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.


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.


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!


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!


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

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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.


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.


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.


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

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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 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 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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