The Latest on Crime in that Petri Dish I Like to Call Britain

First, there’s this:

Gun and Knife Murders Out of Control

Gun and knife killings are getting out of control as six Londoners were murdered over the past week and one child is stabbed to death each week, anti-crime campaigners warned.

Local communities were being blighted by run-away violence as gang members who believe they are “untouchable” carry guns and weapons as a matter of routine to carry out crimes and to settle scores.

Now as a matter of “urgency,” police should carry out random and targeted stop and search to catch weapon wielding thugs backed up with the introduction of a mandatory five year prison sentence for those carrying illegal knives – the same penalty as carrying guns.

Last Sunday Lee Ryner, 30, was stabbed in Romford. Then father of three Ken Hong, 38, died of his injuries after being thrown from his car as he tried to stop a car thief in Streatham on Wednesday.

Two days later Brazilian Carlos Moreno, 23, was gunned down as he arrived outside a friend’s home in Acton on Friday evening.

Hours later Mikey Brown, 24, was stabbed to death during a row in a nightclub in Kinsgston at 2am on Saturday morning, and four hours later 17-year-old Annaka Pinto was shot dead during another row in an Tottenham club.

Then just before midnight on Saturday a 16-year-old was stabbed to death in a gang clash in Beckenham.

Victims of Crime Trust director Norman Brennan said Britain was quickly gaining a reputation as being one of the most violent countries in the Western world, scarring communities and leaving millions in fear of crime.

Now he urged tougher action to stamp out the spiralling violence, claiming the Government has failed to uphold its pledge to make Britain’s street safer.

He said: “In the past six days there have been three people stabbed to death, two people shot dead and one father fatally injured when he was run over by his own car whilst trying to prevent it from being stolen.

“A child is stabbed to death on the streets of Britain every week and knife homicides out number gun homicides by three to one. If these measures were introduced it would greatly reduce knife crime and consequently save lives.

“I believe that the government who came into power with the slogan ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ have failed to deliver on their promises to make the streets of Britain safe.

“We have many individuals and gang members that carry guns and knives as a matter of routine to commit crime and protect themselves and their turf, believing that they are untouchable.

“Unless we can change this attitude and trend, senseless murders will continue unabated and the widespread fear of crime will continue to be controlled by such individuals.”

“Each murder affects on average three hundred people. Murders committed in various parts of the country or particularly within a close radius of each other have a ricochet affect and dramatically increase fear within communities.”

He added although government figures show a small reduction in gun related crime, it is under reported and has to be viewed against “unprecedented” high levels of knife and gun crime over the last five years.

Although the Trust welcomed the fact the majority of murders leads to an arrest and conviction, prevention is a better cure it said.

Mr Brennan said: “There are currently 270 recorded firearm related offences committed on the streets of Britain every week.”

Wow. 270 firearm related offenses recorded every week in a country with full firearm registration, and bans on semi-automatic long guns over .22 caliber, pump-action rifles and shotguns, full-auto weapons, and all handguns.

I wonder how many aren’t recorded. Because next we have this:

Government figures ‘missing’ two million violent crimes

By David Barrett, PA Home Affairs Correspondent
Published: 26 June 2007

An extra two million violent crimes a year are committed in Britain than previously thought because of a bizarre distortion in the Government’s flagship crime figures, it was claimed yesterday.

A former Home Office research expert said that across all types of crime, three million offences a year are excluded from the British Crime Survey (BCS).

The poll caps the number of times a victim can be targeted by an offender at five incidents a year.

If anyone interviewed for the survey says they have been targeted more than five times a year, the sixth incident and beyond are not included in the BCS.

The authors of a report by think-tank Civitas said the five-crimes limit is ” truly bizarre” and “misleading”.

Professor Graham Farrell of Loughborough University and the former acting head of the Home Office’s Police Research Group, Professor Ken Pease, calculated that if the cap is ignored, the overall number of BCS crimes is more than 14 million rather than the current 11 million a year estimate.

Violent crime is 82 per cent higher at 4.4 million offences compared with 2.4 million in the BCS, the survey claims, including a 156 per cent rise in ” acquaintance violence” from 817,000 incidents to 2.1 million.

Domestic violence is 140 per cent higher, up from 357,000 incidents a year to 857,000, the authors said, while there are nearly three million common assaults a year rather than the 1.5 million estimated by the BCS, a rise of 98 per cent.

Burglary is 20 per cent higher than currently estimated, at 877,000 a year, and vandalism is 24 per cent higher, the report calculated.

Robbery is 7 per cent up on the official estimates, or an extra 22,000 crimes bringing the yearly total to 333,000.

“If the people who say they suffered 10 incidents really did, it is capping the series at five that distorts the rate,” the authors said.

“It is truly bizarre that the victimisation survey, based as it is on the assumption that people will by and large tell the truth about what happened to them, … suddenly withdraws its trust in their honesty when what they are told does not chime with their own experience.

“Yet the reality is that some people are very frequently victimised, and that frequent victimisation is what they suffer rather than being an invention or exaggeration.”

The cap of five crimes for repeat victims has operated ever since the inception of the BCS in 1981.

Ministers claim the survey – which now polls 40,000 people a year about their experiences of crime, is the most reliable indicator of crime levels,

The authors said: “The unwillingness to believe the facts of chronic victimisation means that crime control, police training and criminal justice action are now substantially misdirected.”

In particular, the system means that the most vulnerable people in society may not be getting the police protection they require from repeat offenders, the report said.

Meanwhile, the Church of England can’t seem to tell fiction from fact, since it wants a cash settlement from Sony for… Well, you read it:

Church wants cash for ‘sick’ game

LONDON, England (CNN) — Entertainment giant Sony has been branded irresponsible for using a cathedral from a city plagued by gun crime in a violent video game.

The Church of England says the company did not seek permission to use the Manchester Cathedral in the game, and is demanding an apology and a large donation to be used in its work with young people.

Church leaders have accused Sony of the “desecration” of the cathedral after the firm set the top-selling the new PlayStation 3 game, “Resistance: Fall of Man,” in the place of worship.

The game, which has sold more than one million copies, sees a virtual shoot-out between humans and gun-toting aliens with hundreds killed during a battle inside the cathedral.

Sony has been criticized for choosing Manchester — a city where gun violence is rife, and has left tens of youngsters dead. Every year a candlelit memorial services is held in the Manchester Cathedral in honor of people who have been killed by guns.

The Dean of Manchester Cathedral, The Very Revd. Rogers Govender, said Monday the use of the cathedral in the game was “beyond belief.”

He said Sony’s product undermined the important work the church did and created an image the church did not want to be connected with.

Church officials, who have described Sony’s move as sick and sacrilegious, met Monday to discuss the next steps in the dispute and draw up a letter of demands to be issued to Sony.

Church leaders want the game removed from shop shelves or modification of the section of the game to remove the Cathedral interior. They also want an apology from the company for using “realistic photo quality” images of its building without permission. Govender said the church would also seek a donation to be used in its work with young people. He did not specify how much the company would be asked to pay.

Govender urged Sony to get in touch with the church within the next few days to discussed the points raised by church leaders, and hoped the two parties would be able to find a “mutually satisfactory conclusion.”

Spokesman for Manchester Cathedral David Marshall told PA the church had received emails in support of its stance against the multinational.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt. Rev. Nigel McCulloch, said: “It is well known that Manchester has a gun-crime problem.

“For a global manufacturer to recreate one of our great cathedrals with photo-realistic quality and then encourage people to have gun battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible.

“Here in Manchester we do all we can to support communities through our parish clergy; we know the reality of gun crime and the devastating effects it can have on the lives — it is not a trivial matter.”

Patsy McKie, from the Manchester-based group Mothers Against Violence, told CNN she was pleased the church was taking action over the game.

In 1999, her 20-year-old son died after he was shot in Manchester.

“We are concerned about the amount of violence in these games,” McKie said Monday. “It’s real for us. We are living the reality here. It’s not just a game.”

It is understood photographers may have visited the Cathedral to take pictures for use in the game, PA said.

During the game players are asked to assume the role of an army sergeant and win a battle.

A spokesman for Sony Japan confirmed to CNN Monday that the interiors depicted in the game were based on the Manchester Cathedral. He said Sony was taking the complaint very seriously and is looking into the matter.

Asked what Sony’s next move would be, a spokesman said on Monday: “We are now in contact with the Cathedral authorities and will be dealing with them directly,” according to a Reuters report.

David Wilson, a Sony spokesman, told The Times: “It is game-created footage, it is not video or photography. It is entertainment, like Doctor Who or any other science fiction. It is not based on reality at all.

“Throughout the whole process we have sought permission where necessary.”

This is a profoundly fvc!ed up culture. And gun control activists want us to follow their lead! We don’t need to get any more fvc!ed up than we already are. I prefer our culture where elderly restaraunt patrons can defend themselves, and fathers can defend their daughters rather than one where a shopkeeper gets fined (and could have gotten a prison sentence) for doing what used to be his civic duty.

Yes, we’re both violent, but they’re fvc!ing insane.

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