Reward For A 1999 Armed Robbery Case

Escalated To $500,000 By The Assistant Commissioner

In March 1999, an armed robbery occurred in Brown Plains, South of Brisbane. Sadly, Senior Constable Neill Scutts was shot in the groin during the encounter.

He was knocked to the ground and his gun was stolen by allegedly two men wearing plastic masks and surgical gloves who then fired at the second police officer.

Consequently, the robbers fled the bank with a sum of cash and two staff members as hostages.

Shortly after, Senior Constable Scutts required emergency surgery after the bullet passed through his buttocks missing a major artery by millimetres. “This still has quite a bit of emotion for me after all this time,” he said while holding back tears at a press conference today. “I was conscious through the whole thing, I knew where I’d been shot, I knew I was at risk of dying if it had hit my artery,” he added.

The police have been treating the incident as attempted murder. Whilst, Senior Constable Scutts, who continued his career as a police officer, said, the incident had taken a “dramatic” toll on his family over the past 21 years and revealed that he is not far off from retiring.

Unfortunately, despite years of extensive investigations, the suspects have never been identified. Hence, an initial $100,000 reward for information was increased to $250,000 in 2004.

The reward escalated to $500,000 as Assistant Commissioner Michael Condon said the decision to double the reward was based on “encouraging” recent information provided to police.

“One thing’s for sure — you shoot a police officer in their execution of duty, you turn law enforcement against you for the rest of your life,” Assistant Commissioner Condon said. “There are 500,000 reasons for someone out there to think about ringing Crime Stoppers and provide that information in a confidential arrangement.”

The commissioner stated police would also recommend indemnity from prosecution for any accomplice who provided information leading the arrest and conviction of the people responsible.

“There’s a code of silence that exists within those circles and our job is to keep putting pressure on the groups to ensure that someone eventually sees the light and comes forward,” he said.

MOD encourages businesses to hire Armed Forces leavers to support recovery


The Ministry of Defence and Department for Work and Pensions recently issued a letter to organisations encouraging them to tap into the skills sets of Armed Forces leavers to help build a diverse workforce positioned for success while navigating economic recovery.

The MOD and the Department for Work and Pensions is keen to raise awareness of the tools that employers can access to in order to build relationships with Armed Forces leavers. Businesses that need talent are being encouraged to register with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), the MoD’s official provider, and the only organisation who can provide access to the entire Service leaver candidate pool, at no cost to you.

By registering with CTP, employers gain access to a range of services including CTP RightJob (a unique, no cost, online jobs board exclusively for service leavers and veterans) to advertise job vacancies, attend employment fairs and other virtual events. They will be assigned a CTP Employment Relationship Manager who will act as the link between your organisation and a highly sought-after talent pool of skilled and adaptable individuals, ready to bring their wealth of experience to your organisation. Live job opportunities are promoted to potential candidates through the CTP and provides a way for organisations to raise their profile as supporters of the Armed Forces and reservists.

The letter details some of the additional initiatives to help bring employers and veterans together including:

  • a national insurance holiday for those employing veterans within their first 12 months of leaving service,
  • offering a Veterans’ Railcard to support the cost of commuting, increasing the opportunities to join the Civil Service through a Veterans Interview Scheme and maintaining a permanent cadre of Armed Forces Champions in our Jobcentre Plus network,
  • the £2bn Kickstart scheme launched in September 20 could also help those veterans who are aged 16-24, wholly unemployed and at risk of long-term unemployment by offering six-month placements.

David Duffy, CTP Contract Director and UK General Manager, Right Management said: “As the demands from businesses change access to individuals that have transferable skills will be critical. Each year over 14,000 people leave the Armed Forces bringing with them un-paralleled skills in planning, communication, teamwork and leadership, along with adaptability, drive and resilience. The work we do with the MOD is important in helping bring together employers and veterans, building successful partnerships and workforces that are better prepared for the future.”

Gillian Russell, Senior Program Manager, Amazon said: “We have worked closely with the CTP for a number of years and the team are incredibly supportive and responsive to our recruitment needs. The CTP understand the roles that we have, and have a deep knowledge of what we do at Amazon and without that I think we wouldn’t be nearly as successful at bringing in the candidates we do into the organisation. The team are constantly innovating to think of ways for us to attract that new, great military talent and we utilise the whole range of services they provide. We advertise our jobs through CTP RightJob, always attend their employment fairs (pre-Covid) and since the start of the pandemic we’ve moved to online events. They have proven to be a great opportunity for our recruiters to meet Service leavers and answer any questions they might have. It also allows us to showcase our brand and form a good picture to potential candidates of what employment is going to be like at Amazon.”





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Lee responds to Feinstein on armed Trump supporters: ‘Only violence that I’m aware of’ was from Antifa


Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, pointed out violence by Antifa when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., implied that President Trump’s tweets incite violence and seemed to advocate for more censorship of the president on social media during a hearing with big tech CEOs.

“On Nov. 7, President Trump tweeted this: ‘I won this election by a lot,'” Feinstein said at Tuesday’s Senate hearing. “The warning label that Twitter has applied to the tweet ‘Official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted’ … Does that label do enough to prevent the tweet’s harms?”

BIDEN DENOUNCES ‘ALL ACTS OF VIOLENCE’ AFTER ATTACKS ON TRUMP SUPPORTERS AT MAGA RALLY; PELOSI SILENT

Feinstein brought up Philadelphia police taking two armed men into custody near the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where ballots were still being counted, on Nov. 5. Philadelphia police said the men, who were armed with guns, had allegedly driven into the city in a Hummer with Virginia license plates.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies remotely during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Facebook and Twitter’s actions around the closely contested election on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in Washington. (Bill Clark/Pool via AP)

“I’m really struck by it, that people armed with assault weapons as a product of a tweet could rally outside an election office,” Feinstein said. “It’s really a serious issue that needs to be considered, and there need to be once you signal that … it has to be in some way abated or some way pointed out or restructured on the Internet itself.”

Lee responded to her comments when it was his time to speak.

“I’d like to note that as far as the president’s election and how they turned out inciting violence, I’d like to point out that the only violence I’m aware of has occurred in connection with Antifa, Antifa’s response to pro-Trump peaceful rally attenders,” Lee said.

TRUMP BLASTS ‘ANTIFA SCUM,’ MEDIA AFTER VIOLENCE MARS MAGA MARCHES IN DC

Conservatives have called for more media attention on the attacks on President Trump’s supporters at the so-called Million MAGA March in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

Several thousand Trump supporters took part in the march, which attracted numerous counter-protesters. After night fell, the relatively peaceful demonstrations in Washington turned from tense to violent.

Multiple confrontations appeared later in the day as small groups of Trump supporters attempted to enter the area around Black Lives Matter Plaza, about a block from the White House, where several hundred anti-Trump demonstrators had gathered.

10 ARRESTS ASSOCIATED WITH ‘MILLION MAGA MARCH’: DC POLICE

In a pattern that kept repeating itself, Trump supporters who approached the area were harassed, doused with water and saw their MAGA hats and pro-Trump flags snatched and burned, amid cheers.

The Daily Caller’s Matt Miller posted video of a “melee” involving the far-right Proud Boys and Antifa on Saturday.

Fox News’ Aishah Hasnie, Grady Trimble, Stephanie Pagones and Michael Ruiz and the Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Detectives release CCTV images following armed robbery at Warners Bay – 16 News


Detectives investigating an armed robbery at a licensed premise near Newcastle earlier this year have released CCTV images and are appealing for public information that may assist their inquiries.

Just after 3am on Sunday 28 June 2020, two men – both armed with firearms – entered the storage area of a licensed premises on Hillsborough Road at Warners Bay and threatened a male staff member.

The men allegedly forced the employee to the ground, stealing his phone and wallet, as well as cash from the premises, before leaving the area.

The employee was not physically injured during the incident and officers from Lake Macquarie Police District were contacted.

With assistance from the Dog Unit, an extensive search of the area was conducted; however, the men were not located.

Initial inquiries were conducted by local police, before detectives from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad took carriage of the investigation under Strike Force Milleara.

As part of ongoing inquires, Strike Force Milleara detectives conducted a secondary canvass of the licensed premises and surrounding areas earlier this month.

A section of North Creek was also searched with assistance of police divers from the Marine Area Command.

As inquiries continue, police are appealing to the public for information and have released CCTV of two men who may be able to assist with ongoing inquiries.

The men depicted in the CCTV footage are described as being about 170cm tall with a slim to medium build.

Both men are depicted wearing black pants, black jumpers and black face coverings. One of the men is seen to be carrying a black and white sports bag.

Robbery and Serious Crime Squad Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Grant Taylor, said investigators are urging the community to look closely at the CCTV images to help officers identify the men.

“Police believe this premises was specifically targeted by those involved, as there appears to have been a level of planning and familiarity with the area and surrounding streets,” Det A/Supt Taylor said.

“Investigators have made a number of inquiries to establish the movements of these individuals prior to the offence and immediately after and are calling on the community to assist.

“This offence is extremely serious and frightening, and we would urge anyone with information, or who may recognise the men in these images, to come forward,” Det A/Supt Taylor said.

Investigations under Strike Force Milleara are continuing



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Turkey’s is Sending a Message with its New Unmanned, Heavily Armed Gunboat


A pair of Turkish defense companies, METEKSAN and Ares, revealed a jointly built unmanned boat, named ULAQ. The small vessel is the first of what is planned to be a line of at least several unmanned surface ships of varying sizes and capabilities.

According to METEKSAN, their ULAQ has a some pretty impressive abilities for an initial prototype: “[The ] ULAQ…has been built from advanced composites, has 400 km range, 65 km/h speed, day/night vision capabilities, encrypted communication infrastructure, which can be operated from mobile vehicles and headquarters or from sea platforms such as aircraft carriers or frigates, will be used for missions like intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, surface warfare, asymmetric warfare, escort missions, strategic infrastructure protection.”

Artistic renderings of the ULAQ shows it with a centrally located weapons station with two types of missiles, the 70mm Cirit missile arranged in a four-missile pod, as well as two L-UMTAS missiles.

Though both missiles were originally designed as anti-personnel and anti-tank air-to-surface missiles respectively, it is presumed that they have been modified for maritime use. Both the missile systems and the boat itself were designed with “maximum indigenousness.” And here’s why that matters.

Tactics and Strategy

The timing of the small, armed but unmanned boat comes at a trying time for Turkey. The country’s eastern Mediterranean coast has been the scene of tensions recently. Relations between Greece and Turkey—both members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance—have been strained due to conflicting maritime claims in the Aegean Sea, part of the Mediterranean Sea that separates the two countries.

In particular, Turkey has sent fossil fuel exploration ships to parts of the Sea that are claimed by Greece, to which Athens replied by sending several Hellenic Naval ships to the area. This in turn prompted France and the United States to send warships to the area as well in a bid to keep the peace between the two treaty allies that nonetheless have experienced very strained relations in recent years.

Postscript

Ares and METEKSAN’s press releases announcing the new drone boat left no room for doubt about what their ULAQ gunboat is intended for. The report even quoted METEKSAN’s CEO, who stated that “We have once again understood the importance of the ‘Blue Homeland’ defence, Economic Exclusive Zone protection, protection of maritime borders of the Turkish Peninsula especially with recently emerging disputes…May ULAQ bring the best of luck and success to Turkish Armed Forces and to Blue Homeland.”

Make no mistake—Ankara is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to Turkish interests in the Mediterranean.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer with The National Interest. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.

Image: Ares Shipyard.



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Armed men arrested near Philadelphia vote counting location


Philadelphia police say two men armed with loaded handguns were arrested Thursday near the convention center where an ongoing vote count could decide the presidential election

Joshua Macias, 42, and Antonio LaMotta, 61, traveled from the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area in a Hummer and did not have permits to carry the weapons in Pennsylvania, police said.

They were arrested after the FBI in Virginia relayed a tip about their plans to Philadelphia police. Officers stopped the men about a block from the vehicle, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

Macias had a .40-caliber Beretta handgun inside his jacket, LaMotta had a 9mm Beretta in a holster and an AR-style rifle and ammunition were found inside the vehicle, Outlaw said. Authorities initially said that the rifle did not have a serial number but later said that it did.

A silver Hummer with Virginia license plates was parked Friday at the location where police say they found the men’s vehicle. It was adorned with an American flag, a window sticker for the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon and a fresh parking ticket.

A woman with the men was not arrested, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said.

Macias and LaMotta, both of Chesapeake, Virginia, remained in police custody on Friday and were awaiting arraignment on state weapons charges: carrying a concealed firearm without a license and carrying a firearm on a public street.

Information on lawyers who could speak on their behalf wasn’t immediately available.

Macias and LaMotta’s arrests drew outsized attention amid heightened tensions over the undecided presidential race, but officials cautioned against reading too much into them.

Macias posted a video to Facebook on Thursday showing him outside the convention center wearing a T-shirt for “Veterans for Trump,” a group for which he was a founding member. The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism provided a copy of the video to The Associated Press.

“We are in a fight for America as we know it. We’re not going to give up our freedoms,” he said in the video. He also said they want to make sure “legitimate” votes were counted and repeated a false belief among some Trump backers about the ballot counting process.



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Same sex couples marry in mass military wedding — a first for Taiwan’s armed forces


The island’s Defence Ministry called it an “open and progressive” move and gave its blessings to all 188 couples married during the annual mass wedding in Taiwan, considered a beacon of liberalism in Asia.

“I am hoping to boost the visibility of homosexuals so that people understand we are also just part of everyday life,” said major Wang Wi, who cried after receiving her marriage certificate at the ceremony in the city of Taoyuan.

Taiwan’s government last year became the first to legalize same-sex marriage in Asia, a part of the world where homosexuality remains illegal in many countries. But the island remains divided over other related issues such as same-sex parenting, while gay couples are only allowed to marry foreigners from countries where same-sex marriage is also legal.

The wedding comes as tens of thousands of people are expected to join Taipei’s annual Pride parade on Saturday, likely one of the largest globally this year due to coronavirus restrictions elsewhere.

The Commander of Taiwan Army gave his blessing to the two officers in uniforms, holding rainbow flags, and their civilian wives.

“We hope our bravery could inspire more fellow soldiers who have concerns to also come out bravely. You are actually not alone,” said Chen Ying-hsuan, a combat engineer lieutenant from the Army’s Eighth Legion.

Photos of the two couples posted on the Army’s Facebook page earlier this week quickly went viral with congratulatory messages pouring in.

“I hope your love lasts forever. I support the national army,” read one message. “The Army is finally becoming progressive. Congratulations,” said another.



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Bartleby – What the armed forces can teach business | Business


WHEN CAPTAIN Gareth Tennant was patrolling with the Royal Marines in the Gulf of Aden in 2010, his team intercepted some Somali pirates on two skiffs. The pirates’ weapons were confiscated and the marines waited for clearance to release their prisoners. The plan was to tow the ne’er-do-wells back to Somali waters. But the pirates misread the troops’ intentions, and thought they were about to be abandoned at sea; a few jumped into the water while the rest attacked Mr Tennant’s team.

For a brief period, there was chaos. Mr Tennant was unable to give any orders. But his team acted anyway. One boat rescued the Somalis who had jumped into the water; another came alongside to offer support in ending the fight.

His team acted that way, Mr Tennant argues, because they were used to working with each other and they had war-gamed what might go wrong. In contrast, the pirates were suffering from fear, stress and fatigue, and acted on gut instinct. “If you haven’t gone through the decision-making process in advance, then gut instinct tends to kick in,” Mr Tennant says.

Now Mr Tennant is back in civilian life, acting as an adviser to the Future Strategy Club, an association of consultants. And he believes the habits learned in the Royal Marines can be useful for business life.

Given the long history of blunders in warfare (such as friendly-fire incidents), it may seem odd to turn to the armed forces for tips on efficiency. It is an old joke that “military intelligence” is an oxymoron. But many a corporate titan has sought wisdom in the philosophies of strategists like Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz. And military expertise in emergencies was exploited by the British government to help build “Nightingale hospitals” early in the covid-19 pandemic, just as the armed forces had been used to counter Ebola in west Africa in 2014.

Soldiers regularly have to deal with the four forces dubbed VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). In particular, Mr Tennant cites the concept of mission command which developed during the Napoleonic wars. Armies found that, by the time messages had arrived at the front, the military situation had changed. The lesson was to establish what the army was trying to achieve before the battle and allow junior commanders to use their initiative and take decisions as the situation demanded.

The ideal command structure is not a rigid hierarchy, he argues, but a sphere, where the core sets the culture and the parts of the organisation at the edge are free to react to events outside them. In effect, the contrast is between centralised command and decentralised execution.

Business has been hit by two huge events this century: the financial crisis of 2007-09 and now the pandemic. These showed the extreme importance of resilience—and of preparation. The organisations that are dealing with the pandemic best are those which were already prepared for the unexpected, he says. The key lesson, Mr Tennant argues, was not having stocks of hand-sanitiser and plastic sheeting but knowing how to manage large changes in society and shifts in supply chains. It also requires training for the type of situations that managers may face.

Mr Tennant argues that in recent years companies have become overenamoured with predictive analytics, trying to make precise forecasts about the direction of markets. Instead, they should get involved in war-gaming, where they can discuss ideas that push the boundaries of what is possible. “The more we think about hypotheticals, the less space there is for unknown unknowns,” he says, echoing that well-known American strategist (and ex-defence secretary), Donald Rumsfeld. Corporate executives know their own business really well. But when the environment changes, experience counts for less. The answer is to apply a test and adjust the process, in a feedback cycle.

When a crisis happens, bosses display a tendency to hold on tight and take control. But that is losing the benefit of the diversity of the organisation, Mr Tennant thinks. Companies need those at the sharp end of the business to be adaptive and responsive. Senior managers need to relinquish authority and allow juniors to make decisions. In a crisis, companies which have invested in building up leaders at the lowest ranks of the organisation are more likely to prosper. In business, as in conflict, it isn’t the generals who carry the burden of the war; it’s the troops.

This article appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the headline “Fighting spirit”

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Submarine murderer Peter Madsen surrounded by armed officers after escaping Danish prison


The convicted murderer escaped jail on Tuesday morning

Danish submarine killer Peter Madsen has been seized by police on a street in central Copenhagen, after an audacious jail-break on Tuesday morning.

The 49-year-old escaped before 10am, and was on the loose for more than two hours, although he only made it about 500m from prison before he was surrounded by police. 

“The arrest operation on Nyvej is over, and an arrested person has been driven away from the scene,” police in Copenhagen said on Twitter shortly after 1pm. They said they would give further details at a press conference this afternoon.

According to the BT tabloid, the killer took a hostage in the prison who he threatened with a pistol-like object, who was reported to have been a psychologist. 

He was then seized less than a kilometre from the prison by a squad of specialist armed police officers, after a long stand-off during which he reportedly claimed to be carrying a bomb. He has now been driven back to the prison by police. 

Madsen repeatedly lied to police about what happened to Wall - Scanpix Denmark/Bax Lindhardt/via REUTERS
Madsen repeatedly lied to police about what happened to Wall – Scanpix Denmark/Bax Lindhardt/via REUTERS

“We are currently working on Nyvej in Albertslund, where a man has been arrested after an attempted escape,” the police wrote on Twitter at 11.20am local time.

“We have investigations ongoing at the site, which has been cordoned off.” But according to the BT tabloid Madsen had yet to be seized at midday, and was instead surrounded by armed police. Bomb technicians were also on the scene.

Madsen was convicted in April 2018 of murdering the 30-year-old journalist Kim Wall as she interviewed him on board his submarine in August 2017.

In a documentary that aired in September, he confessed for the first time to the killing, after having insisted during the trial that her death was an accident.

Kim Wall was murdered by Madsen after she boarded his submarine - TT NEWS AGENCY/Tom Wall Handout via REUTERS
Kim Wall was murdered by Madsen after she boarded his submarine – TT NEWS AGENCY/Tom Wall Handout via REUTERS

“There is only one who is guilty, and that is me,” Madsen said in the documentary.

In a case that made headlines around the world, Madsen had however admitted to the court that he chopped up her corpse and threw her body parts into the sea.

Before the murder, Madsen, who described himself as an artist and inventor, had made a name for himself in Denmark and internationally both for his series of self-built submarines, and for his plan to send himself into space on a self-built rocket.  



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Time for the Big Guns: The Bradley Will Be Armed With the XM913 Cannon


Key point: The Bradley vehicle served decently despite a very controversial development history. Could it soon be getting a firepower upgrade?

Jane’s Information Group, an open source intelligence company, reported that Northrop Grumman delivered several prototype guns to the U.S. Army for their Bradley replacement vehicle—and what they delivered looks like a beast.

Previous photos released by Northrop Grumman show the XM913 50mm cannon outdoors, silhouetted against the sky. The massive 50mm main gun is said to have two types of ammunition, a fin-stabilized armor piercing sabot round, as well as a high explosive tracer round. To offset some of the no doubt massive recoil the massive gun would generate, the XM913’s barrel features a prominent four-baffle muzzle brake—though a quick google search shows that the main gun still has lots of recoil. 

While the current Bradley vehicle’s 25mm cannon can hit targets at ranges of up to two kilometers, or about 1.2 miles, Northrop Grumman maintains that their XM913 has double the range of a 25mm gun—and can hit targets up to four kilometers away.

A Northrop Grumman spokesman told Jane’s that the 50mm cannon “combines Bushmaster chain gun reliability with [a] next-generation effective range that will provide the warfighter with increased stand-off against near peer adversaries,” though what platform the massive main gun will be mated to remained slightly ambiguous.

Jane’s reported that the 50mm cannon is being developed to support the Army’s Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) program, one of several projects that the Army says are intended to replace the Bradley family of vehicles. But the main gun could also be used to increase other platform’s lethality as well.

Into Modernity

The Army is in the middle of a modernization push and is introducing several new armored platforms into service. One of these, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle manufactured by BAE systems, recently entered serial production.

Though it does offer increased protection when compared to the M113 and Bradley vehicles, it appears to be rather modestly armed with a single .50 caliber heavy machine gun. It remains unclear if the XM913 would be able to be mated to the AMPV platform, though the Army would likely want a firepower upgrade for the platform.

Postscript

Northrop Grumman estimates that by the end of 2021, the Army will have ordered a total of seventeen XM913 cannons for testing and evaluation. Still, the Army has not yet decided what caliber the NGCV program will choose. So for now, all we can do is wait and see what happens. Watch this topic for new details about both the NGCV program—and the XM913—in the future.

Caleb Larson is a defense writer with The National Interest. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture. This first appeared earlier this year and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters





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