Suspect who had coloured wires protruding from his jacket ‘could have been shot’ during incident near the Emirates Stadium
officers who tackled a suspected suicide bomber near the Emirates
Stadium have been commended for some of “the most outstanding bravery
team of constables were awarded the Met commissioner’s prestigious
Excellence Award on Friday for their actions in subduing the man, who
had wires and mobile phones strapped to his chest in Avenell Road,
bomb turned out to be a fake, but police chiefs said that the terrorist
threat was so believable that the suspect would have “undoubtedly” been
shot by armed officers had the constables not intervened.
Jason Hodgson and Alex Field were responding to reports of a man
walking the streets armed with a machete in January last year.
they approached the suspect, he dropped the weapon and they were able
to detain him after a violent struggle. PCs Sam Homer and Marc Woolmer
joined the others at the scene and fired Tasers at the man.
Nick Davies, who presented the officers with the award at Camden Town
Hall, said: “At this point they noticed coloured wires protruding from
his jacket and what appeared to be a trigger device. They noticed he
appeared to be wearing some sort of improvised explosive vest, aware
there was possible imminent danger to themselves and everybody else.”
used two pairs of handcuffs to detain the man and “had the presence of
mind to restrict his movements to prevent any triggers being used”, he
Wayne Pullen, a former RAF police officer with experience of improvised
explosive devices, then “bravely undertook the task of searching the
man”, SI Davies said.
added: “The suspect looked every inch a genuine terrorist, he was
clearly causing large fear within our community. He was in the vicinity
of Arsenal football club, which would be a viable target.”
Pullen described the moment he began to search the suspect, finding
several mobile phones, bits of circuit board and a web of wires wrapped
around his torso.
key thing was to find out if it was a viable device. If it was, then
we’d have to change our approach and begin evacuating the area,” he
was a trigger on his chest with “what looked liked a viable positive
and negative lead” coming from it and a battery wrapped in black
electrical tape, he said.
He was eventually able to establish that it was not a viable explosive device.
was a white wire leading from the battery and I was able to follow it
round to his back, where it came to a dead end,” he said.
man was sent to a mental health hospital to receive the “appropriate”
treatment, PC Pullen said, adding: “The way he was dressed and the way
he behaved, I have no doubt it could well have ended a lot worse for
Field said he spoke to bomb disposal experts, who later arrived on the
scene, who confirmed that their intervention had saved a life that day.
“They said he would have had a bullet in his forehead if it wasn’t for us,” he said.
Davies said: “It’s quite difficult for me to effectively convey to you
how we feel about these officers and how proud we are. The suspect
could have been met by an armed officer and would have undoubtedly
ended in a shooting, but for these officers bravery.”
5/5/17 WATCH: Heartwarming moment Harrogate girl is re-united with military dad
magical moment a little girl from Harrogate was re-united with her
daddy returning from deployment in Qatar has gone viral. A video taken
by Hannah Caffrey of her four year old daughter, Emily, and husband,
Jon, seeing each other for the first time in months has been viewed
thousands of times over on Facebook. Jon,
a Sergeant currently on six months detachment in Qatar, had just landed
at RAF Brize Norton for 10 days rest and recuperation when Emily ran
towards him for a much-deserved cuddle. But the short time together was
perhaps even more special, as little Emily was diagnosed with a brain
malformation just last year. Hannah
Caffrey said: "Because of the problems she has, she's not very vocal. I
had explained to her in the car that we were going to see daddy but it
wasn't until she saw him that I think she fully realised. "My daughter
is the strongest little girl to go through what she's gone through
Emily with dad Jon as she rides her pony. Picture: Hannah Caffrey "Emily
was born at 28 weeks and we have travelled around the country since she
was born, moving with Jon's postings but we have bought a house in
Harrogate so we have a base. "Sadly she's one of those children that
has a malformation of no name. Long term, no-one has any idea what it
might mean, we don't know what she'll do, it's very much take every day
as it comes and see what happens." Although
the family can Whatsapp and video-call while Jon is away, Hannah
explains that it is difficult to get Emily to properly talk to her dad
over webcam. She said: "He sees massive changes in her development and
just in herself, she's turned into a proper little girl. He's
overwhelmed by her, she is out and out a proper daddy's girl
Emily and Jon enjoying quality time together. Picture: Hannah Caffrey
her for the last 10 days has been really good for him to see how much
she's changed in that time." The couple also have another
seven-month-old daughter called Molly and while Jon was home, the
family celebrated Emily's fourth birthday. Jon
Caffrey said: The greeting I got from Emily when I arrived back in the
UK was more than I could ever of hoped for, I have often seen other
fathers being greeted by their kids but never knew how special it
really was until Emily came running up to me like she did. Luckily the
video hides it, but I was closer to tears than I like to admit. "She is
a very bright and happy little girl and also very much a daddy's girl,
which makes it all the more difficult to leave her as she understands
enough to know daddy is leaving but can't comprehend how long for or
why he isn't coming home everyday. "Although I have done several
deployments in the past, this is the first time I have been away for
any significant period of time since having children which makes it so
much harder for both me and Hannah. Jon who usually works at RAF
College Cranwell within the RAF Police Special Investigations Branch is
not due back from his detachment until August. On Tuesday (May 2) Jon
flew back to Qatar and said goodbye to his family who he will see again
when he finally returns home in the summer. He
said: "Hannah, who is an amazing Mum and wife, has her hands full when
I'm away, and I don't think people appreciate just how tough it is for
military wives/husbands when their partners are deployed, especially
when children are involved. "The 11 days I had back in the UK were
amazing, especially as it was over Emily's fourth birthday, so we had a
couple of parties for her as well as some good quality family time.
"Sadly though that is all over now and I won't be back home to see them
1 May 17
Wife claims husband left to 'suffer PTSD in silence' after serving in Afghanistan
mum-of-three says her husband has been 'continuously let down' by the
Ministry of Defence after developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Luke Dallison, who works for the RAF Police, spent seven months in Afghanistan in 2012 and now suffers from PTSD.
wife, Nikita Dallison, is accusing the MoD of 'sweeping [us] under the
carpet' after discharging the 32-year-old from their treatment centre -
despite attempts to take his own life.
Mr Dallison has served with the RAF Police for 12 years.Credit: Nikita Dallison
who lives at the RAF Shawbury base in Shropshire, has shared a video
discussing her husband's PTSD online, which has so far been viewed over
a million times and shared by 30,000 people.
I first noticed his PTSD in early 2013. By 2014 he was a completely different person.
is no longer just about my husband, but it's about thousands of others
who are being or have been neglected by the system too.
like the MoD to address the issues faced by servicemen and their
families. I want them to improve the 'Duty of Care' they promised our
loved ones in accordance with the armed forces covenant.
men and women, these families, my husband are not just numbers. I want
them to be treated with the dignity, compassion and respect that they
deserve, that they are owed.
– NIKITA DALLISON
mental health of our people is of the utmost importance, which is why
we provide a variety of support including education and access to
We encourage those that need help to come forward and get the assistance they deserve.
– MINISTRY OF DEFENCE SPOKESPERSON
26/4/17 A veteran whose career was ended by a devastating injury has turned his life around – by creating his own vodka brand.
And Chris Gillan’s Heroes Vodka is already challenging the big boys of the booze industry after supermarkets agreed to stock it.
Chris served with the RAF police in Iraq and Afghanistan and was selected for special operations alongside the SAS.
he suffered a severe leg injury in training, which forced him out of
the military and put paid to his future plans to join the police.
then found himself unemployed and temporarily homeless, but has managed
to turn his life around after starting the vodka business which he
planned from the spare room of his council flat.
Chris, 37, said: “I was in quite a dire situation financially. It was a dark part of my life.
had to turn to the armed forces charities to get some assistance.”
Using funding he received from the British Legion, Chris launched his
The vodka is bottled at Broxburn Bottlers in West Lothian and is now being stocked in 350 Asda stores across the UK.
who employs forces veterans at the firm, added: “A minimum of 20 per
cent of all profits go to our charities – the Royal Navy & Royal
Marine charity , the Army Benevolent Fund and the Royal Air Force
the wake of the tragic death of PC Keith Palmer a charity single has
now been produced with the lyrics penned by the children of a serving
police officer. Two boys aged 11 and 13 have written a song about what police do and how officers across the country work together.
aim was to have a member of every police force in England, Wales,
Scotland and Northern Ireland represented on the song to raise money
for the charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS).
The profits of
the all sales of the track will go to COPS. This is a charity that
looks after families of police officers who have died in the line of
duty. The track features singers from 20 police forces around the UK which includes RAF Police.
a lot of hard work the track is now available for download on iTunes,
Google Play, Spotify and Amazon as We Stand Together by The Thin Blue
A female pensioner who was filmed having sex with dogs has been spared jail by a judge.
Bowditch, 64, had sex with a St Bernard, a black labrador and an
Alsatian claiming later she did not realise that it was illegal.
activities were exposed as a result of an RAF Police investigation
which centred on a man identified as organising a bizarre sex party .
Owners watched their dogs having sex with women, who then had sex with the men. Details of the event were later posted on an internet forum specialising in bestiality.
investigation led police to visit Bowditch and when her home was
searched officers found a DVD and a USB stick which both contained film
of her with dogs. Victoria Rose, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court "When the DVD was analysed it was found to contain extreme images. "Those images portrayed persons committing penetrative sexual acts with dogs. "Also included were images of this defendant herself carrying out sexual activity. "Included
was an eight minute and 59 seconds video of Mrs Bowditch engaging in
vaginal and oral sex with a St Bernard dog named Oscar. "When the defendant was interviewed she admitted she had penetrative sex with dogs. "She accepted it had taken place over several years. She was unaware it was illegal." Miss Rose said that at least eight photographs were found of Bowditch having sex with dogs and 30 moving images. Bowditch,
64, of Evedon, Lincs, admitted a charge of having sexual intercourse
with an animal between 13 November 2011 and 25 November 2014. She also admitted possession of 37 extreme pornographic images on 21 March 2016. Daniel Galloway, 65, of the same address, admitted aiding and abetting Bowditch to have intercourse with an animal. He
also admitted charges of making indecent images of children, possession
of a prohibited image of a child, distributing 1,861 indecent images of
children and possession of extreme pornography. His sentence was adjourned to a later date. James Gray, in mitigation, said "She is 64 and has no previous convictions. "Both she and Mr Galloway have suffered considerable public humiliation. "They have been ostracised by their friends and family. "They have suffered that added element of punishment which in less salacious cases would not be present." Bowditch was given a community order with 12 months supervision and a 16 week night-time curfew.
8/4/17 RAF Wittering policeman and dad of twins to take on huge cycle challenge to say thanks to medical staff
Curtis, who is based at RAF Wittering, will ride between Peterborough
City Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary on April 15.
twin daughters were born in October 2016 and are healthy now but their
mum, Steffanie, needed an emergency caesarean if the smaller of the
twins was to survive. The lifesaving operation was performed at
Leicester Royal Infirmary. Nathan and Steffanie were unable to see the
girls, Millie and Charlotte, for the first few hours of their lives.
Born ten weeks prematurely, the tiny babies were just bigger than the
size of an adult hand. Two weeks afterwards, Millie was transferred to
Peterborough City Hospital. Nathan said: “The quality of care was
second to none and everybody was just amazing. The neonatal intensive
care staff are the real heroes. I knew the girls were in the best
capable hands.” It’s very busy in the Curtis household. Steffanie is a
full time mum to Mille and Charlotte and their brother, Noah, who is
three years old. Nathan is balancing a very busy job as an RAF
policeman with helping his wife at home and training for the bike ride.
In preparation for the 82 mile ride, Nathan trains every day; working
in the gym and on a turbo-trainer at home. The turbo-trainer is a small
device which is mounted under the rear wheel of a bicycle and allows
realistic (but static) training indoors. 7/3/17
RAF reservist ‘looked up colleague’s skirt’ at Oktoberfest
McIlraith was photographed sneaking a look up a fellow police
reservist's dress at an Oktoberfest party night at the No 603 Squadron
headquarters in Edinburgh.
Royal Navy submariner Keith McIlraith was photographed looking up a
fellow police reservist’s dress at an Oktoberfest party night at the No
603 Squadron headquarters in Edinburgh.
- who is also a TV extra - and the woman had been enjoying the “rowdy,
drunken affair” along with around 50 other military personnel following
a training day at the RAF HQ.
woman was dressed as a “German beer wench” and after spotting a friend
in the same outfit she asked for a picture of them to be taken.
was said at the time but the woman admitted she was left “shocked and
embarrassed” when she saw the picture of her and her friend with
McIlraith on the floor looking up her short dress a few days later.
ex-Navy submariner, 43, denied he had looked up the woman’s skirt
claiming instead he and a female friend had been larking about on the
floor of the function suite during the party on October 25, 2014.
McIlraith - who has appeared as a support actor in River City, Dear
Green Place and Bargain Hunt - was found guilty of a breach of the
peace by looking up the woman’s skirt at the RAF HQ, Learmonth Terrace,
Edinburgh, following a trial at the capital’s sheriff court today.
48-year-old victim told the court she attended the RAF training day in
the afternoon before changing into a “traditional Oktoberfest German
wench” fancy dress outfit consisting of white off the shoulder top,
short black skirt and black boots.
She said: “People were drinking quite a lot - it was a party type atmosphere.
“It was a good evening and the majority of it was spent in the bar before we went through to a bigger room for party games.
saw a friend wearing the same outfit and wanted a picture taken of us
as I thought it would be quite funny. I looked at the picture a couple
of days later and I was shocked.
“I didn’t know he was on the floor looking up my skirt - I was shocked and embarrassed.
If I’d known about it In would have dealt with it then and there.
If I’d [known what he was doing] I would have stamped on his face.”
woman then said she confronted McIlraith about the image a few weeks
later but that he had ‘just laughed it off’ and said ‘it was a bit of a
“There was no apology and he felt as if he didn’t do anything wrong.”
woman then reported the matter to the Provost Marshall, the head of the
RAF police, before going on to inform the civilian police around nine
months after the incident.
woman said she made a statement to the police as she felt the RAF
command “were not taking it [the complaint] seriously enough”.
evidence, McIlraith, from East Kilbride, told the court he had drunk
around a dozen bottles of beer and as a result had “no recollection” of
the picture being taken.
said he had been engaging in “tomfoolery” with a female colleague
whereby both of them were rolling around the floor on several occasions
He denied the allegation he had looked up the woman’s skirt claiming that would have been “obscene”.
He added: “I know at no point did I look up anyone’s skirt. I wasn’t paralytic but I was drunk.
“It [the picture] might look like that but I wasn’t looking up her skirt.”
the evidence, Sheriff Fiona Tait told McIlraith she was rejecting his
version of events as “unsatisfactory” but found the woman’s evidence to
be “credible and reliable”.
Tait found the former Royal Navy submariner guilty of the breach of the
Pearce charge but did not place McIlraith on the Sex Offenders Register
following yesterday’s trial.
The sheriff said she will consider that sanction as part of the fuller sentence which was deferred to next month.
Inspection of the RAF Police by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary:Written statement - HCWS440
Inspection of the RAF Police by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary
wish to inform the House that I am laying today, the first report from
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) Inspection of the
Royal Air Force Police (RAFP).
Armed Forces Act 2011 places a duty on HMIC to inspect and report to
the Ministry of Defence on the independence and effectiveness of
investigations carried out by each Service police force, and this is
HMIC’s first statutory inspection report on the RAF Police.
consider this report to be a positive endorsement of the RAFP providing
assurance from an independent civilian authority that the RAFP is well
led overall. Six recommendations have been made and five areas for
improvement have been identified. The Royal Air Force accepts the
report’s findings and work is already under way to address the
recommendations and areas for improvement.
RAF police give boost to Diss Rugby Club fundraising event
Chris Chaplin, Sergeant Leon Jokat, Gordon Johnson, Sergeant James
Thomas, Corporal Allan Gardner at Diss Rugby Club. Picture: RAF
policemen have travelled up the road from Suffolk to Norfolk to support
a fundraising event held at Diss Rugby Club that raised £350 to help
former personnel and their families.
from 1(Tactical) Police Squadron supported the Royal Air Forces
Association’s Diss branch Wings Appeal at the Diss v Norwich Rugby Game
is the first event supported by the squadron, which has been aligned to
the Diss branch as part of RAF Honington’s overall effort to support
Lt Anthony Xavier, from the squadron, said: “Squadron personnel were
keen to volunteer for the event and saw the benefit of supporting the
work of RAFA in Norfolk and Suffolk.
support is planned for 2017 with the aim of developing a strong
relationship with the branch and also allowing branch members to visit
the squadron in the future.”
Johnson, RAFA Diss branch membership secretary, praised the positive
impact of having uniformed and serving personnel available to support
the association’s work and added that previous events without squadron
personnel had raised around £100.
This RAF Police campaign aims to significantly reduce alcohol related offences: Target Zero
This RAF Police campaign aims to significantly reduce alcohol-related offences: Target Zero.
mixture of briefings, surge operations, messaging and, in some places,
free soft drinks for drivers, Target Zero is designed to help keep
personnel safe this festive season.
Officer, Flt Lt Mark Wareing, said: "This is so much more than a
Christmas drink drive campaign, this is about keeping everyone safe and
enjoying the festive period."
Bus firm on board with armed forces
left, Simon Webb, Manuel Church, Daniel Smith, George Vassallo, Mark
Hayward, Stephen Peters, Gareth Jones, and Steve Parry.
Transport has been made an official bronze award member of the UK
Government’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for its work
supporting former and current members of the armed forces.
scheme encourages employers to help the armed forces by employing
ex-defence personnel and support those who are already enlisted for
To be recognised by the government for the award, an employer must show a commitment to employing current or former members.
Transport currently employs 16 people who have served or still are
serving in the armed forces, 12 of who are bus drivers.
include Gareth Jones, a former member of the RAF police squadron and
veteran of the Northern Ireland conflict, who is projects manager at
the bus company.
He said: “The company is hugely proactive in
providing opportunities and support for those who have served in the
army and those who still are.
“It’s great therefore that this
commitment has been recognised by the organisers of the ERS. It is not
always easy to find career pathways when leaving the armed forces, but
Newport Transport is providing these opportunities.”
Pearson, Managing Director of Newport Transport, said: “We are very
honoured to have been recognised by the Defence Employer Recognition
Scheme in this way.
“As a company which prides itself on the
diversity of its workforce, we appreciate hugely the dedication and
experience of the men and women who work for Newport Transport from an
armed forces background. Like the rest of our staff, their work is
exemplary and their commitment to our customers is second to none.
are also very proud of our support of the Royal British Legion. We have
dedicated buses in our fleet in memory of those who have served this
country. This includes former employees of Newport Transport who sadly
lost their lives in the Great War. In memory of these fallen heroes,
five of our buses have their names bestowed upon them.
poppies that accompany their names will remain there until the 100th
anniversary of the end of the war in 2018. We are grateful to all of
those who have put the lives of the many before their own and will
continue to support former and current armed forces members in the
years to come.”
13/11/16 Neatebox inventor wants to help make journeys easier
Gavin Neate of Neatebox. Picture: Greg Macvean/TSPL
a road is the kind of everyday activity few people stop and think
about. But to those with a disability, the need to navigate busy
streets can often be a stressful and frustrating experience.
was through working with visually impaired people that Gavin Neate came
to realise pedestrian crossings could be a hindrance to their progress.
The device allows users to activate crossings with their phones. Picture: TSPL
solution, the Neatebox, allows users to activate a crossing via an
application in their mobile phone, eliminating the need to locate and
then press a button.
First unveiled in 2014, the invention
has since been installed at several locations across Edinburgh,
including outside the Scottish Parliament and opposite the NHS building
in Lauriston Place.
Neate, who is based in the capital, is in
talks with one local authority to install Neateboxes at every
pedestrian crossing in a medium-sized town.
“We’re not just talking about internet of things - we’re actually in the process of doing it,” Neate told The Scotsman.
an entire village or town is much easier than tackling an entire city
and its 900 crossings. There might only be ten crossings in a small
Neate’s firm belief is that technology can be used to
allow more disabled people to travel independently. The entrepreneur
spent 18 years training guide dog users after serving as an RAF police
He learned first hand the barriers many people face when outdoors.
see problems and find work-arounds,” he said. “I had experience of
clients struggling to reach crossing buttons and struggling to cross.
Even in the best case scenario, they’re off to the side or awkward to
“If you see that on a daily basis, you either accept it as the way things are, or you think of ways the problem can be solved.
“Nicola Sturgeon has spoken of her desire to see more people with disabilities being able to find work,” Neate continued.
first, employers must understand the needs of persons with
disabilities. Unless that person can get to work, under their own
steam, it’s kind of pointless.
“We want to help people to get to
work independently - without having a support worker with them, or
having to ask members of the public help you, or changing their route
to avoid a certain crossing.
“Neatebox helps someone who cannot
reach the button on a pedestrian crossing, But then it will also help
those carrying shopping, for example.
“Ultimately, what we’re
talking about is something that is totally inclusive. It can be used by
lots of different people - but there are some whose lives could be
Neate came up with his initial idea in 2006 and then spent several years developing it “during lunch breaks and after work”.
Support from Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise allowed Neate to form a company and go full-time with the project in 2014.
has since hired two members of staff after winning further funding, as
well as undertaking several paid trials of the Neatebox technology.
The product is now currently going through its certification process before it is sold on the open market.
country has woken up to the need for people with disabilities to be not
just included in society, but to enter the workforce as well,” he said.
“There’s no reason, if they can reach an office, they can’t be as productive as anyone else.”
A RAF Policewoman was one of the winners at the 'Women in Defence UK' inaugural awards at a ceremony held at the Honourable Artillery Company’s Headquarters.
Lt Harriet Tadikonda was one of 200 nominees across five different
categories that were whittled down via a stringent judging process
carried out by a variety of leaders from business, professional bodies
in Defence UK exists to promote the value of women across defence and
three finalists from each category attended the ceremony, but it was
Flt Lt Tadikonda’s efforts that saw her win the ‘Most Collaborative’
award as founder and director of the ‘One Voice Initiative’.This
brought every faith society across Defence together to form a
multi-faith and humanist choir in the name of co-operation and
August 2015, tri-service singers, four civilian choirs and the
musicians of the Band of the RAF Regiment all came together at RAF
Northolt to record the final movement of the five part symphony
composed by Flt Lt Harriet Tadikonda.
Path to Peace’, the One Voice Initiative’s single was formally released
at an event held at The International Anoopam Mission Temple in
December 2015, with the hard copies of the single selling out within
minutes of the launch and all proceeds donated to SSAFA – The Armed
receiving her award, Flt Lt Tadikonda said: “I have been extremely
fortunate to work alongside some extraordinary and visionary people on
the One Voice project. This award is devoted them and the utterly
inspiring servicewomen who were also nominated or won awards. There are
now an increasing number of women in high profile roles within the MOD
- it is an exciting time to be a woman working in defence.”