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1 injured in shooting at Anne Arundel Co. mall, suspect sought

WASHINGTON — A shooting in an Anne Arundel County, Maryland, mall Saturday left at least one person injured after a verbal altercation between two groups escalated.

Police received calls about a shooting at Arundel Mills Mall at around 7:45 p.m. After arriving at the mall, officers found several witnesses and surveillance footage of the incident.

While police were investigating, a man arrived at a hospital with a gunshot wound in his lower torso. He was later confirmed to be a victim of the mall shooting, and is in stable condition, Anne Arundel County police said.

The shooting was a targeted incident. 16-year-old Jamari Marquese Hammond has been identified as a suspect and is wanted for attempted murder and other charges related to the incident, according to Anne Arundel County police. Hammond, of Severn, Maryland, is 6’1″ and weights 188 pounds.

Westlake Legal Group Hammond-Flier-300x260 1 injured in shooting at Anne Arundel Co. mall, suspect sought shooting Maryland News Local News Hanover crime arundel mills mall Anne Arundel County, MD News andrea cambron
Hammond is wanted for attempted murder after to a shooting at an Anne Arundel Mall injured one victim. (Courtesy Anne Arundel County Police Department)

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the shooting or Hammond’s whereabouts is asked to call Anne Arundel County police at 410-222-6155 or the tip line at 410-222-4700.

WTOP’s Reem Nadeem and Hallie Mellendorf contributed to this report.


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Fabio Conti: A plea for Conservative unity in these fractious times – and how we must plan for the challenges of the future

Fabio Conti is a GP in West London and a former Ealing councillor.  He contested Ealing Southall in the 2017 general election.

We are at a moment in which the tone of our national discourse has become so corrosive that, at times, it appears to be wearing through the very fabric that holds our nation together. The febrile nature of political debate, especially on social media, hasn’t been helped by the choice of language by some of our MPs, who have at times appeared to use increasing hyperbole in order to further their own agenda. There is division at every level of society – from within political parties to within families. This raises the question of how our nation can be brought together once we move beyond this chapter in our collective history.

Looking at our own Party, we’ve seen MPs, members and supporters express everything, during recent months, from unhappiness to despair at what others in the Party are saying and doing. People from all parts of it are feeling frustrated – and, at times, intolerant about the actions of others. It seems that we are often forgetting the common thread of values that unite all of us: opportunity; believing that not just government but people should be given the power to make decisions about their own lives; free enterprise and sound money, and the belief that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to get on in life. As we encounter some of the most testing times in our Party’s history, we should remember the values we share, and realise there is often more that binds us together than draws us apart.

At this challenging time, it is vital that members who feel disillusioned with the Party do not turn their backs on it. We need to debate ideas, and work together to renew and define ourselves beyond Brexit with a positive vision for the future of our country, rooted in our uniting common values.

If we do not, the appealing proposition to a weary electorate of Jeremy Corbyn’s easy answers to complex challenges will hand him the keys to Number Ten whenever the next election comes. It is our duty to prevent what this would inflict on our country from happening.

When speaking to people on the doorstep, or talking to colleagues or friends, it is rarely Brexit that people raise. It is concerns about the NHS; their local school; the difficulties faced by social care, or the rise in violent crime. Additionally, there are too many people in our country who feel that they have been left behind. For some, this may have been a driving force to voting Leave in 2016. Looking beyond Brexit, we need to tackle the barriers of poor mental health, generational unemployment and inequality of opportunity. When in our country today just five elite schools send more pupils to Oxbridge than two-thirds of all state secondaries, and one in four prisoners and 70 per cent of sex workers grew up in care, it shows that we have a lot work to do to improve life chances and unlock opportunity for all.

Tacking these issues could be the uniting mission that can help bring our party and the country back together. We need to set our country on a new course, healing the divisions of the last few years – and move on to dealing with the big domestic issues of our day.

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Adam Schiff’s views on the border have really changed in a few years

Westlake Legal Group schiff Adam Schiff’s views on the border have really changed in a few years twitter The Blog crime Border wall border security adam schiff

California Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff is making the most of his moment in the spotlight. As chair of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Schiff has vowed to spend his days working to make things as difficult for President Donald Trump as possible and he’s been making good on that goal thus far. His latest schtick has been going after Trump over the border situation, the declared national emergency and wall funding. A perfect example was this love note of a tweet that he appropriately fired off on Valentine’s Day.

Trump is declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress, to build a wall we don’t need, to address a crisis that doesn’t exist, by claiming an authority he doesn’t have. If that sounds like nonsense, it’s because it is. It’s also plainly unconstitutional.

Keep some of those quotes in mind. A wall “we don’t need.” A crisis “that doesn’t exist.” It’s all just “nonsense.”

Unfortunately for Congressman Schiff, the internet has a long memory. And one Twitter user quickly pointed out some positions Schiff took in the past that don’t seem to match up very well with his current rhetoric.

The article this Twitter user highlighted was an editorial that Schiff wrote for Politico in 2011. Remember all the recent social media sniping over whether or not there was an actual crisis or emergency at the border and how the President was wrong to cite violence in or around El Paso? Schiff certainly had a different view of matters when Barack Obama was in office. (Emphasis added)

Extortion cases have tripled since 2004, murder rates have skyrocketed. The horrific violence in Ciudad Juarez — just across the border from El Paso, Texas — makes it one of the most dangerous cities in the world outside a war zone.

And make no mistake, U.S. guns have fueled the violence. Because there is such easy access in the U.S. to guns — including assault weapons — no one knows just how many have been smuggled into Mexico. Since Calderon took office, Mexican authorities have seized and traced nearly 94,000 guns: More than 60 percent have come from the United States. Yet the real number of guns shipped across the border is likely many times higher.

This illegal traffic in guns and drugs is a serious national security and public safety threat for both the U.S. and Mexico. Drug traffickers use ever more brutal measures to get their product into the United States, and U.S. Border Patrol agents face daily assaults with increasingly deadly results.

So the border represented a “serious national security and public safety threat” only eight years ago. And the border crossing at El Paso was one of the most dangerous places in the world “outside a war zone.” But now it’s no big deal? The article is filled with plenty more where that came from, repeatedly highlighting how dangerous the border is for both law enforcement and local citizens from both countries.

Of course, now that Donald Trump wants to actually do something about this serious national security and public safety threat, those concerns are all nonsense. I didn’t realize we’d managed to get the entire border situation under control so quickly. God bless America. We must be truly great indeed.

The post Adam Schiff’s views on the border have really changed in a few years appeared first on Hot Air.

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David Burrowes and Nickie Aiken: Coming to you soon. The family hubs revolution.

David Burrowes is Executive Director of the Manifesto to Strengthen Families and was MP for Enfield Southgate from 2005-2017. Cllr Nickie Aiken is the Leader of Westminster City Council.

This week in Westminster whilst MPs attention was on Brexit, a revolution began. It took place within the eight minute distance it takes to get to the division lobby in the Commons. But it was not about votes or Parliamentary plots – and certainly not about Brexit. It was the first National Family Hubs Fair and Conference. That does not sound too revolutionary, but these family hubs are transforming the lives of children and parents up and down the country, and are carrying the torch for the Government for when its attention returns to the domestic policy agenda.

The National Family Hubs Fair and Conference brought together around 50 organisations and family hub areas who are committed to supporting families. It was initiated by the Manifesto to Strengthen Families (led by Fiona Bruce and Lord Farmer in 2017 and signed by 60 MPs and several peers), which had a key recommendation: that the Government “encourage every Local Authority to work with voluntary and private sector partners to deliver Family Hubs, local ‘one stop shops’ offering families with children and young people, aged 0-19, early help to overcome difficulties and build stronger relationships…and put in place a transformation fund and national task force to encourage Local Authorities to move towards this model”.

Westminster Council did not need any encouragement, because it has been on the journey of service integration for many years. An integrated leadership team, consisting of statutory and voluntary organisations, oversees the development and work of the hub, and is committed to developing a shared approach through sharing of information, assessments, meeting processes and, importantly, their resources.

The significant funding challenges for children and family services mean that councils have to integrate, but in Westminster we have done it to improve and expand the reach of our services. We have shifted to a Family Hub model as a natural evolution from Sure Start Children’s Centres, realising that parents of older children (five plus) need and were asking for the same integrated support. We have launched the Bessborough Family hub as one of three hubs, supporting families with children across the age spectrum from under one to 19. As well as a physical building, the hubs will be a network of providers working across a given area.

All this sounds like management changes rather than a revolution but what we heard at our conference is that in Westminster and across the country in places like Chelmsford, the Isle of Wight and Rochdale, family hubs are tackling at source the biggest social problem which is relationship and family breakdown.

A lack of readily accessible early support for families with children aged from between under one to 19 who experience difficulties in their parenting and couple relationships and in their mental health threatens to undermine efforts to narrow the education attainment gap. It also fuels crises in social care services which are faced with unremittingly high numbers of children who are ‘in need’, on child protection plans, and coming into care.

Over half of referrals to children’s services come from the police, schools and health services, for whom the child or family’s presenting need was significant enough to require more help than they could offer. Yet without additional help many of these families will, sooner or later, require costly social services interventions.

The family hubs developing across the UK are key to tackling the “burning injustices” which the Prime Minister has identified as her mission – identifying families with complex needs as early as possible, no matter which service they come into contact with; preventing family breakdown; preventing children from going into care and from entering the criminal justice system; helping parents to gain employment; providing access to first-line mental health support to reduce referrals to higher level, more costly intervention.

Family Hubs are delivering significant outcomes: children and young people feeling safer; families being helped to improve parenting and children’s behaviour; better emotional wellbeing of mothers and children in the perinatal period and beyond; good lifestyle choices; more resilient families who can respond well to crises and cope with shocks; young people having strong attachment to at least one adult; and people being connected to and involved in their local community.

Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Children and Families, opened the Family Hubs Fair and expressed his support for family hubs and highlighted the £8.5 million LGA fund to support delivery of best practice. He then poignantly went off script to talk about the Valentine’s Day card he had received from his daughter Mia, and those strong relationships between family or friends which we all want in life.

Andrea Leadsom later took time out of a busy Brexit day to deliver a speech outlining her work as Chair of the Inter Ministerial Group for the Early Years. She emphasised the progress being made in supporting the crucial attachment between parent and child in the perinatal period and beyond and the implementation of her 20 years of experience encapsulated here at www.1001criticaldays.co.uk.

The call for early intervention is not new, but now there is a clarion call for leadership nationally and locally so children and family services can not only survive but thrive through partnership working of innovative Councils such as Westminster developing family hubs. So look out for a family hub coming to you soon and join the family hubs revolution!

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Shaun Bailey: London just isn’t working for everyone. We need a Mayor who will help it to do so.

Shaun Bailey is a member of the London Assembly and the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London

One of the things that strikes me as I go around meeting Londoners is just how much of our beautiful city we don’t see on our tellies or in our newspapers.

London is – without a doubt – the global city the world knows and loves, but for most of us it’s just ‘home’. Yes, it’s the place of the Palace of Westminster, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Square Mile, but it’s also home to quiet neighbourhood parks, local chippies, crowded train platforms, and backed-up roundabouts that do our heads in.

Most of us living in London just don’t experience the city the world reads about. Other than a long commute to work, most of our day-to-day doesn’t reach much beyond our hood. The London experience of someone living in Harrow can be significantly different to someone living in Romford. The same goes for Sutton and Walthamstow. Or Bexley and Barnet, for that matter.

London sure felt like a small place when I was growing up. I had the estates around Ladbroke Grove and not much beyond that. We’d wander up and down the Grand Union Canal and take the Number 7 bus to Oxford Circus every once in a while, but my ends were my world. I didn’t know much about the City, or the historic redevelopment of Canary Wharf. And South London? You might as well have been talking about another country.

No, my concerns back then were closer to home. And it’s the same principle that applies to local elections now. Our concerns aren’t in Europe, or America. They’re local. They’re at the end of our road. Londoners are worried about the dire state of crime, housing and air quality. The upcoming election is about the cost and quality of our daily lives.

Since Sadiq Khan’s election, London has become more dangerous, commuting to work has become more expensive, and homes have become harder to find and even harder to afford. It’s these everyday concerns that have made Londoners anxious for their futures.

Violent crime now haunts every borough in Greater London. Knife crime is at its highest for a decade. Gangs are out of control. Londoners are worried about their personal security, and the safety of their children. Everyday it feels like we read about yet another young life lost to knife attacks.

London is also growing and that’s putting intense pressure on our transport services. Despite what was promised, tube fares have gone up for 4.5 million Londoners, while ridership has gone down. Bus routes are being cut and tube improvements are being cancelled. The Elizabeth Line is now two years behind schedule and billions over budget. All told, Transport for London is losing nearly a billion pounds per year, meaning Londoners will be paying the bill for Sadiq Khan’s poor leadership for years to come.

As a result, the city’s volume of road traffic is up and our road congestion is worse. Our air is far too dirty. The millions of trees that were promised aren’t being planted. Asthmatics like me are finding it harder to function, and the health of our youth and our elderly are being impacted.

In short, Londoners are finding it harder to get by and get around. They’re finding it harder to find a home and raise a family. The cost of living is up, and quality of life down. While those with the means are rightly enjoying all that London has to offer, most ordinary Londoners on ordinary wages are struggling.

Put simply, London just isn’t working for everyone. And Khan doesn’t have a plan to make it work. Instead of getting on with solving London’s problems, Khan is satisfied with shifting the blame. Because Khan never takes responsibility. Ever. In Khan’s world, his lack of delivery is always someone else’s fault.

That’s just not good enough for the people of Barnet. Or Harrow. Or Romford. Or Bexley. Or whatever piece of this wonderful city you call home. If London doesn’t work for all of us, then that’s on the Mayor, and no-one else.

And it’s on me, too, as I develop my plan for London. I look forward to sharing it with you over the coming months.

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Va. man charged with rape of woman with ‘mental incapacity,’ police say

WASHINGTON — A Springfield, Virginia, man has been arrested for the rape of a mentally vulnerable woman, and police said they believe they may have identified a second victim.

Bernard Betts-King, 60, was arrested Monday and charged with rape by “taking advantage of a mental incapacity,” Fairfax County police said.

Betts-King worked as a behavioral specialist for the MVLE Community Center in 2018, the time of the alleged assault. Betts-King was also employed by Community Living Alternatives in Fairfax. Both organizations are cooperating with the investigation, police said.

Detectives believe that the victim was sexually assaulted in 2018. Through DNA testing, police discovered she had a child through the assault.

Betts-King is currently being held without bond at an adult detention center.

Investigators suspect there are more victims who have yet to be identified. Anyone with information can contact Fairfax County police at 703-246-7800, submit their tip anonymously online, or text  “TIP187” plus their message to 274637.


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18-year-old arrested in connection to 2017 killing of Fairfax Co. teen

WASHINGTON — An additional arrest has been made in connection with the August 2017 kidnapping and murder of a teenager with ties to MS-13 in Prince William County, Virginia, police said.

The latest suspect arrested in connection to the gang-related murder of 18-year-old Miguel Angel Ruiz Carrillo is an 18-year-old man, who was a juvenile at the time the murder was committed, Prince William County police said. He was arrested and charged with murder on Feb. 11.

In the time between the murder and the latest charges, the suspect has been incarcerated at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center on unrelated charges. He has now been taken to the Prince William County Adult Detention Center, where he remains in custody.

The new suspect brings the total number of people taken into custody in the case to seven.

A few days after Ruiz Carrillo went missing, 20-year-old Jose Vincent-Sosa, 18-year-old Edwin Dinarte Moreno, and a female juvenile were arrested and charged with abduction and gang participation. Hector Armando Gamez-Amaya was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection to the crime in September 2017; 19-year-old Tomas Antonio Pino-Mejia and Ismael Antonio Hernandez-Navarro, also 19, were arrested in December 2017.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has detainers against the three murder suspects: Gamez-Amaya, Hernandez-Navarro and Pino-Mejia. Police said Pino-Mejia and Hernandez-Navarro are awaiting extradition.

Ruiz Carrillo went missing from a wooded area near his Alexandria home on Aug. 3, 2017. After a two-week search, his body was found in Nokesville, Virginia. According to police, he had ties to MS-13.


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Stephen Greenhalgh: The Conservatives need a stronger crime-fighting agenda for the capital

Stephen Greenhalgh was the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in London, and has also served as Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

After yet another bloody weekend in the capital, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced another in his long line of timid pilot projects.  This one to tag, using the Global Positioning System, only 100 habitual knife-crime criminals in just four London boroughs when they leave prison in order to reduce their re-offending. In The Times, Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has called for collective action to prevent violent crime from “scarring our society, terrorising our communities, and, most devastatingly, destroying the lives of our next generation.”

The Home Secretary has made a commitment to do everything in his power to give those on the front line of the fight, the tools they need to end the bloodshed. He has backed this up with the announcement of the knife crime prevention orders in response to the police wanting more powers to help them divert young people away from the dangers of knife crime.

So why is the London Mayor not using GPS tagging in combination with these new civil orders? Perhaps the Home Secretary can put this to the Mayor, in the cross-party serious violence taskforce that he is convening today. This is yet another example of the Mayor focusing on PR rather than the measures that will do something to stem the bloodshed on London’s streets. GPS tagging has been around for years and should be rolled out far more widely – not just to reduce re-offending but also with preventative measures such as these new knife crime prevention orders, gang injunctions, and criminal behaviour orders. With the murder rate and knife crime at a 10 year high, Londoners deserve a Mayor who prioritises the prevention of knife crime.

However, we also need more police officers in our capital city. This Home Secretary has risen to the challenge and is providing the biggest increase in police budgets since 2010. Police and Crime Commissioners all over the country are planning to recruit thousands more officers. However, the Mayor of London has let police officers fall to below 30,000 from at or around 32,000 when Mayor Johnson left office in 2016.  This is despite receiving a flat cash settlement from the Home Office. The Mayor needs to have a budget plan to increase officer numbers dramatically and this will not emerge with more pointless PR. Under Mayor Johnson we had a plan to release under-utilised police buildings, reduce overhead, and reform the policing model to keep police officer numbers high in spite of having £100 million less to spend each year.

Finally, if we are going to stem this mindless violence, our candidate for Mayor, Shaun Bailey, should pledge to bring in the technology developed by British scientists that allows frontline officers to carry scanners which enable them to detect knives and guns beneath clothing. These portable scanners can differentiate knives from everyday items such as keys. A widespread roll-out of this technology will give the police another tool that will enable the Met to ramp up intelligence-led and targeted stop and search so that we can get the knives off the streets of our capital city.

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WATCH: Truss on Chope – “I was absolutely appalled. I’m going to speak to him this week. I want to see him change his mind.”

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Fairfax County school worker charged with soliciting sex from minor

WASHINGTON — A Fairfax County Public Schools instructional assistant and substitute faces charges related to soliciting sex from a minor after unknowingly communicating with an undercover detective online, police said.

Monis Irfan, 21, of Springfield, worked at Bush Hill Elementary School in the Alexandria part of Fairfax, Virginia, Fairfax County police said.

On a social networking site, Irfan offered to meet the undercover detective and provide sexually explicit images of children in return for access to a minor “with whom Irfan believed he would have sexual relations,” police said in a news release.

Irfan was arrested once he met with the detective, police said. He is charged with attempted human trafficking, attempted forcible sodomy and two counts of solicitation of a minor.

He is being held without bond.

Police ask anyone with information about Irfan or who may have had inappropriate communication with him to contact the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800. You can contact police anonymously through www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org.

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Police ask anyone with information on Irfan to call 703-246-7800. (Courtesy Fairfax County Police Department)


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