Friday 20 March 2015

AGM of Durham NARPO : Monday 23rd March 2015

Date for your Diary…….
Monday 23rd March at 1930hrs
The Annual General Meeting of Durham NARPO, with guest speakers from Force Executive and Federation.
All members welcome to attend and participate
Ideal time to meet your old colleagues and friends.
(Please put the date in your diary and see if you can attend, meet your committee and see the hard work they are doing for you)
The meeting will be held at the Durham Indoor Bowling Centre, Pity Me, Durham, DH1 5GE

View Durham Indoor Bowling Club in a larger map

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : Detective Superintendent 403 David Richard Gill

It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer : Detective Superintendent 403 David Richard Gill who died on 14th March, 2015 aged 76 years.
Dave joined Durham Constabulary initially as a Cadet before being appointed as a police officer.  His first posting was Darlington, then he went into CID and served at Seaham, with the Regional Crime Squad, Peterlee, Chester-le-Street and Complaints and Discipline retiring in 1992,  after 38 years service, as Deputy Departmental Commander CID
He leaves a widow, Vera, along with two adult sons Graham and Duncan.  Duncan is also a retired Durham police officer, who is currently working within the Constabulary, so will be known to many.
Funeral details have now been confirmed and friends and colleagues are invited to join the family for a service at 11.15am on Friday 20th March 2015 at St Michael and All Angels Church, Hawthorn Village, which will be followed by cremation at Durham Crematorium at 12.30.  This will be followed by refreshments at Hawthorn Community Centre.  No arrangements are to be private and the family have extended a welcome to friends and former colleagues who would like to join them at any part, or for all of the arrangements.
For anyone wishing to attend the church service but who may be unsure of the location the following information might assist:
St Michael & All Angels : Hawthorn Village, Located right in the centre of the village - down the hill from the pub or up the hill from the Rectory. Entering the village from the north, go down the bank and turn right. If entering the village from the south, go down the bank and turn left at the pub., Hawthorn, County Durham, SR7 8SG
At the request of the family should anyone wish to make a donation in lieu of flowers then they are asked to consider making these to the Respiratory Ward at the RVI, Newcastle.  In order to ensure that the monies are used directly to the benefit of patients on this particular ward the hospital have asked to specify this when making any donation, otherwise the monies are paid into a general Patients Comforts fund.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time

Saturday 7 March 2015

Operation Seabrook – Historic abuse investigation

Operation Seabrook is the continuing investigation being undertaken by Durham Constabulary regarding claims of historic sexual and physical abuse at the former Medomsley Detention Centre in Consett, Co. Durham. These offences took place principally between 1961 and its closure in 1987.
The victims were all in their ‘teens’ when they were sent to Medomsley at various dates from the 1960’s to when Medomsley closed in 1987, for what were often relatively minor offences. Previous police investigations in 2003 and 2005 (Op. Halter) led to the conviction and jailing of Neville Husband and Leslie Johnson, former members of staff at the centre who have since died.
In August 2013 a fresh investigation was launched into claims that young men sent to Medomsley Detention Centre, were subjected to abuse at the hands of prison staff.
So far the investigation has led to 1083 victims coming forward to report they were victims of either sexual or physical assaults. Calls have also come in from potential witnesses, as well as a small number of people ringing in with additional information.
Whilst the work to try and identify everyone named continues, so far 16 former members of the prison staff have been interviewed under caution regarding allegations of historic sexual and physical abuse on inmates. All were prison officers at Medomsley at different times during the time it was open who have since retired.
The identification of staff continues to prove challenging with many offenders only known by nickname or surname. More interviews will take place over the next few weeks with other ex-Medomsley prison officers.
Former inmates were transported to Medomsley from court by police officers who would have been conducting court duties at that time. Inmates were transported from surrounding force areas to Durham constabulary as well as other force areas further south.
IF YOU were one of these officers or have knowledge of a former police officer who escorted persons from court to Medomsley and you/they witnessed any type of abuse to those detainees by prison staff or are able to identify any former member of staff at the establishment can you please contact the Operation Seabrook team direct on 0191-3752879 or the Incident room on 101 (Durham) extn. 752237.

Thursday 5 March 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt Katherine (Kathy) Sturrock

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer Miss Katherine Sturrock (Kathy), who died on 26th February 2015 aged 88 years.
Kathy may be remembered by the many Cadets she trained over a number of years her family tell us she was Durham’s first ever female sergeant.  She retired from Durham Constabulary on 3rd November 1977.
The funeral will take place at 10:45 am on Friday 6th March 2015 at Darlington Crematorium.  The  service is not private.  Friends and former colleagues are welcome to attend the service and to join with the family afterwards for refreshments at Ted Fletcher Court, Salters Lane South, Darlington.
No flowers please by request.  Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Marie Curie Nurses.
Our thoughts are with Kathy’s family and friends at this sad time.

Monday 2 March 2015

New drug drive legislation comes into force from 2 March 2015

New drug drive legislation comes into force from 2nd March 2015 in England and Wales. So long as you are following the advice of a healthcare professional and your driving isn’t impaired you can continue to drive as usual and aren’t at risk of arrest.

In the dawn of new drug drive legislation, THINK! is encouraging people who take medicines and aren’t sure if they are safe to drive to check with their pharmacist or doctor. The new law comes into force from the 2nd March and is designed to catch people who risk other people’s lives by getting behind the wheel after taking drugs, and not those taking legitimate medicines that don’t impair their ability to drive.

The new law sets limits at very low levels for 8 drugs commonly associated with illegal use such as cannabis and cocaine. There are also 8 prescription drugs that are included within the new law. These are:

  • clonazepam
  • diazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam
  • methadone
  • morphine

However, the limits that have been set for these drugs exceed normal prescribed doses, meaning that the vast majority of people can drive as they normally would, so long as:

  • they are taking their medicine in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional and/or as printed in the accompanying leaflet
  • their driving is not impaired

It is illegal to drive if your driving is impaired by legal or illegal drugs.

If the police stop you and think you’re on drugs they can do a ‘Field Impairment Assessment’. This is a series of tests that assesses a driver’s capability to drive.

If they think you’re unfit to drive because of taking drugs, you’ll be arrested and will have a blood test at a police station. If the test shows that you’ve taken drugs you could be charged with a crime.

You don’t have to be on illegal drugs to be unfit to drive - many prescription or over-the-counter medicines can also impair your ability to drive. If you’re taking medicines, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional before driving.

The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If you are convicted you will receive:

  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • A fine of up to £5000 or up to 6 months in prison or both

The consequences of a drug drive conviction are far reaching and can include:

  • Job loss
  • Loss of independence
  • The shame of having a criminal record
  • Increase in car insurance costs
  • Trouble getting in to countries like the USA

Drug drive law is changing to make it easier for the police to detect and prosecute drug drivers.

A new offence of driving with certain controlled drugs above specified limits is due to come into force on 2 March 2015. These new rules will mean it will be an offence to be over the specified limits for each drug whilst driving, as it is with drink driving. The new offence will work alongside the existing offence of driving whilst impaired through drink or drugs. Drugs covered by the new rules include cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine. The limits for illegal drugs will be extremely low – one smoke of cannabis will put you over the limit.

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