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Police ‘prepare for tidal wave of violent crime and public disorder’ as cost of living bites

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Police are reportedly preparing for a ‘tidal wave’ of violent crime and public disorder as the UK battles an ever-worsening cost of living crisis fuelled by Vladimir Putin‘s energy war.

Chiefs are said to be drawing up contingency plans to deal with the potential fallout that may come as millions of Britons face financial hardship this winter. 

The chiefs are concerned that ‘economic turmoil and financial instability’ has the potential to spark a rise in crime, specially ‘acquisitive’ offences, a leaked national strategy paper has revealed. Authorities fear the UK will see a tick in shoplifting, burglary, vehicle theft, online fraud, blackmail and other crimes that ‘rely on exploiting financial vulnerability’. 

The officers’ concern comes after Ofgem raised the price cap on household bills by 80 per cent to £3,549 beginning next month and left nearly 88 per cent of adults across Britain worried about gas and electricity costs.

Meantime, Putin has indefinitely halt suspended gas supply through Europe’s key pipeline route. Officials have revealed Britain may be forced to buy back gas exported to Europe to keep the lights on this winter after giving away roughly 15 per cent of its supplies.

With little storage of its own, Britain does typically buy gas back from the Continent during winter. This year, it will leave the country exposed to higher prices and market havoc if Russia goes further.

Police are preparing for a 'tidal wave' of violent crime and public disorder as the UK battles an ever-worsening cost of living crisis fuelled by Vladimir Putin's energy war

Police are preparing for a ‘tidal wave’ of violent crime and public disorder as the UK battles an ever-worsening cost of living crisis fuelled by Vladimir Putin’s energy war

Police chiefs are working on contingency plans to deal with the potential fallout that may come as millions of Britons face financial hardship this winter

Police chiefs are working on contingency plans to deal with the potential fallout that may come as millions of Britons face financial hardship this winter

The officers' concern comes after Ofgem raised the price cap on household bills by 80 per cent to £3,549 beginning next month

The officers’ concern comes after Ofgem raised the price cap on household bills by 80 per cent to £3,549 beginning next month

Big Christmas SWITCH-OFF: Festive fairy light displays cancelled by councils and twinkling tree decorations ‘unaffordable’ for families in face of soaring energy prices 

There is set to be less sparkle this Christmas with fairy lights being axed by councils and ditched by struggling families as electricity bills soar.

Extravagant festive light displays on high streets and homes are a tradition up and down the country during the winter months.

But now towns and villages known for their dazzling displays are deciding not to put up the lights this year and are cancelling popular switch-on events.

An extravagant Christmas light display on a house in Saxifrage Way, Worthing, in 2020

An extravagant Christmas light display on a house in Saxifrage Way, Worthing, in 2020

The council in the picturesque Devonshire town of Budleigh Salterton said it ‘could not take on the cost of the lights in the economic climate’, The Star reported.

Ely in Camridgeshire scrapped its display months ago as it said its typical £9,000 bill, which is likely to have increased by now, would not be a wise way to spend taxpayers’ money.

Guildford Council is also scrapping it’s switch-on event, with it’s leader saying last month that it ‘faces significant financial challenges’.

While the council is protecting the budget for its much-loved Christmas celebrations, it says it has concerns it cannot afford to accommodate the size of the crowd.

‘We cannot afford or justify value for money for such an additional significant cost,’ Council leader, Joss Bigmore, said.

Businesses, which do not have energy bill price caps, are also set to opt out of decorations and are even switching off their regular lighting already.

The house of Helen and John Attlesey in Soham in Cambridgeshire, decorated with hundreds of Christmas lights, pictured in November 2020

The house of Helen and John Attlesey in Soham in Cambridgeshire, decorated with hundreds of Christmas lights, pictured in November 2020

Expensive beer garden lighting is also being switched off at venues across the country as publicans face soaring overheads.

One pub owner told MailOnline he had been forking out £50 an hour to keep festoon lighting on. 

Meanwhile, concerned households are already planning to leave their Christmas lights in their boxes.

‘Not bothering with a Christmas tree – can’t afford to turn the lights on. Dark days,’ one person said.

Twitter users express concern that Chrsitmas lights will be 'unaffordable' this year

Twitter users express concern that Chrsitmas lights will be ‘unaffordable’ this year

‘All the folk that go mad for Christmas lights are going to have an expensive winter,’ warned another man on social media.

Another said: ‘Wonder how many families won’t be able to put outside Christmas lights on this year due to energy prices? Feel sorry for the children.’

But one Christmas fanatic refused to have their festive spirit dampened by the energy price crisis, tweeting: ‘We have LEDs everywhere, never will I sacrifice Christmas even if its just a week of lights’, while others recommended solar panel lights to keep the ‘gloomy’ winter at bay.

The strategy paper, created with input from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, argues there is a ‘more complex and unpredictable risk’ and ‘greater chance of civil unrest’ as UK residents battle with soaring living costs.

The document – reviewed by The Sunday Times – states that officials are concerned that ‘prolonged and painful economic pressure’ will lead to a spike in criminal activity.

In addition to crimes rooted in financial vulnerability, some police forces are preparing for more children to be sucked into drug gangs. Others worry women will become victim of sexual exploitation.

There is also concern that those who are victims of domestic abuse will become less likely to report their partner because of an increased reliance on the other person.  

‘The cost of living crisis is going to add to the ability of abusers to manipulate and control people,’ Merseyside police and crime commissioner Emily Spurrell said.

Simon Foster, police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, echoed: ‘I am particularly concerned that vulnerable young people will be at increasing risk of becoming victims of crime and criminal exploitation as the cost of living crisis bites.

‘This is an issue that I have been working with West Midlands police on for several months and I know that they and other forces are expecting it to have an impact on the demands they will face this winter.’

Some officers say they are also fearful that without significant government intervention, the country may return to the ‘febrile conditions’ that led to the London riots in 2011. 

‘Greater financial vulnerability may expose some staff to higher risk of corruption, especially among those who fall into significant debt or financial difficulties,’ the document states.

It also encourages Liz Truss, who is expected to be the next Prime Minister, put in a ‘significant’ package that would ease the impacts of the crisis and hopefully deter crime.

‘They feel confident that if she [Truss] wins and puts in a significant package of support, offending shouldn’t drastically increase,’ an unnamed MP briefed who was allegedly briefed their local police force told the newspaper. 

‘If the support doesn’t meet expectations, they would be expecting similar scenes to 2011.’ 

Meantime, the Government may be forced to purchase back the gas it exported to Europe in effort to meet the energy needs of Britons this winter. 

Due to the UK’s lack of storage, supplies previously shipped to terminals in the UK and then piped abroad will have to be pumped back into the country as temperatures fall.

Large volumes of fuel have been sent to the European Union via the UK in recent months as countries struggle to fill up their storage sites after Russia limited supplies, according to The Telegraph

Peter Thompson, a gas market expert at the consultancy Baringa, said: ‘Effectively the UK’s market stores gas in continental Europe storage, and then it’s pulled back out in the winter.

‘That’s normally what happens. But I think there is a question entering this winter – there’s no business as usual position.   

‘The extent to which that happens is going to depend on all sorts of things – Russian supply, how cold the winter is.’

On Friday, Russia said its key Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Europe would not reopen as planned.

Gazprom, the state gas giant, blamed technical problems but Russia is accused of weaponising supplies in retaliation over sanctions.

Europe does not have enough Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals for its needs, so Britain accepted shipments at its three facilities on the EU’s behalf over summer.   

The product is then turned back into gas in Britain and piped over to Europe, which does not have enough LNG terminals of its own, via pipes to Belgium and the Netherlands. 

The EU’s sites are now currently 80 per cent full.

Local gas from the UK and Norwegian side of the North Sea is also being sent to Europe via the UK. 

National Grid estimates that these supplies account for about 70-75 per cent of current exports.

Ian Radley, director of system operations at National Grid, told an industry meeting last month that the UK is on course to export 14billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas to the EU by the start of winter, or about 14 per cent of total EU storage capacity.

He said: ‘The National Transmission System here in the UK has and continues to play a critical role in supporting the EU’s ambitions of refilled storage.’

Mr Radley added the practical challenges of its involvement ‘are dwarfed by the benefits of continuing to maximize export capacity, doing what we can do as a nation to alleviate what could be and continues to be a very challenging situation for everyone’.

Britain generally exports gas to Europe during summer, although normally at far lower volumes than this year. 

The country then imports during winter as its own demand rises.

Aurora Energy Research says that in a normal winter, the UK can get as much as 25-30 per cent of its gas supplies from the EU.

For imports to flow to the UK, prices need to be higher than they are in the EU.  

On cold days this winter, that could require exceptionally high prices in Britain, adding to the pressure on households and businesses following more than a year of soaring gas prices.  If supplies in Europe worsens, there is a risk some countries will curb exports.

Aurora Energy Research estimates that the UK will need to import at least 10 per cent of its gas from the EU this winter to meet demand. However, S&P Global Commodity Insights forecasts that Britain will be a net exporter to the EU this winter, because LNG shipments will continue to arrive. It is likely to still need some EU imports on individual cold days, however.

Ying Chin Chou, a senior analyst at S&P, said that every one degree decrease in temperature can increase demand for gas for heating by 10-15 million cubic metres (mcm). She added: ‘Demand can escalate quite quickly.’

S&P believes gas demand in Britain will in any case be 40mcm per day lower than normal this winter, or about 15 per cent less, as rising energy bills drive cuts in demand, among other factors.

Last week, Centrica won permission to reopen its Rough natural gas storage site in the North Sea, which closed in 2017. However, it remains in talks with ministers about financial support for the site over the long term, and has not set a date for re-opening.

John Redwood, the Tory MP who is tipped to return to government if Liz Truss wins the Tory leadership contest on Monday, said it was a strategic ‘mistake’ not to have more storage.

Britain will be forced to buy back gas exported to Europe to keep the lights on this winter after giving away roughly 15 per cent of its supplies

Britain will be forced to buy back gas exported to Europe to keep the lights on this winter after giving away roughly 15 per cent of its supplies

Large volumes of fuel have been sent to the European Union via the UK in recent months as countries struggle to fill up their storage sites after Russia limited supplies

Large volumes of fuel have been sent to the European Union via the UK in recent months as countries struggle to fill up their storage sites after Russia limited supplies

‘Of course, I think we need more gas storage but my number one urging for many years has been getting more of our own gas out of the North Sea, and onshore where local communities go along with it.

‘But the UK position is an awful lot stronger than the German or Italian position, which were much more dependent on Russian gas.’

A spokesman for the Business Department said: ‘When the market price is higher Europe, gas flows to the Continent. When the price is higher in the UK, gas flows back home. This is driven entirely by the market, not by Government.

‘Britain is at a strategic advantage compared to other countries in Europe. The UK’s secure and diverse energy supplies will ensure households, businesses and industry can be confident they can get the electricity and gas they need.’

This comes as the scale of energy rationing that may be required at home, in the NHS, schools, care homes, shops, pubs and on the streets of Britain because of surging energy prices and the threat of blackouts is laid bare.

Experts have told MailOnline there is ‘no escape’ for the 66million people in the UK who will be encouraged to cut their use of gas and electricity this winter and even turn off the lights when the wind drops.

Kathryn Porter, from consultancy Watt-Logic, fears that the crisis will cost lives in the coming months and told MailOnline: ‘We should keep our fingers crossed for a warm and windy winter’. Ms Porter has said that it’s ‘very possible’ the UK will see plans for energy rationing, despite Liz Truss, the likely next prime minister, absolutely ruling it out, but the energy expert added: ‘It would be voluntary, asking people to make a small sacrifice to avoid blackouts’.  

Britons could be asked to limit energy use this winter to head off blackouts by avoiding using gas and electricity at peak times in a move that will hit every part of life.

At home people may be encouraged not to use washing machines, dishwashers and ovens between 2pm and 8pm while charging cars before 9pm is also not advised when similar measures were imposed in the US this year. Abandoning the family weekday dinner at 6pm or the Sunday roast at 5pm may be required and moved to after 8pm or swapped for a cold dinner or leftovers.

The NHS Confederation has predicted that the solution for the health service will ‘have to be made up by fewer staff being employed, longer waiting times for care, or other areas of patient care being cut back’. NHS England guidance says staff must turning off equipment and lights and better control temperatures in hospitals and surgeries.

Schools have even discussed three-day weeks and classes could be combined to reduce the number of rooms that require heating each day.

While care homes are being forced to take drastic action to absorb soaring living costs such as reducing menu options, using washing machines less and cutting down on entertainment and outdoor trips for elderly and vulnerable residents.

Pubs are already turning out the lights as soaring energy bills hit the ailing hospitality sector – with last orders at 8.30pm and closing by 9pm, food service being stopped and skeleton teams running venues to avoid financial ruin. Beer gardens are even being shut at night to save costs.  

And councils may choose to copy Germany where street lights are being dimmed, traffic lights at quieter junctions are turned off, hot water and central heating is off in public buildings and monuments will no longer be lit overnight. UK municipal swimming pools could be made colder to reduce heating bills.

 Millions could be forced to make sacrifices at home to avoid blackouts – but it could hit family life including delaying when they eat their dinner and swapping a hot meal for cold leftovers or a salad.

Kathryn Porter, from consultancy Watt-Logic, expects that authorities could ask consumers to reduce their use of electricity during peak hours, such as 2pm or 4pm to 8pm.

Parents and their children would be encouraged to eat later, or eat something that does not require cooking. 

In Texas and California, tens of millions of people have been asked not to use washing machines, dishwashers and ovens between 2pm and 8pm because of the global energy crisis and reduce strain on power stations. Charging cars before 9pm is also not advised.   

HOW BAD IS THE NHS CRISIS IN ENGLAND? 

The overall waiting list jumped to 6.73million in June. This is up from 6.61m in May and is the highest number since records began in August 2007.

There were 3,861 people waiting more than two years to start treatment at the end of June, down from 8,028 in May but still higher than April 2021, when the figure started to be recorded.

The number of people waiting more than a year to start hospital treatment was 355,774, up from 331,623 the previous month and the highest ever logged.

A record 29,317 people had to wait more than 12 hours in A&E departments in England in July. The figure is up from 22,034 in June and is the highest for any month since record began in 2010.

A total of 136,221 people waited at least four hours from the decision to admit to admission in July, down slightly from the all-time high of 136,298 in March.

Just 71 per cent of patients were seen within four hours at A&Es last month, the worst ever performance. NHS standards set out that 95 per cent should be admitted, transferred or discharged within the four-hour window.

The average category one response time – calls from people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries – was nine minutes and 35 seconds. The target time is seven minutes.

Ambulances took an average of 59 minutes and seven seconds to respond to category two calls, such as burns, epilepsy and strokes. This is three times longer than the 18 minute target.

Response times for category three calls – such as late stages of labour, non-severe burns and diabetes – averaged three hours, 17 minutes and six seconds. Ambulances are supposed to arrive to these calls within two hours.

Some 430,037 patients (27.5 per cent) were waiting more than six weeks for a key diagnostic test in June, including an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy.

Ms Porter said: ‘People could do their laundry, cook hot meals before or after the time period’, but added that Britons must not ‘avoid cooking a hot meal if you have young children or vulnerable people in your home’.

‘It is possible we will see something similar here this winter,’ she said, adding: ‘I think it would be more an appeal or request for people to have their dinner earlier or later, or avoid using large appliances like washing machines during peak hours. I think it would be voluntary rather than compulsory’.

A lack of wind could also come into play.    

She said: ‘We have had quite low wind output in July and August…Demand is a lot higher in the winter, so if we have those weather conditions in the winter, our system is going to get very tight and that raises a risk of blackouts’. 

Heavy industry users are also being braced to suspend or scale back production to protect supplies to homes.

Separately, contingency plans exist to dim the lights across parts of the country by turning down the voltage in the national cable grid in what are known as ‘brown outs’.

NHS treatment may also have to be rationed this winter because of ever-increasing energy bills, health bosses fear in the face of a mammoth backlog and crises in the A&E and ambulance sectors.

Startling projections reveal some trusts face spending twice, or even three times as much as they did last year on electricity and gas. 

Trusts aren’t covered by Ofgem’s 80 per cent price cap on electricity and gas, and so are even more vulnerable to surging prices in the coming months. As a result, health chiefs have had to ring-fence £1.5billion to fund the soaring bills.

Rory Deighton, of the NHS Confederation — which represents the healthcare system across England, Wales and Northern Ireland — said: ‘This isn’t an abstract problem.’

He said the solution ‘will either have to be made up by fewer staff being employed, longer waiting times for care, or other areas of patient care being cut back’.

The same organisation previously warned health bosses will inevitably have to make ‘impossible choices’ over the coming months, unless the ‘perilous’ situation is solved with billions more the public purse.

New technologies are often the first area to be cut when purse-strings are tightened. 

Diagnostic capacity will also be under threat, despite being a ‘key area’ in reducing the Covid-induced backlog that has left nearly 7million patients in England waiting for routine hospital treatment.

At the same time as soaring energy bills, critics have claimed that the NHS could see another £1.8billion ‘raided’ from its own budget simply to meet No10’s proposed pay rise for staff.

Department of Health bosses have rejected these fears, however.  

Analysts predict the health service will need at least another £4billion to account for spiralling costs. As a result, NHS chiefs are demanding another emergency top-up in the coming autumn’s budget.

‘That (£4billion estimate) is before we face a winter of even higher wholesale energy prices,’ the NHS Confederation added.

Right-wing think-tanks have repeatedly described the NHS as being a ‘blackhole of taxpayer money’.

Their argument — that the health service is in dire need of reform, not extra cash — is that its budget has drastically increased under the Conservative Government yet performances have worsened. 

Waiting times for routine ops, such as hip and knee replacements, shot up to record highs were way before Covid reached British shores. But the pandemic, and knock-on effects of lockdown, have seen queues hit an all-time high.

Ambulance response times have gone down the pan, so badly so that even heart attack patients have been left waiting three hours to be taken to hospital. 

HM Treasury data shows the NHS received £100.4billion in 2010/11 and its budget had grown steadily until 2019. In 2020, the NHS was given £129.7billion of core funding for its usual services, which was topped up with an extra £18billion to help with the pressures from the pandemic. For 2021/22 the Treasury said the health service is set to receive £136.1billion pounds of core funding, as well as £3billion to help with the Covid recovery

HM Treasury data shows the NHS received £100.4billion in 2010/11 and its budget had grown steadily until 2019. In 2020, the NHS was given £129.7billion of core funding for its usual services, which was topped up with an extra £18billion to help with the pressures from the pandemic. For 2021/22 the Treasury said the health service is set to receive £136.1billion pounds of core funding, as well as £3billion to help with the Covid recovery 

A&E performance has also plunged to dire levels, with waiting times worse than ever. Campaigners have called the situation ‘apocalyptic’.  

The NHS in England already gets £150billion a year, compared to roughly £100billion just a decade ago.

Under Boris Johnson, it was promised an extra £30billion a year through the highly-controversial levy to get ‘back on its feet’ after the pandemic. 

But Liz Truss, the frontrunner to replace him as Prime Minister, has already pledged to divert all of that to social care, which is simultaneously being battered by its own crisis.

Libraries, community centres and art galleries could become ‘warm banks’ where Britons who can’t afford to heat their homes can shelter this winter 

Libraries, community centres and art galleries could become ‘warm banks’ where Britons struggling to heat their homes amid soaring energy bills shelter this winter.

Birmingham, Bristol, Dundee, Glasgow and Aberdeen are among the UK councils exploring the possibility of public spaces being made available for people unable to afford heating in their homes. 

Birmingham, England’s biggest council serving 1.14 million people, has become the latest announcing measures either providing or sign-posting the hubs, by pledging to ‘map out spaces across the city where people can go to keep warm’.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England, said while local authorities were doing ‘all they can’, ‘warm banks’ were ‘not alternatives’ to providing householders with ‘adequate resources’ to make heating their homes affordable.

This was backed by the charity Age UK, who said the ‘talk of warm banks shows how incredibly serious the challenge of keeping warm this winter looks set to be, especially for older people and anyone on a low income’. 

Birmingham Library (pictured) could become a potential 'warm bank'

Birmingham Library (pictured) could become a potential ‘warm bank’

Caroline Abrahams, the charity’s director, said that while she welcomes any strategy being suggested to help older people amid the cost of living crisis, they should not be seen as a ‘substitute for effective government action’.

She said: ‘With prices continuing to sky-rocket, life is certainly not going to be easy for many older people over the next few months. Millions are already struggling to pay for basic items and with high inflation and energy prices soaring, many face a perilous winter.

‘Talk of warm banks shows how incredibly serious the challenge of keeping warm this winter looks set to be, especially for older people and anyone on a low income.

‘While we welcome any strategy being suggested to help older people withstand the cold, investing in existing infrastructure like day centres and lunch clubs, run by local Age UKs and others, and ensuring every older person can afford to heat their home, should be the top priorities in our view.

‘Warm banks may have a role to play this winter but they’re no substitute for effective Government action to help people manage their bills. That’s what we need to see, and quickly.’

The Government has said it will continue to ‘make sure that people have got the resources to heat their own home’.

The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland

The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland 

Asked about plans for so-called ‘warm banks’ in libraries, community centres and art galleries, DCMS minister Matt Warman told LBC Radio: ‘Those are initiatives put forward by local councils that are for them.

‘What the Government has to do and has done up to this point and will continue to do in the future is make sure that people have got the resources to heat their own homes.

‘Those initiatives that are put forward, I think, will be welcome to some people. Of course they will be. But what the Government is doing and will continue to do is focusing on giving people the resources they need in their own homes, rather than having to leave them.’

He added: ‘Welcome though these initiatives might be for some people, they’re not going to be the only option. They shouldn’t be the only option… I’m confident that the package of help that’s there and the package of help… (from the next prime minister) will make real progress in that regard.’

Other councils including Southend, in Essex, Sheffield, in Yorkshire, and several in Nottinghamshire have already started mulling similar plans for either setting up, supporting or highlighting the locations of ‘warm banks’.

Although the idea of such spaces is not new, their existence was brought to a wider audience by consumer rights campaigner Martin Lewis, earlier this year.

In a tweet to to his 1.7 million followers in July, he said: ‘Can’t believe I’m writing this, but I wonder if this winter well need ‘warm banks’ the equivalent of ‘food banks’ where people who can’t afford heating are invited to spend their days at no cost with heating (eg libraries, public buildings)?’

Replying to Mr Lewis’s tweet, Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said the city was ‘actively organising a city-wide network of warm places – we call them ‘Welcoming Places’ – for Bristol’.

Since then, it has also emerged councils across Scotland including Glasgow and Aberdeen have been considering setting up ‘warm banks’ by opening up public buildings, as first reported in the Daily Record.

Meanwhile in Birmingham, Cllr John Cotton, cabinet member at the Labour-run local authority, said: ‘Keeping warm will be a huge challenge for so many people, with the price of using domestic heating spiralling.

‘We are going to work with partners to map out spaces across the city where people can go to keep warm.

‘Whether that’s local community centres, places of worship or libraries, we want to help people to find places where they will be welcomed, free of charge.’

He added: ‘It should not be the case that people cannot afford to keep their homes warm, but that is the reality that we are facing here in Birmingham.’

The Ofgem price cap will rise from £1,971 now to £3,549 from October 2022, it confirmed today. And experts at energy consultancy Auxilione now think the cap will rise by another 52 per cent to £5,405 in January 2023, then by a further 34 per cent to £7,263 in April - before falling slightly, by 11 per cent to £6,485 in July and by another 7 per cent to £6,006 in October.

The Ofgem price cap will rise from £1,971 now to £3,549 from October 2022, it confirmed today. And experts at energy consultancy Auxilione now think the cap will rise by another 52 per cent to £5,405 in January 2023, then by a further 34 per cent to £7,263 in April – before falling slightly, by 11 per cent to £6,485 in July and by another 7 per cent to £6,006 in October.

Cllr Andrew Western, chair of the LGA’s resources board, said: ‘Councils and local partners will continue to do all they can to protect those on the lowest incomes against the rising costs of fuel, food, transport and other essentials.

‘As we enter the forthcoming winter months, councils are taking practical steps to support people in their community who need it the most.

‘These include the development of warm hubs in some areas as well other important initiatives that are aimed at both addressing immediate hardship and building longer-term financial resilience and wellbeing.’

He added: ‘Although councils are doing all they can to help residents, these schemes are not alternatives to ensuring people can afford to heat their homes through the winter months.

‘The mainstream welfare system should ensure people have sufficient means to meet true living costs and councils and local partners need adequate resources to provide targeted and effective crisis support alongside services which increase opportunity and lift people out of poverty for good.’ 

Chief executive of Shell Ben van Beurden (picturd) in 2015. Mr van Beruden told reporters on Monday that he thought the energy fuel crisis will not be limited to 'just one winter'

Chief executive of Shell Ben van Beurden (picturd) in 2015. Mr van Beruden told reporters on Monday that he thought the energy fuel crisis will not be limited to ‘just one winter’ 

With the energy crisis worsening, the boss of Shell has said he does not think it will be limited to ‘just one winter’ and warned fuel could be rationed ‘for years’.

Ben van Beurden, chief executive of the energy giant, said he expected there to be ‘a number of winters where we have to somehow find solutions’ as a result of the cuts to Russian supplies. 

Speaking at a press conference in Norway on Monday, he said: ‘I do not think this crisis is going to be limited to just one winter.’

He also warned it ‘may well be that we have a number of winters where we have to somehow find solutions through efficiency savings, through rationing and through a very quick build-out of alternatives.’

Giving a bleak forecast, Mr van Beurden told reporters: ‘That this is going to somehow be easy, or over, is a fantasy we should put aside’. 

Last week, regulator Ofgem announced it was raising the energy price cap by 80 per cent in October, taking the average household’s gas and electricity bill to £3,549 per year. 

Monthly energy costs will see some households spending £500 a month on bills according to Uswitch

Monthly energy costs will see some households spending £500 a month on bills according to Uswitch

Bills are predicted to rise again to £5,400 in January and even further to £6,600 in spring according to forecasts from energy analysts Cornwall Insight.

Ofgem’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley warned of the hardship energy prices will cause this winter and urged the incoming prime minister and new Cabinet ‘to provide an additional and urgent response to continued surging energy prices’.

He also said that the gas price this winter was 15 times more than the cost two years ago.

The regulator said the increase reflected the continued rise in global wholesale gas prices, which began to surge as the pandemic eased, and had been driven still higher by Russia slowly switching off gas supplies to Europe.

Ofgem also warned that energy prices could get ‘significantly worse’ next year. The regulator said that some suppliers might start increasing the amount that direct debit customers pay before October 1, to spread out payments, but any money taken by suppliers will only ever be spent on supplying energy to households.

The rise of the energy price cap has led campaigners to warn that millions of people could face fuel poverty unless the Government gives more support with energy bills. 

It has also led to the emergence of the Don’t Pay UK campaign, a grassroot movement launched in summer 2022, which is aiming to get one million people to stop their energy direct debit from October.

Activists protest against rising energy bills on August 26. The protest took place outside Ofgem's headquarters in London

Activists protest against rising energy bills on August 26. The protest took place outside Ofgem’s headquarters in London

However, Andy Burnham said on Tuesday that he does not support a movement calling on consumers to withhold payment for energy bills in protest against the rising cost of living.

The Greater Manchester Mayor told Sky News he understood why people were joining Don’t Pay UK but that ‘we have to live within the rule of law’.

‘At this stage it’s definitely a step I wouldn’t support. We’ve got to live within the rule of law. We’ve got to keep a country where people respect the rules and the way of doing things.

‘I understand why people are saying it but I wouldn’t in any way recommend that that’s the way people should go.

‘What we need is action to make things affordable for people, but I do feel that that kind of call will increase unless we see the scale of action that is going to be needed.’

The cost of living crisis has also been the focus of the Tory leadership contest, with both candidates making pledges to help struggling Britons.

Ms Truss has pledged to slash National Insurance and cut green levies on energy bills if she becomes prime minister, while she has also hinted at further support for hard-pressed Britons.

As well as her plan to introduce emergency measures to help families with soaring gas and electricity bills this winter, Ms Truss is also due to use her first days in office to approve a series of new oil and gas drilling licences in the North Sea.

In a bid to bolster the UK’s energy security, as many as 130 licences could be issued after recent meetings between ministers and oil and gas companies.

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak has also vowed to spend billions more to support Britons through the cost-of-living crisis – if he becomes prime minister – as he acknowledged a ‘moral responsibility’ to offer extra help.

Ms Truss or Mr Sunak will be named as Tory leader on September 5 and the winner is expected to become prime minister the next day. 

Meanwhile, working from home could lead to household energy bills being stretched by an extra £2,500 each year, a new survey has revealed.

Experts suggest home workers will flock back to the office this winter to avoid the severe energy bills.

The average British worker is heading into the office one and a half days per week, meaning remote working will likely lead to an energy bill of £789 in January, compared to £580 for those going into work. 

Sarah Coles, of stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown, described the ‘horrible scale’ of the energy price increase.

‘Even for those who consider themselves to be comfortable, this is a serious enough crisis that they’re going to need to find new solutions,’ she said.

‘People may have to reconsider how they use their heating, so instead of leaving it on all day they focus on trying to retain as much heat as possible in the rooms they’re using, through things like more drought-proofing.’

 


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Shiv Sena turf News Live: Police removes section 395 from the FIR against 5 Shiv Sena people from Uddhav Thackeray faction

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!1 New UpdateClick here for latest updates

Moderate rain in Hyderabad today

As per IMD, North Telangana and the central parts of the state are expected to get widespread rainfall activity in the next 24 hours.

FIR lodged against 5 Shiv Sena people; police removes section 395 from the FIR

Five people of Shiv Sena who were arrested by the police under various sections including 395 of IPC, have been given relief with the police removing section 395 from the FIR. All other sections are bailable, said Mumbai Police. Mumbai MLA Sada Sarvankar along with his son and 6 others booked by the police under sections of rioting & arms act after the MLA fired outside the police station, said Police. 30 from the Thackeray faction were earlier booked by the police in the clashes that broke out b/w the two group.

BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia on ‘irregularities’ in purchase of DTC buses

  • In Delhi, tenders are prepared by friends of Kejriwal govt
  • Arvind Kejriwal has no right to remain in the chair of chief minister
  • How can you claim to be hardcore honest? People understood you’re hardcore corrupt
  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and corruption have become synonymous

Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin leaves Balmoral Castle

The coffin carrying the body of Queen Elizabeth II left her beloved Balmoral Castle on Sunday, beginning a six-hour journey to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. The seven-car cortege carrying the oak casket — draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland — left the gates of her Scottish estate at 10:07am.

Will continue to aggressively fight inflation, says Fed Governor ahead of policy meet

US Federal Reserve Governor Christopher J. Waller said the decision at the next monetary policy meeting will be “straightforward” and the central bank will continue to aggressively fight inflation. By saying so, the central bank Governor cleared the air that another interest rate hike is imminent.

After Gurugram shows cancelled, Kunal Kamra dares VHP to denounce Godse

Days after his shows at a Gurugram bar were called off following threats by right-wing organisations, stand-up comic Kunal Kamra on Sunday wrote an open letter to the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), challenging it to condemn Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. The comedian, who has criticised the BJP-led NDA government over a number of issues in the past, proclaimed himself as “a bigger Hindu” than the VHP as he doesn’t earn his living by fear mongering and issuing threats.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and corruption have become synonymous

– BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia

Bihar Police Association demands action against SP Nawada for allegedly putting 5 police officials inside a lockup

Bihar Police Association demanded action against SP Nawada after he allegedly put 5 police officials inside a lockup. Police personnel across Bihar are angry with this behaviour. A probe should be done &FIR should be registered against SP, said Mrityunjay Singh, Association’s president.

Sonali Phogat Murder case update:

Khap mahapanchayat is being held in Hisar demanding a CBI inquiry into the death of Sonali Phogat. We demand a CBI investigation into the case. We have no hopes from the government now, received no assurance from them, said Yashodhara Phogat, Sonali Phogat’s daughter.

NGO in Bhopal celebrating divorce of 18 men

NGO in Bhopal organising ceremony for 18 men who were granted divorce following long-drawn legal battles after paying hefty alimony. Event being organised by Bhai Welfare Society, registered since 2014, which runs a helpline for men seeking divorce.

Municipal Corporation of Delhi to have 250 seats instead of 272

Central government has fixed total number of seats in Municipal Corporation of Delhi at 250 from the existing figure of 272. This was stated in a Delhi Gazette notification issued on Saturday.

Clash broke out between workers of the Eknath Shinde faction and Uddhav Thackeray faction

Police arrested 5 workers of Uddhav Thackeray faction after a clash broke out between workers of the Eknath Shinde faction and Uddhav Thackeray faction over a social media post, in the Dadar area. Case registered against more than 30 people, said Mumbai Police.

Sidhu Moose Wala murder case Update:

A total of 23 accused have been arrested so far. 2 accused were neutralized in an encounter and so far 35 accused nominated. Red Corner Notice has been issued against Goldy Brar through Interpol with the help of central agencies. Kapil Pandit, one of the arrested accused, said during interrogation that he along with Sachin Bishnoi & Santosh Yadav had conducted a recce in Mumbai to target Salman Khan on the instructions of Lawrence Bishnoi.

Uttarakhand CM takes stock of damage in cloudburst-hit areas

ED seizes cash amounting to Rs 17.32 Cr under PMLA in Kolkata

ED carried out search operations under the provisions of the PMLA at 6 premises in West Bengal’s Kolkata yesterday, in connection with an investigation relating to the Mobile Gaming Application. During the search, various incriminating documents have been recovered and seized, said ED. Aamir Khan, the main accused was not found and is not traceable. Cash amounting to Rs 17.32 Cr has been found and seized from the premises during the search. Further investigation is under progress.

Equity Outlook: Investors await August inflation data for fresh cues

Despite sharp volatility in financial markets globally this week, the Indian stocks managed to close the weekly trade with some gains. During the week that ended on Friday, the Indian benchmark indices rose over 1 per cent on a cumulative basis. Brokerage firm HDFC Securities attributed the gains to positive global cues, cooling crude oil prices and consistent foreign fund inflows. IT index gained the most by 3.5 per cent followed by PSU at 2.6 per cent and bank and metal up 2.4 per cent each.

Amit Shah attendes the AGM of District Cooperatives in Amreli

Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of District Cooperatives in Amreli.

CRPF seizes 2.323 kg of gold during a passenger bus inspection in Assam

In a joint operation, police and CRPF seized 2.323 kg of gold during a passenger bus inspection in Karbi Anglong district last night and arrested three persons hailing from Thiubal district of Manipur.

Phase-3 study of Bharat Biotech’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 -18

A phase-3 study of Bharat Biotech’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 18 has been approved by the drug regulator.

Khap mahapanchayat is being held in Hisar demanding a CBI inquiry into the death of Sonali Phogat

US marks 21st anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks

Americans are remembering 9/11 with moments of silence, readings of victims’ names, volunteer work and other tributes 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on US soil. Victims’ relatives and dignitaries will convene Sunday at the places where hijacked jets crashed on Sept 11, 2001 – the World Trade Centre in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

West Bengal: National flag at half-mast

National flag at half-mast at Victoria Memorial, Calcutta High Court and Raj Bhawan as India paid tribute to Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II.

West Bengal: National flag at half-mast

Sidhu Moose Wala murder case: Deepak Mundi, Kapil Pandit, and Rajinder sent to 6-day police remand by Punjab’s Mansa Court

Deepak Mundi, Kapil Pandit, and Rajinder sent to 6-day police remand by Punjab’s Mansa Court. Nepal Police arrested Deepak Mundi, the main shooter of the Sidhu Moosewala murder case along with his two associates, Kapil Pandit and Rajinder, from the West Bengal-Nepal border. All three have been brought from Delhi and kept in the CIA police station in Mansa.

Tanishka Kabra JEE Advanced female topper

Tanishka Kabra of IIT Delhi zone who is the top ranked female with CRL 16 had also topped the International Chemistry Olympiad 2022.

Europe’s largest nuclear plant shuts down

Ukraine’s nuclear operator said final reactor at Europe’s largest nuclear plant has been shut down after power restored, reports AP.

Telangana CM KC Rao has also condoled the demise of Krishnam Raju who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Hyderabad.

ICG organizes a 75 km motivational cyclothon

ICG organized a 75 km motivational cyclothon to raise awareness about the International Coastal Cleanup Day which will be celebrated on 17th September.

JEE Advanced 2022 result announced; R K Shishir earns top rank

This year, R K Shishir of IIT Bombay zone is the top ranker in Common Rank List (CRL) in JEE (Advanced) 2022. He obtained 314 marks out of 360 marks. In female candidates, Tanishka Kabra of IIT Delhi zone is the top ranked female with CRL 16. She obtained 277 marks out of 360.

Result alert

JEE Advanced 2022 result announced; scorecard available at jeeadv.ac.in.

Former Union Min Uppalapati Krishnam Raju dies aged 82

Former Union Min Uppalapati Krishnam Raju dies aged 82

Nitin Gadkari condoles the veteran Telugu actor demise

Former Union Min Uppalapati Krishnam Raju passes away

Former Union Minister and veteran actor Uppalapati Krishnam Raju died in early hours of Sunday while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Hyderabad. He was 83 and is survived by wife and three daughters. Raju was uncle of ‘Baahubali’ star Prabhas.

Amit Shah to unveil a 16-feet statue of Lord Hanuman in Somnath town

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will take part in a cooperative conference in Gujarat’s Amreli district on Sunday and unveil a 16-feet statue of Lord Hanuman in Somnath town.

12 Kg gold valued at Rs 5.38 cr seized from Mumbai Airport

Officers of Mumbai Airport Customs seized 12 Kg gold valued at Rs 5.38 Cr from a specially designed belt worn by a Sudanese passenger. Some passengers created commotion to help him escape but were overpowered. 6 pax are detained & 6 are being deported, informed Customs.

India mourns demise of Queen Elizabeth II

National flags fly at half-mast as one-day state mourning is being observed in the country as a mark of respect to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8. Visuals from Air Force Headquarters, Ministry of External Affairs, National Museum

India mourns demise of Queen Elizabeth II

ED stops TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee’s relative from flying abroad

TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law Maneka Gambhir was stopped by the ED at the Kolkata airport from flying abroad and was handed over summons to join investigation in a money laundering case, official sources said. Gambhir had reached the airport to take a flight to Bangkok departing around 9 PM.

UP CM suspends 15 officials for Lucknow hotel fire incident

A total of 15 officials from five government departments were suspended on the orders of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for their negligence that led to the fire tragedy that took place at a hotel in Lucknow that claimed four lives. The action will also be initiated against four retired officers for their negligence and irregularities.

J &K: President Murmu nominates BJP’s Gulam Ali to Rajya Sabha

People congratulated BJP’s Gulam Ali after being nominated to Rajya Sabha by President Murmu. “In BJP we don’t work for the position. I worked selflessly for the party & party saw my loyalty, work. I want to thank PM Modi. It’s not my win but a win for entire J&K,” he said.

Delhi LG approves proposal to forward the case 1000 low-floor buses corruption to CBI

Delhi LG has approved the proposal of the Chief Secretary to forward to CBI, a complaint received by the LG Secretariat in the matter of gross irregularities/corruption in the procurement of 1000 low-floor buses by the DTC, said LG Office.

CII estimates India in 2047 to be a 35-45 Trillion dollars economy, taking us into the league of developed nations

– Union Minister Piyush Goyal

Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra begins in Kerala

Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra begins its 19-day Kerala leg on Sunday morning from Parassala area of Thiruvananthapuram.

Two back to back explosions hit west of Kabul, 3 injured

Amid numerous occurrences of blasts in Afghanistan, two new explosions rocked western Kabul on Saturday. According to local media, the blasts occurred in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood which houses the Hazara community in Kabul.The first explosion reportedly took place at 6:45 in the evening in front of a crowded commercial market and later another bomb exploded at the Pul-e-Khushk bus stop, Khaama Press reported.

India mourns demise of Queen Elizabeth II: National flags fly at half-mast

As India observes one-day state mourning as a mark of respect to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on September 8, the national flags at all government buildings including Red Fort and Rashtrapati Bhavan fly at half-mast on Sunday. Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland breathed her last in Scotland.
“As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, the Government of India has decided that there will be one day of State Mourning on September 11th throughout India,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

India issues advisory for students planning to study in China

India has issued a detailed advisory related to studying at Chinese medical schools as thousands of enrolled students continue to remain stuck at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 23,000 Indian students enrolled in various Chinese universities have been affected by the Chinese visa ban. “Embassy of India in Beijing has been receiving several queries from prospective Indian students and their parents with respect to seeking admission for undergraduate clinical medicine programme in China,” the embassy said in a statement on September 8.

World No 1 Iga Swiatek becomes first Polish woman to win US Open

Iga Swiatek on Sunday became the first Polish woman to win the US Open by defeating Ons Jabeur in straight sets at a full-capacity Arthur Ashe Stadium. This was the Pole’s second major title of 2022, having won the Roland Garros earlier in June this year. The two-time French Open winner continued her dominant run this year and brought the Tunisian player’s second straight chance of winning the US Open to a halt. Coming into the match, Swiatek was the favourite given her rich vein of form and she did not leave any stone unturned to ensure her winning juggernaut continues. The champion player defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6(5) to clinch her first US Open.

Amit Shah in Gujarat today, to unveil Lord Hanuman’s statue in Somnath

The minister will then leave for Gir Somnath district where he will offer prayers at the Somnath Mahadev temple. Shah will also unveil a 16-feet statue of Lord Hanuman in Somnath town and inaugurate 262 shops, called as ‘Maruti Haat’, near the Arabian Sea coast in the town.

PM Modi condoles demise of renowned archaeologist Braj Basi Lal

“Shri BB Lal was an outstanding personality. His contributions to culture and archaeology are unparalleled. He will be remembered as a great intellectual who deepened our connection with our rich past. Pained by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Om Shanti” tweeted PM Modi.

King Charles proclaimed Canada’s new head of state

King Charles III was officially proclaimed Canada’s monarch in a ceremony in Ottawa. Charles automatically became king when Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday. But like the ceremony in the United Kingdom hours earlier, the accession ceremony in Canada is a key constitutional and ceremonial step in introducing the new monarch to the country.
Charles is now the head of state in Canada, which is a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies. “Canada has enjoyed a long history and a close friendship with His Majesty King Charles III, who has visited our country many times over the years,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement on Saturday.

Strong earthquake detected in Papua New Guinea

The US Geological Survey has detected a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in northeastern Papua New Guinea. The quake hit at 6:46 am. Initial readings put the quake at a depth of some 50 to 60 kilometers (30 to 40 miles) located 67 kilometers (42 miles) east of Kainantu, a sparsely populated area. NOAA has since removed the tsunami threat for the area.

Visa, Mastercard, AmEx to start categorizing gun shop sales

Payment processor Visa Inc said it plans to start separately categorizing sales at gun shops, a major win for gun control advocates who say it will help better track suspicious surges of gun sales that could be a prelude to a mass shooting. But the decision by Visa, the world’s largest payment processor, will likely provoke the ire of gun rights advocates and gun lobbyists, who have argued that categorizing gun sales would unfairly flag an industry when most sales do not lead to mass shootings. It joins Mastercard and American Express, which also said they plan to move forward with categorizing gun shop sales.

Fiery crash of bus, fuel tanker kills at least 18 in Mexico

A fiery crash between a tanker truck carrying fuel and a passenger bus has killed at least 18 people in northern Mexico, authorities reported. Prosecutors in the northern border state of Tamaulipas said the crash on Saturday might have been caused by one of the truck’s two tank trailers coming lose. The collision left both vehicles completely burned. Police photos showed the bus was reduced to a tangle of smoking, charred metal.

CBI to probe Delhi’s AAP government for ‘irregularities’ in purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses

Delhi LG V K Saxena has approved a proposal to forward a complaint to the CBI to probe the alleged corruption in the procurement of 1,000 low-floor buses by the DTC, official sources said on Saturday. A complaint addressed to Saxena in June this year had highlighted the appointment of the Minister of Transport as the chairman of the committee for tendering and procurement of buses by DTC in a “premeditated manner”. It had also claimed that the appointment of DIMTS as bid management consultant for this tender was done with an aim to facilitate wrongdoing.

3 sharpshooters of Bishnoi-Brar gang nabbed in northwest Delhi

The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested three sharpshooters of Lawrance Bishnoi-Goldy Brar gang from near Barwala-Bawana road, officials said. The accused were identified as Naveen, 23, Manoj, 28, and Karambir, 28, all three residents of Jhajjar in Haryana, they said. The three were nabbed after police laid a trap near the Helipad on Barwala-Bawana road on Saturday around 4 pm, they said

Ukraine president says Russian forces are making ‘a good decision’ by fleeing his country’s counteroffensive

ED recovers over Rs 17 crore cash after raids on Kolkata-based gaming app operator

The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday seized Rs 17.32 crore in cash after it raided the promoters of a Kolkata-based mobile gaming app company as part of a money-laundering investigation, official sources said. The agency, the sources said, is looking at some “political links” of the app promoters and wants to ascertain the actual beneficiaries of this cash, even as it is investigating the possible routing of the funds spent by gullible gamers here through some “Chinese-controlled” entities.

Russia announces troop pullback from Ukraine’s Kharkiv area

Russia’s Defence Ministry announced on Saturday that it was pulling back troops from two areas in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region where a Ukrainian counteroffensive has made significant advances in the past week. The news came after days of apparent advances by Ukraine south of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, in what could become the biggest battlefield success for Ukrainian forces since they thwarted a Russian attempt to seize the capital, Kyiv, at the start of the nearly seven-month war. Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said troops would be regrouped from the Balakliya and Izyum areas to the eastern Donetsk region.




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Albany detectives hid evidence, corrupted 2000 sexual abuse case

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ALBANY — Backed by sworn statements, including one from the woman he was convicted of sexually brutalizing, an Albany man who has served two decades in prison contends city police failed to disclose a sex tape that could have exonerated him and intimidated a potential alibi witness into silence. 

Mohammed X. Poquee, 47, wants a judge to overturn his convictions for the multiday sexual abuse of the woman in a home on St. Joseph’s Terrace in Arbor Hill in late April and early May of 2000. Jurors found Poquee guilty of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and second-degree assault; he is serving a 32-year sentence in Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County.

In a motion filed this month in Albany County Court, Poquee’s new attorney, Trevor Hannigan, highlighted evidence uncovered over the past eight months. It includes sworn statements from Poquee as well as would-be alibi witness Melissa Aiezza-Carpinello; Poquee’s former trial attorney John Wheldon; and the woman Poquee was convicted of raping and sodomizing 22 years ago.

“I believe that the defendant should be released,” his accuser says in her statement. She does not, however, say that Poquee was innocent of the attack.

In 2000, Poquee claimed he was with a woman named “Tasha” during part of the time in which his victim alleged he had been holding her hostage in her home. No woman with that name testified at his trial. The Albany County prosecutor, D.J. Rosenbaum, said she did not believe the woman existed and asked the judge for a “missing witness” charge to the jury that would have cast doubt on the defense claim.

Carpinello, a longtime Albany County public defender, states in the recent court filing that she was with Poquee on one of the nights when he was allegedly committing the crimes. The sex tape, which had been made the year before the charges against Poquee, is proof of their relationship.

Carpinello — who told the Times Union she wanted to be named in this story — said she only learned of what happened to the tape when she communicated with Poquee’s accuser in March.

In her statement included in the motion, Poquee’s accuser says she went to the police department’s South Station in May 2000 and disclosed the existence of the tape because she believed one of the women depicted on it worked as an attorney in City Court. “The police kept the videotape. I never received the tape back,” the accuser states. She then told police that Poquee had committed sexual violence against her.

Hannigan contends the tape was buried.

“Police took the tape, watched it, and never disclosed it to the defense or the defendant,” the attorney states in the motion. “The victim providing a sex tape to the police the day she accused the defendant of rape and sodomy would have been information that would have been material to the defense.”

Such evidence is known as “Brady material,” and prosecutors are required to disclose it to the defense prior to a case coming to trial.

“The defendant could not have had a credible defense without the testimony of his real other girlfriend,” Hannigan said, referring to Carpinello.

Carpinello said she could have given Poquee a “credible alibi” but was “unable to testify at his trial because I was so terrified of the Albany Police Department and their campaign against me.”

“The Albany Police Department terrorized me for years solely because they didn’t like who I dated,” Carpinello told the Times Union. “People should know what they did and it’s time for me to tell it. There are people sitting in prison that shouldn’t be there because of the misconduct of Albany police officers. I can’t stay quiet about it anymore.”

Hannigan, Poquee and Carpinello directed the blame at two city detectives: Kenneth Wilcox, who died in a car crash in 2006, and Anthony Ryan, who retired as a commander in 2013.

In yet another twist in the story, Carpinello’s statement in the filing reveals that she also had a sexual relationship with Wilcox; she claims the detective said her career would be ruined if she did not stop seeing Poquee.  

Hannigan contends Wilcox and Ryan harassed Poquee to get him to supply information about the still-unsolved murder of Okema Curtis, a government witness shot to death while playing darts in a North Swan Street bar on Jan. 2, 1999.

The two detectives “made it clear that if he failed to cooperate he would go ‘away for a long time,'” Hannigan states in the motion. “The defendant never cooperated.”

In a statement to the Times Union, Ryan said, “Since a motion has been filed in court, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on anything specific to that motion. However, I have absolutely no concerns and would gladly testify in court about all of the investigative steps that were taken to try and solve the murder of Okema Curtis.”

Poquee claims Wilcox and Ryan knew about his relationship with Carpinello, and that Wilcox grilled him about it during an interrogation and “hit me several times” while Ryan or another officer were in the room. 

But Poquee said he did not disclose his relationship with Carpinello to his own defense lawyer because Poquee knew she was being harassed by police.

Hannigan said it was unclear if police disclosed the tape to the district attorney’s office, then led by Sol Greenberg. The motion includes a 2017 Newsday article that reported Rosenbaum, the prosecutor who handled Poquee’s case, had subsequently been fired as a Nassau County prosecutor for failing to disclose Brady material.

“The tape was very significant and meaningful Brady material as it shows a motive of the complainant to falsify the allegations,” Hannigan states, referring to the tape’s revelation that Poquee had been in a relationship with Carpinello. He noted that the “entire defense was based on the fact that the complainant was jealous because of his infidelity, and she was seeking revenge by falsifying the allegations.” 

Rosenbaum declined to comment Friday when reached by the Times Union. Officer Steve Smith, a spokesman for Albany police, also declined to comment.

Darrell Camp, a spokesman for Albany County District Attorney David Soares, said: “In the interest of maintaining the integrity of legal proceedings, the Albany County district attorney’s office is currently unable to comment on the substance of the motion, as it is a pending legal matter.” 

Poquee’s trial attorney, Wheldon, said in his statement: “If (the tape) came from the victim and depicted Mr. Poquee engaged in sexual activity with another woman it would have been very important to substantiate his version of events and his defense, that the allegations were all lies coming from a ‘woman scorned’ who was seeking revenge.”

Wilcox and Ryan were at the time of Poquee’s arrest widely respected investigators. Wilcox, however, was, after his death, implicated in a mortgage fraud scandal along with his former business partner, Aaron Dare. 

The Poquee case is not the first time questions have been raised about Wilcox’s work as a detective. Two men the once-revered detective helped put away in the killing of a college student over two decades ago were exonerated and released from prison in 2016. The city of Albany last year agreed to pay $5.75 million to Carl H. Dukes, one of the two men wrongly convicted of killing Erik Mitchell in 1997. Dukes and Lavell Jones said they were coerced into confessing; another man, Jeffrey J. Conrad, told other Albany detectives that he killed Mitchell.

Jones signed his written confession following two sleep-deprived days in custody during which he was interrogated by city detectives. Dukes signed his confession in a courthouse conference room where he was grilled by two detectives while his attorney waited outside, in part, under the belief they wanted to question his client about a robbery.

In 1999, Wilcox came under scrutiny after he obtained a similar detailed murder confession from a 19-year-old Albany man accused of killing a drug dealer. The suspect, Kevin Cherry, stood trial for murder but a jury deadlocked on his innocence. On the eve of his second trial, Cherry was set free when two other men were identified as suspects after an eyewitness came forward.

Hannigan’s motion is before Rensselaer County Judge Debra Young, who is handling the matter due to the obvious conflicts in Albany. 

Poquee’s initial appeal was unsuccessful, as were his efforts to represent himself when he claimed that Wheldon was ineffective because he did not try to argue that Poquee had not been competent to stand trial. In 2018, Poquee argued that his trial attorney failed to inform him of a plea bargain he contends he would have accepted.

State Supreme Court Justice Peter Lynch denied the motion after a hearing.

 


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Justice Department to Open Civil Rights Investigation Into Louisiana State Police After Ronald Greene Death

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As evidence grows that Louisiana State Police have failed to adequately respond to beatings of mainly Black men, the U.S. Justice Department will launch a civil rights probe into the entire agency, officials told The Associated Press. The “pattern-or-practice” investigation will include the fatal 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene, who troopers initially claimed died in a car crash. It wasn’t until the AP obtained body-cam footage and other unreleased records that it became clear Greene died after he was brutally beaten, Tased and dragged along a roadside by troopers. An AP investigation found that Greene’s death was not an isolated incident, but rather one of multiple cases in which Louisiana troopers or their bosses “ignored or concealed evidence of beatings, deflected blame and impeded efforts to root out misconduct.” AP also found that troopers would often turn off or mute body-worn cameras. Current and former troopers allege that the beatings were permitted in part due to racism in the department.

Read it at Associated Press


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