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Primark security guard convicted of rape 13/11/2019

A PRIMARK security guard who sexually exploited young girls who had been caught shoplifting has been found guilty of rape.

Zia Uddin, 27, committed sexual offences against four 15-year-old girls while working in the Kingston branch of the chain in 2017.

He threatened the teenagers with calling the police and their parents if they did not perform sexual acts on him in the control room of the store.

Police were finally called after a complaint was made.

The jury heard how his colleagues had noticed his strange behaviour, which included shoplifting report paperwork not being completed properly and requests to delete CCTV.

Uddin was also known to keep condoms in the control room.

Graham Partridge, from the CPS, said, “Zia Uddin preyed on young girls in a vulnerable situation.

"He abused his authority by telling them to perform sexual acts for him on the promise they would then be released without their parents or the police being informed about what they had done.

“Having worked in security, Uddin was also well aware of the CCTV camera ‘blind spots’ and took advantage of these in order to carry out his offending.

“The prosecution case was able to rely on strong witness testimony from the victims who were able to give evidence via pre-recorded video after the CPS applied for special measures.

“Telephone evidence also showed that Uddin had made a number of personal phone calls to other girls accused of shoplifting after acquiring their phone numbers through the incidents.

“During the trial Uddin claimed all the victims were liars and refused to take responsibility for his actions.

"He has now been held accountable for his actions.

“The CPS takes sexual offences extremely seriously and will prosecute offenders where there is the evidence to do so.”

Uddin was found guilty of rape and four counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity following a trial at Kingston Crown Court, which concluded on Friday, 8 November.

Once detained, Uddin’s victims desperately offered to pay for the items they had stolen or suggested they could work in the store to make amends or even never enter the shop again.

However, once alone in the back office, Uddin made clear that he was only interested in sexual acts in exchange for letting them go.

One victim said she only did as Uddin asked because “there was no other choice” and it was the only way out of the situation.

Uddin will be sentenced on 19 November at Kingston Crown Court.

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Cash injection for cyber crime units 17/04/2019

THE NPCC National Cyber Crime Programme has announced that every police force in England and Wales now has a dedicated Cyber Crime Unit in place thanks to a multi-million-pound investment from the Government.

The announcement was made at a launch event held by chief constable Peter Goodman in his role as National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) lead for cyber crime.

The event was hosted by the new West Midlands Cyber Crime Unit which has been in place since November last year. Chief constable Goodman heard from members of the team about the work they are now able to do within Force, how they link with the regional network and what it means to local victims - both individuals and businesses.

Chief constable Goodman said, “I am absolutely delighted to announce this significant step forward in improving the overall response to cyber crime in England and Wales.

“In the last six years we have introduced a robust national and regional network of dedicated Cyber Crime Units from the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) within the NCA, to the Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) but we were still lacking a local response as part of the Team Cyber UK network.

“The Force Cyber Crime Units fill this gap and will deliver a Force level capability to investigate and pursue offenders, help businesses and victims protect themselves from attack and work with partners to prevent vulnerable individuals from committing cyber crime. This is a great start and lays down a solid foundation for each Force to build on.”

Forces were able to access £7m worth of funding this year to build the Cyber Crime Units - including recruiting specialist officers and staff to the units and investing in technology, equipment and training. Investment in the units by the Home Office will continue through 19/20 and 20/21.

Security and Economic Crime Minister Ben Wallace said, “While cyber criminals hide behind their screens, their actions have a huge impact on businesses and individuals.

“Being the victim of a hack can be frightening, embarrassing and costly.

“The new specialist cyber crime teams are a vital tool when it comes to preventing this type of crime, pursuing the perpetrators and protecting victims.

“Crime is changing and so must we. These cyber units, supported by Home Office funding, are a clear symbol of that shift.”

Prior to the roll out of the Force Units, only 31% of Forces had a dedicated cyber capability. Now all Forces will have specialist officers and staff in place to investigate cyber crime and ensure victims receive a consistent response and receive contact and prevention advice from police following a report.

The new teams will be coordinated and supported by the ROCUs to ensure investigations are undertaken at the right level, prevent duplication of effort and are effectively managed across the country. They are able to call on the extra support and assistance of the NCCU, forming part of the Team Cyber UK approach to having a robust local, regional, national and international policing network able to respond at all levels of law enforcement to all levels of cyber criminality.

The new units support the updated Serious and Organised Crime Strategy launched in November 2018, which helps build businesses’ and individuals’ resilience against cybercrime and ensures law enforcement agencies have the capabilities they need to tackle it.

The Cyber Crime Units are also complemented by the five-year National Cyber Security Strategy, launched in 2016 and supported by £1.9 billion of investment. This brings together the best from government and industry to develop new ways to strengthen defences, deter criminals and develop capabilities to respond to cyber criminality.

As part of the wider TeamCyber UK network there is also Cyber Aware, a cross-government awareness and behaviour change campaign, offering advice on staying secure.

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Manchester Mayor to speak at Fire Safety North 20/09/2018

THE MAYOR of Manchester Andy Burnham will deliver a keynote address at Fire Safety North on 10 October.

Mr Burnham will deliver a Mayoral address on Fire Safety at 9:30am in the Fire Safety Keynote Theatre (sponsored by Advanced) at EventCity Manchester. He will explain who Manchester is tackling fire safety issues in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. The mayor will also discuss the emergency response to the Manchester Arena bombing, which tragically killed 22 people.

Fire Safety North takes place on 9-10 October 2018 at EventCity, Manchester and is co-located with Health and Safety North. The event dedicated to supporting fire and safety professionals to achieve and maintain the very highest standards of fire safety management. Its objective this year is to enable delegates to learn, network and procure. Delegates will be able to access more than 30 hours of CPD accredited content and more than 150 exhibitors will be on site.

You can attend Fire Safety North and reserve you place at Mayor Burnham’s address for FREE. Simply register at www.firesafetyevents.com/north

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Minehead Fire Station's new defibrillator 23/08/2018

MINEHEAD FIRE Station are delighted to announce that they now have a Life Saving Defibrillator on their station. This was in partnership with the British Heat Foundation and alongside Somerset Heartstart as well as some very generous donations from local businesses and organisations.

The unit is high grade marine stainless steel and protected by a secure electronic key pad and houses one of the best Defibs available.  

Station commander, Chris Jones said: "This goes to prove that with co-ordination and good community spirit from local businesses, we can make a difference together. I am delighted that a key location such as our Fire Station can be of so much use. I can’t wait to see phase 2 when the community training programmes begin."

Discussions are now in place with other businesses wishing to support the scheme to move into Phase 2. This will see specific members of the team at Minehead Fire Station receiving training and the necessary equipment, to offer free CPR training at the Fire Station to any member of the community. This will be promoted at a future date.

Minehead crew manager James Guscott was responsible for getting the project off the ground. He said, "We are very grateful to those who have donated so far and enabled this community. Our station responds to many medical emergencies as co-responders and we know how valuable this equipment is in saving lives so having one available for the whole community is fantastic."

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Consultation to prevent misuse of drones 27/07/2018

THE GOVERNMENT is to consult on new measures to prevent the misuse of drones, including on-the-spot fines and the ability to seize them if necessary.

The new measures are intended to ensure drones are being used safely in a market set to grow rapidly over the next decade.

Drones have the potential to bring great benefits to the UK, and with the industry predicted by PwC to be worth £42 billion to the UK by 2030, creating a blueprint for safe and secure use now is crucial to prepare for the future.

The measures in the consultation launched today (26 July 2018) are part of a wider programme of new drone legislation and will shape the content of a draft Drones Bill due to be published later this year. Proposed measures include:

  • Police issuing fixed penalty notices to those disregarding drone rules;
  • Using new counter-drone technology to protect public events and critical national infrastructure and stop contraband reaching prisons;
  • Introducing minimum age restrictions for drone owners in addition to the new tests they will need to take; and
  • Proposals for regulating and mandating the use of ‘apps’ on which pilots would file flight plans ahead of take-off

Aviation minister Baroness Sugg said: “Drones present exciting benefits to our society and our economy, but with a small group of people choosing to use them for harm there are challenges we must overcome if we are to prevent them hindering the potential of this technology.

“That’s why we’ve already introduced safety measures like a height limit, and rules around airports, and today we are consulting on how we go further, including extra police powers and a minimum age requirement.”

Drones are already being used for a myriad of exciting applications from inspecting national infrastructure like railways and power stations, to aiding disaster relief by speeding up the delivery of blood.

The industry has the potential to be worth billions to the UK economy so it is vital that it develops with a strong framework to encourage innovation and growth while keeping people safe.

The police and security personnel already have powers to address the misuse of drones, but these new proposals will reinforce the importance of complying with drone safety rules, and create a tailored toolkit to ensure they are observed.

The proposals are part of a package of work from the government to ensure drones are flown safely as they become used more frequently.

On Monday (30 July 2018) updates to the Air Navigation Order also come into force – implementing new height and airport boundary restrictions. Those breaching these restrictions will face penalties of up to £2,500 and could also be charged with recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an aircraft, which can carry a penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment.

Drones form part of the government’s Future of mobility grand challenge and are currently being used for a broad range of purposes across different industry sectors including:

  • Costain use drones for inspections at Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station, saving 50% of costs compared to the use of helicopters or human inspection teams;
  • The inspection of a wind turbine typically costs over £1,000 per tower - performing the same inspection using a drone cuts the cost by around 50%;
  • Network Rail are using drones to improve track maintenance and boost field worker efficiency, whilst reducing the amount of work at height required on Network Rail’s assets;
  • Research by Deutsche Bank showed that drones cost less than £0.04 per mile to deliver a parcel the size of a shoe box, compared to delivery costs of up to £5 for premium ground services; and
  • Television shows such as Planet Earth II use drones to film wildlife hundreds of feet up in the trees
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Government reviews Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm regs 27/07/2018

THE GOVERNMENT has published their response to the Review of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 consultation, which took place between November 2017 and January 2018.

The legislation came into effect in October 2015, following a high-profile campaign by the then Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA). The change in legislation meant it was compulsory for private landlords to fit smoke alarms on every storey of a property and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance. The alarms should be installed and tested at the start of each tenancy. Tenants are responsible for testing alarms for the duration of the tenancy.

There were 170 respondents to the consultation with questions for all respondents and further categories for landlords and letting agents, tenants and local authorities. The main findings from the consultation were:

  • Widespread understanding of the regulations which has led to improved installation of smoke and CO alarms in the private rented sector;
  • Regulations should be retained in full but expanded to cover all tenure types;
  • Clarity should be provided about some terminology such as what is meant by a solid fuel appliance;
  • Consideration could be given to the Regulations applying to all fuel burning appliances; and
  • Good level of compliance with the Regulations with some local authorities using enforcement powers to ensure compliance

No recommendations were made following this consultation as on 30 April the government announced wider ranging review will take place later in 2018, into the rules that require carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted into homes across England, including those in the private rented sector.

The upcoming review will:

  • Examine existing legislation, checking if it remains fit for purpose;
  • Consider whether a there should be a requirement to install CO alarms for all methods of heating including gas and oil;
  • Look at new research into the number of carbon monoxide poisonings;
  • Whether the cost of carbon monoxide alarms is affecting installation rates; and
  • Ministers to consider reforms once review reports back

Future changes will take into account the result of the Review of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and the Dame Judith Hackitt independent review into building regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire.

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