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How are the police using communications data to locate criminals and solve crimes?

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POLICE forces are shining a light on how they use communications data to locate criminals and solve crimes.

Four forces – Durham, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Gloucestershire – are taking part in a 24-hour ‘Tweetathon’ on Thursday, June 30 to demonstrate how they are using technology to bring offenders to justice.

Under the current Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, forces can complete telecommunications checks for volume crime, such as frauds, harassments, burglaries, robberies or thefts.

 Communications data is the ‘who’, ‘when’, and ‘where’ of a communication, not what is written or said. It is details of the communication – not the content.

Police forces use it at the early stages of investigations to prove or disprove where a person was, or determine who they were with or who they spoke to. This information is invaluable in proving guilt as well as innocence.

 National Policing Lead for Communications Data, ACC Richard Berry said: “The argument is often made that we can have privacy and freedom or security. In the police service, we believe we can have privacy, freedom and security.

“That is a guiding principle under which we act and we work hard to get the balance right.”

In the UK more than 80% of adults go online. And among that 80% are criminals, fraudsters, rapists and child molesters.

While communications data is used to trace the most serious of offences, it is also a vital tool in tackling volume crime. Examples of where is has been used include to place suspect at the scene of an arson, linking possible suspects with malicious calls and placing people at scenes of crime.

It has also been harnessed to tackle social media harassment which, without early intervention, could lead to more serious crime and even murder.

ACC Berry added: “Communications data is one of the most valuable tools we have to investigate crime today and is vital if we are to keep pace in today’s digitalised world.”

The ability to acquire communications data is governed by law and strict codes of practice with built in safeguards, which take full account of the important principles of necessity, proportionality and collateral intrusion.

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Police take woman to court after smoking in car with children

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A female motorist is believed to be the first person on Teesside to be prosecuted for smoking while in a car with a child.

Police caught Joanne Jones on Christmas Eve smoking in her car on Union Street, Central Middlesbrough with two young children in a car.

Her registration number was recorded and when officers had a moment they called by her home and she admitted the offence of smoking in a car and was summoned to court.

Legislation was introduced in October 2015 banning anyone smoking in a car with children inside.

Joanne Jones attended court and she received a £120 fine, it is believed only a hand full of people have been convicted since the law came into force.

Only one driver was convicted in its first year within the Northumbria Police area and the second person to be convicted is believed to be Joanne Jones of York Road, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough.

She was fined at Teesside Magistrates court and ordered to pay £85 court costs and £30 charges.

The case was held behind closed doors making the circumstances of the case unclear.

The case was dealt with by a magistrate and a legal advisor and was not held in public.

The case was not heard in an open court and members of the press were not allowed to attend.

This only is permitted if the case can be proved in the absence or when a guilty plea has been provided.

Defendants are absent, while the public and the press cannot attend.

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Flat Fire in Hartlepool sparks a multi-agency response

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Emergency services in Hartlepool launched a multi-agency response following reports of a fire above the towns popular conservatory restaurant on a busy Saturday night.

They closed an area of Hartlepool Marina to allow them to deal with the incident, while other businesses within a safe distance remained open.

Hugh plumes of smoke could be seen billowing out the window of the flat to the rear of the restaurant, Emergency services acted quickly and evacuated the restaurant underneath.

But the incident sparked a huge emergency response for your average two-storey flat fire, a number of incident response ambulances descended to the scene along with emergency ambulances, paramedics, fire appliances and a number of response cops to support with a large cordon that was put in place.

Seven fire engines, four ambulances and five police cars remained on the scene for over 2 hours, with a huge cordon in place, but the fire itself was quickly under control and one person was rushed to hospital. No one else was injured.

Emergency services responded to the multi-agency incident at approximately 7.30 pm with Cleveland Police later confirming the incident related to a flat fire.

A police cordon was put in place and a number of people were evacuated from the Conservatory which is below the flat that caught fire.

An Emergency command centre arrived at the scene to coordinate the incident response and remained there for over 2 hours.

Just a short distance from the incident other businesses remained open as usual with many of those out enjoying a Saturday evening on the Marina wondering exactly what was happening

Cleveland Police have released a statement ” Police were called by Fire Brigade colleagues this evening to assist with a fire at a block of flats known as Abdeil House on Slake Terrace in Hartlepool at 7:30pm.

“One man has been taken to hospital with minor injuries but no other injuries are believed to have been caused.

“The fire is not thought to be suspicious.”

“Please avoid the pedestrian area surrounding the building at this time. We would like to thank the community nearby for their co-operation while emergency services deal with the situation.”

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Did you celebrate New Years Eve Spensley’s Emporium? If so police may want to speak to you!

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Did you go to Spensley’s Emporium on December 31st? Do you know anyone or do you appear in these CCTV screen grabs? If so you need to contact Cleveland Police Now!

Cleveland Police investigating a rape which occurred in the early hours of December 31st at Spensley’s Emporium on Albert Road, Middlesbrough believe the man shown in the footage released last week may have connections in Birmingham.

Cleveland Police have told Police Hour that “The rape occurred between 2:30am and 3:30am on the morning of New Year’s Eve when a woman in her early twenties was raped in the woman’s toilets.”

They added that “It is believed the man shown in the released footage may have connections in Birmingham.”

Police are now appealing for anyone who may recognise themselves In the footage to get in contact with Cleveland Police at the earliest opportunity.

“if you were in or around Spensley’s Emporium from 1.00am up until closing at 3.50am and haven’t spoken to police – again, please get in touch.”

Anyone with any information can contact Cleveland Police on 101 quoting crime reference SE17236137 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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