Is this news?
The BBC News website today has reported that you can illegally import stun guns into the UK, now when they say import what they are referring to is posting a stun gun to you in the mail, now if anyone wants to break the law it is not difficult, those who break the law are known as criminals so is it news that criminals break the law?
So for the last couple of nights London has been burning and there are lots of people asking why, I doubt there will ever be an answer that is satisfactory but there are a few things worth thinking about.
While there is no excuse for the destruction and lawlessness of the last couple of nights the starting catalyst was the death of Mark Duggan in a police operation and that police operation & its outcome is under investigation at this time and just what happened is not public at this time. What is public is that Mark Duggan according to the Guardian was carrying a converted handgun capable of firing real ammunition.
The article reads: It is understood that ballistics experts have established that the firearm being carried in the minicab was a handgun which at one point had not been capable of firing – a replica, a starting pistol or a collector’s weapon. But the firearm had been converted – as many illegal firearms purchased on the street are – into a lethal weapon capable of carrying live ammunition.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses.
As you would expect with the death of an individual the family and community felt the need to do something, so they went on a very peaceful march to the local police station to ask for answers but appeared to have been ignored at the doors, and after a time the protest turned into a riot. It must be said that the family has come out very strongly saying that the riot & violence is not something they wanted or want to see.
The Riot turning into riots.
After the protest turned into a riot the idea spread throughout London, and last night spread to Bristol (who where all ready having issues), Nottingham, Liverpool and Birmingham. The main City’s ate also giving way to small scale disturbances in Rainham, Dartford, Chatham and Gillingham in Kent as people take the opportunity to join in copy the bad behaviour.
If you go away from the main riots you read about small groups running rings around the police, they appear to be much more fluid and better organised than the police using all technology at their disposal to appear and just a quickly melt into the background. Typical gorilla army tactics that are very hard to combat.
Today all I have heard is where are the police? One very distressing story was told on the radio this morning of a young lady that was woken up at 04:00 by a few people in her room looking for her bag luckily for her once they found it they went away and she was unharmed, there are many stories about shops being looted without the police being anywhere near and people are calling for water cannons, shoot to kill and the army to be deployed on the streets.
The Police are being held up as a failure as they have been unable to hold the streets and they have no control over the mob.
The Police only have control over the masses when we the people decide that the rule of law is more important than mob rule.
While I am sure the Police have made mistakes over the last few nights this situation is not their fault. The Police only form one part of a community and it is never the police that are able to keep people in check they can only ever react to past events and sadly when second’s count the police are only minutes away.
The police had over 20,000 calls last night, what did people expect them to do?
Well this is the question of the moment, what will happen tonight will the destruction continue as it was or will it become bigger with more areas consumed in the madness? As with all riots this will run its course and come to an end, it is only a matter of time. Quite what is left standing at the need is a different question.
Will we do down the route of repression? Water cannons and the army may help regain control for a short time but we need to be careful of begin too oppressive as this will cause more problems that it may solve.
What laws will be passed? Do we need new laws or do we need to enforce the ones we have? Will we become more oppressed as a result?
Looking at the catalyst it appears that Mark Duggan had an illegal functioning firearm, the laws in the United Kingdom at very tight and only the law abiding will abide by them so banning firearms again will stop such a situation from starting up again.
Looking at the police will people begin to be more realistic as to what the police are capable off and just what is expected of them? Will people call for more police or more rights to protect themselves do we have the cash for more police or is it desirable to live in a state where the police have such numbers that they can overwhelm the people they serve.
How do we rebuild the broken communities and strengthen the communities that exist ensuring that there is a backbone of Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters & friends that will not allow the individuals they love to become part of the mob.
We cannot blame the police for all of this we must look to our communities and the people who are breaking the law and ask why?
• Too many laws?
• The wrong laws?
• Too much dependency?
• Too easy to say it is someone else’s fault?
• No consequences to actions?
• No respect for the police or our leaders?
There are so many questions that need to be looked at; the next few months will be interesting.
The joy of statistics, according to the police domestic burglary was down 4% in 2010-11 according to the British Crime Survey they are up by 14%, just for your information officials take note of the British Crime Survey over the official police figures.
So up or down what can the numbers tell us?
Well one thing that the numbers do tell us is that there is a real distance between the police and the people they serve and that people who are the victims of crime feel little point in going to the police as they are seen as ineffective and irrelevant in such crimes, there is little to nothing they can do so why report it. Most people will only report a crime to get a crime number to make a claim on the insurance and if they do not have cover or the amount to replace what has been stolen is not worth the trouble to claim.
I guess the big question for me is not how department X or official Y will justify the apparent jump in the numbers but why there is such a gap between what the police are told by victims of crimes that people fall victim to and how and when will the numbers get closer. It is all a matter of trust and action and both appear to be lacking.
Please see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14151775 for more information.
Before the 2011 Census was completed there were a lot of questions and concerns over the security of the data in this sensitive area after all the data is sensitive.
People asked questions like Can we be sure census information will be safe? And should the Census be run by a USA based company as the US government will be able to have all of the data under the various different acts then have on the books.
The government assured everyone that this has been taken into account and that the data would be safe: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/government-citizens-and-rights/2011-census/keeping-census-information-safe.htm
Well it appears that today the police (Scotland Yard) in a joint operation with the FBI have arrested a 19 year old in Essex from a hacking group called LulzSec.
It appears that LulzSec posted the following on-line: “we have blissfully obtained records of every single citizen who gave up their records to the security-illiterate UK government for the 2011 census“.
Now that is no guarantee that they have it but considering some of the other successful high profile attacks in the last couple of months I can believe that they have succeeded.
The group go on to say that “We’re keeping them under lock and key though… so don’t worry about your privacy (…until we finish re-formatting them for release.)”
It is nice to see LulzSec are conserned about privacy (pitty the census data team was not) but quite what that is eluding too is anyone’s guess.
So if this proves to be true what will the government do?
Well I thought we would try a little experiment.
I have been watching the current super injunction news story with interest. Now I have very little interest in football or what footballers get up to in bed so I have no idea who is behind the story, but I am interested in how social media can break news and how the established press are more and more becoming a place for opinion rather then news and facts.
So I have decided to see if I can find out who the story is about, all I know from the repeated broadcasts is that a premiership footballer has had sex with someone called Imogen Thomas and that is has been widely reported on the internet and now a Scottish newspaper.
Lets see how long it take to find out the information.
15:33 – Go to the Google website.
15:33 – Type in “Imogen Thomas premiership footballer”
15:33 – The name “Ryan Giggs” pops up all over the place and a link to the Scottish newspaper that has named him: http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/ryan-giggs-sunday-herald-imogen-thomas/
Now please believe me that I do not know who Mr Giggs is but a quick look on Wikipedia tells me that he is a footballer playing for Manchester United, as I have said I have little to no interest in football but I do have a few questions about this.
If Mr Giggs is the person at the centre of this now silly attempt to keep his relationship out of the papers then how is this supposed to have worked.
As we have seen the super injunction gags the English press from reporting but not the Scottish and I assume the French, American and Germen press from reporting on the story. When I was last working in London I was able to see daily papers from all of the mentioned countries, if they report on this story and the vendor sells the papers is the vendor in breach of the injunction?
Am I in breach of the injunction because I have gone through the process of finding out about this story and placing it on my blog?
When I discuss this blog entry down the pub tonight with my friends will we all be in breach of the injunction?
If I was in Scotland and had my photo taken reading the local Scottish paper and posted the photo on my blog would I be in breach?
If the Scottish press is not number the same legal constraints as the English press can the Scottish BBC report on the story while the rest of the BBC remains silent?
If Sky allow me to watch the Scottish BBC news via the digital network would they be in breach of the injunction?
My website is hosted in England so I may be in breach of the injunction but if my site was hosted by word press in the USA would I still be in breach of the injunction?
Now as I have said I have no interest in the sex story but I wonder if a super injunction is something that you can break without even knowing off it’s existence remember that ignorance is no excuse if the eyes of the law.
I get the feeling that super injunctions have the ability to cause all sorts of issues, a very interesting discussion topic.
I love this story from the not-so-mean streets of Tunbridge Wells.
It looks like a pub, DIY store & shopping centre has their own protector, so the question is for me is this the beginning of the Big Society in action or just a new nut job.
I must find his twitter account and I want on of the Ninja watch posters.
We are told that we should take an interest in our local area and the be the eyes and ears of the police, and organised groups is called the neighbourhood watch.
However when the neighbourhood watch have training, put on a uniform, patrol their neighbourhood keeping in radio contact with a central command to be very organised the police do not like it and say that the members are endangering themselves.
This is what the Shomrim (Hebrew for security) Stamford Hill Safety and Rescue Patrol (SHSRP) are doing 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.
So is this a proactive neighbourhood watch or the beginnings of a vigil anti group, should they be applauded for their proactive stance, or should they be stopped as a group promoting terror in their area of North London or is the real question why is there a need for the SHSRP group, is the opposition from the police out of genuine concern or embarrassment that the local residents feel the need for such a group.
It will be interesting to see if this is first group of many or just a one off.
In the last 12 years or so the number of new crimes that have been placed on the books by this government is 4,300 that works out at 27 new laws a month under Mr Blair and 33 a month under Mr Brown.
But at least they where seen to be doing something!!!
It would be nice of one of the political parties was to sign up to this http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Great_Repeal_Bill
So just two questions with all the new laws any one feel any more safe / protected than before they went in?
How many did you break this week?
From the Telegraph today:
Quote from the article go’s to “I think it’s a really good idea. It means members of the public can refer to us by our names, instead of us just being a number.”.
Perhaps if the police want us to get to know them then they should say hello once in a while, we have a very good police officer in our area, he lives in the area and everyone in the area knows him even the kids. He walks around and in the summer months he stops for a chat when people are out and about in the garden, cleaning cars etc. The nice thing is there is nothing threatening about him being around, you are not reporting a crime and he is not talking to you because you have done something wrong, just a friendly face.
I am all for people not being a number but just by putting a little gold twine on a uniform will not make the police any more approachable for that they need to spend time with people, take the lead from others walk about and say Hi.
If you treat people like criminals they will act like one.
One part of me want to applaud this act and the other part of me is beginning to worry about ordinary people beginning to behave like criminals because over the last 12 years everyone has become a criminal, most people will breach one of the laws each and every day.
So the winning emotion is:
Is that incitement to a criminal act mind you they did blow it up so that must be terrorism of sorts so have I just applauded domestic terrorism?
Is that the bell, one moment I just need to get the door!