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Southern Update w/c 2 September

By DPF Admin9th September 2013August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Southern Updates

Kent youth commissioner replacement to be recruited

A new Kent youth police and crime commissioner is to be recruited, six months after the first holder of the post resigned over Twitter messages.

Paris Brown was appointed in April but quit over comments she made online before she was given the role.

Kent's police and crime commissioner (PCC) Ann Barnes is to start recruiting her replacement in October.

The successful candidate is expected to receive £15,000 for the year, part-funded from Ms Barnes' £85,000 salary.

The appointment of a youth PCC was one of Ms Barnes's main manifesto pledges in the campaign ahead of her election as Kent's first PCC in November.

A spokeswoman for Ms Barnes said: “She has to deliver it as part of her promises and is very committed to do so.”Miss Brown was appointed to the youth post on 3 April, when she was still 16, to represent young people across the county.

Kent Police received more than 50 complaints from members of the public about remarks she made online before her appointment, which could be considered racist and homophobic.

The force investigated the Twitter posts but said it did not believe the comments, in context, were grossly offensive on an objective assessment.

Miss Brown apologised for making the “stupid, immoral” tweets when she was 14, 15 and 16, and her lawyers claimed the police investigation was “disproportionate”.

The social media history of the new candidates will be scrutinised as part of the recruitment process, according to Ms Barnes' office.

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Essex Police chief constable: Funds 'toughest in generation'

A chief constable has claimed the current state of police finances are the “toughest in a generation”.

Essex Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh made the claim during a briefing marking his 100th day in the post.

Mr Kavanagh said the force's top priority was tackling domestic violence after a number of critical reports into its handling of such cases.

Given more funding, he said, he would spend it setting up separate domestic violence units across the county.

His comments come as Home Secretary Theresa May outlined details of a review into how domestic violence cases are handled by forces in England and Wales.

The review by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) will report back to the Home Office in April 2014.

“My job is to deliver with the resources I am given,” said Mr Kavanagh.

“It is very tough in policing, the toughest in a generation.

“I will not guarantee there will never be another domestic abuse murder in this county.

“There are violent men who will bully and sometimes act in a very violent manner, but I can be absolutely committed to saying we will do everything we can to reduce the chances of that happening”.

In Thurrock and Southend, he said, a new triage system for possible domestic violence cases was to be introduced.

He said he was also bringing back a dedicated team for domestic violence – a unit which had previously been cut.

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Ex MoD police officer denied taxi licence by council

A former MoD policeman who refused to stop pestering a woman neighbour has been refused a taxi driver’s licence.

The Cardross man’s behaviour in showering the woman with unwanted gifts was “alarming and extreme”, councillors were told at a meeting of the Argyll and Bute Council licensing committee.

Now Mark Jackson’s application for a taxi licence “so that he could get on with his life” has been thrown out by the licensing committee.

He had wanted to work for Mike Brown, who has a taxi firm in Cardross, but the application was rejected by six votes to three at the committee’s recent meeting.

The committee heard that Mr Jackson had worked as an MoD policeman for 27 years and retired early in September last year.

A letter submitted to the committee by the Chief Constable advised of two separate charges relating to breach of the peace and stalking legislation. He advised that during a period of 17 months between February 2004 and July 2005, the female neighbour had reported receiving a series of unwanted attention from Mr Jackson.

Despite warnings to stop, Mr Jackson continued with this behaviour and was then charged with breach of the peace.

The Chief Constable advised of other incidents which took place between February and June 2011 and, despite warnings to stop, confirmed that Mr Jackson was charged with contravention of Section 39(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

He advised that in respect of both charges the Procurator Fiscal decided not to take proceedings. Overall, however, the Chief Constable considered that Mr Jackson’s conduct was ‘alarming and extreme’ towards the woman and that he considered him to be an unfit person to be the holder of a taxi driver licence.

However, when questioned by committee members, Mr Jackson said he disputed what was reported by the police. He explained that apart from flowers which were left at the woman’s door, on all other occasions the gifts were hand delivered and accepted in person.

He said he had a short affair with his neighbour and he had given her small things in person to hide the affair from his partner.

He said it took a year for his case to come to court and in that time his lawyer had tried to obtain the neighbour’s phone records to prove she had phoned him. But by the time the records were obtained the information did not cover the period in question so he was unable to use this evidence to help his case in court.

Councillor Richard Trail said he was concerned with the pattern of behaviour. He advised that one could be excused of infatuation once, but to be pulled up and asked not to continue and to then ignore this was quite serious and could present a danger to the public. He said he could be concerned to grant a licence to Mr Jackson.

However, Councillor Robin Currie advised he would have been more concerned about the pattern of behaviour if it had occurred with more than one person, and not just because it happened between two individuals. He said that “life was life and these things happen”.

Cllr Currie added he was not condoning the behaviour, but just because two people fell out members should not ‘sit here and judge’. He advised he would have no hesitation in recommending the taxi driver licence be granted.

Councillor George Freeman said police had raised very serious concerns and, like Councillor Trail, he also had concerns. He said the police would not have submitted this report if they did not have their own concerns.

Councillor MacDougall noted there had been no incident since June 2011 and asked if the committee were to grant the licence could a condition be attached that if any misbehaviour occurred the licence could be withdrawn.

A motion by Cllr Trail, seconded by Cllr Freeman, that the application be refused, was carried by six votes to three.

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