Archive for January 12, 2012

Peter Whittaker and one of the cars damaged after he crashed into it

It is my wish that I continue to represent the people of Tardebigge on Bromsgrove District Council

In the statement, Coun Whittaker said: “I sincerely wish to apologise for the incident on November 20, 2011, to those innocently involved, to my family, working colleagues and those in the wider community.

“I am extremely grateful for the continued support of family and friends and for the character references supplied by people I have known for a long time and which were presented to the court. These were taken into account by the magistrates when handing down the judgement that they did.

“It is my wish that I continue to represent the people of Tardebigge on Bromsgrove District Council and carry on with the work that I have been doing for the last 12 years.”

It is not yet known if he has appologised directly to the victims or offered to pay the £3,000 one of the victims were left out of pocket.

Police are appealing for information about the theft of more than 300 trolleys from a North Worcestershire supermarket.

Asda has reported around 320 trolleys being stolen from its Bromsgrove store in the run-up to Christmas. The trolleys are worth around £100 each, leaving the supermarket with a £32,000 bill.

The supermarket took a delivery of 500 new trolleys in November, but discovered shortly before Christmas that only 120 were left.

It is believed the trolleys have been picked up after being abandoned by shoppers in nearby streets. Officers believe they have been loaded into a white panel van in streets in the Sidemoor area, including Rowan Close, to the rear of the Asda store. Due to the quantity of trolleys stolen, this would have happened on a number of different occasions.

PC Matt Hunt of West Mercia Police said: “Shopping trolleys are obviously valuable to metal thieves.

“Unfortunately, trolley thefts affect us all in terms of rising shopping bills, and so we are urging people to be vigilant.

“We are also appealing to shoppers to always return trolleys after use. They should not be taken off supermarket car parks, as abandoning them in roads, on footpaths and gardens not only makes it easier for thieves, but looks unsightly.”

West Mercia Police’s Project Livewire is tackling the problem of metal theft across the force area.

Anyone with information about trolley thefts should contact PC Hunt on 0300 333 3000 quoting incident 376-s-171211 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555111.


Stoke-on-Trent was hit by a earthquake on Wednesday, seismologists have confirmed.

The 2.4 magnitude tremor was recorded near Newchapel at 12:00 GMT by the British Geological Survey (BGS).

It was one of the larger ones to hit Britain in recent months and was measured at a depth of 1km – meaning it could have been felt.

There are roughly 200-300 quakes in Britain every year, but most are so small that no one notices them.

Professor Peter Stiles from Keele University said: “Stoke-on-Trent has been for a very long time quite a centre for small seismicity.

“But most tremors are associated with old mine workings.”

Many of the quakes in the UK are clustered around an enormous block of rock known as the Midlands Microcraton.

This is a feature that runs up through Birmingham towards Stoke-on-Trent.

A WEST Midlands Police officer was allowed to keep his job despite being caught picking up a call girl.

The sergeant, who was prosecuted for soliciting, was among 27 cops working for the force who remained in employment despite having criminal convictions dating back to 2005.

The highest number, six, were for drunk and disorderly offences, but others included domestic assault, drink driving, public order, harassment and data protection offences.

The details emerged in a response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted to police forces across the country.

The statistics also revealed a total of 24 Staffordshire Police officers had criminal convictions – one of whom was an inspector prosecuted for assault – while the figure was ten in the West Mercia area. Warwickshire Police refused to provide information on the grounds of cost.

Nationally, almost 1,000 police and community support officers had criminal records.

Det Chief Insp Danny Long, of West Midlands Police’s Professional Standards Department, said the figures should not be misrepresented.

He said: “One officer convicted of a criminal offence is one too many, but it would be irresponsible if these figures were to be taken out of context.

“All officers convicted of an offence are subject to the usual criminal investigation and internal misconduct proceedings, as the public would expect.

“Whenever a serving officer is convicted of a criminal offence, the actions leading to the conviction and the details behind the decision of the court are then considered as part of the misconduct process.

“In each case consideration is given as to whether the standards of professional behaviour have been breached and, where they have been, the sanctions available range from no formal action to dismissal.”

The Metropolitan Police, Britain’s largest force, came top of the list with 356 officers and 41 PCSOs with convictions.

It was followed by Kent Police (49), Devon and Cornwall Police (44), Essex Police (42), South Yorkshire Police (35), Hampshire Police (31) and the West Midlands.

Home Office guidelines issued in 2003 said police officers should have “proven integrity” because they are vulnerable to pressure from criminals to reveal information.

The guidance said forces should reject potential recruits with convictions for serious offences – including causing actual bodily harm, burglary, dangerous driving and supplying drugs – unless there were “exceptionally compelling circumstances”.