Day: February 13, 2019

Met Police’s New Facial Recognition Technology Trials To Hold In Romford

Live facial technology will be deployed in Romford town centre on Thursday, 14 February as the final part of the Metropolitan Police Service’s trial of the technology.

The MPS committed to carrying out 10 deployments as part of the live facial recognition trial. Nine have already taken place and the final deployment will take place this week.
As with all previous deployments, the technology will be used overtly with a clear uniformed presence and information leaflets will be distributed to the public. Posters with information about the technology will also be displayed in the area.

The technology is being used in Romford as part of the Met’s ongoing efforts to reduce crime in the area, with a specific focus on tackling violence. All the faces on the database to be used during the deployment are of people wanted by the Met and the courts.

The deployment will run for about six hours on the day.
anyone who declines to be scanned will not necessarily be viewed as suspicious, officers will use their judgement to identify any potential suspicious behaviour.

If the technology generates an alert of a match, police officers on the ground will review it and further checks will be carried out to confirm the identity of the individual.
While the Met has been developing this technology, engagement has been carried out with a number of stakeholders.

The deployment was originally due to take place on Friday, 1 February but was rescheduled due to adverse weather conditions.

The strategic lead for live facial technology for the Met, Detective Chief Superintendent Ivan Balhatchet, said: “The Met is currently developing the use of live facial recognition and our trial period is coming to an end.
Following the final deployment this week, a full independent evaluation of the deployments and the technology itself will commence.
“So far, five arrests have been made as a direct result of the system identifying individuals wanted for violent offences. Two of which were made during the deployment in Westminster in December 2018 and three were made on 31 January in Romford town centre.
“Tackling violent crime is a key priority for the Met and we are determined to use all emerging technology available to support standard policing activity and help protect our communities.
“The technology being tested in this trial is developing all the time and has the potential to be invaluable to day-to-day policing.
“We continue to engage with many different stakeholders, some who actively challenge our use of this technology. In order to show transparency and continue constructive debate, we have invited individuals and groups with varying views on our use of facial recognition technology to this deployment

East London Teenager Attacked With Acid

Police in East London are appealing for witnesses following an assault involving a noxious substance in Romford.

Police were called by the London Ambulance Service at 02:45hrs on 30 December 2018 to a residential address on Shepherds Hill following reports that a 17-year-old had been assaulted.

Officers attended and established that a liquid had been thrown in the face of the victim. He told officers that he had been approached by up to four suspects nearby as he was walking along Pages Lane.

The suspects, who had their faces covered, chased the victim before threatening him with knives. They stole his wallet and watch. It is believed that they fled the scene in a silver Toyota Prius.

The victim was taken to an east London hospital for treatment and has since been discharged.

Detectives have carried out a number of enquiries, however, as the area of the assault was not covered by CCTV cameras, they have been unable to identify the suspects.

Officers would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the assault, or who remembers seeing the Prius.

Anyone with information is asked to call the East Area Command Unit via 101 quoting reference 994/30Dec18

Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

MetpoliceNewsDesk

Harrods Thug Who Kicked And Punched Defenseless Man To Death Is Jailed

A former shop worker at Harrods and his accomplice who attacked 51-year-old Desmond O’Beirne in Trafalgar Square have been sentenced for their parts in his death.

Lucas Antunes, 22 of no fixed address – who had to be extradited from the US to face justice – was jailed for three years and nine months at the Old Bailey on Friday, 8 February having previously admitted manslaughter.

His friend Luis Abella, also 22 of Marshall Court, SW4 had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to cause actual bodily harm and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.

The court heard Antunes ‘began to brag how he had taken out the victim with a single punch’ when he went back to work before fleeing to the US following a public appeal in which police offered a £20,000 reward.

The pair were brought to justice when Abella’s cousin and Antunes’s girlfriend came forward after realising the seriousness of the attack, prosecutor John Clifford said.

Desmond, who lived in Pimlico, had been out for the night and fallen asleep on a grass area outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, WC2.

After waking up he then approached several people for a cigarette, including Antunes and Abella, who took exception and pursued and attacked him at around 00:25hrs on Saturday, 3 June 2017.

The London Ambulance Service attended and treated Desmond at the scene before taking him to hospital. However, he died from his injuries on Wednesday, 20 December 2017.

A post-mortem examination at Westminster Mortuary on 3 January 2018 determined cause of death as a head injury.

Desmond’s death was investigated by the Homicide and Major Crime Command, led by Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh.

Abella was originally charged with manslaughter on 15 August 2018 before admitting attempted ABH.

Antunes fled to the US after the incident. Thanks to close liaison with the US authorities, he was traced, detained and extradited back to the UK in September 2018.

He was charged with manslaughter on 27 September.

DCI McHugh said: “Desmond was a completely harmless individual who had gone out that night for a beer and should have quietly gone back home again.

“However Abella and Antunes delivered a mindless and pointless attack on Desmond, punching him in the back of the head and kicking him while he was on the ground. He suffered injuries that would put him in a coma for six months. He never stood a chance.

“The support of the media and the public has been instrumental in gaining justice for Desmond’s family – a witness come forward following our appeals and identified both suspects.

“I am so proud of my detectives for their outstanding work and the US Marshalls who were truly exceptional in securing Antunes’ return from the US and helping ensure he faced justice.

“This case really does show what can be achieved when people come together to help solve crime. I would urge anyone who has information about a crime, who is hesitating to make that call, to see how coming forward can change a family’s life.”

The officers involved in investigating the case were commended for their work by the sentencing Judge.

Desmond’s sister Vivienne Folan said:“Desmond was born on 27 August 1966 and grew up in Edgware, Middlesex where he attended St James’ Catholic School. He was a first-rate student, winning ‘Best in Year’ award at college.

“Desmond spent his whole life working in civil engineering and the construction industry and was a highly skilled professional who specialised in ‘steel fixing’. He was well regarded within his profession.

“He was a hardworking, larger than life character, who lived in Pimlico and worked in and around London. He was my only brother. He leaves behind a 19-year-old son who is currently studying at university.

“It was devastating when I was contacted by his friend and told that he had been brutally attacked in Trafalgar Square. It is extremely difficult for me to express the pain I felt when I had to watch CCTV footage of my brother being attacked from behind by two men whilst running away and then being left for dead. Not only that, but Desmond was on his own and relied on the actions of passers-by to raise the alarm with the emergency services.

“When I visited Desmond in hospital, he was unrecognisable to me both visually and physically because of his injuries from the attack. It was so terribly painful for me to see him like this. He was utterly helpless and unable to recognise or communicate with me in his vegetative state. Desmond did not regain full consciousness and we never again had the opportunity to communicate with each other.

“Desmond’s life was needlessly cut short because of a mindless and cowardly attack by two men who showed no remorse and left my brother for dead.

“We, his family, have found the past 18 months extremely difficult in coming to terms with the brutal and senseless attack on Desmond and the pain and suffering he must have endured in the intervening six months prior to his death from his injuries.

“We have taken some comfort from the tireless investigation carried out by the police officers involved in bringing these two men to justice.

“The officers have been outstanding, from a CCTV image they have pulled out all the stops. There has been exceptional support from the media and public leading to the arrests and justice.

“This is what can be achieved when we all come together; the police cannot do it all on their own, they need our support.”

Over 200 US Southern Baptist Church Officials And Volunteers Found Guilty Of Sex Abuse Over The Past Two Decades

On Sunday the Houston Chronicle published the first in a three-part series on sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches in the United States.

According to the investigation, at least 35 people who exhibited predatory behavior were still able to find jobs at other churches. In some cases, church leaders failed to alert law enforcement about complaints or to warn other congregations about allegations of misconduct, and some registered sex offenders were even allowed to return to the pulpit.

What was the scope of the abuse?

Regional area: The report is based on data collected throughout the United States, though convictions for abuse were limited to 29 states.

Time frame: The investigative reporting looked at instances of abuse from 1997 to 2018.

Alleged perpetrators: Credible accusations were made against 380 people associated with Southern Baptist churches (i.e., pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers, and volunteers).

Convicted abusers: Of the 380, more than 220 had been convicted of sex crimes or received deferred prosecutions in plea deals. Of the 220, more than 90 remain in prison and another 100 are still registered sex offenders. (The Chronicle has created a searchable database of those who pleaded guilty or were convicted of sex crimes.)

Number of victims: Approximately 700 victims.

What abuses were uncovered in the investigation?

According to the Chronicle, many of the victims were “adolescents who were molested, sent explicit photos or texts, exposed to pornography, photographed nude, or repeatedly raped by youth pastors. Some victims as young as 3 were molested or raped inside pastors’ studies and Sunday school classrooms.” The newspaper notes that a few of the victims were male and female adults who sought pastoral guidance and instead say they were seduced or sexually assaulted.

How was the information on sexual abuse collected?

Reporters from the newspaper searched news archives, websites, and databases from 1997 to 2018 to compile an archive of allegations of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and other serious misconduct involving Southern Baptist pastors, church officials, and volunteers.

The search concentrated on individuals who had a documented connection to a church listed in a Southern Baptist Church (SBC) directory published by a state or national association. Details were verified by examining federal and state court databases, prison records, official documents from more than 20 states, and by searching sex offender registries nationwide.

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a network of autonomous churches voluntarily banded together at state, regional, and national levels to engage in missions and ministry activities designed to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20). Each church in the SBC is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers that makes their own decisions on staffing, budget, programs, and so on.

The SBC consists of approximately 15 million members in 47,000 cooperating churches, making it the largest Protestant denomination in America.

The most the SBC can do is to disassociate from abusive churches and consider them out of fellowship.

However, the SBC recently created a Sexual Abuse Presidential Study Group assigned with investigating all options and reviewing what other denominations and groups have done to keep track of abuses. In addition, the group will hear from law enforcement, psychological and psychiatric experts, survivors, and many others to determine how to address issues of sexual abuse.

How have SBC leaders reacted to the report?

On Sunday, SBC President J. D. Greear responded on Twitter. “The abuses described in this @HoustonChron article are pure evil,” Greear said. In a series of tweets, he added:

There can simply be no ambiguity about the church’s responsibility to protect the abused and be a safe place for the vulnerable. The safety of the victims matters more than the reputation of Southern Baptists.

As a denomination, now is a time to mourn and repent. Changes are coming. They must. We cannot just promise to “do better” and expect that to be enough. But today, change begins with feeling the full weight of the problem. . . . It’s time for pervasive change. God demands it. Survivors deserve it. We must change how we prepare before abuse (prevention), respond during disclosure (full cooperation with legal authorities), and act after instances of abuse (holistic care).

We—leaders in the SBC—should have listened to the warnings of those who tried to call attention to this. I am committed to doing everything possible to ensure we never make these mistakes again. We must admit that our failures, as churches, put these survivors in a position where they were forced to stand alone and speak, when we should have been fighting for them. Their courage is exemplary and prophetic. But I grieve that their courage was necessary.

The Baptist doctrine of church autonomy should never be a religious cover for passivity towards abuse. Church autonomy is about freeing the church to do the right thing—to obey Christ in every situation. It is a heinous error to apply autonomy in a way that enables abuse.

Greear also posted an article on how victims of sexual abuse can get help.

Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, responded,

We should see this scandal in terms of the church as a flock, not as a corporation. Many, whether in Hollywood or the finance industry or elsewhere, see such horrors as public relations problems to be managed. The church often thinks the same way. Nothing could be further from the way of Christ. Jesus does not cover up sin within the temple of his presence. He brings everything hidden to light. We should too. When we downplay or cover over what has happened in the name of Jesus to those he loves we are not “protecting” Jesus’s reputation. We are instead fighting Jesus himself.

No church should be frustrated by the Houston Chronicle’s reporting, but should thank God for it. The Judgment Seat of Christ will be far less reticent than a newspaper series to uncover what should never have been hidden.

Thegospelcoalition.org

NIGERIA: THE GREAT COMMUNITY OF SLAVES

Despite almost 6 years of post colonial independence and several decades after the abolition of slavery,
Nigerians are not yet at the level of emancipation that will free them from their slave masters & slave mentality.

Thus rather than seeking out new and fresh hands to lead them with new eyes and ideas, they will always return to their old villainous, malevolent and nefarious leaders who have for years “raped”, pillaged, plundered and looted them.

It is no hidden fact that politicians form the richest and most powerful class in Nigeria today. Not entrepreneurs, not farmers, not inventors or manufacturers – but politicians. Publicly elected “servants” of the people, who in reality are enslavers (slavemasters) of the people.

Like an old dog returning to it’s own vomit, Nigerians will keep recycling their old brigade of simply abhorrent politicians.

And like Stockholm syndrome victims, they come out and lavish nauseating adoration on and publicly defend their selfish, greedy, reprobate leaders even when their heinous deeds and activities have been exposed.

While one can understand and perhaps even forgive such actions from poverty stricken illiterates and common uneducated folks, there can be no excuse or justification for this mindset from learned or so called exposed and educated people!

This shows there is still widespread slave mentality right across the Nigerian populace.

Big shame, really.

BJ
Baronessj.com