IPCCLies, Damned Lies and Police Crime Statistics! - The Independent Police Complaints Commission has published the findings of its investigation into the working practices of Southwark Sapphire Unit between July 2008 & September 2009.  The IPCC took the decision to examine the local practices for the reporting & investigation of sexual offences on the borough after 4 previous IPCC investigations into Southwark Sapphire unit.

The findings of a fifth investigation concerning a rape reported to Walworth police station in November 2008 have also been published.  

The Southwark Sapphire unit adopted its own standard operating procedure designed to encourage officers to take retraction statements from victims in cases where it was thought they might later withdraw or not reach the standard for prosecution.  By increasing the number of incidents that were then classified as ‘no crime’ sanction-detection rates improved and the performance statistics for the unit benefited.
Press release & links ~ HMIC: Rapists could be convicted more quickly and successfully if the police and the Crown Prosecution Service made better use of available intelligence ~ SC: New proposals give greater focus to impact of sex offences on victims ~ IPCC investigation finds failures in handling of DNA in historic rape cases ~ HO: Teenagers confess they are confused by consent ~ HMIC: Rapists could be convicted more quickly & successfully if the police & the CPS made better use of available intelligence ~ IPCC: Met Police officers disciplined for unprofessional & insensitive conduct following allegations of rapes ~ A Woman Raped Every Ten Minutes ~ HO:  Turning the ‘hunters’ into the ‘hunted’ (4th item) ~ HO:  Unacceptable behaviour by any measure (3rd item)

CO:  An issue that is still very much in the news - The internet-related market in the UK is now estimated to be worth £82bn a year.  British businesses earn £1 in every £5 from the internet.  The growth of the internet has transformed our everyday lives and is an important part of our economy.  But with greater openness, interconnection & dependency comes greater vulnerability.

The National Security Strategy categorised cyber attacks as a Tier One threat to our national security, alongside international terrorism.  The threat to our national security from cyber attacks is real & growing.  93% of large corporations & 76% of small businesses reported a cyber breach in the past year.

With the cost for a cyber-security breach estimated between £110,000 to 250,000 for large businesses and £15,000 to 30,000 for smaller ones, the government must look at new ways to protect businesses and make the UK more resilient to cyber-attacks and crime.
Full item & links ~ Cyber security: EU & US strengthen transatlantic cooperation in face of mounting global cyber-security and cyber-crime threats ~ Cybercrime: EU citizens concerned by security of personal information and online payments ~ An EU Cybercrime Centre to fight online criminals and protect e-consumers ~ UK announces extra funding for cyber security capacity building ~ NAO:  The new ‘frontline’ is both civilian & military (8th item)

PC&PEAnd then there are all the other areas of concern - In a report released last week, Parliament’s Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy says the National Security Council (NSC) has not maintained its strategic focus since completing the National Security Strategy (NSS) and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2010 and calls on the Government to address 5 key areas of concern.
Press release & links ~ Government has failed to engage with arguments, says Committee on National Security Strategy ~ RUSI: Al-Qa'ida is re-grouping and re-energising itself in Africa ~ MPs publish report on Developing Threats: Electro-Magnetic Pulses (EMP) ~ UK needs Strategic National Air Service for Emergency Services ~ RUSI: The British Way of Strategy-Making: Vital Lessons For Our Times ~ CH: New Report: UK Foreign Policy Goals Cannot Be Achieved by Military Power Alone ~ CH: Threat of Cyber Attacks on CNI Requires an Urgent Response ~ MPs publish report on Strategic Defence and Security Review ~ MOD launches Building Stability Overseas Strategy ~  Emergency Planning Society ~ Defra: Infrastructure must adapt to protect economic growth from the threat of climate change ~ Changing climate, changing infrastructure ~ Security on River Thames ~ Crisis management & business continuity planning ~ RUSI: Emergency Management ~ National Risk Register ~ National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) ~ Office of Security and Counter Terrorism ~ Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure ~ EU News: ‘Smart borders': enhancing mobility and security

NAOMust try harder - The current government procurement strategy is the most coherent approach to reform yet, according to the National Audit Office, and has resulted in savings.  While progress has been made, there have been problems in implementing the reforms including the lack of enforcement of the mandate to use a centralised approach.

There have been problems in implementing the reforms, including ineffective governance structures, unrealistic targets, incomplete data and weaknesses in contract management.  Either the Cabinet Office will need to create more effective levers, or it will have to win 'hearts & minds', and demonstrate that it has the capability & capacity to deliver a high-quality central procurement function.
Press release ~ NAO: Improving government procurement (See also related links & reports) ~ Government Procurement ~ Public Accounts Committee releases report on Managing the Defence Inventory ~ GPS: Procurement update: February 2013 ~ GPS: Insurance Services framework now live ~ CBI comments on NAO report on improving government procurement ~ Next Generation Shared Services to save millions for taxpayers ~ Cabinet Office work to “shop” poor procurement work and boost SMEs sees over 300 complaints investigated ~ WAG: Maximising the impact of Welsh Procurement Policy ~ CBI comments on Government procurement reform programme ~ Growth boost for business as Government shares future buying needs worth up to £84bn ~ DH: Ethical procurement training launched for NHS staff ~ NAO: One wonders what a similar report on the NHS inventory would turn up (7th item) ~ CO: First Independent Shared Service Centre to deliver government back office savings

BIG:  BIG funds a ‘Big Easy’ project - Children & young people at risk of recurring abuse are set to be the first in the UK to benefit from a groundbreaking US approach which ‘aims to overcome the impact and long term effect of childhood abuse and neglect’.

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), Scotland has announced over £1m in funding for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) Scotland’s Glasgow based project which is running a 4 year clinical trial of the New Orleans Intervention Model (NIM) devised by Tulane Infant Team, Tulane University, Louisiana.

Working with children aged between 6 months and 5 years-old NIM offers an intensive approach working with children who have been abused, leading to an early resolution in decisions regarding their future.  BIG is providing a grant of £1m+ towards the trial.
Press release & links ~ New Orleans Intervention Model ~ Big Lottery Fund Scotland, Investing in Community

MonitorWhat else could they have done? - Monitor has started the procedure for putting the first foundation trust into administration in order to safeguard services for local patients.  The sector regulator is consulting the Health Secretary & key organisations about the prospective appointment of Trust Special Administrators to lead the changes in Mid Staffordshire.
Press release & links

PC&PE:  We owe them the best system - The House of Commons Defence Committee says the Government should change the role of the Service Complaints Commissioner to one of an Armed Forces Ombudsman, holding the Services to account for the proper administration of their complaints processes &the delivery of justice, and identifying possible improvements to the system.

The existing Commissioner has regularly reported that the current Service complaints system is not efficient, effective or fair and needs simplification & redesign.

The Committee was concerned & is disappointed to hear that Service personnel do not always have confidence to pursue a potential complaint through the chain of command under the existing system. While some Service personnel may pursue the matter through the Commissioner, the Committee is worried that some may decide not to pursue their grievance at all.
Press release & links ~ Service Complaints Commissioner ~ MoD:  No other public service is asked to do so much for so little reward (2nd item)

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