Saturday, 28 November 2015

Xmas is coming (From the Band & Choir)

Male-Voice-Choir-Poster-2015A few dates for your diaries for the festive season :

999 Emergency Services Carol Service - St Cuthbert's Church, Darlington (opposite the Police Station) 7pm Thursday 10th December

Concert by the Durham Constabulary Band and Male Voice Choir  7pm Friday 18th December at Elvet Methodist Church, Durham (all proceeds in aid of the Grace Haven Orphanage, Myanmar which is run by ex-Det Insp Fred Farley and his wife). Tickets £6 available on the door.
 
Force Carol Service,  3pm Sunday 20th December, St Cuthbert's Church, Durham (opposite DLI Museum).

Friday, 27 November 2015

Temporary vacancies for retired police officers

Durham Constabulary currently have some temporary vacancies on their website open to retired police officers.
TEMPORARY SAFEGUARDING INVESTIGATIVE OFFICER
Applications are invited from retired police officers as the force is currently experiencing high levels of demand within Safeguarding. In order to assist with this demand we are looking for individuals with experience as an investigator with excellent communication skills to support the Safeguarding team as a Temporary Safeguarding Investigative Officer. Applicants must have recent experience of undertaking an investigation.
Applications for this post close on Friday 27th November 2015
Further info can be obtained from Human Resources : 0191 375 2123

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Death of a former member of police staff - Alan Dunnill

KM002-20151201133803It is with sadness that we have to advise colleagues of the death of a former member of police staff :  Alan Dunnill who died at his home on Tuesday 24th November, aged 66 years.
Alan joined Durham Constabulary on the 10th May 1971 and served for almost 38 years in Comms/Control Room/ Incident Support Unit,  both at HQ and at Bishop Auckland, retiring on 28th February 2009.
He was also involved with UNISON for many years and held the Treasurers post for some time.
Alan leaves a wife, Wendy.
Funeral arrangements are now confirmed and the service will be held at Wear Valley Crematorium at Coundon on Friday 4th December 2015 at 11am.
The service is not private and Wendy invites former colleagues and friends to both the service and for refreshments afterwards at the Masonic Hall, Church Street, Crook.
Our thoughts are with Wendy and Alan's family and friends at this sad time.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Urgently review the Home Secretary's Policing Policies before it is too late

ParliamentOnline government petition for you to view & consider signing
At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

The Winsor Reviews were adopted without any Impact Assessment being carried out.
The Home Secretary keeps repeating that crime is down, despite evidence to the contrary.
Police Strength & resources are being slashed Terrorist threat is raised Public Safety is being put at risk by these policies
The Crime Survey of England & Wales states that Recorded Crime is up by 3%
The National Audit Office claims that Home Office staff don't understand the effects of the deep cuts they are making.
Knife Crime is up yet Home Secretary is demanding curbs on Stop and Search
The Policing Minister has no idea whether the proposed further cuts are sustainable or not
Too much has been cut too quickly with scant regard for the consequences.
Core Policing functions are being put at risk by these policies.

To view the petition please click here : https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/112214

Discharge Letters–Update

NARPO have now been made aware that the Home Office have now advised Pension Administrators that those due additional lump sums are no longer required to sign a discharge letter before the payments can be made. 
This concurs with the legal advice NARPO obtained and shared with the Home Office.
Those who are to receive payments should still check the payment is correct and if necessary request the actual calculation made by the Administrator to verify the amount.
Pension Administrators should now be working to make these payments as soon as possible without any further delay.
David Devine at Pay & Pensions was informed by the Home Office yesterday and has informed us that they are currently awaiting GAD to confirm their calculations and once received they will contact all those entitled with details of the arrears and the likely payment date.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Next meeting of NARPO (Durham Branch)

diary-plgThe next meeting of NARPO (Durham Branch) will be held on Monday 23rd November at 7.30pm at Durham Bowling Club.
Light buffet afterwards.
All members or prospective members are invited to come along & enjoy

If you don't know where to go, Click On This Link and you'll see a map of the location and you can get driving directions to it.

Durham Indoor Bowling Club, Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham  DH1 5GE

Latest edition of the Durham Peeler (Winter 2015) now online

DP - Winter 2015NARPO chairman Alan Watson has been ‘burning the candle at both ends’ to once again  produce the latest edition of the Durham Peeler – Winter 2015.

Please CLICK HERE or on the image to view the magazine

To ‘catch up’ on previous editions of the Durham Peeler visit the website at :
http://www.durhamnarpo.org.uk/p/durham-peeler.html

Monday, 16 November 2015

Death of retired Police Staff member 4465 : Ashley Adams

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of retired Police Staff member 4465 : Ashley Adams, who died on the 3rd November 2015, aged 72 years.
Ashley joined Durham Constabulary on the 13th March 1972 and she medically retired on the 1st September 2002, having worked in Enquiry/Communications at both Stanley and  Consett.
The funeral service will be held on Thursday the 19th November at 14.00pm at Mountsett Crematorium, Dipton. The funeral is not private.
Our thoughts are with Ashley’s family and friends at this sad time.

Degrees for all new police officers under radical new plans

DegreeAll new police officers may be required to have a degree in the future, under proposals put forward by the College of Policing.

The college is consulting on the plans, which could be rolled out by 2019.
There are currently no set educational requirements for would-be officers of any rank, with different forces operating their own policies.
But the new system would mean all new recruits would have to complete a degree in policing or a conversion course after graduating in another subject.
Alex Marshall, chief executive of the College of Policing, said the change was necessary due to the “enormous change” in the nature of police work.
“In addition to all of the qualities you need from people in policing - they need to be caring, good communicators, able to de-escalate difficult situations - we also want people to think critically and do complex problem solving,” he told the BBC.
He said the requirement of an educational qualification was “not there to replace the empathy, compassion and common sense required” to work in the police.
But, the body which represents rank-and-file officers described the plan as “barmy”.

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “It is essential that we do not create a police service where the only chance of becoming a police officer is if you can afford to educate yourself to degree level before joining.
“It is also an insult to the vast number of officers without a degree who perform exceptionally complex and sensitive roles to suggest that someone else would be better purely by virtue of their having spent three years at university.
“Having a degree is no indication that someone is going to make a good police officer.”
The college said that there was no suggestion that current officers or staff would be required to obtain a degree unless they wish to.
Mr Marshall added that the proposal was “in the very early stages”.
He said: “Any entry level degree is likely to be a practical qualification, as seen in other professions, where students split their time between the classroom and a police force.
“We want to move the service into a position where it is prepared to meet the needs and challenges of the future and our aim is to give members access to the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.”

France and Spain already require their police officers to have a full degree as the minimum entry at constable rank, with a master’s degree required for all those wanting to become inspectors.
In Sweden and Norway, all police training is done through higher education with practical elements included for students to learn on the job while they study.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

From Durham to Paris

Paris

A fitting tribute on Durham Cathedral …

Thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in Paris last night and also our serving colleagues and other emergency services who dealt with all the incidents last night.

#PeaceForParis

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Government forced into humiliating U-turn over its shambolic reform of police funding

Mike PenningTHE GOVERNMENT has been forced into a humiliating U-turn after admitting that its controversial reform of police funding had become a shambles.
Police chiefs reacted with astonishment after the Home Office admitted it had used out-of-date figures to calculate force budgets - a blunder which would have cost have cost Durham Police an estimated £10m.

The minister said that the Government intended to press ahead with police funding reform, but would delay the changes which were expected to come in next year.
However, following unprecedented protests and the threat of legal action, Police Minister Mike Penning has now called a halt to the process.
In an embarrassing U-turn he admitted the proposed changes were "never indicative" of police budgets under the funding formula and said the changes for 2016/17 will now be delayed.
Answering an urgent question in the Commons, Mr Penning, above, said:
"Within this process I am sad to say there was a statistical error made on the data that has been used. While this data does not change the principles of what was consulted on, the allocation provided to the forces was never indicative.
We recognise this has caused a great deal of concern to police forces around the country. I and the Government regret this mistake and I apologise to the House. I also apologise to the 43 authorities that I wrote to during the extended consultation period as part of the funding formula review."
Mr Penning said the Government would seek the views of police and crime commissioners and the National Police Chiefs Council before proceeding with the changes.
He insisted it was important to arrive at a fair and transparent formula matched by demand and supported by the police.

Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Ron Hogg, above, said he was "astonished the Home Office let things get so far" before admitting it had made a mistake.
However, Mr Hogg said: "While I am totally delighted with this afternoon's outcome I no longer have confidence in the Home Office to carry out this review of police funding correctly. I think the whole process should be handed over to an independent review body which can come up with a fair funding formula after proper consultation with PCCs."

Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, said: “Mike Penning’s announcement is good news for the Constabulary and goes to show that if we get our act together and have the evidence we can take on people when they make mistakes.
I would like to thank our MPs and in particular Kevan Jones, Phil Wilson, and Helen Goodman for their support.
I am sorry that I may have put the cat amongst the pigeons this weekend and I know that many colleagues have been concerned at the prospect of having to lose an extra 250 police officers.
At least we can now get back to the day job of continuing to keep Durham at the pinnacle of policing".

The apology comes amid bitter controversy over the planned changes, with six Police and Crime Commissioners, including North Yorkshire commissioner Julia Mulligan, threatening the Home Office with legal action over fears they are set to lose millions of pounds in Government support.
Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz, who asked the urgent question, described the situation as a "shambles".
He said 31 out of 43 police forces would lose money as a result of the error and added: "This entire process has been described by police and crime commissioners and others as unfair, unjust and fundamentally flawed.
"What started off with good intentions is rapidly descending into farce.
To call it a shambles would be charitable."

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson asked the minister to “go back to the drawing board and recalibrate the formula and come back with something more sensible.”

Saturday, 7 November 2015

£10m Durham Police funding cut – PCC Ron Hogg ‘blasts’ government

Ron HoggDurham’s police commissioner has blasted the Government - after the force was left reeling by a £10m funding cut.
The amount of money Durham Constabulary is likely to receive to police next year is set to be slashed from £80m to £70m after a wide-ranging Government funding review.
Durham and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has hit out at the ‘bewildering’ 12.5% cash cut - which was only broke to police bosses yesterday (06/11/2015).
Mr Hogg said: “I am both angry and bewildered as to how the Government can say that we can police County Durham and Darlington with £10m less to spend each year.
“I have written to the Government in the strongest terms stating that they should abandon this whole process and leave the current funding formula alone as it is causing too much instability, not only for Durham but also for other Forces.
Durham is the highest performing Police Force in the Country and this is what the public expect, however continuation of this is dependent upon the Government taking a sensible view as to the level of funding we need.
Currently the Government’s view totally lacks this common sense approach.”

The Home Office insisted that no final decisions on funding had been taken and said that data and calculations would be “rigorously tested" before any allocations are made.
Earlier this year, the Home Office announced a review of the 10-year-old Police Allocation Formula, the complicated calculation which determines how much cash each force receives from central Government, and launched a consultation process on an alternative funding formula.
However, Mr Hogg claims that on the final day of consultation today an error came to light over the use of the wrong data in calculating “urban adversity”, which would see Durham Constabulary’s grant cut from the current £80m to £70m.
The grant cut does not include any further budget reductions which could be announced in George Osbourne’s Comprehensive Spending Review at the end of this month

Policing minister Mike Penning MP, said police reform was working and crime was falling.
He said: If we want policing in this country to be the best it can be, then we must reform further, and that includes putting police funding on a long-term, sustainable footing.
The current model for allocating police funding, is complex, opaque and out of date.
That is why we have consulted on principles for reform of funding arrangements for the police in England and Wales, ensuring they are fair, robust and transparent”.
The minister added: “We are refining our proposed model in light of responses to the public consultation and are engaging further with Police and Crime Commissioners and forces as part of this process.
Allocations for individual police force areas have not been set and decisions on funding will not be made until after the Spending Review reports in November.”
Labour MP Kevan Jones said, “The £10m-a-year Government cut announced today to Durham Constabulary’s budget will put further strains on an already under pressure service.
A £10m cut equates to the loss of an additional 200 officers in Durham and explodes the myth of the Tories being the party of law and order.   
It also shows how pathetic the Chancellor’s much-vaunted £30m regional funding really is.
This is the Government giving with one hand, and taking away much more with the other.”

A time to reflect as we approach Remembrance Sunday

Flanders FieldRemembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day.

It was first observed in 1919, however until 1945 it was called Armistice Day. Traditionally there is two minutes of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month because that was the time (in Britain) when the armistice became effective in 1918.
Today, in the UK Remembrance Sunday is also observed on the Sunday nearest to November 11th. So, in the United Kingdom, two minutes' silence is observed on November 11 itself, and on the second Sunday of November. Remembrance Sunday, ceremonies are held at War Memorials, all over the UK and over the years it has become a day to commemorate not just the sacrifice of servicemen and women but the suffering of civilians in times of war.

Remembrance Sunday is commemorated by church services around the UK and a parade of ex-service personnel in London’s Whitehall. Wreaths of poppies are placed on war memorials from the Cenotaph, a war memorial in Whitehall, to the tiniest war memorials in villages all over Britain. Small wooden crosses are placed in Gardens of Remembrance as private acts of remembering individual losses and suffering and people pin poppies to their coat or jacket.

History states that it was the poem 'In Flanders Fields' written in 1915 by Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian Medical Officer, that captured the imagination of the British people in the dark days of trench warfare on the Western Front when so many young soldiers failed to return. Six months before the Armistice, McCrae was brought on a stretcher to a big hospital on the French coast and saw the cliffs of Dover from his room. He died that night and was buried in a cemetery above Wimereux. Before he died, he said to the doctor: "Tell them this . . . If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep." An American woman, Miss Moina Michael, wrote a moving poem in reply and bought 25 red poppies, wearing one herself as a way to keep faith with the war dead; a French woman, Madame Guerin, came up with the practical idea of making and selling artificial poppies to help ex-service men and their dependents in need.

Britain's first Poppy Day was held in 1921 and the money raised helped children in war-devastated areas. The Royal British Legion opened its own poppy factory in London in 1922 to give practical help in time of need to all who have served in the armed forces and their widows and dependents. The paper poppies that are worn today are made by ex-service personnel and are sold by representatives of the Royal British Legion, an organisation of ex-servicemen and women. Today, they make more than 35 million poppies and 65,000 wreaths for the annual poppy appeal. Poppies grew in great abundance in the shell-torn fields of Flanders during the War. Because of its abundance it became the symbol of remembrance of two world wars.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Revised commutation factors : further update

pensions-logo“Over the past few weeks Pay and Pensions have received numerous enquiries in respect of the amended lump sums that are due to some retired officers. Many of the enquiries have included the information that other forces are about to or have already issued discharge notices and that payments are imminent or paid

Our response has been that we are awaiting guidance from the Home Office regarding the wording of the discharge notice as it is intended to cover a wide area and needs to provide relevant cover for all interested parties.

I give below the paragraph in respect of the discharge notices from a letter issued by the Home Office on 2/11/2015

“Discharge notice

Please accept our apologies that it has taken longer than expected to revert with advice in relation to discharge notices. We recognise that former officers are concerned about the issue.  The topic has raised unexpectedly complex issues. However, the timescale for payments that we set out originally has not changed – the Government expects that pensions administrators will make the majority of calculations by December 2015 and the majority of payments by April 2016.  We expect that these issues will be resolved shortly (i.e. within the next few weeks) and we will provide further advice as soon as possible”

Once the wording of the discharge notice is provided we will issue the discharge notices and make payment within the declared timescale

With regard to the payments themselves completion of the GAD spreadsheet that calculates the payment and interest is almost complete. This will be forwarded to GAD within the next week and once the lump sum payment amounts are confirmed we will endeavor to inform recipients of the lump sum part of the payment. The interest payment will depend on the date the payment is made as it is calculated on a day by day basis therefore it would be inappropriate to included that information. I will inform when the actual payment date is established.”

Regards

David Devine

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

PC 6554 David Phillips

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Hundreds of people flocked to pay their last respects at the funeral of Merseyside Police’s PC Dave Phillips , who was killed in a hit-and-run.
The congregation stood as the 34-year-old officer’s coffin was carried into Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.
Earlier, his widow, Jen, 28, led the procession of mourners through the city’s streets.
Dressed in black, she walked behind her husband’s coffin, which had been draped in a blue Merseyside Police force cloth, holding her seven-year-old daughter Abigail’s hand as younger daughter Sophie, three, followed behind.
PC Phillips died after he was hit by a Mitsubishi pick-up truck while trying to use a stinger device on the stolen vehicle in Wallasey in the early hours of October 5.

Scores of uniformed officers from Merseyside Police had marched behind the hearse as it was led through Liverpool by horses from the force’s mounted department.
More officers from around the country joined in, making the city’s streets awash with a sea of black.
Merseyside Chief Constable Sir Jon Murphy and the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, were also in attendance.
Inside, the cathedral was adorned with blue and white flowers draped with blue ribbons to symbolise PC Phillips’s work in the force.
Dozens of candles were lit in an arrow shape behind his coffin which stood in the middle of the cathedral.
As the service began, the Reverend Lyndon Bannon, assistant priest at Willaston in Wirral and assistant headteacher of Woodchurch Church of England High School in Wirral, welcomed the mourners.
The Order of Service handed out to the congregation showed a picture of Pc Phillips wearing his uniform and smiling.

Rev Bannon described PC Phillips as “a loving gentleman”.
He said that, as an officer, he had “served the nation” and, like other officers, had put his life on the line every day.

Sir Jon Murphy said the whole of the country had been left outraged by the loss of “one of our finest”.
He added that PC Phillips had epitomised everything that we aspire to be - “a professional force with the human touch”.
In his eulogy, he said: “Constable 6554 Dave Phillips came to the police from the community of the Wirral - a local boy who joined his local force, Merseyside Police, to serve his local community.
“Dave did this with dedication, with humility and with great courage. In serving his community Dave paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
He described him to the congregation as “professional, dedicated, leader, role model, respected and caring”.
He added: “On that terrible night Dave showed dedication to duty, he did everything in his power to keep the public safe, he acted in the finest traditions of the police service. He too was brave.
“But Dave didn’t come home and the police service of the United Kingdom and beyond is here today to honour him.”
Our thoughts are with the family, friends & colleagues of PC David Phillips

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