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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.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd: Give security services access to WhatsApp

TECHNOLOGY companies must allow the security services access to messages in times of emergency, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said. It follows reports that Khalid Masood, the man responsible for the terrorist attack in London on Wednesday, used the WhatsApp service to send someone a message just three minutes before he mowed down 40 people on Westminster Bridge. The inbuilt encryption of WhatsApp means police and MI5 have reportedly not seen the contents of that message.

Doing the rounds on the Sunday morning political TV shows, the Home Secretary said technology firms must build in back doors to allow security services to eavesdrop.

Rudd also insisted WordPress, and Google, who run YouTube, must realise that they are now publishers rather than simply technology companies, and so should do more to tackle extremist videos and blogs.

Although the Home Secretary said she would like companies to do this voluntarily and independently, she refused to rule out changing the law to force their hand.

Rudd told BBC One s Andrew Marr Show: It is completely unacceptable, there should be no place for terrorists to hide.

We need to make sure that organisations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other.

It used to be that people would steam-open envelopes or just listen in on phones when they wanted to find out what people were doing, legally, through warrantry.

But on this situation we need to make sure that our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp.

Asked if she opposed end-to-end encryption on Sky News s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Rudd said: End-to-end encryption has a place, cyber security is really important and getting it wrong costs the economy and costs people money.

So I support end-to-end encryption, it has its place to play.

But we also need to have a system whereby when the police have an investigation, where the security services have put forward a warrant signed off by the Home Secretary, we can get that information when a terrorist is involved.

She denied what she was describing was incompatible with end-to-end encryption, adding: You can have a system whereby they can build it so that we can have access to it when it is absolutely necessary.

Rudd said she was calling in a fairly long list of relevant organisations for a meeting on the issue on Thursday, including social media platforms.

I would rather get a situation where we get all these people around the table agreeing to do it, she told Marr.

I know it sounds a bit like we re stepping away from legislation but we re not.

What I m saying is the best people who understand the technology, who understand the necessary hashtags to stop this stuff even being put up, not just taking it down, but stopping it being put up in the first place are going to be them.

Corbyn calls for security probe and attacks counter-terror strategy flaws after Westminster attack

Jeremy Corbyn has told ITV’s Peston on Sunday1 security at Parliament “needs to be looked at” in the wake of the Westminster attack and called on the government to overhaul its counter-terror approach to stop Muslims feeling singled out. In a wide-ranging interview with Robert Peston, the Labour leader said:

Addressing matters away from the attack, Mr Corbyn also said:

Speaking in the wake of the London terror attack2, Mr Corbyn suggested the Government’s deradicalisation programme needed to be reformed.

“I think what Prevent has often done is seen to target the Muslim community, not anybody else, looks to say there is a kind of suspicion over the whole community and it’s actually often counter-productive.”

When pushed on exactly what he believed needed to change, he said: “I’m saying broaden it into an agenda of inclusion. .. . Focus it on all communities.”

Wednesday’s attack saw lone-wolf extremist Khalid Masood, who converted to Islam in adulthood, shot dead to end his car and knife attack in central London on Wednesday. Mr Corbyn clarified that he supported the policy of shoot-to-kill “in a wholly defensive situation” but cautioned: “You’ve got to be careful you don’t end up with what we had in Ireland in the 1980s.”

Mr Corbyn backed the police response, saying: “The police did their best to protect Parliament and Keith Palmer lost his life trying to protect Parliament.

“But there is a question of .. . access to the building and that needs to be looked at.”

On the possibility of an early general election being called by the Prime Minister, Mr Corbyn said: “We are developing our policies but clearly if an election is called we can bring all that forward and we are ready, yes.”

He added: “It wouldn’t be just us actually because it (repealing the Fixed-term Parliament Act) requires two thirds of all MPs to vote for it.

“We would not block it, of course not, because if that’s what is on offer, I don’t know if that’s in her mind or not .

She certainly hasn’t discussed it with me.”

References

  1. ^ ITV’s Peston on Sunday (www.itv.com)
  2. ^ London terror attack (www.itv.com)