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The Policing Pay Cap doing more with less!

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In reality, we want to be able to pay police officers more money to do so policing budgets need to be reviewed and increased we need to ensure policing budgets are correct to ensure this can be achieved.

The conservative government has now lifted the 1% cap on police pay and offered a one off 1% bonus. No further money will be given to the police forces and this money must be found within their own existing budgets. Putting policing within 2017 on a dangerous path.

The great news for those police officer’s who have worked under immense pressure with fewer officers and increased demand who have who has suffered a 1% Pay Cap for many years while doing one of the most challenging jobs and putting their lifes on the line daily with little reward.

The conservative government knew that when announcing the pay cap would be lifted it would always remain a politically motivated headline grabbing move and that would put forces across the country at risk.

Sticking a sticky plaster over policing

A move that would get officers on side and attempt to increase morale, but we firmly believe that this government is simply placing a plaster over the main issue of policing.

The issue is that there is simply not enough cops for the demand placed upon our officers, there is fewer cops for the job and no sign of increasing officer numbers recruitment is simply replacing a small number of officers who’s service has ended. Officers work load is increased and there is less staff and back office staff to support this effectively ensuring there is fewer resources.

The Great news that officers will see 2% extra in their pay packet, however, once the novelty of the extra cash quickly fades the issues that we have fewer cops, increased demand and higher demand on our cops with fewer officers and fewer resources to carry out the role the news of that 2% rise will quickly fade and be replaced with the news once again of underfunded policing budgets.

Forces Budgets!

But simply there is no money in the force’s budgets to fund the 1% rise no further money will be provided and for for smaller forces such as Cleveland Police could cost them £500K much bigger forces will run into the multi million mark.

We are simply Robbing Peter to Pay Paul at the cost of public protection, The pay rise and bonus could result in fewer officers being recruited, and fewer police support staff.

DR Alan Billings Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Police expressed his concerns that money must be found from existing budgets which will have an impact on policing.  “The government’s announcement that police officers are to receive a pay rise of 1% plus a ‘bonus’ of 1% has two stings in the tail.

“First, the pay rises are wiped out by the increase in the cost of living that was announced on the same day.

“Second, no new money is being given to cover the cost; therefore Police and Crime Commissioners will have to find the money from within existing budgets. That means the reserves will have to be used. This is a potentially dangerous path since reserves are kept for a reason.

“In South Yorkshire’s case they are there in part to cover costs that arise from both the Hillsborough disaster and child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. Considerable sums of money are involved and the reserves are there in part to pay for the m.”
We all want more money but at what cost?

We all want to see pay increases year on year, cops have suffered a pay cap for many years and it’s fantastic news that the cap has now been lifted, but the government are forcing further 1% to each Cop from each individual forces budget and that will be at a cost to me and you.

There is a number of ways the extra 1% could be funded and that decision will now fall on your local Police and Crime Commissioner who could choose to increase council tax to foot the bill or take a 1% hit to their budgets putting crime and policing at risk.

That 1% will mean there is less funding to reduce crime within your area, there will be less money and increased policing demand. We’d imagine there will be recruitment freezes to pay for the additional 1% or fewer officers recruited to ensure police funding and budgets are protected.

The Chief Constable for Cleveland Police Iain Spittal said: “When I met with the Policing and Fire Minister recently I stressed the point that police officers (and staff) have experienced real term reductions in their salaries over the past seven years and that I wanted to be able to pay them more for the very important role that they undertake. Police officers do a very difficult role and provide a huge contribution within local communities.

“However I also stressed that any increases beyond the budgeted 1 percent increases needed to come with additional money.

“On average, police officer pay makes up over 50 per cent of total force budgets. I will now be working with senior colleagues to establish how this additional cost is met.”

Rethink Police Funding Cuts

Policing budgets need to be funded centrally, Offering officers the increased pay is simply cutting the forces policing budgets and your community will further suffer as a result.

Funding will have to come from your crime budget which will impact policing within your area.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has criticised the Government for
effectively cutting the police budget to fund a one off bonus to officers.

Mr Coppinger believes police officers and staff should have been awarded a centrally
funded pay rise that better reflected the “incredible” job of work they do.

The Government announced yesterday they are to fund a 1% pay rise for police officers
with a further one-off bonus payment equivalent to another 1% to come from existing
police budgets.

Mr Coppinger said: “It appears the Government is not providing the funding for this
one-off bonus, which in Cleveland is likely to mean a half million pound cut to our
available budget over the next year.

“Instead of robbing Peter to pay Paul, the Government should recognise the incredible
job that police officers and police staff do and fund a realistic pay rise.”

Mr Coppinger is writing to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to reconsider what is in effect a cut to police budgets.

“Despite losing over 400 officer posts and over £30m funding in recent years, Cleveland
Police has made tremendous progress which has been recognised by Her Majesty’s
Inspectorate of Constabulary. This includes a financial plan to stabilise officer numbers
and ensure the most vulnerable in society are protected” said Mr Coppinger.

“For the Government to now grab a further £500,000 from our budget is a slap in the face
to hard working officers and staff and the public of Cleveland.

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Dispersal orders? Join the debate

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Across England & Wales, one of the increasing problems is one that has always been there, as the youths generation recycles and more children are allowed to meet up with their friends after school and in the holidays they simply have nothing to do, expect to hang about on street corners.

It’s a headache for the police because some people see kicking a football off a wall or carrying on very loudly as a huge problem whereas on the other scale drinking, fighting, criminal damage as a problem.

While being expected to respond to genuine emergencies the police often more than ever have to deal with today’s youth. Sometimes a pleasure often a headache.

What is a dispersal order?

In a nutshell, a dispersal order simply allows a constable or a PCSO to request under law one or more people to leave an area if a clear dispersal zone is in place.

it allows police the power in designated areas to disperse groups of one or more where their presence or behaviour has resulted or is likely to result, in a member of the public being harassed, intimidated, alarmed or distressed.

They are controversial powers due to the police officer attending and issuing the dispersals orders own discretion and the rights that an individual to be within that area.

Legal wording

Police Officers of the rank of inspector may authorise the use in a specified locality, during a specified period of not more than 48 hours, of the powers given by section 35. issue a dispersal order if they believe that the use of those powers in the locality during that period may be necessary for the purpose of removing or reducing the likelihood of causing members of the public within the area to be harassed, alarmed or distressed or crime or disorder has occurred. 

Dispersal order use? 

Dispersal orders are a very tactical tool within the policing toolkit, they are used in a number of situations to address social issues, But the police mostly use them to tackle the increase in anti-social behaviour.

To put an order in place firstly the police must have evidence that there is a need for such an order but there is no longer a need to consult with local authorities, agencies or community groups.

But such an order must be appropriate, proportionate and pre-planned as a direct response to evidenced and documented persistent problems.

But they can only be used as a short-term fix providing the police and local residents or businesses a short window of time of opportunity to develop a holistic and long-term problem-solving response. During the period of the notice, they must work to fix the problem long term.

Not only can putting a dispersal order in place create an increased demand on policing they can create a false sense of policing priority within an area, they can also be used to antagonise, create anger and criminality within youths and ensuring they are felt alienated from the rest of the community being unable to visit popular places and events resulting in the youth as a whole being unfairly stigmatised for just using a public place.

They also create further problems away from the community being dispersed, they will continue to meet within the streets away from the orders creating a displacement impact, shifting the problem to other areas which will only last the duration of the order, soon after the order ends the youths will be back.

Thus creating a message that the police are ineffective at combating anti-social behaviour further creating anger within the local communities that the police are powerless and unable to combat anti-social behaviour.

Therefore dispersal orders only act as a sticky plaster over a local policing issue, they do not create any long-term solutions or positive impacts on the community because unless work is done to fix the root cause nothing will change.

We asked @PoliceHour followers! 

We asked our twitter follower for views on dispersal orders and if they are effective in combating anti-social behaviour.

A serving police officer who does not wish to be named within the Met Police told police hour “I’d have to disagree. despite having the powers to disperse people you first need the officers on the streets to do that and simply there just aren’t enough of us to effectively enforce them”

Meanwhile Career Special responded yes they work. To improve them is like to see an S60 type stop and search power attached to S34 orders, for a limited time and location on Insp authorisation, constables are able to search almost randomly. Would really deter naughty behaviour in known local hotspots.

Sammi Said “Shame we don’t have good old-fashioned policing. Drag the buggers home by the ear. It didn’t hurt previous generations.”

Sheelagh Brownlee told Police Hour “It helps them that are have to put up with it in that area but they just move on to harass others.”

https://twitter.com/sheelaghb18/status/1026533916969185280

Linda Mullin told Police Hour “yes they help an awful lot, however, it must take up a lot of resources and I believe they are already stretched enough.”

https://twitter.com/linda_mullin/status/1026524187584815105

While Angela Taylor told Police Hour it “pushes it elsewhere but gives people a break. Giving everyone an equal share of the ‘scrotes’.

Across the UK senior Police officers are using dispersal orders more and more but what are those senior officers doing while dispersal orders are in place to prevent these issues from happening again, Rather than simply moving the issues across several communities.

Criminalising youths 

Are we really criminalising youths who are out on the streets deemed to be causing an annoyance, in their own eyes they are simply out having fun that causes annoyance to local people by kicking footballs and laughing and carrying on.

Or do we target the real issue the youths that hide out of public spaces on beeches, parks and wasteland to drink?

When does behaviour become anti-social?

At what point does something become anti-social and at what point does a constable of the law consider stepping in. Surely it’s just the youth of today having fun like we did? Well not all of us chucked stones at cars and drank on the streets.

Maybe that’s because we had places to hang out such as youth groups, and inexpensive after-school clubs.

Getting back to dispersal orders, once a notice has been issued that person is not allowed to return to the area for 48 hours if they do they face arrest.

Lack of Officers?

Here is a serious question when was the last time you spotted a police officer? I recently made it all the way from the North East to Devon all be it by plane, not to see a single police officer. I actually cannot remember the last time I spotted the police. But I have heard of instances where people have reported crime and incidents and the police simply have not turned out.

Even myself recently, I reported a serious concern for someone’s mental health, they had been walking down a public busy street, in the rain with no shoes, coat and a dog leader round her neck, she made serious threats to members of the public. Cleveland Police took the details and agreed to attend on the Monday for CCTV. Monday never came and 4 or 5 weeks later we are still waiting.

Do we have enough for dispersal orders?

Anyways back to dispersal orders and the main question are they being increasingly used because we simply do not have enough officers on the front line? Are police forces pretending they are in control by issuing a dispersal order? is there even enough justification to issue them in the first place?

Within many towns and cities across the United Kingdom, anti-social behaviour is growing to an uncontrollable level and the police must be seen to be doing something about it.

Powerless Cops

The police are powerless and sick to death of dealing with the increasing problem. Cops are facing abuse daily from kids who know the cops are powerless to do anything, they know they are out numbered the decreasing amount of cops, but the cops on the groundwork hard to keep things going and keep us safe they even know that anti-social behaviour is no longer a policing priority due to the fact there are simply only enough police officers to respond to life and death emergency situations.

Today’s youth, all be it not all of them there are many more good eggs that will never face the wrong side of the law. but there are these youths and teens that head out bored due to the lack of youth clubs to cause trouble.

Large groups of youths vs one or two cops

They gather in large groups when we say, large groups, we mean literally  40 to 50 of the safety in numbers they say. They drink and walk around in huge groups. Once they are pleasantly drunk and often drugged they fight, cause criminal damage and the cops do nothing.

Recently within the Cleveland Police Area, I witnessed a large group of youths who had broken into the back of a shop, damaged a rental car smashed there way into a parked car, when I say smashed I mean smashed all of the windows (See the image above) the police arrived and took abuse, they stood about in attempts to engage with the youths they did not take any details and did not record any details of the offences. Lack of evidence. But they were offered to collect CCTV evidence showing the offenders smashing up the car and they simply did not show up to collect the footage.

When the police respond there will only be one or two officers and the cops are literally powerless, they are outnumbered and know as soon as they put their hands on any one of those youths the situation is going to be out of control.

Police Officers often drive past these groups unless serious offences are taking place because cops don’t want to have to get hands-on with lippy teenagers full of drink and drugs, because as soon as they do there will be trouble.

So the introduction of the increased use of an old tool in the box dispersal orders, a PR Stunt to reassure the public that the police are taking the increased calls and demand for anti-social behaviour seriously.

Are Dispersal orders successful?

This is where we have a couple of compounding issues on the success rate, Within a number of forces the problem is simply just rotated around a number of estates and areas, cops move the problem on to other areas to reassure the public in the current problem area that they are in control they are doing something about it, so the issue blights another area of town.

Therefore increasing and moving anti-social behaviour to another estate, until that time comes within a week that they can return back to the location of the current dispersal order.

Problem two comes back to the main issue that when anti-social behaviour happens within a dispersal zone, cops don’t really use the power and continue there patrol despite facing torrents of abuse because as soon as they place their hands on one youth they have 49 others to contend with.

Therefore simply sticking a plaster over anti-social behaviour and not tackling the root cause. There is not a simple solution to anti-social behaviour, We must accept that officer numbers won’t return to how they used to be.

If the Government think that the situation we find ourselves in today is acceptable and working the reality is we are not going to get the increased officers to walk the beat.

If you would like to add your view as a balanced argument to be considered for inclusion within this content, about the success rates or the different ways in which they are used that we have not covered or fairly represented please tweet us @PoliceHour

Our cops are working hard on the ground, but numbers are decreasing meaning the way they police has to change.

policing is changing.

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Thank You

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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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New MOT rules, you must be aware as they come in next month

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New MOT testing rules will be brought in from Sunday 20th May 2018 which effect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles.

From this date, defects found during an MOT will be categorised as either ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ or ‘minor’. ‘Dangerous’ is a new category which will be introduced.

Any defects found under the ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ category will mean that the vehicle will fail the test it cannot be driven away from the garage until it has been repaired.

Anyone found driving a vehicle which has been classed as ‘dangerous’ can face a fine of £2,500 and three points on a driving licence.

Any minor defects will be recorded and the car owner will be advised to have them repaired.

During an MOT, vehicles will be tested on items including tyre inflation, fluid leaks, brake pads, reversing lights and headlight washers (if applicable).

Inspector Darren Breslin, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Anyone driving a vehicle without an MOT certificate currently faces a fine of £1,000 from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

“From 20th May, any vehicles with faults classed as ‘dangerous’ cannot be driven away from the garage without being repaired first. The vehicle could be a danger to the driver and other road users, so the advice from the DVSA is to repair the vehicle and not risk receiving a fine or points on your licence.”

A vehicle needs its first MOT at three years, and you can get a free MOT reminder by text message or email a month before an MOT is due by signing up at: https://www.gov.uk/mot-reminder

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