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Northumbria Chief Constable Sue Sim announces retirement 

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Northumbria’s Chief Constable, Sue Sim,has announced her retirement after 30 years of service.

Sue joined Merseyside Police in 1985 as agraduate entrant, progressing through the ranks in both uniform and CIDroles.

She came to Northumbria in 2004 as an AssistantChief Constable and was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable in 2008. Traditionally,a senior officer can only hold two chief officer posts in one force. However,the Police Authority were so determined to keep Sue in the force that theytook the unprecedented step to ask the Home Secretary for special permissionto allow Sue to apply for the position of Chief. 

When she was appointed in 2011 she was thefirst woman to lead a Metropolitan force.  

Sue is known for her commitment to neighbourhoodpolicing and it has been the cornerstone of how Northumbria has deliveredits service to the public over the last few years. That approach has seenimmense success with the force the best in the country for victim satisfactionand one of the few major metropolitan areas that did not experience publicorder difficulties in the summer of 2011.

She was also fortunate to lead the Associationof Chief Police Officers’ public order portfolio for a number of years,where she provided strategic advice at a national level. 

Sue was honoured with the Queen’s PoliceMedal in 2009 andbecame Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear in 2014.

Sue and her family are settled in the regionthat they now call home. 
“I have always been warmly welcomed by thepublic here,” she explained. “They are incredibly supportive of theirlocal police and we could not achieve the success we do without them.”

This was particularly evident during thesearch for Raoul Moat following the murder of Christopher Brown and shootingof one of her own officers, PC David Rathband.  

“That was one of the most challenging timesof my career and the largest manhunt the country has seen for 44 years.I spent my time out and about reassuring the public and responding to theirquestions. Despite their concerns they never waned in their support forus and I am immensely proud of my officers and staff who went about theirroles fully aware of the threats against them, but determined to supportthe public.  That is British policing at its best, working in partnershipwith those we serve, and is why I am still so passionate about what wedo.”

More recently, Sue has had to manage a reductionof 37% from Northumbria’s budget since 2010 to the end of the ComprehensiveSpending Review  period – amounting to £117million. She has remaineddetermined to retain visible policing in communities and to minimise thenumber of compulsory redundancies for police staff. 

She said: “We have made savings whereverwe can, closed outdated buildings and relocated our teams in the heartof our communities, as well as reducing to three Area Commands. I knowthis has meant some unpopular decisions but that is what leadership isabout and I have never shirked away from those decisions. I have alwayssaid we will deliver our service to the public and maintain our high standards.However, I could not have achieved this without the commitment and supportof my officers and staff. They have been tremendous and I am extremelygrateful to them.”   

She acknowledges there have been other difficultdecisions in recent times. “One was the approach by a crime superintendentabout an intelligence led operation that might never realise any chargesor convictions. I took the step of authorising the operation and have providedcontinued support for it. That was the start of what is now known as OperationSanctuary. 

“This demonstrates us at our best, uniformand investigative colleagues working side by side to address a significantissue that impacts on all our communities.

“Another was the HMIC report into the “nocriming” of some rape investigations. I launched a far reaching operationas it was important to reassure the public that they could have confidenceto report such crime to us. 

“These decisions were absolutely the rightthings to do for the public and victims,” she added. “My motivation hasalways been, and remains, serving the public and keeping victims at theheart of what we do.”

Another highlight has been Operation Dragoon,Northumbria’s far reaching road safety programme which Sue has personallyled. “We have looked at all aspects of road safety and, in particular,raising awareness of young people who are new to driving,” she explained.

“I have been honoured to work with familieswho have lost loved ones on the roads and they have helped us get the messageout about the impact that dangerous driving can have on people’s lives.I am indebted to them for their bravery and selflessness and want to thankthem for all their support.”

Sue also acknowledged the part volunteersplay in policing. “I have always been committed to improving the livesof young people and am extremely proud to have introduced the cadet scheme,allowing young people to learn life skills and help their community. Theyjoin Special Constables who give their time freely and other volunteerswho help us on a daily basis.” 
  
Sue explained her decision to retire nowand said; “After careful consideration I have decided to retire when Ireach my 30 years service on 3rd June. My family have made many sacrificesto enable me to have such a fantastic career and it is now time to spendmore time with them. I am obviously sad to leave but it is the right timeand I am confident I have left a legacy of high performance that will continue.

“I have been extremely fortunate to havehad a marvellous career and I am as committed to serving the public asI was when I first joined Merseyside Police in 1985. 

“I want to give my sincere thanks to everyonewho has given me their support throughout this incredible journey. In particular,the public, the former Police Authority who trusted me to lead this excellentforce and supported me. I also want to thank the Police and Crime Commissionerwho has worked with me to improve the lives of our communities and victimsof crime. I am also extremely grateful to our local authorities, MPs, councillorsand the many formal and voluntary partner agencies that I have worked with. 

“Most of all I want to thank my officers,staff, special constables and volunteers. They are a credit to Northumbriaand I am confident will continue to provide our communities with the verybest service they can.”

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John Worboys to be released in days as government refuse judicial review

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John Worboys will be released from prison in days after the government has refused a judicial review over the Parole Board’s decision to release the black-cab serial rapist back in to the community.

David Gauke told the House of Commons having sought expert legal advice the government believe there should be no judicial review into his release.

Adding that ministers should not choose to bring any legal challenge that has no reasonable prospect of success.

Victims call it a failure in the criminal justice system

The release of Worboys who just served nine years in prison has been criticised by many victims.

Worboys was jailed “indefinitely” in 2009 and would serve a minimum of 8 year term after drugging and sexually assaulting women who got into his London black cab.

he would spike his victims with champagne and a powerful sedatives to celebrate a fictional lottery win.

He was convicted of 19 offences related to attacks on 12 women, however he is suspected of being one the United Kingdoms most prolific sex offenders linked to 102 complaints.

The Crown prosecution service did not charge for those offences based on his indefinite sentence as it was not in the public interest because of this they are unable to charge on any these 102 complaints.

Now the crown faces criticism and anger because he is being released despite not all of the 102 complaints and allegations being brought to trial he was only every convicted and charged with 19 counts.

CPS have already released a statement defending why they have not taken these other complaints further and their answer is simple they do not believe there was a realistic prospect of conviction.

Their statement said, “where it was deemed there was a realistic prospect of conviction”.

Over 83 women had reported an allegation against this man and since his conviction a further 19 allegations.

The CPS had advised officers to refer any allegations of rape. Only one allegation was dismissed because it lacked evidence as it “did not pass the evidential test”, the CPS confirmed.

The statement read: “It would be unlikely that it would be in the public interest to prosecute Worboys in relation to allegations of sexual assault or administering a substance with intent, because of the maximum sentence available to the court.”

The Metropolitan Police also confirmed all of that evidence had been discounted by the CPS and detectives confirming that there is currently no live investigations into Worboys.

Now further question falls on to the Parole Board with the law in place which prevents disclosure of proceedings which allowed and granted Warboys to walk free.

The House of Commons Justice Committee has already called upon the Parole Board to explain how the decision for release within such a horrific case was reached.

 

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Hero farmer helped catch paedophile shares his pride after helping police

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A hero farmer who helped put a paedophile behind bars for ten years has spoken of his pride at being able to help police secure a conviction.

Trampoline coach Louis Murray, 22, has been sent to prison for ten years after previously admitting a string of child sex offences.

He taught hundreds of children at his trampoline club in Newcastle which is where he met his teenage victim.

But he was caught in a car with the youngster after driving to the remote Northumberland village of Belsay to engage in sexual activity.

Farmer George Common, 59, was checking on his livestock when he found the steamed-up vehicle parked in a lay-by.

He initially thought the occupant was trying to commit suicide by pumping his vehicle with fumes from his engine.

Mr Common leapt into action to try and rescue the occupant but then found Murray engaging in sexual activity with the teenage boy.

He tried to block the vehicle in with his Land Rover at which point Murray rammed the vehicle and fled the area. Police were able to trace his car and he was later arrested.

Murray was eventually charged with two counts of rape, four counts of sexual activity in presence of a child and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

The trampoline coach, of Blakelaw, Newcastle, admitted the charges at a previous hearing and he was jailed for ten years by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday.

Following the case, Superintendent Andy Huddleston paid tribute to Mr Commons for taking action and helping police put a predatory paedophile behind bars.

He said: “Louis Murray was a predatory paedophile who abused his position of trust to befriend and groom a young boy. I am glad that his behaviour has been uncovered and he is now facing a lengthy stint behind bars.

“If it wasn’t for the actions of George Commons that day then Murray’s victim may have been subjected to abuse for a much longer period.

“Mr Commons was quick to act when he thought someone was in trouble and did absolutely the right thing when he learnt exactly what was going on.

“It was a brave act that has undoubtedly helped prevent a young person from being harmed further.

“George continues to be a key member of our Farmwatch scheme and this case shows that our joint working with the rural community not only prevents traditional rural crime but also far more serious crime too.”

Mr Common, whose family has been farming in the region for 800 years, said that he was “proud of himself” for taking action and getting the young boy help.

He said: “I was checking some stock and saw the car parked up there. I carried on checking my stock and then when I came back the car was still there and I thought that something wasn’t right.

“I have come across a suicide attempt before where they were trying to gas themselves and I thought to myself I hope they weren’t trying to do something like that.

“So I went over to the car and I had a shock with what I saw. I looked in the window and saw Murray sitting next to a naked lad who just looked up at me.

“I just said ‘this isn’t right’ and I opened the door and attempted to grab the arm of the lad. That is when Murray drove off and rammed my car to try and leave. As he was doing it he was saying ‘sorry, I just have to go’.

“I would definitely do it again and as it turns out I am proud of what I have done. It could have saved a lot of other lads and saved him from going through anything further.

“But in many ways I am typical of a Northumberland farmer who was just looking after his patch. I have been part of FarmWatch for a while and I would always report something suspicious.

“I have been involved in the scheme from the very beginning and I have always been one for calling the police if I see something that is not right. We are a tight knit community and this shows how much it works.”

The judge ordered that Murray must sign the sex offenders’ register for life and also made him subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

He also ordered that Mr Common be paid £400 from the public purse as a token of gratitude for his actions in bringing Murray to justice.

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Leon Ojah is aged 15 he is currently missing from his home in Newcastle

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Police are appealing for the public’s help to locate a missing 15 year old.

Leon Ojah was reported missing this morning after last being seen in Garmdonsway in Newcastle.

He is described as mixed race, slim build, 5ft 7inches tall with medium length afro hair. It’s thought he may be wearing a grey hoody over a dark blue school jumper, black nike shows and have a black Adidas bag.

Enquiries are on-going to find Leon and police are appealing for the public’s help.

Anyone who has seen him is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 228 180118.

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