General News

TfLTransport for London (TfL), the Mayor of London's Transport Adviser, Kulveer Ranger and celebrity cyclist Jon Snow, have joined together to urge London's cyclists to get their bikes security marked, as police stations across the Capital fill up with recovered stolen bikes which can't be reunited with their owners.
Press release ~ Tfl.gov.uk/avoidbiketheft ~ Cycle Task Force team's marking events
 
CEOP: A network of paedophiles who shared child sexual abuse images on the social networking site Facebook has been smashed in an international operation led in the UK by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and Sussex Police and in partnership with police in Australia and Canada.
Press release ~ www.facebook.com/clickceop ~ www.ceop.police.uk
 
MoD: Now in its second year, Families' Activity Breaks (FAB) is helping Service families as they cope with bereavement following the death of a loved one.  The scheme is the brainchild of Major Belinda Forsyth, a Royal Military Police Officer, who was asked to create a holiday scheme for bereaved Service families by the Army Widows' Association while working at the Directorate of Personal Services (Army).
 
The idea of an activity break was put forward and the project was given enthusiastic support by the Youth Hostel Association, which provides the accommodation. The project has now grown to offer 4 holiday locations - as well as Whitby, familes can choose from the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands, Coverack in Cornwall and Conwy in Wales.
Press release ~ Photos and related links
 
MoD: A 6-man team made up of personnel from the Royal Marines, the British Army and the US Marine Corps (USMC) are about to take part in a 3,530-mile run from one side of America to the other to raise funds for injured servicemen & women on both sides of the Atlantic. They will begin their epic marathon on Friday 10 September 2010 and will run across 16 states and 4 time zones, completing approximately 20 miles a day each, for 8 weeks.
 
Being hailed as the 'Gumpathon', after the Hollywood movie 'Forrest Gump' which saw the title character run all over the world, the quest will raise money for 2 Service charities in the UK (the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund and Help for Heroes) and, in the US, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. The team aims to raise £1m for each of the charities.
Press release ~ Photos and related links
 
MoD: At the Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC), the first stop for recruits to the Afghan National Army (ANA), British forces are mentoring the Afghan instructors, who are now doing the teaching. The KMTC is where Afghan soldiers receive their basic training on enlistment.  The training itself is run by ANA instructors under the advisement and mentoring of ISAF forces.
 
The British-run Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Training Team, or 'Bridmal' Team in Dari, and the Officer Candidate School (OCS) are part of the KMTC force. Much as British Army officers go through a rigorous selection & training process, potential Afghan officer candidates are put through a 20-week commissioning course at the KMTC as part of the officer selection course. The package is designed to teach candidates basic military skills, but also leadership, command and man-management capabilities.
Press release ~ Photos and related links
 
Newswire – LGA:  The Local Government Challenge 2011 has begun and applications are now open for candidates who think they have the drive, determination & ability to one day lead their council as an inspiring chief executive.
 
Organised by the Local Government Group, it gives the 10 short-listed hopefuls the opportunity to demonstrate their skills & potential through a string of tough real-life challenges, laid on by councils around the country.  The winner, who will have displayed the creative, communication and leadership skills expected of a top council executive, will receive the prestigious & career enhancing Bruce-Lockhart Scholarship.
Press release ~ The Local Government Challenge
 
Newswire – WWF: With only 5% of rivers in England & Wales described as being in a pristine condition a new survey has been launched by a coalition of conservationists to celebrate and bring attention to some of Britain's best loved & long forgotten rivers.

The Our Rivers Campaign (which includes the RSPB, WWF-UK, the Angling Trust and the Salmon & Trout Association) is calling on people to take part in the first ever Our Rivers Awards by going online & voting for the 'best' or 'worst' river in England & Wales.
Press release ~ Cast your vote ~ Riverside tales ~ WWF-UK
 
MoD: Two years ago he was shot in the thigh by a single bullet from a Taliban AK-47.  It shattered his femur, and, more than 2 years later, his leg is still fitted with a metal frame supporting the bone as it painfully grows back.  While recovering, Colonel David Richmond has been speaking out on behalf of all wounded soldiers and his public criticism of compensation for those injured while serving, led to him joining the committee supporting a thorough review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
 
Colonel Richmond's strong personal views also influenced consideration of the process of submitting claims:
"The burden shouldn't be on the claimant to make the claim, to pursue it and then worry about it," he said. "That person has probably got a million other things to worry about. He could be blind or only have one limb.
"Individuals are vulnerable at that time. You need this system as a crutch, supporting you, not something you've got to chase and to fight."
Press release ~ Photos and related links
Digital Self-Service in the Public Sector Survey Report 2018-19: Click here to download