This Week in Britain’s Prisons: Operation Finch and SPS officers to strike over pay

Operation Finch puts massive drug dealing gang out of action and a 33 year old man avoids prison after admitting sexual activity with a child.

 

Scottish Prison officers to vote on Strike action in pay row

Scottish prisons officers are to be balloted on industrial action over pay. The Prison Officers Association Scotland said moral in the service had never been lower and facing another year of capped pay was making it increasingly difficult. The union warned that its members are feeling angry and frustrated over stagnant pay.

Officers are facing higher and higher levels of violence in prisons, dealing with increasing levels of self-harm, overcrowding and the volatile effects of drugs such as ‘Spice’.

Assistant general secretary Andy Hogg said: “In 2014 it was accepted by the then justice secretary that a new pay structure should be introduced to recognise and reward Scottish prison officers appropriately for the challenging work they do. Five years on we are no further forward.”

Scottish national chairman Phil Fairlie said: “At a time when we should be sitting down discussing proper staffing levels for our prisons and a pay system that rewards and recognises the incredible work our members are doing every day, we are in fact being invited to discuss where to find in excess of £20 million of savings due to the SPS budget settlement.”

The unions have asked the government to act urgently to avoid the ballot and recognize the difficult job prison officers do. A date has not yet been set for the ballot.

Prison wing gate locking

33 Year Old Man Avoids Jail After Admitting Sexual Activity with a Child

Scott Sumner, of Exhall, escaped jail by the skin of his teeth after admitting sexual activity with a child.

The chid was 13/14 at the time and they met during an online gaming session. Sumner was caught after he took the boy to the Nuneaton hotel where he worked. Night shift The pair had been caught cuddling on the couch on the hotel’s CCTV. Sumner’s colleagues had then watched the film and the CCTV footage was shown to the police.

At Warwick Crown Court Sumner pleaded guilty to child abduction and sexual activity with a child. Judge Peter Cooke said he had come ‘perilously close’ to being jailed. The judge sentenced him to18 months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to take part in a sex offender programme and a rehabilitation activity, and to register as a sex offender for ten years.

The boy lived 90 miles from Sumner but got to know him through an Xbox Live gaming group, and then began communicating personally through FaceBook. Sumner then met up with the boy several times going to the cinema and Tintern Abbey with him. In May Sumner brought the boy to Exhall and spent 28 hours with him at his home and the hotel, this resulted in the abduction charge.

Sumner escaped jail for two reasons, there had been no explicit sexual activity and Sumner had not groomed the boy in any way. However, the judge said the activity was definitely sexual and the boy was underage and was therefore a serious offence.

Added to this, when Sumner was arrested, a memory card in his video camera had a seven-minute downloaded video of two underage boys engaging in sexual activity.

Sumner recognized his actions were wrong and apologized. The Judge said he was hopeful Sumner had learned a lesson and would not act in this way again.

Operation Finch Brings Down Drug Supply Chain

TARIAN, the Welsh Regional Organised Crime Unit conducted a huge operation to uncover the activities of several organised crime gangs in Wales. Operation Finch focused on the Newport area and the supply of high purity cocaine to the communities there.

Astonishingly a prisoner still serving time headed the gang, Jerome News, used his illegal mobile phone to control his team from his prison cell. The Class A drugs came to Wales from the Northwest and once in Wales some of it was converted into crack cocaine and moved about in smaller quantities to supply communities.

The operation lasted over 12 months to allow the police teams to gather evidence of the wide ranging drug chain. Tarian arrested 17 people in total.

Tarian is part funded by the Home Office, Welsh Government and the three Southern Wales Police Forces is a multi-disciplinary team of Police officers and Police staff seconded from the three forces of Dyfed-Powys, Gwent and South Wales.

A police spokesperson said the gang had made millions of pounds selling drugs and causing misery in the communities of South Wales. Tarian working alongside our colleagues in Gwent and South Wales has managed to rid the communities of Newport of a scourge that had blighted their lives for many years

Liverpool jail ‘so bad’ Dutch refuse to extradite fugitive

HMP Liverpool is so bad that judges in the Netherlands have refused to send a suspected drug smuggler back to Merseyside.

The Dutch Judge feels the conditions in HMP Liverpool are ‘inhumane’ and that the treatment of inmates in the jail could be degrading.

The suspect had been on the run for two years and because of his links to Liverpool it was feared he would be extradited to Walton Jail.

The concerns were raised during a hearing at the Court of Amsterdam. Referring to a report on UK prisons published in July the court heard inspectors discovered ‘some of the most disturbing prison conditions we have ever seen’.

The court had read a report written last July that detailed Britain’s worst prisons. Among the worst was HMP Liverpool, which was plagued by rats, flooded with drugs and where inmates were living in ‘squalid’ conditions.

48 criminals to be extradited back to Poland after landmark ruling

Patryk Maciejec, 27 failed in his bid to remain in Scotland, he had claimed he would not get a fair trial in his home country. Maciejec has been given suspended sentences in Poland for housebreaking, theft, and drink driving.

He moved to Scotland in 2011 and worked as a car mechanic and was arrested in 2015 under a European Arrest Warrant.

His arrest led to a landmark ruling that will see 48 criminals eventually extradited back to Poland. All 48 are held on European Arrest Warrants and arguing not to be sent back to their home countries.

Sheriff Frank Crowe said, “Mr Maciejec could put no reason forward why his cases would attract special attention. There was no political element to the charges or the involvement of some high-ranking person that might skew the process as was suggested by some examples in the experts’ reports.”

This was a test case for other European Warrants, if there are no political reason for avoiding trial in the home country it is unlikely the suspect would be unfairly treated and therefor no reason they should not be held to justice in their home country. 33 of the outstanding cases involve Poles.

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Liam Kerr said: “Sheriff Crowe has good reason to believe an alleged offender will receive as fair a trial in Poland as they would in Edinburgh. I think the public expects justice to be done wherever a crime is committed, whether that’s in the UK or Europe.”

Prison Phone, Keeping prisoners and families connected
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2019-05-11T14:19:01+01:00
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