Tagged: Linthorpe Road

Beggars are targeting car parks as people give money there, says Ray Mallon

> The on-going campaign against begging has now arrived in Middlesbrough.

The campaign against the conditions that make people beggars has not yet started, nor is it likely to.

Middlesbrough‘s Mayor Ray Mallon has promised a clampdown on beggars to give retailers and shoppers in the town “a good Christmas”.

> Is he seriously claiming that beggars are affecting Middlesbrough’s economy ? But surely they plough money they make back into the tills of retailers too ?

The outspoken mayor launched a new attack on beggars at a meeting of Middlesbrough Council’s Executive today.

“Beggars are not homeless, they are criminals,” he said, claiming they “diversify from crime to begging because it pays well”.

I know half of these people, I was locking their fathers up,” he said.

> Not pausing to reflect that he might have helped build the current situation when he was busy playing RoboCoop.

Mr Mallon went on: “These beggars are affecting economics because they are intimidating.

“It becomes quite difficult for shoppers to walk around and not be intimidated.”

The mayor said beggars were now targeting car parks as people give them money there because “they feel they could be robbed”.

“I know this as lots of members of the public have told me this,” he said.

> Oh, well… scientific survey and all that. Some people told me so it must be true, especially as it reinforces my prejudices.

I suppose if I’m being fair, I have my predjudices too. Ex-cops who get elected as mayors, for example, despite the fact that…

At a disciplinary hearing in February 2001, Mallon pleaded guilty to 14 charges of misconduct, 12 of which were serious enough to warrant his resignation.

He admitted that he repeatedly “lied, deliberately withheld evidence from senior officers, and turned a blind eye to detectives who took and dealt hard drugs, and supplied them to vulnerable suspects in custody.”

He was required to resign on leaving the police headquarters.

In 2011, Mallon came under fire over secret recordings in which he is heard making sexual comments about a colleague and describes Asian taxi drivers as ‘badly behaved’. These recordings were made during a meeting with Mohammed Bashir, the owner of local taxi company Boro Taxis. The remarks were perceived as sexist and racist by many, but Mallon subsequently offered an explanation and apology for his remarks.

The recordings also make reference to a disagreement between the council and Bashir over Boro Taxis’ trade. In dealing with this dispute, Mallon failed to declare his personal friendship with Bashir, as he was required to.

In the recordings, Mallon claims to have ‘played a fucking blinder‘ and goes on to say: “Well I’m the boss here but remember this, I’m prevented from doing my job because of my conflict of interest with you… because I have actually got away with murder because I’ve declared my friendship with you in that meeting and still been able to do what I want to do.

The Standards Board for England, a watchdog for ethical standards in local councils, ruled against Mallon on a charge of bringing his office into disrepute and on two separate charges of failing to declare, when required, a personal interest. However the board did not recommend any sanctions be brought against Mallon.[

The subject changed to begging after the meeting heard how a free parking scheme was drawing Christmas shoppers into Middlesbrough.

Mr Mallon said parking was one of the barriers that can stop people visiting a town, and begging was another.

He said the council and its partners needed to “keep on top” of the problem with it being the Christmas period.

Councillor Steve Bloundele, Executive member for commercial assets and property, told the meeting that an ongoing clampdown had already reduced the number of beggars in the Linthorpe Road area.

“We still have the support of all the other agencies working alongside us,” he said.

Begging is an issue tackled regularly by Ray Mallon.

Back in September he told the Executive:

“The local authority must take this subject very seriously and do everything in its power to eradicate this problem.

“From now on I don’t want the public to give them any money.”

On another occasion Mr Mallon took direct action against a beggar by standing next to him and telling shoppers not to give him any money until he got fed up and moved away.

The mayor declared war against beggars as long ago as 2002, when he pledged to run a growing army of aggressive beggars on the streets of Middlesbrough out of town.

It was the new growth area in anti-social behaviour, he warned during a council debate on crime and policing in the town in September of that year.

In 2005 it was claimed the final ‘hardcore’ beggar had been run out of Middlesbrough.

Then in 2008 key agencies joined forces to tackle a new influx of beggars in the town.

The move came just days after Mayor Mallon warned that beggars intimidated members of the public and again called for offenders to be run out of town.

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  09 Dec 2014

Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Mallon

Mayor Ray Mallon vows to drive beggars out of Middlesbrough for the second time

Beggars can’t be choosers, they simply have to go – that is the stark warning issued by Ray Mallon.

The Middlesbrough Mayor said he will “drive all the beggars out of the town” saying they are “all criminals”.

He made the statement at an Executive meeting held at Middlesbrough Town Hall yesterday.

Every single one of them is a criminal and diversified from crime into begging because it pays well and the public are giving them money because they are intimidating,” he said.

There are about 16 beggars in the town now.”

He recalled when he first came into office and made a similar bid to drive out beggars.

Soon after I was elected (in 2002) there were 28 beggars in the town centre,” he said.

“People were being put off coming here to shop. By 2004 the beggars had been run out of town.”

Mr Mallon took direct action against one beggar – standing next to him and telling shoppers not to give him any money until he got fed up and moved away.

He took similar action against a beggar in York walking up to him and asking him for a pound to the man’s surprise.

I was wearing my shorts and my cap so I didn’t look like the Middlesbrough Mayor,” he said.

He said no it’s the other way round. I said ‘Not today, you give money to me’. He said ‘I’m not putting up with this’ and walked off and a woman shouted to me ‘It’s Robocop!’”

He said the problem has crept up again and blamed the downturn of the local economy.

The local authority must take this subject very seriously and do everything in its power to eradicate this problem,” he said.

> Eradicating the problem apparently means eradicating the results of the problem, then ?  Dont attempt to change the policies, just chase the victims of them out of town.

From now on I don’t want the public to give them any money.

> Or what ? Surely that choice belongs to the giver ?

He highlighted the corner of Southfield Road and Linthorpe Road outside Sainsbury’s as a new troublespot.

He has given Cllr Steve Bloundele, Executive member for commercial assets and income, the task of meeting with officers and the police to tackle the issue.

“I want this local authority with the police to be robust in this.

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 10 Sept 2014

EDL disrupt Palestine Solidarity vigil in Middlesbrough

A peaceful vigil became a noisy protest when EDL members arrived to “disrupt” it in Middlesbrough.

Members of Teesside Palestine Solidarity Campaign have been holding a vigil every Wednesday evening since mid-July for the Gaza crisis.

They meet every week from 5pm to 7pm outside McDonald’s in the town centre.

About 15 members of the English Defence League waving an England flag and an Israel flag turned up towards the last half hour of the demonstration, which involved around 100 people.

A makeshift prison was set up under The Bells sculpture on the corner of Linthorpe Road as part of the demonstration.

Children, men and women sat inside on the floor with tape across their mouths and wearing blindfolds.

Other protestors stood alongside them holding up Palestine flags and placards.

Kiran Hussain, 27, a civil servant from Linthorpe in Middlesbrough, played one of the prisoners. She said: “Basically we are coming here every week for them to stop what’s happening. Innocent children are dying so we’re raising awareness.”

John Bloom, 49, from Hartlepool and a bookshop owner in Middlesbrough, is one of the organisers of the weekly vigil. He said: “It’s important we stand with people and make others aware of the suffering and the situation.”

Saeed Ahmed, 50, from Ayresome in Middlesbrough, said: “We want our Prime Minister David Cameron to do something about it.”

A spokesman for the EDL said they were attending the demonstration to “disrupt” it and show solidarity with Israel.

Police watched on during the protest and only intervened once EDL members marched towards the vigil.

Nine police officers and police community support officers formed a wall between the two groups and stopped members of either side coming into close contact.

Both groups dispersed peacefully once the demonstration had finished.

Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 07 Aug 2014

Middlesbrough EDL march and counter demonstration pass without major incident

A demonstration by the English Defence League in Middlesbrough and a counter demonstration have passed off (more or less) peacefully, say police.

Over three hundred police officers were involved in the operation, which has been planned for a number of months.

Around 150-200 counter demonstrators gathered, many dressed in red – the home colours of Middlesbrough FC and the workers movement – as a sign of solidarity.

A strong police presence was active around Ayresome Gardens, but counter demo organiser, Lawrie Coombs, said: “Every time the fascists come, we’ll stand together. But we don’t anticipate any trouble.”

Councillor Len Junier was a prominent figure, leading the march onto Linthorpe Road Middlesbrough.

As the crowds gathered he said: “We are lucky in Middlesbrough, we don’t have problems with racism.

“We don’t want the EDL splitting our community. We want to celebrate the diversity in our area. But we don’t want to get in anyone’s face.”

Addressing the crowd before setting off, a Counter demo spokesman told demonstrators to avoid the areas that the EDL were reported to be.

Then the counter demo set off along Linthorpe Road to the sound of drums and whistles.

Len Junier led the march while chanting, “Whose streets?” to which the procession replied, “Our streets!

Passers-by looked on as the march made its way up towards House of Fraser where a series of anti-racist speeches were made.

The words, “We are British, we’re not going anywhere,” were met with applause from the protesters as the EDL gathered just down the Corporation Road.

Around 350 people took part in the EDL demonstration which set off from Corporation Road at around 2pm.

As the crowd set off, turning the corner from Corporation Road onto Albert Road, it wasn’t long before the singing was broken by the sound of a loud bang.

Police were forced to temporarily halt the march after the bang, from what appeared to have been a firework exploding, shocked many bystanders.

Seconds later, a second firework and a glass bottle were thrown from among the EDL crowd.

As it shattered on the footpath outside Middlesbrough Town Hall, at least one woman was injured and was sat at the road side being treated by an EDL first aider – her foot was bleeding.

Before the march, demonstrators had been warned that banners, flags and placards that might incite disorder would be banned along with anything that could be used to cause injury or damage.

Even so, some of the signs held by EDL supporters were openly hostile in their criticism of Islam.

One read: “Islam causes more deaths a day than cancer does.”

Further fireworks exploded as the procession turned onto Borough road.

As the procession passed some Asian men who were standing at the roadside, certain members of the EDL contingent began chanting “Scum, scum scum.”

Then, as the march turned onto Melrose Street, glass bottles and another firework were thrown in the direction of another group of Asian men, one of whom had a child on his shoulders.

Following this police moved the bystanders away from the march and the missiles which were still being thrown.

Mr Hussein, 37, of Southfield Road, was shocked and baffled by the march.

He said: “I’ve lived here all my life, we live a humble life.

“The people in Middlesbrough have never had these problems before and we don’t want them here now.”

Finally, the EDL supporters gathered outside Teesside Crown Court for speaches.

One speaker said: “When will the government admit that there’s an epidemic of child grooming happening right now.

“Street justice, street justice, is far worse than anything the government can do.”

Still on the issue of child grooming, a second speaker said: “Don’t say this is not a race issue.

“The peaceful majority are irrelevant.”

 A total of two men were arrested – one on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and one on suspicion for assaulting a police officer.

 Acting assistant chief constable Ciaron Irvine said: “Clearly there has been some disruption in Middlesbrough town centre to allow these demonstrations to take place, and we are grateful to local residents and businesses for their co-operation.

“We have been working with our local communities and partner agencies including Middlesbrough Council for a number of weeks now to ensure people have been aware of the events and have had the opportunity to contact us if they have had specific concerns.”

Police and crime commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “I attended one of the briefings to police officers this morning and have been out around the town centre observing activities. The whole operation has been well planned and in consultation with our local communities and businesses.

“Clearly the priority for the police today has been to facilitate each demonstration while ensuring the safety of the public and I am pleased that the day has passed off peacefully.”

Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  28 June 2014

More than 400 anti-EDL protesters to take to Middlesbrough streets for counter-demonstration

More than 400 Teessiders have signed up for a counter-demonstration on the same day as the EDL plans to march through Middlesbrough.

As around 350 EDL members will hold a rally in the town centre streets this Saturday, supporters of an anti-EDL group say they will also take to the streets in protest at the EDL’s principles, which they call a “vicious attempt to smear a whole section of the community”.

Steve Cooke, secretary of the Teesside People’s Assembly Against Austerity, who is involved with the counter-demonstration, said: “There is a serious threat to our local community this weekend.

“A counter-demonstration to oppose the EDL’s presence in the area is being organised by a community coalition of local anti-racist activists, under the banner #BoroNo2EDL.

“This will seek to celebrate Teesside’s diversity.”

The anti-EDL demo will assemble at Ayresome Gardens, off Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, at 11am, opposite the One Life Medical Centre.

The group plans to march along Linthorpe Road to the town centre, ending in a rally outside the House of Fraser store.

Earlier, another spokesman for the group, said: “We are all colours and creeds together, just Boro folk trying to get along and making a life together.

“Middlesbrough is a town that was built by incomers, the Irish who built the docks, the Scots who came to work at the steelworks, the West Indians and Asians who came to work in our health service.”

Cleveland Police earlier warned members of the public over the planned rallies, saying any anti-social or criminal behaviour at marches will be dealt with robustly by police.

A spokesman said officers had been working to ensure the event passed peacefully.

Marchers were warned banners, flags and placards that might incite disorder would be banned along with anything that could be used to cause injury or damage.

Face coverings, masks and scarves if used to conceal someone’s identity are also banned and the distribution of leaflets in Middlesbrough town centre is prohibited.

The last demonstration by the EDL which went through Middlesbrough town centre in 2011 passed off peacefully despite it being on the same day as a United Against Fascism march.

For more information on the proposed counter-demonstration, search for BoroNo2EDL on Facebook.

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening News,  27 June 2014

Police warning ahead of EDL march in Middlesbrough

Protesters have been warned anti-social or criminal behaviour at marches planned this weekend will be dealt with by police.

Almost 350 EDL supporters have said they will march through the streets of Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon with more considering it.

There have been concerns they may try to march through some of the town’s ethnic minority areas, finishing at the war memorial on Linthorpe Road.

Counter demonstrations are also being planned by groups opposed to the EDL.

Now Cleveland Police has said while groups have the right to stage a peaceful protest, action would be taken if necessary.

A spokesman said officers had been working to ensure the event passed peacefully.

He urged marchers: “Please enjoy a peaceful event, respect the town and respect those who are going about their daily business.”

Marchers were warned banners, flags and placards that might incite disorder would be banned along with anything that could be used to cause injury or damage.

Face coverings, masks and scarves if used to conceal someone’s identity are also banned and the distribution of leaflets in Middlesbrough town centre is prohibited.

The last demonstration by the EDL  which went through Middlesbrough town centre in 2011 passed off peacefully despite it being on the same day as a United Against Fascism march.

The police spokesman added: “We aim to use a proportionate number of police officers to ensure your protest remains peaceful and safe. We will however respond to any outbreaks of disorder.

“Middlesbrough is a town of peace – with your help and co-operation we can keep it that way.”

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  26 June 2014

Middlesbrough EDL march: Police warn criminal behaviour will be dealt with ‘robustly’

Police have warned that any anti-social or criminal behaviour linked to a planned English Defence League demonstration will be dealt with “robustly”.

It comes as hundreds of demonstrators plan to march through Middlesbrough later this month.

Cleveland Police officers are in talks with a number of groups over plans by members of the EDL from as far afield as London and Scotland to gather in the town on June 28.

About 250 EDL supporters have already confirmed they are attending on Facebook – with organisers saying full details of the demo will be released “at a later date”.

It is understood that they may try to march through residential areas, finishing at the war memorial on Linthorpe Road.

It comes after a recent demonstration in Newcastle city centre in which Teesside flags could be seen.

Counter demonstrations are also being planned by groups opposed to the EDL.

Cleveland Police Superintendent Mark Thornton said: “A representative of the EDL has made contact with police informing us of their intention to gather in Middlesbrough later this month and we are in dialogue with them.

“Groups have a lawful right to gather or protest in a peaceful manner and Cleveland Police will plan for and try to facilitate such events.

“We are aware that other groups have expressed their intention to gather and express their own views that day however, as yet, no representatives have come forward to give police a clear indication of their intentions for that day.

“Finally, we are in contact with a number of community groups from across Middlesbrough to reassure them of our commitment to the day passing off peacefully, without incident, and with minimal disruption to residents of and visitors to Middlesbrough.

“I would stress that anyone coming to Cleveland with the intention of taking part in anti-social or criminal behaviour will be dealt with robustly.”

John Bloom, a spokesman for Teesside Solidarity Movement, which is calling on Teessiders to stand against the EDL march, said: “We are asking the real decent people of Middlesbrough and Teesside to come out and to stand with us instead on the 28th.

“Let’s show those who want to divide us, by race and by colour that we will have none of it.

“Ours will be a celebration together of what’s good about Teesside folk, standing together against the racism.

“Boro folk are not black and white. We are all colours and creeds together, just Boro folk trying to get along and making a life together.

“Middlesbrough is a town that was built by incomers, the Irish who built the docks, the Scots who came to work at the steelworks, the West Indians and Asians who came to work in our health service.

“On the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings, we are reminded of the price that we pay, when we allow people to try to set us apart from each other by race and religion.”

Mr Bloom said the details of the solidarity parade were being finalised.

Nobody from the EDL was available for comment.

Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  11 June 2014