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Make Tackling Violence Against Women A Police Priority

violence against women

Make tackling violence against women a police priority, says victims tsar

Police forces should be compelled to deal with violence against women and girls with the same level of resources, expertise and urgency as terrorism or organised crime, the victims commissioner for England and Wales has said.

After Sarah Everard’s killer was given a full-life sentence on Thursday, campaigners said there was increasing frustration and the time for action was now.

Vera Baird said violence against women and girls should be made a strategic policing requirement to give the issue central direction and extra resources, particularly for specialist officers, so there was “no doubt what obligations the police have towards victims”.

She said: “There are many unanswered questions about how violence against women and girls is policed and I think if we have this clear requirement it sends a clear message that tackling it is a priority.”

Baird said requirements on agencies to fully investigate and take action in cases of violence against women could be included in the victims bill, which the Guardian understands was ready to be consulted on before the new justice secretary, Dominic Raab, took up his post.

“​​Without that it will just muddle on, being ignored as if it were a low-level crime,” she said. “We have seen in this awful case that what is seen as low-level offending against women and girls can mark out a predatory attitude to them which can speedily escalate if not tackled.”

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, led calls for an inquiry into how Everard’s killer, Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan police officer who had been reported for indecent exposure on three occasions, “slipped through the cracks”. “[We] have to understand why that happened, and whether there were any assumptions made when his previous wrongdoing was looked at,” he said.

The Labour MP Yvette Cooper went further, calling for a full independent investigation into violence against women and girls within the police service.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, said there were “serious questions that need to be answered by the Metropolitan police” while giving her backing to the Met commissioner, Cressida Dick.

The director of the Good Law Project, Jolyon Maugham, called for a public inquiry into “how cultural failings by the police and the broader criminal justice system contribute to the murder or rape of tens of thousands of women a year”. He said: “Enough really is enough. How many more women must die?”

Baird’s call echoes the recommendation of a damning root-and-branch examination by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), which found “problems, unevenness and inconsistencies” in dealing with the “epidemic” of violence against female victims in the UK.

It was published as news emerged that Sabina Nessa, a primary school teacher, had been found dead in a park close to her south London home. A man has appeared in court accused of her murder.

According to the Counting Dead Women project, run by Karen Ingala Smith, 80 women were killed between the deaths of Everard in March and Nessa on 17 September.

Campaigners in the sector said there was a growing sense of anger and frustration that promises of change were not resulting in greater safety for women.

Farah Nazeer, the chief executive of Women’s Aid, said a public inquiry into men’s violence against women and girls would probably expose other institutional and government failings but was unlikely to lead to the action needed.

There was already a wealth of evidence and recommendations in the Inspectorate of Constabulary report, the government’s recently published Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy and rape review, Nazeer said. “We all know what needs to be done. But making it a matter of priority, choosing to prioritise funding into this area, choosing to make that cultural shift – these are political choices that we’re not making.”

Women’s groups welcomed what some saw as an increased level of restraint in the reporting of Couzens’ trial, with many publications choosing not to feature a prominent photograph of the murderer, while BBC Radio 4’s Today programme chose to mention Couzens by name sparingly in its reporting on Thursday and included the full victim impact statement of Everard’s mother, Susan.

“We find that women’s experience is lost so often when we talk about the impact of male violence against women and girls,” said Jayne Butler, the chief executive of Rape Crisis England and Wales. “We welcome that some outlets have chosen to focus their coverage on Sarah.”

Andrea Simon, the director of the End Violence Against Women coalition, said that despite the reviews and promises of change since Everard’s murder, little had changed.

“Violence against women and girls is at an epidemic level, the police inspectorate has said the whole system needs an overhaul, the government has already apologised for the shameful low rates of prosecution of rape. What more do we need to uncover? We actually just need to move to doing something about it,” she said. “We’ve had all of these reviews, and we’ve seen no material change. We need to get on with actually making a difference now.”

The minister for safeguarding, Rachel Maclean, said the government was committed to radically changing how violence against women and girls is tackled with a whole-system approach. She said the VAWG strategy published this summer set out “the government’s ambition to increase support for survivors, bring perpetrators to justice, and, ultimately, reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls.”


Nigerian Man Defrauds 34 victims in 13 countries of $592,000

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, secured the conviction and sentencing of Eze Harrisson Arinze before Justice J.K Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for defrauding 34 victims in 13 countries of $592,000(Five Hundred and Ninety Two Thousand United States Dollars).

Arinze was re-arraigned on one count charge bordering on impersonation and obtaining under false pretence.

The amended count charge reads:

That you, EZE HARRISON ARINZE alias Charlotte Brain, sometime between April, 2021 and December, 2022 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did fraudulently impersonate one Charlotte Brain a purported owner of digitrades.netxxxxxxxxxxxxxx investment platforms on telegram and in that assumed character obtained cryptocurrency worth $592,000.00 (Five Hundred and Ninety Two US Dollars) from Coinbase exchange users, through your bitcoin address -333AgHuT8wAhowRBQZ2ASxxxxxxxx domiciled with Coinbase, a Virtual Asset Service Provider and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(3)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

In view of the plea, prosecution counsel, Christopher Mshelia, urged the court to convict and sentence the defendant as charged.

Earlier, Ogunjobi Olalekan, a prosecuting witness and a detective of EFCC, while concluding his testimony-in-chief, told the court that the evidence gotten in the course of investigation was based on the printout from the defendant`s email, other digital currency platforms, his telegram page code named `Digi-trade, including response from banks which was in a cumulative sum of $592,000 worth of cryptocurrency as at December 4, 2023.
He added that the defendant was afterwards invited to make statements under words of caution.

Justice Omotosho convicted and sentenced Arinze to three years imprisonment, with an option of N3,000,000.00( Three Million Naira only) fine. He added that 11.07 Bitcoins valued at $461,280.70 as at December 4, 2023 be restituted to the 34 victims from 13 countries as identified.

Furthermore, the judge ordered that a total sum of N37,977,108 domiciled in his bank accounts be forfeited to the Federal Government, including a plot of land located at plot No. 34 Anioma Layout, Umuchigbo Iji-nike in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State measuring approximately 1380.609 Squares meters.

Arinze’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when he impersonated one Charlotte Brain, and created a fictitious investment platform, digitrades.netxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on telegram and in that assumed character, obtained cryptocurrency worth $592,000.00 (Five Hundred and Ninety Two US Dollars) from Coinbase exchange users, through his bitcoin address.
His victims are from Burundi, Cameroun, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, United States of America and Zimbabwe.

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Abdulfatai Adeyemi, son of late Alaafin, dies few hours to his 47th birthday

Prince Abdulfatai Adebayo Adeyemi, one of the sons of the immediate past Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Atanda Olayiwola Adeyemi, is dead.

The Prince, popularly known as D-Gov, died in the early hours of Friday at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan after battling diabetes.

His father died in April, 2022.
The Oyo prince, who was the immediate past Chairman of Oyo State Local Government Pension Board, died a few hours to his 47th birthday.

Abdulfatai was the House of Representatives candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections.

The election was won by his younger brother, Prince Akeem Adeyemi (Skimeh), who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A family member in Oyo said on Friday: “Yes. He is dead. People are there now. They are preparing the grave”.

The Public Relations Officer of UCH, Mrs Funmilayo Adetuyibi, confirmed the death of the late Alaafin’s son, saying that he died at the hospital on Friday morning.

Adetuyibi said that AbdulFatai was brought to the hospital around 12.05 a.m. on Friday and died at exactly 3:50 a.m.

She, however, declined when asked about the disease that the late Oyo prince was suffering from which eventually resulted in his death.

“I can’t disclose his diagnosis or what killed him because it is against our professional ethics,” the UCH spokesperson said.
Another source from UCH also spoke about the death of the late Alaafin’s son.

“Fatai Bayo Adeyemi, one-time Secretary of Atiba Local Government, died this morning (Friday). He was married with children. He was reported very ill sometime last year but survived,” the source said.

AbdulFatai’s death, it was gathered, has thrown the family of the late Oba Adeyemi and the ancient town of Oyo into mourning.

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NEMA donates relief materials to victims of Tudun Biri bombings

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has donated relief materials to the victims of Tudun Biri bombings in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Alhaji Abbani Garki, North-West Zonal Coordinator of the agency, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Kaduna.

According to him, the donation is not compensation for the loss of lives, but a token to bring relief to the victims.

He condoled with the Kaduna State Government over the loss of lives as a result of the accident.

They include surgical and disposable gloves, drip sets, cutting bandages, plasters, cotton wool, hand sanitizers, methylated spirits, Syringe and needles, among others.

The food items were; 500 bags of rice, 500 bags of maize, 500 bags of beans, 500 cartons of spaghetti, 50 kegs of vegetable oil, 50 bags of salt and 50 cartons of tin tomatoes.

The non food items were; 500 pieces each of blankets, plastic buckets,plastic cups, men’s wear, women’s wear and children’s wear.

He said that the medicament have been delivered to  44 Army Reference Hospital and Barau Dikko Specialist Teaching Hospital, all in Kaduna.

Speaking on other emergency needs of the community based on the agency’s assessment, he said the area urgently required access roads, security, schools, water, electricity and health facilities.(NAN)

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