Woman pleads guilty to swapping licence plates before going on crime spree in Romford and Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 13:00 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:06 19 December 2017
Aaron Walawalkar Romford Recorder
Snaresbrook Crown Court. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Images
A woman in her early 30s put false licence plates on her hatchback before embarking on a robbery rampage across Romford and Hornchurch, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard yesterday.
Claire Kinsey, 32, of Putterill Close, Thaxted, Essex, swapped licence plates on her silver Peugeot 206 before mounting a crime spree on the evening of November 18.
Driving across Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster, she assaulted six pedestrians in the space of an hour, robbing two of items including purses, handbags and phones.
Kinsey pleaded guilty to all eight counts for which she was indicted; two counts of robbery; four counts of assault with intent to rob; one count of converting criminal property; and one count of dangerous driving.
As she left the dock, Kinsey requested that a handwritten note be passed to her defence solicitor Peter Bedingfield which she said would “explain everything better,” and which Mr Bedingfield opted not to read aloud.
Judge Oliver Del Fabbro recommended that the sentencing judge take into account a history of domestic abuse and mental health issues.
The date of her sentencing, yet to be confirmed, will take place after March 12.
Police chief says social media posts of kids being ‘disrespected’ has fuelled rising knife crime
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 December 2017
Emma Youle Romford Recorder.
Det Ch Supt Sean Yates leads Operation Sceptre tackling youth knife crime. Picture: Ken Mears
The police chief charged with reducing spiralling knife crime in London has said he is determined to halt the loss of young lives – and has called on the public to set aside preconceptions and work with the force to do this.
Det Ch Supt Yates says the Met is using intelligence-led stop and search, weapons sweeps and knife arches, and targeting habitual knife carriers in a bid to reduce knife crime. Picture: Ken Mears
As he laid out the arsenal of tactics being used by the Met to tackle under-25s knife offending, acting Det Ch Supt Sean Yates appealed for the community’s help to stop the violence – in the third of the Recorder’s special series on knife crime.
Attacks on under-25s in Havering and London-wide have risen steeply compared to five years ago and police say they are determined to reverse the trend.
“It’s an absolute priority,” said Det Ch Supt Yates, who is leading Operation Sceptre. “We’re doing everything we possibly can. We’re working together with our communities.”
Since April this year 100 police officers have been deployed on the specialist taskforce to combat the rise in crime, after police established that only 25 per cent of knife crime offences involve gangs.
Working closely with borough police forces, Sceptre’s tactics include using intelligence-led stop and search, targeting habitual knife carriers, use of weapons sweeps and knife arches - which detect metal as people walk through them - and intensive patrols in knife hotspots which change depending on peaks in crime.
Operation Sceptre has seized 2,472 knives, carried out 7,600 weapons sweeps, made 4,216 arrests and conducted 9,338 stop and search checks since its re-launch in April.
Det Ch Supt Sean Yates speaking to Archant investigations journalist Emma Youle about Operation Sceptre. Picture: Ken Mears
But Det Ch Supt Yates said the force is still facing significant challenges, including engaging young people who feel pressure to carry a knife for protection.
“The trend is obviously, worryingly, young people are still picking up knives,” he said.
“I think there are a lot of social factors, economic factors involved, broken homes being part of it, and young people in public spaces feeling the need to carry a knife because they either feel that they should for self defence, or, they actually want to carry a knife to intimidate or they want to deal drugs.”
He says police intelligence from habitual knife carriers - people who have been named twice as a suspect on a crime report in the last year - has shown social media may amplify some knife disputes.
“Ten years ago, before social media, if you were disrespected, or you were a victim of something on your patch as a young man - two, three, four, five, six people got to know about it,” said Det Ch Supt Yates.
“It never went viral. What we’re seeing now is social media goes completely viral very quickly and then suddenly hundreds and hundreds of people know you’ve been disrespected and that feeds-in in terms of ‘Now I’ve got to illicit a response or I’ll lose respect’. That’s what they tell us.”
Weapons seized by Operation Sceptre in June. Picture: Met Police
The Met says stop and search is a vital tactic in taking knives off the streets - and Det Ch Supt Yates believes it can also be an invaluable source of information.
But he emphasised it must be intelligence-led and delivered “ethically and with integrity”.
“The messaging that we’re getting out to our officers is that if you’re in the right place, at the right time, it’s not just about going in there and stopping and searching everybody that happens to come across you,” he said.
“It’s about getting out of the police carrier and speaking to these youngsters and telling them why we’re here. It’s murder suppression, that’s the message we’re putting out, stopping knives being on the street.”
He also praised community weapons sweeps, in which the public offer intelligence on locations for police activity and help carry out the sweep, as an effective tactic for seizing knives stashed in public places such as bins or hedges.
Asked whether sentences handed down by the courts for knife crime are too lenient, he said the Home Office is now working with the Ministry of Justice to query jail terms perceived as disproportionate.
Det Ch Supt Sean Yates has appealed for the community's help to tackle youth knife crime, saying 'we can't arrest and enforce our way out of this'. Picture: Ken Mears
Police are also working with the government towards tougher laws on the sale of Rambo, combat and hunting knives.
“I would like to see them banned in public,” said Det Ch Supt Yates. “That’s my personal view. People tell you they go fishing. I go fishing, but I don’t need a hunting knife.”
He also called for retailers to act responsibly and keep knives in locked cabinets and said it is too easy to buy knives online.
Operation Sceptre has had a positive impact, said the officer, but he appealed for the public’s help to tackle youth knife crime.
“We can’t arrest and enforce our way out of this situation, he said. “As a parent, as a sibling, as a peer, get the message out there, ‘Please don’t carry a knife’.
“You might see it as a matter of respect, you might think you need to defend yourself, but the statistics show that you’re actually making the issue worse and young people are being murdered as a result of these actions.
Detective Sergeant Emma Bowles, of the East Area Command's gangs unit. Picture: Emma Youle
“So the message to the community is, please talk to us.”
What kind of journalism is that,5 suspects,what description are they?humans,Martians,relatives of the tooth fairy,it would be nice to be told male/female,colour,age,height and what they were wearing!!! Basic fact reporting.
It would be nice for the people who use that or any other route to be aware of their descriptions,plain common sense if you ask me,someone may actually recognise them and inform the social services,sorry I meant the plod.
That's the non-description the police issue when they hope they catch the thugs before relatives of the victims get hold of them.
After they have little or no success, they issue an appeal to the public if the crime is deemed serious enough and they consider the public could be of some use in the identification process.
This lot will probably be allowed to commit several more offences before there is any serious attempt to arrest and charge them. That's how their crimes escalate in seriousness until somebody can be bothered to do something about it.
Fred going back to the '70's the local rag in my hometown Hackney the Gazette would not print the colour of attackers incase it upset the council however not if the attackers were white.
Muggings became rife and most of the attackers were young black youths and the victims were elderly white folk however the problem over your side was dismissed as a social problem by the MP for Lambeth Marcus Lipton.
Oh yes of course nothing at all racial when the muggers were black and the victims were white.
Man shot in Hornchurch this morning
PUBLISHED: 16:49 01 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:03 01 January 2018
Lindsay Jones Romford Recorder
Police in Wych Elm Road, Hornchurch, where a man was shot in the early hours of New Year's Day.
A man was apparently shot in the back in Hornchurch in the early hours today.
Armed police and London Ambulance Service say they were called to Wych Elm Road, Hornchurch at 3.42am on New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1 following reports of a shooting.
One man, in his twenties, was found with a suspected gunshot injury to the lower back.
He has been taken to hospital where he remains in a stable condition.
The road was closed for several hours.
A witness told the Recorder: “I believe there was a party down Wych Elm Road and an argument broke out. You can clearly see a bullet hole in the door of a blue Ford Fiesta parked in the road. There was a pile of clothes around 30ft away from the car with the bullet hole in. that was being bagged up. One of the items was a grey North Face hoody and another was a black woolly hat.”
No arrests have been made. Inquiries continue.
Romanian gang 'sold cash machine skimming devices to criminals around the world from garden shed in Essex'
Alexandru Sovu, 39, Paula Cioaca, 32, and Anca Fuioaga, 37, appeared in court
All three have been accused of conspiracy to defraud the UK banking system
The trio were caught in a sting organised by the British Transport Police
By Charlie Bayliss For Mailonline
Published: 12:50, 5 January 2018 | Updated: 13:22, 5 January 2018
Three Romanian nationals have appeared in court accused of helping a gang distribute ATM skimming devices to criminals across the world from a garden shed.
Alexandru Sovu, 39, is said to have designed the skimmers, which could be fitted to ticket machines, Tesco petrol station pumps and ATMs.
Paula Cioaca, 32, the wife of the Ionel Baluta, the mastermind behind the plot and Anca Fuioaga, 37, also appeared in court accused of conspiracy to defraud the UK banking system.
Prosecutor Michael Shaw said the devices were disguised and sold as other items before they were traded as far away as the USA, Vietnam and China.
Eight others in the fraud ring have pleaded guilty or been convicted following a trial.
Mr Shaw told the Old Bailey: 'It gives them access to your money and the bank's money. We are talking about millions of pounds of fraud if you can get the data that's contained on this small piece of plastic.
Paula Cioaca (left and right), who is the wife of the 'kingpin' behind the operation, Ionel Baluta, appeared in court accused of conspiracy to defraud the UK banking system
'What's been designed is a form of interception called a "skimmer".
'So when you put your card into a cash machine or a London transport ticket machine you need to be alert because what criminals have designed is a method of catching the data as you put your card in and wait.'
Mr Shaw claimed Sovu, who has lived in both Reading, in Berkshire, and China, designed the skimmers.
Mr Shaw said: 'He has, over time, perfected the device. They have got smaller and more sophisticated as technology by banks to combat this sort of fraud has been developed.
'He's a very industrious and intelligent man but he is also a thoroughly dishonest man.
'Without the technology Mr Sovu has designed and developed, much of the crime we will hear in this trial could not have happened.'
Sovu also encrypted devices so customers would need to pay for software before they were able to gain access to card details, the jury heard.
Mr Shaw added: 'If you want to get access to the hundreds of cards then you will need a particular piece of software that Mr Sovu has developed and sells for hundreds of pounds.'
Sovu was arrested at Heathrow airport, and police found a Google translation into Chinese from a passage on his phone on how to disguise devices as mobile phone chargers.
He had been arrested on similar charges in 2010, but is believed to have moved to China, whereby Fuioaga was then allegedly appointed his 'UK representative'.
Fuioaga, from ROMFORD, is thought to have met with potential buyers and contacted other gang members, including Baluta, 33, when a sale had been made, the jury heard.
Baluta previously admitted to conspiracy to make and supply articles for use in fraud, conspiracy to defraud and possessing a fake ID last year.
Anca Fuioaga, pictured here on the London Eye, was also arrested and appeared in front of the Old Bailey accused of conspiracy to defraud the UK banking system
The devices were made in the garden shed at his home, which he lived in with Cioaca in Colchester, Essex.
The outhouse was bugged by the British Transport Police, where the gang were recorded talking to customers on the phone and arranging sales.
A skimming device, spray paint and an array of electrical components were found during a raid in February 2010, the court heard.
Mr Shaw said: 'There were all the articles you will require for manufacturing skimming devices and the false faces of cash machines and the like.'
Cioaca, of Colchester, Essex, denies one count of conspiracy to make and supply articles for us in fraud and one country of conspiracy to defraud.
Sovu, of Reading, denies one count of conspiracy to make and supply articles for use in fraud, one count of possessing of criminal property, one count of transferring of criminal property, and one count of failing to comply with a disclosure notice.
Fuioaga, of HAVERING, ROMFORD, denies one count of conspiracy to make and supply articles for use in fraud and one count of transferring criminal property.
AK47s and grenades found in North Ockendon building
5 January 2018
The weapons were discovered when police searched a derelict building in North Ockendon
A haul of weapons and ammunition, including AK47s and grenades, have been found in a derelict building.
They were found during a search of a site in North Ockendon, near Thurrock, Essex, on Thursday, Essex Police said.
The Ministry of Defence's explosive ordnance disposal unit was also called.
Det Supt Mark Hall described the discovery as a "significant seizure" and warned "in the wrong hands these weapons could have caused very considerable harm".
The weapons, believed to include two AK47 rifles, a hand gun, a sawn-off shotgun, ammunition and a number of high explosive grenades, are being examined by forensic and ballistic specialists.
Police said there was no risk to the public.
"The investigation is at an early stage and I am maintaining an open mind as to the origin of these weapons, however from their condition they may have been in situ for some time," Det Supt Mark Hall added.
Romford man admits killing grandfather Clemuth Roberts in Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 14:04 08 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:21 08 January 2018
Ben Harper will be sentenced on February 5. Picture credit: Met Police.
A Romford man is facing jail after he admitted killing a grandfather from Dagenham who was beaten to death in a row over a set of keys.
Clemuth Roberts, 58, died from a blunt force trauma to the head after he was attacked in Stanhope Road, Dagenham, in December 2016.
Today at the Old Bailey, Ben Harper, 21, had his guilty plea for manslaughter accepted by the prosecution.
Harper he had denied murder but offered the plea of guilty to manslaughter at a previous hearing last month.
He will be sentenced on February 5.
Clemuth, who was better known as Clem, enjoyed reggae music, playing cricket in Mayesbrook Park and spending time with his six children and 14 grandchildren.
A boy, 17, and a 14-year-girl who were arrested on suspicion of murder were later released with no further action.
Just when I started to believe that "crime figures continue to fall", I get a rude awakening.
Police launch Operation Mexico to tackle burglaries and robberies across Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 January 2018
BCU Commander Jason Gwillim
Police have launched an initiative to help tackle the rising number of burglaries and robberies across three boroughs.
The East Area (EA) Command Unit, made up of officers from Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham, has seen a “THREE FOLD RISE” in the number of burglaries and robberies taking place over the past eight months.
In a bid to tackle these crimes, the EA launched Operation Mexico on Tuesday, with the intension to “relentlessly pursue those intent on committing these offences”.
BCU commander Jason Gwillim said: “I’m really proud to announce Operation Mexico, I think this co-ordinated approach is going to present an increased opportunity to transfer the fear of crime back onto the offenders.
“By working alongside local authorities, police and the public, we will drive down the number of burglaries and robberies in the eastern area.”
As part of the operation, a dedicated unit of specialised officers will focus on burglaries and robberies committed in the three boroughs and the perpetrators that carry out these crimes.
This will coincide with the Met Police’s Be Safe crime prevention campaign that aims to encourage Londoners to reduce their vulnerability to crime.
As well as this, Met Police is in its third year of the MetTrace operation, where officers are providing Smart Water forensic property marking kits to homes that are most vulnerable to burglary in London.
So far, more than 280,000 kits have been distributed and burglary has fallen by 25pc in certain areas.
But officers are also asking for the public’s help in catching offenders by reporting anything suspicious.
Det Sup Neil Matthews said: “It is a very strong message we want to get out there to those who cause these problems, that we will find you.
“It is the age old thing of we need the public to help us do just this, so even if you think something is small and unimportant, please do let us know because it might help.”
A dedicated police number to the burglaries and robberies unit will be created but in the meantime, residents are being asked to call 999 if an incident is in progress, 101 or to give information anonymously, call 0800 555111.
Data shows steep rise in youth knife crime
The Post’s research has shown a steep rise in knife crime affecting young people in Barking and Dagenham.
Figures from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime show the number of under-25s injured in knife attacks in the borough has gone up by 178 per cent compared to five years ago - the third steepest rise in the capital.
There were 50 victims of knife injuries in the 12 months to October 2017 - meaning statistically one under-25 every week was the victim of a stabbing.
But knife attacks on under-25s in the borough actually fell by seven per cent compared to October 2016 and Barking and Dagenham experiences relatively low levels of knife crime compared to other areas of the capital.
Police figures show the borough ranks 17th of 33 in London for all recorded knife crimes, with 321 offences in 2016-17.
Southwark had the highest levels of knife crime in the capital with 840 offences recorded last year.
Det Supt Jane Scotchbrook, who is in charge of neighbourhood policing across the East Area Command, said: “We want to reassure people that the likelihood of a knife crime happening is relatively low. But when it does happen it’s a serious matter and we will do everything we can to reduce and eradicate knife crime.”
Oh so our useless borough commander Jason don't criticise me Gwillam has actually woken from his slumber and realises we have have a problem in the borough!
Well done mate!
Keep up the piss pore work and then try nicking the burglars!