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dangers of social media and online groomers

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Stockton Police Cleveland Police incidents on teesside
LilyAnne's Coffee Bar



Social media is a powerful tool and used in the right way is a power for good. But we must warn you online grooming is happening and sexual predators are targeting your children online.

One too many children has already died this year as a result of being groomed online and every other day we are hearing reports where children have been contacted on popular social media sites arranged to meet someone and gone missing.

We need to be aware of what our teenagers are doing on social media and Police Hour have put together some tips and advice for parents.

1. Have open conversations with your children

Parents should be able to sit down with their children and learn about technology together. Once your child is on social media you need a plan in place to ensure monitoring. Educating them how to behave safely. Make sure you are aware of which mobile applications they have within their phones as these are the apps that online groomers could be targeting, especially those with messaging services built in.

2. Are your children old enough

You may not be aware but social media has an underage limit for registration to social networking sites. Children must be aged 13 on most social media sites this includes Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

With the dangers of online grooming current, we would advise you not to allow any of your children under the age of 13 access to social media.

3. Information is not that easy to remove

Everything published online follows a digital footprint and it will track your youngster’s life. and it will build up that person reputation and could have a massive impact on future jobs. employers do check this information.

And once that information has been put out there it is impossible to remove even if the original post has been deleted the photos and messages can still be visible online.

5. Don’t share phone numbers

Lots of youngsters have their mobile number visible to the public along with addresses and emails. these are prime targets for online groomers looking for sexual activity with your 13 or 14-year-old son or daughter.

Make sure you check your child’s facebook profiles to see exactly what information they have made public.

6. Don’t accept messages or friend requests from predators

Don’t accept message requests or friend requests from people you don’t know it’s very easy for groomers to take your children in and then begin meeting with them in a real place.  Parents should remind their children not to interact inappropriately with people they do not know, and

Parents should be aware of who your children are interacting with online and have a relationship with them that they’d not be ashamed to tell you if someone interacting inappropriately with them online with people they do not know.

More than often the online groomer is also known to the family already or friends network. It is always important if they are arranging to meet with someone they have met online they meet them with an adult.

Online grooming will never happen to my children

Are you sure? we’d highly recommend you take the steps we have advised as you never believe it will happen to your children.

If you have a story we should be covering then feel free to contact the Police Hour Facebook page or @PoliceHour on Twitter.

 

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Police Promotion Long Live The CVF

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The phrase: ‘The King is dead. Long live the King’, refers to the heir who immediately succeeds to the throne. It arose from the law of ‘le mort saisit le vif’, meaning that the transfer of sovereignty occurs instantaneously upon the moment of the death or the previous monarch.

As of April 2018, the College of Policing (CoP) ended its support for the Policing Professional Framework (PPF) personal-qualities based police promotion. There has been no coronation as such, yet in the world of police promotion processes, there has been a succession. A new monarch, the ‘CVF’, or Competency and Values Framework to announce its full title has arrived. If you aspire to promotion now or in future, CVF the new monarch requires your allegiance!

A Level Playing Field

“Success in any field begins by deciding exactly what you want, then developing a plan” – Anon

Despite the well-documented challenges facing the police service, there are clearly a significant number of highly motivated aspiring leaders: Thousands of officers are awaiting the result of the NPPF Sergeant’s exam as I write this.

If there is such a thing as a level playing field, it’s as close right now as it will ever be. Those who will be assessed against the new framework all have the same opportunity now whilst awaiting their exam results, to get to know the CVF and to raise their awareness and understanding of it.

Some may wonder why on earth would you start reading up on the new framework already, when you don’t know your exam result yet? Now there’s a question!

“While we are making up our minds as to when we shall begin, the opportunity is lost.” – Quintillion

A proportion of those awaiting results will procrastinate, unwittingly running the risk of being left behind by waiting for this announcement as their starting gun.

Others commit fully, decision made, knowing instinctively that the starting gun has already been fired. They make full use of time before exam results are known, to get ahead of the curve and to be in the best position possible when a promotion process opens. Those who do this also recognise their own responsibility to drive and maintain their CPD (notably the number 1 recommendation from the CoP Leadership Review!).

“Development is always self-development. Nothing could be more absurd than for the enterprise to assume responsibility for the development of a person. The responsibility rests with the individual, their abilities, their efforts.” Peter Drucker

Candidates who prepare ahead inevitably find that they are better able to ‘hit the ground running’ when a promotion process is announced. They realise the value of homework on the framework, often drafting values based evidence aligned to the competencies (aka ‘behaviours’). Others realise too late. It dawns upon them that the CVF takes time to digest, to absorb and to think through, let alone work through.

Battle of the Shires…

“Change. We don’t like it, but we can’t stop it from coming. We either adapt to change or we get left behind. It hurts to grow, anybody who tells you it doesn’t is lying, but here’s the truth sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same. Sometimes change is good.” – Meredith Grey

Some forces introduced the CVF before April. Having already supported officers at level 2 and 3 of the CVF in achieving promotion to Sergeant/Inspector, I’ve had some interesting anecdotal conversations along the way. Safe to say there are a wide range of strong views and opinions on the CVF!

There are clearly two distinct tribes of opinion, battling in the warzone of police promotion:

  1. First there are those who are clearly bitter, seeing themselves as a victim of unfair changes hampering their ability to get promoted. They will criticise and question how fit the new framework is for policing and may even put forward some convincing arguments.

  2. Then there are those with a growth mindset. Whether reluctantly or enthusiastically, they are navigating their way through the challenge, adapting the way they may have previously prepared. They get on with it, knowing there is no single best system for promotion selections!

The CVF is new for supervisors, HR departments and assessors. As with any change there will be issues as this new framework beds in with lots of learning and adjustments.

A Way Forward

“The process of going from confusion to understanding is a precious, even emotional, experience that can be the foundation of self-confidence” – Brian Greene

John Wooden said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”, and that’s a great starting point for everyone.

Reading through all available guidance is a helpful first step. Many candidates attempt a promotion process without even a rudimentary understanding of their promotion framework, often overlooking what is a precious source of information. If you aspire to promotion and want to be successful, the most valuable action you can take today is to familiarise yourself with the promotion framework your force uses.

The reason for this is simple: It’s jam packed full of golden nuggets of information to help raise your awareness. It describes what ‘good’ looks like and provides guidance to help align your evidence for promotion applications and interviews.

The framework is now in place. The CVF has been crowned King of UK police promotion frameworks… “Long live the CVF!” Your allegiance will grow stronger after some hard work to start making sense of it for yourself. Then you’ll be able to start aligning and drafting your evidence to the behaviours and shared values.

Unless of course you reside in the MET, which everyone knows is a separate Kingdom, far from the shires, where things are done a differently. Here, when it comes to promotion it is: “Long live the MLF!” In any case I always encourage my clients to look at both frameworks to gain a deeper understanding of the Sergeant’s role from two different perspectives.

I’ll leave the last word to someone who knew a thing or two about overcoming challenges…

“Some people dream of success. Others wake up and work hard at it.” – Winston Churchill

Wherever you are on your promotion journey, Rank Success can help you prepare effectively. Why not download a FREE guide & start today?

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Thank You

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LilyAnne's Coffee Bar



This week Police Hour becomes four, What an incredible four years it has been.

Without you our readers and supporters we would have achieved nothing.

2014 – Police Hour launched on the 5th May 2014, as an idea that people would love to read the non-sensationalised news, there was a huge gap in the market for grounded and balanced news. It was non-existent. So with a crazy idea and a lot of thinking, I coined the name Police Hour.

Why Police Hour? 

I was really thinking about the first 24 hours of an investigation, which is the most important hours of a police investigation detectives would call this the Golden Hour, And well the Golden Hour for a news outlet just did not sound right.

I aimed for our news to be released first, before any other media outlet, within the golden hour time frame, to ensure that social media could be used as a force of good to ensure key witnesses are able to come forward within the golden hour. I wanted to focus on policing news so i decided to drop the golden and simply call it Police Hour?

I set out on a budget of less than a tenner, managing to secure the domain name for just £1.99 and the web hosting for £1.50, within 24 hours I’d crashed our web hosts servers and took about 600 other websites down with Police Hour and I was handed my marching orders and for 24 hours the dream was over.

After 6 months of web design, coding and planning within 24 hours Police Hour was offline and I knew we had to get back online as quick as possible. Our web host would not allow us access to download and re-upload our website to another server I’d caused them too much of a headache having impacted over 600 other customers.

48 hours after launching Police Hour I was back online and back in the game, traffic was already at unexpected levels and each day we struggled to keep the web servers online.

2015

Within 2015 I looked to the business community for support, we needed the support of policing business to keep our servers going, I was working a job and using my wage to pay the now expensive hosting fees. to simply stop the website going down time and time again.

I reached out to just about every single policing company within the UK, everyone ignored our emails and repeated requests for businesses to get behind the UK’s fastest growing policing news website, dedicated to police staff and police officers of all ranks. They just simply did not believe in Police Hour.

Apart from two companies, the first to back Police Hour and believe in me was Steve Cooper’s Rank Success and the second Septura. I personally have these two companies to thank for Police Hour still running today. They offered sponsorship that covered the basic costs of running Police Hour, I no longer had to use my wages to fund Police Hour. It was finally a business and it felt great that it was standing on its own two feet.

2016

With the continued support of our sponsors, Police Hour continued to grow, I began developing partnerships and networking within the policing community. Police Hour was starting to become known within the policing community. Our readership and out of nowhere our unique readership was 1 Million readers per week, something which many websites and blogs could only dream of.

I began helping others in 2016, I wanted to ensure that Police Hour was a force for good, and not evil. I formed a Limited Company.

I supported Alexander’s Journey and Finns Law by making a donation which enabled Alex to release his own Christmas Card.

Police Hour got verified on Facebook, days later Twitter followed. The ticks just appeared one day, but i knew Police Hour really was starting to take shape.

Police Hour received a lot of nominations for the Police Twitter Awards and were lucky enough to be shortlisted as a finalist. We did not win but we had a cracking time meeting a lot of special people.

2017

This was a big year for Police Hour it was the first year trading as a limited company, And it has been a huge success in terms of our first year of trading. Our readership continued to grow. Those companies that did not want anything to do with us when we first started began knocking on our door and the people who said Police Hour would never make it wanted to now work with us.

I brought on the successful and highly dedicated Steve Cooper as a member of the team to provide free promotion content to our readers, advice and information that would usually cost you about £100 per blog, as in partnership with Steve we managed to provide that to you for free. We firmly believe that the information we share from this partnership will go a long way in providing you with information that will get you promoted.

I left my by this time full time job and made Police Hour my full time job, along with this Police Hour moved from the home it was launched into its own commercial space.

Many Journalists and major news groups around the world started subscribing to our live wire content and we began getting mentioned in mainstream media more and more,

We raised over 10K for PC Kris Aves who was hurt in the West Minster Attack, this money would enable him to get home and start private rehabilitation, on the back of this BBC DIY SOS contacted Police Hour to arrange a full makeover of Kris’s Home.

Police Hour was invited to the Just Giving Awards in London.

This year we did not want to be nominated within the Police Twitter Awards instead we sponsored a category within the Police Twitter Awards.

2018

We’ve really focused on getting back to our routes and ensuring that Police Hour remains non-sensationalised, it’s balanced and grounded and supports the front line and does not pull it down.

Our unique readership to our website has not dropped below 2.5 Million people a week since January 2018 and we continue to grow.

We are continuing to use Police Hour as a force of good and have so far in 2018 raised 12K for Charity.

Steve Cooper the first businessman to believe in Police Hour, Over the years, has become a very good and close friend, we spend many hours on the phone each week and I know he is pleased that he was the first business to believe in Police Hour.

We’ve worked really hard over the past four years to bring you news, that no one else has dared to write, News that is non-sensationalised, it’s balanced, it supports the front line.

It’s honest news that some think is Fake because they can’t handle the truth. It is Police Hour.

Within the last four years we’ve meet and become great friends with many of the policing greats who we won’t name but they know who they are.

But we will give one final thanks to Mike Pannett who was one of the first people to follow Police Hour and for his sins has stuck with Police Hour ever since. We owe you a Blacksheep.

To everyone else Thank you for your continued Support.

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Police Promotion: What is the role of a Police Sergeant? Part 2

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LilyAnne's Coffee Bar



“The great Sergeant is in short trying to be a better person, in addition to being a better police officer and first line supervisor” –  Edward Werder

In Police Promotion: What is the role of a Police Sergeant? I looked at how behaviours and expectations are described differently across police promotion guidance. I also covered some typical initial responses to the question:  “Would you please describe your understanding of the Sergeant’s role?”

part two, I set out some of the wider functions and dimensions of the Sergeant’s to support your thinking and help build upon the ‘nutshell’ description of the role offered in part one:  ‘To set, communicate and reinforce standards in the organisation’.

The headings and breakdown below are to help raise your awareness and develop a broader understanding as part of effective preparation and ahead of your promotion opportunity. I provide this colour coordinated model as an overview to help you remember.

1. Briefing & Administration

A key function of the sergeant’s role is the ability to communicate effectively through briefing and administration of daily business.

Oral and written communication are vehicles for supervisory leadership. Communications and trust are linked and the ability to deliver formal and informal briefings is a requirement of the sergeant’s role.

Administrative responsibilities are wide but include allocating and reviewing team workloads, performance reviews and managing/supervising investigations.

2. Discipline & Ethics

First line supervisors set, communicate and reinforce professional standards and maintain discipline, thereby supporting public trust and confidence.

As a role model of professional standards your character qualities e.g. honesty, respect for others, integrity and fairness become the standard by which others judge their own actions.

Ethics is a body of moral principles or values. Knowing what is right, being totally committed to it and doing it, underpin ethical supervision. The Code of Ethics sets out the principles and standards of behaviour expected from professional police supervisors.

3. Provide Leadership: People, Performance & Change

It is often helpful to consider leadership in context. The context here is 21st Century policing.

The role of sergeant is essentially about leading a team of police officers and staff, driving/managing performance and leading change.

Your personal drive, cognitive capacity and communication skills are all indicators of high potential, that you may well find being tested in your promotion application and wider promotion selection process.

Don’t forget, a promotion board is a leadership interview so being able to talk confidently about your own leadership and behaviours is an important part of effective preparation for the role.

4. Supervision & Training

Ensuring that important work gets done is a key part of the role.

Serving as leader of a team, you are there to motivate people, develop them and to manage their productivity and performance.

Creating a positive working environment where people can thrive, innovate and excel is part of the role expectation. Your functions include allocating relevant, necessary tasks and to ensure they are completed.

Team performance under your guidance as supervisor is key to meeting organisational aims and serving the public. You are accountable for your team’s performance.

Training others is a key but sometimes forgotten aspect of the role.

Training ranges from demonstrating the correct way of doing things to ensuring individuals and the wider team complete important personal and organisational training programmes.

It can be formal classroom based training or online elements.

5. Managing Resources & Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Managing resources e.g. time, money, people and equipment is a role expectation as is taking personal responsibility for managing your own continuous professional development. Effective leadership also includes developing others.

It’s an important element of the sergeant role. Taking responsibility for driving your own development is the number one recommendation of the review of police leadership by the College of Policing.

Many aspiring promotion candidates I speak to are not aware of this and do not have a CPD plan.

Potential promotion board questions might include: “What have you done to develop yourself or anyone else in the last 12 months?”  

If you are not aware of this element of the role and/or cannot respond effectively to such questions the board may decide that you are not yet ready for promotion.

6. Welfare

As a sergeant a primary role responsibility includes the welfare of individuals in your team.

Knowing your team members, taking time to talk things through and support them as necessary together with knowledge of how and where to signpost or direct individuals for enhanced support services is an important element of the role.

This may require good awareness of your own wellbeing and abilities to understand and/or identify early indicators of potential trauma or stress in others.

Coping with pressure, physical health, mental wellbeing and managing personal, health or work issues are wider dimensions of ‘wellness’.

Good candidates are well informed and aware of this expectation e.g. Well people + Well managed = Well organisation.

7. Decision Making

Decision making is a critical aspect of policing and a highly valued skill. As such, it is a key expectation of the sergeant’s role and a competency tested in promotion processes at all ranks from Sergeant to Chief Constable.

The good news is that a lot of what you need to know about decision making is detailed in the National Decision Model (NDM).

The NDM provides a sound structure to consider and think through operational or wider decision making. It’s a valuable aid to help explain and justify why you took action or decided not to.

The Code of Ethics and the 10 risk principles are additional components to inform your rationale.

Over To You

Here’s a different snapshot of how the role behaviours and values for Sergeant are summarised across three different promotion frameworks.

You’ll note that role behaviours, expectations and values are similar; but frameworks cover and offer different perspectives. That can be quite helpful when you are trying to get an overview.

You can then focus on your own force framework to refine and develop your understanding of what is expected.

Clearly there is room for discussion and debate regarding these and other qualities that are not identified here.

However, it is my experience that many individuals preparing for promotion opportunities benefit strongly from discussion around aspects of the role, it helps to raise awareness, develop understanding and enhance personal confidence.

The best candidates are well prepared.

They are able to be verbally proactive in interview about the role, making links as appropriate to help persuade, influence and reassure the panel when collectively making a risk decision – to promote you!

I hope I have triggered, supported and provoked some thinking around the role of Sergeant.

If you’d like some support with your promotion preparation and want to hit the ground running you can download a FREE guide right now and make a start today! Over to you! Here’s the link: ‘7 Things Promotion Boards Also Look For In Candidates

Let us know your views by tweeting @PoliceHour We'll feature the best tweets within the article.

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