Tag Archives: policing

Police Commissioners set to be elected by preferential voting

A detail from the government’s current consultation on introducing elected police commissioners:

Commissioners will have a set four yearterm of office and term limits of two terms. The Government intends to apply the existing framework for the conduct of local government andParliamentary elections including the recognised eligibility criteria for standing for public office, in preparing for the first set of elections in May 2012. We are considering the appropriate voting system, and believe that a preferential voting system is the right option. (Source: section 2.12 in Policing in the 21st Century: Reconnecting police and the people)

I very much doubt whether this choice …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Government scraps target – Met Police sets up new committee

You might have thought that scrapping central government targets would result in local bodies being able to cut at least some of their own monitoring and reporting setups. But in an Alice in Wonderland style twist, Home Secretary Theresa May’s decision to scrap the “confidence target” for the police has been followed by the Met Police setting up a new “Confidence and Satisfaction Board”.

In June Theresa May announced that the police would be judged on cutting crime, ending both the set of performance targets bundled up as the Policing Pledge and also ending the judging of police by whether or …

Posted in London and News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Met Police and Home Office put on special measures for breaking rules

One for the bureaucratic irony files this. The Information Commissioner has announced that 33 public sector bodies have so regularly broken the rules on responding to Freedom of Information requests that they have been put in special measures.

The 33 bodies are all being required to fully document how they handle future requests and report monthly to the Information Commissioner on how they are doing are complying with the rules. Their record will be reviewed in three months time.

Home Office frontage. Photo credit: </a>…</p>
 <div class=Continue reading »

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Welcome for plans to scale down police stop and search

Commenting on the Home Secretary’s announcement that stop and search powers will be subject to stricter conditions, Tom Brake MP (Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs, Justice and Equality) said:

This is a very welcome announcement. Section 44 was an unreasonable power, applied in an indiscriminate way.

This change strengthens our civil liberties, building on a longstanding commitment from Liberal Democrats.

When the Labour benches attacked the coalition for what they described as an obsession with defending civil liberties, it just highlighted their dangerous obsession with eroding them.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty has also welcomed the Home Secretary’s decision:

Liberty

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Police detain teenager for photographing Armed Forces Day parade

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 30 Comments

LibLink: Cllr Richard Kemp on the Lib Dem Local Government conference

Lib Dem councillors had their annual conference this week within the confines of Local Government House in Smith Square, London. Co-hosted by ALDC and the Lib Dem LGA group, the conference pulls together colleagues from across the country with our parliamentary team. This year, of course, our parliamentary colleagues have joined many thousands of Lib Dem councillors in actually being in charge of running things. Normally our councillors are more experienced at holding the reins of power than our MPs.

Cllr Richard Kemp has written a review for Total Politics:

Nick pulled no punches in telling us how difficult the decisions

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

LibLink: Brian Paddick – A bad day for race relations in the police

Over in The Indpendent, former top police officer and 2008 Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London Brian Paddick writes about the case of Commander Ali Dizaei, jailed yesterday for perverting the course of justice. Here’s an excerpt:

If ever there was a “Marmite” senior officer, it was Ali Dizaei. Many hated him, believing he had “got away with it” because “he was black”. But for the Black Police Association, he was their flag-bearer.

He was an undoubted champion for racial equality, but his approach was sometimes aggressive and confrontational when dealing with “the establishment”. Ali Dizaei’s MO was getting things done

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Police stop TV presenters under anti-terrorism legislation – for carrying glittery hairdryers

Anna Williamson and Jamie RickersIt appears that photographers are only one of a long list of ‘suspects’ for London’s crimefighters. Today children’s TV presenters Jamie Rickers and Anna Williamson reported that they had been questioned by police under anti-terrorism powers – for carrying glittery hairdryers.

The pair, who front ITV1′s Toonattik, were filming on London’s South Bank. Along with the hairdryers, they were also armed with  children’s walkie-talkies and hairbrushes.

The Press Association has the story:

Anna, 28, said: “We were filming a strand called Dork Hunters, which is to do with one of the animations

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Warning: do not read this photography post if you are prone to dizziness

ITN film crew is stopped by police whilst filming in central London’s financial district, the City. So much, so usual as far as “police stop innocent, legitimate use of cameras” stories go.

But in a touch of genius, it turns out that the ITN crew was filming a story … about someone who had three cars and a van of anti-terrorism police descend on him after taking photos of a church near a bank. I hope this circularity isn’t making you dizzy.

Oh, and he was wearing an “I’m a photographer not a terrorist” badge, just to add to the fun.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

Photographers: ’tis the season to be wary?

Suspicious subjects for photos this season include sunsets and Christmas lights. And be especially wary of using the “wrong” sort of camera or taking the “wrong” number of photos (details which are, as yet, not revealed to ordinary, law-abiding shutterbugs).

Two more photographers have been stopped by over-zealous police officers for taking photographs of public scenes, despite being within their rights to do so.

First, a BBC photographer was stopped outside Tate Modern while taking this atmospheric shot:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

Huhne urges Labour – “Restore hero cops’ pensions”

Thousands of police officers forced to retire after being injured in the line of duty face having their injury pensions cut back to minimum levels, research by the Lib Dems’ home office team has found.

Previously, officers were allocated an additional sum each year to compensate them for the injuries they received, even when they reached retirement age. However, since Home Office guidance was issued in 2004, many forces have reassessed officers when they have reached retirement age and reduced their injury awards to the lowest possible level. The Labour Government’s recent response to a consultation on this subject …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Met Police to Twitter at protesters

CO11MetPolice twitter screenshot

The Metropolitan Police are trying new tactics to engage with environmental activists at next week’s Climate Camp in London.

The Met have opened a Twitter account @CO11MetPolice (named after its public order unit) which is intended “specifically to inform the Camp for Climate Action of any operational updates relating to the policing of their event starting on 26 August.”

From the Metropolitan Police website:

If you follow us, you can expect tweets covering some or all of the following:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Police told to ignore European Court of Human Rights over DNA database

Despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights last December, the Association of Chief Police Officers has written to chief constables in England and Wales advising them to continue adding the DNA profiles of innocent people to the national DNA database. They have been told that new Home Office guidelines will not take effect until 2010.

From the Guardian:

Senior police officers have also been “strongly advised” that it is “vitally important” that they resist individual requests based on the Strasbourg ruling to remove DNA profiles from the national database in cases such as wrongful arrest,

Posted in Big mad database and News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Tall photographer stopped again by police

Last week I linked to the story of “too-tall” photographer Alex Turner, who was arrested by Kent Police after taking some photos in Chatham High Street.

Turner was stopped by police again on Sunday, and asked to show his ID.

The Register reports:

Turner, perhaps foolishly, returned to the scene of his earlier crime (Chatham High St) late on Sunday to see whether the local community “would be… equally protected from suspected terrorism by night as it would be by day”. The answer is yes. CCTV operators spotted him taking photos. A police car arrived and officers asked him to

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

Arrested for being tall?

Dismayed, but not surprised, that police are still arresting photographers for taking photos in public places – without reasonable suspicion that these are connected with terrorism or other illegal acts.

Last week Kent police arrested 5′ 11″ Alex Turner who had refused to show his ID after being challenged in Chatham High Street.

From The Register:

According to his blog, our over-tall photographer Alex Turner was taking snaps in Chatham High St last Thursday, when he was approached by two unidentified men. They did not identify themselves, but demanded that he show them some ID and warned that if he failed

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

CommentIsLinked@LDV: Chris Huhne – Fresh questions for the News of the World

Over at The Guardian, Lib Dem shadow home secretary Chris Huhne argues that fresh evidence in the News of the World hacking scandal should compel the Met to re-open its inquiry. Here’s an excerpt:

The surveillance state has rightly become a matter of great public concern, which is why the Guardian’s scoop that the use of private investigators who phone hacked was apparently widespread on the News of the World was so sensational. This is not something that can be brushed aside, because it strikes at the heart of the privacy any individual can expect in a civilised society. If the

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

Ming to head police inquiry into Damian Green police raid

Here’s how the BBC reported this under the slightly unappetising headline, Sir Menzies to head Green probe:

Sir Menzies Campbell is to chair an inquiry into the police raid on the Commons office of Tory MP Damian Green.

The former Lib Dem leader will review how the Commons authorities deal with search requests from the police. The cross-party panel also includes former home secretaries David Blunkett and Michael Howard and ex-foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

Commons leader Harriet Harman, who has set up the pane, will ask MPs to approve its terms of reference. She has asked it to report by

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Coulson-gate, day 2: Lib Dems refer NotW phone-tapping case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission

Despite the concerted efforts of some sections of the media to ignore the story in the hope it’ll go away, yesterday’s Guardian revelations about the extent of the illegal activities of Rupert Murdoch’s news group in illegal phone-tapping activities remain big news.

After yesterday’s rather rushed attempts by Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates to try and kill the story (‘move along, folks, nothing to see here’ – I paraphrase, but only just), Lib Dem shadow home secretary Chris Huhne has decided to refer the Met’s inquiry to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for further investigation.

Chris says:

The Metropolitan Police cannot act as judge and jury in its own trial. Only an independent inquiry can properly consider any possible neglect of duty by the Specialist Operations Department into the original investigation.

“Given the scale and scope of the allegations, the possibility that other journalists and investigators were involved must now be seriously considered. The review by the Director of Public Prosecutions is a tacit admission that the review by Assistant Commissioner Yates was rushed, and supports the case for a full, independent inquiry by the IPCC into the original police investigation.

“These allegations have serious implications for privacy laws and freedom of the press in this country, and as such must be investigated thoroughly. When the civil courts are recording large settlements to hush up potentially criminal activity, public authorities have a duty to investigate the matter fully.”

Chris has written to Nick Hardwick, Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), asking the IPCC to open an inquiry into the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into widespread phone tapping by journalists and private investigators. You can read his letter in full, below:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Huhne on Yates’ ‘Coulson-gate’ statement: “This was a suspiciously quick review”

Chris Huhne has responded in lightning quick time to Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissionaire John Yates’ statement ruling out any further police investigation of the Guardian’s claims that the News of the World engaged in serious criminal activities while being edited by Andy Coulson, now David Cameron’s top aide.

Earlier today, Chris wrote to Met Chief Sir Paul Stephenson pointing out his force’s conflict of interest in the matter, given the allegations relate to possible failings by the police, and urging an independent investigation. Mr Yates’ over-hasty statement serves only to emphasise Chris’s orginal point:

John Yates’s statement leaves open as many questions as it answers, not least because he says he has only been asked to look into the facts around the inquiry into Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire, and not whether any further investigations into other journalists or investigators should have been or were undertaken.

“This was a suspiciously quick review of what Mr Yates himself describes as a complex case. Where there is a potential neglect of duty by a police force, surely another police force or the Independent Police Complaints Commission should look into the matter. Instead, we merely have assurances from the same department that conducted the original investigation that it did so well and thoroughly.

“Mr Yates says that in the vast majority of cases there was insufficient evidence to show tapping had been achieved – necessary to prosecute criminally – but the standard of evidence was clearly high enough in the case of Gordon Taylor to secure a very substantial out of court settlement for damages due to invasion of privacy. Civil cases require a balance of probability, a lower standard of proof than criminal cases requiring evidence beyond reasonable doubt.

“I welcome Mr Yates’s assurance that people will be informed where there is any suspicion that they might have been subject to phone-tapping, but he has not said how many people may be involved or how many journalists. We need a full and independent inquiry.”

And here’s Chris pointing out David Cameron’s “extrordinary lapse of judgement” in hiring Andy Coulson:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

Huhne: G20 report highlights inadequate police strategies

No sooner had LDV reported this morning on the continuing questiuons over police tactics at last year’s Kingsnorth climate camp than Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary’s (HMIC) report on the G20 protests was published showing that police crowd control tactics are ‘inadequate’ and should be reviewed.

Commenting, Chris Huhne, Lib Dem shadow home secretary, said:

Aspects of the policing of the G20 protests clearly fell far short of what this country expects. This report documents not just failures of individual discipline, but inadequate police strategies and training for dealing with peaceful protest.

“HMIC is right to say that

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

Lib Dems press on Kingsnorth climate camp policing

Lib Dem Voice has covered before the allegations of that the policing at the climate camp at Kingsnorth in August 2008 was unacceptable – click here for the archive. Lib Dem MPs are continuing to press the Home Office to present an honest account of what happened, and to state what lessons have been learned for future policing of peaceful protests.

Yesterday in the Commons, both Greg Mulholland and Chris Huhne asked the questions of the Government’s minister for policing. Here are the exchanges from Hansard:

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Huhne: scrap ID cards and put 10,000 bobbies on the beat. Three reasons why he’s wrong

Amother day, another nail in the coffin of Labour’s increeasingly half-hearted attempts to force the British people to carry ID cards and enrtust their personal details to a national government database. The BBC reports:

Home Secretary Alan Johnson has dropped plans to make ID cards compulsory for pilots and airside workers at Manchester and London City airports. The cards were due to be trialled there – sparking trade union anger. … But Mr Johnson said the ID card scheme was still very much alive – despite Tory and Lib Dem calls to scrap it. He said the national roll-out of

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Inexperienced officers in protest frontline – never again, say MPs

An inquiry by MPs into the 1 April G20 protests has concluded that untrained police officers must never again be placed in the frontline of public protest.

From the Guardian:

The conclusion from the Commons home affairs select committee inquiry into the G20 protests of April 1 follows admissions from senior Metropolitan police officers that some inexperienced officers, who were clearly quite scared, used “inappropriate force”.

The report by the cross-party group of MPs says they “cannot condone the use of untrained, inexperienced officers on the frontline of a public protest under any circumstances”.

The inquiry also calls for the police to seriously

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Arrested for requesting a policeman’s badge number

From the Guardian today, shocking footage of two women being arrested at Kingsnorth climate camp in Kent last year.

The women had asked police officers who were not displaying their badge numbers, to identify themselves. They were arrested for “obstructing a police officer.”

The video, made by police surveillance officers, shows an officer holding one woman by the neck and the other woman being laid face down on the ground before having her legs bound.

Emily Apple and Val Swain were held in custody for four days but all charges against the women were later dropped.

They have complained to the Independent …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

Opinion: The G20 protests – two months on, what lessons have been learned?

Two months have passed since the G20 and the brutal police operation against protesters in the City of London. Yesterday the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) met for the second time since the operation to question Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

At the first meeting the Met showed no signs of having taken on board the serious and widespread criticism of their actions and at times actively mis-represented what had taken place in an attempt to spin themselves out of trouble. So it was with a fair deal of scepticism that myself and Anna Bragga of Defend Peaceful Protest went down to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Opinion: We need a proper public debate on the future of protest policing in our country

Force is a physical power, and I fail to see what moral effect it can have. To yield to force is an act of necessity, not of will — at the most, an act of prudence. In what sense can it be a duty?’
J Jacques Rousseau

I don’t think I am the only one to have quoted the social contract over the G20 protests earlier this month. 350 years on from its writing, Rousseau’s work is still strikingly relevant. It is clear from the outcry following G20 that many are now questioning the role of …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Police who hide ID numbers face the sack

Police officers who conceal their Force Identification Numbers “will face the sack” according to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson. He said it is “totally unacceptable” for officers not to wear their shoulder numbers.

From the BBC:

His comments follow allegation against several officers at the G20 protests – including the man who pushed newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson before he died.

New footage has emerged of the moments leading up to his death, as a third post-mortem examination was held.

Mr Tomlinson, 47, died minutes after he was pushed over during the demonstrations in central London.

The officer at the centre of the allegations

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Dee Doocey: “Surveillance cuts both ways”

“Never again,” says Dee Doocey AM, Member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, on the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 demonstrations on April 1st.

Writing on the Progressive London blog today, Dee lists six basic principles which should be reflected in future police policy towards protest:

• Demonstrations and other peaceful forms of protest are a fundamental democratic right

• Demonstrations are usually peaceful

• Policing should be proportionate

• It is unacceptable for any officer deliberately to obscure his or her identification number

• The police must exercise due care and attention when making statements to the media

• The police have Britain’s reputation …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

“Tourist” sounds a bit like “terrorist”: be very afraid!

A father and son on holiday in London were stopped by police and made to delete photos from their cameras, of a bus station and some double decker buses.

From the Guardian:

Like most visitors to London, Klaus Matzka and his teenage son Loris took several photographs of some of the city’s sights, including the famous red double-decker buses. More unusually perhaps, they also took pictures of the Vauxhall bus station, which Matzka regards as “modern sculpture”.
But the tourists have said they had to return home to Vienna without their holiday pictures after two policemen forced them to delete the photographs from their cameras in the name of preventing terrorism.

Matkza, a 69-year-old retired television cameraman with a taste for modern architecture, was told that photographing anything to do with transport was “strictly forbidden”. The policemen also recorded the pair’s details, including passport numbers and hotel addresses.

I’ve just got back from Moscow, where there were hardly any CCTV cameras, and where I photographed and filmed stations and public transport to my heart’s content. (Isn’t that what everyone does on holiday?)

No sign there of the citizens-vs-State surveillance arms race (or should that be “eyes race”?) that is commonplace in Britain’s major cities.

While innovations like Google Streetview show images of our cities in detail, tourists and journalists alike are becoming suspects for simply observing the “wrong” things in a public place.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

CommentIsLinked@LDV: David Howarth – Who are the police protecting?

Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Lib Dem shadow justice secretary David Howarth asks if police interference in the right to protest is designed only to protect the political and economic status quo. Here’s an excerpt:

The arrest of more than one hundred climate protesters alleged to have been planning to disrupt the operation of the Ratcliffe coal-fired power station is, I am glad to see, raising questions about undue interference in the right to protest. Prior restraint of protest, especially in the form of preventive arrest, is difficult to justify. Adding restrictive conditions to the protesters’ bail makes the

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 1 Comment



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 25th Apr - 2:41am
    Matthew, I think we need to remember that in Gladstone's day the British East-India company was the largest global corporation in history, accounting for half...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 25th Apr - 12:40am
    @jedibeeftrix. Have you really descended to this? Your comments always used to be interesting and challenging!
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 25th Apr - 12:37am
    There'll always be crises. It's a fact of life. Politics is the art of managing them and learning from them, and learning is what is...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 25th Apr - 12:23am
    Matthew Huntbach, If you read very carefully, you will find that Alex Marsh did not write a "flood of propaganda which insists that the pre-merger...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 25th Apr - 12:06am
    the article, and the degree of division in the comments makes me lol. but at least the division represents a degree of sanity returning to...
  • User AvatarRay 24th Apr - 11:54pm
    There should be no bullying down to the "normal and harmless" homosexuality.
Sat 26th Apr 2014
Tue 29th Apr 2014
Fri 2nd May 2014
Sat 3rd May 2014
Sat 10th May 2014