“Only Cowards Carry” – Anti-Knife Campaign In The UK

The Essex Police Department in the United Kingdom is partnering with a group called Only Cowards Carry. Part of this partnership includes placing “knife bins” around the area where you can anonymously dump knives and, it appears, other sharp objects. They are calling it knife amnesty and the object is to reduce “knife crime” (sic). They had a post about it up on their Facebook page but it has been taken down according to KnifeNews.com.

Picture captured from Facebook by www.knifenews.com

According to the Essex Police Department’s website, the bin is in Southend and is part of that town’s knife amnesty campaign.

From their website:

In a move to tackle knife crime, Sergeant Kayleigh Webster from Southend’s Local Policing Team sought to have the bin donated to Essex Police by Only Cowards Carry, it will enable the safe disposal of all bladed items handed in as part of the amnesty.

The introduction of the knife amnesty bin in Southend follows bins being placed across the county. Since a trial of a knife amnesty in Tendring in 2014, more than 7,000 knives have been surrendered safely.

Since the launch of the bin, Southend’s Local Policing Team has opened the bin to discover over 30 knives and weapons have been surrendered.

The amnesty is being supported by Essex Police, the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the Only Cowards Carry charity set up by Caroline Shearer in memory of her son Jay Whiston who was stabbed to death at a party in Colchester in September 2012.

Sergeant Kayleigh Webster from Southend’s Local Policing Team and her team have been working tirelessly over the past few months to carry out a number of operations around the clock to reduce weapon related crimes and violent crimes in Southend.

In a number of dedicated operations, Sgt Webster’s team have carried out over 50 stop and searches which led to police finding and seizing over 200 knives in Southend. A total of 40 people have been charged for being in possession of an offensive weapon.

Along with continued operations, Sgt Webster believes the knife amnesty bin will take more knives off of the streets of Southend. She said: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on the victim’s family, friends and the community. Having served Essex Police for nearly ten years, I’ve seen first-hand the impact that knife crime can have.

Only Cowards Carry Weapons Awareness is a registered charity – the UK version of a non-profit – located in eastern England. They have five of these knife bins in place and have plans for nine more. They put on a number of workshops in the area.

I feel for any mother who lost her child to a violent crime. However, blaming the tool instead of the actions of the violent offender is misplaced. You see that here in America with the various gun control groups. Moreover, terms like “knife crime” and “gun violence” are oxymorons. The knife didn’t commit the crime anymore than the gun perpetrated the violence. They are both inanimate objects incapable of independent actions. It is the violent person who decides to act that is the problem and not the tool. If we are to blame all objects that are used in the commission of a violent act, then we also have steel-toed boot crime and stick on the ground violence. I doubt we’ll see any organizations devoted to the outlawing of steel-toed boots or limbs that have fallen on the ground anytime soon.

“Feral Urchins” Are Stealing Shotguns In England

There have been a rash of burglaries in the countryside surrounding the English city of Liverpool. The thieves have been targeting farmers and wealthy landowners for their legally-owned shotguns. According to Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Richardson (no relation), shotguns are the weapon of choice of these, in his words, “feral urchins” for settling disputes.

Shotguns were responsible for two of the city’s most high-profile murders – the Eldonian Village killing of 16-year-old Lewis Dunne and the fatal attack on Vinny Waddington, in Garston, last July.

Detective Chief Superintendent Richardson told the ECHO: “I’m not convinced these kids are totally aware of the capacity of that firearm{shotgun}.

“They see it as some sort of air weapon, but it is a lethally-barrelled firearm that has the capacity to kill.

“These urchins are using these weapons oblivious to the consequences, going round with weapons with the idea to resolve disputes by discharging it through windows.”

The UK requires shotgun owners to keep their legally-owned shotguns secured in locked cabinets which can be inspected by police at any time.

Shotguns have been used in about half the shootings in the Merseyside (Liverpool) area in the past 12 months. The other most common firearm is the 9mm Glock pistol which has been banned from possession by the average Briton for years.

The Merseyside police have given no information where the “feral urchins” are obtaining Glock pistols.

An Outrage In The UK

Sgt. Danny Nightingale served 17 years in Her Majesty’s service in the Royal Army. Included in those 17 years were 11 years as a sniper in the Special Air Service Regiment. He is now serving 18-months in Her Majesty’s Prisons for possession of a Glock that was given to him as a “war trophy” in Iraq which he intended to donate to the Regiment.

What makes this even more of an outrage is that Sgt. Nightingale suffers severe memory loss due to a brain injury suffered after he collapsed at charity event and went into a coma for three days. Given his memory loss, expert testimony at his trial stated he probably didn’t even realize he had it.

The Glock itself was in possessions that he had left in Iraq that were packed up for him by fellow troopers when he had to leave Iraq in a hurry after two friends were killed. He was detailed to accompany their bodies back to the UK. The pistol was originally shipped in a container to SAS HQ and then his possessions were sent to his home. It remained packed away until 2010 until it was discovered in a search of his living quarters. Police searched the quarters due to allegations made against his housemate by an estranged wife. Nightingale was not the subject of the search.

Sgt. Nightingale pled guilty to the charges when his attorney informed him he could be facing five years imprisonment. He had planned to fight the charges.

His commander and others are standing behind him.

Lt Col Richard Williams, who won a Military Cross in Afghanistan in 2001 and was Sgt Nightingale’s commanding officer in Iraq, said the sentence “clearly needed to be overturned immediately”.

He said: “His military career has been ruined and his wife and children face being evicted from their home — this is a total betrayal of a man who dedicated his life to the service of his country.”

Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP for Newark and a former infantry officer, said he planned to take up the case with the Defence Secretary. Simon McKay, Sgt Nightingale’s lawyer, said: “On Remembrance Sunday, when the nation remembers its war heroes, my client — one of their number — is in a prison cell.

“I consider the sentence to be excessive and the basis of the guilty plea unsafe. It is a gross miscarriage of justice and grounds of appeal are already being prepared.”

Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor, who presided over the court martial and sentenced Nightingale, had allowed the testimony about the memory loss to be entered but thought Nightingale knew he had the Glock in his possession.

As the British might say, bullocks.

This Is Unpossible

I think most of us would agree that zombies and zombie movies have pretty much jumped the shark. Now we see a British-made movie, Cockneys vs Zombies, has come out.

It features the residents of the Bow Bells Care Home and a few of their grandchildren fighting off a horde of hungry zombies with full-auto AKs and M-16s.

I’m sorry but this is just implausible premise. Not the zombies but ordinary Brits having access to anything stronger than harsh words with which to fight them.

That is just umpossible in Her Majesty’s gun-free paradise.

Castle Doctrine Coming To The Land Of Castles?

It appears that at least a limited form of the castle doctrine may be coming to the United Kingdom according to a story in the Daily Mail Online.

Chris Grayling, the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, announced that he is changing the law that would allow home owners (or householders, in Brit-speak) to use “disproportionate force” when faced with burglars or home invaders. Currently, people in the UK are only allowed to use “reasonable” force and it was only within the last couple of years that the duty to retreat even if within the home was removed.

It will mean someone who is confronted by a burglar and has reason to fear for their safety, or their family’s safety and in the heat of the moment uses force that later seems ‘disproportionate’ will not be guilty of an offence.

This could include the use of lethal force. Only force which is ‘grossly’ disproportionate will not be permitted.

Mr Grayling said: ‘Being confronted by an intruder in your home is terrifying, and the public should be in no doubt that the law is on their side. That is why I am strengthening the current law.

‘Householders who act instinctively and honestly in self-defence are crime victims and should be treated that way.

‘We need to dispel doubts in this area once and for all, and I am very pleased to be delivering on the pledge that we made in Opposition.’

It is good to see that the United Kingdom is coming to its senses on this. Many may remember the story of farmer Tony Martin who served more time in prison for killing a burglar in his house than did the burglar’s accomplices. Martin was originally convicted of murder and eventually had his conviction reduced to manslaughter on appeal. He still had to serve a five year sentence.

UPDATE: The British paper The Daily Telegraph has more on the changes as proposed by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. They note such a “law-and-order” policy is quite popular with the Conservative Party’s base.

Why Everyone Needs A Castle Doctrine

The right to protect yourself and your family from attack by criminals is a basic human right. It is the basis behind castle doctrine laws.

Unfortunately, that basic human right is trampled on with regularity in the country that provided us with the original castle doctrine – the United Kingdom of (formerly) Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Andy and Tracey Ferrie of Welby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, are finding this out the hard way. They have been arrested for shooting two (out of four) burglars who invaded their home early Sunday with their legally possessed shotgun.

From the British newspaper, The Telegraph:

Mr Ferrie, who owns his own mobile caravan and motorhome servicing business, had confronted four burglars, aged between 23 and 33, who broke into the cottage and fired a legally-owned shotgun at them, injuring two.

He telephoned police immediately whilst one of the injured men called an ambulance. He was taken to hospital, where he along with three other men were arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

Mr and Mrs Ferrie were arrested at their home on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

All six remained in custody today for questioning by detectives, whilst the cottage continued to be searched by forensic officers.

If there is anything good about this case it is that the Ferrie’s Member of Parliament is standing behind them in their efforts to protect themselves from thugs.

Alan Duncan, the Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton, and Minister of State for International Development, said the householders should not be prosecuted for defending their home.

“If this is a straightforward case of someone using a shotgun to defend themselves against burglars in the dead of night, then I would hope that the police will prosecute the burglars and not my constituents,” he said.

“The householder is the victim here and justice should support them and prosecute the burglars.”

If this had happened in North Carolina or any number of other states that have strong castle doctrine laws, the Ferries would be free, the burglars would be in custody, and the Ferries would be immune from civil suits by the crooks.

H/T Steve T.

From The Country Formerly Known As Great Britain

In the north London neighborhood of Tottenham, rioters and looters ranged freely for over 12 hours while police vainly tried to regain control. According to reports, the riot started after a protest outside the police station on Tottenham High Road got out of control.

The initial gathering on Saturday was to protest the shooting of  Mark Duggan, a 29-year old gang member. Duggan was shot and killed on Thursday by a police constable after Duggan shot the constable in the chest. The constable’s radio deflected the bullet and saved his life. Of course, given the British laws on firearms, Mr. Duggan’s possession of a handgun should have been unpossible.

According to the Telegraph, the Metropolitan Police focused their efforts in Tottenham where rioters burned police cars, stores, and apartment buildings. Looters took advantage of this to hit other areas less than a mile away.

But its tactics meant gangs of youths were free to break into stores at nearby Tottenham Hale retail park and in Wood Green, with looters forming an orderly queue in broad daylight to steal from a sports shop.

Riot police did not intervene to stop the looting in some areas until 7.30am the following morning, almost 12 hours after the riots began, and last night there were fresh disturbances in Enfield.

An orderly queue? Only in the U.K.!

The looting continued into the daylight hours. Lest it be said this looting was racially motivated, check out the looters in the video below. Some are black and some are white. They are all thieves.

There are many who believe Mr. Duggan got what he deserved as this video makes clear. It does contain quite a bit of swearing so you may not want to play it if young kids are in the room or they will be dropping the F Word with a weird accent at the worst possible time.

I spent the fall of 1978 in London on a Semester Abroad program. There was a considerable amount of labor unrest in the UK at the time and the IRA was still active in their bombing campaign against the British. That said, I don’t remember any riots happening while I was there nor do I remember seeing the police regularly carrying firearms. The gun laws at that time were much less restrictive than they are now and the only police who regularly carried firearms was the Special Branch of Scotland Yard.

From The Country Formerly Known As GREAT Britain

It is hard to believe nowadays that at one time the sun never set on the British Empire. In other words, that little island nation of sailors and merchants had grown into an empire that stretched around the globe. Of course it didn’t happen overnight and it certainly couldn’t have happened without men and women full of vigor and of stout courage.

They must be rolling in their graves now.

In a news report today from that nation formerly known as Great Britain comes a report that fire extinguishers are being removed from communal areas in flats (apartments buildings in American English) because they are considered a safety hazard. The hazard comes not from juvenile delinquents spraying the extinguishers in the faces of little children and old ladies. No, the hazard is that they will encourage people to use initiative and fight a fire.

The life-saving devices encourage untrained people to fight a fire rather than leave the building, risk assessors in Bournemouth decided.

There are fears that their recommendation, which has seen the extinguishers ripped out of several private, high-rise flats in the town, could set a national precedent.

Under the Fire Safety Order of 2005, fire assessments must be carried out to ‘eliminate or reduce risk as is reasonably practical’.

While private citizens have challenged this and residents are fearful of fire as a result of their removal, some are actually defending this move.

Dorset Fire and Rescue defended the move, saying: ‘Obviously, in some cases, an extinguisher could come in useful but, with new building regulations, every escape route should be completely fireproof.’

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents backed their removal because different extinguishers should be used on different types of fire.

 I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised at the creeping nanny-statism of the UK. After all, if you defend yourself against armed intruders with even a piece of wood, you’ll probably do more time than the intruder.