Crime Logging: Five Times Police Got It Wrong
 An inspection of police forces has found that 800,000 offences a year were not logged as crimes
by SKY NEWS on 18 November 2014
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary carried out extensive research into how offences are recorded, and gave detailed examples of how the system has failed members of the public.
 :: Child Rape Claim
A 13-year-old reported that she had been raped by an 18-year-old boy.

The victim was unclear about some of the details of the crime and a full investigation was carried out.

There were no witnesses, and no evidence was found to prove that the rape had happened.

From the investigation notes it appeared the officers did not believe the victim and had no-crimed the report as a result.

 :: Phone Theft
An inspector was visiting the front counter of a police station when a member of the public approached the counter clerk.

She told the clerk that her mobile phone had been stolen along with her handbag and £40.

The clerk told her that unless the serial number of the mobile phone could be produced, then no crime would be recorded.

The theft of the bag and money was completely ignored, according to inspectors.

 :: Woods Rape Report
A woman made a complaint of rape. She knew her attacker, and had had intimate relations with him on at least one occasion in the past, when she had asked him to stop.

On the day of the alleged rape, she had been drunk and had been taken by her attacker for a walk to sober up.

He took her into a wood and told her to take off some of her clothing, which she did. He then had sex with her.

She had told her attacker that she did not want to be there and there was some evidence that she was intimidated by her attacker.

Whilst police had initially recorded the incident as a rape, they no-crimed it on the basis that because she had taken some of her clothes off, she must be presumed to have consented to sex, despite her insistence that she did not.

 :: Pensioner's Missing Handbag
The police received a call from a 90-year-old woman reporting that her handbag had been stolen from her house.

Her front door was broken and not closing properly. The police officer went to the house and described the lady as a bit confused.

The handbag was not found and there was no credible evidence to say that it had not been stolen. There was no reason to disbelieve the victim, the report said, and a crime of burglary should have been recorded, but was not.

 :: Trainer Robbery
A young woman was punched and kicked and her new trainers and house keys were taken from her. The crime was recorded correctly as a robbery by the initial reporting officer.

Later, the investigating officer decided that her shoes had probably fallen off and had been lost so the crime was reclassified as an assault.

The report said there was no justification for this

 Clacton: Councils strike deals to keep vital officers on the beat
 VITAL police community support officers will remain on the beat in the Tendring district, thanks to deals struck with councils
by Clacton and Frinton News on 17 November 2014
A new contract has even been signed to provide an extra PCSO to patrol Clacton town centre.

The appointment has been paid for by Tendring Council, which also aims to provide two more in future to cover other areas.

The move comes after Essex Police withdrew its funding for PCSOs in some villages.

Council leader Mick Page put pen to paper, along with acting district commander Chief Insp Russ Cole.

The deal will see the PCSO employed by Essex Police for a two-year period.

Mr Page said: “We now have an additional PCSO for Clacton and we want two more – one to focus on the council’s housing estates and one to be deployed wherever there is the greatest need.

“We have the legal agreement in place for the first appointment and we will continue to press for the other two to be brought on board as soon as possible.”

Mr Page said he was keeping a commitment he made when he became leader earlier this year to take a strong line on community safety and crime.

A contract has also been signed between the police and Great Bentley and Alresford Parish Councils. The villages stumped up the cash to pay for popular village PCSO Louise Cox after fears were raised she would be redeployed elsewhere.

They joined forces after Essex Police said they would no longer share the £32,000-a-head cost of PCSOs with parish and town councils.

 Clegg call over 'criminal' bankers
 The public is "seething with anger" at the banks and people should be brought to book for their actions, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said
By Press Association, 13 November 2014 7.03pm
Five banks which employed traders who clubbed together to rig foreign exchange (forex) rates were fined more than £2 billion yesterday.

Mr Clegg said it had not yet been decided what the Government would do with the £1.1 billion of fines levied by the UK regulator.

Regulators discovered that some of the manipulation of the £3 trillion-a-day forex market was taking place even as the banks were being probed over a previous scandal over interbank lending rate Libor.

Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase and UBS were handed the £1.1 billion penalty by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority and fines totalling 1.5 billion US dollars (£927 million) by US authorities.

Mr Clegg told LBC Radio that the Serious Fraud Office was also investigating and he hoped that anyone involved in criminal activity would face justice.

He said: "The Serious Fraud Office ... need to look at this. And they are. And I hope they will bring people to book and I hope people will be brought to justice."

He added: "People are seething with anger that they're having to endure cuts and savings for year after year after year because of not only irresponsible, in some cases ... possibly criminal behaviour by bankers."

Asked what would be done with the fines, Mr Clegg said: "I think the figure is just over a billion pounds that comes to the Treasury because of these fines related to the foreign exchange scandal. And we will make a decision as a Government what to do with that money."

 PCSOs earn policing honours
 FOUR community support officers have become the first in their police force to earn a special certificate
by Mark Tallentire on 18 November 2014
The quartet of Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) completed a City and Guilds Certificate in Policing, undertaking training in supporting victims and witnesses, managing conflict and responding to incidents.

They were presented with their new qualifications by Durham Police Superintendent Kerrin Smith at police headquarters yesterday (Monday, November 17).

Supt Smith said: “This is a new qualification designed to help professionalise the PCSO role.

“Officers are not obliged to complete it and this is the first time that Durham has offered it as a force, so I’m delighted to present these certificates.

“We all know that resources are tight, so I’m extremely proud that we’re able to offer our PCSOs the chance to continue their professional development and add academic qualifications to their practical skills in the current climate. I look forward to seeing many more officers achieve their qualification over the coming months.”

PCSO Emma Donnelly said: “I was really keen to take on this extra qualification and gain some additional skills to assist me in performing my role as a PCSO.

“It’s been very interesting and the topics covered have all been very useful and relevant to the job. I’m looking forward to putting it all into practice now.”

 PCSO could face disciplinary action for alleged man-handling of 15-year-old boy
 Avon and Somerset police's Professional Standards Department has found Nicholas Pearce has a case to answer for misconduct and has apologised to Vandross Cox-Durrant and his family for what they admit has been an "extremely poor service".
by Daniel Evans on 18 November 2014
A mobile phone video recorded by one of Vandross' friends shows Mr Pearce lying on top of the teenager, pulling his arm up behind his back.

PCSOs do not have the power of arrest and, at the time of the incident, could not legally detain anyone, as they do now.

Supt Paul Richards, head of PSD, said: "It has been decided that PCSO Nicholas Pearce has a case to answer for misconduct. A letter has been sent to the complainant in this case and they have been updated.

"We have apologised for the extremely poor service they received. A further four members of staff will receive advice and monitoring in regards to less serious failures.

"As the misconduct process is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

Mr Pearce will face a misconduct hearing and be given the chance to have his say on what happened.

Depending on the findings, he could be cleared or given warnings up to a final written warning. Had gross misconduct been considered, he could have faced the sack.

Vandross' grandmother Judy Durrant said: "We think it is outrageous that PCSO Pearce could get away with a written warning - it's a joke! We are still fighting for criminal charges to be pressed against him."

CPS has reviewed the case twice, and upheld the original decision.

On the day of the incident, Vandross and about nine white friends had been playing football on the sports centre's courts when someone called the police alleging trespass. Four PCSOs arrived, the situation escalated and Vandross ended up on the floor with Mr Pearce on his back.

Mr Pearce claims he was acting in self defence and felt threatened by the teenager after he and his friends had been "disruptive and anti-social".

Vandross and his friends deny this. His family were offered £3,500 in compensation from the force but turned it down. They are suing the constabulary for, amongst other things, racial discrimination and unlawful arrest.

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 Our crime figures are no more than a political charade.
 With promotions and peerages at stake, it’s little wonder that police chiefs have failed to blow the whistle on the system
by Gary Copson on 18th November, 2014
It is a question reasonably asked by every householder: is my area safe? Police forces have various strategies to reassure them; visibility, connectivity. Most of all there are statistics. The trouble is, the figures we cite most often may be totally unreliable and leave us with a false sense of security.

The latest report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) addresses crime-reporting practices. It says that police compliance with Home Office counting rules is improving but varies from force to force, and overall is still not good enough. This might invite people to conclude that your average local police officer is, for some peculiar reason, determined to dishonestly suppress official crime figures. HMIC could not possibly say this – and I wouldn’t have when I worked there – but there is, and long has been, an underlying and unhealthy political game that creates and drives performance fraud.

Home Office counting rules are arcane and full of irrationalities. This never used to matter before our political parties started to use reported-crime figures as a weapon in a battle over who could be toughest on crime. Back then crime figures were not treated as incontrovertible laser-sharp measures of police effectiveness and integrity.

What crimes get recorded and how they are counted are political choices. Recorded crime never has been, and certainly isn’t now, a reflection of the actual incidence of crime in society. The Crime Survey of England and Wales is accepted as a more accurate reflection, but even that is far from infallible. Reducing the number of reported burglaries and robberies is hailed as a political triumph, but many criminologists take the different view that today’s young offenders are, for a variety of reasons, less inclined to burglary and robbery than those of 10 and 20 years ago – and more inclined to cyberfraud and phone scams, both still widely under-reported.

Crime in prisons is almost entirely unreported to police. When – as the police adviser to the prison service – I set up an experiment in which all crimes in one Lancashire prison were reported to police for three months, the prison emerged as the local force crime hotspot.

It is well established that rape is under-reported, some surveys suggesting that as few as one in 10 are officially logged. And we are only just beginning to see how much child abuse has gone unrecorded over the years. So let’s not pretend that reported crime figures are hugely

 Plymouth PCSOs save man's life after street collapse
 PCSO Sam Blake and PCSO Sam Welch were flagged down by a member of public on Charlotte Street at around 3.15pm on Wednesday after a 56-year-old man had collapsed and was laying unconscious in the Morice Town Convenience Store.
by By CARL EVE, Crime Reporter on 13th November, 2014
Thanks to their remarkable efforts, within minutes the man regained consciousness and they placed him in the recovery position.

Other officers attended along with paramedics, who took the man to Derriford Hospital by ambulance.

PCSO Sam Blake said: “From the moment we arrived on scene our main focus was to help the man and do our best to help save his life.

“It all was a bit of a blur and your training takes over. It was great to have the support of my colleague Sam Welch as we undertook this training together and she is a friend so this support was invaluable.

“Afterwards I felt a mixture of relief and pride – I’m just so pleased we were able to save his life.

“I’m also grateful to the local resident for her 999 call and updating the call handler of our actions – she was fantastic!

“Due to our line of work we receive a high standard of first aid training which we refresh every year. I recommend if people get the chance to enrol on a first aid course then do so as you never know when these skills might come in handy, or even help save a life.”

 Pick-up truck with shocking kidnap bumper sticker
 Police are investigating a 'kidnap' sticker plastered on the back of a pick-up truck that creates the illusion a young woman is bound and gagged in the back
by Martin Robinson for MailOnline on 20th November, 2014
Pictures of the vehicle and its controversial bumper sticker were taken in Leeds and is being spread across the internet using the hashtag #rapetruck.

Detectives from West Yorkshire Police say they have spoken to the owner, believed to be fitness trainer James Hellewell, and the force say he has agreed to remove it.

Mr Hellewell was warned that driving around with his sticker could be classed as a public order offence

He appears to have initially agreed to take it off but may now have refused.

Tweeting about police demanding he take it off he wrote: 'NO' hours after saying it had been 'fun' having the sticker but he would remove the 'wrap'.

Leonie Smith tweeted West Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, about the sticker.

Since then she says trolls have been sending her threatening messages.

She said: 'I was just absolutely disgusted and outraged. I thought it was too serious not to say something.

“Rape is a serious problem and domestic violence is not a joke, so to drive around with a woman bound and gagged is not acceptable.”

She added: “Some people are arguing that it is freedom of speech to have that on your car.

“It’s in my city and I am not OK with this kind of culture being tolerated in Leeds.

'Even if you disagree with the image, it is not right to threaten people.'

West Yorkshire Police have met with Mr Hellewell and asked it to be removed.

Chief inspector Steve Palmer, Leeds city centre commander, said: 'It was clear that a number of people had found the image offensive and had been alarmed and distressed by it being displayed in public.

'The registered keeper of the vehicle was traced and spoken to by officers and made aware of the concerns raised and the potential for the continued display of the image to be treated as a public order offence.'

He added: 'They have agreed to have the image removed from the vehicle.'

MailOnline has attempted to contact James Hellewell, who is yet to respond.

A Texan company printed similar stickers but stopped after the product was widely criticised

 AUDIO: One-in-five crimes 'not recorded'
 One in five crimes in Devon and Cornwall are not recorded as offences because of “indefensible” police failings, a highly critical new report has concluded.
WMNAGreenwood on 18 November 2014
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said total under-recording of crime by all 43 police forces in England and Wales was found to be at an “inexcusably poor” 19%, amounting to more than 800,000 crimes each year.

Across the country, inspectors looked at more than 8,000 reports of crime to the police between November 2012 and October 2013.

Devon and Cornwall Police, which was ordered to make immediate improvements to its systems in August, should have formally classified 117 crimes, compared to the 98 which were, according to a dip sample carried out by inspectors.

They also found fault with the force’s recording of “no crimes” – where officers judged no offence has actually taken place. Out of 104 no-crime records, 10 were found to be inaccurate, including eight cases of robbery.

Of 54 reports recorded elsewhere as no-crimes, 12 should have been recorded as crimes, HMIC found. Cases included sexual offences and assaults on vulnerable adults.

Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor said: “The first duty of the police is to protect the public and reduce crime. A national crime-recording rate of 81% is inexcusably poor.

“Failure properly to record crime is indefensible. This is not about numbers and dry statistics, it’s about victims and the protection of the public.

“The position in the case of rape and other sexual offences is a matter of especially serious concern. The inspection found 37 cases of rape which were not recorded as crimes.

“The national rate of under-recording of sexual offences (including rapes) as crimes was 26%, and the national rate of incorrect decisions to no-crime rapes was 20%. These are wholly unacceptable failings.

“Some forces have exemplary records in this respect, and some others are very bad. It is particularly important that in cases as serious as rape, these shortcomings are put right as a matter of the greatest urgency. In some forces, action is already being taken in this respect.

“The police should immediately institutionalise the presumption that the victim is to be believed. If evidence later comes to light which shows that no crime occurred, then the record should be corrected, that is how the system is supposed to work.

“Victims need and are entitled to support and assistance. They – and their communities – are entitled to justice. Failures in crime-recording can also increase the risks to victims and the community of the denial of justice. The police therefore need to take this subject very seriously.

“Trust in what the police tell people about crime is part of the essential trust which the public must have in the police.”

Across the country, the police watchdog also found that even when crimes were recorded correctly, many were removed or cancelled from the system as no-crimes

 Julian Assange: Swedish court rejects appeal to lift arrest warrant
 Ruling means WikiLeaks founder still faces extradition to Sweden if he leaves Ecuador embassy in London
David Crouch | 20/11/2014 | 0 Comments
Stockholm’s appeal court has rejected a demand by Julian Assange’s lawyers to lift the arrest warrant against him, leaving the WikiLeaks founder still facing extradition to Sweden should he renounce his asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy.

“In making this assessment, account must be taken of the fact that Julian Assange is suspected of crimes of a relatively serious nature,” the court said in a statement on Thursday. A Swedish prosecutor first sought Assange’s arrest four years ago following sexual assault and rape allegations, which he denies.

“There is a great risk that he will flee and thereby evade legal proceedings if the detention order is set aside. In the view of the court of appeal, these circumstances mean that the reasons for detention still outweigh the intrusion or other detriment entailed by the detention order.”

But the court also noted that Sweden’s investigation into Assange had come to a halt and prosecutors’ failure to examine alternative avenues of investigation “is not in line with their obligation – in the interests of everyone concerned – to move the preliminary investigation forward”. The ruling is expected to put pressure on prosecutors to find new ways to break the deadlock.

Per Samuelsson, one of Assange’s lawyers in Stockholm, said the court’s criticism of the prosecutor was aimed at her refusal to come to London to question Assange.

“This is crucial because the court said we were right in the wording, but not in the court’s actual decision,” he said.

After the ruling he had spoken to Assange, who was disappointed but confident that they would prevail in the long run.

“Swedish and international law is on our side,” Samuelsson said. “The ruling shows we are on the right track, but unfortunately the court of appeal did not have the courage to overturn the arrest warrant.”

Asked what he meant by the need to pursue “alternative avenues” of investigation, Niclas Wågnert, the appeal court judge in the case, told the TT news agency: “That’s a matter for the prosecutor. One way would be to interrogate him in London.”

 BBC presenter Jeremy Vine stopped... for cycling at 16mph in a 5mph zone
 Radio 2 presenter stopped by police officer in Hyde Park this morning
Sam Creighton | 20/11/2014 | 0 Comments
He was caught zipping along at 16mph – when regulations limit cyclists to just 5mph in London’s Royal Parks.

A camera on the BBC presenter’s helmet captured the moment that officers stopped him and showed him the reading on their speed gun.

Vine, 49, was apologetic – but suggested that such a low speed limit puts cyclists in danger by forcing them on to roads, where they can ride faster but are far more at risk of an accident. He also complained the rule is not clearly signposted.

The star, who also presents Eggheads and Points of View, shared his video of the incident with his 260,000 followers on Twitter.

His Radio 2 colleague Chris Evans quickly branded him ‘Speeding Vine’ and other social media users poked fun at police, questioning whether resources were being wasted and pointing out that 5mph is not all that much faster than the average walking speed.

One Twitter user jokingly asked: ‘Are the police radar-gunning joggers as well?’

But there was also an angry backlash from pedestrians who accused Vine of behaving in a ‘dangerous’ way, and cited examples of cyclists whizzing past at great speed and almost knocking them over.

 Merseyside Police 'failed victims' by chasing targets, says senior officer
 Force praised by police watchdog for 'significant and profound' turnaround in the way crimes are logged
John Siddle | 18/11/2014 | 0 Comments
A senior Merseyside police officer today told how a culture of chasing targets led to crimes reported by the public being ignored.

Deputy chief constable Andy Cooke admitted victims were failed because crimes against them were not recorded properly by officers.

Reports of serious offences such as rapes, robberies and violent attacks were wrongly dismissed as “no-crimes” partly because of a focus on hitting performance markers.

Mr Cooke spoke to the ECHO as a police watchdog report praised the force for a “significant and profound” turnaround in its attitude towards recording crime.

An audit by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary of 174 incident reports between November 2012 and October 2013 found that Merseyside Police correctly logged just 88 of 134 crimes that should have been recorded and investigated.

Of 72 rape, violence and robbery cases recorded correctly but later cancelled as “no-crimes” just 38 were correct - meaning police officers wrongly believed 34 had not taken place.

The force, however, underwent a second audit of incidents in June, July and August this year after inspectors acknowledged a “significant change in both the culture and crime recording practice had occurred since September 2013”.

Of 427 incident records examined, HMIC found that the force correctly recorded 247 of 280 crimes. Just six of 55 ‘no-crimes’ relating to rape, robbery and violence were found to have been wrongly classified.

Senior officers were praised for their desire “to drive both accurate and ethical crime recording”.

Mr Cooke told the ECHO that the force had gone from being “one of the worst to one of the best in the country” for accurately recording crimes reported to them.

He said: “Previously there’s a been a culture that performance targets were the be-all and end-all, we had to strive to obtain them and on occasions that didn’t necessarily mean we were seeing victims always put first. There was an element of sometimes not believing what a victim was telling us.

 On the beat in Llanelli with PCSO Bruce Carter
 YOU get to know the troublemakers, the areas they hang out and the ways to handle them, but you see how much good work is going on and become a part of the community
James Nicholas, 19 Nov 2014
So says PCSO Bruce Carter as I joined him on patrols round Llanelli town centre.

Having pounded the streets of Llanelli for the last 12 months, PCSO Carter is now a familiar face to many. As we walk round the Elli, Bigyn and Tyisha wards he points out hotspots where people go to drink or take drugs.

We run into several groups of children roaming the streets, who are keen for a chat, asking PSCO Carter if he carries a gun or if I am an undercover cop.

Not exactly chopsy, the children are more loud and bored and looking for entertainment.

"There aren't really bad children in this town," says PCSO Carter. "You get to know them in youth clubs and you can have a laugh with them and mess about with them so they see you're just a normal person.

"Sometimes they will be hanging around with nothing to do, not doing anything wrong but you have to explain to them they may come across as intimidating to an elderly person and by and large they accept that."

As we head on, we come to the Londis store on Wern Road. Outside are a group of four or five men with cans of beer in their hands, slurring their words and staggering round.

One wants to shake our hands but PCSO Carter refuses. The town centre is a no alcohol zone but because the cans aren't open he can't confiscate them.

One man tells us he's just been released from prison and that we should mention his name when we get back to the station.

"If you keep following me, you'll make sergeant," he shouts.

We check in the shop that they weren't causing trouble, then follow at a distance as the men make their way back through town.

"Some days they will be nice as pie but other days will want to take a swing at you," explains PCSO Carter.

PCSOs are soon to be given Section 27 powers, meaning they will be able to tell someone to leave an area and not return for 24 hours, which PCSO Carter thinks will be very beneficial.

They don't have the power to make an arrest but can detain suspects with handcuffs until backup arrives.

Having very much replaced the bobby on the beat, PCSOs are now the face of the police in the community and can pick up vital intelligence for the force on their daily patrols.

 Police to axe front offices in new cost-cutting drive across West Midlands
 Just 10 of current 41 to remain open and staffed police - with 27 closing and four being manned by volunteers
Nick McCarthy, 18 Nov 2014
West Midlands Police has announced that it will close nearly three quarters of its front offices in the latest cost-cutting measure announced by the force.

Just 10 of the 41 front offices will remain open and staffed by police with 27 set to close and a further four becoming “contact points” that are staffed by volunteers.

Nine will remain open from 8am to 10pm and one 24 hours a day.

The force has spent more than 12 months reviewing all 41 of the front offices at police stations and the changes will save the force £3 million.

The review saw the force look at footfall at all of its front offices and it asked more than 7,000 people for their views on how they would like to contact police.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “The force’s 41 front desks reflect an era where if you wanted to contact the police you had a choice between a landline or visiting a police station in person. That world has changed, and the police must catch up too.

“Ninety five per cent of people have mobile phones now, and can contact the police from anywhere. Research shows that very few people are visiting front desks and prefer to phone the police or use the internet rather than go to a police station.

“The current service doesn’t meet people’s preferences and is becoming increasingly expensive as fewer and fewer people use it. We need to deploy staff to call centres where possible to free up resources that keep police officers where people want them: on the street, preventing crime and catching criminals.”

Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “The decision to close front offices has not been taken lightly and followed a year-long review speaking to our communities to gain a detailed understanding of the service we provide and thoroughly analysing footfall.

 Crime recording a 'cause for concern'
 RECORDING of sexual offences and assaults on vulnerable adults is a 'significant cause for concern' across West Mercia and Warwickshire.
Harriet Ernstsons, 21 Nov 2014
An inspection of the way crimes are recorded across the force areas looked at 50 referrals and found of the 18 which should have been recorded as a crime, only ten had been.

In the report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) as part of a crime data inspection from across England and Wales, inspectors said: "As some of these records related to sexual offences and assaults on vulnerable adults, this is a significant cause for concern and is a matter of material and urgent importance."

Other problems highlighted in the report released today (Tuesday), were only 66 'no-crimes' - those which are initially recorded as not being a crime and then found to be when new information comes to light - out of 77 which were logged correctly. The 11 which were incorrect related to offences of rape, robbery and violence.

Of 130 reports made directly by members of the public, a total of 100 crimes should have been recorded but only 74 were, with three wrongly classified and one recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed by regulations.

HMIC said: "This is of serious concern as it means that some victims' crimes are not being recorded and that these victims are not receiving the service they deserve."

In response to the report, Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said the forces had a 'strong desire to improve and to put the victim at the heart' of what they did.

Many of the recommendations contained in the report had already been implemented including further training being provided to officers and staff involved in making no-crime decisions and all referrals about sexual offences and assaults on vulnerable adults recorded on their electronic crime recording system which was subject to regular internal scrutiny.

"The HMIC Review acknowledged we do a lot right too. For example the force encourages a victim-centric approach even if this means an increase in the volume of recorded crime.

"We are in no way complacent and there are still areas we need to work on to improve. For example an audit schedule will be implemented shortly to pick up where ‘no-crimes’ have been incorrectly recorded by officers. Whilst in general HMIC found that when in doubt officers tended to record a crime rather than a no-crime, there is more work to be done to develop appropriate performance measures for officers who continually get this process wrong."

 Owners warned after two dogs shot while attacking sheep near Cowling
 DOG owners have been warned to keep their pets under control while out walking after two were shot for maiming a sheep on farmland near Cowling Pinnacle.
Darryl Ames, 6 Nov 2014
“They were attacking and killing a sheep,” said Jason Perkins, a PCSO who works at Cross Hills Police Station.

PSCO Perkins said three men were walking two dogs on the moors above Cowling on Sunday, October 25, when the dogs attacked a ewe.

“There was a footpath through the farmer’s land, but the dogs were not on a lead,” said PSCO Perkins. “They attacked the sheep and the farmer dispatched the dogs as a last resort. The sheep ended up having to be put down.”

A member of the farmer’s family, who did not want to be named, said they were doing general day to day work when they noticed two dogs, which they described as ‘pit bulls’, pick up one of the sheep.

The family spokesman said the dogs shook the ewe, threw it up in the air, and ripped off its ears, mouth and rear end. The farmer then used a shotgun to shoot both dogs, believing they would have also attacked other sheep in the field.

Although the sheep did not die immediately, the family had it put down because of the seriousness of its injuries.

The family member said: “If they don’t put dogs on a lead, these are the consequences that could happen.”

“Farmers don’t want to be shooting people’s dogs,” said PCSO Perkins. “If you’re walking your dog and you go where livestock is, the dog should be under control. Dogs don’t just have to bite livestock, it’s an offence in itself if it chases them,” he said, adding that animals such as ewes in lamb could miscarry.

“The ultimate sanction to is shoot them, but if that is the only way to control the dogs then they have to be dealt with that way,” said PCSO Perkins.

“People hear about farmers shooting animals, but they don’t realise the possible consequences to the farming family.”

“The cost is obviously that we can’t replace that sheep,” said the family member, who explained the ewe that was attacked was valued at £150. “With vet’s fees to euthanise and dispose of the carcass, the total immediate costs were nearly £200.

“The ewe also potentially had another five years of breeding in her,” said the family member. “Some people don’t understand that 50 years of someone’s life has been spent building the business up.”

And although dogs attacking sheep have been known to occur during lambing season, the family spokesman explained: “It’s prevalent all year through now. Dog owners are taking less and less responsibility for their actions.”

PSCO Perkins explained that there have been other incidents of sheep being attacked by dogs in recent months, including one that happened near Baxter Wood at the back of Glusburn Park a few months ago.

He also talked about rules regarding rights to roam.

“Some people think they can go walking where they want, but you can’t just go walking through fields with livestock or crops.

“If there is a public footpath, then stay on it. Nobody wants a situation like this.”

 Which forces are best and worst at recording crime?
By Channel 4 Nov 18, 2014
 Across the country, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary found that one in five of all crimes reported to the police from November 2012 to October 2013 was not recorded by officers - a finding it described as "indefensible" and "inexcusably poor".
For sexual offences, the picture was worse: a quarter of these crimes were unrecorded, including 37 rapes.

Failing to record a crime as a crime has serious consequences because it means it is unlikely to be investigated, with offenders unpunished and victims let down.

  Exemplary and bad

The picture varies across police forces. "Some forces have exemplary records in this respect, and some others are very bad," according to Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor.

HMIC looked in detail at the number of crimes that should have been recorded and the number that were recorded in all 43 police forces.

Channel 4 News has turned the figures into percentages and worked out who is top and bottom of the class.

Praising West Midlands Police, HMIC said the force had "retained an effective audit and compliance capability, despite austerity cuts", adding: "Chief officers in West Midlands Police are aware of the impact unethical crime recording can have on public confidence. They promote ethical working practices and integrity in all areas of business, not just crime recording. "

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims said: "The integrity of police crime recording is vital for both public reassurance and the sound management and deployment of police resources.

"I'm delighted the force has been recognised by HMIC as setting the standard for accurate crime recording. We are focused on the victims of crime and getting the best outcomes for them…not on what looks best on data spread-sheets."

  Unacceptable weaknesses

In contrast, HMIC said its inspection of crime recording at Hampshire Constabulary had "revealed some unacceptable weaknesses".

It added: "Most crimes should have been recorded as crimes at the time the referrals were first received. This is a matter that should be rectified by the force urgently."

One of HMIC's main concerns was the non-recording of sexual crimes: "..of 28 rapes recorded as no-crime, we found that 18 should have remained classified as crimes. This is unacceptable given the risk associated with this type of crime and is therefore a matter of urgent and material concern."

But the inspectorate said Hampshire had taken its findings "extremely seriously and has initiated action designed to improve the quality and accuracy of crime recording".

In response, Hampshire Constabulary said it had overhauled its crime recording.

Detective Superintendent Rachel Farrell said: "For almost a year we have been working with our staff and officers to change the process of how we record crime. This has been necessary as we cut back office staff in order to keep as many officers as possible on the frontline.

"The HMIC audit has been timely. It comes part way through our change and highlights specific areas where we need to improve. We welcome the positive comments about our strong victim focus. It is also reassuring that our plans are judged to be comprehensive, and that there is no evidence in Hampshire Constabulary of institutionalised performance pressure not to record crime correctly."

 Translator helped people pass driving theory tests by giving the correct answers
 An Urdu translator has been jailed for helping prospective HGV and bus drivers cheat their way through theory tests
Jemma Buckley 14 November 2014 15.00 GMT
An investigation into interpreter Muhammed Saeed, from Ralph Road in Alum Rock, revealed he helped candidates pass by agreeing a code when he gave them the correct answers.

Driving Standards Agency officials became suspicious when the popularity of the 40-year-old interpreter rocketed and he represented trucker hopefuls from as far as Kent, Luton and Bradford.

Three of his clients had failed more than 15 theory tests - with one having flunked 25 times - before turning to Saeed for help.

An independent interpreter examined recordings of Saeed’s translations and found he used an Urdu word meaning ‘you’ to highlight the answers.

Saeed was arrested at the Birmingham test centre in Dale End on July 10 last year and admitted fraud.

At Birmingham Crown Court Saeed was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to six counts of fraud.

The driving licences of Saeed’s 239 clients - dating back to the first voiceover he provided in June 2008 - have been revoked on road safety grounds and all will have to re-apply for licences and re-take theory tests.

It is understood Saeed charged £120 for his cheat-service.

Investigating officer DC Mark Calvert said: “It seems Saeed was establishing a reputation as a theory test ‘fixer’ in the Muslim community for anyone struggling to pass.

“At the start of each test translators have to read out a vow which states ‘I confirm I will not do anything to affect the integrity of the test and understand that by assisting a candidate I may be committing a criminal offence’.

“He obviously thought it was easy money and that, as the cheat’s code was in Urdu, assumed the DSA and police would be oblivious to his scheme. He was wrong and is now paying the price for his con.”

Foreign language support on driving theory and practical tests was axed in April this year partly because the DSA had uncovered numerous cases of

 Police call for Chichester cyclists to light up at night
 THE HAZARD caused by cyclists in the dark has been lit up by police in Chichester
Midhurst and Petworth Observer 6 November 2014 15.00 GMT
Operation Shine will see cyclists fined for failing to light themselves on the roads, unless they can prove they have bought lights within the next week.

Police community support officer Richard Moorey said the operation, which runs from now until the end of January, is designed to protect cyclists and drivers.

“It’s shows we’re not out there to fine people, we’re out there to make them safe,” he said.

He said cyclists without lights were breaking the law and faced a £60 fine if they were not lit up at night.

“It’s something that the public will say ‘what are you doing about it, what can you do about it?’”

He added: “The most important thing is that it’s keeping people safe. It’s for car drivers who do call us and say ‘I’ve not seen cyclists and nearly hit them’.”

PCSO Moorey said the operation emphasised the police were not out to fine anybody, rather it was about keeping people safe.

“It’s far more positive. If someone thinks they’re going to be fined and you’re able to turn that around – it shows the police in a positive light.”

Cyclists caught without lights have seven days to arrive at the police station and show the bike, with the new lights attached.

“What we won’t accept is a set of lights in their hand which they’ve potentially pulled off someone else’s bike,” said PCSO Moorey.

The police do have a small number of lights available. If any children are caught out in the dark without lights then police will visit their parents or guardians with the lights and also give them advice about suitable lighting.

 Police crime reporting is ‘inexcusably poor’
 ONE in five crimes in Devon and Cornwall are not recorded due to ‘inexcusably poor’ police failures, a new report has revealed
Dartmouth Chronicle 21 November 2014 15.00 GMT
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said a 19 per cent national average of under-recording crime was ‘indefensible’.

The highly critical report looked at more than 8,000 reports of crime to the police between November 2012 and October 2013.

Inspectors found that Devon and Cornwall police should have formally classified 117 crimes compared to the 98 that were.

Bill Skelly, Devon and Cornwall police Deputy Chief Constable, said: ‘As an organisation we need to fully digest the HMIC’s report and review all of their recommendations, but we are grateful for it.

‘Having said that, it is clear that while there are some areas we must address and we are doing so, the report also highlights areas of good performance.

‘The report identifies that Devon and Cornwall police has robust leadership and a sound culture in the way crime is recorded in Devon and Cornwall.

‘We do not deliberately over or under report crime – which is what we fully expected HMIC to find.

‘It is important to make the point that this report looked at our processes, not how we treat victims or actually investigate crime – this was about the way crime is recorded.

‘It is hugely important that people in Devon and Corn­wall have confidence in the way we record crime and this report acknowledges that we have ethical and victim-centred processes in place.

‘Of the recommendations raised by HMIC, such as some cases not being recorded as a crime but as an incident, we have already changed some of our processes as a result of initial feedback received and are in the process of dealing with the others.

‘While this has not changed the actual investigation process and service to the victim, we recognise this is a more transparent approach and this can assist in building public confidence. Of course, crime figures are only one measure of performance.

‘Public confidence in our ability to do our job properly and satisfaction levels among victims and witnesses of crime are other, equally relevant measures.

‘Modern policing is all about providing the best service possible with the resources available and learning is a critical part of progress.

‘There will always be lessons to be learnt, that’s how we improve and HMIC has a valuable role to play in that process.’

The report also found faults with Devon and Cornwall police’s recording of ‘no crimes’. Out of 104 ‘no crimes’ reported by the force, 10 were found to be inaccurate.

The HMIC found that across England and Wales too many crimes were removed or cancelled as recorded crimes for no good reason. The report added that out of the 3,246 decisions to cancel, or record a no crime, 664 were incorrect.’

Chief Inspector of Constab­ulary Tom Winsor said: ‘The first duty of the police is to protect the public and reduce crime.

‘A national crime-recording rate of 81 per cent is inexcusably poor. Failure properly to record crime is indefensible.

‘This is not about numbers and dry statistics; it’s about victims and the protection of the public. The position in the case of rape and other sexual offences is a matter of especially serious concern.

 Police fail to record one in five of all crimes reported to them, says report
 More than 800,000 - or one in five - of all crimes reported to the police each year are not being recorded by officers, a report suggests
BBC NEWS 18 NOV 2014
The problem is greatest for victims of violent crime, with a third going unrecorded. Of sexual offences, 26% are not recorded.

An HM Inspectorate of Constabulary report looked at more than 8,000 reports of crime in England and Wales.

The watchdog said the failure to record crime properly was "indefensible".

Home Secretary Theresa May described the findings as "utterly unacceptable", but police representatives said the situation had improved since the study.

The Association of Chief Police Officers said workload pressures, target culture and inadequate supervision all contributed to under-recording.

An unrecorded crime is classed as one that is reported to the police but not recorded as an offence. It means an investigation into the alleged crime is unlikely to happen.

'Serious concern'

The audit reviewed reports of crime between November 2012 and October 2013 across all 43 forces in England and Wales.