The underground acrobats who flip, somersault and pole-dance among New York City subway riders are drawing a new audience — police officers.

NYPD is cracking down on  subway showmen who use trains as moving stages for impromptu — and illegal — pass-the-hat performances.

More than 240 people have been arrested on misdemeanors related to acrobatics so far this year, compared with fewer than 40 at this time a year ago. Full story here

Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP

Police failures over domestic violence exposed in damning report

The home secretary is to take personal charge of the way police respond to domestic abuse in England and Wales after a damning report exposed “alarming and unacceptable” weaknesses.

Theresa May will lead a national oversight group to ensure chief constables act on the recommendations of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which she described as “depressing reading”. Read more

Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

Police ‘culture of disbelief’ over rape claims alarms official monitoring group

Official concern over a “culture of disbelief” in rape cases has been raised as new figures show that some police forces are writing off up to a third of all allegations reported to them.

A report by the high-powered joint government and police rape monitoring group confirms that a postcode lottery is operating in the way the 43 forces in England and Wales deal with rape allegations. Read more

Over four years Peter Francis gradually transformed himself from a fresh-faced cadet into a police spy infiltrating anti-racist campaigns. 

Now the whistleblower who helped the Guardian reveal details on the activities of undercover police working in a covert Scotland Yard unit known as the Special Demonstration Squad is coming online to answer your questions live on

The Q&A will take place this lunchtime from 1-2pm BST (8-9am ET). You can post your questions now in the comment thread.

Photo: Graham Turner for the Guardian

Shady business: A police armoured personnel carrier rolls over counterfeit sunglasses during the destruction of pirated and counterfeit goods in Quezon city, Philippines.

From picture desk live: the best news images of the day

Photograph: Erik de Castro/Reuters

Sport: it’s important.

East Molesey, England: The Metropolitan police football team’s mascot, PCSO Steve, reacts to their 2-1 defeat to Crawley in the FA Cup first round

Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA


Picture of the Day: Anaheim, CA. Police Stan guard as protesters demonstrating against the July 21st shooting death of Manuel Angel Diaz by an Anaheim police officer set a garbage can alight.

Credit: Jonathan Gibby/Getty. Via.

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Our latest reports from Anaheim:

Anaheim officials scramble to contain public anger as protests escalate

(via thepoliticalnotebook)

Photograph: Ted Soqui/Corbis

It’s 20 years since the race riots sparked by the police beating of Rodney King that shook Los Angeles and the US. See how the LA streets affected look now and how the news was covered with reports from our archive:

From the archive: Riots fire US race divide

The United States was tottering last night on the brink of a new racial crisis, pitting black against white in the nation’s cities, which turned Los Angeles into a war zone on Wednesday night. In Atlanta, the last resting place of Martin Luther King, students went on a copycat rampage in a shopping mall. Police reported a number of beatings and arrests. In Washington, President Bush went on television to appeal for calm, trying to contain a potentially explosive situation nationwide after the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers accused of beating a black motorist, Rodney King.