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Hillsborough Disaster South Yorkshire Police Update

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The Home Secretary today provided the House of Commons with an update on the investigations into the Hillsborough disaster. During this update some questions were asked which South Yorkshire Police would like to respond to.

A force spokesperson said; “As soon as the IPCC approached South Yorkshire Police requesting police pocket notebooks which may relate to the Hillsborough Disaster, we advised the IPCC that the most thorough of police search techniques led by specially trained officers was required to ensure every last item was recovered and made available to the investigations.

“South Yorkshire Police conducted the search under the supervision of the IPCC. The criteria for this search was set by the IPCC and was for any pocket notebook which predated 1992.

“South Yorkshire Police also conducted a thorough search of the entire police estate.

“The searches led to the recovery of approximately 2500 books dated between 1972 and 2007. Some officers provided numerous books spanning a number of years. The majority of these pocket notebooks will have little or no relevance to the Hillsborough Disaster, however it’s essential the investigators from the IPCC are able to make that decision rather than South Yorkshire Police.

“At all times we made it clear that the Hillsborough Independent Panel could have access to any documents they requested. We adhered to this offer throughout.

“It’s also today been said that South Yorkshire Police was running slurs about alcohol and the cause of the disaster. South Yorkshire Police is not suggesting or implying that there is a link between the blood alcohol levels of the deceased and the cause of the disaster. At the recent pre inquest review, the legal team representing the former match commanders confirmed they would raise the issue of alcohol consumption, this point was also echoed by the legal team representing former members of the Police Federation. The legal team for South Yorkshire Police made no such representations whatsoever and it is misleading for anyone to imply it is the position of the force. The record of the pre Inquest hearing confirms this.

“We wish to reiterate in the strongest terms the direction of Lord Justice Goldring (made as recently as this morning) which makes it clear that all commentators should ensure the accuracy of their remarks to avoid any prejudice at the forthcoming Inquest.”

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Four Iraqis win damages against MoD following their treatment during invasion

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Four Iraqi Citizens have won a high court damages against the Ministry of Defence.

The case was relating to their ill treatment and unlawful detention during the invasion of Iraq.

It was heard that they were unlawfully imprisoned and ill-treated by British armed forces.

The Judge ruled that all four would be entitled to compensation under the Human Rights Act with one of those men being awarded more than £30K.

After Mr Justice Leggatt’s ruling, lawyers said the result of the four test cases could form the basis of settlement of more than 600 unresolved claims in what is known as the Iraqi Civilian Litigation.

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‘Trauma Teddies’ police officers give our teddies to children they meet at incidents they attend

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A scheme where police officers give a cuddly toy to young children they meet during their daily patrols has been expanded across the North East.

The ‘Trauma Teddies’ scheme was launched in September but was started as a pilot operation that just covered part of Newcastle.

It involved knitted teddy bears being stored in patrol cars of response officers so that they can hand it to young children they meet when responding to incidents.

They could be handed to children who were involved in a road traffic collision or to a young child who had gone missing.

In the last month, the scheme has received an overwhelming response from local communities with more than a hundred teddies donated across the force.

Now the decision has been made to expand the pilot forcewide so patrol cars in Gateshead, Sunderland, North Tyneside and Northumberland will carry ‘Trauma Teddies’.

Chief Inspector Clare Langley has overseen the implementation of the scheme in Northern Area Command and said they could be a vital tool to help comfort young children.

She said: “This is a really fantastic scheme that has already had a number of success stories in Newcastle during the pilot.

“We have had an overwhelming response from the public and more than a hundred knitted teddies have been handed in by members of the public.

“It made sense to expand this scheme across the force as in the short time we have been running it we have found there is clearly an appetite to keep it going.

“Many of the children we come into contact with are scared, frightened and have never had any contact with the police before.

“Our officers are fantastic at comforting these young children but giving a child a teddy bear can be the thing that really builds a connection with them.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “I very much welcome this initiative to Northumbria. It recognises the effect a traumatic experience can have on a child and such a simple gesture is a step towards making a child’s experience less painful.

“Our officers sometimes have to attend devastating road traffic accidents or are called out to domestic incidents where a child has witnessed frightening scenes which result in seeing someone they know, and even love,
being taken away.

“A teddy won’t fix things but if it can help officers distract a child from what’s happening and offer them some comfort. I’m very thankful to everyone who has donated these bears – they will make a difference.”

Trauma Teddies were first introduced in Australia in a bid to comfort young children whose families had been left homeless by forest fires.

It was then adopted by the Red Cross to comfort young refugees before arriving in the UK when it was adopted by some police forces.

Victims First Northumbria suggested the scheme in the region and collected the first batch of teddies as well as producing a number of colouring books to hand out.

One of the early success stories includes a four-year-old boy who went missing and thought he was in trouble when he returned to see police at his house.

He was inconsolable until police handed him a teddy at which point his face “lit up” and he realised police weren’t just there to tell him off.

And last week a two-year-old boy was handed a ‘Trauma Teddy’ to comfort him after his mother was involved in an incident in North Shields and had to be spoken to by police.

Chief Inspector Langley said the teddies were really important to help show children at a young age that they could speak to their local police.

She added: “A lot of the work we do in schools and in our local communities is all about breaking down those barriers between children and police.

“We don’t want kids growing up with a negative view of the police and an opinion that our only role is to lock them up when they’ve done something wrong.

“This is about showing them that we are people to and that they can come to us whenever they have any concerns.”

Rachel Hardman, of Victims First Northumbria, said: “The Trauma Teddies appeal has been imperative in providing support to children across Northumbria.

“At VFN, we are keen to work with our partners to provide an excellent service to victims across Northumbria.

“Once a child receives a teddy and a safety colouring book, VFN receive a notification and we make contact with that family to provide support.

“This means that once the initial incident has been taken care of by our partners the Police, VFN can continue to provide independent support and coordinate a range of needs the family or indeed the child may have.

“We are really pleased and grateful for all the donations that have been received and are confident that the appeal will continue to be a success.”

Anyone who wants to help, or donate a bear, can get in touch by emailing either [email protected] or drop them off at their local station.

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Woman arrested for driving stolen mobility scooter in reckless manner

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Police in Hartlepool came across an unusual incident while on a routine patrol of the town centre.

The Hartlepool Neighbourhood Police team managed to stop a stolen mobility scooter, now we aren’t too sure if a pursuit was given but if there was we are sure the footage would be unreal.

And we are fairly sure those cops responding to the incident won’t hear the end of this one back in the parade room for the next couple of years.

Anyways getting back to the story because this is, after all, a very serious incident, officers have described it as ‘one of the strangest jobs they’ve dealt with’.

Not only had the woman stole the mobility scooter she could not even drive it. Police Say she was spotted driving the Scooter in a reckless manner while under the influence of alcohol.

Cops managed to get their hands on her and lock her up but now they have the job of finding out whos scooter it is.

The cops admitted this was Perhaps one of the strangest jobs officers have dealt with in recent times.

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