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BBC: Bomb left outside Ardoyne school was designed to kill officers, say police
Bomb left outside Ardoyne school was designed to kill officers, say police
23 April 2017
From the section Northern Ireland
Ch Supt Chris Noble said the device was "sizeable" and an attempt by dissident republicans to kill police officers
Police have said a bomb which was left outside the gates of a primary school in north Belfast could have killed or seriously injured.
It was discovered by a passing police patrol near Holy Cross Boys' Primary School in Ardoyne in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Ch Supt Chris Noble said the device was "sizeable" and an attempt by dissident republicans to kill police officers.
He said the lives of the local community had also been put at risk.
"There's no doubt that device was there to try and kill community police officers on the beat in their local area but also it was left in such a reckless manner and in such a reckless location that it would undoubtedly have led to the death or serious injury of a member of the public had it exploded anywhere near them," he said.
"This is an attempt, we believe, by violent dissident republicans to kill police officers but it was also very much an "anti-community act" as well, in terms of where it was located and the way in which it was left."
About 20 residents had to leave their homes during the security operation and were given shelter in a nearby community centre.
The senior officer said they included "very distressed young children" as well as elderly residents and people with "significant disabilities".
They have since been allowed to return home.
The bomb was left outside the gates of Holy Cross Boys' Primary School
Northern Ireland Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, said: "I am sickened by this incident with dissident republican terrorists placing a bomb close to a primary school in north Belfast.
"This shows their wanton disregard for human life, potentially putting children in danger.
"The consequences could have been utterly devastating and it shows them for what they really are."
The Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA, Gerry Kelly, also condemned those who had left the bomb in the area.
"Those who are involved in this need to get off the people's backs and they need to go away," he said.
"The message is as simple and straightforward as that, we could have been dealing with death here, thankfully, we're not."
The Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA, Gerry Kelly, condemned those who had left the bomb in the area
SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said the incident had caused distress to those living in the area.
"In total there were over 20 homes evacuated," he said.
"One young girl, a six-year-old, you could see the fear when you were speaking to her and she said [was] woken up by her mum and had to leave the house.
"She told me she actually thought she was dreaming and her and her mum were very frightened."
The chair of the Policing Board, Anne Connolly, urged witnesses to help detectives track down those responsible.
'Leaving an explosive device in the heart of the community shows the recklessness of those responsible as anyone could have been caught up in this," she said.
"I'm grateful that the device was found and the attempt to harm our police officers thwarted."
The school's vice-principal, Chris Donnelly, said: "There was a device that had been left at the entrance to the school which is obviously very disconcerting for people who had to be taken from their beds and moved."
He added that a lot of young people gather in the area in the evening.
Pupils are due to return to Holy Cross on Monday after the Easter break.
View the full article
Emergency Services Network a “tragedy in waiting” as Home Office drops the ball on Airwave
MPs have blasted the government's lack of a robust contingency plan to tackle the delayed deployment of a new Emergency Services Network (ESN)—warning that it represents a "potentially catastrophic blow" to 999 responders and could be "a tragedy in waiting."
For something that is meant to be in use shortly I'm yet to hear any positive news. I am inclined to agree with the headline and the rest of the article.
Shocking moment TV builder star of Channel 4’s Renovation Game was ‘beaten with baton and pepper-sprayed by cops after being dragged from his car’
THIS is the moment a TV builder charged with assaulting two police officers appears to be dragged out of his car and beaten by a cop with a “metal bar”.
Full Story - The Sun
Not sure why The Sun dont call a baton a baton instead of a " metal bar"
As for this chap Huntley Thawe he states on his facebook page " the police chose the wrong black man to mess with" it says it all really.
HMIC: Police cannot continue to fill the gaps left by other agencies
Police forces are having to pick up the slack as cuts in other public services increase pressure on them, according to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Thomas Winsor, in a report published today.
In his annual State of Policing report, Sir Thomas draws attention to material pressures on police forces in England and Wales, which put the service under strain.
The principal pressures he highlights are as a result of:
the failures of other public services, especially in respect of children’s and adolescent mental health, too often making the police the service of first resort, long after the chances of effective prevention have been lost;
the modern tsunami of online fraud;
increased police awareness of crimes against vulnerable people, including the elderly and the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, requiring the devotion of higher specialist police resources; and
the fragmented state of police information and communications technology.
The report highlights that 18 forces require improvement in at least one of HMIC’s principal inspection themes of effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy.
Reflecting on last month’s attack in Westminster, Sir Thomas paid tribute to the bravery of police officers:
“Every day and every night, police officers do things that most of us would go out of our way to avoid. This has been illustrated to a tragically graphic extent by the Westminster terrorist attack in which one very brave police officer, PC Keith Palmer, lost his life.
“Police officers do a difficult job professionally, conscientiously and compassionately, and they deserve our grateful thanks.”
When considering the daily pressures to which the police are subject, Sir Thomas warned against the insidious creep of expecting police forces to be able to deal with the increasing demand caused by a shortage in mental health provision.
Sir Thomas said:
“The police are considered to be the service of last resort. In some areas, particularly where people with mental health problems need urgent help, the police are increasingly being used as the service of first resort. This is wrong.
“The provision of mental healthcare has reached such a state of severity that police are often being used to fill the gaps that other agencies cannot. This is an unacceptable drain on police resources, and it is a profoundly improper way to treat vulnerable people who need care and help.
“The obligation of the police is to prevent crime. This is not only because this makes society safer – both in reality and in perception – but also because it is far cheaper to prevent a crime than it is to investigate and arrest the offender after the event. The same is true of mental ill-health, which is not a crime. It is an old adage that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, and this is particularly true when the cure fails and an emergency intervention is required to protect the safety of an individual in distress and, often, people nearby. By the time depression or some other mental disorder has been allowed to advance to the point that someone is contemplating suicide, or engaging in very hazardous behaviour, many opportunities to intervene will have been missed by many organisations. When that intervention takes place on a motorway bridge or railway line, or when someone is holding a weapon in a state of high distress, the expense to all concerned is far higher than it should be. The principal sufferer is the person who is ill, especially when it is realised that his or her suffering could have been much less or even avoided altogether.”
Whilst there are examples of excellence found in the HMIC inspections over the last year, police leaders need to focus more on what matters most, by planning properly for the future, by ensuring that their officers and staff are properly trained, supported and equipped, and by improving the pace of improvement significantly.
The report says that the police are particularly far behind many other organisations in the way they use technology. Used well, modern technology should give the police an unprecedented ability to exchange, retrieve and analyse intelligence.
Sir Thomas summed up:
“The changing nature of crime, and the increasing opportunities to exploit the vulnerability of children and the elderly in particular, creates a greatly intensified need for police leaders to improve their efficiency and effectiveness to prevent crime and deal with offences.
“In too many cases, police leaders are still too sluggish in ensuring their plans to meet new demands are sound, particularly in the need to ensure the complete interoperability of law enforcement information and communications systems.
“For too long, a culture of insularity, isolationism and protectionism has prevented chief officers from making the most effective use of the technology available to them. The blinkers have to come off.”
This year, HMIC has been able to compare year-on-year performance of each police force, and therefore assess the direction of each force and the police service as a whole. Forces are assessed against three broad categories: effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy. Overall, in comparison with 2015:
in relation to effectiveness, 10 police forces improved, 26 stayed the same and seven forces declined;
in relation to efficiency, six forces improved, 30 stayed the same and seven forces declined; and
in relation to legitimacy, four forces improved, 36 stayed the same and three forces declined.
Overall, in HMIC inspections, the judgments which are made in relation to the efficiency and effectiveness of the police are predominantly about how well the police use their money and other resources, not about how much funding forces have at their disposal.
Across the 43 police forces of England and Wales, four forces were judged to be ‘outstanding’ against one or more of these categories; only one force – Bedfordshire Police – was found to be ‘inadequate’ for one category, but 18 forces were found to ‘require improvement’ in one or more categories. On 12 April 2017, HMIC published assessments by each of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary on the performance of the 43 police forces in England and Wales over the last year.
State of Policing: The Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2016
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