STAFFORDSHIRE Police Cadets from the Tamworth unit have taken part in an activity day at the Tamworth and Lichfield Sea Cadet base to help them develop their team working skills.
The cadets took part in activities including raft building, sailing, rowing and power boating, as well as learning nautical skills such as knots. Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold accompanied them on the day.
Mrs Arnold said: ‘It was wonderful to see so many cadets come together to take part in the activity day. It was thoroughly enjoyable and gave the cadets the chance to get out and build their skills as a team in a new environment. As expected the cadets did themselves proud during the activity day.
‘The cadet scheme has had a positive influence to the lives of many young people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. It’s all about giving advantages to young people through allowing them to gain life skills such as responsibility and discipline.’
Graham Smout, Deputy Chief Officer of the Specials, said: ‘It was great to see the cadets come together and develop their skills and it was wonderful to see them all encouraging each other throughout the day.
‘A big thank you to the Tamworth Sea Cadets for hosting us and making it a thoroughly enjoyable day for our police cadets. I would also like to thank everyone who helped out on the day, including the cadet leaders and the volunteers who provided the catering and worked with the cadets in the kitchen, I know the cadets really enjoyed it.’
DPCC Sue Arnold with Staffs Police Cadets 1
The Staffordshire Police Cadet Service was launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis in 2013 to strengthen links between the police and young people and promote good citizenship. Successful cadet units have been launched in Stafford, Cannock, Burslem, Tamworth, Longton, Codsall and Burton with more planned for 2017.
The police cadets work towards several nationally recognised qualifications including team-working and citizenship. Many of the cadets have found that through the scheme they are becoming not only more confident and outgoing, but that they are also benefiting both socially and academically, all while helping to build links between the police and young people.
Businesses are invited to become patrons or sponsors to help fund uniforms and equipment for the cadets. In return for becoming a patron, businesses’ contributions are recognised through publicity, a framed certificate and other opportunities. More information is available at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-cadets
A Stoke-on-Trent man who preached extreme Islamist ideology at a mosque in the city has today (22 September) been found guilty.
Kamran Hussain, aged 40 and from Knightsbridge Way, Tunstall in Stoke-on-Trent was arrested as part of an intelligence-led operation by West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit (WMCTU) and Staffordshire Police on 14 February.
Hussain was charged with eight terrorism offences; six counts of giving a sermon which would encourage individuals to commit, prepare or instigate acts of Terrorism under section 1 (2) of the Terrorism Act 2006. He was also charged with encouraging support for a proscribed organisation (Daesh) under section 12(3) Terrorism Act 2000.
During his sermons at the High Street mosque, Hussain supported the virtues of killing, martyrdom and violent jihad and endorsed the efforts of those who had undertaken such acts.
From his position of trust and influence, his speeches glorified the efforts of fighters and encouraged terrorism, and in particular he invited support for Daesh.
An undercover operative attended the mosque in Tunstall on a number of occasions and recorded sermons between 24 June and 21 October 2016.
Hussain’s home address and the mosque were searched following his arrest. A phone was recovered which contained images of well-known radical preachers.
Today’s verdict follows a two week trial at the Central Criminal Court in London. Hussain will be sentenced on Thursday 28 September.
Kamran Hussain – Image courtesy of West Midlands Police
Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Ward, head of WMCTU, said: “Hussain was espousing hatred and violence as well as clearly demonstrating his support for Daesh through the content in his sermons.
“During this investigation we used covert methods to record these sermons and present it as evidence during the trial. We will continue to use every lawful technique and power available to us to tackle terrorism.”
Chief Superintendent for Local Policing, Wayne Jones: “We are pleased with today’s guilty verdict and conviction of Kamran Hussain, a man who has supported terrorism and promoted extremist views within Stoke on Trent.
“We and our partners are fully committed to working with our communities to identify and target those individuals who would seek to instil hatred or fear into others. The actions of this man, who was supporting radical and violent extremist behaviour have no place in our society, and we will continue to be relentless in our efforts to keep you safe by taking appropriate action whenever we are provided with information about any form of extremism.
“I would ask that you remain vigilant and act on your instincts. If you see or hear something that you think may be related to extremism of any kind call the police on confidence on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, always dial 999.”
Visit gov.uk/ACT for more information, including how to report extremist or terrorist content that you come across online.
AN independent panel established by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis to strengthen public scrutiny of policing has had an injection of new blood.
The Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel (ETAP) was established by the Commissioner in 2013 under his ‘New Dawn of Transparency’ agenda. It is made up of members of the public, drawn from across the county, who have become expert citizens.
ETAP has received national recognition for its scrutiny of the police use of Taser, stop and search and crime recording in Staffordshire.
Elford resident Clare Cowley is one of five new members who have joined ETAP.
Clare is a former Detective Superintendent from West Midlands Police Force, retiring in 2014 after completing her 30 years in the service.
During her time at West Midlands Police, Clare worked in the Public Protection Unit where she took part in multi-agency panels for case reviews and was a Senior Investigation Officer for Rape and Serious Sexual Offences, Domestic Abuse and Vulnerable Adult Abuse.
Clare said: ‘Working with ETAP is an opportunity for me to continue working in public service and I very much look forward to working with the team.’
PCC Matthew Ellis with new ETAP members.
Mr Ellis added: ‘It was good to meet and welcome the new panel members who I am sure will strengthen ETAP’s vital work. Honest and independent scrutiny by the public is crucial as we strive to set the bar higher and create a new dawn of transparency in policing.
‘This panel has used its wide-ranging and rigorous powers to scrutinise crime recording, forensics, Taser use, and stop and search to make sure decisions made by the police are correct and in the best interests of the public. It’s about being open and transparent, so that public confidence across policing and criminal justice is improved.’
Following ETAP’s success, local Safer Neighbourhood Panels have been launched across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. It gives people the chance to influence policing in their communities and help hold local police commanders to account at the most local level. They are made up of local residents who meet regularly with their area’s local policing commander.
The panels influence local policing and community safety, scrutinise the work done by police in the area, give feedback to their community and examine the impact of community resolutions and restorative justice where they live.
POLICE investigating a hit-and-run in Sheldon want to trace a light coloured Vauxhall Astra in connection with the collision.
Officers believe the vehicle will have suffered significant front end damage after hitting pedestrian Chris Hood as he crossed Brays Road at around 10.10pm on Monday (18 September).
Mr Hood, aged 26, suffered serious injuries and has been forced to have part of his leg amputated. He remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Officers are keen to speak to anyone who has seen or knows the current whereabouts of the Astra (pictured) – which is believed to be a 2004-2010 model.
Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes, from the regional Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Following our initial enquiries we believe the vehicle involved is a light coloured Vauxhall Astra and that it may have significant damage to its front end.
“I would ask people to think back over the last few days and whether they recall seeing such a damaged Astra. Has someone recently had one repaired, or a car they see regularly no longer there?
“I would also appeal directly to the driver of this vehicle on the night to do the right thing; come forward and speak to us now.”
Anyone with information can call the Collision Investigation Team on 101; quoting incident 2625 of 18/09/17.
You can also report crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
A NATIONWIDE investigation led by detectives from Staffordshire Police, which resulted in eight men being jailed for 55 years for jewellery raids, is the subject of a television programme this evening.
‘Jewel Raiders’ from ITV Tonight will be shown (Sept 21) at 7.30pm on ITV1.
An organised crime group (OCG) of Romanian men struck at 11 jewellers’ shops between November 2015 and September 2016 spanning nine force areas from Kent to Lancashire and netting more than £3m worth of stock, including jewellery and watches.
They came to our attention as a force when they smashed their way into Beaverbrooks, Hanley, in the early hours of March 10 last year. They took £400,000 of watches after smashing their way into the Potteries centre store with sledgehammers and setting a fire to distract emergency services.
The documentary features interviews with senior investigating officer DCI Ricky Fields, and DI Phil Bryan, of Staffordshire Police’s Force Safeguarding and Investigations (North).
The group received training and had to comply with a strict code. They had an interesting way of working which included camping a few miles from their target and cycling to the site to avoid detection.
They would block roads using tape or rope and set fires to hamper police response. They were forensically aware and adopted tactics to store their waste and remove traces to avoid detection.
Assistant Chief Constable, Emma Barnett, said: “These sentences are the result of the support from our communities and the hard work and attention to detail of our staff and officers. Our detectives took the lead in a major nationwide investigation and secured convictions
FIREFIGHTERS and staff have been involved in a multi-agency exercise to test emergency response and resilience plans for terrorism related incidents within Staffordshire.
For several months exercise co-ordinators from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have been formulating a sequence of scenarios designed to test the Service and partners across the board. On Thursday September 14, 190 firefighters along with 50 support staff were all called to action, 27 fire appliances were involved in the day.
The exercise included a range of terrorist related ‘incidents’ which unfolded within Staffordshire and communities may have noticed the presence of firefighters, fire appliances, and other emergency services in the Rugeley, Burton-upon-Trent and Alrewas areas. The Service used social media to reassure the public about the increased activity.
Emergency vehicles taking part in the operation
Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant said: “Firstly, we would like to acknowledge the awful incident that took place in London on Friday morning, our thoughts are very much with those involved and the emergency responders who attended.
“This terrible event really emphasises the importance of exercises such as the one we carried out last week. It is essential that we are prepared and equipped to act quickly and effectively with our partners to keep the community of Staffordshire safe.
“The exercise has been months in the making and has been well and truly kept under wraps so that firefighters, staff and partners could respond as spontaneously as possible. It proved to be a valuable day, with some exceptional team work but also some real development opportunities identified. Of course I hope that we never have to put our well-laid emergency plans into practice for real and I want to stress that there is absolutely nothing to indicate that there is a specific threat to Staffordshire.
“However, with the UK threat level remaining at severe it is important we and our partners are prepared as we possibly can be. Our communities can be reassured that we work closely with our colleagues at the police and ambulance service to ensure that our staff are appropriately trained and prepared to respond in the event of a localised incident.
“The recent events in London are an important reminder to remain alert but not alarmed, and to remember the important run, hide, tell advice. If you’re concerned about anything suspicious please report it via the anti-terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321 or ring 999 and ask for the Police.”
FOLLOWING the Home Secretary’s announcement Yesterday, that the UK threat level has been downgraded from critical to severe, Staffordshire Police want to reassure residents that they will still be visible.
They have sad that throughout Staffordshire they will continue to be visible at transport hubs and busy town centres, as well as popular tourist spots in order to keep you feeling safe and reassured.
Assistant Chief Constable, Emma Barnett, said: “As a result of the downgrade in terror threat, Operation Temperer is being withdrawn but we are continuing to provide a visible presence within our communities.
“I would like to reiterate that a Severe threat level still means an attack is highly likely. You should not be alarmed, but continue to be vigilant and do not hesitate to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321 or dial 999 if you see or hear anything suspicious.”
FOLLOWING yesterday’s terrorist incident on the London Underground and the rise of the national security level to Critical, Staffordshire Police and Warwickshire Police have stated that they want to reassure communities that they are working hard to keep you safe.
Moving to Critical means Police will be increasing their presence of both armed and unarmed police officers at popular locations including tourist spots, transport hubs and busy town centres across Staffordshire and Warwickshire.
They will also be reviewing key events over the coming days and providing security advice where practical.
Staffordshire Police are keen to reassure the public that at this time there is no specific intelligence to suggest an attack in Staffordshire is likely, but that their first priority is to keep you feeling safe and reassured.
Assistant Chief Constable Emma Barnett said: “There will be increased police presence and visibility, both armed and unarmed on the streets of Staffordshire in the coming days. Please do not be alarmed, this approach is there to ensure you feel safe and reassured.
“Acts of terrorism and hate crimes are committed by a small minority of people and are not representative of the general public. We must respond to this attack by uniting with members of our community to demonstrate that we do not welcome extremist and violent behaviour to intimidate or cause fear.
“I ask that members of the public remain vigilant at all times. If you see anything that causes concern, then let us know immediately.”
Assistant Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police, Richard Moore said: “Warwickshire Police are working hard to protect our communities following the attack in London yesterday.
“Following these events, you will be aware that the Prime Minister has increased the UK threat level to critical.
“Warwickshire Police are working with all local and national partners, and this weekend there will be increased visible police patrols taking place to reassure our communities.
“In light of the national security level we will be increasing the number of our Armed Response Vehicles giving an enhanced capability to respond to any incident. There is no intention for the military to deploy at this time in our area.
“At this time there is no specific threat to Warwickshire. I urge people not to be alarmed and to go about their business as usual. Do remain alert and contact us if you have any concerns.”
If you see or hear something that could be terrorist related, act on your instincts and call the police on the confidential hotline 0800 789 321 .
In an emergency, always dial 999. Visit gov.uk/ACT for more information, including how to report extremist or terrorist content that you come across online.
SAFETY camera vans have been out in force last week as part of Road Victims Awareness Month and have caught over 200 offenders in three different locations.
Using accident hotspot data, the safety camera team positioned themselves in three locations in the latter part of last week to catch speeding motorists. The three locations, all with different speed limits, saw motorists break speed limits by over 50% in some cases.
On Keelings Road in Northwood, Stoke-on-Trent, which has a 30mph limit, the safety camera team identified 12 drivers breaking the speed limit. The speed camera van was there for two hours and the highest speed recorded was 41mph.
On the A449 in Stourton, which has a speed limit of 40mph, we recorded 124 speeding offences in one hour and 45 minutes, which is more than one a minute. The highest speed recorded was 70mph, which is 75% over the limit.
Finally, our safety camera team visited the A500 near Cliffe Vale and in 90 minutes caught 83 vehicles breaking the speed limit. The speed limit on that stretch is 50mph and yet drivers were recorded at speeds up to 79mph.
Superintendent Jane Hewett, head of justice services at Staffordshire Police, said: “Unfortunately sometimes education is not enough and so we are forced to punish those who flout our speed limits. It is astonishing that in just three hours our camera team identified over 200 drivers breaking the speed limit, but hopefully those who have been caught will now think again in future.
“As it is Road Victims Awareness Month, it is pertinent that we focus on road safety and do all we can to prevent dangerous actions like speeding. Breaking the speed limit increases your chances of being in an accident which could lead to the death or serious injury of you, your passengers and those in nearby vehicles.”
All the drivers identified in this exercise will, at the very least, be fined £100 and have three penalty points added to your licence or, if it is their first offence, they can choose to attend a Speed Awareness Course at a cost of £100 instead.