IPA Baltimore Visit London

The London North Branch welcomed visitors from IPA Baltimore in October 2015. Branch Secretary Martyn Linton writes about what happened.

I was informed that four members from IPA Baltimore – US Section were to visit London and that they wished to meet with local members. I made contact with Mike in the US and after introducing myself we started to discuss what activities we could do. Being London we had no shortage of options.

After the feedback we received about our day out with the visitors from Switzerland we decided that a casual day visiting some attractions would be the order of the day.

The day arrived for us to meet. I met our guests at their hotel and after the introductions we set off into the City. We were lead by Matin Addis, a London North member. Martin’s extensive knowledge on the history of London has been complimented by many visitors.

Guests With Officers From The Metropolitan Police Armed Response Unit

We visited a number of places and found ourselves at The Palace. Martin gave a short talk on the history of the Palace, the military and the buildings surrounding the Palace. After this we decided to head towards a pub for some lunch. We walked along The Mall where our guests caught eye of two Armed Met Police vehicles.

This lead to questions that I am nearly always asked by overseas visitors about the British style of policing and not being routinely armed. Our guests had a chat with the armed officers about the tools of their trade and there was a short exchange of banter about the different approach to firearms tactics used by the UK and US.


Mike With Officer From Ministry Of Defence Police At Horseguard’s Parade Ground

After lunch we visited Downing Street, The Horseguard’s Parade Ground, Parliament and a few other historic buildings. Martin gave a short talk on each venue as we visited and Martin answered several questions that our guests put to him.

In what seemed like no time at all the day started to draw to a close. After a couple more venues the time came for us to say goodbye to our guests as they needed rest. We returned to their hotel where we continued talking for a while before shaking hands and going our separate ways.


Gift Presented To IPA London North Branch

Our guests had retired from the Baltimore Police Department and they were completing a group tour of a number of countries together. What I really liked about this group was the fact that they had worked together as serving officers on a close knit team and having retired they have kept that close bond. It was an absolute pleasure to have met these members and having been invited to visit Baltimore I will hopefully meet them again.

Not a member of the International Police Association? Membership is open to all serving and retired officers, specials and staff. Visit http://www.ipa-uk.org for information about the IPA and membership.







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Claasic Le Mans 2016 Raffle

Thank you for visiting this page.

The International Police Association draw your attention to this charity event organised by the International Police Association.

The International Police Association have a terrific holiday, valued at £800+, up for grabs for two people to attend Classic Le Mans between 7th – 11th of July 2016.

This competition is being run to raise money for the Care of Police Survivors Charity and the MPS/Herts/Beds and BTP Police Widows & Orphan funds.

Tickets for this amazing prize cost only £5 each, and given that this is a charity fundraiser you are all encouraged to get friends, family well anyone to buy tickets, so please advertise this far and wide!

In order to take part please email the organiser at lemans@ipa-uk.org and you’ll get full details of how to pay and the winning name will be drawn on the 15th of December, so just in time to make this a great Christmas present!

The package includes:

General entrance & paddock access tickets

On circuit camping at the Travel Destinations private campsite at Porsche Curves

P&O Ferries crossing from Dover to Calais for a standard size car

Le Mans Classic is now one of the worlds’ most iconic classic car events along with Goodwood Revival and Pebble Beach Concours. The atmosphere and heritage surrounding this event will engulf you. The display paddock has the largest collection and some of the rarest cars in the world. And with some of the most valuable vintage and classic cars in the world on the track, it certainly takes you back to an era when motor-racing was at its most exciting.

Thanks and good luck


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IPA Switzerland Visitors To London – September 2015

Story By Martyn Linton – IPA London North Branch

A few weeks ago I received via the London Reception Officer details of a group of officers from Switzerland who were visiting London. The trip was being arranged by a man called Carlos and the visit was for three days. Their trip was based around a England vs Switzerland football game to being played at Wembley.

Our guests arrived early on the Monday morning and later that morning I along with John Toombs (Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire Branch) and Rob Weaver (Gloucestershire Branch) met our guests at the hotel. After introductions we headed for the tube station to start our day of activities.

Our first stop was Kensington Palace and the Royal Albert Hall. Here John explained a little about the history of the buildings and the gardens.


We then went to a traditional pub in Kensington for some lunch and a couple of pints and after that we went to what would be the most popular venue of the day which was the Metropolitan Police Heritage Centre. The Heritage Centre is home to various exhibits of Met Police history. I am a serving Met officer and I have walked past the centre several times but have never been inside. Had I known what was inside I would have visited sooner.

Heritage Centre

Inside our guests tried on old uniforms and looked at exhibits and the friendly staff were happy to answer questions about exhibits. There were a range of exhibits that included helmets, swords, warrant cards, radios and more.

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Prior to leaving the Heritage Centre a number of people myself included purchased items from the gift shop. The gift shop sells things from tie pins and badges to mounted presentation shields. I said thank you to Simon who works at the Heritage Centre for allowing me to take our visitors along. After leaving the Heritage Centre I was pleased to hear how much our guests had enjoyed themselves. I will certainly be returning with future guests.


Our next stop was the Houses Of Parliament. We were joined here by two more members of 9 Region. One of those members also named Martin spoke about the history of the building. We took photographs from the bridge and then went for a walk around the outside.

Houses Of Paliament

IPA Members Outside The Houses Of Parliament

We stopped at a few more buildings nearby including Westminster Abbey before going to our last venue of the day which was Downing Street. We had planned to visit some other venues however time was against us as we had arranged an evening get together for other members to join us.

Downing Street

Downing Street

After a short visit to Downing Street we got back on a tube to Russell Square for a beer and for the guests to have a shower etc before the evening event. The evening event was a casual get together and a few drinks. We went to the Metropolitan Bar in Baker Street. I went ahead of the group and spoke with the manager on duty where I explained that we had a large group and asked if we could present one of them with a birthday cake as it was his birthday. She was very accomodating and reserved a section of the pub for us to use so we could stay together.

Birthday Cake

After dinner the traditional exchanging of gifts got underway. BTP Branch Secretary Gary Warren and I presented a traditional helmet and some other things including patches. Carlos presented a Swiss hamper that contained a range of sausage, biscuits and cheese. Other gifts included patches, a bottle of alcohol which came with a verbal warning “drink this very slowly” and Swiss army knives.

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At just past midnight the days events drew to a close and everyone made their way home. A good time was had by all and it was an absolute pleasure to have hosted IPA Switzerland members for the day.

I wanted to make a public thank you to Simon at the Met Police Heritage Centre. I have been speaking with him about taking IPA members to the centre. Simon has said that IPA members are more than welcome to visit in the future and I will certainly be taking him up on that offer. You can find out more about the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection and the Heritage Centre and join as a member for a very small annual fee by visiting https://www.metpolicehistory.co.uk/ 

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We Are The Cops

London North member Michael Matthews has released a book about policing on the streets of the US. This was recently posted on the IPA website. Michael was asked if he would write a short post for the blog. This is his story.

By Michael Matthews

Like many coppers, I have always had an interest at how our colleagues in America, police. ‘The Job’ is often considered the same everywhere, and to a degree that is true but there are also huge differences.

As a kid I grew up watching all those great American cop shows and movies – Hill Street Blues, Cagney and Lacey, Beverly Hills Cop and even Smokey and the Bandit. This diet of American cop action and stereotypes stayed with me long after I joined the Metropolitan Police in London and I vowed to one day delve into the American cop world.

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For 12 years now, I have been doing just that – immersing myself in their world and their culture. I have been travelling regularly to America to meet with – and often patrol with – cops from less likely places such as Alaska and Mississippi to the more expected including as New York, Chicago and Las Vegas.

My experiences were everything you would imagine them to be. In the time that I have been patrolling with officers, I have been up in department helicopters, out on SWAT raids, accompanied homicide detectives in the ganglands of major cities, spent lonely nights in remote locations with a single trooper and ‘blue-lighted’ it through Times Square.

The result of these experiences is a book called ‘We Are The Cops – The Real Lives of America’s Police’. American policing has come under much scrutiny of late and the book, I believe, goes some way to helping people understand what is it really like to be an American cop today. Forget the TV shows, forget the movies, this is it, for real. And the realities are often more unexpected than what you would find on TV anyway.

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I spoke to one Boston officer who told me about the time a gorilla called ‘Little Joe’ (he wasn’t very little from what I understand) escaped from the zoo and proceeded to cause havoc in the city. The officer told me:

‘So he was just kind of walking around, then he’s coming towards us and he’s banging his chest and everything. Then at one point he starts running after us. There had to be fifty cops there by now – you know, pistols, rifles and all this stuff – and we all just started running away! We don’t want to shoot him, so we’re running and we’re kinda laughing too, because it is kinda funny. But it’s a gorilla and he’s out. He’s out on the street!’

That sort of thing could only happen in America. But not all the stories and tales were quite so amusing. It is no secret that being a cop in America can be a dangerous job. Last year 127 officers died in the line of duty. 47 of those officers were shot. The chapter ‘Officer Down’ that appears in the book was a difficult one to write as I had to get officers to open up to me about being shot themselves or about colleagues that they had lost. One officer I was told about was still alive but in a vegetative state after being in a shoot-out where another officer’s round had ricocheted and struck him in the head:

‘He got hit in the head. I think it was just a fragment but it got him in the brain. They think it could have been friendly fire. He’s been permanently handicapped and on life support ever since. He’ll never come back to work. He’ll never get out of rehab, probably ever. He’ll probably never walk again.

He’s not responding to any treatment. He’s almost like a vegetable and he’s only thirty-seven years old. He’s got four little kids. He’s on a vent and he’s not coming back.’

By the time I got home, that officer had died.

A Detroit Narcs team enter a suspected crack house during a raid.

A Detroit Narcs team enter a suspected crack house during a raid.

Despite the dangers, America can be a fun place to visit and to work but there is no denying that policing in America can be anything but routine. Their mindset can be different from officers’ working in quieter and safer places:

‘Being a cop in Detroit, you have to accept that you can get into anything, not just gunfights. You have to accept that you’re going to have to get physical at work. You have to accept that. You may not come back alive. You have to accept that. When you accept that, it helps to clear your mind so that you can do your job.

Do I get frightened? No. Do I get scared? Yeah. But doing your job supersedes you being scared; you’ll be scared after it’s over. Your mind is, ‘I’ve got to get this guy and not get shot.’’

Prisoner in handcuffs, Washington DC, USA

Prisoner in handcuffs, Washington DC, USA

Guns and shootings are a big part of the job. It is always at the forefront of officers’ mind at any call they attend – I have seen that for myself. There are after all, 80 guns for every 100 people in the States (compared to 6 in the UK):

‘I’m going to do whatever it takes to do my job and protect others. Of course, you don’t want to shoot people and I don’t want to sound like a monster but shooting a person was not that emotional for me.’

Like I said, it can be a different mindset.

Alaskan State Trooper on patrol in the remote native community of Angoon

Alaskan State Trooper on patrol in the remote native community of Angoon

I have loved the time I have spent with cops in the States and I continue to travel there to learn, to make new friends and to visit old ones. It is everything you have seen in the movies and much, much more. As one cop told me:

‘Where else are they going to give you a gun, a badge, a fast car and tell you to go play with ten of your best friends every night?’

American Cop

American Cop

We Are The Cops – The Real Lives of America’s Police is published by Silvertail books. Priced in the UK at £9.99 in paperback and from £2.49 ebook, it is available from Amazon and other usual book store and outlets. It is also available internationally.

All photos copyright Michael Matthews.

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IPA Section Ireland – 60th Anniversary Celebrations

I.P.A – Section Ireland 60th Anniversary Celebrations 
Friendship Week (12th – 18th April 2015)
Post By Kiran Gharial – London North Branch
When I read about Ireland’s 60th anniversary celebrations friendship week advertised in the IPA-UK website, I had made up my mind that I wanted to attend as it sounded like an exciting opportunity to explore the country and make new friends.
I got in touch with a PCSO Colleague to discuss further and he expressed interest in attending as well. And so in mid-April, we left Stanstead on-route to the “Emerald Isle”. Upon our arrival at Dublin Airport we were met by 3 local IPA members who kindly offered us transportation to Bewley’s Hotel for our first nights stay. At the hotel, I met up with a good friend of mine from France and he introduced us to a couple from San Diego who he had been conversing with.    It didn’t take long for the ‘ice to break’ and before you could say “A Votre Sante!”, it was drinks all round – let the good times roll!
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With Check-In and Registration complete, the official opening of the friendship week was conducted by IPA Section Ireland’s President and we were all welcomed by members of the ‘National Executive Committee’. This was followed by a delicious buffet meal and wine with music to keep us pleasantly entertained throughout the evening. Later on, a few of us were generously offered a trip to ‘Temple Bar’ to savor some rounds of Guinness at a local Pub/Bar.
There was a vast mixture of members from around the Globe. From the Americans (majority) and Canadians through to the Europeans. And everyone got along with one another in a fun and friendly manner!
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The next day, we departed the hotel for a short tour of Dublin City, on our way to Garda H/Q in Phoenix Park. Following ‘meet & greet’, there was a reception by the Garda Assistant Commissioner and entertainment was provided by the Garda Band, Mounted, Dog, Traffic and Territorial Support Units. This included a grand display in the main square, where the various specialist units were on hand to answer any queries and put on a show. Afterwards, we left Phoenix Park for a visit to the world famous Guinness Brewery, which included a guided tour of the 7 floor factory and a free pint on the top floor – Cheers! From here overlooked a magnificent view of the City. Then we left Dublin on-route to Athlone – the perfect base to explore the midlands, the west and the lakelands. It was here that we all stayed in the wonderful Sheraton Hotel for the duration of our friendship week in Ireland.
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The following day, we left our Hotel for the eagerly awaited trip to Galway [City of the Tribes]. Lunch was served inside the underground ‘Galway Garda social club’ called ‘De Burgo’, followed by a presentation by IPA Ireland’s Vice -President. We then made our way to nearby Galway City Museum, which hosted a number of permanent and touring exhibitions. And then we went on a walking tour of the city, which included Eyre Square, the Town Halls, Lynch’s Castle, the Cathedral, the Spanish Arch and the Claddagh (shopping) tour – a great opportunity to buy a Claddagh ring which symbolises love, friendship and loyality.
The next day, following a presentation, we departed for the walking tour of Medieval Athlone – including a visit to Athlone Castle. Lunch was served inside ‘Seans Bar’ – the oldest Pub in Ireland on the banks of the River Shannon. Here, everyone joined in with traditional Irish folk music and a dance or two. Returning to the Hotel, there was an exhibition about the Garda Historical Society, Heritage and Tracing Ancestors.
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Later on, late evening, a few of us ventured out into the Town Center and the first Pub/Bar we entered had put on a ‘Students Night’ theme – I felt as though I was back at my Uni days (Livin’ it up !!). It was great!
The following day, we left our Hotel for Bunratty Folk Park and it was here that we visited the Medieval Castle – the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Lunch was provided in Bunratty’s “Barn”. Afterwards, we departed for the journey to the ‘Cliffs of Moher’, to view one of Ireland’s great wonders of the world where the scenery is truly breath-taking! The return journey to Athlone was taken along the coast road through Ballyvaughan.
The next day, we departed for a tour of Mullingar Pewter gift and crafts shop which has an extensive range of pewter pieces and other Irish products handcrafted, on-site, in the traditional way by Irish craftsmen/women.
Then we visited Belvedere House where we had a tour of one of Ireland’s best known Georgian Houses. Afterwards, there was a guided tour of Kilbeggen Distillery where there was opportunity to sample some traditional Irish Scotch! Upon our return to the Hotel, there was an official opening of the National Congress by the Mayor of Athlone. Dinner was served in one of the hotel’s banqueting suites’ followed by a late-night drinks/music session down at the bar.
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The following day, we set off for Clonmacnoise with a guided tour of the ancient burial ground. Next, we boarded a Viking cruise ship along the river Shannon, the longest and one of the most scenic rivers in Ireland. Lunch was served at the Hudson Bay Hotel (located at the center-core of Ireland) on the shores of Lough Ree. Dinner (and formal presentations) were served in the grand banqueting suite followed by a through-the-night drinks/live music session to end of the friendship week by means of a ‘grand finale’.
On the final day, it was time to say a sad farewell to all our friends as we departed to Dublin Airport.
I would like to offer a sincere Thank-You to Denis Dunne (Section Ireland IPA President); Pat Nunan, Marie Daly and Mick Walsh (Vice-Presidents); Donal Sweeney (Social Secretary); NEC Liaison members; Declan O’Byrne, Seamus Treacy, Eamonn McCarthy, Billy Saunderson, Joe Lynch; Willie Maye and Section Ireland IPA members Mary O’Connell; Maire Cahalan & Grainne O’Sullivan and to congratulate all the Section Ireland IPA members who were involved and contributed to a happy and successful friendship week.
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9 Region Welcome Visitors From Denmark

Post By M.Evans – London North Branch

In December 2014 I received an email from a IPA member from Denmark who was planning a trip to London and he needed some assistance to plan his trip. He was visiting with sixteen others and they had an interest in Britsh premiership football. I was asked if I could assist with arranging a visit to a london based premiership football game and also to meet for a drink and I was very happy to assist. The visitors were due to arrive on the 19th of March 2015.

I am not a football fan and my knowledge in this area was very limited so I sought assistance from members by sending an email out outlining the request. I was pleased to get a reply from a London North member who was a serving officer and had worked on the Met Police Football Intelligence Unit which pointed me in the right direction. I forwarded the information to the Danish member and as a result he was able to book tickets to see a West Ham United game.

The group watched the game and after this they visited some London pubs and some tourist attractions. On the 22nd of March I had arranged for members to meet the visitors at a pub in central London. Members from the London North, Scotland Yard and British Transport Police branches attended. The evening was mist enjoyable and I learned a little about how policing in Denmark is done but most importantly I made new friends.


The tour host explained that he was most grateful for the assistance Section UK had given him in  arranging the visit and he went further inviting those who attended to visit Denmark. I was presented with a book about Aarhus which is the place where the visitors work along with a few other gifts. It was good to meet the Danish visitors and I have remained in touch with the tour host since their departure.

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ILDEP Visitor From Rotterdam

One of the many benefits of IPA membership is the opportunity to develop yourself in ways that are not open to non members. This is where membership of the worlds largest police friendship association is worth its weight in gold. I am of course talking about the IPA International Learning & Development Exchange Program (ILDEP).

The theory of ILDEP has been around for some time however more recently the IPA has made this into a professional program which is co ordinated by Iain Sirrell.

Towards the end of 2014 I received an ILDEP application from a man called Henk who is serving with the Rotterdam Police in the Netherlands. Henk was due to visit London (January 2015) after he proposed an idea in his home force to take DNA from persons convicted at Court before they left the building. In Rotterdam DNA is taken post conviction rather than on arrest like here in the UK.

This was the first formal ILDEP application the London North Branch had received and it was an honour to be of assistance. I spoke with Henk and his Commanding Officer about the visit and what they would like to get out of it. The answer was simple, to gain an understanding of the UK DNA program and linked legislation. So off to work I went.

I contacted the DNA Manager in the Metropolitan Police and explained what the IPA was, about the ILDEP program and about Henk’s application. Having heard what I had to say she was more than happy to assist.

Prior to Henk’s arrival I emailed a summary of how DNA is obtained in the UK. I explained how the custody process works, how the samples are submitted to the lab, the DNA database and links to PNC and how samples are linked to crime scenes. This was to give Henk a head start in preparation for what he would experience when he arrived.

Henk visited the Metropolitan Police lab in Lambeth. Here he saw scientists at work. He learned about the work they do and how they do it. In order to provide Henk with a complete picture of how our DNA program works he also spent time at the Lewisham Custody Centre at Lewisham Police Station. Here he observed arrested persons being booked in and learned about DNA being taken as part of the booking in process.

It was not all work for Henk. He and his wife visited a number of attractions in the City. At the end of the week I arranged for IPA members to meet Henk for a few drinks at a pub in the Baker Street area of London. It fitted nicely with other IPA members who were in London. We were joined by Spike from the Cheshire Branch and two officers from Germany.

ILDEP Certificate

The evening was most enjoyable. Gifts were exchanged and I had the pleasure of presenting Henk with a ILDEP certificate as a symbol of his learning through the International Police Association with thanks to the Metropolitan Police.

It was nice to hear that Henk had thoroughly enjoyed his learning with the Metropolitan Police and that he was going to be using some of the things he learned to prepare a report for his home force. This was a very successful ILDEP visit and I am pleased to say that I have received another application for later this year.

The ILDEP is open to to IPA members. For details of how the ILDEP works and / or to submit an application please visit the Professional Development section of the IPA website at http://www.ipa-uk.org

Post Written By M.Evans – London North Branch Secretary



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