Tag Archives: police

18 October 2018 – today’s press releases

Extending transition period another embarrassing climbdown

Responding to the news that Theresa May is open to extending the transition period, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Theresa May once argued that we didn’t need a transition period at all. Admitting that an extension is on the table, and the billions it would cost, is yet another in a long list of embarrassing climbdowns for this Tory Government.

The blame for this mess falls squarely at the Prime Minister’s feet. Over the last two years, her Government has failed to find solutions to

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Ed Davey: Brexit threatens our safety

The report, titled ”Negotiating Brexit: policing and criminal justice’, says the failure to secure a new agreement on policing and criminal justice after Brexit will make it harder to extradite dangerous criminals from the UK and reduce the number of people brought back to Britain to face justice.

The report highlights 3 main dangers even if Theresa May’s current position is accepted by the EU:

Extraditing dangerous criminals from the UK would be slower and morebureaucratic. Currently the UK extradites more than 1,000 people a year to the rest of the EU, using the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Reverting to the previous, politicised, system of extradition would reduce that number.

New barriers would reduce the number of people brought back to the UK to facejustice. Every year, around 100 people are extradited from the rest of the EU to the UK. Without a deal, it will be harder for the UK to bring people who are suspected ofcommitting crimes here, and who have fled to the EU, back to face trial.

Law enforcement agencies would find it harder to get crucial information for investigations, as UK authorities will lose access to huge EU-wide databases. These include the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), which stores information on missing and wanted individuals and objects.

Ed Davey said:

The Institute for Government is absolutely right to raise the alarm about Brexit’s effect on crime and policing.

The Liberal Democrats have long been warning that losing the European Arrest Warrant, information-sharing arrangements and leadership of Europol will make it harder to keep people safe and bring criminals to justice.

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Ed Davey says arming all police would be “disproportionate”

National Police Chiefs have said that rural police officers might end up carrying guns because of a lack of specialist counter-terrorist officers.

Ed Davey has said that this would be a disproportionate move.

Police Officers carry out dangerous and often lifesaving work on our behalf, not least in the face of ongoing threats including terrorism. We must therefore ensure that armed officers are able to respond quickly to situations.

However, any move towards routinely arming officers would be totally disproportionate and contrary to the principle of policing by consent.

There needs to be sensible guidelines in place to ensure that armed officers on

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Ed Davey to call for more investment in community policing

In Scotland, the Liberal Democrats have become the go-to party on Police issues because of our long record of opposing the disastrous merger of Scotland’s Police Force.

Willie Rennie, Justice Spokesperson Liam McArthur and his predecessor Alison McInnes have criticised the Police over things like inappropriate use of stop and search or routine patrolling with firearms but they have also highlighted the stress that frontline officers are facing and raised the flaws in the new management.

He will say:

Effective, well-resourced policing is fundamental to protecting our freedoms and helping the most vulnerable in society.

Liberal Democrats’ commitment to civil liberties and

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Willie Rennie’s Christmas Message: Scottish Lib Dems stand up for better mental health, education and police services

Embed from Getty Images

Here is Willie Rennie’s Christmas Message:

May I wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

2017 was the year the Liberal Democrats turned the corner. We started winning elections again with more MPs and in charge of more councils. I believe that winning is not just good for the Liberal Democrats but is also good for the country.

It means that we have moderate, outward looking, optimistic voices making the case for change and challenging authority and government.

It means that we can shout louder for people who need mental health services. The services are inadequate and must change.

It means we can challenge with greater impact the government and police chiefs on the running of Police Scotland. Without the Liberal Democrats many of the problems of Police Scotland would have gone untested and unchallenged.

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Police facing £125m real-terms cut

The party has criticised the government after it emerged the Home Office police grant for 2018-19 will remain exactly the same as this year, meaning police forces will see the equivalent of a £125m real-terms cut once inflation is taken into account.

The Home Office Police Core Settlement announced today for 2018/19 is £4,054,533,651 (link, p.3), which is exactly the same as in 2017/18 (link, p.6).

If funding had kept pace with annual inflation of 3.1%, it would have been increased by £125.7m (Office for National …

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Autumn Budget – what our Spokespeople say

The Lib Dems have been hot off the mark with what this Autumn Budget doesn’t do.  Here are 7 failures.

And leading Lib Dems have been speaking out about what the budget really means:

Leader of the Lib Dems Vince Cable MP says

Each person in Britain is set to be £687 worse off per year compared to forecasts before the election.

And as living standards are squeezed, the Government is setting aside £3.7bn to cover the cost of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The Chancellor found more money in the Budget to plan for Brexit than he did for our struggling NHS, schools and police.

Liberal

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Economic Implications of Autumn Budget

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake commented:

“Instead of a bright future for Britain, Conservative plans will see a £65bn hit to tax receipts, slashed wages and higher borrowing.

The Government found £3bn to spend on Brexit, but nothing for our police or social care.

The Chancellor has completely failed to show the ambition needed to tackle the housing crisis, build the infrastructure the country needs or fix Universal Credit.”

And here is the breakdown of the economic costs:

1. £65bn hit to tax receipts: Tax receipts have been downgraded by £65.4 billion over the five-year period compare to …

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LibLink: Sir Ed Davey: Chancellor must properly fund community policing

Ed Davey has written for Politics Home about the need for proper funding of community policing.

He outlined what has been happening in recent years:

We are seeing the police disappearing off our streets, clearing the way for criminals. After years of falling crime rates the latest statistics show a 13% increase recorded crime across England and Wales, and even steeper increases for violent offences including knife crime. That is why I am leading a debate in Parliament on the issue of police funding ahead of the Budget.

It also leads to the Met Police saying they aren’t going to investigate so-called “low …

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Lib Dems to fund £300m a year extra for the police

Today’s big Lib Dem policy is an extra £300m a year for the police over the next Parliament.

Under Theresa May at the Home Office, and now as Prime Minister, the police have suffered over £2.2 billion worth of cuts in real terms. This represents a 22% real terms reduction.

As of 31 March 2016 the total strength of the 43 police forces in England & Wales reached just over 124,000 FTE officers. This is the lowest number of police officers recorded under the current strength measure.

Commenting on the announcement Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson, and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the …

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Brian Paddick reveals that over a million days of police time were lost to mental ill health

Even with the best of resources, the job of a police officer is highly stressful. They deal with the most difficult of human circumstances – and often the most dangerous, too.

You would hope that police forces would be mindful of this and would ensure that the mental health of officers was properly looked after. However, research carried out by the Liberal Democrats show that 1.4 million days of police time were lost in the last three years due to mental ill health of both officers and community support officers.

This is worrying both in terms of the impact on the individual officers and on the effectiveness of the force.

Lib Dem Peer Brian Paddick has called for the government to take action to boost the mental health of police officers:

The figures show that mental ill health is widespread among the police service. Frontline officers deal with relentless trauma over years. This issue hasn’t been adequately addressed so far and the government must look at how they address this.

There is a stigma that is deeply embedded in the culture of the police service and it is now time to break it.

Many officers both serving and retired who deal with mental ill health want to be diagnosed and treated more quickly.

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Just when you thought Police and Crime Commissioners couldn’t get worse

Police helmet

As a Party we have never been fans. Some even suggested (mistakenly in my view) that the concept was so bad that we should boycott the elections in 2012.

The idea that one person (usually a white man) should have such a significant say on such a sensitive area as policing – and often over an area covering several counties – was clearly absurd. It still is.

The Government is already thinking of giving PCCs the control of fire authorities on the time-honoured principle of ‘if it’s not broke, then fix …

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Simon Hughes calls for CPS and Police to look again at Poppi Worthington case

Former Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Simon Hughes has called for the Police and CPS to look again at the investigation into the death of 13 month old Poppi Worthington. He said:

There is an investigation by the IPCC about whether police did their job properly in this case and due to be a second inquest into Poppi’s death. I’m sure Cumbria Police and the CPS will now also want to look again at the evidence in the public domain.
“In the light of the public judgment in the family court case, police and the CPS should now reopen and review this case. If our justice system is about justice for the deceased as well as the living and above all about the welfare of children still alive, then it must be in the general interests of justice that there is a further review of this case.

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Lord Tony Greaves writes…Crisis on the streets of Lancashire

When the new lot all arrive we’ll have 112 Liberal Democrat peers and we need to use them. For some of us that means local as well as national stuff since some of us are still actively campaigning in our local areas! So when changes to the police funding formula were announced that mean one of the best forces in the country risks being “annihilated”, in the word of the commissioner, it was time to put down a topical question in the Lords.

The Lancashire police force is “outstanding”. That’s the conclusion of the review of police force efficiency by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. It’s one of the most cost effective police forces in the country at only 49p per head, it’s made savings of £74m since 2010, yet it will be hammered by further cuts up to £161m. Police officers will drop from 3,611 in 2010 to 1,699 in 2020 and the PCSOs (community support officers) will disappear. Chief Constable Steve Finnigan says these cuts would severely limit the capabilities of Lancashire Constabulary which by 2020 will only be able to provide an emergency- service, responding to 999 calls and a few priorities.

The potential impacts include closing all enquiry desks and the loss of specialist support units, mounted officers, dog units and road policing units, and dramatic cuts to departments that deal with serious and complex crime. In addition the county-wide network of neighbourhood policing teams – community beat officers and community support officers – will be swept away.

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What if your boss could check your internet browsing history? 

What if your boss could check your internet browsing history?

What if you became a criminal just because you attended a rock concert?

And what if a supermarket knew you were pregnant before you did (actually a true story)? And they could sell that information on?

Most people don’t know that all three things are entirely possible thanks to the Conservative’s Snoopers Charter, the SNP’s use of facial recognition software and the power of supermarkets to track your changing shopping habits against your personal data.

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You should stand for Police & Crime Commissioner

 

Next May, the entire United Kingdom will vote. It will be the first national election since the General Election and will be seen as a test of all parties one year into the new parliament.

Police & Crime Commissioner elections will take place in England & Wales, on the same day as devolved elections.

If you care about human rights, as Liberal Democrats do, policing is where human rights come into sharp focus. No other civilian agency in entrusted with powers so affecting liberty and so at risk of political demands based on popular misunderstanding. Policing needs checks and balances from a liberal point of view, and strategy founded on evidence.

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Opinion: “Victim-blaming” 101: why sexual assault is different to other crimes

Sussex Police has produced a campaign poster encouraging women to stick together on a night out to reduce their chances of sexual assault. There are so many ways this poster is stupid: it perpetuates the myth of stranger rape as the only “real rape” (an idea which helps acquaintance rapists get away with it over and over again), it ignores male victims of rape, and it suggests women should fear sexual assault more than they value their sexual liberty.

But there’s only one issue I want to address now. On Monday, Caron Lindsay called the poster “victim-blaming”: she was right, and it’s worth explaining why victim-blaming is so much more harmful in cases of sexual assault than other forms of crime.

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Why are police forces getting away with misogynistic, victim-blaming rape prevention campaigns?

I was horrified to hear this afternoon that Sussex Police are launching a campaign to encourage women to stay together to avoid the possibility of rape and sexual assault. This is what they tweeted last week:

So, now your friends come above the perpetrator of any crime when there’s blame to be handed out.

Looking a bit further afield, I found the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Be Smart campaign, which is even worse. Three quarters of the page is taken up with advice for women like:

Would you go alone into a stranger’s house at 11am in the morning? No? So why do it at 2am drunk? Arrange to meet new acquaintances when sober.

It’s the sort of victim blaming nonsense that is counter-productive. Going to someone’s house is not a crime. Raping somebody is against the law. If you had been raped, how likely would you be to report what had happened to you if you thought you might be judged and blamed for the crime that you had been subjected to? I thought we’d moved on from that. To add insult to injury, as an afterthought, there’s an “And for guys” bit at the bottom of the page, reminding them that “rape convictions last forever.” The effects of being rape are pretty much a life sentence, too, you know.

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Questioning newsagents about Charlie Hebdo sales – the police need to sort themselves out

The Guardian reports that police from several UK forces have questioned newsagents about sales of the Charlie Hebdo post-massacre issue. It’s a patchy phenomenum. Police in Wiltshire have apologised for doing it. There was a phone call from a Cheshire police person. And in Dyfed-Powys a newsagent reports being questioned for half an hour by police in her shop. A police spokesman there said:

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Shouldn’t Parliament Square be for protesters?

Parliament square by Paul WalterThe name Donnachadh McCarthy means something to those of us of a certain age. Donnachadh was once a Liberal Democrat and he was proper Awkward Squad. I spent many hours arguing with him on Cix, which was where all online Liberal Democrats hung out back in the day. Quite often I agreed with him and even when I didn’t, I realised that he was the sort of pain in the backside that every leader needs. Liberals have always been particularly bad at venerating their leaders. Willie Rennie described us, the day he became Scottish leader, as a party that doesn’t want to be led.

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Norman Baker: “The Lib Dems want to restore the public’s trust in the police”

Norman BakerToday’s London Evening Standard front page splashes on the news that the Lib Dems intend to tighten the laws on stop and search, and require some police officers to wear body cameras when they stop someone:

Armed police, riot squads and officers carrying out some stop-and-search in London would have to wear body cameras under Liberal Democrat proposals unveiled today.

The law and order reform, which will be in the party’s 2015 general election manifesto, will also require police to get a judge’s approval to carry out controversial Section 60 stop-and-searches. The existing law lets a senior officer authorise the stopping and searching of individuals in a certain area without suspicion of wrongdoing if he or she believes violence is about to erupt or that people are carrying weapons without good reason.

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Opinion: Police use of the TASER – what counts as ‘reasonable force’?

Holstered taserMost of us have an idea of what is, and should be, understood by the the term ‘reasonable force’ – presumably, that which a reasonable person would consider reasonable in the circumstances, and generally the lowest amount of force necessary to achieve the desired objective.

However, in the heat of the moment, what one may subjectively regard as reasonable in the circumstances may not be judged by others as acceptable after the event.

As a now ubiquitous piece of police equipment, the TASER is marketed and deployed as a ‘less-than-lethal’ weapon

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Danny Alexander speaks out about use of police horses in Inverness

As a native of the peaceable Highland capital, I was quite shocked to see the words “police horses” and “Inverness” in the same sentence. Why on earth would there be any need to employ such an expensive resource, normally associated with serious trouble? It’s not as if they were even taken from a stable down the road. The animals were transported 200 miles from Ayrshire for a pre-Christmas show of police strength. They were even used to police the Inverness Caledonian Thistle game on the Saturday afternoon. I cannot imagine, as someone who goes to Caley games when I …

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The Labour party ‘Plebgate’ website they no longer want you to see

Here’s the key question Labour was asking a few months ago: Who do you trust? The Police or Andrew Mitchell?

labour plebgate pic

According to an official police report, Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell said to a police officer:

“Best you learn your f***ing place … you don’t run this f***ing government … you’re f***ing plebs.”

Andrew Mitchell is denying it. But he won’t admit what he said. And David Cameron is choosing to believe the word of a Tory MP over the word of a hard-working police officer.

But, strangely, when you visit

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The Independent View: What do we do when children are taught racism at home?

Racism is an uncomfortable and emotive subject to discuss. To its victims it is absolutely devastating and can affect entire communities. In Britain it is considered socially unacceptable but despite this, and the numerous laws designed to prevent discrimination, racism is still worryingly commonplace. I’ve witnessed it myself on duty more times than I can count; the culprits are usually adults, which is shocking and unpleasant enough, but for me, the truly worrying cases are those involving children.

Last month I spoke to an officer who specialises in groups with extremist views. He told me about a child living in the …

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The Independent View: In defence of the Police

Comedian David Mitchell wrote an article in The Guardian recently in which he was generally disparaging of the police read it here

After reading the article I said to my wife ‘David Mitchell really doesn’t like the police’ her response was ‘What do you expect? He’s a liberal. They don’t like the police generally’ Is this true? It seems, to a degree, that it is. The police represent authority, discipline and justice. They can appear as the antithesis of the most basic principles of Liberalism: Liberty, equality, freedom and civil rights but my argument is that without the police democracy …

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Nick Clegg warns against arming the Police after Manchester shootings

In the wake of the  murders of police officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in Manchester yesterday, the issue of whether police should be armed is being raised by journalists.

The Scotsman reports Nick Clegg’s comments when asked about this today. He was quick to say that arming Police Officers was not the answer.

I don’t think this is the time to rush to instant judgments, this really is a time for mourning and support, of course, for the family and friends of the two women who have been killed.

We have a long tradition in this country, which is a great

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The Independent View: FairCopUK – a new campaign for police honesty

FairCopUK is a new campaign for the UK police to be required to be honest when explaining what your rights are and what powers they have. I was inspired to set up the campaign by Richard Taylor’s suggestion that the police should not be allowed to lie or mislead without justification.

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