2008 news

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The University of Oxford is to pay a public police force to patrol its dreaming spires for the first time.

Monday, 21 April 2008
Four police community support officers from Thames Valley Police will start patrolling public places in and around the colleges from Monday.

The university is funding half the cost of the officers, about £60,000 a year.

In 2003 the university disbanded its own private police force - known as Bulldogs - which had police powers in the university precincts since 1829.

The 40 or so Bulldogs - who were recognised by their bowler hats - carried warrant cards and had powers of arrest within four miles of a college.

A university spokeswoman said that Thames Valley Police officers would only be able to walk a beat on private grounds, if first invited to do so by a particular college.

Also, the four new officers will help police major events at the university.

Thames Valley Police already employs officers on specific university beats in other areas, including Reading.

A spokeswoman for the police said the employment of new officers was in line with increased neighbourhood policing and to meet the university's growth.

Funding has been agreed for the next two years at a cost of £120,000 a year.

        view the thread                view the article

Published Date: 27 February 2008
Source: Malton & Pickering Mercury
Location: Malton
Drop-in session at the heart of the communityselect for full story!
By Staff Copy
NORTON'S new Police Community Support Officer has come up with an idea to fast track his ties with the public.

PCSO Chris, 35, will hold the first of his monthly surgeries at Norton Library next Wednesday, March 5, from 2pm until 4pm.

PCSO Chris and Library Manager Karen Bentley
ready for a Police Drop in Session >>
The former Norton College pupil said: “I just thought it would be a good idea to promote the town and introduce myself to the public and talk about any problems they may have or certain issues we are dealing with at the moment.”

Distraction burglaries and how to deal with cold callers will be high on the agenda at PCSO Chris’s first surgeries, which are being held in the more informal setting of the library in a bid to encourage people to come down and chat.

PCSO Chris worked at Tate Smiths for 17 years but gave up his job as a soft drink dispenser engineer to try “something different.”

He became a PCSO in November 2006 and spent his first year in Eastfield, Scarborough, before successfully transferring to Norton’s Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team.

“Nobody knew what I did when I was in Scarborough so a lot of people have been shocked when they see me out and about but really pleased for me,” he said.

The surgeries will be held at the library on the first Wednesday of every month.

The full article contains 235 words and appears in Malton & Pickering Mercury newspaper. Last Updated: 25 February 2008 5:24 PM

27 February 2008                 view more news            view the thread            view the article

PCSO DOCUMENTARY - CHECK IT OUT!select to view thread!

A 12 minute observational documentary, following police community support Officers. Finding out what they do for our community. The film was made for a final major project for a Video production course at college.

Added: 23/04/2007

Runtime: 12:03

Views: 489

Check out the video! What do you think? Good? Bad? Indifferent?        COULD YOU DO A BETTER ONE?       Do you KNOW of a better one?

Click the screenshot to see the thread and play the video

select for BBC article Rowdy and violent youths on the capital's buses should have their free travel cards confiscated, according to London mayoral candidate Boris Johnson.

The Conservative MP unveiled his plans to fight "incivility, rowdiness, violence" on public transport.

He said youngsters who had their Oyster cards taken away would have to do community service to get them back.

He also wants Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to do more paperwork to help get more police on the beat.

Mr Johnson said young people would value their free Oyster cards if there was a risk of losing them.

In an interview on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, he said: "If people knew that systematically they were going to be deprived of this then they would be much less willing to intimidate other passengers.

"Kids who want to get back the privilege of free travel have to do some kind of community service, voluntary service, graffiti removal painting a community centre shed, whatever it happens to be."

The Henley MP said crime would be at the "top of his priorities" if he became Mayor.

Mr Johnson added: "If I think to when I was a kid growing up on the streets of Camden it's a lot rougher now or a lot scarier, put it that way, than it was 35 years ago.

"I think there are things that we can do about that. The first and most obvious thing is to get more police on the beat."

He suggested that PCSOs could be "in the back room" working on administrative duties, which would "liberate" frontline officers.

10 February 2008                view more news              view BBC article              view the topic

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select for full story CSO colleagues pay respects at funeral

Cadisha Brown               January 28 2008

< Police and community support officers pay their respects as the hearse bearing CSO James Price's coffin passes.

FAMILY, friends and colleagues of Community Support Officer, James Price, have paid their final respects during his funeral service in Kidderminster.

Mourners filled Trinity Methodist Church, the same church attended by the CSO, who died in a road accident on January 12.

Two police motorcycles escorted the funeral cortege along the Horsefair and four police officers and community support officers carried his coffin into the church as the congregation sang the hymn, My Jesus, My Saviour.

The moving service was led by Rev Mary Austin, who described Mr Price as a "good old fashioned bobby on the beat".

She said: "He was a young man with a great deal to give in friendship, support, love and care. He cared for his family. James's weakness was that he could not say no but that became his strength.

"He lived a full and varied life and has left a lasting mark in the lives of all who knew him."

She added: "James loved his work. He was popular in the community and with his colleagues.

"James was a family person and was a wonderful dad to Adam, 4 and Aewen, 2. There was always fun when he was around. He was very much a family person."

Family and close friends of CSO Price wept as pictures of him tracing his life from his days as a young boy right up until his death were projected across a screen to the sound of music.

Police officers and his fellow community support officers came out in force to pay their respects to their colleague and Sgt Chris Aimes paid tribute to CSO Price through a reading.

North Worcestershire police divisional commander, Chief Supt Dave Spencer and Assistant Chief Constable Peter Wright saluted the coffin as it left the church.

Around 50 police officers and community support officers formed a guard of honour as the cortege was escorted by two police motorcycles to the chapel of rest.

Donations in memory of CSO Price will go towards a memorial fund for his children or to the Roadpeace charity.

January 28 2008                 view more news                view the article                view the topic

Police numbers down as
the funding runs out

By Christopher Hope, Home Affairs Correspondent 26/01/2008
Police numbers are falling at their fastest rate in seven years because of a £3 billion funding hole, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

view the article Home Office figures due out next Thursday will lay bare how ministers are relying increasingly on community support officers with fewer powers to carry out day-to-day policing tasks.

The news comes after crime figures this week showed that 28 gun crimes are committed in England and Wales every day and Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said that terrorists were intent on causing "mass casualties" in Britain.

Police chiefs typically need to recruit about 7,000 extra officers a year "just to stand still", sources said.

However, budget cuts mean that forces have had to slow levels of recruitment.

Sources said police strength could be down by as many as 1,000 officers to less than 141,000, the biggest fall in officer numbers in England and Wales since 2001.

They said: "The peak was a year ago. Police chiefs are hiring more Police Community Service Officers (PCSOs) than officers as PCSO funding is still ring-fenced."

The situation is unlikely to improve over the next four years following last autumn's Comprehensive Spending Review, which sets budgets across Whitehall.

Police asked for an eight per cent rise in their budgets, but were given only five per cent.

The Association of Police Authorities said last year that numbers could fall by as many as 6,000 officers in the next three years because of the funding shortfall.

A report by the Policy Exchange think-tank this week found that 80 per cent of the total police budget is spent on staff. This means that any overall budget cuts will lead directly to cuts in personnel.

Gavin Lockhart, of Policy Exchange, said: "There is a realisation among the police leadership that there needs to be a wider focus on police effectiveness, not this myopic focus on officer numbers."

But Jan Berry, the chairman of the Police Federation, said: "Numbers down is concerning because the pressure on front-line policing has not diminished.

"The promise of less bureaucracy and better working practices is for the future. The pressures on the front line are now."

Police officers are already angry after the Government capped their pay rise at 1.9 per cent, prompting 22,500 to protest in London on Wednesday.

David Ruffley, the Tories' police reform spokesman, said: "Labour's boasting about police numbers rings pretty hollow on the public who only care about seeing more police on the streets.

If Labour's spending squeeze results in fewer officers being employed there will be even less visible policing than we have now."

26/01/2008                view more news           view the article           view the topic

Police reception staff to go on strike
By John van Straaten 22 1 08
Hundreds of reception officers working across the capital's police stations are to go on a one day strike next week in protest over plans to replace them with community support officers.

According to the Public and Commercial Services union, around 200 reception officers will strike on Monday, January 28.

The union said staff were angry over plans to replace them with PCSOs, whose role it is to support officers out on the streets.

The union warned that the move would lead to a loss of "experience, knowledge and professionalism" in police station receptions and see PCSO's being diverted from their intended role of supporting officers in communities across the capital.

Sevi Yesilldali, PCS group president for the Met Police, said: "To take trained PCSOs off the streets and divert them from working in the Capital's communities will lead to a poorer service and a less visible presence on the streets of London."

Yesilldali said station reception staff are often the first point of contact in dealing with people reporting a crime and their "specialist knowledge and experience" made them invaluable.

The Met claimed negotiations have taken place with the union and all current staff have been offered the opportunity to transfer to the new role, with a 'significant' cash payment.

"We have proposed what is undoubtedly a good offer, and had been adapting, having listened to the issues raised by the PCS," a said spokesman said.

"We are very disappointed that it is necessary to threaten industrial action."

22 January 2008                view more news             view the article             view the topic

Police support staff get 2.5pc deal
By Christopher Hope, Home Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:45am GMT 19/01/2008

The row over police pay worsened yesterday when more than 70,000 police staff and community support officers in England and Wales accepted a 2.5 per cent pay deal.

The rise will be backdated to September and contrasts sharply with Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's decision to withhold three months' backdated pay for police officers.

The Police Federation is organising a major demonstration next Wednesday - the first since 1910 - over ministers' refusal to backdate the pay offer, at a cost of around £30 million.

As many as 20,000 off-duty police officers, as well as MPs and members of the public, will take part in the "Fair Pay For Police" public march past Miss Smith's offices at the Home Office in Marsham Street, central London.

Jan Berry, the Police Federation chairman, said: "This proves exactly what we have been saying all along - that fair negotiation and agreement can be reached if the Home Office do not directly interfere and act honourably.

"This is a good day for police staff but will do nothing to suppress the anger and discontent of police officers throughout England and Wales who have been betrayed by this Government."

Miss Smith's decision to withhold three months' backdated police pay, effectively reduces this year's award from 2.5 per cent to 1.9 per cent, despite the higher figure being recommended by an independent panel.

So far, 209 MPs have signed a Commons motion protesting at the decision. Last night Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the home affairs select committee, said he would be marching with the police next Wednesday.

He called for MPs to be allowed a vote in the Commons on the issue.

Last night the Home Office said it did not agree with the settlement. A spokesman said: "The Police Staff Council is responsible for setting the pay of police staff, including police community support officers. The Home Secretary has no statutory role in making that decision.

19/01/2008               view more news               view the article               view the topic

      Claire Scott

      Owen Prichard
Published Date: 16 January 2008               Source: Boston Standard
Location: Boston
By Stephen Stray

BOSTON'S band of Police Community Support Officers is growing with four new recruits now pounding the beat around the area. The town centre has welcomed Kym Davis, 34, while the Boston Rural North area sees the arrival of 30-year-old Claire Scott, Owen Prichard, 32, and 40-year-old Nicola Stutchfield.

The officers have completed an intensive four-week training and have now joined their respective teams.

       Kym Davis

       Nicola Stuchfield
“This is a tremendous boost to our local neighbourhood policing teams and we are delighted to welcome the new officers to East Division,” said Chief Insp Malc Cooke, who heads up community policing for the division.

“These officers will bring even more energy and commitment to improving the quality of life for local people and will be out there in their communities and really making a difference.”

“Many Pcsos come to the job with a great deal of experience having worked in other careers and with some ‘living’ under their belt,” added Chief Insp Cooke.

“What they all have, however, is a real passion for getting involved with communities and tackling lower level, nuisance crime and looking for solutions.”

The East Division has welcomed a total of seven new Pcsos.

Martin Clough will be covering Woodhall Spa and Coningsby, Amy Coble is on duty in Skegness, and ZaZa Warren is pounding the beat in Louth.

In the coming weeks, the Pcsos will be introducing themselves to the community.

Anyone wishing to meet their Neighbourhood Policing Team can contact Boston Police Station on 01205 362222.

11 January 2008 10:30 AM
11 January 2008               view more news               view the article               view the topic

09:00 - 12 January 2008

An off-duty police support officer has nabbed a suspected robber while out shopping at a Swansea supermarket. Support officer Mathew Collins (pictured) was picking up some groceries from Asda in Llansamlet when he saw a man allegedly trying to snatch a handbag from an elderly customer in the shop car park. Support officer Mathew Collins He gave chase to the alleged thief and eventually collared the suspect, with help from a member of the public.

The 26-year-old officer said: "I was getting out of my car when I heard a woman scream and cry for help. "I saw her holding onto her handbag for dear life and a man pulling it off her.

"I shouted at the man to stop and he began to run away from me - I chased after him and he stopped and threw the handbag in my face."

Mr Collins, who has been a support officer for three years, added: "I eventually caught up with a man and a member of the public came to help me.

"The police arrived quickly at the scene and arrested him."

The elderly lady was taken to Morriston Hospital where she was treated for minor injuries before being released.

Police say they are investigating the incident, which happened around 4.20pm on Thursday, and are appealing for anybody who saw what happened, or who has any information, to contact them. A 26-year-old Swansea man has been questioned over the alleged theft.

Inspector Andy Reed, from Swansea Central Police Station, where Support Officer Collins is based, praised his efforts.

"This is commendable action by a young officer who was off duty," he said.

"Matthew's actions reflect his commitment, enthusiasm and initiative."

He added: "This also highlights the calibre of support officers working in the community."

Contact Swansea Police on 01792 456999 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

12 January 2008                 view more news              view the article              view the topic

Police support officers to carry speed guns
Jan 9 2008 by Carl Butler, Daily Post
THE war on speeding motorists is being stepped up by North Wales police with an army of community officers carrying speed guns.

Hundreds of uniformed Community Support Officers (CSOs) and community beat officers (PCs) have been trained to use the hand-held devices in a bid to reduce accident and casualty numbers.

The beat officers will have the same power as traffic officers to hand out on-the-spot speeding fines.

All the trained officers, including CSOs, will be able to slap bad drivers with a Section 59 order, which means their car could be seized if they break the rules again.

Last night North Wales’s Road Policing Unit (RPU) confirmed it has trained up its local community officers in the use of the laser guns at roadsides.

The unit works closely with road safety organisation Arrive Alive, local councils and trunk road agencies.

Community Sgt Emlyn Hughes said: “Local community officers can now form part of the solution by tackling speeding problems in their area.

“In the past the use of hand held speed detection devices has been specifically for RPU officers, but with the assistance of the Arrive Alive Casualty Reduction Partnership we have trained and equipped local officers across North Wales.”

Officers will be deployed in areas where speeding has been a concern of the community, such as outside schools and within 30mph roads. “It is a fact that if a car travelling at 30mph hits a child pedestrian or a cyclist, he or she will have a 45% chance of survival. At 40mph the chance of survival is just 5%.

“Research has shown that nationally excessive and inappropriate speed is a major contributory factor in most collisions, causing over 1,000 deaths and 100,000 serious injuries every year.

“We in North Wales are determined to reduce collisions. Together with other agencies, we have adopted a strategy which includes education, engineering, engagement and enforcement,” explained Sgt Hughes.

When an area is identified as being a potential problem a speed survey will be carried out over a period of about a week to assess how serious the problem is.

An action plan will then be drawn up to see whether community officers need to patrol the area with their speed guns.

On-the-spot speeding fines handed out by community officers will come with the same penalties as a speeding fine handed out by a traffic officer – including the possibility of points being added to the drivers’ licences.

A Section 59 notice is a penalty handed out to a motorist whose driving is deemed to be careless or inconsiderate and likely to cause alarm or distress.

A motorist with a Section 59 warning who commits a similar driving offence within the next 12 months runs the risk of having his car seized.

This latest initiative is just one of may aimed at trying to improve safety on North Wales roads. Last week the Daily Post revealed how speed cameras have been upgraded to allow North Wales Police to catch motorists at night.

Arrive Alive vans can now lie in wait under cover of darkness to trap unsuspecting drivers who put their foot down.

And on Monday the Daily Post revealed North Wales police have bought special hi-tech cameras, with instant playback, which can catch drivers eating and smoking.

The force is the first in Wales to invest in Concept technology, which makes it easier to zoom in and capture motorists’ faces as they drive.


Jan 9 2008                view more news               view the article               view the topic

Top judge backs PCSOs
Jan 8 2008 by Gareth Lightfoot, Evening Gazette
TEESSIDE’S top judge has pledged support for Police Community Support Officers as he locked up an Asbo thug.

Judge Peter Fox QC said yesterday: “The Police Community Support Officers carry out a difficult and essential job on the estates in Teesside.

“And it is important that the public know, and that they know, that the courts will support them,” he told Teesside Crown Court.

He was sentencing Sean McGarrity, 21, for his behaviour in Easterside, Middlesbrough on April 5 last year.

Two PCSOs were on patrol on Broughton Avenue when verbal abuse started from McGarrity, said Rupert Doswell, prosecuting.

Drunken McGarrity joined a larger group and started walking behind members of the public shouting and swearing at them, squaring up to one.

Then he approached PCSO Andrea Brown, grabbing the back seat of her bike and demanding the bike from her.

He became more abusive and said he would smash his can of lager in her face if she did not hand it over, the court heard.

The officer kept calm and held the bike until McGarrity let go and slapped her lower back as he walked away.

McGarrity, of Eccleston Walk, Easterside, admitted affray and breaching his Anti-social Behaviour Order.

He had convictions from the age of 16, including eight Asbo breaches, affray, criminal damage, and wounding where he punched a man and bit off part of his ear.

Robert Mochrie, defending, said McGarrity did not make a real effort to cause physical harm to the PCSO.

He accepted it was “wholly unsatisfactory” to get into such a state and abuse officers performing public functions.

“He has been extremely drunk and I dare say showing off in a bizarre manner to his friends who have congregated.

“Mr McGarrity is a social nuisance, and perhaps aside from the most recent conviction of wounding, he has not been more than that.”

Judge Fox, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, said the offences were “much more serious” than public nuisance.

He said McGarrity threatened the PCSOs’ position. “This court will not tolerate that.

“It is no excuse whatever that you were drunk. There must be an immediate prison sentence.” He jailed McGarrity for nine months.

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Jan 8 2008                view more news               view the article               view the topic

"Change the tune!"

"I have been a PCSO for over four years. We were told that we are part of the police family which is obviously a very dysfunctional one. We seem to be the whipping boys (and girls) for the Federation for everything that is wrong with the police service today.

"When I first started this job the public welcomed our presence on the street, they were not aware of our limited powers, the uniform gave reassurance and it was a pleasure interacting with them. By the same token we were effective in dealing with much of the anti-social behaviour. Four years on and the Federation has taken every opportunity to feed the national press and therefore the public with negatives, and every issue of the Federation magazine continues the onslaught.

"The Federation, with its spin and tactics, may well prompt the demise of PCSOs but do you really believe that this or any other government will put more police officers on the streets? Come on, get real. Year on year my colleagues have hoped for more powers, better support from senior management and the Federation, better training and to be of more use to thepublic and police officers alike.

"Looking at the bare bone police officer shifts our force usually has to contend with, it is amazing how PCSOs picking up incidents all of a sudden become flavour of the month. All I can say is good luck when the PCSOs have gone. Get ready for the Conservative's "Reserve Force" who will queue up in droves to collect their bounty. They will solve all your policing problems or at least give you someone else to have a pop at. Better still - help us to help you. No? Well at least change the tune as we PCSOs are sick of it.

Lincolnshire Police.
view the thread on this

All change as officer hands over the reins

PCSO Anna Micklefield is taking over from Zoe Pragnell at Pride of Place

Published Date: 02 January 2008 Source: NS-City Location: Portsmouth
By Jenny Haworth
Users of a popular drop-in centre have said a fond farewell to the police officer who has led the scheme for the past year-and-a-half.

PCSO Anna Micklefield taking over from Zoe Pragnell at Pride of Place PC Zoe Pragnell has become a familiar face in Leigh Park since she took on the running of the Pride of Place project in the Greywell shopping precinct.

During her time at the helm she has brought Royalty to the centre – overseeing a visit from Princess Anne.

She has also given the drop-in centre a complete makeover, making it more child-friendly and cramming it with bright paintings and toys.

And during her time in charge she has arranged numerous clean sweeps around Leigh Park, sorted out advice sessions on issues ranging from smoking to computers, and has always provided a listening ear for visitors.

Now she has gone on maternity leave. Scores of people turned out to a leaving party to say goodbye to PC Pragnell and welcome Police Community Support Officer Anna Micklefield, who has taken on the tough challenge of following in her footsteps.

The 26-year-oldthinks it will help her get to know shopkeepers and residents in the Greywell precinct, which will stand her in good stead as a PCSO.

'I'm really excited about it,' she said. 'Being a PCSO, it's a good chance to get involved in the community. 'I'm here to give advice and I'm also here if people want to just come in and chat. 'Some people don't always want to go to the police station. 'I'm friendly and approachable and I listen to people. I'm quite good at giving advice. 'I'm hoping to continue what Zoe was doing, and keep going onwards and upwards from there.'

She already has plans to spruce up a skatepark and put on a fashion show, as well as holding monthly clean sweeps at local schools.

PCSO Micklefield has worked with Hampshire police for three years, and was previously in an administrative job. She has been a PCSO for a year.

The full article contains 350 words and appears in NS-City newspaper.

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