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crime

Security services should be able to read our WhatsApp messages, says Devon MP

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Security services should have the power to access everyone’s emails and messaging apps, according to a Devon MP. Plymouth Moor View MP Johnny Mercer was speaking after the Home Secretary called on companies such as WhatsApp to allow security services access to their encrypted messages. Mr Mercer told BBC Daily Politics: “We all understand the points around civil liberties and how important they are, but freedom isn’t free . We have to protect our way of life, and if those we are going to ask to do that require extra powers in a digital age which is becoming more complex, I think we should give them to them. “I know from intelligence and security services that I’ve worked with in the past, we need the tools at our disposal in order to be able to do the job . One of those is electronic surveillance of individuals to try to identify these attacks, which are really difficult to identify.”

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Lord Brian Paddick said “not every single innocent member of the public” should be subjected to increased surveillance. He also accused the Government of cutting police budgets, but Mr Mercer said spending on tackling “digital threats” is going up. “The spend around counter-terrorism, the visible part of policing that is so important in our communities, is as important as it has ever been,” he said. “But this digital threat, around technology and so on, that is exponentially growing all the time and that requires the resources . If you actually look at what this Government is doing from 2015 to 2020 increasing that by 30 per cent and protecting counter-terrorism budgets this is a team effort across Government to try to counter these threats.

“We defeat this as a team, as politicians, as police, as community providers . I don’t really think it’s the time for cheap political points above what is an existential threat that is really difficult to get a hold of . We have a very challenging set of threats which are getting greater all the time, I think the police are doing a good job and we should get behind them.”

Reporting by plymouthherald2

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References

  1. ^ Comments (0) (www.devonlive.com)
  2. ^ plymouthherald (www.plymouthherald.co.uk)
  3. ^ DEVON NEWS (www.devonlive.com)
  4. ^ Chinese company and First to take over South West Trains… (www.devonlive.com)
  5. ^ Roadworks on A30 and M5 in Devon this week (www.devonlive.com)
  6. ^ Meat patties recalled because of use-by mistake (www.devonlive.com)
  7. ^ Teenage girl airlifted and climber injured in busy day for… (www.devonlive.com)

Tributes paid to Westminster victims as security is ramped up at Wembley ahead for England vs Lithuania

Police have implemented extreme security at Wembley for England’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania following the terror attack in Westminster1 this week. Reinforced vans and additional presence on the ground has been deployed around the home of the national team after the attack in the capital on Wednesday. The St George’s flag is flying at half mast at Wembley as security is ramped up following the terror attack in Westminster earlier this week.

England2 take on Lithuania at the national stadium and tributes will be paid ahead of kick-off.

A minute’s silence will be observed as football remembers those that lost their lives in the atrocity, while the death of former England boss Graham Taylor will also be acknowledged. Extra security has been drafted in around the ground as London reacts to the attack3 which saw five people, including the terrorist, lose their lives.

Security is ramped up at Wembley

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is attending the game and has called on football to unite.

“We ll stand together at Wembley to remember those killed & injured in Wednesday s attack & show we will never be cowed by terrorism,” he said. An FA spokesperson added: Fan safety is of paramount importance and we have robust security measures in place at Wembley Stadium.

The England flag at half mast England take on Lithuania Tributes will be paid to Graham Taylor

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“In collaboration with the local authorities and the Metropolitan Police there will be an enhanced security operation for the England v Lithuania match on Sunday, to ensure a safe and secure environment for spectators.

“All supporters are encouraged to arrive as early as possible to avoid any delays in entering the stadium.

Search dog patrols outside Wembley Police outside the stadium The Bobby Moore statue

Jermaine Defoe4 has been handed a first England5 start in four years by Gareth Southgate for the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

The Sunderland striker has been in superb form this season with 14 Premier League goals and has been rewarded with a chance to shine at Wembley in the starting line-up.6

Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another surprise starter in an exciting, attack-minded line-up that also includes Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana.

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References

  1. ^ Westminster (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ England (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ the attack (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ Jermaine Defoe (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ England (www.mirror.co.uk)
  6. ^ a chance to shine at Wembley in the starting line-up. (www.mirror.co.uk)

Evil rapist who screamed at victim from dock then punched security guard is jailed for life

An evil rapist who screamed at his victim from the dock before punching a security officer has been sentenced to life. Neil Anthony Thompson, 28, subjected his victim to a nightmare ordeal after following her home and climbing through her window armed with a knife. During a 30-minute attack Thompson threatened to kill her more than once.

It ended only when the brave victim managed to escape and run naked to a neighbour for help. Her incredible bravery continued at Manchester Minshull Crown Court1 on Thursday when she was interrupted during her statement by a shouting and swearing Thompson. Attacking the guard beside him, Thompson shouted at his victim as he tried to break free from the dock – while stunned officials in Court Seven sounded the alarm for help.

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However, after a brief struggle, the convicted attacker was placed in a headlock and led to the cells to calm down. The hearing was adjourned until the afternoon, when Thompson emerged again to be given a life sentence. Afterwards, his defiant victim told the M.E.N: What he did in court just shows the type of person he is.

Neil Anthony Thompson has been jailed for life

I don t regret facing him in court – I wanted to look him in the eye and tell him what he d done to me and my family.

I ve got my life ahead of me and I won t let what he did define me . This is closure.

Earlier, Phil Barnes, prosecuting, told the court how Thompson, of Oswald Road, Chorlton2, followed his victim home on November 12 last year. She was sitting on her bed texting her boyfriend when Thompson burst into her room armed with a knife. He shouted at her to give him all her money , before ordering her to undress.

What followed was a gratuitous, brutal, sustained and violent series of sexual assaults which left her shaking and terrified for her life . The ordeal only came to an end when the victim bravely fled the house chased by Thompson, but she managed to get help from a neighbour who called the police. Detectives followed a trail of fingerprints, footprints and DNA evidence to a nearby bail hostel three days later.

On arrest, Thompson complained about being interrupted while watching a pornographic site and insisted he had been home alone taking cannabis and spice on the night of the attack. Only when confronted with the undeniable evidence did Thompson admit rape, attempted rape, three charges of sexual assault, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence and burglary. Sentencing Thompson to life with a chance to apply for parole after eight years, Judge Tina Landale said Thompson had shown no remorse and couldn t care less about the impact of his behaviour . She said he could apply for parole in eight years, but added: However, you are an extremely dangerous man and it s possible you may never be released.

Minshull Street Crown Court

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Defending, Thomas McKail said Thompson was appalled by his outburst in court and had in fact been trying to apologise to his victim. He added: There is no amount of apology or remorse that will begin to make amends for the damage caused to the complainant and her family. He said his client recalled following her home but cannot remember the attack .

As a career burglar, much of his life had been spent behind bars and he had been institutionalised, he added. Det Sgt Rebecca Mills, of GMP s Trafford borough, said: This is one of the most horrendous incidents I have been involved with investigating and the details of it will no doubt send cold shivers down the spines of anyone who hears them. Praising the courage of Thompson s victim, she added: I would like to thank her and pay tribute to her for this bravery, and I just hope the significant sentence passed today will bring her some comfort to know that her help has taken a dangerous man off the streets and seen justice served.

‘There is no way someone like that should ever be allowed to walk the streets again’

The victim of Neil Anthony Thompson showed incredibly bravery – first escaping his evil clutches, then helping police with their investigation – and finally facing him in court. On Thursday she saw him jailed for life and shared her relief that he can t hurt anybody else.

I don t have the words to describe how I feel about Neil . The overriding feeling is anger . He doesn t deserve to ever be let out . There is no way that someone like that should ever be allowed to walk the streets again.

There are a lot of cases where rapists aren t caught, where people haven t come forward because they might be afraid of the police not believing them.

I want to say if anyone has had a similar thing happen to them, come forward . If I hadn t come forward this person would still be out there, doing what he did to me to other people.

My life has changed now . It s affected me, my family, my health .

I m coming to terms with it, with wondering why me ? I m not going to be able to answer that.

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I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks . I worry a lot now, I ve very nervous about situations . I m now very shy around people I don t know . I was shy when I was younger but I managed to get over that and this has brought it all back home.

A couple of weeks ago I felt like I couldn t cope any more . Everyone in my life has been affected, even though it happened to me.

The emotional effects on my mum where she started to suffer badly with anxiety and depression . She doesn t really sleep or eat.

My relationship with my dad is now also very strained . We rarely speak now and he has been very distant from me . I think he is struggling to come to terms with what happened.

When I m walking about on my own outside I feel as though I m now on high alert, constantly looking over my shoulder and about, in a way, suspecting everyone I come across on the street.

Before Neil did what he did I was in my second year of university .

But after this, I couldn t even get myself out of bed to find the energy or the mental strength to go into uni . As a direct result of Neil, I left university and I am no longer in full time education while I try to focus on putting my life back together.

I now share a flat with girls who have been through similar things in their lives . I m worried what is going to come next for me, emotionally .

But now I have closure and I want to get on with my life.

References

  1. ^ Manchester Minshull Crown Court (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Oswald Road, Chorlton (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)