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London Ambulance Service: body cameras would "undermine patient trust"

London Ambulance Service say that staff wearing cameras to help protect them from attacks would "undermine trust" that patients have in them.

They were responding to a new report by London Assembly member Roger Evans revealing that hundreds of staff in the capital including doctors, nurses, and cabbies are assaulted every week.

Mr Evans is calling for a one year trial of body cameras and GPS panic alarms for frontline staff.

There can never be any excuse to attack or abuse our staff, whose only role in responding to emergency calls is to help people...

...We have considered using cameras in the past, and discussed this at length with our staff and their union representatives. We concluded that the unique relationship between our clinicians and their patients is based on trust, and a strong respect for patient confidentiality.

For us as an ambulance service in London and the particular challenges that brings, we believed that cameras on our crews or ambulances would undermine that trust. However, we will continue to review how we protect our staff.

In an emergency situation our ambulance crews can use their radio to connect to the control room and we can contact police. “

– Katy Millar, LAS Deputy Director of Operations

Former teacher jailed for sex offences after grooming 14 year old boy on dating app

A former teacher has been jailed for five years for child sex offences, after using a dating app to meet and groom his 14 year old victim.

Gary Pearce was jailed for five years for child sex offences Credit: Metropolitan Police

40 year old Gary Pearce from Sidcup was caught when the victim's parents contacted police after they found sexual messages on his phone. The victim had been in contact with Pearce through the social networking app 'Grindr' - and despite the boy telling him his age, Pearce met him in a car park and took him back to his home where he committed the offences.

Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Neal Burton said:

"Pearce utilised the internet to manipulate the child into meeting him. This crime again shows the vulnerability of the internet and social media, which is used by paedophiles to meet their victims.

This conviction will provide reassurance that we will relentlessly pursue those who commit these dreadful crimes against children."

– Detective Inspector Neal Burton, Sapphire Command


London Underground boss confirmed to be stepping down

One of London Underground's top bosses, COO Phil Hufton, is confirmed to be stepping down next year.

He will take on the position of Managing Director of Network Operations at Network Rail, currently held by Robin Gisby.

Mr Hufton said he was "extremely disappointed to leave London Underground at a very exciting time" but was looking forward to helping Network Rail "develop and grow the network and further establish a safe and reliable railway".


TfL Broadway plans attract more criticism from Green Party

Plans by TfL to redevelop 55 Broadway, the home of London Underground, have attracted further criticism from the Green Party today over an apparent lack of affordable housing in the plans.

“Rapidly rising prices and rents, are major reasons why Londoners are feeling priced out of their own city. The Mayor should be using every opportunity he has to increase the amount of social housing in London, as that is the best way of putting a brake on run-a-way prices.

Instead, the Mayor is adding fuel to a rising property market by allowing Transport for London to build and sell luxury flats in central London and Earls Court...

...The Mayor is selling the family silver, whilst leaving Londoners without any long term benefit in terms of housing that will stay affordable.

– Darren Johnson, London Assembly Green Party Member

15 year old boy guilty of 'primeval' murder

A judge sentencing a 15 year old boy to life in a young offenders institute for the murder of a market trader called his actions 'primeval' and said he had caused pain 'beyond description' to the victim's family.

Teenager Karlton Burton received the life sentence for the fatal stabbing of 29 year old Rashid Naeem near his stall in Queen's Market in Green Street, east London.

Judge Richard Hone QC told him:

"By your actions that Sunday you have, in effect, passed a life sentence on all the members of your victim's close family.

"Rashid Naeem has two young children who will never again see their father. The pain and devastation you have caused to these innocent people is beyond description.

"You killed a totally innocent family man with a knife. In that primeval split-second of anger and stabbing there is probably no distinction between an intention to really seriously injure with a knife and an intention to kill."

– Judge Richard Hone QC
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