Tag Archives: Crime

UK charity Refuge opposes launch of Clare’s Law pilot scheme

By Charlotte Barbour

Domestic abuse campaigners yesterday called into question the effectiveness of Clare’s Law, a scheme which will be piloted across areas of Scotland today.

Domestic abuse charity Refuge expressed concerns that the Law is not enough to help protect women from violence.

The scheme is named after Clare Wood, a 36-year old woman who was murdered by her abusive boyfriend George Appleton at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester, in 2009. She was not aware of his history of violence against women.

“Clare’s Law” will be piloted in Ayrshire and Aberdeen today and will last for six months. It will allow people suffering from domestic abuse access to information on a partner’s potential violent history. If successful the scheme will then be rolled out across Scotland.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said:

“Clare’s Law sounds good on paper, but in reality it will do very little to help the hundreds of thousands of women and children who experience domestic violence in this country.

“Some people will say that if Clare’s Law saves just one life, it is worth it. But let’s be clear – two women are killed every week as a result of domestic violence in England and Wales. Saving just one life is not enough.

“What will happen if a woman is told that her partner does have a history of violence? Will she be expected to pack her bags and leave straight away? At Refuge, we know that it isn’t that simple.

“Leaving a violent partner is an incredibly difficult step to take. It is also extremely dangerous – women are at greatest risk of homicide at the point of separation or after leaving a violent partner. And if women do leave, where are they supposed to go? Refuges are closing up and down the country because of huge funding cuts.

“Clare’s Law may help a few individuals but we need to help the majority of victims – not the few. The most effective way to save lives on a large scale is to improve police practice and protect the vital services run by specialist organisations like Refuge. Let’s get our priorities right.”

Lily Greenan, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, fully supports the scheme. She said:

“Clare’s Law allows people who are concerned about the behaviour of their partner now have the right to ask if they have a history of abuse.

“We are supporting it because anything that potentially helps to prevent domestic abuse against a person is worth having a go at. The levels of domestic abuse in Scotland are very high, and these can become quite extreme before people feel that they can contact the police about it.

“We see the law as a pro-active approach to try and encourage people who feel uncomfortable about what their partner is doing to quietly enquire about whether or not there is a history of domestic abuse.

“Obviously it is not a replacement for a criminal investigation if what is happening to them is already definable as abuse but it may be helpful to some people to have that information in advance.”

According to the Scottish government website, the number of reported incidents of domestic abuse last year reached 60,080, a rise of almost a third in a decade.

Half of all incidents recorded in 2012-13 led to the recording of a crime or an offence, and of these, 78 per cent were reported to the procurator fiscal.

Factors which may increase women’s vulnerability to some types of violence include age, disability and poverty.

Clare Wood’s father, Michael Brown, believes that had his daughter been able to access information on Appleton’s criminal history it may have saved her life.

Police still searching for Suzanne Pilley’s body

by Gavrielle Kirk-Cohen

The family of murdered Scot, Suzanne Pilly, have pleaded to David Gilroy to reveal where their daughter’s body is buried. 

Gilroy was found guilty yesterday of murdering Suzanne Pilley.

Searching: Police believe Suzanne Pilley's body has been buried at Lochgilphead, Argyll. Image: Christopher Harress

The Lothian and Border’s Police believe that Suzanne Pilley’s body has been buried in a “lonely grave” in Lochgilphead, Argyll in the Scottish highlands.

CCTV footage shows Gilroy’s car, a Vauxhall Vectra travelling from Edinburgh to the Argyll Forest Park the day after disappeared.

Extensive search

Det Supt Gary Flannigan has said: “Despite extensive efforts we haven’t been able to find her. This is something we have discussed with the family and have given reassurance that if any information comes to light then we will look at the information and if it is appropriate we will pursue that information.”

Pilley’s parents have said they “hope that one day we can lay our daughter to rest”.

                                                                “Callous and cold-blooded”

Simon Peck, director of IML and David Gilroy’s employer said: “Suzanne was a much-loved friend and colleague. To have her snatched away from her friends and her family in such a callous and cold-blooded way is something we’re all still dealing with.” He also said: “Until David Gilroy reveals where Suzanne’s body lies, her family and friends will never be able to fully come to terms with her loss.”

The trial lasted three and a half weeks and it took the jury two days to reach a verdict. The investigation into Pilley’s murder was the sixth most expensive in the history of the Lothian and Border’s force, as they made use of forensic experts and cadaver dogs.
Listen to the voicemail David Gilroy left on Suzanne Pilley’s phone after she disappeared.

Listen Here:

Court hears phone abuse evidence in murder case

A millionaire made infuriated threats in an enraged phone call to his brother, Toby, hours before Toby was killed, the high court heard.

Later that day, Toby Siddique, 38, was murdered in his flat on Forres Drive in Glenrothes on October 25 2010. His brother, Mo Siddiq, 34, was charged with murder and conspiracy to murder last year. The accused, Mo Siddique, was arrested under suspicion of hiring assassins. Two Bulgarian men, Tencho Andonov, 28, and Nikolov, 27, were accused of carrying out the murder.

The third brother Aleem Siddique, 40, gave evidence this week. Yesterday he told the high court that his brother had made a phone call to him after a dispute about a BMW. Mo said, “I’ll hit him.”

Advocate depute John Scullion, prosecuting, then read out his statement from October 2010 recounting the same phone call. “He’s not my brother blah, blah, blah, I’ll kill him.”

Much discussion followed on the similarity of the words “hit” and “kill” in Punjabi. At one point the judge stepped in, telling Siddique that he was right to object to the prosecution’s ‘confusing’ questions.

He said, “It’s a bit of a coincidence that the police have noted down the translation of the similar word in Punjabi that is the word for kill?”

Mr Scullion said, “I’m asking you about how the words came to be on that page. Is it your evidence on oath that the police who noted this statement simply made up these words?”

Aleem said, “I’m not saying the police officer lied but I did not say those words. Whatever happened on the 26th, the mistake is the police officer’s, the mistake is not mine.”

Derek Ogg QC, defence for, then asked “Do you feel in a difficult position coming to court with one brother murdered and one accused?”

In tears, Mr Siddique replied, “I just want justice, that’s all that matters”.

He agreed with Mr Ogg that “you would not tell lies for Mo but wont tell lies against him either”.

The examination went on to reveal that it seemed the accused had been sleeping on the night of the murder, when the witness woke him up. He said he had to repeat the news a couple of times to Mo who “didn’t register”.

The court heard that Mo was “in shock” and crying when both brothers visited their widowed sister-in-law’s house immediately to pay their respects.

Ogg then focussed on inheritance motives. “Did Toby’s wife say things to you about her suspicions that each brother had a will that would inherit the other brother if they died? She told me Mo would get everything.

“You asked Mo if he stood to gain. At Toby’s house you had been constantly told gossip by… I need you to say the words.”

Aleem Siddique said, “His wife and mother.”

The trial continues.

Woman sexually assaulted in Meadows

by Kirsten Hayley Waller

Police are still making inquiries after a woman was sexually assaulted
in the Meadows on Tuesday morning.

The attack took place at roughly 3:30am, somewhere between Melville Drive and Warrender Park Crescent. The woman, aged 19, was attacked by two men, believed to be in their early 20s.

After attacking the victim, the men are believed to have run away towards Bruntsfield.

The suspects are described as being of average build, white, and wearing dark coloured hoodies.

Lothian and Borders police issued a statement yesterday, stating that they were “still working to establish exactly where it happened”.

“Anyone who was in the area of the Meadows or Bruntsfield in the early hours of [Tuesday] morning, who saw or heard anything suspicious, should contact the police immediately.”

“Similarly, anyone who saw two men matching the descriptions of the suspects in either the Meadows or Bruntsfield Links areas should get in touch.”

Napier News contacted the police and were told that there was no new information, but inquiries are ongoing.

There was confirmation that officers would continue to patrol the Meadows this evening. They will be dressed in high-visibility jackets while investigations continue. They hope that these actions will reassure the public.

Man in court following death in Merchiston, Edinburgh

by Celeste Carrigan

Victim Roger Gray

A 20-year-old man is due in court later today at Edinburgh’s Sheriff  Court. He was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Roger Gray.

The murder of Gray, a 64 year-old retired lecturer, is the third homosexual related murder in a month. His body was found in his home in the city’s up market area of Merchiston. Police broke in last Saturday morning after a suspected gas leak. A postmortem examination found that he had suffered multiple stab wounds from what is believed to  have been a “sustained attack”.

Gray’s death follows those of John Carter, 44, in Leith and a man in Pilton, who cannot be named for legal reasons. Detectives said there is nothing indicating a link between the three men but will be keeping an open mind.

For more information on this story tune into Edinburgh Napier News TV Bulletin at 3PM

Second mugging in the Grange

by Michael Mckeand

The Grange, Edinburgh where two incidents of mugging have occured over the past week.


Mansionhouse Road in the heart of the Grange, one of Edinburgh’s more middle class areas, was the scene of another mugging this week. It follows a similar incident in which a man of a similar description attacked a pensioner on Findhorn Place a few streets away.

Check out the full story on our Edinburgh Napier News TV News Bulletin at 3pm.


Cardinal O’Brien visits convicted child killer in hospital

Cardinal Keith O'Brien visited Riggi at Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Source: BBC

By Georgi B

Cardinal Kieth O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland visited a woman in hospital who confessed to murdering her three children, it is believed. Continue reading Cardinal O’Brien visits convicted child killer in hospital

Knox appeal adjourned

by Katy Docherty

Amanda Knox is starting an appeal against her conviction of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Knox’s lawyers argue that there are various gaps in the prosecution’s argument and are seeking a full review of the original DNA evidence.

Knox was convicted of murder and sexual assault in 2007. Source: Getty Images

Last year an Italian court found Knox guilty for the murder and sexual assault of her flatmate and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Knox’s lawyers claim that the DNA gathered for the original trial was questionable and that the murder weapon remains missing. Their main argument is that there was no motive for Knox to kill her friend. 

Her legal team stated: “The motive, the fundamental aspect of the factual existence of the serious criminal acts, is largely absent in the assessment of evidence and more erroneously absent in the written ruling.”

Her lawyers also blame an “obscene media campaign”  for skewing the opinion of the jury and the general public before the trial had begun. Knox was famously dubbed by the media as “Foxy Knoxy”.

The prosecution accused Knox of killing Kercher in a drug-fueled sex game that went wrong. Knox’s former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede, an immigrant from the Ivory Coast had allegedly held Kercher down whilst Knox slit her throat. Knox’s prosecutors told the court that she had tried to a fake a break in so that the murder would look like a random sexual assault.

Arriving at the hearing, her stepfather Chris Mellas told reporters: “She’s hopeful for a good appeal, I think she feels and certainly the lawyers feel that we have a very strong case for her being innocent, which, you know, is the case.”

Today’s  administrative hearing lasted only a few minutes and took place in the Perugia courtroom were the first trial took place. 

The court has been adjourned until 11th December.

Over ground crossing sparks concern for students safety

By Lauren Codling

Concerns have been sparked after a local man was attacked near the Napier Sighthill Campus in a nearby over ground crossing, on the morning of Thursday the 4th November.

The man has been identified as Mark Shaw, 30. Shaw was walking to work when he was attacked by two individuals who went on to steal his wallet and phone, before striking him with a hammer and leaving him for dead. The incident has sparked major concern within the Sighthill area and there has been a serious debate concerning the structure of over ground crossings. The public is now wondering whether or not they should continue to be built when many of them have such dangerous reputations.

However, an outcry to shut down the over ground crossing has been ignored as the council announce that a new crossing will be built close to the Sighthill Campus of Edinburgh Napier University. This new structure would mean that students would be passing through it everyday en route to compulsory classes.

Due to recent events that have occurred within the area, specifically within other over ground crossings where there has been a recent increase regarding violent crimes, there has been obvious anxiety from students that perhaps this would not be the best idea. Jenni Small, a 20 year old student, walks through Sighthill everyday as she makes her way to university.  She explains that she does “tend to avoid the over ground crossing. My friend was harassed by some boys when she walked there alone so it does worry me sometimes. I definitely wouldn’t walk there alone. If a crossing is made next to the Campus, I’d make sure I was with friends when I walked through.”

Sighthill has gained a reputation as crime has become more frequent around the area – there have been several incidents this year, including an assault carried out on a young girl when she was making her way through the passing, at the end of August. A police spokesman today said “the random crimes that have occurred this week within Sighthill has definitely caused some concern throughout the community.”

As the recent events continue to cause distress, students have been told to be cautious in the area as they make their way to the newly opened campus.


Lights out for Edinburgh Union Canal

By Anika Aylward Blake

A view of the canal at dusk; the light of lights along the waterway has concerned some members of the public.

After a young woman was sexually assaulted on the Union Canal, Edinburgh, earlier this year, the lack of visibility on the canal is becoming an issue with the public.

The Union Canal, previously known as the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal, has recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its reopening as a useable waterway. Over its 92 year life, the canal has been accessible to pedestrians.

“Since this pretty 32-mile waterway was brought back to life, it has become a tremendous community asset.  It is now a great place to spend time walking, cycling, running or simply enjoying the heritage and wildlife,” said Waterway Manager Phil Martin, from British Waterways Scotland.

A recent investment of £240,000 from the City of Edinburgh Council saw the towpath redeveloped at the Union Canal, Edinburgh, which will open it to the local community. There are, however, no lights along the canal to guide walkers during the evening.

Between January 2005 and December 2009, there were 11 recorded crimes committed on the Union Canal, Edinburgh. These crimes can be categorized by groups: violent crimes (including Serious Assault, Robbery and Assault, Robbery and Assault with Intent to Rob): 46%; sexual crimes (including Rape, Indecent Assault and Public Indecency): 27%; and ‘miscellaneous’ offences (which includes Minor Assault): 27%.

Earlier this year, a young woman was seriously sexually assaulted while walking along the canal. This led to the Lothian and Borders Police establish a police patrol of six officers to follow an 8-mile route on bicycles, discouraging crime and anti-social behaviour. They are scheduled to be on the canal during busy periods; namely, the summer months during the day. This leaves the darker hours with no lights to guide the way.

With the majority of these crimes occurring after dark, some citizens have become concerned. Marian Taldie, retired, had never noticed any police presence on the canal. She believed that the lack of lights on the canal could be a large safety risk. “It allows more opportunity for criminals.” She did, however, state that she felt that the canal was “for the most part” safe.

In a press release from the Lothian and Borders Police in regards to the Canal Cycles Patrol Initiative, it is stated that: “The aim is to prevent crime and increase confidence among the many members of the public who now use the footpath, either for recreational purposes, or to get to and from work.”

In a recent statement, Chief Inspector Kevin Greig said: “The Union Canal has experienced a resurgence in recent years in terms of the number of pedestrians using the route, and we recognise the importance of ensuring that the public can feel safe and secure there.”

The initiative will see police officers travel on bicycles from Fountainbridge, where the canal ends, to the city boundary, in a bid to discourage antisocial behaviour and crime. Alongside this scheme, the Lothian and Borders Police intend to send mounted cycle patrols in other areas in Edinburgh, which may not be easily accessible by vehicle. This will focus on the west of the city, in recreational grounds, woodland areas and many different tracks and walkways.

This has not encouraged all canal-walkers, however. With the lack of visibility at night, some fear that that police presence will not be enough.  Jamie Burnett, 22, said: “I’ve only seen a police officer once on a bike. He just passed by; he was gone in a minute. I haven’t seen anymore.” He continued: “It’s dangerous, and not just for the walkers but for biking as well. If someone fell in the dark, no one would see.”

Edinburgh City Council spokeswoman, Laura Varney said: “Police patrol the canal one day and then a community safety officer does the next.” She went on to say that there are night patrols in addition to the ones occurring during the day. It is the commuting cyclists that pose a safety risk, she stated, and that the police control the education of cyclists on the canal, teaching them things such as the code of conduct (including a 7 mile/hour speed limit). She continued: “There are no plans to improve lighting at the moment.”

However, the Edinburgh City Council are encouraged by the Canal Cycles Patrol Initiative. Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, who holds the role of Transport Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, has said: “Schemes like this make these outdoor spaces safer for the whole community by reducing antisocial behaviour and criminal activity.” He went on to state that he is delighted this initiative has been created, and welcomes anything that improves cycle paths or canal walkways.

European court ruling means prisoners will get vote

By Kerry McGinty and Sylvie Metcalfe

European Parliament has passed a human rights legislation that enables prisoners to have the same voting rights as law abiding citizens. The PM David Cameron has admitted that the coalition government will have no choice but to allow prisoners the right to vote. Constitutional reform minister Mark Harper  declared “this isn’t a choice, it’s and obligation”. The decision is has caused much anger and outrage within parliament and the public as this decision has been forced upon UK Law.

The case was brought to the European court by John Hirst in October 2005 it has been a long legal battle but the ban on votes for prisoners, that has been around for 140 years, has finally been overturned. John Hirst a convicted murderer who spent 25 years in prison for hacking his landlady to death with an axe posted a “celebratory” video on Youtube where he is quoted saying;

“Finally won out. I’m now going to celebrate for the 75,000 prisoners who will be getting the vote – that includes murderers, rapists, paedophiles, all of them will be getting the vote because it’s their human right to have the vote. You can’t start moralising and say which ones can and can’t have the vote.”

However not all offenders are said to be getting the opportunity to vote. It is unclear at this stage but it is being discussed whether or not voting privileges will depend on the length of the offender’s sentence.

Prime minister David Cameron is said to be “exasperated and furious” but it appears that our government is somewhat powerless at this stage. The decision has been made and there is no choice but to abide by the law set by the European Court of Human Rights.  Prisoners who have no respect for the human rights of others have ironically been bestowed with a vote by Human Rights law. This is all in spite of public and parliamentary outrage.

Former SSP member denies “scripting” Sheridan confession

By Katy Docherty 

Tommy Sheridan and wife Gail are being tried for perjury. Source: The Guardian

Tommy Sheridan has accused former Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) member Alan McCombes of scripting tapes in which ex-SSP leader confesses to visiting sex clubs.

McCombes denied accusations that he collaborated with Sheridan’s best man George McNeilage to create the damaging video.

McCombes denied these claims: “That is just nonsense. Neither did I hire Rory Bremner to do an impersonation, Tommy.” Continue reading Former SSP member denies “scripting” Sheridan confession

Unprovoked Attack on Teen Prompts Appeal

By Katy Docherty

After a teenager was left with a broken jaw in an unprovoked attack, Lothian and Borders police are now appealing for any witnesses.

The victim and his friend were attacked at 3am Monday morning in the Tollcross area of Edinburgh after leaving Lava and Ignite nightclub. The two teenagers were returning home when a group of men approached them on Ponton Street. There does not appear to be any apparent motive for the attack.

The boys both suffered serious blows to the face.They had to be taken by ambulance to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where they received medical treatment.

The suspect is a white man with short blond hair and approximately 5ft 10ins tall. He is estimated to be anything from 17 -23 years old. At the time of the attack the suspect was wearing a red checked shirt with a white pattern and jeans.

The police are now asking witnesses to step forward. A spokesman says, “Anyone who was in the area at the time and saw what happened should contact police immediately.”

Police are also appealing to anyone who might recognise the description of the suspect or have any other information that might help investigations.

Anyone who feels that they can offer any information should contact Lothian and Borders Police or Crimestoppers.

Second Teenager Assaulted In Glenrothes

Two teenagers have been assaulted in Fife town Glenrothes over the space of two days.

An 18 year old woman was approached by a man in the Stenton area around 2030 on Wednesday night. She was grabbed but managed to run away.

The suspect has been described as being in his late 30s, 6ft tall, well built and has short brown hair. He was wearing a white polo shirt which had writing on the front and dark jeans.

A 15 year old was also assaulted in Glenrothes on Monday night when she was making her way home from Anima night club area to Pitteuchar around 2200.

The suspect has been described as being in his late 20s and of slim build. He has been reported have been wearing a dark coloured waterproof jacket and jeans. He also smelled strongly of alcohol.

The girl became aware of a man following her after she passed the night club in Church Street. She then made her way along Seaton Path, across Warout Road, then through Warout Woods towards Pitteuchar. She was then grabbed from behind when she approached Craigievar Drive and sexually assaulted.

Police are not linking the two incidents but are keeping an open mind. They want to speak to anyone who has any further information.

The victim of Monday’s incident has been described to have been wearing light coloured clothing and had been carrying a carrier bag.

Officers particularly want to talk to a man seen walking in Craigievar Drive on Monday night who may have seen the victim. He has been described as being in his early 20s.

They also are appealing to speak to a group of people who were seen standing near the entrance of Anima. It is thought that they may have seen the victim when she walked past at around 2140 on Monday.

“Interactive Crime Map” Launched

By Simon Brown

Picture courtesy of the UK Government.
Picture courtesy of the UK Government.

Today sees the Government’s launch of a new digital map which will not only allow residents in England & Wales to check on their community’s crime statistics, but can also compare the figures for two areas as well as showing whether crime has increased or decreased year-on-year.  This news follows the online publication of maps for individual police areas in January.

Policing and Crime Minister David Hanson MP said: “Crime maps are a key part of delivering neighbourhood policing and giving communities access to information like this not only improves public confidence but ensures police are responding to local people’s needs.

“We know the public want this information, which will allow them to hold the police to account and help create an even more responsive and effective service.”

Steve Mortimore, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency, added that the crime maps were “a crucial way of improving the efforts to tackle local crime, since communities that are involved in policing help reduce crime and bring more offenders to justice.”

Remains found in garden are confirmed as missing woman’s.

By Emma Hamilton

Human remains of a woman missing for more than a year have been found in a garden in Edinburgh.

Police confirmed yesterday , after forensic tests, that the body remains found in the Duddingston area of Edinburgh are those of missing woman Samantha Wright.

Police began a search on Monday evening in Magdalene Drive, a council estate and found Ms Wr

ight’s remains in the back garden.

Samantha Wright, aged 25
Missing Woman found dead, Samantha Wright

It has been reported that officers are still investigating the scene and continuing to dig up the area for more evidence.

The 25 year-old, originally from Stevenage, Hertfordshire moved to Edinburgh 3 years ago, after visiting the city with her family. She was last seen on 12th June 2008 leaving the Jobcentre in High Riggs.

Ms Wright was reported missing by her family in January 2009 after they failed to receive a phone call from her at Christmas or her birthday. Suspicions were also raised when they discovered Ms Wright had not used her mobile phone or withdrawn any money from her bank account.

A man, Robert Chalmers age 57 has been arrested and charged in connection with the findings. According to reports, a man, suspected to be Chalmers, was seen on CCTV footage walking alongside Samantha on the day she went missing.

Chalmers was due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today.

Residents in Magdalene Drive, where Ms Wright’s remains were found are said to be extremely shocked at the discovery and are now fearing for their children’s safety as many of them play outside around the area of the findings.

Lothian and Borders Police have confirmed they have now closed the missing persons case and have reopened it as an enquiry as to Ms Wright died. Chief Inspector Paul Bullen said “It is with great sadness that we bring our missing persons investigation to a close and must now begin a new line of enquiry to determine the circumstances surrounding her death.”

Police are urging anyone who knows what happened to Samantha between being seen on CCTV in Edinburgh’s east end to being found in Magdalene Drive, to contact them immediately.

Facebook crime

In an effort to combat crime in the United Kingdom the Home Office has decided to use the Facebook program, which would allow the site’s users to submit intelligence about criminal activities in the country.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Taylor said today that the police were proud to be the first force in the country to use the new technology, which demonstrated their commitment to explore all avenues available to the force to help fight and detect crime.

He said officers have developed an application for the social newworking site that allows users to submit intelligence about crimes, adding that “It has been developed to raise awareness of local appeals.

Rob Taylor also noted  that after installing the application on their profiles, users also got a news feed regarding incidents and links to the force web site.

“Facebook has 59 million users, seven million of which live in the UK, so we realised that this was an excellent way of spreading our messages to people on a more personal basis.

“This application allows the police to further raise awareness of incidents taking place within our local communities in a bid to gain more intelligence and bring offenders to justice,” Rob Taylor said.

Facebook, along with its main rivals Bebo and MySpace, lets users set up personal web pages and communicate with each other.

Initiative to reduce antisocial behaviour

 By Adam Couper

A new initiative has been introduced to lower the amount of antisocial behaviour on the streets of Scotland.

The Safer Streets project, which will cost £600,000, will be spread around the 32 local authorities to fund improvements over the festive period. These include high visibility police patrols in ‘hot spot’ areas, street pastors, targeting of street drinking, enhanced CCTV and late night taxi marshalls.   

Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Community said: “The Scottish Government is already taking action to tackle the “drinking to get drunk” culture in our country which so often leads to violence through considering bringing in minimum pricing and banning irresponsible promotions.”

Superintendent Mark Williams, Area Policing Commander for Edinburgh hopes the initiative will reduce the amount of crime on the streets during the busy holiday period.

“At its peak Christmas in Edinburgh can see over half a million people on the streets of the capital. Our objective is simple, to ensure that visitors and residents alike can safely enjoy the festivities in the city centre without being exposed to violence and disorder.

“This funding will allow us to put additional resources on the streets at critical times and in key areas, preventing crime, tackling anti social behaviour, whilst providing a highly visible policing presence.”

It’s like a scene from Lock Stock

Jones in Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels

Hardman: Jones in Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels

James Davies

Football hard-man Vinnie Jones ,43, has been left with huge scars across his face after he was glassed in a vicious bar brawl.

The footballer turned Holywood actor (famous for grabbing gazza’s goolies in the famous 1988 photo)  was left with a huge scar across his forehead, a gouge on his nose and an assortment of cuts and scrapes after a fight with a thug in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The furious ex-footballer needed 48 stitches after the brawl with Jesse Bickett ,24, after he was smashed over the head with a beer glass.

Bickett faces a year in jail for aggravated assault charges, but his lawyer Manny De Castro insists that it was Vinnie who started the fight: ” Vinnie started the fight over a game of pool.  He punched and head-butted Mr Bickett, who then hit back with a beer glass”.

The Mean Machine star was furious at the unprovoked attack and said: ” the fact is,someone tried to blind me. Wouldn’t you be p***** off if someone tried to blind you? ”

The lock stock and two smoking barrels hard-nut has been arrested in connection with the brawl, but no formal charges have yet been set. Although pals of Jones insist it was Bickett that instigated the fight, a full investigation will still take place.

Recovering drug addicts forced from substance misuse service


By Faith Orr

Recovering drug addicts in Aberdeenshire are being forced to look elsewhere for treatment after a doctors surgery shut down its substance misuse service.

The Finlayson Street surgery in Fraserburgh have made the move following the retirement of Dr Sandy Wisely, who was made famous when he revealed the abundance of reforming drug addicts in the area and began freely handing out prescriptions for methadone and other drug replacement therapies.

The move has sparked fears of an increase in suicides and crime in the area.

Former drug addict, Colin Clark, told of his experiences at suddenly being taken off methadone: “It wasn’t good, the last time I saw Dr Wisely he gave me my usual prescription and when I went in to get my next one there was another doctor who said that Wisely had left and everyone was getting put on a reduction.

“My reduction started two days later and I was told I was to be taken off at a rate of 10ml a week. When I reducing I was okay but when I came off methadone altogether, I had to miss work as I had ill effects. Some of my friends even had seizures.”

This severe reduction is in contrast to government guidelines which suggest that for extreme cases methadone should be reduced by a maximum of 3 to 5 millilitres every week.

Devin Brown of Solid Rock Cafe, a drop-in centre for drug addicts in Fraserburgh, said: “I truly think Dr Wisely had a good heart when he started putting patients on oxycontin, nitrazepam, diazepam, opiates, sleeping tablets and valium but over the past 15 years he has created a monster.”

Devin also added that although he thought the scheme was ‘mental’ and would be tough for addicts, the reduction could partly be a good thing because it will force addicts to face their problem and take action.

Dr Wisely’s former patients will be referred to the alternative Kessock Road Clinic, but there is a six month waiting list for methadone treatment.

Colin, 32, added: “Now that I’m drug free, I suppose the reduction programme worked for me, although it was a nightmare at the time. I know other reforming addicts in the area are turning to crime to pay for drugs because they can’t get treatment at the Kessock. They are prioritising people for treatment now and people with children and those who are working are being put nearer the top of the list but even they still have to wait far too long.”

Jersey police chief suspended as abuse at children’s home denied

Today, a Jersey Police Chief was suspended after two senior officers ruled out any evidence of murder at  a former children’s home after claims that the bone fragments found could have dated back to the 15th  century.

Graham Power, Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police was relieved of his duties after any suggestion of murder at the home was denied .  His role oversaw the £4 million inquiry of the suspected dismemberment and torture of children who resided at the home between the early 1960s to 1986.

The investigation first began in 2006 after scandal, surrounding the home, emerged when a child’s skull was discovered.  At the time of its launch, the home was being used as a youth hostel called Haut de la Garenne.  Since then, many people have come forward with claims of being drugged, raped, tortured and beaten at the home.  Currently, three people have been charged and are awaiting trial in the abuse inquiry.

Mr Power’s former deputy, Lenny Harper was previously criticised by the two officers that took over the investigation, after his retirement in August.  One of his successors, David Warcup ruled out any suggestion of abuse and stated: ‘It is very unfortunate and I have much regret that information has been given by police that was not strictly accurate.’

His colleague,  Detective Superintendent Michael Gradwell, also discredit many of the evidence found in the grounds of the home. The child’s skull found was soon identified as a coconut shell from the 19th Century.  Also, secret underground chambers that were discovered, which many victims referred as ‘punishment chambers’, were soon found to just be cellars.

He further discredited ‘shackles’ as just mere rusty metal and bone fragments were seen to date back to the 1470s to the 1670s which was long before the home was built.

The officers statements have created immense controversy and campaigners have requested for a homicide inquiry to be launched by the UK Government.

Senator Stuart Syvret, a former minister for Health and Social Services defended Mr Harper’s work and said that the officers were trying to ‘rubbish Mr Harper’s work by denying any children were murdered.’

Jersey’s Chief Minister, Frank Walker, announced that he was suspending Mr Power while an inquiry was called out.

Mr Power said: ‘I strenuously deny any wrongdoing and will rigorously contest any allegation in respect of my role. I have been offered an opportunity to retire from my role as chief officer by the Minister for Home Affairs, but have chosen instead to contest the allegations. ‘

Mr Walker has also demanded an explanation from Lenny Harper who attracted media attention by hinting that up to six children may have been murdered, dismembered and cremated in a furnace below the Victorian building.