Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Archive frozen

Due to other commitments this archive will no longer updated. However, it (871 posts) will be left on line for reference purposes.

Scroll down the side bar to find the authority/body of interest to you. Number in brackets is the number of posts for that authority/body.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

MP Mike Hancock to be investigated over claims he sent lewd text messages

A Liberal Democrat MP faces a council investigation after he was accused of sending lewd and suggestive texts to a vulnerable constituent.

Mike Hancock is also alleged to have bought clothes and perfume for the single mother, who has since complained about his advances.

Portsmouth City Council, where Mr Hancock is also a councillor, said today it had decided to refer a complaint against him for formal investigation to see if he broke their code of conduct.

The woman’s legal team claim Hancock sent texts to the woman, one of which is believed to have said: 'Thinking as always of u and missing u. big kiss xxx.'

Another allegedly states: 'I miss you sexy. xxx.'

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail

Read all articles about Portsmouth Council on this blog

Deputy chief constable sacked for gross misconduct over misuse of funds

The deputy chief constable of a scandal-hit police force has been sacked for gross misconduct and could now be forced to repay his £40,000 salary after misusing public funds.

Derek Bonnard was sacked from his role at Cleveland Police force by an independent panel after six counts of gross misconduct against the officer were upheld.

Mr Bonnard had been suspended from duty while disciplinary proceedings were carried out.
In a catalogue of misconduct, Mr Bonnard was found to have deliberately obstructed a criminal investigation into corruption in the force, misused public funds as well as a force credit card, accepted inappropriate hospitality and acted improperly in a redundancy matter.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Pembrokeshire County Councillor censured

A county councillor was found to have 'used his position as a councillor to create an advantage for himself' following an investigation by the Public Service Ombudsman.

Cllr Myles Pepper, who represents Fishguard North East, has been censured and will have to undergo training after a failing to comply with the Members' Code of Conduct and not declaring a personal or prejudicial interest in a traffic consultation.

Read the full story from the source Western Telegraph

Prosecution Service staff guilty of fraud

Two Crown Prosecution Service employees have admitted making more than £1 million worth of bogus claims for taxi fares.

Finance manager Lisa Burrows and officer worker Tahir Mahmood were warned to expect 'inevitable' jail terms after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position at Birmingham Crown Court.

Burrows, 41, of Oldbury, West Midlands, and Mahmood, 50, from Hodge Hill, Birmingham, are believed to have used the proceeds of the five-year scam to pay off a mortgage and fund trips to Dubai.

The pair, who will be sentenced in July, showed no obvious sign of emotion as they admitted conning the CPS out of £1,021,475 by producing invoices for a fictitious cab firm purporting to cater for witnesses.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail

Council placed four-year-old in foster care of suspected paedophile

Council placed four-year-old in foster care of suspected paedophile then spent £23,000 trying to keep blunders a secret.

A council spent £23,000 of taxpayers' money trying to gag reporting of a case where it had placed a four-year-old in foster care with a suspected paedophile.

Bristol City Council tried and failed to obtain a High Court injunction which would prevent embarrassing details of the case being made public.

Social services took nearly three weeks to remove the girl from a foster family, despite the father being under suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail

Devon councillor suspended after planning consultancy sting

UPDATED 13th March 2013: Councillor Graham Brown investigated for bribery. Update below original story.

A councillor filmed offering his services as a consultant to help developers get planning approval has been suspended by his party group.

East Devon District Council’s Conservative group said it had both suspended Graham Brown from the group and removed him from his post as Member Champion for Business and Tourism on the Tory-run council.

The Conservative member, who is not a member of the council’s planning committee, told a reporter posing as developer that he could help with getting planning approval for applications in the area and has "access to all the right people".

He told the reporter: "If I can’t get planning, nobody will."

Paul Diviani, the Tory council leader, said: "I and other members feel that councillor Brown has brought himself, the party and council in to disrepute with his comments, and even though his interest as a planning consultant has been declared, this does not excuse the remarks he made."

Read the full story from the source Planning Resource or more about the Telegraph sting here and here



UPDATE 13th March 2013: Councillor Graham Brown investigated for bribery

A councillor who was filmed claiming he could influence the planning process has resigned.

East Devon district councillor and planning consultant Graham Brown told an undercover reporter: "If I can't get planning, nobody will."

The Conservative-led council confirmed it had referred Mr Brown's comments to the police under the Bribery Act 2010 and its own policy on fraud, theft and anti-corruption.

It said: "Although Graham Brown has not been a member of our planning committee, his comments still raised serious issues and we have responded to them quickly, firmly and fairly".

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Police officer sacked for gross misconduct

A Metropolitan Police officer who compared one of his black colleagues to a monkey has been sacked for gross misconduct.

Constable Kevin Hughes was cleared of racially aggravated offences in November before the matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Chief magistrate Howard Riddle said that while PC Hughes’s language was ‘unacceptable and offensive’, it did not amount to a criminal offence.

Commander Allan Gibson, from the Directorate of Professional Standards, said PC Hughes ‘has now been dismissed from the Metropolitan Police Service’.

Read the full story from the source Metro

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Former police officer and a prison officer admit selling secrets

A former police officer and a prison officer have both admitted selling secrets to the Sun newspaper.

Ex Surrey Pc Alan Tierney pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office at the Old Bailey after he sold information about the arrests of footballer John Terry's mother Sue and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood in 2009.

Prison officer Richard Trunkfield, 31, from Moulton, Northamptonshire, admitted leaking information about a high profile prisoner to the tabloid.

He pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office between March 2 and April 30, 2010.

Tierney, from Hayling Island, Hampshire, was released on bail to be sentenced on March 27. Mr Justice Fulford warned him that "all options remain open".

Tierney, 40, admitted one count of the offence between March 26 and April 3, 2009, and the second between December 2 and 7, 2009.

Tierney and Trunkfield were arrested as part of Operation Elveden, which was set up to investigate allegations of newspapers paying police officers for information.

Read the full story from the Sun

Shamed police officer faces return to prison

A shamed police officer who stole cash during a house search is facing a return to prison for taking a suspect's iPhone.

Former PC Ian Scouler was jailed for 12 months last November after being secretly filmed pocketing £400 while on duty in 2011.

But Scouler was back in court today to admit stealing a suspect's iPhone and another handset while employed by the Metropolitan Police.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail

Police review Caerphilly council chief's unlawful rise

The way a council unlawfully awarded its chief executive a £27,000 pay rise is to be reviewed by police. Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that they have been asked by Gwent Police to look at the Wales Audit Office (WAO) findings on Caerphilly council.

It emerged hours after the release of the report which said the council's actions over Anthony O'Sullivan had been "unlawful on a number of grounds".

A council spokesman said earlier: "It is important to stress that the decision of the senior remuneration committee was rescinded at a meeting of full council on 17 January, where independent external legal advice was received and a new decision was reached.

Gwent Police said: "Having considered the Wales Audit Office report and having received advice from our legal services department, we have decided that it is a matter that should be investigated by the police to ensure complete transparency and independence.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Investigation Launched Into 'Sex Parties' At Home Of Councillor

An investigation is underway after reports that a councillor was hosting sex parties at his home.

David Fuller, a Liberal Democrat councillor at Portsmouth City Council, has reportedly been holding the events, called MissUse parties hosted by a Mistress Sarah, at a three-bedroom detached property in The Avenue, Fareham, Hampshire.

Fareham Borough Council said it would investigate the parties to establish whether they have breached licensing or planning regulations.

On his page on the Portsmouth council's website, Cllr Fuller, who represents the Fratton area, states that he is a freemason and works as the manager of care home.

Read the full story from the source Huff Post

Resign call after Weymouth councillor's Facebook outburst

UPDATED 8th March 2013: I'm sorry: Councillor apologises for Facebook post saying Costa staff "needed a good beating". Update below original story.

A SENIOR councillor has been urged to resign after he used a social networking site to slate service in a coffee shop in Dorchester and said the female staff ‘needed a good beating’.

Weymouth and Portland Borough councillor Peter Chapman took to Facebook to complain after a visit to the Costa Coffee shop, saying: “Terminally slow (and bad) service from the bone idle bitches at Costa Dorchester today, they all need a good beating.”

Coun Chapman, a member of the Conservative party and the council’s spokesperson for finance and assets, admitted that he had made the comment ‘in jest’. He said: “My Facebook status is private and that comment was not made in public.

Independent chair of Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND), Toni McKee, said: “I think this is absolutely terrible, and there are no grounds for even joking about something like that. “I think he should step down.

Phil Gordon, of the town's Business Improvement District, said: “It is not an acceptable way to behave and hopefully a full apology will be forthcoming.

Read the full story from the source Dorset Echo



UPDATE 8th March 2013: I'm sorry: Councillor apologises for Facebook post saying Costa staff "needed a good beating"

COUNCILLOR Peter Chapman has apologised ‘sincerely and unreservedly’ for remarks made about female coffee shop staff on a social networking site.

Toni McKee, of women’s group Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND), said she was glad Coun Chapman had ‘seen the error of his ways’.

She added: “It is good to hear that he’s apologised but I don’t know if it is enough to make up for what he said.

Read the full story from the source Dorset Echo

Married PCSO used police computers as dating agency

UPDATED 18th March 2013: Married PCSO found guilty. Updates below original article.

UPDATED 20th March 2012: Married PCSO jailed for seven years. Updates below original article.

A police community support officer used the police database ‘as a dating agency’ to have affairs with single mothers and domestic abuse victims while on duty, a court heard.

Peter Bunyan accessed inside information to do background checks on women and their ex-partners after ‘welfare’ visits to victims of crime, it is alleged.

He is accused of neglecting his duties by turning his police radio off on shifts before having sex with women, including at a neighbourhood police office.

He is alleged to have urged a mentally ill woman to email explicit pictures of herself to the police station.

Bunyan, a father-of-two, denies 12 counts of misconduct in a public office, taking place over a five-year period in the Camborne and Redruth areas of west Cornwall.

The officer has been suspended by Devon and Cornwall police.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail



UPDATE 18March 2013: Married PCSO found guilty of using police database to strike up affairs with four vulnerable women on uniformed patrol.

A married PCSO has been found guilty of misconduct after he slept with four vulnerable women while he was supposed to be on uniformed patrol.

Bunyan, who has been suspended from Devon and Cornwall police, will be sentenced by Judge Graham Hume Jones on Tuesday.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail



UPDATE 20th March 2013: Married PCSO jailed for seven years.

A married police community support officer who bedded four women while he was on duty was jailed for seven years yesterday.

He claimed he was not neglecting his duty because he kept his radio on while having sex.

But he was convicted of misconduct at Taunton crown court,

Judge Graham Hume Jones told him: “You targeted vulnerable women to indulge your sexual appetite.

“You were even bold enough and arrogant enough to take a woman to a police office and engage in sexual intercourse with her there.”

Bunyan is expected to be dismissed from the police.

Read the full story from the source Daily MIrror

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Monday, 4 March 2013

IPCC investigating allegations against senior Cleveland Police staff member

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating an allegation that the most senior member of police staff in Cleveland Police misused public funds.

Assistant Chief Officer Ann Hall, who is responsible for finance and commissioning, is the subject of an allegation that unauthorised payments amounting to thousands of pounds have been made to an executive coaching company.

The allegation was referred to the IPCC by Cleveland Police and an independent investigation has begun.

ACO Hall has been suspended by Cleveland Police while the investigation is ongoing. IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: "Any allegations of misuse of public funds is serious and must be investigated. Given the recent history of Cleveland Police and the investigations into former Chief Constable Sean Price and his deputy Derek Bonnard I can appreciate that news of this investigation may cause some concern among the public. I can assure them this investigation will be thorough and conducted as quickly as possible.”

Read the full story from the source IPCC

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Former Tory council leader guilty on four counts of misconduct

Former Conservative Thanet District Council leader Sandy Ezekiel has been found guilty of four counts of misconduct in public office concerning the purchase of property.

The 59-year-old, of Crow Hill, Broadstairs, was found to have committed the offences between September 22, 2009, and February 24, 2011.

The jury at Maidstone Crown Court reached a unanimous verdict today (Friday, March 1) on all charges.

Read the full story from the source Kent News

Two police community support officers arrested over allegations of rape and misconduct

Two Police Community Support Officers have been arrested in connection with alleged sexual offences and misconduct in a public office.

The officers involved are based in Nottinghamshire, the county's police force said. The two men, aged 28 and 45, are facing accusations relating to alleged offences said to have taken place several years ago, according to a police spokesman.

The 28-year-old man was taken into custody this week and questioned on suspicion of rape and misconduct in a public office.

The second, 45-year-old officer was arrested yesterday and is facing accusations of misconduct in a public office, the spokesman said. The officers were taken into custody after details of the alleged offences were reported to Nottinghamshire Police on Wednesday.

Read the full story from the source Mail on Line

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Homeless man dies frozen on doorstep of empty bungalow

A tarpaulin, a pillow, a dirty old jacket, a carrier bag and a few worthless items strewn over the veranda of a boarded-up bungalow.

This is where homeless Daniel Gauntlett tried to find shelter through a bitterly cold winter and where, on a freezing night on Saturday, he finally succumbed to the cold.

Derek Bailey, 80, who lives next door, said Mr Gauntlett had not appeared to be in ill health.

"They took him up to the hospital about a fortnight before when they'd found him and social workers got involved," said Mr Bailey.

Read the full story from the source Kent on Line

councillor and daughter go on trial for harrassing neighbour

A TOWN councillor and her daughter went on trial today (Thursday, February 14) charged with harassing a neighbour.

Councillor Irene Hewitson, 55, of Rowan Place, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, and her daughter Jenna Eastland, 26, are accused of being threatening and abusive towards Mary-Jane Kelly, another resident of the street, between August 17 and September 21 last year.

Mrs Hewitson, an independent member of Great Aycliffe Town Council, and Miss Eastland deny the charge.

At a trial at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court Ms Kelly claimed she had been harassed by the councillor and her family on a daily basis for almost ten months.

Read the full story from the source The Northern Echo

COUNCIL housing officer accused of sexually pestering women

Allan Whitelaw, 55, is alleged to have abused his position as a housing officer with Fife Council over a period of seven years, by walking into women's homes uninvited, making sexually suggestive comments, trying to steal kisses, and touching them on their legs and bottom. It is alleged he offered one woman money for sex.

His trial is due to commence on Monday.

Read the full story from the source Herald Scotland

Former Chelmsford council officer to stand trial for theft and fraud

A FORMER council officer who is accused of stealing nearly £400,000 of taxpayers' money is to stand trial in the summer.

He is accused of obtaining a money transfer of £75,985 by deception from Chelmsford Borough Council between June 2004 and June 2007 – falsely claiming that valid work had been carried out by Essex Play Council when it had not.

He is further charged with fraud between June 2007 and September 2010 by falsely representing that work to the sum of £156,469 had been carried out on behalf of Chelmsford Borough Council by Essex Play Council when it had not.

Read the full story from the source This is Total Essex

Read all articles about Chelmsford Borough Council on this blog

Social worker took the wrong child out of primary school

An investigation has been launched after a social worker took the wrong child out of school for a supervised visit with another boy’s father.

Now, his parents are demanding a full explanation as to why Kenzie, who has no dealings with social services, was taken.

'Somebody has messed up somewhere along the line and we want to know who it was and how it happened.'

Kenzie was driven to social services offices before the mistake was discovered.

The school contacted the city council’s Safeguarding Children Board when they realised the error and an investigation is being carried out.

Hull City Council confirmed a joint investigation will take place between themselves and the school.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail

Read all articles about Kingston Upon Hull City Council on this blog

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Tory candidate tried to rig election result by forging signatures

A Conservative candidate who tried to rig a local by-election by forging signatures was caught out - by a spelling mistake, a court heard.

Cengizhan Cerit, 47, known as Jem Cerit, needed ten residents to nominate him so he could stand as a candidate for Beaver Ward in the Ashford Borough Council by-election in November 2011.

But the wealthy businessman and landlord, who owns fast-food chain Perfect Pizza, faked the  signatures on his election registration form and then tried to apply for hundreds of postal votes so he could rig the election.

His cheating scheme was exposed by a simple spelling error - where a man was listed twice with two spellings of the name ‘Arnold’.

Canterbury Crown Court heard the Turkish property owner, who ran an empire of 68 houses with more than 300 tenants, failed to spot the mistake in the Electoral Register.

Father-of-two Cerit was convicted by a jury of three charges of election fraud at Canterbury Crown Court today and has been warned he could face jail.

Read the full story from the source Mail on Line

Bent cops let off by ‘woeful’ watchdog

BENT cops are dodging justice because of “woeful” probes by the police watchdog, MPs warn today.

Some of its investigations “barely scratch the surface”. And it wastes time on trivial complaints while “gravely” serious cases are largely neglected.

Today’s damning MPs’ report reveals that the public had gripes over nearly one in four cops last year, but the Independent Police Complaints Commission was “woefully under equipped” to take action.

The report says the overstretched IPCC “has neither the powers nor the resources to get to the truth when the integrity of the police is in doubt”. Its failure “leaves the public frustrated and faithless”.

Read the full story from the source The Sun

For more information also read the article in the Independent

Surrey County Council fails a woman in care

The unnamed woman, in her 80s, was close to death when she was finally found, by chance, at her home in Banstead, Surrey.

A district nurse discovered her last Thursday. She was suffering kidney failure, severe bed sores and had only a faint pulse.

Surrey County Council failed to provide alternative care for her after Carefirst 24 was shut down by police and the UK Border Agency officers.

The pensioner, who normally received four visits a day, is still in hospital recovering from her ordeal.

She was only found by chance by a district nurse who popped in to visit her. The Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board, made up of representatives from the council, police and the NHS, have launched an urgent inquiry.

Read the full story form the source Telegraph

Police constable, 28, 'gave three-year-old girl a sexually transmitted disease

A police officer allegedly gave a three-year-old girl a sexually transmitted disease when he abused her, a court has today heard.

PC James Williams, who was based at Trinity Road police station, in Bristol, is accused of assaulting the toddler in a house in the city and passing on chlamydia to her.

Williams, who is suspended from duties as a response officer for Avon and Somerset police, denies sexual assault by penetration on a child under 13.

Read the full story from the source Mail on Line

Detective Chief Inspector jailed for offering to sell information on phone-hacking

A senior counter-terrorism detective who claimed she wanted to blow the whistle on the phone hacking investigation was jailed for 15 months yesterday.

Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn, 53, rang the News of the World to discuss Scotland Yard’s decision to launch a new investigation into phone hacking.

She claimed she made the call because the public should know that counter-terrorism officers were being used to investigate phone hacking instead of ‘saving lives’.

Read the full story from the source Mail on Line

Magistrate fiddled £22,000 in expenses

A magistrate who presided over benefit fraud cases is facing jail after cheating the taxpayer out of more than £22,000 in an expenses scam.

Carlton Janson, 69, fiddled his claims on mileage and allowances for loss of earnings while sitting in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

The businessman, once a former director of his local golf club, had frequently been chairman of the bench after being sworn in by a judge in 2000.

Read the full story from the source Telegraph

Ex-councillor accused of embezzling £85,000 from elderly couple

A former councillor accused of embezzling more than £85,000 from an elderly couple is due to stand trial in the spring.

Gordon Beurskens, 49, is accused of obtaining a mandate to operate five bank accounts and cards held by James and Janet McQue over a three-year period.

Mr Beurskens, who represented the Action to Save St John's Hospital campaign on West Lothian Council, allegedly siphoned off £85,173.35 from the pensioners' life savings through cash withdrawals  on-line transactions and bank transfers.

Read the full story from the source STV

Female social worker 'sexually abused two sisters aged six and ten

A social worker was today accused of sexually abusing two young sisters while she was working for their family as a live-in nanny.

Elaine Hewitt, now 49, is alleged to have warned one of the girls - who were aged six and ten at the time - she would be taken into care if she revealed what had been going on.

Married Hewitt, from St Helens in Merseyside, was a teenager working as an au pair for a family near Watford, Hertfordshire, when she is alleged to have carried out the abuse more than 30 years ago.

She is now facing nine child sex abuse charges after the younger of the two alleged victims, now aged 38 and 42, went to the police in 2011.

Read the full story from the source Mail on Line