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Why I Believe British Police Serves and Protects Only Itself (and Maybe the Rich/Powerful)

Manchester Police

EVERY adult person will sooner or later (quite inevitably in today’s world) have an encounter with the police, either as a reporter of a crime, a victim of some crime, or an accused party. This is another rant about the police, but it isn’t just about police violence, which unless caught on tape is typically being justified (I wrote about it before) and defended by the powerful media establishment. It’s too easy to pick on the police, including Greater Manchester Police (which this post is all about), based only on sheer aggression and misuse of force. These people are tough — even too tough — perhaps because they live in a tough world and witness/confront a lot of very tough people, so it’s no wonder they often take it all out on the weak and innocent bystanders — those who want no problems with the police, let alone violate any particular law. Outbursts of violence often come from those who were themselves victims of violence — people who experience a lot of fear and pain as children, at work, and so on. There’s a reason why so many British cops (not just British) kill their wives and it’s not because their wives ask for it.

I was never accused of anything by the police or even reported to the police (I am very law-abiding), but I did report incidents to the police (on behalf on myself and others, either family or complete strangers), I provided testimonies, and I was also a victim of crime. Not even once did the police really help. I can barely say that I’m thankful for anything, not even any encouraging words (some cops were nicer than others, but words and attitudes don’t solve crimes).

Here are half a dozen memorable examples, spanning a period of time no longer than a decade (the first one being 2006 when I was foolish enough to provide a report into violence I had witnessed in the streets).

DDOS attacks

In 2008 or thereabouts my site came under a massive DDOS attack which rendered the site complete inaccessible for several days. The webhost couldn’t take it, there was nothing I can do (I were effectively censored), my sysadmin skills did not help, and the only thing I could do after days of downtime was contact the police (as a non-emergency report through a non-emergencies contact number). The conversions, which I mentioned several times online, were long and unproductive. It didn’t go anywhere. The police didn’t know what DDOS even meant, let alone offered any remedial action, a contact I could use to pursue this further, etc.

I never even bothered phoning again, not even when my sites came under more DDOS attacks in the following few years (the last time being last year).

Attempted break-in

At around 2AM in the morning someone tried to open my flat’s door. That someone first tested to see if someone was inside. I never found out how the person got inside the well-guarded (by two levels of doors with electronic keys to each), but eventually he opened by flat’s door and showed up at the doorstep. It was a guy who spoke nonsense, looked seemingly drunk or stoned and repeatedly groaned “help me!”

I shouted at him to leave, which after about a minute he finally did (he just stood there for a while, staring as though he was not sober, until I stepped towards him with assertive requests that he exits). I locked the door, at which point he started banging on it, whereupon I phoned the police (because of the banging).

What did the police do? It phoned me back quite a while later (maybe an hour later) to check everything was OK. It didn’t even try to catch the guy who could meanwhile move to another target (a different flat). I guess it would be different if I was “Sir” or “Duke”; the police reacts differently to different reporters.

It was 2 years ago that I phoned the police because of this dodgy guy who was trying to enter my house, I assume or presume in order to rob me or something (my friends said he could also try to rape someone, perhaps an unwitting female). This was the last time that I really bothered phoning the police about such incidents. The next incidents near the flat I only reported to the neighbour’s landlord (by SMS) and later to the management of the building (RMG). Those too were fruitless, despite access to CCTV etc. More on those incidents below…

Man beaten up in the street by a gang

The first real encounter that I had with Greater Manchester Police was in 2006. I gave testimony to the police because I was the closest person to the incident (at the time). I saw nobody else providing a testimony and I as a not-so-faraway bystander could accurately describe the perpetrators and what they had been up to in the street minutes before hand. I wrote about it in USENET at the time (also in this blog). I’ll never forget what happened. I saw three guys smashing a poor skinny lad, probably because he was Irish (based on what was later discussed), to the point where he lost consciousness and was just laying there motionless. He thanked me later when we spoke to the police and to give some credit to the police, they handled me politely and took a lot of notes for quite some time.

The problem was this; the police dropped me off (I gave testimony from within the police van for my own protection) near the scene of the crime, where I believe I then saw once again one of the perpetrators (there were several of them who soon dispersed and the police never caught all of them), who could easily follow me to my nearby house (I looked behind myself like a paranoid). I didn’t feel safe for several days to come, thinking I may have been an attractive revenge target for my testimony (the guy could probably just assault me right there at the street, if not just follow me). I phoned angrily to make a complaint to the police, but a nearby guard (non-police, just security at my home) strongly discouraged me, persuading me away from taking this any further, saying they would try to frame me for libel or some other abuse in order to cover their own behinds. I did eventually give up on this, following this guard’s advice (he knew the police here better than I did).

A few years later I witnessed a similar incidents at almost exactly the same place. I saw many guys attacking one guy at the telephone booth where he was trying to hide from them or maybe even phone the cops. I was there almost alone and the guy asked for help. Having already encountered that bittering experience in 2006 I did not report it to the police or get involved. Hopefully that latter guy was OK; I watched for a whole to check that they didn’t slaughter him or something. Later on I started seeing dedicated and well-shielded (at the chest) cops attending that area even in daytime (the first incident I saw was later at night, the other around noon), so presumably the police had by that stage recognised there was a violence issue there. One can perhaps save another person from one thug, but not a whole gang of them (even if they have no weapons), so the least one can do in these circumstances is provide the police with concise information.

Online scam

A relative on mine in the UK got scammed by a man in Africa, or a group of men working together within some kind of network/syndicate. It’s like she lost an entire house to them over the course of nearly one year and finally I got her to report it in December 2013. It has already begun a cyclic scam, almost like a racket. I spoke to the police on her behalf several times because she was shellshocked and terrified; it affected her health, her speech, her marriage, her entire life basically…

The police didn’t do anything (only promises and redirection) and at first even refused to visit the terrified victim, which was rightly (and rationally) afraid for her safety after she had reported the perpetrators to the police with my help (they knew were she lived, and some were seemingly based in the UK or other parts of Europe as well, based on evidence she had).

At the very end there was a cop kind enough to visit my relative and give her advice that would help protect her. He did not, however, try to resolve the crime. When I asked him why the police could not use GCHQ data to track down the perpetrators (I was partly joking, as Snowden’s leaks were having the biggest impact at that time, back in early 2014) he said that it cannot be used for such cases.

All in all, my relative saw none of the money had she lost. She now has to work for many years to pay back debt. The syndicate gets to keep all the money and move on to more victims. Well done, police! It’s worth noting that this is the only case where Yorkshire Police, not Greater Manchester Police, was involved. It actually did better than Greater Manchester Police in some sense. It was kinder and it at least tried to do some things right. It just wasn’t effective at all. Police is supposed to solve crimes, not merely provide mental support.

Domestic violence

My neighbour across the hall (not a friend at all, we never socialised) abused his girlfriend. One day he allegedly punched her. She screamed, but I wasn’t sure what had happened until she left the house and made a noise, saying he had punched her. A neighbour seemingly called the police about it, whereas I just sent an SMS to the neighbour’s landlord (I had spoke to that landlord before, but never to the neighbour, whom I find a little menacing). Why did I not phone the police like I presume my neighbours did (because the police later showed up)? See the above experiences. This later incident was in 2013. By this stage I lost faith in the police.

The police later knocked on my door, I suppose for me to provide with some testimony (like things I heard from across the fall). I didn’t even answer the door as I don’t wish to be used as a witness against a violent neighbour. There’s a lot of risk in being a police tool against a person next door. Weeks later I got mail delivered to my box (by accident). It was intended to go to the neighbour, but the postman made an error. In the envelope I saw a letter from Greater Manchester Police, whereupon I understood what happened, the impact/severity, etc. It wasn’t long thereafter that this neighbour left (or was evicted). The landlord’s daughter and her boyfriend moved in. They were a lovely couple which my wife and I got along with. But it wasn’t the end of abuse in that same building, which we have since then left. See below.

Intrusion and (nearly) assault

In that same building, one of the Three Towers, there were other negative experiences, including one that affected my wife and left her somewhat terrified. The details are all in this older post. The neighbour above us was thankfully at the scene at the time and he protected my wife. She still remembers this. It was last brought up 2 days ago even though the incident is about a year old.

I did not even bother reporting this to the police, having gone through all the above experiences to no avail. The police wouldn’t have helped; neither did RMG. It’s all useless. Maybe they’ll care only when someone dies. They must be busy protecting precious copyrights of rich people or finding people who smoke joints in the streets. If the goal of CCTV (there was footage in this case) is to prevent, deter or solve cases of violence, then this was a great example of this ideology’s profound flaws and severe failings.

Stolen bicycle

Two years ago, in a post titled “CCTV Not Effective”, I already wrote about this incident. Not much has happened since. Greater Manchester Police doesn’t have time to deal with theft. They phoned me weeks later just to say it’s unlikely they’ll find anything. Hours of phonecalls, reports etc. were basically a waste of time. There was hardly any use to reporting the incident in the first place.

Concluding

There are no other experiences that I can recall involving the police, probably because these were very minor and I have since then dodged any interaction with the police. People say that once you are known to the police (for good or bad) they can frame you for just about anything and cause you trouble if they don’t like you (unlike the intelligence community, cope can easily resort to violence and find/manufacture ways to justify this later), so it’s generally a good idea to always stay below these thugs’ radar, outside their scope of interest. To me, based on my experiences, this advice rings true.

Can we generalise all this to Manchester’s police force or to British police? Well, given the increasing size of the statistical sample above (so far nearly 10 incidents), it does seem like there’s a pattern and that pattern indicates that the police either won’t help or will just use the sources (witnesses) like tissue paper.

Update (6/11/2015): I have just recalled another incident where the police failed to help and in some way made things even worse. About 15 years ago someone at Manchester Town Hall attempted launch fireworks from within a dense crowd. Suffice to say, it wasn’t declared in advance and it didn’t go well. The fireworks exploded near the ground, sending sparks flying at people. Thankfully, none hit my eyes (this can easily cause permanent blindness), but one spark hit my hair and made visible burns (not just to the hair but the skin too). After this happened I approached the nearby police for attention, but they pretty much ignored me. Instead, all I got was the slobber of the horse one of them was riding, as the horse swung its head, hitting me in the face. That’s as far as ‘help’ from the police went in this incident. The police was apparently not interested in this kind of incident, even if one person did something illegal and another (who shortly afterwards approached the police) was physically harmed.

Singapore is Not a Success Story

Against the myth and against lionisation of autocrats like King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore

Last week the so-called founder of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, died. He did not build Singapore, it was workers (usually foreigners) who built Singapore, but he liked taking credit for everything, not just controlling everyone. He was somewhat of a tyrant, but nobody is allowed to say it. It’s not politically-correct to say it in the West and it is dangerous to say it if you live in Singapore, where trigger-happy censorship is common and people can be ‘disappeared’. Even in his so-called ‘retirement’, despite not being elected, Lee Kuan Yew continued to manage everything (albeit behind the scenes).

I have written dozens of things (maybe between 50 to 100 tweets for example) in various places online in an effort to debunk the myth, especially when the myth expanded upon the death of the founder. This baffled some who did not understand why I was chastising a country that I had only just returned from.

More than 2 years ago I spent a lot of time studying Singapore. I spent many hours in Google StreetView, Google Maps, etc. and I inquired about houses there (crazy prices) and routinely spoke to my sister in law who lives there. Later on I found some blogs which explained to me more about the hidden side of Singapore and then I learned the breaking story of Shane Todd with much interest. It seems likely that he was ‘suicided’. Since there is no free press in Singapore, don’t expect Singaporeans to know much about it (or to know the important facts about it).

Singapore, as it turns out, is somewhat of a sham. I saw the negative things when I was there; poverty, exploitation, you name it…

Singapore is not the success story that Western leaders try to tell us about as means of selling autocracy (decisions from above without consent). They want to justify autocracy in Western nations (it’s already happening under the auspices of corporations). Singapore is in many ways a failure with pressured children (low birth rates and super-high expectations) who turn suicidal rather early (like in South Korea or Japan) and it puts a deceiving face to the outside world by means of oppressive censorship (gagging or misinforming outsiders). Singapore has a high level of investment (maybe even debt) in a tourism ‘ghetto’ which it still invests a lot of money in. The priority is image, not happiness.

My wife and I stepped outside this tourism ‘ghetto’ in an effort to study the real Singapore — the one that anonymous blogs (afraid of their regime) write about. We saw unpleasant things and should have taken more photos to document them (but didn’t). People work hard in physical jobs at a very old age (maybe over 80), people sleeping on the floor, an enforcer with a Star Wars-inspired stick telling me not to eat peanuts outside the train… those are not the images Singapore wants you to see. But that’s Singapore; rock the boat a little or step out of the boundaries and you will see it.

Strictness over location of hotels in Singapore helps one understand how the founder of the country helps control the image so as to show all tourists only the ‘Disneyland’ but not slums. All hotels in Singapore (plenty of them) are mapped below, buffered by fancy malls, banks, and shallow entertainment for those who love consumerism.

singapore-hotels

Don’t fall for the myth of Singapore; sure, it’s nicer than China (never mind the vast wealth gap between rich and poor), but it is built by foreign ‘slaves’ (foreign workers who are not even protected by minimum wage laws and suffer from deadly, lax safety regulations) and it is even somewhat of a hellhole to many of the local residents who have Singaporean nationality and are forced to joint the Army (Singapore does a good job hiding its weapons apparatus, including that which exported poisons to Iraq). A lot of this military aspect of Singapore turned its business/industry into borderline inhumane, much like in Israel, which is also tiny and surrounded by hostile nations.

Maybe there are those who seek to justify oppressive authority in Singapore. But please, don’t use the ‘Singapore model’ to sell us the Singapore-inspired autocracy here in the West. The same can be said about Saudi Arabia, but that’s slightly older news (Abdullah’s death), except if we consider how it uses US-exported weapons to bomb the Hell out of Yemen right now.

The Darker Side of the Three Towers and RMG

RMG

USUALLY, the Three Towers are a good place to be. The residents are quiet, the place is relatively clean, but RMG tends to neglect it, leaving the gates, for example, unfixed for years.

It is also very hard to communicate with RMG, which refuses to provide basic information and impressively enough offers zero cooperation in case of serious incidents.

RMG is ruining what could otherwise be decent. The utility company (with a monopoly on the service) is apparently connected to the building’s operator (an incestuous relationship), so a form of corruption is likely, too.

Today I wish to deal with more serious matters and put them out there for our own safety, as well as to warn others.

Crime in our building recently took place, but RMG seems apathetic and unresponsive about it. I don’t believe we were personally targeted, but just in case something happens, I believe RMG should be held partly accountable or at least liable. No company should follow the example of RMG.

I am hereby, with some hesitation, writing regarding a very serious matter which seemed more serious after the police had reported gunshots near our apartment in Christabel (this was confirmed by the police in a letter).

The gunshots happened a short while after my wife was assaulted inside our building, Christabel. Two young boys stalked her in the elevator and then followed her into the bin room. When she entered they locked her inside and propped the door locked with a broom. She yelled for help and a nearby neighbour came to the ground floor and scared the boys away, after they had admitted (to him) they did not even live in the building. How did these boys get inside?

My wife was horrified, but this was never investigated. RMG did not even bother looking at the CCTV footage that it had captured. What is CCTV good for if one can’t be bothered to even use it? The individuals probably cannot be identified, but the way in which they infiltrated the building matters. RMG does not seem to care. Yes, they let it slide.

A couple of hours later we both saw two dodgy-looking people in their 40s or 50s hanging about in a nearby apartments building (marionette) which are still waiting to be demolished. Their behaviour could be described as odd and we thought about calling the police though saying two people are “up to no good” is a spurious complaint (the police would not appreciate it). I had other menacing incidents like this in the past, but never a gunshot (domestic violence across the hall, intruder in my house, and the nearby building routinely had ambulances and police vans next to it).

At 11PM gunshot was fired at a window (the police confirms this) and the following morning the road below us was closed by the police with two vans, including TAU (special police unit in Manchester), parked at both ends. One of the guys we saw last night (one of the two dodgy-looking one) was carried to a police van in a wheelchair. The police does not say much about the incident except the gunshots. This is far from reassuring. We now feel unsafe even inside our house.

I demanded that RMG should investigate all these incidents and inform residents what exactly was happening. They failed to do so, so in my view they are now liable and I decided to spread the word about what happened in this area, holding accountable those who are not doing enough to protect the residents (we pay a lot of money for RNG to do so every year). There is a risk to life here and since intruders assaulted my wife inside the building we cannot tolerate this.

Cooperation with the police has proved useless in the past (in fact it put me at risk because the criminals then perceived me as their enemy), so I was approaching RMG first. RMG should have extensive CCTV footage inside the building and around it. Given the separation of just 4 hours between these events there is likelihood that they are related and one took place right inside Christabel. Why did RMG never investigate or even respond? Total neglect. Even criminal neglect.

I asked RMG not to share my identity with the police (it would most likely not help as much as a testimony to RMG).

I recently thought about buying a property here, but after these incidents I have other, less favourable plans.

People’s safety seems to be at stake, not just RMG’s reputation. For what it’s worth, avoid RMG, wherever they are. All they’re good at it collecting money annually.

Update: three hours after I published this post (on a Sunday even) RMG contacted me and said they had forwarded the case, well over a week after the CCTV footage got taken (the rotation of footage may mean that relevant footage might already be erased). It would not be unreasonable to suggest that this post had something to do with their late reactions.

Update #2 (30/6/2014: Today I was issued the following face-saving response:

Dear Dr Schestowitz,

Thank you for contacting RMG recently.

Unfortunately, our CCTV expires after 14 days and we are unable to access footage after this point. We are now unable to access any CCTV from 16th June or before.

Having spoken to the Property Manager, she has made us aware that was onsite, and visited apartment [redacted] the day after the reported assault, but was not at that point made aware of any allegations. At that point, Claire would’ve been able to access any CCTV footage required.

Additionally, if there are any future queries of this nature, we would strongly recommend that you contact us over the telephone rather than via email. Over the phone, we will be able to assist instantly.

Most importantly, if there are any further crimes at the property, you would need to contact the police as the first matter of course, especially considering the nature of the reported crime.

If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thanks, and kind regards

It is regretful that CCTV footage was left to expire and response over E-mail was so slow, probably due to bureaucracy. I will keep this in mind in the future.

EasyJet Turns Away People With Tickets

EasyJet

EASYJET is an airline that should be blacklisted. It’s not just overpriced and does not arrange seatings; today it shocked my family when it turned down pre-booked tickets, saying that the flight was “overbooked”. Yes, apparently even when you book a flight with EasyJet (whose broken Web site makes it virtually impossible to check in) the airline can refuse to let the passengers board the plane. Even bus services don’t do such stuff!

EasyJet might be the crappiest airlines ever to exist. How can they legally turn back passangers with ticket they purchased for a flight? Way to ruin one’s vacation.

Cleverboxes is Rubbish and Tesco Direct Should Dump Them

THERE IS a company in the UK called Cleverboxes. Its name may sound innocent and its Web site gloats/boasts about a relationship with Tesco Direct. Well, this is a warning to anyone who considers buying anything from Cleverboxes.

Cleverboxes is a dysfunctional business. It does not communicate with so-called ‘customers’, it does not deliver, it does not even properly cooperate with Tesco, it makes false promises, and it generally makes Tesco look bad. Well, Tesco is bad for having such a terrible partner.

Almost a dozen calls later (at cost of money and time to us) my wife and I cancelled our order, which was made through Tesco to Cleverboxes.

To be fair to Tesco, their staff was quite responsible and was eager to pressure Cleverboxes to deliver; it was seemingly the fault Cleverboxes alone. Do they have have staff there? Is that a real business?

Save yourself the disappointment and avoid Cleverboxes. It deserves to lose Tesco as a partner immediately because all it does is rubbish Tesco’s name.

Avoid EasyJet

Very hard, not easy

EasyJet

EasyJet’s utter incompetence has wasted not only hours of my time but also a lot of time of several relatives (with computer science degrees). Their site is broken and only a fool would trust the company to keep an airplane up in the air. Their customer support is too hard to reach and would probably be useless in this circumstance.

Save yourself a lot of headache by never even visiting the site of EasyJet. This airlines, EasyJet, is technically defunct.

EasyJet Crashes… Into Worst Airline Position

EasyJet

Over the years I have flown with over a dozen different airlines and never did I have as much problem as I am having with EasyJet these days. Their Web site is broken by design, their customer support is understaffed (been waiting for a long time before just giving up and hanging up), and anyone who considers flying with EasyJet should definitely think twice before doing anything. Upselling, spam, advertising of malicious software is all one ends up with after suffering bad IT and customer service.

EasyJet, based on my experience, is the world’s worst airline.

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