Displaying items by tag: law and order
A URC church in Staffordshire, a Grade 2 listed building from 1820 next door to a primary school, had not been used as a place of worship for over twenty years. Then 400 cannabis plants were found growing inside. A police raid at the end of July uncovered the drugs, and a man has appeared in court. This is the second recent finding of a cannabis farm in an unused church as local communities are being overrun by illegal drugs. Fears of gang violence and muggings keep frightened residents at home. Open dealing on the street stirs parents’ fears for their children. Pray for God to help citizens and community groups to recognise the roles they can play helping authorities eradicate the problem. Pray also for addicts to receive support and help to find a path away from substance abuse.
A Venezuelan activist has warned Americans that torching and toppling historical statues could be dangerous. She noted that destructive behaviour toward significant figures such as George Washington, Christopher Columbus, and Abraham Lincoln, is an effort to destroy a national identity. When she was a teenager in Venezuela statues came down because Chavez didn't want Venezuela’s history displayed. Then he changed the street names, school curriculum and some movies couldn't be shown on TV. Meanwhile, the USA’s top infectious disease expert warned, ‘Over recent days we've seen a pandemic spike well beyond the worst previous ones. We’ve got to get that under control or we risk an even greater outbreak.’
Madeleine McCann is ‘assumed’ to be dead, say German prosecutors investigating her disappearance in 2007. A 43-year-old German predator currently in prison for sex crimes is being investigated on suspicion of her murder. Police are appealing for the public's help in solving the case, after they announced on 3 June that they had a new suspect. Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, felt the latest development was ‘potentially very significant’. Their spokesperson said, ‘Of all the thousands of leads and potential suspects that have been mentioned in the past, there has never been something as clearcut as that from not just one, but three, police forces.’ The Met are working with German and Portuguese police. They have released details of the suspect's phone number and the number which dialled him before Madeleine’s disappearance; any information about these numbers could be ‘critical’.
1,775 migrants entered the UK in small boats this year: a record 741 landed in May. The French navy is escorting them across the Channel and into British waters as smugglers exploit legal maritime loopholes. By a 1974 law, all mariners must provide assistance to vessels in distress at sea. The small boats crossing the Channel are often overloaded and taking on water. When French vessels attempt to intercept them, migrants threaten to jump into the sea, or even throw children overboard. Their refusal to be rescued by French authorities puts lives at risk, so the French have no option but to shadow the boats into British waters, where migrants are safe, knowing they will be taken to Britain, not back to France. MPs are calling for new powers to return people to France.
Statistics show that in the final two months of 2019 police dealt with 664 crimes involving machetes - an average of one every 130 minutes. Three years ago the deadly blades were used in only 100 crimes a month over the same period. Also the toll will be significantly higher because only 34 of the 43 police forces responded. Stabbing hotspots London and Greater Manchester refused to provide data. Rising numbers of criminals are using machetes as their weapons of choice to instil terror in victims and rival gang members. Offenders use them in violent rapes, robberies, and murders. The Home Office said that the Government is doing everything in its power to protect communities from the effects of knife crime, and is recruiting 20,000 more police officers over the next three years as well as ensuring that the most violent offenders spend longer behind bars.
Alex Salmond is on trial for carrying out 14 sexual assaults on 10 women. He has pleaded not guilty to all 14 charges alleged to have happened while he was Scotland's first minister and the leader of the SNP. The first woman to testify, a former government official known as Woman H, told the court that she was scared to come forward at the time because he was a ‘powerful man’. She raised the allegations after getting ‘flashbacks’ around the time of the #MeToo movement. The charges include allegations of assaults and rape at Mr Salmond’s official residence in Edinburgh. She said she had emailed a colleague the day after the first attack to say she would not be attending a sporting event with him. She said she felt ‘hunted’ by Mr Salmond. Nine other women will also be giving evidence.
On 21 January (see) the media reported that terror offenders will face more time in jail and be monitored more closely, as part of new laws being introduced within weeks. Automatic early release from prison will be scrapped, while a minimum jail term of 14 years for serious crimes will be introduced. The Home Office said that a bill would be brought before Parliament by mid-March. Before these measures could be implemented, on 2 February Sudesh Amman, released from prison in January, attacked several people with a knife in Streatham. Home secretary Priti Patel is now calling for even tougher measures regarding the jailing of terrorists in the wake of this attack. The ministry of justice said the legislation would be introduced ‘when parliamentary time allows’. The government will also consider new legislation to ensure that extremists are more closely monitored on release, and will review whether the current maximum sentences for terrorist offences are sufficient.
Around the world in 2019, corruption sparked demonstrations and toppled governments in what should be a wake-up call for leaders to follow through on their commitments and make good on old promises as well as new, meaningful resolutions. Corruption is deepening the crisis of democracy in many parts of the world. Countries with higher rates of public sector corruption have weaker democratic institutions, depriving citizens of political rights such as free and fair elections and the right to protest. Many protested and, losing patience, took to the streets demanding that their governments serve public interest. We may see more protests in the coming year unless political leaders take urgent steps to eradicate corruption and make their countries a liveable place for all citizens. In over 100 countries, people can turn to Transparency International chapters for advice on long-lasting and inclusive approaches to strengthen their democracies.
Specialists will perform an abortion on a woman from a Christian home who has severe learning disabilities and is twelve weeks pregnant. Mr Justice Williams ruled that the woman's pregnancy could be terminated after analysing the case at the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions. A police investigation is under way to discover how a woman in her twenties, with the mental capacity of a toddler, became pregnant. Was she raped or made pregnant by a male friend with learning disabilities? Police will carry out DNA tests to establish the father’s identity. The woman's foster parents are Christians and churchgoers. Pray for this case to highlight the need for the NHS, social services and trusts to examine, and update where needed, appropriate care packages for safeguarding vulnerable people in their care.
More than 15,000 cannabis plants with a street value of £4million were found at an industrial unit in North Lincolnshire. The operation was so big that four former Tesco home delivery vans were used to distribute drugs to cannabis dealers across Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Doncaster and large parts of Lincolnshire and from the factory in Scunthorpe. Five Vietnamese men, who are the suspected growers, were found inside. It is believed they were illegally trafficked to look after the farm. Three of the men were caught. Another two fled the scene and are being hunted by police. The estate where the farm was found was being used by a mixture of major distribution and manufacturing companies and small car repair and business units.