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Police appeal after murder of secretive London millionaire

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  1. A gay man bludgeoned to death with a blunt instrument in his own flat and the police are “not treating it as homophobic yet”??????????

    1. I would certainly be treating it as potentially homophobic until and unless I had good evidence to the contrary

      1. Are you sure you were in the police service? Columbo you aint!
        How much time and resources would be squandered if every crime where a homosexual was a victimwas treated as potentially homophobic? Perhaps all crime where a heterosexual is a victim is potentially heterophobic hate crime too?shouyld be treated. The police have better things to do than pander to bigotted pampered minorites…things like following the evidence!

        1. The police service have a duty to serve the entire community and treat each crime with appropriate significance given the leads that may or may not exist.
          In serious category crime such as murder, kidnap and rape it is imperative that they identify and pursue each and every potential lead in order to identify offender(s) and work diligently to try to enable a successful prosecution. Given that there are some crimes against gay people which are homophobically motivated they must work to consider this as a possible motive, where it has likelihood eg where a victim, officer or other person suspects it or where due to the seriousness it is one line of inquiry that can be pursued to try and ensure justice is done. In this case there is a homosexual man, who has been killed, the man is secretive … it does not take an erudite detective to establish that the offence may have been perpetrated due to homophobia. It may be only one of several motives, but it must be considered …

          1. … – failure to consider it would be neglect of duty by the police. Purely because it is being considered as a potentially homophobic crime does not mean that all other motives or lines of inquiry are ignored – very much the opposite, the police continue to act professionally as robust investigators but consider the possibility and work alongside the communities to secure evidence and establish the facts.
            ACPO guidance on hate crime is there to ensure that all people who may be targeted due to hatred of them are supported both by the criminal justice system and by other agencies as appropriate. The hate motivation may be homophobia, but it could also be race, faith, disability etc and all crimes should be subject to the same concerted effort to support and solve.
            As for my being an officer, I am tempted not to respond to your infantile comments and I certainly will not be entering into debate with you on the points of my former profession. Suffice to say my arrest record and …

          2. … crime detection rates were among the highest in my division when I left the police. I was regarded as one of the best interrogators in my field and the police service tried several times to persuade me not to leave.
            I am more than happy with my integrity as a police officer and the level of service I gave to survivors or victims of crime – both in terms of sensitive and caring support and in terms of solving crime.
            As I have said, I will not be getting into a dialogue with Keith regarding this – as he clearly speculates and seeks to use personal attack, when he doesnt know me. His infantile muck throwing demonstrates his weak ability to debate. As a former police officer, I know the importance of evidence and proof – he has no idea about either – given the content of this last message, and most of the messages on PN that he has spouted.

        2. Spanner1960 6 Nov 2011, 2:25pm

          For once I actually agree with Keith. Drop the homophobic claptrap until it has been confirmed. it is only one of many avenues the police have to investigate. The fact the man had 150 grand kicking about in spare change I would have said was a rather more obvious motive.

          1. @Spanner1960

            Where have I suggested that robbery/theft was not a possible or even likely motive?

            It is certainly an option which should be considered and investigated as thoroughly as leads permit

            However, homophobia is also a potential motive and should be investigated as thoroughly as leads permit, too.

            In fact, there is a possibility it could be a dual motive of planned / opportunistic robbery/theft with a homophobic motivation concurrently

          2. Spanner1960 6 Nov 2011, 10:04pm

            @Stu: My comments were not targeted at you specifically.; it’s just the fact that people assume if someone is gay they are not a ‘normal’ member of society and equally open to crimes just as much as anybody else. Many on here just automatically jump to the conclusion that it must of been homophobically related. My point is the options are wide open, and the sexuality angle is just one of many, many motives or reasons, but it should not be promoted or disregarded against any other.

          3. @Spanner1960

            Thanks.

            However, I only kind of agree with you.

            I would never want (particularly in serious crime) any motive that was being explored to be given undue weight to the exclusion of other possibilities. Clearly, if the wealth of evidence gained is all pointing in a particular direction then more resources (at least initially) should be targetted in that general direction as a priority. Where things are less clear in terms of what the motive may, then one would expect equal weight to be placed at all identified or possible motives.

            What I am saying is that there are two significant reasons why it is important to identify as early as possible that there may be a motivation of homophobia. Firstly, (and in some ways least significant) because it allows the suspected crime to be recorded as potentially hate inspired and thus crime stats are more reflective (taking into account alterations for any variance in the detected crime) of the hate crimes that are apparent; but …

          4. … secondly (and to me, more importantly), there are a significant number of cases where homophobia was missed or ignored as a potential motive early in an inquiry which led to evidence not being secured and missed. It is important to secure this evidence early so that the facts (both for and against a prosecution case) can be presented to a court.

          5. Spanner1960 7 Nov 2011, 7:51am

            @Stu:
            I appreciate that if a victim is gay, it is an avenue that would not normally be pursued, so it is important this fact is identified early on.

            However, I am one of those who thinks this whole business of ‘hate crime’ is superfluous and deflecting. In my opinion, for instance, a murder is still a murder, whether it is a small child, an old lady or a gay man; the motive is irrelevant; it is the simple act that should be recognised. I know in some countries there are varying degrees, including France that has a “crime of passion”, but the way I see it is that someone has premeditatively and maliciously taken another person’s life, and that is the only matter of importance.

            I am sure others will mark me down for this comment, but I think that politics gets far to involved in the process of law, and the two should not interfere with each other.

  2. Cambodia Guesthouse 5 Nov 2011, 2:46am

    Give the man a break guys… He also had plenty of people in his business and personal life… Whilst I am sure the police are considering that this may be homophobic, why oh why do people cry “they are ignoring homophobia” without the slightest shred of evidence to say that’s what it was?

    Please guys, let’s not water-down homophobically motivated crimes by suggesting that EVERY gay man who is killed MUST have been the subject of homophobia.

    Whilst I am first in line to say that REAL homophibia must be tackled head-on and severely punished, I would never suggest that we play the ‘homophobic card’ each and every time… It belittles the genuine cases.

    Let’s face it people, sometimes you can simply be murdered ‘for your millions’ and not because of the sex you happen to sleep with?

    Let’s wait for some facts before pre-judging?

    1. @Cambodia Guesthouse

      Its not about playing the homophobia card.

      Having worked alongside a guy (not in the police) who used the “gay card” everytime he was struggling with work and sought to push the blame elsewhere – one thing I would never want to do is inappropriately make false claims of prejudice as it ends up being a kind of “boy who cried wolf” …

      However, there are three or four aspects to a crime (in terms of police management). Firstly, scene scanning – establishing what may or may not have happened – which crime has been committed – what needs to be done to preserve evidence etc etc. Secondly – detailed investigation. Thirdly – evidence preparing and finally – Closure.

      The first section will most often take minutes eg a male has been assaulted – potentially seriously (eg this may be a GBH/attempt murder, there is a scene of crime identifed that requires forensics, and victim is identified).

      The second portion hopefully does not take too long but can take weeks….

      1. …. months or years. It involves detailed consideration of every lead, every fact, identifying all witnesses, CCTV, forensics and other evidence. Assimilating it all and determining whether offenders can be identifed or not – and if so, interviewing them and considering if there is sufficient evidence to charge them.

        The third process is producing a file of evidence for the CPS if charges have been made, or collating all evidence for review if offenders (at this stage) can not be identifed. It may involve carrying out further inquiries at the request of CPS or a senior investigator when they review the file/collated evidence.

        The final process is either a court case resulting hopefully in conviction (but if the offender is found not guilty the case may be reviewed) or a decision that the case should be closed pending further evidence or historical review.

        Establishing if a crime is a hate crime or not (whichever type of hate crime it is) takes place throughout the entire …

      2. … process. It can be considered that a crime may be hate motivated right from scene scanning and then decided when further evidence is identified that this presumption was incorrect. Equally, there may be no sign to anyone initially that the crime is hate motivated and further on in the inquiry evidence is uncovered which points strongly to a hate motivation.

        ACPO produced a manual of guidance on hate crime because of a lack of confidence in ethnic minority, disabled, LGBT, faith based and other communities to try and ensure that robust investigations were carried out in all potential hate crimes and reassurance was given. The guidance requires that at scene scanning there is a recorded hate crime if the crime is perceived by ANYONE to be hate motivated. That does not mean that the crime is hate motivated, but has been recorded as such so that (particularly in critical incidents) there can be confidence building measures in the affected communities to try and ensure evidence ..

      3. … is secured and communities are supported, and there are a set of protocols that should be considered to ensure that the investigation and community support are appropriately handled.

        It may be that in evidence gathering that it is established there is a totally different motivation – in which case the crime will be detected as a non hate crime (if it is solved) and if someone is charged with an offence it will not be treated as being aggravated by hate motivation.

        It may be that it is unclear what the motivation is when the investigation is complete and then depending on the balancing of the evidence then if someone is charged, alternate charges may be considered eg one hate inspired, one not hate inspired. The crime will be detected as non hate inspired unless a conviction is achieved with hatred as a motivation.

        Experience of poor policing both in ethnic minorities and LGBT communities has shown that if hate motivation is not flagged early then evidence is missed.

  3. “why oh why do people cry “they are ignoring homophobia” without the slightest shred of evidence to say that’s what it was?”

    Because homosexuals in general like to seen as victims. They are defined by their sexuality>
    The police are not pursuing the ‘homosexual’ angle since there is no evidence of such.

    1. For your information I am doing research on hate related crimes across the UK for some university study that I am doing, and in many police areas the number of homophobic crimes is very low compared to race, faith and disability crimes. There is a thought that this could be very much due to undereporting (which many police services accept is a serious problem with hate crimes due to lack of confidence in the police and perceptions that there will be secondary victimisation). Although many police services have responded well to all strands of hate crime, including third party reporting, specialist hate crime units, community cohesion strategies etc etc – there is very much a feeling that there is still a stumbling block (from the police, other agencies and within the communities) that particularly in serious category crime which are prominent in the media, senior officers are reluctant to identify a crime as being potentially hate motivated due to crime stats. ACPO …

      1. … advise a for transparent approach including recording of a crime as hate motivated when identified as a possible/probable motive and then the detected/closed crime being recorded as that which the evidence supports (including any charges which are referred to court).

        1. Look Stu- that stupid Keith guy is just getting you going in an attention-seeking exercise. Just ignore the Cupid stunt!

          1. @John

            Thanks

            I have no intention of engaging any further with Keith on this thread anymore. I have made my point. Hopefully, it will be clear that my points are informed and well thought out.

          2. Melanoma Phillips 6 Nov 2011, 1:16pm

            It’s just Jock anyway.

          3. @Melanoma Phillips (Keith)

            I can see that your cancerous envy has turned malignant.

            Get some chemotherapy fast!!!

  4. Stu: Your approach to policing seems to me absolutely fine. Clearly this was an awful crime and police would be right to be open to every possibility within reason. I hope they get to the bottom of it soon.

    As a general principle though, I do worry when police prioritise a crime because of a perceived hate motive. I had an experience when a crime was committed against my wife (who is black). When it was first reported, little interest was shown until they decided, on imo scant evidence, to regard it as a hate crime. The crime was relatively minor, however, and I hope that is not an issue when it comes to crimes of murder.

    Fyi, I have a great professional relationship with the hate crime officer for my own area. My particular contribution is to point her to key contacts in the particular community groups that are more susceptible to hate crimes. Interestingly, besides stating the obvious (to you I would think) that hate crime (or at least anti-social behaviour) is severely under reported, most of the incidents that are reported related to race, with things like religious and homophobia related incidents having v.little reported.

    While maybe not always crime by definition, I suspect homophobic attacks, even if only negative attitudes, are, sadly, still widespread in our society. I wish you well in your research :-)

    1. Thanks for your kind words.

      I do understand where you are coming from in terms of reservations about the effect that prioritisation has.

      I think serious category crimes like murder, rape etc there will be little difference to the concerted effort that most professional critical incident investigators would/should use in every case, other than perhaps some assistance in terms of specialist officers who have experience of working with particular communities.

      When it comes to less serious crimes (and any crime against a person or property can be aggravated by hatred), it may be that there is a perception that the crime is more rigorously investigated than if it had not been motivated by hatred. In most cases, my view is that this is not necessarily the case. There are two exceptions to this, I accept that specialist officers may be allocated to a racially motivated criminal damage, when if it had not been racially motivated it would have been a uniform response officer dealing and

      1. … there may be more willingness to pay for expensive enquiries such as forensics etc that more minor crimes might not normally benefit from.

        I will try and find some way of letting people know about my research into hate crime including police and public attitudes when it is complete.

        1. Keith..HIV free 5 Nov 2011, 9:26pm

          Meanwhile, I will watch the case in tbe article to see if the police follow your advice and look for homophobic hatred without evidence or continue as I have suggested and follow the evidence. At this time, they are not considering homophobia as a motive, as I said they should not, and contrary to Stu’s claim that they should do so and that it is policy. to investigate motives for which there are no leads or evidence.

          1. Bible class

            In Sunday school, the reverend asked the class: “What part of the body goes to heaven first?”

            In the back of the class, nasty Billy waved his hand frantically, but the reverend, suspecting a wrong answer, turned to another child. “Yes, Susan?”

            “The heart goes to heaven first because that’s where God’s love lives.”

            “Excellent,” said the reverend, “and you, Charlotte?”

            “The soul, Reverend, because that’s the part that lives beyond death.”

            “Very good, Charlotte,” said the minister, as he noticed Billy’s hand still waving in desperation.”

            “OK, Billy, what do you think?”

            “It’s the feet that go first, Reverend, the feet.”

            “That’s a strange answer Billy. Why the feet?”

            Billy answered, “Because I saw my mom with her feet up in the air, shouting, ‘God, I’m coming, I’m coming!'”

            That’s what I call eye witness evidence.

          2. @Jonpol

            Lol its certainly witness evidence lol

          3. Interesting story Jonpol. Not sure I can weave that into my next sermon though :-)

          4. Har, har, har….

          5. Patrick Lyster-Todd 7 Nov 2011, 4:04pm

            Actually, you missed a bit in the punch line lol: after ‘God, I’m coming’ add ‘and if Dad hadn’t pinned her down we’d have lost her …’

        2. CroydonGuy 8 Nov 2011, 10:45pm

          In Croydon we’ve had reason to be concerned that the police now decide whether an offence be flagged as a (suspected) hate crime. They insist they are following the victim’s wishes – even when the incident was rather obviously motivated by hate. I would be very interested if anyone can tell me where this factor has come from. In spite of what the police say, failing to flag a crime as a (suspected) homophobic or transphobic crime, when others insist that it should be marked is a change of policy. It certainly undermines the confidence of vulnerable minority groups if well-established procedures are not followed.

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