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The Special Constabulary is the United Kingdom's part-time police force. It is made up of volunteer members of the public who when on duty wear a uniform and have full police powers. There are nearly 20,000 Specials serving with police forces across the UK, working in all aspects of policing.

Our website and forum is packed with information for anyone interested in the UK's Special Constabulary - whether you're a serving Special Constable, maybe thinking of joining, or simply wanting to find out more about "Specials".

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Latest Police News

BBC: Motorway roadworks speed limit could be increased

Motorway roadworks speed limit could be increased 21 October 2017 From the section UK Image copyright PA Speed limits for motorway roadworks could be raised in England under plans aimed at reducing congestion. Currently the normal speed for such stretches of road is 50mph (80km/h). But trials carried out by Highways England found drivers' heart rates were lower when they drove at 55mph (88km/h) and 60mph (96km/h) through roadworks. The government-owned company said the new limits could come into effect in some areas this year, but unions warn it would put motorway workers at risk. Learners can drive on motorways from 2018 Highways England recruited 36 participants for two trials and provided them with dash cams, watches with heart rate monitors, and GPS trackers to monitor their reactions to driving through the quicker speed limits. The tests took place at 60mph on the M5 between junction 4A (Bromsgrove) to junction 6 (Worcester), and at 55mph on the M3 in Surrey between junction 3 and 4A. The study found 60% of those who drove in the 60mph trial zone had a decreased average heart rate, while it was lower for only 56% of those on the 55mph journey. Several deaths But trade union Unite, which represents road workers throughout the UK, said the proposed speed increases ignored the safety of those maintaining motorways, who "work in already very dangerous conditions". Image copyright Getty Images A spokesman said: "Sadly, in recent years there have been several deaths of motorway workers and these changes will make their work even more dangerous. "Already motorists frequently drive into coned-off areas. At increased speeds, it will make such potentially lethal accidents even more common." The study suggested that motorists felt more relaxed travelling at higher speeds, partly because they had a greater ability to accelerate past heavy goods vehicles. Tail-gating Edmund King, president of the AA, said that most trucks have a speed limiter set at 56mph: "And sometimes they're pretty reluctant to slow down so you get a lot of tail-gating of trucks driving very close to cars and then the cars are inclined to speed up." While Mr King said increasing the speed limit could help reduce congestion, he said it had to be targeted at the longest stretches of road works where there were no workers. He said: "When work is going on and it's in close proximity to the carriageways we should stick at lower speeds and sometimes it needs to be lower than 50mph, depending on the layout." Image copyright PA Jim O'Sullivan, chief executive of Highways England, told The Times that the 60mph limit was "something that we want to introduce to as many roadworks as possible". But Mr O'Sullivan said that lower speeds were likely to be maintained in areas with narrow lanes, contraflows or where workers are close to the road, due to safety reasons. Highways England has been testing different speed limits since September 2016 as part of a wider initiative to assess the benefits associated with increasing speed limits through roadworks. Those trials on a section of the M1 near Rotherham and on the A1 between Leeming to Barton examined the safety implications of the scheme as well as the journey-time benefits for drivers travelling through roadworks. View the full article

BBC: Storm Brian: UK braced for gale-force winds and disruption

Storm Brian: UK braced for gale-force winds and disruption 21 October 2017 From the section UK Image copyright PA Image caption Flood barriers are readied in Galway City The UK is facing gale-force winds and possible flooding from Storm Brian - days after three people died in Ireland in the aftermath of Hurricane Ophelia. Gusts of up to 70mph are predicted from Saturday morning, with forecasters warning of the potential for flooding, power cuts and transport disruption. Strong wind warnings are in place across much of Britain, including Wales, south England and the Midlands. Six flood warnings are in place across England, urging "immediate action". It comes after three people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people - mostly in the Irish Republic - were left without power after the remnants of Ophelia battered the British Isles. 'Dangerous conditions' The Met Office's chief forecaster, Dan Suri, said gusts between 45mph (72km/h) and 55mph (88km/h) were forecast widely, while gusts of 60mph (96km/h) to 70mph (112km/h) were expected in exposed coastal areas. "These are expected to coincide with high tides, leading to locally dangerous conditions in coastal parts," he said. Three killed as storm sweeps into Ireland Red sun 'caused by Hurricane Ophelia' In addition to the flood warnings, the Environment Agency has issued 42 flood alerts - meaning flooding is possible - most of which are in the west and south west of England. Flood barriers have been put in place in areas including Fowey in Cornwall, as south-western towns brace themselves to become some of the worst affected areas of the British Isles. Image copyright PA Image caption An orange weather warning - the second most severe alert - has been put in place for seven Irish counties Strong winds and high seas have already reached the western coast of Ireland. Gusts could reach 130km/h (80mph) there, Irish weather agency Met Éireann said. It has issued an orange warning - its second most severe alert - in seven Irish counties. But the winds due to be generated there "won't be anywhere near as strong as Storm Ophelia," the weather agency said. Across the UK the National Rail warned the stormy weather could affect train services, with emergency speed restrictions imposed on most of the routes in Wales. A spokesman said: "Fallen trees and other debris may temporarily block railway lines and damage overhead wires. "Speed restrictions may be imposed in the worst affected areas for safety reasons, which may delay your journey." The Environment Agency's national flood duty manager, Ben Lukey, warned people against posing for photos during the hazardous conditions. He said: "We urge people to stay safe along the coast and warn against putting yourself in unnecessary danger by taking 'storm selfies' or driving through flood water - just 30cm (11in) is enough to move your car." View the full article

BBC: Anger over Donald Trump's UK crime tweet

Anger over Donald Trump's UK crime tweet 20 October 2017 From the section UK Politics Image copyright Getty Images The US President, Donald Trump, has sparked an angry backlash in the UK with a tweet linking a rise in the crime rate to "radical Islamic terror". He said: "Just out report: 'United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.' Not good, we must keep America safe!" The Labour MP, Yvette Cooper, chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, accused Mr Trump of fuelling hate crime with his "ignorant" comments. The Home Office declined to comment. Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump Report End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump Reality Check: Is crime up or down? Crime in England and Wales went up by 13% in the 12 months to June, fuelled by a 26% increase in knife crime and a 19% increase in sexual offences, according to the latest figures, published on Thursday. The number of homicides (cases of murder and manslaughter) increased by 46 to 629, excluding the terror attacks in London and Manchester. 'Outright fear mongering' Yvette Cooper said in a statement: "Hate crime in the UK has gone up by almost 30% and rubbish like this tweet from Donald Trump is designed to provoke even more of it. "It is appalling that we have reached the point where inflammatory and ignorant statements from the President of the United States are now seen as normal. "If we are to properly tackle hate crime and every other crime, we have to challenge this kind of nonsense." Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called on Theresa May to "publicly condemn" Donald Trump for "outright fearmongering". She added: "Donald Trump's reactionary tweet isn't just inaccurate, it's also inflammatory. "It's about time that the British government take a stand against Trump's bigotry, and make a clear public statement saying that his damaging remarks are unwelcome." 'Spreading fear' Conservative backbencher Nicholas Soames, grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, responded to Mr Trump's tweet by calling the US president a "daft twerp" who needed to "fix gun control." Former Labour minister, Hilary Benn, told BBC News: "I am sure we would all appreciate it if we could see a reduction in the number of tweets like this from the president of the United States." Labour's Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, tweeted: "Officer, I'd like to report a hate crime." Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson also responded to the president's tweet, accusing him of "misleading and spreading fear". The Office for National Statistics said it would not comment on Mr Trump's tweet, but added that the survey relates to all crimes in England and Wales between 2016 and 2017. The statistics show that in the year ending June 2017, of the 664 homicides in England and Wales, 35 were caused by the London and Manchester terror attacks. Scotland has a similar survey on perceptions of crime that runs every two years. In the most recent one, published in 2016, crimes committed against adults were down 16% since the previous survey in 2012-13. Crimes recorded by the police in Scotland are at their lowest level since 1974. View the full article

Henry Hicks: Met officers cleared over moped crash death

Four Met officers have been cleared of gross misconduct over an 18-year-old man who died when his moped crashed as he was being followed by police. Henry Hicks, 18, was trying to flee from officers in two unmarked cars when he died, an inquest jury found. Police were following Mr Hicks at more than 50mph when he crashed on a moped in Islington, in December 2014. A Met Police disciplinary panel ruled the four officers were not technically in a police pursuit at the time. The Hicks family left within seconds of the decision being announced and made no comment. Image copyright Google Image caption Henry Hicks died after he collided with another vehicle on Wheelwright Street in Islington The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) had previously concluded the pursuit had been carried out without proper authorisation and the officers should face disciplinary proceedings. However, the panel ruled the accusations were not proven as they were not technically engaged in a pursuit, as defined by police rules. Stop and search Under Met Police policy, the control room has to be immediately alerted to pursuits, which must be authorised in all but exceptional circumstances. Mr Hicks died when his moped crashed into a minicab in Wheelwright Street, near to Pentonville prison. He was found to be carrying seven bags of skunk cannabis and multiple phones. The teenager had been stopped and searched at least 71 times between October 2011 and December 2014.

BBC: Brexit: Theresa May urges new dynamic in Brexit talks

Brexit: Theresa May urges new dynamic in Brexit talks 19 October 2017 From the section UK Politics Related Topics Brexit Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mrs May addressed her fellow EU leaders at a working dinner on Thursday Theresa May has urged EU leaders to create a "dynamic" in Brexit talks that "enables us to move forward together", at a working dinner in Brussels. The UK PM wants to move onto trade talks but her fellow EU leaders are expected to say on Friday there has not been enough progress in negotiations. But they may agree to begin talking among themselves about trade. Mrs May, excluded from Friday's meeting, told leaders on Thursday that "firm progress" was being made. A source told the BBC the prime minister told them there was an increasing feeling "that we must work together to get to an outcome that we can stand behind and defend to our people". EU leaders have gathered in Brussels for a crunch summit to assess the progress made so far in Brexit negotiations with the UK, which is due to leave the EU in March 2019, following last year's referendum result. Reality Check: How are the Brexit talks actually going? Tell EU you'll walk away, Eurosceptics tell May 'More delays' to key Brexit bill Creative sector warns of Brexit threat Brexit: All you need to know While Mrs May attended on Thursday, she will leave early on Friday, when the other leaders discuss Brexit without her. They are expected to officially conclude "insufficient progress" has been made in negotiations over citizens' rights, the UK's financial obligation and the border in Northern Ireland to allow them to move onto the second phase of talks which will deal with trade discussions. On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there were "encouraging" signs of progress in Brexit negotiations and suggested trade talks could begin in December - when EU leaders are next scheduled to meet. 'Joint endeavour' Over a working dinner of gnocchi and "pheasant supreme" on Thursday night, the prime minister told fellow EU leaders she was determined the UK would be a strong partner on issues from security, defence and climate change to trade, a senior government source told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg. The PM told them the EU-UK's future relationship should be a "close economic partnership" which supports "prosperity for all our peoples" and that they could be optimistic and ambitious as they already shared "the same set of fundamental beliefs". Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDutch PM Mark Rutte: More details needed from UKShe urged a "joint effort and endeavour" when her fellow EU leaders agreed on their approach on Friday and said the "urgent imperative must be that the dynamic you create enables us to move forward together". The other leaders are not expected to respond to her statement and Mrs May was not expected to offer anything new on the issue of the so-called divorce bill, a key sticking point. BBC Europe editor Katya Adler said all EU leaders knew Mrs May was in a politically difficult situation and did not want her to go home empty handed, so had promised they would start talking about trade and transition deals among themselves, as early as Monday. This could allow formal negotiations to begin around Christmas, if EU leaders deem sufficient progress has been made in discussions on other issues. Meanwhile a group of pro-Brexit Tory and Labour politicians has urged Mrs May to walk away from negotiations this week if the EU does not accommodate the UK's wishes. Labour's Brexit spokesman, Sir Keir Starmer, said it would be "irresponsible" to threaten to walk away with the talks only at "phase one". Sir Keir and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are also in Brussels for their own talks. View the full article

Norfolk Police scraps PCSOs, closes seven stations and shuts front desks in radical reform

Norfolk’s police chief today revealed massive changes to the way the force will run. Extremely concornign for those about to loose their jobs.

BBC: Crime rises by 13% in England and Wales, ONS statistics say This is being reported across a lot of the papers and news programmes. Difficult reading again for chiefs and the government. Surely it is becoming harder and harder for them to keep their heads buried in the sand particularly when we are talking about rises in violent crime, knife crime and serious offences such as murders. This linked with the recent discussions on the unprecedented terrorism threat. There was a minister on the news at lunchtime regurgitating the same old lines about protecting police budgets, flat cash or slight increases in budgets etc etc. I also think they have used up the excuse now of crime rising due to better recording practices as this was used to explain rises last year. Will it make any difference though?

BBC: Brexit: May offers more assurances to EU nationals

Brexit: May offers more assurances to EU nationals 18 October 2017 From the section UK Politics Related Topics Brexit Image copyright AFP Image caption Theresa May says the future of British and EU nationals has always been her "first priority" Theresa May has vowed to make it as easy as possible for EU citizens to remain in the UK after Brexit ahead of a key summit of European leaders. In a Facebook post, the prime minister insisted the application process for settled status would be "streamlined" and the cost "as low as possible". She said representatives of EU citizens will sit on a "user group" which will iron out any problems in the system. The other 27 EU leaders will assess overall progress in the talks so far. At a meeting on Friday, at which the UK will not be present, they are expected to conclude officially that "insufficient progress" has been made on the status of EU nationals in the UK and British expats on the continent - and other separation issues - to move onto the second phase of trade discussions. European Council President Donald Tusk said there would be no "breakthrough" at the two-day summit, but progress could be achieved by the next scheduled meeting of EU leaders in December. EU bill 'won't be debated this month' Brexit: What is at stake in EU-UK talks? Deadlock over UK's Brexit bill - Barnier Before leaving for Brussels, Mrs May used her Facebook post to offer further assurances to the three million or so nationals of other EU countries living in the UK and uncertain about their future after Brexit. In her message, she said those who already had permanent residence would be able to "swap this" for settled status in as hassle-free a way as possible. Some encouragement for UK Image copyright AFP Analysis by Europe correspondent Kevin Connolly The October summit was always the first date in the EU calendar on which a gathering of the 27 heads of government could declare themselves satisfied with the Brexit divorce negotiations and agree to start talking about trade. It's been clear for weeks that they won't do that - but they will offer the UK some encouragement by starting internal discussions about future trade with the UK - ready for any breakthrough at the next summit in December. Theresa May isn't expected to make any big new proposal in her after-dinner remarks but to underline the quality of the financial offer made in her speech in Florence - worth around £20bn. The EU side wants more though - more money as well as further movement on citizens rights and the Irish border. There are almost as many predictions about what happens next as there as diplomats in Brussels; one has suggested that the prospects of a December breakthrough are no better than fifty-fifty but an official close to the talks said the signal on Brexit from this summit would be fundamentally positive. "I know there is real anxiety about how the agreement will be implemented," she wrote. "People are concerned that the process will be complicated and bureaucratic, and will put up hurdles that are difficult to overcome. I want to provide reassurance here too. "We are developing a streamlined digital process for those applying for settled status in the UK in the future. This process will be designed with users in mind, and we will engage with them every step of the way." The process of applying for permanent residency, for which EU nationals are eligible after five years, has long been criticised as cumbersome and overly bureaucratic. At one point, it involved filling out an 85-page form. 'People first' In simplifying it, Mrs May said she was committed to putting "people first" in the negotiations and expected British nationals living on the continent to be treated in the same way. "I know both sides will consider each other's proposals with an open mind and with flexibility and creativity on both sides, I am confident we can conclude discussions on citizens' rights in the coming weeks." Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThornberry: Labour will not accept a no-deal BrexitMrs May, who will address other leaders at a working dinner on Thursday, wants mutual dialogue on the UK's future relationship with the EU, including trade and defence, to begin as soon as possible. But Mr Tusk is expected to propose to the 27 EU leaders that they begin talks amongst themselves about Britain's future relationship with the EU, when it leaves the bloc in March 2019. As well as citizens' rights, the two sides remain at odds over the so-called financial "divorce" settlement and the future of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. A group of pro-Brexit Tory and Labour politicians, including former Chancellor Lord Lawson, is urging Mrs May to walk away from negotiations this week if the EU does not accommodate the UK's wishes. A letter to the PM, organised by the Leave Means Leave campaign and also signed by pro-Brexit business figures, says the government "has been more than patient" and "decisive action" is now needed to end the "highly damaging" levels of uncertainty facing businesses. In the event of no progress at Thursday's meeting, the letter says, Mrs May should formally declare the UK is working on the assumption it will be reverting to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules on 30 March 2019. Early notification of such a move would allow the UK to "concentrate our resources on resolving administrative issues" and prepare to "crystallise the economic opportunities" of Brexit, it adds. View the full article

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