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Police officer jailed for leaking information to convicted criminal

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WEST Midlands Police has promised ‘no hiding place’ for any officers who believe they’re above the law and let the public down by abusing their position in the force.

The warning comes as a former detective was jailed for carrying out illegal searches on police IT systems and leaking confidential information to a convicted drug dealer.

Daniel Watts was sacked on 29 August last year by West Midlands Police for gross misconduct – admitted passing details of police intelligence gathering to Stephen Hunt, including whether officers were planning to arrest criminal associates or carry out raids.

A court heard that 31-year-old Watts – who joined West Midlands Police in 2001 – first made checks for Hunt in April 2005 whilst the 33-year-old was on trial for drug supply but continued up until his arrest in October 2012.

Watts, from Chester Road in Erdington, admitted conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and at Stafford Crown Court on October 18 was jailed for 28 months.

An application to seize all or part of his police pension is underway with the final decision on how much to confiscate being taken by the Home Secretary.

Hunt, from Edge Hill Road in West Heath, denied the same offence but was found guilty following a trial; he was also sent to prison for 28 months and handed an additional 10-years behind bars for drug dealing.

A crown court judge had placed reporting restrictions on the misconduct case but they were lifted yesterday (Jan 13) when Hunt’s drugs trial concluded at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Superintendent Tim Godwin from West Midlands Police’s Professional Standards Department – the unit tasked with investigating allegations of officer misconduct – said the force demanded the upmost integrity and professionalism from all its officers and staff.

He said: “Police officers take a vow to serve the public and uphold the law with fairness, integrity and impartiality. Any that fall short of those standards, or who abuse their position, will face disciplinary action, the prospect of criminal prosecution and potential dismissal.

“No police officer is above the law. Daniel Watts was a rogue officer who believed he could discretely pass information to a friend in the criminal fraternity – but we have a dedicated team of anti-corruption officers whose job is to uncover any misconduct.

“As soon as Watts’ was suspected of acting improperly an investigation was launched that resulted in his arrested and suspension from duty. He was subsequently sacked by the Chief Constable at an internal hearing, following his guilty plea in court, and has now been jailed.

“His police career is over and he faces the prospect of having his police pension seized; he’s rightly paid a very high price for these breaches of trust and position.”

The court heard that Watts was repeatedly “tasked” by Hunt to obtain information from police computer systems; some of the information related to him personally whilst other material concerned Hunt’s criminal associates.

His illegal IT activity was exposed on 3 March last year when police raided the home of a crime suspect in Northfield where a mobile phone was seized containing a text message that, via another phone, was traced to a mobile used by Watts.

Enquiries showed the message, concerning police warrants executed at addresses of crime suspects, was accurate and could only have been provided from police systems…and that it was confidential information.

Anti-corruption officers were able to prove the message originated from a phone attributable to Watts and was sent when he was on duty and using a police computer work station.

In interview the former detective with Force CID admitted his system checks weren’t for legitimate police business but rather “out of curiosity” or to check the accuracy of what he was being told by Hunt.

At the start of their friendship Watts said the checks were conducted to ensure he wasn’t associating with a criminal – and he claimed not to have sent any confidential or sensitive information, or anything Hunt wouldn’t already have known.

However, he was charged on 29 November 2012 with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and later went on to admit the offence in court.

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Trev Sherwood is the founder & blogger at the UK’s Leading Crime & Policing News. Delivering you breaking news, insightful analysis, legislation & positive news!

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Woman hit by two lorries and two cars in multiple hit and run

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A woman has tragically died after being hit by two lorries and two cars at a pederidain crossing in London.

The woman was struck by two lorries and two cars as she crossed at a pedestrian crossing in Tulse Hill, South London.

The woman who has not been named is believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that the driver failed to stop at the scene and a woman was then hit by a second lorry and then hit by two cars, all four drivers failed to stop at the scene of an accident.

Paramedics rushed to the scene on Norwood Road at 6.48pm on Monday and administered emergency treatment to the woman who was sadly pronounced dead at 7.21am.

Acting Detective Sergeant Alastair Middleton of the Metropolitan police released a statement appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

“I am appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision and the moments afterwards to contact us. I would also urge the drivers of all four vehicles to come forward and speak with my team.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Merton on 020 8543 5157.

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Two arrested on suspicion of murder following death of three children

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A 14, 8 & 7-year-old has been killed in a devastating house fire which is being treated as murder.

Cops are treating the deaths as ‘Murder’ by fire and have now arrested a 23-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman.

A three-year-old girl is also fighting for her life in hospital and her mother is in a serious condition.

Police have launched a murder inquiry after three children died in a suspected arson attack on a house in Salford.

Emergency services responded to reports of a fire at 4.58am on Jackson Street, Worsley in Greater Manchester.

Sadly Demi Pearson aged 14 was declared dead at the scene following the horrific arson attack which ripped through the house.

Another boy aged eight-year-old and a girl aged seven-year-old have also sadly died in hospital.

Michelle Pearson aged 35 the mother of all four children is also in a serious condition and is fighting for her life.

Greater Manchester Police said a manhunt was underway for a suspect and the force was “keeping an open mind” as to whether the incident was gang-related.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Miller said: “The death of these three children is heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with their loved ones and the little girl and her mum who are in hospital fighting for their lives.

“We currently have specially-trained officers with the family to help them through this devastating time.”

He called on the suspect to “give himself up”, adding that “he knows who he is”.

“This is a fast-moving live investigation and we have a major investigation team with scores of dedicated detectives working tirelessly,” he continued.

“I want to describe what this incident is; it’s the murder, using fire, of three children and we have a three-year-old girl fighting for her life who is seriously ill.

“This will devastate this family forever and words cannot describe what they are going through. We need the public’s help to find the answers the family deserve.

“We want to make arrests as soon as possible and we appeal to local people to help us in this.”

Two 16-year-old boys managed to get out of the house before fire crews could arrive. they are believed to be safe and well.

Greater Manchester Police have now referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because they had been called to the address due to an “earlier incident at the address” hours before.

Jackson Street has been closed off with large steel barriers and firefighters are still monitoring hot spots within the property,

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this devastating fire.

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Man hunt launched as three children killed House Fire

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A 14, 8 & 7-year-old has been killed in a devastating house fire which is being treated as murder.

Cops are treating the deaths as ‘Murder’ by fire and know who the suspected killer is and urge him to hand himself in before he is named.

A three-year-old girl is also fighting for her life in hospital and her mother is in a serious condition.

Police have launched a murder inquiry after three children died in a suspected arson attack on a house in Salford.

Emergency services responded to reports of a fire at 4.58am on Jackson Street, Worsley in Greater Manchester.

Sadly Demi Pearson aged 14 was declared dead at the scene following the horrific arson attack which ripped through the house.

Another boy aged eight-year-old and a girl aged seven-year-old have also sadly died in hospital.

Michelle Pearson aged 35 the mother of all four children is also in a serious condition and is fighting for her life.

Greater Manchester Police said a manhunt was underway for a suspect and the force was “keeping an open mind” as to whether the incident was gang-related.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Miller said: “The death of these three children is heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with their loved ones and the little girl and her mum who are in hospital fighting for their lives.

“We currently have specially-trained officers with the family to help them through this devastating time.”

He called on the suspect to “give himself up”, adding that “he knows who he is”.

“This is a fast-moving live investigation and we have a major investigation team with scores of dedicated detectives working tirelessly,” he continued.

“I want to describe what this incident is; it’s the murder, using fire, of three children and we have a three-year-old girl fighting for her life who is seriously ill.

“This will devastate this family forever and words cannot describe what they are going through. We need the public’s help to find the answers the family deserve.

“We want to make arrests as soon as possible and we appeal to local people to help us in this.”

Two 16-year-old boys managed to get out of the house before fire crews could arrive. they are believed to be safe and well.

Greater Manchester Police have now referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because they had been called to the address due to an “earlier incident at the address” hours before.

Jackson Street has been closed off with large steel barriers and firefighters are still monitoring hot spots within the property,

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this devastating fire.

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