What Skull Cracker and his pals reveal about our pathetic jails
25th May 2014 Peter Hitchens
In the black comedy that is modern Britain, one of the best jokes is that crime is supposed to be falling, yet the prisons have never been so full. The Government ceaselessly begs judges and magistrates not to send anyone to jail unless they absolutely have to.

The ‘police’ (a word which can now only be used sarcastically), and the Crown Prosecution Service (whose title is itself a joke) do their best to ignore them, forget them and let them off.

But things are so bad that, even so, large numbers of people actually are convicted of crimes. And many of them are so nasty, and have been let off so many times before, that judges do actually sentence them to immediate custody

Alert people have known for years that these sentences are official lies. ‘Six months’ means ‘out in weeks’, free either to commit more crimes or perhaps to write a weekly column for the Guardian.

But it is only thanks to Mr ‘Skull Cracker’, the ‘Scarborough Slasher’ and various other picturesquely horrible criminals that we have now found out that it is even worse than that.

Such people are officially in prison. But in many cases they aren’t really. They are being let out to wander around. Perhaps one of them is sitting near you as you read this.

Perhaps he has official permission. Perhaps he has just decided to stay out a little longer because the weather is nice today (knowing that he will eventually get a free lift back to prison from the police).

In any case, be nice to any angry-looking men with tattoos you come across. They may only be in the ‘police’, but they could be taking a break from penal servitude. Green trousers are a warning sign. If you spoil their awaydays, they might spoil your whole day too.

This is both grim and funny. But it also tells us an important truth. Britain’s governing elite simply do not believe in punishing criminals.

They maintain prisons only because they are afraid we will be angry if they close them down. That is why the prisons are pointless, anarchic, drug-infested warehouses, most of whose inmates arrive through a revolving door and are spat out the same way a few weeks or months later.

If there is such a thing as ‘rehabilitation’, these absurd token detentions don’t offer enough time to attempt it.

As for the liberal myth that prison makes bad people worse, the truth is more or less the opposite. It is weakness that makes bad people worse.

Apart from actual murderers, almost nobody goes to prison for a first offence, or a second, or, in many cases, a tenth. They’re already worse before they get there, and almost wholly unafraid of the law.

In most cases they’ll be out so soon it won’t be worth absconding anyway.

But the cells are so crammed that open prisons are now being used for people who – in a just society – would be detained on an island surrounded by man-eating crocodiles.

Prison doesn’t work, on any level, because those in charge of it – our political class – don’t care about you. They care about themselves.

Because they do not believe in any absolute idea of right and wrong, they do not believe in punishment. And so they lack the nerve or conviction to lock up Mr Skull Cracker and Mr Slasher somewhere they cannot crack or slash anyone else.

MET POLICE have cut half their PCSOs since the start of the coalition government
Essex have cut theirs by 30 per cent
Only five police forces out of the 39 in England have maintained or increased their number of PCSOs.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: "Neighbourhood policing is dying on the beat. What took years to build up is being lost because of reckless Government cuts. "PCSOs are under growing pressure. They tell us how they have to cover larger beats and more of them have to work alone, often leading them to feel vulnerable. "PSCOs play a key role in intelligence gathering, tackling minor crimes and anti social behaviour. They are a reassuring and deterring visible presence in our streets and without them crime is likely to rise.

Essex Article by Ciaran Gold Mercury Article by Sinead Holland   Site Members Only : Discussion Thread here

As well as a reduction in the number of PCSOs, cuts in supporting roles also impact on front line policing as PCSOs often find themselves covering for these roles and spending less time out in the community.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: "Neighbourhood policing is dying on the beat. What took years to build up is being lost because of reckless Government cuts.

"PCSOs are under growing pressure. They tell us how they have to cover larger beats and more of them have to work alone, often leading them to feel vulnerable.

"PSCOs play a key role in intelligence gathering, tackling minor crimes and anti social behaviour. They are a reassuring and deterring visible presence in our streets and without them crime is likely to rise.

"The Government’s claims that front line policing would be protected are in tatters. The cuts on neighbourhood teams are putting the public safety into jeopardy. That is why we are calling on the Government to fund and maintain neighbourhood policing teams at their 2010 level.

"Because the fall in the number of police community support officers will impact on how safe people are, we also want HMIC to investigate neighbourhood policing to see how the cuts have affected the quality of the service.”

In contrast to England, there has been a 57% rise in the number of PCSOs in Wales, with an extra 409 posts created, with dedicated funding from the Welsh Government. The 28.54 cut in Essex was the fourth highest in the country while Herts' 20.99 reduction was eighth worst.

 Bishop Auckland youngsters discuss police issues
16th April Northern Echo
CHILDREN have been tackling issues affecting their town at a junior community police meeting.

More than 30 youngsters, aged between six and nine-years-old, gave their views on anti-social behaviour, littering, off-road biking and speeding.

PCSOs Abby Freeman, Callum Proudlock, and Iain Osborne held two one hour youth Police and Communities Together (Pact) meetings at the Auckland Youth and Community Centre, in Bishop Auckland, on Tuesday, April 15 and Wednesday, April 16.

The youngsters enjoyed a game of football before talking about what they knew about the issues.

PCSO Freeman said: “They responded really well and learnt off each other. They had done their own research beforehand.”

She said she hoped the event might take place again in the summer holidays.

 Ferryhill police and wildlife volunteers tackling rural crime
5:10pm Friday 11th April 2014 in News The Northern Echo: By Catherine Priestley, Chief Reporter (Sedgefield)
A TOWN police team is winning the fight against countryside crime in its outlying areas but insists the battle goes on.

Officers in Ferryhill have seen a reduction in the number of incidents of wildlife crime such as poaching in the last year.

But PCSO Craig Hilton, who covers Chilton, Windlestone and Rushyford, aims to stamp out poaching, destruction of badger setts, unauthorised hunting and trespassing.

Working with colleagues in the Durham Dales, he plans mini operations based on the Durham force’s Farmwatch initiative

He said: “Once hotspots and key dates and times are identified we will get out there with the assistance of locals, to detect and discourage illegal activities.”

There has been a Farmwatch scheme, which sees farmers and police officers work together to tackle rural crime, in the Ferryhill area since 2008.

And for the last 12 months, the neighbourhood team has also been supported by a network of volunteer rangers.

The deer watch group was set up to monitor poaching hotspots following a series of incidents, including the slaughter of two deer, at the Ferryhill Carrs nature reserve.

A founder member said: “We’ve been working hand and hand with the police, Farmwatch and Neighbourhood Watch to get the message out there that people are watching and protecting our countryside and wildlife.

“Our small group and people we meet like dog walkers are definitely being more vigilant and calling the police on 101.

“We know some of our reports have helped identify suspected poachers, some caught in the act and others have been warned that they face prosecution.”

PCSO Hilton said: “We always encourage people to call us, they are our eyes and ears.

 ‘Don’t feed the drinkers’ plea
12th April 2014 THE STAR
‘Please do not feed the drinkers’ is the message from one city centre PCSO who is trying to crack down on people downing booze in public.

PCSO John Charlesworth says police have been trying to move drinkers on from outside Tesco on West Street – but well-meaning residents giving them tea, cake and biscuits could be encouraging them to congregate.

PCSO Charlesworth told a meeting of Sheffield City Centre Residents’ Action Group: “We have got a lot of people in West Street.

“Some residents have been bringing them down tea and biscuits and cake when the weather is cold.

“I can’t say to an old lady, ‘You can’t bring tea and biscuits down’ because it’s a nice thing she’s doing. I can’t say, ‘You are not allowed to do that’. We have to word it very well. It’s a nice thing to do.

“But if you know residents in these blocks, have a chat with them and ask them to refrain.”

The community support officer stressed the drinkers are not causing trouble, nor are they responsible for a current spate of ‘aggressive begging’ in the area.

He added: “An old lady fell on her face. The only people who ran to help her were two street drinkers.”

Tim Renshaw, chief executive of the Cathedral Archer Project which helps the homeless, encouraged people wishing to help to support food provision projects instead such as the Sunday Centre, the Archer Project and St Andrew’s Church.

He said: “Street drinkers know where to find sources of food. So in a way it isn’t really necessary, but I understand why people would want to do it.

 PCSO honoured for 'exemplary' support for vulnerable man
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: April 14, 2014
A PCSO was honoured with a commendation award for helping reunite a missing man with his family.

PCSO Steve Sutton befriended the man after spotting him standing in a bus shelter near Cleethorpes sea front in October last year.

The man suffered from acute memory loss and could not remember his full name or where he was from.

But over time, Steve, who bought the man food and found him accommodation, established that his name was David.

And in January, thanks to Steve's tireless efforts, the police were able to trace David's two brothers and his partner of 17 years, all of whom had assumed he was dead, as reported in the Telegraph at the time.

Chief Supt Tony Forbes, divisional commander for the South Bank, described Steve's support for the vulnerable man as "exemplary."

Steve, 48, whose beat covers Humberston and New Waltham, was on the way to a job that Steve first saw David.

"It was cold, rainy and really windy. He was standing in a bus shelter and it didn't sit right.

"When I came back from the job he was still standing there. I stopped to speak with him and after that I tried to see him on every shift."

Initial attempts to identify David proved fruitless as he had given an incorrect surname.

But when a national appeal was issued to help identify David, his photograph was spotted by his family watching on TV.

Steve said: " It was a shock for everybody when we eventually identified him. It was a fabulous feeling. He's got his life back. For seven years he had no money. He didn't have anything apart from the things he was stood up in.

"He couldn't claim benefits because he didn't know what his name was. Now he can be a person again."

 can you help out at a scout group? Scout Leaders needed!
14th April 2014 BBC NEWS
Nineteen new badges which recognise skills such as disability awareness and understanding the solar system have been unveiled by the Scout Association.

Geocaching - a modern take on orienteering, in which participants use GPS technology to find hidden treasure boxes - is among the other new badges.

Skills such as learning how to send text messages and emails are rewarded in a new communicator badge.

But the association said traditional scouting skills were also maintained.

The new badges follow a 10-month consultation with the association's 12,000 scouts.

Nine of the new badges are aimed at the Beaver Scouts - aged from six to eight years old - and cover camp craft, collecting, cycling, gardening, photography, sports, space and disability awareness.

The communicator badge is also aimed for this age group. To qualify, Beavers must spell their own name in Morse code, while also demonstrating knowledge of more modern communication systems such as text messaging and emails.

 Sacked Bristol police officer Tony Ryan denies tweeting attacks on Avon and Somerset force
By The Bristol Post | Posted: April 14, 2014
A POLICE constable has been sacked for running a Twitter profile criticising his force – but has denied having anything to do with it.

Tony Ryan, who was based in Filton and had 10 years' service, was dismissed for gross misconduct after a Professional Standards Department (PSD) investigation carried out by Avon and Somerset Police.

It is believed to be the first time the force has sacked someone because of their Twitter use.

A three-strong disciplinary panel found that, on the balance of probabilities, he was the man behind @TheBritishCop and had been responsible for "persistent undermining through social media of the leadership and function of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, so as to undermine confidence in the police".

Critical tweets posted on the profile included calling officers in Professional Standards "lower than slime" and "scum", saying the force treats their "hard-working staff like garbage", and describing management and resources in Bristol as "so bad".

But the 33-year-old claims he has been "bullied" and is adamant he has nothing to do with the account which has more than 900 followers and is going to take his case to the Police Appeal Tribunal.

"My reaction is simply disbelief," he told the Bristol Post. "@TheBritishCop on Twitter has allowed them to hang me out to dry. Whoever they are can do what they like and get away with it, because I am their scapegoat.

"I am, and always have been, 100 per cent innocent of this garbage and tried to conduct myself with dignity through the whole process."

Chief Inspector Kevan Rowlands, the deputy head of PSD, said: "Our attention was drawn to inappropriate and offensive comments being made on social media between March and October last year, which were suspected to have been posted by a serving police officer.

"Following an internal investigation, a misconduct hearing was held. As a result, the officer was dismissed."


PSD believed a number of tweets gave the game away for PC Ryan, including:

12/3/13 – mention of a missing person consistent with his duties that day

28/3/2013 – reference to South Gloucestershire district using local terminology

13/04/13 and 23/04/13 – reference to a DCI who dealt with a misconduct issue

23/04/13 – informed references to Chief Constable Nick Gargan and his predecessor Colin Port

01/08/13 – reference to Mr Gargan’s lunch with student officers and indicating local knowledge of a controversial student PC

28/08/13 – reference to wages not being paid, which happened to an officer or officers he knew

30/08 and 31/08/13 – reference to a suspect search consistent with his duties and activities

11/09/13 – tweet about a PC meeting Deputy Chief Constable John Long – knowledge limited to close colleagues


There were also tweets that conflicted the theory PC Ryan was @TheBritishCop, including:

11/3/13 – tweet claiming the author is new to Twitter

13/3/13 – tweet about a training day when PC Ryan was on annual leave

23/3/13 – tweet about a domestic incident when PC Ryan was on a training course

 Crack dealer walks free after judge says prison would be "easier"
Swindon Advertiser 17 Apr 2014
A MAN caught again selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer has walked free from court after a judge told him it may be harder than going to jail.

Recorder Nicholas Atkinson QC told dealer Justin Collier, who has 124 previous convictions: “In some ways it may be easier if you just go straight to prison today.”

Instead he put the 42-year-old on a suspended sentence and told him to do another drug rehabilitation requirement having received a similar order 18 months ago. Collier, who goes by the street name of Jutty, was caught in a covert operation targeting town centre dealers.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the deal took place in September last year. Collier, of Stonefield Close, Eastleaze, pleaded guilty to the supply of class A drugs.

The court heard he had 124 previous convictions and was jailed for four years in 2006 for supplying and offering to supply drugs.

Passing sentence Recorder Nicholas Atkinson QC said: “The only appropriate sentence is one of imprisonment but considering the contents of the report that is before me and what has been said on your behalf by your barrister I am satisfied that it is not a sentence you will start today. I take the view that the sentence given a plea of guilty becomes one of two years imprisonment.”

 Croydon conwoman Neelam Desai arrested on suspicion of fraud
By Gareth_Davies | Posted: April 16, 2014
Over the last six weeks, an investigation by the Advertiser has linked Desai to a series of dating website scams.

We have spoken to four men who claim they were tricked out of thousands of pounds – often thinking the money was going to a children’s charity – after being approached by a woman on Asian marriage website

The investigation made national news when Desai complained to the police that she was being “harassed” by chief reporter Gareth Davies, who had approached her for a comment.

Three police officers visited the Advertiser’s office on March 31 and handed Mr Davies a formal warning, under the Protection of Harassment Act 1997, that if he continued he would be arrested.

However, the Advertiser has now confirmed that Desai has repeatedly called our reporter – including after the police warning was issued – pretending to be a relative.

The calls, from a withheld number, began on March 4, after the Advertiser visited Desai’s home in Beulah Grove, Selhurst.

The woman asked for details of the articles, when they are going to be published and what page they are going on.

She called again yesterday (Tuesday) and identified herself as “Sima, Miss Desai’s relative”.

Our reporter confronted her with information he has received that confirms her true identity and, during a dramatic interview, she eventually admitted being Neelam Desai.

In a short extract of the conversation, below, Desai says she has contacted the police and effectively retracted the harassment allegations as she now wishes to give “her side” of the story.

The following day she was arrested.

Our lawyers, who wrote to Croydon borough commander David Musker on April 7 and formally asked for the warning to be withdrawn, have passed this new information to the police. They have yet to respond.

 Jess the border collie named and shamed as 'vandal' behind six-month spate of tyre-slashing in Cumbrian village
by Leon Watson 16 April 2014
A dog owner was mortified to hear his Border Collie was responsible for causing a town's residents six months of misery slashing car tyres.

Edward and Jean Morgan were shown CCTV footage of their very own Border Collie, named Jess, caught red-handed slashing a neighbour's car - evidence that cracked the case of the culprit responsible for months of vandalism.

Officers were left clueless when residents in Brampton, Cumbria, started to regularly report damage to their tyres.

And, after spending six months and countless hours studying CCTV police got the lead when it transpired that Jess had been using her daily walk to bite the two nearside tyres of cars she came across - causing slow punctures and flat tyres by morning.

Jess had been allowed off her lead while being walked by her owners and had been nipping the tyres without them noticing.

 Five-year hell of woman stalked by a neighbour who vandalised her house, car and street, targeted her parents, then stabbed her – and police failed to stop it
By Luke Salkeld 15 Apr 2014
A woman reported a stalker to the police 125 times before he almost stabbed her to death in a graveyard.

Joe Willis, 49, dragged Helen Pearson into a cemetery after she had suffered the ‘hell’ of his stalking for five years.

Begging for her life, the 34-year-old was only saved when a female motorist noticed the commotion and confronted Willis.

She said the attack in the historic cemetery known as The Catacombs was the culmination of five years of hell.

She kept a diary which recorded 125 incidents she reported to Devon and Cornwall police.

Her parents - who were also targeted - say they were eventually forced to hire a private detective to hunt down her tormentor.

Miss Pearson said the stalking began after Willis asked her to go and watch a pub band with him but she declined.

The harassment began with silent phone calls but moved on to vandalism of her home and car, graffiti in the street and attacks on her parents’ home.

A dead cat was left on her doorstep and she had to install grilles on her windows and change her mobile phone every few months.

She was also sent threatening letters which revealed Willis knew her movements and included personal items stolen from her rubbish bin.

Prosecutor Richard Crabb said Willis, a former mechanic, lay in wait for Miss Pearson and intended to murder her but was thwarted by a brave passing woman driver who stopped and ran into the Exeter graveyard to intervene.

Recalling the terrifying attack last October, Miss Pearson said: ‘The first I knew about it was when I was stabbed in the back. I turned and saw it was Joe.

‘I saw his eyes and he looked absolutely furious. The first blow pushed me to the floor and he kicked me and was trying to drag me along into the Catacombs. That was where it was going to end. I tried to get free. I felt another kick and stab from behind.

‘I thought this is going to go on until I am dead. He was deranged and so evil. I had six stab wounds in total on my back.

She told the court: ‘I became more and more afraid, not knowing what the stalker would do next. I imagined he would attack and rape me.

‘Stalking is an apt name for what I was dealing with as I felt like an animal being constantly hunted.

‘Ordinary life was impossible. Finding a dead cat on my doorstep was heart-breaking and I feared it was a warning.

‘I was convinced the stalker was going to kill me but I felt powerless to do anything about it.

‘I felt let down by the authorities that should have been there to help me, that no one cared and that I was a nuisance. I was shocked.’ Willis later turned his attentions to her parents’ home, causing damage, phoning them, and sending malicious letters.

He even sent their neighbours a letter pretending to be from the Pearsons saying they ran sex parties.

The couple have now lodged an official complaint against Devon and Cornwall Police.

Judge Paul Darlow told Willis, who had denied the charge but admitted wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm, he faced an ‘inevitably lengthy sentence’.

 Teignbridge PCSO tells abusive drivers to 'be patient'
Herald Express 6 April 2014
A TEIGNBRIDGE police community support officer has urged abusive drivers to be more patient.

PCSO Deborah Sleeman covers Dawlish Warren, Starcross, Kenton, Mamhead, Ashcombe and Powderham.

She said she had suffered abuse from irate motorists while she was trying to make sure everyone is safe in the aftermath of road accidents.

And she called for more understanding and patience for the emergency services while they are doing their job.

PCSO Sleeman said: "Recently I have been conducting traffic control duties during road traffic accidents.

"Whilst conducting these duties and keeping motorists and pedestrians safe, I have been subject to some abuse.

"I would like to remind motorists that I am not there just to inconvenience them.

"I am there to do a job due which the circumstances dictate. I understand that the waiting times can sometimes be frustrating, and ask that you be patient during these times.

"I am sure the people involved in these collisions would appreciate your patience."

 Council bosses ask police to take action against Travellers
By Esther Beadle 8 Apr 2014
COUNCIL bosses today issued police chiefs with an ultimatum over illicit Traveller camps.

Aberdeen City Council has said Police Scotland must crack down on Travellers who set up unauthorised camps in the city.

And councillors have said that if there is no action they won’t sign off on a three-year plan for policing in Aberdeen.

The city’s police chief today defended the force, insisting officers did all they could within the law.

Finance convener Willie Young said: “We need a bylaw from the Scottish Government, but the police need to up the ante. This is ridiculous.

“If the Government don’t give us a bylaw, if the police don’t act, then this is going to be every week.

“There’s only a limited amount of things we can do. People think it’s the council’s fault. It’s not. We have limited powers. The police do not.”

Chief Supt Watson said: “I fully understand the complexity of this issue, which primarily sits with our valued partner Aberdeen City Council.

“Of course, if there is any evidence of criminality being committed by, or to, the Gypsy/Traveller community then can I reassure you that we will respond to any reports and take the appropriate action.”

 Top PCSO fell seriously ill after battle with bosses over 'coconut' slur
Mar 31, 2014 06:00 By John Scheerhout
An award-winning police worker had three heart attacks after she was disciplined for allegedly using the term ‘coconut’ about an Asian colleague.

PCSO Shazia Awan, 42, fell seriously ill last month following a bitter dispute with her bosses over the allegation, which she strenuously denies.

The single mother from Didsbury, who is of Pakistani heritage, is taking Greater Manchester Police to an employment tribunal, alleging bullying and racial discrimination.

Documents detailing her case, seen by the M.E.N, allege she was the subject of a ‘malicious investigation’ following an accusation that she referred to an Asian Pc as ‘coconut’ – a racial slur suggesting someone is betraying their race or culture by being brown on the outside but white on the inside.

According to the documents, it was initially claimed there were three witnesses to the alleged outburst, which it was said followed an incident in a car. However, the papers say this later changed to allegedly having happened at a supermarket on a different date, with just two colleagues present. Ms Awan writes in the paperwork: “I was told to admit the allegation or be referred to the Professional Standards Branch (PSB).”

She says the probe was ‘disproportionate’ and that ‘a white counterpart of Christian faith would not have been treated the same way’.

She adds PSB detectives ‘failed to pursue reasonable lines of investigation that would have supported my position and proved I was not guilty of misconduct’, while officers ‘lacked integrity, impartiality, misled and lied to me’.

Ms Awan received a final written warning last July and lost an appeal. Some 14 other cases where white officers allegedly received more lenient punishments following claims of racism are also included in her case. She claims the stress of fighting the case caused three heart attacks. She remains off work through sickness.

 'I was a token', says female black police firearms officer
By Claire Duffin 1 April 2014
A black firearms officer who is suing the Metropolitan Police for racial and sexual discrimination claims she was a "token" used by the force to try to prove it was diverse.

Carol Howard, 34, said she was put forward for an interview in the wake of the shooting of Mark Duggan, at a time when her unit had a "bad reputation".

She told an employment tribunal that she was also tasked with driving Baroness Lawrence, the mother of murdered Stephen Lawrence, in what she saw as an attempt by the Met to prove it was no longer racist.

Pc Howard, a member of Scotland Yard's elite SO6 Diplomatic Protection Group who helped safeguard London from terror attacks during the Olympics, is suing the Met Police for racial discrimination, claiming that the DPG's then Acting Inspector Dave Kelly obstructed her promotion because of her race and gender.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Pc Howard said in a written statement that in June 2012 she was asked to do a photo shoot with the Evening Standard newspaper.

She said: "I was led to believe before the photoshoot that it was happening purely to highlight the Olympics, however the questions put concerned the public perception of firearms officers and references were made to our bad reputation.

"At the time I was aware of the Mark Duggan investigation occurring in the press and it was my opinion that the questions were based around the recent events.

"I felt I had been singled out and chosen as a black female officer to represent diversity and to change the public image of white police shooting a black youth."

She added: "I felt that once again I was being used as a token by the organisation."

Mr Duggan, 29, was shot and killed by police in Tottenham, London, in August 2011. His death sparked the worst riots in modern British history.

Referring to the incident involving Baroness Lawrence, PC Howard said she was asked by the then chief inspector to "run an errand", and take then then Mrs Lawrence from Brixton police station to Frank O'Neil House.

She said: "I felt I was called upon to demonstrate to Mrs Lawrence that the organisation had come a long way as here I stood as a successful black female officer."

But Pc Howard said she felt the force had learnt nothing from the Macpherson inquiry, which delivered a damning assessment of "institutional racism" within the Met.

 PCSO convinces knife-wielding man to give himself up
3:25pm Tuesday 25th March 2014 in Sutton Your Local Guardian: By Mike Murphy-Pyle, Chief Reporter.
A brave police officer managed to talk a knife wielding man into giving himself up in a dramatic confrontation.

Police officers called at a house in Culvers Way, Carshalton, to arrest a robbery suspect at 11.15am on Sunday.

When PC Fash Mohammadi and PCSO Jamie Cliffe arrived at the property they were greeted by a man brandishing a 10in kitchen knife who told the officers he would stab them and let loose three Staffordshire bull terriers.

Minutes later PCSO Vanessa Lewis, PC Andrew McDonnell and Sergeant Jon Eames arrived as back up.

PCSO Lewis recognised the knife wielding man from a previous enquiries and proceeded to talk with him.

She went to the front garden and spoke to the man, who was cutting himself with the blade, through the living room window.

Despite the man threatening her with the knife and a piece of broken glass, PCSO Lewis managed to gain his confidence and trust through patient conversation and eventually convinced him to put the knife down and leave the house.

He was arrested and charged with affray and appeared in front of Croydon magistrates on Monday. He pleaded guilty and was bailed to return for sentence on July 14.

A 17-year-old man was arrested at the same address on suspicion of robbery and has been bailed pending further enquiries.

 Pupils grin and bear it with Bob, the community's new 'policeman'
By Plymouth Herald | Posted: March 18, 2014
SAY hello to the newest 'police officer' in Morice Town – Bob, the good citizen bear.

Bob will be on the beat rewarding good work and behaviour at Morice Town Primary School.

Police Community Support Officer Sam Welch led the appointment of the new bobby, and took a group of pupils to the Build a Bear shop, at Charles Street in the city centre, to decide how Bob should look.

David Maddison, headteacher at the school, helped plan the trip, taking the students to the shop on the local bus.

PCSO Welch said: "The children built a bear, which they will use in school as an award each week.

"The children will take the bear home as part of a police award, chosen by the headteacher.

"The police bear will be used for an award for the children to take home weekly and the lucky recipient will be chosen by Mr Maddison – this could be a good citizen award or a recognition for 'going for goals'.

"As a local police team we engage with the school and community to improve confidence and reassurance. We aim to provide a safe and secure school ethos that enhances the learning environment and we engage with young people, challenge unacceptable behaviour, and help them develop a respect for themselves and their school and wider community.

"We are hoping that this award will radiate some good feeling in the community and towards the perception that the public have towards the police."

 Police warn parent parkers they are putting kids’ lives at risk
Boston Standard 7th March 2014
Parents could be putting children’s lives at risk with dangerous parking on yellow zig zag lines outside schools, according to police.

Pcso Neil Williams, of Boston West Rural local policing team, said most schools in the area would say they have problems with parking.

In particular the issues centre on vehicles being left on yellow zig zag lines during the period when children are being dropped off for school or collected at the end of the day.

These lines indicate where motorists should not wait, stop or park a vehicle at all.

Motorists who flout these lines present an issue in terms of children’s safety, Pcso Williams said.

He added: “Anything when it comes to children not being able to come out of school and cross the road safely could lead to a potential endangerment of life.

“We haven’t had any injuries that I can think of outside of schools, but the potential is there.”

In most cases, yellow zig zag lines are only advisory.

It means Lincolnshire County Council, which is responsible for parking enforcement in the county, has no power to take action.

Pcso Williams called on parents to think of children’s safety when parking their vehicles outside schools.

He said: “The zig zags are there for a reason – to keep the vehicles away from entrances of schools so it’s safe for children to file out of school and make their way home safely.”

At St Thomas’ Primary School, in Wyberton Low Road, the problem is particularly severe, according to Pcso Williams.


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