West Yorkshire Police
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Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, PNLD’s 2007 conference was a sell-out. Held on 26 April at Tally Ho Conference Centre, in Birmingham, over 150 delegates representing 44 police organisations and forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, attended the second national conference for first line managers in frontline law enforcement. This year, the event was kindly sponsored by Criminal Law Week.
Six leading experts spoke on differing aspects of the policing of terrorism and criminal law to an audience composed mainly of sergeants and inspectors.
Organised by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, the one-day conference was extremely well received by the delegates. In fact, the vast majority have provided their contact addresses so they may receive details of next year’s conference nearer the time.
Conference Principal, Heather Croft, the Business Director of PNLD until her recent secondment, outlined the successes achieved by the PNLD team over the last twelve months. These include registration with ISO 9001 Quality Management and reaching the finals for two prestigious IT awards. Heather also brought to the attention of the delegates the new link from the CJX version of PNLD to the Criminal Law Week website, which provides access to their authoritative and extensive library of information.
Conference Chair, Ms Julia Hodson, Deputy Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, introduced the speakers, including senior solicitor Anthony Edwards who, returning to speak again this year at the request of delegates from the 2006 event, gave the keynote address on 21 years of PACE.
Anthony Edwards defined the role of the defence solicitor and gave advice to his audience on how to avoid the pitfalls of dealing with defence solicitors in interviews with suspects. He highlighted the benefits of sharing information with the defence solicitor in order to achieve what is in the best interests of everyone - sound prosecutions for those who are proved guilty and transparency to acquit those who are innocent.
The second presentation was from a senior officer from SO15, who spoke to the delegates on recent terrorism investigations in the UK.
Delegates then heard from David Ormerod, Professor of Criminal Law at St Mary’s College, University of London, whose topic this year was the ‘Fraud Act 2006 – tacking dishonesty in an electronic age’. In his address he outlined the reasons behind the new Act, and focussed on the changes the legislation has introduced.
The first speakers of the afternoon session were Phil Read, OBE & Martin Baines, QPM, whose topic was ‘Community engagement is at the heart of preventing extremism’. In their presentation, Phil and Martin spoke about making best use of contacts within local communities, emphasising the importance of a partnership approach in gathering intelligence and preventing the spread of rumours.
The final speaker was David Pickover MBE, the Legal Editor of Janes’ Police Review whose presentation considered the legal aspect of Explosives, Bomb Hoaxes and Hoax Bombs.
PNLD have once again ensured the continuing accessibility and use of the audio and text versions of the presentations through a dedicated downloadable website. This will enable the delegates to share the benefits of the conference with their colleagues.

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