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London Riots: News on Shooters Update

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When the riots took place in 2011 across the nation I reported that the Police and a helicopter were fired upon ELEVEN TIMES during the riots in August, occuring in Aston, Birmingham.

Below is a Helicopter infrared video still of two men who as I reported at the time “are wanted by the police.”

They have now been given jail sentences between 12 and 30 years; the youngest member of this group last name Rehman was ‘found guilty of riot and firearms possession with intent’ and given the shortest sentence of the group, he will be serving 12 years in prison.

The sentences were given to seven members of the group which were caught on Infra-red Camera by a police helicopter, which was shot upon during this incident in August 2011, they have been charged for firearms possession, reckless arson and rioting.

The following are photos from the Daily Mail showing the culprits and their sentences.

Nicholas Francis, 26, was described by the judge as ‘a dangerous man’ and was jailed for 30 years, the 5 others are Lewis, 27, and Laidley, 20, both jailed for 23 years, Farrell, 20, and Collins, 25, both jailed for 18 years, 17-year-old, named as Rehman after judge lifts order, gets 12 years.

Judge Davis also said of the crimes committed by the latter, that :

“The purpose of all this was not to loot or to steal, nor was it mindless vandalism. The purpose, the common purpose, was to behave in such a way that the police would come to the scene and then to attack the police.”

At the time my blog reported that eleven shots had been fired, this number of shots fired at the police and the helicopter is now said to be around 12 and reports have come through that a total of four fire-arms were being used by the members of this group.

They have been linked to two gangs within Birmingham; to fire these many shots at police officers and a Police Helicopter is beyond outrageous, they are now facing what seems to be the full extent of the law for their actions of intending to endanger life as Judge Davis pointed out in court.

 

The convicted rioters firing at the police helicopter during the Birmingham riots

The above shows a member of this mob, of which there were around 40, taking aim at Police officers, Judge Davis went on to comment on the seriousness of this action and other similar actions on that day (9th August 2011) he said in court:

“The intention was to endanger life. Although no physical injury was suffered, that was wholly a matter of luck. Had the police helicopter been struck, the consequences could have been catastrophic. There may have been no physical injury to a police officer, but the damage to the wellbeing of the city of Birmingham caused by an armed gang prepared to act in this way was grave. It is very difficult to conceive a case of this type more serious than this one.”

At the time Chief Constable of West Midlands, Chris Sims said in a statement of the helicopter footage that: “This footage shows seemingly co-ordinated criminal behaviour with no regard for people’s lives, whether it be through the setting of a fire, shooting at unarmed officers or shooting at the police helicopter.”

It was not only the police who were targeted by the mob on that night but also The Barton Arms pub, it was smashed and set alight whilst the residents inside the pub took refuge in a room above the pub.

They caused much damaged to the Barton Arms pub and other premises in the area by throwing petrol bombs and smashing shop windows with chairs. Officers in patrol cars attempted to stop the looting and rioters, the police cars had petrol bombs thrown at them; at 11.50pm officers attempted to disperse the group, this was when the 12 shots were fired at them and at the West Midlands helicopter.

Below is a video from the Guardian.co.uk which shows the events of that dangerous night.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/video/embed

http://gu.com/p/386at

Judge Davis went on to say in his statements about the sentencing of these 6 individuals:

“It is pure good fortune that no police officer was hit by one or more of those shots. There was gunshot damage to a wall immediately below where the police officers were standing. There was gunshot damage to a building behind them indicated that bullets passed just over their heads. Those who fired the shots were not standing alone. Many members of the group remained close to them as they did so.”

These fired bullets it would evidently seem were very close to injuring or taking the life of one or more of the police officers on the scene on that night. Further remarks from Judge Davis include “When the firearms were used, that was not done randomly. There was a concerted attack on the police with guns.”

“Had the police helicopter been struck, the consequences could have been catastrophic. There may have been no physical injury to a police officer. The damage to the well-being of the city of Birmingham caused by an armed gang prepared to act in this way was grave.”

Whether the Police will be making further arrests regarding this incident, remains to be seen.

What is definate is that those who go to court if arrested, will most likely receive sentences from 12 years upwards for this plot to endanger police life and deliberately bring the police to the scene only to begin an attack on them.

I’ll conclude with a quote from the judge who remarks generally about the riots in Birmingham:

Judge Davis said: “No ordinary person could walk the streets of the ­centre of Birmingham in safety.”

This sums up the atmosphere around everywhere at the time these riots took place all around the nation, the controversial decision to go ahead with police cuts is now questionable more than ever.The Police organised a march in protest at these cuts, the march went ahead and whether there will be more cuts to be made is what many will not want to see.

August Riots: Birmingham: Police release footage of being fired upon

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Police and a helicopter were fired upon ELEVEN TIMES – below is a Helicopter infrared video still of two men who are wanted by the police.

A group of 40 were involved, several of whom were shooters. The West Midlands police have released CCTV footage to the public in an appeal for any information on this group.

This happened in Birmingham where “Eleven shots were fired at unarmed officers to enable disorder to continue, whilst petrol bombs were also thrown at officers who initially attended the scene,” chief constable Chris Sims said in a statement. “This footage shows seemingly co-ordinated criminal behaviour with no regard for people’s lives, whether it be through the setting of a fire, shooting at unarmed officers or shooting at the police helicopter.

“This investigation is being treated as attempted murder and arson, and I am only thankful that this is not a murder inquiry.”

The officers who were fired upon were unarmed officers and the men shooting were masked and hooded as well as wearing caps. The footage was released on the 20th of August and it is footage dating from the 9th when there was rioting occuring in Birmingham.

The Chief Constable also said that the shootings at the police had been a “concerted and organised attempt” to kill or injure police officers.

They caused much damaged to the Barton Arms pub and other premises in the area by throwing petrol bombs and smashing shop windows with chairs. Officers in patrol cars attempted to stop the looting and rioters, the police cars had petrol bombs thrown at them; at 11.50pm officers attempted to disperse the group, this was when the 11 shots were fired at them and at the West Midlands helicopter.

One of the officers, who cannot be named for operational reasons, said: “It definitely felt like an ambush and as we moved forward it was only seconds before we heard a gunshot. We’d heard that sound before and we know straight away that there was at least one gun in the crowd. Once that sound of gunshot had been heard we stopped and took cover behind our vehicles.” The police officer went on to say of social media sites and the public response – “Only now have we had the chance to see the comments from members of the public on Facebook, Twitter and in the media. It’s made such a difference. The support is brilliant and has really boosted morale.”
Anyone able to assist the police inquiry is urged to contact the Force Criminal Investigation department at West Midlands Police on 0345 113 5000 or speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

August riots: UK update on Police

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You may recall the student protests of November 2010 there was also much damage caused to London, before the riots of August 2011. Both of the latter prolific events that have hit England have seen clashes with the Police.

Here are some key images from the student protest that turned violent:

The police have had to face this same problem of violence against them and the August riots have become another similar scene:

Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers has spoken of historical riots and of people who clash with the police:

“with many of these events, it is a case of people who feel disenfranchised in the far broader sense exhibiting their displeasure with the current government through attacking the cops—not far different from what you saw [at the student protests].”

The question that should be looked at now – is whether this is a real solution to anything – many would argue that we live in a democracy where one can make their voices heard in a ‘realistic’ way such as mass peaceful protest, which in the student protests many abided to.

The same cannot be said about the August riots – what started off as a peaceful protest on Friday 5th August, (Thursday 4th August was the shooting of Mark Duggan which occured at 6:15pm) turned into a full blown riot on Saturday night (6th August), copy cat riots happened all across the UK. Although in the student riots the majority were peaceful; The August riots it is reported – (by many including BBC’s Panorama) – that a group of between 200 and 300 turned violent outside a police station in Tottenham (there is also speculation that this was due to a female being hit by a police officer). The police have labelled these riots in the aftermath as having to deal with a “unique” situation/case (where the majority were no longer abidng to a peaceful protest) – protests are mainly and usually peaceful in the UK which is mostly the case and these actions of protest are welcomed and applauded by the Government, the rioting and looting are not, and the government and courts are ensuring that those involved become conscious of this, through regular speeches and sentencing.

Hugh Orde – said of the student riots in November 2010 : “My sense of it was that the vast majority of people were exercising their democratic right to protest. But embedded in that crowd were people absolutely determined to cause as much disorder and mayhem as they could.” he also says they don’t know what their doing and that “they get caught up in the event.”

President Orde also said in the interview which was in February this year – of the student protests – “My sense is that the majority of people don’t want to cause extreme violence, and I still believe that it is not good enough to throw our hands up in the air and say  oh, we can’t negotiate because there is no one to negotiate with.”

Mr Orde goes on to say “There are lots of people we can talk to, but they need to stand up and lead their people too. If they don’t, we must be clear that the people who wish to demonstrate won’t engage, communicate or share what they intend to do with us, and so our policing tactics will have to be different. And the public [will] have a much better understanding of why police tactics have to be slightly more extreme, if the public understands that the only reason these tactics are necessary is that protestors will not engage with us pre-event. If the protestors will not talk to us, well, we can’t just not police the event.”

Many from the Government – as things stand – may question why the police did not take a more pro-arrest approach and use robust methods if necessary; if this action would further protect people and their property and community. The police overall managed to stop the rioting a week after the shooting of Mr Duggan. And there have been a few hero stories from the police – side – where a small group of officers took on hundreds of rioters by charging them and securing their perimeters together. The riots have caused worldwide condemnation and shock – they have also left much damage and altered communities dramatically in their appearance.

 As for the police they have been described as using what has been described as “soft” tactics; and David Cameron said: “The tactics the police were using weren’t working”. The police will be receiving further training and a review of the police is to take place. Also the government are looking to go ahead with police-cuts.

Mr Cameron also announced :

“The security fightback will start with a stronger police presence – walking the beat, deterring crime and ready to crack down at the first sign of trouble. Paperwork will be reduced to get more police officers out on the streets, while accountability to the public will be improved through elected police and crime commissioners. Police powers will also be increased. The police already have the power to issue dispersal orders, while over the coming months:

  • gang injunctions will be extended to under-18s
  • police will be allowed to remove face coverings from rioters
  • the power to confiscate offenders’ property will be looked at”

The government and the police have since the rioting looked at police powers:  The police have already been authorised to use baton rounds. While water cannons aren’t currently needed, plans have been put in place for them to be available at 24 hours’ notice. The police will also be given the discretion to remove face coverings under any circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion that they are related to criminal activity.

In other news: Sir Hugh Orde has applied to be the next Commisioner of the Metropolitan Police – after Sir Paul Stephenson resigned over the News of the World hacking scandal. More than 3,300 people have now been arrested across the country.

Courts in London, Manchester and the West Midlands are working hard to clear the backlog of cases.

The IPCC are still working on their report of the shooting of Mark Duggan.

Blog Hacked after Blackberry agree to co-operate with Police: England Riots 2011

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Blackberry has recently had their Blog hacked and a message was left for Blackberry on their own blog. This hacking occurred after Blackberry said they will co-operate with the police. They called themselves Team Poison.

The message left on Blackberry’s official blog was :

This hack is a response to this statement by RIM:

We feel for those impacted by this weekend’s riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can. As in all markets around the world Where BlackBerry is available, we cooperate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials. Similar to other technology providers in the UK we comply with The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and co-operate fully with the Home Office and UK police forces.”

Dear Rim;
You Will _NOT_ assist the UK Police because if u do innocent members of the public who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and owned a blackberry will get charged for no reason at all, the Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment…. if you do assist the police by giving them chat logs, gps locations, customer information & access to peoples BlackBerryMessengers you will regret it, we have access to your database which includes your employees information; e.g – Addresses, Names, Phone Numbers etc. – now if u assist the police, we _WILL_ make this information public and pass it onto rioters…. do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps? Think about it…. and don’t think that the police will protect your employees, the police can’t protect themselves let alone protect others….. if you make the wrong choice your database will be made public, save yourself the embarrassment and make the right choice. don’t be a puppet..

p.s – we do not condone in innocent people being attacked in these riots nor do we condone in small businesses being looted, but we are all for the rioters that are engaging in attacks on the police and government…. and before anyone says “the blackberry employees are innocent” no they are not! They are the ones that would be assisting the police
– TriCk – TeaMp0isoN –
– Greets To: iN^SaNe – Hex00010 – MLT – BlackHacker
– Knowledge is Power . . . . .
Twitter: @TeaMp0isoN_
– TriCk”

The blog no longer remains defaced and its blogging as usual for Blackberry.

In other news two men in their early 20s were sentenced to four years in prison for organizing riots on Facebook, these riots did not go ahead and now lawyers and civil rights groups are making their views heard saying this action is disproportionate.

Chester riots combo

Jordan Blackshaw, left, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, both pleaded guilty to using Facebook in attempts to fuel riots in Cheshire. They have been jailed for four years.

A particular comment from the judge was : “This happened at a time when collective insanity gripped the nation. Your conduct was quite disgraceful and the title of the message you posted on Facebook chills the blood.

“You sought to take advantage of crime elsewhere and transpose it to the peaceful streets of Northwich. The idea revolted many right thinking members of society. No one actually turned up due to the prompt and efficient actions of police in using modern policing.”

The police are now trying to acquire further powers over social media and a No 10 source said that “the Government would examine the technical and moral questions of blocking users’ access to a service, as well as looking at whether police powers had kept pace with modern technology.”

Blackberry and social media used by Police to stop riots

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The police managed to stop the Olympic stadium (and other key hotspots, for potential riots) from being damaged through online and phone monitoring. They used the information found on phones and online to organise police presence at these potentially targeted places. The police are now looking into the possibility of shutting down these mediums in any similar events.

This comes amidst talks by the Government and in particular Theresa May, who have all suggested that social media and Blackberry’s may be banned in their use during times of crisis.

Mr Cameron has said whilst at the emergency Parliament meeting last Thursday:

Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.

Assistant Met Police Commissioner – Ms Lynne Owens spoke of officers sifting through an “overwhelming” amount of “chitter chatter” on social networks during last week’s riots in London, she went on to say: “Through Twitter and BBM there was intelligence that the Olympic site, that both Westfields [shopping centres] and Oxford Street were indeed going to be targeted,” she told the home affairs select committee. Ms Owens also said: “We were able to secure all those places and indeed there was no damage at any of them.”

RiM – Research in Motion the company that produces Blackberry’s have said they will co-operate with the police and by law the police are able to serve Rim with an order to reveal information. Under the same law, Rim are barred from disclosing whether they’ve done so or not.

This is underThe Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) provides that the interception of communications is unlawful in most cases. However, the Act states that law enforcement agencies, including the police and MI5, can force telecoms companies to hand over customers’ details in order to tap phone, internet or email communications to protect the UK’s national security interests, prevent and detect terrorism and serious crime or to safeguard the UK’s economic well-being.

The communications industry is still striving to further the world of communications – as Apple are set to launch a messenger service on their i-phones and facebook are to make available a messenger with Android phones. The government will be taking this into consideration too.

The Association of British Insurers has estimated the cost from the riots and looting at 200 million pounds ($326 million) this total is expected to rise.

England Riots News Update: 15/8/2011

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The Police and the Government have been the focus of the media recently for their handling of the Riots of 2011 and also their bantering over who took the decisions that helped to stop the riots.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Theresa May in Clapham on Tuesday

Theresa May came under criticism by the police for saying she took the decisions of what the police should be doing on the streets at the time of the riots – such as the implementation of a 16,000 strong Police presence on the streets of London; the police countered this saying it was their decision to make and they were the ones who made the decisions.

The police have also come under criticism as their actions initially were not up to scratch with dealing with the riots and were seen as too soft. They were also criticised for handling the situation as a public disorder one, rather than one of criminality; as a result shops and businesses were left ransacked and on fire.

Civil liberties and Human Rights campaigner Liberty’s director of policy, Isabella Sankey said: “A country can be judged by how it responds to a crisis,” asserted Sankey. “Riots across England have filled our TV screens with terrible images of violence and criminality, and damaged communities have rightly demanded answers about the strategy of the authorities.”

David Cameron said that the police got their tactics wrong he went on to say “Police chiefs have been frank with me about why this happened. Initially, the police treated the situation too much as a public order issue – rather than essentially one of crime”.

The Prime-minister has also spoke of the police today, he said “Nothing in this job is more important to me than keeping people safe. It is obvious to me that to do that we’ve got to be tough, we’ve got to be robust…That starts with a stronger police presence – pounding the beat, deterring crime, ready to re-group and crack down at the first sign of trouble.”

Mr Cameron is also to bring in a top-cop from the US Mr Bill Bratton who has dealt with policing gang-culture in his time as chief police officer for New York, in an effort to stop future rioting.

It hasn’t only been Mr Cameron who has been making speeches so too has – Ed Miliband and Mr Miliband has spoke again of holding an inquiry from the communities involved in the riots, in a speech today he said, – “I urge the Prime Minister to establish this commission of inquiry without delay. If he does not do it, in the coming days I will.”

The question this week that everyone is trying to find an answer to is why these riots took place – and why they took place on such a large scale. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter were identified as the culprits, for the way these riots were organised as well as Blackberry’s.

A Blackberry spokesman said: “We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can”.

At the time of the riots David Lammy MP for Tottenham had voiced his concerns and had called for BlackBerry’s messenger service to be suspended.

David Cameron and Theresa May have recently been calling for powers to block suspected rioters from using BlackBerry, Facebook, and Twitter. Theresa May is to meet with RiM (Research in Motion) who produce Blackberry’s, she is also to meet with Twitter and Facebook in a meeting where the riots and the use of social media are to be discussed along with the idea of blocking access in times of crisis. Blackberry holds 37% of the mobile teenage market.

This week also saw the BBC’s Newsnight on the front page of the Guardian as well as being the discussion of many news-agencies, as one of the programmes guests David Starkey was controversially putting the riots down to Black Jamaican ‘patois’ culture. Mr Miliband has condemned Mr Starkey for his comments.

As for the IPCC – they have said they initially provided wrong information to the media about the exchange of shots by Mark Duggan – who is now said to have not used his gun although forensics are still investigating whether the gun found on the scene was fired or not – the gun was said to be hidden within a sock.

The number of phone calls the police received were over 20,000 on the worst night of rioting.

The number of arrests so far are are more than 1600.

The Mayor Boris Johnson has criticised the government’s plans to make cuts to the police, as have the Labour Party. This is an issue that will be looked at closely by the media in the coming weeks.

Liberty’s Director Shami Chakrabarthy has said: “It’s clear that this completely destructive lawlessness has no rational connection with the shooting in Tottenham. Nonetheless, it’s vital that the IPCC undertakes a speedy and thorough investigation into the death [of Mark Duggan]. This wanton violent disorder serves only to distract from that vital inquiry.”

England 12/8/2011: Run-down of Riots (List of Places Rioted Included)

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The Government has now put measures into place such as the increased number of police presence on the streets and the potential to use water canons to bring the rioting to an end, if in any circumstances they begin again.

As for Police injuries 300 officers have been injured and a police officer died in the riots in Wembley, after being run-over, three people have been arrested on suspicion of Murder. 60 civilians were injured in the riots.

A rundown of the riots since Saturday 6th August: Riots started in Tottenham, then moved on to Tottenham Hale, and Wood Green.

Sunday 7th saw riots spread to Chingford Mount, Enfield, Islington, Oxford Circus, Ponders End, Walthamstow.

On Monday 8th there were riots in Bethnal Green, Bromley, Camden, Clapham, Croydon, Ealing, East Ham, Hackney Lewisham, Peckham, Stratford, Woolwich.

Tuesday 9th August saw riots in Birmingham,Clapham, Leicester, Manchester, Salford, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton.

The other places riots took place were: Balham, Barking, Battersea, Bexley, Birkenhead,Birmingham, Bristol, Brixton, Bury, Cambridge, Camden/Chalk Farm, Charlton, Chingford, Colliers Wood, Coulsdon, Dalston, Dulwich, Denmark Hill, Eastham, Elephant and Castle, Enfield, Fulham, Hackney, Harlesden, Huddersfield, Islington, Kent, Lavender Hill, Leicester, Lewisham, Leyton, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Merton, Norbury, Nottingham, Notting Hill, Oldham, Peckham, Ponders End,  Purley Way, Rochdale, Sefton, Shephard’s Bush, Salford, Stratford, Streatham, Stoke Newington, Surrey Quays, Sutton, Thornton Heath, Tooting, Waltham Cross, Walthomstow Forest, Wirral,  Wembley, Wolverhampton, Woolwich.

Major fires were started in Barking, Clapham Junction, Croydon, Dagenham, Ealing, Greenwich, and Southwark.

Theresa May has said: “The police will maintain their tough arrest policy, and their presence on the streets.”

The streets of England seem calm for the moment.

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