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NPFF Step 2 Constable to Sergeant Exam 2017 Week 14

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NPPF Step 2 Constable to Sergeant Exam 2018

Week 14


Blackstone’s Volume

Chapter Heading

General Police Duties Chapter 9

Offences Involving Communication

General Police Duties Chapter 10

Terrorism and Associated Offences

General Police Duties Chapter 11

Public Disorder


There are three chapters to look at this week and they are from the General Police Duties syllabus book, starting with Chapter 9, Offences Involving Communication, then Chapter 10, Terrorism and Associated Offences , followed lastly by Chapter 11 Public Disorder. 

So our first chapter is Chapter 9 Offences Involving Communication.  Your examiners over the years have demonstrated their ability to write questions from obscure parts of the syllabus and this chapter could well be where it comes from this year. Recently this chapter was tested twice in the Constable to Sergeant exam.   

The two offences in relation to Threats and Communication of False Information form a good area for your examiners to test, with lots of variation to write about. The 1977 offence was written primarily to deal with Bomb Hoaxes, while the 2001 offence has a much wider remit and could cover a multitude of sins.  This is one of those bits of law where thinking about some circumstances that you can fit around the law will help to imprint this in your mind. 

If your examiners are looking to demonstrate their up to date qualities, a question about Social Media and the Malicious Communication Offence would fit the bill very well.  That takes the law into that topical area that could easily be tested.  There have been lots of situations too, where this offence has hit the media. 

Our second chapter this week is Chapter 10 Terrorism and Associated Offences, and if we are going to follow the topicality rule, we have discussed often in these articles, the whole of this chapter takes on a massive importance.  I have said before in these pages that the examiners try to write about current issues, and things that relate to the role you are seeking to be promoted to, so give this chapter very close attention. 

It do3es contain quite a lotof information about Police Powers, and they are always worth giving a long hard look at.

The chapter starts with a definition of ‘Terrorism’ as the chapter opener, so add that to your list of important definitions and make sure you know it well. The section on Disclosure of Information has been in the news on and off quite a lot recently, in respect of the wives of terror suspects, who are charged with this offence following the involvement their husbands in suicide bombings.  Clearly the offence of conspiracy would not be applicable here because you cannot conspire with your spouse. 

Make sure you know all the Offences under the Terrorism Act and relevant Police Powers.  This includes another important definition, that of ‘a terrorist’ The issue of Cordon’s and Police Powers raises a question about who can require people to leave a cordoned area, and it must be a constable in uniform. 

I would like to think that your examiners will not take the cheap option and ask about that, but they could ask a question about a Detective who is helping out at a terror situation and asks someone to leave, and they would hope by the time you got to the end of the question you will have forgotten that this law does not apply to someone out of uniform. 

The three Offences Involving Explosive Substance contain some interesting offences. The first offence needs the offender to be either in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland, the second offence in the United Kingdom or a dependency, and the third offence does not specify where the offender is.  

This is a situation where a comparison chart of the three offences may very well help with an understanding. Ask the 5WH questions Who Where What Why and How, and draw up the three columns, add the text of the law, and you will see how each offences works.  

Terrorism was a subject that had not been tested as part of the Investigators exam, until very recently, when a question popped up. If nothing else it shows that this subject is in the examiners minds. 

The last section in this chapter is the short passage about intimidating people connected with animal research organisations, and this leads very well into the next chapter, Chapter 11 Public Disorder, because in previous Blackstone’s incarnations that is where you would have found it.  It is a fairly straight forward section but worth having a look at. 

The Common Law definition of Breach of the Peace is well worth getting to know as is the Power to Arrest. This is a Past, Present, and Future power, a Breach of the Peace has occurred and it is feared it will start again (Past) Is Committing a Breach of the Peace (Present) or, will commit in the immediate future. (Future). If you put that with the conditions about the threat, from Bibby v Chief Constable of Essex Police (2000), that is a big section to get to know, and an important one. 

The main Public Order offences drop down in their seriousness starting with a Riot and ending with a simple Section 5 Public Order Act offence. They are all different, and the two Section 4 offences are in my view really difficult to test. 

They are hard enough to teach so people understand the difference between them clearly, so they will be very difficult to test with any degree of clarity. I would not want to write a question to test either of them. The best advice I can offer is to say that both are what I call Ronseal offences and they do just what they say on the tin.     

It is worth remembering too that the offence of Affray does not involve a threat to property. 

The Police Direction to Prevent Harassment is a very easy area to test, and full of complicated areas leading to an offence. This is another area where working out situations to cover the circumstances is a really good way to learn something that is quite complex. 

It has been quite a long time since we have had a real problem at a public procession until the London student demo, which took place over 4 years ago, and for that reason I would like to think it is unlikely this will be tested this year.

 I would make sure you also dwell on the section that relates to the Dispersal of Groups. This is always topical, and therefore worth getting to know. 

So too is the short section on Power to Remove Under 16s. It has times and circumstances, and that very important line ‘unless he has reasonable grounds for believing the person would if removed to that place be likely to suffer significant harm.’ I can easily see a question around that, so make sure you have a good look at that too.           

Follow that up by looking at the last sub-para in this chapter Injunctions: Gang related violence. There is a lot in this to test, and it is highly topical, so make sure you fully understand this too.   

In its latest news release the College of Policing highlights a change in the law in respect of Section 5 of the Public Order Act. The word insulting has been removed from the trio Threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour etc etc...the word insulting is no longer part of that part of our law. I would like to think it won’t come up, but in the absence of any advice answer the question using the law as it is at the time of your exam.

 Top Tip

Some of the law that you are studying is very tedious and difficult, so today’s top tip is about how you to deal with those really big areas of law, that are very hard to read and study. My advice is to break them down into bite sized chunks.  How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

On my company web-site at www.executiveguidance.co.uk I have a blog you can access to discuss OSPRE Part 1 and add some top tips of your own, it would be good to see you there, or you can access me from the Police Oracle OSPRE Part 1 Forum. I visit both regularly and I will answer any of your questions as soon as I see them, always assuming some other knowledgeable person does not get there before me. 

It has always been my belief that the only way you can be sure of passing this exam is to study carefully the entire syllabus.  I am not an advocate of study programme that says study this topic but historically this topic will not come up so don't bother with it.  I am giving you some suggestions about areas that are important, but it is right to point out that the only people who really know what is in your exam are the people in the exams unit at Harrogate.  Sadly they are not giving anything away. 

I regularly Tweet about Part 1, particularly during the run in to the exam and you can follow me @Executive Guidance  

We are over half way in our study programme,a nd time is really starting to march away with us. as of today there are only 69 days to go, and if you have been following me from the beginning, you have made a good start so make sure you stick with the programme until 8th March 2018.

Our Courses

Our Crammer courses will run from our classrooms down here in Surrey for the two weekends immediately prior to the exam. That means Saturday the 3rd and Sunday 4th March 2018 and Saturday and Sunday the 24th and 25th February 2018.  It really is not too late to make your booking, so follow this link to our Contact Us page a drop me a line.   

Our Courses

We will be running our successful Part 1 Crammer Weekend on the weekends of 27th and 28th Feb 2016 and again on the 5th and 6th March 2016.  You can either attend for a face to face session or if it is too far to travel down to Surrey we have a Distance Learning version which is available at a slightly discounted rate via e-mail.  Please contact the Executive Guidance office for further details. 

Motivational Quote.

This week’s motivational quote comes from Hamilton Holt, an American intellectual from the middle of the 19th century. He said

‘Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.’

Success in this exam is very worthwhile so let’s put in the long hard hours.

See you next week. 

Phil Waters

 © Executive Guidance 2017

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