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The Special Constabulary is the United Kingdom's part-time police force. It is made up of volunteer members of the public who when on duty wear a uniform and have full police powers. There are nearly 20,000 Specials serving with police forces across the UK, working in all aspects of policing.

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Latest Police News

West Yorkshire Police seeks voluntary leavers

A police force risks losing swathes of experienced officers by asking for voluntary leavers in a bid to save £12.9m, a union has warned. West Yorkshire Police's voluntary exit scheme aims to allow older officers on higher wages to leave and new ones on lower salaries to join. Garry Bull from Unison said cost-cutting was bound to have implications on the quality of the service. The force said there were "clear benefits" to the scheme Under the scheme officers below pensionable age would receive one month's basic pay multiplied by the length of service up to a maximum of 21 years. The maximum payout an officer can receive is capped at £148,000. The force has not said how much it expects to recoup from the scheme. 'Retain key roles' In response to claims over the quality of the service, West Yorkshire Police said: "At first glance, it may seem counterintuitive to be asking police constables if they want to leave the organisation at the same time as we are actively recruiting. "There are, however, clear benefits to this approach, not just in monetary terms, but in respect of the through-flow of officers within the organisation." Mr Bull said he also had concerns about how the scheme would provide savings in the long-term. "Those people with experience and expertise will go, they'll bring the new people in but the new people, when they're about seven years into this process, will have caught up to the same salary as the officer they replaced was on." West Yorkshire Police said while it recognised the point being made, the scheme was responding to current budget constraints. It said despite having almost 1,400 fewer officers and staff since 2010, government cuts meant it still needed to save £12.9m. The force said only police constables were eligible to apply and it would not be open to everyone as it wanted to retain specialist key roles. Source - BBC

BBC: Theresa May to warn of 'hostile' Russia threat to EU security

Theresa May to warn of 'hostile' Russia threat to EU security 23 November 2017 From the section UK Politics Related TopicsBrexit Image copyright Reuters PM Theresa May is to warn EU leaders to be wary of "hostile states like Russia" and pledge the UK will stay committed to European security after Brexit. In Brussels for a summit, she will say it is crucial that European countries work together to "protect our shared values and ideals". She will also discuss Brexit with European Council President Donald Tusk. Last week Mr Tusk said the UK must show more progress on the "divorce bill" if trade talks were to begin this year. On Friday, Mrs May is expected to stress the need for a unified approach to security as the UK leaves the EU. Brexit: UK 'ready to pay more to EU' May accuses Putin of election meddling All you need to know about Brexit She will say: "From agriculture in Ukraine to the tech sector in Belarus - there is a huge amount of potential in the Eastern neighbourhood that we should nurture and develop. "But we must also be open-eyed to the actions of hostile states like Russia which threaten this potential and attempt to tear our collective strength apart. "This summit highlights the crucial importance of the European countries working together to protect our shared values and ideals. "The UK may be leaving the EU but we are not leaving Europe, and we are unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe's security." Last week Mrs May accused Russian President Vladimir Putin's government of trying to "undermine free societies" and "sow discord in the West". BBC Brussels reporter Adam Fleming said Friday's summit was about highlighting the EU's commitment to its partners in the East - countries like Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Tusk says the UK must show more progress on key negotiating issues by December He said the prime minister would use it to demonstrate that the UK could still contribute to European security after Brexit, for example by spending £100m over five years to fight Russian disinformation campaigns. Brexit is not on the official agenda but Mrs May will meet Mr Tusk for talks, weeks before the next EU summit in December. At that summit, EU leaders will decide whether enough progress has been made on issues like the financial settlement, the Irish border and citizens' rights to move on to the next phase of Brexit talks - on trade and a potential transition deal. Earlier this week, the cabinet agreed that the UK should offer to pay more money to the EU - thought to be up to £40bn - but not before the EU agrees to begin talking about a new trade deal. Last week Mr Tusk said the EU was "ready" to move onto the next phase of Brexit talks at the December 14/15 summit but the UK must first show more progress on the outstanding issues. The UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, and served the EU with formal notice of Brexit in March 2017. This began a two-year countdown to the UK's departure day which will be in March 2019. View the full article

BBC: Budget 2017: MPs rally round Hammond after growth shock

Budget 2017: MPs rally round Hammond after growth shock 23 November 2017 From the section UK Politics Related TopicsBudget 2017 Image copyright PA Conservative MPs have rallied round Philip Hammond despite his Budget being overshadowed by gloomy assessments of the UK's future growth prospects. The UK economy is forecast to expand by an average of just 1.4% a year by 2022 due to uncertainty over Brexit and sluggish productivity levels. Labour say the projections, the weakest for decades, risk prolonging austerity and extending the squeeze on families. But leading Tories said the chancellor had maintained his fiscal credibility. The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg said while the economic reality was a country that could be "poorer for longer", Mr Hammond may have overcome the short-term political challenge of delivering a controversy-free Budget that could bring "a period of peace" to his party after months of upheaval. The chancellor, who was under pressure from sections of his party in the run-up to Wednesday's speech, has won praise from Tory backbenchers for his decision to scrap stamp duty for the majority of first-time buyers and to set aside £3bn for preparations for the UK to leave the EU. MPs privately told the BBC it was "very solid" and had been "well received" while one said it contained "nothing too dangerous" and would pass intact. While conceding the economic downgrades were "significant", Nicky Morgan - chair of the Treasury select committee - said he had "taken a common-sense approach" and "balanced fiscal credibility with demands for spending on multiple fronts". Leading Brexit supporter John Redwood said the Budget was full of "good proposals", including the help for first-time buyers. Key points at-a-glance: A Budget summary What the Budget 2017 means for you In depth: The BBC's Budget coverage Read Laura's blog in full But opposition parties have said the measures go only a small way to addressing the housing crisis in the country, while an extra £2.8bn for the NHS in England up to 2022 is insufficient. Labour has said the Budget laid bare the Conservatives "record of failure" and predicted that it was set to "unravel" in the coming days. Image copyright Getty Images What does this mean for families? The poor outlook for the economy will put an extra strain on the public finances and will impact negatively on family finances, leading economists are warning. The Resolution Foundation says disposable incomes are now expected to be £540 lower by 2023 than forecast in March, largely as a result of weaker pay growth. Average pay is not set to return to its 2008 peak until the middle of the next decade, it has said. And the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which will give its eagerly-anticipated verdict on the Budget on Thursday, says it is highly unlikely Mr Hammond will meet his target of balancing the books by the mid 2020s. "To get there we would have to have another round of spending cuts," he told the BBC. "Given how hard it has been to get where we are, I think that is going to be pretty tough." Image copyright PA How bad is the economic picture? The chancellor said the economy continued to "confound those who seek to talk it down" by creating jobs and continuing to grow. But the independent Office for Budget Responsibility soon signalled that it was less optimistic about the future, slashing its 2017 growth forecast from 2% to 1.5%. Output, it added, would be weaker than previously thought in each of the subsequent four years. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe BBC's political, economics and business editors on the announcements in Philip Hammond's Budget.It warned that public spending cuts and Brexit-related uncertainty would "weigh on the economy" while the "remarkable" struggle that the UK economy has endured in bouncing back from the 2008 financial crisis, in terms of lost productivity, would also have major dampening effect. To put the figures into perspective, while there have been three recessions since the early 1980s there has not been a period since then when growth has been forecast to dip below 2% for more than three years in a row. Asked if the UK should get used to below 2% growth in the long-term, Treasury minister Liz Truss told BBC "we should not expect mediocrity and we have got to get better". Will the stamp duty holiday prove a game-changer? Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe chancellor abolishes stamp duty on homes under £300,000 to help first-time buyers.Mr Hammond's "rabbit out of the hat" moment was his pledge to scrap stamp duty for first time buyers purchasing homes worth up to £300,000. He said the change, which would also see those buying properties worth up to £500,000 paying no tax on the first £300,000, will benefit 95% of first-time buyers. But in its assessment, the Office for Budget Responsibility said the main gainers would be those who already own a home. It also said the cut, which will initially only apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, would push house prices up by 0.3% and predicted it would only lead to an extra 3,500 first-time buyer purchases. But Treasury minister Liz Truss said 0.3% was a "minor increase" and the main beneficiaries would be those struggling to get on the housing ladder. What were the other key announcements? Freezing alcohol duty apart from an increase in duty on high-strength white ciders The price of 20 cigarettes goes up by 28p and by 41p for 30g of rolling tobacco A promise to fund a pay rise for nurses if one is recommended by an independent panel A one-off tax on new diesel cars that do not meet latest emissions standards £28m for Kensington and Chelsea council for counselling and regeneration after Grenfell Tower fire Bringing forward a planned cut in business rate rises by two years to 2018 Support for electric cars including a £400m charging infrastructure fund A new railcard offering discounts to those aged between 26 and 30 Changes to universal credit to bring the overall waiting time down from six weeks to five. What are the pundits saying? The Daily Mail welcomed Mr Hammond's "Brexit optimism" and his help for young people. Skip Twitter post by @AllieHBNews Report End of Twitter post by @AllieHBNews But The Guardian said the chancellor could not hide from the economic reality. Skip Twitter post 2 by @AllieHBNews Report End of Twitter post 2 by @AllieHBNews A point also taken up in the Financial Times. Skip Twitter post 3 by @AllieHBNews Report End of Twitter post 3 by @AllieHBNews View the full article

The Sun: Theresa May slashes 413 million from Police budget after vowing to protect cops I have been staggered to read this and the budget overall. So not only is there no increase or mention of police within the budget it turns out another half a billion has been sneakily cut. This government is a disgrace and as I have said before this is ideological rather than necessary. I think we need to dig out the bonesaw now, we’ve well and truly started cutting in to the bone. This isn’t intended to be a brexit debate all over again but I find it so frustrating that 3 billion can be found to be set aside for Brexit over the next 2 years, something which is completely unnecessary in the first place and going to actually cause us more misery. Not to mention the actual settlement bill which will run in to billions. Its just so frustrating. Where is all the extra funding specifically for Mental Health services? Particularly with the changes to 136, where is the extra money desperately needed for social care? This government is a collection of jesters and fools.

BBC: Budget 2017: Hammond to 'seize opportunities' from Brexit

Budget 2017: Hammond to 'seize opportunities' from Brexit 21 November 2017 From the section UK Politics Related TopicsBudget 2017 Image copyright AFP Image caption Theresa May made Philip Hammond her chancellor in June 2016 The UK must "seize the opportunities" from Brexit while tackling deep-seated economic challenges "head on", Philip Hammond is to say in his second Budget. The chancellor will promise investment to make Britain "fit for the future" as an "outward looking, free-trading nation" once it leaves the EU in 2019. But he will also commit to supporting hard-pressed families with the cost of living and address housing shortages. Labour say he should call time on austerity and boost public services. In his Commons speech, which will begin at about 12:30 GMT, Mr Hammond will set out proposed tax and spending changes. He will also update MPs on the current state of the economy, future growth projections and the health of the public finances. Budget 2017: Everything you need to know Why the young should watch the Budget Labour demands 'emergency Budget' He has been under pressure in recent months from sections of his party who argue that he is too pessimistic about the UK's prospects when it leaves the EU. In response, he will set out his vision for the UK after Brexit as a "prosperous and inclusive economy" which harnesses the power of technological change and innovation to be a "force for good in the world". What will be in the Budget? Image copyright PA Image caption Millennials are getting money off rail tickets but will there be anything else for them? Unlike past years, few announcements have been briefed out in advance of the big day. But the chancellor is expected to announce more money for teacher training in England and extra cash to boost the numbers of students taking maths after the age of 16. He has signalled he wants to speed up permitted housing developments and give more help to small builders. In a nod to younger voters, discounted rail cards will be extended. Image Copyright @bbclaurak @bbclaurak Report Image Copyright @bbclaurak @bbclaurak Report An extra £2.3bn for research and development and £1.7bn for transport links are designed to address the UK's lagging productivity. Extra money is also expected to be found for new charge points for electric cars and for the next generation of 5G mobile networks. Expect the theme of innovation to ring through the speech, with Mr Hammond hailing the UK as being "at the forefront of a technological revolution". Driverless cars 'on UK roads by 2021' Tax on takeaway boxes to be considered Will it be a 'bold' or 'boring' Budget? Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWatch Nicholas Watt's 2016 profile of the man nicknamed SpreadSheet PhilThe image Mr Hammond has cultivated as a safe, unflashy pair of hands in uncertain times - hence his ironic "box office Phil" nickname - was dented in the March Budget when he had to backtrack on plans to hike National Insurance for the self-employed. Asked on Sunday whether this would be a bold or boring Budget, he settled for describing it as "balanced". While some Tory MPs would prefer a safety-first approach with no controversy, others want him to turbo-charge efforts to prepare the UK for life after Brexit. Most hope he will begin to address issues perceived to have hurt the Tories at the election, such as the financial pressures on public sector workers and young people. In remarks released ahead of the speech, Mr Hammond strikes an upbeat tone, saying he will use the Budget to "look forwards, embrace change, meet our challenges head on and seize the opportunities for Britain". How will 'box office Phil' play the Budget? Isn't the Budget normally in Spring? Image copyright PA Image caption Leaves rather than daffodils will be the backdrop to Budgets from now on Yes, that's the way it's been for the last twenty years. The last one was in March and normally there wouldn't be another one until Spring 2018. But Mr Hammond thinks late autumn is a more suitable time for tax and spending changes to be announced and scrutinised before the start of the tax year in April. So from now on, Budgets will take place in November. But aside from the timing, the choreography of Budget day will remain the same. Mr Hammond will be photographed in Downing Street holding the famous red ministerial box - used to carry the statement - aloft before making the short journey to the Commons. While tradition dictates he can take a swig of his chosen tipple during his speech, Mr Hammond is expected to eschew anything too strong and confine himself to water during what is normally an hour-long statement. What's happened since the last Budget? Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe chancellor speaking about the economy on the Andrew Marr showQuite a lot. In the last nine months, the UK has triggered Brexit and begun negotiations on the terms of its departure from the EU. Economic conditions have changed too, although there is fierce debate about how much of this is attributable to uncertainty and negativity over Brexit. Inflation has risen to 3%, its highest level in five years, while growth has faltered a little. However, borrowing levels are at a 10-year low, giving Mr Hammond more flexibility, while employment remains at record levels. The political backdrop has also changed enormously. The loss of their majority in June's election sparked fresh Brexit infighting within the Conservatives. The government has the backing of the DUP, but Mr Hammond - who is distrusted by many on the right of the party - does not have unlimited political capital in the bank. UK public borrowing up as Budget looms Why isn’t the UK more productive? What sort of advice he is getting? Free market think tank the Adam Smith Institute is among campaigners urging an end to stamp duty for first-time buyers. Image Copyright @ASI @ASI Report Image Copyright @ASI @ASI Report Lib Dem leader Vince Cable says housing and the NHS should be the priorities. Image Copyright @vincecable @vincecable Report Image Copyright @vincecable @vincecable Report And Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell wants immediate action to reduce inequality. Image Copyright @johnmcdonnellMP @johnmcdonnellMP Report Image Copyright @johnmcdonnellMP @johnmcdonnellMP Report View the full article

BBC: Body found in missing Gaia Pope search

18 November 2017 From the section England Image copyright PA Image caption Gaia Pope was last seen in Swanage on 7 November A body has been found on land near Swanage in the hunt for missing teenager Gaia Pope. Dorset Police said they are "confident" the remains are that of the 19-year-old, who has been missing for 11 days. Officers made the discovery near a coastal path and field where items of her clothing were found on Thursday. Three people have previously been arrested on suspicion of murder and released while inquiries continue. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. View the full article

Police officer prosecution for speeding on duty 'just ridiculous'

Police officers are being referred for prosecution by the PSNI for speeding at work in recent months - despite legislation that protects them while performing their duties, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal. Full Story - Belfast Telegraph

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