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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: Former PM to lead UK-China investment role

16 December 2017 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption As prime minister, David Cameron said the UK and China were in a "golden era" of trade relations David Cameron is to take on a new official role leading a UK government investment initiative between Britain and China. The former prime minister will take charge of a £750m ($1bn) fund to improve ports, roads and rail networks between China and its trading partners. The government said the so-called Belt and Road Initiative would "create employment and boost trade links". It comes after Chancellor Philip Hammond's two-day trip to China. The Belt and Road Initiative was first unveiled in 2013, but this year China's President Xi Jinping pledged £96bn ($124bn) for the scheme. The Chinese government said it would invest tens of billions of dollars as part of an ambitious economic plan to rebuild ports, roads and rail networks linking China and its trading partners. President Xi intends on developing ancient trade routes through China and Europe to make it easier for the world to trade with China. China hopes that by improving and creating trade links with other countries - by sea and rail - will help boost its economic growth of the Asian superpower, which has slowed in recent years. Mr Cameron's involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative marks his return to a political role, after he resigned following the EU referendum last year. A statement from the Treasury also detailed progress on allowing British banks and insurers to access the Asian superpower's bond and insurance markets. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhat China's One Belt, One Road really meansCameron promotes the UK-China 'golden era' By Robin Brant David Cameron has adopted a fairly low profile since he left Downing Street last year. He's campaigned for more research into dementia and stuck by the national citizen service he set up in office. Now he'll be involved in investing hundreds of millions of pounds in projects linked to China's awkwardly named Belt and Road Initiative. The private fund will be supported by the British government but won't involve any taxpayer's money. It will focus on projects in the UK and China and countries that China assists in central Asia and Europe. China's plan is not without controversy though as some critics see it as a global push to increase Beijing's political influence and presence. Mr Cameron championed a drive to increase trade ties with China while he was prime minister, marking what both sides now call a "golden era". Reuters news agency said the UK and China had agreed to accelerate preparations for a London-Shanghai stock connect programme. But the BBC understand plans to link the London Stock Exchange with its counterparts in Shanghai and Shenzhen remain at the "research stage". View the full article

BBC: Brexit: UK must not be EU 'colony' after Brexit

Brexit: UK must not be EU 'colony' after Brexit 16 December 2017 Related TopicsBrexit Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionConservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Newsnight the EU's terms for a transition period are unacceptable.A leading Brexiteer has said the UK cannot become a "colony" of the EU during the two year transition period after Britain's withdrawal in 2019. EU leaders have agreed Brexit talks can move on, with the UK staying in the customs union, single market and under the European Court of Justice's jurisdiction during the transition. Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said that would be unacceptable. But Tory remainer Ken Clarke said the UK must not "go off a cliff edge". The former chancellor told BBC Newsnight that during the transition the UK would continue economically under the current terms, but would have left the union politically. Otherwise, he said it would be a "disaster" if come March 2019 negotiations were not finished and the UK would have to resort to tariff and customs barriers. "I doubt we'd get the planning permission for the lorry parks in time," he said. However, Mr Rees-Mogg said leaving under these terms would be "a ridiculous position to be in". "The transition which the EU is offering means that we're still effectively in the European Union for the following two years," he told Newsnight. Reality Check: Guidelines for Brexit negotiations Move to head off another Brexit rebellion On Friday, Prime Minister Theresa May hailed an "important step" as Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, announced that all 27 EU leaders were happy to move on to the next phase of negotiations. The first issue to be discussed, early next year, will be the details of the expected two-year transition period after the UK's exit. Death threat The EU has published its guidelines which say: "As the UK will continue to participate in the customs union and the single market during the transition, it will have to continue to comply with EU trade policy." The three-page document says the UK will remain under the jurisdiction of the ECJ and be required to permit freedom of movement during any transition period. But Mr Rees-Mogg said such a situation would make the UK "a vassal" - or subordinate - state of the EU, having to accept laws "without any say-so" from the British people. Mrs May suffered her first Commons Brexit defeat earlier this week when MPs voted to give Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels. Among the Tory rebels was Mr Clarke, who told Newsnight his actions had in no way undermined the government's negotiating position. He said he had since received a death threat, although he added it was not his first. View the full article

BBC: Student Liam Allan 'betrayed' after rape trial collapse

Student Liam Allan 'betrayed' after rape trial collapse 15 December 2017 Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionLiam Allan had been on bail for two years before his trial collapsedA man whose rape trial collapsed after detectives failed to disclose vital evidence to the defence said he felt "betrayed" by police and the CPS. Liam Allan was charged with 12 counts of rape and sexual assault but his trial collapsed after police were ordered to hand over phone records. The 22-year-old student said his life had been "flipped upside down" and he wanted lessons to be learned. The Met Police said it was "urgently reviewing this investigation". The case against Mr Allan at Croydon Crown Court was dropped after three days when the evidence on a computer disk containing 40,000 messages revealed the alleged victim pestered him for "casual sex". Met review after rape trial collapse Police evidence failings 'harm cases' He told the BBC his life had been "torn away" by the process, which included being on bail for two years. "You just think the worst case scenario... People have to start planning for life without you," he said. Mr Allan faced a possible jail term of 12 years and being put on the sex offenders register for life had he been found guilty. He said he felt "pure fear" when he learned he had been accused of rape but would never be able to understand why the accusations were made. Image copyright News UK Image caption Liam Allan, seen here with his supporters outside court on Thursday "There was no possible real gain from it other than destroying somebody else's life... It's something I will never be able to forgive or forget." But he said he wanted to use his experience "to change the system". "This wasn't a case of people trying to prove my innocence, it was a case of people trying to prove I was guilty," Mr Allan said. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionCase barrister: It's just sheer incompetenceIt is understood police had looked at thousands of phone messages when reviewing evidence in the case, but had failed to disclose to the prosecution and defence teams messages between the complainant and her friends which cast doubt on the allegations against Mr Allan. Prosecution barrister Jerry Hayes accused police of "sheer incompetence" over the case. Before the trial the defence team had repeatedly asked for the phone messages to be disclosed but was told there was nothing to disclose. Mr Hayes, who demanded the messages to be passed to the defence, said he believed the trial had come about because "everyone is under pressure". "This is a criminal justice system which is not just creaking, it's about to croak," he said. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe BBC's Legal Correspondent Clive Coleman gives his analysis of the caseMr Allan's lawyer Simone Meerabux said it had been "a very traumatic experience" for her client. She said it was "amazing" the case had got to the stage it did "but it's not uncommon" because of problems with disclosure. A Met spokesman said the force was "urgently reviewing this investigation and will be working with the Crown Prosecution Service to understand exactly what has happened in this case. "The Met understands the concerns that have been raised as a result of this case being dismissed from court and the ongoing review will seek to address those," he said. A spokesman for the CPS said: "In November 2017, the police provided more material in the case of Liam Allan. Upon a review of that material, it was decided that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. "We will now be conducting a management review together with the Metropolitan Police to examine the way in which this case was handled." View the full article

Met Police to conduct urgent review after rape trial collapse

The Met Police is to hold an "urgent" review of a rape case after being accused of failing to disclose vital evidence. Liam Allan, 22, was charged with 12 counts of rape and sexual assault but his trial collapsed after police were ordered to hand over phone records. A computer disk containing 40,000 messages revealed the alleged victim pestered Mr Allan for "casual sex". Prosecution barrister Jerry Hayes accused police of "pure incompetence". The charges against the criminology student were dropped three days into the trial at Croydon Crown Court when Mr Hayes took over the case. 'Villain to innocent' It is understood police had looked at thousands of phone messages when reviewing evidence in the case, but had failed to disclose to the prosecution and defence teams messages between the complainant and her friends which cast doubt on the allegations against Mr Allan. The CPS said it offered no evidence in the case on Thursday as there was "no longer a realistic prospect of conviction". Mr Allan told the BBC he was "overwhelmed" at the moment, adding: "It's a huge amount of confusion to go from being the villain to being innocent." He also told The Times he had suffered two years of "mental torture... I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing — the system I want to work in." Read Full Story

Police Scotland to train 500 new Taser officers

Police Scotland will increase its Taser capability by 500 officers after a sharp rise in the number of assaults. So far this year, 969 officers have been assaulted - an increase of nearly 27% on the 764 recorded in 2016. The plans, which will be put to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), are aimed at improving public safety. The force also confirmed it is extending the role of Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) officers to allow them to be deployed to more non-firearms calls. Deputy Chief Constable Johnny Gwynne said the newly-trained officers will be based in all 13 local policing divisions. 'Increasing threats' Mr Gwynne said: "Our officers are facing increasing threats of violence from people with knives and other bladed weapons. "We've also seen an increase in the number of officers attacked while carrying out their everyday duties. "We will shortly begin the selection process for around 500 conventional uniformed officers to be trained to carry Taser." The proposal follows an extensive programme of engagement with the SPA, politicians and other key stakeholders. The officers, who will start training in May and be operational by August, will be deployed in urban and rural areas. Mr Gwynne said extending the role of Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) officers to allow them to be deployed to more non-firearms calls would be a more efficient use of resources. ARVs currently deploy to firearms incidents, threat-to-life incidents or deal with anything they come across during the course of their patrols using their professional judgement. The removal of the current restrictions will also be presented to the SPA at a public meeting on Tuesday and will come into effect early in the New Year. 'Inefficient' deployment Mr Gwynne said: "We have increased the number of ARV officers available in our communities but our current deployment model is inefficient. "It does not allow these officers to be sent by the control room to anything other than firearms or threat-to-life incidents. "They already respond to things they come across and are sent to other incidents where there's a threat to life but no firearms are involved." The officers are trained in advanced emergency first aid and have assisted in incidents, such as road traffic accidents, where they have reached the scene before an ambulance. They will also support national campaigns, targeting crimes such as drink-driving and speeding. In 2014, the appearance of armed officers on routine tasks sparked a row but Mr Gwynne said the force had learned from the experience. He added: "We are aware that in the past there have been some concerns about the role of armed police officers in our communities and that previously we have not engaged as well as we could have when making decisions about how they are deployed." 'Extreme violence' In June last year the force announced an additional 124 firearms officers , including 99 dedicated to ARVs. David Hamilton, vice chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, praised the force for listening to the concerns expressed in a recent survey . He said: "The extreme violence and dangers police officers face on a daily basis are poorly understood by those outwith the police service. "Far too often police officers are seriously assaulted and injured when dealing with violent events. "Whilst not the panacea to all the threats we face, evidence from across the world shows Taser reduces such assaults and injuries considerably, and leads to safer outcomes for police officers, the public and offenders." Mr Hamilton said the force had a duty to ensure its members have appropriate safety equipment. He added: "We believe this announcement represents an awakening in the service that its obligations to the safety of its officers can no longer be set aside." Meanwhile, Police Scotland has confirmed it will buy new drones to use as alternatives to the force helicopter in rural and remote areas. The technology will mainly be used in the hunt for missing people. Extra cyber hubs will also be set up, as part of a £3.6m investment, to help specialists tackle the rise in internet-related investigations. Other elements of the plan, which will also be put before the SPA next week, include piloting a range of mobile devices for operational use and a public consultation on body cameras. Source - BBC

BBC: Eight jailed for smuggling drugs into prisons by drones

Eight jailed for smuggling drugs into prisons by drones 13 December 2017 Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPolice have released footage of the gang caught in the act.The ringleader of a gang who smuggled drugs and phones into prisons using drones has been jailed for seven years and two months. Former armed robber Craig Hickinbottom organised the flights from behind bars, Birmingham Crown Court was told. His gang put goods worth more than an estimated £1m into jails as far apart as the West Midlands and Perthshhire. The packages were attached to fishing lines, and flown over prison walls. Seven others were also sentenced. The group were caught by chance, by cameras set up to film wildlife outside Hewell Prison in Worcestershire. View the full article

Row over 'smell of cannabis' police stops

A row has broken out over advice given to police in England and Wales telling them not to stop and search people only because they smell of cannabis. It was first given to police last year and was reiterated by an Inspectorate of Constabulary report on Tuesday. The advice says officers should look at other factors like behaviour as well. But some officers, including the chief constable of Merseyside Police, said they disagreed. The College of Policing said it plans to review the guidance. Police officers can use stop-and-search powers if they have "reasonable grounds" to suspect someone is carrying items such as drugs, weapons or stolen property. Last year, they were given new guidance by the College of Policing that the smell of cannabis on its own would not normally justify stopping and searching someone or their vehicle. But the Inspectorate of Constabulary said many officers were unaware of the guidance and it is now urging forces to encourage officers to not rely on a smell alone. However, Chief Constable Andy Cooke, of Merseyside Police, said he would not be giving that advice to his teams. He tweeted: "I disagree. The guidance in my view is wrong and the law does not preclude it. "Smell of cannabis is sufficient to stop search and I will continue to encourage my officers to use it particularly on those criminals who are engaged in serious and organised crime." Matt Locke, of Northumbria Police, described the guidance as "inconsistent", adding that it was "a bit of a dog's dinner". Read Full Story

Brighton shoplifter sues Sussex Police over Taser arrest

A man suing Sussex Police after he was Tasered has told a court the incident left him anxious and suicidal. A Taser was used on Paul McClelland in July 2013 in a car park in Brighton as he was being arrested for shoplifting. A video of the arrest was passed to The Argus newspaper at the time. In a civil case against the chief constable of Sussex, Mr McClelland is claiming the police used excessive force in carrying out the arrest. Sussex Police has rejected the claim. Sophie Khan, Mr McClelland's solicitor advocate, said he was bringing the case against Chief Constable Giles York because he believed he was Tasered unreasonably when he was surrendering and moving backwards to be handcuffed He was arrested in Western Road, Brighton. An internal police investigation found the force had done everything correctly and there was no evidence of misconduct. Mr McClelland, 41, pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer, common assault and theft at Brighton Magistrates' Court two months later, and was given a community service order. On Monday, His Honour Judge Simpkiss, sitting at the County Court at Brighton, was shown the video of what happened. The court was shown the situation from three different angles, as recorded by council CCTV, a body-worn police camera, and a video filmed by a passer-by. Mr McLelland admitted he had been sat on the beach drinking strong lager before the incident. Before he was Tasered he removed his shirt and adopted a boxing stance, shouting to police: "Come on." He agreed that he would not have behaved that way had he been sober, the court heard. He said the pain of the electric shock was like "death". "You can't breathe, it takes your breath away," he told the court. The case continues. Source - BBC

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