Archive for the ‘police’ Category

Methamphetamine use costs U.S. $23 billion a year

February 4, 2009

Methamphetamine use costs the United States about $23.4 billion a year considering lost lives and productivity, drug treatment, law enforcement expenses and other factors, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Methamphetamine, also called meth, is a highly addictive stimulant that users inject, snort, smoke or swallow. A form called crystal meth looks like fragments of glass and is smoked using a glass pipe like those used to smoke crack cocaine.

By Will Dunham, Reuters

The report by the nonprofit RAND Corporation found that costs relating to the 900 people who died from using meth in 2005 and the addiction of many thousands of others accounted for two-thirds of the total economic burden.

“Our study represents the most comprehensive assessment so far of the economic costs of meth use in the United States. It shows the impact of methamphetamine is substantial,” RAND economist Nancy Nicosia said in a telephone interview.

Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating methamphetamine users plus the economic cost of various crimes they commit amounted to $4.2 billion in 2005, according to the report.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009020
4/hl_nm/us_methamphetamine_usa

American Indians could reap almost $3B in stimulus

January 28, 2009

American Indians stand to gain almost $3 billion as part of the economic stimulus moving through Congress, money that could help some of the nation’s poorest communities rebuild roads, improve health care and boost employment that has lagged behind the rest of the country for decades.

By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press Writer

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday included $2.8 billion for Indian tribes in its portion of the nearly $900 billion economic stimulus bill, and a House version to be voted on Wednesday includes a similar amount. That includes hundreds of millions of dollars for schools, health clinics, roads, law enforcement and water projects.

Dante Desiderio, an economic development policy specialist at the National Congress of American Indians, which has lobbied for the money for the past year, calls the bill a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for tribes.

“It really has the potential to lift our communities out of poverty,” Desiderio said.

Indian Country has a long way to go in terms of reviving tribal economies. According to the National Congress of American Indians, real per-capita income of Indians living on reservations is still less than half the national average, unemployment is twice that of the rest of the country, and eight of the 10 poorest counties in the United States are on reservations.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090128/ap_o
n_go_co/stimulus_american_indians

Mexico: Top Cops Bribed By Drug Cartel

January 24, 2009

President Felipe Calderon’s war on drug trafficking has led to his own doorstep, with the arrest of a dozen high-ranking officials with alleged ties to Mexico‘s most powerful drug gang, the Sinaloa Cartel.

The U.S. praises Calderon for rooting out corruption at the top. But critics say the arrests reveal nothing more than a timeworn government tactic of protecting one cartel and cracking down on others.

By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer

Operation Clean House comes just as the U.S. is giving Mexico its first installment of $400 million in equipment and technology to fight drugs. Most will go to a beefed-up federal police agency run by the same people whose top aides have been arrested as alleged Sinaloa spies.

“If there is anything worse than a corrupt and ill-equipped cop, it is a corrupt and well-equipped cop,” said criminal justice expert Jorge Chabat, who studies the drug trade.

U.S. drug enforcement agents say they have no qualms about sending support to Mexico.

“We’ve been working with the Mexican government for decades at the DEA,” said Garrison Courtney, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Obviously, we ensure that the individuals we work with are vetted.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/ap_o
n_re_la_am_ca/lt_mexico_cartel_in_control

Related:
Mexico: Obama Can’t Ignore Elephant on the Continent
.
 Drugs, Crime Make Mexico “Under Sustained Assault”
.
Mexico: “under sustained assault”; Could “collapse” — U.S. Military
.
 Obama Picks New World “Winners” and “Losers”

Obama Inaugural Turning Into 4 Day Fest Needing Massive Security

January 4, 2009

Authorities are organizing what appears to be the largest security operation ever for an inauguration, bringing in thousands of extra police, agents and troops to handle crowds as President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in.

Security officials are bracing not just for the ceremony and parade Jan. 20 but also for at least 70 concerts, balls and other events surrounding the inauguration. Those include the welcome celebration featuring Obama on Jan. 18 at the Lincoln Memorial, which could draw 500,000 people, according to the D.C. mayor’s office.

By Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer

 

“You’ve gone from a one-day event to a four-day event,” said Joseph Persichini Jr., head of the FBI‘s Washington Field Office, which will bring in about 20 percent more employees than usual for the activities.

The expected record throngs pose daunting challenges to police. The U.S. Park Police, for example, typically check the bags of the half-million or so people at the annual Fourth of July celebration on the Mall. But with potentially 2 million people wrapped in bulky coats and blankets pouring onto the Mall for Obama’s swearing-in, stretching to the Lincoln Memorial, police decided that it would take too long to funnel them through checkpoints.

Instead, Park Police are relying on a massive security force, including 1,300 unarmed National Guard soldiers, to detect problems. It is the first time in recent history that Park Police have sought military help at an inauguration, according to Chief Sal Lauro.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic
le/2009/01/03/AR2009010301992_pf.html

Chinese Internet porn sensation detained by police

December 22, 2008

A Chinese woman who became an online sensation after posting a homemade pornographic film of herself on the Internet has been detained in Shanghai, according to state media.

The 12-minute-video showed the woman, surnamed Huang, performing “sex acts,” the official China Daily said in its weekend edition, without elaborating.

“It soon became one of the most popular downloads on the mainland, with thousands of people downloading it last month,” the report cited the local police as saying in a statement.

The woman set up a blog, hoping to profit from her notoriety and sell interviews with herself for up to 30,000 yuan ($4,383) a time, the newspaper said.

Despite the police’s best efforts, the video is still available online, it added, without saying what penalty the woman may have to pay.

Pornography is illegal in China, although it is widely available on pirated DVDs throughout the country, and on the Internet.

($1=6.844 Yuan)

(Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by David Fox of Reuters)

China plans crackdown as economic crisis spurs crime

December 22, 2008

China plans to set up a special police division to tackle organised crime and gang-related violence as the global economic crisis deepens social unrest, state media reported Monday.

“In the foreseeable future, gangs will remain active as the country undergoes dramatic social and economic changes,” the China Daily quoted an unnamed public security ministry official as saying.

“Gang-related crimes have become a threat to our social stability and the economy,” the official said. “They dare anything,” he added, citing murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping and assault.

He said the public security ministry plans to set up a special division to fight such crimes, including organised prostitution, gambling and drug trafficking.

File photo shows a Chinese paramilitary police officer in Beijing. ... 
File photo shows a Chinese paramilitary police officer in Beijing. China plans to set up a special police division to tackle organised crime and gang-related violence as the global economic crisis deepens social unrest, state media have reported.(AFP/File/Liu Jin)

Figures from China’s supreme court show that gang-related crime in 2007 was up by 161 percent year-on-year, the newspaper said.

Police will also keep a close eye on problems stemming from unemployment caused by the ongoing economic downturn, especially in China’s export-oriented industries where workers are being laid off, it said.

Social changes that the country is going through are behind gang crimes,” the paper cited Liang Huaren, a criminal law expert at the China University of Political Science and Law, as saying.

The large number of laid-off workers and migrants, as well as a widening gap between China’s rich and poor, was also leading to more gang-related crimes, he said.

–AFP

Russia Riots: Largest Anti-Government Demonstrations in Years

December 21, 2008

Riot police have beaten and detained dozens of people who gathered for a holiday celebration in Russia‘s largest Pacific port.

The incident in Vladivostok comes one day after hundreds rallied to protest a government decision to increase car import tariffs.

Police detains participants of a protest against the authorities' ... 
Police detains participants of a protest against the authorities’ plans to raise tariffs on imported used Japanese cars in central part of the Pacific port of Vladivostok, about 6,400 km (4,000 miles) east of Moscow, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. Some 500 motorists rallied in Russia’s far east Saturday to protest the government’s decision to raise car import tariffs, and thousands others are expected to stage similar demonstrations across Russia Sunday.  Photo: AP

By LIYA KHABAROVA, Associated Press Writer

Riot police clubbed, kicked and detained dozens in the Pacific port of Vladivostok on Sunday in a harsh crackdown on a protest that was one of dozens across Russia by people outraged over an increase in car import tariffs.

With unemployment spiking, prices rising and the ruble sliding, the protests over a seemingly mundane tariff appear to be broadening into a wide expression of public discontent — and beginning to present a genuine challenge to the Kremlin.

“The Russian people have started to open their eyes to what’s happening in this country,” said Andrei Ivanov, a 30-year-old manager who joined about 200 people at a rally in Moscow. “The current regime is not acting on behalf of the welfare of the people, but against the welfare of the people.”

The government announced the tariffs on imported automobiles earlier this month to bolster flagging domestic car production and try to head off layoffs or labor unrest among the country’s more than 1.5 million car industry workers.

But imported used cars are highly popular among Russians, particularly throughout the Far East, where private cars imported from nearby Japan vastly outnumber vehicles built in Russia. Protests against the tariffs, which are scheduled to go into effect next month, have been most vehement in Russia’s largest Pacific port — Vladivostok.

Hundreds rallied in the city Saturday for the second weekend in a row, and demonstrators hoped to rally again Sunday. But authorities refused to authorize the demonstration and hundreds of riot police blocked off the city square where it was planned.

Soon after, several hundred people gathered on Vladivostok’s main square — not the planned site of the demonstration. Waiting riot police ordered them to disperse, saying the gathering was illegal. The group refused and began singing and dancing around a traditional Russian New Year’s tree on the square.

Police — some shipped in from Moscow, 9,300 kilometers (5,750 miles) to the west — began hauling men and women into waiting vans as people chanted “Fascists!” and “Shame! Shame!”

An Associated Press reporter saw police beat several people with truncheons, throw them to the ground and kick them. Several parents were detained as their children watched.

“Riot police encircled the group … even those just passing by, and they started taking people away without any sort of comment,” said Olga Nikolaevna, a 62-year-old retiree who witnessed the incident.

An AP reporter saw at least 10 journalists detained by police, who demanded that several journalists turn over videotapes and photo memory chips. Police wrecked a Japanese TV crew’s video camera, and some journalists were beaten and kicked, including an AP photographer.

Vladimir Litvinov, who heads a local rights group, said police behaved “like beasts” and had no right to break up the gathering, since it wasn’t overtly political.

“We support a civilized resolution to all the problems but when they send Moscow riot police to break up a gathering in our city, and they start breaking arms and legs and heads…,” he told AP. “People are very, very angry. It’s hard to predict what might happen now.”

Regional police officials said they were forbidden from saying how many people had been arrested. Protest organizers and witnesses counted more than 100.

Protests over the car tariffs, which take effect next month, were held in more than a dozen cities, with motorists driving in long columns with flags waving. National TV channels, which are state-controlled, ignored the demonstrations.

Read more:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081221/ap_o
n_re_eu/eu_russia_protests_7

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Police on Sunday thwarted a second attempt to hold protests.

Later, riot police broke up a gathering of around 500 people who were singing and dancing around a decorated holiday tree on a central square. Dozens of men and women, including some journalists, were arrested, some beaten with truncheons.

More rallies are set for Sunday in what are expected to be the largest anti-government demonstrations in years.

Associated Press

Police Giving Goodies, Condoms To Drunks, Party Makers

December 20, 2008

Police forces across the country have started to give “goodie bags” containing condoms, flip-flops and lollipops to drunk revellers to counter the ill-effects of binge drinking.

By Christopher Hope, Whitehall Editor
The Telegraph (UK)
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Critics said the gifts, costing tens of thousands of pounds, appeared to “reward” people for drinking too much and causing anti-social behaviour in town centres.

Forces in North Wales, Sussex and West Yorkshire have already started to hand out the freebies to drunk revellers.

The plastic bags typically contain bottles of water, lollipops, flip-flops, and condoms, as well as tips on information on units of alcohol and a warning about the dangers of drink driving.

The latest campaign will see nearly 1,600 bags – split evenly between men and women and costing a total of over £2,000 – given out between now and New Year. It was launched on Friday night by Sussex police and is aimed at 18 to 24 year olds.

Holly Margetts, a violent crime reduction officer at Sussex Police, said: “We are encouraging people to drink responsibly and take some simple measures to ensure they stay safe.

“These goodie bags are our Christmas present to people enjoying nights out in the Horsham district.

“We hope that they’ll take note of the important messages and take some simple measures to ensure they stay safe.”

A number of police forces are now using gifts and presents to counter a rise in violence and anti-social behaviour after licensing rules were relaxed in November 2005.

In Llandudno, police are distributing bags containing personal safety alarms, condoms and bottles of water while in Huddersfield police have set up a van to sell flip-flops, condoms and sweets to revellers.

Last month, it emerged that another force, Devon & Cornwall, was giving flip-flops to women who may have trouble walking in high heels after a night out.

Police in Bolton have also started to hand out free orange and blue bubble blowers, which double as pens, to stop revellers picking fights as they pour out of pubs and bars.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawando
rder/3850898/Police-give-free-goodie-bags-containing-condo
ms-flip-flops-and-lollipops-to-drinkers.html

Sex Workers Criticize Law Enforcement

December 18, 2008

Dozens of sex workers marched through the streets of downtown Washington yesterday, demanding better treatment from law enforcement officials of prostitutes who become crime victims.

Clutching red umbrellas and carrying signs that read, “Sex Work Is Real Work” and “Stop Shaming Us to Death,” the men and women came from San Francisco, New York and other cities across the country to publicize a rarely discussed issue that they say is not taken seriously.
Women work in the red light district, Amsterdam (file pic)

Amsterdam’s famous sex workers, where the red light district has been popular for 700 years

The rally and march was organized by the Sex Workers Outreach Project, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, and coincided with today’s fifth anniversary of the sentencing of Gary Leon Ridgway, a Seattle man known as the “Green River Killer” who was convicted of murdering 48 prostitutes in 21 years. The lowly status of prostitutes in society, rally participants said yesterday, explains why the crimes went unsolved for so long.

“I’m just so tired of hearing, ‘If I choose to do X, then I put myself on the line,’ ” said Charmus, 34, a transgender woman who gave only her first name. She lives in Maryland and said she has worked as a prostitute. “Transgender women, prostitutes, you have a right to fight for due process,” she said to the crowd assembled at a downtown park.

As professional workers filed out of buildings in suits and ties on their way to business lunches, the rally crowd marched from Franklin Square at 14th and I streets NW to the Justice Department in the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Along the way, the marchers encountered some bemused looks at signs reading, “Be Nice to Sex Workers.”

A 33-year-old man from New York City who gave his name as Wally said he works as an escort in Manhattan. He has been fortunate not to be a crime victim, he said, but he made the trip to show solidarity.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic
le/2008/12/17/AR2008121703357.html?wprss=
rss_metro%2Fdc

London 2012 Olympics ‘Vulnerable to Terrorist Attack’

December 15, 2008

John Patten, a former Home Office minister and an advisor to the British Olympic Association, has warned that inadequate security procedures have left London 2012 venues vulnerable to terrorist attack.

By Paul Kelso
The Telegraph (UK)
.
Patten, who was a Cabinet minister in the last Conservative government and served as Northern Ireland secretary said that the Olympic Park site in east London is already vulnerable to terrorists who could plant smart bombs in the foundations of venues currently under construction.

Writing in the latest edition of The Spectator, Patten, who is a member of the BOA’s advisory board, claims that well-placed sources have told him the Olympic project is suffering from a lack of security planning.

Patten claims that the acrimonious departure of Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, who was overseeing Olympic security before he sued the force claiming racial equality, has hindered the project.

London 2012 'vulnerable to terrorist attack'

Centre of attraction: an artist’s impression of the London 2012 stadium now under construction and which could be vulnerable to attack

He also suggests that the key agencies involved in organising security are bickering over who takes the lead role, undermining confidence in the entire project.

“In an age of determined and technologically sophisticated incremental terrorism, the Met and the Security Services must overcome everything from highly unfortunate public rows over employment discrimination affecting key officers involved to more private inter-agency rivalries,” Patten writes.

“Forget about policing crowds in 2012, pipework and brickwork is being laid now which is vulnerable to smart devices that can lurk latent until 2012. At least one person from that world tells me that there is no real integrated concept of operations yet. Someone or somebody must provide that focus and work with a semi-detached Home Secretary.”

Patten’s observations, part of a wide-ranging critique of the project, will fuel concerns already expressed that security planning is behind schedule.

Earlier this year, the Public Accounts Committee warned that security master-planning for the project was behind schedule.

The Home Office is working on a strategy document and had planned to put it to the Olympic board before the end of the year. It is expected to unveil its plans in the new year.

When questioned on the issue by The Daily Telegraph last month, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was satisfied that the total security budget of £838 million would be sufficient to cover the final bill, but declined to comment on details of the plan.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/london
2012/3703883/London-2012-vulnerable-to-terrorist-attack.html