Ask The Commissioner

Last week saw Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe visit Hillingdon for a Q&A session with local residents. Interested to hear what would be asked and how the Commissioner would lay out his roadmap for the borough, I attended the debate at The Civic Centre

Bernard Hogan-Howe

Crime Statistics for the Borough

Sir Bernard was introduced to the crowd by Chairman David Brough of the Hayes Town partnership and was accompanied on stage by new acting Borough Commander, Supt Colin Wingrove.

Opening with a presentation of the statistics for crime in Hillingdon, the following were presented via a projector with Sir Bernard talking us through them –

Total recorded crime in Hillingdon Aug 15/16 – 1.5% increase (Additional 330 crimes)

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A free country put to the test

As seen in my previous piece, London Mayor and Uxbridge MP Boris Johnson has stated that it would be difficult to ban the flying of the Islamic State flag as this is a ‘free country’. (Despite ignoring the clear breaches of the anti-terror and public order acts that it entails).

St George and Hizb flags

Tomorrow sees the annual Al Quds day parade in London, where the flag of the proscribed terrorist group Hizbollah (Pictured above, which came in to my possession at last year’s event) will be flown on the streets in breach of the same laws and no doubt with no response from the Police.

To see if Boris is prepared to be true to his word, I will be peacefully counter protesting as I do each year – Anti-Semitism, homophobia, misogyny and racism have no place on the streets of our capital city. I will be carrying with me the St George Flag as also displayed in the picture – Let’s see if The Metropolitan Police show me the same consideration that they showed to the IS supporter at Westminster. I somehow doubt it.

Al Quds 2014 - march past

 

An open letter to Boris Johnson re ISIS

After Boris Johnson’s LBC radio show, I have just emailed the following message to him

Dear Boris

Boris-Johnson-close-up

As a constituent of yours, I was alarmed to hear your comments regarding the flying of an ISIS flag in London on LBC radio today, as confirmed in the following tract from The Independent

The Isis flag should not be banned by law because Britain is a “free country”, Boris Johnson has said.

The Mayor of London said he did not want to see the flag of the so-called Islamic State flying anywhere but said that banning it in law could prove unworkable.

“I don’t like people carrying the ISIS flag … I think a balance has got to be struck,” he told LBC radio.

May I draw to your attention the following passage from The 2003 Terrorism Act

Proscription makes it a criminal offence to:

  • wear clothing or carry or display articles in public in such a way or in such circumstances as arouse reasonable suspicion that an individual is a member or supporter of the proscribed organisation (section 13).

The penalties for proscription offences under sections 11 and 12 are a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a fine. The maximum penalty for a section 13 offence is 6 months in prison and/or a fine not exceeding £5,000.

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Tunisia and beyond – Why our Government keep failing in the face of terror

Like most of you, I was horrified by the events of last Friday – The massacre of tourists in Tunisia, the bombing of the Shia Mosque in Kuwait and the beheading of a worker at a chemical plant in France. It would appear that the Islamic State promise to paint the Holy month of Ramadan with blood was no idle boast as countries around the world were hit by grim acts of terror.

David Cameron 2Yesterday morning, David Cameron gave a press conference where he once again sent out a defiant message that the free countries of the world will not give in to these acts of barbarism and that the terrorists will never win. Unfortunately, whilst our Prime Minister thinks he talks a good game, both his actions and part of his speech show just why this growing threat shows no signs of going away in the near future.

 

Tough on the causes of extremism?

Both David Cameron and Home Secretary Teresa May have said that they will crack down hard on the preachers of hate. However, what they say and what they do are two entirely different things.

Al Quds 2014 - Ladies with HB flags

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A picture of life outside the European Union (EU) – 2020

You will hear a lot of scare stories about how our country will struggle if we leave the EU from those in the ‘Yes’ campaign.

Here is what it could really be like……..

 

EDP pictures 028The year is 2020 and Britain is adjusting to life and thriving outside of the declining European Union.

Free from the need to negotiate trade deals via unelected EU commissioners, a series of agreements with the emerging nations of the world have boosted exports and revitalised our industries. Unwilling to lose their largest European market, the remaining EU states have swiftly confirmed free trade agreements with the UK and the job losses predicted by the ‘Yes’ campaign fail to materialise.

Re-engaging with our traditional world partners, most notably the Commonwealth, has invigorated our shipping industries and cities such as Liverpool and Glasgow once again hum to the sound of machinery as exports grow and vessels come and go, offloading such produce as New Zealand lamb and transporting out machinery exports, pharmaceuticals and high tech equipment.

With much of the EU red tape removed from our small and medium industries they once again start to drive economic growth. Repeal of EU diktat on renewable energy and the large combustion plant directive means that energy once again becomes cheaper, driving down costs for businesses and making them more competitive on the world stage.

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Immigration – An inconvenient truth

During the recent General Election campaign, I was asked a very good question at the Hayes & Harlington hustings – “With the debate on immigration being driven by negativity, how can we turn immigration from a negative back to being a positive?”

Hayes hustings April 2015My answer was fairly detailed, but a part of it was reported in some media quarters as ‘silencing the room’ and by some on Twitter as being ‘disgusting’, so with the events of the last week I wish to put the record straight.

The answer, quite simply, is by regaining control of our borders so we can monitor both the quality and quantity of those wishing to come to the UK.

When I was growing up in the seventies and eighties, immigration was running at levels far below those of today. Moreover, before the advent of the European Union in its current form, we had the ability to say who we would and wouldn’t accept in to our country. Because of this, those coming here were predominantly looking to build a better life for themselves through hard work, skill set and integration. In my reply, I pointed to the Ugandan Asians who fled from Idi Amin as a great example of positive immigration, people who have settled and brought with them a tremendous work ethic that has benefitted both our country and their families who are now second and third generation Britons.

The NHS also benefited from immigration in the seventies, with gaps in the service being filled by newcomers taking up positions that we couldn’t fill from our own pool of workers.

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Top Police Officer wants us to ‘claim back our streets’

It has been a very interesting few weeks in Hillingdon on the crime front, and it would appear that many people have been asking the same question as I did on 5th October in my post, ‘Crime is under control? Pull the other one..’.

Chief Superintendent Julian Worker, the top police officer in Hillingdon, has called for residents to ‘reclaim the streets’ at  a local meeting attended by over 50 local residents, and the local press. Mr Worker has asked for the local community to effectively act as eyes and ears for the police, requesting  for witnesses to come forward where a crime has been committed and for everyone to be vigilant and report anti-social behaviour.

In the current economic climate, we all know that there will be cuts to local Police Forces, which my party is strongly against – With crime on the increase, how can any sane government make cuts to the service that protects local people? With this in mind, Mr Worker’s request seems eminently sensible, and in principle I agree with it. However, in practice, how can it work with the Politically Correct conditions that our local officers have to operate under?

I will give you a few examples as follows….

A customer of mine when I ran a phone shop in the Borough recounted a story about an issue in Hayes. He was a regular in my store, and I was concerned to see him with stitches to some nasty cuts up his arms. It turned out that he had intervened in a mugging of an old lady in Hayes Town – He had called the Police, but with no thought for his own safety had dived in to try and help her whilst waiting for them to arrive. In the ensuing melee, his arms were slashed by one of the muggers with a knife, whilst the other one ran off. He managed to subdue the mugger, and the Police arrived to take him away. You may think that this is a great example of public spiritedness and just what Mr Worker is asking for, but you would be wrong – Because they couldn’t find the knife used in the attack (even though the use of it was evident) and the old lady was so confused by the whole event, my customer was arrested and charged with racially aggravated assault based on the word of the mugger! He ended up with a fine and community service penalty, and now has a criminal record.

Indeed, I have even had my own encounter with this kind of thing myself. A couple of years ago, I was returning from a restaurant to my house with two friends. A battered old Mercedes was parked across my driveway, and we could see fists flying from the drivers seat. It turned out that the driver was assaulting his girlfriend, who we later found out was three months pregnant at the time. My two companions pulled the man out of the car, whilst I dived in to the house to call for assistance. The perpetrator wriggled free, ran to the middle of the road, and made a series of threats before running off with one of my friends in pursuit. The Police arrived, and brought back my friend and the attacker in separate squad cars. There followed an hour of questions outside my house where we were accused by the attacker of first being the people who beat his girlfirend up, then we were accused by him of trying to mug him and threaten him at knifepoint (We were searched by the officers, nothing was found), followed by an accusation that we had damaged his car because we were jealous that he had a Mercedes, and finally that we were trying to mug his girlfriend for her credit card! During this time, the scene was attended by a patrol van, three squad cars and an ambulance.

When I asked one of the officers at the end of the interrogation if he was going to charge the attacker with wasting police time, bearing in mind that he had made four groundless accusations and tied up all these resources,I got a smile and a shrug of the shoulders with a quick ‘You know the score’ as they let him go. He even shouted threats at us out of the window of the car as he drove off, to tell us that he knew where we lived and we would ‘get what was coming’ – Again, no action was taken by the Police.

I asked a friend of mine who was in the Police at the time why such a scenario should occur, and was informed that it was not worth the mound of paperwork that such an incident would  create if they had taken it further. He also pointed out that a number of these people are persistent re-offenders, and with the help of their solicitors know every trick in the book to twist and turn what appears to be a simple case in to something much more sinister, along the lines of ‘police persecution’ of the offender. I thought he was being paranoid, until I sat in on a chat between some work colleagues and a friend of theirs, who works at a local solicitors. She seemed quite proud of how they could stretch a case out and make life difficult for the Police, even in an open and shut case. It was like listening to some of the left wing politicians who blame crime on social deprivation, as if the perpetrator of the crime is in some way the victim and that the victims of crime in some way ask for it.

I personally wish Mr Worker well with his initiative, but in light of just these few tales above (Of which I have many more) I feel that he will be fighting an uphill struggle unless somehow he can change the wrong type of PC (Political Correctness) around to the advantage of the right kind of PC!

Crime is under control? Pull the other one…..

Hillingdon Council have long talked tough on defeating anti-social behaviour and crime in the area. Indeed, the most recent copy of Hillingdon People, the council propaganda sheet, spoke glowingly of how anti social behaviour and petty crime is on the wane in the locality.

With this in mind, let us look at the events of the last couple of weeks.

Firstly, on The Willow Tree Estate in Yeading, the resident’s association had a meeting where the local press were excluded, to get to grips with the problems inherent in their area, including drugs,gun crime and antisocial behaviour.

Last week saw the Gazette reporting on the ASBO issued to 16 year old Coucou Kasongo by Uxbridge Magistrates court – His defence wanted reporting restrictions imposed, but for once the judge saw sense in allowing locals to be alerted to his continuing criminal behaviour, and his strange penchant for wearing a bullet proof vest in order to ‘give him more confidence in certain situations’.

Then we had the Crimewatch report on the attempted rape of a young woman outside the Point West Building in April shown last week – The attacker, described as approximately 5ft 4in in height,in his late 20’s to early 30’s, and of slim build and Somalian appearance, has yet to be apprehended.

I went through a General Election campaign hearing local politicians saying how crime in the area was under control, and ‘due to their untiring efforts’ etc etc…..Sorry to trouble you gentlemen, but I have lived in this area for the last 40 years, and I have never known the level of criminality and vandalism to be so bad, and for so few Police to actually be out on the beat discouraging crime (Although there are plenty of PCSO’s floating about who cost money and deter precisely no-one!)

Don’t expect things to get better any time soon with this poor excuse for a government we have at the moment – Cutbacks will ensure that we have still fewer Officers on the frontline, and even weaker sentences handed out as a deterrent because we wouldn’t want to upset anyone’s human rights, would we Mr Cameron?

That is the same Mr Cameron, should I add, who campaigned for 2 years in opposition to scrap the European Human Rights Act (1998) and replace it with a ‘British’ bill of rights, only to scrap that particular promise in the first fortnight of his government, no doubt using Nick Clegg as his ‘get out of jail free’ card to blame this U-Turn on.

One of the first duties of any elected government, be it local or national, is to safeguard the rule of law in their jurisdiction. Looking at both levels, the ‘Party of Law and Order’ ie The Conservatives, have failed miserably – Maybe it is time for a new direction, and time to look at how we are governed at both levels.

If you are looking for change, The English Democrats are here listening.

Anti-Social behaviour – Is it really in decline?

According to page 23 of Pravda (Sorry, I mean the Council’s glossy magazine,Hillingdon People), ‘Levels of anti-social behaviour are falling in Hillingdon’. This assertion is based on ‘research undertaken with residents in the borough’

This begs the question – With whom, and where in the Borough, was this research carried out? A six month dispersal order was recently imposed in Yeading between Willow Tree Lane and Maple Road, and in September 8th’s Gazette, another dispersal order was reported for Hayes Town. Now, in today’s Gazette, it is reported that yet another dispersal order is to come in to effect in Columbia Avenue, between Eastcote and Ruislip Manor.

This hardly seems to tally  with the council’s official line – After all, if anti-social behaviour is in decline, why the need for so many new dispersal areas? Indeed, as some members of the local community have commented to me, the dispersal area’s don’t actually achieve anything, as the behaviour is just shunted further down the road to the next area.

So what is the solution? Blatantly obvious, I would have thought – More uniformed Police Officers back on the beat, rather than in the station filling in paperwork,and more activities for our young people to participate in thus taking them off the streets.

Whether our council will adopt this common sense attitude, especially with the anticipated cuts in public spending coming up, remains to be seen.