Ceremony Of The Keys Events

Post By Martyn Linton – London North Branch Chair

The London North Branch have had the pleasure of attending the Tower Of London on two occasions for the Ceremony Of the keys event. The visits took place on the 14th of November 2017 and 22 May 2018.

For those who do not know what the Ceremony Of The Keys is it is the daily traditional ceremony that takes place where the Tower Of London is locked. This ceremony has taken place everyday for hundreds of years and takes place at the same time everyday without fail.

On both occassions we met at the Wetherspoons pub across the road where members had a drink or two before the event started. At the start of the event members met their tour guide who welcomed the group and talked through what would be happening. It was a pleasure to meet members from the Thames Valley Branch at the second event.

We were taken on a guided tour around the very impressive venue where we made a number of stops to be told about the history of the point in question. The history spanning several hundred years was very interesting to hear.

After the tour we were welcomed to the Yeoman Warders Bar for a few drinks before we witnessed the formal ceremony. When the time came to watch the main event we were taken to what is known as Traitors Gate – the entrance where traitors were brought to the tower by boat to face imprisonment/execution. We stood and watched the soldiers wearing their pristine uniforms start the ceremony.

We followed the ceremony as it moved around the corner towards the main tower and observed the formal process that takes place. When it had finished we returned to the Yeoman Warders Bar for a few more drinks and a raffle was conducted with a number of members winning prizes varying from bottles of wine through to whiskey glasses and other impressive items.

We remained in the bar with our hosts and heard some impressive facts not mentioned in the tour about the Tower Of London. On both occassions it was an absolute pleasure to attend.

This is one of a number of events that members of the International Police Association take part in. For details on how to join visit the IPA website at http://www.ipa-uk.org

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Meal At House Of Commons

9 Region IPA members attended a meal at the House Of Commons on the 15th of October 2017. London North Branch Chair Martyn Linton tells the story.

I opened my email inbox to find an invite for a meal at the House Of Commons that my Vice Chair Dan mount had arranged and having never been there before thought what a great opportunity this was. On the day of the event I along with my better half arrived at the St Stephen’s Tavern, a traditional pub located directly opposite the House Of Commons. Members gathered and a few drinks were had before it came time to cross the road for the main event.

Having gained access past the gate it was off to the security room to be searched. After emptying my pockets and removing my trouser belt and being given the green light it was time to enter the main building. I was immediately impressed by the large ceiling and structure of the hall where we entered. I would learn more about the history of this building at another event.

We were shown into the dining area where our group occupied at least four tables. Wine was consumed and the waiting staff started to deliver food to our tables. I am a large man. Standing at six feet seven inches tall it is no surprise that I like my food. I don’t do what I call posh food very often and those around me laughed when I looked at my plate. Where is the rest of it I asked the waiter who failed to see the funny side.

It was a very relaxing atmosphere and it was very pleasing to see members smiling, talking and having a good time. Members had come from far and wide. It was really good to meet BTP member Rick who lives in Romania. We had spoken vis email and Facebook several times but shaking the mans hand was like we had known each other for a long time. That there was the IPA spirit in full swing.

All good things must come to an end as they say and after what seemed like no time at all it was time for us to leave the dining room and head our separate ways back home.

I would like to thank Dan Mount for arranging this event and I hope we can return in 2018.

Membership of the International Police Association is open to serving/retired Police Officers, Specials and Police Staff. It is FREE to enrol. Visit http://www.ipa-uk.org

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Visit To Miami Dade P.D

London North member Sean Keogh joined the IPA in 2017 and contacted his branch seeking assistance in arranging a visit to see local cops on a trip to Miami. Here is his story.

On Friday 17th November, my brother and I who is a special in Herts Police, attended the Miami-Dade Police Academy. Our host was Sean Hayes, a former Navy serviceman and twenty-eight year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD).

IPA Image

Having gained access to the site we were introduced to Lt. Ortiz who was in charge of the initial foundation training delivered to all recruits to MDPD. Recruits to Miami-Dade undergo the minimum State-mandated training before undertaking an additional 7/8 weeks making the initial training 37 weeks if my memory serves me well. As well as MDPD, the Miami Department of Corrections and FBI also make use of the facility.

After introductions were we shown to a golf buggy and whisked on a tour of the facility starting with a cluster of buildings that formed a scenario area where recruits are tested on their handling of all manner of scenarios from a domestic incident to an active-shooter scenario. The scenarios are constantly reviewed and adapted to ensure the training meets current needs; the most recent example being a scenario for dual active shooters (inspired by London/Las Vegas) where one of the shooters fires from a second story at the public/officers. This scenario also featured input from the Fire & Rescue department to assist with inter-agency cooperation.

Next up were the ranges. All of the department’s 2900 sworn officers are trained to use the Glock 17, the venerable Remington 12-Gauge shotgun and a semi automatic adaption of the AR-15 assault rifle.

We were introduced to the ‘tactics house’ with an aerial walkway so that instructors may assess officers’ operational tactics which those who have been to Gravesend on various public order courses may be familiar with. The difference with this particular structure is however that it is able to sustain a number of gunshots without them escaping into the surrounding facility. We also saw the 200 yard range and a pistol range where officers were re-certifying their qualification. The crackle of nearby gunfire accompanied our visit to the obstacle course where Lt Ortiz explained that there is a substantive physical training element in the training of recruits who are tested on entry to the academy and completion of the course with an expectation of significant improvement.

We watched a few minutes of an officer safety refresher course in which the instructor demonstrated various ‘up close’ self defence tactics, in particular addressing the issue of when a suspect attempts to seize the weapon of the officer or produces a weapon of his own. It is frequent to hear how ‘trigger happy’ the Police in the USA are in general, but that ethos certainly isn’t supported by the statistics (less than 1% of MDPD contacts result in the use of deadly force) or the training being provided that I witnessed.

From there we were shown the well furnished classroom areas, locker rooms and the two on-site gyms as well as the swimming pool before a brief look at the incident control room simulator (best described as a high end version of Hydra) which looked something similar to the Situation Room in the West Wing (for those of you who enjoyed Martin Sheen’s presidency).

All of this was done whilst the Smurf’s jogged about the site to their lectures/sessions each one greeting us in passing with “good morning, sir” (admittedly this came more as a wheeze depending on how long the recruit had been running for).

I was left with the impression that there is a great deal of pride and a determination to provide the highest possible standard of training at the facility. We were told of the new ‘simulator’ building which would shortly be constructed for more immersive scenario training and plans to use the hurricane assisted de-wooded area of the site to expand the obstacle course (to the top of the hill, go!).

As thanks for the hospitality of our visit both Sean and Lt Ortiz were gifted with custodian helmets. After our visit Sean took us her and I to Fudrukkers for a well needed burger.

Membership of the International Police Association is open to serving/retired Police Officers, Specials and Police Staff. It is FREE to enrol. Visit http://www.ipa-uk.org


Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Ormond Street – Charity Raffle

Sav Kyriakou MBE is the Regional Chairman of the International Police Association 9 Region area (Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, BTP and North London branches). Recognised for his charity work his quest to raise money for those less fortunate continues.

Sav writes:

As you know I do lots of fundraising for military charities but a colleague was explaining that the ward his 4 years old son attends (he’s battling his second cancer)😓 lacks toys and games for the children.

Dan explained that not enough of the monies raised are given directly to those that need it as too much is swallowed by administration.

This got me thinking as how I could help raising money to directly support the children’s wards at Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College Hospital and others.

To do this I have a signed Arsenal Football club shirt from the 15/16 season that was given to me for charity and I would like to raffle it off.

I know that most people don’t admit to being an Arsenal fan, but I’m sure you have family, friends or colleagues that might secretly be a fan?

This might just be the perfect Christmas present for them, or indeed the best secret Santa gift for a colleague? Alternatively if you win you could easily make your money back and a few pennies more by selling it on.

The raffle tickets cost £5 each and I really would like to sell at least 200, so please feel free to advertise and share this far and wide.

In order to be in with a chance to win, send an email to me at Sav.kyriakou@hotmail.com and you’ll get an automated response on what to do next.

The draw will take place on the 20th of December via a random number generator to pick the winner and your prize will be posted thereafter.
I hope you can support this endeavour, and please do share it to generate maximum interest (you’ll need to save the post copy and repost it please).

Kind Regards


Arsenal Shirt

Posted in Charity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IPA Lincoln Award 2017

Story by Martyn Linton – London North Branch

Today I had news from one of the Section UK Vice Presidents that I had been awarded the first ever IPA Section UK Lincoln Award. 

The Lincoln Award for those who’ve never heard of it is UK award of £1000 given on a yearly basis to a UK member to use towards an educational purpose. 

Earlier this year I applied for the Arthur Troop Scholarship (ATS) to visit the US to take part in a course in America titled Gangs – Target The Entire Gang. Here I would train alongside law enforcement professionals in tactics targeting gang crime. My ATS application was unsuccessful but it was successful for the UK Lincoln Award.

I have an interest in gang culture and my work as a Detective in the Metropolitan Police sees me work with gang members. I had a childhood that saw me start to get involved in gangs in the late 1990’s. Gangs then weren’t what they are now and have evolved massively. 

It is an absolute honour to have been awarded the first ever Lincoln Award and I will use this opportunity to build on my existing knowledge of gang culture, enforcement and prevention. In 2018 I have been invited to speak at a IPA arranged seminar on gangs being held in Leicestershire at the Police HQ and I hope tdon’t be able to share knowledge gained on this course in that seminar. 

I will be writing about my experience in the hope that others will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity provided to members of the IPA. This is one of many benefits of IPA membership!

Membership to the IPA is open to serving and retired Police Officers, Specials & Staff. For more information or to join visit http://www.ipa-uk.org 

Posted in Education, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Police Memorial Day 2017

London North Branch Chair Martyn Linton attended the National Police Memorial Day held in Cardiff this weekend. Here is his story.

Earlier this year I registered to attend the National Police Memorial Day along with another IPA member and colleagues from the Metropolitan Police to pay my respects to colleagues who had died in the execution of their duty. I was pleased to hear that my IPA friend who was also attending was to host a number of officers from America who were travelling over for the event.

I arrived in Cardiff on the Saturday morning and was met by a colleague from the Lambeth Borough who had arrived the day before. An hour later we were off into the city to meet the local Sergeant who looks after football/rugby policing. We met with colleagues from other UK forces and we were taken on a private tour of the Millenium Stadium, home the the Welsh Rugby Team. We were walked through the various areas of the stadium and were able to go pitch side. After the tour it was off to a local ‘rugby pub’ for a pint before a tour of Cardiff Castle.

Later on we arrived at the castle and our tour guide took us for a buffet that had been prepared before the very interesting tour of the grounds.

When the tour had ended I had a few hours to myself to check into my hotel and get dressed ready to attend the NPMD Pre Event Reception being held at Cardiff City Hall.

At the Reception I met with IPA Vice President Clive Wood, Ken Davies and Denis Hunt from IPA Wales, colleagues from other force areas, families of fallen colleagues and of course our American guests.

The following day was the main event, National Police Memorial Day 2017. I met with my fellow 9 Region IPA friend and our American guests at their hotel and we walked through Cardiff City Centre towards the venue. The number of people turning their heads to see the smart dress uniform worn by our American guests was pleasing to to see. I will add that they did look very smart.

The service took place inside St David’s Hall. There were hundreds of people in attendance and all the seating overlooked the stage area. The South Wales Police Band started proceedings and a number of speeches, hymns and events such as lighting of candles followed. I was proud to join serving colleagues in the retaking of my Oath during the service.

After the service had finished I was proud to have a photo taken with my colleagues and our guests. The MPS Commissioner joined us. After this the Commissioner was given a number of gifts in the form of challenge coins by our American guests.

Sunday evening saw several people leaving Cardiff ready to return to work the following day. I remained in Cardiff with the guests and colleagues and what followed was a evening in a local pub where good conversation took place.

The following day it was home time for all. I enjoyed this weekend and was honoured to stand with others who were paying their respects. The sense of unity amongst all in attendance was truly moving and I had a number of moments where I thought that the thankless task of policing, the negative press, the knock backs, the stress and everything else really was worth it at the end of the day.

I would like to thank everyone involved in the organising of this fantastic and worthwhile event for their hard work. I would also like to thank the South Wales Police for looking after us during our visit.

You can make donations to this fantastic cause by visiting http://www.nationalpolicememorialday.org/

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

IPA Hungary 25th Anniversary Celebrations 2016

IPA London North Social Secretary Kiran Gharial recently visited Hungary. Here is his story.

In early September 2016 I attended IPA Hungary’s 25th anniversary celebrations. I arrived in Budapest on the afternoon of Monday the 5th and was met at Liszt Ferenc Airport by fellow IPA member Sojal who kindly led me to the awaiting mini-bus for the half hour drive to 3 star hotel Benczur to check-in for registration and accommodation.


Upon registration I was greeted by further IPA members including Gabriel, Gellert, Maria and Timea where I was presented with a traditional Hungarian wine bottle and a sculptured candle-holder as a gift. With registration complete, I managed to get a few hours rest before attending the evening welcoming party for the hundred (or so) guests, which included an inviting speech by the IPA Hungarian President, Tamas Simon, followed by a traditional Hungarian dinner and dance session. A wonderful start to the event!

On Tuesday morning we travelled to Hortobagy. This is the largest protected area and natural grassland in Central Europe with cattle, sheep, oxen and horses tended by herdsmen, and it provides habitat for various different species. This is also an 800 km national park in Eastern Hungary in the puszta, rich with folklore and cultural history. The park was designated as a national park in 1973 and elected among the World Heritage sites in 1999.


Next, we travelled to Eger – home to the Castle of Eger which is an important part of the 16th century fortifications of Hungary torn into three parts at the time. Its most important episode in history came in 1552, when the defenders led by Istvan Dobo successfully beat back the overwhelming Ottoman army. The victory, also captured in literature, is an important event in Hungarian memory and heroism. Thanks to the history of the castle and the exhibitors of the castle museum it is one of the most visited tourist sites in Hungary.

This was followed by a visit to the world famous Hungarian wine region of Eger for a visit to Juhasz winery which included a guided tour and some splendid wine tasting followed by a traditional tavern dinner within the venues wine cellars.

On Wednesday morning we travelled to the pottery factory of Herend, which was founded in 1826. It carries out experiments on making porcelain and developed the first true porcelain pieces in a very short time. At first the porcelain made in Herend included some replacement pieces and replicas of porcelain made in the famous German Meissen factory, soon however, a very unique line emerged making Herend famous all over the world. The factory, still specializing in luxury hand-painted porcelain, is located close to the city of Veszprem and near Lake Balaton. This was a great opportunity for a guided tour of the site and to learn that many celebrities and art connoisseurs along with kings, queens and aristocrats of the 19th & 20th centuries had been customers of Herend porcelain.


In the afternoon we visited Lake Balaton which the locals call Central Europe’s largest freshwater lake, the Hungarian sea. It became Hungarians number one vacation resort after the Trianon Treaty following World War 1 when large areas of Hungary, including some seashore along the Adriatic Sea, were taken away.

Today all members of the family will find something to do at Lake Balaton whether it’s bathing, sailing, horse riding, playing golf or wine-tasting. Next we embarked on a cruising boat trip along lake Balaton, giving us a chance to relax, take in the sights and enjoy the wonderful scenery of the region.


On Thursday morning  we visited Zwack Unicum Museum and the Zwack factory. Zwack is a Budapest, Hungary based company that makes liqueurs and spirits. The company produces an 80 proof (40% alcohol) herbal liqueur known as Unicum from a secret blend of more than forty different herbs and spices. Unicum is known as one of the national drinks of Hungary. Zwack has been listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange since 1993.
In the evening, we were entertained to the lights of Budapest from a river boat cruise along the river Danube. As well as being treated to a fantastic dinner of sizzling traditional Hungarian dishes, there was the opportunity to let your hair down and go dancing to a duet singing and playing some classic, golden tunes.

Friday was the day of the official celebration of IPA Hungary’s 25th anniversary, at the Hotel. Participation at the ceremony was either in uniform or IPA dress. I made sure that my tunic was looking good for the event and was one of the few attendees that had brought full uniform along to the occasion. Looking back, I am now glad that I did as I had plenty of compliments from the other participants.

It was, indeed, an exciting ceremony with two Orchestral bands playing a variety of music as well as one of Hungary’s finest violinists playing some classic tunes. In the evening we spent our time getting acquainted with Budapest by means of sightseeing tours arranged by bus and on foot including the building of the Hungarian Parliament – a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture and is just over 100 years old. Construction began in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of Hungary in 1896 and fully completed in 1902. It is the third largest Parliament building in the world. We were fortunate enough to have a guided tour which covered the main entrance stairs and hall, the lobbies, the old House of Lords and the Hungarian Crown Jewels.


Afterwards, we travelled to an isolated hilltop restaurant in the middle of nowhere (literally) which overlooked the river Danube and the lights of Budapest from the Buda mountains. It was here that we were entertained to Hungarian Folklore and traditional dances, enjoying modern wines & traditional dishes. The view from the restaurant balcony across the river Danube, late evening, was absolutely stunning.

Saturday following breakfast it was time to say goodbye and farewell to new made friends and acquaintances. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gabriel, Maria, Gellert, Timea, Sojal and Tamas for their kind generosity & hospitality as well as to congratulate IPA section Hungary on the success of their 25th anniversary celebrations.

Travel opportunities are one of the many benefits of IPA membership. If you are not a member of the IPA and would like to join or would like information about the IPA please visit http://www.ipa-uk.org

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments