JULY 2017

July already has been a hectic month. A month on from introducing a 99p per month subscription, there have been many additions in terms of checklists and criminal offences. I have also attended several meeting and a seminar. The end goal? To bring you more functionality and content more quickly.

Today (09/07/2017) I met with a provider of NPPF Step 2 / OSPRE Part 1 Q & A’s. The aim? To grasp an understanding as to what is required with a view of injecting funds obtained through subscriptions towards the development of a Q & A section within the app. I discovered providers can pay anything up to £30 per Q & A from those who are qualified. That doesn’t take into account the amount of time it would take to keep those questions relevant either.

However, for too long some providers have monopolised the market, burning holes in the pockets of serving Police Officers and staff. I receive many emails from serving officers requesting Q & As. First, I have to fund the tool itself to allow this within the app and go on to fund the questions.

I guess what I am trying to say is continue to support the app through supporting subscriptions and I will continue to help you through adding such features. After all, this will save you in the longer term – using one of the more popular and expensive providers.

Working only with a Q & A writer, I am open to offering the new feature as part of the 99p a month subscription. However, to work with an existing provider I am likely to have to charge for a separate in app purchase.

With your help –  together we could have this feature implemented within just a few months.

The Q & A’s would not only be great for those who want to become  promoted but a fantastic way to apply legislation to situations and cement our learning.

I have always stressed, the introduction of subscriptions was never going to be popular in the initial stages. It is down to me to ensure you have the best resources to hand and provide value for money. This has always been a user led project and will continue in that way. That’s why the app continues the grow in popularity.

I would like to say a massive thank you for your continued support so far. I am looking forward to working with you all on the next part of Pocket Sergeant’s journey.

JUNE 2017

NEW CHECKLIST

Sudden Deaths

NEW LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Place of Safety – Mental Health Act

Acts in connection with care or treatment – Mental Capacity Act

Use of force – Mental Capacity Act

Child Abduction by Other Persons offence

Ill treatment or neglect offence

Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces Regulations (including new category)

CONTACTS:

Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB)

Constructions & Agricultural Equipment Security and Registration Scheme (CESAR)

FURTHER STATEMENT ISSUED RE: INTRODUCTION OF SUBSCRIPTIONS

Following the introduction of subscriptions this month and various feedback received, I thought it best to dispel myths and allegations of, “greed”. I will therefore provide you with an insight into the development, maintenance, costs and other associated activities of Pocket Sergeant.

Where did the funds come from to have the app developed?

With no access to external funding, I used the whole of my family savings to have the app developed. The initial stages of the development cost over £10,000.

How much time has been invested in Pocket Sergeant?

I have literally invested thousands of hours into Pocket Sergeant. Sourcing and pushing out updates, meetings with developers, carrying out design work, travelling  (often from one end of the country to the other). Initially, I had no home life as I was frantically updating information within the app on my rest days to ensure end users were referring to accurate information. I continue to manage the social media accounts, website, updates and marketing. I respond to everyone personally and will continue to do so but with 23,500 active users, it is extremely difficult to maintain.

How much is there REALLY left once an app is downloaded?

Since launching Pocket Sergeant in 2014, many of you will be aware there have been around 25,000 downloads with 23,500 being active users at the time subscriptions were introduced. Doing the maths, I would expect you have calculated the income by carrying out the following sum: £3.99 x 25,000 = £99,750.

If this amount of income had been raised, there would be no requirement for subscriptions.

Once an app is sold, Apple / Google take 30% of the sale plus VAT and the European Union take a slice too which leaves me with nearly 50% of £99,750 which is £49,875 over three years (£16,625 per annum).

How is the money spent?

An app developer’s going rate to carry out work on an app can range anything from £300 plus VAT a day, upwards. Sometimes, work can take up to 2-3 months. Much of the content and features were added as a result of what users requested. There are servers to maintain that allow legislative updates that will soon be around £1,500 per annum, web design, graphic design and legal costs. Also, what must be taken into account for any organisation or sole trader bringing in income is the requirement for an accountant. This is around £1,200 per annum.

Leave the police v remain in the police and discontinue Pocket Sergeant

I was fortunate enough to be granted the relevant permissions to get the app off the ground and onto the app stores. However, it was generating a lot of unwanted interest from third parties and competitors. It reached the point where I felt I had to make a choice, remain in my career as a Police Officer and hand the app over to someone else OR vice versa. I decided I couldn’t simply leave the app to someone else in case they did not look after it, the users or did not update it when it should be. Therefore, I reached the conclusion that I should leave. That way I could help 10,000s of users on a daily basis rather than a handful of people in my role as a Police Officer.

Why I have introduced subscriptions?

The app has become so popular as users contribute on almost a daily basis via social media and/or email with new functionality and content they would like adding. There are other policing apps and products available that rarely evolve. I do not want Pocket Sergeant to simply be another one of those apps. I am aiming higher and the bottom line is, I need YOUR help to further evolve the app. I have introduced a 30 day trial for subscriptions. Admittedly, this could have been executed better rather than displaying messages about subscriptions expiring. Regrettably, this is how the developers have implemented this feature and was beyond my control.

How much will be raised from subscriptions?

Around 50% of sales will come to me to improve the functionality of the app. Again, Apple and Google take their 30%, VAT and the European Union take a percentage for each purchase (subscription). To date, nearly 1,000 people have subscribed to updates which is fantastic.

Events such as awards ceremonies

Pocket Sergeant has been extremely successful and I have been extremely fortunate to have collected an array of awards on behalf of what we have built together. If the truth be known, the events have not felt complete without some of the users present too. I can post pictures, video and general posts on social media but it is not the same. I want to reward people where possible for believing in the app and working with me for the good of policing. What I would like to do in future, if fortunate enough to attend similar events is to fund selected users to join me and come to together for the good of the app.

Negative reviews

Whilst I maintain support from the majority, the minority have reacted in anger and left extremely negative reviews. You are within your rights to do so. However, please be aware – Pocket Sergeant is undergoing some very positive transition at the moment. Public negativity such as this could quite easily place these plans in jeopardy. The plans will allow everyone (subscription or not) additional functionality and content. I am unable to go into further detail at the moment but if we can all pull together – everyone will benefit. All I would say is, I have delivered so far on promises I have made over the three years.

If any of you are still left with questions unanswered then I would encourage you to drop me an email. I will always try to respond to every email personally.

Important Note – Apple IOS Users:

There is a new update awaiting you this evening in the Apple Store. This fixes the issue of force-closing when typing in the search bar. Sorry for the inconvenience caused by this. Again, this shows the unpredictability of mobile apps and the amount of time and effort spent on getting everything right. Also, if you have not updated your law database already – there is a new legislative update (see below).

UPDATES:

We have added more checklists!! 

European Arrest Warrant – What is required in a case file

European Arrest Warrant – What is required in a witness statement

Honour Based Violence – Forced marriage checklists

CCTV Seizure

More Contacts!

Support charities relating to Honour Base Violence.

Legislation!

Added to Section 4 Public Order

Meeting a child following sexual grooming – Offence updated

Sexual communication with a child – Added

Confiscation of alcohol – Added

MAY 2017

During recent weeks I have made it clear that announcements were on their way in regards to Pocket Sergeant. So here they are:

ANNOUNCEMENT 1:

I have created a brand new policing community. You can check the page for more details surrounding the concept. This specific type of community within policing has never been done before. You must have a PNN or GSi email address in order to register. The community is secure and encrypted too and means you can connect with police officers and staff throughout the United Kingdom. What do you need to do to join? Visit this page, register your details and you will receive an invite into the community in due course.

The community will be free to join at the moment and is likely to prove extremely popular.

ANNOUNCEMENT 2:

Unless you are directly involved with the project management of a mobile app, you’ll never truly grasp what finances are involved.

Since launch in May 2014, I have received overwhelming support from those who have purchased Pocket Sergeant. Not only have those people bought the app but have contributed in terms of suggesting new features, content and at one point requested a change in the user interface. None of this is cheap and much of the funds accrued from sales have been re-invested.

Around 18 months ago, I had talked on social media about introducing a subscription model but I delayed this decision for as long as I possibly could.

Unlike other products that are available, Pocket Sergeant has evolved and continues to do so. Other organisations remain rigid despite regular grants due to being “not for profit”. Pocket Sergeant isn’t eligible for grants or otherwise. In recent months, I have injected around £8,000 into the development.

I have received many emails from those who use the app requesting further features and content. The app can only evolve more quickly and be updated even more frequently if you subscribe.

I left the police service in October 2016 to commit to Pocket Sergeant and provide a service to all of you on a full-time basis. Why? I would rather help 10,000’s of people every day than just a handful in my former role as a Police Officer.

I am sure most of you at least would like to see the app continue to revolutionise front line policing. As I continue to work on commercial licences to use information, images and explore adding police promotion (OSPRE) Q & A’s – these things don’t come cheap.

For 99p per month you will be part of the next chapter which will include more features and content. After all, this is the biggest user-led app policing has ever seen in the United Kingdom.

What will you receive for your 99p per month? Continuous updates. Those who choose not to subscribe will no longer receive legislative updates. However, the app will remain completely functional. The difficult decision to add subscriptions was taken to ensure the app evolves more quickly and more functionality is added.

I have added a Frequently Asked Questions page to this website to answer what are likely to be the burning questions.

There will be a clear option in the menu to subscribe to updates. They will not start automatically.

APRIL 2017

NEW ITEMS ADDED

The items below:  PACE, Mental Health Act and Harassment offences have all been amended in accordance with Policing and Crime Act 2017

Bail after arrest

Failure to answer to police bail

Power of arrest for failure to answer to police bail

Pre-Charge Police Bail

Release (bail) notices

Release after arrest for breach of bail

Release of a person arrested elsewhere than at a police station (Street Bail)

Release on bail under section 37: further provision

Variation of police bail conditions

Authorisation of continued detention

Detention after charge

Extension of warrants of further detention

Limitations on police detention

Limits on period of detention without charge

Record of detention

Warrants of Further Detention

Section 17 PACE amendments

Finger-printing

Racist or Religious Incidents

Harassment – Fear of Violence and Harassment with Stalking amendments

Section 135 and 136 Mental Health Act amendments

Broadcasting or including programme in programme service to stir up hatred on grounds of religion and sexual orientation

Distributing, showing or playing a recording to stir up hatred on grounds of religion and sexual orientation

Public performance of play intended or likely to stir up racial hatred

Public performance of play to stir up hatred on grounds of religion and sexual orientation

Publishing or distributing written material intended or likely to stir up racial hatred

Publishing or distributing written material to stir up hatred on grounds of religion and sexual orientation

Use of words or behaviour or display of written material likely to stir up racial hatred

Use of words or behaviour or display of written material to stir up hatred on grounds of religion and sexual orientation

NEW CATEGORIES ADDED

Hate crime

Bail

MARCH 2017

NEW CATEGORY ADDED

New Custody category so that those who work in a custody setting can find their content more easily.

NEW ITEMS ADDED

Intimate and non intimate samples

LEGISLATION CHANGES

Mobile phone use whilst driving has been amended. Now 6pts & £200 fine.  Amended in both the offence and on the Pentip list

EXPANSION OF VARIOUS OFFENCES

TWOC – Notes expanded

Making Off Without Payment – Notes expanded

Aggravated Vehicle Taking – Notes expanded

Theft – General tidying

Robbery – Notes expanded

Burglary – Notes expanded

Aggravated Burglary  -Notes expanded

Murder – Notes expanded

Manslaughter – Lots of new notes, in depth reading and stated cases

FEBRUARY 2017

NEW ITEM ADDED

3x5x2 intelligence submission guide for officers and staff working in forces who have adopted the new template. This has been slowly rolled out since April 2016.

JANUARY 2017

POLICE CONTROL ROOM DETAILS

All police control room telephone numbers and email addresses are now up to date. We have added several more too including MOD, NPAS, Interpol, Isle of Man and more! Do let us know if you experience any of these changing!

REFERENCE LIBRARY FIXED ON ANDROID

Apologies to all those inconvenienced by some documents in the Reference Library not opening. This was tested prior to going live and once pushed out to everyone, decided to partly not work. It is now fixed!

SEARCH BAR MAKES AN APPEARANCE ON ANDROID 7.0

We have received a number of emails from people who stated their search bar disappeared when they downloaded Android 7.0. Any software updates can have unwanted affects on apps. This would have resolved itself in version 7.1 but we have forced a fix in the meantime for those who have 7.0. It is pointless having an app full of information if you cannot search for what you want!!

POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED DRUGS

Added some content about Amphetamine being Class B unless injected when it becomes Class A

CRITICAL INCIDENTS

A definition has been added along with examples of what could be classed as a critical incident. This can also be found in the Anti Social Behaviour and Public Order categories.

CONTACTS SECTION

Control room email addresses have been added to most of the police force contacts. Please be aware some of these may now be outdated. However, we are in the process of collating a fully updated list. If you send any emails to the email addresses – most of them should send you back a notification that your email has been received.

DO NOT UPDATE YOUR ANDROID DEVICE TO ANDROID 7.0 (NOUGAT)

Some of you have reported losing your search function when you have done so. The developers have stated Android 7.0 is in beta testing stage which means the operating system is littered with bugs. The developers go on to say that for those who have already updated their device to 7.0 – the net Android update should rectify this issue. Newer Android updates are already being pushed out to devices so for those of you who have already updated please sit tight as this feature will be repaired by the next version of Android.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ANDROID USERS. (REFERENCE LIBRARY)

Since the recent updates, many of you have reported your Reference Library documents not opening as they should be. Some of you have stated when you tap the “view” button on selected documents the buttons are unresponsive. The developers pushed out a patch a few days ago that was meant to correct this but for one reason or another this has not happened.

This bug has been reported to the developers who are currently working on a fix.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will let you know when a further update is ready to download from the Google Play Store. Thank you for your patience.

NEW YEAR, NEW FEATURES

Improved Reference Library layout

More items added to Reference Library including the Victims Code of Practice and Making Victim Personal Statement leaflets

Help 4 Victims – This section is broken down into each police force area with links to documents which will be of use to you, colleagues and victims of crime

Products 4 Police – View the most trusted products within the policing industry.

Push Notifications – To keep you up to date with content updates and all things related to Pocket Sergeant

NOVEMBER 2016

5x5x5 Intelligence Submission – Requested by several of people, this information is vital for submitting a best practice submission of intelligence. We have broken this down into three categories for you: Information / Intelligence Evaluation, Source Grading and what is to be included in the main body of the report. We have created an Intelligence Submissions category to make it extra easy to locate!

Conveyance of prohibited articles into or out of prison – This offence can be complex and confusing if it was placed all in one piece of information. There are four offences surrounding conveyance / throwing articles. Some are more serious than others. We have created a new category, “Prison Related Offences” which these have been added to.​

Brings or Otherwise Conveys a Restricted Document Out of a Prison – We added this to the above category too.

Power to Enter and Search Club Premises – Section 97 Licensing Act 2003 – This was another request sent to our mailbox. Added to the “Licensing” category.

Impersonating a Police Officer – Requested by another one of our regular users who asked if this could be included in the next update

Produce controlled drug of Class B – Cannabis – This existing item has been added to which now includes a “three strike system” involving Cannabis possession

Persistently Loitering or Soliciting for Prostitution – Further guidance provided in the “More” section which elaborates on loitering, the word, “persistently”  and prostitute cautions.

SEPTEMBER 2016

Special warnings – Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994,Sections 36 and 37 PACE Code C. Wordings updated to reflect latest changes in Code C.

Section 136 Mental Health Act 1983 – Wordings no longer applicable to this piece of legislation have been removed. Current definition of “Mental Disorder” added.

Section 1 Criminal Attempts Act 1981 – Definition and Points to Prove amended accordingly

Section 30 of Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 – Dispersal of Groups – Removed as no longer applies

Section 1 Street Offences Act 1959 – Definition and Points to Prove amended.

Section 12 and 13 Criminal Justice and Police act 2001 – Alcohol consumption in designated public place – removed

I D C O P P L A N – Minor amendments

Section 4 and 17 Pedlars Act 1871 – Definitions updates

The Victim’s Code – 2013 version replaced

Section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 — Points to Prove updated

All Fraud Offences- The “More” sections added to significantly. Some of which discuss the offence wording in more detail and stated cases.

Self Defence – Comprehensive guide on self defence which covers various powers, stated cases, reasonable force. householder cases, pre-emptive strikes, retreating, revenge and MORE!

AUGUST 2016

Checklists – Cannabis identification and interpreter statement guides!

JULY 2016

Section 241 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act – Added as requested!

List of controlled drugs (in A-Z order) – Added as requested!

Trespass on land when alternative site is not available – Offence added – again, as requested!

JUNE 2016

Checklist layout –  Improved significantly! Easier to read and now when you tick off a point, the font turns bold

Electoral Offences – These were added to assist those who were policing the EU Referendum ballots

MAY 2016

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 – These offences were added to cover the possession / supply of legal highs

MARCH 2016

Missing People – Two checklists added. The first covers the information required when obtaining information about a missing person. The second checklist covers initial actions / considerations when searching for a missing person.