Freedom of Information bid to get police station costings
Sussex Police has been served with a Freedom of Information request relating to Shoreham Police Station.
It calls for the costs of relocating staff from the Ham Road station to be published.
Jemima Bland, parliamentary Liberal Democrat candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham, put in the request last week because she feels more detailed financial information should be made public.
She wants to know how many staff will be relocated, how much accommodation they currently occupy at Shoreham Police Station and how much space they will need elsewhere.
She said: “Sussex Police have claimed there will be savings by closing police stations, but they have provided no detailed figures about the costs of housing police officers and civilian staff elsewhere.
“The way they have presented figures in the document announcing the closure does not enable the public to see both sides of the balance sheet – the costs as well as the savings.
“Without this information, it is not possible to explore different and possibly better options than closing much-needed police stations.”
In her Freedom of Information request, Ms Bland has also asked for information about the costs of rehousing more than 20 police vehicles currently kept in secure accommodation at Shoreham.
She added: “These vehicles have to go somewhere and there will be new costs. We need to know how those costs compare with keeping them at Shoreham.”
The letter was sent to the Access to Information Unit at Sussex Police Headquarters in Lewes, requesting information on four separate issues.
It states: “The Sussex Police Estates and Facilities Department Estate Strategy 2013-2018 lists Shoreham Police Station for closure.”
Katy Bourne, Sussex police and crime commissioner, has previously reassured residents they will not be left without a police presence in the town.
“I have made it a specific requirement in the estates strategy ‘that no facility or service is removed before a similar or better alternative, reflecting users’ needs, is put in place,” she said. “I fully intend to ensure a police presence remains in Shoreham.”
Sussex Police has been working closely with Adur District Council on the plans, working towards a implementation in 2017/2018.
The proposed alternative contact point for Shoreham will be modern and accessible, similar to the facilities now on offer at Hove Town Hall, which the police share with the council.
Public bodies usually have to respond to Freedom of Information requests within 20 working days.
MoD: Soldiers could face discharge if offence committed
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed it is aware of British soldiers being involved in an incident in New York, adding that any soldier found to be in the wrong could face discharge.
We are aware of an incident in New York involving some British soldiers.
This is a matter for the NYPD and it would be inappropriate to comment while there is an ongoing investigation.
All those who are found to fall short of the Army's high standards will face disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, if appropriate.
– Ministry of Defence spokesman
Met Police technology 'ineffective and outdated', report claims
Crime in London is higher because police technology is “out-of-date, ineffective and expensive to maintain”, a London Assembly report has claimed.
The Budget and Performance Committee's report on technology spending in the Metropolitan Police said officers “take a step back in time” when they go to work.
It said Scotland Yard faces “a huge challenge” in updating its technology while facing budget cuts.
The Met said it welcomed the report.
The report said: “The Metropolitan Police Service faces a huge challenge. It urgently needs better information and communication technology (ICT); and it must reduce its spending on it.
“The problem is complex. The Met's current ICT is out-of-date, ineffective and expensive to maintain. The force has not had a coherent ICT strategy for years and senior leadership in this area has been lacking.
“The Met spends a lot of money on ICT, but most of it goes on maintaining old systems, rather than investing in new technology.
“Consequently, police officers lack the technology to do their jobs as productively and effectively as they could. Crime is higher as a result.”
However, the committee found that the Met, which is due to implement a new ICT strategy later in the year, understands the scale of the challenge it faces.
The helicopter team's popular Twitter account @MPSinthesky was also praised as a good example of what can be achieved with social media.
Chairman of the Budget and Performance Committee John Biggs said in his foreword to the report: “Tablet and smartphone technology is commonly available and relatively cheap.
“Yet a police officer has to radio back to base to find out simple background information about, for example, previous crime reports or information about particular suspects.
“It seems incredible that officers have this modern technology at home yet when they arrive at work they take a step back in time.”
The report also highlighted the mayor's office for policing and crime has an unfilled vacancy for the director meant to oversee Scotland Yard's ICT, and said the committee is “not convinced” that it has the expertise necessary to fill the job.
A Met police statement said: “We welcome the report and its recommendations and we are pleased to note that the committee feels we are moving in the right direction.”
It added that the ability to use mobile devices would enable officers to access information, conduct statements, take evidence and make enquiries remotely enabling more time to be spent on the streets.
The statement said the use of social media for engagement and during major incidents had been a “huge success”.
IPCC seeks witnesses to shooting in Hale End Road, Walthamstow
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is appealing for witnesses after a man was shot by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers in Hale End Road, Walthamstow at around 8.25pm on Tuesday, 20 August.
Two firearms vehicles had responded to two separate reports from members of the public that a man had been seen in the street with a hand gun.
The IPCC has established that two officers each fired one shot injuring the man. Paramedics attended and he was taken to a London hospital following the shooting. He has since been discharged.
One week on from the incident, IPCC investigators will be in Hale End Road, Walthamstow from 7pm this evening (Tuesday, 27 August) distributing witness appeal leaflets and speaking to residents and passing members of the public.
IPCC Commissioner Sarah Green said:
“A man received gun shot wounds as a result of this incident and it is appropriate that the IPCC examines whether the force used by Metropolitan Police Service officers was necessary, proportionate and reasonable in all the circumstances and if the firearms tactics used in the intervention were appropriate on the information available at the time.
“I would urge anyone who may have been in Hale End Road, Walthamstow from around 8.15pm on Tuesday, 20 August who may hold information which would assist our investigation to get in touch with the IPCC on 0800 096 9073 or Hale_End@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk.”