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Officers 'sign up' to 20-week course Tributes made to Police Federation 'stalwart' following sudden death Police Memorial Day Fallen officers remembered during annual memorial Silent FSR, athletic PCC and Met lost in translation

► Are the various highly paid tsars and inspectors that report to the government as pointless as the sidelined police pay review body which costs the public millions? Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, suggested as much when he announced he was quitting, saying his independence was being compromised because of the government’s appointment processes. Meanwhile Dr Gillian Tully, the Forensic Science Regulator (FSR), has been eerily quiet since her appointment in July of last year. As far as can be ascertained she has given no press interviews since that date. This website has tried numerous times to secure an interview with her, but to no avail. Strangely, such requests must go via the Home Office's press office. One of the key questions for Dr Tully is whether she can hope to ensure high standards in police labs while at the same time lacking any real power to enforce them. When PoliceOracle.com did manage to corner her at a conference, she declined to answer this question, though she did complain about a photo we had run of her. Why so silent?

► When Cumbria’s Conservative PCC Richard Rhodes, 78, announced he would not seek another term of office he said, effectively, that he was too old to keep on doing the job. In contrast, Cambridgeshire’s Tory PCC Graham Bright, a sprightly 73, is yet to decide whether to run again. He seems fit as a fiddle and displayed his athleticism when he was caught on film lunging at a camera belonging to tenacious local blogger Richard Taylor. Mr Taylor had turned up at a public event to ask his elected representative some questions on film. “I want to talk to the public, not you,” Mr Bright fumed, before whacking the filming device out of the way. The blogger, a Cambridgeshire resident, had merely inquired about the appointment processes for the force’s new chief constable, staffing costs, contracts and office expenses – fairly reasonable lines of inquiry, it would seem.

► Coincidentally, Mr Bright was recently the subject of broadcast feature called “Music Of My Life”, a kind of local radio equivalent of “Desert Island Disks”. This provided a rare window into his life. As well as revealing details of his large garden with its croquet lawn, river and woodland with “lots of little animals” in it, Mr Bright spoke about one of his wife’s birthday parties, saying: “We had a big party at the home, with a marquee, and a lot of my friends were invited there, including the Prime Minister and several members of the cabinet.” One of his chosen songs was “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley. “Every time I hear that I think, in the ghetto, my goodness we’ve got to help those people,” he told presenter Nick Conrad. If nothing else, the programme was a fascinating, if cringeworthy, insight into how the other half lives.

► Has Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe lost the plot on ethnic minority recruitment? In total 1,200 people applied to become police officers in the Met as part of a pilot scheme designed to give priority to those with second languages including, bizarrely, Hebrew, German and Greek (though widely spoken tongues like Urdu and Mandarin were left off the list). At the Home Affairs Select Committee this month Sir Bernard said the 14 languages approved as part of the pilot were “the most usual languages in London”. You what mate? The Met has previously suggested the languages were chosen on the basis of boroughs in the capital with substantial numbers of people from the associated nations. The force has, however, declined to reveal exactly which London borough has a large proportion of German speakers, perhaps because there isn't one. In light of any better explanation for the Met's baffling choice of "approved" tongues, may we propose another explanation for the list's genesis – one involving the back of a fag packet.

► At the same committee meeting Sir Bernard was quizzed by Tory MP Tim Loughton about whether he thought the Independent Police Complaints Commission was “excessive in its pursuit of making allegations against police officers stick". Mr Loughton added: “There seems to be an agenda, a vendetta in some cases.” Sir Bernard wisely replied: “I’m going to decline the opportunity to criticise the people who hold me to account from time to time.” So much for democracy! Mr Loughton did however declare a personal interest, teasingly telling the committee: “I am the subject of a complaint to the IPCC.” Is this right? I have emailed Mr Loughton to ask him.

► And finally, this correspondent was surprised to see an email from Essex Police’s press office announcing that a man wanted for murder had been arrested. The date of the arrest was given as 19 November 2015. I can't fault them. Predictive policing is, after all, all the rage!