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Detective Sergeant John Hartfree awared the Livia Award.

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An officer from the Metropolitan Police Service has been presented with an award at a ceremony in central London.
Detective Sergeant John Hartfree from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) was this year’s winner of the Livia Award for Professionalism and Service to Justice, at a ceremony at Portcullis House, Westminster on Tuesday, 3 November. He received the trophy and a Prime Minister’ message.

The ceremony was cross-party, hosted by Mark Pawsey MP, Stephen Twigg MP and Greg Mulholland MP and the awards were presented by the Rt. Hon. Viscount Simon from the House of Lords.

John was unanimously judged the outstanding candidate for his extensive investigative caseload and the development of Scene Management Training for officers on the front line of fatal road collisions so as to ensure proper service to victims and their families.

John joined the Met in 1988 as a Special Constable, becoming a full time officer in 1991. With a keen interest in traffic matters, he joined the Traffic Division in 2002, as a Garage Sergeant, based at the South West Traffic Unit in Merton. Whilst here, John managed over 300 fatal or serious collision scenes. 

With the formation of the Roads and Transport Policing Command, John recognised that incoming officers would need training in fatal collision scenes, so he prepared a comprehensive training programme, mainly in his own time. This has now been delivered to over 70 officers as well as the Fire Brigade and the National Health Service to ensure closer emergency service co-ordination. He has also taken a keen interest in improving cycle safety and was recently involved in a major project with Transport for London and Loughborugh University, examining ways to reduce cycling fatalities.

John is passionate about his role in reducing road deaths and injuries, delivering talks to a wide range of non-police groups, including talks to religious and faith groups, cycle clubs, magistrates, police volunteers and special constables. 

There were four nominations in total for the award. The three were runners-up were: 

Detective Sergeant John Woods, from Chadwell Heath East Traffic Garage, Barking and Dagenham who received the Livia Highly Commended Certificate in recognition of his dedicated and detailed investigation of a failed-to-stop fatal collision;

PC Brian Gamble (retired) from Alperton Traffic Garage, Brent who received an RTPC Commander’s Commendation in recognition of his dedicated and detailed investigation of a failed-to-stop fatal collision; and, 

Senior Collision Investigator Steven Gilbert from Catford Traffic Garage, Lewisham who received an RTPC Commander’s Commendation in recognition of his dedication, outstanding personal commitment and achievements in Collision Investigation. 

The Livia award was established in 1998 by George and Giulietta Galli-Atkinson following the death of their daughter Livia who was killed by a driver who mounted the pavement where she was walking. Endorsed by the Prime Minister and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Commissioner, the award is made annually to the Roads and Transport Policing Command officer judged to have provided the most meritorious service to road death investigation, either in a specific case, or sustained through several investigations and who has provided the family of a road crash victim with outstanding commitment. 

Giulietta and George Galli-Atkinson, said: “Barriers are erected for a number of reasons but the more empathy there is between the parties, the more useful the interaction is likely to be in bringing about proper investigation, charging and prosecution outcomes. We are proud of all the officers in the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command who show such benchmark standards in road death investigation and Family Liaison Officer service on which road crash victims and their families can rely should they have to. They have our encouragement, admiration and gratitude.” 

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, of the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “The Livia Awards recognise the outstanding contributions made by Road Collision Investigation officers from the Roads and Transport Policing Command and this year’s entries are up to the very high standard we have come to expect.

“All of these officers provide a valuable service to policing that cannot be underestimated. The outcomes of their investigations bring justice, resolution and a small degree of conclusion to those who have been affected by road traffic collisions.

“I am very proud of my Livia nominees who have sought to put in place interventions that make significant improvements to the service we provide. They are a credit to the Met.”

Steve Burton, Transport for London’s Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: “This is a great achievement for John Hartfree of the Roads and Transport Policing Command and a rightly deserved award for his effort and hardwork to help keep our road network safe. 

“Well done also to the runners up from the other RTPC teams who have made the fatal collision training an award winning intervention that has not only been used by other companies but has also gone a long way to help further improve the enforcement of road safety provided by the police.”

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20 mins to clear cop under investigation for 7 years

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It took a jury just 20 minutes to clear a police officer who had been under investigation and placed on restricted duties for 7 years.

Why did the investigation take so long? Why should people’s lives be placed on hold for so long?

A Met cop was forced behind desk for 5 years and spent seven years not knowing if he had a job at the end.

An investigation that took too long, an investigation that caused a great deal of pain and distress for the officer.

PC Joe Harrington’s life was ‘effectively put on hold’ while under investigation by the police watchdog, after restraining a teenager in custody during the 2011 London riots.

The 15-year-old then accused him of assault and the then Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) were called in.

His case was finally dismissed at a misconduct hearing in June, with the panel citing ‘Unreasonable Delay’ as the reason. The Police Federation have finally been able to break their silence after being legally bound until the judgement was made public on 20 September when the judgement was made public.

The panel also laid into the IPCC, its successor the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the Met for dragging their heels, saying the delays were ‘unacceptable’ and ‘excessive’ and they did not think justice could be served after such a lengthy period.

Its judgement said: “[PC Harrington’s counsel] has drawn our attention to the impact on the officer’s health through the stress of the matter being unresolved for seven years, and to the impact on his career by way of an extended period of restricted duties and subsequent de-skilling.

“In his words:’The personal and professional life of PC Harrington has been stilted  and blighted by years of unresolved overhanging suspicion and his family life damaged to devastating effect, together with his health and wellbeing.’ ”

The Newham based officer’s nightmare began when he was suspended from work until the trial in March 2013. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) initially said there was no case to answer, but reversed its decision and charged him with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

At his trial, the jury took less than 20 minutes to acquit him, but PC Harrington, now 34, was put on restricted duties and banned from leaving the police station.

On one occasion, when he popped out move his car, the complainant spotted him in the street and made a further complaint – which led to the IPCC launching an additional separate two-year investigation.

PC Harrington said:” I spent the five years since my acquittal in a seemingly endless cycle of being investigated and re-investigated, confined to a desk in the station. I was barred from any contact with the public at work, couldn’t be promoted, leave the service or move roles.

“The IPCC were unhappy with my acquittal and told the press that they would recommend to the Met that I be sacked. Twice they went to the High Court to overturn reports that they had written, so they could have another stab at it.

“The effect on my private life was horrendous because this investigation was always hanging over me. I have been with my partner Kelly for 14 years and we have a beautiful six-year-old daughter but we had no stability in our home life; Kelly was eight months’ pregnant when this originally happened but we felt we could not get married with this hanging over us.

“For a long time there was the fear that I might go to prison, then it was the fear that we might be left with a single income.”

Pc Harrington took strength from the support he received from his Met commanders and colleagues, even though he was still on restricted duties. He said: “I was lucky to be supported throughout by the Police Federation, who fought my corner every step of the way.”

And in August he and Kelly became proud parents to a baby son. He added: “It got to the point that Kelly and I decided we just had to get on with our lives, which effectively had been put on hold for the past seven years. Policing is all I ever wanted to do and I am thrilled I can now get on with my life and career and even get married without this constant worry hanging over us.”

Police Federation conduct lead Phill Matthews said: “Sadly, Joe’s story is not an isolated one. Although the IPCC has now been replaced by the IOPC, these lengthy, historic investigations are still going on and they wreak a devastating toll on officers and their families.

“Seven years is just not acceptable and puts officers under appalling pressure, during which they cannot move on or get on with their lives.

“The Federation has been working very hard to work with the IOPC to address those issues, not least to examine whether discipline matters could often be dealt with by way of performance management rather than going straight to misconduct as the default.

“We are calling for less of a blame culture to focus more on training or re-training, raising the performance not just of the individual, but forces as a whole. In Joe’s case, the glacial progress of the investigation – after which he was completely exonerated – is disappointing, and we are mindful of the toll this took on both himself and his young family.

“But we believe we are slowly making progress with the IOPC and other policing stakeholders and hope that these damaging over-long investigations will soon become a thing of the past.”

Last March it was announced that IPCC commissioner Jennifer Izekor, who was involved with PC Harrington’s case, had stood down after being accused of perverting the course of justice in a separate case. The Metropolitan Police have asked Police Scotland to investigate this case and that of another investigator.

And in November, one of the IPCC investigators assigned to PC Harrington’s case, Emma Yoxall, was singled out for her role in a separate investigation into officers involved in a fatal police pursuit. A gross misconduct panel threw out the charges against the officers on the grounds of the lengthy delays which ‘gravely concerned’ them. Ms Yoxall is now working as a Learning and Development Officer in the new watchdog organisation the IOPC.

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BREAKING British and French scrambled to North Sea

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British and French jets have scrambled to the North Sea amid reports that Russian planes have entered the UK airspace.

The RAF Typhoon fighter jet is supporting Airbus Voyager plane deployed from Newcastle after 3pm today.

The French have also supported in the deployment supporting with a fighter jet.

In total four jets were seen over the North Sea on mapping.

The RAF has declined to comment on the situation describing it as an ongoing military operation.

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Fancy being locked in a haunted police cell?

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Forget Halloween Fancy a spooky night of fun, locked in a haunted cell for 24 hours to raise money for charity. Then we have an event that is right up your street.

Following on from the success of the PC Edward Walker Tour, Jules Berry a DDO with the Met Police is back with her spooky haunted cell idea to raise money for COPS UK and WMP History Museum, That is exactly what you can do this Feb.

Met Police Detention Officer Jules Berry is arranging the whole event in partnership with the WMP History Museum and is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

The event will take place on the 8th and 9th of February 2019, but be quick as places are limited.

Unfortunately, Police Hour will no longer be live streaming this event to our 2.5 Million Followers, But we hope our readers can still attend and support this event.

Need we say any more, Simply watch this video then sign up

Hats off to Kerry Blakeman for his fantastic advertorial.

The event is being held to support the restoration of the West Midlands Police Museum and COPS UK.

About COPS

COPS is the UK charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives in relation to their duty, to rebuild their lives.

Since being founded in 2003, they have helped hundreds of families shattered by the loss of their police officer.

They aim to ensure that surviving family members have all the help they need

to cope with such a tragedy and they remain part of the police family.

What COPS do?

COPS is a peer support charity, enabling Survivors from around the UK to support other Survivors in practical ways. They arrange local and national events that enable Survivors to build friendships and bonds that support them through the good times and bad.

Families are rightly proud of their officer and COPS to help ensure that they remain part of the police family.

What about the WMP History?

The West Midlands Police Museum at Coventry was opened in 1959 and celebrates the history of Coventry City Police which existed between 1839 & 1969, before becoming part of Warwickshire and Coventry Constabulary and in 1974, West Midlands Police.

The site at Sparkhill has been operating since 1995 when it moved there from the force’s training facility at Tally Ho! where it been operating as a CID training facility since the mid 1970s. Several of the exhibits had originated from the old Forensic Science Service laboratory when it moved from Newton Street to Gooch Street.

The Sparkhill museum contains items of policing memorabilia and old records from the West Midlands Police predecessor forces of Birmingham City Police, Walsall Borough Police, Dudley Borough Police, Wolverhampton Borough Police and West Midlands Constabulary. Some records are also held of Staffordshire County Police and Worcestershire officers as parts of those forces now fall within the West Midlands Police area.

You can also drop an email [email protected] to sign up, you must raise a minimum of £250 sponsorship.

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