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Chief Constable for the West Midlands Police Service announces his retirement

Chris Sims,the Chief Constable for the West Midlands Police Service. Credit: West Midlands Police

The Chief Constable for the West Midlands Police Service, Chris Sims, has announced that he is to retire.

An outstanding public servant, Chris Sims has devoted his life to protecting the security and the safety of the public in the West Midlands.

"He is rightly regarded to be one of Britain’s best police chiefs.

"He will be sorely missed, but he is entitled to be proud of what he has achieved.”

– Jack Dromey, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Erdington and Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister


Riot in Rutland prison leaves officer injured

Police outside HMP Ashwell near Oakham, Rutland, Leicestershire as specialist officers deal with a disturbance inside the prison. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A prison officer has been hurt after a riot broke out in Rutland.

The brawl involved around 60 prisoners who assaulted the officer in what is being described as a "serious incident of indiscipline", according to a Prison Service spokeswoman.

Police and fire crews were called in after small blazes were lit during the disturbance.

The officer who was assaulted was treated in hospital and discharged on Sunday night, while four prisoners were taken to hospital and two officers were treated for smoke inhalation.

Order was not restored in the prison until specially-trained officers intervened.

Around 30 inmates have been transferred to other prisons.

This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable. We are absolutely clear that prisoners who behave in this way will be punished and can spend significantly longer behind bars. Those suspected of being actively involved in this incident have already been moved to higher security prisons."

– A Prison Service spokeswoman


More than 400 attacks on police in West Mids

Police officers in the West Midlands are being attacked on a daily basis according to new figures released by Parliament. There were 423 assaults against officers on the force between April 2013 and April 2014. They included a near fatal car raid and a stabbing.

The Police Federation are calling on courts to hand out tougher sentences to anyone convicted of attacking a police officer at work.

Attacks on West Midlands Police officers Credit: Matthew Cooper/PA Archive/Press Association Images

“It shows how difficult the job is, but it should not be accepted as part of the job.

“You should be able to go out to work without the fear of being stabbed or ran over. It’s not just police officers that are attacked.....

I think anybody who is convicted of attacking any public servant should be dealt with as harshly as possible.

– Ian Edwards, chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation

'Sextortion' criminals labelled "calculated and malicious"

Detective Constable Stefan Ashton, from West Midlands Police Force CID, has spoken in more detail about the recent spate of 'sextortion' crimes in the region:

Since January we’ve seen a rise in the number of these offences in the West Midlands with victims in Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Dudley, Walsall and Coventry.

In most of the cases the videos have not actually been distributed but it’s nevertheless been an absolutely horrendous ordeal for the people involved, who are understandably very worried about the consequences of such images and videos being posted online.

The damage in the cases where the footage was shared with the victims’ Facebook friends cannot be underestimated – they are clearly devastated.

DC Ashton and his team have been investigating cases where boys and men aged between 14 and 46 have been targeted.

They are encouraging people not be tempted to engage in explicit online video conversations to avoid becoming a victim.

He went on to say:

The blackmailers are calculated and malicious and have complete disregard for the people they’re exploiting.

Cases of this type are notoriously complex and they often, despite our best efforts, go unsolved.

We are working closely with partners such as the National Crime Agency to crackdown on offenders but the only real way to prevent this from happening is by not taking part in such activity at all.

The moment you reveal yourself in an online video, you become vulnerable to exploitation and sadly it’s the blackmailers who instantly become in control of the situation.

Victims of 'sextortion' are usually targeted via social media sites, where they are lured into sexually-explicit video conversations.

The offender then sends a message to the victim, along with proof they have the footage, threatening to post it online if they do not pay a substantial sum of money.

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