Catch up on all the justice sector headlines you may have missed this month...
Officer in charge of Grenfell Tower response ‘too junior for blaze of that scale’
The Grenfell Tower inquiry heard the testimony of Michael Dowden, a watch manager who was initially the most senior officer at the scene of the fire on June 14th, 2017.
Mr Dowden told the inquiry he was not qualified to oversee the level of response required to tackle the blaze.
Earlier in the hearing, Mr Dowden also described how the water system used to fight the inferno was not appropriate for a building as tall as Grenfell Tower.
Three senior officers apply for Police Scotland’s chief constable job, says BBC
The BBC understands that Iain Livingstone, Johnny Gwynne and Bill Skelly have applied for the vacant post of Police Scotland’s chief constable.
The vacancy follows the resignation of Phil Gormley in February, following an investigation into allegations of gross misconduct.
Mr Livingstone, the deputy chief constable designate, is thought to be the frontrunner for the £216,549 a year post.
The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) has declined to comment.
Army to test autonomous vehicles in ‘last mile’ supply experiment
The British Army is set to test a range of unmanned aerial and ground cargo vehicles in a four-week exercise titled ‘Autonomous Warrior’.
British soldiers will test and evaluate the effectiveness of robotic and autonomous systems (RAS) in the ‘last mile’, the crucial final approach to the combat zone.
Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said: “Autonomous Warrior sets an ambitious vision for Army operations in the 21st Century as we integrate drones, unmanned vehicles and personnel into a world-class force for decades to come.”
Garden waste collection charges ‘rise to £74m a year’, says BBC
UK councils are charging almost £74 million a year for garden waste collection, according to research from the BBC.
Data collected by BBC One’s Rip Off Britain revealed that more than half of councils in the UK now charge for green waste collection, which was previously covered by council tax in most local authorities.
The Local Government Association says councils are being forced to charge in the face of a £5 billion funding gap by 2020.
UK’s defence programme ‘unaffordable’, says former army chief
Speaking to the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, the former head of the armed forces General Lord Nick Houghton said the British public have been “slightly deluded” about the affordability of the country’s defence programme.
He went on to say: “It’s a wholly worthy opinion that the United Kingdom should cease to be a world military power.”
Houghton’s statements come ahead of next month’s Nato summit where the US president, Donald Trump, is expected to reiterate demands for European member states to take on a greater share of the collective defence spending.
Number of terrorism-related arrests reaches record high
In the year ending 31 March, 441 people were held on suspicion of terrorism-related activity, the highest number of arrests in a year since data collection started in 2001.
The Home Office said the rise was partly due to arrests made in the wake of terrorist attacks in London and Manchester last year.
Assistant commissioner Neil Basu, head of counter-terrorism policing in the UK, said: “With the terrorist attacks of 2017 we saw a genuine step-change in momentum. As a result, our operational activity increased to meet the new and emerging threats we now face.”
The number of terror-related arrests made in the UK since 9/11 is now more than 4,000.
Capita wins contract to run British military’s fire and rescue services
Capita has become the first private sector organisation to win the contract to run the British military’s fire and rescue services, a deal the Financial Times calls ‘controversial’.
The decision will impact about 2,000 MoD staff at 78 defence fire stations worldwide.
Unite, the union, said the decision was “deeply alarming” and warned it could affect civilian and military workers in the UK and abroad.
Capita was stripped of a 10-year contract to run MoD military estates in September 2017, after being criticised in a National Audit Office report.