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special constable

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: Theresa May Brexit speech to be 'open and generous offer' to EU

Theresa May Brexit speech to be 'open and generous offer' to EU 21 September 2017 From the section UK Politics comments Related Topics Brexit Image copyright AFP Theresa May's speech on Brexit in Italy on Friday will represent an "open and generous offer" to the rest of the EU, a cabinet minister has told the BBC. It is thought that might include a guarantee that no EU country would lose out from changes to the EU's current budget as a result of the UK leaving. But another minister warned against offering too much money, saying "it's our only leverage". Mrs May briefed her cabinet on Thursday morning about the speech. The event in Florence is being seen as an attempt to break the deadlock on the negotiations, with the EU unhappy at the lack of progress on agreeing the UK's "divorce bill" from Brussels. Ben Wright: The Brexit transition options A guide to the Brexit negotiations Johnson denies cabinet Brexit split The cabinet meeting - which at two and a half hours was much longer than usual - came amid reports of ministerial splits over Brexit. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was accused of undermining the PM with a 4,000-word article about Brexit. He subsequently denied reports he planned to resign if his blueprint was not followed and described the government as "a nest of singing birds". The foreign secretary and prime minister travelled back from the United Nations in New York on the same flight on Wednesday night. And in a carefully orchestrated show of unity Mr Johnson and Chancellor Philip Hammond - often seen to represent different views on Brexit - left No 10 together, smiling to waiting reporters. Debate ahead of the speech has focused on the detail of the time-limited transition period after Brexit, how much the UK will pay as it leaves, and whether it will continue contributing to EU budgets in years to come. So far, the government has said the UK will honour its commitments but that the days of "giving huge sums of money" are over. Downing Street has also described as "speculation" a Financial Times report that chief Brexit "sherpa" Olly Robbins, who reports directly to Mrs May, had told Germany she will offer to pay £20bn in the period up to 2020 to cover gaps in the budget left by the UK's departure. The fourth round of Brexit negotiations begins on 25 September, with the UK due to leave the EU in March 2019. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhy Florence?Analysis - By BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg We are one of the biggest contributors to the EU pot, so leaving dents the planned financial arrangements if we just go and take our cheque book with us. If that is the promise that is roughly to the tune of £20bn, although it would be surprising if Theresa May named a figure herself - it's not her style and any actual numbers will be subject to far-off negotiations. But in terms of the bill, that could just be the start of it. Plugging the hole in the current budget doesn't deal with what the EU sees as our long-term obligations - whether that's diplomats' pensions or our share of money that's been loaned to other countries. Read Laura's full blog The UK is keen to intensify their pace and open discussions on the country's future relationship with the EU, including trade, as soon as possible. But this cannot happen until the EU deems sufficient progress has been made on the initial subjects being discussed, including the UK's financial settlement. The two sides are also trying to reach agreement on the status of UK and EU expats after Brexit, and the impact of Brexit on the Northern Ireland border. The pro-European Liberal Democrats called on Mrs May to clamp down on Cabinet dissent by sacking Boris Johnson and to use her Florence speech to "drop her reckless insistence that no deal is better than a bad deal". The party's Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: "This a chance for the prime minister to show she's listened to the message sent by voters at the election and to seek a Brexit deal that has majority support in the country. "That should include staying in the single market, separating the issue of EU nationals' rights so they are not used as bargaining chips, and giving the public a vote on the final deal." View the full article

BBC: Boy, 17, arrested over Tube attack

21 September 2017 From the section UK Police arrest a 17-year-old boy in south London in connection with last Friday's terror attack on a Tube train This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. If you want to receive Breaking News alerts via email, or on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App then details on how to do so are available on this help page. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. View the full article

Avon and Somerset Police at tipping point

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-41319545 Another county force at breaking point. They join an illustrious line of forces in crisis.

BBC: Abandoned 999 calls to police more than double

The number of abandoned 999 calls to UK police control rooms has more than doubled in the last year, BBC Freedom of Information requests have shown. The BBC has seen correspondence between police leaders expressing "concern" about high call volumes. A Police Federation spokesman says resources are at a critical level and public safety has been compromised. The Home Office says it expects crimes reported to police to be investigated thoroughly. A document seen by the BBC describes how one force is receiving New Year's Eve call volumes every day, and sets out a longer term intention to recruit more control room staff. Louise Haigh, Labour's shadow police minister, says policing is close to being broken. Terror attacks Across the UK, the number of abandoned 999 calls more than doubled in the 12 months from June 2016 - rising from 8,000 to 16,300 across the 32 forces able to provide information. Police forces that dealt with the terror attacks earlier this year saw a large rise in the number of abandoned calls they experienced. The Met had 5,134 more 999 calls abandoned, while 716 more calls to Greater Manchester Police were abandoned in this period. The number of 101 non-emergency calls abandoned has also risen by 116% June to June, with 230,000 more calls abandoned. The number of 999 calls across the UK overall has risen by 15% in the year to June 2017. What is an abandoned call? 999 - When someone calls 999, they are connected by a BT operator to the police but hangs up before being connected to a police operator. 101 - When someone calls the police via the non-emergency 101 number, but hangs up before being connected to a police operator. Calum Macleod, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says there are a number of theories as to why the call numbers have risen. "One, crime is actually rising so you are seeing more crime day-to-day, and two, there's less visibility so the public is feeling less secure in their day-to-day environment," he said. He says resources are at a critical level and that the loss of 40,000 police officers and police staff will have an impact on service delivery. "This is unsustainable. I'm certain the safety and security of the public is compromised." Mr Macleod noted the strain this was placing on police officers. "Officers have to go from call to call to call during their shift. there is no respite," he said. He explained that eight in 10 staff were showing signs of anxiety, stress and some more serious mental health issues. He added: "90% of them are putting it down to the pressures they are under at this moment in time. The police service is on its knees." Forces with the biggest rises in abandoned 999 calls from June 2016 to June 2017 Hertfordshire Constabulary: 62 to 680 Cambridgeshire Constabulary: 26 to 219 Gloucestershire Constabulary: 18 to 145 Merseyside Police: 94 to 411 Greater Manchester Police: 312 to 1,028 Metropolitan Police Service: 2,606 to 7,740 Close to broken Ms Haigh says police are telling her staff cuts have left fewer officers to dispatch to calls. "We need to increase the budget in real terms to deal with the demands the police are facing," she said. "I think policing is very, very close to broken. "It is very difficult for police forces to deliver a professional police service with the budgets they have got and we are very close to the collapse of policing." Image copyrightPA The number of abandoned 999 calls to UK police control rooms has more than doubled in the last year, BBC Freedom of Information requests have shown. The BBC has seen correspondence between police leaders expressing "concern" about high call volumes. A Police Federation spokesman says resources are at a critical level and public safety has been compromised. The Home Office says it expects crimes reported to police to be investigated thoroughly. A document seen by the BBC describes how one force is receiving New Year's Eve call volumes every day, and sets out a longer term intention to recruit more control room staff. Louise Haigh, Labour's shadow police minister, says policing is close to being broken. Terror attacks Across the UK, the number of abandoned 999 calls more than doubled in the 12 months from June 2016 - rising from 8,000 to 16,300 across the 32 forces able to provide information. Police forces that dealt with the terror attacks earlier this year saw a large rise in the number of abandoned calls they experienced. The Met had 5,134 more 999 calls abandoned, while 716 more calls to Greater Manchester Police were abandoned in this period. The number of 101 non-emergency calls abandoned has also risen by 116% June to June, with 230,000 more calls abandoned. The number of 999 calls across the UK overall has risen by 15% in the year to June 2017. What is an abandoned call? 999 - When someone calls 999, they are connected by a BT operator to the police but hangs up before being connected to a police operator. 101 - When someone calls the police via the non-emergency 101 number, but hangs up before being connected to a police operator. Calum Macleod, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says there are a number of theories as to why the call numbers have risen. "One, crime is actually rising so you are seeing more crime day-to-day, and two, there's less visibility so the public is feeling less secure in their day-to-day environment," he said. He says resources are at a critical level and that the loss of 40,000 police officers and police staff will have an impact on service delivery. "This is unsustainable. I'm certain the safety and security of the public is compromised." Image captionCalum Macleod of the Police Federation says resources are at a critical level Mr Macleod noted the strain this was placing on police officers. "Officers have to go from call to call to call during their shift. there is no respite," he said. He explained that eight in 10 staff were showing signs of anxiety, stress and some more serious mental health issues. He added: "90% of them are putting it down to the pressures they are under at this moment in time. The police service is on its knees." Forces with the biggest rises in abandoned 999 calls from June 2016 to June 2017 Hertfordshire Constabulary: 62 to 680 Cambridgeshire Constabulary: 26 to 219 Gloucestershire Constabulary: 18 to 145 Merseyside Police: 94 to 411 Greater Manchester Police: 312 to 1,028 Metropolitan Police Service: 2,606 to 7,740 Close to broken Ms Haigh says police are telling her staff cuts have left fewer officers to dispatch to calls. "We need to increase the budget in real terms to deal with the demands the police are facing," she said. "I think policing is very, very close to broken. "It is very difficult for police forces to deliver a professional police service with the budgets they have got and we are very close to the collapse of policing." Image captionAlan Todd of the NPCC says forces have had to make hard choices due to increasing demand Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd, the National Police Chiefs' Council's lead for contact management, said police funding was a political choice for politicians to determine. "We senior police officers are charged with taking the funds that are made available to us and delivering the best service we can to the public," he said. "Against the backdrop of increasing demand, that does prove for some hard choices." He said pressure on police could be reduced if the public made sure they used 999 for emergencies only. The Home Office declined to be interviewed. In a statement, it said: "Every person contacting 999 and 101 deserves a good service from the police and their calls to be handled within a reasonable time. "We expect the crimes reported to them to be taken seriously, investigated thoroughly and, wherever possible, the perpetrators brought to justice." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41173745

BBC: UK 'biggest audience' in Europe for jihadist web content

UK 'biggest audience' in Europe for jihadist web content 19 September 2017 From the section UK Image copyright Reuters Online jihadist propaganda attracts more clicks in the UK than any other country in Europe, a report has found. Britain is the fifth-biggest audience in the world for extremist content after Turkey, the US, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Policy Exchange's study said. The think tank suggested the UK public would support new laws criminalising reading content that glorifies terror. The government has told internet companies like Facebook and Google to do more to to remove jihadist material. Former US military chief General David Petraeus, who wrote a foreword to the report, said efforts to combat online extremism were "inadequate". He said the bombing of a London Tube train last week "merely underscored once again the ever-present nature of this threat." "There is no doubting the urgency of this matter," he said. "The status quo clearly is unacceptable." Islamic State group: The full story The report suggested new laws to criminalise the "aggravated possession and/or persistent consumption" of extremist ideology - but not to criminalise someone who "stumbles across" jihadist content. It said child pornography was approached in a similar way, with tougher penalties for the most serious cases. Under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, it is currently an offence to possess information that could assist a would-be terrorist, but not material which glorifies terrorism. Policy Exchange surveyed 2,001 adults in the UK, finding 74% of people supported new laws to criminalise the "persistent consumption" of extremist material online. 'Vast' online presence Its 130-page report found IS produces more than 100 new articles, videos and newspapers in a week - saying any decline of the terror group in the online space had been "significantly overstated". "For at least a year, the production of content has continued despite the death of key figures, loss of territory and ongoing fighting," it said. The jihadist group has retreated from territories it has seized in the Middle East, following pressure from a number of Iraqi and Syrian forces. Image copyright AFP Image caption IS militants are moving to less well-known sites after being chased off mainstream social media IS, also known as Daesh, disseminated its online propaganda across a "vast ecosystem" of platforms, the report found - including file-sharing services, encrypted messaging platforms and social media websites, as well as Facebook, Google and Twitter. Internet giants say they have made efforts to clamp down on extremist content, with Google describing online extremism as a "critical challenge for us all". Facebook said it was working "aggressively to remove terrorist content" from its website, and had developed a shared industry database of "hashes" - unique digital footprints - which catalogues violent extremist videos or images. Twitter said that terrorist content had no place on its platform. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "We know that Daesh pose a threat online and this report helps to highlight the scale of the issue. "I have made it crystal clear to internet bosses that they need to go further and faster to remove terrorist content from their websites and prevent it being uploaded in the first place." The report suggested the UK government introduce a "sliding scale" of measures to bear down on internet companies - including giving the proposed new commission for countering extremism powers to oversee the removal of online content. Policy Exchange said 74% of Britons surveyed thought big internet companies should be more pro-active in locating and deleting extremist content. Martyn Frampton, Policy Exchange's co-head of security and extremism, said governments and security services were playing a "fruitless game of whack-a-mole" by focusing on removing individual pieces of content. "If the internet companies won't do what their customers want and take more responsibility for removing this content, then government must take action through additional regulation and legislation," he said. Mrs Rudd added: "The internet cannot be used as a safe space for terrorists and criminals, and industry need to ensure that the services they provide are not being exploited by those who wish to do us harm." View the full article

Should police work with anti-paedophile vigilantes?

Police admit they may have to work with "paedophile hunters" after figures obtained by the BBC revealed a rise in their evidence being used in court. Full Story - BBC

BBC: Cyclist jailed over pedestrian death

18 September 2017 From the section England A cyclist who knocked over and killed a 44-year-old woman in east London has been sentenced to 18 months in jail. Charlie Alliston, then 18, was travelling at 18mph on a fixed-wheel track bike with no front brakes before he crashed into Kim Briggs in February last year. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. If you want to receive Breaking News alerts via email, or on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App then details on how to do so are available on this help page. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. View the full article



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