Entries in Police (28)


Leaked Photographs of Pistorius Murder Scene 'Not from the Police'

Photo by Herman Verwey/City Press/Gallo Images/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Photographs of the bathroom where Olympian Oscar Pistorius allegedly killed his girlfriend were leaked on Friday, with questions abound regarding the handling of the crime scene.

Pistorius, who is charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in February. Pistorius maintains he shot Steenkamp, 29, by accident, mistaking her for an intruder on Valentine's Day. He is due back in court on June 4 with a trial scheduled to take place before the end of this year.

In recent weeks there have been reports that one of the runner's watches was missing from his home following the initial police investigation. After the lead investigator was kicked off of the case for his own legal issues, the leaked photos are the latest complication in the Olympian's murder case.

"The photos that we have seen are not from the police," South African National Police Brigadier Phuti Setati said. "We do not know the origin of the photos or the footage. We are looking into the matter with the view of establishing if it warrants an investigation."

It is not clear who may have had access to the crime scene in addition to investigating officers and Pistorius, though one source suggests that a South African police officer may have taken the photograph after the preliminary investigation. Police are already looking into a number of media leaks, including the confiscation of 40 South African police officers' phones.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


British Police Have New Leads in Case of Missing Girl

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Police in Great Britain said they have identified new leads in the case of Madeleine McCann, the British girl who went missing in Portugal six years ago at the age of three.

Several persons of interest, as well as "both investigative and forensic opportunities" in the case, have been identified by Scotland Yard, authorities said.

Metropolitan Police said they were working with Portuguese police to determine the next steps, even though the missing girl's case is closed in the country.

"Our investigative review is ongoing and we are encouraged by the progress we are making," Metropolitan Police said in a statement, according to the BBC. "We are reviewing a significant number of documents and continue to identify potential lines of inquiry."

McCann was 3 years old when she vanished on vacation with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann and twin siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal. The girl's parents say they found Madeleine missing after having left the children in the home unsupervised while having dinner less than 500 feet away.

The review into the McCann case was opened last year after Prime Minister David Cameron responded to a plea from the girl's parents.

Kate and Gerry McCann have maintained a website and a 24-hour tipline to keep their daughter's case in the public eye.

On May 3, 2013, six years after Madeleine went missing, Kate McCann posted on the "Find Madeleine" website that the family was there "for the long haul."

"We still worry about her, we miss her as much as we ever did," McCann wrote. "We remain as determined as ever to find her and to know what has happened."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Australian Police Urge Motorists to Turn Away from Apple Maps

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(VICTORIA, Australia) -- It’s been no secret that Apple’s Maps app has its problems, but a police department in Australia has actually gone so far as to say that it is a “life threatening issue.”

It seems that motorists looking for the town of Mildura in northwestern Victoria, Australia have found themselves lost or stranded in Murray-Sunset National Park. Why? Because Apple Maps places the town smack in the middle of the park. Not only is the park 70 km (about 45 miles) from the town of Mildura, but some people said they got stranded there for up to 24 hours without food or water, and had to walk long distances to find phone reception.

As a result, the Mildura police have issued a statement "urging motorists to be careful when relying on” Apple’s Maps in iOS 6. This comes after “a number of motorists were directed off the beaten track in recent weeks.” The town has reached out to Apple and hopes there will be a fix, but for now is urging anyone traveling to the town to use other mapping software.

Apple, reached by ABC News, declined to comment on the police statement.

After Apple released its Maps app in September, and people reported misplaced towns and cities, Apple itself admitted it hadn’t lived up to its own standards. “At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers,” CEO Tim Cook wrote in a letter to Apple customers. “With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”

Cook reiterated Apple’s commitment to improving the software last week in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. “We’re putting all of our energy into making it right. And we have already had several software updates. We’ve got a huge plan to make it even better. It will get better and better over time. But it wasn’t a matter that we … decided strategy over customers. We screwed up. That’s the fact.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Britain's Scotland Yard Headquarters to Be Sold? 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Things are getting so bad in cash-strapped Britain that the building housing Scotland Yard headquarters could be sold off.

London's Metropolitan police have been given the task of shedding some $800 million from the various departmental budgets over the next two-and-a-half years. A big part of that solution would be to sell-off Scotland Yard's headquarters and move to a nearby, smaller building.

Currently, there are around 700 premises in the form of police stations, gas stations and traffic garages in use by the force and it's estimated that roughly a third will have to be unloaded if that steep austerity goal is to be met.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Six Argentine Police Officers Arrested in Connection with Torture Video  

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SALTA, Argentina) -- Six police officers in Argentina have found themselves on the other side of the law as they were arrested, as part of an investigation into a video which recently surfaced, and appears to show two suspects being tortured by a group of police officers.
The video shows the suspects stripped down to their underwear, hands tied and being interrogated by the officers. At one point an interrogator is seen placing a plastic bag over the head of one of the suspects and tying it around the man's neck. The video also shows water being poured on a suspect during the ordeal.
The six officers arrested are reportedly members of a drug investigation unit in the city of Salta, the BBC reports, and their arrests come after a "quick investigation," says security minister Eduardo Sylvester.
The security minister is quoted in the BBC report saying, "they are not policemen, they are criminals."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Another Toy Poodle Joins Japanese Police Ranks

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images(KYOTO, Japan) -- Police in Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture have enlisted a four-year-old toy poodle to join its crime-fighting ranks, joining a growing number of Japanese police departments that are taking on miniature canines.

Mochi passed his police dog exam last month, after six months of training. He is the third toy poodle to join the police ranks, but the first to be enlisted as a sniffer dog.

Kyoto police said that Mochi has been trained to detect drugs, explosives and other odors, and will be used on a “case-by-case” basis for the next year.

Weighing less than 4 pounds, Mochi is considered small for a toy poodle, but his owner Naomi Yasuda says he has the smarts of larger, more traditional canines. He has already been trained as a therapy dog, and has spent the last few years providing affection and comfort to nursing home patients.

“Mochi has always been at the top of his class, in training school,” Yasuda told ABC News. “I just wanted to find a way for him to help others.”

Japanese police departments have traditionally used larger dogs like German shepherds for their canine force, but they have increasingly turned to smaller breeds in recent years. Last year, toy poodles Karin and Fuga became minor celebrities after qualifying for the police force in Tottori Prefecture. A few years ago, Miniature Schnauzer “Kuu” joined the local police force in Wakayama, while long-haired Chihuahua “Momo” qualified for duty, alongside Beagle “Ginny.”

The emergence of the alternative breeds isn’t coincidence. Some police departments struggling to recruit large dogs recently amended rules that said tinier pups weren’t fit for duty. They proved their worth in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami last year, when they crawled into tiny spaces their counterparts could not, in search of bodies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Japanese Fugitive Turned Away by Police

This undated file picture shows a former member of Japan's Aum Supreme Truth doomsday cult Makoto Hirata, 46, who was arrested in Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2012 after almost 17 years on the run. JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Until New Year’s Eve, Makoto Hirata was one of Japan’s most wanted fugitives.

His face plastered across every police station, Hirata had been on the run for nearly 17 years -- wanted for allegedly kidnapping and killing the brother of a member of the Aum Supreme Truth doomsday cult, the group behind the 1995 sarin gas attack, Japan’s largest domestic terror case. He was also considered a key accomplice to former cult leader Shoko Asahara, who masterminded the attack on Tokyo’s subway system, which killed a dozen people.

Yet, when the 46-year-old finally decided to surrender Saturday, he had to nearly beg police to arrest him. Japanese media report the fugitive tried, unsuccessfully, for three hours to convince authorities he was the man in the wanted poster.

According to his lawyer Taro Takimoto, Hirata first went to a Tokyo-area police station around 9 p.m. -- specifically because he knew the investigative unit for the cult was based there. When he couldn’t find the entrance, which was upstairs, he called a police hotline set up for tips on Hirata and two other missing cult members. He called 10 times, but got a busy signal.

Hirata then called the emergency number, asking which police unit was in charge of his case, though he didn’t identify himself. The fugitive took the train to the Tokyo police headquarters near the central government district, but was turned away by the officer on guard, who thought Hirata was pulling a prank.

The officer, weary of Hirata, pointed him towards another nearby police station without checking his ID. Hirata’s quest to surrender finally came to an end just before the new year, at 11:50 p.m., when he was taken into custody.

Takimoto said Hirata felt compelled to turn himself in after witnessing the devastation caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

“The senseless scenes from Tohoku after the earthquake made me question my own situation,” Hirata said, in a statement read by Takimoto. “I wanted to turn myself in by the end of the year.”

Former leader Asahara and 12 other senior cult members have been sentenced to death for their roles in the sarin gas attack, but two others wanted in connection with the crimes remain at large.

Takimoto said Hirata remained in Japan during his years on the run. He reportedly had no contact with the other Aum fugitives.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Toy Poodles Join Japanese Police Force

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- The dogs, one-year-old Karine and two-year-old Fuga, passed their canine training tests last month, and made their police debut over the weekend. They will be used in the same roles as other K-9 dogs, and their trainer insists the poodles won’t be at a disadvantage because of their size.

“Their trainers thought the dogs had keen senses and responded exceptionally well to commands,” said a spokesman, according to Agence France-Presse.

Japanese usually use larger dogs, such as German shepards, for their canine force. But the earthquake and tsunami in March proved that smaller dogs can also be useful for search and rescue operations.

In July, a Shiba Inu joined the police force Japan’s Okayama prefecture. The dog was the first of her breed ever to work for a police department in Japan.

Last year, a long-haired Chihuahua named Momo, which means ”Peach,” became Japan’s first Chihuahua police dog. Momo weighs less than seven pounds.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sentencing of Egyptian Police Officers Draws Criticism

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CAIRO) -- The sentencing of two Egyptian police officers convicted for the beating death of Khaled Said, the 28-year-old man whose killing is said to have sparked the revolt in Egypt, has spurred more controversy, the New York Times reports.

An Alexandria court sentenced the two men to seven years in prison, drawing criticism from both the families of Said and the convicted officers, Mahmoud Salah and Awad Ismaeil.

Said's family and its supporters found the sentence to be too lenient, while relatives of Salah and Ismaeil tried to attack prosecutors in the courtroom after hearing the judgement, according to the New York Times.

Khaled Said died in June 2010 after, according to witnesses, police dragged him from an internet cafe in Alexandria and beat him, the Times reports.

Gamal Eid, a human rights lawyer, told the Times that it is rare for prison time to be handed down for police brutality. Still, the judge said the victim in this case had been treated cruelly.

Critics of the ruling, however, say that such a mild sentence won't suffice as a deterrent for future incidents.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


UN Finds Torture in Afghan-Run Prisons, US Halts Transfer of Prisoners

Ojo Images/Workbook Stock(UNITED NATIONS) -- A United Nations report that was supposed to be released next week has been leaked to the BBC and delivers explosive allegations against Afghanistan’s police and its equivalent of the FBI.

The report, according to the copy obtained by the BBC, accuses Afghanistan’s police and national directorate of security of running prisons in which Taliban and criminal prisoners were beaten and given electric shocks.
In response, NATO has stopped transferring detainees that soldiers and marines pick up in the field to Afghan authorities in a handful of areas “until we can verify the observations of a pending UNAMA [UN Mission in Afghanistan] report," a NATO official told the BBC. The official called the step “prudent.”

Why is this important? Detention and rule of law is fundamental to Afghans, and if Afghanistan’s FBI and police have been torturing prisoners, then Afghans could turn against their own government, and that drives them away from the U.S. -- making life more dangerous for your average U.S. soldier.
“UNAMA is currently finalizing a report on the mistreatment of detainees in Afghanistan,” says a spokesman. “We have shared the report’s findings with the government of Afghanistan, including with the National Directorate of Security. We understand they are taking the findings very seriously and are proposing a series of remedial action. Our findings indicate that the mistreatment of detainees is not an institutional or government policy of the government of Afghanistan.”
NATO has suspended transfers to prisons run by NDS in Herat, Khost, Lagman, Kapisa and Takhar, as well as the NDS' Counter-Terrorism prison, known as Department 124. It has also suspended transfers to two prisons run by the Afghan Police in Kunduz and Tarin Kowt.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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