Crime, police, security

A different voice with original insights on law enforcement

Crime reporter becomes police officer

HERE IS a new one on me!

A regional daily newspaper’s former crime reporter has left to retrain as a police officer.

Jack Maguire has said farewell to the Jersey Evening Post after almost six years to take up a new career with the island’s police force. He was deputy news editor at the time of his departure last month, but had previously covered crime for the title.

Jack has been sworn in with 10 other new recruits at Jersey’s Royal Court by Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae. According to the website HoldTheFrontPage, Mr McRae told him: “You’re no stranger to this court, although not for being in the dock.”

Addressing all the recruits, he added: “It is marvellous that the police has attracted individuals from so many different backgrounds with a huge range of experience.”

The group had been due to fly to the UK to start their training with Norfolk Constabulary, but the coronavirus pandemic means that they will now complete a reduced initial training package in Jersey. Jack wrote on Twitter: “I’ve retired as a journalist. If you’ve got a story, I don’t care (unless it’s really, really good). Seriously, please continue to support local journalism.”

This man is Innocent!

A MAN due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, London, today is definitely Innocent – but only because that is his name!

Evans Innocent, 44, of no fixed address, is charged with attempted murder, three stabbings, six counts of possessing a knife in a public place, and three of theft, reports The Independent.

The bench is unlikely to be swayed by his fortuitous name!

Do you want Nuki?

THEN Paul Nuki of The Daily Telegraph is your man. He is the global health security editor! I didn’t realise they had one, but it is the thing to be, presumably. Truly a job “de nos jours”.

(A more frivolous than usual blog post, but it IS security-related!)

Wrong place, wrong time

I HAVE said it before (February 14 and July 11, 2015 posts) that one of my pet peeves is the “he was in the wrong place at the wrong time” explanation for a killing.

The latest example comes from the Press Association, which reports the death of Kwasi Mensah-Ababio in Wembley, North London.

Four men have been found guilty of the revenge killing of a shop worker who was shot dead in a case of “mistaken identity”.

Kwasi Mensah-Ababio was “simply in the wrong place at the wrong time” as he sat on a park bench, a court was told.

He was shot in the head at close range in retribution for the murder of 32-year-old Craig Small two days earlier, jurors heard.

Rene Montaque, 35, Karlos Gracia, 23, and Alhassan Jalloh, 21, all from Wembley, were found guilty of murder following a trial at the Old Bailey.

The story continues here.

Life in the force memoirs

I HAVE come across two varied autobiographies by officers with a quarter-century of experience in the job – both worth a look.

Reporting For Duty – 25 years of policing the West Midlands – is by Michael Layton (and Stephen Burrows) and covers the period 1974 to 1999, while On The Beat – True tales of a former Manchester police officer – is by Dennis Wood and relates to 1950 to 1975.

More details of the former can be found here, and the latter here.

Staffs star in latest police documentary series

WE never have to wait long for a fly-on-the-wall police TV series, as I may have mentioned before! Tonight sees the launch of Cops Like Us, a three-parter which features Staffordshire Police in Stoke-on-Trent.

The show’s publicity states: “Documentary following Staffordshire Police officers, who talk candidly about the frustrations of being on the beat in Stoke-on-Trent, one of the UK’s most deprived cities. Filmed over six months, the series captures emergency response teams trying to combat a backlog of cases, as well as a rise in gang culture, hate crime and domestic violence.

“Interviews with the Chief Constable and his team also reveal how they manage their limited resources, and how they feel about the decisions they have to make.”

I will of course tune in – but possibly with a sense of deja vue!

Still an appetite for cop shows!

AS I wrote before (July 17 last year) the plethora of fly-on-the-wall police TV series continues unabated. Tonight see the launch of Murder 24/7, which focuses on a case being investigated by Essex Police (BBC2, 9pm).

This clashes with the latest episode of Prison on Channel 4.

Crime scenes, conundrums and whodunnits!

READERS are invited to test their inner detective by the Scotland Yard Puzzle Book, now available.

Author Sinclair McKay explains: How can a man be in two places at once? How might a murder be committed when no-one is seen entering or exiting the house? Can an entire crime be solved with just a suitcase of empty beer bottles?

It’s time for you to tackle the conundrums that confounded the best detectives over the years.

Since it opened its doors in 1829, Scotland Yard has used the science of detection to solve the most macabre of murders and catch the most audacious of thieves. The Scotland Yard Puzzle Book takes a look through the history of this famous institution and recreates some of the most complex puzzles its detectives have ever faced.

Technology can now shine a light on some of the most difficult cases, but the analytical mind needed to crack the clues remains as essential as ever.

* The book is available on Kindle or paperback, for just under £9.

Peter Sutcliffe’s final secrets revealed

IF you thought there was no more to be reported about the Yorkshire Ripper case, you may have to think again – yet another work has been published on the subject!

Having lived in West Yorkshire at the time, my bookshelves already house numerous previous studies on the killing of 13 women in West Yorkshire and Manchester in the late Seventies – by Roger Cross, Michael Bilton, Gordon Burn and others – but now comes On The Trail of the Yorkshire Ripper by Richard Charles Cobb, which seeks to go into even further and updated detail.

It is published by Pen & Sword True Crime at £13.99 (hardback).

Let’s hope someone buys me it for Christmas!

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