56 safety deposit boxes were broken into after thieves drilled through a concrete wall to enter an underground vault. It’s not known how they got access to the building, but once inside they climbed down a lift shaft to get to the basement level.
Up to £2 million worth of jewellery and diamonds were stolen. The thieves even set off an alarm… which the police thought didn’t need a further investigation.
It’s not just a young mans game: one of the men arrested was 76 years old.
Scenes of Reason investigate some of the other top heists in history.
USA: Unlike the Hatton Garden Heist, sometimes you don’t need a whole gang to pull off a robbery. In 1971 a man known as D.B. Cooper boarded a plane, waited until it took off, and then ransomed the passengers for $200,000.
After swapping the passengers for the money at a nearby airport, he ordered the crew to take off again and then jumped out of the plane somewhere near Portland and Seattle. To this day neither he nor the money has been found…
1855: 91kg of gold was stolen from a train heading for France. The gold was sealed in boxes and it was only when the boxes were opened in Paris that it was discovered that the gold had been replaced with lead.
For months the police searched for clues but got nowhere. It was a year before the culprits were arrested. The mastermind behind the robbery was Edward Pierce – a former railway employee. As they say, keep your friends close.
In 1979 Sean Connery starred as Pierce in a fictional version of the Great Train Robbery, although in the film version he’s portrayed as a Victorian Gentleman rather than a railway worker.
UK: Back in 1963 a train travelling from Scotland to London carried £2.3 million pounds which was en-route to be burned. Yes, burned. The notes were due to be taken out of circulation, so this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
A gang of 15 criminals fixed a train signal on red which meant that the train stopped in the middle of no-where. They then detached the carriage with the money in, and made off with the cash.
It’s never over ‘til it’s over: carried away by their success the robbers played a game of monopoly with the stolen money. A failed attempt to burn down the barn they had stayed in left incriminating fingerprints which would eventually lead back to them.
Until the Hatton Garden Heist, this robbery was regarded as one of the most spectacular of its time. Oh, and if you think it’s a lot of bother for just £2 million, back in those days it was worth a lot more: try £40 million.
USA: John F. Kennedy Airport, 1978
Sometimes you don’t need a fancy plan – brute force and a couple of guns will get you a long way.
$6 million in US dollar bills, $1 million in jewellery and several millions in foreign currency was set to be shipped from Germany to Manhattan. However the airport decided to hold a loot at the airport.
Big mistake: a team of masked gunmen hijacked the airport and made off with the whole lot. When police found the getaway car all that was left inside was an empty envelope with “John F. Kennedy Airport” written on it. Talk about taking the mick.
Now called the less catchy “02 Arena”, the dome was constructed at the beginning of the new millennium.
The star in its crown: the $250 million gem “The Millennium Star” which formed part of a world-class diamond exhibit.
Four criminals used a JCB to smash through security: not exactly inconspicuous. They then tried to break through the security glass with a nail gun.
The police had been waiting for them however. Armed officers who had been disguised as cleaners surrounded the gang and arrested them red-handed.
Will they ever learn: One of the team was later caught at the scene of another crime. Does this mean we’ll be seeing the handiwork of the Hatton Garden Heist team in the future?
The Police Federation have said the drink drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should be lowered – just like in Scotland.
Since records for drink driving related accidents began in 1979 the UK has seen a decline in the number of people killed in drink driving incidents. Though 2011 was the lowest year on record 2013 saw a slight rise: 260 people were killed and 5,710 accidents were linked to drink driving.
Statistically men are more likely to drink drive. But don’t get too smug, girls: new research has shown that the number of male drink drivers has halved, but figures for women have stayed the same. So it has been suggested that the reason fewer people are drink driving is because men are changing their habits, whereas women aren’t.
Blood Alcohol Content or Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol you have in your system. It’s measured in grams per 100 millilitres of your blood.
It’s very simple: If you have more than 80mg of alcohol in your system, or more than two pints (roughly) for example – you’re in BIG trouble.
Blood Alcohol Content can also be measured by breath or by urine.
A breathalyser estimates your blood alcohol content based on the amount of alcohol on your breath.
End of story.
You’ll probably lose your licence for a year and could be put in jail for 6 months. Eek.
Just in case you didn’t read it before: It’s impossible for you to work out how many drinks will put you over the limit
Variables like age, weight, gender and even stress levels can have an effect on how you process alcohol.
So the safest thing to do: if driving, don’t drink at all.
The police can breathalyse you if you’ve been involved in an accident, or if they think you’ve been drinking. If you fail the breathalyser test you’ll be taken to the police station, where you’ll be required to give a further breath test.
By this point it’s fair to say you’re screwed.
Last year 5th December 2014 Scotland lowered the legal limit to 50 milligrammes. This meant that it was even more likely you would be drink driving even if you’d only had one drink.
In December 2014 alone Scotland saw the number of drink drivers drop by one-third.
Northern Ireland has already talked about following suit.
The Police Federation says that England, Wales and Northern Ireland should take their lead from Scotland and lower the limit to 50 milligrammes.
Lowering the limit would bring the UK in line with other European countries.
They also think more needs to be down to reduce the amount of women drink driving. Women are not engaging with campaigns to stop people drink driving – perhaps because most anti-drink driving campaigns focus on men.
Have a designated driver (who stays sober for the night), get a taxi or bus home, or hit the non-alcoholic beverages. I’m hearing great things about Becks Blue.
“To publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth, I repeat an untruth about another person which will ruin their reputation. Once the accusation is proved false, the victim can receive compensation in the form of money”.
Decoded: you are named, shamed and you didn’t do nothing, if you can prove your accuser wrong you can get some moneys.
Would it be worth it? Probably not, and most certainly not when you reach the bottom of this picture story:
….received a libel payout from The Sun on Sunday newspaper when it ran a front page story stating that Brand had cheated on his girlfriend of the time Jemima Khan. He did care, and even donated the money to the Hillsborough campaign.
….Conservative MP, had to pay out £80,000 to Police Constable Toby Rowland upon calling him a ‘pleb’ after he wasn’t allowed to cycle through the main Downing Street vehicle gates. Mitchell denied the name calling but the vast amount of publicity that ensued caused great distress to PC Rowland, and we’re sure for Mitchell as well.
….after the 2010 murder of Joanna Yeates, reporters wrongly pursued the innocent English teacher. Jefferies was the landlord of Joanna Yeates and was taken to ‘hell and back’ when accused of the murder. Media hassled Jefferies in public, commenting on his look of ‘guilt and shiftiness’. Both the Daily Mirror and The Sun were fined substantial amounts.
We wonder if the attention the papers would have received with their speculations, would have been worth the libel payouts?
…sued ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral, who headed up the search for their daughter Madeleine who went missing while on holiday in Portugal in 2007. Mr Amaral made false claims in his book (a book deal is eyebrow raising anyway no?) and suggested the couple had faked her abduction. The McCann’s have been awarded £357,000 after a recent libel payouts case ended in their favour.
Now that you’re decoded, care to share your thoughts… if the media are attracting attention for a story, be it true or false, is it worth a libel payout?
Freddie Gray was a 25 year old black American. On 12th April 2015 he was arrested in Baltimore, Maryland. One week after being arrested, he died from serious injuries to his spinal cord. We don’t know what caused these injuries. Now protests over his death have turned violent and Baltimore has declared a state of emergency.
As Scenes of Reason described this is not just happening in Baltimore
Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Oscar Grant III are just some of the many black males killed by white police officers throughout various states across America. Each of their deaths have triggered protests and in some cases, riots.
And it’s happened here in the UK as well. Remember the London riots in 2011?
29 year old Mark Duggan was shot by the cops. A peaceful protest turned riots spread across the city, and looting also occurred in other cities such as Manchester and Birmingham.
It’s not clear why Freddie Gray was chased by the police, and it’s also NOT KNOWN why he ran away from them.
In South Carolina earlier this year Walter Scott was shot in the back – he was originally pulled over for having a broken headlight on his car. Footage showed he was unarmed and running away.
Cleveland 2014: 12 year old Tamir Rice was shot within two seconds of police arriving. Police were responding to reports of a youth with a gun described as “probably fake”. It was a fake.
New York 2014: Mobile Phone footage captures the moment Eric Garner was put into choke hold by cops. Garner is heard to say “I can’t breathe” repeatedly. He later died in hospital.
Missouri 2014: Despite being unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown was shot by a white police officer.
California 2009: 22 year old Oscar Grant III was shot by a white police officer whilst being restrained by other officers.
Is it just about race? Is the problem the excessive force used by the police? Some people seem to think the two are linked.
Baltimore Riots: It’s not known how Freddie Gray sustained the spinal injuries which lead to his death. Video footage shows Gray crying out in pain as he is put into the van by police. Investigators are still trying to work out what happened in the 45 minutes between Gray last being seen and his arrest.
In the cases of Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Oscar Grant III footage from mobile phones, CCTV and police dashboard cameras often contradicted the police’s official version of events:
Every time this happens it adds to a sense of growing anger at the authorities who are accused of corruption.
Baltimore Riots: 6 police officers HAVE been suspended…… but on full pay. The Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has said he won’t resign over the incident. I guess they don’t feel responsible then…
In the case of Eric Garner and Michael Brown the police officers involved were not charged.
Similarly in 2011 in the UK: the officers involved in the shooting of Mark Duggan (the incident said to have sparked the London riots) were not charged.
Baltimore Riots: Over the weekend a protest demanding answers began peacefully then turned ugly. It’s not clear where the violence started but it continued yesterday: 34 people were arrested, and at least 15 police officers have been injured.
Baltimore has now declared a state of emergency. A week-long curfew has been announced and schools will remain closed today.
In the UK, 2011: More than 3,000 people were arrested. At various points the use of water cannons and rubber bullets were discussed.
It’s naive to think that the police aren’t going to enforce law and order. However bringing more troops in and enforcing curfews does tend to rile people.
Use newspapers and press conferences to spin your version of events.
Analysis has shown that the amount of coverage given to black suspects on New York TV stations was higher than the amount of black people actually arrested for those crimes.
South Carolina 2015: Before the release of the video showing the killing of Walter Scott the press reports accepted the facts in the police report.
London, 2011: The Media played a large part in the events of 2011. Duggan was initially reported to be armed, and involved in drug dealing and gang related violence. All these claims are now disputed.
Then when the riots broke the press went to town: “Rule of the Mob” (The Daily Telegraph), “Mob Rule” (The Independent), “Mobs rule as police surrenders the streets” (The Times) were some of the headlines. Very helpful…
Whilst it’s not cool to use someone’s death as an excuse to nick a TV it’s been argued that media coverage made the situations like the Baltimore Riots a whole lot worse.
In many cases the use of cameras in mobile phones has been key to challenging the authorities version of events. In Missouri 2014, Social media was used to display anger. Many people filmed the police as an act of defiance.
Social Media is now becoming the norm when it comes to organising events. And riots are no different.
London 2011: The original peaceful protest over Mark Duggan’s death was organised via Facebook. Then the Hackney Carnival was cancelled after posts on Twitter indicated there would be violence.
But most importantly Blackberry Messenger was used to co-ordinate the riots. A post on Messenger shown to The Guardian newspaper encouraged people to start looting shops.
So there you have it: Six steps to cause a riot. We don’t think rioting is cool, but people are obviously unhappy about something…
How do we stop this from happening? It’s a question becoming more and more urgent. Scenes of Reason hopes the next post we get to write is “How to prevent a riot (peacefully)”
Things we still want to know:
What is the ratio of white /black men killed in the USA?
It is reported that the US has had the most ethnic minority riots historically. Why?
Let us know what you think below.
A series of exits checks on citizens leaving the UK begin today, and by June it will effect everyone.
MODE OF TRANSPORTATION: COMMERICIAL AIR, SEA AND RAIL aka. pretty much everywhere as new checkpoints have been introduced in coach halls, ferry points and in train terminals that uses the Euro tunnel.
METHOD: Scan of the passport and a verification (meaning an official does a double take of your face to check if it matches your passport picture). No fake ID’s please.
TAKE TWO: This is a re-introduction, the last time we had exit checks were in 1998.
MORE INFORMATION: in the form of data so the government can keep an eye on who’s doing what, how and when.
REIGNING IN ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: This data will be able to improve identify and further tighten routes and visas that are vulnerable to being abused by illegal immigrants.
COMBATTING CRIME: Illegal immgration is a crime but the information collected will also help track wanted suspects or could play a vital role in solving crimes. Here’s hoping no more teenagers will be able to flee to Syria.
MONITORING NUMBERS: It has been often difficult to be certain about how many people have left the country and not returned in order to give an accurate account of what immigration figures actually are in the UK. This new system will make sure we know exactly how many people are roaming these lands.
CREATING MORE JOBS: 50 new staff have been recruited.
GENERAL ELECTION TACTICS: Given that this is being bought in the final month of a Conservative government, it has the ability to gain popularity amongst the UKIP supporters or those who have been troubled by an immigration surge on home turf in the UK.
MORE QUEUES: Well we don’t know for sure yet, but this is the UK, we already have to queue to drop off our bags, get a ticket or board a ferry so make that of it what you will.