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Consultation on Working Group Report on a new system of police pensions financing
The Home Office has published a consultation document on which comments are invited in respect of the proposals of a Home Office-led Working Group, which includes representatives from stakeholders within the police service and other government departments, on how a new system of financing police pensions should be implemented.
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DVLA review of medical licensing policy for drivers

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is undertaking an independent review of the way medical conditions are assessed, their effect on an individual’s fitness to drive and associated road safety implications. The review is being conducted by independent researchers, Risk Solutions, and will involve consultation with a wide range of interested parties, including medical, driving and other groups. The review will also compare UK licensing arrangements with those of other European countries.

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Anonymity of witnesses

In the murder case of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis at Leicester Crown Court in March, the use of anonymity for a witness set a legal precedent.

The murder investigation itself was marred by serious and consistent attempts to intimidate key witnesses. In the preparation of the case, the Crown Prosecution Service got together with leading counsel and police and agreed that an application would be made to the court to allow witnesses to be anonymous, in that they would not have to give their names to the court, they would have to give their evidence behind screens and, when they gave their evidence, their voices would be electronically distorted so that the defendants would not know who was giving evidence against them.

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HOC 20/2005 Criminal Justice Act 2003: Commencement No. 8 Order

This Circular gives an update on the measures in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003) which have already been commenced and sets out which measures are included in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Commencement No 8 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2005, which took effect on April 4, 2005.

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The Serious Organised Crime and Police
This Act received Royal Assent just prior to the dissolution of Parliament.
There were a number of amendments made to the Bill just prior to it receiving Royal Assent and becoming an Act. The most significant of these was the removal of the clause to include ‘religious hatred’ with racial hatred in Part 3 of the Public Order Act 1986.

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HOC 17/2005 The £50 Million Basic Command Unit (BCU) Fund
This Circular provides guidance on Year 3 (2005/06) of the three-year Basic Command Unit (BCU) Fund. It covers the Fund's outcomes and objectives and the allocation of funds to BCUs. The purpose is to allow BCUs to agree spending plans with Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and continue their activities for the financial year 2005/06. The guidance also sets out the mechanisms for drawing down grant and monitoring arrangements.
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Against Children

This Circular provides guidance to the police, social services, prison and probation services that use Schedule One of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 in their contact with individuals who may pose a risk to children.

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Seminars focus on serious, organised and hi-tech crime
Serious crime will come under the spotlight on the first day of this year’s ACPO Exhibition (Tuesday, May 17), when the seminar timetable features sessions run by the National Crime Squad (NCS) and the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NCHTU).
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