Devon and CornwallPolice Federation

Policing News

Kesia Leatherbarrow: Girl's death not 'preventable', review finds

A troubled teenager who took her own life after being held in a police cell was failed by agencies, a report found. A serious case review concluded that Kesia Leatherbarrow from Chorley, Lancashire, was let down but her death was "probably not preventable". The 17-year-old's body was found hanged in a garden on 3 December 2013, three days after she was arrested. Tameside Safeguarding Children Board's report said errors would "probably not have stopped her" from taking her life. The teenager had been excluded from school for possession of cannabis, had been using drugs and had self-harmed and received treatment at a specialist mental health unit, the review found. The official report examined the contact Kesia had had with Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Youth Offending Service and identified a series of failings. It found her transfer to Tameside was poorly handled.

'Honour crime': 11,000 UK cases recorded in five years

More than 11,000 cases of so-called honour crime were recorded by UK police forces from 2010-14, new figures show. The Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation, which obtained the data, called for a national strategy for police, courts and schools to follow. The crimes are usually aimed at women, and can include abductions, beatings and even murders. Commander Mak Chishty, head of police policy on the issue, said there was now a better understanding of the problem. So-called honour crimes are acts which have been committed to protect or defend the supposed honour or reputation of a family and community.

Boy, 16, on rape charges at Leicester court

A 16-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with two counts of rape. A woman was attacked in Glen Parva, Leicestershire, in the early hours of 2 July, police said. The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Leicester Magistrates' Court earlier and will next appear at the city's youth court on 13 July. He has also been charged with three counts of theft from a shop, criminal damage and theft of a pedal cycle.

Retired police officers lose age discrimination claim

Hundreds of police officers who were forced to retire have lost their claim for age discrimination at a tribunal. Many of those at forces across England and Wales with more than 30 years service have been forced to step down in recent years. The employment appeals tribunal upheld an earlier appeal by police forces. Officers in Nottinghamshire, West Midlands, Devon and Cornwall, north Wales and south Wales could now decide to take the case to the High Court. Lawyer Rebecca Townsend, representing some of the officers, said they were now studying the details of the judgement "to assess the merits of an appeal". Nigel Rabbitts, of the Devon and Cornwall branch of the Police Federation, said it was a "blow" to those involved. The region's police and crime commissioner, Tony Hogg, said he was "delighted" by the decision. The officers had won an earlier judgement, prompting fears that police forces across England and Wales could be forced to pay millions of pounds in compensation.

MP Johnny Mercer's campaign expenditure investigated

The expenses of a Devon MP are being investigated following "a number of complaints" about his campaign. Conservative Johnny Mercer secured the Plymouth Moor View seat in May but an allegation about his campaign spending has been made to police. Complaints were also made to the council after his election fliers were posted around the city the night before polling day costing 1,642 to clear up. Mr Mercer paid for the clear up and said he was "assisting the police." He said: "I am confident I haven't broken the law and this allegation is being dealt with by my lawyers."

Man charged over Hailsham nail bar fire

A man has been charged after three people were injured in a fire at a nail bar in East Sussex. A five-month old baby suffered serious burns in the blaze at Hollywood Nails in Hailsham on 4 March. A man and a 22-year-old woman were also seriously hurt. The victims were all related. Duc Bac Vuong, 51, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and one of arson with intent to endanger life. He is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court later.