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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.

Our website and forum is packed with information for anyone interested in the UK's Special Constabulary - whether you're a serving Special Constable, maybe thinking of joining, or simply wanting to find out more about "Specials".

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Latest Police News

BBC: Storm Doris winds reach 87mph as it hits UK

Storm Doris winds reach 87mph as it hits UK 23 February 2017 From the section UK Image copyright PA Winds reached almost 90mph as Storm Doris made landfall on the British coast. An 87mph gust was recorded on the Galway coast in the Republic of Ireland. Amber warnings issued by the Met Office for wind are in place in parts of northern England, East Anglia, north Wales and the Midlands, with a snow warning issued for Scotland. Travel disruption is expected on road, train, air and ferry networks. 'Weather bomb' Gusts of more than 50mph have reached west Wales and the Isle of Wight. The strong winds are expected to cause flight delays and cancellations across the UK. Aer Lingus has cancelled almost all flights between Ireland and England. Heathrow advised passengers to check their flight status before arriving at the airport. Train services will also be disrupted, with Network Rail imposing a 50mph speed limit on the West Coast Mainline. Met Office weather warnings BBC Weather Environment Agency flood warnings Building damage and interruptions to power supplies are possible as the storm, likened to a "weather bomb" by forecasters, unleashes its power. Anyone affected by power cuts is encouraged to dial 105 for further information. Media captionWhat is a weather bomb?In southern Scotland, 10 to 15cm of snow is expected to fall throughout the Thursday. On higher ground, snowfall could reach 20 to 30cm across Falkirk, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway and the Lothian region. Heavy rain is also likely, with snow expected over high ground across north Wales, north-west England, the Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia. The strongest winds are expected to be "short-lived" and gone by the evening. Image caption A BBC Weather graphic of the forecast for Storm Doris Forecasters say there is a risk of flooding in Northern Ireland, and possibly at lower levels in northern England, and the far south of Scotland. However, the Environment Agency said it had not issued any flood warnings for the UK. More rain and wind is expected to continue through to the weekend and into next week but will not reach the same level as Storm Doris. Doris is the latest storm to be named by the Met Office, and follows Angus in November and December's Barbara and Conor. View the full article

BBC: Courts to ban cross-examination of victims by abusers

Courts to ban cross-examination of victims by abusers 23 February 2017 From the section UK Image copyright PA Domestic abusers will no longer be able to cross-examine their former partners in family courts in England and Wales, the justice secretary is to announce. Liz Truss will extend a ban which already exists in criminal courts. She ordered an emergency review into the practice last month following a campaign by victim support groups. It is part of the Prisons and Courts Bill which will also see major changes to the prison system, including steps to tackle mobile phone and drug use. Justice Minister Sir Oliver Heald said: "Victims and the most vulnerable are at the centre of our changes, which will help deliver swifter and more certain justice for all." Ms Truss has been under pressure to reform the treatment of domestic abuse victims in family courts after the President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir James Munby said they were lagging "woefully" behind their criminal counterparts. Family court judges are supposed to follow guidance, known as practice direction 12J, which is aimed at stopping an abusive partner from directly interrogating their ex. But charity Women's Aid has said that professionals in family courts often have an "appalling" lack of understanding of domestic abuse cases. 'Like being tortured' Over a period of 24 months, Diana, not her real name, was cross-examined in the family courts several times by her abuser. "I can barely put into words the terror I felt when my ex-husband questioned me directly in the family court," she said. "At the end of each 'interrogation' I'd hide in the toilets and shake and sob, dousing myself in soap, water and perfume, trying desperately to wash away the experience. "My ex taunted me about his violent past, name-calling and abusing me all over again. It happened on several occasions over many months. Each time was like being tortured. "The officials whose protection I had sought watched impassively. Forcing me to re-live the horror of his violence seemed exciting and gratifying for him. He smirked and openly laughed, relishing his audience, the control and my fear. "The experience re-traumatised me and prevented me from moving on with my life. I think it cemented the impact of the original violence and now it shocks me to think that this happened." Case study provided by Refuge. In other reforms planned for the court system, the bill will give powers to extend the use of virtual hearings, allowing victims to give evidence without meeting their attacker face to face. Some bail and other hearings will also be conducted via video or phone in future, and booths will be put in court buildings so the public can view the proceedings. Judges will be able to decide civil claims of up to £25,000 entirely online, if the parties agree. There will also be a new system for those charged with less serious offences, such as not having a ticket on the train, to plead guilty, accept a penalty and pay it online. Compensation payouts for whiplash will also be capped at fixed tariffs. Reform mission Measures to be announced on prisons come at a time of rising violence in jails, suicides and a number of high-profile disturbances. The bill will set out in law for the first time that the key function of prisons is to reform offenders as well as punish them. Other proposed measures include: New powers to tackle the use of mobile phones in prison Greater testing of prisoners for psychoactive substances Prison governors to be given control of budgets for education, employment and health Governors to also be held to account for getting inmates off drugs, into jobs and learning English and maths Making the justice secretary personally accountable for the progress in prisons A strengthened role for HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) with new statutory powers to intervene in struggling institutions League tables on how prisons are performing to be made available to the public Ms Truss said: "I want our prisons to be places of discipline, hard work and self-improvement, where staff are empowered to get people off drugs, improve their English and maths get a job on release." But shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon said: "The Conservatives' Prison and Courts Bill simply fails to deal with a prisons crisis that has developed on their watch. "Prisons must reform offenders, but these proposals are an inadequate response to a serious situation." View the full article

Newham Recorder- Police failed to note medical condition of epileptic man who later collapsed in Forest Gate station and died

http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/crime-court/police_failed_to_note_medical_condition_of_epileptic_man_who_later_collapsed_in_forest_gate_station_and_died_1_4900929 Interesting to note how the article sets a tone of blame for the police but not the Dr who assessed the prisoner and certified them fit to be detained. Sent from my iPhone usring Police Community

Dick is the new Commissioner

Cressida Dick to succeed BHH as new Met Commissioner http://www.news.sky.com/cressida-dick-is-named-first-female-commissioner-in-mets-history-10777681 Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

IPCC advises separating police officers after fatal incidents

Police officers directly involved in fatal incidents should be separated as quickly as possible to prevent conferring, a watchdog has said. The step is part of new guidance from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). It relates to how evidence should be collected immediately after a member of the public has died or been seriously injured during contact with the police. But the Police Federation said the move was "without cause". The guidance proposes that key policing witnesses should be separated as soon as it is "operationally safe" until after they have provided their personal initial account. Collusion The IPCC said separating officers after an incident to prevent conferring was designed to ensure officers provide individual accounts of only what they saw, heard and did. This avoids actual or perceived collusion or their accounts being unintentionally influenced by those of others, the watchdog said. The issue of conferring among officers came under the spotlight following the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan in 2011. A jury later concluded he was lawfully killed by police. armed police stand outside downing street in London IPCC deputy chair Sarah Green said: "The measures we have outlined do not treat police officers as suspects, but as witnesses whose early individual accounts will help ensure the integrity and smooth running of the critical early stages in any investigation." Che Donald, firearms lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said officers were "under no illusion" of the scrutiny they face following a death or serious incident. He added: "They are witnesses first and foremost and to separate them in the immediate aftermath of a highly traumatic incident is neither proportionate nor necessary and without cause." If approved by the home secretary, all police forces in England and Wales would be obliged to make use of the new guidance in the event of fatalities or serious injuries resulting from firearms operations, incidents in custody or other police contact. I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it: IPCC advises separating police officers after fatal incidents - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39034668

BBC: Domestic violence: Theresa May to oversee new law

Domestic violence: Theresa May to oversee new law 18 February 2017 From the section UK Image copyright PA Image caption As home secretary, Theresa May introduced several new measures on domestic violence Theresa May says she will directly oversee work on a new law to tackle domestic violence amid concerns victims are being let down by the legal system. Downing Street said it was "unacceptable" some areas of England and Wales were putting more effort into tackling the problem than others. The Domestic Violence and Abuse Act aims to address an inconsistency in the use of existing offences and measures. Mrs May said tackling such abuse was a "key priority" for the government. As home secretary, Mrs May introduced a new offence against controlling and coercive behaviour and domestic violence protection orders. Domestic violence prosecutions and convictions have started to improve in recent years, and the prime minister said "no stone will be left unturned in delivering a system that increases convictions, and works better for victims". Mrs May added: "Domestic violence and abuse is a life shattering and absolutely abhorrent crime. "There are thousands of people who are suffering at the hands of abusers - often isolated, and unaware of the options and support available to them to end it. "Given the central importance of victim evidence to support prosecutions in this area, raising public awareness - as well as consolidating the law - will prove crucial." Domestic abuse in figures Year ending March 2016 1.8m People aged 16-59 who told Crime Survey for England and Wales they were a victim 1.2m Female victims 651,000 Male victims 79% Did not contact police 100,930 Cases resulted in prosecution Source: Office for National Statistics Downing Street said work on the legislation would be co-ordinated by the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, although other departments would be involved. 'Sea change' Experts working with victims will also be invited to contribute ideas and proposals. Charities and groups supporting victims welcomed the plans. Women's Aid chief executive Polly Neate said there was "scope to make the legal framework surrounding domestic abuse clearer and more comprehensive", while the NSPCC called for the needs of affected children to be prioritised. Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley said she hoped the new law "will bring the sea-change that is needed to give victims the protection they need and deserve". Mark Brooks, chairman of the ManKind Initiative charity, called for a "real step change" in supporting and recognising male victims of domestic violence, saying they made up a third of all victims. Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove said: "These long awaited changes will ensure those vulnerable victims and survivors are listened to and that they feel able to come forward and speak out against their abusers." Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: "A domestic abuse case is more likely to be prosecuted and convicted today than ever before. "However, we know this crime is often under-reported and therefore any new initiative which encourages victims to come forward is to be applauded." View the full article

BBC: Dale Cregan case police officer 'wrote own death report'

Dale Cregan case police officer 'wrote own death report' 14 February 2017 From the section Manchester Image copyright Family handout Image caption Mr Summerscales' partner said the deaths of his colleagues left him "in a very dark place" A colleague of murdered police officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes filled out his own death report before being found dead in a park, an inquest has heard. Andrew Summerscales was believed to be one of the first on the scene after Dale Cregan had killed the PCs in 2012. The 46-year-old, who left the police in 2015, was found hanged in August 2016. An inquest at Stockport Coroners' Court heard he was found wearing a tag used by police for identifying bodies which he had also filled out himself. The court was told he had filled out his death report on Greater Manchester Police (GMP) stationery. GP Barbara Ellis saw Mr Summerscales after his was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder by his work's occupational health department following the murder of his colleagues. Each year around the time of the murders he would begin to feel "very down and not able to cope", and on "several occasions" had talked about suicidal thoughts, Dr Ellis said. Image copyright GMP Image caption Mr Summerscales' "very good friends" PCs Nicola Hughes (left) and Fiona Bone were killed in September 2012 His son Joshua said his father was deeply affected by the deaths of PCs Bone and Hughes, and his partner Carly Weston added that he had been left "in a very dark place" in the aftermath. The inquest also heard that Mr Summerscales had been at Hillsborough in 1989, when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives in a crush on the terraces, and Ms Weston said the disaster had affected him. Coroner Joanne Kearsley was also told he had discovered a body hanging in Stalybridge's Cheetham Park, where he died, in April 2015. Concluding that he had taken his own life, Ms Kearsley said Mr Summerscales had endured "a number of tragedies" in his life. "There's no doubts the events of September 2012 affected him greatly," said Ms Kearsley. "I have no doubt at the time he died he was suffering a relapsing of the condition he had suffered since 2012." Image copyright PA Image caption Mr Summerscales was thought to be one of the first to the scene of the two PCs' murders Chief Superintendent Neil Evans, territorial commander for Tameside, said: "Andrew was a well-liked officer who left GMP in November 2015 and many former colleagues still hold fond memories of him. "Like many people, Andrew was deeply affected by the murders of PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone and the impact of their deaths stayed with him until the day he died. "At the time of that initial tragedy, GMP faced an unprecedented level of grief and trauma amongst staff and every effort was made to ensure that support was available and the wellbeing of the families, friends and colleagues was paramount to what followed. "However, it is important to remember that people are individuals and will respond in different ways to offers of support." He added: "My thoughts today are very much with Andrew, his family, friends and former colleagues." Cregan, who was also convicted of two other murders, was jailed for life without parole in June 2013. View the full article



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