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Man shot in anti-terror swoop

· Injuries non life-threatening
· Raid followed 'specific information'
· Man arrested at scene


James Sturcke and agencies
Friday June 2, 2006


The scene in east London where police shot a man in an anti-terror raid. Photograph: Jeff Moore
The scene in east London where police shot a man in an anti-terror raid. Photograph: Jeff Moore
 


A man has been shot by anti-terrorism officers during a dawn raid on a suspected bomb factory in east London today.

More than 200 Metropolitan police officers, many wearing chemical protection suits, were involved in the 4am raid on a residential address in Forest Gate.

Peter Clarke, the Metropolitan police's deputy assistant commissioner and head of anti-terrorism, said the operation was launched after authorities received "specific information" requiring an "intensive investigation and response".

Police fired a single shot during the raid.

Neighbours said the shot man appeared to have been wounded in the shoulder. He was taken to the Royal London hospital, in Whitechapel, with non life-threatening injuries.

The man was later arrested in the hospital on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.

A 20-year-old man arrested at the scene of the shooting is in custody at a police station in central London and the home secretary, John Reid, is being kept informed of developments.

One neighbour spoke of seeing a man in his 20s, whose T-shirt was bloodstained, being carried out of the house after the raid. He said the operation involved "the most police I've seen in my life".

The neighbour said he believed police had raided two properties in Lansdown Road, Forest Gate. He added that around five people lived in one of the houses, and around three in the other.

A bloodstained bandage lay in the road outside his house, and police were restricting residents' access to their homes, he said.

Police said the raid was not linked to last year's London transport bombings. They confirmed that the shooting had been carried out by officers from CO19, the Met's specialist firearms division.

It was the first shooting by Metropolitan police officers during an anti-terrorist operation since the killing of the innocent Brazilian electrician, Jean Charles de Menezes, at Stockwell tube station, in south London, last July.

The BBC reported that today's operation had followed months of surveillance by MI5 officers. An air exclusion zone, preventing aircraft from flying under 2,500ft over a five-mile area of east London, had been set up.

This morning, a few dozen police continued to patrol local streets that remained cordoned off. A white and yellow tent had been put up in front of a terraced property at the scene of the shooting in Lansdown Road.

An ambulance, police van and a dozen police officers in boiler suits remained outside the house, while three ambulances and at least 10 police vans stood at the junction of Lansdown and Katherine roads.

Speaking at the police cordon, a woman in her 50s, who has lived in Lansdown Road for more than 25 years, said a family lived at the address at the centre of the raid.

She said the family consisted of a man, a woman and their four teenage children, two girls and two boys.

"I looked through my window and I saw the police vehicles," she said. "They were coming very quietly. There wasn't any noise at all. I didn't hear any bangs."

She added that the location of her home meant she could not see what had happened at the door of the house, but a large number of officers and vehicles had suddenly appeared in the street.

"They [the family] were respectable and nice people, and we do not know anything else," she said. "They have always been nice to us. They have lived there for a long time. The kids all go to school locally."

This afternoon, between 20 and 30 protestors gathered outside the Royal London Hospital and said the arrested man was innocent of any crime.

A friend and distant relative said he was a postal worker and motorbike enthusiast who had previously worked at Tesco and a Pizza delivery company.

"When we were younger he was no angel," one friend said. "But he changed, we all just grew up.

"He chose to go on the right path. He prayed five times a day, he went to the gym every day, and other than that he stayed at home.

"Every time he spoke he would say peaceful things. He would give advice to everybody. Out of all our crew, he was one of the good ones, working and looking after his family."

Police said several people who were also present in the house at the time of the search have been moved to other premises and had not been arrested.

Salim Mala, who runs a nearby shop, described the area as a "mixed community", with a large number of Bengali and Pakistani families and a recent influx of people from eastern Europe.

Police said the raid followed close liaison with the security services and the Health Protection Agency.

"This operation was planned in response to specific intelligence," Mr Clarke said. "As always, our overriding concern is for the safety of the public.

"Because of the very specific nature of the intelligence, we planned an operation that was designed to mitigate any threat to the public, either from firearms or from hazardous substances.

"Some officers were armed, and others equipped with protective clothing. You will appreciate that I am not in a position to discuss details of the intelligence with you.

"The purpose of the investigation, after ensuring public safety, is to prove or disprove the intelligence that we have received.

"This is always difficult, and sometimes the only way to do so is to mount an operation such as that which we carried out this morning."

In a statement, the Health Protection Agency said the risk to the public was considered to be "very low" and it was continuing to provide ongoing advice to officers at the scene.

The shooting is now under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

"I can confirm that the incident was immediately referred to the IPCC, and we have deployed two senior investigators," an IPCC spokesman said.

Deborah Glass, the IPCC commissioner for London and one of the two investigators into today's shooting, said: "An examination of the officers' firearms confirms that a single shot was discharged in circumstances which are currently under investigation.

"We can confirm that the injuries to the man are not life-threatening."

Ms Glass said she had spent the morning speaking to community representatives and senior Met officers.

Police said officers carried out a search at residential premises under the Terrorism Act 2000.

"Local Safer Neighbourhoods officers will be working closely with affected residents and members of the community to provide support, advice and reassurance," a statement said.

"Public safety is a priority, and at this stage there is nothing to suggest members of the public in the immediate area are at risk," a statement said. "If we believe there is a potential risk, appropriate action will be taken and advice issued."




Special report
Terrorism threat to UK

Related articles
02.06.2006: Man shot in anti-terror swoop
02.06.2006: Accounts from the scene
02.06.2006: Full statement: Forest Gate raid
02.06.2006: First anti-terror shooting since Menezes



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Reply with quote  #17 

Well..'Scotland Tops List Of Worlds Most Violent Crimes'. To start, What telephone survey?...The U.N..(Under Nowleged..without the 'K'..cos they canni spell aswell as count! Obviously too many drawn up figures over luncheons 'n not enough research...The 'piss off i'm eatin my tea type 'o survey by the  looks,they have to be jokin (I hope), otherwise we who read that bull must be the same as those who came up with the percentages 'o percentages from a much higher percentage per state, some of which have a far higher rate of 'Official Police Figures per day of the Non Sexual Type' ,p.s...is there ANY ACTUAL police figures of anything?..NOPE..not unofficially.Or maybe the Americans do the right thing and put their phones off the hook at tea-time,as for the rise in sectarian violence,am i the only one who's been watching the news over the last several years listening to more lies that it's went down somewhat? What annoys me most is that these a*****s that come up with this utter drivell actually think they're doing a job and feeding the public this absolute p***!! More taxpayers money down the drain!   ,xxxsteeleyma

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Reply with quote  #18 

Totally agree with you on this one..... so where exactly did the figures come from?

 

Another recent topic for discussion was the shooting of an alleged terrorist suspect for the SECOND time RIGHT or WRONG?

 

 

3 June 2006
TERROR SUSPECT SHOT IN RAID BY 250 OFFICERS
 
Protests at heavy-handed cop swoop...
 

A MAN was shot yesterday as 250 cops, some wearing biochemical protection suits, staged a massive anti-terrorist raid.

The 23-year-old, who was shot once in the shoulder, was later arrested in hospital on suspicion of terrorist offences.

A 20-year-old man, believed to be his brother, was also arrested in the raid on a house in Forest Gate, east London.

Locals claimed the older man had been shot in front of his mother.

Police forced their way into the house, said to be home to an extended Muslim family, by breaking a ground-floor window.

It is believed to have been under surveillance for several weeks.

 

A decision to launch the raid followed discussions between MI5, the anti-terrorist branch and bio-chemical experts from the Health Protection Agency.

It followed intelligence about a suspected plot against targets in the UK rather than abroad.

But detectives do not believe there were any links to the July 7 bombings in London.

Police vans moved into the street silently under cover of darkness so that, if there were explosives in the house, there would be no time to detonate them.

A group of around 20 Asian men gathered during the day at the Royal London Hospital, where the suspect was being treated, to protest at what they believed was excessive force.

One man said he had grown up with the man who was shot.

He said: "We want to know what's happening. What happened was unnecessary. He is just a young kid fixing his life up. He is a straightforward guy. He has been working for the Royal Mail."

Another of the protesters said: "Going into someone's house and shooting them in front of their mum, that's not right is it?

"Just because they have got a beard doesn't mean to say you can shoot them."

The Independent Polic Complaints Commission immediately launched an investigation into the shooting, which will be overseen by Deborah Glass, the IPCC Commissioner for London and the South East.

It was unclear whether any other shots were fired during the raid.

Following the raid early yesterday morning, neighbours described seeing a man wearing a bloodstained T-shirt being carried out.

One neighbour said the family who lived there consisted of a man and a woman, their two sons and two daughters.

She added: "They were respectable and nice people and we do not know anything else. They have always been nice to us."

Another neighbour said the operation involved "the most police I've seen in my life".

Salim Mala, 42, who runs a shop near the scene, said the area was a "mixed community" with a large number of Bengali and Pakistani families who have lived there for some time and a recent influx of people from eastern Europe.

Explosives officers and firearms officers remained at the scene last night along with firefighters but the HPA said the risk to the public was low.

Police said the search of the property could take several days. Workmen were erecting a two-storey high scaffolding screen to cover the entire house.

The Prime Minister was told of the raid before it happened in Italy, where he was meeting new premier Romano Prodi after a six-day break in Tuscany.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch, said the raid was in response to "very specific" intelligence.

He said: "Because of the very specific nature of the intelligence, we planned an operation that was designed to mitigate any threat to the public either from firearms or from hazardous substances.

"Some officers were armed and others equipped with protective clothing."

He said the intelligence "demanded an intensive investigation and response" and there will now be a "painstaking" search of the house which could last several days.

Security was stepped up at the hospital with armed officers standing guard at all the entrances.

 

*************************************************

Oh deary me did they find anything yet? If they did it would be all over the news! or am I just being sceptical?.....Remember the WMD in Iraq...No? Well they never found F**K all there and so many young soldiers lost their lives for what?

 

Now we have the HPA units with the police raiding a house then shot a young man to PROVE or DISPROVE the Intelligence of the Intelligence service.

 

They had better have got something or else they will become a laughing stock and alienate ALL Muslims from us all and we do not need nor want this nor do we want suicide bombers on our streets.

 

So let us ALL hope MI5/6 the Police and government got this one right! only time will tell.

 

*****************************************************

The huge raid was mounted at 4am at a terraced house in Forest Gate, east London.

Police and MI5 had been watching the address for weeks. They moved in after "specific and detailed intelligence" that a terror attack could be imminent.

Armed cops from Scotland Yard's CO19 firearms squad smashed their way into the house, going in through the front and back at the same time.

The officers were faced by two men standing at the top of the stairs.

 

They shouted a warning, but one of the men allegedly continued to move. He was shot once by a marksman using a Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol.

The man was reportedly hit in the shoulder. Friends claimed his mother witnessed the shooting.

The suspect was taken to hospital for surgery but his life was not thought to be in danger. He was arrested in hospital under the Terrorism Act, and armed officers stood guard around his bed.

The man shot was named as Abdul Koyar Kalam, a 23-year-old Royal Mail sorting office worker.

His brother, Tesco shelf-stacker Abdul Kahar Kalam, 20, was also arrested. He was marched out of the house in his underwear and taken to top-security Paddington Green police station, where he was held on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorist acts.

Two other people in the house at the time of the raid were taken to hospital and treated for shock. They were not arrested.

After the people in the house were removed, officers in protective suits moved in to search the house.A source said: "We'll take it apart brick by brick if necessary."

Sources said the men were looking for a poison gas bomb.

The raid came after MI5 told police of "credible intelligence" that a device loaded with gas and packed around an explosive core was to be detonated within weeks.

A Scotland Yard source said: "The information passed to us by the security services was that the attack would involve an explosion propelling poison gas into the air. "

"With the World Cup coming up, the target could be a bar crowded with football fans. But there are many, many other possible targets.

"We don't know if this attack was going to be a suicide operation or a device detonated by remote control. But we are 100 per cent certain that an attack is being planned and if we did not stop it, it could take place very soon."

Experts from the Government's chemical warfare research centre at Porton Down in Wiltshire joined in the search of the house.

 

***************************************************

 

A DESPERATE search is under way for a “chemical vest” that a British suicide bomber was ready to deploy in a terror attack on London.

Police fear that the strike, using a home-made chemical device, was imminent after an informant told MI5 that he had seen the lethal garment at the home of two young men.

Last night detectives were at the hospital bedside of a 23-year-old postal worker shot during a pre-dawn raid on his parents’ home, while his younger brother, aged 20, was being questioned at Paddington Green high security police station.

Armed officers who led the assault on the terraced house in Forest Gate, East London, wore oxygen masks and protective chemical gear after a tip-off from MI5 that the device had already been assembled.

Security chiefs are deeply concerned that there was no sign of the vest inside what they believe is a chemical bomb factory.

No weapons were found either as officers searched the two adjoining properties that have been converted to accommodate a large Bangladeshi family.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard’s Anti-Terrorist Branch, said that the raid, codenamed Operation Volga, was ordered in response to “specific intelligence”.

He said that there had been no time to conduct further surveillance, which suggests that the police believed a terrorist was close to launching an attack. The fear is that if chemicals were to be used then a likely target could be a train compartment on the London Underground.

 

Another theory is that a suicide attacker, wearing the vest under a shirt, could trigger the device in a crowded venue, such as a pub full of people watching an England World Cup match.

************************************

Nervous informant who gave details of new terrorist device


THE informant told MI5 that they did not have much time to stop another lethal terrorist attack on London.

The details he passed on were so precise and so terrifying that intelligence agents had to drop some of their other investigations to concentrate on what was supposedly happening behind the net curtains of a neat terraced house in an East London suburb.

The belief was that the authorities had only days to act. Surveillance had to be hastily organised, the police and other agencies had to be told, along with ministers, that this time the terrorists were expected to use chemicals and not explosives to murder their victims.

The nervous informant claimed to have seen the chemical vest that the terrorist would use, and while he didn’t understand how the device would work, he did pass on a description and the address where he saw it. The man also offered a list of names.

 


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Shooting of man sparks confusion
Police officers
Police said the raid was a response to "specific intelligence"

There are conflicting reports about the circumstances surrounding the shooting of a man during a huge police anti-terrorism raid in east London.

Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, was hit in the shoulder by a bullet during the raid in Forest Gate on Friday.

Mr Kahar's lawyer said he was shot by police without warning. But police have not confirmed they did fire the shot.

The two brothers accused of involvement in a chemical plot have protested their innocence, said their solicitors.

One report, in the News of the World, claims the man was shot accidentally by his own brother.

Security sources told the BBC they were acting on intelligence that there was a "viable" chemical device in the house.

Information had suggested it was a potentially fatal device that could produce casualty figures in double or even triple figures.

Mr Kahar is in hospital under armed guard. His brother, Abul Koyair, is being held at Paddington Green police station.

POLICE SHOOTING GUIDELINES
Police officers can shoot "to stop an imminent threat to life"
A firearms officer should identify themselves and give an oral warning of intent to shoot
Officers should not fire warning shots except in "most serious and exceptional" circumstances
Shots should be aimed at the central body mass
The Operation Kratos [shoot-to-kill] policy allows officers to shoot at the head without warning if they believe the suspect may detonate a bomb
Kratos does not require police to see a "suicide jacket" before opening fire

Their lawyers said that Mr Kahar is expected to be released from hospital on Sunday and taken to the same police station for questioning.

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Daniel Sandford said there was confusion over the shooting.

He said the Metropolitan Police have never said a warning was given. And the only official statement about the shooting - from the head of the anti-terrorist branch Peter Clarke - did not say police shot the man.

The statement said only that a 23-year-old man had received a gunshot wound.

Neither the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is investigating the incident, nor the Met Police has made an official comment on the raid.

Kate Roxburgh, who represents Mr Kahar, gave an account of the events leading up to her client being shot in the shoulder during an operation that involved about 250 police officers.

She said: "He was woken up about four in the morning by screams from downstairs, got out of bed in his pyjamas obviously unarmed, nothing in his hands and hurrying down the stairs.

Her client, whom she said was innocent, was shot "without any warning" as he came down the stairs, she added.

Brother claim

"He wasn't asked to freeze, given any warning and didn't know the people in his house were police officers until after he was shot," she added.

She said Mr Kahar was "lucky still to be alive".

The IPCC has said it would use its own investigators to "examine the circumstances surrounding the discharge of a police firearm".

A report in the News of the World claimed Mr Kahar was shot accidentally by his brother, who is said to have grasped a police firearm during a struggle.

It quotes a Whitehall source saying the gun had gone off in a scuffle, and that police officers were "adamant" that they did not pull the trigger.

Julian Young and Kate Roxburgh
The brothers' solicitors said their clients were innocent

Meanwhile, Julian Young, acting for Mr Koyair, 20, said his client "denies any involvement in the commission, preparation, or instigation of terrorist offences".

Speaking after a closed court hearing in central London - at which police were given permission to hold both men until Wednesday - the solicitor said Mr Koyair was due to be interviewed by officers again on Sunday morning.

He added that Mr Kahar was expected to be released from hospital around lunchtime and be taken to Paddington Green high security police station.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke said Friday's operation was planned in response to "specific intelligence".

But the operation has angered some locals, prompting a leaflet to be circulated announcing a meeting next week to discuss the raid.

It states: "We cannot comment on this individual case but we know many such raids have been against innocent people."

Officers from MI5 are thought to have been watching a group of British young people of Bangladeshi origin for weeks.

Their e-mails, phone calls and movements were logged and the suspicion was they were planning a terrorist attack in the UK.


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5 June 2006
DISCLOSURE SCOTLAND

A MUM is fighting to clear her name after being falsely branded a

drug dealer.

 

The blunder came to light after Michelle Brockie applied for ajob as

a primary school auxiliary nurse.

 

A background check by Disclosure Scotland revealed police

intelligence that she was involved in the supply of illegal drugs.

 

But mum-of-two Michelle, of Ballingry, Fife, insists she has never

been in trouble with the police and was gobsmacked at the claims.

 

She made a complaint to Fife Constabulary and has appealed to

Disclosure Scotland to have the damning details removed.

 

She said: "I don't know how they can get away with saying I am

a drug dealer.

 

"I have never been in trouble in my life and hadn't even spoken to

the police until now.

"When I called them up to complain about it they made me feel like

a drug dealer. They were very ignorant towards me.

"I felt terrible when I came off the phone and was really upset.

"They refused to tell me why I had been singled out and just kept

telling me to appeal to Disclosure Scotland.

"I have suffered from depression for a year and applied for a job

because I was feeling good again.

"But to be hit with this has set me right back and has been a real

shock to my system. I have been to see my doctor about it because

I am really shaken by it.

"I have never touched drugs in my life. They can drug test me any

time and they will find nothing."

Michelle said that her brother Thomas, 29, had been questioned by

Fife Police in the past over allegations of drug dealing but had never

been charged.

She added:

"My brother lives his life and I live mine.

I've got two children for God's sake and what is happening

with my brother has nothing to do with me.

"Thomas has no convictions and has never been charged although

the police have raided his house a dozen times but found nothing.

"I don't see why my life should be ruined because the police are

investigating my brother.

"I have done nothing wrong and it is unfair that me and my family

should have to suffer."

Fife Constabulary confirmed Michelle had lodged an appeal but refused

to comment further on the case.

A spokesman said:

 

"We cannot comment on matters relating to intelligence logs or

specific details involving Disclosure Scotland applications.

"There is an appeals process for anyone who wishes to contest

the outcome of a disclosure check and we understand that an

appeal has been lodged in the case referred to. A decision will

be sent to the appellant in due course."

Disclosure Scotland refused to discuss Michelle's case but a

spokeswoman said:

 

"An enhanced disclosure will list all information about an applicant

held on the Criminal History Systems and other relevant lists.

"The decision as to what non-conviction information is released

rests with the relevant police force.

"Disclosure Scotland has in place a disputes procedure should any

applicant query the information contained within their disclosure.

"In such cases Disclosure Scotland would carry out further checks

to verify identity.

 

Whilst these checks are being carried out Disclosure Scotland

would immediately notify the relevant registered body and

prospective employer."

 

**************************************************

 

Disclosure Scotland provides an accurate and responsive disclosure service to enhance security, public safety and protect the vulnerable in society.

Disclosure Scotland is part of the Scottish Criminal Record Office

(SCRO) which, in turn, is a common police service and an executive

agency of the Scottish Executive.

On this website you will find:

  • details of the services we provide;
  • how to make applications, both for registration and disclosures;
  • online facility for applying for Basic Disclosures;
  • information relating to appropriate legislation and regulations
  • frequently asked questions
  • useful links to other organisations working within the disclosure environment

Need some interesting reading material? Then click on the link below.

 

http://www.rjerrard.co.uk/law/ashgate/ashgate.htm


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6 June 2006
SHERIFF TAKES THE HUMP
 

A COURTROOM drunk's version of Engelbert Humperdinck's hit Release Me

fell on deaf ears yesterday when he was jailed for four months.

 

John Townsley, 30, had been put in a witness room to sober up after

falling asleep twice inside Selkirk Sheriff Court.

 

But police were forced to arrest him due to his singing and abuse,

including putting a gypsy curse on officers' children.

 

Graham Fraser, prosecuting, said: "He was singing, 'Please release me,'

and making a general nuisance of himself'."

 

Townsley admitted breach of the peace in Galashiels and also disrupting

the court on May 8.

 

Sheriff Kevin Drummond jailed the Galashiels man for three months for

the breach offence and an extra month for the court disturbance.

 

*****************************************************

6 June 2006
LIFE FOR POLICE HITMEN
 

TWO New York detectives who moonlighted as hitmen for the mob

were yesterday told they would face life behind bars.

 

Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa were on the payroll of the NYPD

and the Luchese crime family at the same time.

 

The former partners were involved in eight murders between 1986 and

1990.

Prosecutors said the detectives committed some of the murders

themselves and delivered up other victims to the Mafia to be killed.

 

Eppolito, 57, and Caracappa, 64, received the equivalent of £2130 a

month from Luchese underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso.

Their pay went up for the murders - they earned £34,700 for one killing.

At the same time, both officers were decorated for their bravery with

the force.

Yesterday, district judge Jack B Weinstein warned both men they

were facing the maximum sentence when they returned to court

on June 23.

He told them: "This is probably the most heinous series of crimes ever

tried in this courthouse."

Federal prosecutor Daniel Wenner described the case as "the bloodiest,

most violent betrayal of the badge this city has ever seen".


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7 June 2006
ON THE 6TH DAY OF THE 6TH MONTH IN THE 6TH YEAR, A BOY IS BORN

PROUD mum Suzanne Cooper gave birth to this little devil on 06/06/06 yesterday - and named him DAMIEN.

Teacher Suzanne, 36, was induced for six days before Damien arrived at 06.59am - tipping the scales at a spine-chilling 6lb 6oz.

She said: "We are overjoyed. The Omen is one of our favourite films and I was keeping my legs crossed for a birth on the sixth.

"He's a perfect baby - nothing at all like Damien in The Omen."

Dad Mike rushed Suzanne to hospital in Bristol last Wednesday after she began having back pain.

The baby was due on Saturday and doctors decided to induce her - but little Damien refused to be delivered until yesterday.

 

Mike said: "It was a devil of a birth - a bit of a horror show."


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8 June 2006
THE UNTOUCHABLES
Modern cars so safe crooks just give up...

SUPER-SECURE vehicles are helping win the war on criminals who now find it almost impossible to steal a new car.

Thieves are increasingly thwarted in their attempts break in to modern cars, "hot wire" them and drive off.

Results from the latest British Insurance Car Security Awards confirmed the growing effectiveness of vehicle security devices.

The awards were presented at a conference in Berkshire.

Convicted car thief "Paul" told the event he was forced to give up and go straight after 15 years stealing more than 100 vehicles.

 

He said: "It just became too hard. Ten or 15 years ago, I could break in to a car, attack the electrics to start the engine and then drive it off- in under a minute.

"But the immobilisers and alarms got better and better - and now it is too difficult to bother. You need to have it towed away -or be in the possession of the key - to steal a new car now."

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said: "Security is an important issue for all of us when deciding our choice of car.

"I praise manufacturers who have made significant improvements to security which has helped see a massive reduction in vehicle crime. These awards are an important event that highlight and reward those manufacturers and I congratulate the winners and all those considered for an award."

But the drop in car crime has not been reflected in insurance premiums.

A spokesman for the RAC Foundation said car insurance had been rising "quite steeply".

He said: "It is possible that there are more insurance claims for personal injury and loss of earnings.

"Also the cost of repairing a modern car has risen. Two decades ago, if a wing mirror was damaged a driver would go down to Halfords and buy a replacement for a couple of quid.

"Now, since the wing mirror is now electronically controlled and probably heated, replacing it costs upwards of £150."

SUPER-SECURE MOTORS

The winners in each category were:

City Car/Supermini Citroen C3 Exclusive

Small Family Car Citroen C4 Exclusive

Family Car Peugeot 407 Executive

Compact Executive Car Lexus IS

Compact MPV Mazda 5

Large MPV Renault Espace

Convertible/Roadster Volvo C70

Performance Car Peugeot 407 Coupe

Compact 4x4 Nissan X-Trail

Large 4x4 Volkswagen Touareg

Executive Car Audi A6 saloon

Luxury Car Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Manufacturer Audi UK


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'Carmont' knife sentencing call
By Duncan Kirkhope
BBC Scotland

Lord Carmont (Picture courtesy of Newsquest Glasgow)
Lord Carmont (Picture courtesy of Newsquest Glasgow)
A former leader of Glasgow City Council has called for a "Carmont" style message to be sent to knife offenders.

Glasgow MSP Charlie Gordon wants sheriffs to follow the example of Lord Carmont, a city judge in the 1950s, who handed down exemplary sentences.

He is credited with doing much to deter the razor gangs of the time.

Mr Gordon wants sheriffs to use tougher powers that will double sentences to four years from later this year. He said: "Sentencing does matter."

"Sheriffs have to be given a chance to make effective use of the stiffer sentences available to them - to send out a Carmont-style message to knife offenders," he added.

His call comes during a nationwide knife amnesty.

'Copping a Carmont'

Lord John Carmont handed down long sentences for knife crime in the 1950s.

His obituary in The Herald noted in one series of court sittings in Glasgow he passed sentences of up to 10 years - and in total 52 years - on eight men.

Glasgow 1955 (Picture courtesy of the Mitchell Library)
Glasgow 1955 (Picture courtesy of the Mitchell Library)

To Glasgow knife carriers, going down for a long stretch became known as "copping a Carmont".

Lord Carmont, in May 1954, told the High Court of Justiciary in Glasgow he thought the city's record of crimes of violence was improving.

Mr Gordon said today's challenge is a bigger one than the 50s razor gangs.

He said: "I am sad to say today's knife culture may be more widespread and deep-seated than we have had in modern times.

"It's very complex and requires a range of responses.

"I think we may have to jail those even possessing knives on our streets automatically, as we do with those possessing guns."

Mr Gordon had called on MSPs to back an amendment to the Police Bill which would have meant anyone convicted of carrying a concealed blade would be imprisoned.

But he withdrew the motion after opposition from colleagues.

The Police Bill will double sentences from two to four years.

It is awaiting Royal Assent and is expected to be introduced in September.


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Stories From 12 Jun

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Top stories in Scotland this week
BBC Scotland's news website looks back at the stories making the headlines over the last week.

MONDAY

Sir Sean Connery
Sir Sean will appear before MSPs in August

Actor Sir Sean Connery was told to expect to be asked about his views on violence against women when he attends a festival at the Scottish Parliament in August.

A former Scottish drugs minister called for a pilot programme to give the country's worst heroin addicts the drug on the NHS.

Two teenagers were jailed for a total of 10 years after kicking a Fife man nicknamed Disco Dave to death in May last year. The man had been out celebrating his 25th birthday.

TUESDAY

It emerged that a bank manager had carried out a £21m fraud on his Royal Bank of Scotland employers in Edinburgh as they named him business manager of the year.

A Scottish-born paedophile returned to the UK after Australian authorities approved his deportation. William Gallagher, 62, had lived in Australia for almost 40 years and has a string of convictions for sex offences against boys dating back to 1973.

The co-founder of the Scottish Socialist Party, who was jailed for failing to hand over documents, was found guilty of contempt of court and fined £500.

WEDNESDAY

Edinburgh Marathon runners
Marathon runners won't be short of water, organisers say

The parents of a six-year-old girl who died after being knocked down by a car paid tribute to her as the "life and soul of the family home".

Organisers of the Edinburgh Marathon moved to quell concerns over a shortage of water for the race, saying they had "more than enough".

A campaign got under way in Shetland to fight the deportation of a young Thai man who has lived there for 13 years. Sakchai Makao, 23, who has been on the island since he was 10, was taken from his home in Lerwick after a raid by immigration officers.

THURSDAY

Appeal court judges were asked to delay challenges to the Lockerbie bomber's 27-year prison term. Prosecution and defence teams have begun appeals in relation to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi's sentence.

The first minister condemned lawyers who have backed a boycott of sex crime cases in a legal aid row. Jack McConnell described the decision to stop representing sex offenders from 1 August as "irresponsible".

An earthquake shook the west Highlands causing floors to vibrate and sounds resembling an explosion, measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale.

FRIDAY

The Black Prince
The Black Prince carries out weekly and fortnightly cruises

More than 100 passengers on a cruise which left Leith Docks last weekend were struck down by a "highly contagious" winter-vomiting virus.

Culture and Sport Minister Patricia Ferguson became the latest victim of a fast-growing international e-mail scam. The message sent to inboxes around the world contains a proposition to launder millions of dollars.

Changes aimed at simplifying the voting process in next year's Holyrood elections were set out by the Scottish secretary.


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Son of Sicilian mayor arrested as Mafia fortune is tracked down...

Published: 10 June 2006

Prosecutors in Palermo claim to have tracked down a legendary Mafia fortune with the arrest this week of Massimo Ciancimino, the son of a notoriously corrupt Palermo mayor.

Mr Ciancimino, 43, appears in court in Palermo on Tuesday charged with money laundering and other offences. His lawyer, Giorgio Ghiron, has also been arrested. Prosecutors believe the fortune accumulated by the son and heir of "Don" Vito Ciancimino could be about €60m (£33m).

The Palermo-based entrepreneur was already under investigation but was put under house arrest after he continued with his business activities despite a ban. Treasures already identified as belonging to him include a yacht, historic buildings, a Ferrari and smart shops in Palermo.

The arrest marks one more stage in the collapse of the empire created by Bernardo Provenzano, the Mafia capo di capi arrested on 11 April and now in prison. Like Provenzano, Vito Ciancimino, the son of a barber, came from Corleone, the town south of Palermo whose gangsters, the "Corleonese", are still the undisputed bosses of the Sicilian Mafia after bloodily disposing of their rivals in the Sixties and Seventies. The town's Mafia links were immortalised in the fictional Godfather films.

In the Fifties, Vito Ciancimino, a local politician, got a job running Palermo's Office of Public Works, through which he dispensed building licences and public works contracts to corrupt companies controlled by his friends in the Corleone Mafia. This was the "Sack of Palermo", the destruction of much of the ancient Sicilian capital and its replacement with the tightly packed, nondescript blocks of flats that still deface this once-beautiful city. Vito Ciancimino, described by the Mafioso Tommaso Buscetta as "a pushy Corleonese embezzler", made a vast fortune in bribes.

Ciancimino was protected by the Christian Democrat Party and not forced to resign until 1964. He was not arrested and made an impudent comeback, becoming mayor of Palermo in 1970. He was finally arrested in 1984. When he was conviction in 1992, it was the first time a politician had been found guilty of working with the Mafia. But his fortune remained elusive at his death in 2002.

Massimo Ciancimino, Vito's youngest son, has denied all knowledge of his father's wealth, claming that his own affluence was the result of his genius as a financial consultant. "I have the ideas," he told an interviewer, "and to bring them to fruition takes money. So I find people willing to invest and so on ... The treasure doesn't exist."

But after exhaustive study, prosecutors in Palermo claim to have established a paper trail linking Ciancimino Jnr to accounts in the Virgin Islands, Amsterdam and Switzerland. And in the shack outside Corleone where Provenzano was holed up when he was arrested, two of the hundreds of notes from his underlings around the island mention Ciancimino by name. One note claims angrily that Ciancimino had stolen "money not his to have fun in Rome, money that was meant to go to the families of [Mafia] prisioners who are in need ..."

The fact that Ciancimino suffered no ill effects from getting on the wrong side of Provenzano's lieutenants is taken by prosecutors as an indication that relations between the mayor's son and the capo di capi remained cordial.


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The Sunday Times June 11, 2006

'Lenient' judges shamed in list


Unduly lenient sentences performance chart (2006)
Lenient sentences 2003: part 1
Lenient sentences 2003: part 2
Lenient sentences 2004: part 1
Lenient sentences 2004: part 2
Lenient sentences 2004: part 3
Lenient sentences 2005

MORE than 200 of Britain’s top judges have given “unduly lenient” sentences to criminals guilty of sex offences or other serious crimes, according to a list released by the attorney-general.

Lord Goldsmith has for the first time listed 339 cases over the past three years in which he has challenged judges for letting off criminals — including killers, rapists and child abusers — with light sentences.

He took all of the cases to the Court of Appeal to seek tougher sentences, with more than three-quarters being judged to be “unduly lenient”. In an interview this weekend, Goldsmith said he was particularly concerned about judges being lenient on sex offences against children which needed “to be dealt with very harshly indeed”.

He said some judges did not appreciate the long-lasting trauma of such crimes on children; in one case it had been felt necessary to bar a judge from handling cases involving children. His office said: “He [the judge] just didn’t get it.”

Calling for tougher sentences for serious violent and sex offences, Goldsmith added:

“It’s really important for everyone to understand that because a child is quite young it doesn’t mean the child forgets what happens.”

Among the list of more than 200, which accounts for a tenth of the senior members of the judiciary, is Adrian Smith. He was judged to have been unduly lenient on a 53-year-old man who raped and sexually abused his daughter hundreds of times during the years when she was aged between 12 and 28.

The daughter conceived two children, one of which survived. Last year the Court of Appeal doubled the judge’s initial jail sentence of five years to 10.

Judge Marten Coates, 59, gave an absolute discharge to a man who admitted indecently assaulting his two young nieces as a teenager because the pre-sentence report was unavailable.

The appeal court last year gave Ian Lammas, 46, a three-year community rehabilitation order and described Coates’s actions as “inappropriate”. Coates yesterday declined to comment.

One of the biggest sentence increases involved Judge Robert Winstanley, who sentenced Luan Plakici, a 26-year-old Albanian, to 10 years for smuggling kidnapped women into Britain and forcing them to become sex slaves. It was more than doubled to 23 years by the Court of Appeal to send a message that human trafficking was “despicable”.

Michelle Elliott, director of Kidscape, the children’s charity, said: “I have been astonished by some of the lenient sentences with child pornography and sex abuse. Any judge who repeatedly gives lenient sentences to paedophiles should be off the bench.”

In the past six years more than 2,000 complaints against judges or tribunal members have been investigated, but only 28 have resulted in disciplinary measures. The last and only time the lord chancellor barred a judge was in 1983.

The judge with the highest number of “unduly lenient” appeals is Stuart Fish, who retired last year. Ten of his judgments have been been found to be unduly lenient by the Court of Appeal since 2003.

One of his most controversial was in July 2005 when he allowed a man who attempted to rape a three-year-old girl to walk free after the man claimed he was “experimenting” and had “got carried away”. The appeal court jailed him for 3½ years.

Smith and Winstanley were unavailable for comment. Fish said: “To be regarded as unduly lenient would be a big surprise to one or two people that I know that are doing 20 years, two at 17, three at 15, and a 74-year-old man doing 12 years. It’s all a matter of balance.”

The Judicial Office said: “There are many cases where the Court of Appeal reduces sentences without implying any criticism of the sentencing judge, sometimes indeed because of changes of circumstances after the original sentencing decision.”

  • A confidential government review claims that police and courts are being stifled by human rights legislation. Leaked documents drawn up by a Whitehall team show that up to 24 aspects of policing, court procedures and immigration are being impeded.
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    Child sex snatch jailing 'insult'
    Craig Sweeney
    Craig Sweeney was known to his victim's family
    The family of a child kidnapped by a convicted paedophile on early release has said his sentence is "an insult".

    Craig Sweeney, 24, kidnapped a girl, aged three, from her home in Cardiff in January 2006 before attacking her.

    He was jailed for life and told he should not be considered for parole for at least five years.

    The home secretary is to write to the attorney general to ask him to consider referring the sentence to the Court of Appeal as "unduly lenient".

    His victim's family said it was angry with this punishment.

    Anne Tyson, solicitor representing the victim's family, said: "The family believes today's sentence is an insult to their three-year-old daughter and that there are grave failings in the criminal justice system that need to be urgently addressed."

    Police in the Rumney area of Cardiff on Wednesday
    House-to-house inquiries in Rumney following the abduction

    Relatives are calling for a government review of sentencing guidelines for crimes of this nature and to increase sentences given to paedophiles.

    Sweeney - who was known to the family - had snatched the girl from her home after she had returned home from a shopping trip and while her mother made a telephone call.

    He drove her to his Newport flat where he was living after being released early from a three-year sentence for indecently assaulting a girl aged six.

    The licence on which he had been granted early release from a jail term for indecently assaulting a six-year-old girl, had expired two days before.

    Sentencing him to life in jail at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge John Griffith Williams QC said he would not be considered for parole for five years - and only then if he did not pose a significant risk of re-offending.

    "You have shown yourself to be a thoroughly devious man. You kidnapped this little girl for your own sexual gratification," he said.

    Her mother has said it has been worse than a death in the family. She will never get over it
    Judge John Griffith Williams QC

    "You subjected her to an extremely painful ordeal. It beggars belief.

    "This little girl has changed from a talkative and bubbly little girl into a distant, moody and depressed child.

    "Her mother has said it has been worse than a death in the family. She will never get over it."

    The court heard in April how the child was snatched from her house in Rumney, Cardiff on the evening of 2 January.

    She was driven away to Sweeney's flat in Newport where she was sexually attacked.

    She was only found by police hours later in Wiltshire, after a car chase prompted by Sweeney having no lights on his car and jumping red lights.

    He drove erratically at speeds of up to 100mph with the girl in the car.

    Officers search a house in south Wales
    Sweeney admitted carrying out sex assaults at this Newport flat

    Susan Ferrier, prosecuting, has said he travelled mainly on the wrong side of the road and at one point sped straight at an articulated lorry before swerving away at the last minute.

    He then saw a police helicopter above him swerved violently down a bank.

    Sweeney was arrested at the roadside of the A4 near Marlborough, and police then noticed the girl was lying at the side of the road where he had hurled her from the car.

    Ms Ferrier said of the girl: "She was asking 'is the nasty man gone?'"

    The toddler suffered minor injuries as a result of being thrown from the car but needed hospital treatment for other "significant" injuries inflicted by Sweeney.

    'Depravity'

    Sweeney admitted four charges of kidnap, three of sexual assault and one of dangerous driving.

    His defence counsel said he had "shown remorse when arrested and was distressed at the depravity at what he had done".

    Sweeney kept his head bowed throughout most of the sentencing hearing on Monday and showed no emotion.

    Gwent Multi Agency Public Protection Panel Strategic Management Board has said it is reviewing the responses of agencies involved in managing the risk of released prisoners re-offending.


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    Scottish orchestra seeks new national anthem

    Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:40 PM BST11
     

    By Ian MacKenzie

    EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Scotland's national orchestra launched a competition on Sunday to find the country's most popular song that might eventually become its national anthem.

    The current UK-wide national anthem is "God Save the Queen", but this is not universally popular in Scotland.

    Its third verse, now rarely if ever sung, calls on an English general to crush "rebellious Scots" at the time of the 1745 Jacobite uprising to restore Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Stuarts to the British throne.

    Scotland's first minister Jack McConnell called in March for a national debate on the issue after there was some criticism of the use of "Scotland the Brave" for Scottish gold medal winners at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in Australia

    The Royal Scottish National Orchestra played the five most popular contenders at an Edinburgh concert on Saturday night and on Sunday opened a three-week voting period on its Web site, http://www.rsno.org.uk.

    The five songs are:

    - "Flower of Scotland", written by a member of The Corries folk bank more than 30 years ago and sung primarily at rugby and football matches;

     

    - "Highland Cathedral", written in 1982 by two German musicians and chosen by pop singer Madonna as her wedding march at her marriage in Scotland to director Guy Ritchie;

     

    - "Scots Wha Ha'e", a song by Robert Burns written in the form of a speech by Robert the Bruce before he defeated an English army at Bannockburn in 1314;

    - "A Man's a Man for a' That", another Burns poem extolling the common man;

    - "Scotland the Brave", a traditional bagpipe tune with stirring words written in the 1950s.

    "We're contributing to the debate over a national song with this competition," said RSNO board chairman Tom Thomson.

    "It's an unofficial poll of Scottish opinion to find the most popular candidate for a national anthem. We also want Scots around the world to vote."

    The winning song will be played at an RSNO concert in Glasgow on July 1.

                  

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