Thursday, 29 May 2008
It is a shame that when Chief Constable Maria Wallis left Devon and Cornwall Police Constabulary in 2006, she was not replaced by a Chief Constable more like Richard Brunstrom of North Wales Police. Brunstrom has shown time and again that he is not afraid to speak up about controversial issues on all sorts of topics and importantly for CPW, he has proven he is not a colonial mouth piece for central Government.
As will be seen from his recent blog entry, Brunstrom is proud to be working in Wales and on behalf of the Welsh people, even though he is not originally from Wales. He is more accountable than Otter and he even replies personally to correspondence from the general public. He has his own blog and a wikipedia entry and presents himself as a person rather than a cardboard cutout.
Posted by Rhisiart at 23:13
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
As it will be seen from this article, the police can also act unlawfully when it comes to administering search warrants.
This was the case as highlighted in the article where judges quashed a warrant, issued by the City Of London Magistrates' Court, for police to search the premises of Portsmouth Football Club boss Harry Redknapp, who were investigating alleged corruption in football. Apparently the warrant was invalidated because the copy shown to Mr Redknapp’s wife did not specify the address of her home.
For most people however, including those Cornish campaigners raided by Devon and Cornwall police in September 2007, what the procedure is for issuing and presenting a search warrant is unknown to them and are unlikely to know what to ask for if presented with one.
Lord Justice Latham, sitting with Mr Justice Underhill, said:
“The obtaining of a search warrant is never to be treated as a formality…It authorises the invasion of a person's home.”
The Solicitor, acting on behalf of the Radkapp’s, said:
“This was an outrageous abuse of power by the police who ignored the rule book and executed an unlawful search warrant at 6am…”
CPW asks, how many of the search warrants issued to Devon and Cornwall police to raid the homes of the Cornish activists arrested in September 2007 were issued lawfully? It maybe worth checking.
See this link for more information on search warrants.
Posted by Rhisiart at 03:30
Sunday, 25 May 2008
A ‘Tony Leamon Support Group’ has been set up to further the cause and press coverage of Tony Leamon. In a statement that they released yesterday, the Group has echoed the call of CPW for supporters to now get in touch with the media in Cornwall, who have so far only given minimal exposure to those Cornish activists arrested in September 2007.
Only Tony Leamon is now on bail of those initially arrested, but lets make sure the injustice that he has experienced at the hands of the English colonial police in Cornwall is not forgotten. One way that this can be done is to show the press how wide Tony’s support base is.
Statement by ‘Tony Leamon Support Group’, as reproduced on Now Public.com
Posted by Rhisiart at 02:58
Saturday, 24 May 2008
With just over a month away until Tony has to answer his bail at Camborne Police Station, CPW and others now believe it is time for the press to be contacted directly about his case. Already some journalists have shown an interest in taking up Tony’s story and several brief interviews have taken place with him.
One journalist who has said that she would be keen to hear from Tony’s supporters is Ginette Harris (email@example.com), who is the West Briton Community Editor for the Falmouth and Penryn area. Emails to Ginette Harris should state the subject of the email (Support for Tony Leamon), where you live, why you are supporting him and perhaps some of the activities you have undertaken (e.g. emails, telephone calls, handing out leaflets etc.) to show your support. You may also like to post a comment here.
Don’t forget to copy all your correspondence to Police.Enquiries@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk marked for the attention of ‘Detective 196 HAMPSON of BODMIN CID’; Tony Leamon’s lawyer (Ms. G. Kinley, Vivian Thomas & Jervis Solicitors, PO Box 23, Falmouth TR11 3UF) and the Crown Prosecution Service:
Chief Crown Prosecutor
Devon EX2 5SS
Divisional Crown Prosecutor
Truro TR1 2XG
Posted by Rhisiart at 02:45
Thursday, 22 May 2008
The Celtic League continue to campaign for and raise the profile of the injustice being suffered by Tony Leamon, this time in the USA.
The Cornish Branch have been drawing on their links with active members in the US to publicise Tony’s ordeal at a Celtic festival in New Mexico. At the Cornish stand in the 20th Annual Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival and Highland Games in New Mexico, USA last weekend, leaflets about Tony’s plight were distributed and visitors could add their names to a contact list to be kept up to date with new developments ragarding his case. With 8000 people attending the event, this is likely to widen Tony’s support base considerably.
KERNOW - LEAGUE BRANCH DEVELOP US LINKS
Posted by Rhisiart at 23:12
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
A Freedom of Information Act disclosure (14/05/08) has revealed the total number of officers disciplined by the Devon and Cornwall police force, broken down by the nature of the disciplinary offence and the punishment given for the last three calendar years (2005 – 2007).
As it will be seen a total of 55 police officers from the force have been disciplined in one way or another or investigations into their contuct have been carried out. However of these 55 officers, only 5 were required to resign and 2 were dismissed outright. More were fined in days of pay.
These are the officers that have been employed and paid for by the tax payer to serve and protect our Cornish communities. Is this the kind of police force we want? And why aren't these offences better publicised?
Posted by Rhisiart at 23:23
Monday, 19 May 2008
The Cornish campaigners who were arrested last year by the Devon and Cornwall police all had their books by John Angarrack confiscated, for some unknown reason. Now Angarrack has launched yet another book and this time it attempts to make sense of the police and government cultural purges that took place during this period and set them in their proper context.
The rear cover text of 'Scat t'Larrups: Resist and Survive' reads:
“The year is 2007 and Government react to what appears to be a co-ordinated threat to national security. The Secretary of State sets normal affairs of Government aside to hold two days of crisis talks with her advisors and the future king is consulted. Dawn raids by dozens of armed police result in suspected terrorists being rounded up at gunpoint. Enemy flags, instruction manuals and documents in a foreign language are taken as evidence. High profile personalities are offered special protection and the press hint of a plot to blow up the QE2. The tension abates only after Government and judiciary conspire to intimidate the community into compliance.
A Tom Clancy thriller? No. The events described above really happened – in Cornwall. But what is the truth behind the sensationalism and why did Government take such extreme measures against Cornish people? John Angarrack’s follow-up book to Breaking the Chains and Our Future is History looks at what happened during this period and attempts to set events in their proper context.”
The Kernow Branch of the Celtic League has sent Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police Stephen Otter his own copy of ‘Our Future is History’ in an attempt to disuade him and his officers from pinching other peoples. Maybe the Branch will also be sending him Angarrack’s latest edition!
CORNWALL - 'RESIST AND SURVIVE' BOOK LAUNCH
John Angarrack Bookshop
Posted by Rhisiart at 23:20
Sunday, 18 May 2008
A number of articles about Tony Leamon have been placed on a Vancouver based website “Now Public”, as support for his cause continues to grow. As will be seen some of these articles have been viewed several hundred times, showing that news about Tony’s treatment by the Devon and Cornwall police continues to spread.
Posted by Rhisiart at 23:07
Saturday, 17 May 2008
The Celtic League continues to draw attention to the plight of Celtic League activist and Kernow Branch Treasurer Tony Leamon. This time a US radio broadcast, dedicated to Tony, has been aired on Ktao FM radio station in New Mexico.
The programme ‘Celtic and Beyond’ is hosted by Ellie Blair and can be heard on the internet on www.ktao.com.
CORNISH BRANCH MEMBERS PLIGHT GETS INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION
Posted by Rhisiart at 07:07
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Direct and clear communication with the public is important if the police are to “be approachable to the communities they serve, to understand their needs and concerns”. Indeed this is the message sent out this week by mid Cornwall’s new police chief Police Supt Julie Whitmarsh.
Police Supt Julie Whitmarsh was speaking to the West Briton newspaper about her attitude towards effective policing. She told the West Briton newspaper that good communication is important to her and she sees it as an effective tool in helping to fight crime. CPW believe that supporters for the fair and just treatment of Cornish and Celtic campaigner Tony Leamon by Devon and Cornwall police therefore, should perhaps help Whitmarsh undertake her new role more effectively.
CPW would like to encourage supporters of Tony Leamon - who lives in mid Cornwall – to write to Whitmarsh and express their concerns and views about his treatment by her police force. Emails should be sent to Police.Enquiries@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk and marked for the attention of Police Supt Julie Whitmarsh.
In addition, why not put democracy in practise to its full extent by also writing (and copying correspondence to Whitmarsh) to the detective investigating Mr Leamon case? After all, as one correspondent to CPW states:
“The Criminal Procedures and Investigation Act (CPIA) which obliges the police and their Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to disclose to the defence solicitor every piece of material not used in the actual case. That means every one of your letters of support, every phone call which should be logged and passed on and so on. To breach this legislation will undermine the Prosecution case.”
The police officer investigating Mr Leamon is Detective 196 HAMPSON of BODMIN CID and can be contacted again by sending an email to the above address and marking it for his/her attention. The police must reveal every piece of information they acquire in their investigation, which will by 10 months by the time Mr Leamon answers his bail in July.
If you prefer to speak to someone in person, why not call the main switchboard of Devon and Cornwall police (from abroad: 0044 8452 777444 and from the UK: 08452 777444) and ask to be put through to Whitmarsh or Detective 196 HAMPSON at Bodmin CID.
Moreover, to ensure the police do their job properly all correspondence should also be copied to the Crown Prosecution Service and to Mr Leamon’s lawyer, the address of which are as follows:
Tony Leamon’s lawyer:
Ms. G. Kinley
Vivian Thomas & Jervis Solicitors,
PO Box 23,
Falmouth TR11 3UF
Crown Prosecution Service:
Chief Crown Prosecutor
Devon EX2 5SS
Divisional Crown Prosecutor
Truro TR1 2XG
Yet another action is to write (and copy correspondence) to the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority, who are the ‘management committee’ of the Devon and Cornwall police constabulary. They can be contacted at the address PolAuth@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk and mail should be addressed to the attention of Detective196 HAMPSON & Cornwall CPS.
Lets help Devon and Cornwall police do their jobs and lets open and maintain good communication links with their officers. After all, as Whitmarsh says:
"I want to see us dealing with people the same way we want to be treated ourselves. If people ring in I want them to get the response they need.
"We are here to serve mid-Cornwall. I'm here as a servant of the people and I need to make sure we are doing it right."
Posted by Rhisiart at 23:48
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
As predicted by CPW, a Devon and Cornwall police officer who was caught for speeding and then used police equipment to try to cover up the crime has not been sent to jail.
PC Holding blames his actions on stress relating to his time spend as a Royal Military Policeman in Iraq and officer with the Metropolitan Police's SO 19 unit. Holding lied once to avoid being caught, so why shouldn’t he lie again to avoid conviction. CPW think that if this had been a member of the general public, the magistrates would have thrown the book at him!
Instead of jail Holding must pay a fine and will be suspended from duty (probably on full pay) until the matter is taken to an ‘internal misconduct hearing’.
Holdings arrest comes just weeks after Devon and Cornwall police took part in ‘Operation Vortex’, which targeted dangerous motorists. In two weeks Devon and Cornwall police issued over 400 penalty tickets.
Meanwhile Tony Leamon is still being kept on bail for at least 10 months by Devon and Cornwall police for possession of Cornish history books, Cornish language learning material, Cornish flags and taking photos of English flags with his mobile phone.
Posted by Rhisiart at 11:06
Monday, 12 May 2008
As readers will be aware, yesterday should have been the day that Celtic League activist Tony Leamon answered his bail at Camborne police station. The Celtic League ran this story on their news pages, thinking that Tony may at last be taken off bail for lack of any evidence against him. A demonstration outside Camborne police station had been planned by Branch activists and so had a campaign of coordinated activity to contact Camborne police station asking about Tony's welfare, by email and telephone, from across the world.
However, just before Tony left his house yesterday, two police officers called round and told him that his bail would be delayed until 2nd July 2008. Whether this was a calculated attempt by the police to avoid any negative publicity in the press for themselves or whether it was because they can find no evidence whatsoever to charge Tony with, we will probably never know. The CPW feeling is that the truth lies somewhere between the two scenarios.
What is clear though, after this bail date, is that Tony’s support is growing at an incredible rate. The longer Tony is on bail the more people around the world are becoming aware of the injustice that he is being subjected to by the Devon and Cornwall colonial police. Emails of support have been coming in to the CPW team and others from as far afield as USA, Canada, France, Spain, Australia and Malaysia, in addition to the support base in the celtic countries.
Yesterday, after the visit from the police, Tony contacted his solicitor to complain about the length of bail that he has now received and to see if something could be done about it. His solicitor told him that the police can keep him on bail for as long as necessary and that it is only the time spend at the police station, being interrogated that actually maters. By July Tony will have been on bail for 10 months and has been interrogated for 18 to 20 hours. After arrest the police can only keep you at the police station for a maximum of 24 hours before being charged. However, solicitor friend that Tony has also been in contact with told him that he had never heard of such an extended bail period before.
This weekend at the Annual Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival and Highland Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, a flyer about Tony’s treatment will be distributed to visitors from the Cornwall stall and people will be able to add their name and contact details to a distribution list to be kept informed about further developments. Also a support fund has been set up for Tony to cover any legal costs.
Also see this link for further details.
Posted by Rhisiart at 23:19
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Some of you may not know that Devon and Cornwall police have their own news updates on their oficial website, relating to their activities and the crimes that are of concern to them. These can range from some quite serious offences to relatively minor ones.
These news items are uploaded on this site and can be found on the right hand side under the heading Police News – Cornwall. CPW have made a point of linking the news items that relate to Cornwall only and have done this for about two - three months. However, on visiting the Devon and Cornwall police news page here, you will see that the vast majority of news items relate to Devon and not Cornwall. In fact for April 2008 for example, of the 55 news items on the Devon and Cornwall police news page, only 20 have relevance for Cornwall. This also includes news items that are related to activities undertaken by Devon and Cornwall police and also where it is unknown what area the news item covers.
This does not apply just to the month of April, but this is the case for the vast majority of months, as can be seen by searching through the police news archives. This is yet another instance of how Cornwall is largely ignored Devon and Cornwall police and, as highlighted previously in CPW, this is also the case regarding the poor coverage that Cornwall gets in the Devon and Cornwall police newspaper, ‘Billboard’.
There are two possible answers for why this is the case. Either Devon and Cornwall police are not interested in Cornwall or there isn’t as much police activity or crime in Cornwall as there is in Devon.
Both possible answers require some explanation and these are the CPW hypotheses:
1. Devon and Cornwall police are not interested in Cornwall: this is the situation with all colonial police forces. As long as their interests are protected the rest can take care of itself. After all, why would Devon and Cornwall police want to organise any of their activities in Cornwall when they can do it in their country?
2. There isn’t as much police activity or crime in Cornwall as there is in Devon: that’s because Cornwall does not have the hell hole that is Plymouth and is Cornwall is more rural and evenly distributed in terms of population.
Both hypotheses require possible solutions and this is what CPW offers:
1. Devon and Cornwall police are not interested in Cornwall: create a Cornwall police constabulary. There is no reason why this shouldn’t be the case anyway.
2. There isn’t as much police activity or crime in Cornwall as there is in Devon: tax payers in Cornwall should therefore pay less. Why should Cornwall taxpayers have to subsidise the higher crime rate in Devon?
Posted by Rhisiart at 23:08
Monday, 5 May 2008
The Celtic League are continuing to keep the pressure up on Devon and Cornwall Police, with their campaign to discover how police constabularies in the Celtic countries are committed to the Celtic culture and language.
They have now written to police constabularies in the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales and have received some very positive responses. The League has now turned its attention to Cornwall and asks some interesting questions. As pointed out in this article:
“The force serving Cornwall is unique in terms of policing in the Celtic countries in that it has a operational area that transcends a National boundary. Sometimes referred to disparagingly as the "Devonwall Police" by some nationalists it remains to be seen if its trans-border structure effects its ability to identify with the Celtic component of the community it serves.”
We look forward once again to seeing what reply, if any, Chief Constable Stephen Otter gives.
Posted by Rhisiart at 23:22
Sunday, 4 May 2008
The topic of the anti youth Mosquito device had been hotly discussed in the press for several months now and its use has been heavily criticised by a number of organisations, groups and individuals with some calling for its complete ban. Its use has also received support from groups and individuals who fear anti social behaviour, including some Council’s in Cornwall and the Devon and Cornwall police.
According to a Devon and Cornwall police disclosure form there were 24 Mosquito devices in the Devon and Cornwall constabulary area in October 2007.
To date, the London Government and the EU say they have no plans to ban the device, but as the Celtic League point out, one court in Brittany has demanded that an English holiday home owner to remove the device from his property. With the Scottish Nationalist Party also calling for the ban of the Mosquito, perhaps there is a growing Celtic cultural attitude against the use of a device that infringes on the rights of young people. It would indeed be interesting to hear what Plaid Cymru have to say about the issue, although Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Assembly Member, suggests she could be against them.
Posted by Rhisiart at 02:41
Friday, 2 May 2008
Just how many people are there in Cornwall who are wanted by police? A Freedom of Information request by the Western Morning News last week revealed that Devon and Cornwall police have more than 300 outstanding warrents against people for some very serious offences like paedophilia, rape and violence. The force however have admited that they have been unable to trace the offenders.
What is particularly worrying are the 75 most serious Category A offenders who Devon and Cornwall Police have been unable to locate. The Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for St Ives said:
"It's very important that people are confidant that Category A offences are properly followed up and warrants are executed with the degree of urgency which the public expect of them.
"Many people would feel shocked if this information demonstrated that suspected offenders for such serious crimes aren't being apprehended as quickly as possible."
Source: this is cornwall
Posted by Rhisiart at 11:35