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WhatsApp terror row: ‘If security services can access encrypted messages, hackers can too’

Allowing security services to access encrypted messages would also open the door to hackers and criminals, says a former counter-terrorism officer.

On Sunday (March 26) Home Secretary Amber Rudd said intelligence services must be able to access relevant information on encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp, as Khalid Masood appeared to have used the app moments before he launched an attack on Westminster.

Former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism officer Charles Shoebridge told Sam Delaney1 it would be dangerous to “open up this so-called ‘back door of encryption'” to allow a security service access, as “you also put that weak system there to be exploited, not just by our security services, but also by hackers and criminals.”

He also said pointed out that Masood wasn’t on MI5’s ‘top 3,000’ list of terror suspects, which “suggests very much that if the intelligence services did have the power to monitor somebody s WhatsApp messages, they wouldn t have been monitoring his anyway.”

Listen to the full interview above

References

  1. ^ Sam Delaney (talkradio.co.uk)

Security guard attacked with crowbar in Tesco armed robbery

Workers at Halewood1 Shopping Centre have spoken of their shock after a security guard was attacked 2with a crowbar during an armed robbery. At about 7.30am the guard was walking into Tesco 3Express on Leathers Lane to deliver cash to the store. He was then attacked by a man with a crowbar, who smashed the hooked metal bar into the guard s knee before taking the cash box and escaping with another man.

Officers stood outside Tesco Express in Halewood

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They left the scene in a white van while police and paramedics crews rushed to the incident and took the guard to hospital where he is now receiving treatment. The offenders are later believed to have abandoned the van, which has since been recovered, and driven away in a black Ford car. About 20 minutes after the vicious attack detectives received a report of men with a cash box on the Crescent, Huyton4 .

The same box that was stolen from Tesco was then recovered and is now being forensically tested.

Cash box found in the Crescent, Huyton, after armed robbery at Tesco Express, Halewood

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However the offenders left with a quantity of cash before police had arrived. Detective Inspector Cath Haggerty said: This is not a victimless crime and for this guard to be subjected to this ordeal while he was just carrying out his job is unacceptable.

We are carrying out a number of enquiries in the area including the examination of CCTV and forensic enquiries. Police stood guard today outside the Tesco Express while a forensic officer took photos of a cash-in-transit van.

Police and forensic officers at Tesco Express, Halewood, after armed robbery

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A worker in the Marie Curie charity shop, which directly faces the Tesco store, said she was shocked to see police here when she arrived to open up this morning. She told the ECHO: We heard that someone had carried out an armed robbery there this morning.

I was surprised because the area is not normally like that. The Tesco Express was shut for about an hour after the incident.

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Inspector Haggerty added: We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw the white van in the area shortly before the incident and in the area of Oxford Drive, Halewood shortly after, or anyone who saw a black Ford car in the area of The Crescent, Huyton.

We d be keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident itself or who saw the offenders acting suspiciously to get in contact on 0151 777 6064 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 . Any information no matter how small will be treated with the utmost confidence and could assist with our investigation. A Tesco spokesman said: We are doing all we can to support our colleagues and are helping the police with their investigation.

References

  1. ^ Halewood (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  2. ^ attacked (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  3. ^ Tesco (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  4. ^ Huyton (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)

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.