Devon and CornwallPolice Federation

Policing News

Thousands of Devon and Cornwall police 101 callers hang up

A fifth of callers to the Devon and Cornwall Police 101 service are having to wait more than 20 minutes to get through, a report has found. Police and crime commissioner Tony Hogg launched an investigation into the non-emergency number following complaints from the public. He also found thousands of callers hung up in frustration. The 101 number is used to report offences such as vandalism and drug dealing. Mr Hogg's study found callers were taking an average of more than six minutes to be answered but half waited 10 minutes or longer. A fifth had to wait 20 minutes or more and more than 25% of callers hung up. The report branded the situation "frustrating and unacceptable". In October, it meant 3,768 callers did not get through and another 2,763 got an engaged tone. The review found the police's call-handling technology was "not fit for purpose" and "a substantial barrier to delivering a better service".

Hillsborough Inquests: Commander said fans 'broke in'

The match commander at Hillsborough told football chiefs Liverpool fans forced open a gate to "break in" to the ground, a court has heard. Glen Kirton, who was the Football Association's press chief in 1989, said Ch Supt David Duckenfield made the remark inside the police control box. At an earlier hearing, the jury heard an order was given by Mr Duckenfield to open an exit gate at 14:52 GMT. Ninety six people died as a result of a crush at the Sheffield stadium. Mr Kirton's witness statement, made in 1989, said: "Chief Superintendent Duckenfield told us the gate had been forced and an in-rush of Liverpool supporters had caused casualties". Reports of fans breaking in were carried by the media until a press conference held on the evening of the disaster, the inquests heard. The jury heard Peter Wright, South Yorkshire Police's chief constable, told journalists "a gate had been opened by police".

Boy shot in head in Chester-le-Street 'thought he would die'

The mother of an 11-year-old boy shot in the head at a football match says he thought he was going to die. Connor Minto was left with a pellet lodged near his eye after being hit during the under-12s game in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. Three 14-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with the attack and bailed. "It was quite traumatic for everybody. The pellet was well embedded into his forehead," said Kerry Minto. She said Connor did not want to go back to the ground and needed reassurance it would not happen again. "Physically he's fine but mentally it's really shook him up," she said. "I keep looking at the photo and thinking that would have been his whole life affected if that had just been an inch or so lower. I can't even put into words how it makes me feel." It is believed an air gun was used in the incident at Hermitage Academy on Saturday during the game between Chester-le-Street Town and Coxhoe.

Humberside Police gun amnesty: 56 weapons received

More than 50 firearms have been handed in to Humberside Police during a two-week gun amnesty. The 56 weapons include shotguns, rifles, handguns and pistols along with rounds of ammunition. Several replica and BB guns were also received. The amnesty was prompted by a change in the law in July, when the maximum penalty for possession increased from 10 years' imprisonment to life. The force said: "Our streets are safer now as a result of this initiative."

Georgia Williams: Seventh officer faces inquiry

A seventh officer is to face a misconduct inquiry over dealings with a man who went on to kill a schoolgirl. Jamie Reynolds strangled Georgia Williams in May 2012, four years after being cautioned by West Mercia Police for trying to strangle another teenage girl at his home. Devon and Cornwall Police is examining the force's earlier dealings with Reynolds, of Wellington, Shropshire. The seventh officer was given a misconduct notice last week. In September, Devon and Cornwall Police said it had served six West Mercia officers with misconduct notices.

No police charges over Kevin Nunes inquiry

Nine police officers, including two chief constables, will face no criminal charges over the investigation into the death of a man who was shot in an "execution-style" killing. Suspected drug dealer Kevin Nunes, 20, was killed in Staffordshire in 2002. Five men jailed for murder had their convictions overturned due to concerns over evidence available to the defence. Fourteen officers in total have now been told by the CPS they will not face charges over the handling of the case. Among the officers investigated were: " Gloucestershire Police Chief Constable Suzette Davenport " Northamptonshire Chief Constable Adrian Lee " West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale " Staffordshire Assistant Chief Constable Jane Sawyers

Garage staff refuse demands of gun-wielding robber

A man wielding a suspected handgun and demanding cash left a petrol station empty handed after staff refused his demands. Police are now searching for the man who entered Dunns Motors in Exeter, Devon, at about 09:30 GMT on Wednesday. After staff refused to hand over any money, the man left and the weapon was later found by officers. It is now being examined. Devon and Cornwall Police said the man wore an orange jacket with a hoody. Police described him as having a stubbly beard, dark eyebrows and speaking in an eastern European accent.

Cambridgeshire Police detective Matthew Swash 'kissed junior officers'

A detective sergeant accused of sex assaults kissed, touched and stroked junior officers and "checked out" female crime victims, a jury heard. Matthew Swash, 40, of Cambridgeshire Police, denies 12 sex offence charges against four colleagues and a victim. St Albans Crown Court heard he is also accused of accessing force databases to contact crime victims, visit them and send them inappropriate text messages. The jury was told he "exploited his position". The trial continues.

Death of Faringdon baby boy investigated as police arrest man, 21

An investigation has been launched into the the "sudden" unexplained death of a baby in Oxfordshire. The 11-week-old boy collapsed at a Faringdon property on Sunday and was taken to Great Western Hospital. He was transferred to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children where he died at 22:30 GMT on Tuesday. A 21-year-old man from Faringdon arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm on Monday was bailed a day later until 2 February. A post-mortem examination has yet to take place. Det Ch Insp Kevin Brown, of the major crime unit, said: "Thames Valley Police is treating the death as suspicious at this stage and an intensive investigation has been launched. "However, I would like to stress that this is a very complex case and we are keeping an open mind as to the cause at this moment." He added: "The force's specially trained family liaison officers are currently with the family, at this extremely distressing time."