organisation. Feedback from the public on their experience with cops is that there's an emphasis on whether something is a crime or not rather than getting on and dealing with it and giving the public what they want.
"We in Gwent are not alone, it's national. People are obsessed with driving down crime and the level of recording crime but the public don't believe the stats anyway. What they want is the proper service - reduce the problem and the stats will look after themselves.
"Police have a large degree of control over what becomes a crime and which incidents are recorded as a crime and I'm not saying that anyone is fiddling the books but it is the interpretation of the incident."
Gwent Police recorded the largest fall in crime in England and Wales at 17 per cent last year compared with 2011, but public confidence was among the lowest in the country with just 53 per cent of people saying they were satisfied with the service they received.
Mr Johnston believes that if crime statistics were correct, public confidence would be higher.
"Something's not right, the two ought to go together"
"We have a 53 per cent confidence rate and what that means is that one in two people in Gwent have not got confidence in the police.
"They (the public) don't care if the matter gets a tick as a crime or not, what they care about is having something done about it. And if you are feeling you are being fobbed off that doesn't give you confidence."
A report by the Office of National Statistics, which collates crime statistics, has previously said police appeared to "overstate the true rate in which crime is falling.
This followed the publication of figures, which showed police recorded crime in England and Wales fell by 41 per since 2002/03, while the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which records residents' experience of crime saw only a 26 per cent fall over the same period. This gap continues to get wider year on year.
Police boss wants to increase public confidence
Increasing public confidence and putting victims first is one of Mr Johnston's priorities in his Police and Crime Plan launched last month.
He sees this as his biggest challenge but one that is key to policing in Gwent, because if people feel they will be listened to they are more likely to report crime, which officers can then tackle, he said.
He also wants to bridge the gap between what the force thinks is important and what is important to residents.
Warning over cop-shop cover as MP claims ‘totally inappropriate’ police contact point will close within months
Published: 30 May, 2013 by TOM FOOT
A LEAKED email from a top police chief has revealed how the force plans to replace three police stations with a threadbare service.
Detailing the changes, Westminster Chief Inspector Tracy Stephenson said mini-surgeries would open at the Beethoven Centre and St John’s Wood Library for just one hour, three days a week.
Three police stations in north Westminster are being shut down as part of massive cuts to the Metropolitan Police.
Karen Buck MP said she was prepared to “open her vein and sign in her own blood” a chilling guarantee that the Beethoven Centre contact point would shut down in the next few months.She said: “Beethoven Street is tucked away, not on a main road. It doesn’t serve anything like the function of a proper police contact point. No one will go because it is totally inappropriate. No one will remember when it is open.
“It will disappear if no one goes – I will open my vein and sign in my own blood that it will go away in the not-too-distant future – I guarantee you.”
She added: “The problem lies in the Mayor’s Office. The problem is that they have said make savings from police stations without giving borough commanders budgets to provide alternative services. North Westminster has been effectively abandoned in all of this.”
There are also concerns that Paddington Green will be shut for a lengthy refurbishment but there is hope that the One Stop Shop next-door to Harrow Road could reopen a year after it closed. The email from Ch Insp Stephenson added that the opening times of 24-hour police stations West End Central, Charing Cross and Paddington would reduce to 8am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday, and Belgravia to reduce to 8am to 10pm.
More than 650 people have applied for just 30 jobs with Sussex Police.
Anna Roberts 30 May 2013
The force has received around 22 applications for every Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) vacancy.
Sussex Police specified in its job specification that it was keen to recruit people living in West Sussex who could speak eastern European languages including Latvian, Hungarian, Polish and Romanian.
But the force could not have not anticipated the response in the two weeks since the application process opened.
Yesterday, Adrian Rutherford, head of human resources services at Sussex Police, said: “We are pleased with the response.
“There have been a good number of applicants, including some from diverse communities able to speak other languages including those from Eastern Europe.
“They will now face a selection process which involves scenario tests, English skills and verbal reasoning to name just a few.
“Those who are successful will join Sussex Police in early September for an eight week initial course before being tutored on the streets.”
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Initially the force is looking to recruit 20 to 30 people in September with a view to keeping a pool of people for future vacancies.