DEVON and Cornwall Police has paid out more than £1.3 million in compensation to members of the public over the last four years. Since 2009 a total of 460 claims have been made following incidents including collisions involving police vehicles, unlawful detention, wrongful arrest, negligence and bites by police dogs. The force has also had to pay out for successful claims for harassment, bullying, damage to property, defamation, use of excessive force and unlawful seizure. There was also one successful claim, resulting in a £500 payout, for ‘misfeasance in public office’.
The number of cases of food shoplifting in Kent increased by 15% last year, according to police figures.
Across the county there were 3,110 thefts, compared to 2,699 in 2012. The highest rise was in Swale with 62%, followed by Tunbridge Wells with 44% and Thanet with 38%. The highest number of offences was in the Medway area.
Hospitals across Sussex are struggling to clear a backlog of repairs of almost £50 million. Patients are potentially being put at risk because of outstanding maintenance work to buildings. Some repairs are classed as urgent as they have a high or significant risk of affecting patient care. This includes leaking roofs, ageing electric cables, damaged vinyl floor coverings, replacement fire doors, fixing cracked skylights and replacing out of date ventilation units.
MORE than 50 people have been banned from libraries in the area for violent and threatening behaviour. Gosport Discovery Centre proved to have the rowdiest readers, with 14 bans made between 2011 and 2013. Fareham Library handed down seven bans in the same period, while Leigh Park Library gave six. The 56 bans were revealed by Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council after a Freedom of Information request from The News.
A micro-pig snatched from a leisure farm was among almost 250 animals stolen in the Cleveland Police area last year. The four-day-old piglet was taken from Newham Grange Leisure Farm in Coulby Newham last March. It was left on the doorstep of a house in New Marske and later died . In response to a Freedom of Information request, Cleveland Police said 249 animals had been registered as stolen in 2013. They included 60 fish, 48 pigeons, 30 other birds and 19 dogs.
A passenger plane bound for Manchester was just seconds from colliding with another flight. The Airbus A319 banked to the left after a A320, which was flying to Manchester, descended into its path in February last year. The pilot of the Dublin-bound A319 assessed the collision ‘risk as high’, documents released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) show, when the planes’ paths crossed near Brecon. Both were 100ft away vertically, and 2.4 nautical miles away horizontally. The Manchester-bound pilot assessed the risk as “low”. The safe vertical distance for planes is 1000ft. Details of the incident emerged in a Freedom of Information request which showed planes heading towards and leaving Manchester Airport have been involved in 14 near-misses in the last three years, including two incidents where Boeing passenger planes and helicopters came too close to each other.
MORE than 2,000 people who called an ambulance in Flintshire and Wrexham last year had to wait more than an hour for one to arrive. Delays in ambulance ‘first responses’ in the region were revealed in new figures released yesterday. ‘First responses’ to call-outs – the time between the emergency call and the first ambulance service presence arriving on the scene – took more than an hour on just over 2,000 occasions in the two counties in 2013. The figures relate to the time taken for any Ambulance Service personnel to arrive on the scene, and not necessarily an emergency ambulance. The figures, revealed after a Freedom of Information request by the Welsh Conservatives, show that 1,075 ‘first response’ arrivals took more than an hour in Flintshire, with the figure standing at 929 in Wrexham.
Shoppers suffering from a lack of change when parking in the borough’s car parks have helped the council rake in £120,000 in the last three years. Figures released in a Freedom of Information request revealed Wokingham Borough Council made £120,952 from drivers not having the exact coins to pay for parking in its car parks. However council officials claim shoppers have alternative ways to pay for parking, including via a mobile phone, and the council has no plans to change the system or install machines that give change around the borough