Displaying items by tag: police
Pageantry and protests
The royal family waved at crowds and watched a flypast at Buckingham Palace's balcony after the King and Queen’s coronation that was full of ancient Christian pageantry and symbolism. The 2,200 guests included the Royal Family, celebrities, faith leaders and heads of state. Thousands lined London streets to catch a glimpse of the King and Queen and members of the royal family in coaches and limousines as they went past. Elsewhere 52 members of Republic, the anti-monarchy group, were among those arrested near Trafalgar Square for public order offences, breach of the peace, and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. Their organisers were arrested earlier that morning when police seized hundreds of placards saying, ‘Not My King’. Human Rights Watch said the coronation arrests were ‘something you would expect to see in Moscow not London’. Christian barrister Paul Diamond said that arresting anti-monarchist protestors before the coronation was an instance of ‘serious lawlessness by the police’.
Police accused of online child abuse failings
A report into how police forces in England and Wales tackle online child sex abuse has found responses to allegations are slow, leaving vulnerable children in danger while allowing offenders to escape justice. In some cases, it takes up to a year and a half before an arrest is made. Many officers do not follow lines of inquiry into who the suspect is and whether they are approaching children. In most forces, cases reported directly to police are dealt with by non-specialists with inadequate training. These people are unaware of guidance they should follow and what specialist services they should refer children to. The lack of a consistent, effective national approach to tackling online abuse is a concern to the UK's only independent Christian safeguarding charity, Thirtyone:eight. They urge chief constables, policing bodies and the Government to implement the report’s seventeen recommendations speedily with a coordinated, sustained response across the country.
Greece: Iranian terror attack averted
Greek police have prevented an ‘imminent attack’ against Israelis and Jews after arresting two Pakistani nationals who are part of an Iranian terror network. The two arrests came after the police, aided by Israel’s Mossad spy agency, uncovered plans for mass-casualty terrorist attacks, one of the targets being a Jewish restaurant in Athens. It is a kosher restaurant which also hosts other religious services. The two suspects had chosen targets of ‘high symbolism’. A third man, who is not in Greece, is wanted for questioning and has been charged in absentia. A police statement said, ‘Their aim was to cause the loss of life of innocent citizens and also to undermine the sense of security in Greece, while hurting public institutions and threatening our international relations’.
Northern Ireland: Threat to police
Linzi McLaren, who served in the Police Service of Northern Ireland for 18 years, said a dissident republican threat against relatives of Northern Ireland police could deter new recruits and was a new low that could lead to resignations. She also said that this threat will affect the very junior in service or those at the end of their career. Officers will now have to reassess their own personal security. ‘As police officers you're always very conscious of the threat towards you personally, and conscious of what has happened in the past,’ she told BBC Radio Ulster. ‘You never expect that something as personal as danger to your loved ones would be a consequence of your decision of being a police officer.’
Australia: domestic violence
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.
Met Police corruption
‘Two or three Met Police officers per week will appear in court on criminal charges in the coming weeks and months’ said commissioner Sir Mark Rowley. ‘And the public should prepare for more painful stories as the force confronts violence against women and girls, domestic abuse and sex offences’. He spoke in the wake of PC David Carrick admitting on January 16th dozens of rape and sexual offences against 12 women and PC Hussain Chehab who pleaded guilty to child sex offences on 24th January. Sir Mark said, ‘We haven't applied the same sense of ruthlessness to guarding our own integrity that we routinely apply to confronting criminals. I'm deeply sorry for that. Lifting the stone and revealing painful truths will not be resolved overnight, and I mustn't pretend it will. I hope you understand that can't be done. We must prepare for more painful stories as we confront issues.’
Police watchdog head being investigated
Michael Lockwood has led the Office for Police Conduct as director general since 2018, handling the most serious complaints against police in England and Wales. Now he has been forced to resign after becoming the subject of a police investigation himself. The Home Secretary took action after learning of a probe into a historical allegation against Lockwood. He was asked either to resign or be suspended. No further information about the nature of the allegation was given. Home Office staff are now working to ‘put in place temporary arrangements for the organisation's leadership’.
Women prevented from praying
Livia Tossici-Bolt was praying quietly with a friend in a public space when she was warned by prayer-patrol officers that ‘their prayer could cause intimidation, harassment or distress’; they were asked to move away. Livia filed a complaint against Bournemouth Council for breaching her freedom to pray on a public street. The officers said they prayed close to the edge of a new buffer zone around an abortion clinic, where a protection order bans praying, protesting, vigils, and handing out leaflets. Ms Bolt said, ‘Everyone has the freedom to pray quietly in a public place. I would never dream of doing something that causes intimidation and harassment. We complied with the new rules instituted by the council and didn’t pray within the censorship zone. They tried to intimidate us out of exercising our freedom of thought and of expression in the form of prayer - which has been a foundational part of our society for generations.’
Just Stop Oil - serious protests
Just Stop Oil protesters demand climate change action. Their protests cover fossil fuels, renewable energy investment, and better building insulation to avoid energy waste. To make their point, they have thrown soup at National Gallery paintings, tried to disrupt Britain’s Formula 1 Grand Prix, and closed the M25 using ‘nonviolent civil resistance’. Dealing with these protests is extremely difficult for the authorities, despite arrests and court action. Just Stop Oil said it will demonstrate every day until their demand for no new oil or gas in the UK is met. A bill is currently going through Parliament to grant powers to prosecute someone interfering with the operation or use of key national public services on roads, railways, or air transport infrastructures. Since October the police have dedicated 10,000 officers to policing them, officers who would otherwise be dealing with local offences such as knife crime, safeguarding, or burglaries.
Hong Kong protester beaten at Chinese consulate
UK activists and lawmakers want an investigation after a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester was beaten inside the grounds of the Chinese consulate in Manchester. Hong Kong Indigenous Defence Force (HKIDF) members were protesting outside the consulate, on the same day as the Chinese Communist Party congress in Beijing. A video on social media shows protesters shouting outside the consulate, then rushing towards the gated entrance. Next a protester was dragged through the gate by consulate guards and beaten on the consulate grounds by a group of men , said to be Chinese consular staff, until the local police entered the consulate grounds to break up the violence. The protester was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition. The police said officers responded immediately to defuse the situation. Enquiries are ongoing to understand the full circumstances. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said, ‘Our consulates have always abided by the laws of the countries where they are stationed.’