“Boris Johnson accused of ‘misleading public’ over police numbers”

“Labour has accused Boris Johnson of misleading the public when he promised to recruit 20,000 police officers after it emerged from leaked correspondence that thousands are likely to be recruited away from frontline roles.

The opposition has seized on a letter written by the home secretary, Priti Patel, to the London mayor Sadiq Khan last week, in which she says the new officers will be allocated “between territorial, regional and national policing functions”.

Sources suggest this could mean as many as 7,000 of the 20,000 officers could be allocated to bodies such as the National Crime Agency leaving territorial forces in England and Wales with fewer recruits than expected.

The Met fears that its allocation would be 2,000 officers down – the force had hoped to be recruit 5,000 new officers on the back of Johnson’s promise, one of the first he made after entering No 10 last month.

The meaning of the pledge is certain to raise what is set to be a tense meeting between Patel and Khan, expected to take place on Wednesday, the first formal meeting between the two since the home secretary was appointed.

Louise Haigh, the shadow policing minister, said the letter “clearly shows that Boris Johnson’s grandiose pledge of 20,000 more frontline police officers was absolutely nothing of the sort”. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/aug/27/boris-johnson-accused-of-misleading-public-over-police-numbers?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Drug crimes move from cities to rural towns and villages

“Drug crime is increasing in many small towns and villages even as it falls significantly in city centres, the BBC has found.

Police data shows drug crimes in England and Wales have fallen by more than 50,000 in the past five years. But national averages hide a major shift in where drug crimes are being committed.

It comes as the government pledged an extra £85m to prosecutors to help deal with a rise in violent crime.

In the village of Westhumble in Surrey, which has a population of 649, drug crime has more than quadrupled in the past five years, from nine cases to 42.

But just 20 miles away in Westminster, central London, drug crime more than halved over the same period, from 4,041 to 1,832. The pattern is repeated in many other areas around the capital, a BBC analysis of police-recorded crime showed. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48343369

How has Devon fared under Theresa May?

Badly – crime, education, homelessness and health and social care have all got much worse, only unemployment has improved with the gig econony and zero hours contracts:

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/how-devon-changed-under-theresa-3123246

“Police letting down older victims of crime, say inspectors”

“Older victims of crime are being let down by the police and the wider criminal justice system, according to the first inspection report on the age group.

The police have only a “superficial understanding” of the crimes committed against older people, the report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate says.

Older people account for 18% of the population but more than eight out of 10 victims of doorstop scams are elderly, the report says. Older people also comprise a quarter of domestic homicide victims.

“Despite these statistics and the fact that we have an increasingly ageing population, the two inspectorates found that the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lacked any joint cohesive and focused strategy to deal with older victims of crime,” says the report.

Inspectors found that out of 153 cases where a safeguarding referral should have been made by police to the local authority, on 77 occasions there was no any evidence of this taking place.

Of the 192 cases the inspectorates looked at in detail, victim care was found not to be good enough in 101 of them and the victims’ code was complied with on only 97 occasions.

“As people are living increasingly longer, it is imperative that the needs of older people are properly understood by those charged with protecting them,” said the inspector of constabulary, Wendy Williams. “Unfortunately, our inspection found that older people are often not treated according to their needs by the criminal justice system. We want to see a sharper focus on older people and the problems they face.”

John Beer, the chair of Action on Elder Abuse, said: “This is a truly damning report about the way the criminal justice system treats older victims. Action on Elder Abuse has led the call for a specific offence or aggravating factor of elder abuse, in recognition of the devastating impact crime has on older victims. As a society we already recognise that where a victim is targeted because of their race, religion, sexual identity or disability, a tougher sentence should apply. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/17/police-letting-down-older-victims-of-say-inspectors?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Fingerprint analysis backlog in south west – some taking up to 12 months

Hello, Police and Crime Commissioner Hernandez, hello …

“… Figures show more than 830 fingerprint cases were waiting to be analysed by South West Forensic Services in May.

Examination of some digital material was being delayed by up to 12 months, according to the Police Federation.

South West Forensics said it was urgently recruiting staff to “cope with demand” and it was “committed to safeguarding victims of crime”. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-48913467

Police advertise for (unpaid) forensic service volunteers (criminal record not a barrier)

“West Midlands police have defended their decision to use volunteers for forensics work after being warned that it was “a disaster waiting to happen”.

The force was criticised after advertising unpaid roles in its digital forensics team, with an advert that warned volunteers would “routinely come across distressing imagery including indecent images, fatal road traffic accidents, live CCTV footage recovery of incidents”.

The force said it was looking for people to commit at least 16 hours a month to the role and said that a criminal record was not a barrier to volunteering. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/13/police-force-defends-use-of-volunteers-to-do-forensics-work?

“Probation services set to be renationalised as [Tory] Government accepts failure”

Owl says: Privatisation was supposed to be the answer … not the problem!

“Probation services are set to be renationalised as the Government prepares to accept its experiment has failed.

An announcement on how supervision of thousands of offenders will return to the National Probation Service is expected in weeks.

Reforms introduced by Chris Grayling when he was Justice Secretary have cost taxpayers almost £500million and led to an increase in murders committed by criminals.

Sources said the news could be broken as early as Thursday.

… The Ministry of Justice began partially privatising the probation service in 2013.

It involved 21 “community rehabilitation companies” monitoring people released from jail after serving short sentences. But the Government announced last year their contracts would end in 2020 – 14 months early.

Dame Glenys Stacey, the Chief Inspector of Probation, has previously described the current model as “irredeemably flawed”.

She told MPs on the Commons Justice Committee yesterday there were “deep-seated, systemic issues”.

She said it was “remarkably difficult” to condense probation into a set of contractual measures.

The Mirror revealed this year that 225 people had been murdered by convicted criminals being monitored by firms since privatisation.

The toll soared to 71 last year from 42 in 2015, shortly after Mr Grayling introduced the changes. …”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/probation-services-set-renationalised-government-15868831