Co-Morbidity

 

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In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king

According to SAMHSA’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) (PDF | 3.4 MB) an estimated 43.6 million (18.1%) Americans ages 18 and up experienced some form of mental illness. In the past year, 20.2 million adults (8.4%) had a substance use disorder. Of these, 7.9 million people had both a mental disorder and substance use disorder, also known as co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.Various mental and substance use disorders have prevalence rates that differ by gender, age, race, and ethnicity. 

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Those are the American figures, now take a look at some British ones, in 2014/15 there were 8,149 hospital admissions of drug related mental health and behavioural disorders that’s 14% higher than the previous year. There were also 14,279 hospital admissions for poisoning as a consequence of drug use, that’s 57% up on 2003/4. 

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24% of those arrested by police for assault later tested positive for drugs, in 12% of those cases the drug of choice was cannabis. More British people than ever are taking drugs but to all intents and purposes we’re not addicted, even with a surge in drug abuse brought on by a recession, austerity and economic uncertainty. Despite this lack of addiction there’s been an increase in comorbidity ( mental illness coinciding with drug use), an increase in drug driving, and an increase in assaults (how many of those involved in the perpetration of knife & gun crime would have been found to have used drugs if they’d been caught at the scene?).

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There’s been an increase in parents attending their own children’s funerals, an increase in police attending teenage crimes scenes, an increase in community concerns about the increasingly violent ways in which teenage members of their communities are meeting their end. The only thing that hasn’t increased is governmental concern about what’s going on, the kind of concern that could lead to an increase not a decrease in policing numbers and police budgets. British police have form when it comes to targeting big time drug dealers and the havoc and mayhem they create in Britain’s cities. Out of control children (black and white) are running around with guns and knives and pockets stuffed full of cash and besides being bemused, the government has cut policing budgets time and again and chosen to do nothing.

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The stats on Cannabis farms make for astounding reading, that’s thousands of suburban terraced homes in which plants and not people are being housed. The police used to raid thousands of these properties a year, returning the homes to estate agents who could then arrange for them to be filled by real people with real housing needs. However, the number of cannabis farm raids has dropped, the reason? A cut in policing manpower and budgets.

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Tied to the issue of cannabis farms is modern slavery, the enslaving of homeless people for the sole purpose of cultivating the cannabis crop. According to Teresa May (she who has declared Eritrea a ‘safe haven’ for returning refugees) ‘Britain leads the world in its efforts to tackle modern slavery’ but not it would seem in eradicating homelessness or cannabis farming. 

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De Caprio & 200,000 Climate Guardians March For Change

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On April 29th, Leonardo DiCaprio joined the more than 200,000 people who took to the streets in Washington, D.C. calling for action on climate change. The People’s Climate March had sister marches across the country and around the world, demonstrating a strong sense of unity for climate justice in the face of an American president who denies the existence of climate change. 

Prior to the march, DiCaprio and LDF met with Indigenous leaders from North and South America who shared stories of their efforts to protect their lands, waters, and people from the impacts of fossil fuel extraction. Chairman Dave Archambault from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe talked about their ongoing commitment to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has shifted from protest to a battle in the courts.  Manari Ushigua, President of Sápara Nation, asked for LDF’s support of his community’s fight against rapid expansion of oil drilling across the tribe’s territory in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The meeting closed with a powerful prayer for protection of the planet led by Mati Waiyu of the Chumash Nation.

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DiCaprio helped kick off the march down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House with the Indigenous block. The group held signs with powerful messages including “Keep It [oil] In the Ground” and “Protect – Defend – Resist.” The march was organized by the 900-group-strong People’s Climate Movement, which included non-profit environmental and social justice groups, as well as labor unions and companies committed to taking action on climate change.

The march culminated in a rally led by Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network, a Diné and Dakota leader who was prominent during the Dakota Access fight, and Carrie Fulton, an environmental justice organizer in D.C. “What do we do when our communities are under attack? Stand up, fight back!” said Goldtooth.

The weather in D.C. reached a sweltering 91 degrees Fahrenheit, which only emboldened the march against global warming.

Approximately 370 sister marches took place worldwide, including marches in almost every U.S. state, as well as the U.K., Germany, New Zealand, Mexico, Greece, Japan, Kenya, and the Philippines.

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The Police Took Care Of The Blues, But What Is The Government Aiming To Do About The Reds?

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05/00, KOMBRA DIVAKAREN, 43, LONDON

Died of head injuries two days after being attacked and abused by a gang attempting to steal from his shop. In January 2001, a 16-year-old girl and 20-year-old man were sentenced to five years. Two others were found guilty of affray.

06/00, GLYNNE AGARD, 34, WESTBURY, WILTSHIRE

On a night out with his brother, Stephen and friend Gary Belgrave, were attacked by a gang of eight who kicked and punched Glynne to death. In July 2001, Wayne King was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to manslaughter. A 21-year-old was jailed for four years for ABH. The judge said the murder was not racially motivated.

/01, GIAN SINGH NAGRA, 37, ELM PARK, LONDON

Found with serious head injuries after suspected racial attack, died later in hospital. In August 2001, Matthew Dorrian admitted manslaughter.

03/01, FETAH MARKU, 24, EDGWARE, LONDON

This Kosovan asylum seeker was beaten to death by a gang of men following an argument in a pub in Edgware, north London. Fetah suffered eighty injuries, twenty-nine of which were from sharp instruments. In June 2002, Richard Ellis, a Black man, was found guilty of his murder. The judge commented it was unlikely he was ‘solely responsible’. Ellis denied knowing any of the 20-30 strong gang that beat Fetah to death. In April 2007, Ellis was told that he must serve at least 11 years for the racially motivated attack before he could seek parole.

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04/01, SHIBLU RAHMAN, 34, BOW, EAST LONDON

Stabbed to death by a gang of White youth as he returned home from work. In November 2001, a 15-year-old boy was found guilty of murder. Two others were convicted of manslaughter and a 16-year-old was convicted of perverting the course of justice. Police said the murder was ‘purely’ racial.

07/01, SHARON BUBB, 30, BOW, EAST LONDON

Tortured and had her throat cut by 26-year-old Scottish man George McMaster. He was jailed for life after admitting her manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility. When arrested he said ‘It was because she was Black’.

05/02, FRANKIE KYRIACOU, 19, KENTISH TOWN, LONDON

A young Turkish-Cypriot died two hours after being stabbed outside his home. In 2002, John Geaney was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. The court was told how Geaney had wanted a fight and had stood outside the home of Frankie Kyriacou goading the young man and his brother. When they emerged from the house, the two were stabbed. Though Geaney had been heard making disparaging comments about Turkish people, the judge ruled that the attack was not racially motivated. In May 2007, Geaney was sentenced to serve at least 12 years.

10/02, DERRICK SHAW, 21, REDHILL, SURREY

Died five days after being fatally brain damaged after he was punched to the ground in a racist attack outside a take-away. 26-year-old James Green was charged with manslaughter and racially aggravated grevious bodily harm and threatening behaviour. The trial in June 2003 heard that Green, who was trained in martial arts, had been ‘fired up for a fight’ and had made racist comments. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision and Green, who denied the charges and claimed he acted in self-defence, was ordered to face a retrial. In December 2003, Green walked free from court after a second jury failed to agree a verdict.

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National Action (UK) (2013)

National Action is a neo-Nazi, British nationalist youth organisation that has been proscribed as a terrorist entity, by the Government of the United Kingdom. The group is secretive, and has rules to prevent members from talking openly about the organisation.The group was proscribed in the UK on 16 December 2016. In March 2017, an undercover investigation by ITV found that its members were still meeting in secret.

Due to the secretive nature of National Action, it is not clear who the leader of the organisation is. Former National Front member Ashley Benn (pseudonym Tommy Johnson) has been referred to as the organisation’s leader, and is thought to be one of a number of activists behind National Action’s founding document.

In an investigation by the Daily Mirror, Benjamin Raymond, age 25 in June 2014, was found to be the leader of National Action. He is a former double-glazing salesman who graduated with a degree in Politics from Essex University in 2013. By 2014, he had written on his blog: “There are non-whites and Jews in my country who all need to be exterminated. As a teenager, Mein Kampf changed my life. I am not ashamed to say I love Hitler.”He has expressed admiration for Anders Breivik, the far-right terrorist, who is “the hero Norway deserves”. Raymond told BBC News in 2015: “The source of all of the conflict in society is all the different racial groups that have been brought here.

National Action self-styles itself as a “revolutionary nationalist” organisation which grew out of a failed offshoot within the youth wing of the British National Party and has made effective, large-scale use of social media and blogging platforms.

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National Action also wanted to reintroduce Section 28, which prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools. On immigration, “Tom” says “With coloured people we’d say big no to them coming over. But with [white people] we’d be a bit more lenient”.

The group has distributed its material on at least 12 university campuses. In an interview with The National Student, an anonymous organiser for National Action explained why they target universities: “very soon they are going to find out just how hard the system has screwed them – if they knew what we know now we would have an army.

In November 2016, The Sunday Times reported that National Action was supporting Thomas Mair, the murderer of the Batley and Spen Labour MP Jo Cox, posting “only 649 MPs to go!” on social media. National Action also supported Mair personally, saying “don’t let this man’s sacrifice go in vain” and altered its listing on Google to state: “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain!”, a slogan Mair had said to a court when asked to give his name following Cox’s murder. The organisation also supported the Orlando gun homicide and has called for graphic and violent attacks on police officers in the UK. Mair, however, appeared to have little involvement with National Action or any other white nationalist groups within the UK.

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 04/03, PAUL ROSENBERG, 56, ISLE OF WIGHT

A South African taxi-driver working in the Isle of Wight was attacked and stamped to death by a passenger. Paul was a South African who arrived in the UK in 1951 and moved to the Isle of Wight in 1996 or 1997. The court was told that passenger Arnold punched Paul twelve times with ‘severe force’ before stealing his cash bag containing £300. Wendy Nolan, a friend of Arnold’s, told the court that Arnold told her: ‘I think I have killed the bloke. I only did it because he is Black. He looked dead. I think he’s dead. I kicked him.’ She, in turn, was so disturbed by what she had been told that she drove to where Arnold told her the attack took place and found Paul’s body. Paramedics were called and battled for 20 minutes to save him before he was declared dead. In May 2004, Arnold was sentenced to life for his murder and ordered that he serve a minimum of 11 years and 341 days. Det. Insp. Jason Hogg commented: ‘We are very pleased with the verdict. We feel justice has been done. This was a dreadful attack, made particularly horrible by the fact that there was a racist element.’ In April 2005, after an appeal, Arnold’s minimum tariff was reduced to just under 10 years.

05/03, JOHNNY DELANEY, 14, ELLESMERE PORT, LIVERPOOL

Johnny, who was from a Traveller family, was found with serious head injuries in a field and later died in hospital. In November 2003, the trial began at Chester Crown Court of two 16-year old boys charged with murder. One of the boys was allegedly heard to say that Johnny deserved it because ‘he was only a f**king Gypsy’. The two boys, who tried to blame one another, were found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter. The Judge, Mr Justice Richards, told the court he did not believe the attack was racially motivated. However, the police said after the verdict that the murder had been investigated as racially motivated because of the use of racist language. Johnny’s father, Patrick Delaney, commented, ‘There is no justice here. They were kicking my son like a football. Are they going to let this happen to another Gypsy?.. As far as we’re concerned it was a racist attack.’

06/03, AWAIS ALAM, 45, LEYTON, NORTH-EAST LONDON

This father of three was attacked by two White men on the busy Walthamstow High Street and later died. He allegedly confronted the men after they made racist comments. They then knocked him down and kicked him as he lay on the ground. Police were treating the attack as racially motivated.

11/03, QUADIR AHMED, 59, RUISLIP, WEST LONDON

An Indian restaurant owner died nearly a month after suffering head injuries in a racist attack outside his restaurant in Eastcote Village near Ruislip, west London. In September 2004, 19-year-old Daniel Palmer was jailed for life for Quadir’s murder. The court was told that Palmer and his gang had been throwing eggs at the Zhai restaurant on Halloween night and Quadir and his brother came out to remonstrate with the gang. Palmer attacked him with an estate agent’s ‘for sale’ sign. The gang were heard mimicking Asian accents and Palmer ran off laughing, boasting that he had broken Quadir’s nose. Palmer was sentenced to a minimum of twelve years.

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04/04, AKBERALI TAYABALI MOHAMEDALLY, 80, NORTHOLT, WEST LONDON

An elderly Pakistani man was attacked at the White Hart roundabout subway in Northolt, west London, and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police said they were treating the attack as racially motivated. Two youths were arrested and one was later charged with his murder. Michael Evans, 17, and James Carney, 20, were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years each.

05/04, BAPISHANKAR KATHIRGAMANATHAN, 24, ASHFORD, KENT

A Sri Lankan-born restaurant worker died two weeks after being racially attacked in Ashford, Kent. Bapishankar suffered serious head injuries after he and a friend were racially attacked on a footbridge in Victoria Road on 22 April 2001. Two men, James Rossiter, 22, and Tony Pile, 18, were charged with murder and remanded into custody. In July 2004, the men were convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 25 years. In October 2005, the Court of Appeal reduced the sentences from 25 years to 21 years, saying that the trial judges failed to take into account the men’s ages and that the reduction did not diminish the ‘horrific’ crime.

05/06, HAMIDULLAH HAMIDI, 31, LONDON

Two shop workers were injured in a racist firebomb attack on their shop in Kennington, south London. Khizar Hyat died after being trapped in his shop. His colleague died in hospital nearly a month later from injuries sustained during the arson attack. On 4 May 2006, 32-year-old Robert Torto appeared before Greenwich magistrates charged with murder. In July 2007, a judge ordered that he be detained at Broadmoor Hospital indefinitely after he pleaded guilty to three counts of arson with intent to endanger life on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He also pleaded guilty to a further count of arson at a Tulse Hill newsagent. Judge Peter Beaumont ordered Torto be detained for an indefinite period. Police officers found a handwritten note detailing different bombs and targets, including gay clubs, hospitals carrying out sex changes and non-Christian religious institutions.

07/06, CHANGEZ ARIF, 33, MANCHESTER

Changez was found stabbed to death in an alleyway near his home in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. Police ruled out racial motivation saying the attack was a revenge attack. In January 2007, Michael Skeffington, 19, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve 15 years for stabbing Changez five times in revenge after losing a fight. The case was only allowed to be reported in July 2007 after Skeffington pleaded guilty to another assault along with his twin brother David following an attack on another Asian – again involving a knife. In September 2003, Skeffington had been given a two-year ASBO by Manchester magistrates after being accused of racist behaviour which banned him from entering an area of Cheetham Hill.

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Combat 18 (1992)

Combat 18 (C18) is a neo-Nazi cartel associated with the Blood and Honour organisation, based on the principles of “leaderless resistance”, a strategy that was adopted and mentioned in the Combat 18 manifest, based on “The Turner Diaries”, written by William Luther Pierce under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald. It originated in the United Kingdom, with ties to movements in the United States and has since spread to other countries. Combat 18 members have been suspected in numerous deaths of immigrants, non-whites, and other C18 members. The 18 in its name is derived from the initials of Adolf Hitler: A and H are the first and eighth letters of the Latin alphabet. Members in the United Kingdom are barred from joining the British Prison Service and police.

Between 1998 and 2000, dozens of Combat 18 members in the UK were arrested on various charges during dawn raids by the police. These raids were part of several operations conducted by Scotland Yard in co-operation with MI5. Those arrested included Steve and Bill Sargent (brothers of Charlie Sargent), David Myatt and two serving British soldiers, Darren Theron (Parachute Regiment) and Carl Wilson.

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05/07, TARSEN NAHAR, 44, WEST LONDON

Tarsen Nahar, (aka ‘Cookie’), was found dead in Hayes on 19 May 2007. Daryl O’Connor, 18, was found guilty of murder and of aggravated bodily harm. The court was told in an unprovoked attack, O’Connor and his friends had been heard to say ‘We don’t like n*****s in our park’. O’Connor, who was 17 at the time of the murder, is said to have beaten Tarsen to the ground and then kicked him in the head, as the gang stole his phone and wallet. Tarsen was able to make his way to a friend’s house where he collapsed. Local police said the murder was investigated as racially motivated and that O’Connor was initially charged with racially aggravated ABH (as well as murder), however the ‘racially aggravated’ rider was dropped. In July 2008 O’Connor was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 13 years. (Read an IRR News story: ‘Convictions in three Black murder cases’)

06/08, HAMIDA BEGUM, 71 AND ALANA MIAN, 4, GREAT LEVER, BOLTON

A grandmother and her granddaughter died in an arson attack when a wheelie bin was set alight outside a house in Bolton. Saima Mian, who was visiting her parents in the UK from Australia, was seriously injured in the fire, suffering burns to her face and stomach. Fire fighters suggested the fire was deliberately set. A reconstruction on BBC Crimewatch, in January 2010 where police officers suggested the motive was racist, resulted in new leads.

08/08, NILANTHAN MOORTHY, 17, CROYDON

A young Sri Lankan student was stabbed to death following an altercation in a Croydon street with 31-year-old Steven Braithwaite. Nilanthan, a little drunk after celebrating the birthday of a friend in Croydon, started arguments with passers-by. Brathwaite passed by in a taxi and was heard to racially abuse the group, calling out ‘P**is’, Nilanthan, upset by the abuse attempted (but failed) to pull Braithwaite from his cab. Twenty minutes later, Braithwaite returned and resumed the argument with Nilanthan, stabbing him in the neck. Nilanthan died at the scene. In June 2009, Braithwaite was found guilty and sentenced to life for murder and ordered to serve a minimum of 19 years.

 09/09, EKRAM HAQUE, 67, TOOTING, SOUTH LONDON

This retired man died a week after being attacked by a Black gang outside his local mosque after evening prayers. He suffered head injuries in the attack (which is thought to have been racist).His 3-year-old granddaughter who was with him at the time of the attack was unharmed. Three young people aged 14 and 15 have been charged with GBH with intent and murder. And a 12-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to commit GBH and two counts of assault. The attack followed other assaults on elderly Asians near the mosque.

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05/10, MARCIN BILASZEWSKI, 19, WOOD GREEN, LONDON

A Polish teenager died after being stabbed outside Finsbury park tube station. His attacker, Alphonse Kruizinga, was said to be racist towards Polish people in particular and blamed Poland for the Second World War. He was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years.

07/10 KESTER DAVID, 53, PALMERS GREEN, NORTH LONDON

A bus driver, who was found burned to death under railway arches at Palmers Green underground station. An initial Metropolitan police investigation recorded the death as suicide. However David’s family believes that he may have been murdered because he was a police informer. The family also had concerns that the police failed to conduct a proper investigation because he was black. A first internal police report found ‘a failing in duty’ by the police and found a vast array of errors in the original investigation. David’s family further complained that no disciplinary action was taken against the police officers found to be at fault.

12/10 INDERJIT SINGH, 36, BEDFORD

Singh, of Indian origin, was stabbed to death on Christmas morning by BNP supporter, David Folley. Singh had mistakenly knocked on Folley’s door while looking for a friend’s address and was stabbed to death on the landing. David Folley, 35, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was also found guilty of ABH for assaulting another man in prison while awaiting trial.

 10/13 JOELE LEOTTA, 20, MAIDSTONE, KENT

This Italian man had been in the UK about a week when he was killed. The attack happened in a flat above a restaurant where Joele was working. According to an Italian mayor, ’informed sources’ said that the attackers had ‘broken down the door of their room’, yelling, ‘you’re stealing our jobs’. The police later denied any racial motivation. In January 2014, four Lithuanian men charged with murder pleaded not guilty.

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BNP Greenwich

The British National Party (BNP) (1982)

is a far-right political party in the United Kingdom. It is headquartered in Wigton, Cumbria, and its current leader is Adam Walker. It currently has one councillor in UK local government. During its heyday in the 2000s, it had over fifty seats in local government, two seats on the London Assembly, and two Members of the European Parliament.

Ideologically positioned on the extreme or far-right of British politics, the BNP has been characterised as fascist or neo-fascist by political scientists. Under Tyndall’s leadership, it was more specifically regarded as Neo-Nazi. The party is ethnic nationalist, and espouses the view that only white people should be citizens of the United Kingdom. It calls for an end to non-white migration into the UK and the removal of settled non-white populations from the country. Initially, it called for the compulsory expulsion of non-whites, although it has since advocated voluntary removals with financial incentives. It promotes biological racism and the white genocide conspiracy theory, calling for global racial separatism and condemning mixed race relationships. Under Tyndall, the BNP emphasised anti-semitism and Holocaust denial, although Griffin switched the party’s focus on to Islamophobia. It promotes economic protectionism, Euroscepticism, and a transformation away from liberal democracy, while its social policies oppose feminism, LGBT rights, and societal permissiveness.

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Reasons Not To Privatize The Feds: Part Two

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Going Country

More and more, city gangs are sending young runners out into the sticks to sell crack and heroin. We spoke to dealers, sex workers and police to get a better understanding of how the whole thing works.

As commuters arrive into Britain’s major cities from their homes in the shires, a different kind of commuter is travelling the opposite direction. They’re more likely to be young and wearing trainers, tracksuits and puffer jackets. Most of them generate more cash each day than their city-bound counterparts. The tools of their trade are a cheap mobile phone, a bag of class A drugs and a knife.

Last week, the National Crime Agency released its second report into the growing phenomenon known as “going country” – city drug gangs sending young runners to sell crack and heroin in market or coastal towns. The report found that these were no occasional day trips: over 180 urban drug dealing gangs have expanded into the jurisdictions of three quarters of British police forces.

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Going country, or “OT” (out there), is not an entirely new phenomenon. Gangs from the big four UK drug hubs – London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool – have been sending dealers to sell in less crowded areas since the rise of the highly profitable crack selling business, and of mobile phones, in the 1990s. The drug trade in Ipswich, Suffolk, for example, has been dominated by London gangs since 2003.

 HAINE, LAYet, in the last decade, across Britain the trickle has turned into a flood. Using motorways and trains, city gangs have expanded their reach far and wide, beyond the commuter belt, from Devon and Gloucestershire to Humberside and Scotland. London gangs – the most prolific of them all – have taken over the trade across the south of England: in west country towns such as Swindon, Melksham, Aylesbury, Bournemouth and Yeovil; in southern towns such as Hastings, Eastbourne, Worthing, Tunbridge Wells, Margate and Brighton; and in the east, in Colchester, Cambridge, Norwich, Leiston and Bury St Edmonds.

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What’s more, the dealers are getting younger, with children as young as 11 being found selling drugs in areas a world away from the inner city zones they call home. Meanwhile, as the newcomers increasingly discard the old school criminal code of local drug markets, rivalry, enmity and violence intensifies.

Despite recent police and media reports about this phenomenon, little is known about how these gangs operate and the impact they have on “host” towns. In truth, it’s a story about a collision point: where people’s desperation to escape poverty and pain meets head-on with the cold, hard economics of the drug trade.

G4s have demonstrated to the general public just how adept they are at managing national events and the probation service, they clearly aren’t. So where would they find the money for the kind of policing work that throws up this research data? Policing cuts have consequences.

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Reasons Not To Privatize The Feds: Part One

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A Heathrow airport drug smuggling racket importing more than £10million of cocaine into Britain was smashed following a series of dawn raids today.

The drugs, which also included 50 kilos of cannabis, was shipped into the UK in 15 months through the UK’s biggest airport.

Eleven suspects, including one woman and three baggage handlers, were arrested at addresses in and around London and the south east.

Today’s operation follows a number of seizures of drugs at Heathrow over a 15 month period – totalling around 100 kilograms of cocaine and 50 kilograms of cannabis.

The drugs are believed to have been sent by drugs lords based in Brazil for gangs selling on the streets of London. Please note, that these are not necessarily Afro-Carribean gangs, a number of ethnicities (Brazillian, Angolan, Columbian, Dominican,Polish, Romanian,Russian) are now a part of settled communities in London and have been for many years.

Those arrested are aged between 24 and 60 and were detained following the series of coordinated raids involving around 125 investigators from the National Crime Agency.

The operation NCA were assisted by officers from three police forces including the Metropolitan Police.

The suspected drugs ring members were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import class A drugs and are now being questioned at police stations around London.

The suspects are either linked to the South Americans in the drugs trade or ‘wholesalers’ based in London.  

G4S never stops talking about the money it can save police services but how many plain clothes hours inside & outside of London went into the preparation for this police operation? The face of London has changed, to discover to what extent & make all the necessary links between Columbian criminals & those indigenous to London costs patience, time & wages? Cuts have consequences.

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Ratification Of The Paris Agreement Delayed

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It’s now nine months since the COP21 climate treaty was agreed in Paris. At the time,I met the agreement with both celebration and condemnation: it marked an important global moment for collective action on climate change but lacked the ambition and detail on how even a 2ºC target could be met. Many observers recognised that the proof of its success would be in the national policy commitments made by governments and ministers in the months and years that followed.

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Other Than That Everything’s Perfect

Importantly, the Paris agreement will not enter into force until 55 countries representing 55% of total global emissions have ratified it. As it stands, 26 states have completed this, totalling 39.06 % of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Notably, this includes China and the United States, who last week jointly announced their ratification of the Paris Agreement, marking a very important step in the treaty’s journey.

Sadly, the UK has dawdled on Paris ratification and has not yet made any announcement of when it intends to do so. Since December, the stock response of both the Prime Minister and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (and formerly the Department for Energy and Climate Change) has been that the government will do so ‘as soon as possible’.

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In Parliament today, I asked the Prime Minister if she will commit to ratifying the agreement before the follow up negotiations in November of this year. She sidestepped the question and refused to give a firm date. With 2016 set to be the hottest year on record, this casual approach is at odds with ever more serious warnings about the severity of the climate crisis.

At the national level, it has been a terrible year for climate and energy policy. With the ongoing reckless obsession with fracking, the failure to embrace energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority, and the delay in new subsidy announcements for offshore wind, it should come as no surprise that the Committee on Climate Change announced in June that the government lacks half the policies it needs to meet its 2030 emissions targets.

Indeed, it is clear that UK energy and infrastructure policy is going in completely the wrong direction – cutting support for renewables and efficiency, locking in high-carbon gas for decades to come, and squandering taxpayers’ money on new nuclear and runways.

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In a further sign of government neglect, yesterday, the new Minster for Climate Change, announced a probable delay in the publication of the vital Carbon Plan. The plan will detail how the UK will meet its targets under the Climate Change Act. This delay comes at a time when the UK’s attractiveness as a destination for investment in renewable energy has reached an all-time low. The responsibility for this lies solely with chaotic and unpredictable government policy. The dismal failure of the Treasury and the Energy Department to halt the potentially catastrophic Business Rate rises to schools, businesses and community organisations with solar panels on their rooftops is a further example of that.

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Without a global step change in ambition, global temperatures will likely rise by 3.7°C and beyond. The consequences of this kind of change are unimaginable – indeed, we do not know the full implications of breaching planetary boundaries in this way. As a nation with an historic responsibility for carbon emissions, as well as the skills, expertise and resources to help create the solutions, the UK must take responsibility.

Delaying the ratification of the Paris Agreement – never mind dodging the ongoing questions about how we meet our own carbon reduction targets – demonstrates a dangerous and reckless approach to the most important issue of our time.

With much of the real detail of the Paris agreement being discussed at the follow-up COP22 negotiations in Marrakech in November, it would send all the wrong signals for the UK to turn up without having ratified it.

(This is an excerpt from Caroline Lucas MP’s blog)

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Prisoner ‘force-fed legal highs’ and filmed by jeering inmates as he rolls around in agony

A prisoner out of his head on legal highs rolls around in agony on a filthy jail floor as inmates film him on an illegal mobile.

The lag rocks helplessly back and forth in a violent seizure, seeming to drift in and out of consciousness. But his fellow convicts just laugh.

One man, sensing potential disaster, shouts for him to “breathe”.

But there are no prison staff in sight, and the man – believed to have been force-fed the drugs – is clearly in deep distress, robbed of all dignity.

The shocking clip obtained by the Sunday People highlights security failings in Britain’s creaking prisons system and the epidemic of new super-strength drugs flooding our jails.

A source said: “These are really ­unpleasant scenes. This is supposed to be a secure jail. To see a situation like this unfold is nothing short of a disgrace.”

The inmate filmed on a smuggled ­camera phone had taken a so-called legal high, a psychoactive substance.

These drugs, sold under street names like Spice and Black Mamba, mimic the affects of cannabis but are far stronger.

They are freely sold on the web in Britain as research chemicals using a “not for human consumption” loophole, for as little as £8.49 a gram.

But they are worth far more in jail, and are more easily smuggled in ­because sniffer dogs ­cannot detect them.

Our footage was shot at HMP Onley in Rugby, Warwicks.

A source claimed the man was deliberately forced into overdosing on the drug as a punishment by fellow cons.

Prison Service officials have repeatedly refused to give an account of what happened leading up to the man’s collapse, or say what treatment he ­received afterwards.

Horrified, a source passed the clip to the Sunday People, fearing nothing was being done to check the ­escalating ­problem of legal highs.

The source said: “The incident took place in a hallway adjacent to the cells on one of the wings. Apparently a few of the inmates are gang members and deal with legal and illegal drugs.

“The inmate on the floor allegedly owed money to these members. As he was unable to ‘pay’ he was ­subjected to ­physical abuse. This included ­being forced to ­swallow drugs till he overdosed and ­unfortunately he had a seizure.

“Other inmates tell him to breathe and throw water on him but no attempt to call staff is made, so ­officers are not present. Nothing is done to ­prevent this type of bullying so less prominent inmates are treated like this to teach them a lesson, or just for kicks.”

The source added: “It’s just completely wrong that this can happen.”

It is not known why the man in the video had been imprisoned.

Category C Onley is home to 720 lags, mainly from London jails who are nearing the end of their sentences. Some 75 are recovering addicts held on K wing.

Andrew Neilson, campaigns director of prison reform group the Howard League said: “If this video and the alleged circumstances behind it are genuine I think it does underline vividly the degree to which these new psychoactive ­substances are a scourge in ­overcrowded and ­under-resourced prisons.

“We offer legal ­representation to young people in prison and we’ve heard from them about ­incidents of ­violence and bullying that underpin the trade in legal highs.

“We’ve been told of prisons where people are ‘walking around like zombies’ because there’s so much Spice available and of ­ambulances arriving on a daily basis to take prisoners to hospital after they have a fit.

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“It only takes a couple of prison ­officers to be escorting a prisoner to hospital that may mean a whole wing has to be locked down so prisoners are not able to leave their cells.

Substance abuse expert Huseyin Djemil said legal highs were rife behind bars ­because jails typically use testing kits which detect only traditional street drugs likeheroin and cocaine .

And he warned inmates were being used as guinea pigs by jail dealers before selling on drugs more widely.

Mr Djemil said: “There are so many incidences of people using legal highs in prison and having an adverse reaction they are now taking precautions by trying it out on other people and this could be one of those incidents rather than it being a punishment or a laugh.

“Sick as that is, it could have been tested out on this person before they sell it to others.” He added: “If you forget the drugs for a minute you’ve got a group of lads ­potentially filming in a prison.

“So not only can they not stop the drugs getting in, they can’t stop the phone ­getting in and it seems as though there are not enough prison officers to catch them filming. They weren’t exactly being quiet. They’re kind of failing on a number of levels.”

“The impact is shocking, with violence, addiction and deaths becoming more common. There is no quick fix – but by working with prison security, ­developing testing and providing ­rehabilitation we can tackle this major problem.”

A Ministry of Justice ­spokesman said: “We took immediate action after this incident came to light in July 2014.

Extract from an article printed in The Mirror 2015

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