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 

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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/

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Active Officer Exchange – Boynton Beach Police Dept, Florida


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The Riots By Michael Michael Matthews

Last year London North Branch member Michael Matthews sought assistance from IPA members to speak about their experiences in the 2011 riots for a book he was writing.

Michael Matthews writes:

It has been 5 years since the devastating riots that followed the shooting of Mark Duggan by police in London. The riots, which rapidly spread across the country, resulted in thousands of arrests, hundreds injured including many police officers, police dogs and horses and five persons killed.

In fact some officers’ who were at disturbances such as Broadwater Farm were fighting in the same streets in 2011.

These riots are also an important part of British policing history as well as the history of the nation. It was for this reason that I wanted to record and then write about the experiences of front line police officers’ who had fought against overwhelming odds, and against sickeningly violent, murderous mobs.

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The result of my research is my new book ‘The Riots’. However, this book would not be what it is without the assistance of the IPA and for that reason I would like to take this opportunity to thank the various regions of the UK IPA for their help.

When I first considered starting the book, I knew that I would be turning to the IPA. Although I am a London officer, the riots affected cities and districts all across the country. Not only that but officers’ from all around Britain were deployed to help other forces in dealing with the rioters. So I turned to the IPA and asked for help in contacting officers’ across the country, to seek those who had been directly involved in the riots and who would be happy to speak to me about their experiences. Many reached out to me.

From hours of interviews I managed to plot the book from the first sign of trouble erupting in Tottenham, to the riots spreading around the country and then to the end of the riots in Birmingham. The book is a complete narrative of the riots, created from these individual officers experiences, and drop the reader onto the frontline during the worst rioting that the country had seen in decades.

I hope that the book ‘The Riots’ stands as a testament to the courage and dedication shown by the thousands of officers that held the line and also as a warning to those who attack the police, whether for political or criminal reasons. The police were vastly outnumbered but at the end of the day, they still won.

So thank you IPA for your help in creating this record of extreme police bravery.

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IPA Serbia – Air Soft Shooting Event

At the beginning of September 2016 BTP Branch member Rick Haslam attended an air soft shooting competition circulated by 9 Region. Here is his story.

Members of 9 Region IPA were invited to Kikinda, Serbia to participate in an air rifle shooting competition on the 2nd & 3rd of September. I went and had a fabulous time and what follows is a synopsis of my time there.

I’m retired, I’ve been visiting Romania on/off since 2008 and have lived there since August 2015 so it was easy for me to attend this event.

Day 1 – Friday Evening

From my house the journey to the venue took 90 minutes. I located the B&B/restaurant with the help of a friendly English speaking local resident. The President of IPA Kikinda Pavle Rajkov had spotted my Romanian car registration and saw me find a parking space and welcomed me with a friendly bear hug. We joined the others that had already arrived, three members of the Financial Police and two Police Officers from Sibiu Romania, plus a few local off duty officers. We had a coffee, introduced ourselves and with job stuff out the way we found other things to talk about and graduated to beer.

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Others trickled in and at about 9 pm we all sat down to dinner. I was representing Section UK and others who attended came from Timisoara Romania, Poland, Macedonia and of course the locals. There were 24 dining and especially drinking.  Being a lightweight, I went to bed at 2 am, some of the others apparently went to bed at 6 am and got 2 hours sleep!

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Day 2 – Tournament Day

After breakfast the shooting tournament started. When not shooting, members and their families relaxed outside in the shade or sunbathed (it was 30 degrees all weekend) and drank beer, water, chatted, met other members and there were rolls for lunch. I won’t tell you how dire my shooting was, but I didn’t come last!

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When the shooting was over, we were given a walking tour of the pretty town, a couple of beers and back to the hotel for a shower and a change of clothes. We all met up and made way to the party venue in convoy, then it began again – loud music, food and drink. This time there were over 100 people dining and through the evening I made some great new friends that I will stay in touch with

The music was Balkan  and there was lots of dancing and drinking. The Romanian team from Sibiu and I went back to the hotel and I went to bed at midnight. The Polish contingent went back to their hotel and continued in their room into the early hours.

Day 3 – Home Time

Breakfast over, the farewells begin. We said goodbye to our new found friends and colleagues.

IPA Kikinda/Serbia would not allow us to buy ANY drinks over the 2 days of festivities, their hospitality generosity and friendliness was fantastic! It made it a memorable first IPA visit for me. As a guest I only had to pay for the B&B which was only 7000 RSD (about £40 for a twin/double).

This is a bi-annual event. I would certainly recommend attending. There is always someone around that speaks English and the Romanian and Serbian sections really appreciated me representing Section UK. I was told by many that on other IPA trips they had not met a UK IPA member and would like to meet more.

As a result of this event I have an invitation to visit Sibiu on March 25th 2017 for the National Police Day there and an open invite to visit Kikinda again.

If you would like to see a video with some of the event please click on the link. below but please note they speak Serbian https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7YSglUyxNM

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Celebrating Pride In San Francisco

Story by Garth Minton – BTP Branch Chair

In January of this year a happy coincidence came about in that my friend Imraan Sathar, a fellow IPA member belonging to BTP branch, mentioned that he and a few other mutual friends had a trip to San Francisco planned in June. I had already looked into heading over to SF myself for my summer jaunt and so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to link up with his group.

I wanted to do something a little different whilst in the city, and so with a few months to go until we jetted off I used the IPA network to get in touch with Calvin Chow, the president of USA region, who fortuitously happens to live in the SF area. Calvin was supportive from the get-go, and when I expressed an interest in myself and Imraan joining in with the SFPD’s LGBT Pride parade celebrations he wasted no time in making all the requisite arrangements for us.

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June rolled around and on a biblically rainy day we flew out of Heathrow bound for sunnier climes, custodian lids and tunics safely stowed in our luggage! We spent a few days taking in the sights and soaking up the rays before starting Sunday with a breakfast at Mission police station, where Calvin had arranged for us to be met by Capt. Teresa Ewins who was to look after us for the remainder of the day. There we were also introduced to various other police officers who would also be marching in the parade, including relatively new recruit to the force Cameron Coulter. We all chewed the fat about the differences and similarities in police work on both sides of the Atlantic before we were briefed by the local Captain, and along with a contingent of FBI agents we boarded a street-car bound for the parade route.

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We managed to brave the heat which was rather stifling in our tunics and helmets! The start of the parade was taken up with posing for photographs with lots of officers (including the chief of police!) as well as members of the public. Imraan even bumped into a former Chief Superintendent from Avon & Somerset police, proving that wherever you go there’s usually a Bobby not too far away! The parade itself was a fantastic occasion; it was great to see the city turn out in support of the LGBT community and also in support of its law enforcement personnel. Both our jaws hurt from smiling for photos by the parade’s conclusion.

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Later that evening I finally had a chance to meet Calvin and thank him for all his efforts in accommodating us; we were invited to a private party laid on by friends of his which was a real family atmosphere with home-made Mexican food and guacamole (and a liberal helping of alcohol!) We were able to exchange a few gifts with Calvin and future plans were mentioned of reciprocal visits to London. Without the IPA, none of this would have been possible. I think what stands out most was the intimate and friendly nature with which Imraan and I were treated by all who knew Calvin, and by extension the rest of our group when we were all invited back the following night to Calvin’s former patrol partner’s place for another party! The sense of returning to the UK having made so many new friends was quite unique, and I’m reminded of the key driving force of friendship behind our organisation every time I think of the trip.

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