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National police unit monitors 9,000 ‘domestic extremists’

National police unit monitors 9,000 ‘domestic extremists’

A national police unit that uses undercover officers to spy on political groups is currently monitoring almost 9,000 people it has deemed “domestic extremists”.

The National Domestic Extremism Unit is using surveillance techniques to monitor campaigners who are listed on the secret database, details of which have been disclosed to the Guardian after a freedom of information request.

A total of 8,931 individuals “have their own record” on a database kept by the unit, for which the Metropolitan police is the lead force. Read more

Paul Lewis, Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd | The Guardian | 

NHS chiefs fail to report surgeons over botched operations due to loophole

Bungling surgeons are being left off NHS danger lists because of a lethal loophole which puts patients at risk and leaves cowboy doctors riding high in performance tables.

Sub-standard surgeons are supposedly monitored on a database which registers operations that go wrong.

But under narrow guidelines, botched cases are only recorded if patients die, get infected or have to return to the hospital. Read more

Andrew Gregory | The Daily Mirror | 26th June 2013

BBC spent £28 million in eight years for stifling criticism

It’s paradoxical that figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the BBC, an organisation dedicated to disseminating ideas and promoting freedom of speech, has spent £28 million in the last eight years ensuring that people who leave will not speak out.

So-called “compromise agreements” have been signed by 539 staff, of whom 14 received more than £300,000 for their silence.

Tony Hall, the new director-general, has ordered pay-offs to be capped at £150,000 from September, but he hasn’t said whether confidentiality clauses will continue. Read more

The Economic Times | 25th June 2013

More than 4,000 officers disciplined for criminal behaviour in five years

More than 4,000 police officers were disciplined for criminal behaviour in the past five years. They include an inspector who was sacked after being arrested for shoplifting and a PC who resigned after installing a camera in a ladies toilet.

A sergeant in Lancashire was also sacked after he was discovered with three sub-machine guns and ammunition. A colleague from the same force resigned after being caught drug-trafficking. The number of officers found guilty of misconduct has shot up by 56 per cent – from 559 in 2008 to 873 in 2012. In total, 4,115 officers were disciplined over criminal behaviour, of which 643 were dismissed or forced to resign. Read more.

Steve Robson | The Daily Mail | 25th June 2013

Suffolk: More than 1,000 prosecutions are dropped in past six years

Figures from Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Suffolk, released under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that between 2007 and 2012 a total of 1,032 proceedings were dropped for a range of reasons.

Reasons for cases being scrapped include other sentences, which accounted for 465 dropped prosecutions, a caution being more suitable and the effect on the victim’s physical or mental health.

Other reasons given were a long delay between the offence or charge and trial, the age of the offender and “loss or harm put right”. Read more

Lauren Everitt | The EADT24 | 25th June 2013

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