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Proud to serve Durham Constublary Top Special Constables recognised 



Durham’s volunteer police officers have seen their efforts during the last twelve months recognised at a recent awards ceremony.

The Special Constable of the Year Award was won by SC Andrew BENJAMIN, partly for his brave actions during an incident which actually happened before he started with Durham Constabulary in March last year.

Andrew was still serving as a Special with Lincolnshire Police but was off duty when he happened to be in Durham one evening. He sprang into action when he noticed Insp Leanne Thorns struggling to deal with two men, one of whom had assaulted another officer. He rushed to support the inspector, resulting in him being punched, but as a result of his assistance both men were arrested and later charged for violent offences.

Although he was at the time living outside of the north east, he made numerous journeys to the area to provide evidence at court to support the prosecution.

Insp Thorns said; “I have been extremely impressed with Andrew’s work. He displays an empathetic and understanding manner when dealing with victims of crime and portrays an excellent image of Durham Constabulary.”

The Specials Student of the Year award was presented to SC Mark KEVENEY. The award is in memory of Special Constable David Ward who died unexpectedly during his training period in 2013. David was a popular member of his training group and joining the Special Constabulary had been a long-held ambition.

SC Keveney joined the ranks of the Specials in June 2014 and currently works full-time in the force’s communications centre.

At the end of the classroom phase of their initial training, all Special Constables are offered the chance to complete a ‘knowledge check’ for the Specials Policing Diploma. 

Mark is the only officer in recent times to have a 100% success rate. He reports for duty at Durham City, working closely with the Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
The Team of the Year Award went to the officers covering Derwentside and Chester-le-Street, led by Acting Special Chief Inspector Hayley Gibson. The team consistently performed to a high level over the course of the past year, particularly during a NATO conference in Wales when a large number of regular officers were deployed to help police the event.

This meant additional resources from the Special Constabulary were invaluable in helping provide normal policing cover.

The team completed a huge amount of volunteered hours over 2014 and into the current year, providing support at incidents including serious road collisions and high risk missing persons. In a twelve-month period they attended over 600 incidents.

Other award-winners were;
Special Constable Ross MORALEE, based in Barnard Castle.

His commitment to supporting local neighbourhood and response policing prompted praise from both his colleagues and members of the public. His actions included a foot chase of a thief who had stolen a poppy collection box from a volunteer in a local supermarket.

SC Kate PRICE (Durham and Stanley), who became the first female special to successfully complete the force’s public order training course, which means she can be deployed at serious incidents to other forces as well as in Durham; she worked in her own time to complete a three-week driving course and a pursuit course; attended more than 260 incidents and volunteered over 25 hours duty per month throughout her service.

Kate has now been successful in joining the ranks of the regular police and is currently going through her initial training.

SC Dan FISHER who joined as a Special in July 2009 and works mainly in the south of the county contributed over 830 hours duty last year, the majority being performed on weekend night shifts, even volunteering to police on Christmas Day.

He has also passed the initial pursuit driving and public order courses.

SC Fisher was also the joint winner of an award with SC Laura SIMPSON-JONES. Both were praised for their actions during a tragic incident where a young girl had hung herself in her bedroom.

Laura and Dan were the first on scene, and not only attempted to resuscitate the girl but dealt calmly with other family members who were clearly distressed.

Their award recognised that “both officers showed a tremendous amount of resolve and professionalism during this incident. Despite the tragic and difficult circumstances, both officers remained calm and offered unrivalled service to all those involved.”

And acting Special Inspector Claire PATTERSON was commended for her efforts to support operational policing during the NATO conference when many members of the force had been seconded to the security for the conference.

Special Chief Officer Dale Checksfield, head of Durham Constabulary’s volunteer officers, said; “Last year saw continued growth in Durham Special Constabulary with broadened deployment options, an increase in recruitment and development activities to ensure the Specials are positioned to support the force’s strategic aims in the years ahead.”

Chief Superintendent Graham Hall, from the force’s Neighbourhood command said; “The awards are a true testament to the exceptional talent of our Special Constables and highlight the enormous contribution they make in both supporting regular colleagues and improving people’s lives in County Durham and Darlington.”

Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg said; “Our Special Constables give up their free time to help make their community a safer place. They are an inspiration to others it is right that they are truly recognised for their hard work and valued contribution.”

Special Constables are volunteers with full police powers of arrest. They support the officers come from a wide range of backgrounds, with teachers, students, social workers, engineers and oil rig workers amongst the ranks.



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Woman arrested after leaving move your vehicle note on ambulance attending 999 call



Police have taken a zero tolerance approach to a woman who left a note on an ambulance.

The note left paramedics disgusted police have now confirmed they have arrested a woman after the abusive note was left on an ambulance demanding it parked somewhere else while it was attending a 999 emergency call.

The note stated ‘I couldn’t give a s**t if the whole street collapsed”

The crew were also verbally abused while attending the emergency call while attempting to deal with an ongoing medical incident on Sunday afternoon.

Now a 26-year-old Tunstall woman has been arrested for public order offences.

Chief Inspector John Owen, commander of Staffordshire Police’s Stoke-on-Trent North policing team, tweeted about the incident.

He added: “We will not tolerate abuse or intimidation of our emergency services. This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable and we will take appropriate action against offenders.

“The arrest relates to matters of verbal abuse that could constitute offences under the Public Order Act. This is not solely about the note.”

A Staffordshire Police spokesman confirmed the force took action after seeing details reported on Twitter.

The woman remains in police custody and enquiries are on-going.



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Jon Venables Reportedly Attacked With Boiling Water By Fellow Inmate



Jon Venables attacked with boiling water by a fellow inmate. 

Jon Venables, one of the schoolboys who murdered James Bulger in 1993 has been attacked in prison after an image was released on social media.

Venables who is now aged 35 was attacked with boiling water and sugar after a fellow inmate managed to work out his identity.

Venables have been living under a fake name since 2001 and was sent back to jail having broken the conditions of his release and being found guilty of child pornography.

Venables was banned from travelling back to Liverpool but he had been attending music events and going to Everton Football matches.

He was later found to be in possession of cocaine and was also having a relationship with an underage girl.

Prison Officers were forced to place Venables on lockdown after his identity was revealed and he was attacked with boiling water and sugar.

it is alleged that Venables complained that guards did nothing at first to stop the attack from happening and offered him little help once he had been assaulted.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed to Police Hour that “incidents of this nature happen within prisons and we cannot discuss the nature of individual cases”

Now that the true identity of Venables is known within side the prison after images have been circulated among inmates it will be inevitable that another attack will happen.

Venables is currently serving a three-year sentence for child pornography offences and possession of 1,170 images of children which included babies.

It is believed inmates have been circulating images of Venables from prison to prison in the hope that one prisoner can identity him.

Facebook and Twitter this month removed images from their social media websites of various men who people claimed was Venables.

It is a criminal offence to name or identity Venables on social media due to an anonymity order granted in 2001 that prevents him from ever being named or identified.

Due to the nature of his repeat offending there is mounting pressure to scrap that order in order to prevent further children being targeted.

However due to the nature of Venables sick attack these orders are likely never to be removed.



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Two year old boy and woman aged 31 killed in Warwickshire Motorway crash



A Two-year-old boy and a woman aged 31 have sadly died in a crash between a car and a lorry as they left a motorway in Warwickshire.

Tragically both victims were travelling in a blue Nissan Qashqai when the incident happened at 10.30pm on Saturday night.

A six-year-old girl and a man aged 35 were also within the car both were injured and taken to hospital, their condition is no believed to be serious and they are stable.

The car was exiting the M6 at Junction 1 heading onto the A426 near Churchover.

Police have now launched an appeal to trace anyone who witnessed the crash.

Inspector Andrew Bennett said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the families of the deceased at this time. Despite the attempts of other drivers and paramedics, the woman and boy were declared dead at the scene.

“We will have officers at the scene today (Sunday) as we continue to investigate how this collision happened.

“There is likely to be some disruption in the area while we investigate. I would like to thank local people for their support and patience.



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