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News Report Page 9 of 11
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Man jailed for knifepoint robberies - Merseyside

DEAN Porter, aged 38, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to theft, threatening with a bladed article and robbery and was sentenced to serve 6 years in jail and 4 on licence, at Liverpool Crown Court, on Monday, 22 March 2021. The Court heard how on Saturday, 27 June last year, Porter approached 3 youths, at Formby Station, producing a knife and taking the phone of 1 of the youths and demanding he withdraw ₤500 from a cash machine and hand it over if he wanted the phone back. He led the 3 youths out of Station, at knifepoint, but after a scuffle they managed to escape only to see Porter approach a car that had slowed down on seeing the altercation. Porter approached the driver of the car, claiming he had been mugged and asked to be let in the car. When the driver refused, Porter began to cry until he relented. On entering the car Porter immediately produced the knife and held it to the driver's neck telling him it was his turn now and ordering him to leave the keys in the car and get out, which, fearing for his safety he did. porter drove off in the car before crashing it into another vehicle. Another driver who had witnessed what had happened managed to detain him until Police arrived despite Porter repeatedly threatening to stab him in the face. In custody Porter admitted being drunk and not having a driving licence. While awaiting interview he smeared himself, his cell and the intercom with his own faeces. Investigating Officer DC Scott McCabe said:- "This was a terrifying experience for all of Porter's victims. Thankfully a member of the public, who risked his own safety, detained him until Police arrived and arrested him. Porter's crime spree has earned him a prison stay and hopefully, time to reflect on his actions. The damage caused that night and the impact on the victims cannot be understated. The fear he instilled in them will stay with them for a long time."

Wellness lessons learnt in a year of working from home

23 March 2021 marked 1 year since Boris Johnson announced the 1st Covid19 Lockdown in the UK and ordered people to stay at home. At the time, the Prime Minister said he was confident the country could turn the tide of Coronavirus in 12 weeks, but after a year of Lockdowns, bubbles and tiers, the UK's workforces are still working from what were supposed to be temporary home offices.

Upheaval from bustling offices to isolated homes has had significant effects, both positive and negative, on employee wellbeing across the country. Workplace wellness expert and Author, Jason Brennan, says that employers must work alongside their employees and use lessons learnt over the last year to healthily blend remote and office working practices and promote employee wellbeing.

Jason Brennan, Director of Leadership and Wellness, at Wrkit, said:- "Working from home has impacted everyone uniquely, but it certainly has impacted everybody in some way, be it psychologically, emotionally, physically or a combination of all 3. Some employees have embraced elements of the new remote working lifestyle such as enjoying longer in bed, saving on average 2 hours a day on the commute and spending extra time at home with family. On the other hand, many have struggled with inefficient workspaces and extended periods of isolation from friends, family and colleagues which can lead to mental health issues. When workforces were sent home this time last year, I and others in the field did not expect how much staff would genuinely 'show up' and show how hard they would work while not in the office. The high productivity levels, the ownership and the responsibility that staff have shown has been a revelation for many managers. Despite this, we have seen self management and focus on work cause some employees to develop a variety of unhealthy behaviours. Many employees have neglected their usual routine which may include walking on the commute and decent lunchtime breaks. The Irish Heart Foundation has found that over ˝ of Irish home workers are sitting down for an extra 3 hours a day. Last March, we imagined that the impact of Lockdowns would ease over time as we curbed the virus, but the constant opening and closing of Lockdowns has created continual levels of uncertainty and stress. This has been emotionally draining and a focus on employee wellbeing has become as, if not more, essential than it was in the early days of the 1st Lockdown. Employees have been introduced to the valid option of working from home and indeed working from anywhere they want. This will encourage more dialogue between employer and employee regarding what is possible in terms of where and when people work. With more options and flexibility than was thought possible Pre Pandemic, I expect to see a rising trend of people taking more care of their work-life balance and workplace wellness. Managers and leaders have now experienced remote leadership for a sustained period and have insight into the benefits and challenges of this style of leadership. Lessons they have learnt when working at home during the Pandemic, such as the importance of regular personal and professional contact with staff, will support their leadership success if some team members choose to continue to work remotely. The Pandemic and working from home have inspired some businesses to give their teams wellbeing budgets to invest in home office improvements or virtual wellbeing and social sessions. This will have shown these businesses the benefits of investing in employee wellbeing and I hope to see this trend continued as offices reopen so that employers can offer their staff benefits packages which genuinely and deeply support their wellbeing."

New X-ray body scanners stops illegal items entering North West prisons

AN advanced X-ray body scanner has prevented illegal items, including drugs, tobacco, and mobile phones, entering HMP Berwyn within just 1 month of being installed. The innovative equipment being rolled out across England and Wales is part of the Government's bold ₤100 million package to boost security in prisons and crack down on crime behind bars. The technology, developed specifically for the Prison Service, allows staff to see instantly whether prisoners are attempting to smuggle in contraband. The illegal items detected would have been destined for the prison wings, fuelling the illicit economy and potential violence. An additional 22 prisons have had the game-changing equipment installed in the last 6 months, meaning 51 prisons across England and Wales now have the technology, which has collectively already stopped more than 3,500 illegal items from getting into the hands of prisoners.

Prisons Minister, Alex Chalk MP, said:- "The new technology is having a hugely positive impact, stemming the flow of contraband into jails and allowing staff to focus on rehabilitation. The scanners form part of our wider aim to transform prisons, stepping up security to cut crime and ultimately better protecting the public."

HMP Berwyn Governor, Nick leader, said:- "The X-ray body scanner is proving to be hugely successful and is a great resource in reducing illicit items entering HMP Berwyn."

The cutting edge technology is being installed at prisons identified as most at risk of smuggling. The equipment was funded by the Government's ₤2.75 billion commitment to transform the prison estate. This includes:-

₤100 million to bolster prison security, clamping down on the weapons, drugs and mobile phones that fuel violence, self harm and crime behind bars

₤2.5 billion to provide 10,000 additional prison places and create modern, efficient jails that rehabilitate offenders, reduce reoffending and keep the public safe

₤156 million to tackle the most pressing maintenance issues to create safe and decent conditions for offender rehabilitation

In total 28 prisons have received the new scanners. They are HMPs:- Aylesbury, Bedford, Birmingham, Brinsford, Bristol, Brixton, Bullingdon, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Durham, Elmely, Exeter, Garth, Gartree, Hewell, High Down, Hindley, Leicester, Lewes, Lincoln, Liverpool, Norwich, Pentonville, Preston, Swaleside, Swansea, Wandsworth, and Winchester.

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