Saturday, April 30, 2016

Special Branch

Just reading an excellent book about Special Branch A History: 1883-2006 before it was subsumed 2006 into the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command.

Highly recommend reading.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

St. George's Day and Brexit

St George's Day 23rd April
Give England a good chance before the BREXIT vote to decide about England's future by looking at our history, culture and values. This is something the REMAIN IN campaign hasn't discussed yet; only doom, gloom and fear - is this nightmare really black or are the windows painted that we are being asked to look through?

So far none of the campaigns (IN/OUT) have defined what England would lose in a Federal State of Europe with regards to our (a) Nationality (b) Heritage (c) Culture (d) Values and (e) Freedoms. Do remember should England remain in Europe as a small island in a federal quango history has shown the smaller islands lose their hard fought position of relevance (c.f. United State of Hawaii (  If Hawaii is the 50th state of the US then does this demote England to the 164th state of Europe, a state that may become irrelevant through erosion over 50-100 years? The English people and people of England have not been informed nor given absolute guarantees from our elected Parliament where England will be in the next 50 years, let alone 100 years. The current human incumbents would all have popped their clogs and left this mortal coil. As William Shakespeare so poetically put it "For in that sleepe of death, what dreames may come..."  (Hamlet act III scene I). This leaves the rest of the future generation to clean up all the crap they left in their barracks when their souls departed. 

St. George's Day has deep roots in England's heritage and culture. What I love about St. George's Day is that it is not about the colour of someone's skin and so on, but it is about unity and bonding a country's people together to share and enjoy the same values and at the same time extend those values to others who are not of our faith and culture but wish to share and integrate with us and them. 
To celebrate St George's Day is to celebrate England itself: our history, culture and heritage that has created our nation. Patron saints are chosen as special protectors of life and culture.  Like England, every country in the UK has its own patron saint that in times of great threat is called upon to help save the country from its enemies. Legend says St George was a dragon-slaying knight and he was made patron saint of England in recognition of his great acts. St George is also a popular figure outside England in the countries: Portugal, Catalonia, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Macedonia and the Gora. His symbol, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England, and part of the British flag. St George's symbol was originally adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century.

St George
Very little is known about the real St George. He is thought to have been born into a noble Christian family in the late third century in Turkey. He followed in his father's military footsteps and became part of the retinue of the Emperor Diocletian (circa 245-313). St George was a brave soldier in the Roman army who died for his beliefs. The emperor ordered the systematic persecution of Christians and George protested against the Romans' torture of Christians. For that he left the Roman army. For leaving, he was tortured, executed in Palestine, and finally beheaded, becoming an early Christian martyr in 303 AD. St George was also adopted as the Saint of Battles. This was because St. George is said to have appeared to the Christian army before the Battle of Antioch (nearly 920 years ago) in  1097 AD.

So on the 23rd April 2016 remember that Europe didn't create this day England created this day and today we still defend our nation. Our patron saint, St. George, is a heritage defining moment in our history. Naturally England will celebrate our National Day with parades through streets, floats will be seen, music will be played, dancing for fun, and laughter will be heard. There will be a special St George's Day service at local churches. Moreover, April 23rd is the day for a red rose in the button hole, England's national flower. Shakespeare's birthday falls on the same date, and the Globe Theatre (built in 1599 AD) will be having its usual big celebration. There are events all around the country so join in, take part and have pride in who we are.

Finding our about our great country is not difficult and here are a few weblinks to help you:

St. George International Man of Mystery -
English Heritage -
Portal:England -
A timeline of English History -
History of England -
English Culture -


Saturday, April 02, 2016

Update: Mobile Weapons and Seizure Procedure

UPDATED: FCORD2016 Chapter 27 Discussion Document Seizure and Handling preparing a Best Practice Model - DOWNLOAD DISCUSSION DOCUMENT

Update: Mobile Weapons and Seizure Procedure

Regrettably a further manufacturer has entered into the arena by adapting a mobile device design(above) that transforms into a weapon for firing bullets.

The MTEB (Mobile Telephone Examination Board) Eighth Edition Section 4 Mobile Telephone Seizure Procedure (Mobile Weapons) updates on new items and handling procedures for them.  

There has been a slow but persistent level in mobile/smart phones being adapted for use as some form of weapon.

Back in 2008 trewmte.blogspot reported about the mobile phone that fires bullets. The story of this wasn't new, by any means, but was highlighted to illustrate the variety and exposure of devices that those involved in seizure procedure and mobile phone examiners can come into contact. 


UPDATED: 2015 Imitation Style Mobile: Cost Approx 20-euros
Note the gloves for handling procedure.

UPDATED: 2014 Officer suffered shock conducting search
An officer conducting the search suffered a shock as he examined the fake handset but was not seriously injured. Good photo example shown of safe evidence container: iphone-stun-gun-seized-from-a-14-year-old-by-greater-manchester-police
Over time the trewmte.blogspot has highlighted other weapons, such as Stun Guns:

But mobile/smart phones that propel objects or inflict severe shock are not the only adaptations out there. Take for instance the age old weapon of a knife adapted for use with a mobile phone ( seized 2005):

And now in 2012 we now have another weapon that uses an adapted iPhone case which the manufacturers purport can be used for personal protection to spray pepper in the eyes:

The above are by no means the end of mobile/smart phones adapted for some form of weapons. We only know too well how mobile phones have been rigged to set off incendiary devices etc, which the MTEB labels IMD (improvised mobile devices):  


Yes the photos above all present disburbing images, but not for sensational purposes. Thankfully, it is not common for those involved with seizing items and examiners to come into contact with adapted and improvised devices like these on a regular basis. We still need to be aware and have a proposed handling procedure in place to deal with them though. That is on the basis that mobile/smart phone seizure and examination happens globally. The trewmte.blogspot is not simply local to the UK but deals with international matters and therefore articles like this are not only for UK consumption but for other countries that are involved in and employ seizure and examination procedures.

Lastly, and of specific relavance to seizure and examination procedure, it is priority to deal with mobile/smart phone weapon/s as opposed to figuring out what a person may have intended to do with it/them; figuring out is a thought process that can come later on. Why? One very good reason, the person who is seizing an adapted device (e.g. iPhone case above) and accidently sprays pepper into his/her face because s/he had no prior knowledge about the adapted device is clearly a priority. It is immaterial that the owner of such a device may have had genuine reasons (attacker pepper spray) for having such a device. Apart from mal-intention and recklessness of IMDs etc, for the majority of persons seizing or examining the device they wouldn't be the intended target and are nothing more than innocent bystanders.