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Trick or Treat?

Monday, 31 October, 2011 1 comment

According to a recent survey commissioned by Santander Insurance, 1 in 5 people would support banning Trick or Treating following the riots which swept across London earlier this year. 

Around 22%  of people surveyed believe that the yearly custom should have an outright ban, while 50% said that parental accompaniment should be compulsory in order to control the behaviour of children.

Furthermore, 43% of people would support a ban on people wearing masks which obscure the face over Halloween, and over a third of people asked would support a ban on people wearing hooded tops.

Andy Smith, head of media relations at Santander, said: “The summer’s riots resulted in a huge amount of innocent people becoming victims of crime. Our research would suggest that there is genuine concern about any more criminal damage or anti-social behaviour taking place in the period that surrounds Halloween and bonfire night – a period which many people already find intimidating”.

Are these fears founded or is it a lot of fuss about nothing? We want to know what you think: 

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MPs split over EU vote

Tuesday, 25 October, 2011 1 comment

David Cameron faced what can arguably be seen as the biggest test of his leadership yesterday as a backbench motion calling for a referendum on Europe caused a massive rift within the House of Commons.

The decision of Cameron and Miliband not to allow a free vote within Parliament, opting for a three-line whip in the hope of controlling MPs votes, was met with fierce criticism from both The Commons and the general public.

After a five-hour debate on the pros and cons of EU membership and why the public should or should not be allowed to determine our future within Europe, 483 MPs voted to reject the motion, with only 111 voting in favour leaving a majority of 372 out of a total of 650 MPs in the House of Commons.

This result has sparked uncertainty over the future of several MPs within their parties. Grassroots reaction from Twitter and other social media sources suggest widespread public dissatisfaction with the result of the vote.

Twitter user Edward Butler-Ellis, who tweets under the username @EdwardBE1 and describes himself as an ‘avid Conservative campaigner’ said: “how is the #eureferendum a distraction for parliament? The EU is the single largest influence over the UK, don’t insult us. #referendumNOW

charlotteahenry, a self-described liberal, said: “Fuming about today’s self indulgent antics in Parliament, given what’s going on in the real world. Do MPs still wonder why nobody cares?”

Meanwhile, Labour supporter Shereef Abdallah (@Sheik74Shereef ) said: “Cameron is sleep walking to disaster. Even after the Euro vote, what happens if UK has d.dip recession ? Govt won’t survive till 2015.”

The list of rebels is as follows:

Conservative

Stuart Andrew

Steve Baker

John Baron

Andrew Bingham

Brian Binley

Bob Blackman

Peter Bone

Graham Brady

Andrew Bridgen

Steve Brine

Fiona Bruce

Dan Byles

Douglas Carswell

Bill Cash

Christopher Chope

James Clappison

Tracey Crouch

David T.C. Davies

Philip Davies

David Davis

Nick du Bois

Caroline Dinenage

Nadine Dorries

Richard Drax

Mark Field

Lorraine Fullbrook

Zac Goldsmith

James Gray

Chris Heaton-Harris

Gordon Henderson

George Hollingbery

Philip Hollobone

Stewart Jackson

Bernard Jenkin

Marcus Jones

Chris Kelly

Andrea Leadsom

Jeremy Lefroy

Edward Leigh

Dr. Julian Lewis

Karen Lumley

Jason McCartney

Karl McCartney

Stephen McPartland

Anne Main

Patrick Mercer

Nigel Mills

Anne-Marie Morris

James Morris

Stephen Mosely

Sheryll Murray

Caroline Nokes

David Nuttall

Matthew Offord

Neil Parish

Priti Patel

Andrew Percy

Mark Pritchard

Mark Reckless

John Redwood

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Simon Reevell

Laurence Robertson

Andrew Rosindell

Richard Shepherd

Henry Smith

John Stevenson

Bob Stewart

Gary Streeter

Julian Sturdy

Sir Peter Tapsell

Justin Tomlinson

Andrew Turner

Martin Vickers

Charles Walker

Robin Walker

Heather Wheeler

Craig Whittaker

John Whittingdale

Dr. Sarah Wollaston

Labour

Ronnie Campbell

Rosie Cooper

Jeremy Corbyn

Jon Cruddas

John Cryer

Ian Davidson

Natascha Engel

Frank Field

Roger Godsiff

Kate Hoey

Kelvin Hopkins

Steve McCabe

John McDonnell

Austin Mitchell

Dennis Skinner

Andrew Smith

Graham Stringer

Gisela Stuart

Mike Wood

Lib Dem

Adrian Sanders

Democratic Unionist Party

Gregory Campbell

Nigel Dodds

Jeffrey Donaldson

Dr. William McCrea

Ian Paisley Jr.

Jim Shannon

David Simpson

Sammy Wilson

Green

Caroline Lucas

Independent

Lady Hermon

POSITIVE ABSTENTIONS (Went through both Aye & No lobbies) 2

Ian Stewart (Conservative)

Mike Weatherley (Conservative)


Wood Green thief who targeted pensioners jailed

Friday, 16 September, 2011 Leave a comment

Michael Sammie, 44, of Swaythling Close, N18, has been  imprisoned for five and a half years. Between February and May this year he stole from six homes in the South Kensington and Barnet areas between February and May of this year, Wood Green Crown Court heard.

Sammie posed as a member of a gas or electricity company to gain entry into vulnerable people’s homes. Many of his victims had health or mobility problems.

He pretended to befriend the elderly to gain entry into their houses. Once inside the property he asked his victims to go to other rooms to turn on switches while he pretended to test light fittings. When the victim left the room, he stole cash, bank and pension cards, valuables and jewellery.

Officer in the case Davina Cullen said,“This man has a long history of offending. Sammie appears plausible and charming, but in truth he is a ruthless predator of the elderly. He pretends to befriend his victims, but then remorselessly steals their property and savings. The calculated approach to his crimes makes them all the more despicable.

One victim, a 77 year old resident of Finchley, said “Firstly may I pay tribute to the police; if they had not acted so promptly they would never have recovered my jewellery. He stole my grandfather’s signet ring and my mother wedding ring and it meant so much to get these back, it’s not the cost but it’s the sentimental value.

“To prey on vulnerable people is unforgivable and I am so glad he has been caught. I would urge anyone who has a caller at the door to ask for identification, these men are so plausible.”

Ten charged with arson offences across Barnet

Friday, 16 September, 2011 Leave a comment

Ten people have been charged with conspiracy to commit arson across Barnet, including six counts of arson that closed the M1 motorway in April.

The M1 motorway was closed in both directions because of the fires.

A seven mile stretch of the M1 had to be forced shut because an elevated section had been so badly damaged due to a fire in a near by scrap yard.

The closure dirupted travel plans for thousands of football fans travelling from Manchester, Bolton and Stoke for two semi-final FA cup matches at Wembley and other visiting London for the London Marathon.

All ten have been charged and released on bail to appear at Hendon Magistrates Court on Tuesday 20th September. All the offences date from a period from 12 April to 16 April.

The charged are:

Luke Matthews, 18 (12/5/93), of Richmond Court, Hatfield, Herts is charged with conspiracy to commit three acts of arson (including the M1 fire).

Johno Johnson, 18 (13/7/93), of Millfield Road, Edgware is charged with conspiracy to commit five acts of arson (including the M1 fire).

A 17- year-old male youth from Edgware is accused of conspiracy to commit five acts of arson (including the M1 fire).

A 15-year-old male youth from Harrow is accused of conspiracy to commit five acts of arson (including the M1 fire).

A 14-year-old male youth from Edgware is accused of conspiracy to commit one act of arson.

A 15-year-old male youth from Edgware is accused of conspiracy to commit five acts of arson (including the M1 fire).

A 17-year-old male youth from Edgware is accused of conspiracy to commit five acts of arson (including the M1 fire).

Damien John McQueen, 18, of Harcourt Avenue, Edgware is charged with conspiracy to commit two acts of arson.

Hannah Louise Parker, 18, of Symphony Close, Edgware is charged with conspiracy to commit two acts of arson.

A 17-year-old youth from Edgware is charged with conspiracy to commit two acts of arson.

Editor’s note: the law prevents us from naming U18s charged with a crime.

Image via bovinity, Flickr.

London’s Libyans celebrate in the streets

Monday, 22 August, 2011 Leave a comment

About 200 people on the Edgware Road are celebrating the apparent downfall of Colonel Gaddafi after Libyan rebels entered Tripoli.

Courtesy of Simon Neville on Twitter

A video of people dancing and chanting has emerged thanks to LBC Radio’s Dan Freedman. One person on Twitter claims that the celebrating crowds include a small child brandishing a plastic toy gun, echoing the scenes that Sky News has been broadcasting live from Tripoli.

The news network’s reporter on the ground in Tripoli, Alex Crawford, captured astonishing footage of rebels celebrating on Green Square, including Kalashnikov rifles being fired at symbols of Gaddafi’s government and up into the air.

Crowds of pro-Libyan supporters remain on the Edgware Road at the time of writing. It is not known how long they intend to stay there but news crews are in the area at the moment.

In Libya itself Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, one of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, has been arrested and will be sent to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. Mohammed Gaddafi, another of Muammar’s sons who runs the Libyan Olympic Committee, is also reportedly under house arrest. Gunshots were heard whilst he was giving a telephone interview to an Arabic channel but he appears to be unharmed.