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Ex-soldier stole 300 from safe at security office of New Cross Hospital

A former soldier who completed two tours of Iraq has been ordered to pay more than 700 after he admitted stealing 300 from New Cross Hospital.

Father-of-three Lee Rowlands, aged 30, of Evans Street, Whitmore Reans, pleaded guilty at Walsall Magistrates’ court on Thursday after being charged with theft by an employee. The court heard how Rowlands, who previously spent six years in the army and completed two tours of Iraq, stole 300 from an unsecured safe at the car parking security office of New Cross Hospital. He was working as a security supervisor at the time. He was ordered by magistrate Mrs Jayne Heathcote to pay a fine of 250, down from 375 for his early guilty plea, costs of 185, compensation to the NHS of 300 and a victim surcharge of 30, totalling 765. The theft took place between February 1 and March 5 this year when Rowlands was working in the security office. The unsecured safe contained money collected from parking passes given out to those working at the hospital. The court heard how CCTV installed in the security office was angled to cover the safe, but would only reveal the person s back. When Mr Rowlands colleagues realised money had not been accounted for, they installed an additional camera when he was on annual leave. This camera showed Mr Rowlands take 40 from the safe .

He was arrested and interviewed at Wolverhampton Central Police Station on March 13 where he admitted taking the money and he had stolen 300 in total from February. Ms Rachel Smith, prosecuting, said: It was confirmed there was 40 in the safe before Rowlands was seen on camera removing something from the safe . The 40 was not there when it was checked after his visit. Defending Rowlands, Mr Nayan Patel said: He admits he is suffering from post-traumatic-stress-disorder following his two tours of Iraq. Rowlands is currently suspended from work, where the court heard, he continues to earn 1,000 a month, though his contract is expected to be terminated following his appearance in court.

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)

Westminster security ‘must be stepped up’ after video reveals open gates

THE former Metropolitan Police Commissioner claims the “soft” outer ring of security at the Palace of Westminster must be enhanced after a video showed the complex’s gates were left open and apparently unmanned after Wednesday’s terror attack. The footage shows the aftermath of the assault on New Palace Yard which left PC Keith Palmer mortally wounded. As armed officers swarm the cobbled forecourt, having shot dead terrorist Khalid Masood, the imposing iron gate which allows vehicles to enter can be seen wide open.

No police1 officers are visible guarding the entry point, known as Carriage Gates, fuelling concern that the attack might have been worse had Masood been followed by accomplices.

Pedestrians are shown walking past and at one stage a courier on a moped appears to enter unchallenged.

Yards away, separate footage showed Prime Minister Theresa May2 being rushed from the building and into a waiting car.

Former Met Commissioner Ian, now Lord Blair and ex-House of Commons3 deputy speaker Nigel Evans both said security will now have to be stepped up.

Blair told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am absolutely certain that there will be a review now of the outer soft ring that those of us who work at the Palace of Westminster are very used to.

“Always behind it is the inner core of armed officers, but PC Keith Palmer has paid with his life for that soft outer rim and I think that his family at least, and everybody else, needs the reassurance that will be reviewed.”

Blair refused to criticise the officers who apparently left the gate unguarded, describing them as “human beings” who will have been “gripped completely” by the attack while knowing the “cavalry” of armed officers was on its way.

But he added: “I’m absolutely certain that there will have to be changes.

“People are used to the fact that if they go into Downing Street4 they are confronted by basically closed gates and armed officers and I’m afraid that’s what will have to happen, but we’ll leave it to the reviews to see what it is.

“But I don’t think there should be shock horror about the fact the gates were open for a moment after that kind of attack.”

Evans described the outrage as “one of those things that by experience you learn” from.

He revealed that “lots” of MPs locked in the Commons chamber during and after the attack were discussing how to boost security in certain areas, but said far more checks are carried out at Carriage Gates than we he was elected in 1992 and a “bobby” would just “wave you through”.

The Tory MP said: “I’ve got no doubts whatsoever that there will be enhanced features of security, it’s happening on a regular basis, but following this tragedy security has got to be upped at the same time as still having a welcoming hand to members of the public to come and see how democracy works.”

The video comes after Scotland5 Yard’s anti-terror chief said current arrangements were “proportionate”.

On Friday, Mark Rowley told reporters that procedures for guarding Parliament6 had been designed so they were not “overly intrusive”.

Parliamentary authorities and the police are carrying out a review of security in the wake of the atrocity.

The complex’s main entrance has two sets of large metal gates allowing vehicles to go in and out of the estate and they have traditionally been left open during the day.

A pair of smaller, makeshift gates was introduced more recently with two police officers at each to check passes and allow cyclists, cars and delivery drivers to come and go.

Just inside the entrance gate, armed police are usually present and an unarmed officer sits in a booth by the exit.

Electronic ramps are depressed and barriers lifted further into the courtyard after passes are checked using handheld machines which flash up with a picture of the pass holder .

MPs’ vehicles are also checked for bombs before they can access the underground car park where the Tory MP Airey Neave was blown up in 1979.

References

  1. ^ police (www.heraldscotland.com)
  2. ^ Theresa May (www.heraldscotland.com)
  3. ^ Commons (www.heraldscotland.com)
  4. ^ Downing Street (www.heraldscotland.com)
  5. ^ Scotland (www.heraldscotland.com)
  6. ^ Parliament (www.heraldscotland.com)