Devon & Cornwall Police

Crime commissioner Hernandez in stalking debate

BBC Radio Devon

Devon and Cornwall Police Crime Comissioner Alison Hernandez is to give others advice on how to overcome being a victim of stalking and abuse.

Alison Hernandez

She'll address a seminar being held at Exeter Golf and Country Club by a new Exeter business group called Fernpower, which aims to help empower women in business who are faced with obstacles like discrimination or domestic abuse.

Last September, Alison's former partner was given a suspended sentence for assaulting and stalking her.

Police officer failed to arrest man with crack cocaine

A Devon and Cornwall Police officer - who failed to arrest a man found in possession of crack cocaine - has been given a final written warning.

It follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct into a stop and search.

The incident was referred by the force in November 2017 after others raised concerns.

A hearing found the police constable had committed gross misconduct for failing to arrest the man for a drugs offence.

The officer had the grounds to arrest the suspect for a drugs offence but chose not to. The officer’s improper conduct and failure to appropriately handle and log evidence meant the man could not be subsequently prosecuted for any offence relating to the drugs found on him. His actions compromised the integrity of the investigation and also put his colleagues in a difficult position.”

OPC Regional Director Catrin Evans

A referral was also made to the Crown Prosecution Service as there was an indication a criminal offence may have been committed. The CPS decided not to authorise any charge.

Nineteen arrested in County Lines crackdown

Charley Adams

BBC News Online

As part of a national crackdown on County Lines drug gangs, 19 people have been arrested, thousands of pounds of drugs have been seized, as well as £81,000 cash.

Devon and Cornwall Police officers joined forces with Regional Organised Crime Units across the country for a national week of action to disrupt the activity of suspected County Lines networks.

County Lines is the term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines.

Police said the gangs are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults in order to move and store drugs and money, often using coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons.

Between 13 and 20 May:

  • 19 people were arrested - 16 men and three women.
  • 33 vulnerable adults and two children were engaged for safeguarding purposes.
  • 49 suspected 'cuckooed' addresses - where drug dealers target the vulnerable - were visited.
  • Officers seized £81,187 in cash.
  • Suspected Class A drugs, including around £7,000 of cocaine, 45 wraps of heroin, crack cocaine, plus suspected cannabis and unknown tablets were also seized.
  • Seven weapons were seized including knives, a BB gun and an axe.
  • Nine mobile phones were seized, plus £25,000 of designer goods.

Throughout the week we have taken action against suspected individuals as well as giving support to young people and vulnerable people who are at risk from County Lines. Young people and vulnerable adults are exposed to physical and mental abuse from these organised networks, and in some instances are trafficked to places a long way from home.

Antony HartDet Supt

Stolen shopping too low-level to investigate - police

Ben Woolvin

BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

A police and crime commissioner has called for police to review a decision "as soon as possible" not to investigate the theft of a bag of shopping.

Phillip Shewell

Devon and Cornwall's commissioner, Alison Hernandez, said it was "vital that people don't lose confidence in the police and feel that it is worthwhile reporting every crime".

Philip Shewell (pictured) put his bag of shopping on the floor on Friday while he was getting some money out at Asda in Newton Road, Torquay, and when he went to pick it up it had gone.

Security staff sat the supermarket told him the theft was caught on CCTV but the police told him that because there was only £20 worth of shopping in the bag, it was not worth investigating.

Mr Shewell said: "Apparently if you have goods stolen under a certain value it can be stolen with impunity which obviously can't be right."

Devon and Cornwall Police

Devon and Cornwall Police said in a statement that it took "all reported crime seriously".

The force added: "However, demand on our resources mean that we have to make investigate decisions based on threat, risk and harm.

"This is done on a case by case basis, based on the evidence available, proportionality and public interest."

It said the offences "can certainly be reviewed and reopened if the suspect in the CCTV is identified".

Police fined more than £200,000 for health and safety breaches

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

Thomas Orchard
Family Handout

A police force has been fined £234,500 for health and safety breaches in relation to a belt used around the face of a man before he collapsed in custody.

Thomas Orchard, 32, died in hospital seven days after being arrested and taken to Heavitree Road police station in Exeter, Devon, in October 2012.

During his detention, Mr Orchard was restrained and an emergency response belt (ERB) was placed across his face for five minutes and two seconds to prevent spitting or biting.

In a landmark conviction in 2018, the office of the chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police admitted breaches under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Josh Clayton: Police criticised over young man's death

Johanna Carr

BBC News Online

Sgt Colin Taylor

A police sergeant who found fame with his witty social media posts has been criticised for his handling of the death of a barman on a private island.

Sgt Colin Taylor used a "water diviner" to investigate the disappearance of Josh Clayton, a practice a standards inquiry described as "not appropriate".

He was also criticised for confronted Mr Clayton's family in a pub, after they raised questions over his methods.

Devon and Cornwall Police said they would apologise to the family.

Josh Clayton

Police officer sacked for lying during investigation

BBC Radio Devon

A Devon and Cornwall Police officer has been sacked for lying during an investigation into an assault.

PC Luke Foxley admitted allegations that on a number of occasions during the inquiry, he "provided false and misleading information to the victim of the assault" and to his sergeant.

A misconduct hearing ruled his behaviour amounted to "operational dishonesty and breached the standards of professional behaviour".