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Hell Fire, Its A Great Day For Britain, The Press Have Turned

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The Observer Newspaper, The Telegraph have turned on New Labour.

Crime rate soars as criminals walk free

Observer investigation reveals Labour failure to halt slide in convictions

David Rose

Sunday May 28, 2006

The Observer

The true picture of rising levels of violent crime in England and Wales and historically low conviction rates can be revealed today by The Observer.

An investigation shows that conviction rates for many of the most violent crimes have been in freefall since Labour came to power in 1997 and are now well below 10 per cent. The chronically low figures for convictions come at the same time as reports that violent crime is increasing.

An analysis of Home Office figures reveals that only 9.7 per cent of all 'serious woundings', including stabbings, that are reported to the police result in a conviction. For robberies the figure falls to 8.9 per cent and for rape, it is 5.5 per cent.

The figures show that, 10 years after Tony Blair pledged to be 'tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime', the chances of getting away with rape, robbery, sexual assault or seriously wounding another person have never been higher.

The Observer's analysis presents a fresh political challenge to the new Home Secretary, John Reid, who is struggling to get a grip over a department that he has described as 'not fit for purpose'. The figures show that recorded totals of these types of crime have risen steeply and while convictions have risen a little, they have not kept pace.

The record under Labour is worst for two crimes that arouse deep public concern. Serious woundings have risen by more than half in 10 years to almost 20,000 attacks each year, but their conviction rate has fallen from 14.8 to 9.7 per cent. Nearly 13,000 rapes were recorded by police in the year from April 2004, double the total for 1997, and over the period the conviction rate collapsed from 9.2 to 5.5 per cent. There was, however, a fall in the number of burglaries and the conviction rate for them rose - but only by 0.5 per cent.

The fall in total conviction rates began under the Tories in 1980 and Labour promised, before it won the 1997 election, that it would put this trend into reverse. Despite its failure to do so, Labour's ministers have claimed repeatedly that serious crime has been falling.

The Home Office insisted in a written statement yesterday that 'long term trends show substantial declines in levels of violent crimes'. The former Home Secretary Charles Clarke claimed earlier this year that the main problem society faces is not crime but the fear of it, and he set up a working party to investigate ways of making people believe the official position - that the huge rises in the levels of recorded violent and sexual crime are illusory, the result of more victims having the confidence to go to the police.

But The Observer investigation shows that since 1980, serious woundings have more than quadrupled, and recorded rapes have increased nearly elevenfold.

Last night, the country's top police officers working in the field rejected the claim that these figures did not reflect a real increase in the incidence of such crimes.

Terry Grange, Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys and the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) spokesman on domestic violence and sex crime, who heads a team of more than 20 researchers, said: 'I don't think you can sensibly deny that there is a higher incidence of rape and a more routine use of violence, and also of weapons-based violence where it used to be fists and feet.'

He was backed by another Acpo expert, Leicestershire Chief Constable Matt Baggott, and also by Crown Court judges spoken to by The Observer. According to Baggott, the surge in late-night drinking was exposing young people to higher risks of both physical and sexual violence.

He called for a full debate on this shift in social habits: 'We need to line up the data from the health service with what we get from the police. There is a profit-driven competitiveness around alcohol and one of its consequences is young people becoming victims. We need to begin a fundamental, objective analysis of what has been happening.'

Judges said that serious offences of this type were not only more common, but had become more brutal and degrading. Crown Court judges said that they were routinely hearing horrifying cases that were once so rare that they would have been reserved for members of the High Court bench.

Last week, John Reid, echoing a pledge made earlier by the Prime Minister, promised to 'rebalance criminal justice' in order to 'to make the public feel safe again ... I won't rest until the law and the justice system works for law-abiding people, not criminals.'

However, The Observer's investigation reveals that fewer than a third of the 20,000 people acquitted of serious offences in the Crown Court last year owed their freedom to 'not guilty' verdicts by judges, not juries. Cases were often discharged by judges, usually when the prosecution decided not to proceed - because cases were not ready, because victims or other witnesses withdrew or had been intimidated, or because Crown Prosecution Service lawyers decided that the evidence was 'unreliable'.

The answer, said judges, was not to make sweeping changes in the law to reduce suspects' protections, and hence risk wrongful convictions, but to find ways of getting the CPS and the police to work more closely together when investigating crimes so that the evidence is more watertight.

And now the Guardian is at it as well!!

This pernicious mix of big business and busybodies

The National Identity Register, when linked to other databases, will give the state unlimited powers to spy on us

Henry Porter

Sunday May 28, 2006

The Guardian

Let me introduce you to Katherine Courtney, an American at the heart of the government's plans for the National Identity Register and who is to British freedom and privacy what Cruella DeVil was to Dalmatian puppies. Ms Courtney is now the head of business development at the new Identity and Passport Service, but in her previous role as head of the ID card programme, she was able to stupefy MPs with jargon that few of them can have understood.

This is her answering a question in the Home Affairs committee: 'I think it is important to say that while the pilot itself is not really about testing the robustness and scalability of the particular biometric technologies that are being deployed, it is about studying the enrolment process and the customer experience and being able to validate some of the assumptions that we have built into the business case around the time that it takes to enrol and the customer acceptability.'

By heck, the woman can talk. It is not so much the content of her answers about ID cards that chills the blood, but the unswerving, robotic certainty of the language with which people like her pursue Blair's dream of a totally controlled and monitored society.

The Home Office will not say if Courtney is naturalised or remains a foreign national, but I do wonder that such a person may sweep into government with a CV that features Cable and Wireless and BT Exact Technologies and the next moment be attending conferences as a government official with companies such as BT and Siemens Business Services. It seems incestuous and it is worth noting that it was on her watch that Professor John Daugman, who developed and patented the iris recognition technology that is to be used in the ID card, was appointed to the independent scientific group to advise the Home Office on identity cards.

There may be nothing untoward in this, yet one cannot help feeling that the threat to British privacy and rights is being mounted by people inside the corporate loop who, with their fanatical admiration for business systems, have little concern for individual privacy. In their powerpoint presentations, they may pay lip service to balancing the interests of the state with those of the citizen - or customer, as Courtney would have it - but this can only be to the detriment of our right to privacy as it stands now. Balance must mean we each surrender something of ourselves to a state whose power grows ineluctably under Tony Blair.

The British state presents a menace to individual privacy in the 21st century in two ways, as the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, demonstrates in his commendably clear report, 'What Price Privacy?'. The first is that under Tony Blair's 'transformational government', the Civil Service is moving to merge all its databases into one network with single entry points, so that someone with the right access could, for example, surf between the tax and customs database, criminal records, vehicle registrations and health and education records in their search for information on an individual.

If you add to this unified system the new National Identity Register (NIR) which, as Thomas points out, will include 'identifying information, residential status, personal reference numbers, registration and ID card history, as well as records of when, what and to whom information from the register has been provided', we will end up with an awesome apparatus of control and surveillance.

Why should we worry about this if, as is the case, each one of us may already appear on as many as 700 separate databases? How does a joined-up, centralised database threaten us more? One answer appears in the body of the Thomas report which shows that the security of databases ranging from health records, to the driver and vehicle licensing authority and the police national computer, which has 10,000 entry points, is regularly breached.

The report describes how inquiry agents use the system to supply personal information to, among others, newspapers and insurance companies. Warrants obtained by Thomas resulted in the arrest of a private detective working from his home in Hampshire who had regular access to BT's phone records, the DVLA and police computer. From the documents seized, Thomas's team realised how extensive was the market in unlawful personal data and how easy it is to steal from official records. Imagine a determined stalker gaining access to this proposed unified system and NIR, or a criminal gang, or a man in a custody battle, or a reporter from the News of the World or a foreign intelligence officer.

The threat of illicit use is as nothing compared to the misuse that it will offer government agencies. For one thing, there will be no knowing when and by whom your personal records are being inspected, so intrusion by the state is likely to become the norm. The other big problem is the phenomenal incompetence of the government when it comes to databases. Remember the fiascos in the Child Support Agency, the immigration service records, the old passport agency and with the benefits card. Only last week, the Criminal Records Bureau admitted that it had wrongly labelled 1,500 innocent people as pornographers, thieves and violent criminals. As a result, some failed in their job applications, which must surely mean they have a very good claim for damages against the government, based on the loss of reputation and earnings.

The Home Office refused to apologise and, instead, excused itself by saying that it had erred on the side of caution when making the checks against criminal records. That reaction is not good enough and it underlines the lack of accountability in government and the arrogance of officialdom when it comes to the reputations of ordinary people. It also raises the question of what might happen if a similar error were to infect the unified system.

If the government can't run the Criminal Records Bureau without defaming ordinary people, it is hardly likely to make the much larger NIR work. There may be some slight hope that government ineptitude will protect us from official intrusion, but experience from all the past ****-ups tells us that it is those private individuals who have no power and few opportunities for redress who are always the victims. And from the Thomas report, we may conclude that whatever the security measures put in place, the number of terminals with access to the NIR will mean that people's privacy will almost certainly be breached illegally.

The ID card bill has become law. 'Enrolment facilities' are being built and Courtney is seeking the best way of charging the private sector for checks against the database. We are going ahead with this thing despite ministerial admissions that the scheme will do nothing to stop illegal immigration or terrorism, and is unlikely to deter criminal gangs which have already compromised the chip and pin security. The option now remaining is large-scale public protest. We need a national debate on the running of official databases and the handling of personal information, for let's not forget that privacy is dear to us. The Information Commissioner's report makes clear that protecting people's personal information ranks third in the list of the public's social concerns, alongside the NHS. Concern in this area is growing, the report says, which is something that David Cameron should note.

In the meantime, I find myself wishing a hearty damnation to Courtney and her business plans, to the unified database of 'transformational government', to the incompetence and arrogance of the Home Office, to any bureaucrat who seeks to define an individual's identity with compulsory biometric measurement backed up by threats. If one thing has become clear in the last few weeks, it is that the government is not fit to be trusted with either setting up the National Identity Register or running it.

henry.porter@observer.co.uk

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Hrm, even in the areas where this technology is useful the results turn out to be very embarrassing.

This country's in a mess, make no mistake. The number of people I know who are moving their young families out to Spain or Australia is astounding. Before it was just the retirees.

If this country was in S. America the military would have taken over, such are the depths to which we've descended. I'll settle for Maggie though.

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Coppers are too busy stopping speeding cars to bother with real crime (murder, violent crime, rape, burglary, fraud etc).

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Damning evidence of what most people are already aware of, that Nu Labour are being kept in power by multiple offending benefit receiving ne'er do wells whose ranks are steadily increasing.

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yes, we've moved out. Roaming Europe, enjoying it every day.

Police state britain - what a freakin joke.

You poor sods still there shivering in the rain and eating your lardy 'feesh and cheeps' should all complain to your local Tory candidate - make him aware you will only vote for him if repealing ID cards is top of the tory agenda.

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Hrm, even in the areas where this technology is useful the results turn out to be very embarrassing.

I don't understand how this is embarrassing. Embarrassing for all the black criminals caught by an electronic crime detector? The police stop more black people because black people cause crime because the police stop more black people, is that what you mean?

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Coppers are too busy stopping speeding cars to bother with real crime (murder, violent crime, rape, burglary, fraud etc).

Do you think that would give a less "racist" result that the traffic camera did ?

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It will be very difficult for NL puppets to spin their way out of this one.

The hospital records speak for themselves – parts of London comparable to the “murder capital” of the world?

Telegraph

Old news, but it sure says something about police efficiency.

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I am seriously considering not paying my taxes this year or paying my VAT bill for the first time EVER, but hold on, i am the type of Guy who would be bothered about the stigma it would bring on my family if i was jailed, THEY WOULD JAIL ME FOR SURE THEN.

Best not to give a toss about what you do in society, and i mean really not give a toss, you cannot get away with just pretending :), then you have no worries.

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You poor sods still there shivering in the rain and eating your lardy 'feesh and cheeps' should all complain to your local Tory candidate - make him aware you will only vote for him if repealing ID cards is top of the tory agenda.

A good plan. I'll be doing this.

Because people believe what they see on a shiny flickering screen, I'm also going to be asking my local independant cinema to get a copy of http://freedomtofascism.com - It's US focussed, but has many HPC themes:

central banking, national ID cards, RFID chips in humans, etc. It's by the guy who produced 'Trading Places'!!!

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This country's in a mess, make no mistake. The number of people I know who are moving their young families out to Spain or Australia is astounding. Before it was just the retirees.

Agree,

My car got hit on sunday, some idiot overtaking at some stupid speed in a 20mph zone. To miss the oncoming car he hit my car to get out of the way. Not massive damage but any car damage is expensive these days. If I hadn't hit the brakes he would have run me off the road.

Anyway, phone 999 to report as he didn't stop - put on hold for a couple of mins!!!

I had the first part and last part of the registration and the vehicle make and model but am told that I need the full reg. They don't even give out crime ref No.s for this now as 'there are so many cases'

F***ing unbelievable.

They are telling me that they won't even do a basic computer search to see if they could identify the car!!??

Coppers are too busy stopping speeding cars to bother with real crime (murder, violent crime, rape, burglary, fraud etc).

EXACTLY!!!

I get run off the road by a driver that hits my car and doesn't stop - the police do absolutely nothing.

A few weeks ago, I kid you not, I was pulled over by a policeman.

On a dual carriageway (70mph), he was doing 68-70mph and I was overtaking him between 70-72mph, very slowly just to be careful

He pulled me over and asked me what I 'thought I was doing'. Told me I was doing 72mph and that the speed limit was 70mph and that I should 'have the courtesy not to pass a police car'

You really couldn't make it up.

I have no respect for the police.

People will start taking things into their own hands.

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A few weeks ago, I kid you not, I was pulled over by a policeman.

On a dual carriageway (70mph), he was doing 68-70mph and I was overtaking him between 70-72mph, very slowly just to be careful

He pulled me over and asked me what I 'thought I was doing'. Told me I was doing 72mph and that the speed limit was 70mph and that I should 'have the courtesy not to pass a police car'

You really couldn't make it up.

I have no respect for the police.

People will start taking things into their own hands.

Too true!

I used to be a great supporter of the police, but now I loathe them or more accurately I loathe the Chief Constables. People like that politically correct moron 'Sir' Iain Blair who is a sort of self-hating white man; an affliction which affects most of Britain's middle classes.

Diversity awareness - what a farce. Is it too much to ask for the police to nick murderers, rapists, peodophiles, muggers, robbers, yobbos instead of motorists?

This country's a sh*thole. If I sell my business and my wife agrees, I'm leaving even if house prices crash. A socialist, Orwellian, multicultural nightmare has become reality. What a pity for a once mighty nation.

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Of course it could just be a cunning ploy to ramp up police powers in advance of the economic collapse. After all if every one is scared of folk being out with weapons, no one will be too upset with outrageous levels of routine stop and search will they?

Papers please.

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The Observer Newspaper, The Telegraph have turned on New Labour.

Crime rate soars as criminals walk free

I don't think the Telegraph was ever on New Labour's side anyway. It's not called the Torygraph for nothing.

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I had the first part and last part of the registration and the vehicle make and model but am told that I need the full reg. They don't even give out crime ref No.s for this now as 'there are so many cases'

That sounds a load of tosh tbh. They should always give you a reference number when you report crime. Go in and see them.

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I don't understand how this is embarrassing. Embarrassing for all the black criminals caught by an electronic crime detector? The police stop more black people because black people cause crime because the police stop more black people, is that what you mean?

Indeed, because nobody wants to state the obvious.

It doesn't even need to be embarrassing: "This just goes to show that we are failing to meet the needs of the black youths and communities, leading to a culture of underachievement and crime." It's plain to see in academic results and crime stats and other markers, and the more they ignore it or try to find convenient excuses the worse it will get.

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I don't understand how this is embarrassing. Embarrassing for all the black criminals caught by an electronic crime detector? The police stop more black people because black people cause crime because the police stop more black people, is that what you mean?

I would love to see all criminal activity and also benefit claims broken down by ethnicity but I really doubt that would ever be allowed. I read last week that 50% of all Muslims, presumably mostly non-indigenous, are unemployed, and presumably claiming benefit. What percentage of all unemployed people are therefore drawn from 5% of the population?

Indeed, because nobody wants to state the obvious.

It doesn't even need to be embarrassing: "This just goes to show that we are failing to meet the needs of the black youths and communities, leading to a culture of underachievement and crime." It's plain to see in academic results and crime stats and other markers, and the more they ignore it or try to find convenient excuses the worse it will get.

Don't you understand? It is all someone else's fault if some people rob, mug, steal or fail in school...

Edited by Scooter

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This country's in a mess, make no mistake. The number of people I know who are moving their young families out to Spain or Australia is astounding. Before it was just the retirees.

If you think Spain is much different you would be sadly disappointed.

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I would love to see all criminal activity and also benefit claims broken down by ethnicity but I really doubt that would ever be allowed. I read last week that 50% of all Muslims, presumably mostly non-indigenous, are unemployed, and presumably claiming benefit. What percentage of all unemployed people are therefore drawn from 5% of the population?

Well, given that it is suprisingly hard to claim any sensible benefits, and the correlation between claiming benefits and being "economically inactive" is pretty poor, I would imagine it is not very high.

http://www.cesi.org.uk/statsdocs/0503/lmsuk0305.pdf

for some stats.

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That sounds a load of tosh tbh. They should always give you a reference number when you report crime. Go in and see them.

I did. When I made the 999 call I was told I'd have to go to my local police station to report and get a crime ref No. When I did I was told to fill in a form (that would basically get filed/binned) and that they didn't give out ref Nos. anymore because it happens too often.

This country's a sh*thole. If I sell my business and my wife agrees, I'm leaving even if house prices crash. A socialist, Orwellian, multicultural nightmare has become reality. What a pity for a once mighty nation.

Too true.

Britian has 25% of all of the CCTV cameras in the world - fact!

ID cards, GPS monitoring your car's movements, all these things are on the table and they won't benefit anybody but will completely erode our freedom.

The ultimate conclusion is that we will have chips implanted at birth. Might seem crazy now but then 100 years ago cameras watching you on every street corner would have been.

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Well, given that it is suprisingly hard to claim any sensible benefits, and the correlation between claiming benefits and being "economically inactive" is pretty poor, I would imagine it is not very high.

http://www.cesi.org.uk/statsdocs/0503/lmsuk0305.pdf

for some stats.

..that is possibly the case, but then that 50% did not include people on incapacity benefit I don't think.

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Coppers are too busy stopping speeding cars to bother with real crime (murder, violent crime, rape, burglary, fraud etc).

Speeding cars ha wot a joke - you cant move for cars on most of the roads - which jsut emphasises how appalling and rubbish public transport is in this pathetic country. We used to be Great Britain - wot happened to the GREAT bit? The government is just a joke - they are being reveled to be more incompetent as the weeks go on....

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Agree,

My car got hit on sunday, some idiot overtaking at some stupid speed in a 20mph zone. To miss the oncoming car he hit my car to get out of the way. Not massive damage but any car damage is expensive these days. If I hadn't hit the brakes he would have run me off the road.

Anyway, phone 999 to report as he didn't stop - put on hold for a couple of mins!!!

I had the first part and last part of the registration and the vehicle make and model but am told that I need the full reg. They don't even give out crime ref No.s for this now as 'there are so many cases'

F***ing unbelievable.

They are telling me that they won't even do a basic computer search to see if they could identify the car!!??

EXACTLY!!!

I get run off the road by a driver that hits my car and doesn't stop - the police do absolutely nothing.

A few weeks ago, I kid you not, I was pulled over by a policeman.

On a dual carriageway (70mph), he was doing 68-70mph and I was overtaking him between 70-72mph, very slowly just to be careful

He pulled me over and asked me what I 'thought I was doing'. Told me I was doing 72mph and that the speed limit was 70mph and that I should 'have the courtesy not to pass a police car'

You really couldn't make it up.

I have no respect for the police.

People will start taking things into their own hands.

The police only hold law and order together in this country by fear and reputation. Look on the ground and there's no-one there.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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