Sunday, June 13, 2010
Halt, or the PM’s guard will fire her baby gun
Feminism trumps safety
MEMBERS of Scotland Yard’s elite bodyguard unit are being armed with smaller, lighter “baby” guns as part of a drive to attract more female officers.
The move is aimed at recruiting bodyguards with smaller hands. However, critics fear that it could hamper close protection officers who guard the Queen, David Cameron and other VIPs if they have to fend off an attack from terrorists or a lone gunman. “It’s a disadvantage because the smaller guns have less firepower and are less accurate,” said a police firearms expert.
Supporters deny the Yard is putting political correctness before security. They say the change is part of a legitimate attempt by Metropolitan police bosses better to reflect the community.
Others believe the move underlines the explosion of a “diversity agenda” that began in the 1990s and was led by a new breed of chiefs who thought traditional policing was too male-orientated.
The trend to recruit more women was reinforced last week when David Cameron, the prime minister, was seen jogging with a female protection officer.
Historically, the standard-issue weapon of the Met’s specialist and royalty protection units is the Glock 17, a semiautomatic pistol fed by 17 rounds of ammunition. The self-loading gun has a magazine that is “double stacked” in a zigzag formation and so requires a wide butt. The replacement weapon for women officers and those with smaller hands is believed to be the “subcompact” version, the Glock 26.
Marketed by its Austrian manufacturer as the “Baby Glock”, the gun has a single magazine with just 10 bullets and therefore requires a smaller butt.
The Glock 26’s barrel is just under 3.5in long, more than an inch shorter than the Glock 17. This makes it a less accurate weapon, particularly at longer range. In a firefight, officers using the “Baby Glock” would have to stop shooting and reload their weapon more frequently that those with the bigger handgun.
Details of the introduction of a smaller gun were disclosed by John Bunn, a senior detective in the Yard’s counter-terrorism command, to the Metropolitan Police Authority, the force’s watchdog.
Noting “considerable improvements” in the work of SO1, the specialist protection unit, Bunn wrote in a report: “A diversity forum and work strands following best Metropolitan police service practice have been established, for example changing the type of firearm used to accommodate smaller hands, changes in recruit[ment] advertising, female-only insight days and mentoring under-represented groups expressing an interest in SO1.”
Professor Peter Waddington, an expert in police firearms tactics, said the new weapons delivered less firepower but denied it was likely to be driven by political correctness. “People with smaller hands find it difficult to grasp the butt of a regular-size self-loading pistol,” he said. “The double-stacked magazine is broader, and ... women find this more than a handful. They cannot grip the weapon properly and therefore fix their aim. So they can’t shoot ... like a big man is able to.”
Patrick Mercer, former chairman of the Commons sub-committee on counterterrorism, said: “I hope the judgment has been made on effectiveness and not on some contorted view of equality.”
Scotland Yard said it never discussed details of weapons used by its officers, but stated: “We are committed to recruiting a workforce that reflects the community we serve, and this includes specialist areas such as protection.”
Mother of twins mauled by fox is threatened by animal rights activists
People haters again
The parents of the children mauled by a fox are receiving police protection amid concern over threats from animal rights activists. Officers have been assigned to guard the family home and police liaison officers are in contact with Pauline and Nicolas Koupparis.
Their nine-month-old twins Lola and Isabella suffered ‘life-changing injuries’ when they were savaged in their cots in Hackney, East London, a week ago.
Scotland Yard said it was not aware of a specific threat against the family but admitted that there was ‘concern’ over inflammatory postings on social networking sites.
Yesterday a woman phoned the Radio 4 programme Any Answers to say she had heard from friends and relatives in Hackney that Mr and Mrs Koupparis were being ‘harangued and besieged’ by animal rights activists. The caller also said there were messages on internet sites, allegedly accusing the family of seeking publicity after their ordeal.
One anti-foxhunting group set up a Facebook page called ‘Pauline Koupparis is a lying b****’. The page has since been taken down.
Another group, calling itself ‘Urban Fox Defenders’, has attracted more than 500 members. One, who gave her name as Alison Smith, wrote: ‘I really can’t see how a fox could be SO brazen as to go into a house, up the stairs, past adults, and go for two children... 'There is something here that simply does not add up!’
Lola left hospital on Friday and Mrs Koupparis, 41, said: ‘We’ve gone through every emotion imaginable.’
Isabella, who was the more badly hurt of the pair, has been transferred from Great Ormond Street children’s hospital to the Royal London, which is nearer her home.
A police spokesman said: ‘There has been some concern about things that have been said on social networking sites. ‘There is no tangible threat but we are keeping in touch with the family.’
Yet another false rape claim in Britain
They never stop -- as women try to get back at men or cover up decisions they regret
A mother of three who falsely accused a police officer of rape after he rejected her advances following a one-night stand was today jailed for two years.
Melissa Anne-Marie Carter, 46, took revenge on Pc Matthew Tarrant when he failed to reply to her text messages begging to see him again after they met on a dating website.
Carter, a single mum, who has three sons by two different men, continued her lies for four months during police investigations. She only admitted the truth after officers confronted her with the text messages she had sent to the long-serving police constable, blaming her actions on ‘stress’.
Carter was today sentenced to two years at Oxford Crown Court after she pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by making a false rape allegation. Judge Julian Hall blasted Carter saying she had ‘betrayed the sisterhood’ and accused her of making it easier for real rapists to be acquitted. He added: ‘The offence you committed has effects on all sorts of levels. ‘It is difficult to imagine a worse situation for a serving police officer than to be accused of rape. In his victim statement he talks about losing weight and taking time off work.
‘What you did also had a much wider impact. Government ministers and social commentators talk about the very low conviction rate [for rape]. ‘These people also talk as if false complaints of rape are frequently made but they are able to say this because people like you occasionally do. ‘Some people who commit rape are acquitted because people like you make false allegations.
‘To put this a little dramatically you have betrayed the sisterhood. You kept Mr Tarrant hanging on not knowing what his fate would be for three months.’
The court heard Carter met Pc Tarrant on a dating website and invited him to meet her at her home in Banbury, Oxfordshire, which she shares with her three sons, aged 17, 15 and seven.
On October 24 2009, Pc Tarrant went to her home where they had sex and the next day he left for his job in London. Carter sent him a text message which read: ‘Perhaps we can meet again next Wednesday.’ When he failed to reply she sent another text saying: ‘Are you ok?’
Four days later, Carter went to her local police station and claimed she had been raped by Pc Tarrant.
Paul Harrison, prosecuting, said: ‘Miss Carter met Mr Tarrant on a dating website. There had been some to-ing-and-fro-ing in messages between the two. ‘Miss Carter invited Mr Tarrant to her home on October 24 where they met for the first time face-to-face. ‘Sexual contact took place during that evening and they had full sexual intercourse. Miss Carter sent Mr Tarrant text messages which were completely inconsistent with her allegations.
‘Mr Tarrant did not reply to the text messages as it seemed he would. The prosecution maintains this led her to make a spiteful allegation against him.’
Pc Tarrant was arrested wearing full uniform at 5pm October 29 at the police station where he worked and was quizzed by officers for 6 hours before he was released at 11pm. The court heard Pc Tarrant was not suspended but was moved to desk role and banned from having contact with the public.
Carter made repeated phone calls to the police station to enquire about how the investigation was going and what had happened to PC Tarrant.
Despite repeated interviews with police, Carter maintained she had been raped and only admitted it was a lie on February 4 when officers confronted her with the text messages she had sent to PC Tarrant.
But even when confronted with the truth Carter blamed her actions on ‘stress’. She told officers: ‘There is no excuse for what I have done. It was a very stressful time with my family.’
Judge Hall said the false rape allegation had caused PC Tarrant, a long serving officer with the Met Police, ‘extraordinary distress’.
Mr Harrison added ‘He has been on sick leave, he was humiliated. It was an awful experience.’
Carter, who had no previous convictions, will serve 12 months in prison before being released on licence for the remainder of her sentence.
Lucy Tapper, mitigating, said: ‘In cases like these there are only ever losers. She will suffer the stigma for what she has done and will be vilified and perhaps deservedly so.’
Update on Belgium
Dutch Belgians close to getting rid of the socialist parasites in the French-speaking South
Belgium's 6.5 million Dutch and four million French-speakers are locked in an unhappy, quarrelsome union, and voters in a general election on Sunday might well proscribe a political divorce.
A mainstream Flemish party that is expected to do well is invoking the concept of irreconcilable differences to seek a separation and, in time, take the country's Dutch-speaking Flanders region into the European Union as a separate country.
This is a nightmare scenario for poorer Wallonia, Belgium's Francophone south, which greatly depends on Flemish funds.
Early elections were called after Premier Yves Leterme's five-party coalition fell apart April 26 in a dispute over a bilingual voting district.
That issue has pushed the New Flemish Alliance - a tiny, centrist party only a few years ago - into pole position: it is forecast to win a quarter of the vote in Flanders.
Its leader - and perhaps Belgium's next premier - Bart de Wever, 39, wants an orderly breakup of Belgium by shifting the national government's last remaining powers, notably justice, health and social security, to Flanders and Wallonia. That would complete 30 years of ever greater self-rule for the two regions.
The new Flemish alliance wants Flanders to join the EU. There are no comparable separatist sentiments in Wallonia.
Finance Minister Didier Reynders, a Francophone Liberal, says the question facing Belgians is: "Do we still want to live together?"
Others favor no breakup either. "We did a study of 10,000 people and found 84 percent want the country reformed, but not broken apart," says Marianne Thyssen, a Dutch-speaking Christian Democrat.
Yet in Belgium just about everything - from political parties to broadcasters to boy scouts and voting ballots - already comes in Dutch- and French-speaking versions. Even charities like the Red Cross and Amnesty International have separate chapters.
Pierre Verjans, a University of Liege political scientist, says he feels "a sense of mourning going on. French-speakers now fear a Belgium without Dutch-speakers."
Breakup talk was long the realm of Flemish extremists.
De Wever's surprise high rating follows three years of utter stalemate. As governments worldwide tried to tame a financial crisis and recession, the four that led Belgium since 2007 struggled with linguistic spats while the national debt ballooned.
Nothing illustrates the impasse more than the bilingual voting district comprising Brussels and 35 Flemish towns bordering it. The high court ruled it illegal in 2003 as only Dutch is the official language in Flanders. Over the years, Francophones from Brussels have moved in large numbers to the city's leafy Flemish suburbs, where they are accused of refusing to learn Dutch and integrate.
Since the 1970s, the two camps have been given self-rule in urban development, environment, agriculture, employment, energy, culture, sports and research and other areas. Today, Dutch speakers want autonomy in justice, health, taxation and labour matters.
The divide goes beyond language.
Flanders tends to be conservative and free-trade minded. Wallonia's long-dominant Socialists have a record of corruption and poor governance. Flanders has half the unemployment of Wallonia and a 25 percent higher per-capita income, and Dutch-speakers have long complained that they are subsidising their Francophone neighbours.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.