London's Metropolitan police have acquired technology which allows them to intercept mobile phone calls and SMS messages, switch off phones remotely and gather data about users in a target area.
The technology, created by UK company Datong, creates fake mobile networks and tricks mobile phones within a 10 square kilometre radius into using it. The surveillance system is then able to spy on the phone's communications and access the phone's identification numbers, IMEI and IMSI, which give away the user's location and can be used to shut down the phone.
One positive use of this technology is to enable law enforcers to locate and shut down a mobile phone that may be used as a trigger for a bomb.
October 2011 Archives
London's Metropolitan police have acquired technology which allows them to intercept mobile phone calls and SMS messages, switch off phones remotely and gather data about users in a target area.
Three nurses based in Manchester suffered bullying and victimisation at the hands of their colleagues after they made complaints about a member of staff who had lied about his qualifications.
While the law protects whistleblowers from reprisals from their employer, it does not extend to fellow employees, and when the nurses eventually lost their jobs through the treatment of their colleagues, they were not protected by employment law.
Jennie Fecitt, Annie Woodcock and Felicity Hughes worked at walk-in centres for NHS Manchester. After they blew the whistle on the colleague who had lied about his qualifications, they found themselves subjected to bullying by other colleagues, which resulted in the entire team becoming dysfunctional.
Pyrros Vardinoyannis, a millionaire shipping tycoon, tried to prevent his wife Elizabeth from pursuing a divorce through the British courts, which are known for awarding generous settlements.
The couple, who originally met in St Tropez in 2001, led a jet setting lifestyle described by High Court Judge Peter Jackson as "a protracted modern version of the 18th Century Grand Tour".
Since last April, the couple began to drift apart and Mr Vardinoyannis claims that since his wife spent a great deal of the last year abroad, she should not be allowed to pursue a divorce in the UK. He attempted to stop her legal action taking place in the 'divorce' and started his own divorce proceedings in Greece.
In a landmark ruling, the High Court has given BT a deadline of 9 November to block the file-sharing website Newzbin2 after it was found to be in breach of copyright law.
Justice Arnold yesterday ruled that British Telecom must block any IP address whose "sole or predominant purpose is to enable or facilitate access to the Newzbin2 website".
He added that the Motion Picture Association (MPA), who brought the case under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, would not have to bring future legal action against new IP addresses created by Newzbin2 to circumvent BT's action.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has rejected the recently leaked report that recommended unfair dismissal be scrapped and replaced with 'no fault' dismissals.
The report, written for Downing Street by Tory party donor Adrian Beecroft, will not be made public and was claimed by Mr Cable's aides to be unofficial and not officially commissioned.
It stated that unfair dismissal claims are a great drain on business, especially in the public sector, since the fear of reprisal means that employers allow unsatisfactory employees to "coast along" without firing them.
Squatters are to be criminalised and homeowners will be given stronger rights of self-defence against intruders in new amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Bill announced by Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke yesterday (26 October).
The amendments will be discussed in the Commons next week; this is the first step in the process of a Government Bill entering into UK law.
Squatting is currently a civil offence but Mr Clarke intends to make it a criminal offence to squat in residential premises because "far too many people endure the misery, expense and incredible hassle of removing squatters from their property."
A London police officer has been sacked following a series of mishandled calls to the 999 emergency number, resulting in rape victims, assaults and other serious crimes not being dealt with immediately.
Between May and July in 2009, the 58-year-old police officer based at Bow Central Command Centre was rude and condescending to callers and he dismissed calls reporting crimes such as domestic violence and a potential armed break-in, failing to alert other police officers.
He also falsely recorded phone numbers of callers by changing the last digit so that his superiors would not discover his negligence.
Three men found guilty of murdering their wives will appear at the Court of Appeal hoping to overturn their murder convictions following a change in the law.
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 abolished the common law defence to murder of provocation and replaced it with the defence of 'loss of control', applicable to murders which occurred on or after 4 October 2010.
The three men involved in the appeal claim their crimes were manslaughter, rather than murder, on the grounds of the new defence of 'loss of control'.
Ian Brown, lead singer of rock band The Stone Roses, narrowly escaped a driving ban this week after being caught speeding on a motorway.
The singer was represented by lawyer Nick Freeman, who was referred to as 'Mr Loophole' by the British tabloid press after successfully defending many celebrity clients against motoring offences. Mr Freeman has since trademarked the nickname.
Despite Mr Brown being followed on the M6 by a police car for over five miles while he drove at speeds of 94 - 105 mph, Mr Freeman managed to convince Chester Magistrates' Court that his client would face "insurmountable" difficulties if he lost his driving licence.
A man from New York, USA, who filed an age discrimination lawsuit against a youth orchestra, has complained that the judge presiding over his case is too old.
Martin Stoner, 60, wanted to play violin in a competition run by not-for-profit company Young Concert Artists aimed at young musicians aged between 19 to 26.
Mr Stoner recently lost his job with the New York City Ballet Orchestra and decided to enter the competition, which offered £46,000 worth of career support as a prize.
Firefighters, teachers, prison officers and other public sector workers are bringing a legal challenge against the Government over changes made to pensions that came into effect in April.
Six public sector unions have claimed that the recent change that involves using the consumer price index (CPI) instead of the traditionally higher retail price index (RPI) to calculate increases in pensions is unlawful.
The trade unions, which include the Fire Brigades Union, the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), the Prison Officers Association, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Unison and Unite, claim that the changes will result in losses of 15 per cent to existing public-sector pensions.
Two drivers were formally arrested in Foshan, China, after they were identified through CCTV footage callously knocking down a toddler and leaving her injured in the street.
Two-year-old Wang Yue has died a week after the incident, which caused an international outcry and forced Chinese people to consider their social morality and reluctance to get involved in other people's business.
The motor accident, which occurred on 13 October, was caught on a security camera and showed the toddler wander into the street where she was knocked down by the first driver. For the next seven minutes she lay in the road as 18 passers-by ignored her. Then the second van ran over her.
A hopeful alchemist from Northern Ireland was recently jailed after his failed attempts to turn waste matter into gold resulted in criminal damage.
Paul Moran, 30, from Enniskillen, had tried to use his own faeces in his experiments. He put the faeces on an electric heater which started a fire and caused £3,000 worth of damage to his Housing Executive home in a block of flats.
When the fire brigade were called to the Mr Moran's flat at Derrin Park in July 2010, they found the faeces along with other waste products such as fertiliser on the heater.
Kweku Adoboli, the UBS trader who recently cost the Swiss bank over $2 billion through fraudulent trading, was today (21 October) committed to crown court.
He faces two counts of fraud and two counts of false accounting carried out during his three years at UBS.
Mr Adoboli was remanded in custody and is due to appear at Southwark Crown Court, the court which specialises in financial criminal cases, on 22 November for a plea and case management hearing.
The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that international businessman Robert Gaines-Cooper will have to repay taxes dating back to 1976, when he tried to escape UK taxes by relocating to the Seychelles.
HM Revenue & Customs argued that Mr Gaines-Cooper did not lose his UK residency because he had not left "permanently or indefinitely" and had maintained social and domestic ties with the country such as a house in Henley-on-Thames. He had also returned regularly between 1993 and 2003 for events such as Royal Ascot and for shooting parties.
However, Mr Gaines-Cooper countered that he had stayed away from the UK for the number of days specified in the HMRC's residence guidance booklet IR20.
The most senior judge in England and Wales has said that rulings from the European Court of Human Rights need not 'necessarily' bind UK courts. Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said that the UK should "take account" of decisions made by the ECHR but not always follow them.
These comments will no doubt be welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron who intends to do away with the Human Rights Act, which enshrines the European Convention on Human Rights in British law, in favour of a British Bill of Rights.
Recently, the ECHR ruled that it is unlawful for all prisoners to be denied the right to vote. Courts in the UK were opposed to this ruling and Mr Cameron is reluctant to give prisoners a vote.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill has called for libel cases to only be heard by a judge rather than a jury, unless the case involves senior public figures.
The committee also proposed in their report that steps should be taken to reduce the cost of bringing a defamation claim, and to clarify the law regarding online defamation.
The report claimed that defamation law should be more accessible and easier to understand.
Despite selling millions of records, going on many worldwide tours and topping international charts, four original members of the reggae band UB40 have been declared bankrupt.
Brian Travers, saxophone, Jimmy Brown, drums, Terence Oswald, trumpet and Norman Hassan, percussion, were declared bankrupt by a judge at Birmingham County Court last week, and have been listed by the Insolvency Service.
Robin Campbell, lead guitar and brother of the lead singer Ali, was also involved in the case but was not declared bankrupt.
A man is being held in custody at Port Talbot police station, Wales, under suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter following the deaths of four men in the Gleision mine.
The 55-year-old man is thought to be the mine manager, Malcolm Fyfield, who was also injured during the incident in the mine which killed the four men.
On 15 September Philip Hill, Charles Breslin, David Powell and Garry Jenkins died when they became trapped in the mine when it flooded. Attempts were made to rescue the men from the mine in the hope that they might still be alive, but the four men were dead when their bodies were found.
When you're in love and getting married, you tend not to think about things like divorce, division of assets and protecting your own interests: it's just not very romantic. But a recent High Court ruling in a divorce settlement may encourage people to think more carefully about keeping their assets separate from their partners.
The case involved a hotel porter who was suing for a share of his ex-wife's £500,000 lottery prize, which she had won more than ten years ago with a ticket bought with her own money and without his knowledge.
At the time, the couple were living in a council house with their two children and they decided to spend her windfall on a new £275,000 family home in London, where they lived together for another three years before their marriage fell apart.
With the cost of fuel having risen dramatically in recent months, Prime Minister David Cameron is meeting with the six biggest energy suppliers, along with consumer groups and the regulator Ofgem, to work out how to create a "trusted, simple and transparent" market.
Currently, the average duel fuel bill is at an all-time high of £1,345 per year. The cost of electricity and gas has risen by up to 18% in the past few weeks.
In an article published on MoneySavingExpert.com, Mr Cameron and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne wrote: "Energy bills have increased by more than 100 pounds for most people since this summer."
A group of cross-party Welsh Assembly ministers are urging the Welsh Government to enforce a ban on using 'legal chastisement' as a legal defence for smacking children.
Although previous attempts to do so have been unsuccessful, four AMs have tabled a debate in the Senedd, the Welsh National Assembly building, about making smacking a criminal offence.
Parents and ministers are divided on the issue of smacking, with some believing it is a useful disciplinary tool and others believing it tantamount to child abuse.
In answer to the criticism over the police response to the recent riots across the UK, the Home Office has proposed that police should be given new powers of declaring 'no-go' zones in which it will be an offensive to disobey a police instruction to leave.
Police officers, of the rank of superintendent and above, will be allowed to set up curfews in areas where they believe "a serious threat of such disorder" might take place.
While individuals will not be arrested merely for being in a 'no-go' area after the curfew is in place, if a police officer instructs a person to leave the area and they refuse, they will be arrested. However, the proposal gives no indication about the penalty that could be incurred.
Pop singer Lady Gaga is famous for her unique and unusual style and she will not tolerate any artist imitating her, even if the artist is a children's cartoon character.
Lady Goo Goo is an animated character who appears on the children's social networking game Moshi Monsters. The character, who looks like a baby version of Lady Gaga, featured in a music video called The Moshi Dance, which was a hit on YouTube during the summer.
The character also sings 'Peppy-razzi', a parody of one of Lady Gaga's songs. The song, along with many others, was to be released in an album of 'Moshi Music' through iTunes later this year.
A Yorkshire ex-policeman has admitted his involvement in a £300 million VAT fraud, believed to be the biggest case of its kind in UK history.
Nigel Cranswick, formerly of the South Yorkshire Police, had set up a company called Ideas 2 Go (I2G) of which he was the director. It purported to trade in mobile phones and software from a small office in a Sheffield business park.
Mr Cranswick claimed that his company traded £2 billion worth of goods in the eight months it was in business. However, the trades had all been fabricated in order to generate paperwork that recorded the fake deals and the VAT they incurred.
Family heirlooms, a favourite lamp or maybe a priceless painting are the kind of assets that people leave to their loved ones in their wills, but a trend has developed recently of people including internet passwords in their estate planning.
Research by the internet hosting company Rackspace found that British people have amassed a £2.3 billion collection of videos, music, books and photos stored online.
Rather than lose all these digital assets, 31% of 2,000 UK adults surveyed claimed that they would pass on their digital legacy to their family members when they died.
The highest court in the land has ruled in favour of Scottish asbestos victims, who contracted pleural plaques from contact with the chemical, in a tough legal battle against insurance companies.
The Scottish Parliament passed The Damages Act in 2009 which allowed people suffering from pleural plaques, a symptomless thickening of the lung membranes caused by asbestos, to claim for damages.
However, in the rest of the UK victims cannot claim compensation since pleural plaques themselves are not a disease and have no symptoms.
Currently, convicted criminals must give DNA samples which are held on a database. However, this law only came into force in March meaning that there are thousands of criminals convicted before the law came into force whose DNA is not recorded.
Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to announce plans to collect DNA samples from people convicted of serious offences such as manslaughter, murder and rape.
Home Office researchers have identified around 13,000 of the most high-risk criminals convicted of serious crimes since 1974 whose DNA samples are not yet on file.
A man and his four-year-old daughter were enjoying a day out in Glasgow's Braehead shopping centre when he was stopped by security guards and later questioned by police for taking photos of his daughter eating an ice cream.
Chris White, 45, was told to delete the photo he had taken of Hazel, because it was "illegal". Later, Strathcylde Police Officers allegedly cited the Terrorism Act while questioning him.
Mr White was informed that there were "clear signs" in the shopping centre forbidding photography, but he claimed not to have seen them.
Despite receiving enthusiastic reviews from critics and film fans around the world, the new Ryan Gosling film 'Drive' has failed to impress one woman who has decided to sue the distributors for releasing a misleading trailer.
Sarah Deming from Michigan, USA, decided to watch the film after seeing the trailer, but what she saw did not meet her expectations. She has filed a lawsuit against FilmDistrict and also the cinema Emagine where she saw the film.
The law suit states: "[The studio] promoted the film 'Drive' as very similar to the 'Fast and Furious,' or similar, series of movies. 'Drive' bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film... having very little driving in the motion picture."
The recent news that Nasa's six-tonne satellite UARS was falling back to earth and could land anywhere, and on anyone, caused much speculation about the odds of being hit by falling space debris. Although the satellite landed in the ocean, not causing any harm or damage, the question remains: who would have been legally responsible?
Had you or your property been hit by a piece of space debris, who would have been liable for compensation? The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, signed by the Russian Federation, the UK and the USA, says that "States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects".
There have been several past cases in which one country has paid another compensation for damage caused by fallen satellites. In the seventies, the USSR paid £1.8million to Canada for a crashed satellite in the Northern Territories and the US Government was fined around £250 for littering by the Australian Government.
In a speech on immigration he will give later today, Prime Minister David Cameron will call for the criminalisation of forced marriages.
Those who force others to marry against their will be committing a criminal offence, as will those who breach court orders that are imposed to prevent forced marriages taking place.
Currently, Forced Marriage Protection Orders, which were introduced to England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2008, can be applied for by a potential victim, friend or police officer in order to protect a person who could be at risk of being forced into marriage.
A new proposal calling for harsher punishments for dangerous drivers is to be introduced under an amendment of the Government's sentencing bill.
A new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving is planned that will carry a maximum sentence of five years as well as a fine, and it will be triable in crown and magistrates' courts.
Currently, the maximum sentence for dangerous driving is two years, unless it results in a fatality, in which case the maximum jail term is 14 years.
In the third case of its kind in Greater Manchester in recent months, a man arrested on suspicion of murder during an alleged burglary has been released without charge.
Vincent Cooke, 39, from Bramhall, Stockport, was at home alone when Raymond Jacob, 37, entered his house and held Mr Cooke at knifepoint.
Mr Cooke claimed that he struggled with the intruder and in doing so fatally stabbed Mr Jacob.
Some crimes, such as genocide and war crimes, are considered so serious that they have been made international crimes. British lawyer Polly Higgins is campaigning to create a new law of 'ecocide' which will be considered just as serious as these.
A mock trial was set up at the Supreme Court where actors playing the bosses of fictional corporations Global Petroleum Company (GPC) and Glamis Group stood accused of destroying ecosystems after the Gulf oil spill and the mining of crude oil in Alberta.
Michael Mansfield QC, prosecuting, claimed: "Companies cannot be given a licence to spill and kill as long as they clean up the mess."
Michael Le Vell, who stars in Coronation Street as Kevin Webster, was arrested last Friday (30 September) on suspicion of sexually abusing a schoolgirl.
He was arrested in his home in Cheshire by the Greater Manchester Police, taken to a police station and held for questioning. He has since been released on bail until next month while officers carry out their investigations.
The actor has "strenuously denied" the allegations and has been "going through a private hell" since the allegations were made.
The longest-running US comedy series The Simpsons could be facing the axe after its production company announced that its voice actors and staff would have to take pay cuts.
After a report which appeared on the Daily Beast website which claimed that the show's voice actors were struggling to renegotiate their contracts with 20th Century Fox, the company issued a statement explaining their position.
The statement read: "We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model.
A company that sells insurance to photographers has been forced to remove its recent advertising campaign after the Advertising Standards Authority received complaints that it was offensive, sexist and degrading to women.
Aaduki, a specialist insurance company, pride themselves on their tongue-in-cheek Carry-On style of advertising. But this time their advert overstepped the mark.
The ad, which ran in Amateur Photographer magazine, read: "Confused and don't know where to look?" and beneath this was a photo of a topless woman covering her breasts with two digital SLR cameras.
The British forces' practice of putting hoods over the heads of prisoners and terror suspects has been declared unlawful and has been banned in a ruling by the High Court.
An Iraqi man, Alaa' Nassif Jassim al-Bazzouni, who was subjected to 'hooding' when he was held prisoner by British troops in 2006, won his case that challenged the Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel, which the Government published in 2010.
Mr al-Bazzouni's lawyer, Phil Shiner, claimed that the "barbaric" practice was unlawful since it had been banned in 1972 under the Heath Government due to their use in Northern Ireland.
During the riots that took place in August this year, BBC2's Newsnight filmed a panel of guests discussing the nature of the civil disorder, including historian David Starkey.
Dr Starkey angered many viewers with his comment: "What has happened is that the substantial section of the 'chavs' ... have become black. The whites have become black."
Hundreds of complaints from the public were received by the media regulating body Ofcom. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, described the comment as "racist" and "outrageous".
In a recent interview with The Times newspaper, Sir Chris Woodward, former Ofsted chief inspector, claimed that children should be allowed to leave school aged 14.
He believes that children who are less academically-minded would be better off being allowed to learn a trade and taking up vocational apprenticeships rather than being forced to study maths and English up to the age of 18.
He said: "If a child at 14 has mastered basic literacy and numeracy, I would be very happy for that child to leave school and go into a combination of apprenticeship and further education training and a practical, hands-on, craft-based training that takes them through into a job."
The Home Secretary Theresa May's comments yesterday (2 October) about scrapping the Human Rights Act angered the Liberal Democrat members of the coalition Government and ignited intense debate.
The Home Secretary complained that the Act made it difficult to deport foreign criminals and suspected terrorists who could claim that their human rights were being infringed.
She said: "I'd personally like to see the Human Rights Act go because I think we have some problems with it.