30 July 2010

S.E.C. charges brothers with $550 million fraud

Allegations against the Wyly brothers...the names should give these people away! Case began when Bank of America terminated accounts of companies based in the Isle of Man because it could determine who actually owned them. Civil action brought by S.E.C. Surprise, surprise...theyre big Republican Party supporters!

26 July 2010

Inside the Fog of War - Reports From the Ground in Afghanistan

Inside the Fog of War - Reports From the Ground in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com

Wikileaks has posted an archive of documents from the war in Afghanistan on the internet. Ive chosen to link to the New York Times article rather than the Guardian, although both papers were given access prior to publication as well as Der Spiegel. The publication helps explain some of the media campaign against Wikipedia in recent weeks.

24 July 2010

"Devastating" drug dealers are jailed

This is a group from the Swindon area. Around the country, the police and SOCA seem to have had a resounding number of successes in operations that must have begun around 2007. I hope someone has been doing the sums to get the overall picture.

20 July 2010

The Pink Panthers

A summary of a much longer piece in the New Yorker. unfortunately the longer piece requires a subscription...

Balkan Pink Panthers Stuff of Local Legend

A piece that suggests that the jewel thieves dubbed the Pink Panthers by the media originate in Cetinje in Montenegro.

19 July 2010

Crime gangs import new members on work visas

There's quite a lot of unrelated information in this Telegraph piece. reads like someone attended a SOCA press conference and just threw it all together. It begins with a typical Torygraph prejudice against the previous government, migrants and cunning foreigners, before going on to some self-promotion by SOCA. Lots of stuff to follow up in here, though.

Britain "floundering" in online mephedrone crackdown

BBC quoting Professor Les Iverson chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Chemicals made in China being sold on the internet as legal "highs". I suspect its a "puff" for A BBC TV programme, but it's an intriguing phenomenon nevertheless. Is it a new form of organisation for criminals or really the same old? How is the stuff being trafficked? Who is moving it and who is selling it?

15 July 2010

Crime falls to lowest level since 1981

Not really surprising. The demographics remain the most powerful influence on the statistics in the UK at the moment. We have to wait for the cuts to bite to see if there are consequences for property crime.

14 July 2010

Ministers dismantle £60 million programme to prevent violent extremism

PREVENT goes. Bit of an early surprise. This is one of the four planks of the counter-terrorism programme, and in many ways the most important. I'm not sure how much of this is Guardian spin, but it is true that aspects of PREVENT had dismayed Muslim communities in the UK. The Labour government confused intelligence gathering with community strengthening and fell into the trap it fell into in so many other areas of trying to turn every NGO or business it could find into an arm of the state in the name of counter-terrorism [discuss]. The bleating of Alan Johnson, ex-Home Secretary at the foot of this piece shows how far Labour still have to go to regain confidence in the area of civil liberties.

One suspects that this is a simple cost-cutting exercise. Despite the announcement of a review, note that actually, just about all the counter-terrorism powers have been renewed for a further six months, so the headline could just as easily be: "Ministers continue previous government's draconian measures to suspend civil liberties." We shall see...or we wont, because all will have been forgotten six months down the track. One thing you can bet on. Intercept evidence will be permitted in the courts.

13 July 2010

Hundreds held in anti-Mafia raids

the campaign against 'Ndrangheta continues, this time involving arrests in the USA too.

Police officer seriously injured after loyalist march ends in sectarian riot

" As the deluge subsides and the waters fall short we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again." [Churchill 1922] Its marching season once again in Ulster and here come the rioters. Nothing learned, nothing changed. Except perhaps that its Sinn Fein condemning dissident republicans and outsiders...

Organised crime gangs "outwitting police"

SOCA doing well at targetting international groups, but no-one responsible for domestic groups. Met Commissioner calls for national strategy

11 July 2010

29 years for Liverpool robbers who terrorised Wales in an armed robbery spree

Two Liverpool hard men and a group of others carried out raids as cash machines being reloaded across Wales. Also carried out burglaries to get car keys for getaway vehicles.

08 July 2010

The new crop of leaders thought to be running the al Qaeda network

Surprisingly a number are Americans or have strong US links. Funny little piece. The author expresses surprise that many know what life in the West is like. Osama himself does. The whole point is the rejection of Western values and the Disneyfication of their world...innit?

06 July 2010

Men convicted of £40 million Graff jewellery robbery in London

It took the jury a long time. Retrial for one guy to come, so difficult to comment.

05 July 2010

terrorism in Britain mostly home grown report says

Report from Centre for Social Cohesion profiles 124 individuals convicted of terrorism offences since 1999 and with Islamic links.

Tighter regulation of CCTV network

Nothing specific here, except giving the police a legal right to have such a network. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating!

Fusion of militants bring new threats

Piece by Kimberley Dozier, released through Associated Press and turned up in the Guardian's RSS feed. The good news is that half the core members of al Qaeda has been killed. The bad news is that other groups in the franchise have more than replaced them. Twas ever thus. There still seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of the whole phenomenon here. US "experts" are still looking for a Weberian bureaucracy instead of a flattened heirarchy of networks.

04 July 2010

European Court of Human Rights rejects appeal by UK on stop and search powers

Yet again, the Home Office and new Ministry of Justice fail to get the point. You cant award the police blanket powers to act as they feel like. There have to be criteria for using them so it can be decided by the courts whether their use was reasonable and proportionate. There have to be grounds for suspicion

Submarine seized in anti-drugs swoop

DEA say it was built for trans-oceanic trafficking.Dave Sheridan wrote an underground comic back in circa 1969 in which he predicted such a development, but he was thinking about Mexican cartels and marijuana smuggling. His character was called "Dealer McDope". You can still buy his board game. Maybe budding criminologists should study it for further ideas!