Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Freemasons in the police leading the attack on David Cameron's riot response

Leading police officers have set up a national Masonic lodge where they can meet in secret in defiance of fears about the influence of the secret society on the criminal justice system.

Lodge secretary John Tully
The new Masonic lodge is led by John Tully, a Metropolitan Police officer
The new Masonic lodge is led by John Tully, a Metropolitan Police officer, who has given numerous interviews in recent days accusing the Prime Minister of "fighting violence, arson and looting on our city streets with sound-bites".
Other founder members include officers from the Metropolitan Police, Essex Police, Thames Valley Police and from other forces including Northumbria, Dyfed Powys, South Wales, South Yorkshire and even a high ranking officer from the Royal Gibraltar Police.
The "Sine Favore" Lodge was opened despite the conclusions of a Parliamentary inquiry which warned of public fears that "Freemasonry can have an unhealthy influence on the criminal justice system".
The inquiry followed questions about masonic involvement in the abandonment of an investigation into a shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland and with the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, which was disbanded after evidence of police malpractice.
Membership is open to all serving and retired officers across Britain and others working alongside the police, including lawyers, criminologists and even the financial advisers who manage officers' retirement plans.
The idea for the new police Masonic lodge grew out of a series unofficial get-togethers in hotel bars during Police Federation annual conferences.
Masonic rules require members to do all they can to support each other, to look after each other and to keep each others' lawful secrets.
New members of the so-called Brotherhood are blindfolded, a hangman's noose placed around their necks and they are warned their throat will be slit and their tongue torn out if they break their oath. Critics argue this could put them at odds with discharging their duty to serve the public.
The inquiry by the Home Affairs Select Committee in 1998 called for a public register of police officers who joined the Freemasons, although in the end the then Labour government proposed that officers could make voluntary disclosures about their membership. Few did.
The new "Sine Favore" lodge, is named after the Latin motto of the Police Federation, "Without Fear, Without Favour".
The founders include Police Federation Treasurer Martyn Mordecai, John Giblin, chairman of the Federation's Sergeants Central Committee, and Steve Williams, general secretary of the Federation's Inspectors Central Committee.
Earlier this year Mr Giblin told the Federation's annual conference that government ministers "hate the police service" and wanted to "destroy" it.
Other founding members include solicitor Tristan Hallam, a personal injury lawyer who specialises, according to his firm Russell Jones and Walker, in "road traffic accidents and public liability cases for both private clients and associations including the Police Federation".
Mr Hallam said: "Membership of any organisation is a personal choice. Russell Jones & Walker are aware of my membership."
Stewart Imbimbo, an ex-Thames Valley police officer and now a senior official at Milton Keynes council, Robert Taylor, a financial adviser, Eric Misselke, director of a police credit union which provides cheap loans, savings accounts and insurance, and the Metropolitan Police's resident criminologist Dr Attilio Grandani.
Dr Grandani sits on the Metropolitan Police Authority's equality and diversity sub-committee and is behind the Met's new controversial statistical-led policing model, which aims to combat areas of high crime as opposed to more thinly spread bobbies-on-the-beat territorial policing.
Lodge number 9856 was officially opened by a senior Masonic official, Russell Race. He is the Metropolitan Grand Master, head of the Grand Lodge of London, a corporate financier and chairman of a construction firm behind the huge Westfield shopping centre in west London and The Pinnacle office development, which, when complete, will be the tallest building in the City of London.
The lodge is based at 10 Duke Street in central London, which is also the headquarters of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree, one of the most important and mysterious bodies in international Masonic circles, which has an elite membership of only 75 people.
The building, known as Grand East by Masons, contains the "Black Room", the "Red Room" and a "Chamber of Death", used for Masonic rituals.
The Police Federation last night refused to discuss whether any of its officials had disclosed their involvement with Freemasonary.
A spokesman said: "Being a member of any organisation is a matter for the individual, so long as membership of that organisation does not compromise their duties and responsibilities as a police officer."
Lodge Secretary Mr Tully, vice chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation refused to comment.

Police National Computer

Hundreds of police officers caught illegally accessing criminal records computer

More than 200 police officers and support staff in Britain's biggest force have been caught accessing the highly sensitive Police National Computer for their own ends.

Police computer system in Strathclyde
The PNC national computer system enables the search of the names database to identify suspects including physical descriptions and personal features Photo: GETTY
Half of the offences uncovered, including some accused of passing information to criminals, took place in the last three years - suggesting the abuse of the system is on the increase.
The figures show 84 police officers have been disciplined for illegal use of the database, which contains information on millions of people, their property and the movements of vehicles across the country in the last 36 months.
A further 22 staff have also been caught wrongly accessing information in the same period.
The revelation comes after a police officer was arrested in relation to leaks during the Scotland Yard phone-hacking investigation. The 51-year-old detective constable was arrested at work on Thursday. He has been suspended.
The Metropolitan Police has disclosed that 142 police officers and 66 staff have been disciplined for misusing the national computer system, known as the PNC, in the last 10 years.
Of these 29 have been sacked and 16 prosecuted over their actions.
The computer system contains five highly sensitive database:
* QUEST (Querying Using Enhanced Search Techniques) - enables the search of the names database to identify suspects including physical descriptions and personal features.
* VODS (Vehicle Online Descriptive Search) - allows users to search the vehicles database using registration numbers, postcodes and colour details to narrow the list to potential suspect vehicles.
* ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) - a nationwide network of cameras which takes a visual image of number plate of vehicle moving around the country, alerting police to any that are of interest.
* Property - the PNC can search for items which are lost and found
* CRIMELINK - An enhanced, web-based version of the Comparative Case Analysis Tool which can be used to solve serious serial-type crimes by searching for similarities in incidents helping investigators to identify patterns and links.
Figures on wider abuses of police computer systems released last year revealed that 400 police staff had been disciplined for similar offences across the UK.
And a survey of senior police officers found most believed abuse of police systems occurred 'frequently' and called for greater audit and controls on police computer resources.
In 2009 a West Midlands police officer, Mark Turner, was jailed for 12 months after it was revealed he had passed force records on to known criminals.
In 2005 a former detective turned freelance journalist John Ross was acquitted by a jury at Inner London Crown Court of "aiding and abetting wilful misconduct in public office".
Mr Ross, a former Flying Squad detective sergeant dismissed from the force following corruption allegations, had handed over £200 to detective constable David Dougall for a package of documents which allegedly included details of anti-terror operations. Mr Ross successfully argued the cash was a loan.
DC Dougall had handed Mr Ross printouts from a police website which disclosed the details of two anti-terror operations which the court heard could have compromised intelligence sources and police methodology.
Releasing the new figures following a Freedom of Information request, the Metropolitan Police said: "The Metropolitan Police Service takes any allegations of wrong doing by officers or staff very seriously.
"Where appropriate, allegations of criminal behaviour or misconduct are investigated thoroughly by officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards.
"Investigations may also be managed or carried out independently by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
"All Metropolitan Police police officers and police staff are expected to adhere to the MPS Information Code of Conduct which sets out the policy on the use of MPS Information and information communication and technology systems."

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

London Riots

The street code of vengeance that sparked the riots

Gang rivalries, an unsolved murder and a code of vengeance are at the heart of the events which sparked the rioting and looting last week.

Kelvin Easton, left, and Mark Duggan
Kelvin Easton, left, and Mark Duggan Photo: PIXEL
The events can be directly traced back to the death of a 23-year-old man stabbed through the heart as he left an East End night club and the actions of his friend who believed he was honour-bound to avenge his death.
The dead man was Kelvin Easton, known as Smegz, who was an elder in the "Bloodline", from the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham, one of London's "post code" gangs.
The club where he died had been heaving: more than 500 people were inside at the time of the attack. But this is a world where the "stooly" who talks to the police is an outcast.
Tragically, it was not - until last week - an unusual story: London has seen 92 similar gang related murders in the last two years. The gangs control the drugs trade on their territories, sometimes little more than a few streets, and will kill and maim rivals to defend it.
The young foot soldiers in this world are bound by a warped code of honour and their movements restricted for fear of breaking down the uneasy truces between them.
Police sources say Easton was a key figure in the gang's hierarchy, a member of its elite Star Gang clique.
With his death responsibility for revenge fell to his closest friend, his "god brother", Mark Duggan, known by the street name Starrish Mark.
According to his family, Duggan had left gangs behind and had not been in trouble with the police for nine years when he served time on remand for an unspecified crime. Others dispute this, claiming Duggan was a key gang lieutenant.
Intriguingly his uncle was Desmond Noonan, a notorious Manchester gangster who once boasted of having "more guns than the police" and one of whose brothers, Domenyk, was arrested during rioting on Tuesday in Manchester.
For several days before his death Duggan was the target of specialist police motorcycle surveillance teams and officers from Operation Trident, the Met's unit tackling "black on black" shootings, usually linked to drug dealing.
Last Thursday, a pre-planned "hard stop" was carried out as he travelled in a mini-can on Ferry Lane, Tottenham, to arrest him. Duggan was heading for nearby Chingford, the scene of a mass crackdown on drug gangs last month, and 15 minutes before the shooting had sent a message to his partner saying he was being followed by "the feds".
It is still not known exactly what happened when the minicab was stopped and the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating. Duggan was armed with a blank-firing BBM "Bruni" pistol which had been converted to fire live bullets. It was found in a sock at the scene.
The IPCC initially - and wrongly - briefed that there had been an exchange of fire. One bullet killed Duggan, but an officer was hit, a bullet lodging in his shoulder-mounted radio. Forensic evidence later revealed this bullet was fired from a police weapon. It remains unknown whether Duggan was in or out of the car when he was shot.
The death sparked widespread community anger. "He was not mad enough or bad enough" to get into a police shoot-out, his friends and family said.
His family staged a peaceful demonstration outside Tottenham police station last Saturday but within hours it escalated. A group of young men set light to several squad cars sparking a riot - which led to the large scale copycat disorder across the country in the days that followed.
That Duggan was armed, sources have told the Sunday Telegraph, was directly linked to the death of his friend Easton.
"The problem is when you leave a gang, or grow out of the gang you are still tied by friendship and family," said one source who knew him.
"It doesn't matter if you have left the roads, your rivals do not care. You are always a potential victim, even if that is just because you are a familiar face from the ends [gang territory] or because of a relative, like Smegz. Mark did not necessarily have to had played an active role in the gang to be a target or fear for his life."
Prime Minister David Cameron last week declared war on the street gangs. But Easton's death illustrate the difficulties that war will face.
Police orders are to "remain focused upon individual victims and offenders" and to use "a significant degree of caution... to ensure that interventions do not raise the status of individuals who commit violent offences as part of such groups".
The gangs, an internal police report last year explained, are prioritised by "levels of criminality" backed up a police "youth strategy identify young people most vulnerable to joining gangs in the future".
School visits, drama groups and football tournaments are used in an attempt to separate youngsters from the gangs. But once they are members, there is little that can be done, and they are plunged into turf wars and revenge feuds, making them the targets of rivals.
Duggan thought he was a target and, as a fellow member of the Star Gang and Easton's best friend, he was also under huge peer pressure to seek retribution.
Local sources suggest Easton was the victim of rival gangs from Hackney's Amhurst Road estate linked with the London Fields Boys, the Lords of Stokey and Smalley Boys.
Several members of these gangs were jailed earlier this year for stabbing a member of the rival 'Soldiers of Shakespeare' from Milton Gardens estate in Hackney. He was surrounded in his car in Stoke Newington and stabbed in the arm, chest and spine.
Growing internal Tottenham rivalries are another possible motive. According to the "London Street Gangs" website the Broadwater Water Farm (BWF) gang, of which Easton was a leading light, had been "causing unrest in their attempts to exert dominance over the whole of Tottenham".
Easton was stabbed after a fight broke out at a the Boheme nightclub on the Mile End Road in East London.
He was apparently attacked by a group of young men as a was leaving, fell to the bottom of the stairs and collapsed surrounded by terrified clubbers, many of them covered in blood.
Messages posted on a supposed memorial to Easton make clear that even in death there is no escaping the gang culture, with one enemy writing: "Smegz tried it with a Hackney nigga and got deaded. You man play your position before more of you get it."
The stalled investigation into Easton's death is typical of the difficulties police face. The gangs hate the police more than each other and the investigation into Easton's killing faced a wall of silence.
So far the police have arrested 12 people in connection with the attack, but no one has been charged. The suspects are on police bail "pending further enquiries" - not usually a sign that officers are building a firm case.
Scotland Yard was reluctant to connect Easton's murder with the shooting of Duggan. "We are not making that link," said a spokeswoman last week.
Last May, the head of the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, Detective Chief Inspector Charles King gave an insight into the difficulties his officers were experiencing.
Offering £20,000 for information, he said: "The Boheme nightclub was very busy on the night Kelvin was attacked. I am confident that there are people who saw what happened that night and I hope this significant reward will encourage anyone with additional information to come forward.
"There are special measures we can take to protect identities and we will do everything possible to ensure witnesses remain anonymous."
The reward remains unclaimed.