Did I mention IT’S FRIDAY?! What is everyone doing today? I’m playing on the trains, choo choo! 😛 – AP
Also who’s working today? I’m not! Whoop whoop, I got the whole bank holiday weekend off! 😀 – AP
A pensioner has had his £22,000 life savings stolen by three men in a “disgraceful and shameful” burglary in Manchester.
Phillip Knowles, 81, who had been saving since the age of seven, was targeted at his home on Glenhurst Road, Burnage, at about 11:00 BST on Monday.
He found the men in his house after returning from a shopping trip.
They told him they were “from the police” although they were not wearing uniforms.
Police believe the gang had broken in as there were signs the lock to the front door had been prised open.
Officers are now appealing to anyone who has information to come forward.
The first man was described as white, about 6ft (1.8m) tall, of a stocky build and was said to have an unkempt appearance, wearing blue jeans.
The other men were white, about 5ft 6in (1.7m) tall and of a similar appearance.
Det Con Lisa McGrane said: “In the blink of an eye, his entire life savings have been cruelly snatched away and he is quite understandably very shaken and very upset.”
Award for dog who took a bullet for handler
By Kurt Bayer
1:06 PM Thursday Aug 22, 2013
Senior Constable Bruce Lamb can still feel his beloved police dog Gage leaping over his head to take a bullet from a gunman.
Mr Lamb became emotional when paying tribute to his dog today when Gage was posthumously awarded the UK’s highest honour for animal bravery.
“Without him, I simply wouldn’t be here,” Mr Lamb told a gathering of his colleagues where Gage’s bravery and sacrifice was recognised with the PDSA Gold Medal.
At 11am on July 13, 2010 officers passing a house in the Christchurch suburb of Phillipstown noticed a strong smell of cannabis.
They went to the door and arrested a man there and called for back-up.
Mr Lamb and Gage arrived and went inside where they found Christopher Graeme Smith, 35, inside a locked bedroom.
Smith coughed to disguise cocking his rifle before Mr Lamb entered.
The gunman fired two shots, with one narrowly missing Mr Lamb’s head, the other smashing into his jaw. As he fell, Mr Lamb called out to alert his colleagues.
Smith cocked his gun again and as he went to shoot Mr Lamb again, Gage’s training kicked in and he jumped into the line of fire.
“I can still feel Gage going over me. Without a doubt, his actions on the day saved my life,” Mr Lamb said.
Smith fired again and hit Constable Mitch Alatalo.
Mr Lamb dragged Gage, still on his lead, outside the house. It wasn’t until he was outside that he realised Gage was dead.
That’s when he drove himself to hospital and radioed police comms: “Delta One to Comms…I’ve got a gunshot wound to the head… can you tell my boss that my dog is dead please.”
Mr Lamb, 53, remembered only a flash of the gun and seeing Smith point it at his head before Gage jumped over him and took the second shot.
The 6-year-old German shepherd was photographed lying dead in the middle of Buccleugh St in an unforgettable image.
Smith was jailed for 14 years for the attempted murder of a police dog handler, wounding of another officer and killing Gage.
Veteran dog handler Mr Lamb today paid tribute to “a pretty exceptional police dog – the best I’ve ever had”.
“He was spectacular. He did what he was trained to do. If it hadn’t hit him, it would’ve hit me, and I definitely wouldn’t be standing here today. He stepped up on the day.”
Mr Lamb described his life saviour as a strong-willed alpha dog who “thought he was entitled to an opinion”.
“He loved me to bits, but it made it difficult around other people. His need to protect me was overwhelming. He wouldn’t let my wife or family near me if he was around.
“The thing I regret most about that day, even though it was out of my control due to my injuries, was having to leave him on his own after he had laid down his life for me.
“Today’s presentation is not just recognising Gage’s sacrifice: it’s also about honouring his life and courage. I’ll forever be indebted to him.”
Acting Police Commissioner Viv Rickard said the award acknowledged the 23 police dogs killed on duty, and the fact they’re a “real important tool” for police.
Gage has now joined esteemed canine company, with just 22 other animals worldwide having been awarded the medal.
He’s the second New Zealand dog to join the ranks, after George, a tiny jack russell terrier, received the award posthumously in 2009 for saving five children when two pit bull terriers set upon them in Manaia, Taranaki.
Jan McLoughlin, Director-General of veterinary charity PDSA, said Gage’s act of bravery epitomised “the unique bond between man and dog, which should never be underestimated”.
Governor-General Lieuntenant General Sir Jerry Mataparae presented the medal, recognised as the animals’ version of the George Cross – the highest honour for civilian bravery.
“In coming to the aid of his seriously injured handler, Gage’s actions typified an unwavering bond that generates an unselfish dedication to service and courage to a mate.”
(From the Guardian)
Sussex Police apologises after sending ‘inappropriate’ tweet to protester
Force replied to tweet asking about undercover police sleeping with Balcombe protesters with a smiley
Fracking company Cuadrilla plans to Suspend drilling operations
Sussex police guard the entrance to the drilling site. The force said that a tweeted smiley was ‘inappropriate’. Photograph: Amer Ghazzal/Demotix/Corbis
The police force responsible for overseeing the recent anti-fracking campaign in Sussex has apologised after an “inappropriate” comment was posted from its official Twitter account in response to comments about undercover officers sleeping with protesters.
The force removed the tweet and said it has disciplined the member of staff involved after a smiley emoticon was tweeted from the @Sussex_police account in response to another tweet which asked if police would be infiltrating protest groups at the site in Balcombe and “fathering children with them”.
The initial tweet was a reference to recent revelations about the actions of Metropolitan police officers who spent years infiltrating protest groups, sometimes having long-term relationships involving children.
Protesters said the Sussex tweet in response was offensive and gave an insight into the mentality of the police. They also raised concerns about a second tweet which they said made light of police’s use of force against protesters.
“This isn’t just about causing offence,” said Danny Chivers from the Reclaim the Power camp that was set up last weekend in the West Sussex town. “It’s an insight into Sussex Police’s mindset and how seriously – or not – they take these issues.”
He added: “If their official media people are laughing and joking about causing physical pain to protesters and the devastation caused to people’s lives by the behaviour of undercover police, then what does that say about the culture and attitude of the force as a whole?”
The police apologised for the tweet responding to the comment about undercover officers, and removed it shortly after it was posted.
“The response to this tweet was clearly inappropriate,” said a spokesman for the Sussex force. “It was a momentary personal misjudgment about the nature of the post and the impact these events had.”
The scale of undercover police infiltration of protest groups was exposed by the Guardian. One of the most shocking revelations centred around the long-term sexual relationships many officers formed with the people they were spying on – and the devastating impact it had.
Harriet Wistrich, the solicitor acting for eight women who had relationships with officers, said the tweet suggested some police officers still did not understand seriousness of what had happened.
“It reflects the institutional sexism of the police that they think it is a laughing matter,” she said. “It suggests the police do not realise the seriousness of the violations that took place and the impact they have had.”
Sussex Police said the member of staff responsible had been disciplined.
“An apology was quickly posted and the offending message – a wordless Tweet with a smiley face – was removed. We have openly replied to people’s concerns, publicly explained why the tweet was removed and sincerely apologised for the offence caused.
“The member of staff monitoring Twitter that night has received formal management advice, is fully aware of their error and understands why it has caused such a strong reaction.”
The second tweet involved the police twitter account posting a comment about the use of pressure points which it said was “recognised nationally as one of the safest options” to control protesters. Another person tweeted a link to a picture of a character from Star Trek apparently inflicting a painful grip with the words “you don’t mean …”
@Sussex_police replied “National, international and in space! Are you a Star Trek fan?:)”
A spokesman for the force said although this tweet struck the wrong tone it had not caused the same offence as the response to the undercover tweet. He added that Sussex Police had repeatedly made clear that it took the use of force very seriously.
(From The Independent)
Man arrested after being shot by police in east London
A man who is recovering in hospital after being shot by police has been arrested on suspicion on firearms-related offences, Scotland Yard said.
Police were called to Hale End Road in Walthamstow, east London, just after 8.15pm after receiving reports that a man had been seen with a handgun.
The Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Officers, including armed officers, attended within nine minutes of the calls and challenged a man who was subsequently shot by police officers.
“Police at the scene provided first aid to the man, who had received gunshot wounds to his arms, until he could be treated by staff from the London Ambulance Service who arrived shortly afterwards.
“A non-police issue firearm has been recovered at the scene.”
The man, whose injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, was arrested after being taken to hospital for treatment.
The police force’s directorate of professional standards has been informed and the Independent Police Complaints Commission said they will launch an investigation into the incident, in line with normal procedure.
More police forces trial ‘street triage’ mental health scheme
Nurses will join police officers on emergency calls and in control rooms
Five more police forces are to pilot a scheme whereby mental health nurses accompany officers on call-outs, the government has announced.
Nurses will join patrols, assist on emergency calls and in control rooms as part of the street triage scheme.
Trials have already been established in Leicestershire and Cleveland. The new pilots will involve the British Transport Police and the Metropolitan, Thames Valley, West Midlands and West Yorkshire forces.
The extension was announced by care and support minister Norman Lamb. The scheme, funded by the Department of Health and backed by the Home Office, is aimed at improving the way people with mental health problems are treated during emergencies.’Times of crisis’ Mr Lamb said: “We know that some police forces are already doing an extremely good job of handling circumstances involving mentally ill people but we want this to be the reality everywhere.” By providing police forces with the support of health professionals we can give officers the skills they need to treat vulnerable people appropriately in times of crisis.” We have already seen encouraging results from the other pilot sites.”Derbyshire, Devon & Cornwall, North Yorkshire and Sussex force areas are also in the process of setting up street triage trials.
Minister of state for policing and criminal justice Damian Green said: “These pilots will help ensure people with serious mental health issues are given the appropriate care and support, while ensuring police officers’ time is freed up to fight crime.” They also show the good partnership work going on between health services and the police to ensure people with mental health issues are dealt with by the right emergency service.
A joint investigation by Her Majesty’s Inspectorates of Constabulary and Prisons, the Care Quality Commission and the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales called for a rethink of how powers were used to detain people in a “place of safety”. Current guidance says police should take people with mental health problems to a hospital or similar location in all but exceptional circumstances, but the investigation found detention in police cells was far from an exceptional occurrence .Some of those detained were as young as 14.Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, said she hoped the ‘street triage’ scheme would reduce the “shocking numbers” of mentally ill people detained by police.”They [police officers] often have to take people to a police cell as a place of safety because there are no beds or staff available at a hospital or healthcare facility.”This is unfair on both the police and mentally ill people, because the majority are doing nothing more than feeling suicidal or in danger of harming themselves. They need compassion and care instead of being strip-searched and locked in a police cell and treated as criminals,” she said.
Help me?! – AP