Displaying items by tag: Crime
Nurse Lucy Letby killed seven babies by force-feeding them with milk or injecting them with air or insulin, and seriously damaged six others who she tried to murder. Dr Stephen Brearey, the lead consultant on the unit where Letby worked, first raised the alarm in October 2015. The first five murders happened between June and October 2015, and - despite months of warnings - the final two were in June 2016. Dr Brearey said senior managerial hospital staff were worried about reputational damage to the organisation. Instead of acting on his warnings, he and his colleagues’ lives were made very difficult. There is ‘no apparent accountability’ for what NHS managers do in trusts. There will now be an inquiry into the magnitude of the event and the questions raised: should NHS managers be regulated in the same way as doctors, and should they be held to account?
The Co-op has warned some communities could become ‘no-go’ areas for shops due to crime hitting record levels, increasing by over 1/3rd in the past year. There were about 1,000 shoplifting and anti-social behaviour incidents every day in the past six months. A Freedom of Information request revealed 71% of serious retail crime had not received a police response. Many police forces do not prioritise retail crime. The Co-op has called for an ‘urgent change’, and for all forces to target repeat and prolific offenders in cities where organised criminal gangs operate - it could be described as looting. Criminals come in with bags, sacks or clothing which can conceal hundreds of pounds’ worth of stock - coffee, meat, spirits; others clamber over the kiosk and just tip products into their bags. They know the police don't have the resources or can't attend quickly enough.
Thieves have smashed ‘irreplaceable’ 150-year-old stained glass windows to break into St John the Evangelist Church to steal foodbank products once again. The foodbank has been targeted repeatedly in recent months and organisers have warned that the project could be forced to close, impacting on needy members of the community, if the break-ins continue. Revd Derek Pammett said he was praying for the perpetrators and offered to help them. He said, ‘They are stealing from and harming the community; this must stop or the church authorities will close it all down. If you don't want to involve the police then perhaps someone could ask the culprit nicely to stop. This will harm the needy in our community if it's all shut down.’ Another person said, ‘Someone knows who the perpetrators are. The rumour is that our food is being offered for sale. We give it away free to an ever-growing number of people.’
Tina was attacked by her husband on her wedding night and beaten ‘black and blue’; the abuse continued for eight years. She said, ‘For years, I had to do as I was told or get beaten. He drove me around to put me in flats and then men came in. He sold me for sex. If I didn't do as I was told, I'd get beaten.’ She told Greater Manchester Police several times between 2009 and 2015, ‘but the force didn't care, they didn't believe me, they didn't do anything.’ In 2012, she told police she had suicidal thoughts due to the abuse she was suffering. Again, the complaint was not followed up. In 2015 Tina provided them with extensive evidence supporting her allegations. The police apologised and an offence under the Modern Slavery Act was recorded against her husband. However, he was not arrested, and has now left the UK.
Nine men appeared in court by video link charged with possessing offensive weapons. Police believe they had prevented a ‘serious disorder’ after discovering a sword, machetes, and a hatchet in vans in Newtownabbey. The men, aged between 18 and 41, were travelling to a relative's funeral; police were concerned over what they were going to do. In addition to possessing offensive weapons, Brian James Bradley is also charged with driving while disqualified, without insurance, and possessing a Class B drug. The judge refused bail as details provided by police ‘paint a picture of an organised, premeditated operation involving extremely dangerous weapons’ and ‘clear inference that extreme violence was going to be visited on persons unknown’. The case has been adjourned until 27 February.
Australia has a huge domestic violence problem and police spend more time responding to that crime than any other. Recently 648 people were charged in a four-day police blitz targeting ‘dangerous’ domestic violence offenders in New South Wales. Some 1,153 charges for domestic violence, drugs and weapons were made during the operation, and an array of illegal items, such as guns, daggers, a sword, metal knuckle dusters, and drugs were seized. During ‘Operation Amarok’ 164 of those charged were among the state's most wanted domestic violence offenders. Some had warrants out for their arrests; others had breached court-issued protection orders. The UN has said violence against women in Australia is ‘disturbingly common’, but experts say it is not notably different from other developed nations. The new strategy of targeting high risk offenders is aimed at stopping violence before it escalates to homicide.
Albanian drug gangs use French migrant camps as recruitment grounds. They pay the passage for those prepared to work in the UK drugs industry on arrival. Senior police and immigration officials on both sides of the Channel are worried by the growing number of Albanian middlemen facilitating crossings. Albanians accounted for 1/3 of the people arriving in small boats this year. They have the right to enter France as EU tourists for up to three months without a visa., and are urged on by social media adverts promising help. Posing as an Albanian migrant, a journalist contacted two people-smugglers advertising for clients on TikTok. Both responded within half an hour, with options to pay in France or in England, and guidance for getting to Belgium or France, where a fixer would make contact. The message from both of them was ‘It's easy’.
Most victims of burglary, robbery, and theft in England and Wales are not given the justice they deserve. HM chief inspector of constabulary Andy Cooke calls current low charge rates ‘unacceptable and unsustainable’. He said ‘Some tackle crimes effectively, but others miss opportunities to identify and catch offenders at all stages from when a crime is first reported.’ Lack of investigative capacity and experience is made worse by detective shortages. In the year up to March 2022 only 6.3% of robbery offences and 4.1% of thefts in England and Wales resulted in charges. Digital, forensic, technological and analytical capabilities are not good enough to allow officers to carry through to investigations. They must improve their approach to personal robbery, theft from a person, theft of and from motor vehicles, and domestic burglary. By March 2023, all police forces must ensure burglary, theft and robbery crime scenes are managed according to national standards and are effectively supervised and directed.
While on vacation in Marmaris, 51-year-old GJH was rushed to hospital after falling and hitting his head. He could not be saved. Due to the circumstances of his death and his son's ‘suspicious’ behaviour, the police launched an investigation and reviewed CCTV footage from the area around their hotel. It showed that GJH's 22-year-old son punched his father on the face, causing him to fall. The suspect was taken into custody by the police before being referred to court on 28 July. Please pray for the safety of this tourist. Data shared by two human rights organisations reported that 531 people were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment in official places of detention last year, and torture in Turkey’s prisons has reached unprecedented levels.
In Leicestershire two men were arrested when police uncovered a £2.2m cannabis farm in a former bingo hall on 18 May. They were growing 2,188 plants which generated ‘essential’ income for organised crime gangs and ‘misery for many’. Cannabis is not a harmless drug in any way, shape or form. Often extremely vulnerable people are recruited to look after the plants, living in appalling conditions and full of fear. ‘Because of this, we invest significant resources in disrupting this activity and identifying those responsible.’ In Wales another cannabis factory was discovered inside a Swansea home on 14 May. A huge amount of damage to residential homes is caused by such factories. Communities suffer power cuts when the criminals break into the local underground electricity cables to obtain free power for their industry: see