SAINTE-CROIX RESTO: Burglar allegedly beaten to death in Mauritius restaurant

Port Louis – VIJAY SHAH via NICOLAS ATHIANE and Inside News

 

The concept of ‘standing your own ground’ has taken on a new meaning in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, after an elderly couple were arrested for allegedly beating to death a burglar who targeted their restaurant business in the Sainte-Croix district of the capital Port Louis, Inside News reports.

To Chun Marlene Leung, aged 68, and her brother, named only as Alex and aged 65, were arrested after the death of a local and notorious criminal, 50-year-old Gaëtan Patrick Suave, who was said to have climbed into the restaurant via a window above a door. Suave then threatened the Leung siblings with a tool. A struggle ensued as the restaurant owners tried to disarm the crook, and Suave was left in what local police officers described as a ‘bloodbath’.

Police were called to the restaurant yesterday morning around 2.00 am, and found Suave unconscious. He was ferried to the city’s Dr AG Jeetoo Hospital but died five hours later. The Leungs were also taken to the same hospital after sustaining injuries in the fight to protect their business. Alex is still undergoing treatment and has not yet submitted a statement to police. Marlene Leung appeared at Port Louis Court yesterday afternoon on a possible charge of murder, after being taken into custody by the city’s police.

SOURCES:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/

“Un cambrioleur battu à mort dans un restaurant –Le propriétaire : « Mo ti defann mwa…»” – Nicolas Athiane, Inside News/Inside.news (12 January 2018) http://inside.news/2018/01/12/un-cambrioleur-battu-mort-dans-un-restaurant-le-proprietaire-mo-ti-defann-mwa/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Free photo: Thief, Burglary, Break Into – Free Image on Pixabay – 1562699” – TheDigitalWay, Pixabay (4 August 2016) https://pixabay.com/en/thief-burglary-break-into-balaclava-1562699/

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CHEMICAL ‘COWARDS’ – Pair of robbers who attacked women with ammonia jailed

London – VIJAY SHAH via ALEX SHAW and Newham Recorder

Two vicious criminals who laughed as they launched attacks on people have been sentenced by a judge who described their attacks as ‘horrifying, cruel and barbaric’ have been sentenced, the Newham Recorder reports.

Joshua Jordan and Sadik Kamara launched attacks on women using ammonia liquid, which thy sprayed on their victims in order to rob them. After spraying the ‘high strength corrosive liquid’ in the violent robberies on two victims, they were reported as leaving the scenes laughing by witnesses. Kamara, aged 24, of Booth Road, Silvertown, and his accomplice Jordan, 20 years and living in Ruscoe Road, Canning Town, both in south Newham, were jailed for 14 years each by a judge at the Old Bailey court in London.

 

The trial, the culmination of proceedings that took place in early October, was presided over by Judge Dodd QC, who described the men’s attacks as “horrifying, cruel and barbaric” and said that the duo posed a significant risk to the public of further harm. It took the jury less than an hour to convict Jordan and Kamara.

The robbers would travel from their homes in Newham to the neighbouring borough of Hackney, where they were casing a convenience store in Mare Street, Central Hackney. Then on March 10, they launched their attack, targeting the 50-year-old storekeeper, who was working the tills alone at the time. Four men, believed to include Jordan and Kamara, entered the store. Without warning, the masked intruders walked straight to the storekeeper, with Kamara squirted the ammonia directly into her face. He did not make any demands for cash or even give the victim any warning.

Despite being sprayed from close range, CCTV footage from inside the store showed the storekeeper gallantly trying to fight off and kick out the gang, who are seen milling around the front of the shop. The scuffle sends store displays crashing to the floor as the woman tries to protect the shop from being plundered.

After fleeing the supermarket in a getaway car, the gang chanced upon their next victim, also a woman in her fifties, in Hackney’s Hassett Road. Two robbers got out of the car and bundled the woman to the ground, where they repeatedly sprayed the liquid into her face and stole her handbag. Police found discarded bottles of the substance at both crime scenes, the labels clearly stating that the ammonia could cause severe skin burns and blindness.

Both the shopkeeper and pedestrian who were assaulted were rushed to hospital with burns, one of which sustained chemical burns to her mouth also. While neither suffered permanent harm, the storekeeper was traumatised to the point she has now given up working at the shop.

CCTV cameras caught the gang, including Kamara and Jordan, who were subsequently arrested at their homes after police raids in May this year. Medical paperwork was found in Kamara’s home suggesting he had sought treatment, possibly for chemical burns, a day after the robberies. At the hospital, Kamara lied to doctors, claiming he had squirted ammonia in his eye while cleaning. He had since recovered from the burns.

The two robbers, who were described by investigators as little more than ‘cowards’, were convicted of two counts of applying a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable or to do some grievous bodily harm; one count of robbery; and one count of attempted robbery. Kamara was also told to make restitution of £2,000 (USD $2,678) to the victims.

Investigation lead Det Con Ben Kahane called the pair’s actions “cowardly in the extreme”.

“Five physically strong males preying on lone slightly built women to attack and rob,” he said, adding: “I hope they use the 14 years’ imprisonment that they have received to reflect on this.”

The report does not mention the fate of the other members of Kamara’s and Jordan’s gang. Acid attacks and assaults with corrosive chemicals such as ammonia and bleach are the rise in London, with many such attacks carried out for the purposes of robbing the victim.

SOURCES:

Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/

“Jailed: “Cowardly” Newham robbers who burnt women’s faces with ammonia” – Alex Shaw, Newham Recorder/Archant (8 December 2017) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/crime-court/jailed-cowardly-newham-robbers-who-burnt-women-s-faces-with-ammonia-1-5314590

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Liquid ammonia bottle.jpg” – Nadina Wiórkiewicz, Fotoedukacja/Wikimedia Commons (23 January 2011) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Liquid_ammonia_bottle.jpg

 

 

COPS WITH CAMS: Philippines police to trial body cameras next year

Silang – VIJAY SHAH via MARLLY ROME BONDOC and GMA News

Mirroring the introduction of body cameras for police forces in the countries of Europe and North America, the national police of the Philippines have announced that they will be considering fitting body cameras to their officers in the new year, according to a report by GMA News Online today.

The small cameras, usually attached to the police officer’s helmet, hat or upper body, help ensure the officer’s safety when apprehending criminals or carrying out raids, but also serve as valuable video evidence for court cases. This year, police in the United Kingdom have also adopted the cameras, particularly in road patrols and traffic law enforcement duties.

 

The director general of the Philippines National Police (PNP), Ronald Dela Rosa, welcomed the plan to fit his officers with camera devices, an initiative suggested by some local governments in the archipelago. However the final decision on procuring the cameras rests with the national government, who will assess whether the program can be funded from the country’s budget. If all goes well, the first cameras will be distributed to police forces next year, GMA News reports.

Dela Rosa, in a doorstop  interview conducted while visiting the PNP Academy in Silang, Cavite province yesterday, said that the initiative is currently passing through the Philippines Congress (parliament) where a bill on it is being debated. He also said the cameras will be useful in anti-narcotics operations and praised the idea as a ‘welcome development’. The Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, has made fighting the endemic drugs problem in the Philippines a major plank of his presidency, although critics at home and abroad have condemned Duterte for ordering the wholesale killing of both dealers and addicts, often by police and paramilitaries in his attempts to rid the archipelago of drugs. Thousands of people have already lost their lives in extrajudicial encounters.

Police in the city of Pasig, on the outskirts of capital Manila, have already started wearing cameras since last week, with Eastern Police District director Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula  announcing that the cameras would help prevent police officers there from accusations of improper behaviour when carrying out their duties. A total of 48 devices were procured, with each police unit receiving three.

The country’s Congress is considering making it legally compulsory for police to wear body cameras and a portion of the budget has been set aside to obtain more than 37,000 devices for distribution nationally.

SOURCES:

HEM Newsbreakers, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-newsbreakers

GMA News, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/gmanews

“PNP may start procuring body cameras next year — Dela Rosa” – Marlly Rome Bondoc, GMA News Online/GMA News (3 December 2017) http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/635246/pnp-may-start-procuring-body-cameras-next-year-dela-rosa/story/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Free photo: Bodyworn, Body Camera – Free Image on Pixabay – 794106” – Utility_Inc, Pixabay (3 April 2015) https://pixabay.com/en/bodyworn-body-camera-794106/

DRUG DEALERS IN UNIFORMS: Mauritius policeman arrested with stash of pills

Moka – VIJAY SHAH via Mo Ti News

A policeman on the island of Mauritius has been arrested after he was found in possession of a drug described by media as the ‘new Valium’, local news site Mo Ti News reports.

Avinash Buleeram, a constable aged 29 attached to a police station in Moka, in the island’s centre, was found carrying ninety pills of a drug called Pregabalin. The highly potent drug is normally used to treat epilepsy, fibromyalgia, nerve pain and anxiety, but has also raised concerns due to its increasing use as a recreational drug, especially among prisoners, and has the effects of calming and ‘taking the edge off of things’. Pregabalin can be lethal in high doses.

 

Buleeram was arrested this past Thursday by the Flacq district’s drug squad while at a bus station in the small town of Sebastopol in Mauritius’ east, close to the border of Flacq and Moka districts. The drugs were allegedly found in a grey Toyota car he was driving with a friend. Both men were promptly arrested and appeared at a court in Flacq on Friday.

The constable, who has six years’ service with the Mauritian police, is now being detained at Beau Bassin central jail, after fellow police officers protested against Buleeram being set free on bail. He could face a drug trafficking charge. Buleeram’s passenger was also found in possession of a cannabis cigarette, but was successful in getting bail.

Officers arrested the two man based on surveillance, catching them unawares at the Sebastopol bus station. A search of the vehicle revealed cigarettes blended with cannabis and a box of Pregabalin tablets at 150 mg strength. Police carried out further searches, turning up another 34 Pregabalin pills along with 27 tablets of another version of the drug,  marketed as Cabalin.

Buleeram was found not to have a medical prescription for the pills seized from him, and his friend denied all knowledge of the constable’s possession. It was not reported for what reason Buleeram had the drugs.

SOURCES:

Salim Kurreemun.

Radio Plus CONSEIL POLITIQUE . , Mauritius/Ile-Maurice, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/radioplusilemaurice/

“Possession de 90 comprimés de Pregabalin: Le policier reste en détention” – Mo Ti News (25 November 2017) http://motinews.info/news/possession-de-90-comprimes-de-pregabalin-le-policier-reste-en-detention

“Pregabalin: Doctors call for ‘new Valium’ to be restricted amid sharp rise in abuse” – Katie Forster, The Independent (30 June 2017) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/pregabalin-new-valium-doctors-call-restricted-sharp-rise-abuse-misuse-prisons-addiction-bma-yasir-a7817601.html

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Lyrica 150mg box in Finland 20110618.jpg” – Acdx, Wikipedia (18 June 2011) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lyrica_150mg_box_in_Finland_20110618.jpg

ROGUE LANDLORDS: Newham council raid; man found living in meter cupboard

London – VIJAY SHAH via Newham Council

In yet another sign of the housing crisis gripping London, council officials in the east of the city found a man forced to sleep in a room no bigger than a store cupboard after conducting a raid on an overcrowded home in Beckton, Newham Council wrote on its website on Friday.

Housing officers from Newham Council, which administers the Beckton area, were tipped off that the house in the south of the borough was inhabited by more people than was allowed legally. The council’s private housing team sector entered the property, with the borough’s mayor, Sir Robin Wales and representatives of the GMB workers’ union, Warren Kenny (London Regional Secretary), and Tim Roache (General Secretary) in attendance.

Credit: speedpropertybuyers.co.uk

 

What they saw shocked them. In the Beckton house, one man was found to have been paying hundreds of pounds in rent per month to live in a store cupboard no bigger than 1 metre by 2 metres in area, with enough room for a single mattress only. The man’s living situation was made more dangerous by the presence of a gas meter and pipes directly above his bed. The raid also discovered a total of eleven sleeping spaces in the property, including bunk beds crammed into single rooms. The team also uncovered fire and electrical safety hazards, according to Newham Council.

The mayor and GMB leadership attended the raid to discover the day-to-day operations of those involved in enforcing Newham’s landlord licensing scheme, which requires all private housing landlords in the borough to purchase a five-year licence which requires them to obey certain regulations such as on overcrowding and fire safety. Newham was the first London borough to introduce such a scheme, which is now under threat of non-renewal due to central government financial cutbacks.

The housing officers also paid a visit to another suspect property in Upton Park, in northern Newham. They stumbled across a shed being rented out as a living space. Three people were found living in the shed, paying £200 a month each to live in sub-standard and cramped spaces. The house itself was split into eight rooms over three floors, which were being shared between four different families.

The rogue landlords responsible for renting out the properties raided by the officers will be subject to financial penalty notices, which could see them paying fines of up to £30,000 per offence committed, Newham Council said.

Mayor Wales said: “It cannot be right in the 21st century, in one of the world’s wealthiest cities, a young man is being forced to pay hundreds of pounds to rent a cupboard under the stairs, sleeping alongside the gas metre [sic].

‘The scenes we saw on this visit are a timely reminder that, while by tackling bad landlords we are driving up standards, there is still much to do. That is why it’s imperative that the government allow us to continue with this work, and stop the exploitation of tenants.’

‘The scheme aims to improve the quality of property in the private sector, to make the experience of renting homes in the borough safer and more secure for our residents.

‘The GMB union leadership was keen to come down and see our licensing scheme in action, to understand why it’s so important.”

The GMB’s general secretary, Tim Roache added: “Our visit to Newham was a real eye-opener, we all know the housing market is broken, but finding people living in cupboards marks a new low.

‘It’s fantastic to see how Newham’s licensing scheme is forcing this kind of chronic exploitation of tenants into the light, and how its effective enforcement by dedicated workers on the front line is bring the guilty landlords to book.

‘I would appeal to the government to act quickly and allow Newham to continue this critically important work.”

London has a whole has become notorious for its overheated housing market, with often sky-high rents, coupled with a low level of new houses being built, enabling unscrupulous landlords to take advantage of desperate renters priced out of the buying market, as well as new settlers in the city. Several landlords in outer London boroughs were prosecuted recently for renting out converted outbuildings and garden sheds, overcrowding family homes and letting out properties with numerous healthy and safety violations. The housing market problem has now spread far beyond the borders of Greater London, with the South East of England reporting some of the UK’s highest house prices.

SOURCES:

Newham London, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/newhamcouncil/

“Man found sleeping in under the stairs cupboard in rogue landlord raid” – Newham London/Newham Council (3 November 2017) https://www.newham.gov.uk/Pages/News/Man-found-sleeping-in-under-the-stairs-cupboard-in-rogue-landlord-raid.aspx?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialSignIn&utm_source=Facebook&utm_content=News

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Renting Property” – Jeff Djevdet, Flickr (22 February 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffdjevdet/24568649014

BRADFORD SHOOTING: Man shot three times after Friday prayers

Bradford – VIJAY SHAH via CHARLIE MOORE, Daily Mail and MIB

A man is in hospital in the northern English city of Bradford after been shot at three times after he left prayers at a mosque in the city, online British South Asian news site MeanwhileInBritain.com and national newspaper Daily Mail reported.

The unidentified man had finished Muslim Friday (Juma’ah) prayers at the Jamia Abu Hanifa mosque in Hustler Street in the Barkerend district, central Bradford when assailants wearing balaclavas shot him just a hundred yards from the mosque. The gunshots terrified other worshippers at the mosque when the incident took place at 2pm local time, MeanwhileInBritain.com said.

 

Witnesses saw three men, faces obscured, pull up on the road in a car and immediately open fire on the victim. A member of the congregation who was praying when the shooting occurred said: “I saw lots of police and a man laying on the floor who had been shot. We heard the gunshot while we were inside praying.

‘There was an ambulance and about five police vehicles including two riot vans on the scene’

‘I have been told three men in balaclavas pulled up in a car and shot a man.’

The victim, who survived the shooting but was struck in a leg was taken to hospital. Bradford police say the shooting had nothing to do with the mosque. A statement from them said: “Police were called to Undercliffe Street, Bradford at 1.57pm today following a report of gunshots.

‘Officers attended and found a male in his twenties with a leg wound.

‘The injury is not believed to be life threatening and he has been taken to hospital for further treatment.

‘Enquiries are continuing at the scene although the injury is believed to be consistent with that of a firearms discharge.

‘Anyone with information is asked to contact Bradford CID on 101, quoting log 984 of today (Friday 20 October).”

Inquiries are continuing.

SOURCES:

British Asians UK, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/BritishAsiansUK/

“Man is shot by ‘three men in balaclavas’ near mosque in Bradford” – Charlie Moore, Mail Online News/Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group/Associated Newspapers Ltd (20 October 2017) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5001624/Man-shot-three-men-balaclavas-near-mosque.html

“MAN IS SHOT BY ‘THREE MEN IN BALACLAVAS’ AFTER JUM’AH PRAYER NEAR MOSQUE IN BRADFORD” – MIB/Meanwhile In Britain/Meanwhile In UK (20 October 2017) http://meanwhileinbritain.com/man-is-shot-by-three-men-in-balaclavas-after-jumah-prayer-near-mosque-in-bradford/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Crime Scene” – Alan Cleaver, Flickr (16 May 2009) https://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4121423119

AN ATM STICKUP: Two methods used to fleece cash machines

Philipsburg – VIJAY SHAH via TecNovedosos

Earlier this year, specialists working at Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab announced at a conference held in the Dutch Caribbean territory of Sint-Maarten that bank robbers have found two new, and quite ingenious ways to target ATMs and relieve them of their cash deposits. The IT experts made a presentation in front of delegates at the Computer Security Summit Summit, held on the 4th of April, 2017, where they warned that thieves were upping their game in their attacks on automated bank tellers and gone were the days when all it took was a rope, a heavy-duty vehicle and a small amount of explosives to break into an ATM.

 

According to a report published in Spanish language online magazine tecnovedosos.com, sophisticated robbers now have two tactics at their disposal, cases of which have already been reported by banks in Russia and Europe. In many of these cases, the robberies only took a matter of seconds.

The first tactic reported by security specialists involves a small hole being drilled into the ATM keypad without triggering the machine’s automatic security sensors. A hacker then uses special equipment to directly access the onboard computer. The hacker then decodes the machine’s electronic signals, essentially forcing the machine to electronically hand over all its cash. The ATM is emptied of its cash reserves by the robbers. This tactic exploits a vulnerability in a certain model of ATM, manufactured by a single company, though which company it was was not mentioned by the Kaspersky Lab researchers.

The second tactic involves a more elaborate and far-reaching approach targeting the bank itself. Malicious cybercriminals target the bank’s IT systems with a powerful virus that targets the part of the network that manages the ATMs. Once the virus is entrenched, it is remotely activated by the criminals using the bank’s own systems. A command is sent out by the virus to the ATMs to release their cash reserves. The robber needs then only to pay a visit to the compromised ATM and withdraw all the money, a procedure that takes only a few minutes and will not arouse the suspicions of bank security staff, and also cuts out the risk associated with traditional bank robberies involving ‘stick-ups’, in the eyes of criminals.

The ATMs are compromised by robbers quite easily and once the heist is complete, the hackers wipe out the virus to cover their tracks. The virus, known as ATMitch, has been reported by banks hacked into in Russia and neighbouring Kazakhstan.

In the UK, no such cases have yet been reported involving these tactics. Most ATMs are zeroued in on by less technologically savvy robbers who resort to blowing up cash machines or ripping them out of walls. In the past few years, some fraudsters have adopted a more scientific approach, involving attaching special skimming devices to the card reader slots of ATMs, which masquerade as part of the machine and catch people’s card details and PINs, which the robbers gather from the device and then empty the victims’ accounts. Others have been caught attaching pinhole cameras which watch people enter their PINs. ATM users are advised to always shield their PINs when using cash machines, and to be wary of people standing over them or observing them using the keypad.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Tecnología GM 🔹‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/TecnologiaGM

“Descubren dos ingeniosas tácticas para sacarle el dinero a los cajeros automáticos” – tecnovedosos.com/TecNovedosos (5 April 2017) https://www.tecnovedosos.com/metodos-para-robar-cajeros-automaticos/

IMAGE CREDITS:

“Free photo: Scam, Atm, Security, Bank, Money – Free Image on Pixabay – 2048851” – mrganso, Pixabay (4 February 2017) https://pixabay.com/en/scam-atm-security-bank-money-2048851/

“🇸🇽 Sint Maarten on Twitter Twemoji 2.0” – Emojipedia/Emojipedia Pty Ltd https://emojipedia.org/twitter/twemoji-2.0/flag-for-sint-maarten/

AFGHANISTAN ROADSIDE BOMB: Official states 2 dead in terror attacks

Herat – VIJAY SHAH via Associated Press and Fox News

Two people are confirmed dead after a number of bombs exploded in roads in the Herat province of Afghanistan, according to statements by an Afghan official and reported in Fox News via the Associated Press agency today. Another bomb was also detonated at a market several miles from Kabul, the capital, as well today.

 

One of the victims is believed to have been a local police officer, killed by the blasts in the western part of Herat. Gelani Farhad, a spokesperson for the provincial government, said that one bomb triggered by a moving police vehicle in the Adraskan district, also injured another police officer. Farhad also stated that a second device in Shindand district blew up a motorcycle, killing one ordinary citizen and injuring another.

In Kapisa province, close to the Afghan capital Kabul and the US military encampment in Bagram, a bomb attached to a bicycle exploded at a bazaar, injuring nine shoppers, all civilians. Two young children were among the casualties, one of them critically, according to Qais Qaderi, a spokesperson for that province’s governor.

No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the blasts in Herat and Kapisa provinces. However the Taliban, who governed Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when they were overthrown by an US allied invasion after the September 11 attacks in the United States, have long maintained a lethal campaign of stationary and suicide bomb attacks against both US/NATO and Afghan forces as well as civilians. Al Qaeda, Daesh and various warlords and militant groups are also highly active in Afghanistan.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Chris 🇺🇸‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Chris_1791

“Afghan official: 2 people killed by roadside bombs” – Associated Press via FOX News/FOX News Network, LLC (30 September 2017) http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/09/30/afghan-official-2-people-killed-by-roadside-bombs.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Car Passing on Highway in Herat.jpg” – koldo hormaza, Flickr via Wikimedia Commons (13 September 2005) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Car_Passing_on_Highway_in_Herat.jpg

STRATFORD CENTRE: Six people hurt in fight and acid attack near shopping mall

London – VIJAY SHAH via ALIA ROPUN, ALAN MCGUINNESS, IAN FRANCIS and Sky News

Six men were reported injured after a ‘noxious substance’ was thrown in a street fight near the Stratford Centre shopping arcade in Stratford, east London yesterday at around 8 pm, Sky News said today.

The incident occurred near to a Subway restaurant on the Broadway, close to Stratford’s bus station and the Westfield Stratford City retail complex. Three of the individuals needed hospital treatment after having a chemical thrown on them during the mêlée between two separate groups of males, Sky News reported. A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

 

Shoppers saw one man in agony as friends called for help by shouting “it is an acid attack, his skin is burning”. People rushed to the scene with water to ease the man’s chemical burns, according to the broadcaster.

One eyewitness, an assistant manager of a local Burger King restaurant who only gave his name as Hossen, told Sky News that he saw a victim and another male believed to be the victim’s friend, run into his restaurant and then to its washroom, desperate to wash off the corrosive chemical. Hossen said “There were cuts around his eyes and he was trying to chuck water into them”

The area where the fight took place was quickly cordoned off and treatment offered to the victims. Police, paramedics and fire crews all attended within 10 minutes. Paul Gibson, an assistant director of operations with the London Ambulance Service, said: “We treated six patients in total  and took three to London hospitals”.

Stratford administratively falls under the London Borough of Newham, and the borough’s police chief superintendent, Ade Adelekan, said: “I would like to be very clear concerning this incident.

“What initially may have been perceived as a number of random attacks has, on closer inspection, been found to be one incident involving two groups of males”.

Sky News reports that none of the men suffered serious harm in the street fight.

Attacks on people by assailants with chemicals such as sulphuric acid, bleach and drain cleaner were once associated with honour attacks in places like South Asia, but have become increasingly common in London, due to the ease of buying and carrying around dangerous chemicals, and the punishment for such attacks is less severe than assaults with knives or guns.

In June, 21-year-old student and model Resham Khan was travelling in Newham’s Beckton area with her cousin, Jameel Mukhtar, when an assailant flung acid in their faces while they were waiting at traffic lights. Even as far as back as 2011, a mother had acid splashed at her while walking her two children home from school in Upton Park. Latest figures published by the Evening Standard suggest a quarter of all acid attacks in London this year have occurred within Newham’s boundaries.

SOURCES:

Alia Ropun.

upday for Samsung UK http://www.upday.com/en/

“Six hurt in ‘acid attack’ at Stratford Centre in London” – Alan McGuinness and Ian Francis, Sky News/Sky UK (24 September 2017) http://news.sky.com/story/six-hurt-after-being-sprayed-with-noxious-substance-at-westfield-in-stratford-11050889

“Acid attack on school-run mother in Newham” – BBC News/BBC (4 May 2011) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13282439

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Stratford Centre, Stratford” – N. Chadwick, geograph (20 January 2009) http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1128397

 

CLOSING DOWN THE SLAMMERS: Netherlands shuttering prisons

The Hague – VIJAY SHAH via CHRIS WELLER, Business Insider and Independent

While many countries are experiencing a boom in their prison populations leading to overcrowded cells and jails, and in the worse cases, lethal riots, the Netherlands is witnessing the opposite. The country has such well behaved citizens that prisons are being shut down, according to the United Kingdom’s Independent newspaper.

 

 

In 2013, Dutch correctional authorities closed down thirteen jails, with plans for some to be converted into temporary accommodation for refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war. Another five prisons are expected to be gone by the end of this year, according to internal documents seen by the newspaper De Telegraaf.

While the prison closures are reassuring for the Dutch people, knowing that theirs is a safe society, they will also cost 2,000 jobs with another 700 being transferred to other roles within the country’s law enforcement sector. The prison closures come in the wake of a trend of declining crime rates since 2004, the Telegraph states. There were so many jail cells lying unused in the Netherlands that authorities imported 240 Norwegian prisoners to keep correctional facilities viable.

As well as the measured decline in criminal activities, the Netherlands takes a liberal approach to criminal punishment, choosing to focus on prisoner rehabilitation instead of detainment. Electronic tagging programmes and a relaxed attitude to drug use have also contributed to the shrinking number of the detained. Out of a total population of 17 million, the Netherlands only has around 11,600 prisoners, which works out to 69 incarcerations per 100,000 people.

SOURCES:

The Independent, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/TheIndependentOnline/

“Dutch prisons are closing because the country is so safe” – Chris Weller, Business Insider via The Independent (31 May 2017) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/dutch-prisons-are-closing-because-the-country-is-so-safe-a7765521.html?cmpid=facebook-post

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Prison Bound” – Thomas Hawk, Flickr (28 March 2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/10490113913