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THE JOURNAL OF THE EMERGENCY SERVICES SPRING 2013
Featuring ‘IN ATTENDANCE’ The Magazine of the British Firefighter
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Inside This Issue:
Avon and Somerset Constabulary ICT Training ...........................................................................................................4 Girl Cop - The Life And Loves Of An Officer On The Beat....................................5
Front Cover: Prison Officer, Eric Winterbottom (left), one of Northern Ireland's most successful competitors in the World Police and Fire Games with 14 medals won in six consecutive Games, marks six months to go for the 2013 Games with 2013 WPFG Chief Executive, John Tully. - See pages 16-17
Managing Director • Christine Elliott Production • Sharon Williams Design & Layout • Ryan Wilson • Brian Leatherbarrow Admin • Jane McCormack • Christine Praxitelous
All editorial, advertising and circulation enquiries to: Gateacre Press Ltd.
Bilail House 260 Picton Road Wavertree Liverpool L15 4LP Telephone: 0151 734 3038 Facsimile: 0151 734 2860 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Publishers of 'On The Bell'© wish to thank all advertisers for supporting the magazine to enable its production for the Emergency Services in Great Britain. However, it must be understood that the space is purchased from the Publishers and not the emergency services concerned. PHOTOGRAPHS Whilst every care is taken to ensure high standards of photographic reproduction © in 'On The Bell' we regret that we cannot guarantee the reproductive quality of images from non-professional sources.
Issue No: 21302
Essex Police Honouring Our Finest ............................................................................................6 Fast-Track Licence Suspension.............................................................................7
West Midlands Police Diamond Award Winners ....................................................................................8-9 South Wales Police Comic Book Initiative To Help Keep Local Homes Safe......................................10
National Crime Agency New Appointment To National Crime Agency ......................................................11 Merseyside Police Just Talk Awards 2012 .........................................................................................12 Portrait Of A Modern Police Force - Photography Exhibition...............................13 Chief Constable Congratulates Bernard Hogan-Howe On Knighthood...............14 Officers Welcomed To The Force ........................................................................14
Association Of Chief Police Officers In Scotland Police Pledge To Catch Drink Drivers All Year Round.........................................15
World Police And Fire Games 2013 World Police And Fire Games Mark Six Months To Go..................................16-17
West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust Scoops Five Awards ...................................................................................18
Lancashire Constabulary Police Turn Up Head On Fraudsters With New Reporting Centre ......................19
W.I.S.E. New Recommendations To Ensure The Safety Of Diabetes Injections ..............19 G.M.B. @ WORK Public Sector Pension Negotiations ...............................................................20-21
Scottish Police Services Authority Scotland Hosts International Forensic Science Conference ...............................22 Scottish Crime And Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) ...................................22 Crime Gang Members Brought To Justice...........................................................23 Statement On Staffing Of Interim Support Team .................................................23
Avon Fire & Rescue Rescue Dogs Put Through Their Paces ..............................................................24
London Assembly Assembly Amends Mayor’s Budget To Halt Fire Station Closures......................25 Hertfordshire Emergency Services Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue and Hertfordshire Constabulary Collaborate .........25
In Memoriam 2014 Thieves Getting The Message That War Memorials Are Off Limits.....................26
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Avon & Somerset Constabulary In order to be able to provide suitable training facilities throughout the Avon and Somerset area, the ICT Training Unit has its own mobile training classroom - a bus that was converted and fitted out to meet our own specifications for training delivery and comfort.
The bus caters for eight students (including disabled access) plus one trainer in a very user-friendly environment. Each workstation comprises a computer along with adjustable chairs and footrests. Users can either log on locally to an individual workstation or can access the force network. A 40 inch LCD screen with two complementary screens have been installed to enable all students to view demonstrations from any position within the bus. The air conditioning and heating systems on board are very efficient, allowing training to be carried out in all types of weather conditions. The bus is also available for hire, subject to the appropriate power supply being available. Our ICT Training Unit is able to offer ICT (Information and Communication Technology) training to other polices forces and public organisations.
The force has over 5,000 employees and is heavily dependent upon information and communication technology. To ensure the force provides the best possible service the unit comprises two teams, ie Training and Learning Technologies Teams.
The range of qualifications held by unit staff are listed below: * BEd, BSc, Cert Ed, PGCE * PNC Accredited Trainers
* HNC IT/Computing and Software Development
* PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Sector)
* CTLLS (Certificate of Teaching in the Lifelong Sector)
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All trainers hold training qualifications and are members of the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) and many members of the unit hold other professional organisations such as the British Computer Society.
The unit is a registered ECDL testing centre and is able to facilitate internal and external candidates who wish to take the qualification.
During the financial year 2011- 2012 the unit trained approximately 3,000 personnel attending 467 training events ranging in length from half a day to six weeks and comprising 60 different training courses. The unit also trains personnel from other organisations, see the course directory for more details.
The majority of courses are trained at the HQ Training School at Portishead but the unit does have a training bus which can be sited at any appropriate location. In addition trainers also train off-site at other training venues.
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Avon and Somerset DC Turns Novelist! D.C. Sandy Osborne from the Avon and Somerset
Constabulary has just released her debut novel Girl Cop the life and loves of an officer on the beat and will be
donating a percentage of the sales to the Police Dependant’s
‘Girl Cop - the life and loves of an officer on the beat’ is a
fictional romantic tale set in 1993 of a young female Police Officer as she starts out in a traditionally male dominated
career and is based in the beautiful City of Bath.
The novel incorporates romance, comedy and crime as it relates the heroine’s experiences both in and out of work
where she encounters and overcomes bullying - as well as trying to manage her love life and cope with family trauma.
“The storyline is drawn from my 21 years’ experience as a
agreed for me to use his collar number for my heroine’s
“I think he would like the thought of being the love interest!”
Following on from this Sandy will also be donating a
percentage of the sales to St Peter[‘s Hospice as well as the
Police Dependants' Trust.
“Girl Cop will appeal to all those who work for any
emergency service or deal with the public. The sequel is
Girl Cop was launched at Waterstones in Bath on 16th
January 2013 and is available now in paperback and on
kindle from Amazon/Waterstones.
Police Officer and is set in the 1990’s before the advent of
e-mail and mobile phones when love had to wait for fate to
take its natural course.”
Sandy says that Girl Cop has been described as ‘Bridget
Joneseque’ which she takes as a great compliment as the
heartfelt emotional situations which her heroine finds herself in often arise through comical situations.
Sandy started her career as a PE teacher but soon traded
her hockey stick for a truncheon and has recently received her twenty year Long Service and Good Conduct Award. She started writing after her local paper printed an
unflattering picture of her in a charity marathon and she felt compelled to respond with an amusing account of her
training programme. This led to regular contributions and a taste of national publications and the idea for Girl Cop.
The Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s legal department
were consulted over the project and various permissions were granted from businesses in Bath who Sandy name
checks in her book.
“Local businesses have been really excited to be involved.
The Bath Priory Hotel have even offered a competition to win a meal for two at the official launch which is a fantastic PR
opportunity for both the Hotel and for Girl Cop.
“I was really flattered that the family of one of our young
Sergeants who lost his battle against cancer last year,
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Honouring our finest
The Essex Police Annual Awards celebrate the achievements of our police officers and staff
Chief Officers, our newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston, members of the former Essex Police Authority, Essex High Sheriff Christopher PalmerTomkinson and other special guests attended the presentation evening on November 21.
They were there to recognise the commitment, dedication, enthusiasm and leadership of police officers and staff within the force.
Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle says: “We rarely have time to reflect on the work we do as individuals or as teams and the Annual Awards allow us to celebrate the very best of policing in Essex. “I was proud to be part of a ceremony that showcases the professionalism, dedication and commitment of police officers and staff across the force.
“As far as I am concerned, every nominee is a winner and should feel a sense of great achievement. It was a great evening and thanks to everyone involved in making it such a special event.”
There were two categories of award: Putting Essex First and the Essex Police trophies.
Nominees for each award were presented with a framed certificate by a Chief Officer and the winners also received a commemorative glass paperweight from Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle. Julia Peel, the widow of former Essex Police Authority chairman Anthony Peel, joined Mr
Barker-McCardle to present the winners of the Anthony Peel Trophy and the Sir Jonathan Peel Trophy with their awards.
Police Officer of the Year Insp Bill Potter, Southend NPT, South LPA Special Constable of the Year Sc Keith Smith, Maldon NPT, North LPA
Putting Essex First awards
Police Staff of the Year Brenda Cross, Essex Watch liaison officer, Chelmsford, North LPA PCSO of the Year PCSO David Brown, Harlow NPT, West LPA
Team Special Recognition Award Casualty Reduction team, Operational Policing Command (OPC)
Lifetime Achievement Award Tony Ellis, crime prevention tactical adviser, Epping Forest, West LPA
Essex Police trophies
Wilson Trophy – awarded in recognition of performing the most commendable or meritorious act during the year Pc Randel Bray, East Tilbury NPT, West LPA
Millard Trophy – presented in recognition of an individual’s contribution to social services in the community or to police public relations Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager, OPC Anthony Peel Trophy – awarded in recognition of commendable or meritorious achievement in the field of crime reduction Pc Colin McCabe, St Martin’s NPT, Basildon, South LPA
Liam Brigginshaw Award – presented in recognition of outstanding commitment to policing in Essex Tim Stokes, former chief superintendent of OPC, who retired in October 2012
Diversity Award – awarded in recognition of personal commitment to promoting equality and diversity in the workplace and improving the confidence of diverse communities Insp Nick Burston, Protecting Vulnerable People, Public Protection Command
Sir Jonathan Peel Trophy – awarded to the highest-placed police officer or officers in promotional exams Pc Robert Edgar, Stanway Response & Patrol hub, OPC Pc James Griffin, Great Dunmow Response & Patrol hub, OPC Award-winners with Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle Picture by Gary Kenton
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Articles reproduced from UpBeat online magazine by kind permission of Essex Police
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Fast-track licence suspension
Two officers from Stanway Response & Patrol spent a day at the Home Office shadowing Director of Policing Emily Miles
New rules imposed by the DVLA mean licences can be revoked within hours of a driver failing a police eyesight test
The new fast-track procedure was launched on February 7. When police officers believe a driver presents a severe risk to the public, they can request an urgent revocation of the licence through the DVLA – using new force form D751E.
The DVLA will review the case immediately on working days between 8am and 9pm and respond with an emailed revocation for the licence.
If a banned driver continues to drive, they commit a criminal
offence which may lead to their arrest and their vehicle being seized.
ACC Sue Harrison says: “The new procedures launched by the DVLA to fast-track revocations of driving licences have been welcomed by Essex Police.
“Following the tragic death of Cassie McCord in 2011, the
force has supported Cassie’s mother Jackie and worked with ACPO to establish a new mechanism for immediate suspension of a driving licence.
“I very much welcome this new procedure. It is a positive
step forward and will enable our officers to immediately refer serious cases to the DVLA. This new procedure is a great
testament to Jackie’s relentless determination and resilience which I highly commend.”
Although the change isn’t quite what Jackie has been
campaigning for, she says: “I’m pleased my work has been
taken seriously. This is a positive step in the right direction
but I think it’s just the beginning – there are a lot of changes
that need to take effect.”
The news comes exactly two years after Cassie, 16, was hit on a pavement in Colchester by an 87-year-old driver who
had failed such a test. Cassie died in hospital a day later. Please visit www.essex.police.uk/upbeat
Cassie McCord died after she was run over by a motorist who ignored police advice not to drive
Three days earlier, officers had spent two hours trying to
persuade the pensioner not to drive again after he was
involved in minor collision and failed an eyesight test.
But the officers had no powers to immediately suspend his
licence and he chose not to heed their advice. He died three
months after the crash.
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Diamond Award Winners Chief Constable Chris Sims opening the Diamond Awards Ceremony
The evening, hosted at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens, celebrated the achievements of individuals and teams that have delivered over and above what has been expected of them during 2012.
The final 51 nominees across the 14 categories were treated to a fantastic evening hosted by the Chief Constable and TV personality Joanne Malin.
The event, recognising the ‘best of the best’ was made possible by the generosity of our local sponsors including fonebank, Coventry Blaze, East End, Planet Ice, emc europe, IAM, the Birmingham Brummies, Western Power, Wing Yip, Capita and the Ricoh Arena.
In addition to the awards, over £1200 was raised via a charity raffle for Wooden Spoon West Midlands, who also kindly sponsored the event. So congratulations to all of our Diamond Award winners for 2012.
Community engagement – Communications Officer Louise Allen, Corporate Communications
Louise Allen receiving her award from David ParkDavies from Western Power.
Louise picked up this award for vastly improving public confidence in the Hodge Hill area of Birmingham as part of her excellent communications around ‘No Deal’.
‘No Deal’ was a long term covert operation in the Alum Rock area to target mid-level drug dealers and bring them to justice. A key part of this operation was to make sure that the community understood the work that officers had been doing.
This is where Louise stepped in as she orchestrated a sustained two year campaign to improve public confidence and encourage members of the public to work in partnership with the police.
Louise facilitated every facet of the campaign, delivering an extremely effective and comprehensive communication strategy both internally and externally.
During the two year campaign, community confidence increased from 46per cent to around 78 per cent.
Driving diversity – PC Sarah Ruby-Astin, Counter Terrorism Unit
PC Sarah Ruby-Astin receiving her award from ACC Sharon Rowe. Sarah won this award for the dedication and commitment she has shown as a Security and Partnerships officer.
Sarah was commended for her professionalism and enthusiasm whilst helping to break down barriers, and engage with and support minority communities.
In a testament to Sarah’s fantastic work and to highlight just how much the local community value her work, one of her nominees said: “ “Sarah has worked with us to promote peace and has used her role well to liaise with communities, and jointly work together to eradicate terrorism.
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“She is an excellent ambassador of the police and we are looking forward to working with her in the near future.” Creativity and innovation – PCSO Ken Walters, Stechford & North Yardley neighbourhood team, Birmingham East LPU
PCSO Ken Walters receiving his award from ACC Marcus Beale
Ken has been highly commended for his work around the Garretts Green area of Birmingham, however it was one initiative in particular that earned him this award.
Ken helped eradicate anti-social behaviour and unsightly graffiti around the Poolway Shopping Centre in an innovative way. He worked with the community and local partners to brighten up the area with a community mural.
To encourage community participation, Ken launched a design competition with the winning entry being featured on the mural. He also achieved support and funding from local businesses. The finished mural features images that represent the local community and includes the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Games. The mural has received great praise from local people and showing the power of the initiative, the graffiti and anti-social behaviour has not returned.
Community thank you award – Friends of Cotteridge Park, Birmingham South LPU
Friends of Cotteridge Park receiving their award from PCC Bob Jones
The volunteer group were nominated by local Sergeant Izzy Knowles for their tireless work to increase community engagement, improve public safety and encourage personal responsibility.
The group often work with local officers, planning and coordinating a number of diverse workshops and events throughout the year for the whole community to enjoy and experience. In September 2012, the group helped local officers eradicate a reported increase in drug use in the park by reporting suspicious behaviour, identifying individuals and canvassing local support. Within a week of the initial reports, arrests were made and a cannabis factory was shut down.
The FOCP are an extremely valuable link between the police and local community, their work illustrates just what can be achieved when the police and communities work together. Excellence in service delivery – PC Rob Pedley and Marcia Shakespeare
PC Rob Pedley and Marcia Shakespeare receiving their award from DCC Dave Thompson
Rob and Marcia have worked tirelessly together for years to help raise awareness of guns, weapons and gangs across the West Midlands.
In March 2008, Rob was tasked with engaging with young people who were affected by gangs and violent crime. As part of this role he designed an inspiring presentation to
inform Birmingham youngsters to try and divert them away from gang culture.
This quickly evolved into a force wide initiative supported by various partners and perhaps most importantly Marcia Shakespeare, the mother of Letisha who was tragically shot and killed on New Years Day 2003.
As a result of that tragic day, Marcia has worked selflessly alongside Rob to capture young people’s hearts and minds. She often dedicates several days a week with no financial reward to talk to young people, advise them of the dangers of gang culture and ultimately empower them to make positive lifestyle choices.
To date their motivational presentation has been seen by over 22,000 people. Together, they have been instrumental in moving a generation of young people away from the cycle of gang culture. Team of the year – Sergeant James Reid and the Stockland Green Neighbourhood Team, Birmingham North LPU
The Stockland Green Neighbourhood Team receiving their award from Christine Stevens from Capita
The team have worked tirelessly over the last 12 months on a number of initiatives to reduce crime and improve public confidence in the area. For example, they vastly reduced burglary offences by raising funding for anti-climb paint and a new alley gating system. They also worked with a local DIY store to encourage customers to improve security and purchase better locks. In a brand new initiative the team are going to grow and distribute prickly Pyrracanthia plants which can then be planted as a defensive measure.
In addition the team have introduced two third party crime recording centres, they have also held community clean up days, developed the city’s first landlord’s forum, developed an anti-gangs youth hub and carried out community Speed Watch events. A local councillor said this of the team: “I have never worked with a more effective neighbourhood team. The Stockland Green team have always gone above and beyond the call of duty. The team give a commitment to Stockland Green I have rarely seen.”
Leading change – Inspector Toni Naylor, Organisation & Service Improvement Manager, Wolverhampton LPU DCI Darren Walsh receiving the award on behalf of Toni Naylor from Chief Constable Chris Sims
Toni won this award after being appointed Business Subject Manager for the Offender Management Workbook as part of PBB.
Toni had to put forward her ideas for productivity savings and service options to the force. Colleagues have said that from the very offset her dedication and commitment to this project went well above was expected of her. Toni’s ideas and her case for improved service levels in this area were recognised by the budgeting panel at the very first stage and the panel immediately wanted her to explore the ideas further. Toni embraced this challenge embarking on a journey which was to last over 15 months, culminating in the roll out of a brand new Integrated Offender Management model for the force.
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Sparkle At Ceremony In a fitting tribute to Toni’s work, her nominator said: “Toni went over and above what was expected from her and has revolutionised the way we deliver offender management in this force.”
Inspirational leadership – Superintendent Jo Chilton, Force CID
Supt. Jo Chilton being presented her award by Michael Le Comte
Jo won this award for her excellent leadership as well as being hardworking, creative and excellent at building long lasting meaningful partnerships.
As part of her role Jo has created an excellent Gangs and Organised Crime delivery unit and has brought in first class practice for Serious Organised Crime, Police Act debriefs and ‘crime in action’.
Her leadership on the Communities Against Guns and Knives programme and the ‘ending gang and Youth Violence’ work has had a tremendous impact on reducing crime across the West Midlands.
Jo is not only held in high regards across the force, she is a national figure through her work on gang mapping, and is helping to develop the police service nationally in this area. Over the last 12 months Jo has also delivered major improvements in how we tackle gun crime as a force. What is most impressive is that Jo performs so highly in what can be considered one of the force’s toughest jobs.
Putting the public first – PCSOs Jody Martin and Sukinder Lally, Walsall LPU
PCSOs Jody Martin and Sukinder Lally with Henry Yap from Wing Yip
Jodi and Suki are worthy winners of this award after demonstrating the importance of ‘putting the public first’.
In July 2012, Jodi was conducting a questionnaire with local community members, when one of the answers to the survey alarmed her. Concerned, she asked local PCSO Suki Lally to check that everything was ok.
Suki engineered a scenario where she could speak to the woman in private first via phone, and then in person by pretending to want her views on anti-social behaviour. It was during this discussion the woman disclosed many years of emotional abuse by her husband who had been controlling her every move. Together with the Walsall Safeguarding team the woman and her children were moved to a safe location.
Jodi and Suki’s work really is an important reminder of the importance of putting the public first – the woman and her children have been removed from an abusive environment and are now safe and free from abuse. Working in partnership – PC Kevin Potts, Willenhall South Neighbourhood Team, Walsall LPU
Kevin was nominated for this award for his fantastic work with partners in the Walsall area to help reduce the serious issue of metal theft.
It is fair to say that Kevin has been at the very forefront of reducing metal theft in the West Midlands by introducing an innovative joint working approach. For the last three years Kevin has been the Walsall lead on metal theft reduction, and during this time he has helped to facilitate a 49 per cent reduction in offences across the borough.
His dedication and commitment to Operation Steel, the force wide metal theft operation, saw Kevin produce a supervisor handbook, a neighbourhood guide and a presentation that was used to educate partners. He also documented and made links with every scrap dealer in the area. Kevin often goes above and beyond what is expected of him by playing a vital role in both local, and regional metal theft operations.
Kevin’s dedication to the role is demonstrated by the sheer number of successful partnerships he has helped create, working with everyone from BT and the HMRC, to Dairy UK and Environmental Health. PC Kevin Potts receiving his award from Phil Pemble from Wood Spoon
Employee of the year : Police Staff – Andy Vickers, porter, Birmingham West & Central LPU
Andy Vickers being presented his award by Chris Rowson, Head of Human Resources
Andy has been employed by the force as a porter since 1979 at Central Birmingham Police Station. Over the past 33 years, Andy has played a vital part in supporting front line policing and ensuring the efficient running of the police station. He is well-known by colleagues for having a positive attitude and friendly personality that make him a pleasure to work with. His motivation has been described as ‘unwavering’ and his effort and commitment remain the same today as they were 30 years ago. Over the last 12 months Andy has played a vital role in the successful implementation of force change programmes, especially in the logistics of helping 100 new officers who moved onto the LPU.
Superintendent Rich Moore commented that “Andy’s efforts during 2012 have been truly exceptional.” He went onto say that this has only “added to his reputation as the longest standing, and one of the most reliable and respected members of staff on the LPU if not the force.” Employee of the year : Police Officer – PC Joe Trusselle, Park Ward Neighbourhood Policing Team, Wolverhampton LPU PC Joe Trusselle with Oly Tagg from Corporate Mobile Recycling
Joe won this award for his hard work and dedication to a range of successful projects and initiatives that have benefited the local community.
For example Joe managed to secure funding to purchase a sponsored CCTV van to help record incidents of antisocial behaviour (ASB). He has also secured funding for a variety of recreational equipment that officers can use to engage with the community and help divert local young people away from ASB. In another fantastic example, Joe has single handily organised a community event for the last three years which has grown in popularity from 200 attendees in 2010, to over 2000 people in 2012 – a fantastic achievement.
These initiatives are just the tip of the iceberg, and his latest project is set up a co-operative for the community to raise money for secure alleyway gating. Joe is described as a ‘true credit to the force.’ Colleagues say that the additional work he undertakes is well over and above that of any other officer on the LPU.
Employee of the year : PCSO – PCSO Riccardo Gambino, Olton Neighbourhood Team, Solihull LPU PCSO Riccardo Gambino with Neil Bonnar from EMC Europe
Riccardo was chosen as PCSO of the year for his selfless attitude, drive and enthusiasm. Ric often goes over and above what is expected of him, involving himself in everything from neighbourhood forums to working groups – all in an effort to benefit Solihull residents.
For example, during 2012 Ric set up 13 new Neighbourhood Watch schemes, and at the same time set up Solihull’s first ever Street Watch in Olton. He also, brought many of local residents together to arrange a huge street party to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – much of this was achieved in his own time. Ric has also been heavily involved with local churches and synagogues and his knowledge and experience in this field is also valued by the colleagues across the force in the Inter-Faith Forum meetings. This theme continues in other areas across the force with Ric being an active member of the Force Disproportionality committee, the Hate Crime Group, and the force PCSO forum. Rick’s efforts have made an immensely positive impact in Solihull, improving public confidence, increasing local intelligence and encouraging community harmony. Employee of the year : Special Constable – SC Jaswinder Bargota, Coventry LPU
SC Jaswinder Bargota and Jasbir Wouhra from East End Food
Jaswinder was chosen as Special Constable of the year for his selfless character and outstanding commitment to policing
Jaswinder has been working with the St. Michael’s neighbourhood team for around 12 months, and often volunteers over 24 hours a week to work with the team.
During this time, he has made several excellent arrests. This includes the arrest of two men for a robbery in Coventry City centre just five minutes after the offence was committed. In addition whilst off duty, Jaswinder witnessed offenders stealing metal from a building site. He quickly contacted local officers and due to his quick thinking the men were arrested nearby.
Jaswinder has also played a key role in preventing crime. One of the key facets of this work saw him take an active role in a student crime reduction initiative where he visited student accommodation to talk to residents and deliver crime prevent advice. The rapport that Jaswinder has built with the local community has also played a key part in helping the team identify important local issues and improve the collection of intelligence.
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South Wales Police
Comic Book Initiative To Help Keep Local Homes Safe Pupils from Maesteg Comprehensive School have been helping police officers to keep local homes safe by creating a crime prevention comic book. The children have been busy with their pens and pencils throughout November, designing the comic book with Cardiffbased animation company Turnip Starfish and members of the Maesteg Neighbourhood Policing Team. The comics, which predominantly tackle the issue of home security, will be printed and distributed to households across Maesteg and Caerau. PCSO David Johnson, who has been working with the children on the project, said: “We launched the comic book initiative in conjunction with Turnip Starfish in order to increase awareness of home
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security in the Maesteg and Caerau areas.
“The initiative also provided us with a great opportunity to engage with the youngsters, improve their relations with the police and discuss any issues they may have.
Photo shows: PCSO David Johnson, PCSO Louise Thomas, members of the Turnip Starfish team and the children from Maesteg Comprehensive School with their comic book creations.
“The kids did a fantastic job in developing a fun and innovative way to deliver crime prevention advice that will hopefully make residents more aware of their home security.
“We want to remind homeowners that a large proportion of burglaries and thefts are committed by opportunist thieves. By taking a few basic security precautions, you can ensure that your
home is not an easy target for these criminals.”
The pupils are part of the PUPIL Scheme run by Cynon Valley Crime Reduction. The pupil scheme teacher is – Gemma Jones (project officer) and the link teacher in Maesteg is Diane Sayce (Learning support officer).
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New Appointment To National Crime Agency
A new senior appointment has been made to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Gordon Meldrum has been named Director Designate of the Organised Crime Command as the new agency continues to take shape.
He moves from his current role as Director General of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The National Crime Agency will transform the UK’s ability to tackle serious, organised and complex crime and protect the public.
“Getting the senior leadership team in place early is critical to ensure the NCA is ready to become fully operational later this year. I congratulate Gordon Meldrum on his appointment and look forward to working with him.”
Mr Meldrum will lead the formation of the Organised Crime Command to ensure it makes an immediate impact when the NCA is formally established.
NCA Director General Keith Bristow welcomed today’s appointment. He said: “The Organised Crime Command will use the best conventional crime fighting techniques and will pioneer new and inventive ways of cutting crime and disrupting and bringing criminals to justice.
“We are looking for an exceptional crime fighter drive this element of the NCA, and in Gordon Meldrum we have recruited such a leader. I am delighted
that the experience and high performance he brought to the SCDEA will now come into the NCA senior team.”
Organised crime costs the public between £20 billion and £40 billion each year.
The NCA will be responsible for tackling these crimes, which include child exploitation, drug and people smuggling, illegal immigration, fraud and cyber crime.
It will operate as a single agency built around four distinct ‘commands’ Organised Crime, Border Policing, Economic Crime and Child Exploitation and Online Protection.
The agency will also house the National Cyber Crime Unit. It will be fully operational by the end of 2013.
WRITE A STORY FOR CHILDREN 28th ANNUAL COMPETITION 2013
The Academy of Children’s Writers are pleased to announce their 28th annual ‘Write a Story for Children Competition’.
For 27 years this has been recognised as the most prestigious competition for unpublished writers of children’s books in the U.K.
The 1st prize in 2013 will be a cheque for £2,000 with 2nd & 3rd prizes of £300 and £200 respectively. There is no entry fee this year for UK entrants.
Entries may either be short stories of up to 2,000 words or the opening 2,000 words of a longer story or novel.
Closing date for entries is 30th April 2013. Details of winners will be sent to all entrants by the end of May 2013. Entry forms, together with further details are available from:
• from our website: www.childrens-writers.co.uk
• Or from: Write a Story for Children Competition, Academy of Children’s writers, PO Box 95, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 5RL, on receipt of a stamped, addressed envelope.
Last year’s winners were: 1st Prize: Petra Johnson, 2nd Prize: Lynn Hallett, 3rd Prize: Jackie Brent.
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Just Talk Awards 2012
Merseyside Police officers, staff and volunteers were recognised for their skills, commitment and bravery at the 2012 Just Talk Awards. A total of 19 awards were presented, including six teams and 13 individual awards including Employee of the Year and Special Constable of the Year at a ceremony at Aintree Racecourse hosted by Chief Constable Jon Murphy recently. Four individuals were presented with a Tom Wright Award for demonstrating exceptional commitment and loyalty to Merseyside Police in the face of serious injury or illness. Merseyside Police Authority Award – Improving Efficiency & Effectiveness
Team of the Year - Level 1 TGAP – Tackling Gangs Action Programme – Liverpool North Area
Team of the Year – Level 2 Abusive Images Unit, Force Crime Operations Unit, which investigates offences relating to the making, possession and distribution of indecent / abusive photographs / movies of children. Working in conjunction with Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, and alongside Police Forces nationally and internationally, they have conducted over 90 investigations in the past twelve months. This has seen the arrest of 86 individuals and convictions amounting to over 24 years imprisonment.
Neighbourhood Team of the Year D5 Neighbourhood - St Helens Area, the dedicated team have produced consistent reductions in both crime and disorder for the third consecutive year. The team work in partnership with a high number of agencies and community groups. The community benefit from a strong cultural identity, which the team exploit and support to their mutual benefit. Supervisor of the Year
Investigator of the Year
Constable Andrew Martin – Liverpool North Area, was instrumental in setting up a data sharing agreement with licensed premises called ‘Clubscan’. Without valid ID, customers are refused entry. Currently 40 premises have signed up with 15 having Clubscan installed and all seeing a drop in recorded crime. One bar has seen the volume of theft offences in one six month period going from 150 to 4. Health and Safety Awards Team Award Winner – St Helens Area, which has scored highly when subject to audit and inspection achieving improved "Best Practice" level for the past three years with constant improvement over the same period.
Sergeant Maria Hoogendyk – Knowsley Area, who has shown outstanding leadership in respect of managing a patrol section in Knowsley in 20112012. Despite being faced with some very significant and challenging personnel issues her management skills combined with sheer hard work and dedication have seen her lead her team to become one of the highest performing in the area. D/Constable Joanne Sheedy – Liverpool North Area, who works within one of the most challenging units in the Force. She has an extremely high workload and over the past year has dealt with 49 Domestic abuse Investigations, 22 Child Protection Investigations and three Vulnerable Adult Investigations. Her scrutiny of evidence, effective questioning and ability to extract information has led to a number of lengthy sentences.
Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour – Joint Winners PCS&TO Andrew Smith – Wirral Area, whose engagement with young people has been highlighted by the reduction in recorded crime levels and messages of support from residents. Andrew has the ability to break down these barriers by his open communication style.
PCS&TO Christopher Roberts – Knowsley Area, who has displayed a great deal of enthusiasm, and consistent and relentless motivation in dealing with those involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. He has made significant contributions to the work of the dedicated team and shown great bravery when faced with confrontation and danger. Individual Award Winner – Neil Thomas, Facilities Management, who was nominated in recognition of his enthusiasm and organisational skills in contributing to the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Programme and in developing and managing the Departmental Safety & Wellbeing Action Plan. Neil also runs monthly Safety Tool Box Talks, which help inform others of the issues and his willingness to take on additional work thus helping reduce the risk of accident, and injury. 12 | On The Bell
Care for Victims - Team Award Family Crime Investigation Unit – Liverpool North, who engage with diverse and multi agency groups and deals with some of the most psychologically affected and challenging cases within the Force. The increases in Multi-agency Risk Assessment Conferences, Child Protection and Vulnerable adult referrals has been significant, yet the team continually pull together and engage with Partners to bring life changing adjustments to victims and families.
Community Volunteer of the Year Graham Trubshaw – St Helens Area, who has worked tirelessly to assist in many crime reduction activities, especially to raise funds to combat the theft of purses from the elderly and vulnerable. As a result of this hard work 12,000 members of the public have had their awareness raised to this type of crime, potentially reducing the number of thefts from the elderly and vulnerable.
Special Constable of the Year
Special Constable Jon Riley – Liverpool South Area. Jon has been highly motivated and pro-active during his four years with the Special Constabulary. He has an excellent record, including offences of robbery, wounding, criminal damage and theft. Jon showed his motivation and dedication during last year's disorder working long hours assisting with station security and prisoner van duties. Team of the Year Liverpool North Special Constabulary. The team have completed in excess of 37,440 additional voluntary policing hours, making 266 arrests and assisting with 1,600 storm logs. They are an integral part of our Police Family and provide invaluable support for community initiatives.
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Merseyside Police Inspector Colin Lewis can normally be found coordinating youth engagement projects for the force. However for the past year he has been discreetly capturing all aspects of police life to produce a new photographic exhibition called, "Portrait of a Modern Police Force.”
The unique photographic exhibition will open to the public at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral’s Lady Chapel on Thursday, 14 February. The photographs depict a year in the life of the force, and capture a variety of officers and staff at key moments as they unfold. Unlike normal policing photographs, often of police cars and officers meeting with the public, this 100 image exhibition captures the people behind the role and includes a St Helens Neighbourhood Inspector performing as Elvis Presley for a charity fundraiser, new recruits at their first drill session, the last day in force of an ACC, as well as capturing the effects of cuts on the service. Inspector Lewis said: "My original intention was to provide the force with a meaningful contemporary photographic archive and I believe I have been successful in doing so, and hope the public of Merseyside agree.
Portrait of a Modern Police Force - Photography Exhibition
"From the start of the project I was clear that I wanted to capture the people behind the role and go beyond the uniform, which is often the first thing people see when they meet a police officer. This involved developing a knowledge and connection with all of the people in the photographs. The images wouldn't achieve the level of intimacy that I wanted if I didn't understand enough about the people in them.
"The project brought fun, sadness, pride and other emotions and of course there were many memorable moments throughout the year. As the project developed I acquired a great sense of privilege and an almost greater one of responsibility, as there were so many committed people, completely focused on the public of Merseyside, and I wanted to do them all justice.
"This is not something I have achieved alone. Often the photography subjects influenced the pictures and I also had a great deal of guidance from the Royal Photographic Society. I am proud that the images will be exhibited in the prestigious space of the Lady Chapel at Liverpool Cathedral and hope both the subjects and the wider public of Merseyside enjoy this insight into modern policing life.”
Merseyside Police Chief Constable, Jon Murphy said: "I am exceptionally proud of the people who work at Merseyside Police. I see what they do every day, and some of the challenges and dangers they can face, I also see their many achievements.
"This project gives us an opportunity to capture something of them, and to ensure that officers and staff for the future understand their passage through time a little better.
"I didn't hesitate when Colin spoke to me. Photography is very important to this force for all manners of reasons and I see its value today and for the future."
The Cathedral’s Director of Enterprise, Eryl Parry said: "The Lady Chapel is the perfect place to show these photographs as it is a beautiful and intimate space where many people like to sit and reflect, as well as of course the chapel where a lot of the Cathedral’s regular, smaller services happen. So too this exhibition reflects the rhythm of the force’s daily life, and shows it to be a community in itself that serves our city. The quality and range of the exhibition shows it’s been a labour of love and we are very proud to be hosting it.”
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Statement From Chief Constable Jon Murphy Following Announcement Mr Hogan-Howe Will Receive A Knighthood Chief Constable Jon Murphy said:
"On behalf of all the officers and staff of Merseyside Police I would like to congratulate Commissioner HoganHowe on receiving his Knighthood in the New Year's Honours List. "I am sure members of the public will also join me in thanking him for his efforts in making Merseyside a safer place.
Officers Welcomed To The Force
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable
Ian Pilling led a special ceremony on
Thursday, 24 January at Mather
Avenue that saw student officers
graduate from their training, march out
and be inspected during their passing
The event signifies the end of initial
training and the start of their policing career.
Jane Kennedy, Merseysideâ€™s Police
Commissioner, joined senior police
officers, friends and families in the first
passing out parade for two years with
contribution by providing reassurance
"These officers reinforce our
commitment to see more police officers
becoming part of the fabric of the
communities they serve - building local
knowledge, forging strong relationships
with families and businesses and
helping support safe, strong
communities for all.
"I would like to take this opportunity to
The officers, 8 women and 11 men, will
Commissioner Kennedy, said: "I am
spend their first two years as
The officers come from a range of different backgrounds.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable
Ian Pilling, said: "I am proud to have
introduced these students into the
14 | On The Bell
and these officers will make a real
welcome them and wish them luck for
"I am delighted that he has received such a great honour in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the police service for the past 33 years.â€?
for communities across Merseyside
nineteen new police officers celebrating
be spread across the force and will
"Commissioner Hogan-Howe was a member of Merseyside Police, first as Assistant Chief Constable between 1997-2001 and later as the Chief Constable between 2004-2009. During this time, he led the organisation through challenging times and introduced a number of crime fighting initiatives, which led to reductions in crime and a strong focus on tackling serious and organised crime.
"This is great news for the Force and
Merseyside Police family, a force to be proud of and this gives us nineteen more reasons to be proud.
their future careers."
proud to have the opportunity to attend
the new recruitsâ€™ special night, the first
recruitment in two years since the
onset of the cuts in funding to policing.
The officers have trained extremely
hard to reach Merseyside Police's high
recruitment standard and the people of
Merseyside will benefit greatly from
their dedication and commitment.
"I wish them the best of luck in their
careers with Merseyside Police."
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Police Pledge To Catch Drink Drivers All Year Round
The Police in Scotland will continue to make catching drivers who risk lives by drinking too much or taking drugs a priority throughout the year, a senior officer has pledged.
Deputy Chief Constable Tom Ewing, who is the ACPOS lead on Road Policing, was speaking as the four week drink drug driving campaign across Scotland came to an end. In the final week a total of 143 drink drivers were detected. A further six were detected unfit to drive through drugs and six more were unfit to drive due to the influence of alcohol. He said: “This year’s campaign may be over but that does not mean that police officers will be ignoring the scourge of drink and drug driving. Quite the reverse in fact, it will be part of routine night and day to look out for those who are prepared to take the risk. We will track these people down using every means at our disposal and bring them to justice.”
Mr Ewing added: “A total of 462 drivers have been detected drink or drug driving during the campaign by the eight Scottish police forces, which will be the last drink drive campaign before Police Scotland is formed in April. The figures are down slightly on last year but in no way should that be seen as some kind of success. There are still too many people drinking and taking drugs before getting behind the wheel and I would urge anyone tempted to take the risk to think very carefully about the consequences. You will lose your licence, may lose your vehicle and face a substantial fine.”
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “We may have moved into a new year, but it’s clear some drivers still hold outdated attitudes and think it’s okay to drink and drive. Sadly we’ve already seen hundreds of drivers ignore the risks and put lives in danger in the last few weeks. That is absolutely deplorable in this day and age and these people will find out the hard way that their actions will be met with the full force of the law.”
In Tayside on Hogmanay a 20-year-old man was found to be twice the legal limit driving a fork lift truck on the road between Forfar and Quilko. He had taken the vehicle from his employer’s yard because he could not get a taxi home. He appeared from custody at Forfar Sheriff Court and was fined £350 and disqualified for 15 months.
In Strathclyde on Boxing Day a 43-year-old man was seen staggering from his vehicle and was taken to Glasgow’s London Road police office where he gave a specimen of breath almost six times the legal limit. He was banned in 2007 for 15 months for a similar offence and forfeiture of his VW Passat has been requested.
If convicted of driving or attempting to drive whilst above the legal alcohol limit, or impaired by alcohol or drugs, or fail to provide a specimen of breath for analysis or a specimen of blood or urine for ra laboratory test, a driver can expect:
Automatic loss of licence - a 12 month driving ban
A criminal record - for a minimum of 20 years
A risk of being imprisoned for up to 6 months
A risk of being fined up to £5,000
An offence which stays on your licence for 11 years
An increased risk of losing your vehicle
• Authorities have the power to seek seizure and forfeiture of a driver’s vehicle under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. In Scotland, the forfeiture scheme was first introduced during the 2009 ACPOS Festive Drink Drive campaign. It was extended in the summer of 2010 to include drug drivers and applies to anyone who is caught for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for a second time. • It can result in seizure and forfeiture of the car if you are caught a second time - and may result in a longer ban. Causing death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drink and/or drugs will result in a minimum 2 year driving ban and up to 14 years in prison with an unlimited fine. • According to the latest figures, it is estimated that just over 1 in 9 deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit. • It is also estimated that the total cost of a fatal accident in Scotland is £1,855 million. Therefore Drink driving fatalities cost Scotland an estimated £55 million a year. • 25% of Scots do not know how much alcohol will put them over the limit.
On The Bell | 15
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facilitating activities for our official charities SOS BUS NI, NI Cancer Fund for Children and SENAC. All this while continuing the ongoing work of preparing venues, coordinating accommodation requirements, managing logistics and promoting the Games and Northern Ireland to as wide an audience as possible."
The World Police and Fire Games mark six months to go with over 2,000 athletes already registered and in excess of £2million of accommodation booked. In addition, a six week volunteer recruitment campaign which aimed to attract 3,500 volunteers surpassed all expectations with 6,400 registrations. In just 184 days Northern Ireland will welcome 10,000 competitors and a further 15,000 visitors from up to 70 countries to compete in one of the largest multi-sport events in the world. From 1st-10th August the World Police and Fire Games will feature 57 sports in 42 venues in Belfast and across Northern Ireland. John Tully, Chief Executive 2013 WPFG explains, "As the countdown to August really gets underway I am delighted to see how much progress has been made towards a successful Games delivery. Online registration for athletes is now starting to gather momentum and it is particularly pleasing to see the interest shown by the international competitors. We already have representation from 44 countries with 42% of those registered coming from USA, Canada and Australia. Advance parties of athletes from Holland, Germany, Canada, USA, Spain and the UK have become terrific ambassadors for the Games using social media and personal contacts to spread the word about the people, places and positive experiences they have had in Northern Ireland."
"Local people have also shown their support for the Games by the remarkable response we have had to the volunteer recruitment drive which attracted 3,000 more people than projected. Corporate Northern Ireland is also backing the Games through sponsorship either in kind or in cash. Local companies such as Fujitsu, Deloitte, Danske Bank, Coca Cola, Kukri, Fonacab, Ramada Plaza, Diageo, are all making significant contributions."
"We have also had great support from our partners DCAL, PSNI, NI Fire and Rescue, NI Prison Services, NITB, Sport NI and Belfast City Council who, with us, are working hard to ensure that Northern Ireland will deliver the most successful and the friendliest Games ever."
"Our next focus is to further roll out the schools' programme across Northern Ireland which will link up international competitors with local school children. We will also be 16 | On The Bell
"Whilst our team is confident about progress to date, an even more powerful endorsement came recently from Steve Gill, Northumbria Police Service, who, after a seven day visit in January with an international group of athletes, said, "Over the years, with my role as Team Manger for Police Sport UK Track and Field, and as a competing athlete, I have travelled all over the world and enjoyed the hospitality of many countries. My visit to Northern Ireland has made all of these trips seem quite amateur. The professionalism of the WPFG and NITB staff was outstanding. The friendliness of everyone we met throughout, and the service we were given was second to none. I would recommend everyone to visit Belfast and Northern Ireland to see it for themselves."
Sport Minister Carál Ni Chuilín said, "After several years of planning we are now in the home straight, with the Games only a matter of months away. This is an exciting time for Belfast and the north of Ireland. With the City of Culture already off to a successful start in Derry we will look to continue the momentum through to the beginning of the Games in August, and beyond. Ten thousand participants and an additional 15,000 friends are expected to come to the north during the Games - a real opportunity to show the world what we have to offer. I am confident that everyone who visits in August will have a fantastic time and will remember the 2013 Belfast Games as the friendliest Games ever. "
Northern Ireland will be only the third European host in the Games history which were last held in New York in 2011. WPFG is the third largest international multi-sport event in the world after the Olympics and the World Masters. It is a biennial event which is organised for all "sworn law enforcement officers" including police, fire, customs, prison service and some smaller enforcement agencies.
Information about the Games is available at www.2013wpfg.com <http://www.2013wpfg.com> or follow www.twitter.com/2013wpfg <http://www.twitter.com/2013wpfg> or www.facebook.com/2013wpfg <http://www.facebook.com/2013wpfg>
World Police and Fire Games Mark Six Months to Go
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Over 2000 athletes from 44 countries have already registered.
On The Bell | 17
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Trust Scoops Five Awards West Midlands Ambulance Service
There was good news for West Midlands Ambulance Service last week when it scooped no fewer than five awards at the industry ‘Oscars’, the Ambulance Service Institute Annual Awards Ceremony.
Not only did the Trust scoop Ambulance Service of the Year for the fifth time, members of staff picked up four other awards for their outstanding actions.
The event takes place in the prestigious surroundings of the House of Lords and is hosted by Baroness Browning. The individual winners were:
• Paramedic of the Year: Lincoln ‘Tiny’ Dodd based in Hereford • Ambulance Technician of the Year: Steve Marsland based in Lichfield
• Patient Transport / Care Assistant of the Year: Nigel Cox and Patrick Lynch based in Birmingham • Air Ambulance Team Award: Midlands Air Ambulance
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “It is not by accident that we have done so well. The dedication and professionalism of our staff is a great credit to everyone who works here. “Listening to the stories behind the awards was very humbling. Even in cases where, ultimately, it was not possible to save the lives of all of the patients, the efforts that were made were outstanding with exemplary conduct from all of the staff involved.
“The fact that we have once again been awarded Ambulance Service of the Year, is acknowledgement of the very substantial progress we have made over the last six years and it really does demonstrate the team effort that those people who work and volunteer for us have made.
“My congratulations to all of the staff who were successful, but also to everyone in the organisation who works so hard to achieve the highest standards of healthcare, right across the region.”
Baroness Browning added: “It is a great pleasure to host this awards ceremony. I have heard so many stories of ambulance staff risking their own lives to save their fellow men and women; stepping forward to use their skills to help others in their hour of need. The dedication, professionalism and courage of people is deeply humbling.
“What I noticed though, is the common response from everyone: ‘I was just doing my job’. I am so glad that I am able to help recognise the amazing jobs that you all do and say ‘thank you’ on behalf of a very grateful public.”
Patient Transport / Care Assistant of the Year: Nigel Cox and Patrick Lynch In April 2012 a vehicle lost control and crashed into the entrance to Good Hope Hospital trapping a member of the public. Nigel and Patrick heard the loud crash and were first on the scene. Realising the seriousness of the situation they ensured the hospital was put on alert and started to treat the woman for her injuries which included severe bleeding.
18 | On The Bell
They assisted the emergency ambulance crews in the safe extrication of the woman, who was subsequently airlifted to the Major Trauma Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The pair were commended by both the Hospital and WMAS for their actions. Patrick said: “The best thing about the incident is that we found out that the lady made a full recovery. Although I worked for the fire service for 30 years, I’ve only been with the ambulance service for a little over two. Your skills just kick in and you do what you have to do to help the patient. Patrick added: “I’ve been with the service for 18 years so seen a few nasty incidents but this was by far the worst. I still vividly remember the crash and getting there and thinking this could be a bit grim. When we heard from some colleagues that they’d just taken her home, it really brought a smile to our faces.”
Ambulance Technician of the Year: Steve Marsland Steve was called to reports of a cardiac arrest on a building site. On arrival he was taken to some scaffolding and told that the man had collapsed at roof level. After dragging the man from the roof onto the scaffolding, Steve started CPR. With the assistance of an ambulance crew and a paramedic officer, they managed to get a cardiac output from the man. With the assistance of the fire service and the builders, they managed to get the man down and into an ambulance. Sadly, despite all their efforts, the man passed away two days later in Good Hope Hospital. Steve said: “It is never easy when you get sent to a patient who is in cardiac arrest; you know you literally have seconds to make a difference. What made this a really difficult job for me is the fact that I hate heights and having to climb the scaffolding and then find the patient on the actual roof of a half built property was not good. “You just have to put all that to the back of your mind and get on with it – you concentrate on the things that you know will make a difference. It is sad that the man didn’t make it as we worked so hard on him. I am very honoured to have been given this award – you just have to look at all of the other people here today to see what amazing things they did to get their awards. What does make this particularly special for me is that I was nominated by colleagues without me knowing. The first I knew of it was when they told me I was off to the House of Lords. It really does mean a lot to me.” Paramedic of the Year: Lincoln ‘Tiny’ Dodd Tiny is anything but small, but his height was put to life saving advantage in September 2011 when he was called to a house fire. On arrival he saw two people trapped upstairs in their house with a fierce fire raging on the ground level. Tiny realised that if the people inside lowered themselves out of the window then he could reach up and grab hold of their ankles and then help lower them to the ground. To do so, he had to stand in front of a window and watch the fire rage just inches away from where he was.
After much encouragement, the woman was lowered by her partner and then he climbed out as well. Tiny’s life saving actions meant both were released from hospital after treatment for smoke inhalation. Had he not have been there, who knows what might have happened.
He said: “When the boss phoned me to tell me that I’d won, I thought I must have done something wrong! It was a bit of a bolt out of the blue, but very nice all the same. It is nice to get a national award and of course the family are very proud of me, but to be honest; I was just doing my job.”
Air Ambulance Team Award: Midlands Air Ambulance Valentine’s Day 2012 will go down as an extremely sad one in the lives of all those who attended an horrific car crash in Lucton, Herefordshire. A car with a mother and three children in it had collided with a tractor. The paramedic who was first on scene had the horrific task of assessing four critically injured patients.
As details of the incident started to filter through, all three helicopters operated by Midlands Air Ambulance were dispatched to the scene along with ambulances and a BASICS Doctor. As the ambulance staff arrived they divided their roles so that they could deal most effectively with complexity of the case.
Sadly one boy was confirmed dead at the scene, but two of his younger brothers and mother were airlifted to the major trauma centres at Birmingham Children’s and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Sadly, despite the extraordinary efforts of ambulance and hospital staff, the mother did not survive; thankfully the boys are recovering well.
Dr Nick Crombie, one of the doctors on the air ambulance said: “To be faced with four critically injured patients, has to be the worst nightmare for any member of the ambulance service. The initial response from the land crews is what makes it possible for us to make best use of the helicopters. I would also pay tribute to Dr Malcolm Russell who also helped at the scene and flew with one of the critically injured children.
“I am incredibly proud of all of the crews and pilots who worked that day. We are also very lucky to have the support of the public who raise a phenomenal amount of money each year that allows us to keep flying. Without their generosity, it wouldn’t be possible.
“Out of this tragedy came some hope. The fact that we were able to save two of the children has, I know, helped the family to cope with devastation of losing two of their loved ones.”
Hanna Sebright, Chief Executive of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, added: “We are very proud of all of the crews involved. This incident demonstrates the absolute necessity for an air ambulance service in major trauma situations. It also highlights how well the crews of the aircraft work with the staff of West Midlands Ambulance Service.”
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Police turn up heat on fraudsters with new reporting centre LANCASHIRE Constabulary has become the latest police force to start recording fraud through a national reporting system.
From Monday 18 February, the majority of members of the public who contact the police about fraud or internet crime will be directed to Action Fraud – a UK reporting centre which aims to enhance investigations and slash the amount of time officers spend taking reports of the crime. In most cases, victims will be directed to Action Fraud, where specially trained staff will take reports over the phone or online. The reports will then be used to help police forces detect fraudsters operating in their area.
In serious fraud cases where the victim is reporting a crime in action or the caller is believed to be vulnerable, reports will be dealt with by the police as normal. The national scheme, which has been successfully trialled by a number of other police forces, will allow seemingly unrelated incidents from around the country to be linked, helping to identify networks of criminals. Detective Superintendent Lee Halstead, from Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said:
“Action Fraud will greatly enhance fraud investigations allowing the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to build a picture of the latest crime trends.
“The system will provide the public and businesses with just one point of contact, making the process of reporting fraud and internet crime much quicker and more convenient for victims.
“Fraud is often a hidden crime, but it affects all levels of society from large businesses and high street retailers to pensioners. People can be targeted in their own homes and we are all at risk of becoming victims. The effects can be at best annoying and at their worst devastating.
“I am pleased Lancashire Constabulary is now on board with this national reporting system. I would encourage people to report anything suspicious to Action Fraud – even if they don’t lose any money. Their information can help to root out fraudsters and prevent crime.”
Action Fraud can be contacted by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm Saturday to Sunday.
New recommendations to ensure the safety of diabetes injections published
Roadmap for implementing and maintaining a safe culture and work environment for healthcare workers taking care of diabetes patients.
Oxford, UK (06 November 2012) – WISE (Workshop on Injection Safety in Endocrinology) has published new global recommendations on ensuring the safety of injections in diabetes. The new recommendations are designed to ensure the safety of patients, professionals and all persons in potential contact with sharps used in the treatment of diabetes. The recommendations were informed by the results of a large four month survey of sharps injuries amongst 634 nurses from 13 western European countries and Russia[i], and the outcome of the October 2011 Workshop on Injection Safety in Endocrinology (WISE), which brought together a diverse group of 58 leaders in the field of diabetes safety from 13countries.
A new European Directive[ii] has recently come into force which stipulates that wherever there is a risk of sharps injury, the user and all healthcare workers must be protected by adequate safety precautions, including the use of “medical devices incorporating safety-engineered protection mechanisms”2. This legislation on sharps injury prevention must be incorporated into national law in all EU member states by 11 May 2013 at the latest. Dr. Kenneth Strauss, Global Medical Director, BD, Director of Safety in Medicine, European Medical Association, and member of the WISE Consensus Group, comments: “The everyday activities of healthcare and downstream workers put them at risk
of serious infections with more than 30 potentially dangerous pathogens, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, through injuries with contaminated needles and sharps[iii]. More than one million sharps injuries are estimated to occur in the EU each year[iv], but the majority of injuries are preventable with the provision of elective training, safer working procedures and safety-engineered medical devices.” The WISE recommendations are intended as a roadmap for implementing the EU Directive in diabetes care settings, and include a scale which shows the strength of the recommendations. The key topics covered are * Risks diabetes healthcare workers are exposed to * The impending EU legislation * Injury implications of different devices * Injection technique implications * Education and training to create a safety culture * The cost effectiveness of safety devices * Awareness and responsibility of safe sharps disposal
The present work for the recommendations is based on a review and analysis of all peer-reviewed studies and publications which bear on the subject of sharps safety in diabetes.
The new WISE recommendations to ensure the safety of injections in diabetes can be found at:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S12623636127 09758.
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“Bonkers” Call by Right-Wing Think Tank to Restart Public Sector Pension Negotations Based On New “Costs” That Do Not Exist - Says GMB CPS are destroying their own credibility and are lining up in competition with
the Taxpayers Alliance to win the 2013
rebate will be a £3.4bn pension cost to
the taxpayer – wrong, it is a tax not a
pension cost and it benefits the
“axe grinder of the year award” with
GMB, the union for workers in public
employees will still get pensions as if
this report says GMB
services, rebutted claims by the Centre
for Policy Studies (CPS) on higher cost of public sector pensions and rejected calls for the current public service
Secondly, the CPS says public sector
contracted out at an additional cost of
£4bn. Wrong, this is not an additional
cost it is the same cost as before.
CPS report summary THE PUBLIC SERVICE PENSIONS BILL AND THE DWP’S WHITE PAPER by MICHAEL JOHNSON
This paper explains for the first time why the
future cost of public service pensions could be
more than £9 billion a year above current
This has primarily arisen because of the
interaction – or “toxic tangle” – between two
pension proposals currently before Parliament:
the Public Service Pensions Bill and the DWP White Paper on the single-tier pension.
Together these have created two additional costs:
- about £3.4 billion a year due to the loss of
the public sector employers’ NICs rebate following the end of contracting out; and,
- about £4 billion a year as a result of public
sector employees continuing to enjoy an
enhanced occupational pension, as if stil
contracted-out, whilst being entitled to further accruals within then new single-tier state pension, once it appears.
In contrast, private sector employers who are
today contracted out will be permitted to change
their scheme rules (and reduce the pensions
Thirdly, the CPS says there could be
gone up faster than thought. Wrong, if
them to recoup their lost NICs rebates).
Secretary, said “The CPS has got so
that is unknown) it will not be an
Pensions Bill to be scrapped and new Brian Strutton, GMB National
excited about getting media to run yet
an extra £2bn cost if longevity has
there is an increase in longevity (and
additional cost but will be controlled by
paid) without trustee consent (not least to enable A further £2 billion a year in additional cost may well arise as Lord Hutton’s modelling used life
expectancy rates that are now six years out of
the cost cap imposed by government.
made-up numbers and rather
the OBR says the reforms save the
therefore be stopped in its tracks until the White
sector pension reform program to be
The real purpose behind the CPS
CPS are destroying their own credibility
Pensions Bill, which implements the
another story attacking pensions that
they have produced a shoddy report of ludicrously called for the whole public torn up and started again.
and are lining up in competition with
the so called Taxpayers Alliance with
an early entry to win the 2013 “axe
grinder of the year award” with this
So there is no ‘new’ cost at all. In fact taxpayer 40% of pension costs.
argument is to say the public service reform program negotiated between
government and unions, should be
scrapped and the process restarted.
This is absolutely bonkers. Nobody in
their right mind would sensibly
simply do not exist:
negotiations again and delaying reform
The three ‘new’ costs put forward
Firstly, the CPS says the end of the
state additional pension contracting out
20 | On The Bell
advocate going through years of
The Public Service Pensions Bill should
Paper’s cost implications for it are thoroughly
examined.This should include the use of up-todate projections for life expectancy.
It was already widely accepted that public sector employees already enjoy pensions which are far more generous and secure than the great
majority of private sector employees. These new findings show that the sustainability of the post-
Hutton pension settlement is even more questionable than previously thought.
The need for bolder reform of public sector
pensions is far greater than that proposed in the
Public Service Pensions Bill.
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Centre for Policy Studies Claim of £9 billion
Extra Costs for Public Sector Pension Schemes is “Total Rubbish” Says GMB
3. CPS argument that there is an extra
The net effect in the move to a state flat
£2bn cost to public sector pension
rate pension is a small gain to Treasury
schemes because the wrong longevity
because there are more losers than
assumptions have been used.
winners which is nothing to do with the
cost of public sector pension schemes
CPS now recognises that the longevity
estimates they prefer, using ONS data,
GMB, the union for public sector
were the ones actually being used for
workers, issued a further statement
public sector pensions costings so there
following it’s firm rebuttal yesterday
is no further theoretical new cost
Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) that
sector pension scheme cost.
(4th February ) of the false claim by the 'public sector pension schemes will now cost an extra £ 9bn per annum and
should be renegotiated'. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release of 4th February.
This new GMB statement for the record comes after CPS issued a further
clarification of its position. It also follows correspondence between CPS and GMB on the matter.
Brian Strutton GMB National Secretary
for Public Services said “It is now clear that CPS are wrong on three specific points regarding their claim of an
additional £9billion costs to public sector pension schemes. The
conclusions they arrive at, based on
these non- existent costs, do not follow and in fact are completely “bonkers”.
So the figures in the CPS report are
total rubbish and it is regrettable that
mainstream media published this utter
For the avoidance of doubt let me set out again for the record the facts in
relation to their three groundless claims:
1. CPS argument that there is an extra £3.4bn cost to public sector pension
schemes due to ending contracting out. This is not a cost to pension schemes -
it is a national insurance increase on
arising. There is no extra £2bn public
public sector employers and employees
with the proceeds going to Treasury. It has no effect on public sector pension
scheme costs. The net effect on the
public purse is a net gain - the
employer cost is paid by one hand of
government and taken by the other, the employee national insurance hike is a
windfall to Treasury.
2 CPS argument that there is an extra
£4bn cost to public sector pension
In summary the CPS has taken some
effects and cost changes to the state
flat rate pension; muddled them up;
mixed in some non -existent cost; and
erroneously presented these as new
costs to public sector pension schemes.
What costs and benefits do arise are in
relation to the state pension not public
The state pension effects are well
schemes due to getting full contracted
documented and GMB has already
It is true that public sector pension
The CPS conclusion, that public sector
scheme members will get their full
contracted out pension. This is not a
change. They will get the same scheme
pension they would have got. There is no additional scheme pension and no additional scheme cost.
raised these directly with government.
schemes should be renegotiated in light
of their cost claims, is therefore
completely groundless. It is also a very
poor suggestion given that the public
sector pension reform took nearly 2
years to negotiate and is being
The CPS has counted the extra state
workers will get as if it was a pension
stands by its rebuttal of all the CPS
flat rate pension that public sector
scheme cost which is completely false.
The net effect of all winners and losers in the move to a state flat rate pension is a small gain to Treasury. This is
because there are more losers than
winners. However this is nothing to do with the cost of public sector pension
For all these reasons GMB strongly
Finally, CPS has made the point to
GMB that there is an underlying issue
of a lack of joined up thinking on
pension reform between DWP and
Treasury.GMB agrees with CPS on this
On The Bell | 21
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SCOTTISH POLICE SERVICES AUTHORITY
Scotland Hosts International Forensic Science Conference Some of the world’s leading forensic scientists arrived in Scotland to learn about new techniques in the examination of bloodstain patterns, which can play a vital part in solving violent crimes and ensuring the ‘victims revenge’. The interpretation of bloodstain patterns - where the blood lands and size and shape of droplets - can be crucial in building the case that puts a criminal behind bars. Such evidence was key in the conviction of Peter Tobin, who murdered Angelika Kluk and Vicky Hamilton. Forensic scientists use bloodstains to determine the dynamics of violent crime, such as how a person was injured, the degree of force used and the type of weapon.
Scientists in Scotland are at the forefront of this work, and they share their expertise with, and learn from, experts from around the world at the bi-annual conference at the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA).
Tom Nelson, Director of SPSA Forensic Services who hosted the conference, said: “Bloodstain pattern analysis is vital in translating what happened at a crime scene. In the most extreme cases of murder it can allow the victim to talk to us from beyond the grave and tell us their story.” The three-day conference (12-14 November) at the Royal College of
22 | On The Bell
Surgeons in Edinburgh attracted some of the leading practitioners in the field.
Mr Nelson added: “This is a very prestigious forensic science conference and we are delighted to host it here in Scotland. It is crucial that our scientists keep up to date with developments, and events such as this provide the ideal platform.
“We invited internationally renowned speakers, who presented case studies and workshops to advance knowledge in this crucial area of forensic biology.
“SPSA Forensic Services already provides a comprehensive service, from crime scene to court. Our recent modernisation programme ensures we will continue to improve, and developing our staff is an integral part of this.”
The conference was also supported by the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service. The Right Honourable Frank Mulholland QC, Lord Advocate, said: “Forensic science has become a crucial tool in the fight against serious crime, and COPFS is committed to doing all we can to ensure that Scotland’s justice system remains at the forefront of such technology.
“I am very proud to welcome forensic specialists from all over the world to Edinburgh, to share experience and expertise in this vital field of criminology.”
Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA)
Between the 24 and 27 November five males aged 29, 30, 33, 47 and 56 were arrested in the Glasgow area for their alleged involvement in the importation of controlled drugs as part of an ongoing SCDEA investigation. The SCDEA is currently preparing a report for the procurator fiscal in relation to these arrests.
These arrests follow the interception of an HGV vehicle travelling through Italy to the UK, which was found to contain 41 kilos of heroin, with a minimum value on the streets of Scotland of £3.2 million and this may increase dramatically depending on the purity, and 105 kilos of cannabis resin, with an estimated street value of over £1 million.
On 24 November 2012, the SCDEA requested the assistance of Italian authorities to stop and search a vehicle. This resulted in the seizure of the drugs and two males were arrested (one Scottish and one English), aged 30 and 42. The two men arrested appeared in court on Thursday 29 November 2012 in Bari, Italy and were remanded in custody.
The then Crime Commander Mr. Gordon Meldrum, now Director Designate at the Home Office in London stated: “This is a significant haul of drugs that were destined for Scotland’s shores. Through working with our Italian colleagues we have put a stop to these drugs causing harm to Scottish communities. The SCDEA and Scottish Policing have a long reach and this Operation highlights the ability for Scotland to operate far beyond our shores.
Mr Meldrum added at the time: “We have excellent working relationships with our Law Enforcement Colleagues across the World and this has enabled us to take fast and effective action in this case. Drug Trafficking is a global business but this Operation has shown that Scottish and UK Law Enforcement continues to be well placed and well equipped to meet this threat head on”.
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Crime Gang Members Brought to Justice for £600,000 Amphetamine Haul
Hard on the heels of the arrests in November 2012 two men were jailed for a total of 6 years having admitted their involvement in the supply of drugs.
The pair were arrested by officers at the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) as part of ongoing operation codenamed GATOR.
On searching their homes and vehicles, officers found more than 11 kilograms of amphetamine with an estimated street value of £602,430, cannabis plants and seedlings with a potential crop value of up to £65,790 and a small quantity of amphetamine powder, cannabis resin and diazepam. Detective Chief Superintendent Athol Aitken, Head of Investigations for the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency said: “This was a significant recovery of illegal drugs that was stopped from reaching Scotland’s streets. McCready and Mackenzie were part of a serious organised crime group intent on peddling their illegal drugs to Scotland’s communities. “With these two individuals now behind bars we have significantly disrupted this group’s activities. Their arrests were the result of an extensive investigation by SCDEA and the sentences handed out sends a clear message to others involved in serious organised crime”.
Lindsey Miller, Head of the Serious and Organised Crime Division, said: “This is another excellent example of joint working with the SCDEA. This case is part of a wider complex investigation that has not only resulted in the recovery of a significant amount of drugs and money but hopefully will lead ultimately to the prosecution of those involved in directing this organised crime group.”
SCOTTISH POLICE SERVICES AUTHORITY
Statement on Staffing of Interim Support Team
In recent days there has been some public comment about the interim project team supporting the new Scottish Police Authority (SPA), and the process by which that team has been established.
The SPA has written to the Justice Committee (8th February) to set out for the record the number of staff working within the team, and how they were assembled. This media release contains the same information provided to Parliament. There are a total of 23 employees working to the SPA. Nineteen are seconded from policing and national and local government, two have been hired from outwith policing, and two are seconded employees from a police organisation who are contractors.
The SPA executive team is headed by Interim Chief Executive Andrea Quinn. Andrea was Chief Executive of the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) and is seconded to the SPA. She retains her accountable officer responsibilities and continues to attend the board meetings of the SPSA, in addition to her interim role for the SPA. She continues to receive only her SPSA salary. The Interim Chief Executive has put together a small team to support the SPA board in establishing its decision-making processes and procedures to allow it to function, and to begin to fulfil its responsibilities to maintain policing and hold the service to account.
Eleanor Walker, Interim Business Manager to the Chair and Board commenced work in November 2012 on a 6-month contract. She was a direct appointee given the urgent need to establish a 13 person national Board, its relationships with Police Scotland and Scottish Government, and the administration of board business. By 18 February, the SPA Board will have already met four times in public to make decisions and scrutinise business. That is equivalent to the total number of public meetings held by existing police authorities in an eight month period.
Eamon Hegarty, Interim Finance Director, commenced work at the end of January 2013 on a 6-month contract. He was appointed as one of several candidates interviewed for the role, and following an earlier recruitment exercise within policing which did not attract a suitable candidate.
A further two senior members of the team - John Fox-Davies and Bruce Faulkner - have been seconded from SPSA where they have been employed as contractors, paid through the Hays specialist recruitment agency.
John Fox-Davies was Director of Development for SPSA, and was the organisation’s lead on police reform planning. For SPA he is leading on the development of the SPA strategic plan and on performance.
Bruce Faulkner is a specialist in business improvement and project support. He is focussing on developing the SPA’s decision-making processes, based around a business-case led approach, to ensure that as a public authority the SPA fulfils its obligations to transparency and best value.
The remaining 18 staff members are all employees from policing, central government, and local government backgrounds who are seconded to the SPA. They carry out a range of activities within the start-up team including programme management, board administration, strategic planning, organisational development, communications and local engagement, health and safety, risk management, ICT and property. Two further senior roles are likely to be appointed on an interim basis in the coming weeks. The role of SPA HR director is currently being advertised within Scottish policing. A further role to lead procurement activity for the SPA is likely to be advertised in the coming weeks. Both roles are likely to be interim for the next 6-12 months while formal consultation to agree permanent structures takes place. These roles will be recruited following a structured process and best practice as set out in an interim SPA appointments policy. In due course, it is expected that all senior Director-level roles in SPA, and within Police Scotland, will be advertised internally and, if required, externally on a concurrent basis.
John McCroskie, Interim Head of Public Affairs for SPA, said: “By the time the members of the SPAS Board had been appointed in late October 2012 there were just 150 days left before the new police arrangements were due to be up and running. In order to meet these challenging timescales, a project team had to be put together very quickly to ensure the key decisions needed for day 1 are taken. As a result, all staff working within the team are doing so on an interim basis - either as secondees or on fixed-term contracts. SPA has made no permanent appointments since its inception and will not do so until organisational structures are agreed. Our clear focus is on ensuring that policing is ready financially, legally, and operationally for Day 1.”
On The Bell | 23
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Rescue dogs put through their paces A dozen dogs were put through their paces near Bristol, sharpening up their search and rescue skills. Specialist teams from all over the country converged at the former Barrow Hospital site, near Long Ashton, for three days of training.
The derelict buildings, piles of rubble, and rugged landscape provided the perfect backdrop for rescue exercises. Each of the dogs belongs to a fire service USAR team (Urban Search And Rescue), which specialises in rescuing people from rubble, collapsed tunnels/mines, quarries, and in searching for people. There are 19 USAR teams nationwide, and a total of 21 dog teams. Collies, Labradors and Springer Spaniels are the most common breed of rescue dog.
The dogs are all aged between two and eight years. Their training starts from their selection as puppies, and takes about 18 months.
They are specially trained to sniff out live casualties.
If they were to go into a building in which there were dead people and live casualties, the dogs would effectively not see the dead bodies, and would completely ignore them. Their focus is very much on the specific scent given off by live people.
Each dog will indicate that they have found a casualty by barking.
This can be potentially life-saving, in scenarios involving large buildings or large areas of rough land. A dog can quickly indicate signs of life so that rescuers can target their efforts where they are most needed.
The dogs are trained on the basis that a search is a game, and successful results will see them get a reward, usually by being given a toy.
24 | On The Bell
Among the dogs taking part in the three-day exercise was Bryn, the Avon Fire & Rescue USAR Dog, together with handler Steve Buckley.
Bryn is also an ISAR dog, and is actually based with the fire service in Cheshire.
He made national headlines during service in Japan. Steve said: “Bryn cut his leg while searching through rubble.
“It wasn’t actually a bad cut, but because he was running around and his heart was pumping, there was a lot of blood on his leg. “It made a dramatic photograph for the front of the Daily Mail.”
Another dog was springer spaniel Kirby from Essex, whose handler, Graham Currie, said was involved in a life-saving rescue last year.
Graham said: “Kirby was graded at the end of his training last March, making him a USAR search and rescue dog.
“Then three days later we were called to the scene of a gas explosion in Clacton-on-Sea. Within one minute on scene, Kirby had found a living survivor under the rubble, and within two hours we had dug him out alive.
“Nobody had thought the man was in the house at the time, so it’s fair
to say that Kirby’s input genuinely did save that man’s life.”
During the three day exercise the dogs were tested in a number of scenarios, including finding live ‘casualties’, who were trapped in rubble, and using a cable system to leave the third floor of a building. Cable systems can be used to transport dogs into and out of areas which are just too difficult or dangerous for humans to get in and out of, including buildings with collapsed stairs, quarries, cliff faces and other treacherous terrain. The cables can also be used to transport casualties on stretchers.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s USAR Station Manager, Gary Carr-Smith, said: “We have the training and equipment to deal with a wide range of eventualities, not just terrorist attacks but also natural disasters, gas explosions, chemical, biological, nuclear incidents – the full spectrum.
“The nature of USAR is such that, in the event of a major disaster, we can come together to tackle it as an integrated force from all around the country. “To be able to get so many of the dog teams together in one place at one time is quite rare, but beneficial for everyone.”
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Assembly amends Mayor’s budget to halt fire station closures
The London Assembly today passed an amendment to the Mayor of London’s budget which could prevent the closure of 12 fire stations and the withdrawal of 18 fire engines across London.
The amendment would freeze the Greater London Authority council tax precept at £306.72 for a Band D household rather than accept the Mayor’s proposed £3.72 reduction. This would provide an additional £9.428 million.
The amendment proposes spending just over half the additional revenue on the fire service with £4m earmarked for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to maintain an adequate network of front counters for the public and local bases for Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
John Biggs AM, who proposed the motion, said: “Londoners are being asked to accept a few crumbs in the form of a 7p a week cut in their council tax in exchange for dangerous and irreversible cuts to their emergency services and above inflation increases in tube and bus fares.
“The Assembly today challenged the Mayor to think again about his irresponsible plans to swing the axe at London’s fire service and police stations. He still has time to do the right thing and I hope our budget amendment will give hem pause to think again about these ill-conceived cuts.”
Stephen Knight AM, who seconded the motion, said: “The Assembly today made a choice to put protecting Londoners and the emergency services they rely on ahead of a 7p a week shaving from the council tax.
“When it comes to tackling fires every second counts, Londoners lives are worth more than 7p a week”
The full text of the motion is: “The Mayor announced in his 2013-14 consultation budget that he would be reducing the GLA Council Tax precept for London households by 1.2%. He further says that this is the first step in his plan to reduce the precept by a total of 10% by 2016-17. Given the unacceptable cuts to London’s emergency services that result from this budget, the London Assembly’s Labour, Green, and Liberal Democrat Members believe that a trivial 7 pence per week cut in the level of the Band D Council Tax is the wrong priority for London. Instead, we propose that the precept be frozen in 2013-14, with the £9.428 million this would generate being use to protect frontline emergency services. We propose to divert £5.428 million of this saving towards the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority’s reserves, which will then be hypothecated to help meet the 2014-15 LFEPA budget deficit. The same approach of freezing the precept in future years, rather than accepting the Mayor’s planned precept cuts, can release the remaining funding needed to avoid any closure of fire stations or cuts in the number of fire engines. The remaining £4 million will be allocated to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in order to mitigate the Mayor’s disastrous plans for the estate rationalisation. Priority will be given to maintaining an adequate network of front counters for the public and local bases for Safer Neighbourhood Teams. The Mayor’s draft budget also fails to deliver sustained investment to tackle London’s deep-seated environmental problems, fails to keep London’s public transport affordable, and fails to do enough to address London's jobs and affordable housing shortages. We therefore call on the Mayor to bring back a revised budget that: * demonstrates how he will deliver on the goals and targets set out in his environmental strategies, in particular to reduce London’s carbon dioxide emissions and to clean up * reduces the impact of his fares package; and * takes seriously the twin crises of youth unemployment and unaffordable housing in the capital.”
Police and Fire & Rescue Service Collaborate A serial hoax caller to Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has been tracked down thanks to some dogged sleuthing by firefighters and fire control staff, with help from the police and Broxbourne Council.
Suspicions of a malicious campaign of hoax calls were aroused when three false alarms in the Cheshunt/Waltham Cross area were called in from the same phone box Lynton Parade, Cheshunt. In each case, the caller spoke of accidents with large vehicles and used similar phrases.
This prompted an in-depth search of the fire service’s log, which revealed other hoax calls made from the same phone box. In all cases, the voice was the same. This voice was matched to a total of 25 calls across East Herts and Broxbourne since December 2008.
Operational staff were made aware of the problem, so when the caller rang again the fire control operator recognised his voice. The caller was kept on the line while another operator called the police’s CCTV control room and asked for a camera near the Lynton Parade phone box to be moved and zoomed in on the caller and the registration number of his vehicle.
These images led to the arrest of Lee Skelton, a 32year-old man from Waltham Abbey. He appeared at Stevenage Magistrates Court on 23 January 2013 and was given a one year community order and ordered to pay £85 costs.
Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, said: “Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service receive approximately 300 hoax calls per year. They waste valuable resources and have the potential to cost lives, as while we are responding to these calls, other genuine calls are not being attended. “I’d like to congratulate our staff, who showed real determination and sharp investigative skills in tracking down this malicious caller. I’m also very grateful for the assistance provided by Hertfordshire Constabulary and the community safety team at Broxbourne Council. This is an excellent example of partnership working.” Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Force Communications Room Superintendent Trevor Rodenhurst said: “Making a hoax call using the 999 services is not only extremely foolish, it also diverts emergency services away from dealing with genuine emergencies.
“I would remind everyone that emergency services resources are valuable and we will support the prosecution of anyone caught making a hoax call. Those found guilty of making hoax calls can face up to six months in prison and a fine of £5,000. And if it is found that you have specifically wasted the emergency service’s time, you can face up to seven years behind bars.” On The Bell | 25
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IN MEMORIAM 2014
Thieves getting the message that war memorials are off-limits Newly released figures have revealed that thefts from the nation’s war memorials have fallen by around two thirds since the launch of a initiative to protect this key piece of the UK’s heritage.
In Memoriam 2014, a partnership between War Memorials Trust and the SmartWater Foundation, was launched in October 2011, when reports to the Trust of thefts from and of memorials was running at an average of three each week. In total the charity identified sixty cases of theft and vandalism attacks during 2011. However, the latest update from War Memorials Trust shows a huge drop in the number of incidents of theft and vandalism reported to the Trust, with only 20 recorded so far in 2012.
In Memoriam 2014 is seeking to protect every war memorial in the UK from the threat of metal theft by encouraging custodians to register all commemorative sites and take up an offer to mark each one for free with SmartWater’s forensic marking kits. The project was established to commemorate the one hundred year anniversary of the start of World War I. Both partners recognise the significant role the media has played in generating
awareness of this important issue and are expressing their gratitude for that support. It is hoped that as knowledge of In Memoriam 2014 continues to grow it will reinforce the message that war memorial theft is not only totally unacceptable, but also that war memorials are no longer a soft target for thieves.
One aspect of the project that has been widely reported is the use of SmartWater forensic marking to increase the traceability of war memorials. The technology works by assigning bronze, copper and other metals with a chemically coded solution that can only be seen under UV light and is virtually impossible to remove. SmartWater allows the Police to prove if an item is stolen, therefore representing a heightened risk of prosecution of thieves and unscrupulous scrap dealers.
Thousands of caring custodians already spend considerable effort maintaining monuments throughout the UK and In Memoriam 2014 is repeating its call for more volunteers to come forward, unite under its banner, and join the effort to
protect those memorials which risk being forgotten.
War Memorials Trust’s Director, Frances Moreton, said: “It has been encouraging to see increased public awareness of war memorials over the last 12 months, which has resulted in more visitors to War Memorials Trust’s website and an increase in our case load. The peak in reported war memorial thefts in autumn 2011 has thankfully fallen during 2012 and the Trust hopes this continues.
“More and more people are realising that war memorials are not just relevant on 11th November but all year round. This is why In Memoriam 2014 is so important; it is an opportunity for communities to take action to protect their war memorials today and for the years ahead to ensure future generations can continue to pay their respects to the fallen.”
Phil Cleary, Director of the SmartWater Foundation, said: “We are hugely proud to be involved in the Memoriam 2014 project and very pleased with these latest figures, demonstrating heightened interest and awareness. War memorials are focal points for commemoration and we will continue to do all we can to protect these important symbols of our heritage.”
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