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Can We Trust the Police?

In light of recent scandals, the Tonight programme investigates public attitudes and speaks to Policing Minister, Damian Green

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Man awarded compensation after police officer attack

Peter Garrigan took the police to court after he was assaulted by an officer at a train station in Liverpool. Officers then fabricated evidence against him to make Peter appear the guilty party.

Peter was arrested and taken to a police station, before being issued with a fixed penalty notice, alleging he’d used abusive and threatening behaviour. Last November, Peter was awarded £13,000 in compensation.

He told ITV Tonight: "He grabbed me without any warning that he was going to grab me, hurled me to the corner, and then he attacks me. He’s punching me. I don't know if I am going to end up unconscious, if he’s going to take it too far...

"Everything they said in court wasn’t matching up with the other statements off the other officers. Like each one was giving a different story. So they made lies up against me to make me look guilty, to explain their situation, why they acted the way they acted.

"It should have just been me and my brother enjoying the night and then going home at the end of it. Instead I get attacked by a violent police officer."

Watch Can We Trust The Police? On ITV at 7.30pm tonight.

Two-fifths believe corruption a problem within police

Two-fifths of the public believe corruption is now a problem within the police, according to a new survey conducted for ITV.

Two fifths of the British public believe there is a problem with corruption within the police. Credit: Press Association

In addition, a third of the public said they trust police less in the wake of incidents such as the Plebgate affair, Mark Duggan's shooting and the unmasking of Jimmy Savile as a serial sex offender, the poll for ITV's Tonight programme Can We Trust The Police? showed.

The survey of 2,000 people, conducted by OnePoll, found one in five say they do not believe the police are on their side, while 18% of people said they would hesitate to report or would definitely not report an issue to the police.

The show, which goes out at 7.30pm tonight, features an interviews with Peter Garrigan, 26, who took the police to court after he was assaulted by an officer at a railway station in Liverpool.

Watch Can We Trust The Police? On ITV at 7.30pm tonight.


Police: 'Don't tweet about empty flood homes'

Police have urged people not to advertise that they have left their property empty as they flee the flooding.


Extra patrols are in place to prevent crime in evacuated areas. However, we advise you don't Tweet that your house is empty #SurreyFloods

Worst incidents of data misuse by police staff

Police staff have been censured for a range of breaches, from providing incorrect information to the public and leaking details on social media to snooping on friends and relatives.

Kent Police reported a member of police staff performed "unauthorised computer checks" on an ex-partner's ex-partner "for personal reasons". He or she received a final written warning.

In Lancashire, a Pc received management action after a claim that she "wrongly divulged information about the death of her estranged husband to her daughter shortly after his death". The force did not provide any further details of the incident.

A special constable with Dorset Police resigned after he posted a video of himself walking around Poole police station on YouTube, revealing the identities of other officers and the station layout.

Read: Which police forces were the worst offenders?

Avon and Somerset Police recorded most breaches

The Freedom of Information request revealed a total of 2,031 cases of data protection breaches between January 2009 and October 2013.

The five police forces with the highest number of breaches are as follows:

  • Avon and Somerset - 289
  • Greater Manchester - 161
  • West Mercia - 116
  • Devon and Cornwall - 95 (includes data from 1st January 2007)
  • Kent - 86

Data was provided by 35 different police forces, while Essex, Hampshire, Thames Valley and West Yorkshire refused to supply any details.

Read: Almost 300 police staff forced to quit over data misuse

Almost 300 police staff forced to quit over data misuse

Hundreds of police staff, including high-ranking officers, have been censured for breaching data protection laws - from snooping on their children and ex-wives, to social media gaffes.

35 police forces responded to the Freedom of Information request
35 police forces responded to the Freedom of Information request Credit: Chris Young/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The cases include police officers and other staff accessing confidential and personal information and spreading rumours in the communities they were policing.

A total of 113 staff were sacked and 186 resigned as a result of breaches in England and Wales over a five-year period, according to figures obtained by a Freedom of Information request.

Of those investigated, at least 34 were inspectors or chief inspectors, while 474 were deemed "staff" - civilian officers who do not get involved with rank-and-file policing.


Charity: Huge disparities in how police handle rape cases

Charity Rape Crisis England said that releasing data on rape cases reflected a commitment to transparency and scrutiny of police practice.

Spokeswoman Katie Russell said: "Nonetheless, Rape Crisis is still extremely concerned by the persistently high levels of 'no-criming' today's data reveals, as well as by the huge disparities in statistics between different police forces."

This leaves us wondering how many more reports it will take before we see a real and marked improvement in criminal justice for rape survivors.

– Charity Rape Crisis England spokeswoman Katie Russell

She said that the figures show that little has changed since a 2012 report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which highlighted concerns around inconsistent and inadequate recording and investigating of sexual offences.

Report: Wide disparities in reporting and detection of rape

Lincolnshire Police had the highest "no-criming" rate for adult rapes - that is, an offence initially recorded as rape, but then declassified - at 33%, compared with Cumbria, which had the lowest no-criming rate at 3%. The average no-criming rate is 12%.

: "The wide disparities between different areas' reporting, detection and 'no crime' rates may indicate that the culture of scepticism remains in some police forces.

"This is not a surprise to us. Our member organisations know how deep disbelief and victim-blaming goes in institutions and communities.

"But the police play a critical role enabling rape survivors to access justice, so these disparities and attitudes must be urgently tackled."

– Professor Liz Kelly, chair of the End Violence Against Women coalition.

Rape charities and women's rights groups said data, which was pulled together for the first time by the cross-Government, multi-agency Rape Monitoring Group (RMG), revealed disparities and attitudes which must be "urgently tackled".

Fears of a 'culture of disbelief' in rape cases

A postcode lottery in the way rape cases are handled by police has been highlighted by figures showing wide variations between forces across England and Wales, it is claimed.

The average is 22 rapes recorded per 100,000 adults. Credit: Peter Jordan/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Differences in the rate of recorded rapes, charges or cautions for the offence and records later declassified as a "no-crime" incident have raised fears of a "culture of disbelief" among some of the 43 forces covered by the data.

Among key contrasts, Northamptonshire Police had the highest rate of recorded rape at 34.8 per 100,000 adults in the year to March 2013, while Durham Police had the lowest at 9.8 per 100,000 adults. The average is 22 rapes recorded per 100,000 adults.

Sergeants accused of 'lack of faith' in senior leaders

There is an "apparent lack of faith" in the senior leadership of the police, as 51% of sergeants in charge of missing persons' inquiries have failed to read the guidelines, experts have said.

Dr Shalev Greene said more needed to be done to understand officers' disillusionment with senior management:

The report raises the question that if officers aren't taking responsibility for reading key documentation, what else are they missing?

And if their training is said to be ineffective, what other skills are they not being taught?

We need to understand what lies at the heart of an apparent lack of faith in senior leaders in relation to management of missing person investigations, and how to ensure guidance and best practice from the Home Office and College of Policing penetrates the organisation and reaches those on the 'shop floor'.

– Dr Shalev Greene
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