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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Gimborn Safety On European Roads International Police Seminar

Story by Kiran Gharial – London North Social Secretary

In May 2016, I attended Gimborn for the “Safety on European Roads” International Police Association Seminar. There were over 20 participants from 6 different countries with the majority of attendees coming from Germany and England. Two participants came from Ireland, two from Norway, one from Australia and one from Austria. The seminar was chaired by I.P.A Section U.K vice-president Sean Hannigan.

The first day, Monday, began with an introduction to Gimborn Castle and its historical background, by 2 senior managers of the IBZ team. This was followed by an introduction from each participant of their professional background to the rest of the group – a good way to “break-the-ice”!


Following lunch our first speaker talked about the topic of ‘Detecting & Prosecuting Impaired Drivers’.This subject involved around Drink and Drug driving. The European drink-drive limits were compared and discussed with those of Scotland – surprisingly for some showing a downward trend since 2010 onwards. She then went onto her experience of the D.E.C.P i.e drug evaluation and classification program and drug recognition / evaluation as carried out by police in U.K. Drug recognition tests were next and this involved the basics of the ‘Field Impairment Test’ which is normally carried out by traffic officers.  A variety of illegal drugs and their effects on the body were explained and the topic was ended with a group discussion regarding drug abuse, legislation and detecting drivers under the influence within the confides of the international participants.

The second speaker talked about “The next generation of Safer Drivers beginning with the fatal four :- Drink & Drugs, Smartphones, Speeding and Seat belts as to the common causes of road traffic collisions. He went on to talk about the partnership meeting following a fatal collision to discuss a way forward in collaboration with the partnership group to reduce the number of collisions in his constabulary. Initially, this campaign targeted driving instructors. It then continued onto target employers, schools and parents to drive the message forward regarding the driving attitudes and behaviours of young drivers. Advertising, by means of using certain animal characters to associate with certain driving offences was used as part of the targeting campaign. A simple initiative called “My Red Thumb” was also discussed regarding using a mobile phone whilst driving. Basically, this idea came about from a driver who painted his thumb-nails red to remind him of the dangers of texting whilst driving each time he got into his vehicle and drove. He finished off by talking about the “Learn to Live” campaign which targeted young, male drivers. In this real-life professionals, emergency crew and members of the public (family/friends) talked about the difficult part they had played during life-changing / threatening road-traffic collisions.


On Tuesday, the topic discussed was “Motorbike Safety Strategies” from a U.K perspective which was supported by ‘BikeSafe’ and N.P.C.C. It began with a European overview of motorbike and moped fatalities, outlining the main causes of collisions. The strategy placed in the U.K of Evaluation; Enforcement, Engineering, Education and Engagement was mentioned as well as operation “Achilles” whose purpose was to target routes with a high proportion of motorcycle fatalities. The operation was data led and included overt as well as covert enforcement of motorcyclist offenders which resulted in riders being referred to a RIDE scheme or prosecuted. In the afternoon,  the speaker was from Germany and he talked about the subject of “Autonomous Vehicles Disposition” regarding how on-board computers collect data following road traffic collisions.


On Wednesday, the topic discussed was about “Forensic Collision Investigation” which introduced the role of a collision investigator who is, basically, an independent expert witness that gathers evidence at scenes of collisions and provides a full report (prosecution file) to the investigation team. In the afternoon there was a trip to the Ministry of the Interior in Dusseldorf. Here a presentation on TISPOL – Traffic Information System Police – was given by a senior German Officer. TISPOL works in partnership to make Europe’s roads safer and secure. The key focus is to achieve reductions of road deaths and serious injuries through the enforcement of road traffic offences and the education of all road users. Furthermore, it supports the security of the road network by tackling criminality and cross-border crime. This presentation was followed by a local trip downtown where dinner and drinks were available to wind down and take in the local sights of this wonderful city.

On Thursday we were presented with “Using modern technologies in pursuit of road safety”. The subject of ANPR was discussed with 4 key areas of proactive, reactive, intelligence and MISPERS was relayed to the group. The 3 main types of system (i) van-based, (ii) fixed and (iii) mobile were mentioned as well as the Back Office Facility (BOF). It was an interesting point that both Germany & Austria had strict legislative laws that made it difficult for them to employ such a system in their countries. The participants from these two countries were most impressed with this presentation. In the future, ANPR should be able to recognise E.U plates (schengen); assist with European Arrest Warrants, increase the number of fixed sites, use 3G/4G network and be in alliance with other county forces within the United Kingdom.


Following on was the “future of policing using drones”. This topic was probably the high point of the seminar with all participants showing a keen interest in the subject which ended with a practical session involving the use of a drone in action nearby the local vicinity. In the afternoon we heard about the topic of “Disaster Victim Identification” and body recovery in fatal accidents, which involved identifying victims of any major or emergency incident. An example given was that of the Tsunami in 2006 where specialist teams from around the word were called up to assist in identifying thousands of victims from this catastrophic disaster.

On the final day, Friday, we had a round-up of the topics covered during the week. Certificates were presented to all the participants. There was a closing speech by the IBZ team and we, sadly, said our farewells to our friends and colleagues as we prepared for our journey home. And not to forget that this trip would not have been completed without a visit to the ‘Turm-Bar’ for a relaxed and social  atmosphere during the weekday evenings, after dinner, where everyone was invited to enjoy a pint – or two – of “Krombacher!” at a very reasonable price.


I would like to thank the staff members at Gimborn for their understanding and generous hospitality throughout my stay as well congratulating the Chair, Vice-Chair, Presenters and Interpreters for their planning, organisation and commitment in making this a successful event.

Have a specialist area of policing that you would like to teach others about or want to know more about the range of seminars that take place throughout the year at Gimborn? Please contact your local IPA branch or IPA HQ.

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IPA Cybercrime Event

Post by Martyn Linton – London North Branch

Until this week I had never explored the learning and development opportunities within the IPA. I have read several stories about people attending the likes of Gimborn and have said several times that I must get involved. Well this week I did and I do not know why I haven’t done it sooner.

I’m sure that there will be a web news story to follow so I won’t steal that thunder but felt that I should put a few lines together to inform you of the learning opportunities and their value open to you as a member of the IPA.

I work on a Major Crime Team in London and an increasing number of investigations involve electronic devices and/or use of the Internet. A typical example being online fraud. It is no secret that online fraud etc is on the increase and will no doubt continue. 

The seminar I attended was held in Coventry in a very modern environment. I arrived and met the Instructors who were very knowledgeable and clearly specialists in their field. What was very helpful was the fact the Senior Lecturer was a former Police Officer so he understood the complex nature of policing. I then met colleagues from forces across the country who worked in varying roles from Major/Organised Crime to Digital Media.

I will not go into specifics about what the day covered but will say that I left the seminar armed with some new knowledge and some tools that will be very useful in investigating  crime.

I left the event with a newly found interest in this field and I am wanting to learn more. This event was the first UK Cybercrime event and at the end feedback was sought from those attending on what content they would like to see for future events so that those attending can get the most out of it.

The International Police Association have a number of learning and development opportunities available to members. Events are hosted locally, nationally and internationally. There is the Gimborn training centre which hosts seminars in various topics around the year. I highly recommend that you explore the opportunities open to you.

If you would like any information about opportunities available to you please contact your local branch. If you are not an IPA member and you would like to know more about the benefits of membership please visit http://www.ipa-uk.org

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