Monday, 30 June 2008

Press release and short video diary of Tony Leamon


The Celtic League have issued the following press release in support of Tony Leamon. As will be seen another video has been produced, where Tony speaks about his experience of being held on bail for almost 10 months.

Even though the video shows that Tony has kept a sense of humour, the strain he is under is also evident.

Press release below:

Celtic League campaigner and Kernow branch treasurer Tony Leamon, will be appearing for at Camborne police station this Wednesday (2nd July 2008) to answer his bail, almost 10 months after he was first arrested on 6th September 2007 on suspicion of terrorism.

To give support to other victims of the British state's over enthusiastic use of anti terrorist legislation, Mr Leamon has made a short video film of himself, for the Celtic League, to rely some of his feelings of having been on police bail for this extended period of time. As will be seen from the video footage, Mr Leamon is in good spirits and has kept his sense of humour throughout, despite a very low period earlier this year when the pressure of the ordeal drove him to make
a suicide attempt.

The Celtic League has been campaigning on Mr Leamon's behalf since his arrest and the arrest of other members of the Cornish cultural and political movement at the same time. Mr Leamon, along with all of the other people arrested, were perplexed as to why the police had picked on them as part of the police investigation into the Cornish National Liberation Army/Cornish Republican Army. Needless to say Mr Leamon and the other people arrested all maintained their innocence and denied ever having taken part in any criminal activity in the furtherance of their beliefs. With no or little evidence to go on, the police had to release the other arrestees from their bail and now it is only Mr Leamon who has been kept hanging on.

Mr Leamon has been due to answer his bail on 3 separate occasions (not including his arrest), but each time, after lengthy periods of questioning, his bail has only been extended further. Now Mr Leamon is hoping that Wednesday will be the forth and final time he will have to visit Camborne police station on this matter.

The Kernow Branch of the League are planning to hold a protest outside Camborne police station on the afternoon of the 2nd July and are requesting that all his supporters who are able to attend the protest to turn up at just before 1500. Those who are unable to attend the protest are encouraged to phone the Devon and Cornwall Police central number on 0044 (0) 8452 777444 (remember to include the 0 if phoning from the UK) and ask to be put through to Camborne police station, regarding Tony Leamon, not forgetting to state where you are calling from. Alternatively, emails can be sent to Police.Enquiries@... with the same message of support. Supporters are requested to enquire after Mr Leamon's welfare, who is registered disabled and has a debilitating disease.

If Mr Leamon is bailed once again, he may have to forfeit attendance at the Celtic League's AGM - due to be held in Dublin on August 16th 2008 - in accordance with his bail restrictions. If this is the case or if Mr Leamon is charged, the League may hold a protest outside the British Embassy in Dublin on the weekend of the AGM.

The Tony Leamon video link can be found below:

http://rhisiart.talebot.googlepages.com/tl2

J B Moffatt
Director of Information
Celtic League

29/06/08

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The mud just doesn’t stick!


Another Devon and Cornwall policeman is let off following a rape trial.

PC Jamie Gilbert was accused of four charges of rape against a Callington women and was suspended in June 2007 (no doubt on full pay!). It has taken over a year for the case to come to court and still Gilbert’s suspension will continue until it is discovered if there will be any misconduct proceedings against him.

Gilbert claims that the rape claims were fictitious.

Last month another Devon and Cornwall policeman walked free from court after being caught speeding and then tried to cover it up using police equipment.

It seems that Devon and Cornwall police officers are virtually immune from prosecution. Moreover they get paid to stay at home while their crimes are investigated.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Race and Diversity - What is Otter’s position?


The Celtic League has been writing again to Chief Constable Stephen Otter in his role as Association of Chief Police Officers spokesperson for the Race and Diversity Business Area.

The Celtic League copied Otter in on a letter addressed to Cornwall County Council Leader David Whalley about the racist graffiti on a Methodist Chapel in Carnon Downs. The police told the press that they were “appalled” by the damage, but what is Otter’s view?

As Race and Diversity officer, otter should have issued a public statement and be doing something to further good relations between members of the Cornish public? Maybe even a rare appearance in Cornwall at the site of the chapel where the graffiti and damage was caused.

The Celtic League is right to ask what is being done by those in charge.

Source: Celtic League News Item

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Otter is one of “…the self-appointed knights of integrity” in the police (Ali Dizaei)


What has Chief Constable Stephen Otter been doing in his new role as the spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers on the Race and Diversity business area, since he took up the position in April 2008?

An internet search, including a search on the ‘Policing Today’ website, the official journal of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), reveals that he hasn’t been up to much and if some of his past critics are anything to go by, it is likely that he will be doing very little at all.

One high profile critic of Mr Otter’s is chief superintendent, Ali Dizaei. Dizaei was embroiled in a case about institutional racism in the Cornwall, Wales and England police force between some years ago. Interestingly for CPW, one of the men in the force who Dizaei was critical of was his previous boss, the then Superintendent Stephen Otter.

Otter gave evidence against Dizaei at court in a case that people saw was a witch hunt to remove a high ranking, politically aware ethnic minority police officer from the force. Otter gave evidence against Dizaei, on charges that The Times newspaper says were “so mundane that they beggar belief”, in a move to rid the police force of Dizaei.

After Dizaei won his case, Otter was promoted Deputy Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset and then Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall police, while Dizaei is still waiting to be a Deputy Chief Constable.

Now Otter is in charge of the Race and Diversity portfolio for the ACPO despite his record. As it can be seen the Cornwall, Wales and England police force really do look after their own!

Not One of Us, by Ali Dizaei and Tim Phillips, is published by Serpent’s Tail on March 8 at £16.99; available from Times BooksFirst for £15.29: 0870 1608080;

Source: The Times newspaper

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Why shouldn’t Magistrates criticise the police?


This month UK Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, sacked a Magistrate for criticizing the police for not adequately protecting her daughter from being physically assaulted in her school.

Aside from the fact that the Magistrate is the only Romany Magistrate in Cornwall, Wales and England and that the news came “a week after it emerged that the family of 15-year-old Arsema Dawit had complained to the police that she was being harassed shortly before she was stabbed to death in a London council block”, why shouldn’t Magistrates be able to have an opinion?

Mr Straw said in a letter to the Magistrate in question that “your behaviour has led to your impartiality being brought into question”, but Magistrates are, after all, just members of the public and as such should be able to have a public opinion. The wikipedia reference on UK Magistrates says:

“No formal qualifications are required but magistrates need intelligence, common sense, integrity and the capacity to act fairly. Membership is widely spread throughout the area covered and drawn from all walks of life. Police officers, traffic wardens and members of the armed forces, as well as their close relatives will not be appointed, nor will those convicted of certain criminal offences including recent minor offences.”

The Magistrate, Shay Clipson, said:

“I was acting as a mother who had good reason to be both furious and to question the lack of competence and ethics that were being displayed. Not only was my child terrified for her safety, this campaign of terror was based on racism, mainly her Welsh accent, and possibly her Romany background, yet the police were not doing enough to support her.”

It certainly seems that Ms Clipson has all of those qualities of a Magistrate listed above, so why shouldn’t she be able to criticize the police Mr Straw?

Source: The Independent

Saturday, 14 June 2008

News Agency picks up on Tony Leamon’s plight


A Breton based news agency has picked up a story from the Celtic League about a video made to highlight Tony Leamon’s cause.

The website ‘Agence Bretagne Presse’ features news related to Brittany and the other Celtic countries and receives over 200 000 hits a month. The article ‘Video links highlight Cornish activists plight’ can be found here.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Tony in high spirits, despite months of waiting


In an email to suppoters, Tony Leamon, sets out below how he is faring, despite the massive pressure that he has been under all these months. As it can be seen, his spirits are high nevertheless and states that he is “almost looking forward” to his next bail hearing on July 2nd. His resilience in the face of injustice is an example for us all.

“My temperament is a lot better these day because I think the police are finally showing how weak their case is. I am almost looking forward to my next bail hearing on July 2nd.

Of course this is still affecting me and my family. My father, 94, is still terrified of the police at the door. In my entire life I do not remember the police having to knock on our front door in anger.

My mother, who is slowly recovering from her bi lateral mastectomy, is keeping a brave face on all this, as all mothers do.

One thing that has given us all strength is the support I have received from complete strangers. Everything from people who recognise me in the street, to emails from other continents. Every time I type my name into Google, and see all the hits, my heat soars. Not just for me, but for all of the little people who fall foul of the state.

I answer my bail on Wednesday, July 2nd, at 3pm. I'm going to Camborne Police Station again. I have spoken to the West Briton, our local paper, and they hope to have a reporter present. I ask that anyone who can make it stands outside the police station, with a Cornish flag, Do so politely, and with the dignity we all have. If you cannot make it, give them a ring, stating it is non urgent, and then state you are enquiring about the progress of Mr Leamon's case.

Please do not use any aggression, or intimidation with them. They are only doing their job.

I thank all my friends, from all over the world who are giving me their support.

Kernow Bys Vyken”

Monday, 9 June 2008

Humorous interlude


"Police deny over reacting today when a a man was spotted with a Cornish flag and John Angarrack book."

CPW supporter

Indeed this is what some people in Cornwall think things are coming to!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

"Ask a policeman on the street, there's so many there to meet"


Can you remember George Harrison singing, "Ask a policeman on the street, there's so many there to meet," in the Beatle's song Blue Jay Way? Well that was a long time ago I suppose; nineteen sixty-seven. I wonder if George would be able to sing that line today? Nowadays, in Britain, you'd be hard pressed to find a policeman on the beat; so that particular lyric might prove anachronistic and somewhat redundant.

Policemen on the street are as rare as rocking horse manure. Walk through continental streets and towns and you will see all manner of police, be they local, municipal, state, federal. These various police departments have a presence, and whatever you may say they certainly provide public reassurance. And it is this essential reassurance that seems to be missing on British streets today.

The ever common remark now is, "When I want to find proper policemen on the street all I find these days are CSOs". Just what are CSOs? Sorry, well if you haven't been around for a while they might be something new to you. CSOs (or Community Support Officers to give them their more pithy designation) are Blair and Blunkett's brainchild for more police on the streets. But these CSOs are not quite police. They are more like security guards that are 'police-wannabes' but haven't quite got the crop of GSCEs required for entry.

Described in various parts of the press as 'boil-in-the-bag-coppers' or 'traffic wardens without clout' they court derision and do not have the necessary public respect that genuine police officers have. And, quite obviously, without that respect it just does not work! I feel quite sorry for them actually; they are in an invidious position. But hey, 'British Brown' and chums don't care because with CSOs at sixteen grand a year, it's like buy two coppers get one free; every little helps! While this administration wastes millions of pounds on quangos and lunatic think-tanks, they penny-pinch with our police and our sense of security. People want real police officers; they don't want pantomime characters marauding around instead of the genuine articles.

If you don't believe me, surely you might believe the Old Bill's Union. "The government's experiment with CSOs has clearly failed," stated a Police Federation spokesman continuing "The public want to see police officers, not imitations, on our streets." He revealed that a poll commissioned by the federation showed seven out of every ten people wanted CSOs replaced by real police. "The general feeling," he concluded, "is that constables starting on £21,000 a year are far better value than the £16,000 p.a. spent on the CSOs."

Committee chairman Julie Nesbit, added: "These findings clearly demonstrate that the public feel safer with police officers patrolling our streets and not civilian staff. [We] warned the Government when CSOs were introduced that trying to police on the cheap was short-sighted." With all the terrible news coming from Britain's streets on a now daily basis, that is hardly surprising is it?

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Short film publicises Tony’s plight

A short film has been made about Tony Leamon and uploaded to you Tube. It can be viewed here. Many thanks to those of you who helped out in the making of the film, especially to Mr Lidbury for his encouragement and suggestions!

CPW hope that this will be the first of several videos to highlight Mr Leamon’s cause. All contributions welcome.

video

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Letters of support


CPW has now been copied into a number of letters that thave been sent to Devon and Cornwall police constabulary about Tony’s case. Edited versions of some of the letters can be found below. A reply from Devon and Cornwall Police was also received to one of these letters, which was also forwarded to CPW and is set out below:

Devon and Cornwall Police letter response (from Police.Enquiries@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk):

“Good evening,

Thank you for your email. The investigation regarding Mr Leamon is still ongoing.

Regards”

Edited copies of letters sent to Devon and Cornwall Police and copied to CPW:

“I write regarding a friend of mine, a Tony Leamon of number ... who has been subject of the most awful harassment by the officers of the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary and their controllers...the Crown Prosecution Service and other Governmental Agencies.”

”This poor fellow has been on police bail for 10 months whilst the much vaunted but equally despised police in Cornwall try to rake together a bit of evidence to take him to court under some trumped up charge. It will probably be something really serious like spraying graffiti or waving a Cornish flag, maybe even getting drunk and being found in possession of a John Angarrack book...This police force which again does not rate that well in surveys is really scraping the barrel if they want to nail this chap for being a terrorist. The man would hurt or harm no one.”

”So far, no mention of Leamon or his case in the Cornish media...”

”Yes, they may make Tony Leamon a scapegoat, poor sick chap – that should look very good in your courts as he is supported by his elderly and unwell parents in his walk up to the dock.”

”And why ? - because the man had the bottle to stand up and say ' I am Cornish and not English '.”

”In Wales, he would be declared a National Hero!”

”...I would like to draw your attention to the following Internet site and say that although it is not mine, I agree with every comment made in it. It is increasingly apparent that the Police in Cornwall are anti just about everyone other than their political masters to whom they bow and scrape for crumbs from the State table in the form of their pay packets and valueless awards.

http://cornwall-police-watch.blogspot.com/ ”

”Money is not the issue here. True justice and freedom of thought and open opinion away from the control of an Orwellian state is!”

“Tony's case has drawn International attention. His list of supporters grows each day.
It would be prudent of the State to consider this with each decision it makes regarding Tony.”

“While I would be happy to help Tony Leamon relocate to an area where he would not be treated in such a manner, I do not believe it to be just and fair for anyone to have to flee their homes in order to live freely and without harrasment.”

Please use the comments above to write your own letters to the following addresses and add some for good measure!

Police.Enquiries@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk

PolAuth@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk

Media:

gharris@c-dm.co.uk
Cro
Crown Prosecution Service:
osecution Service:
Tracy Easton
Chief Crown Prosecutor
Hawkins House
Pynes Hill
Rydon Lane
Exeter
Devon EX2 5SS

and

Julian Herbert
Divisional Crown Prosecutor
2nd Floor
Lysnoweth
Infirmary Hill
Truro TR1 2XG

People’s perceptions of the police


As pointed out in a previous blog posting, people’s perceptions of the police have changed considerably within a generation. This is because the role of the police in our society has changed and a distance has been created between them and the public they serve. Today this has manifested itself into a ‘them and us’ situation. In Cornwall, among Cornish people, this sense of alienation with the police is a growing phenomenon, as people increasingly realise that the police constabulary that serves them is a colonial force.

This rewrite of a Ladybird classic for children highlights, in a humorous way, some of the real public perceptions that are held about the police today. The Policeman