Latest Stories

Plans to move Pankhurst statue scuppered

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Emmeline Pankhurst
Westminster City Council
The statue in Victoria Tower Gardens

A proposal to move a statue of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst off Parliament grounds to a new location has been withdrawn following a public backlash.

Westminster City Council has confirmed the application to move the statue to Regent’s University’s grounds had been withdrawn.

Women’s groups had criticised former Conversative MP Sir Neil Thorne’s trust’s proposal to move the effigy from Victoria Tower Gardens near the House of Lords to the new site at Regent’s Park.

The Grade II-listed tribute to Pankhurst was unveiled in the gardens in 1930 and later moved to a different site on the land.

The planning application from the Pankhurst Trust to move it again attracted hundreds of comments, with most decrying the proposal to move it off site.

Severe accident: A41 London northbound

BBC News Travel

A41 London northbound severe accident, at Lodge Road.

A41 London - A41 Park Road in Warwick Avenue blocked northbound at the Lodge Road junction, because of an accident. Diversion in operation - 3 bus routes are being diverted.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Taxi drivers take congestion charge fight to City Hall

Taxi protest
Kathryn Oglesby

Taxi drivers across London who could face a daily congestion charge of £10.50 have taken their fight to the Mayor of London’s doorstep.

Cab drivers could soon no longer be exempt from paying the daily levy under proposals put forward by Transport for London (TfL).

The charge was introduced in 2003 and is imposed on drivers travelling through central London from 07:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday.

Campaigners, who are part of the Independent Workers union of Great Britain (IWGB) protested outside of City Hall yesterday, where they called on Sadiq Khan to reverse these plans or make taxi operators pay the charge instead.

Yaseen Aslan, taxi driver and co-founder of IWGB, said: “We represent the majority of ethnic minority drivers and expect Sadiq Khan to go out of his way and help people like us.

“It is shocking we have to protest against a Labour mayor.

“We want more workers rights and to stop taxi companies exploiting drivers.

“We need more done to make sure our rights are not being abused.”

Mr Aslan said that taxi drivers have to work a minimum of 35 hours a week just to offset the costs they face before making any money - these include petrol, licencing and insurance costs.

If they had to pay a daily charge of £10.50 every day this would seriously impact upon their incomes.

Knives and alcohol sold to children in London


Shops in London are selling knives, alcohol and tobacco to children as young as 13.

Over 2,500 test purchases carried out by London Trading Standards (LTS) revealed the age-restricted items being sold to under-18s.

A total of 285 illegal sales were recorded, with 14% of shops selling knives and 12% selling alcohol. The Met Police said it was "unacceptable".

There have been 64 fatal stabbings in London since January.

Number of terror suspects on trial hits 10-year high

Armed officers

A total of 100 people were brought to trial charged with terrorism offences in the year ending 30 June 2018, Home Office statistics show.

Of those on trial 90 were convicted, making it the highest number of people tried and highest number of convictions since data began being collected in 2009.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon said counter terrorism police are "working tirelessly to ensure that our investigations yield positive results at court."

“We’re not only successfully prosecuting more people than ever before, but we’re also jailing the most dangerous offenders for longer - helping to keep the public safe,” he said.

TfL bosses lose high court battle over cycle route

Transport for London (TfL) has lost a High Court fight centred on a planned cycle route.

Westminster Council bosses complained about TfL's decision to start construction of a cycle superhighway at Swiss Cottage.

They said TfL had not considered the possibility the council would raise an objection to the superhighway - designed to run on roads between Swiss Cottage and Portland Place - so the decision to begin building was unlawful.

A judge ruled in favour of council bosses earlier.

Sir Ross Cranston had analysed rival arguments at a High Court hearing earlier this month.

The judge said residents had also raised concern about TfL's decision.

Severe disruption: A40 London eastbound

BBC News Travel

A40 London eastbound severe disruption, between A404 Marylebone Flyover and A5 Edgware Road.

A40 London - One lane closed on A40 Marylebone Flyover eastbound in Paddington between the A404 Marylebone Flyover junction and Bakerloo Edgware Road Station, because of a broken down van.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Met chief 'disappointed' by police pay rise

Cressida Dick

The head of the Metropolitan Police has criticised the government's refusal to increase police pay by 3%.

Police were given a 2% rise - even though an independent panel had recommended a 3% increase.

Cressida Dick said she was "disappointed" by the decision "to ignore the recommendations", which had impacted both morale and staffing.

It comes as a public spending watchdog called the government's approach to police funding "ineffective".

Fifth of London murders 'linked back to Merton'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A fifth of all murders in London can be linked back to Merton, according to a report published this week.

The report on knife crime has been put together by Neil Thurlow, head of Safer Merton.

Since 2016 there has been a 21% increase in knife crime in the borough at about 15 offences each month.

The highest level is seen in Figge’s Marsh and Cricket Green, accounting for 30% of all knife crime offences in the borough.

Colliers Wood and Pollards Hill are the see the third and fourth highest levels respectively.

But the increase in offences is less than half the increase that has been seen across London.

The report said: “Merton has not been unaffected by this increase [in 2018] in murder rate and knife crime.

“We have had one murder on borough, we have seen one ex-Merton young person killed in Camberwell and, through work undertaken by the youth offending team, they estimate that London’s murders can be linked back to Merton, in some way, in an alarming 20% of cases.”

It goes on to say that police cannot deal with the ‘pandemic’ of knife crime alone.

A ‘knife crime plan’ is set to be signed off by 14 September.

This will include how other organisations could contribute to weapon sweeps in the borough.

It will also include what front-line staff, like wardens and street cleaners, should do if they come across a weapon and whether training needs to be provided by the police for these groups.

The report is set to be discussed by Merton Council’s Joint Consultative Committee with Ethnic Minority Organisations on Tuesday.

2018 marks the centenary of the Metropolitan Police's unit, the Flying Squad.
The Metropolitan Police's Flying Squad has solved some of the most high-profile crimes in history.
Grenfell Inquiry: Firefighter apologises to families
A firefighter tells the inquiry he's sorry they "couldn't get loved ones out of the building".

Grenfell firefighter: 'I'm very sorry'

Grenfell Inquiry: Firefighter apologises to families
A London firefighter tells a public inquiry into last summer's Grenfell Tower fire that he's sorry they "couldn't get loved ones out of the building".

Met's "Flying Squad" celebrates being 100 years old

illenium Dome Diamond
Met Police
The Millenium Dome Diamond heist was foiled by The Flying Squad

The Met's Flying Squad is celebrating their 100th anniversary.

In 1918, 12 specially chosen Metropolitan Police detectives were called to New Scotland Yard to form what would quickly become one of the most prominent squads in London, the Met said.

Some of the squad's most famous investigations include:

  • The Flying Squad's first high-profile success against a gang of armed robbers in 1948 who intended to steal a consignment of gold bullion worth £250,000 from a warehouse at Heathrow Airport;
  • In 1963 the squad - led by Detective Chief Superintendent Tommy Butler - famously arrested 17 out of the 19 criminals responsible for The Great Train Robbery;
  • The unit was responsible for the arrest of most of the villains involved in the Bank of America Safety Deposit Robbery in 1975;
  • 1983 saw the Flying Squad successfully investigate the Brinks-Mat security depot robbery;
  • The squad was responsible for the arrest of those involved in a high-profile safe deposit raid in Knightsbridge in 1987;
  • More recently the unit is well-known for foiling a plot to rob the Millennium Dome's Diamond Exhibition in 2000. The operation is the biggest in the squad's history and prevented the robbery of the Millennium Star worth approximately £200 million as well as a collection of blue diamonds.

Barry Phillips, head of the Flying Squad Officers' Association,said: "For 100 years the detectives of the Flying Squad, so ably assisted by the expert squad drivers, forensics and photographic colleagues, together with police staff, have proudly done their duty as part of an exceptional group of men and women."

Robots are doing repairs underneath London's streets
The new technology means roads don't have to be closed for repairs and residents can keep the gas on.

Man sought after woman 'attacked' at Green Park

CCTV suspect

Police have issued a CCTV image of a man wanted in connection with an attack on a woman at Green Park Tube station.

The victim is said to have been barged and punched twice in the arm by a man while the pair were on the westbound Piccadilly Line platform on 31 July at about 15:45.

The man is also said to have shouted at the woman.

British Transport Police officers would like to speak to the man (pictured) as they believe he may have information which could help the investigation.

Met Police planning for 'no deal' Brexit scenario

Sir Craig Mackey and Cressida Dick

A senior Metropolitan Police officer has said the force is planning for a "no deal" Brexit scenario.

The Deputy Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey told London Assembly Members this morning that by leaving the European Union, it could have an impact on up to 40 agreements and protocols which benefit policing in London - as well as the UK.

He gave an example of international alerts and work passed through the National Crime Agency with regards to criminals coming in and out of the country.

The Metropolitan Police's Commissioner Cressida Dick added that the force is working with the government to prepare for impacts of a no deal such as border protection and public order in case of any protests.

Teen 'critical' in hospital after Islington stabbing

A teenager is fighting for his life in hospital after being stabbed in Islington last night, the Metropolitan Police has said.

The male victim, believed to be 18, was found by paramedics with stab wounds on York Way at about 22:00.

As police officers arrived, a group of males - thought to have attacked the victim - fled the scene.

The teenager was taken to a hospital in east London, with injuries described by police as "life-threatening".

Following the stabbing, officers in the area were given extra stop and search powers until 06:00 this morning.

Police say a crime scene remains in place and that no arrests have been made.

View more on twitter

Officers injured during Notting Hill Carnival 'higher'

Notting Hill Carnival arrest

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has revealed the number of officers injured at this year's Notting Hill Carnival was higher than first reported.

Speaking at City Hall, Cressida Dick told London Assembly members the initial amount of injured officers was 30, but this has since risen to 45.

"These injuries were all horrid, but in the grand scheme of things, minor injuries. Thirty injuries was unacceptable, 45 is very unacceptable."

Three police officers were taken to hospital for treatment following being spat at during the Carnival.

"One female officer was spat upon and bitten, which is totally unacceptable," Ms Dick added.

Despite this, Ms Dick said this year's carnival was "much safer and more secure" than the previous year, and concerns going forward

She added: "The number of arrests were similar [to last year] but far less life-threatening incidents. It was one of the smoothest and most efficient carnivals.

"Positive moves were the use of the Section 60, the knife arches were useful, the atmosphere was very good.

"I was out for eight hours on the Monday, and every few yards I was stopped and thanked for the police presence."

Five teenagers convicted of killing Hackney father

Daniel Frederick
Met Police

Five teenagers have been convicted of killing Hackney father Daniel Frederick who was stabbed to death earlier this year.

The 34-year-old victim (pictured) was attacked yards away from his home in Stoke Newington on 8 January.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey Kacper Karasinski and a 17-year-old boy were unanimously found guilty of murder.

Yigiter Gok and the other 17-year-old boy were found guilty of manslaughter by a majority of 11-1 - while a 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty to murder before the start of the trial.

The two 17-year-old boys and the 16-year-old cannot be named for legal reasons.

All five will be sentenced at a later date.