Tag Archive: crime

Landmark crackdown on Leeds drugs trade

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Prison sentences totalling more than 40 years have been handed down to ten men convicted as part of a landmark crackdown on the organised supply of heroin and cocaine in Leeds.

The men were arrested in a series of raids at addresses across the city in May this year as a result of an investigation by specialist officers from Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit and West Yorkshire Police Protective Service Crime.

It followed months of painstaking work to gather detailed and comprehensive evidence on those involved in a number of ‘ring and bring’ drug dealing phone lines behind the supply of heroin and crack cocaine on the streets of the city.

Two further arrests phases in July and this month have seen more than forty other people arrested with the majority charged with drugs supply offences.

In this case the group were shown to have been behind a drugs phone line that put £127,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine onto the streets of Chapeltown and Harehills over a five-month period.

The line operated 24-hours a day, seven days a week and was known as ‘the Paranoid Pete line’ due to the lengths those running it would go to avoid detection.

Between October last year and March this year around 20,000 calls were made to the line resulting in around 5,000 drug deals.

It was estimated that around two kilograms of heroin and crack cocaine were sold as a result.

The operation was led by Shawn Campbell and Darren Duncan along with a third man who is still being sought by officers.

Campbell, aged 44, of Mexborough Street, Chapeltown, and Duncan, aged 42, of Halliday Mount, Armley, were each jailed for six years and four months for conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Eight other men were jailed for drugs supply offences: Gabriel Byrne, aged 18, of Blenheim Avenue, Woodhouse, was sentenced to two years imprisonment; Anton Glasgow, aged 22, of Baldovan Terrace, Harehills, was jailed for five years and eight months; Tyrone Mitcham, aged 30, of Harland Square, Woodhouse, was sentenced to four years and four months custody; Tristan Brennan, aged 35, of Spencer Place, Chapeltown, was sentenced to five years and eight months; Shane Dunwell, aged 26, of Alderton Heights, Moortown, was jailed for three years and eight months; Yannick Ntantu, aged 20, of Lea Farm Road, Hawksworth, was sentence to two years and two months; Vincent Heaney, aged 47, of Trafford Terrace, Harehills, was jailed for two years and three months; Colin Liburd, age 46, of Bayswater Row, Harehills, was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Six other men convicted in the case are due to be sentenced a future dates.

Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “These men each played their part in an organised illegal drugs operation that put thousands of pounds worth of heroin and crack cocaine onto the streets of the city.

“Sadly we know only too well the human misery that these drugs cause, not just to the individuals who take them but to countless others in the wider community who suffer as a result of drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

“These men were brought to justice as part of a major crackdown on the supply of Class A drugs in the city, which was led by officers from Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit and specialist officers from our Protective Services Crime team.

“Those officers have been involved in more than a year’s worth of painstaking investigative work to build up a comprehensive evidence picture around these and other individuals who are yet to be dealt with at court following further arrest phases.

“The indisputable strength of the evidence that their work has produced has seen the defendants in this case left with no realistic option but to offer guilty pleas. We hope the significant sentences they have received will serve to reassure the community and send a very clear message to others who think they can get away with profiting from the organised supply of drugs.

“This landmark operation also targets the intrinsic link between the drugs trade and the criminal use of firearms. We have seen a number of discharges in the city which have been linked to feuds or turf wars between known criminal factions linked to the drugs market.

“Information from the community has a vital role to play in the success of this work and we would urge anyone who knows anything that could assist us to get in touch, anonymously if needed via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”


Three arson attacks in three years

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Mosque suffers Islamophobic hatred once again

A Manchester mosque has suffered a third arson attack in three years earlier in July, which Greater Manchester Police have confirmed they are now investigating as a hate crime.

Nasfat Mosque, an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain, had 30 firefighters and five fire engines tackle the blaze last month, which left the building gutted.

Deen Moyodele, Nasfat mosque spokesperson, said, “The arson attack was so devastating. We are very active in the local community, participating in all community events in order to promote cohesion and we welcome dialogue with all. But whoever carried out this attack are unfortunately nothing but cowards.”

Nasfat has a track record of positive community work. Members of the mosque's congregation took part in a national peace rally showing their support against extremism, with banners reading "Say no to extremism" and "No to Boko Haram." And in February 2017, the mosque held a mosque open day for their local community as part of national #VisitMyMosque Day.

A peace walk in Manchester was held last week with participants from multi-faith communities across Manchester attending to show solidarity. And the Greater Manchester Council of Mosques issued an open letter to MPs and local councillors, reiterating the concerns of all Mancunians of violence targeting people of a specific faith.

MCB Secretary General Harun Khan said, “Prime Minister Theresa May had said ‘There has been far too much tolerance of extremism in our country over many years – and that means extremism of any kind, including Islamophobia’.

“With Islamophobic hatred like this Manchester arson attack, the mowing down of worshippers in North London or incitement of hatred against East London Mosque in the last few weeks to name but a few, we urge the UK Government and all parts of British civil society to adopt a coordinated and strategic approach to tackling this form of extremism. The MCB remains open to working with all parties to support these efforts.”

The Muslim Council of Britain has for years been one of the many civil society voices warning against the rise of Islamophobic hatred and violence in the UK.

In an MCB submission to the Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee inquiry into Hate Crime and its Violent Consequences in December 2016, we said, “The evidence is unambiguous as to the scale of Islamophobia and its violent consequences within the UK. Many individuals have been attacked in hate crimes ranging from online hate crime, verbal and violent assaults to intimidation, and even murder, as was the case with Mohammed Saleem in October 2013.”

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Walker of GMP’s City of Manchester Borough, said: "We are investigating this [Nasfat arson attack] as a hate crime which has damaged a place of worship used by members of the Nigerian community. No one should be the subject of hate and intolerance"

No arrests have been made yet and so the arsonist is still at large and a threat to the public. We commend the support provided by Greater Manchester Police to date and urge anyone with information to contact the police to help them in their investigation on 0161 856 9770 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Nasfat mosque has launched a crowdfunding plea for £50,000 to repair and reopen the premises within 8-12 months. This can be found online at: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/standagainsth8


Victim Support launch live chat service

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Victims of crime have another way of accessing support after Victim Support received a cash boost to fund a live web chat service.

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson who commissions and oversees victims services in West Yorkshire agreed to give £13,000 funding to the charity to fund a pilot of their West Yorkshire Live Chat service until March.

It means victims of crime can talk online to a specially trained supporter, increasing the options of face to face or the telephone, to access support and advice.

The money comes from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Victims and Witness grant.

The service, which launches today (MON) will be available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday across West Yorkshire via the Victim Support website. It will be only one of a few areas across the country where Victim Support, the current victim service provider in the West Yorkshire operates, that is using and trying out this service.

Mark Burns-Williamson (PCC ) said: “I am very pleased to be able to support this Live Chat service pilot as being a victim of crime can have a significant impact on a person’s life, on their family and in their community, so accessing timely support in this way is vital.

“I want to encourage and support all organisations to identify innovative ways of supporting victims of crime and this is another way of looking to ensure victims have access to direct emotional and practical support in line with modern, accessible and confidential services.

“The Victims Code sets out the services which will be provided across the region to ensure specialist help is provided to support victims and their families to cope and recover from the impacts of crime, particularly the most vulnerable.

“People can also access support at our Help for Victims website which will soon have a link to the victim Support Live Chat function pilot at www.helpforvictims.co.uk and look forward to seeing how the service progresses during this period.”

Lesley McLean, Victim Support’s manager, said: “The Live Chat service means that victims of crime can now speak to a supporter online and is another opportunity for people to access support.

“It provides an alternative to people who perhaps don’t want to meet someone face to face or speak on the telephone.

“I want to thank the PCC for his support in ensuring victims of crime can access services with another option available to them.”

For more information visit www.victimsupport.org.uk or call Victim Support on 0300 303 1971.


Book puts Bradford on the crime map

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‘Girl Zero’ is the second in the DI Harry Virdee series - doing for Bradford what ‘The Wire’ did for Baltimore

A tensely paced and meticulously plotted book, ‘Girl Zero’ takes you from the dark heart of the city to its fraught outskirts on the vengeful hunt for a trafficking ring.

This is the second in an explosive new book-a-year series that will put Bradford on the crime map.

Author A.A. Dhand was raised in Bradford and spent his youth observing the city from behind the counter of a small convenience store.

After qualifying as a pharmacist, he worked in London and travelled extensively before returning to Bradford to start his own business and begin writing.

The history, diversity and darkness of the city have inspired his Harry Virdee novels.

TV rights for the book were snapped up by Filmwave, the producers behind the recent adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy for the BBC and HBO.

There are some surprises that no-one should ever have to experience. Standing over the body of your beloved – and murdered – niece is one of them.

For Detective Inspector Harry Virdee, a man perilously close to the edge, it feels like the beginning of the end.

His boss may be telling him he’s too close to work the case, but this isn’t something that Harry can just let lie. He needs to dive into the murky depths of the Bradford underworld and find the monster that lurks there who killed his flesh and blood.

But before he can, he must tell his brother, Ron, the terrible news. And there is no predicting how he will react.

Impulsive, dangerous and alarmingly well connected, Ron will act first and think later. Harry may have a murderer to find but if he isn't careful, he may also have a murder to prevent.


Mayor launches knife crime crackdown after wave of fatal stabbings

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called on the Government to reverse cuts to youth services as he launched a full package of measures to help beat the continued problem of rising knife crime in the capital.

Sadiq Khan made the call as he announced a hard-hitting package of measures in a tough and comprehensive new approach to tackling the problem of knife crime in the capital. The Strategy is backed by a further investment of £625,000 by the Mayor, taking the total spending by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime on knife and gang crime projects to more than £7million.

Twenty four young Londoners under the age of 253 have been fatally stabbed on London’s streets so far this year. Dozens of families have been bereaved; many more have seen their loved ones severely injured. Sadiq Khan is clear - this simply has to stop.

The Mayor’s new Knife Crime Strategy has been drawn up in collaboration with many organisations, groups, communities and individuals with expertise and passion to help solve this problem.

Sadiq Khan said: “My new strategy brings together many organisations, groups, communities and individuals and their expertise and passion to help solve this problem. Because we’ve got to work together - with families, communities and young people. This cannot, and must not, be left just to the police to tackle.

“We must not and we will not give up on our young people. We are working to provide them with the skills, the resources and the confidence they need to turn away from knives and lead the life they deserve.”

The Government has cut almost £400m from youth service spending across the country between 2010- 20161. Since 2011, the capital has lost £22million in youth funding as a result of Government cuts to councils. More than 30 youth centres have been closed and at least 12,700 places for young people have been lost2 at a time when knife crime is rising.

Around six in ten young male victims of knife crime were from BAME backgrounds and almost half are of black ethnicity.



The wider package of measures in the Knife Crime Strategy includes:

  •         A specialist team of 80 Met police officers who will support the Met to carry out more Operation Sceptre weeks of action to target knife-crime hotspots, including ‘super recognisers’ to aid in the identification of key offenders.
  •         Developing a new, targeted community sentence requirement for those convicted of knife possession, which can be used on top of jail time and traditional sentencing where appropriate. This will be developed with the London Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), National Probation Service (NPS), courts and others.
  •         Support for Met officers to use more targeted, intelligence-led stop and search, with a call for London’s communities to help provide the intelligence needed. When incidents of knife crime increase, people should expect the use of stop and search to increase. Seventy-four per cent of Londoners, and 58 per cent of young people said they support the use of stop and search to tackle knife crime in a recent survey4, but they said how the stopping and searching takes place is critical.
  •         To help ensure stop and search is used in the best possible way, the Mayor is supporting the Met in rolling out judgement training for officers, to improve decision-making in the toughest situations. By the end of this year all frontline officers will be equipped with Body Worn Video cameras, which have been found to boost the confidence of both officers and members of the public, with more transparency and better evidence.

Offering ways out of crime

  •         Continuing and developing the work of the London Gang Exit Service to focus work on people involved in gangs who use weapons, including work to develop offenders’ skills to improve their employability and increase their access to job opportunities.
  •         Expanding the work of Project Chrysalis in prisons so that serious violence has the same consequences, such as increased sentences, as they would on the streets.

Keeping deadly weapons off our streets

  •         Extending the Met and Trading Standards’ use of test purchasing - a way of testing if knives are being sold to minors as well as whether they are being stored appropriately - to include online sales, holding online retailers to account for illegal sale of knives to children;
  •         ‘Naming and Shaming’ those retailers who continue to refuse training provisions and repeatedly are identified by the police and trading standards as selling illegally to underage customers;

Protecting and educating young people

  •         Providing special educational ‘toolkits’ and metal detecting knife wands to London schools in areas where knife crime is most prevalent, and ensuring every school has a nominated Safer Schools Officer.
  •         Extending the City Safe Havens scheme to TfL and the top 20 fast food outlets in London, with Mc Donald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken already on board to offer a place of safety to anyone under attack.

Standing with communities, neighbourhoods and families against knife crime

  •         Empowering communities with £250,000 seed funding and targeted ‘toolkits’ for grass-roots activities led by young people and community groups to help protect, nurture and skill-up London’s children and young people.
  •         A £200,000 media campaign to be launched in the autumn, including toolkits for schools and community groups, and work with media giants including Google to address online videos which glorify knife crime.

Supporting victims of knife crime

  •         £2m to increase support for young victims of crime - including knife crime - and their families.
  •         Expanding the work of RedThread, where specialist youth workers work with victims of knife crime at the crucial ‘teachable moment’ at London’s major trauma centres, to more key A&E departments.




Teen charged with rape of 8-year-old girl in a Manchester park

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A 16-year-old boy accused of raping of an eight-year-old girl in a Manchester park will appear in court on Monday 26th June.

Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to​ the park in Moston just before 6.55pm on Saturday 24th June after reports the girl had been raped and the offender had been chased off by members of the public.

The teenage boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested in a nearby shop and will appear in custody at Manchester Youth Court on Monday, Greater Manchester Police said.

The victim is being provided with support from specially trained officers.

Inspector Dave Whelan said: "I know this incident has understandably caused a lot of unrest in the local community, particularly among those who were in the nearby area at the time but I want to assure everybody that we have launched a full investigation.

"We treat all reports like this with the utmost seriousness and as such officers swiftly attended the scene and arrested a teenage boy within 16 minutes of the initial call coming in.

"We would like to thank the local community who assisted in our initial inquiries earlier today.

"Local residents may notice an increased police presence in the area so if you have any information about the incident or concerns that you wish to raise with officers, then I would encourage you to either approach them directly or call police."

Detectives have urged the public not to speculate over their investigation.

"We are aware of a lot of local speculation regarding the investigation and we would ask that this please stops to allow the investigation and legal process to continue without prejudice," it said.

Anybody with information should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 1984 of 24/06/17, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


“We cannot let people who want to cause harm dictate how we live and work”

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PCC: Mark Burns-Williamson pays tribute to victims and families affected by London attack

PCC: Mark Burns-Williamson pays tribute to victims and families affected by London attack


West Yorkshire’s Police Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson imparts message of diversity of the region

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said that his thoughts were with the victims and families of those affected by the London attack on Saturday evening.

“I want to pass on my thoughts and condolences to those caught up in this awful situation in London,” he said.

“...and I want to pay tribute to the professionalism of the emergency responders on Saturday night and to those brave members of the public. There is no doubt our police and emergency services do a fantastic job but we need to work together collectively even more to try and prevent these tragedies happening in the first place.

“We cannot let people who want to cause harm dictate how we live and work and I want to reassure people in West Yorkshire that their public safety remains our top priority.

“The diversity of West Yorkshire is one of its greatest strengths and community cohesion is vital to ensure our communities feel safe. I know that the impact of recent tragic events will affect feelings of safety, but I am working with communities to empower them to build resilience against divisive influences.

“These crimes often ignore county and national boundaries and the effects of failing to stop them, as we know, can be truly devastating...together we will need to redouble our efforts in finding lasting solutions to these terrible acts of extremism and violence from wherever they come.

“We are fortunate to have the North East Counter Terrorism Unit and a committed team of local authority coordinators across West Yorkshire who work with communities to help prevent people being drawn into extremism, but if we are to stop terrorist attacks we must be able to more effectively identify and support people who are vulnerable within our communities, and disrupt those who seek to radicalise others.

“That is why I have been calling for a Government review of the counter-terrorism, including the Prevent strand for some time, as well as more resources for policing our communities generally.

“I want to reassure people that there is already an increased police presence, including patrols and armed officers, around key locations across West Yorkshire and would urge people to be vigilant, and alert but not alarmed.

“If anyone has any concerns I would urge them to ring the anti-terror hotline on 0800 789 321 but in an emergency ring 999.”


Crime statistics: West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s statement

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Responding to the release of the latest crime statistics for West Yorkshire from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “West Yorkshire Police have been at the forefront of improving crime recording practises and have been praised by the Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) for their work.

However these changes have and will continue to have an impact on the figures making them look disproportionately high until a new base level is achieved and other police forces reach the same standards.

“The real rise in overall crime within West Yorkshire is actually around 4% and I will ensure that West Yorkshire Police continue to ethically record crimes and carry out full analysis so the public and our partners can understand the true picture.

“I was recently supported in this view by Councillor Alison Lowe, the Chair of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, the organisation that oversees my work to ensure it meets the needs of our communities. The Police and Crime Panel have monitored the changes to crime recording and Councillor Lowe pointed out the current issues in terms of a fair playing field on recording and that in real terms we are not markedly different from other metropolitan areas.

“The current data shows that the risk of household crime in West Yorkshire as of June 2016 stood at 10.7% and personal crime 2.9% which have both been improving consistently over the past few years.

“However crime statistic can only ever give an overview and are not reflective of the incredible effort West Yorkshire’s officers and staff put into keeping us all safe day in day out.

“We have a range of complex and demanding priorities including cyber crime, child sexual exploitation and missing people that we are working tirelessly to combat. This crucial work is not fully reflected or captured in these figures.

“Government cuts of £140m plus at the cost of over 2,000 police officers and staff since 2010 have made the situation increasingly challenging. However, I was able to set a budget last year to fund the recruitment of nearly 600 police officers this financial year and protect the current number of Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

“We are well into this renewed recruitment with the latest campaign currently running. Several hundred of these new police officers are already on our streets making a real difference in our communities. Recruitment for PCSOs is also underway and applications to become a Special Constable are opening shortly too.

“I recently launched my new Police and Crime Plan with the aim of keeping West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe. The key outcomes focus on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, safeguarding vulnerable people, making sure criminal justice works for communities and supporting victims and witnesses and I will be working with West Yorkshire Police and our partners to deliver on those.

“I pledged to put victims first and I will always do so, if you have been a victim of crime then please report it so you can get the support you need.

“To report a crime to West Yorkshire Police call 101 or for more options visit their website at https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/ClickB4UCall you can also report anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”


Man sought following sexual assault of boy, Willesden Green

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Detectives investigating the alleged sexual assault of a schoolboy in Willesden Green have released images of a man they wish to identify and speak to about the incident.

On Wednesday, 11 January at about 15:50hrs the 12-year-old victim was approached by a man whilst in Park Avenue, NW2.

The man persuaded the boy to go to an address in nearby Griffin Close, NW10, with him and it was there that the man assaulted the victim.

The man has been described as Southeast Asian in appearance, aged in his mid 20s, around 5ft4ins tall with a slim build. He was wearing a grey coloured beanie type hat, a light green coloured long sleeved top, grey coloured trousers and he was pushing a bicycle.

Detective Inspector Christine Edgar, who is leading the investigation by the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said:

“We are appealing for anyone who recognises, or thinks they recognise, the man in the images we’ve released, to contact us.

“We are also continuing to appeal for witnesses, or anyone in or around the areas of Park Avenue and Griffin Close, that saw the man with a boy, to also contact us.”

Anyone that can assist police is urged to contact detectives on 020 8733 5009 or via the police non-emergency number 101, or by tweeting @MetCC.

To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.


‘85mph in a 30mph zone’: Boy racer from Bradford jailed for 26 months

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JAILED: Shahrukh Raja was of previous good character before the horror smash which maimed his cousin for life

JAILED: Shahrukh Raja was of previous good character before the horror smash which maimed his cousin for life

After maiming his cousin in a high speed crash that reached a wheel-spinning 85mph, a boy racer has been jailed for 26 months.

Farooq Raja was filming from the back seat of the souped-up ‘Volkswagen Golf R’, when Shahrukh Raja – his brother – ploughed into a parked car on Northcote Road, Undercliffe, Bradford  on 28th October 2015.

Bradford Crown Court heard this week that Aqib Raja, 19, who was sitting in the front seat, suffered life-changing injuries in the smash that happened in fog shortly before midnight at the Otley Road junction.

Shahrukh Raja, 22, sustained a serious head injury. Farooq Raja, 19, who had previously downloaded YouTube clips of young men driving fast on public roads, was left dazed at the roadside.

Shahrukh Raja, of Queens Road, Manningham, Bradford, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

Farooq Raja, of the same address, admitted aiding and abetting dangerous driving by filming from the back seat.

He was sent to a Young Offender Institute for nine months by Judge Jonathan Rose, who told him: “You were very much part and parcel of that night's terrible events.”

The brothers stood side by side in the dock, wearing smart dark suits. They bowed their heads as the judge said law student Aqib Raja's life was devastated in a few seconds of ‘pure and blatant showing off’.

Judge Rose said: “This was for fun. This was for kicks. This was for a laugh. But there's no laughter, no fun, no kicks that came from this episode.”

Prosecutor Richard Walters said that on the night of the crash, Aqib Raja, who is from Manchester, hired the Golf for a wedding and drove it to the brothers’ home at 11.30pm.

He took his cousins for a drive but Shahrukh Raja got into the driver's seat after they stopped at Peel Park for a smoke.

He did a U-turn and quickly reached speeds of up to 85mph in a 30mph zone.

Seconds later, the Golf struck a parked Vauxhall Astra, rotating it into a wall. It then ricocheted and hit a stationary Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, shunting it into another vehicle.

The Golf ended up across the middle of the road, where it was struck by a speeding Range Rover.

Mr Walters said a police crash investigator estimated the speed of the Golf to be 85mph shortly before the crash. He was unable to replicate the accident conditions because it was too dangerous.

Local residents saw Farooq Raja standing dazed in the road. His brother was unconscious and Aqib Raja had suffered a fractured skull, bleeding under the skull, facial fractures and broken ribs.

He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary and put in an induced coma until January. He did not leave hospital until August.

The court heard that his family had three meetings with doctors to discuss bringing his life to an end by withdrawal of care.

He could no longer walk unaided, had no use of his left arm and his hearing, sight and breathing were affected. He needed help with bathing and dressing and was completely dependent on his family.

In his personal statement, made in August, Aqib Raja said he used to enjoy playing football and cricket but his whole life was now dependent on others.

He said: “I don't want a wheelchair because I don't want people I know to see me in it.”

Before the crash, Aqib was a qualified mechanic and employed as a takeaway delivery driver, but his severe head injury meant he could no longer work.

The court heard that both men were of previous good character.

Judge Rose told Farooq Raja: “You are well aware of a culture of dangerous and reckless driving, a culture to which you subscribed. The police found YouTube videos you had downloaded showing a number of episodes of young men driving fast and powerful cars on streets in reckless, dangerous and potentially lethal fashion.

"It is essential that the courts mark the abhorrence of that culture and send out a message to those like you who encourage others to drive dangerously, and those like you, Shahrukh Raja, who drive dangerously without any thought of the consequences and the damage you might do.”


‘Don’t waste your life behind bars’: Former young offender warns kids to stay away from a life of crime

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WARNING: Bounty spent time in and out of prison throughout his teens and, following a report which states 47 per cent of young offenders are from BME communities, he is now working to deter children from of a life of crime

WARNING: Bounty spent time in and out of prison throughout his teens and, following a report which states 47 per cent of young offenders are from BME communities, he is now working to deter children from of a life of crime

As a newly published report this month suggests that almost 50 per cent of children in youth offender institutions are from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds , one former young lawbreaker has told the Asian Express that ‘children must know the true cost of crime’.

‘Bounty’, as he is known to friends and family, is no stranger to prison.

Despite only being 21-years-old, the Bradford man has been in and out of youth offender institutions and prisons since his early teens, accumulating over 18 months behind bars.

Arrested ‘almost a hundred times’ and appearing in court on several occasions, his young days were notorious to say the least, convicted for robbery, fighting and possession of offensive weapons.

Today he is able to look back on his younger days and see the error of his ways.

Now working in security, Bounty has turned his life around, and has even spoken to ‘at risk’ children about the dangers of a criminal lifestyle.

Explaining more about his own experiences, he said: “It all started in school for me.

“I was a problem child at school, always getting into fights and trouble. I was eventually thrown out and it was then that I began hanging round with bad crowds.

“I was sent to jail for the first time when I was only 13 or 14 for robbery.

“For a year or two after my release I went clean but I couldn’t keep away from these bad people. I ended up going in and out of jail a number of times between 2013 and 2014. In 2015 I was put in jail after six months.

“I look back now and see what a waste of time it all was. You waste your life behind bars and kids today need to understand this.”

In a message to young people today, Bounty says there are no rewards in a life of crime.

“I would just tell people to keep away from the streets, keep away from drugs and get an education,” he said.

“These ‘gang leaders’ are only ever watching their own backs. They might be driving flashy cars or appear to be living a high life but they are not.

“They are only a minute away from their doors being kicked in by police. When that happens, you will not be looked after.”

He added: “Jail’s not a nice place. I wouldn’t let my family come see me when I was in because it would have hurt them more than it hurt me. Children today must understand that it affects more than just them.”

In that latest HM Inspectorate of Prisons report, statistics show that 47 per cent of boys held in youth offender institutions are from a BME background.

This is the highest rate recorded since 2001.


Former criminal becomes crime prevention campaigner

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CHANGING LIVES: Naz has spoke with over 15,000 children about the dangers of pursuing a criminal lifestyle

CHANGING LIVES: Naz has spoke with over 15,000 children about the dangers of pursuing a criminal lifestyle

A former criminal from Bradford, who was previously handed a nine year prison sentence for a drug related offence, has since helped over 15,000 children deter from a life of crime.

Arfan Naseer, known as Naz, is not your ordinary ex-convict.

He is the founder of Bradford-based Con-sequence – an organisation set up to highlight the true impact of a criminal lifestyle with help and accounts from ex-offenders.

After falling into the wrong crowd in his teenage years, Naz paid the price for delving into the illegal practice of drug dealing and was soon arrested for his role.

During his time behind bars, he suffered from low self-esteem yet one meeting with a representative from the national charity – The Prince’s Trust – soon turned his life around.

“I was lucky because I was given a second chance,” he said. “I had someone who believed in me with the Prince’s Trust and it allowed me to flourish and become what I am now.”

WORKING IN BRADFORD: Con-Sequence is currently working alongside Bradford’s Centre of Excellence

WORKING IN BRADFORD: Con-Sequence is currently working alongside Bradford’s Centre of Excellence

Working alongside the charity – which aims to help unemployed or struggling young people to transform their lives – Naz was able to share his story with children across the North of England.

He became the country’s first serving prisoner to work alongside the Trust, as he began to undertake the huge task of turning around the lives of youngsters who may have ended up in a life of crime.

“At that time, there were no visuals, no props, it was just me talking to the kids,” he said.

“I learnt so much from that time that when I was released, I continued working with the Trust for a couple of years.”

A short time later Naz set up his own enterprise, Con-sequence, to continue and build on the work he had started during his incarceration.

Since then, Con-Sequence has worked with children across the north of England, delivering presentations to schools and community groups, and reaching out to over 15,000 young people.

In 2015 the enterprise joined forces with Bradford’s Centre of Excellence.

The centre, which features in-house mock jail cells, a court and living area, was developed as part of the city’s pledge to do more to prevent ‘at risk’ young members of society turning to crime.

Based at Girlington Community Centre, the facilities are located in the city which Naz grew up and was arrested in.

“At the moment we are delivering all the sessions on prison and crime at the centre,” he explained.

“So far, around 1,600 kids have attended classes as we reiterate the point that any criminal lifestyle is only ever short-lived.”

He added: “There are two things I guarantee to anybody considering a life in crime.

“First of all, I tell them they will end up in prison. That is a guarantee. Secondly, it could cause your death.”

The second point is doubly true for Naz who saw one of his co-workers gunned down earlier this year for turning his back on his former criminal life style.

“He was one of our former outreach workers,” Naz said. “He approached the group two years ago and said he didn’t want paying for the work, he just wanted to help the community

“Con-sequence was working with him, I focussed on the drugs side, and he would focus more on the violence crimes.

“Unfortunately, due to his former lifestyle, his so-called former partners beat him up this Ramadan and gunned him down outside his home in West Bowling. He was shot in the head.

“That person has left behind a family and a wife.”

The man’s father is now working with Con-Sequence to highlight the impact a criminal lifestyle can have on the entire family.

“We aren’t talking about movie plots to these kids,” he added. “These are the faces they see every day in Bradford who are being killed because of crime.”

With over 10 years of work on the project, Naz now has ambitions to roll out the project nationwide.

He hopes to meet with government officials and MPs to discuss plans of expansion.

“I want the chance to make this into a hardcore subject for schools,” he said. “Young people are aspiring to be role models in the wrong crowd - I know that because I did too.

“Now I want to do something to change these perceptions and make Bradford, and the UK, a better place to grow up in.”



Killer ‘laughed and laughed’ as shopkeeper lay dying

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MURDERED FOR HIS BELIEFS: Asad Shah was murdered by a stranger who was offended by the religious videos he posted online

MURDERED FOR HIS BELIEFS: Asad Shah was murdered by a stranger who was offended by the religious videos he posted online

Update on ‘despicable crime’ of murdered Glaswegian shopkeeper

As murdered Glaswegian shopkeeper Asad Shah took his last dying breaths on 24th March, his brother has told how the killer “laughed and laughed”.

Speaking to reporters, Athar Shah also spoke of his frantic fight to try to keep his brother alive after he was brutally attacked in his Glasgow store.

Athar described how he tried to defend his brother from the killer with an advertising sign.

Muslim taxi driver, Tanveer Ahmed, last week admitted murdering Mr Shah, who he said ‘had claimed to be a prophet’ in messages he posted on social media.

32-year old Ahmed travelled from Yorkshire to Glasgow and confronted Mr Shah at his store counter, before pulling out a knife and repeatedly stabbing the 40-year-old.

The Bradford father-of-three, Ahmed - who did not know the shopkeeper - claimed to have been offended by clips Mr Shah posted online which Ahmed said “disrespected the Prophet Muhammad.”

KILLER: Tanveer Ahmed will be sentenced for the murder of Asad Shah next month

KILLER: Tanveer Ahmed will be sentenced for the murder of Asad Shah next month

Mr Shah, a popular businessman and pillar of the community, suffered multiple wounds in the attack at his store in the Shawlands area of the city.

CCTV footage of the attack showed the moment the shopkeeper's brother and colleague tried in vain to save his life.

Judge Lady Rae condemned the ‘despicable’ crime after hearing the facts of the case at the High Court in Glasgow.

She told Ahmed: “There's no justification whatsoever for what you did.”

Ahmed will return to court for sentencing on 9th August.


Three arrested after fatal shooting

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TRAGIC: Imran Khan was set to become a father next month when he was shot in Bradford

TRAGIC: Imran Khan was set to become a father next month when he was shot in Bradford

Would-be father killed just one month before baby’s due date

Detectives investigating the death of a Bradford man have arrested three men on suspicion of murder.

Imran Khan, whose wife was due to give birth next month, was shot outside his home, on Round Street, West Bowling, on Monday 6th June at around 8pm.

He was taken to hospital but sadly died a short time later as a result of his injuries.

A post mortem, held on Tuesday, showed Mr Khan, who was 30 and from Bradford, died of a gunshot wound.

The ‘targeted’ shooting led detectives to launch a murder investigation with three men from Bradford so far arrested and placed in custody.

A 21, 22 and 30-year-old are being questioned by police on suspicion of murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Scott, of the Homicide and Major Enquiries Team, said: “Our enquiries are continuing to establish the full circumstances of what happened and the events leading up to it.

“A man has sadly lost his life and I would urge anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the Round Street area at around 8pm last night to contact us, so we can fully investigate this incident.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log number 1636 of 6/6, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, who can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.


India decides to lower the age for trying rapists in court to 16

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PROTESTS: People gather on Raisina Hill, Rajpath, New Delhi in 2012, protesting for stricter laws

PROTESTS: People gather on Raisina Hill, Rajpath, New Delhi in 2012, protesting for stricter laws

New law is needed after Delhi bus gang rape in 2012

Indian officials have this week passed legislation which has lowered the age for people being tried for rape and other crimes to 16.

Under the new law, 16 and 17-year-olds can be tried as adults, with corresponding sentences of up to life in prison or even the death penalty, depending on the severity of the crime

The law was spurred into action after the outrage over the release of a minor convicted in a 2012 fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus.

Parents of a victim who was repeatedly raped and beaten by the 17-year-old minor, as well as five adult companions, have asked for amendments to the law.

The woman died of her injuries two weeks later at a Singapore hospital.

The victim's father, Badri Singh, said the widespread public anger has forced the government to act.

Mr Singh said: “They (the lawmakers) were sleeping, thinking that they will silence the people but the reason that they had to do something was because the people did not keep quiet.”

The case drew worldwide attention and condemnation. Four adults in the case were sentenced to death while the fifth man hung himself in prison. The death penalties are yet to be carried out.

India’s Women and Child Development Minister, Maneka Gandhi, said on Tuesday: “Juvenile crime is the fastest rising segment in the country and the bill will help to stop [this].”

“The new law will decide whether a child committed the crime in a childish or adult frame of mind.”

Authorities say the number of juvenile crimes has been increasing. Last year, 38,565 cases were registered, including many cases of murders, rapes and acid attacks.

The supporters of the new law say tougher punishment will act as a deterrent.

On Tuesday, the Juvenile Justice Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha - the upper house of the parliament, after initially being approved by the Lok Sabha - the lower house, in May.

It will now have to be signed by the president to become law, which correspondents say is a ‘mere formality’.


Birmingham teenagers charged for knife attack on Polish men

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CRIMINALS: (L-R) Abdullah Atiqzoy, Feizullah Atiqzoy and Sadam Essakhil

CRIMINALS: (L-R) Abdullah Atiqzoy, Feizullah Atiqzoy and Sadam Essakhil

Two teenagers - including a 16-year-old boy - face jail after being found guilty of stabbing a young Polish man to death and leaving his friend seriously injured in an unprovoked and random attack in a Birmingham street. 

A third man was found guilty of helping an offender.

The chilling attacks took place in May 2015 in the early hours of Sunday morning, as Lukasz Furmanek, 24, and Joseph Dudek, 34, walked along Grove Lane, Handsworth.

The two friends had spent the evening drinking in a Polish club in Soho Road and were heading back to Lukasz Furmanek’s flat when they were attacked.

Both men were stabbed several times.  Lukasz died at the scene due to his horrific injuries, despite emergency crews performing CPR in a bid to save him. Joseph was left in a critically ill condition.

Officers believe at least one knife was used in the attack. CCTV shows a knife stuffed in the bottom of one of the attacker’s trouser legs.

Following the stabbings, police launched a major enquiry.

19-year-old Abdullah Atiqzoy, an Afghan national from Elizabeth Street, Oldbury was arrested by Kent Police after being found travelling in the back of a lorry in an attempt to escape the country.

16-year-old Sadam Essakhil, also an Afghan national, from Small Heath was arrested after police issued an appeal to find him. He handed himself into police in Belgium, where he had recently escaped to.

Both men were charged with murder and attempted murder.

Following the verdicts, court reporting restrictions were lifted to allow Essakhil to be named.

A third man, Abduallah’s brother, and 24 year-old Feizollah Atiqzoy of no fixed address was arrested in August.

Although not there at the time of the attacks, he helped his brother and was charged with assisting an offender.

All three will be sentenced on 15th January 2016.

Detective Inspector Jim Munro from the force’s homicide team, said: “This was a completely random attack. The defendants had only crossed paths with the two victims seconds before they attacked them with knives.

“The attack was sudden, shocking and brutal, which left one man dead and his friend fighting for life. Fortunately Joseph Dudek has made a full recovery. Atiqzoy and Essakhil were guilty of barbaric violence and I welcome the verdicts."



The crime-fighting family

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REWARD: The Baig family received their bravery awards from West Midlands Police deputy chief constable Dave Thompson after tackling a street robber in Wolverhampton last year

REWARD: The Baig family received their bravery awards from West Midlands Police deputy chief constable Dave Thompson after tackling a street robber in Wolverhampton last year

Bravery award for determined mother and daughters

A Dudley mum and her two daughters have been commended by West Midlands Police for helping to catch a ‘fleeing crook’ after being targeted by the same would-be robber.

55-year-old Fatima Baig and her daughters, Rozyena and Shamma, were in Dudley Road, Wolverhampton, in June last year when they spotted a cyclist breaking into their car.

Determined not to lose their possessions, the family intervened to stop the criminal, Americo Gambone, from Parkfields, as he attempted to cycle away.

28-year-old pharmacist Shamma - who was carrying her baby son at the time - and 25-year-old medical student Rozyena bravely blocked his path whilst Ms Baig stepped in to tackle the thief.

Despite finding Gambone armed with a knife, the family managed to recover both bags from the bike's handlebars before he fled from the scene.

Thankfully, during the struggle Rozyena made a swift 999 call for police support - and minutes later Gambone was in handcuffs after a motorist who'd witnessed the struggle flagged down a passing patrol car and pointed out the crook to officers.

Sergeant Matt Cooper, said: “Even though the offender was much bigger than them, and struggled while threatening them with a knife, the women fought to get back their property.

“All three sustained minor injuries, along with the baby boy, and all should be commended for their bravery.”

Gambone was subsequently convicted of attempted robbery and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

The crime fighting family received their awards from Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson at a special ceremony at Tally Ho! on Tuesday 15th September.


Slovakian man pleads GUILTY to violent attack and rape in Beeston

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CHARGED: CCTV images of Zdenko Turtak were released following the attack in Beeston earlier this year

CHARGED: CCTV images of Zdenko Turtak were released following the attack in Beeston earlier this year

A 21-year-old European, who was extradited back to the UK by officers from West Yorkshire Police earlier this year, has admitted to the brutal rape and assault on a teenager in Leeds.

Zdenko Turtak, from Kosice, Slovakia, appeared in front of Leeds Crown Court on Friday 25th September, where he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and rape.

To the charge of attempted murder he pleaded not guilty.

Following the assault on the 18-year-old in Beeston on 6th March this year, a huge police operation was put into place to trace Turtak.

The victim had been attacked as she waited at a bus stop in Beeston Road, near to the junction with Tempest Road.

She was dragged into a nearby garden where she was struck over the head numerous times with a large stone before being seriously sexually assaulted.

Unidentified at the time, only CCTV images and a police e-fit were available of Turtak as officers appealed for information as to the identity of the assailant.

A reconstruction of the crime was featured on BBC’s Crimewatch and he was eventually traced to Slovakia.

FLED: The search for Turtak eventually finished in Slovakia where he was traced and extradited back to the UK

FLED: The search for Turtak eventually finished in Slovakia where he was traced and extradited back to the UK

He was arrested by Slovakian authorities and extradited to the UK in July with help from the National Crime Agency and the West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.

Speaking previously, Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, explained: “Once the warrant was granted, we liaised with the Slovakian police through the National Crime Agency to secure the arrest of this man.


Conman targeted music fans to fuel drug habit

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Two year sentence for fraudulent ticket sales

GUILTY: Jay Carmen was sentenced to two years in prison for selling fake tickets online

GUILTY: Jay Carmen was sentenced to two years in prison for selling fake tickets online

A Birmingham man who conned thousands of pounds out of concert goers over 12 months in order to fund his cocaine habit was finally jailed last week.

Jay Carmen was handed the sentence after admitting numerous fraud offences where he advertised fictitious tickets on social media and auction websites, netting him £9,500 in total to pay for his £200-a-day addiction.

Music fans across the UK were left out of pocket after paying up to £500 for Beyoncé tickets and £600 for admissions to the Isle of Wight’s Bestival festival but the tickets did not exist and never arrived.

Carmen, aged 27, also duped a number of horse lovers by selling expensive saddles for £465 on equestrian websites.

The offences all took place between February 2013 and March 2014. Carmen was caught when detectives traced the bank account he was using to transfer the funds and was arrested by officers in May 2014.

Carmen, of Pembroke Drive, Northfield, admitted 24 of the offences but denied six of them and the case went to trial at Birmingham Crown Court.  But at the last minute, the fraudster changed his mind pleading guilty to all 30 crimes and was sentenced to two years in jail on Friday 20th March.

PC Richard Potts, from the force’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Carmen – who was a legitimate businessman with a silver service and events management training company - used a series of false names as he did not want his perceived good name to be associated with the fraudulent sales.

“He lied to his girlfriend and a friend, saying he needed access to their bank accounts to facilitate funds transfers from his company, but in fact used them to accept payments from his fraudulent sales.

“The sentence handed to Carmen reflects the financial impact and stress his crimes had on his victims and he will be the subject of a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing in an attempt to recover some of the money lost.

“This case is also a timely reminder that – with the many sporting and music events on offer in the UK over the summer – people need to be on their guard against fraudsters like Carmen, and we’d advise anyone wanting to buy tickets for an event should only buy them from trusted websites or a legitimate ticket seller.”


£35million cannabis empire crashes down

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ILLEGAL: Evidence of the Saund’s activities were presented in front of Birmingham Crown Court including images of cannabis farms and giant wads of cash

ILLEGAL: Evidence of the Saund’s activities were presented in front of Birmingham Crown Court including images of cannabis farms and giant wads of cash

Uncle and nephew jailed for huge drugs network

Two men who oversaw a cannabis farm network across the Midlands - netting them a multi-million pound fortune - are now behind bars after West Midlands Police brought their drugs empire to an immediate halt.

Nirmal and Darryl Saund posed as respected businessmen - operating out of a Birmingham company called The Cayman Group - to strike rental deals on industrial units and residential addresses in Northamptonshire, Herefordshire, Leicester and Shropshire.

But having secured leases, the pair kitted out the premises with sophisticated hydroponics equipment and employed members of the Vietnamese community to act as live-in growers.

Between September 2012 and June last year, when they were arrested by West Midlands Police, it’s estimated they had netted around £35million in drugs profits.

West Midlands Police coordinated a major investigation into the family following cannabis factory finds by police forces across the Midlands.

Detectives ran surveillance operations on some sites, uncovered aliases used by the drugs barons created using fake passports and utility bills, and uncovered bank accounts used to stash drugs cash having followed Vietnamese ‘staff’ on bank runs.

And crucially, through sophisticated high-tech checks, they were able to trace the group to their headquarters in Baltimore Road, Handsworth Wood.

GUILTY: (l-r) Darryl Saund, Nirmal Saund and Cuong Pham were all jailed

GUILTY: (l-r) Darryl Saund, Nirmal Saund and Cuong Pham were all jailed

Nirmal Saund, 51, from Skip Lane in Walsall, admitted conspiracy to supply drugs whilst 31-year-old Darryl, from Foxcote Drive in Shirley, denied being involved but was found guilty after a trial.

At Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday 18th February, both men were jailed - for 10 years and six months, and nine years respectively.

In total, six members of the Vietnamese community were also arrested from cannabis farms run by the Saunds, some of whom went on to be jailed.


Corrupt Cop

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Officer jailed on ‘BLACKMAIL’ charges

A former Police Community Support Officer (PSCO) who blackmailed women in Newham whilst on duty, was sentenced last week to six years in prison.

JAILED: Kabeer Yousaf was found guilty of blackmail and committing misconduct in a public office for offences in 2014

JAILED: Kabeer Yousaf was found guilty of blackmail and committing misconduct in a public office for offences in 2014

Kabeer Yousaf, 31, of Barley Lane, llford, blackmailed women at brothels on St Stephen’s Road in East Ham, and Corporation Street, in West Ham, when he was a PCSO for Green Street Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

In 2012 he contacted a woman in her 40s – known in court as ‘Victim One’, on an adult website.

He arranged to meet up with the woman and have sex with her at the brothel on Corporation Street. After doing so, he returned, wearing his uniform, and demanded that she pay him £2,000 to remove her details from the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) data systems. Fearful, the woman paid him £1,500.

In October 2012, while on duty, Yousaf went to the brothel on St Stephen’s Road to investigate reports of anti-social behaviour.

About a week later, he returned - again on duty - and demanded that a woman (Victim Two), who was running the brothel, pay him money or else he would have it shut down.

The woman agreed to pay £500 a fortnight, and Yousaf continued to visit the brothel while on duty, sometimes having sex with the women there in lieu of blackmail payments.

Yousaf was eventually arrested on 10th January 2014 following an intelligence-led investigation by the MPS Trafficking and Kidnap Unit (TKU). He was remanded in custody and resigned the next month.

On 29th December 2014, he was convicted of blackmail and misconduct offences at Snaresbrook Crown Court. He was found not guilty of rape and one count of conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.

He was sentenced to four years imprisonment for blackmail, and a further two years to run consecutively for committing misconduct in a public office.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Brewer, of the TKU, said: “Kabeer Yousaf held a trusted position in the Newham community, which he exploited to abuse vulnerable women.

“Yousaf’s actions have undermined everything that the Met stands for and the Met will do everything in its power to ensure that those few police staff and officers who commit crimes are brought to court.

“The women that Yousaf blackmailed have shown great courage in working with the police in light of their experience with him.”



CRIME: Secret language exposed

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Burglar symbols revealed

ALERT: Police say homeowners should report the symbols if they find them as they can be used in police intelligence

Police decodes street language used by burglars to help fellow criminals target homes

Police are warning homeowners after decoding symbols used by burglars, which act as messages to highlight good theft targets and warn other criminals.

The secret symbols which are scrawled outside houses to help other thieves as a guide, may indicate that a home is wealthy, has already been burgled or may have nothing worth stealing.

Worryingly, they may also indicate if there is a vulnerable female in the home, or if the occupant is nervous, afraid or an easy target.

As well as saying where there are rich pickings, the code also warns if a property is well-guarded or has nothing valuable

A simple 'X' means the home is a good target, while the same symbol outlined with a circle means there is nothing worth stealing in the property.

A capital D with a dash drawn in it indicates that burgling the house is too risky, while five circles in the shape of a star shows that a property is wealthy.

Other marks reveal if a house is alarmed or has already been burgled.

Police in Torbay, Devon, posted the symbols on Twitter in a bid to warn homeowners that they may be a target for thieves.

DC Steve Fleetwood warns the 'ancient' symbols are being drawn outside homes by criminal gangs.

He said: 'The Exeter Neighbourhood Team saw them at the end of a few drives, on a few kerbs and on gate posts and we want to warn people about them.

'It is very new to us and we are just asking people to be aware.'

DC Fleetwood says the code could be a valuable tool in the fight against crime.

He added: 'Knowledge is power. If we're aware of it happening we can see if there have been any burglaries in the area and we can analyse the data to gather intelligence.'

He urged homeowners to report any unusual markings on low-rise walls, pavements or kerbs by ringing 101 or their local police station.