Labour announce Joy Garner as their candidate for Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Staffordshire Police CrestJust coming in, Joy Garner has been announced as the Labour candidate for the role of Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner in the elections in November.

Joy  was up against former police authority chairman Michael Poulter in the vote and currently sites on Staffordshire Police Authority & Staffordshire Joint Police and Crime Panel. Continue reading

Open Mike Night Live!

Join Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, Assistant Chief Constables Jane Sawyers & Julian Blazeby and Director of resources Graham Liddiard here for a live web chat from 1800 tonight. Continue reading

Staffordshire Police’s Open Mike night returns

After a sell-out previous performance, Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Mike Cunningham will again be taking to the internet for Open Mike night.

Mike will be supported this time by new comers, Deputy Chief Constable Douglas Paxton, Director of Resources Graham Liddiard and Assistant Chief Constables Jane Sawyers and Julian Blazeby. Continue reading

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

15 November set for Police and Crime Commissioner Elections

Election of a new Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will take place on November 15, 2012 with Stoke-on-Trent acting as the lead authority and being responsible for administering the election across the police force area.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Paul Hackney has been appointed as Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) designate. 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

Staffordshire Police Begin Annual Drink Drive Campaign

Staffordshire Police have started their Christmas clampdown on drink and drug drivers.

The campaign, co-ordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), will run throughout Staffordshire and the rest of the country from today until 1 January 2012.

Many people socialise after work, in the evening or at the weekend through the festive season and the campaign aims to drive down fatal and serious road traffic collisions and protect other road users by enforcement and education.

Inspector Ian Hancock, Road Policing Team, said

Officers will be carrying out roadside stop checks across Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire on drivers during the campaign – both at night-time and the morning after.  Anyone suspected of being over the limit will be breath-tested. All drivers involved in road traffic collisions which the police attend are also tested.

If you’re going out for a drink with friends or family think of the consequences of drink driving and nominate a designated driver.  

Don’t forget that you could still be over the limit the next morning if you drink the night before.

Last Christmas we stopped thousands of vehicles and breath-tested over 1,800 drivers – arresting 118 people.  

We are committed to reducing the number of fatal and serious road traffic collisions in Staffordshire.

Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is both anti social and dangerous.

Staffordshire Police want to make it clear that It is against the law and the offences committed have both short and long term consequences

  • when you are caught you will be breath tested and if positive you will be arrested
  • you will be taken to a police station and if the station test is positive, or you fail or refuse to provide a blood or urine sample, you will be charged
  • you will attend court and if found guilty, you will be banned from driving for a period of at least 12 months. You will have to pay a hefty fine, court costs or even be given a prison sentence

What happens next?

  • losing your licence may mean losing your job and your standard of living
  • you could lose the respect of friends and family and you will have a criminal record
  • you may be excluded from travelling to some countries. When you can drive again you will pay a lot more for insurance cover.

If someone was to be seriously injured or killed as a result of your involvement in a road traffic collision, you could be charged with a more serious offence, the consequences from which will be much more serious and possibly in addition to those already stated

  • your driving ban will be longer
  • your fine will be bigger
  • you are more likely to go to prison
  • the families of those maimed by serious injuries, the injured themselves who may not be able to work again, and the relatives of anyone killed by your actions, will remember you for the rest of their lives

Insp Hancock added

Remember, drinking or drug driving is anti social, against the law and it can ruin lives and families. The family could be yours.  

Is drink or drug driving worth the risk of these consequences?


Traveller Gypsies Vandalise Park Hall Beauty Spot

Park Hall is one of the city’s areas of outstanding natural beauty. The rolling hills to one side of Park Hall Road, the lake and open green space to the other side.

The residents of the area, old and young, respect the area totally.

Park Hall hills draw visitors from far and wide. The area offers moments of tranquillity and an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Dog walkers enjoy the hills, the lake and green space alike and always clean up the mess their canine friends produce.

To me Park Hall is the jewel in the south of the city’s crown.

However in the past week the area came under attack [I consciously use the word attack] from a group of gypsy travellers who absolutely vandalised the area.

About 30 vans arrived on Saturday 2nd July. They bumped their caravans over a curb and decided to set up camp on the green space next to Park Hall lake.

As is customary the travellers showed no respect to the area, the land, or the residents.

They left exactly one week later leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

Rubbish was strewn all over the green space. Garden rubbish, rubble, tarmac, clothing general household rubbish, used nappies was discarded without a care.

I visited the area yesterday [Sunday 10th] and took the pictures below on my phone. The damage the caravans had done to the land will take time to repair.

The poor council workers who will undoubtedly be left to clean up after these vandals will also have to deal with an amount of human excrement left as a present by these gypsy travellers.

So, they were there for a week, how come it took so long to get rid of them? Who is to blame? How much will the cleanup operation cost?

The ward councillor Matt Fry was onto the problem almost immediately. In turn Rob Flello, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South was alerted, who in turn put pressure on the council officers and the police.

The hold up, and it happens in every case where gypsy travellers invade an area, is solely down to the time it takes to get the necessary paperwork to and through the courts. The courts give the police permission to evict the travellers on a certain date usually within two weeks of the arrival of the caravans.

Matt Fry, Rob Flello, the police and in particular the officers of the council, cannot be faulted in this case. They worked as a team for the good of the residents and the community to rid the area of this blight on the landscape.

Rob Flello was in constant communication with the police on the matter and as a result of an appeal by the senior officer in charge to the leader of the travellers, the area was eventually evacuated on Saturday 9th.

Cllr Matt Fry along with Rob Flello MP are now in discussions with the relevant officers of the council to ensure there is a thorough cleanup operation and measures taken to prevent any return including a fence or bollards.

I don’t want to turn this into a race issue, to me this is about respect, or to be more accurate, the lack thereof.

People say that gypsies get a rough deal, I just don’t buy that.

Anyone who watched the recent TV series “ËœMy Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ would have observed that there is arrogance within the travelling community.

They demand respect but the travellers rarely show respect for people or the land they so often mistreat and vandalise.

The programme showed that the caravans in which they live are kept spotlessly clean. The permanent gypsy sites sited around the country are also well kept and the land tended.

But their good housekeeping is limited to their own vans and sites. They do not care a jot about taxpaying communities who are trying their best for the areas in which we live.

They are classed as an ethnic minority and I have no issue with that whatsoever.

What I do care about is that our City Council are left to foot the bill for cleaning up the mess that these people leave behind them.

I was told over the weekend that the cleanup will cost the city council in the region of £5000 plus the cost of ensuring that gypsy travellers cannot access the land in the future.

In an era when we are losing facilities, services and leisure amenities through cuts it is an outrage that these people are allowed to carry on inflicting mess and disruption to areas of our city.

The penalties for the vandalism that gypsy travellers inflict on our communities and areas of natural beauty need to be a whole lot tougher. If they were locked up until they were forced to pay for the cleanup following one of their uninvited stays, they may think twice about how they treat the land in the future.

As my old dad used to say “Ëœrespect is earned not demanded’.

Police Investigate Alleged Breach of Representation of the People’s Act in Stoke South

Staffordshire Police are investigating an alleged breach of section 114 of the Representation of the People’s Act 1983 involving a Labour Party candidate in a ward in the South of the city.

The allegation involves providing refreshments to members of the public who attended a community event where the Labour Candidate was introduced and addressed the meeting.

The event was also attended by a number of other Labour candidates and a Member of Parliament.

Section 114 of the Representation of the People’s Act 1983 clearly states that providing food, drink or entertainment could be classed as Treating.

Section 114 of the RPA 1983 says

Treating: A person is guilty of treating if either before, during or after an election or referendum they directly or indirectly give or provide (or pay wholly or in part the expense of giving or providing) any food, drink, entertainment or provision in order to influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting.
Corrupt practice, Section 114, RPA 1983

Staffordshire Police have confirmed that they are currently investigating the matter.

A Statement released by Staffordshire Police says

An allegation has been made with regard to a breach of section 114 of the RPA and the circumstances are currently being investigated.

The Labour Party confirmed that they are aware of the allegation but has strongly denied any wrong doing.

A Spokesman for the Labour Party in Stoke-on-Trent said

We can happily confirm that there was an event that took place on the 27th March and that those who attended did indeed receive a cup of tea and a biscuit. This is perfectly reasonable and a common courtesy. The cost of the event will, of course, be included in the election expenses.

A number of people in the ward concerned and surrounding areas are said to be furious that the candidate concerned has been named, along with another allegation that other Labour candidates and a MP are also under investigation, on a rival political group’s website.

The website claims

4 Labour candidates and a Labour MP from the Labour Party ,its has now been confirmed, are involved in police investigation into an allegation that a Labour Candidate breached the Representation of the People’s Act 1983, Section 114, in attempting to gain votes through iterating potential voters, a criminal offence subject up to £5000 fine or six months imprisonment.

The website has also published the name of a candidate that it says is under police investigation.

Staffordshire Police have confirmed to Pits n Pots this morning [Tuesday] that they have not, or have any intention of, confirming the name or the number of individuals connected with this inquiry or whether charges will follow.

A Labour Party Spokesperson in the South of the City said

This is typical of some of the gutter tactics that certain individuals and groups stoop to around election time.

I have no problem with the investigation but the naming of individuals before any guilt is proved is nothing but dirty tricks.

Comments are closed on this article as the matter is under Police investigation that may, or may not, result in charges.