Why a political elected Police Commissioner is a dangerous idea

Next November there will be the election for local Police Commissioners in Staffordshire and Stoke – as it will be everywhere else in the country. It is likely that all the main political parties will be entering candidates. Already there seems evidence that the party HQs are controlling the business about who becomes the candidate. In North Wales, for instance, the local Labour Party is accused of trying to impose a short list of three without internal party debate. The other political parties will want to control the process. Continue reading

Police Commissioners and the Thick Red Fog

Neill Harvey-Smith hopes the new Police and Crime Commissioner will leave policing to the Thin Blue Line and tackle the Thick Red Fog of fear and powerlessness.

A woman found notes left on her car, telling her she shouldn’t park at a particular spot at the side of the road. She checked with the police and they confirmed she could legally park there. So she continued – and her car was vandalised.

I read this story on the front page of a local newspaper last week. My first reaction was sympathy – for the frustration, the cost, the injustice that the woman did nothing wrong and was victimised. My second was surprise – why is this in a newspaper? Isn’t this just what happens? Continue reading

ASBO granted after threats to community

Stoke-on-Trent’s Safer City Partnership has been successful in its application for an Anti Social Behaviour Order against a woman who threatened residents in Brindley Ford.

Margaret Wooliscroft, aged 55, was told she must not shout, swear or use abusive language or insulting or threatening behaviour directed at any person in Bull Lane and Stadmoreslow Lane, Brindley Ford.

District Judge David Taylor granted the ASBO based on Mrs. Wooliscroft’s behaviour in the last six months. During this time, the court found she had:

* Used a wooden tool to damage the front door of a property in Bull Lane and the car parked outside.

* Shouted abuse at another resident of Bull Lane.

* Used foul and abusive language to a police officer and caused distress to a PCSO by shouting at her in Bull Lane.

* Caused alarm and distress by assaulting another female in Bull Lane.

* Caused alarm and distress to residents of Bull Lane by wailing and shouting whilst holding a wooden stick in an angry and aggressive way in Bull Lane.

{quote=Councillor Ross Irving, cabinet member for community safety, partnerships and the Local Strategic Partnership, said] “There was a real need for us to pursue this case due to the weight of evidence that had been gathered over the past few months.

“Abusing the police and threatening members of the public is unacceptable, and causing physical damage to other people’s property is equally reprehensible.

“Communities need to feel safe and secure, and that can’t happen if flagrant threats are made to residents on a consistent basis.

We work very hard with the police to gather evidence in these cases and we are very pleased that another application has been successful.”[/quote]

The Safer City Partnership, including the city council, Staffordshire Police, and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service was successful in 13 applications over the last 12 months.

Stoke-on-Trent Police Surgeries This Weekend

A number of police surgeries are scheduled to be held across Stoke-on-Trent over the weekend.

Officers from Neighbourhood Policing Units (NPUs) across the division will be on hand to meet residents to discuss any issues or concerns.

On Friday 28 May officers from Longton NPU are holding two surgeries.

Officers will be at the town’s market between 9.30am and 12noon.

Their colleagues will be at the Gilani Noor Mosque, Chaplin Road, at 1.30pm.

Officers who work in the City Centre are holding a surgery on Friday morning. PC Greg Hill and PCSO Mel Bartholomew will be at Bon Appetit, Piccadilly, from 10.30am.

Residents in Packmoor and Brindley Ford are invited to meet their local officers at a Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meeting on Friday. Officers will be meeting in Handley Drive, Brindley Ford, at 2pm and will be in the area until 5pm.

Officers who cover the Tunstall Town Centre area are also holding a PACT meeting on Friday. They will be at Tunstall Market Hall, High Street, between 2.30pm and 3.30pm, along with the local councillors for the area.

On Saturday 29 May officers from Longton NPU will again be at the town’s market between 9.30am and 12noon.

Officers who cover the Burslem Park estate are holding a PACT meeting on Saturday. They will be working from the mobile police station on Bank Hall Road between 10am and 12noon.

Residents in Cobridge are encouraged to come and have their say at a police surgery taking place this Saturday. Officers will be at Cobridge Community Centre, Bursley Road, between 10.30am and 12noon.

On Sunday 30 May officers from Longton NPU will be working from Tesco, Baths Road, between 2pm and 4pm.